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Futurism | Definition, Manifesto, Artists, & Facts …

Futurism, Italian Futurismo, Russian Futurizm, early 20th-century artistic movement centred in Italy that emphasized the dynamism, speed, energy, and power of the machine and the vitality, change, and restlessness of modern life. During the second decade of the 20th century, the movements influence radiated outward across most of Europe, most significantly to the Russian avant-garde. The most-significant results of the movement were in the visual arts and poetry.

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theatre: Futurism in Italy

Although it produced one major dramatist, Luigi Pirandello, in the period between the two world wars, the Italian theatre contributed very

Futurism was first announced on February 20, 1909, when the Paris newspaper Le Figaro published a manifesto by the Italian poet and editor Filippo Tommaso Marinetti. Marinetti coined the word Futurism to reflect his goal of discarding the art of the past and celebrating change, originality, and innovation in culture and society. Marinettis manifesto glorified the new technology of the automobile and the beauty of its speed, power, and movement. Exalting violence and conflict, he called for the sweeping repudiation of traditional values and the destruction of cultural institutions such as museums and libraries. The manifestos rhetoric was passionately bombastic; its aggressive tone was purposely intended to inspire public anger and arouse controversy.

Britannica Quiz

Meet the Futurists

Which instrument was central to Futurist music?

Marinettis manifesto inspired a group of young painters in Milan to apply Futurist ideas to the visual arts. Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carr, Luigi Russolo, Giacomo Balla, and Gino Severini published several manifestos on painting in 1910. Like Marinetti, they glorified originality and expressed their disdain for inherited artistic traditions.

Although they were not yet working in what was to become the Futurist style, the group called for artists to have an emotional involvement in the dynamics of modern life. They wanted to depict visually the perception of movement, speed, and change. To achieve this, the Futurist painters adopted the Cubist technique of using fragmented and intersecting plane surfaces and outlines to show several simultaneous views of an object. But the Futurists additionally sought to portray the objects movement, so their works typically include rhythmic spatial repetitions of an objects outlines during transit. The effect resembles multiple photographic exposures of a moving object. An example is Ballas painting Dynamism of a Dog on a Leash (1912), in which a trotting dachshunds legs are depicted as a blur of multiple images. The Futurist paintings differed from Cubist work in other important ways. While the Cubists favoured still life and portraiture, the Futurists preferred subjects such as speeding automobiles and trains, racing cyclists, dancers, animals, and urban crowds. Futurist paintings have brighter and more vibrant colours than Cubist works, and they reveal dynamic, agitated compositions in which rhythmically swirling forms reach crescendos of violent movement.

Boccioni also became interested in sculpture, publishing a manifesto on the subject in the spring of 1912. He is considered to have most fully realized his theories in two sculptures, Development of a Bottle in Space (1912), in which he represented both the inner and outer contours of a bottle, and Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913), in which a human figure is not portrayed as one solid form but is instead composed of the multiple planes in space through which the figure moves.

Futurist principles extended to architecture as well. Antonio SantElia formulated a Futurist manifesto on architecture in 1914. His visionary drawings of highly mechanized cities and boldly modern skyscrapers prefigure some of the most imaginative 20th-century architectural planning.

Boccioni, who had been the most-talented artist in the group, and SantElia both died during military service in 1916. Boccionis death, combined with expansion of the groups personnel and the sobering realities of the devastation caused by World War I, effectively brought an end to the Futurist movement as an important historical force in the visual arts.

Not content with merely taking over the urban and modernist themes of Futurist painting, the writers who embraced Italian literary Futurism sought to develop a language appropriate for what they perceived to be the speed and ruthlessness of the early 20th century. They established new genres, the most significant being parole in libert (words-in-freedom), also referred to as free-word poetry. It was poetry liberated from the constraints of linear typography and conventional syntax and spelling. A brief extract from Marinettis war poem Battaglia peso + odore (1912; Battle Weight + Smell) was appended to one of the Futurists manifestos as an example of words-in-freedom:

Arterial-roads bulging heat fermenting hair armpits drum blinding blondness breathing + rucksack 18 kilograms common sense = seesaw metal moneybox weakness: 3 shudders commands stones anger enemy magnet lightness glory heroism Vanguards: 100 meters machine guns rifle-fire explosion violins brass pim pum pac pac tim tum machine guns tataratatarata

Designed analogies (pictograms where shape analogically mimics meaning), dipinti paroliberi (literary collages combining graphic elements with free-word poetry), and sintesi (minimalist plays) were among other new genres. New forms of dissemination were favoured, including Futurist evenings, mixed-media events, and the use of manifesto leaflets, poster poems, and broadsheet-format journals containing a mixture of literature, painting, and theoretical pronouncements. Until 1914, however, output fell far short of the movements declared program, and Futurist poetsin contrast to Marinettiremained largely traditionalist in their subject matter and idiom, as was demonstrated by the movements debut anthology I poeti futuristi (1912; The Futurist Poets).

Marinetti was for some time primarily associated with his African Mafarka le futuriste (1910; Mafarka the Futurist), a tale of rape, pillage, and battle set in North Africa. Apart from its misogyny, racism, and glorification of a cult of violence, the novel is remembered for its heros creation of a machine brought to life as a superman destined to inherit the future. Only when Marinetti started grounding his avant-garde poetry in the realities of his combat experiences as a war reporter during World War I, however, did a distinctly innovative Futurist idiom emerge, one that represented a significant break from past poetic practices.

The title of literary Futurisms most important manifesto, Distruzione della sintassiimmaginazione senza filiparole in libert (1913; Destruction of SyntaxWireless ImaginationWords-in-Freedom), represented Marinettis demands for a pared-down elliptical language, stripped of adjectives and adverbs, with verbs in the infinitive and mathematical signs and word pairings used to convey information more economically and more boldly. The resultant telegraphic lyricism is most effective in Marinettis war poetry, especially Zang tumb tumb and Dunes (both 1914). A desire to make language more intensive led to a pronounced use of onomatopoeia in poems dealing with machines and waras in the title of Zang tumb tumb, intended to mimic the sound of artillery fireand to a departure from uniform, horizontal typography. A number of Futurist painter-poets blurred the distinction between literature and visual art, as Severini did in Danza serpentina (1914; Serpentine Dance). While Marinettis poetic experiments revealed an indebtedness to Cubism, he elevated Italian literary collage, often created for the purpose of pro-war propaganda, to a distinctively Futurist art form. The culmination of this tendency came with Carrs Festa patriottica (1914; Patriotic Celebration) and Marinettis Les Mots en libert futuristes (1919; Futurist Words-in-Freedom).

A typographical revolution was also proclaimed in the Futurists 1913 manifesto; it grew out of both a desire to make form visually dynamic and a perceived need for visual effects in type that were capable of reflectingthrough size and boldnessthe noise of modern warfare and urban life. A diverse series of shaped poetic layouts depicted speeding cars, trains, and airplanes, exploding bombs, and the confusions of battle. Apart from Marinettis work, the most accomplished typographical experiments are to be found in the poetry of Francesco Cangiullo and Fortunato Depero.

During its first decade, Italian literary Futurism remained a largely homogeneous movement. By contrast, Russian Futurism was fragmented into a number of splinter groups (Ego-Futurists, Cubo-Futurists, Hylaea [Russian Gileya]) associated with a large number of anthologies representing continually regrouping artistic factions. While there was an urbanist strand to Russian Futurism, especially in the poetry of Vladimir Mayakovsky and Yelena Guro, Russian writers were less preoccupied with machines, speed, and violence than their Italian counterparts. The dominant strain of primitivism in Russian Futurism led some to conclude that the two movements have little in common apart from the word Futurism. While there was a shared interest in the renewal of language, the Italians innovations were invariably designed to express an ultramodern sensibility, whereas Russian Futurist poets and playwrights confined their attentions to The Word as Such (the title of one of their most famous manifestos, Slovo kak takovoye, published in 1913). A number of these writers, most impressively Velimir Khlebnikov, explored the archaic roots of language and drew on primitive folk culture for their inspiration.

As was the case in Italy, the main achievements of Russian Futurism lie in poetry and drama. As it did in Italy, neologism played a large role in Russian attempts to renew language, which in turn aimed at the destruction of syntax. The most-famous Futurist poem, Khlebnikovs Zaklyatiye smekhom (1910; Incantation by Laughter), generates a series of permutations built on the root -smekh (laughter) by adding impossible prefixes and suffixes. The result is a typical (for Russian Futurism) concern with etymology and word creation. Khlebnikovs and Alexey Kruchenykhs radical forays into linguistic poetry went hand in hand with an interest in the word as pure sound. Their invented zaumthe largely untranslatable name given to their transrational languagewas intended to take language beyond logical meanings in the direction of a new visionary mysticism. Kruchenykhs opera Pobeda nad solncem (1913; Victory over the Sun) and Khlebnikovs play Zangezi (1922) are two of the most-important examples of the Futurist blend of transrationalism with the cult of the primitive. Mayakovsky, the greatest Russian poet to have gone through a Futurist phase, was coauthor of the manifesto Poshchochina obshchestvennomu vkusu (1912; A Slap in the Face of Public Taste), and his poems figure in many of the movements key anthologies. While sharing an Italian-influenced Futurist sensibility with the Ego-Futurists and belonging more, on account of their concern with verbal innovation, to the body of works by the Cubo-Futurist painter-poets, his poetry and plays are, above all, Futurist in their provocative rejection of the past and their subjectivist approach to the renewal of poetic language.

During the 1920s, Marinetti and those around him gravitated toward fascism, whereas the Soviet communist regime became increasingly intolerant of what it dismissed as avant-garde Formalism. While relations between Italian and Russian Futurism were, on the whole, strained, the Italian Futurists exercised a strong influence on German Expressionism, English Vorticism, and international Dada.

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Futurism | Definition, Manifesto, Artists, & Facts …

Manifesto of Futurism – Wikipedia

The Manifesto of Futurism (Italian: Manifesto del Futurismo) is a manifesto written by the Italian poet Filippo Tommaso Marinetti and published in 1909. Marinetti expresses an artistic philosophy called Futurism that was a rejection of the past and a celebration of speed, machinery, violence, youth and industry. It also advocated the modernization and cultural rejuvenation of Italy.

Marinetti wrote the manifesto in the autumn of 1908 and it first appeared as a preface to a volume of his poems, published in Milan in January 1909.[1] It was published in the Italian newspaper Gazzetta dell’Emilia in Bologna on 5 February 1909,[2] then in French as Manifeste du futurisme (Manifesto of Futurism) in the newspaper Le Figaro on 20 February 1909.[3][4]

The limits of Italian literature at the end of the so-called Ottocento (19th century), its lack of strong contents, its quiet and passive laissez-faire, are fought by futurists (see article 1, 2 and 3) and their reaction includes the use of excesses intended to prove the existence of a dynamic surviving Italian intellectual class.

In this period in which industry is of growing importance in all Europe futurists need to confirm that Italy is present, has an industry, has the power to take part in the new experience and will find the superior essence of progress in its major symbols like the car and its speed (see article 4). Nationalism is never openly declared, but it is evident.

Futurists insist that literature will not be overtaken by progress, rather it will absorb progress in its evolution and will demonstrate that such progress must manifest in this manner because man will use this progress to sincerely let his instinctive nature explode. Man is reacting against the potentially overwhelming strength of progress and shouts out his centrality. Man will use speed, not the opposite (see articles 5 and 6).

Poetry will help man to consent his soul be part of all that (see articles 6 and 7), indicating a new concept of beauty that will refer to the human instinct of aggression.

The sense of history cannot be neglected as this is a special moment, many things are going to change into new forms and new contents, but man will be able to pass through these variations (see article 8), bringing with himself what comes from the beginning of civilization.

In article 9, war is defined as a necessity for the health of human spirit, a purification that allows and benefits idealism. Their explicit glorification of war and its “hygienic” properties influenced the ideology of fascism. Marinetti was very active in fascist politics until he withdrew in protest of the “Roman Grandeur” which had come to dominate fascist aesthetics.

Article 10 states: “We want to demolish museums and libraries, fight morality, feminism and all opportunist and utilitarian cowardice”.

This manifesto was published well before the occurrence of any of the 20th-century events which are commonly suggested as a potential meaning of this text. Many of them could not even be imagined yet. For example, the Russian Revolutions of 1917 were the first successfully maintained revolution of the sort described by article 11. The series of smaller scale peasant uprisings that had been known as the Russian Revolution previous to the occurrences of 1917 took place in the years immediately before the manifesto’s publication and instigated the State Duma’s creation of a Russian constitution in 1906.

The effect of the manifesto is even more evident in the Italian version. Not one of the words used is casual; if not the precise form, at least the roots of these words recall those more frequently used during the Middle Ages, particularly during the Rinascimento.

The founding manifesto did not contain a positive artistic programme, which the Futurists attempted to create in their subsequent Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting (1914).[5] This committed them to a “universal dynamism”, which was to be directly represented in painting. Objects in reality were not separate from one another or from their surroundings: “The sixteen people around you in a rolling motor bus are in turn and at the same time one, ten four three; they are motionless and they change places. … The motor bus rushes into the houses which it passes, and in their turn the houses throw themselves upon the motor bus and are blended with it”.[6]

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Manifesto of Futurism – Wikipedia

Futurism | Define Futurism at Dictionary.com

(sometimes initial capital letter) a style of the fine arts developed originally by a group of Italian artists about 1910 in which forms derived chiefly from cubism were used to represent rapid movement and dynamic motion.

(often initial capital letter) a style of art, literature, music, etc., and a theory of art and life in which violence, power, speed, mechanization or machines, and hostility to the past or to traditional forms of expression were advocated or portrayed.

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Futurism | Define Futurism at Dictionary.com

FUTURISM – YouTube

LO99 – Sometime ft. Owl Eyes [Official Music Video]Out now on Medium Rare Recordings:https://mrr.lnk.to/Sometime

Follow LO’99 & Owl Eyeshttps://soundcloud.com/lo99https://facebook.com/getlo99https://instagram.com/getlo99https:/owleyes.com.au

Director: Ryan Sauerhttps://ryansauermedia.com

The Mountain GoatsMountain Goats DP – Harry JoaquinAC / Focus Puller – Thomas BrownlowCamera Rig Driver – Pope CrilleyMoVI Operator – Michael CiarloCamera Operator Daniel De Silvahttps://themountaingoats.co…

Lighting: Additivehttps://additive.lighting

Editor: Ryan Sauer

HMUA: Kate Ryan

Dancers: Lauren Drago & Nicolas Mena

Assistant & Runner: Ben O’Connor

Find the latest music from FUTURISMYouTube – https://youtube.com/futuris…Spotifyhttps://open.spotify.com/us……Soundcloudhttps://soundcloud.com/futu…

Stay connected with FUTURISMInstagram – https://instagram.com/futur…Facebookhttps://facebook.com/futuri…Snapchathttps://snapchat.com/add/fu…

FUTURISM Official Storehttps://futurism.xyz

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The Mueller Report Confirms We’re Living in a Cyberpunk Dystopia

The Mueller Report, heavily redacted, describes a number of high-tech Russian operations designed to undermine and sway the 2016 Presidential election.

Harm to Ongoing Matter

When the Justice Department released a heavily-redacted version of the Mueller Report Thursday, the conversation quickly devolved into partisan bickering.

Only time will tell what the report means for the Trump administration. But what’s immediately clear is that concepts that were once restricted to fictional cyberpunk dystopias — from government hackers to botnet propaganda networks — are now mainstream enough to influence international politics.

Black Boxes

The readable text of the report details how Russia used social media, hackers, and other sophisticated techniques to try and sway the 2016 U.S. Presidential election in favor of Trump — efforts that reached millions of Americans and recruited others to actively spread their propaganda before and after the election.

Russians working for an organization called the Internet Research Agency created accounts on Twitter and Facebook, through which they reached millions — including many members of the Trump Administration, Trump’s sons, and Trump himself — while sharing pro-Trump and anti-Clinton messages, memes, and images.

Personal Privacy

Meanwhile, other Russian operatives were taking a more direct approach — by hacking into Democratic Party servers, releasing sensitive information though sock puppet personas like “DCLeaks” and “Guccifer” and giving stolen data to WikiLeaks. Just to make the whole thing a little more “Shadowrun,” they funded the operation by mining Bitcoin.

In the long view, the report might be less memorable for its specific claims than as a blueprint for the future of information warfare — and the strange ways technology can be used to manipulate and control populations.

READ MORE: Report On The Investigation Into Russian Interference In The 2016 Presidential Election [CNN]

More on Mueller: Everything You Need to Know From Mark Zuckerberg’s Congressional Testimony: Day 1

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The Mueller Report Confirms We’re Living in a Cyberpunk Dystopia

When the Large Hadron Collider Turns on, It May Trap Dark Matter

Scientists have a new plan to try and spot dark matter by searching for particular particles once the Large Hadron Collider's upgrades are complete.

Eyes Peeled

When the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) turns back on and starts smashing particles again sometime in 2021, it may also point us in the direction of dark matter.

For years, scientists have been trying and failing to spot the invisible stuff that makes up the majority of matter in the universe. But now researchers have a new target: a comparatively heavy and long-lived particle that may be produced by the high-energy collisions at the LHC.

The particle is thought by some physicists to occasionally interact with dark matter — giving scientists a new lead toward spotting the elusive material.

Dangling Particle

Research published this month in Physical Review Letters describes how systems that have already been put in place at the LHC could detect these long-lived particles, which are named as such because they travel slower and last longer than other particles generated by LHC experiments.

The time difference is on the scale of nanoseconds, according to a University of Chicago press release — something that the LHC was already able to detect and will be even better at once upgrades are completed.

“If the particle is there, we just have to find a way to dig it out,” University of Chicago physicist LianTao Wang said in the press release. “Usually, the key is finding the question to ask.”

READ MORE: Scientists invent way to trap mysterious ‘dark world’ particle at Large Hadron Collider [University of Chicago newsroom via Phys.org]

More on dark matter: An Oxford Scientist May Have Solved the Mystery of Dark Matter

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When the Large Hadron Collider Turns on, It May Trap Dark Matter

India Blew up a Satellite. Now A “Space Fence” Is Tracking Its Debris

When India blew up a satellite, it introduced a lot of debris into orbit. Lockheed Martin's experimental Space Fence is keeping an eye on it.

Explosive Demonstration

Last month, India demonstrated its capabilities as a spacefaring nation and drew international criticism when it used a missile to blew up one of its own satellites.

The launch happened to coincide with Lockheed Martin’s test run of a new space monitoring technology called the Space Fence, which can detect and track any unregistered objects orbiting the Earth. According to Space News, that was a stroke of luck that could mitigate damage to people and equipment in space.

Picket Fence

The satellite explosion essentially turned the satellite into a cloud of space debris, which could in the future collide with other satellites, scientific instruments, or astronauts in orbit around the Earth — remember “Gravity”?

“We happened to be up during an endurance test and we were very excited to see that the system performed nominally,” Matthew Hughes, Lockheed Martin business development manager, told Space News. “Space fence is all about the ability to identify break ups, maneuvers, closely spaced objects, proximity operations, new foreign launches.”

While Space Fence isn’t an actual blockade in space, it can at least help officials prepare for and plan around collisions.

READ MORE: Indian anti-satellite test proves early test for Space Fence [Space News]

More on India’s Satellite: NASA: When India Blew up a Satellite, it Endangered Astronauts

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India Blew up a Satellite. Now A “Space Fence” Is Tracking Its Debris

Expert: AI-Generated Music Is A “Total Legal Clusterf*ck”

The legal industry isn't ready for AI-generated music, leading to all sorts of new questions about copyrights in the age of creative machines.

AI-Generated Music

If you train a music-generating artificial intelligence exclusively on tracks by Beyoncé, do you owe the pop star a cut of any resulting songs’ profits? And is it even legal to use copyrighted songs to train an AI in the first place?

Those are just a couple of the questions The Verge poses in a fascinating new story about AI-generated music published Wednesday. And while the publication consulted numerous experts from the music, tech, and legal industries for the story, the input of one person in particular — Jonathan Bailey, CTO of audio tech company iZotope — seemed to most concisely sum up the issue.

“I won’t mince words,” he told The Verge. “This is a total legal clusterfuck.”

Imitation Game

Despite the U.S. Copyright Office bringing up the potential problems that could arise from computer songwriters way back in 1965, U.S. copyright law has yet to nail down exactly who owns what when a computer is involved in the creative process, according to The Verge.

As it stands, the Beyoncé-trained AI could crank out an entire album of “Lemonade”-esque tracks, and as long as none of them sounded too much like any specific Beyoncé song, the AI-generated music wouldn’t be infringing on her copyrights — and the AI’s creator wouldn’t legally owe the artist a penny, lawyer Meredith Rose told The Verge.

Less clear is the use of copyrighted songs to train an AI. Several of The Verge’s sources said there isn’t a straightforward answer as to whether buying a song grants a person the right to then use it to train a machine learning system.

Clock’s Ticking

Of course, programmers have yet to come anywhere near creating AIs capable of autonomously churning out hit songs in the key of Bey — or anyone else for that matter — but that doesn’t mean they won’t be able to one day.

“It’s like the future of self-driving cars,” media-focused venture capitalist Leonard Brody told Fortune in October. “Level 1 is an artist using a machine to assist them. Level 2 is where the music is crafted by a machine but performed by a human. Level 3 is where the whole thing is machines.”

We’ve already seen several examples of those first two levels — tech-forward songstress Taryn Southern shared songwriting credits with AI on her “I AM AI” album, released in September, and that same month, Iranian composer Ash Koosha released an album on which he sang songs composed by AI-powered software.

If Brody’s prediction is correct, the next step will be AIs creating music by themselves — and if we’re already in the midst of a “legal clusterfuck,” who knows what sort of legislative nightmare that will be?

READ MORE: WE’VE BEEN WARNED ABOUT AI AND MUSIC FOR OVER 50 YEARS, BUT NO ONE’S PREPARED [The Verge]

More on AI songwriters: This Musician Created an AI to Write Songs for Him, and They’re Pretty Strange

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Expert: AI-Generated Music Is A “Total Legal Clusterf*ck”

John McAfee Vows to Reveal Bitcoin’s Creator

Infamous tech entrepreneur John McAfee says he's going unmask Bitcoin's creator, but the clues he's shared so far do little to narrow the field.

Maker Unmasked

Infamous tech entrepreneur John McAfee says he’s going to tell the world who created Bitcoin — and if he keeps his word, he’ll be answering perhaps the biggest lingering question in cryptocurrency.

On Wednesday, McAfee took to Twitter to announce his plan to continue sharing clues about the true identity of “Satoshi Nakamoto,” the pseudonymous handle used by the creator of Bitcoin, until either the creator reveals himself or McAfee reveals him.

“I protected the identity of Satoshi,” McAfee tweeted. “It’s time, though, that this be put to bed. Imposters claim to be him, we are spending time and energy in search of him — It’s a waste.”

We’re Waiting

Whether McAfee actually knows the true identity of Bitcoin’s creator is anyone’s guess. But so far, he’s taken to Twitter to claim that Satoshi is male and lives in the United States. He’s also not the CIA, a government agency, computer scientist Nick Szabo, tech entrepreneur Elon Musk, or a brunette.

Oh, and yeah, he’s also alive.

My Name Is

So, to pull some rough numbers, the U.S. is home to about 156.1 million males and about 1 million of those work for the nation’s government. Say about 50 percent are brunettes — that leaves us with ~77.5 million potential Satoshi Nakamotos.

If McAfee wants anyone to believe he actually knows who created Bitcoin — or he wants to pressure the real Satoshi into revealing himself — he’s going to have to narrow the field down a bit more than that.

“Yes, I drink, use drugs, chase women, run from the law — which I have done since I was 19,” he tweeted, in defense of his ability to name the elusive programmer. “But it does not obviate the fact that I created a great company whose focus was stopping hackers. I had to know hacking. I am still John Fucking McAfee.”

READ MORE: John McAfee Triggers Countdown to Unmask Bitcoin Creator Satoshi Nakamoto [CCN]

More on John McAfee: A Real Whodunnit: Tech Eccentric John McAfee Claims Enemies Poisoned Him

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John McAfee Vows to Reveal Bitcoin’s Creator

Astronomers Finally Found the Universe’s First Type of Molecule

Scientists finally detect helium hydride, a combination of helium and hydrogen, thought to be the first molecule to form in the universe.

Happy Hunting

Based on scientists’ calculations, the first molecule to ever form from stray atoms in the universe was likely helium hydride, a combination of helium and hydrogen.

For decades, physicists have hunted the universe for the elusive molecule. And now an international team of researchers say they’ve finally found it — thereby confirming the presumed first step in the universe’s chemistry.

No Doubt

In a study published in the journal Nature Wednesday, the researchers describe how they used NASA’s Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), the world’s largest airborne observatory, to detect helium hydride in a planetary nebula about 3,000 light-years away from Earth.

“It was so exciting to be there, seeing helium hydride for the first time in the data,” researcher Rolf Guesten said in a news release. “This brings a long search to a happy ending and eliminates doubts about our understanding of the underlying chemistry of the early universe.”

READ MORE: The Universe’s First Type of Molecule Is Found at Last [NASA]

More on the early universe: Scientists Now Know When the First Stars Formed in the Universe

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Astronomers Finally Found the Universe’s First Type of Molecule

Climate Change Could Cause Fukushima-Style Meltdowns in the US

Almost every active nuclear reactor in the U.S. is unprepared for flooding and storm surge caused by climate change; industry groups chose not to act.

Unprepared

Most nuclear power plants in the United States are not prepared for the increase in flooding and severe weather that climate change will soon bring.

Of the roughly 60 operational plants in the U.S., 90 percent have at least one design flaw that will render them susceptible to flood damage and storm surge, according to Bloomberg. If preventative measures aren’t taken and upgrades made, then the U.S. may face radiation leaks like the 2011 disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan.

Meltdown

Speaking to Bloomberg, the Nuclear Energy Institute’s Matthew Wald argued that such a meltdown was incredibly unlikely in the U.S. thanks to emergency equipment installed in some reactors.

“There is a perennial problem in any high-tech industry deciding how safe is safe enough,” Wald said, “The civilian nuclear power industry exceeds the NRC-required safety margin by a substantial amount.”

But often, individual reactors and nuclear industry organizations are allowed to set those standards themselves. Bloomberg reports that these groups were allowed to estimate not only their own reactors’ resilience in the face of climate change, but also just how bad they expected the effects of climate change to get in their area.

Oversight

With that lack of regulation, it’s no surprise that the nuclear energy industry cleared the hurdles — the industry is basically bragging about how it slam-dunked on a children’s basketball hoop.

“Any work that was done following Fukushima is for naught because the commission rejected any binding requirement to use that work,” Gregory Jaczko, who was chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2011 during the Fukushima meltdown, told Bloomberg. “It’s like studying the safety of seat belts and then not making automakers put them in a car.”

READ MORE: U.S. Nuclear Power Plants Weren’t Built for Climate Change [Bloomberg]

More on nuclear power: See the Centaur-Like Robot Designed to Handle Nuclear Reactors

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Climate Change Could Cause Fukushima-Style Meltdowns in the US

Denver Is Voting on Whether to Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms

Denver, Colorado, may soon decriminalize the personal use of psilocybin-containing mushrooms, making it the first place in the U.S. to consider doing so.

Trip to the Polls

Denver, Colorado may become the first city in the U.S. to decriminalize shrooms — if a new initiative gets voted through.

It’s only one city, but the vote suggests that Americans are coming around to a more progressive view on recreational — and potentially therapeutic — psychoactive drugs.

Changing Minds

If passed, Initiative 301 would decriminalize personal use and possession of mushrooms containing the psychoactive compound psilocybin. But wouldn’t legalize the growth or distribution of the shrooms, according to Vox — so it’d fall short of the full-throated legalization of marijuana that Colorado embraced in 2014.

Decriminalization of psychedelic shrooms could help Denver save time and money. Per Vox, other decriminalized areas like Portugal saw drops in drug use and drug-related deaths, suggesting that telling police to stop pursuing drug use could benefit society across the board.

READ MORE: Denver may become the first US city to decriminalize psychedelic mushrooms [Vox]

More on Psilocybin: Psychedelic Mushrooms Can Boost Creativity and Empathy For a Week

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Denver Is Voting on Whether to Decriminalize Psychedelic Mushrooms

This Space Roomba Could Clean the ISS While Astronauts Sleep

GermFalcon, a company specializing in airplane sanitizing tech, developed a kind of space Roomba that can blast sterilising UV rays at the walls of the ISS.

Worst Job Ever

Wiping down the inside of the International Space Station is an arduous task.

But luckily, thanks to a private company specializing in airplane sanitizing tech called GermFalcon, astronauts aboard the ISS might be able to skip that chore in the future: an autonomous, Roomba-style space cleaner called GermRover could one day blast the walls with powerful sterilizing UV rays to kill any harmful microbes.

“UV disinfection has been shown to decrease hospital infection rates, so we expect to replicate those results in space,” Elliot Kreitenberg, developer of the robot, told New Scientist.

Filthy Space Station

Futurism has previously reported on how conditions can get nasty on board the ISS.

Research published earlier this month suggests that the ISS is teeming with bacterial and fungal colonies. Some of these bacteria were even found to be antibiotic-resistant as well, compounding the problem.

NASA is currently looking into trialing the GermRover. GermFalcon is working on a prototype it will reveal at the Aerospace Medicine Association conference in Las Vegas next month, according to the New Scientist.

READ MORE: Zero-gravity robot cleaner could automatically sterilise the ISS [New Scientist]

More on germs on the ISS: The International Space Station is Teeming With Germs

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This Space Roomba Could Clean the ISS While Astronauts Sleep

Listen to Brutal Death Metal Made by a Neural Network

A neural network is grinding out the blast beats, super-distorted guitars and bellowing vocals of death metal — and livestreaming it.

Death Metal

In a project called “Relentless Doppelganger,” a neural network is grinding out the blast beats, super-distorted guitars, and bellowing vocals of death metal.

The best part of all: it’s streaming its brutal creations 24 hours a day on YouTube — an intriguing and public example of AI that’s now able to generate convincing imitations of human art.

Dadabots

The neural network is the work of Dadabots, a research duo that experiments with creating music using artificial intelligence tools.

The death metal project, which they trained using tracks by death metal band Archspire, is the first that they’ve livestreamed instead of releasing as an album, and the change in format had everything to do with the quality of the neural network’s output.

In Dadabots’ previous experiments, which dabbled in black metal and Beatles-inspired tracks, only about 5 percent of the AI-generated tracks were usable, co-creator CJ Carr told Futurism, and the programmers had to curate it.

“The remarkable part is the high quality-to-shit ratio,” Carr told Futurism of this new project. “Here, we livestream 100 percent of it,” he said. “Zero curation necessary.”

Black Metal

Part of the success of “Relentless Doppelganger,” Carr suspects, is the relentless speed of Archspire’s songs.

“It seems the faster the blast beats, the more stable the music,” he told Futurism. “Archspire is insanely fast.”

READ MORE: This YouTube Channel Streams AI-Generated Death Metal 24/7 [Motherboard]

More on AI-generated music: Expert: AI-Generated Music Is A “Total Legal Clusterf*ck”

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Listen to Brutal Death Metal Made by a Neural Network

Professor: Total Surveillance Is the Only Way to Save Humanity

Nick Bostrom, author of

Big Brother

The Oxford philosopher who posited 15 years ago that we might be living in a computer simulation has another far-out theory, this time about humanity’s future — and it’s not exactly optimistic.

On Wednesday, Nick Bostrom took the stage at a TED conference in Vancouver, Canada, to share some of the insights from his latest work, “The Vulnerable World Hypothesis.”

In the paper, Bostrom argues that mass government surveillance will be necessary to prevent a technology of our own creation from destroying humanity — a radically dystopian idea from one of this generation’s preeminent philosophers.

Black Balls

Bostrom frames his argument in terms of a giant urn filled with balls.  Each ball represents a different idea or possible technology, and they are different colors: white (beneficial), gray (moderately harmful), or black (civilization-destroying).

Humanity is constantly pulling balls from this urn, according to Bostom’s model — and thankfully, no one has pulled out a black ball yet. Big emphasis on “yet.”

“If scientific and technological research continues,” Bostrom writes, “we will eventually reach it and pull it out.”

Dystopian AF

To prevent this from happening, Bostrom says we need a more effective global government — one that could quickly outlaw any potential civilization-destroying technology.

He also suggests we lean into mass government surveillance, outfitting every person with necklace-like “freedom tags” that can hear and see what they’re doing at all times.

These tags would feed into “patriot monitoring stations,” or “freedom centers,” where artificial intelligences monitor the data, bringing human “freedom officers” into the loop if they detect signs of a black ball.

Two Evils

We’ve already seen people abuse mass surveillance systems, and those systems are far less exhaustive than the kind Bostrom is proposing.

Still, if it’s a choice between having someone watching our every move or, you know, the end of civilization, Bostrom seems to think the former is a better option than the latter.

“Obviously there are huge downsides and indeed massive risks to mass surveillance and global governance,” he told the crowd at the TED conference, according to Inverse. “I’m just pointing out that if we are lucky, the world could be such that these would be the only way you could survive a black ball.”

READ MORE: An Oxford philosopher who’s inspired Elon Musk thinks mass surveillance might be the only way to save humanity from doom [Business Insider]

More on Bostrom: Philosopher Hadn’t Seen “The Matrix” Before Publishing Simulation Hypothesis

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Professor: Total Surveillance Is the Only Way to Save Humanity

Amazing New Rocket Engine Sucks up Atmospheric Oxygen for Fuel

The European Space Agency just greenlit a UK aerospace manufacturer's tests of a novel air-breathing rocket engine that sucks up atmospheric oxygen.

Air-Breathing Rocket

U.K. aerospace manufacturer Reaction Engines is preparing a potentially revolutionary rocket engine for a real-world test within the next 18 months.

The Synergistic Air-Breathing Rocket Engine (SABRE) runs partially on oxygen collected from the atmosphere rather than relying on heavy fuel. That means serious weight savings, according to the European Space Agency — such that a payload could be delivered to orbit at “half the vehicle mass of current launchers.”

Big Savings

Futurism has previously reported on Reaction Engine’s ambitious plans. Earlier this year, the company told the BBC its future hypersonic engines could be used to cut the journey from London to Sydney to just four hours.

The European Space Agency first got involved in 2010, testing the viability of the novel design and to see if the engine could withstand hypersonic speed. This week, the space agency gave the project the green light.

“The positive conclusion of our preliminary design review marks a major milestone in SABRE development,” Mark Ford, heading ESA’s Propulsion Engineering section, said in a statement. “It confirms the test version of this revolutionary new class of engine is ready for implementation.”

READ MORE: Air-Breathing Rocket Engine Gets Green Light for Major Tests [Space.com]

More on Reaction Engines: New Rocket Engine Could Whip You From London to Sydney in 4 Hours

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Amazing New Rocket Engine Sucks up Atmospheric Oxygen for Fuel

China’s Military Built an Autonomous Amphibious Landing Vehicle

China has announced what local media is calling the

Marine Lizard

China has announced what local media is calling the “world’s first armed amphibious drone boat.”

The 39-foot-long Marine Lizard is designed to assist land assault operations and can form a web with other drone ships and airborne drones in order to act in tandem with them. It can reach a maximum of 50 knots (roughly 57 mph) in the water thanks to a diesel hydrojet engine — and on land it can reach only 12 mph (20 km/h) thanks to four track units mounted to its underbelly.

Autonomous Drone Ship

The Marine Lizard was built by the state-owned China Shipbuilding Industry Company (CSIC) to be truly autonomous: it can find its own way, maneuver around obstacles, or be remotely controlled via satellites with an impressive operating range of 7,450 miles (1,2000 km). When not in use, the vehicle can go into sleep mode for up to eight months while it’s not in operation, according to the Global Times.

The unusual amphibian drone is touted as a great way to assist recon missions from both aerial drones and other ships — and could do so very efficiently and with a low risk of casualties, according to the company.

READ MORE: China unveils the first autonomous amphibious military landing vehicle [The Verge]

More on unmanned ships: The U.S. Navy Wants to Roll out Autonomous Killer Robot Ships

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China’s Military Built an Autonomous Amphibious Landing Vehicle

Boston Dynamics Unveils SpotMini You’ll Actually Be Able to Buy

Boston Dynamics has debuted the version of its SpotMini robot dog that it plans to actually sell to consumers — but it has yet to announce a price tag.

New Best Friend

We’ve seen Boston Dynamics’ SpotMini climb stairs, pull heavy loads, and even dance like no one’s watching — and now, we’re finally getting a look at the version of the robo-dog that could one day do all those things on your command.

On Thursday, Boston Dynamics’ CEO Marc Raibert unveiled the production version of SpotMini at a TechCrunch-hosted startup showcase. He claims the company will produce about 100 of the robots this year, with production expected to begin in July or August — meaning it might not be long before we have bio-inspired robots navigating our homes.

A Better Bot

According to TechCrunch, the production version of SpotMini includes “redesigned components to make it more reliable, skins that work better to protect the robot if it falls and two sets of cameras on the front and one on each side and the back, so it can see in all directions.”

Raibert doesn’t think the production version of the robo-dog will be limited to the capabilities it ships with, either.

During the conference he said he hopes SpotMini will become the “Android of robots,” a reference to Google’s mobile operating system. In other words, he envisions software engineers writing their own apps to give the robot new capabilities.

As for the big question that remains — How much for that robo-dog in the video? — Raibert said Boston Dynamics will reveal pricing details this summer.

READ MORE: Boston Dynamics debuts production version of SpotMini [TechCrunch]

More on SpotMini: Watch a Pack of Boston Dynamics’ Creepy Robot Dogs Pull a Truck

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Boston Dynamics Unveils SpotMini You’ll Actually Be Able to Buy

Puerto Rico Will Stop Burning Coal Next Year

The governor of Puerto Rico just signed a bill that will quickly move the island away from non-renewable energy sources within the next few decades.

Spring Cleaning

Puerto Rico has a plan in motion to shut down its coal-burning power plants by next year.

The Puerto Rico Energy Public Policy Act, recently signed by Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Roselló, puts the island on track to completely ditch non-renewable energy sources by 2050, according to The Rising — a heartening sign that Puerto Rico plans to rebuild its infrastructure to be as environmentally-friendly as possible in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

Nitty Gritty

According to the bill, coal-burning power plants will get the axe in 2020, and all other coal-burning in Puerto Rico will be eliminated in 2028 . Meanwhile, Puerto Rico, which in 2017 only got two percent of its energy from renewable sources, will reach 40 percent by 2025 and 100 percent by 2050.

“I’m pretty sure that this will be, by leaps and bounds, the quickest transition to renewables that’s ever happened anywhere on the planet” P.J. Wilson, President of the Solar and Energy Storage Association of Puerto Rico, told The Rising. “To go from [2] percent today to 40 percent by five years from now will be the biggest challenge the renewable energy industry has ever faced, on top of a very challenging political situation and a challenging financial situation.”

READ MORE: Puerto Rico to Adopt 100% Renewable Energy [The Rising]

More on Puerto Rico: When It Comes To Natural Disasters, Technology Has An Unavoidable Dark Side

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Puerto Rico Will Stop Burning Coal Next Year

The Government Wants to Make an Example out of Mark Zuckerberg

The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly considering holding Mark Zuckerberg directly responsible for Facebook's privacy scandals.

Target Acquired

After seemingly countless privacy scandals rocked Facebook in recent years, federal regulators are considering taking a more aggressive approach — including potentially holding CEO Mark Zuckerberg responsible for the social media giant’s misconduct.

The news comes from anonymous sources close to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC)’s ongoing, confidential probe into Facebook’s business practices who spoke to The Washington Post. New governmental oversight for Zuckerberg would send a strong message to Facebook and other Silicon Valley data brokers — though probably not the one Zuckerberg hoped for when he requested new regulations for his industry earlier this month.

Big Stick

In the past, the FTC has considered fining Zuckerberg directly when his company mishandled user data, but never pulled the trigger. That regulators are returning to that option suggests that they’re fed up with Zuckerberg getting off scot-free when his company plays fast and loose with users’ privacy.

“The days of pretending this is an innocent platform are over, and citing Mark in a large scale enforcement action would drive that home in spades,” Facebook investor-turned-critic Roger McNamee told WaPo.

READ MORE: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg under close scrutiny in federal privacy probe, sources say [The Washington Post]

More on Facebook: Facebook “Unintentionally” Uploaded 1.5 Million Email Contacts

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The Government Wants to Make an Example out of Mark Zuckerberg


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