Rethinking journalism, art history and lactic acid.

I think it’s time that we can all agree that the news industry is failing. Hundreds of newspapers have declared bankruptcy and gone under in the past couple years — and thousands of Journalists are out of work. But I’m curious: what are all these journalists doing? Laying down and giving up? I’m wondering why I don’t see a flurry of journalistic startups.

→ Warpspire, Kyle Neath: Why aren’t there any journalistic startups?

The Dadaists were very cross. They blamed the horrors of the First World War on the Establishment’s reliance on rational and reasoned thought. They radically opposed rational thought and became nihilistic — the punk rock of modern art movements. Dada plus Sigmund Freud equals Surrealism. The Surrealists were fascinated by the unconscious mind, as that’s where they thought truth resided.

→ Times Online, Will Gompertz: It’s double art history with Mr Tate [Via Sippey]

The notion that lactic acid was bad took hold more than a century ago, said George A. Brooks, a professor in the department of integrative biology at the University of California, Berkeley. It stuck because it seemed to make so much sense. “It’s one of the classic mistakes in the history of science,” Dr. Brooks said.

→ New York Times, Gina Kolata: Lactic Acid Is Not Muscles’ Foe, It’s Fuel

3D printing. Fabbing. Lockpicking.

Jonas has graciously spent time with us in Gothenburg and just got back to Stockholm, the town north of here. I’ve signed up for a few more dives and am looking forward to that. SKUP PALET, the art organisation that a bunch of us have started, is slowly getting its shit together and it looks like we’re going to represent at an art fair in Copenhagen. I visited Arcam today, the Gotheburg company that produces stuff in titanium that I wrote about in the post on rapid prototyping, and had a chat and a tour of their facilities; I got some insight into how specialised their buisiness model is, with only 50 machines worldwide.


As research before my MFA lockpicking presentation I interviewed Marc Weber Tobias. He had forwarded his Skype account to his cellphone and talked to me as he stopped for gas somewhere in a desert. The world felt just as small and awesome as when I was in high school and interviewed NASA for the radio show we were doing. (The feeling being “I can call anyone and ask anything!”) There’s an article on him and his doings over at Wired, which you might enjoy.

→ Wired, Charles Græber: The ultimate lock picker exposes weak military installations, corporate systems

What comes through in the article – beside his drive and intelligence – is the lack of patience with stupidity and a genuine fascination with stuff. It’s a quality that many nerds and other obsessive people share, and I sympathise with it. It’s this fascination that I was trying to gleam at my meeting with Patrik Ohldin at Arcam.

Of course, coming from a sci-fi reading background and with my head full of ideas on the end of stuff that rapid prototyping is hearalding, I felt much as the city kid staring in awe and disbelief at someone milking a cow. Patrik had a much more buisiness minded approach to the technology; He keeps abreast of what is happening in their sector, but the changing human perception of what originality implies in the face of CAD-to-production just isn’t part of their business. Making spare parts for humans and cars is.

It was nice to see what they were up to, and it’s always exiting to learn first hand about hight tech stuff, but now I feel I’d need to complement this excursion with a visit to the lo-fi end of the spectrum. Are there any home-fabbers in Gothenburg? Point them in my direction.