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Links 1 through 10 of 60 by Daniel Rourke tagged simulacrum

Anne crawled out of bed in her North Las Vegas house around 10 p.m. and started to get ready for her shift. She pulled her chestnut hair into a bun and slipped on her olive green flight suit.

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For medical researchers and biochemists, simulation software will vastly speed the early stages of screening for new compounds. And for molecular biologists, models that are of sufficient accuracy will yield new understanding of basic cellular principles.

This kind of modeling is already in use to study individual cellular processes like metabolism. But Dr. Covert said: “Where I think our work is different is that we explicitly include all of the genes and every known gene function. There’s no one else out there who has been able to include more than a handful of functions or more than, say, one-third of the genes.”

The simulation of the complete life cycle of the pathogen, Mycoplasma genitalium, was presented on Friday in the journal Cell. The scientists called it a “first draft” but added that the effort was the first time an entire organism had been modeled in such detail — in this case, all of its 525 genes.

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The History of Art is filled with forgeries, but are there fakes in digital art fields made from creative cut-and-pastes, collaborative works and infinite works? We approached four people who, pondering the notion of fake, point to characteristics specific to digital art.

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Officially, the Swiss Academy of Sciences meeting in Bern on 20 January was an overview of large-scale computer modelling in neuroscience. Unofficially, it was neuroscientists' first real chance to get answers about Markram's controversial proposal for the Human Brain Project (HBP) — an effort to build a supercomputer simulation that integrates everything known about the human brain, from the structures of ion channels in neural cell membranes up to mechanisms behind conscious decision-making.

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Five years ago, a relatively unknown (and unhinged) director began one of the wildest experiments in film history. Armed with total creative control, he invaded a Ukrainian city, marshaled a cast of thousands and thousands, and constructed a totalitarian society in which the cameras are always rolling and the actors never go home

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Any time we interact with a representative art work – be it a painting, a sculpture, a song, a novel, a comic, a play, a film, or a game – it involves the exercise of our imagination, and as such we can see this deployment of our imagination as a game (in the manner of a child’s game of make-believe). Looking at a painting, we imagine we are perceiving what is depicted; listening to a song we imagine the story or sentiments mentioned in the lyrics and invoked by the music; reading a novel or comic or watching a film we imagine the events of the story unfolding; playing a game we imagine the reality of the events that occur.
 
Fictional Worlds
In prop theory, representations of all kinds are seen as props that prescribe specific imaginings. What is imagined is fictional, that is, true in the fictional world of the game that is played with the prop (Walton says “What is true is to be believed, what is fictional is to be imagined”). 

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There is a seductive image of contemporary culture circulating today. Our world, Jean Baudrillard tells us, has been launched into hyperspace in a kind of postmodern apocalypse. The airless atmosphere has asphyxiated the referent, leaving us satellites in aimless orbit around an empty center. We breathe an ether of floating images that no longer bear a relation to any reality whatsoever.1 That, according to Baudrillard, is simulation: the substitution of signs of the real for the real.2 In hyperreality, signs no longer represent or refer to an external model. They stand for nothing but themselves, and refer only to other signs. They are to some extent distinguishable, in the way the phonemes of language are, by a combinatory of minute binary distinctions.3 But postmodernism stutters. In the absence of any gravitational pull to ground them, images accelerate and tend to run together. They become interchangeable. Any term can be substituted for any other: utter indetermination.

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Shanzai is the name used for a huge black market industry that (currently) specialises in making fake mobile phones in small factories. Basements. We’re not talking about a few phones either. The volume is terrifying. According to CCID Consulting in 2007 an estimated 150 million phones - 20% of the 750 million devices produced in China - were counterfeit or off brand.

Initially carbon copies of the genuine article, more recent shanzai phones sometimes add eccentric new features to meet the demands of the market and can produce them far quicker than the genuine manufacturers can adapt (apparently 28-30 days to market). It’s probably because they have access to the components, tools, skilled factory workers and they’re not held back by corporate bureaucracy, legal issues, manufacturing schedules and overheads - or safety. For example shanzai Nokia phones had dual SIM slots before the genuine ones did -

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It could be one of the most ambitious computer projects ever conceived.

An international group of scientists is aiming to create a simulator that can replicate everything happening on Earth - from global weather patterns and the spread of diseases to international financial transactions or congestion on Milton Keynes' roads.

Nicknamed the Living Earth Simulator (LES), the project aims to advance the scientific understanding of what is taking place on the planet, encapsulating the human actions that shape societies and the environmental forces that define the physical world.

"Many problems we have today - including social and economic instabilities, wars, disease spreading - are related to human behaviour, but there is apparently a serious lack of understanding regarding how society and the economy work," says Dr Helbing, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, who chairs the FuturICT project which aims to create the simulator.

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Just a quick fyi: If you head over to the Harvard University Press web site, you can grab a free copy of Marcus Boon’s new book, In Praise of Copying, which makes the case that “copying is an essential part of being human, that the ability to copy is worthy of celebration, and that, without recognizing how integral copying is to being human, we cannot understand ourselves or the world we live in.” Boon is a writer, journalist and Associate Professor in the English Literature department at York University, Toronto. You can download a free copy of his book in PDF format straight from this link. (Note that the text is formally released under a Creative Commons license.) Or you can always purchase a printed copy online.

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