Friday, November 22, 2013

The Unearthly Beauty of Abandonment

A room in an abandoned military hospital in Beelitz, Germany. (click to enlarge)

It looks like the set from a science fiction flick, of maybe a haunt of Doctor Who, but, don't be deceived, the photo above is the real deal, and just one of many abandoned human habitats and constructions across the globe.

So, if you're in the mood for radioactive ghost towns, submerged cities, abandoned hotels, subways and train stations, and a ship which is now a floating forest - and who isn't (?) - I advise you head over to the home of Bored Panda (.com) for 31 Haunting Images of Abandoned Places That Will Give You Goose Bumps.

I don't know about goose-bumps, but there's nothing quite as oddly satisfying as a good ruin, and Mac, I believe, would've agreed, so, in a sense, this post is a follow-up to the 2010 PMB post, Urban Decay.

And, if your appetite has not, yet, been sated, and you'd like to take it to the next level, here's a scrumptious video of an abandoned Star Wars set!.

(Hat-tip to PMB friend, David Peeples, for the Panda link.)

(BTW, if you're wondering why I've been inspired to randomly post here again, wonder no more: I'm nursing a broken foot and am chained to the computer.)

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Death and the Net

Arthur Squared - digital - 2011, Dia Sobin 

"Some people have been searching for ways to fill that silence, by using artificial intelligence to continue to provide content for a dead user’s social media presence. An app called LivesOn, for instance, offers a service that can continue to send tweets after the death of the Twitter account-holder. Developed by a creative agency and Queen Mary, University of London, the app is designed to analyse a user’s existing tweets, learning from their syntax and word usage to construct new tweets that sound like the user. Another company, Virtual Eternity, based in Alabama, has developed animated avatars of the dead, so that their distant descendants can communicate with them."

- Patrick Stokes via Aeon Magazine, November 20, 2013

The inquiry initiated with Rob Walker's New York Time article continues... this time by Patrick Stokes over at Aeon Magazine, in an engaging article entitled The Digital Soul, from which I pulled the above quote.

Very interesting... but, a tad creepy! An app for ghostly tweets? I shudder to think!

For links to past treatments of the same subject, see this post.