Tuesday, 4 December 2007

How Technology Almost Lost the War: In Iraq, the Critical Networks Are Social — Not Electronic

Thanks to Koji Wakayama for this:

By Noah Shachtman

The future of war began with an act of faith. In 1991, Navy captain Arthur Cebrowski met John Garstka, a captain in the Air Force, at a McLean, Virginia, Bible-study class. The two quickly discovered they shared more than just their conservative Catholic beliefs. They both had an interest in military strategy. And they were both geeks: Cebrowski — who'd been a math major in college, a fighter pilot in Vietnam, and an aircraft carrier commander during Desert Storm — was fascinated with how information technologies could make fighter jocks more lethal. Garstka — a Stanford-trained engineer — worked on improving algorithms used to track missiles.


Monday, 3 December 2007

Visionary Landscapes: Electronic Literature Organization 2008

The deadline for Visionary Landscapes: Electronic Literature Organization 2008 Conference has been extended to December 16, 2007. The conference website can be found at:


The conference takes place from May 29-June 1, 2008 at Washington State University Vancouver in lovely Vancouver, WA. It is sponsored by both the Electronic Literature Organization and WSUV. Speakers include Mark Amerika, Sue Thomas, and John Cayley. A Media Arts Show will be held in conjunction with the conference and will feature art such as digital sculpture, net art, multimedia installations and performances, electronic music, and the like. Workshops in audio production and reading elit are also scheduled.

It should prove to be an interesting weekend for anyone involved in digital media projection, scholarship, and teaching.


Dene Grigar, PhD

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Has Modern Art Always Been Torture?


ADOLF HITLER hated Modernist painting. He was convinced it was a Jewish plot (Jewish painters, Jewish dealers, Jewish collectors). But whatever the racial origins of the artists, he thought their works were ugly and perverted.

''It is not the function of art to wallow in dirt for dirt's sake, never its task to paint men only in a state of decomposition, to draw cretins as symbols of motherhood, to picture hunch-backed idiots as representatives of manly strength,'' he orated at a decadent-art exhibition in Dresden in 1935, as quoted in Frederic Spotts's new book, ''Hitler and the Power of Aesthetics.'' ''There really are men,'' he went on, ''who in principle feel meadows to be blue, the heavens green, clouds sulphur-yellow.''

Let us now imagine that Hitler did not die in his Berlin bunker in 1945 but was captured by the Allies and imprisoned. And not imprisoned in any ordinary jail cell, but one tricked up in earnest imitation of what were then the latest Modernist and Surrealist paintings. His cell would be a distorted room like those of Kandinsky and Klee, with geometric drawings on the walls to make him sick to his stomach.