Clement Charles

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March 4th, 2014 by Clement Charles

Back on ITU World 2012

Invited as speakers in the “Who Owns My Data” session in Dubai in 2012, I had the opportunity to share (… and scare) with my vision of the digital immortality. I also met and discovered MIT professors John Clippinger, founder and Executive Director, Idcubed, that made understand how we may control and monetize our flows of data.

As we I am already preparing possible participation in Doha 2014 after my successful panel and meet the experts session in Bangkok last November, I wanted to go back on that session in Dubai which was greatly quoted. You can view a great report here, and view the session in full simple with a easy free login with your mail.

March 1st, 2014 by Clement Charles

Eating celebrities

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No, we are not talking about celebrities that are currently eating. Nope, we are not talking about how the paparazzi or the hassles modern life can be “eating celebrities”. Last not, we are not talking about eating the celebrity itself…. Well, actually, we are. Indeed, the BiteLabs‘ project is very much in line with the future of meat, which is in-vitro cultivated meat. In that sense, they propose you to collect tissue / muscle sample from selected celebrities, use it as basis to grow meat tissues in laboratories to finally mix this “in vitro” human meat with animal flesh to create a tasteful salami.

An other slides of Ellen DeGeneres ? Would you care for a toothpick to take off this “James Franco meat” of your theeth ? Still hungry after your tasting of  Kayne West ? Enjoy your meal ! It may seem awful, but at the end of day, meat is meat, protein is protein.

Capture d’écran 2014-02-28 à 16.33.55

 

As discussed previously, I really think the future of meat is in vitro for obvious environmental reasons as well as enjoying the not yet common moral benefit of not killing any animals to feed yourself. To conclude, on why I hardly see any civilized future is not vegetarian if not vegan, I want to remind you the exciting quote from anthropology pioneer Claude Levy Strauss that I shared and translated in a previous post.

 

February 28th, 2014 by Clement Charles

Claude Lévi-Strauss on meat

PETA-meat-protest4
“A day will come where the idea that, to feed themselves, men of the past did breed and massacre living being to then expose indulgently tatters of their flesh in shop windows will inspire, undoubtedly, the same repulsion than the ones inspired to XVI and XVII travelers by cannibalistic meals of the american, ocean or african savages.”

I wanted to share a very important quote with from Claude Lévi-Strauss  was a French anthropologist and ethnologist, and has been called, along with James George Frazer and Franz Boas, the “father of modern anthropology”. The work of Lévi-Strauss was also key in the development of the theory of structuralism and structural anthropology.

His famous quote on the vegetarian future of our species is great, as it reflect the natural and necessary path of change. In the same ways that civilization without wheels could not imagine the train networks, we now getting out of a civilization of the “necessary death” (death is normal, thus if I destroy life, it’s not my fault) towards the one of an “exhaustive and consequential liability” (I should harm any one if I know I am creating harm and can avoid this harms easily). On a more global level, it is reflected in the fact that mankind  – as a whole – and humans – as individuals – cannot blind themselves any more of the consequences of their actions, on both global and local level, on both moral and environmental levels.

The original quote in French is below.

“Un jour viendra où l’idée que, pour se nourrir, les hommes du passé élevaient et massacraient des êtres vivants et exposaient complaisamment leur chair en lambeaux dans des vitrines, inspirera sans doute la même répulsion qu’aux voyageurs du XVIème ou du XVIIème siècle, les repas cannibales des sauvages américains, océaniens ou africains“.

 

 

February 3rd, 2014 by Clement Charles

Space Oddity. In Space.

Wether you are a YouTube geek, a music fan and hard science SF addict, you will love that cover A revised version of David Bowie’s Space Oddity, recorded by Commander Chris Hadfield on board the International Space Station.

November 29th, 2013 by Clement Charles

L’arrivée de l’aristocratie 2.0

Dans ma perspective, les prochaines années – lustres et décades – à venir vont voir le retour en force de l’aristocratie.

Démodée depuis la fin du XVIIIème siècle, toujours utile mais pas forcément valorisée au cours du XIXème  et discrète au XXème, l’aristocratie, au sens classique du terme, va revenir à la mode d’ici à 2020. C’est mon sentiment depuis longtemps, et cela commence à devenir un avis argumenté.

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En effet, toutes les conditions s’y prêtent. Dans nos pays européens, l’accentuation du fossé entre les personnes les plus riches, et le reste de la société, de la classe moyenne aux personnes les plus pauvres, continue. On remarque de la capacité croissante des gens de vivre de manière contigüe sous le même soleil et dans la même ville, dans la même rue ou le même avion, sans pour autant vivre la même vie et ni vivre dans le même monde.

Dans nos pays occidentaux, cette accentuation du fossé provient d’abord de la financiarisation de la société qui a permis à certaines élites et aux banksters de générer des profits dont personne n’osait rêver durant les trente glorieuses, où pourtant, beaucoup de fortunes ont pu être constituées.

En parallèle de ce clivage qui grandit à l’interne de occident, un mouvement similaire se passe au niveau de la planète où l’occident historique perd en influence financière et en capacité de domination matérielle du monde alors que  les autres parties du monde (l’Amérique du Sud – à nouveau, le Moyen Orient et l’Asie – enfin) arrivent dans la cour des grands, toujours plus vite et plus fort. En s’agrandissant, l’écart s’accélère et devient impossible à combler. Dans ma vision, ce n’est ni bien ni mal, tout en étant assez justifiable et facilement compréhensible.

Grand écart et héritage. 

Historiquement, ici ou ailleurs, l’aristocratie se base sur un principe clair: l’idée que la naissance est une qualité en tant que telle et que ce dont l’on hérite fait l’homme. L’aristocrate hérite d’un nom, d’une particule, d’un patrimoine, d’une fortune, d’une réputation, d’une activité, d’une charge.

On le voit bien dans le capitalisme financier et c’était déjà le cas dans le capitalisme industriel, l’aspect dynastique reste très fort. Il est toujours plus simple d’être un mauvais entrepreneur et de quand même connaître le succès lorsqu’on hérite d’une entreprise florissante ou de sommes suffisantes pour créer n’importe quelle activité.

Alors que le clivage s’accentue, il me paraît évident que le retour aristocratique plus formelle, plus “officiel”, se prépare.

En effet, dans le capitalisme financier, les positions s’héritent. L’ascenseur social reste disponible pour ceux qui sont prêts à l’activer manuellement et avec énormément d’efforts mais, plus généralement, la reproductibilité des classes a tendance à s’accélérer, s’alourdir et fermer la parenthèse ascensionnelle et ouverte par les “trente glorieuses” et les aspirations d’égalité des chances du 20ème siècle. En parallèle, plus on est riche au départ, plus la courbe de croissance de son patrimoine s’accentue, plus les revenus arrivent plus vites que les dépenses. Des héritages immenses se préparent et se construisent.

Ce changement sociétal, les conséquences de l’évolution du partage des revenus et des richesses dans la société et dans le monde, vont aussi se faire sentir dans tous les autres secteurs de la consommation, de l’immobilier à la décoration, de la mode à la génération de codes sociaux, dans un vaste mouvement général de retour vers la tradition et le classicisme.

En effet, lorsqu’on voit les “aristocrates 2.0”, asiatiques ou moyen-orientaux arriver en Europe, ils s’intéressent d’abord au patrimoine historique, certains diront éternel, du vieux continent. Ils ont bien raisons.

Et c’est que le début.

En effet, alors que les professionnels de la finance de New-York, les stars de la City de Londres, ou les parangons de la banque privée à Genève achètent du mobilier Roche Bobois en contre plaqué laqué blanc pour meubler leur salon aux fenêtres scellées en dépensant des dizaines de milliers de francs ou qu’ils achètent des artistes contemporains dont tout le monde parle sans pour autant réellement comprendre ce qu’ils font, la nouvelle aristocratie asiatique et moyen-orientale, elle, se concentre sur les vielles pierres, le patrimoine intemporel, les marques historiques, et plus généralement, tout ce qui représentent le savoir faire qui a fait de l’Europe ce qu’elle est. En d’autres termes, en phase avec l’évolution de sa position au sommet de l’échelle, cette nouvelle aristocratie s’inscrit dans une tradition centenaire voire millénaire, qui donne une lisibilité encore plus grande à leur nouvelle position dominante, au processus de remplacement en cours d’une élite par une autre.

Ce retour de l’aristocratie se traduira bien entendu aussi par un retour de la fierté de la bourgeoisie, ce wagon entre la première et la troisième classe, traditionnellement accroché à la locomotive aristocrate depuis près de trois siècles.

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Dans cette perspective, il paraît évident que dans un futur proche, alors que les iniquités continuent à croître, la volonté de démontrer sa différence, de s’afficher comme dans une classe ou dans une autre, augmente fortement, voir même, deviennent socialement obligatoire. Un monde aux identités nationales en évolution, qui se floutent et s’atténuent, laisse aussi plus de place à de réelles identités de classe, qui s’imposent comme plus pertinentes, plus génératrices de sens dans un monde aux frontières changeantes.
La demande pour le démodé 

 

Sur cette base, on peut donc prévoir que le retour des dorures et des ornements, la renaissance des arabesques et pieds en pattes, des dessertes Louis XV ou des lits en bateau Louis-Philippe, de l’abeille Napoléonienne ou de la fleur de Lys des Bourbons, du retour du velours comme de la soie sur soi, de la dentelle fine et du satin lisses, des collerettes et des jabots, guêtres et chapeaux, de la vielle pierre et des titres de douairière.

En bref, tout ce qui a été démodé par la postmodernité redeviendra à la mode. Rapidement. Alors que ce billet décrit une évolution comportementale à venir des élites, on peut déjà observer et mesurer ce processus à l’oeuvre dans la population des démocraties occidentales, autant par le nouveau positionnement des marques de luxes “avec tradition” comme marque grand public que le renforcement récent de concepts de nation, d’identité ou de dogmatisme religieux, idées qui paraissaient encore désuets et en voie de disparation il y a encore quelques dizaines d’années.

Enfin, et je n’en parle pas dans ce papier, mais cela fait néanmoins parti de ma perspective: la dimension génétiquement modifiée de l’aristocratie fera couler beaucoup d’encre dans les prochaines décennies, puis, possiblement, couler autant de sang. En effet, lorsque – demain matin, les moyens financiers permettront à une certaine catégorie de la population de modifier ses gênes afin d’avoir une santé quasi parfaite, une longévité exceptionnelle et d’atteindre le plein potentiel de l’humain, la capacité de capitalisation et thésaurisation de ces super-humains sera sans limite.  Aristocratie 2.0, “artilect” ou transhumain, peu importe le lexique, à ce moment là, l’iniquité aura atteint un point de non retour qu’il ne sera plus possible de dépasser.

 

 

Affaire à suivre.

Clément Charles

 

Oui ou non ? Stop ou encore ? Le débat est ouvert, ton avis bienvenu.

 

Photos:

1, 3. Vitrine du Mall of The Emirates, Dubai, Nov 2013.

2. Magasine hipster, Berlin, Oct 2013.

 

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November 12th, 2013 by Clement Charles

How Robots Will Change the World – BBC/NRK Documentary

Robotics is the art and commerce of robots, their design, manufacture, application, and practical use. Robots will soon be everywhere, in our home and at work. They will change the way we live. This will raise many philosophical, social, and political questions that will have to be answered. In science fiction, robots become so intelligent that they decide to take over the world because humans are deemed inferior. In real life, however, they might not choose to do that. Robots might follow rules such as Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, that will prevent them from doing so. When the Singularity happens, robots will be indistinguishable from human beings and some people may become Cyborgs: half man and half machine.

November 3rd, 2013 by Clement Charles

Meet the artificial bacteria


Man-constructed organism are nearly there. Meet the artificial bacteria !

October 18th, 2013 by Clement Charles

Smart Textile: a other great event from CSEM

I reproduce the received invite. Won’t be there, but you may be interested in attending ; )

The AISTS and CSEM invite you to an Open Conference on Smart Textile Opport=
unities for Sport.

The AISTS, a centre of excellence for education and research in sport in th=
e Olympic Capital, and the CSEM, a leading pole in research and technology,=
are organising a conference on Smart Textile Opportunities for Sport.

The conference will tackle the latest trends in textile technology and shed=
light on the opportunities presented to international sport from a multipl=
e stakeholder’s perspective. The open conference will provide unique insigh=
ts from experts in technology and materials themselves, as well as the pers=
pective of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

When: Wednesday, 13 November 2013, 6pm-8:40pm, followed by drinks
Where: Rolex Learning Centre, EPFL Campus, Lausanne (http://goo.gl/maps/AaI=
Xd<http://aists.createsend5.com/t/r-l-nvldhl-jhkrhhntu-r/>)

The evening will be featuring presentations by

* Dr Mattia Bertschi, CSEM
* Dr Claude Stricker, AISTS
* Prof Jan-Anders M=E5nson, EPFL & AISTS President
* Dr Kim Blair, MIT & ISEA
* Antoine Dénériaz, Olympic Gold Medallist in Downhill Skiing, Torino 2006
* Christophe Dubi, IOC

We hope that you will be able to join us at what is sure to be a stimulating evening of talks.

_________________________________________________

CSEM SA
Jaquet-Droz 1 | Case postale | CH-2002 Neuch=E2tel
www.csem.ch<http://www.csem.ch/>
___________________________________________________

September 2nd, 2013 by Clement Charles

Buildings in the Netherlands by year of construction

Both as regular visitor and amateur of geography, I have always been impressed by the Netherlands as the first nation wide experiment of terraformation. For sure, when we will building off earth city on the ice of Encelade or the waters of Europa, there will be some dutch involved. ; )

I am sure you will enjoy this interactive map on the evolution of the Netherlands from early 17th-18th century until today, showing Buildings in the Netherlands by year of construction.

It is also a good example of usage of big data to generate a new type of visual intelligence of facts.

 

August 26th, 2013 by Clement Charles

WAN IFRA regrets decline in UK press freedom (pr)

I hereby reproduce the content of the PR release of WAN IFRA, The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). Feel free to share.

Paris, France and Darmstadt, Germany, 26 August 2013

World’s press protests against destruction of Guardian newspaper hard drives and apparent decline in press freedom of UK

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum have protested to Prime Minister David Cameron of the United Kingdom against the actions of government officials that led to the destruction of computer hard drives belonging to the Guardian newspaper last month.

In a letter to Mr Cameron, WAN-IFRA, the global organisation of the world’s press, called on the United Kingdom to reaffirm its commitment to press freedom and “respect the rights of journalists to protect their sources and to create the conditions necessary to ensure the press can continue its crucial role in maintaining free and fair societies, without government interference or intimidation”.

WAN-IFRA expressed its dismay at the government’s decision to pursue the threat of legal action should the Guardian not hand over or destroy computer hard drives, in a bid to prevent the publication of reports based on the leaked files supplied by National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden.

“I am afraid the United Kingdom is progressively losing its place as a world leader in freedom of expression and a free press”, said Vincent Peyrègne, CEO of WAN-IFRA. “That the government felt the need to threaten legal action to block reporting into issues of public interest is deeply distressing and will have a chilling effect on press freedom in the UK and beyond. This is especially pertinent given the information contained in the hard drives was stored elsewhere and destroying them was a symbolic gesture only”.

WAN-IFRA also expressed concern regarding the detention of David Miranda, the partner of Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, who has been instrumental in breaking the story on the NSA files, under the UK Terrorism Act of 2000. Mr Miranda had his personal electronic items confiscated and was held for an unprecedented nine-hours without charges being brought against him.

WAN-IFRA has seen an increase in the arrests of journalists under anti-terror legislation in recent years, particularly in countries such as Turkey and Ethiopia.

“It is extremely upsetting that the UK government has used anti-terrorism legislation to detain the partner of the Guardian journalist associated with the Snowden files”, Mr Peyrègne said. 
“WAN-IFRA regards this as a complete misuse of anti-terror legislation.”

“I am calling on the Prime Minister of the UK, in the strongest possible terms, to provide his assurance that the necessary inquiries will be made to ensure that any inference of association between journalism and terrorism is not part of official policy that puts the UK on the same level as Turkey and Ethiopia, whose governments misuse anti-terror legislation to silence critics”.

This most recent protest letter follows a letter to Mr Cameron in April 2013, regarding the proposed Royal Charter on Self Regulation of the Press and the serious questions that remain regarding the future direction of independent press regulation.

Reports suggest that since Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry into press behaviour, as many as 59 journalists have been arrested under three separate police investigations. None have been convicted and many have spent months on police bail.

The most recent letter can be read at http://www.wan-ifra.org/node/84088

WAN-IFRA, based in Paris, France, and Darmstadt, Germany, with subsidiaries in Singapore and India, is the global organisation of the world’s newspapers and news publishers. It represents more than 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. Its core mission is to defend and promote press freedom, quality journalism and editorial integrity and the development of prosperous businesses.

Inquiries to: Larry Kilman, Deputy CEO and Director of Communications and Public Affairs, WAN-IFRA, 96 bis, rue Beaubourg, 75003 Paris France. Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 07. Fax: +33 1 42 78 92 33. Mobile: +33 6 10 28 97 36. E-mail: larry.kilman@wan-ifra.org

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August 23rd, 2013 by Clement Charles

20 predictions for the next 25 years | Society | The Observer

A nice piece to understand the future already today.

20 predictions for the next 25 years | Society | The Observer.

August 20th, 2013 by Clement Charles

Food and industrial death: 6 minutes of non verbal content to make you speechless.

I came across that great movie today. Enjoy. But do no watch while eating.

Even more happy than usual to be vegetarian.

August 13th, 2013 by Clement Charles

The Internet of Bins

I just discovered Renew, a smart bin with LED screen, with a great article from The Independent.

Here is a short video showcasing their product.

 

The article had a rather bad opinion of the product. Not the screens on the bin, but the tracking of users’ phone without their consent. On Twitter, the company is getting trashed by most commentators very heavily.

 

 

August 6th, 2013 by Clement Charles

Robots and industrial futures

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A great article by InternetActu on LeMonde blog’s platform – click here. In French. But heavily based (a bit too much) on the translation / quoting / pumping / reformulating of  a december 12 article published in Wired by Kevin Kelly titled Better Than Human: Why Robots Will — And Must — Take Our Jobs.

Still, a good read to enjoy and encompass this exciting trends of having robots doing all the hard work ; )

 

July 8th, 2013 by Clement Charles

Future Cities (4): Masdar – doing it right from the start

Of course, it is always easier to do things right from the start. Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates has heavily invested in building and showing to the world a really fully sustainable city in the middle of the Arabian desert.

To begin, discover what’s already built and what’s planned for the short term, check that Al Jazeera report.

To continue, check that other report on this city of the future.

And for the one who doubts that the future is happening just right now, check that real videos about

Superbus, a new clean energy public transport vehicle, filmed in Masdar city in Abu Dhabi.

 

July 5th, 2013 by Clement Charles

Future Cities (3): Smart is better than stupid (… unlike now?)

The future of cities is to be smart. To measure, to control, to adapt, to balance. Big internet and telecom players are heavily investing in such techs but also in communicating / lobbying to reach such goals.

IBM is clearly a leader in such communication and visions. This a basic video to start with.

July 4th, 2013 by Clement Charles

Future Cities (2): let’s float !

What will be the future of cities ? Maybe, floating. Not surprising for people living in the Netherlands, but surely new and exciting for the rest of us.
To grasp the topic, check that video from our partners Reuters news.

In more specific view, you may enjoy this great video. Architect Vincent Callebaut proposes his futuristic concept, titled “Lilypad”, would essentially allow a city to reside on water. The metropolis would float and house as many as 50,000 people.

 

 

To conclude with some “design concept”, I am sure you will enjoy this 2009 videos on current project on floating / underwater cities.

July 3rd, 2013 by Clement Charles

Future Cities: part 1 – TEDx Talks by Tobias Wallisser

To start this series of curated video on Future Cities, I think you’ll enjoy this 2010 TEDx Talks  Tobias Wallisser, from UNStudio in Amsterdam. UNStudio is my perspective one of most innovative architecture firm around – I discovered them through Taschen books.

 

After studying architecture in Berlin, Stuttgart and New York, Tobias Wallisser worked in the United States, Netherlands and Germany. For 10 years Tobias was Associate Architect at UNStudio in Amsterdam, where he was responsible for a series of high profile projects like the Stuttgart Mercedes-Benz Museum which has attracted worldwide attention for its innovative spatial concept.

 

June 27th, 2013 by Clement Charles

4D Printing: Let’s print 3D object that evolves with time.

3D printing is surely one of the most interesting tech revolution of the past years. I personally owned (with my dad and brother) a Solidoodle and tested MakerBot with Basil from C-Lynk branding agency. I preparing a piece on 3D printing and its future, as well as review of our experiences of buying, installing and using a Solidoodle printer.

Before that, I wanted to share with you that video of TED taks for about 4D Printing… The idea is clear, innovative and crazy – thus, I love it ; ) Let’s 3D object that evolves with time.

June 20th, 2013 by Clement Charles

Interview with IBM Research’s Director John Kelly (June 2013)

Once you’ve passed the little IBM ad at the start, you will enjoy a really interesting interview with Dr. John E. Kelly II, senior VP and director of IBM Research. The most interesting part are in my perspective: the part of IBM’s Watson (the joepardy winning computer), cognitive computing, as well all the newest lab in Nairobi, Kenya and the future of Africa as an important growth market for IBM.

Curated content. Not personally involved into production or content.