Link Roundup for 12Oct20

Is Afrofuturism for Africans?

Afrofuturism: Ayashis’ Amateki – an essay by Mohale Mashigo

“Afrofuturism is an escape for those who find themselves in the minority and divorced or violently removed from their African roots, so they imagine a ‘black future’ where they aren’t a minority and are able to marry their culture with technology. That is a very important story and it means a lot to many people. There are so many wonderful writers from the diaspora dealing with those feelings or complexities that it would be insincere of me to parrot what they are doing.

“My story, as an African living in Africa, is this: I lived (as in, under the same roof ) with white people for the first time when I was a nineteen-year-old student. My television screen showed stories populated by black people speaking indigenous languages, so I have never suffered from a lack of representation as such. Was I, though, still living in a country where my culture, language and presence were considered a nuisance? Absolutely!”

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I just subscribed to Weird Horror.

Weird Horror #1

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You know that cool future holographic internet where people just wave their hands around and we can see from the graphic overlay that they’re interacting with 3D graphics? Well, what if you don’t have hands? Or arms? Dots asked these questions and developed an inclusive interactive system.

“As the world is entering this hand-gesture controlled future driven by machine-learning, we realize it will be difficult to accommodate disabilities, due to a lack of datasets. While we may use thousands of people’s hand-motion video to train one model, it is almost impossible to find two people with exactly the same form of disabilities. Disability is often highly individual, which is not reflected in machine learning. Can we imagine asking an upper limb amputee to use Hololens?

“Dots is an inclusive interface for future spatial computing, which empowers the disabled person to design their way to interact with Mixed Reality and Internet-of-things, based on their body conditions.”

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The gap between expected deaths and real deaths suggests that COVID-19 has been more deadly than the numbers currently reported. It may be 33% higher (if we’re approximately 210,000 right now, the likely number of dead due to COVID-19 is probably closer to 280,000).

Used to be if you allowed 300,000 US American citizens die through neglect and disinformation campaigns you’d be persona non grata in the states. Now, the Republican Party will ask you to be their standard bearer. Is this what Freud meant by ‘death drive’?

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If you are into SFF scholarship, the latest issue of Studies in the Fantastic (No. 9 – Summer 2020) looks to be available as open access. Included is this interview with Sofia Samatar.

S.S.: Yeah, well, my scholarship and my creative work really move hand in hand. Every chapter of my dissertation produced either a short story or a section of a novel. 

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