Find of the Day: 25 August 2016

Of all the influences from the past 100 years, the Bauhaus—the venerable art and design school founded in 1919—has had the most enduring impact on the world, from the modern products and furniture we buy, to the graphics we see, and the architecture we inhabit. Yet while scholars have pored over the school and deconstructed its teachings for decades, many untold stories still wait to be unearthed.

This month, the Harvard Art Museum is highlighting them, launching a digital archive of its immense collection of Bauhaus-related artworks, prototypes, documents, prints, drawings, and photographs. The archive is the legacy of Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius, who became a professor at Harvard in 1937 after the school closed in 1933 (the Nazis did not agree with its experimental teachings), bringing his knowledge and ephemera to Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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So we’ve officially reached the end of the hype. The reviews are in, the players are starting to leave, and the universe of No Man’s Sky is becoming emptier than ever. What happened? This game is gorgeous, packed full of potential, a serene tour of the galaxy that gradually grinds into a tedious rock-harvesting sim. Many have compared it to Spore, a similarly hyped title that was eventually revealed to be a series of basic mini-games with a cool character-creation feature.

No Man’s Sky is what happens when you take the human soul out of a game and let the computer run the show. A breathtaking technical accomplishment it may be, boasting 18 quintillion planets birthed by algorithms, but every single one of them is completely devoid of life. Sure, they have randomly generated creatures that resemble a three year old’s rambling description of their favorite animal, but there is no life. Beyond the initial thrill of exploration, there is nothing left to truly engage you. Only endlessly repeated patterns, twisted and turned to look slightly different, like a Rubik’s Cube made of 18 quintillion plastic blocks. It’s exhausting and eventually, monotonous to the point of depressing.

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Your idea of a library might be a musty, carpeted room with outdated technology, but don’t ditch your library card just yet.

According to David Pescovitz, co-editor at Boing Boing and research director at the Institute for the Future, a Palo Alto-based collective that makes forecasts about our world, it’s likely in the coming decades that society’s traditional understanding of a library will get completely upended.

In 50 years’ time, Pescovitz tells Business Insider, libraries are poised to become all-in-one spaces for learning, consuming, sharing, creating, and experiencing – to the extent that enormous banks of data will allow people to “check out” brand-new realities, whether that’s scaling Mt. Everest or living out an afternoon as a dog.

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In the beginning, it was just about getting rid of the keys to his office.

American biohacker Amal Graafstra, 40, decided in 2005 that he wanted to be done with such archaic technology “from like 700 BC.” He looked at iris scanning and fingerprint reading as solutions for opening his office door, but decided those options were expensive and unreliable.

Inspired by the way pets are commonly tagged, he settled on a safe radio-frequency identification (RFID) implant. “I used to say that if I was beaten up and naked in the back alley, I still want to get into my door,” he told Mashable Australia.

More than decade later, Graafstra now travels the world talking about the underground world of biohacking — people merging their bodies with technology. In 2013, he founded a site that sells home implant kits, Dangerous Things, and in one particularly popular stunt, he modified a gun prototype so it could only be activated by one of his implants.

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Thanks to the nation-wide death of shop class, an entire generation of kids is growing up without knowing the proper way to use a band saw (without someone standing behind it), or how to hold a power drill (not by the cord or the spinning bit).

That’s something Eldon Schoop, a PhD candidate in computer sciences at U.C. Berkeley, thinks will ultimately prove to be a disadvantage to millions of would-be makers when they want to evolve past 3D printers to create custom objects of increasing complexity. Back in the day, kids learned to use tools thanks to hands-on time with their seven-fingered shop teacher. How do you teach people those same lessons in the 21st century?

Along with his partner on the project, Michelle Nguyen, Schoop’s answer to this question is the Drill Sergeant, a robotic tutoring platform that augments a set of power tools to teach people how to use them safely . . . while also making them more fully functional. Their vision is to enable anyone to walk into this “smart workshop,” regardless of skill level, and walk out with a beautiful finished product—all without leaving any fingers behind.

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