Category: audio

Not quite a lecture, but a really well down examination of Terry Davis’ life, well worth watching during lunch break.

Digital Human, Series 18, Episode 4: Devotion

God’s Lonely Programmer:

Terry Davis asks God about war (“Servicemen competing”) and death (“awful”), about dinosaurs (“Brontosaurs’ feet hurt when stepped”) and His favorite video game (“Donkey Kong”). God’s favorite car is a “Beamer,” and His favorite singer is Mick Jagger, though if He could sing He’d want to sound like Christopher Hall from Stabbing Westward. His favorite national anthem is Latvia’s. His favorite band is, no surprise, The Beatles, but Rush and Triumph are pretty good, too. Classical music is poison. The best thing Bill Gates could do to save lives, God says, is work on earthquake prediction. The Eleventh Commandment is “Thou shall not litter.” Terry Davis tells God everything seems bad. God replies: “Plant trees.”

The words pour out on TempleOS.org, a torrent of verified random numbers, news links, YouTube videos, and scriptural exegesis. It’s the dense work of a single, restless mind writing ceaselessly without an audience.

After two months of emails and phone conversations, I know more than when I began; specifically, I’ve accumulated more raw data, more facts about his life and experience. But I suspect I’ve only sketched a shadow. The full reality remains unreachable, an irreducible mystery.

Jesse Hick’s article is perhaps the best thing ever written about Terry and his work, you guys should absolutely check it out. And when Jesse finishes his follow up article, we will of course link our listeners right to it.

Digital Human, Series 18, Episode 4: Devotion

Stratford Soldiers vs. E19 Posse Beef | Famalam:

Turf wars, senseless. Cake, good. Very good.

Digital Human, Series 18, Episode 3 – Character Witness

What is the real impact social media is having on gang violence, turf warfare and youth identity?:

While spending time with gang members in the South Side of Chicago to conduct fieldwork for his forthcoming book, sociologist Forrest Stuart would regularly check Twitter and Instagram. He’d be surprised to find that the young men he was hanging out with, often in perfectly mundane situations, were posting pre-prepared images and videos of themselves wielding guns.

“I discovered all this flexing on social media,” he tells me over Skype. “I’d be standing right next to these guys and realise they were posting things that were nothing to do with what we were actually doing.” Some of the young men didn’t own and had never used a gun. They simply borrowed them to stockpile photos and videos of themselves holding weapons, later curating an intimidating social media profile that they would drip feed onto the internet over the coming days and weeks.

Drill artist Digga D has found a young, engaged audience through social media, despite some of his videos being banned

“I’d be driving them across town in my car, and when we’d pass a rival block they’d start taking selfies out the window, pretending they were on their way to do a drive-by,” Stuart continues. “Another time, in a cold Chicago winter, I was sat with a young man who was babysitting his little sisters. We were in his living room watching music videos on the television. But when I checked Instagram, he was on there posting photos pretending to be stood in the blizzard outside protecting his block.”

It is no secret that social media platforms are shifting human behaviours, habits and interactions all over the world. People are increasingly able to use digital profiles of themselves to extend or invert their physical realities, and thus manipulate their social, professional and moral worlds for all sorts of benefits and incentives: the prospect of meeting a new lover, the lure of branded money from sponsors, the endorphin-hit of likes and shares, and chase votes and political power.

Digital Human, Series 18, Episode 3 – Character Witness

What’s at the Root of Chicago’s Violence? A State Lawmaker, Pastor Weigh In:

On what can be done to address the violence:

Williams: Education. All of our institutions need to eternally look within and ask the question: “How violent are we?” Violence isn’t just stabbing, shooting and beating. But violence also works very subtly in human behavior. You can be violent in your actions towards yourself or someone else. What we’re attempting to do is educate.

This is a public health issue. If there’s something in the air or something in the water. If there’s something that affects all of our humanity, then we need to educate people in order that we might heal as sufficiently as we possibly can. We need to educate people. We need to work in collaboration. It’s very important that entities and people and institutions are working together. Civility. Violence has taken us way out into left field and right field. Civility means we can agree to disagree. No civilization can exist with this type of abnormal behavior becoming normal behavior. And lastly, redirecting resources as it relates to the issue of violence.

Digital Human, Series 18, Episode 3 – Character Witness

To All WPD Subscribers Top Level Coments:

On episode 5 of this series of the Digital Human podcast (link to show below), we explored violent content online – why we criticise those facilitating the supply we rarely talk about the demand. Aleks Krotoski asks who views it and why. 

One of our guests was Russell Ryland, who moderated the now banned Watch People Die subreddit, who explained why so many people were drawn to watch such content, and how they were demonised in the mainstream media as violent and hateful, without speaking to any of them.

Here is an archived comment thread where users explained why the were subscribers, and even how they believed viewing the content had improved rather than damaged their lives.

Listen to the full episode here – Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 5 – Ghoul

People who watch beheading videos are motivated by fear of terrorism, UCI study finds:

Researchers also found that fear of terrorism and having a history of violent victimization appear to draw individuals to this highly graphic coverage – and that watching such videos was associated with global distress and fear of the future about two years after they went viral. The report appears in American Psychologist, the flagship journal of the American Psychological Association.

“Our study is the first to identify the motivations behind viewing a beheading video and the long-term consequences of doing so,” said senior author Roxane Cohen Silver, UCI professor of psychological science. “Our findings suggest that when individuals are afraid of horrific acts of cruelty occurring in the world, they may be curious to seek out graphic coverage of these types of events. But this may only exacerbate their distress and anxiety over time, locking them into a spiral of fear.”

Professor Silver told us more about her research on the podcast. Stream or download the episode here Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 5 – Ghoul 

Violent content online has rightly been condemned. Yet while we criticise those facilitating the supply we rarely talk about the demand. In episode 5 of this series of Digital Human, Aleks Krotoski asks who views it and why.

In this clip Journalist Brianna Snyder recalls an occasion when her curiosity got the better of her, and lead to her being compelled to view extreme content online.

Listen to the full episode here – Digital Human: Series 17, Ep 5 – Ghoul 

The artwork for the show is by the supremely talented Seonaid MacKay.

BBC Radio 4 – The Digital Human – Downloads:

Hey guys, all episodes of series 17 are available to download both from BBC Sounds and on iTunes. So if you’re the binging type when it comes to audio check it out. Especially check out our 100th episode special, the Analogue Human – we loved cutting that on tape.

The Digital Human – Series 17 – Science Fiction Jammie Bums – BBC Sounds:

Digihuman back again on Monday guys, and we’ve got a little clip to wet your appetite. I’m just happy the phrase ‘science fiction jammie bums’ is on the radio 🙂

Listen to the full show HERE on Monday