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Biotech Technology

Interview with Natalie Jeremijenko 87

Posted by michael
from the dilettante dept.
cynical writes "From releasing packs of Feral Robot Dogs that sniff out chemical contamination, to teaching Yale engineering students socially responsible design, to co-authoring Biotech Hobbyist Magazine, Natalie Jeremijenko's work merges engineering, biology, politics and art. Enviro-tech blog WorldChanging has an exclusive interview with Jeremijenko where she discusses how art and technology mix, garage biotech, and being the "Q" (from James Bond) of the activist community."
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Interview with Natalie Jeremijenko

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 30, 2004 @04:20PM (#10674454)
    Anyone got pictures?
  • Very cool... a step towards I,Robot? :)

    I'm not sure *I* personally could play with a robotic dog and feel normal, I guess I'm just old-fashioned.

    None-the-less, that's very interesting...
    • The strange surreality of the interview seemed more like a step towards the dystopia depicted in the classic '80s graphic novel to me: Attractive blonde rebel girl, radioactive seagulls, depressed rodents in the walls, Hoop? riots and weird techno weapons (no zenades though) - reminded me a little of the book by Alan Moore; "The Ballad of Halo Jones", but it was the mention of her feral robotic dogs [2000adonline.com] that really clinched it.
  • As if security paranoia wasn't high enough around here in the first place... Interesting, nonetheless...
  • Q (Score:3, Funny)

    by Hatta (162192) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @04:25PM (#10674469) Journal
    WorldChanging has an exclusive interview with Jeremijenko where she discusses how art and technology mix, garage biotech, and being the "Q" (from James Bond) of the activist community."

    It would have been more interesting if she was the Q [bbc.co.uk] (from ST:TNG) of the activist community.
    • Re: Q (Score:4, Interesting)

      by pjt33 (739471) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @07:17PM (#10675410)
      Since it's the weekend there seems to be a dearth of mods, making this the perfect time for a grammar Nazi to give a lesson in the subjunctive mood. It is used to express a hypothetical. The third person (feminine) imperfect subjunctive of "to be" is "she were".
      It would have been more interesting if she were the Q...
      More detailed explanations will be easily located with Google.
  • crap - soon my bathroom will be full of Feral Robot Dogs.
  • by nebulus4 (799015)
    Natalie Jeremijenko's work merges engineering, biology, politics and art.

    Hmmm... I thought it was Arnold Schwarzenegger's job.

  • by 5n3ak3rp1mp (305814) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @04:33PM (#10674522) Homepage
    From an interview at BoingBoing [boingboing.net]... "Of course they say they'd use it to bring down 'problem people', i.e. direct action leaders."

    Doing the right thing so often means fighting the power... Sometimes, leading is leaving. Or pissing off. If you do what everyone wants you to do, you will have no real influence on the world whatsoever.

    I like her attitude.
  • by Fluidic Binary (554336) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @04:39PM (#10674561) Homepage
    reading articles such as this always make me feel better about the world. I am already well aware of the misfortunes of it, but it is truly inspirational to read about someone fighting for what they believe in such as 'NJ' is.

    It is one thing to read about the various 'rebel without a cause' types who merely want their voice heard, but to read the words of an educated person who is using that education to attempt to make the world a better place is imo the realization of an ideal in a otherwise rather compromised world.

    I had no idea this woman existed before now (perhaps I am not all that well read) and knowing she even exists inspires me to press onward and continue.

    I wish her the best of luck in this battle and hope to aid the cause some day soon.

    Of course, I will have to begin researching more about her to ensure that I am not a complete moron by making the former statements... But at far as I can tell presently she is an awesome human being.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      You know, for me it is just the opposite. Reading this article doesn't make me feel better about the world.

      I mean, is this worldchanging biotechnohobbyist a really a renaissance genius, or just a jack of all trades and master of none (well, perhaps masteroftechnobullshit). Look at the publication list on her c.v. - hardly anything technically deep, with rather random unconnected topics. Things like growing walnut tree clones for the next 50 years, the innovation being that there's going to be a websit

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Yes, she is fighting for what she believes in, and that's all noble and good, but having met her on several occasions and being familiar with some of her research projects, the reality of it all is that she's very, very good at self-promotion, and very, very bad at actually doing anything of real value.

      Sure, feral robot dogs, great. But the actual idea is simply using comodity components to lower costs for a technical project. The dogs themselves are woefully inadequate, the 'programming' and 'sensors' w
      • and that's why you're posting as anonymous coward.

        So you don't have to live with people looking into your qualifications, if any, to evaluate her work.

        I'm simply writing you off as somebody who had a class with her as a teacher who she flunked for good reason.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    The 'new speak' makes reading tedious and is at odds with her 'mission'. The authors are just as bad.

    Photo caption:
    "Jeremijenko's pet rescued lab rabbit, Sally, noses about for spent edamame pods."

    spent edamame pods?

    I eat this stuff but they aren't 'spent pods' they're husks.

    The photo caption is representative of the articles overall language.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    because she's never been able to hold a position at any institution...

    And because she has the bad habit of misrepresenting her unimplemented ideas, as completed works.
    • I wouldn't give her long at Yale once the powers that be get wind of some of her rhetoric. Most interesting question I'd like to hear her answer is why in God's name she took a position at Yale other than maybe she wants to live in NYC.

      She would fit at Berkeley or maybe even Stanford but Yale and Connecticut is the belly of the beast (the beast being the establishment). Yale is the ivy league school for future Wall Street power brokers thanks to its proximity to New York. Its home to Skull and Bones, the
  • by TheNarrator (200498) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @05:00PM (#10674678)
    First there were Cyberpunks....
    Then there were Cypherpunks...
    Then there were Steampunks....
    How about Genepunks or Biopunks (I can't decide right now which one sounds cooler)?
  • Bob Porter [imdb.com]: We'll be getting hiring these people here... First, Ms. Natalie Jere... Jere... Jere... Jeregoingtobe hired immediately, anyway.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I predict mankind may well be destroyed in an orgy of rampant crotch sniffing.
  • by ahfoo (223186) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @05:10PM (#10674719) Journal
    Biotechhobbyist is right along the lines of a PostNuke forum I set up a few years ago and have been slowly updating. I'm so pleased to see more of this sort of thing.
    I strongly believe that biotech is the logical next place for the DIY revolution or the hacker approach to innovation or whatever you want to call it and that a key to getting there is for people to digest the journal articles and make it doable for people at home.
    This is such a hot area for the DIY enthusiast because its an intersection of so many skills that are already honed by being a computer geek.
    I'm quite impressed and I can't wait to see more.
    Interesting that Biotechhobbyist seems to be from UCSD. I've covered a really cool story coming out of the same campus called the Discode project which calls itself an open-source biotech hardware project. It uses CD-ROMs and inkjet printers to enable DIY molecular interaction screening. Amazing stuff.
    I hear they're still looking for Linux kernel hackers with good understading of CD-ROM drivers. If you're in San Diego and you're a CD hacker, you should check out the project.
    • I thought that it was interesting that they decided to use horizontal scrolling as opposed to the traditional vertical scrolling for biotechhobbyist [ucsd.edu].

      More like a regular book / magazine, I guess, but it seemed a little weird. I guess vertical scrolling is just too ingrained ...

    • by Anonymous Coward
      Taking hacking to biotech sounds interesting and all...
      But when I'm writing something multithreaded and accidentally fork-bomb my computer, it doesn't jump out of it's box and eat me.
    • See, this is what I'm talking about. I hadn't even thought of going to a pet supply store to look for cell culture incubators. This stuff is still so ground level for the home market. Sharing these sorts of tips is invaluable.
      Of course what's more intriguing is doing the elctronics to make your own, but knowing where to get stuff that is easily adaptable is good too. Sometimes it's good to improvise completely from scratch, sometimes it's better to take something that gets you halfway there.
      For ki
    • We hack our PCs and other gadgets, our grandkids will be hacking their pets.
      Weird.
    • Be neater if they had the neuron culture experiment.
  • by Alwin Henseler (640539) on Saturday October 30, 2004 @05:44PM (#10674900) Homepage
    "Jeremijenko picks up what looks like a large silver metal bowl from amidst some other materials, and holds it up in different positions around her torso."

    That's a tin foil hat [google.com], you stupid! Put it on your head!

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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