The Eighth Wonder


The transatlantic cable, completed in July 1866, was the beginning of distance telecommunications. It was created by Cyrus W. Field and built in New York. 


Atlantic Cable: The Eighth Wonder of the World





This work of art is called "technoculture".
It was created with GIMP in Linux.
It illustrates the emerging digital archives
of knowledge and history. The word
technoculture is part of the overall process. 
Technological culture is global culture.

Postmodernism: Questions



Oxford Dictionaries Online: Postmodernism

Wild Goose Chase: Premodern vs. Modernism vs. Postmodern: A Theory

Postmodernpsychology: Premodernism, Modernism & Postmodernism – An Overview     

According to the Oxford English Dictionaries Online, postmodernism is “a late-20th-century style and concept in the arts, architecture, and criticism that represents a departure from modernism and has at its heart a general distrust of grand theories and ideologies as well as a problematical relationship with any notion of ‘art'”.

Postmodernism arose as a social reaction to modernism, which explored the rationale of science  as an approach to understand reality and the world. It encouraged the objective observation of life in order to find the answers to every question asked. There were two areas that particularly composed the modern approach: empiricism, which initially studied the knowing through the senses and later evolved into scientific empiricism and methodology;  and the epistemological use of logic and reason. Modernism celebrated development and progress, and well as new discoveries and explanations in the industry.


  • Could science and technology become the saviours of the human race?
  • How are new materials in the industry celebrated?
  • What is the continuity of the advances in warfare and weaponry?


  • Is science a threat to humanity?
  • How is this threat represented in art, literature, music and film?
  • How can experience be explained as  machines. monsters, aliens; or simply “others”?

The premodern period based its approach on the revelation of knowledge given from higher sources. It was often believed the the ultimate truth came from God, and the causality of daily events was attributed to supernatural forces. In this sense, authority was seen as mainly dogmatic. This can be appreciated through the historical study of the church and the privileged position it had in political endeavours. In contrast, modernism somehow took the power away from those based around dogma and handed it to those with logic, making scholars and scientists the new source of credible information. However, because not every single question can be answered through logic and reason, postmodernism encourages individual perspective.

Whilst it celebrates science as a useful tool, it also maintains an open mentality towards the unexplained, and a more holistic approach to problems that cannot be solved through empirical methodology. It recognises spirituality as a valid source of knowledge. Politically speaking, postmodernism seeks to deploy previous authority sources by using a less hierarchical approach to power.


  • What is the distinction between representation and reality?
  • What is the distinction between fact and fiction?
  • How does life imitate art?
  • How is information consumed nowadays?
  • What’s the importance of digitisation?
  • Has knowledge become democratised?
  • Is there such thing as an original source of knowledge?
  • What is reality?
  • How has technology changed the way we live our lives?
  • What is the impact of technology on the environment?


  • Is there a reality to refer to?
  • Is science fiction future fact?
  • Is knowledge sourced from the Internet?
  • Can relationships be virtual?
  • Can modern society function without technology?
  • Who is the keeper of knowledge?
  • Is there such thing as an original author, artist, inventor, or originator?
  • Are ideas collective by nature?
  • How does it go from individual to collective?
  • Does it matter?
  • What happened to the ‘original idea’?
  • Does style matter more than substance?

Factual Broadcasting: Meteorology


Hippocrates believed that in order to study medicine properly, it was essential to also study the seasons. In society, people consume and debate weather forecasts on a daily basis to plan their schedules and to review plans. Nevertheless, little is ever mentioned about the ways in which such forecasts represent the bigger picture, the circumstances to come, the methods used to conduct prediction, or the bureaucratic structures that drive forward the scientistic approach to broadcasting. How does it go from data to media? This essay aims to answer such question by exploring the science of meteorology, some of its historical contexts, and some of its wide



We are living in an age when weather forecasting is subject to the technological development of meteorology and climatology. There are many reasons why these sciences have made it to daily news and lifestyle. Not only does meteorology allow scientists to create a more accurate picture of the past, but it also helps society understand current events, as well as possible future catastrophes. That is essentially what weather forecasting is. “It is widely accepted that the weather is something of a British obsession… an awareness of the impact of ‘weather stories’ in the media is vital if information regarding changes in the Earth’s climate are to be conveyed effectively.” (Keeling, 2009).


Satellites, high-speed electronic computers and telecommunication systems are not something new. Weather stations, as well as military ships and aircraft have monitored these meteorological conditions for a while. Artificial satellites such as the International Space Station record polar orbital data, which is transmitted every 24 hours- the time it takes to map the full globe (The Open University, 2016). Additional information- which often comes in the form of images- is transmitted to ground stations for analysis every hour. Satellite images are powerful because they show things that the human eye cannot see, such as invisible radiation emitted from warm planetary bodies. These remote geostationary observations are able to record an electromagnetic spectrum from space. Once the hourly sequence of satellital data is transmitted to different stations through radio signals, it is then fed to the World Meteorological Organization for global sharing. All this, mixed with locally collected surface data (wind and air masses) is what forms a weather forecast that is then disseminated through television or the Internet to the public.


Common measurements found within a scientific weather forecast are atmospheric surface pressure, the temperature of the air; the speed and direction of the wind; rainfall and precipitations; humidity; cloud formations; and visibility, among other things. These elements become part of extreme weather reports and climatological archives. Analog instruments used to perform such observations must first be calibrated accordingly, and used in ways that can contribute to the forecast model and the weather chart. Nevertheless, automated electronic meteorological data can be fitted and distributed in something as small as a modern digital wristwatch. According the Open University: “An automated weather monitoring station is essentially a set of electronic sensors linked to a telecommunications channel that need be little more than a mobile phone or a wireless radio link” (The Open University, 2016). This is relevant to economists, who believe that data is now a more valuable resource than oil (Elvy, 2017).


Postmodernism looks into how technology challenges tradition, with the Internet of Things being an undeniable portal of global interaction implemented in local structures, similarly to weather stations. News broadcasts provide individuals and audiences with relevant, formalized and public information. Data transmitted in news coverages is rarely random or isolated. Its form is structured into understandable narratives that have social and public relevance. For instance, when it comes to television broadcasts, each frame is a perspective composed of information and form (Gronbeck, 1997). Weather forecasting has a technical nature, and its tempo is rapid in television (Lutcavage, 1992). Even though this art is something acknowledged as mundane, some of the information provided in journals about this practice is quite disturbing. In April 2009, the UK Meteorological Office (the Met Office) was subjected to a media scandal following the issued summer forecast. The audience expected a “barbecue summer”, but instead, they experienced a really wet summer. Since then, the trust the people placed on the forecasters decreased, nevertheless the industry made it out unscathed from such situation (Keeling, 2009).

“These forecasts by government meteorologists in Regional Forecast Offices, formerly present in every major city, though today often restricted to major metropolitan centers… The trials and tribulation in the workaday lives of these forecasters, as well as their defeats and victories, make an interesting story. But it is not so much a scientific story as a story of the sociology of work under conditions of close management in a bureaucratized regime… The Internet as we know it today embodies not one but a series of imagined worlds, conceived in the minds of people from a variety of backgrounds and brought into existence through their dedication and hard work and through chance” (Greene, 2009).


In contrast, The Latin American Studies Association published an article where the impact that climate is having on society and individual well-being was explored. Among their conclusions, they stated that such predictions have become more accurate and more widely distributed than in the past (Orlove, 2011). Since 1873, The WMO has strived towards the global cooperation of the forecast model (The Open University, 2016). According to a report published by them in 1975, “meteorology offers an extremely rich and varied field of activity. In the first place, it is a physical science with broad openings for research… a fact which cannot be ignored in the study and formulation of solutions to problems of such consequence to mankind as: hunger in the world; limited resources of raw materials; man’s considerable energy needs, and; the protection of the environment” (WMO, 1975)


In conclusion, weather forecasts are important in society because they provide information about the past, the present and future; as well as an idea of socio-economic factors that can arise from climatological conditions. Surface stations, meteorological satellites; as well as radiosondes and aircraft, are used to conduct the required measurements that compose a weather broadcast. The media industry has played a major role in the dissemination of such predictions, which are part of a global framework that is built through internationally shared data coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization since 1873, and consumed by the masses for planning and schedule. The role of the military in weather forecasting is an area where further research can be implemented for a better understanding of the bureaucratic nature of such sciences.


Burton, J. (1986). Robert FitzRoy and the Early History of the Meteorological Office. The British Journal for the History of Science, 19(2), 147-176. Available at: [accessed on April 1, 2018]


Elvy, S. (2017). PAYING FOR PRIVACY AND THE PERSONAL DATA ECONOMY. Columbia Law Review, 117(6), 1369-1459. Available at: [accessed on April 1, 2018]

Greene, M., and Fine, G. (2009). Isis, 100(1), 195-197.

Gronbeck, B. (1997). Tradition and Technology in Local Newscasts: The Social Psychology of Form. The Sociological Quarterly, 38(2), 361-374. Available at: [accessed on April 3, 2018]


Hippocrates (n.d). On Air, Waters and Places. Available at: [accessed on April 1, 2018]

Keeling, S. (2011). Weather forecasts – a matter of trust. Geography, 96(1), 16-21. Available at: [accessed on April 1, 2018]


Lutcavage, C. (1992). Authentic Video in Intermediate German. Die Unterrichtspraxis / Teaching German. Available at: . [accessed on April 1, 2018]


OpenLearn, (2016). Watching The Weather. Milton Keynes: The Open University. Available at: [Accessed on April 9, 2018]


Orlove, B., Taddei, R., Podestá, G., & Broad, K. (2011). ENVIRONMENTAL CITIZENSHIP IN LATIN AMERICA: Climate, Intermediate Organizations, and Political Subjects. Latin American Research Review, 46, 115-140. Available at: [accessed on April 1, 2018]


World Meteorological Organization (2014). Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observation. Saint Petersbourg, WMO-No. 1138. Available at: [accessed on March 31, 2018]


World Meteorological Organization (2018). WMO Statement on the state of the global climate in 2017. Geneva, WMO-No. 1212. Available at:
[accessed on April 1, 2018]


World Meteorological Organization (1975). Seventh World Meteorological Congress. Geneva, WMO-No. 428. Available at: [accessed on April 1, 2018]

Mutt: IMAP & SMTP Configuration (Linux Terminal)

Mutt is an excellent, open-source, messaging client that functions through the Linux terminal. Many security experts are still using this because it has good PGP support, it’s fast, and can be customised to one’s taste. It isn’t recommended for those who only begin learning about command-based interfaces. There are a few things that need to be configured in the /etc/muttrc file, such as  IMAP y SMTP. However, once these few things have been dealt with, it is quite easy to use to receive/send e-mail. 

This is the step by step, command-line based process:

  1. Download and install mutt. 
    sudo apt-get install mutt
  2. Open the file with your preferred text-editor. I use Vim. 
    vim /etc/Muttrc 
  3. Create a commentary “e-mail-configuration” so it is easy to understand in the future. 
  4. Next, paste the following information. Make sure to replace “”, and “password” with your real details. 
    # IMAP
    set from         = ""
    set imap_user         = "" 
    set imap_pass = "password" 
    set folder = "imaps://" 
    set imap_check_subscribed
  5. # SMTP 
    set smtp_url = "smtp://" 
    set smtp_pass = "password" set spoolfile = "+INBOX" 
    set postponed = "+[Gmail]/Drafts" set trash = "imaps://[Gmail]/Trash" set header_cache =~/.mutt/cache/headers set message_cachedir =~/.mutt/cache/bodies set certificate_file =~/.mutt/certificates


  6. Finally, execute:
    mkdir -p /home/.mutt/cache


That’s it. Now Mutt is ready to go.