Patients who awake hear surgeons’ small talk, the swish and stretch of organs, the suctioning of blood; they feel the probing of fingers, the yanks and tugs on innards; they smell cauterized flesh and singed hair. But because one of the first steps of surgery is to tape patients’ eyes shut, they can’t see. And because another common step is to paralyze patients to prevent muscle twitching, they have no way to alert doctors that they are awake.
Here, pleading tweets appear on the screen before fading away into the void. Yet watch the feed as they re-appear, spewed out again and again due to glitches in Twitter’s API or else tweeted over and over by their creators (assisted, no doubt, by home-made spambots) in increasingly deranged bids to penetrate their master’s walled garden.
For example, is it enough for a robot car to pass a human driving test? In licensing automated cars as street-legal, some commentators believe that it’d be unfair to hold manufacturers to a higher standard than humans, that is, to make an automated car undergo a much more rigorous test than a new teenage driver.
On paper, and in the digital realm, Aaron Brown exists. He has a State of Ohio driver’s license, identification proving that he is member of the Lipan Apache Tribe in Texas, and is licensed to operate a boat. Brown is also a customer of Comcast and has a State Farm Insurance card.
In reality, Brown does not exist. He is a ghost, a digital specter fabricated by the photographer and visual artist Curtis Wallen.
This might sound crazy, but with the right hardware it’s actually not that hard. For a start, if you know exactly what frequency to listen out for, you can use low– and high-pass filters to ensure that you only have the sounds that emanate from your PC while the CPU decrypts data.