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Al Green

The Babble

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Jeremy Bentham

(1748 - 1832)



"English utilitarian philosopher and social reformer. He first attained attention as a critic of the leading legal theorist in eighteenth century England, Sir William Blackstone. Bentham's campaign for social and political reforms in all areas, most notably the criminal law, had its theoretical basis in his utilitarianism, expounded in his Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, a work written in 1780 but not published until 1789. In it he formulated the principle of utility, which approves of an action in so far as an action has an overall tendency to promote the greatest amount of happiness. Happiness is identified with pleasure and the absence of pain. To work out the overall tendency of an action, Bentham sketched a felicific ("happiness-making") calculus, which takes into account the intensity, duration, likelihood, extent, etc of pleasures and pains.

In Bentham's theory, an action conforming to the principle of utility is right or at least not wrong; it ought to be done, or at least it is not the case that it ought not be done. But Bentham does not use the word 'duty' here. For Bentham, rights and duties are legal notions, linked with the notions of command and sanction. What we call moral duties and rights would require a moral legislator (a divine being presumably) but theological notions are outside the scope of his theory. To talk of natural rights and duties suggests, as it were, a law without a legislator, and is nonsensical in the same way as talk of a son without a parent. Apart from theoretical considerations, Bentham also condemned the belief in natural rights on the grounds that it inspired violence and bloodshed, as seen in the excesses of the French Revolution.


Bentham at first believed that enlightened and public-spirited statesmen would overcome conservative stupidity and institute progressive reforms to promote public happiness. When disillusionment set in, he developed greater sympathy for democratic reform and an extension of the franchise. He believed that with the gradual improvement in the level of education in society, people would be more likely to decide and vote on the basis of rational calculation of what would be for their own long-term benefit, and individual rational decision-making would therefore, in aggregate, increasingly tend to promote the greater general happiness.


Bentham had first-hand knowledge of the legal profession and criticised it vehemently. He also wrote a highly entertaining Handbook of Political Fallacies 1824, which deals with the logic and rhetoric of political debate.


Bentham figured prominently among the small number of men who became known as phlosophical radicals, but his utilitarianism was not much discussed until the latter half of the nineteenth century. His prolific writings were published in part by devoted disciples, but some were published for the first time in the 1940s and after, and the publication of his complete works is still in progress. Among these writings is an analysis of the logic of deontic concepts, and On Laws in General contains a carefully elaborated theory of jurisprudence."




design for panoptican drafted by jeremy bentham



The view is of the interior of Royal Panopticon of Science and Art in 1854



aerial shot of a panopticon style prison






the eyes a few.. view the lives of many



for labor, living and imprisonment. highly efficient surveillance habitation.

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production= death... eh.. it all depends..


the funny thing about architects and designers talking about prisons.. it really challenges them to bring out opinions.


koolhaus said about the above project:


"changes in regime and ideology are more powerful than most radical architecture."


well he also said.


" the ever changing attitudes towards detention maybe one of the most acute indicators of changing value in society."



architecture in discourse is usually very abstract and intangible.. and although statements like this seem trite and obvious in regards to new media and culture studies..its not usually so grounded in something that specifically talks about the architecture, law and ethics in concept and practice. in most case studies we dont see such examples in such a tangible and isolated way.


the funny thing is that prison architecture today ..because of the money and business involved in it is so big....we get to see whole slews of concepts be presented and right away be outdated by practice and principle on a pretty regular basis..by the time or prior to a projects completion.


in some ways i think the discourse in prison architecture is probably one of the most pertinent threads of discussion about humans in the years to come defining the direction of how humans as a whole live and define themselves, each other and their idea of home and person in the 21st century.


phew...man.. dont read it unless you want to ... ive been in books all day

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i agree with all that bob, but i'm not analysing panopticons and panoptic theory

as a designer. i don't have a lot of time to explain right now...which it will take..maybe later...it's been awhile since i even thought about this shit....

regardless, it's good brain food.

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YO did anyone catch that "Dragons Alive" special on Animal Planet a few weeks back? It was AMAZING!


and on that note:



Keith Parkinson






Michael Whelan






Ken Kelly



Jeff Easly





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Originally posted by FunTimePartyTeam@Nov 3 2005, 04:57 PM

Dang, I had some pictures to post but theyre protected by their host. My bad.


Here look at the site... Marzipan babies, at first i thought they were edible, but theyre not.


What's up with that page? The page is entitled "Marzian Babies" and mention that they are made of Marzian. And then if you read further down, they say the babies are made of prosculpt polymer clay and mohair. WHAT GIVES!?

The babies look real though. Good find.



Oh wait. I get it now...

Claim: Photographs shows miniature baby figures made of marzipan.


Status: Real pictures; inaccurate description.

^I didn't see that...

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^That's going to be taken down very soon. FF has their shit protected too I believe. I'll just host the photos in my photobucket. Anyways...



BIX is a permanent light- and media installation for the kunsthausgraz in Austria by realities-united architects from Berlin.

A matrix of 930 fluorescent lamps is integrated into the eastern acrylic glass facade of the biomorphic building structure of the new Kunsthaus in Graz, Austria. Through the possibility to individually adjust the lamps’ brightness at an infinite variability with 20 frames/second images, films and animations can be displayed - the Kunsthaus' skin is transformed into a giant low resolution computer display.


To get a good overview about the core aspects of the BIX project we recommend to either watch the 10min. documentary video or to read the detailed project documentation











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It looks pretty cool from close up but what a terrible location. Aren't buildings supposed to be developed with the surroundings in mind?

It looks like an immense UFO landed in a pleasant Austrian neighborhood. In fact, I couldn't even imagine that in the most modern of districts. Too weird for my taste.

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I agree, i does look a bit weird. But as far as the location goes, architects have a history of building modern architecture in classic areas. Im not really that knowledgable about it, but i believe it is to bring out the contrast of what we consider 'normal' to what we consider modern. Another example of this happening is Rietveld's Schroder-Scrader house, which was built in Utrect in a kinda stiff residential neighborhood in 1924.


Many people had a similar reaction to this house at the time, but now it doesnt quite look so weird. It just looks like it was built at a different time than the house next to it.


Also, like you said, I cant think of where this thing would "fit in."


Ps. I don't think I'd want it in my neighborhood. (the bix, that is)

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i think it's fresh. i'd rather look at some weird ass building that's actually

interesting to look at than the boring structures around here. especially

housing. that house is super fresh.

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