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A child has just keeled over from exhaustion on my factory floor. I could have stopped it; when they get to that state you can give them a glass of water and they get straight back to the production line. But I've found it's cheaper to give them training instead of water. If a kid's looking peaky I can spend a little cash to have him trained up. He'll get over his exhaustion and he'll work faster. It's a win/win situation. If I let them work to the cusp of collapse before training them I maximise the amount of time they can work. I don't have to hire new workers and I don't need to waste money on a water fountain.

Littleloud's Sweatshop has me making decisions like this all the time. Do I hire older, specialised workers or just go the brute force route of creating a large (but cheap) child workforce? There's even an elegance to it, finding methods within the rules of the game to win. The factory floor is like a black box in which anything goes.

It's a similar approach that led to the largest financial crash the world has ever seen. The events of 2008 are still something that experts don't fully understand, and for the large majority of people something barely comprehended. As we learn more about the events that led to the crash, then the more parallels arise between the unregulated systems of greed that led to the crisis and the systems in the games that we play. The tools game makers employ to allow and encourage players to shed their ethics and business sense are present throughout the markets involved with the crash.

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Sir Mal Fet writes "In line with previous rulings discussed here, a judge in Spain has ruled that P2P technologies are "completely neutral" (original in Spanish ; Google translation ), thus dismissing a lawsuit originated in 2008 from the Spanish Association of Musical Producers (Promusicae), Warner, EMI, and Sony suing Pablo Soto, a Spanish man who created the Blubster, MP2P y Piolet programs to share files. The labels demanded 13 million euros in damages arguing that the mere existence and distribution of P2P technologies violated copyright, but the ruling stated the technology itself was neutral, so the creator could not be held responsible for how the software was used, and demanded that they pay for legal expenses. Promusicae said it was going to appeal the ruling."

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Chapitaeu, graphite on paper, 2011

Blue Moon, Pondicherry, Graphite and colored pencil on antique ledger book pages, 2010

Untitled, Graphite and colored pencil on antique ledger book pages, 2011, 67 x 48 in.

King & Queen, Night, Graphite and watercolor on antique ledger book pages, 2010, 13.5 x 16.5 in.

Small Deity, Graphite on antique ledger book pages, 2010, 13.5 x 9 in.

Mayship, Graphite, colored pencil, and watercolor on antique ledger book pages, 2011, 13.75 x 16.75 in.

Dancer, Graphite and colored pencil on antique ledger book pages, 2011, 81 x 49.5 in.

CJ-FG, Graphite on antique ledger book pages, 2010, 13.75 x 16.75 in.

About The Artist

Louise Despont was born in 1983. She currently lives and works in New York City. 

Louise Despont’s Website

Louise Depont Moving Drawings on ARTINFO

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Ooh, this is clever. It’s the new free web game from Littleloud, they of The Curfew and Bow Street Runner. Like those, Sweatshop‘s noble aim is to expertly mate education and social conscience with smart and satisfying game mechanics. In this case, it’s a canny twist upon tower defence games that also highlights the abject horror and terrible exploitation of sweatshop factories – and the most dangerous enemy in the game is your own impulse to succeed.

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TEDxOverlake - Scott Bright - Learning for a Living: Inside an Innovation Factory

Scott spent the first years of his engineering career designing Sterling Engine systems for NASA and medical electronics technologies for a variety of innovative companies like Heartstream, Physio-Control, and Philips Medical. Having always been an entrepreneur at heart, Scott co-founded Synapse Product Development a decade ago to provide world-class engineering know-how for brands like Nike, Philips, Samsung, Disney, TomTom and GE. Scott holds multiple patents, a BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Ohio University, a Masters in Technology Management and an MBA from University of Washington Bothell. Scott lives on a micro-urban-farm with his wife, two daughters, four chickens and one dog. In thespirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized.

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