The Demoscene Added to UNESCO Cultural Heritage

computer screen

Here’s something you probably didn’t expect to hear this week form Finland: they’ve added Demoscene to the UNESCO list of intangible cultural artifacts. According the Finnish Heritage Agency Demoscene is “an international community focused on making demos, real-time audiovisual performances that creatively combine programming, graphics and sound.” Finland beat everyone else to the punch to get demoscenes listed under their purview – good for them!

This is a fun reminder of the nifty cultural practices that exist all around the world.

Jukka O. Kauppinen, Finnish Journalist and demoscene veteran since the 1980s, is happy: “Demoskene inspires to create, express and to do. While it revolves around digital devices, at its core demoscene is communal, connecting people and groups across borders. The inclusion of demoskene on the Finnish listing of intangible cultural heritage is an important indication that it is still possible to birth and grow completely new cultures and content, even in the digital realm. And demoscene is one that still rapidly evolves, changes and creates new stories to remember.”

The fact that the Finnish application was created by the Finnish demoscene culture in support by a wide range of institutions and partners shows, how connected and relevant the demoscene is in Finnish digital culture until today. A big thank you from us go to the communities and drivers behind the Finnish submission, namely Satu Haapakoski, Heikki Jungman, Jukka O. Kauppinen and Markku Reunanen, supported by many more.

Read more.

Helsinki Wants to Send Cars to Purgatory

The Helsinki bus station theory will change you life and now the Finnish government wants to change people’s lives by making cars pointless. In the coming decades they will make use of data and various transportations to make owning a car a pointless exercise in futility. In many urban centres car ownership is a fool’s game and Helsinki is just making this point clearer.

The ultimate solution for Finland is to create an app for on-demand transport.

As the new system is envisioned, you would use an app on your smart phone to say where you are and where you want to go, and the app would not only give you all the best options, but it would allow you to pay on the spot. This new network, envisioned by a graduate student, would include also cars on demand, but not privately owned.

Interestingly, this new system was designed by a young woman, Sonja Heikkilä. Heikkilä wrote a white paper outlining all the features of the system, which she says will be more attractive to Millenials than car ownership. Here’s how it would work, according to Heikkilä:

“Imagine that Piritta boards a tram, alights from it a couple of stops later, and hires a bicycle to travel to work. After work, she orders a car of [sic] demand responsive transport and travels to the sport hall, where her training equipment already waits for her. Finally, after practice she shares a ride in a shared car and travels home. Piritta uses all services through her personal mobility operator and the use of services is charged directly from her account.”

Read more.

Thanks to Mike!

Documentary on Finland’s Education System

Finland has one of the best education systems in the world and repeatedly ranks amongst the top 3. Why? Basically Finland’s education system is diametrically opposite to how education in North America. Kids are allowed to play, homework is scarce, and teachers are treated with respect.

Via Reddit.

Finland Forests Forever

Finland has vowed to protect some of its forests, which is obviously awesome.

“Greenpeace, reindeer herders and Saami organizations carried out a historical joint campaign, and industrial logging has now been pushed out of the most important forest areas in Finland,” said Matti Liimatainen Greenpeace Nordic forest campaigner. “Reindeer herding is an important employer in the Saami’s homeland. Protecting the forests not only helps the Saami protect their livelihood, but also prevents the loss of biodiversity and animals, insects and fungi that have disappeared with other European forest ecosystems.”

“We are very satisfied with the result.”

The campaign included massive protests and demonstrations in Finland, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium and Italy against the Finnish paper industry. Court cases were also filed by the Saami reindeer herders against logging in Finland, resulting in a ruling by the UN Human Rights Committee which compelled the Finnish government to cease logging in some of the disputed areas. In 2006, the Finnish paper company StoraEnso stopped purchasing wood from the disputed areas, reducing logging.

Read the rest of the article.

Why Finnish Schools Always Finish First

Education is a very important part of any good society and a good equational system makes for a better world. In Finland, they have found a way to have a relaxing, effective, and the world’s best educational environment. The BBC has an article with some videos (which I can’t embed here) on the awesomeness of Finnish schools.

The Finnish philosophy with education is that everyone has something to contribute and those who struggle in certain subjects should not be left behind.

A tactic used in virtually every lesson is the provision of an additional teacher who helps those who struggle in a particular subject. But the pupils are all kept in the same classroom, regardless of their ability in that particular subject.

Read and watch more here.

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