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Bots and Familiars: An Interview with Heather D. Freeman

Back in the day, people feared that grandmama might fall victim to a familiar masquerading as a cat or fly. Now, we fear that grandma will fall prey to fake news or a scam spread by a bot. Familiar Shapes, a documentary in production by Heather D. Freeman, explores surprising similarities between bots and familiars.

Birthmarks and Reincarnation

“Experimental birthmark” describes an Asian custom: the body of a dying person is marked with a substance, most often soot, so that if the individual is reborn the infant’s body will bear a birthmark corresponding to the placement of the mark on the deceased — a death mark becoming a birthmark.

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