Ever wonder if you’ve been watched by government spooks? You can use the tools at Get My FBI File to find out. Of course, that FOIA request will also probably get put in your file. Whoa… beware police state bureaucratic recursion.
An essay about the militarization of campus police, in response to the pepper-spraying of peaceful protesters at UC Davis this week. William Gibson (@GreatDismal) reminisces:
Glad I had opportunity to visit overtly fascist nations as a young man. Good to know the smell. Like skunk, state terror.
Open-Source Camouflage From Computer Vision. As facial recognition becomes more popular as a means for police state identification, innovative makeup and hairstyle fashions can be deployed to foil the Orwellian algorithms. Talk about weird. Now we’re going to be dressing for the machines?
Apparently the agricultural industrial complex is willing to take down its competition with a hail of lead if necessary. A multi-agency SWAT team descended upon a raw milk and cheese buying club in SoCal, and is holding the proprietor without bail. How can this be a serious law enforcement priority?
Bicyclists are encouraged to use the *CSP hotline to report aggressive drivers to the Colorado State Police (just dial *277 on your mobile). You must obtain the license plate of the vehicle and describe the aggressive behavior. Location, direction of travel, and a driver description are good too, but not mandatory. After 3 reports of the same vehicle, the registered owner gets a warning letter. Subsequent reports will result in a state trooper visiting them in person and taking “appropriate enforcement action”, whatever that means. If you’re not on a state highway, make sure you get them to enter the info into the database before you’re transferred to local law enforcement to make a report. Hopefully they’ll make some kind of annual report as to what actions this system has actually resulted in.
A short story about the bright side of the Citizen Surveillance State we live in today. A bike was stolen, but the theft was photographed in progress, and there were enough people plugged in to the local social media scene that after it was announced and publicized, the thief was followed and apprehended in short order. Creepy and awesome at the same time!
The Guardian is reporting that an undercover police officer who infiltrated the group of protesters that conspired to shut down the Ratcliffe on Soar coal fired power plant may have “gone native” after seven years with the group, taking part in, providing logistical support for, partially financing, and eventually playing a central role in planning their actions. The prospect of the officer aiding the legal defense of protesters who remain to be tried, or at the least, having the role he played in the organization exposed, has apparently led to the collapse of the case. The only really surprising part about all this is his apparent remorse.
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- James Hansen Arrested in Coal Country – And then there are those admirably pursuing the softer side of direct action. I have to imagine that Thoreau would also be getting arrested in this context. It will be interesting to see how the "resistance" evolves over the coming decade. (tagged: coal protest police climate nytimes politics )
- Make Me Greener, Please – Hire someone to come in and tell you how to be more greener. "I just don't see composting working with my lifestyle". Weird combination of moralizing and home consultant. But maybe that's just how the article is painting it. The idea isn't bad though. Problem is most people aren't willing to make significant changes, or the way our laws or society are structured makes those changes difficult. (tagged: green energy propaganda society )
- On Bus Tours, Seeking a Better Way of Living – A recent NY Times article about co-housing, and a tour of several developments in the East Bay. Would love to believe it does constitute a movement… (tagged: nytimes cohousing architecture sustainability design urban green )
- The Month the Censors Stopped Taking Their Medication – In June, 2009, China's state internet censorship took a turn for the more and the aggro. What changed? Where? Why? Interesting. (tagged: china google censorship privacy )
- Census of Marine Life – The Census of Marine Life is one of many ongoing projects to figure out just what the Earth is like, before we change it any more. Incredible images and visualizations. Cool project: historical reconstructions of marine populations, tracking fish size and frequency through time. We've been changing the oceans in measurable ways for tens of thousands of years. (tagged: science sustainability ocean fish life )
- The ones that got away: science through cross-disciplinary eyes – The difference between what we consider "normal", and what was once the norm can be large. In this case, our societal amnesia is revealed in historical (and pre-historical) records of fish: we were already influencing their populations more than 30,000 years ago. (tagged: history sustainability society fish science )
- Supreme Court Says Child’s Rights Violated by Strip Search – OMG, the SCOTUS has ruled that children at school have *rights*. The end of civilization as we know it must be at hand. (tagged: law privacy scotus school authority police )
- Fixing Airport Security – Alas, if only the TSA *had* interviewed Schneier for the top job. On the other hand, maybe the police-state like experience we all have at airports is a great way to de-emphasize flying? Could be good for high speed rail… (tagged: security police transparency law privacy )
- Washington Village Boulder – There are plans to re-develop the Washington Elementary School in (old) N. Boulder (near Cedar and Broadway) as a dense mixed-use co-housing community. It sounds like exactly the kind of place I want to live! Unfortunately, the neighborhood NIMBYs are opposed to almost everything I like about it: the density, the mixed use, the restricted parking supply. They've managed to get the density and mixed use scaled back, and are working on the parking, making all the units more expensive, and precluding any small (less than 1000 sf) market rate (as opposed to artificially "affordable housing") units. Makes me sad. (tagged: urban design cohousing boulder colorado architecture )
- Brooklyn Cohousing – A single-building co-housing development in Brooklyn NY, to be built to the European Passive House standard. Yet another reason to visit NYC. (tagged: green design nyc housing cohousing architecture )
- Passive House USA – Who knew, there's a Passive House institute affiliate in the US. (tagged: sustainability green design efficiency architecture energy solar passivhaus )
- Is There a Better Word for Doom? – Six disparate views on the value and ethics of actively re-framing the public discussion surrounding climate change. (tagged: politics policy environment communication propaganda climate change science )
- Clay Shirky: How cellphones, Twitter, Facebook can make history – A talk given by Clay Shirky to the State Dept. a month or so ago, on the global, social, ubiquitous and cheap media landscape of the 21st century. Especially relevant in light of Iran's elections and protests at the moment. (tagged: web2.0 media propaganda technology social twitter politics transparency )
- Iran's Disputed Election | A Revolution in Pictures – Images are streaming out of Iran. Hundreds of thousands of people marching. Guns, fires, roads blocked by burning busses, riots and blood in the streets. The para-military storming the University. Protesters improbably evacuating an injured riot cop. Tear-gas ping pong. All revolutions look the same on the ground. They are not in practice ideological affairs. (tagged: iran politics election 2009 photos protest police )
- Gadget Teardowns – How to completely and utterly disassemble… just about anything, from a banana to your brand new Macbook Pro. Unclear whether you can put it all back together again! (tagged: technology design maker )
- The New Socialism: Global Collectivist Society Is Coming Online – An essay by Wired editor and Long Now pundit Kevin Kelly, making analogies between the "socialism" of the 20th century, and the open collaborative systems which have taken hold of the Internet. Larry Lessig hates the fact that he used the S-word, since it's got such a black name in the US, but I'm not so sure it was a bad idea. Actually I think that more than anywhere else, "socialist" ideas can probably work in the world of pure information. We're certainly nowhere near the limits of sharing online yet. (tagged: technology economics politics internet web2.0 socialism lessig longnow )