So Apple has patented a technology that would allow police to remotely disable protesters’ smartphones. So… what, are they aiming to corner the smartphone market in China? Iran? Syria? Burma? This kind of crap is why I’ve got a jailbroken Android device, and desperately wish that somebody would offer a high quality Ubuntu Linux laptop. The centralization of technological control allows for a beautiful UX, and catastrophic exploitation by the state.
A rash of billboard liberations in the UK, partly protesting the absurdly tight brand control rules surrounding the 2012 Olympics.
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.
ZunguZungu’s account of the Occupy Oakland Port Action. I really wonder how far this all will go. It’s amazing how the informational connections we’ve created in the world are playing out. How quickly things echo and get re-interpreted by new minds. The derivative is still positive, so far as I can tell.
Matt Taibbi blows his stack at a fellow commentator who accuses the OWS protestors of simply being envious of the rich. He gives a litany of examples of how, in fact, the Wall St. illuminati have gotten to where they are by cheating and gaming the system, or at the very best, by being lucky. Not through hard work or supernatural skill. Being pissed off about that isn’t being jealous of someone else’s success. At what point do the “deviant” and “legitimate” financial sectors simply merge, with little to nothing in the way of externally imposed rules governing what’s acceptable, and what’s not?
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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 )
- 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 )
- How David Beats Goliath – When the rules are stacked against you, the intelligent thing to do is break them. (tagged: strategy law war insurgency guerilla gametheory basketball lawrenceofarabia )
- Continuous bankruptcy – Bankruptcy as it stands now is a discontinuous process. Your legal solvency is binary: either you are bankrupt, or you are not. It doesn't have to be that way, and I think you can make a good argument that it's better if it isn't. Continuous processes work themselves out in small steps, with lots of information flow along the way. Discontinuous ones are like explosions. It's easier to muster resistance to an explosion once you see it coming, and delay it. But how much better to start getting signals early on, and avert it altogether? (tagged: finance policy economics bailout banks bankruptcy discrete continuous )
- Digital Recovery of Moon Images – Ahh, NASA. Your data management has improved over the years, but that's not saying much. 20 tons of magnetic tape in an abandoned McDonalds houses the only extant copy of the pre-Apollo analog imaging of the Moon (still the highest resolution available in most places). It can only be read by one machine on Earth, which was recently rescued from a chicken coop, and refurbished by a man who is about to die. You can't make this stuff up. (tagged: information technology space nasa archive data moon )
- Will the Future Be Geo-Engineered? – The future is already geo-engineered, and has been ever since we started burning coal on a large scale more than 200 years ago. The question now is whether we back off, and try to let the system return to the quasi-equilibrium that allowed our civilization to arise, or introduce new and exciting perturbations, with completely unpredictable non-linear effects. I know which one I'm hoping for. (tagged: geoengineering technology non-linear climate policy environment )
- Hacking Scalia – Law professor gives class an assignment to dig up as much "private" info as possible on Justice Scalia, a notable anti-privacy force on the SCOTUS. This irritates Scalia. Exactly! (tagged: law privacy scalia scotus )
- No new coal: what real direct action looks like – The $10 million spent on violently policing the "climate camp" protest outside Kingsnorth is absurd, given that a single motivated saboteur, capable of advance planning and actually willing to risk arrest and injury, can walk into the power plant and shut down 500MW of coal fired power generation. If governments fail to deal with greenhouse gas emissions effectively, and remain in thrall to the carbon lobbies, it seems likely that soon this kind of action will become more common, and truly disruptive. All it takes is a few thousand people who actually care, and our infrastructure can be brought to its knees. (tagged: energy environment green coal climate protest kingsnorth directaction )