Network World video

Internet freedom: “If we lose this frequency we’ll be left in the dark”

This internet our last channel to connect to the mark.
No rhetorical questions at last:
If we lose this frequency we’ll be left in the dark.

Emotional Revolution

Merry Christmas, Happy festivities

I would like to celebrate with you this time with two songs I recently discovered…


Protected: Merry Christmas, baby

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Creative Life Emotional Revolution

The night starts here

The night starts here, the night starts here, forget your name, forget your fear
The night starts here, the night starts here, forget your name, forget your fear

The pleasure part, The after shock, The moment that, It takes the fall apart
The time we have, The task at hand, The love it takes, To destroy a man
The ecstasy, The being free, That big black cloud, Over you and me
And after that, The upward fall, And worry angels, After all
I don’t know, I don’t know

Creative Life Stories

Some Kind of Life (5)

Geert van Hurck, Flickr

Continuation of Some Kind of Life (1), (2), (3) and (4)

You never know how it is going to go in Moscow Domodedovo airport. Sometimes there is a long queue full of Caucasian families in front of the passport control booths waiting to be questioned and requestioned, other times it is just you and a a mixed of a few tourists and Russians. Michael was lucky this time. It was the second.

Michael’s ‘Dobroe utro’ is received with a mumble from the guard in the booth. The mumbling guard takes Michael’s passport. He looks once, twice at his face. He puts his passport on the reader, and waits. Michael considers whether to smile at him or just look straight. The second. His passport is duly return to him. He is now officially in Russia.

No surprise. His usual driver, Igor, was waiting for him with the sign “Michael Forsyth-Demtri”. Wrong. It was actually Forsyth-Demetri, but this is the price of willing to keep his mother’s name in his surname. She made for a big part of what he was. He wanted to reflect that fact somewhere in his public identity. ‘Privet, Igor’, ‘Privet, Mr. Forsyth, how was your flight?’, replied the driver with an obvious Russian accent. ‘Bumpy, but it got here. Never guaranteed.’, ‘Sorry?’, ‘Never mind. Let’s go, I have a busy schedule today.’

Monday, Moscow, morning

Creative Life Network World

The ethics of hacktivism

HACKTIVISM: a policy of hacking, phreaking or creating technology to achieve a political or social goal.

While organizing my library of academic articles on my Mac, I discovered a paper on The ethics of hacktivism written by Julie T.C. Thomas in January 12, 2001. I thought it worthwhile to share it with you. It is short and with good references if you are interested in going further.

UPDATE: Another article I’ve just found: “The Myth of the Computer Hacker” (on a side note: for those that are working on myths (or mythologization or demythologization for the matter 😉 ), it has a short reference to Barthes and the concept of myth).

UPDATE 2: …and then a classic of hacker culture that I also found in my library: Raymond’s “How to become a hacker“. Which can also be found in its latest version (with active hyperlinks) on the web…

Network World

Rebellions to (re)imagine life

It is 1 am in Barcelona. I’m listening to The Doors’ Riders on the Storm on Spotify. It makes me think…

During the Vietnam War, many young and not-so-young people rebelled against a system that was waging a war for the interests, the values and the ideas of a few. Later, some have tried to deride this movement as the crazy craze of a group of drugged hippies with long hair. But among many other things, it was a rebellion against domination. Power does not need a gun to control people’s behaviour. It suffices a discourse, and institutions disseminating this discourse to make believe to people things that are not in their benefit, but in the benefit of the few. That rebellion was also a cry for freedom against these discourses and institutions.

Then, the 1980s and 1990s came. It seemed that history had ended with the so-called liberal system winning the match. The so-called “pensamiento único” seemed to be the only way of looking at reality. But the fight was still there. Covered up by the same institutions, but not removed. As Manuel Castells explains in his latest book “Communication Power“, domination is based on the communication of these discourses that offer the different values and ideas to individuals that decide accordingly. In the same line, Yochai Benkler in “The Wealth of Networks” explains how a closed communicative system allows the same structures/institutions to survive, controlling the possible alternatives of life of the people living in them.

At the end of the 1980s, I was dreaming with a network of computers, where we could find all knowledge and be connected with other people. A network in which we could find solution to our problems. Today, we have this and much more than I could imagine back then. The Internet is breaking the discursive, the story-telling barriers that had trapped us within domination institutions relatively easily controllable by the few. Now, the world is changing, and these powers that be feel threatened.

More than forty years later, another rebellion seems to be growing. It is different than that previous one. The power to (re)imagine a different world can now be shared by all of us. When we get to know about other alternatives, other options of life, other stories, our life is enriched by them. When we can read, listen, watch about other people’s lives, ideas, experiences different than our, our behaviour changes. For what we had in the past is imagined anew. It is reimagined. What are we going to do with this new power? Only we can tell.

Network World

Juice reporting on Wikileaks

Network World

The dog’s master: defending national interest with our ignorance

In the WikiRebels (previous post), an excellent documentary on Wikileaks and Julian Assange, an interesting figure has called my attention: Christian Whiton. Not because he is brilliant, or particularly original, quite for the opposite. He happens to represent what’s wrong with our current system: “we, the citizens, do not need to know what elites governing our societies are doing with our resources, and sometimes with our lives, to defend the so-called ‘national interest’”.

So according to what this person represents, “elites” (aka “a few people using their power on us”) are legitimated to hide from us what they do for the sake of a supposed national ethos they represent. We have no right to know they participation, either by knowing, permitting or even using, in Shell’s control of Nigeria. We have no right to know that Pfizer ‘used dirty tricks to avoid clinical trial payout‘ in Nigeria. We have no right to know that public officials, aka diplomats, work basically for the interests of big (and wealthy) private companies (e.g. Visa and Mastercard) with taxpayer’s money.

No, we don’t have this right, because they work for the national interest. The same national interest that has bailed out for millions and millions the financial crooks that live in the top of the tall buildings overlooking us. The same national interest that is pushing more and more people into marginalisation by cutting social expenditure, increasing indirect taxation and reducing corporate taxes. The same national interest that brought us to a deadly invasion (Iraq), a lost war (Afghanistan) and protects trade of weapons that kill innocent people by the thousands every day.

The master of this dog is happy in this world. He keeps him barking while others die – by a bullet, by hunger or by sickness. The master of this dog is now happy enjoying the profits of pilfering our world. Perhaps we don’t have the money. Perhaps we don’t have the weapons. And even perhaps we don’t have the guts. But now we could start getting the knowledge that may transform our will for change. Perhaps.

NB: I know comparing this person with such noble animals may perhaps seem unfair, but the image I want to reflect is of blind loyalty. A virtue that dogs certainly have. Unfortunately, sometimes it can stop being virtuous and become a danger to us all.

Network World video

WikiRebels: The Documentary