For too long, too many of us have been entranced by heroes. Perhaps it’s our desire to be saved, to not have to do the hard work, to rely on someone else to figure things out. Constantly we are barraged by politicians presenting themselves as heroes, the ones who will fix everything and make our problems go away. It’s a seductive image, an enticing promise. And we keep believing it. Somewhere there’s someone who will make it all better. Somewhere, there’s someone who’s visionary, inspiring, brilliant, trustworthy, and we’ll all happily follow him or her. Somewhere…
Well, it is time for all the heroes to go home, as the poet William Stafford wrote. It is time for us to give up these hopes and expectations that only breed dependency and passivity, and that do not give us solutions to the challenges we face. It is time to stop waiting for someone to save us. It is time to face the truth of our situation—that we’re all in this together, that we all have a voice—and figure out how to mobilize the… Continue reading »
Jim Zemlin gave an excellent talk about the importance of foundations in facilitating collaborative development at the 2014 State of Linux conference. He focuses on the key role of FLOSS Foundations, such as the Linux Foundation, and their key role in facilitating open production.
His main points:
* A neutral home for collection and sharing of resources.
* Enable structured investment.
* Helping industry understand how to engage with the community.
* Shared legal defense.
* Shared development infrastructure.
* A neutral home for key developers.
* Addressing market failures.
* Raising awareness (marketing) to bring in more developers and users.
* Organize events for face to face meetings and training.
* Provide training and certification to help grow the community.
Now more than ever, we need to understand social media – the good as well as the bad. We need critical knowledge that helps us to navigate the controversies and contradictions of this complex digital media landscape. Only then can we make informed judgements about what’s happening in our media world, and why.
Showing the reader how to ask the right kinds of questions about social media, Christian Fuchs takes us on a journey across social media, delving deep into case studies on Google, Facebook, Twitter, WikiLeaks and Wikipedia. The result lays bare the structures and power relations at the heart of our media landscape.
This book is the essential, critical guide for understanding social media and for all students of media studies and sociology. Readers will never look at social media the same way again.
End of September 2014 artists, activists, researchers and participants from all over Europe and beyond will gather in Hamburg for an assembly of assemblies. Sharing experiences from real-democracy-movements and artistic experimentation they want to explore new ways of coming together: collective insights into the materiality, the timing, the agenda, the desires and the catastrophes of being many. At Kampnagel Internationale Kulturfabrik geheimagentur and friends will build an assembly hall and a camp to host them. Here, the assembly will become a laboratory of itself: a collective of friends and strangers with many voices and bodies including those of ghosts and things.
(worth reading the detailed working life profiles in detail)
“Like increasing numbers of low-income mothers and fathers, Ms. Navarro is at the center of a new collision that pits sophisticated workplace technology against some fundamental requirements of parenting, with particularly harsh consequences for poor single mothers. Along with virtually every major retail and restaurant chain, Starbucks relies on software that choreographs workers in precise, intricate ballets, using sales patterns and other data to determine which of its 130,000 baristas are needed in its thousands of locations and exactly when. Big-box retailers or mall clothing chains are now capable of bringing in more hands in anticipation of a delivery truck pulling in or the weather changing, and sending workers home when real-time analyses show sales are slowing. Managers are often compensated based on the efficiency of their staffing. Scheduling is now a powerful tool to bolster profits, allowing businesses to cut labor costs with a few keystrokes. “It’s like magic,” said Charles DeWitt, vice president for business development at Kronos, which supplies the software for Starbucks and many other chains.
Yet those advances are injecting turbulence into parents’ routines and personal relationships, undermining efforts to expand preschool access,… Continue reading »
Book: Brian Czech. Supply Shock: Economic Growth at the Crossroads and the Steady State Solution. New Society Publishers.
Wayne Hurlbert :
“Brian Czech recognizes that politicians and economists who advocate constant economic growth have what they perceive as the best interest of the people at heart. The author points out that those same politicians and economists all too often lack any background or understanding of science. For the politicians, Brian Czech states as well that election campaign funding depends upon support for unlimited growth policies. The author provides evidence that people are sensing that the growth above all policy is not working as well as stated by the experts. Brian Czech describes the very real conflict that exists between unlimited economic growth and the degradation of the environment.
Brian Czech (photo left) understands that the future of the planet, as well as the economic welfare of future generations, depends on protecting the environment. While economic growth may have been the central theme of twentieth century economic thinking, it has become the central problem for the twenty-first century. To meet the challenge of sustaining the environment, along with meeting the economic needs of current and future generations,… Continue reading »
An thought-provoking critique on the political economy of water along with a collaborative, Commons-oriented proposal have been published at the European Water Movement website, by Kostas Nikolaou, member of the initiative K136. Kostas begins his article criticizing the current practices regarding the water management and the recent efforts to privatize another Commons so to maximize capital accumulation. Then he deals with two critical questions: i) “who made and who makes the privatization of water everywhere in the world?” and ii) “saying no to privatization and ultimately preventing the privatization, say yes to what?”. Through the case of the collaborative alternative from Thessaloniki, Greece, i.e., the initiative K136, and other historical successes of the movement, Kostas makes concrete proposals for a cooperative alternative. If you are interested in the Commons (since you are here, certainly you are!), you should definitely read the essay in full here.
The future of cloud storage is decentralization. Imagine being able to rent out your extra hard drive space through an autonomous network and getting paid for it in a cryptocurrency. This is being made possible thanks to Satoshi Nakamoto and platforms such as Storj, Maidsafe, Ethereum and others. Now that we have the ability to tie P2P currency to resources such as storage space, bandwidth usage, and CPU power, services like Dropbox and Google Drive will be getting a run for their money.
He also quotes a Storj infographic which predicts substantial savings of storage costs
Storj claims that buying and selling hard drive space in an autonomous network would reduce the cost of cloud computing… Continue reading »
Anthropological trompe l’oeil for a common world. Alberto Corsin-Jimenez
Description from publisher:
Our political age is characterized by forms of description as ‘big’ as the world itself: talk of ‘public knowledge’ and ‘public goods,’ ‘the commons’ or ‘global justice’ create an exigency for modes of governance that leave little room for smallness itself. Rather than question the politics of adjudication between the big and the small, this book inquires instead into the cultural epistemology fueling the aggrandizement and miniaturization of description itself. Incorporating analytical frameworks from science studies, ethnography, and political and economic theory, this book charts an itinerary for an internal anthropology of theorizing. It suggests that many of the effects that social theory uses today to produce insights are the legacy of baroque epistemological tricks. In particular, the book undertakes its own trompe l’oeil as it places description at perpendicular angles to emerging forms of global public knowledge. The aesthetic ‘trap’ of the trompe l’oeil aims to capture knowledge, for only when knowledge is captured can it be properly released.” (http://alberto-corsin-jimenez.org/?p=141)