seb olma | 20 Aug 10:32 2014

Erich Honecker & the Internet of Things

Hi there,

some weeks ago, Brian made a number of very lucid points on Rifkin's latest work on zero marginal cost, IoT
etc. I have been looking at this in the context of the MyCreativity project I am organizing with Geert at the
INC (conference in November etc,, we posted this some time ago, I think). This is the piece, might be of
interest to some Nettimers:



Patrice Riemens | 19 Aug 16:16 2014

Ippolita Collective, In the Facebook Aquarium, part III,

Ippolita Collective, In the Facebook Aquarium Part III

The Freedoms of the Net

Beyond technophobia: let's build convivial technologies together
(section 6)

Worldwide congenital blather, the 'global tribe' imagined by McLuhan, is
now with us. Our world is now balkanized, fragmented into individual circles
managed by corporate mega-machines. Technical apparatuses are like anatomical
extensions making human organs more powerful. This because "technology is now
part of our body" and it is impossible to do without or even to get rid
of it. McLuhan's analysis should then work as a canary in the coal mine when
faced with such a threatening form of domination:

"Once we have surrendered our senses and nervous systems to the private
manipulation of those who would try to benefit from taking a lease on our
eyes and ears and nerves, we donÂ’t really have any rights left." [36]

One loses one's civic rights there, but first and foremost, one loses
one's personal autonomy, in terms of forfeited competences which never
will be developed again. Forty years after such a clear-sighted by the
Canadian sociologist, while the costs of this maimed ubiquity should be
definitely unmistakable, the technological drift has folded itself around
us in its ever more stifling coils, to the effect that we delegate more
and more. We are all willing termini of a global network and this
integration process does not look like as it could be stopped. Even when
one is aware of the enormous problems the use of these technologies
causes, there are very few
possibilities to opt out of them: several tracks pursued by various people
(Continue reading)

Niko Princen | 17 Aug 12:06 2014

Album of open VNC screenshots


Here's an album I made from Dan Tentler's tweets last week where he visited
things with open VNC:




+49 157 3865 2290

Brian Holmes | 17 Aug 06:11 2014

Touch the Blue Sky

[ I'm "on the lam" in Mongolia - with a biennial after my own heart, 
first time. BH ]

Touch the Blue Sky:
Land Art for the 21st Century


The soil of the steppe is a light ocher yellow, soft, friable, almost 
powdery in your hand. Although this is the rainy season still the ground 
is parched, without any trace of what I could perceive as moisture. The 
prairie grasses have woven the tiny alluvial particles into a dense mat, 
like earthen felt, interlaced with fine invisible roots to a depth of 
around four inches, perhaps more in some places. The tip of the iron 
crowbar that I found in the marketplace cuts through this grassy carpet 
like a dull knife, requiring several blows. I work the bar back and 
forth, pulling up clumps of soil that burst free of the roots and spill 
in ocher rivulets on the green carpet. Then I hurl the bar once again 
into that small hole. This time it strikes the rock with a loud clang.

We both laugh. It's hilarious. I and my companion, Claire Pentecost, 
came here to the Orkhon Valley as part of Land Art Mongolia 360 - or 
rather, she came as part of the biennial, and I as her assistant. 
Claire's idea was to dig a large hole, around three and half feet deep, 
such that a person sitting in it would see a horizon bifurcated into the 
conventional landscape, above, and the structure of the soil, below. You 
would see the nutritive part of the land, the rhizosphere, the deep 
roots of above-ground existence. But what became obvious as we awoke and 
(Continue reading)

Patrice Riemens | 14 Aug 09:04 2014

Ippolita Collective, In the Facebook Aquarium, Part III (section 5)

Ippolita Collective, In the Facebook Aquarium Part III

The Freedoms of the Net

Mass participation (section 5)

The best known instance of mass participation is Wikipedia, the universal
encyclopedia numbering now several million entries in dozens of languages,
and which is fed by the contributions of millions of volunteers worldwide.
It is a astounding experience, and also in many aspects a very innovative
one compared to traditional models of collective participation. It is also
unique in the sense that as one of the most used and visited websites on
the net, it does not finance itself through advertisements, but lives
exclusively from donations. But its principal virtue lies in the fact that
it puts the emphasis on the non-economic incentives which inspire
internauts to collaborate on a project that goes beyond the somewhat musty
discourse of the 'gift economy'. One can better call it an economy of
attention and recognition. Indeed, what really motivates Wikipedia
collaborators, is the acknowledgement they receive from their peers, and
the desire they have to see their competence put to use an recognized on a
large(r) scale [27].

Nonetheless, numerous  elements of criticisms can be levelled against
Wikipedia. (Core) Collaborators of the site have started to behave like
censors and wish to distinguish themselves from the mass of users (instead
of helping them to build up their own role in a creative fashion).
Symptoms of hierarchy and domination have appeared within Wikipedia,
conflicts have been smouldering among 'wikipedians', and the lore of mass
participation is morphing into complex techno-bureaucracies functioning as
gate keepers. By now it is essential to 'de-sanctify' the Wikipedia myth:
(Continue reading)

allan siegel | 14 Aug 09:18 2014

Is anyone immune to the social media echo chamber?


"It's becoming increasingly obvious that as we spend more time communicating via social media, we are
disappearing into bubbles. We receive information from the same sources and witness the views of the same
people in our personalised newsfeeds every day. But it also seems like living in our bubble is having an
effect on our own opinions and how we formulate them."

complete article in from The Conversation (AU)

d.garcia | 14 Aug 10:48 2014

Observing the Travels of Paul Mason

Observing the Travels of Paul Mason

-My social networks followed me into the war and collided with others ? a 
reminder that warfare has become newly alive with information. The basic 
suite of tools journalists use has only been around six or seven years ? so 
Gaza is one of the earliest glimpses into how propaganda and truth might 
intersect in 21st-century warfare.- 

Paul Mason ? Guardian August 10th 2014

It is not primarily what someone says that determines its effect on the 
world it is who they are and the position they hold.

In the UK Paul Mason is one of the few (perhaps the only) mainstream 
journalist who has thought and wrote in any depth about the rise and the 
evolving character of protest movements since 2008 and he is certainly the only 
mainstream journalist to attempt to analyse the subterranean relationships 
between today?s media ecologies and the distinctive organizational and 
communicative structures of these movements. This fact alone makes his 
choices and career shifts interesting to Keep an eye on. He recently moved 
from the BBC?s News Night to Channel 4 where his role continues to be Economics 
Editor for Channel 4 News. Strange therefore that he is currently reporting as 
a quasi war correspondent from Gaza.

There is no info I can find on why he left the BBC?s flag ship news 
platform. Perhaps it was his own choice, giving him more freedom to work on 
his own left of centre books. Or maybe he was as seen as too biased and 
risky by the BBC, which (as always) is buffeted by controversy and political 
pressure. Certainly anyone who witnessed the unprecedented -on air- ticking 
off he received from Jeremy Paxman during his coverage of unrest in Athens 
(Continue reading)

Nick | 12 Aug 00:24 2014

Will Self: The novel is dead (this time it's for real)


The novel is dead (this time it's for real)

Will Self
The Guardian, Friday 2 May 2014 13.00 BST

If you happen to be a writer, one of the great benisons of having 
children is that your personal culture-mine is equipped with its own 
canaries. As you tunnel on relentlessly into the future, these 
little harbingers either choke on the noxious gases released by the 
extraction of decadence, or they thrive in the clean air of what we 
might call progress. A few months ago, one of my canaries, who's in 
his mid-teens and harbours a laudable ambition to be the world's 
greatest ever rock musician, was messing about on his electric 
guitar. Breaking off from a particularly jagged and angry riff, 
he launched into an equally jagged diatribe, the gist of which was 
already familiar to me: everything in popular music had been done 
before, and usually those who'd done it first had done it best.  
Besides, the instant availability of almost everything that had ever 
been done stifled his creativity, and made him feel it was all 

A miner, if he has any sense, treats his canary well, so I began 
gently remonstrating with him. Yes, I said, it's true that the web 
and the internet have created a permanent Now, eliminating our sense 
of musical eras; it's also the case that the queered demographics of 
our longer-living, lower-birthing population means that the 
middle-aged squat on top of the pyramid of endeavour, crushing 
the young with our nostalgic tastes. What's more, the decimation of 
(Continue reading)

Patrice Riemens | 11 Aug 09:38 2014

Ippolita Collective, In the Facebook Aquarium, Part III (section 4)

Ippolita Collective, In the Facebook Aquarium Part III

The Freedoms of the Net

Beyond the net of empty nodes: autonomous individuals and organised
networks (section 4)

Becoming member of a social network costs next to nothing. Therefore,
on-line involvement has become an inherent part of the global spectacle.
The underlying issue, once again, is about the articulation of individual
and collective identity. Just like relationships that cost nothing (in
effort, etc.), zero-cost identities have zero value and fall apart at the
first gush of wind. This of course, only in terms of necessary skills,
invested time, and passion spend to create a shared something, not in
terms of money. In more 'Huxleyan' societies, where good citizen are
tasked with consuming, not only goods, but also the social groups they
belong to, this is what signals someone's (social) status. With respect to
on-line, social media activism, it is clear that it is practised more so
as to impress friends than to put one's personal motivated desires and
deep political convictions into the line. Membership of (special)
interests groups is also largely brought about by narcissism, need for
self-promotion, and the requests for attention so manifest in the
elaboration of personal profiles.

This dynamic is not new and does not only concern online networks. To
impress one's peers by defending noble causes (protest against a genocide
going on in some far-away country or campaigning to save baby seals) is
one of the ways to understand social commitment. Off-line activism is just
as much corrupted by this same phenomenon of group fetishism which makes
that an individual is inclined to participate in as many groups as
(Continue reading)

dan | 11 Aug 13:10 2014

algorithmic regulation

I was the keynote speaker at Black Hat last week, and while
preparing the talk (*) read up a bit on the (new to me) term
of art "algorithmic regulation."  That term and the concept
behind it seem to be on-topic for this list.  A bit of Google
and you'll have lots to read; more to the point, I suspect
there are folks here already well read on it who might say
something now.


(*) Cybersecurity as Realpolitik

nettime's_oversharer | 11 Aug 06:00 2014

mrteacup: The Cult of Sharing


   August 5, 2014

The Cult of Sharing

   8,028 words -- thanks in advance for your endurance

   The sharing economy's marquee startup Airbnb recently unveiled a new
   brand identity and positioning to help propel its international
   expansion. Airbnb's new wordmark and logo nicknamed "the Bélo" is said
   to have been the culmination of a year-long process, including a
   cross-cultural analysis to ensure their identity would be understood
   around the world.

   Exhaustive branding efforts are unusual among pre-IPO Silicon Valley
   companies. For years they've leaned on primary colors, gradients and
   rounded fonts, default signifiers of fun and friendliness that negate
   the staid formality of the more conventionally-minded business world,
   attempting no greater meaning than "this is not your father's
   corporation." Even Google only starting taking its brand semi-seriously
   in 2010, six years after it went public.

   In keeping with their self-identity as midwives of emancipation and
   utopia, the industry has historically relied on the form of the
   manifesto over the logo as its preferred vehicle for communicating with
   the public. In works like A Declaration of the Independence of
   Cyberspace, The Cluetrain Manifesto, The Wealth of Networks and Here
   Comes Everybody, writers have found success marketing Silicon Valley in
   populist terms. By conflating political action and market transaction,
(Continue reading)