Harsh Kapoor | 27 Feb 17:49 2015

Bangladesh: Secular humanist Avijit Roy hacked to death in Dhaka -


[News reports and statements follow]

Dhaka Tribune 26 February 2015 (22:45 hrs)

Writer Avijit Roy hacked to death
DU Correspondent , DMCH Correspondent
His wife blogger Bonna also sustains severe injuries in the attack

Blogger and writer Avijit Roy has been killed and his wife, blogger
Rafida Ahmed Bonna, severely injured when unidentified miscreants
hacked them at TSC of Dhaka University on Thursday night.

Avijit, son of DU teacher Dr Ajay Roy and also the founder of
Mukto-mona Blog, and his wife have been admitted to Dhaka Medical
College Hospital in critical condition immediately after the attack.

Later, he died while undergoing treatment around 10:30pm, said
Shahbagh police station OC Sirajul Islam.

Bonna told the Dhaka Tribune: “Two miscreants attacked us with cleaver
near TSC intersection around 8:45pm.”

Witnesses said some unidentified miscreants swooped on the bloggers
and hacked them mercilessly between 8:30pm and 9pm while they were
returning from the book fair, leaving them critically injured.

OC Sirajul said: “We do not have any clear idea about the attackers.
But, the police is suspecting that those, who attacked Humayun Azad,
(Continue reading)

d.garcia | 26 Feb 11:47 2015

Reframing the Creative Question

Notes Towards a Reframing of the Creative Question Full 
article with links + Images at: http://new-tactical-research.co.uk/

In these notes I will argue that critical thinkers who are usually hostile
to "Creative Industries" rhetoric should be prepared to take the risk of
contamination by engaging with this discourse on its own terms. As it is my
contention is that there is something like a radical revisionist version of
this narrative to be uncovered. And I would further argue that the purpose
of this act of recuperation is that it offers an important component in
answering the most urgent and difficult question of all: how do we make the
vital transition to a zero or low growth economy?

General Purpose Creativity (GPC)

Recently Warwick University published a detailed report; Enriching Britain,
Creativity, Culture, Growth, 1. at the same time as the launch of the BBC's
extensive -Get Creative Campaign-2. both of these projects coincided with
the leader of the UK Labor Party Ed Milliband's introduction of the
Creative and Cultural Industries theme into Labor's pre-election
campaigning. Taken together these initiatives signify a return of the so
called Creative and Cultural industries, if not exactly to centre Stage,
then at least, (as Chris Smith one of the architects of the original
project declared ) -as a mainstream concern of government- and part of the
-Darwinian struggle for money and influence in Whitehall-. All of which
make it an opportune moment for a pragmatic review of the Creative
Question. Not only in order to understand what has changed but also to ask
whether anything has been learned by the political class in the decades
that have elapsed since New Labor introduced the meme into mainstream
British party politics.

(Continue reading)

Brian Holmes | 23 Feb 20:52 2015

World of Matter

Greets everyone.

The exhibition "World of Matter" opened on February 20 in Montreal:

This exceptionally philosophical exhibition on global agriculture and 
extraction technologies is also a web platform, 
http://www.worldofmatter.net. In my view, the website represents a 
definitive breakthrough for open and free access to socially significant 

Below is my review of the show as it was recently presented in New York. 
The illustrated and linked version of the review is here:



"Something that has to do with life itself"

A review of *World of Matter*

CUNY Graduate Center, New York, 9/1-11/1, 2014 / by Brian Holmes

How to face the natural crisis of global society? How to engage with the 
overwhelming material conditions of the Anthropocene? In the year 2014, 
awareness of human-induced global warming seemed to reach a kind of 
planetary tipping-point. Yet earlier experiences like the Fukushima 
meltdown, the BP oil spill or the flooding of New Orleans show that 
profound shocks to consciousness can be erased by dull, everyday 
(Continue reading)

Patrice Riemens | 23 Feb 18:20 2015

Yanis Varoufakis: How I became an erratic Marxist (Guardian)

original to:

(for emphasis & nice pics - and no pesky '?'s ...)

also on theTOC.gr:

Yanis Varoufakis: How I became an erratic Marxist (18 February 2015)

Before he entered politics, Yanis Varoufakis, the iconoclastic Greek
finance minister at the centre of the latest eurozone standoff, wrote this
searing account of European capitalism and and how the left can learn from
Marx's mistakes

In 2008, capitalism had its second global spasm. The financial crisis set
off a chain reaction that pushed Europe into a downward spiral that
continues to this day. Europe's present situation is not merely a threat
for workers, for the dispossessed, for the bankers, for social classes or,
indeed, nations. No, Europe's current posture poses a threat to
civilisation as we know it.

If my prognosis is correct, and we are not facing just another cyclical
slump soon to be overcome, the question that arises for radicals is this:
should we welcome this crisis of European capitalism as an opportunity to
replace it with a better system? Or should we be so worried about it as to
embark upon a campaign for stabilising European capitalism?

To me, the answer is clear. Europe's crisis is far less likely to give
birth to a better alternative to capitalism than it is to unleash
(Continue reading)

nettime's avid reader | 23 Feb 17:52 2015

The hope of the democratic monster, between Syriza and Podemos

The hope of the democratic monster, between Syriza and Podemos
Antonio Negri / Raúl Sánchez Cedillo
Translated from Spanish by Kelly Mulvaney


“A spectre is haunting Europe”. The Italian newspaper Il Manifesto
used this headline a few days ago for its homepage, commenting on the
visits of Tsipras and Varoufakis to European governments. A real
nightmare for the ordoliberal Germans, a Geisterfahrer, to be precise,
a suicidal conductor looking to collide with the European bus, as Der
Spiegel described on its front page. Imagine what could happen with
the victory of Podemos in Spain: what a magnificent spectre would then
be seen lurking about, a real monster created by the exploited and the
productive forces of the fourth European economy! In just a few weeks,
election rounds will begin in Spain, and the mantra of the European
governments will be repeated, with double the force, in an attempt to
frighten Spanish citizens. Let us prepare ourselves. With the
certainty that the arrogance of the bad omens of this propaganda will
be defeated. But in the meantime, let us prepare ourselves: What could
Podemos say about Europe?

Conscious of the temporal and political acceleration that the victory
of Syriza has imposed, the discourse of Podemos on Europe is, on the
one hand, informed by a sincere solidarity and high regard for the
victory of the democrats in Greece, while it consists, on the other
hand, in prudent judgment – Tsipras’ line could fail in the brief
interval that separates it from the Spanish elections. But prudency is
not the same as ambiguity. Indeed, it is obvious that nothing would be
(Continue reading)

Orsan | 14 Feb 22:21 2015

Peer producing a commons space with Global Square in Tunis WSF 2015

   Dear friends,

   Below you will find the registration made for the Global Square to the
   WSF Tunis. Besides we also proposed to have an open and collaborative
   space continuously working during the forum to produce concrete
   proposals to be discussed and presented to the assemblies, which might
   be held in and outside the university campus, in order to work on the
   concrete experience and expertise we have been gaining as grassroots
   commoners, solidarity networkers, activists, peer producers,
   cooperative owners.

   As you will see the Global Square is an open initiative, open to
   anyone's volunteer contribution as well as participation to be built
   and rebuilt, towards, around and beyond social forums. So the space we
   are creating will be self organized and shared one, culturally,
   politically, economically and socially.

   You will also see that the event I proposed and registered, as part of
   the Global Square open space, is drafted as an open process, to be
   modified with the hoped for merges. Thus, it will be finalized with an
   open and collaborative work; all interested individuals, networks,
   collectives are more then welcome to combine efforts and merge with

   The second Networked Labour workshop will also be taking place within
   this broader framework, embedded in this registered event. Hence, in
   order to synergies and cover some commons expenses we might be using
   possible donations to the crowd sourcing and cooperative funding
   campaigns I recently circulated both for for the Networked Labour and
   GNUnion. In case there is not yet any donation, costs will be
(Continue reading)

agent humble | 12 Feb 22:23 2015

Adbusters: DATAcide, The Total Annihilation of Life as We Know It

This article appeared in issue #115, now available in our Blueprint for
a New World Series Box Set:


"So tell me, why did you leave your last job?" he asks.

The first thing I remember about the internet was the noise. That
screeching howl of static blips signifying that you were, at last,
online. I first heard it in the summer of '93. We were huddled around my
friend's brand new Macintosh, palms sweaty, one of us on lookout for his
mom, the others transfixed as our Webcrawler search bore fruit. An image
came chugging down, inch by inch. You could hear the modem wince as it
loaded, and like a hammer banging out raw pixels from the darkness
beyond the screen, a grainy, low-res jpeg came into view. It was a woman
and a horse.

Since then, I've had a complicated relationship with the internet. We
all have. The noise is gone now, and its reach has grown from a network
of isolated weirdos into a silent and invisible membrane that connects
everything we do and say.

"I needed a bigger challenge," I say. This is a lie.

The brewpub we're in has freshly painted white walls and a polished
concrete floor, 20 ft ceilings and dangling lightbulbs. It could double
as a minimalist porn set, or perhaps a rendition chamber. Concrete is
easy to clean. The table we're at is long and communal. Whenever
someone's smartphone vibrates we all feel it through the wood, and we're
feeling it every second minute -- a look of misery slicing across my face
(Continue reading)

Örsan Şenalp | 12 Feb 12:36 2015

LabourLeaks.org submission: TSTG Duisburg Hardship Fund misuse

LABOURLEAKS.ORG  - Exposing wrongdoings in the workplace

This is a letter from the First Represantive of the IG Metall
Duisburg-Dinslaken, the German Engineering Union, to former employees
of the closed steel works TSTG in Duisburg which made rails for the
German railways. The letter is addressed to ex-employees who are still
in the union. It concerns those employees who have not managed to find
a job after a year after the company closed down. There are two
aspects of the letter that are questionable. Firstly, the "works
council" is involved in the discussion as to who gets what from the
"hardship fund". This is strange because the council has long ceased
to exist. Secondly, the author states explicitely that the information
contained in the letter is only going to those colleagues who are
still members of the IG Metall. Everyone else may not be informed by
the union. No explanation is given as to why this is so and
ex-employees suspect that only union members will benefit from the
hardship fund.


michael gurstein | 11 Feb 23:53 2015

FW: [P2P-F] Greek Vice-President explicitely endorses commons strategy before parliament

   (with permission)

   From: Eleftherios Kosmas [mailto:elkosmas@...]
   Sent: Wednesday, February 11, 2015 2:48 PM
   To: michael gurstein
   Subject: Re: [P2P-F] Greek Vice-President explicitely endorses commons
   strategy before parliament

   Hi guys. I checked the speech of Mr Dragasakis I will try to translate
   some parts of it. Bear in mind that due to the cultural and linguistic
   differences of the Greek language with English I might not be able to
   convey it properly (I am not a trained translator)

   "Title: Speech during the government's policy statements"

     The most interesting part at least for my shelf as a member of a
     commons based collective like hackerspace.gr and a strong
     supporter of the commons personally and in public is the following.

   I would like to, conclude with the permission of the President, with a
   general thought. Often in everyday life we all live events happening
   that only hindsight their importance. We live, then, and now a historic
   era, characterized not only by the crisis and the collapse of obsolete
   models, but we live a crisis that eventually spawned new models and new
   social organization models, as was done in the past. In this sense,
   then, this is an opportunity to take up the deficits of the past, to
   close this modernization deficit, but by addressing the contemporary
   social problem of unemployment, social security and social exclusion.
   This could establish a new paradigm in Greece and other countries of
   southern Europe, combining advanced forms of democracy, social
(Continue reading)

nettime's_open_mic | 10 Feb 17:26 2015

The Economist on Hungary: Curse like an oligarch


Curse like an oligarch

The country's biggest media mogul turns against Viktor Orban, in
no uncertain terms

Feb 9th 2015

HUNGARIANS possess a rich vocabulary of swear words and curses,
many involving imaginative connections between relatives, their
bodily orifices and farmyard animals. But even by local
standards, the invective that Hungary's most powerful businessman
has unleashed over the past few days towards his country's prime
minister is exceptional. In an interview on Friday with index.hu,
a news website, Lajos Simicska, a former university roommate of
Viktor Orban (pictured) and one of his closest allies for the
past thirty years, called the prime minister a _geci_, one of the
worst insults in the Magyar lexicon. The literal translation of
_geci_ is "sperm", but even that English term fails to convey the
Hungarian word's connotations of disdain. Beyond the colourful
language, the spat is the most serious break yet in Mr Orban's
governing Fidesz party, which despite winning a two-thirds
majority of the seats in the most recent elections has begun to
show signs of strain.

Until recently Mr Simicska was one of the most reclusive
businessmen in Hungary. He was once Fidesz's financial
mastermind, and served as head of the Hungarian Tax Authority
under the first Fidesz government in the late 1990s. Kozgep, his
(Continue reading)

Janos Sugar | 10 Feb 10:12 2015

János Kornai : Hungary's U-turn

János Kornai, the renowned Hungarian economist,
Professor of Economics Emeritus at Harvard
University and Corvinus University of Budapest,
has written a new paper about the situation in
Hungary. He notes that the main direction of the
changes up to 2010 was progress toward democracy,
the rule of law, and a market economy based on
the dominance of private ownership. Hungary is
the first, and so far the only, member of the
group of 15 post-socialist EU member countries to
execute a sharp U-turn and set off resolutely in
the opposite direction. The country has shifted
from democracy to autocracy. The final version of
this paper will be published in the October issue
of Journal of Democracy. I'm grateful to
Professor Kornai for allowing me to share this
prepublication working paper with the readers of
Hungarian Spectrum.