November 26, 2011

from Brain Pickings (my new favorite site)

by StefiaMadelyne

7 Ways to Have More by Owning Less

by 

Inconspicuous consumption, or what lunching ladies have to do with social web karma.


Stuff. We all accumulate it and eventually form all kinds of emotional attachments to it. (Arguably, because the marketing machine of the 20th century has conditioned us to do so.) But digital platforms and cloud-based tools are making it increasingly easy to have all the things we want without actually owning them. Because, as Wired founder and notable futurist Kevin Kelly once put it, “access is better than ownership.” Here are seven services that help shrink your carbon footprint, lighten your economic load and generally liberate you from the shackles of stuff through the power of sharing.

NEIGHBORGOODS

The age of keeping up with the Jonses is over. The time of linking up with them has begin. NeighborGoods is a new platform that allows you to do just that, allowing you to borrow and lend from and to your neighbors rather than buying new stuff. (Remind us please, what happened to that fancy blender you bought and used only twice?) From lawnmowers to bikes to DVD’s, the LA-based startup dubs itself “the Craigslist for borrowing,” allowing you to both save and earn money.

Transparent user ratings, transaction histories and privacy controls make the sharing process simple and safe, while automated calendars and reminders ensure the safe return of loaned items.

Give NeighborGoods a shot by creating a sharing group for your apartment building, campus, office, or reading group — both your wallet and your social life will thank you.

UPDATE: Per the co-founder’s kind comment below, we should clarify that NeighborGoods also allows you to import your Twitter and Facebook friends from the get-go, so you have an instant group to share with.

SNAPGOODS

Similarly to Neighborgoods,SnapGoods allows you to rent, borrow and lend within your community. SnapGoods takes things step further by expanding the notion of “community” not only to your local group — neighborhood, office or apartment building — but to your social graph across the web’s trusted corners. The site features full Facebook and Meetup integration, extending your social circle to the cloud.

You can browse the goods people in your area are lending or take a look at what they need and lend a hand (or a sewing machine, as may be the case) if you’ve got the goods.

LANDSHARE

Growing one’s own produce is every hipster-urbanite’s pipe dream. But the trouble with it is that you have to actually have a place to grow it. And while a pot of cherry tomatoes in your fire escape is better than nothing, it’s hardly anything. Enter Landshare, an innovative platform for connecting aspiring growers with landowners who have the space but don’t use it.

Though currently only available in the U.K., we do hope to see Landshare itself, or at least the concept behind it, spread worldwide soon.

SWAPTREE

swaptree is a simple yet brilliant platform for swapping your media possessions — from books to DVD’s to vinyl — once they’ve run their course in your life as you hunt for the next great thing. Since we first covered swaptree nearly three years ago, the site has facilitated some 1.6 million swaps, saving its users an estimated $10.3 million while reducing their collective carbon footprint by 9.3 million tons.

Inspired by the founders’ moms, whose lunch dates with girlfriends turned into book-swap clubs, swaptree makes sure that the only thing between you and the latest season of 24 is the price of postage.

GIFTFLOW

Most of us are familiar with the concept of regifting. (No disrespect, but the disconnect between good friends and good taste is sometimes astounding.) Luckily, GiftFlow allows you to swap gifts you don’t want for ones other people don’t want but you do. The platform is based on a system of karmic reputation, where your profile shows all you’ve given and taken, building an implicit system of trust through transparency.

So go ahead, grandma. Hit us with your latest sweet but misguided gift. Chances are, there’s someone out there who’d kill for that kitschy music box.

ZIPCAR

We’re big proponents of bikesharing but, to this point, the concept has failed to transcend local implementations. While some cities like Paris, Amsterdam and Denver are fortunate enough to have thriving bikesharing programs, we’re yet to see a single service available across different locations. Until then, we’d have to settle for the next best sharing-based transportation solution: Zipcar, a 24/7, on-demand carsharing service that gives its members flexible access to thousands of cars across the U.S., U.K. and Canada. Zipcar has been around for quite some time and most people are already familiar with it, so we won’t overelaborate, but suffice it to say the service is the most promising solution to reducing both traffic congestion and pollution in cities without reducing the actual number of drivers.

SHARE SOME SUGAR

Lend me some sugar, I am your neighbor. More than an Outkast lyric line, this is the inspiration behind share some sugar — a celebration of neighborliness through the sharing of goods and resources. Much like SnapGoods and NeighborGoods, the service lets you borrow, rent and share stuff within your neighborhood or group of friends

For more on the culture of shared resources, do watch Rachel Botsman’s excellent TEDxSyndney talk. Her forthcoming book, What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, hits bookstores in two weeks and is an absolute must-read.

UPDATE: Botsman’s book, What’s Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, is now out and landed promptly on our best books in business, life and mind shortlist for 2010.

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November 26, 2011

flood hacks

by noah

Thai Flood Hacks is a tumblr dedicated to the documentation of social creativity following 2011’s monsoon season in Thailand and the resulting floods [wiki]. Additionally, the site catalogues creative flood adaptations in other cities as well. Within this image archive are snorkeling motorcycles, plenty of tall “freak” bikes, animal life vests and several boats which all have unique methods for steering or “motor power”. Tall bikes and boats may not seem like a spectacular feat when combating a flooded locale, but the social involvement in these materials is represented by how handmade these solutions are. Boats are made from discarded tires, mattresses, pieces of wood, or recyclables, caravans are built out of bikes to carry numerous people on one body-powered vehicle, and in the wake of disaster this blog dedicates its energy to depicting this situation as a creative dreamland [if it weren’t previously a home]. Definitely worth spending a few minutes browsing through when you have a chance… and I thought my basement in Bushwick had some sweet tricks.

November 26, 2011

Mapping Social Issues, The Beehive Design Collective

by Natalia Guerrero


How can we use art as a tool to break down social issues by mapping out this contexts through symbolic organization and colonization of beehives? The Beehive Design Collective uses illustrations to map social issues or conflicts such as Free Trade in the Americas, Plan Colombia, and others to reach an understanding of the different dynamics that come into play. The collective facilitates workshops for communities who want to deconstruct complex and overwhelming issues that are shaping their society, by “using bio-regionally accurate depictions of animals and insects as metaphors to link cultural and ecological diversity.”

Their current graphic campaigns are working on the Free Trade resistance in Mesoamerica, Plan Colombia, The True Cost of Coal, among others.

Check out how these layers of symbolic narration are created in this link: http://www.beehivecollective.org/english/plancolombia.htm

November 24, 2011

Brain Pickings

by StefiaMadelyne

Thank You Deb & Farah for turning me on to this Blog!!

about

Brain Pickings is the brain child of Maria Popova, a cultural curator and curious mind at large, who also writes for Wired UKThe Atlantic and Design Observer, among others. She gets occasional help from a handful of talented contributors.

Brain Pickings is a human-powered discovery engine for interestingness, culling and curating cross-disciplinary curiosity-quenchers, and separating the signal from the noise to bring you things you didn’t know you were interested in until you are.

Because creativity, after all, is a combinatorial force. It’s our ability to tap into the mental pool of resources — ideas, insights, knowledge, inspiration — that we’ve accumulated over the years just by being present and alive and awake to the world, and to combine them in extraordinary new ways. In order for us to truly create and contribute to the world, we have to be able to connect countless dots, to cross-pollinate ideas from a wealth of disciplines, to combine and recombine these ideas and build new ideas — like LEGOs. The more of these building blocks we have, and the more diverse their shapes and colors, the more interesting our creations will become.

Brain Pickings is your LEGO treasure chest, full of pieces across art, design, science, technology, philosophy, history, politics, psychology, sociology, ecology, anthropology, you-name-itology. Pieces that enrich your mental pool of resources and empower you to combine them into original concepts that are stronger, smarter, richer, deeper and more impactful — a modest, curiosity-driven exercise in vision- and mind-expansion. Please enjoy.

http://www.brainpickings.org/index.php/about/

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November 24, 2011

The Last Whole Earth Catalog

by StefiaMadelyne

A Crunchy-Granola Path From Macramé and LSD to Wikipedia and Google

Published: September 25, 2006

The pages are yellowed, the addresses and phone numbers all but useless, the products antique, the utopian expectations quaint. But the “Whole Earth Catalog” — and particularly “The Last Whole Earth Catalog,” published in 1971, which ended up selling a million copies and winning the National Book Award — has the eerie luminosity of a Sears catalog from the turn of the last century. It is a portrait of an age and its dreams.

Forward thinking: Stewart Brand in 1966, with a disc on his forehead.

A counterculture classic.

Deerskin jackets and potter’s wheels, geodesic domes and star charts, instructions on raising bees and on repairing Volkswagens, advice on building furniture and cultivating marijuana: all this can be found here, along with celebrations of communal life and swipes at big government, big business and a technocratic society.

Can this encyclopedia of countercultural romance have anything to do with today’s technological world, a world of broadband connections, TCP/IP protocol and the Internet? The Internet, after all, began during the cold war as an attempt to create a network of computers that would be resilient in case of nuclear attack. Its instigator, the United States Department of Defense, was at the very center of the culture being countered by the “Whole Earth Catalog.” How could the romantic, utopian culture of the 1960’s, with its deep suspicions about modernity and its machinery, be closely linked to one of the most important technological revolutions of the last hundred years?

Yet as Fred Turner points out in his revealing new book, “From Counterculture to Cyberculture: Stewart Brand, the Whole Earth Network, and the Rise of Digital Utopianism” (University of Chicago Press), there is no way to separate cyberculture from counterculture; indeed, cyberculture grew from its predecessor’s compost. Mr. Turner suggests that Stewart Brand, who created the “Whole Earth Catalog,” was the major node in a network of countercultural speculators, promoters, inventors and entrepreneurs who helped change the world in ways quite different from those they originally envisioned.

Mr. Turner, who teaches in the communication department at Stanford University, is rigorous in his argument, thorough to the point of exhaustion, and impressive in his range. The basic premise, though, is not unfamiliar. A decade ago the cultural critic Mark Dery suggested in his book “Escape Velocity” that the PC revolution could well be called “Counterculture 2.0.” Other writers have also pointed out uncanny overlaps.

And some of the anecdotal evidence is familiar. Steve Jobs created and promoted Apple as a countercultural computer company, most famously in the 1984 television ad that associated it with the demolishment of a totalitarian Big Brother. Even I.B.M., in promoting its first PC, tried to undermine the computer’s association with corporate power, marketing its machine using images of Charlie Chaplin’s tramp, who had twitted the gears of industry in “Modern Times.”

Connections were even made by the participants. Theodore Roszak, whose 1969 book, “The Making of a Counter Culture,” popularized that era’s doctrines, later asserted that computer hackers — “whose origins can be discerned in the old Whole Earth Catalog” — invented the personal computer as a means of “fostering dissent and questioning authority.” Timothy Leary, the psychedelic maestro of that period, declared that “the PC is the LSD of the 1990’s.”

Soon after publishing “The Last Whole Earth Catalog,” Mr. Brand started to write about the computer scene, helped create the “Whole Earth Software Catalog” and, in 1985, became a founder of the WELL — the Whole Earth ’Lectronic Link — a pioneering online community. “As it turned out,” Mr. Brand once explained, “psychedelic drugs, communes, and Buckminster Fuller domes were a dead end, but computers were an avenue to realms beyond our dreams.” By the 90’s, those realms were celebrated by the magazine Wired.

It might be argued that so prevalent was the counterculture, and so experimental and energetic were its most vocal proponents, that it would have been surprising had many of them not found their way to the computer revolution. But Mr. Turner demonstrates something more essential in the continuity.

First, he suggests, we are mistaken in thinking that the postwar technological world was dominated by hierarchies and rigid categories. Under the influence of the mathematician Norbert Wiener, it became increasingly common to think of humans and machines as interacting elements of “cybernetic systems” — organisms through which information flowed. This also led to a different way of thinking about living organisms and their networks of interaction.

Marshall McLuhan wrote in 1964: “Today we have extended our central nervous system itself in a global embrace, abolishing both space and time as far as our planet is concerned.” Buckminster Fuller proposed the idea of a Comprehensive Designer, a creator who would embody “an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist.”

These writers were the patron saints of the “Whole Earth Catalog,” their books appearing alongside macramé and carpentry manuals, their ideas presumably brought to life in the commune, where the natural and human world would be bound together, creating a single organism from which new possibilities would unfold.

By the 1980’s, Mr. Turner argues, similar fantasies were inspired by the computer. It had freed itself from corporate control and ownership; it was also capable of connecting with other computers in communities like the WELL (which John Perry Barlow, a former lyricist for the Grateful Dead, called “the latest thing in frontier villages”). The Internet, designed to be inherently nonhierarchical, suggested even more grand possibilities, even a revolution in politics and human consciousness.

In the 90’s, Mr. Turner says, the writers and editors of Wired believed “they would tear down hierarchies, undermine the sorts of corporations and governments that had spawned them” and replace them with a “peer-to-peer, collaborative society, interlinked by invisible currents of energy and information.” Cyberculture was to be the fulfillment of counterculture.

Ultimately, of course, such fulfillment was not to be had. But the consequences of the association were profound. One reason for the heady pace of innovation during the 90’s is that the motivation was never purely abstract, but was often accompanied by utopian passions. Software development occurred not just in the private realm, but also among collaborative communities that objected to corporate ownership. Even today’s Wikipedia — the online encyclopedia continuously being written by its users — can be traced to these ideas.

But there were also limitations of vision and imagination. For a long time, cyberspace advocates were reluctant to take the problem of mischievous hacking seriously and could look askance at the very notion of copyright in the cyberworld. There was even a strain of countercultural romance in the ways in which the corporate monopolist Microsoft became widely portrayed as an Evil Empire threatening the libertarian Internet. (This is also one reason that Google, which has turned out to be Microsoft’s most potent competitor, made its motto “Don’t be evil.”)

Moreover, so messianic were expectations, that many failed to see that cyberspace was not really a different realm from the hard-wired world of ordinary experience, but would become an extension of it: a place where banking, shopping, conversation and business transactions could take place, where the bourgeois world and an imagined frontier would again have to work out their uneasy relations, and would again face an uncertain future.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/25/arts/25conn.html?_r=1

November 24, 2011

2 Fabulous Street Art Sites

by StefiaMadelyne

Street Art Utopia

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November 24, 2011

Beware of “Sock Puppets”

by StefiaMadelyne

Revealed: US spy operation that manipulates social media

Military’s ‘sock puppet’ software creates fake online identities to spread pro-American propagandaGeneral David Petraeus

Gen David Petraeus has previously said US online psychological operations are aimed at ‘countering extremist ideology and propaganda’. Photograph: Cliff Owen/AP

The US military is developing software that will let it secretly manipulate social media sites by using fake online personas to influence internet conversations and spread pro-American propaganda.

A Californian corporation has been awarded a contract with United States Central Command (Centcom), which oversees US armed operations in the Middle East and Central Asia, to develop what is described as an “online persona management service” that will allow one US serviceman or woman to control up to 10 separate identities based all over the world.

The project has been likened by web experts to China’s attempts to control and restrict free speech on the internet. Critics are likely to complain that it will allow the US military to create a false consensus in online conversations, crowd out unwelcome opinions and smother commentaries or reports that do not correspond with its own objectives.

The discovery that the US military is developing false online personalities – known to users of social media as “sock puppets” – could also encourage other governments, private companies and non-government organisations to do the same.

The Centcom contract stipulates that each fake online persona must have a convincing background, history and supporting details, and that up to 50 US-based controllers should be able to operate false identities from their workstations “without fear of being discovered by sophisticated adversaries”.

Centcom spokesman Commander Bill Speaks said: “The technology supports classified blogging activities on foreign-language websites to enable Centcom to counter violent extremist and enemy propaganda outside the US.”

He said none of the interventions would be in English, as it would be unlawful to “address US audiences” with such technology, and any English-language use of social media by Centcom was always clearly attributed. The languages in which the interventions are conducted include Arabic, Farsi, Urdu and Pashto.

Centcom said it was not targeting any US-based web sites, in English or any other language, and specifically said it was not targeting Facebook or Twitter.

Once developed, the software could allow US service personnel, working around the clock in one location, to respond to emerging online conversations with any number of co-ordinated messages, blogposts, chatroom posts and other interventions. Details of the contract suggest this location would be MacDill air force base near Tampa, Florida, home of US Special Operations Command.

Centcom’s contract requires for each controller the provision of one “virtual private server” located in the United States and others appearing to be outside the US to give the impression the fake personas are real people located in different parts of the world.

It also calls for “traffic mixing”, blending the persona controllers’ internet usage with the usage of people outside Centcom in a manner that must offer “excellent cover and powerful deniability”.

The multiple persona contract is thought to have been awarded as part of a programme called Operation Earnest Voice (OEV), which was first developed in Iraq as a psychological warfare weapon against the online presence of al-Qaida supporters and others ranged against coalition forces. Since then, OEV is reported to have expanded into a $200m programme and is thought to have been used against jihadists across Pakistan, Afghanistan and the Middle East.

OEV is seen by senior US commanders as a vital counter-terrorism and counter-radicalisation programme. In evidence to the US Senate’s armed services committee last year, General David Petraeus, then commander of Centcom, described the operation as an effort to “counter extremist ideology and propaganda and to ensure that credible voices in the region are heard”. He said the US military’s objective was to be “first with the truth”.

This month Petraeus’s successor, General James Mattis, told the same committee that OEV “supports all activities associated with degrading the enemy narrative, including web engagement and web-based product distribution capabilities”.

Centcom confirmed that the $2.76m contract was awarded to Ntrepid, a newly formed corporation registered in Los Angeles. It would not disclose whether the multiple persona project is already in operation or discuss any related contracts.

Nobody was available for comment at Ntrepid.

In his evidence to the Senate committee, Gen Mattis said: “OEV seeks to disrupt recruitment and training of suicide bombers; deny safe havens for our adversaries; and counter extremist ideology and propaganda.” He added that Centcom was working with “our coalition partners” to develop new techniques and tactics the US could use “to counter the adversary in the cyber domain”.

According to a report by the inspector general of the US defence department in Iraq, OEV was managed by the multinational forces rather than Centcom.

Asked whether any UK military personnel had been involved in OEV, Britain’s Ministry of Defence said it could find “no evidence”. The MoD refused to say whether it had been involved in the development of persona management programmes, saying: “We don’t comment on cyber capability.”

OEV was discussed last year at a gathering of electronic warfare specialists in Washington DC, where a senior Centcom officer told delegates that its purpose was to “communicate critical messages and to counter the propaganda of our adversaries”.

Persona management by the US military would face legal challenges if it were turned against citizens of the US, where a number of people engaged in sock puppetry have faced prosecution.

Last year a New York lawyer who impersonated a scholar was sentenced to jail after being convicted of “criminal impersonation” and identity theft.

It is unclear whether a persona management programme would contravene UK law. Legal experts say it could fall foul of the Forgery and Counterfeiting Act 1981, which states that “a person is guilty of forgery if he makes a false instrument, with the intention that he or another shall use it to induce somebody to accept it as genuine, and by reason of so accepting it to do or not to do some act to his own or any other person’s prejudice”. However, this would apply only if a website or social network could be shown to have suffered “prejudice” as a result.

• This article was amended on 18 March 2011 to remove references to Facebook and Twitter, introduced during the editing process, and to add a comment from Centcom, received after publication, that it is not targeting those sites.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/mar/17/us-spy-operation-social-networks

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November 24, 2011

Buy Nothing Day

by StefiaMadelyne

 

#OCCUPYXMAS kicks off Nov 25/26

Let’s take back the season!

Hey dreamers, occupiers, rabble-rousers,

You’ve been sleeping on the streets for two months pleading peacefully for a new spirit in economics. And just as your camps are raided, your eyes pepper sprayed and your head’s knocked in, another group of people are preparing to camp-out. Only these people aren’t here to support occupy Wall Street, they’re here to secure their spot in line for a Black Friday bargain at Super Target and Macy’s.

Occupy gave the world a new way of thinking about the fat cats and financial pirates on Wall Street. Now lets give them a new way of thinking about the holidays, about our own consumption habits. Lets’ use the coming 20th annual Buy Nothing Day to launch an all-out offensive to unseat the corporate kings on the holiday throne.

This year’s Black Friday will be the first campaign of the holiday season where we set the tone for a new type of holiday culminating with #OCCUPYXMAS. As the global protests of the 99% against corporate greed and casino capitalism continues, lets take the opportunity to hit the empire where it really hurts…the wallet.

On Nov 25/26th we escape the mayhem and unease of the biggest shopping day in North America and put the breaks on rabid consumerism for 24 hours. Flash mobs, consumer fasts, mall sit-ins, community events, credit card-ups, whirly-marts and jams, jams, jams! We don’t camp on the sidewalk for a reduced price tag on a flat screen TV or psycho-killer video game. Instead, we occupy the very paradigm that is fueling our eco, social and political decline.

Historically, Buy Nothing Day has been about fasting from hyper consumerism – a break from the cash register and reflecting on how dependent we really are on conspicuous consumption. On this 20th anniversary of Buy Nothing Day, we take it to the next level, marrying it with the message of #occupy…

We #OCCUPYXMAS.

Shenanigans begin November 25!

for the wild,
Culture Jammers HQ

http://www.adbusters.org/blogs/adbusters-blog/occupyxmas-kicks-nov-2526.html#.Ts5gVhzdlTo.facebook

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November 24, 2011

OWS is not playing the game according to rules of the Establishment (that’s the point)

by StefiaMadelyne

ANNALS OF INNOVATION

How David Beats Goliath

When underdogs break the rules.

by Malcolm Gladwell

MAY 11, 2009

http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2009/05/11/090511fa_fact_gladwell

A brief excerpt:

“Arreguín-Toft found the same puzzling pattern. When an underdog fought like David, he usually won. But most of the time underdogs didn’t fight like David. Of the two hundred and two lopsided conflicts in Arreguín-Toft’s database, the underdog chose to go toe to toe with Goliath the conventional way a hundred and fifty-two times—and lost a hundred and nineteen times. In 1809, the Peruvians fought the Spanish straight up and lost; in 1816, the Georgians fought the Russians straight up and lost; in 1817, the Pindaris fought the British straight up and lost; in the Kandyan rebellion of 1817, the Sri Lankans fought the British straight up and lost; in 1823, the Burmese chose to fight the British straight up and lost. The list of failures was endless. In the nineteen-forties, the Communist insurgency in Vietnam bedevilled the French until, in 1951, the Viet Minh strategist Vo Nguyen Giap switched to conventional warfare—and promptly suffered a series of defeats. George Washington did the same in the American Revolution, abandoning the guerrilla tactics that had served the colonists so well in the conflict’s early stages. “As quickly as he could,” William Polk writes in “Violent Politics,” a history of unconventional warfare, Washington “devoted his energies to creating a British-type army, the Continental Line. As a result, he was defeated time after time and almost lost the war….

This is the second half of the insurgent’s creed. Insurgents work harder than Goliath. But their other advantage is that they will do what is “socially horrifying”—they will challenge the conventions about how battles are supposed to be fought….The price that the outsider pays for being so heedless of custom is, of course, the disapproval of the insider.”

November 24, 2011

Street Art

by StefiaMadelyne

November 24, 2011

Use of Social Media in Revolutions

by StefiaMadelyne

The truth about Twitter, Facebook and the uprisings in the Arab world

Recent events in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt have been called ‘Twitter revolutions’ – but can social networking overthrow a government? Our correspondent reports from the Middle East on how activists are really using the web

The Guardian, Thursday 24 February 2011

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/25/twitter-facebook-uprisings-arab-libya

‎”Precisely how we communicate in these moments of historic crisis and transformation is important. The medium that carries the message shapes and defines as well as the message itself. The instantaneous nature of how social media communicate self-broadcast ideas, unlimited by publication deadlines and broadcast news slots, explains in part the speed at which these revolutions have unravelled, their almost viral spread across a region. It explains, too, the often loose and non-hierarchical organisation of the protest movements unconsciously modelled on the networks of the web.”

November 24, 2011

The Revolution is Love

by StefiaMadelyne

A taste of the upcoming feature documentary, Occupy Love. This is a community funded film. Please support our crowd funding campaign athttp://www.indiegogo.com/Occupy-Love?a=315019&i=addr
“Love is the felt experience of connection to another being. An economist says ‘more for you is less for me.’ But the lover knows that more of you is more for me too. If you love somebody their happiness is your happiness. Their pain is your pain. Your sense of self expands to include other beings. This shift of consciousness is universal in everybody, 99% and 1%.” ~ Charles Eisenstein

This short film was Directed by Ian MacKenzie http://ianmack.com
Co-produced with Velcrow Ripper http://velcrowripper.com
Camera: Ian Mackenzie and Velcrow Ripper
Editing: Ian Mackenzie
Interview by: Velcrow Ripper

CHARLES EISENSTEIN is a teacher, speaker, and writer focusing on themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution.

READ CHARLES BOOK
Visit http://sacred-economics.com to learn more about his ideas for a new economy.

Transcript:

“This movement isn’t about the 99% defeating or toppling the 1%. You know the next chapter of that story, which is that the 99% create a new 1%. That’s not what it’s about.

What we want to create is the more beautiful world our hearts tell us is possible. A sacred world. A world that works for everybody. A world that is healing. A world of peace.

You can’t just say “We demand a world of peace. Demands have to be specific. Anything that people can articulate can only be articulated within the language of the current political discourse. And that entire political discourse is already too small. And that’s why making explicit demands reduces the movement, and takes the heart out of it. So it’s a real paradox, and I think the movement understands that.

The system isn’t working for the 1% either. You know if you were a CEO, you would be making the same choices they do. The institutions have their own logic. Life is pretty bleak at the top too – and all the baubles of the rich are this phoney compensation for the loss of what’s really important. The loss of community, the loss of connection, the loss of intimacy. The loss of meaning.

Everybody wants to live a life of meaning. And today, we live in a money economy where we don’t really depend on the gifts of anybody. But we buy everything. Therefore we don’t really need anybody, because whoever grew my food, or made my clothes, or built by house, well if they die, or if I alienate them, or if they don’t like me, that’s okay because I can just pay someone else to do it.

And it’s really hard to create community if the underlying knowledge is “we don’t need each other.” So people kind of get together and act nice, or maybe they consume together. But joint consumption doesn’t create intimacy. Only joint creativity and gifts create intimacy and connection.

You have such gifts, that are important. Just as every species has an important gift to give to an ecosystem, and the extinction of any species hurts everybody. The same is true of each person, that you have a necessary and important gift to give.

And that for a long time our minds have told us that maybe we’re crazy, that maybe we’re imagining things, that’s its crazy to live according to what you want to give. But I think now, as more and more people wake up to the truth, that we’re here to give, and wake up to that desire, and wake up to the fact that other way isn’t working anyway – the more reinforcement we have from people around us that this isn’t crazy. This is makes sense. This is how to live.

And as we get that reinforcement, then our minds and our logic no longer have to fight against the logic of the heart which wants us to be of service. This shift of consciousness that inspires such things is universal, 99% and the 1% and it’s awakening in different people in different ways.

I think love is the felt experience of connection to another being. An economist says ‘more for you is less for me.’ But the lover knows that more of you is more for me too. If you love somebody their happiness is your happiness. Their pain is your pain. Your sense of self expands to include other beings.

That’s love, love is the expansion of the self to include the other. And that’s a different kind of revolution. There’s no one to fight. There’s no evil to fight. There’s no other in this revolution.

Everybody has a unique calling and it’s really time to listen to that. That’s what the future is going to be. It’s time to get ready for it, and contribute to it, and help make it happen.

November 21, 2011

For Job Hunters, Digital Merit Badges

by Nick Brewer

A great article on using merit badges to help employers find out more about prospective employees.

The badges will not replace résumés or transcripts, but they may be a convenient supplement, putting the spotlight on skills that do not necessarily show up in traditional documents — highly specialized computer knowledge, say, or skills learned in the military, in online courses or in after-school programs at museums or libraries.

“The badges can give kids credit for the extraordinary things they are learning outside of school,” as well as being a symbol of lifelong learning for adults, said Connie M. Yowell, director of education grant-making at the MacArthur Foundation in Chicago.

November 18, 2011

Occupy London takes over UBS abandoned building

by hstrykdiy

I thought this action was a beautiful way to reclaim an abandoned space – especially one owned by a financial giant. I felt this action bridged together the Occupy movement with ideas we have talked about in class – one that immediately comes to mind is Trade School. This action (if it’s allowed to continue) could potentially help to invalidate arguments against the movement (i.e, they aren’t being productive, they are “lazy”).

via Telegraph UK

The building they have taken over at Crown Place belongs to, but is not occupied by, UBS and no business transactions take place there.

The activists plan to set up a “bank of ideas” there tomorrow and open the disused offices and meeting rooms to “those who have lost their nurseries, community centres and youth clubs due to savage Government spending cuts”.

A programme of events has been drawn up, including talks from Palestinian activists and comedy by Josie Long, they said.

…Occupy London supporter Jack Holburn said: “While over 9,000 families were kicked out of their homes in the last three months for failing to keep up mortgage payments – mostly due to the recession caused by the banks – UBS and other financial giants are sitting on massive abandoned properties.

“As banks repossess families’ homes, empty bank property needs to be repossessed by the public.

“Yesterday we learned that the Government has failed to create public value out of banking failure. We can do better. We hope this is the first in a wave of ‘public repossessions’ of property belonging to the companies that crashed the global economy.”

…Activist Sarah Layler said: “The bank of ideas will host a full events programme where people will be able to trade in creativity rather than cash.

“We will also make space available for those that have lost their nurseries, community centres and youth clubs to savage Government spending cuts.”

November 16, 2011

A Different Take: Developing and Fostering Queer Youth Media

by Natalia Guerrero

The 24th New York Queer Experimental Film festival will take place Nov 15-20. On Saturday 19th at 2pm there will be a space held to show the work of youth who have participated in peer-based/ mentor driven workshop for media makers in the program A Different Take. The entrance is Free a there will be a space to engage with the participants in a discussion.

MIX NYC Queer Experimental Film Festival’s “A Different Take” program is a free media training program for at risk LGBT youth. For more information, see http://www.mixnyc.org, or contact info@mixnyc.org

For those interested in youth media this could be another opportunity to see how this process is being facilitated  in this particular workshop.

November 15, 2011

dinner & a show

by noah

Wednesday night I’m hosting a FMLY dinner & a show in Bushwick and thought it’d be so nice to extend the invitation to this blog and the class. Dinner & a Show is a series my friends and I began in Los Angeles over the summer, and it has since extended into Brooklyn, Eau Claire (Wisconsin), and hopefully beginning real soon in Philly and Boston. The driving theme is to allow aural interaction to merge with the most pleasant of senses, and develop community outside of the codified space of venues whether they be corporate sponsored or an active diy loft space. These dinners are not meant to happen solely for the sake of pleasure, but to provide a means of intimate exchange [and a cushion for gas funds] for our friends that are on tour. Some folks who have joined us along the way have been Foxes in Fiction (Toronto), Candy Claws (Colorado), Yohuna (Wisconsin), Cloud Nothings (Ohio), and so many more buds.

My friends Hear Hums are on tour, coming from Gainesville, Florida, and this seems like the most appropriate way to welcome them back to Brooklyn. Also playing is Emily Reo and the Spookfish who has been traveling through Asia & Europe for the last few years in addition to a stint as Grouper‘s choirboy for a project in Portland. Before all of the music begins I’ll also present my workshop, Writing Home, and collect the first of many rounds of postcards. Needless to say I can not wait. I’ll be cooking all vegetarian and vegan friendly foods, and invite you to bring anything that you would like as well! Here is the facebook event with all of the info you’ll need ❤

And here’s a video that my Florida FMLY put together in promotion of the new Hear Hums album… Mitch and Kenzie are honestly some of the most incredible sound-makers I've ever met and the sweetest friends one could ask for. I really hope that some of you can share this experience, it's going to be a truly unique night.

November 11, 2011

Make Your Own Damn Movie!

by Tom Tenney

Hey everyone,

One of the legends of DIY filmmaking, Lloyd Kaufman, is doing a talk next Tuesday at SVA entitled “Make Your Own Damn Movie!”  For those aren’t familiar with Troma films, Kaufman is the genius behind such masterpieces as The Toxic Avenger, Class of Nuke ‘Em High, Sgt. Kabukiman, Terror Firmer and dozens others.  The talk is from 6:30-8:00, so you’ll probably have to leave a few minutes early to get to class in time, but I’m sure it will still be well worth it.  Here’s all the details:

Calling all aspiring filmmakers! We’re looking forward to seeing you at next Tuesday’s seminar with Lloyd Kaufman.  Be sure to RSVP at www.cencom.org. You can also reach us atinfo@cencom.org or 212.686.5005.

Make Your Own Damn Movie!

Just because you own a Flip and Final Cut Pro doesn’t mean you can make a movie anybody wants to see. To learn how it’s done, don’t miss the opportunity to hear from low-budget movie king Lloyd Kaufman, who runs Troma Entertainment, the longest-running independent film studio in the U.S.  Mr. Kaufman has produced and directed over 25 movies, including the popular hits:Tromeo and Juliet and Poultrygeist: Night of the Chicken Dead. Directors Quentin Tarantino and Peter Jackson cite Kaufman’s cult fave The Toxic Avenger as a major influence on their work.

Lloyd Kaufman, President and Co-Founder, Troma Entertainment

Presented with the Film, Video and Animation Department at SVA. 

Book signing of Sell Your Own Damn Movie! and Make Your Own Damn Movie! follows the discussion. 

WHEN: Tuesday, November 15, 6:30 to 8:00 pm

WHERE: School of Visual Arts Theater, 333 West 23rd Street (8th and 9th Aves.)

November 8, 2011

Children’s museum!!

by diydonaldreed

Yesterday I visited a friend who works at the Children’s museum on 103 Charlton St. Its located in lower Manhattan, I think west village. Any who it was amazing, and surprisingly enough was very DIY oriented. What I thought was going to be art that children would like, or child themed, was actually children making the art and encouraged to make art on public spaces. There works were hung up everywhere, and some were remarkable. Here are some pictures I took of my experience.

November 8, 2011

OWS: 7 Inspiring Videos, 3 Interactive Maps

by czenyilu22

7 Videos

Rural Farmers Unite to Feed Occupy Wall Street Protestors

Consensus: Meerkatmedia.org

Asmaa MahFouz @ Occupy Wall Street

Why Occupy Portland?

Amy Goodman (Democracy Now) & Chris Hedges (Truthdig) on Charlie Rose

Where Do We Go From Here?

I am not moving.

3 Maps

ESRI: Occupy Wall Street Social Media Map

theguardian: DataBlog

Google

November 7, 2011

“DIY: Revolution 3.0–Beta”

by hstrykdiy

knitta tank
Writer Dennis Stevens recently wrote an article titled, “DIY: Revolution 3.0–Beta” found on American Crafts Magazine’s website. I found the article to be quite interesting, however despite Stevens’ disclaimer: “… I am not making a simple series of generalizations about generations, social movements and the experience of groups of people,” – he ends up doing exactly that. Now, to be fair – he was trying to cover a lot of territory in a relatively short article. Stevens is comparing studio craft with “diy craft”. His goal is to “place the DIY craft movement within the larger cultural context of generational movements, as these craft practitioners comprise groups whose values and aims need to be acknowledged and understood.” He had my attention through most of the article and then at the end he completely disappointed me:

…The effect is that regardless of their political ambitions, anytime someone needlepoints a pleasant-looking phrase gleefully embedded with curse words, knits a skull and crossbones or makes a cozy for a tank, these cultural statements demonstrate 1) the semiotic literacy of the generation, 2) the nostalgic irony through which this generation prefers to operate and 3) how cynicism sometimes finds its way to the surface of this creative work. Quite simply, this work makes its cultural statements indirectly and quietly. Rather than bringing revolution to the front door and kicking it open, as their parents may have hoped to do, these independent makers are using the disarming and unassuming aesthetic of diy craft’s remixed domestic creativity to make subversive statements about the world in which they live.

I have to say that in my personal opinion the acts of creating a needlepoint with curse words or knitting a skull and crossbones are completely different than making “a cozy for a tank”. The first two examples are quite passive acts and I can understand his claim that the “work makes its cultural statements indirectly and quietly”. The pink tank he is referring to is ‘Pink M.24 Chaffee‘, a piece by Danish artist Marianne Jorgensen.

via Jorgensen’s site:

The pink covering consists of more than a 4000 pink squares- 15 x 15 centimetres – knitted by volunteers from Denmark, the UK , USA and several other countries. People were invited through Cast Off Knitting Club, from friend to friend either by word of mouth or over the internet, and by a number of knitting groups made for this specific project, or other already existing knitting groups.

Although the piece was placed in front of the Nikolaj Contemporary Art Center in Copenhagen, and thus an arranged, commissioned piece, I still find this to be a louder act of protest than Stevens’ so neatly wraps up as “indirect and quiet”. I feel that craftivism and DIY craft can make their statements passively, but I also believe there are makers out there making statements through their craft that are “bringing revolution to the front door and kicking it open”. I also don’t believe it’s fair to either outlet to wrap indie craft up with craftivism. Just as with any act of art placement and intent is key. Is the piece meant for personal use? Is it a guerrilla act reclaiming a public space? Is it meant to address social unrest? Is it the act of one artist or a collective? If, as Stevens writes, “these craft practitioners comprise groups whose values and aims need to be acknowledged and understood” – then I think they deserve to be free of such generalizations.

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