A river that needs crossing political and tech blogs - On the political side, there is arrogance and ignorance, on the geek side there is naivety and over- complexity

My videos are on these two youtube channels visionontv 3,832,876 views and undercurrents 22,689,976 views


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The tech manifesto of the OMN


In tech development the are many paths and some of these lead to much more fertile ground to cultivate for the open internet/open society path that the ONM is taking.

We clearly reject:

* Client server relationships.

* Closed security culture.

* Geek only designer aesthetics and vanilla geek culture in general.

* Data ownership and closed licensing.

We vocally support:

* Peer to peer relationships and crossover federated client server infrastructure.

* Open security culture, with appropriate limited closed peer to peer security.

* A balance of geek usability and outreach simplicity – the ability to switch in the same app between the two.

* Geek embracing and mingling other cultures.

* Open data formats and CC licensing.

The OMN is open to any open-source/open-data/open-licence project free software projects. The are a number of a applications we like:

Liferay.com – Completely built in the right way from a standardise based approach, but owned by a controlling agandered profit/survival driven company.

Retroshear – an open source Peer to Peer client, dose pretty much all we need for personal security and communication.

Would it be possible to tide these together into a open globel – peer to peer secure cross over platform based on the retrosher app and the liferay API?

Popcorn time - Torrent streaming, can we use this with archive.org API to host and seed the torrents to provide video distribution and hosting.

OMN - RSS mashup network, for us this would be base on the Liferay platform and the video distributed vier the popcorn time app.

The clever use of HTML5 webapps on smart phones.

FAQ - why use open websites

We need to get activist to actually use alternative net infrastructure.


Q. Its to complex to use this geek software.

A. So was Facebook when it started, almost nobody understood what twitter was for for ages – all new experiences are hard. Its actually ONLY a question of motivation then familiarisation through repartition.

Q. Activist internet site are ugly – if they just look nicer people might actually use them.

A. After bad UI is put to one side (and this can be an issue) the is a direct correlation between full user functionality and bad looking sites – you can make site look nicer by dis-empowering the user or by shaping and controlling there interactions – but freedom always looks messy just look at Facebook its one of the more messy sites out there – it overcomes this issue by good UI and familiarity – people get used to “functionality - ugliness” after they use the software every day.

Q. My activist site has no way for the “user” to be part of the site beyond limited commenting.

A. Yes activist sites are generally in the stone age of hierarchical control freakery, use sites that are web02 not web01 the actually are some projects out their. Complain to admins if the is no peer -to- peer production on an activist site, then actually use the peer production tools they set-up such as wikis and forums.

Q. Why not just use Facebook groups/ fashionable web2 site, every one is on there anyway.

A. This way leads to the death of the open internet/society LINK

Q. Can i trust activist sites with my privacy.

A. On corporate site's that most activist use, such as Facebook you can only hide from your friends not from your enermys. This is generally true for the open web in general and is something we need to understand. If you have a secret take the activist to the garden and whisper it in there ear, do not rely on any fig leafs of corporate privacy settings or promise of activist client server encryption LINK

Advice on new laptop and phone

If you use a Mac, buy a Mac, if you use a PC buy a PC, if you are undecided buy a PC as Macs are for the slave mentality – its a locked down, but functional, world in Mac land. For PC laptops I recommend thinkpads duel booting into Ubuntu. The use the Ubuntu side with liber office, Firefox, chrome etc. to do all your normal work, including all work on the web. Then only boot into the windows side for video editing and legacy programs, don’t surf the web on the windows side.

For phones, buy a relatively modern android smart phone, the are lots of them. The currently isn’t a good choice for data networks at the moment, Giffgaff used to be very good as you got unlimited data and could tether your phone, they have implemented tethering detection which makes them less useful. I still use giffgaff as its still a good deal as it runs on the reliable 02 network, up for suggestions for alternatives.


Quality Refurbished laptops - Thinkpad

I recommend buying a Refurbished Thinkpad laptop to activists.

T series - are good soled general use laptops

X series are small and very low power for protest camps and solar power setups

Used ThinkPads are cheap because after businesses are done with them, which is 3-4 years after they’ve been released, they flood the market. 

Why ThinkPad?

  • They’re really cheap when you buy a used one
  • Splash-proof keyboard
  • Keyboards feel excellent while typing
  • Great Durability
  • Utilitarian design
  • Spare parts are easy and cheap to obtain
  • Easy to repair, upgrade and maintain
  • TrackPoint (that red thing on the middle of the keyboard), great for those who type a lot

Find out more here http://www.ktgee.net/post/49423737148/thinkpad-guide

Look on ebay for good prices it changes all the time here is a link that might still be good


Boat Life - Battery power

Need at least 4 big battery’s http://www.alpha-batteries.co.uk/boat-batteries/225-ah-xplorer-leisure-battery/ could have more depending on space under the floor. Then cabling to put them all in series and charging for solar arrays and wind turbine, would need a selection of charge controllers and heavy-duty cabling – then lighter cabling around the boat for LED lighting

The battery’s will need to be put into a battery box with external ventilation.

Wordpress, friend or foe for activism?


In tech the successful part of the corporate internet is building peer-to-peer(ish) web projects. This is after the wholesale failure of the top-down hierarchical internet that went bankrupt in the dotcom boom. facebook and twitter, 4square and instagram, youtube etc are all built on horizontal(ish) peer production. Activism is still in the sterile and narrow dotcom boom of vertical knowledge production and distribution. The perfect tool widely used for this is the wordpress blogging platform. It's a tool for a single voice, for the top to speak to the foot solderers. Beyond its commenting system the is no peer production in a wordpress setup.

The hierarchical corporations are doing peer to peer production, the horizontal activists are doing top-down hierarchical. If the wholesale failure of activism wasn’t important I would laugh at them. Here is an advert from frackoff:

"This spring, Frack Off are sponsoring Wordpress training for a dozen new local anti-fracking groups across the country and are looking for Wordpress trainers who will work for train fare, money for a pasty or two and of course the good feeling of doing something worthwhile for a really good cause. Frack Off need at least three or four tech activists who know their way round Wordpress to deliver the training in various parts of the country.

At the risk of overselling the project, this will be a great opportunity for someone to do a spot of travelling and meet some of the local campaigners and grassroots activists who are giving hell to the frackers and working to get this destructive practice stopped before it gets started in the UK."

This represents a failure in every way imaginable, a failure of ideology, a failure of strategic thinking, a failure of leadership. And a failure of social change. Tech activism is currently not going anywhere.

There is nothing inherently wrong with wordpress. It's a fine tool for nice looking top-down single voice web portals. Where the wrongness lies is in the activist media use of it as the "tool" to build an internet site for activist campaigning. It is the wrong tool for this.

Activist peer to peer tools would be wikis http://en.wikipedia.org

Sites that have activity feeds such as http://visionon.tv

Aggregating sites http://globalviews.visionon.tv

Ps. I use the (ish) for corporate peer to peer production as it is ONLY the face of P2P. Underneath it is a solid controlling hierarchy just like it always was.

PR firm Bell Pottinger, clients include the Cuadrilla fracking company and members of the family of Bashar al-Assad

The "Sticky 6" were acquitted of all charges related to them superglueing themselves to the doors of Bell Pottinger, a PR company working for the likes of Cuadrilla, who explore potential fracking sites in the UK, and a host of other unsavoury clients.




6 courageous women were acquitted of aggravated trespass and criminal damage, with "no case to answer". They were arrested during the Reclaim the Power protest in August 2013 against exploratory oil drilling in Balcombe, West Sussex. "Allegedly" they had superglued themselves to the entrance of corporate PR firm Bell Pottinger, whose clients include the Cuadrilla fracking company and members of the family of Bashar al-Assad. 

Boat life - heading out of london west

Light portable solar laptop power

This might be a good portable low powered laptop charging system.

Mercury27 Portable & Foldable 27 Watts Solar Battery Charger. I haven’t tested this and it gets mixed reviews but for bang for the buck this is a very good deal if it works. Get it here

MP3450E-60 27,000 mAh Dual External Battery Pack. For a more portable set-up you could use a single battery.

If anyone is doing a trip to the USA I would be up up for ordering one if they could brining it back to test.

Boat life - ArrivIng in Little Venice


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