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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Entries with tag ngo .

Fashernisat

I have been talking about the fashernisatas for the last few years, its an idea/group that I have been struggling to work with my whole time in the alt/grassroots. So what is a #fahernista?  
A group of individuals who value/push there own individual advancement over the needs of the croup and community, generally they do not realise or see that they are doing this. This has the end affect of diluting and killing off possible alternatives and selling “grassroots” to NGO's and corporatist agenda’s.  #fashernista takeing over projects in hand with the geek problem's has lead to endless dead-ends in all alt/grassroots tech. Most recently this has manifested in encrypt everything, bitcoin/blockchain ect. this is a dead end.

The #OMN linking project is basic tech that I have been working on for more than 10 years, in past times the has been more interesting tech/social problems in alt/grassroots media to work on so linking has taken a back seat as its basic stuff. At this stage we only have the basics left. Lets take a first step linking alt/grassroots producers, and build tools to push this into a  #rebooted open web to start the needed move out of the #dotcon ghetto's. Lets try as hard as we can to avoid #fahernisa take over of this basic #reboot. #fahernista will set-up parallel projects, raise parallel funding, push these into the traditional media and dominate the #dotcon conversation. Non of this inevitable pointless #fahernista noise should distract from the basics, as it will just flash bang and fad into nothing. Keep the basics going, linking, building. In the long term the rest is noise, distraction, for the conspiracy minded its our very own “false flag”.

Hummm... how to spot drift into the #fahernisat agenda?

The is a strong anti-dote in the #4opens

 

Some thoughts on the OMN idea

You would have to be very out of touch not to see that echo chambers are inherent to #failbook and historically less on #twitter though they have changed over to a algorithmic time line you have to opt out of. The OMN is only moderated by humans. It has a built in "market" that rewards trust thus actively builds out human networks. Groups that link will grow, thoughs who do not will slide back as others move forward.

Arrogance & Ignorance and how to get past this blocking is the issue. You don't overcome A&I that's not an option. But getting round it is well possible. The OMN is built on the human condition of trust and serendipity. Both hard human sells, but both the only values we have if your not up for shooting people dead to get your way.

Echo chamber is just a #fashernesta word for feeding prejudice in this it's the same as buying a tabloid in the old days or listing to R4 and only shouting at the radio when you disagree. The OMN opens - echo chamber closes. Of course we understand that "open" is not a solution, but it is better than closed...

Its easy to misses the point about "open data" you don't have any control of the machine network that the #dotcon work with. And if you understand the issues with geeks you will likely never have power over complex digital tools. The way out of this is in the #4opens this "forces" the geeks lose of the power they desire and need to be motivated. In this you have a riddle which is not solved by logic - maybe solved by emotion? The OMN cannot be built with logic, It might be able to be built by emotion. I think this is likely the root of many missing understandings? You can't stop the geeks/fashernista desire to fuckup but the is hope of mediating it with the #4opens that's about it.

The are issue's with algorithmic options in general “who guards the guardians” the #4opens are a safety feature that the #dotcon will remove. You would have to be very deluded to believe that #failbook works in a society sense no matter what individuals say, you should know this.

The Q. Is how to get a KISS project past alt apathy, geek complexity and fashernista... well just fashernista... #fashernesta = "stupid individualism" if your reading my older posts.

Part 2

Am more a #fuckup rather than #conspiracy type of guy but the lack of linking is a clear issue to be addressed.

The data, it's a soup, the sites are just spoons that dip. You get to choose by linking were the value is. Every one can have a spoon if they like (but talent will out, some spoons will have more value than others) so it's #4opens to linking and content. A silo is a single site like #failbook and the sites listed in this post. On the web the value is in linking content is just something to link to.

Silos host/horde content, if they don't link they have limited value.

Rebooting the open web

The OMN is based on a simple understanding that the last 10 years have been wasted on #dotcoms and #encryptionists delusions. In this NGO's, activists and at-geeks have wasted the open webs potential to shift society to a more humain path.  

To move beyond this decaying circle we need to #reboot the basic infrastructure that has been allowed to decay. Early “web02” was based on open features that crossed website boundary's in a way unthinkable today. A partial list of has been complied here https://medium.com/@anildash/the-lost-infrastructure-of-social-media-d2b95662ccd3#.rcs7irbas

The OMN project can be built out to overlap many of the projects listed, at its core it is Aggregation, linking and metadata. Its one of the steps for #reboot

Publishing – we have no problem with this though technically (though phones are becoming more of a isolation issue) the are lots of existing CMS and tools outside the #dontcons that can be used, many of them are kinda 4opens though most miss the KISS part.

Search – this is lost and hard to regain but the is space for a clever use of “adblocking” browser plug-ins replacing adverts with OMN content while obscuring the data mining that the #dotcons are cash powered by.

Comments – this is a hard one to solve but the problem is meditated by linking back to the source of articles. To OMN this part could be done with a a few open standards – but pushing this out would be hard. A back burner issue.

Responses – can use the existing “open standards” maybe choosing a KISS implementation to #reboot

Likes/Favourites – we build a back end version of this as core to the OMN, how to front end this is a interesting avant-garde project that we should implement in different “standard” ways after OMN boot up.

Updates – is core to what the OMN is.

Identity – try #rebooting a KISS implementation of the existing open standards use this in the OMN roll out, use it, but don’t push it hard as its going to be hard to overcome the #dotcom on this one.

Friends list – half core to the OMN, can attempt to #reboot this as part of the RSS “object” aggregation your identity is a object to be aggregated.

Following – is a core part of the RSS OMN project.

Syndication – this is the core of the project using existing tools based on RSS

API – a #reboot of Atom pub is a likely useful part of the OMN for the synchronisation of content.

Metadata – in the OMN this is a KISS fockonermy that a more systematic labelling rules can be built on. A KISS roll-out of the semantic web is what the OMN is about. Creative commons will be at its core.

Discovery and tagging – is what the OMN is and it allows easy uptake by alt-media producers, who dues not wont there content to be seen by more people and traffic driven to there sites.

Analytics – can be built up as the project expands, the current #dotcon tools will work fine on roll-out as its just the open web.

Advertising – is up to the individual sites (with reference to the CC licensing of content) the tools of the OMN could be used to roll out a #4opens advertising network if some one was interested. The creative use of “adblockers” has a roll here?

Aggregation – is what is core to the OMN the back end of this is no more than a “small number” of people. The output is as wide as the openweb allows and can be feed as links into the #dotcom

Time shifting & reading – can be added to the OMN tools using basic user RSS lists.

The Lessons - “there's (almost) nothing new under the sun.” this is at its core a #reboot of existing projects/standerds rolled out as KISS as possible with in the small existing network of alt/grassrots media. From there...

A big socerty community center the Hive Dalston

The Hive Dalston - big society community centre a product of voluntarism and activist fashion with dose of hipster. Started out as an exciting project between radical (free party/activist) squatters and a more mainstream arts groups. The idea was to take up and use the Tory “big society” legalisation that had been pushed though at the start of the Cameroon government but has been lieing fallow since.

The is a incentive for the social use of empty property, that landlords could get local tax exceptions for their empty buildings if these buildings were put into local community use. As with most Tory ideas this was actually a direct attack on locale democracy, by starving it of the tax revenue and potently replacing its core social services with volunteers rather than paid professionals. Any use of this “legislation” would have to walk a tipe rope to stay within the system, to sustain the project, while not falling into the trap of pushing the Tory agenda of privatisation and NGO thinking that are core to the ideas of a “big society”.

The Hive soon failed this tightrope walk and fell into the direct Tory project, the fragile radicalism pushed aside and the space filled with wannabe “arts” and NGO spiritual fashion, it became a scruffy “community centre” on the cheap. If it survives and spreads its a viable model for replacing what’s left of the pail shades of the bureaucratic “pay your way” centres that are left over from the more rigid social justice/culture as social good of the 1970's heydays.

The resulting burn out and walk away has left the Hive project less than shiny, its make or brake for it to find the next space. Can projects like this walk a tipe rope to stay sustainable while remaining relevant is the question. And do people care unuf for this question. to actually matter is the root of the issue of this post.

Media Democracy Festival at Goldsmiths (review)

The alt-media gatherings have been suffering from the tyranny of the funders for more years than I care to remember. The is a big problem of the chattering classes in alt-media.


This is a DRAFT over view of the gathering from a working grassroots perspective.


Comments in italics are by me.

=== Festival ===

To help build a movement for#MediaDemocracy we're holding a big Media Democracy Festival at Goldsmiths, University of London on October 17th 2015.

9am - 10am: Arrivals/ registration - Great Hall

== Speakers ==

10am - 11.30am: Great Hall

The day will start with some great speakers setting the scene and explaining why Media Democracy is so important. Confirmed speakers include:

Setting the scene with “big” speakers and panels is a disaster that creates the very thing you should be trying to avoid.

= Aral Balkan =
A designer & social entrepreneur creating independent technologies that protect our fundamental freedoms & democracy.

Flash and fashion is what I see on his website, am shore he is a nice guy but - Have been on his site now for half and hour and I still don’t know what he is building – think this is to do with his strap line - Independence ★ Democracy ★ Design – he is building him self so he can speak at gigs more expensive than this. FAIL

= Natalie Fenton =
Professor of Media and Communications at Goldsmiths, Co-Director of the Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre and Centre for the Study of Global Media and Democracy, a founding member of the Media Reform Coalition and Board Director of Hacked Off.

Agen am sure a lovely person but not building alt-media, she is talking about alt-media in academia speech in articles that are not assessable to “grassroots people” - must admit I asleep trying to reading the PDF's and am probably in one somewhere.

= Kam Sandhu =
A journalist and co-founder of Real Media, an independent news website and aggregator that campaigns for public interest journalism and against mass media distortion. Kam has written and produced several short documentaries, and also founded RealFare, where she spent over two years reporting on the effects of austerity on welfare and inequality before Real Media.

She works hard and is doing outreach grassroots media, but, she is directly responsible for building a portal strait out of the 20th century as her tool for outreach.... if she was talking about this experience it would ad-value – but she won’t be.

= Michelle Stanistreet =

Michelle is the elected general secretary of the National Union of Journalists (UK and Ireland). Michelle worked as a journalist for 10 years at the Sunday Express newspaper as feature writer and books editor.

Just to say I am a member of the NUJ and been to conferences, still occasionally go to branch meetings, more for the free beer and the chance that it might have changed than the union it self. The NUJ and altmedia history is interesting and would be good if she was talking about that directly.

11.30am - 12pm: Break, and the great chair re-arrange, Great Hall

== Open Space Unconference ==

12 - 6pm: Great Hall (with breakout sessions in various classrooms)

The bit that should add value! :)

The bulk of the day will be a self-organising open space unconference facilitated by Johnnie Moore. Everyone will be free to propose a session that answers our central question: How can we create media democracy?

Sessions already lined-up include:

* Drew Rose from Bristol Cable and Danielle Batist from Positive News doing a session on Media Co-ops.

Good background and positive news have done a interesting crowed funding relaunch – did it work?

* Andy Williams from Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies and Sam Kinch from Hastings Independent on Community Journalism.

Academics – what do they bring to building in a practical way?

* Jonathan Heawood from IMPRESS and Natalie Fenton from Hacked Off with an update on Leveson and why a recognised press regulator could be good for small publishers.

The more traditional media side of the event

* Mike Flood Page of Open Democracy's OurBeeb will be asking does public service broadcasting have a future?

The more traditional media side of the event

* Matteo Bergamini from Shout Out UK's and Susana Giner from Youth Media Agency on Changing Perceptions of the Youth in the Media.

NGO's are rarely about media, more about social work, will this be talked about?

* Open Democracy's Adam Ramsay on How Climate Change is Reported in the Media.

Traditional media agen

* Richard Hering from visionOntv on How to Build the Citizen TV Revolution.

A altmedia project that needs a re-boot to escape sliding into a NGO world, am involved in this one.

* Bectu Writers, Producers and Directors branch members Chester Yang and Marcus Relton on their plans for a progressive internet TV station in partnership with the trade unions.

The is a long abortive history to this subject – have they/will they address it?

* Gail Bradbrook from Compassionate Revolution on collective acts of civil disobedience and media reform, looking at the legal side of sabotaging the media, brainstorming cheerful subversive actions.

A local NGO'sh media project?

= Film =

Alongside the open space they'll be screenings of related documentaries including:

The Fourth Estate with a Q&A with Director Lee Salter

El Diario de Agustin (Agustin's Newspaper), with a Q&A hosted by Alborada.

Plus:

10 minute summary presentations running on a loop from Centre for Investigative Journalism:

The Centre for Investigative Journalism – An introduction to the organisation

Data Stories - Using data to find, write and explain news stories, from Excel to SQL

Interactive Storytelling - The cutting edge of innovation in digital narrative methods

Advanced Online Research - Tips and tricks for getting the most out of the internet

The FOIA: Problems and pitfalls - Getting the most out of your requests.

Information Security – Keeping your communication secure

Company Accounts – ‘Follow The Money’ investigations into illicit finance

= Workshops =

Half hour taster sessions run by the Centre for Investigative Journalism.

15:00-15:30

Data Stories - Using data to find, write and explain news stories, from Excel to SQL, led by Juliet Ferguson.

Might be interesting, but about producing media.

15:30-16:00

The FOIA: Problems and pitfalls - Getting the most out of your requests, led by Sid Ryan.

Useful basic stuff – but with out working alt-media what good is content?

16:00-16:30

Interactive Storytelling - The cutting edge of innovation in digital narrative methods, led by Marina Calland.

The problem is in the basics – not the cutting edge...

16:30-17:00

Information Security – Keeping your communication secure, led by Tom Sanderson.

This is a subject that needs a open descusern – were this will likely be a closed presentation?

== Party (and live crowdfunding) ==

6pm - late.

Live crowdfunding of media projects, spoken word, live music, and DJs. In the evening we're partnering with Filanthropy to organise a party from 6pm - late in the Student Union. This will include the opportunity for 3 projects to pitch to the room and invite pledges of financial and other support from the crowd (who will be able to decide which projects get £5 of their ticket money, plus anything else they feel inspired to contribute).

If you've got a media project that could really do with £500-1000 to help get you started then APPLY NOW http://s.coop/mediaform for your chance to pitch to the room!

= LIVE BAND: United Vibrations =
We're very pleased that incredible local band and festival favourites United Vibrations will be joining us for the party.

= SPOKEN WORD: Anthony Anaxagorou, Deanna Rodger and Potent Whisper =
These amazing wordsmiths will be kicking the party off with their inspirational lyrics and wordplay.

== Who's coming to the Media Democracy Festival? ==

We've already got loads of great projects and groups signed up to participate, including:

Real Media - an aggregator of independent news

Good project but needs to move out of 20th century thinking, think they might manage this and could become a core of a rejuvenated alt-media.

Hacked Off - the campaign for a free and accountable press

Trying to save the mainstream media needs to be done but its a loseing battle – and a distraction if this is the main option.

Consented - "a multi-media platform for those who aren’t accurately represented by the mainstream"

its another wordpress blog I have not heard or seen – could be useful as a part of a wider network but vanishing pointless isolated.

Campaign for Press and Broadcasting Freedom - for a more accountable, freer and diverse media.

Trying to save the mainstream media needs to be done but its a loseing battle – and a distraction if this is the main option.

Positive News - the world’s first publication dedicated to reporting positive developments, recently transformed into the first a global media co-op.

Interested to find out what they have been upto.

Bristol Cable - a media co-operative – created and owned by people in Bristol who run free events, a multimedia website and a free quarterly print newspaper.

A local media portal - could be useful as a part of a wider network but vanishing pointless isolated.

The Centre for Investigative Journalism - Investigative journalism, critical inquiry, and in-depth reporting and research.

Takes up a lot of NGO'ish funding to help prop up the falling moral standards of traditional media – some one has to do it. But with out an alternative....

The IMPRESS Project - for independent self-regulation of the press - and looking set to become the first recognised press regulator under the Royal Charter that came out of the Leveson inquiry

Some one has to do it but were is the alt?

People's Assembly Against Austerity - bring together campaigns against cuts and privatisation with trade unionists in a movement for social justice.

A functionally closed silo group filled with bureaucratic infighting and power politics – more part of the problem than part of the solution

Permaculture Magazine - an independent reader supported magazine all about practical solutions for self-reliance.

Posh people doing things posh people do – nice if you can afford the lifestyle. Could be a “healthy part” of an alt – if the was one.  

visionOntv - who aim for the widest possible distribution of video for social change.

Has some interesting offshoots and what’s left of its video embeds are an actual functioning alt-media even if most of the tech is half broken. Am involve in this one http://openworlds.info/

Hastings Independent - the local non-profit community newspaper for Hastings & St Leonards on Sea

Could be part of a alt-media network if the was one.

Radical Film Network - a network for which those involved in radical film culture to work together and support its development, growth and sustainability.

Nice people doing nice things, but with the closeting of alts its rearguard and academic.

Shout Out UK - an independent news network that, via journalism, film and events, aims to show young people that politics has a direct impact on everything you do in life.

A 20 century portal I have not heard or seen, could become part of an alt.

Youth Media Agency - the National home for UK Youth Media: raising the profile of, and supporting, over 300 exciting media platforms.

Its NGO with not much going for it as far as my glance at their site sees.

Through the Cracks - a news website devoted to coverage of reporting, storytelling and news startups made possible with the use of crowdfunding.

Its a dotcom silo that will fad into irrelevance.

Alborada - a UK based magazine, events and documentary producer covering Latin America

Could be part of building an alt?

London Socialist Film Co-op - arranges screenings where people can see films and take part in a panel discussion.

I like their side bar link, but have never been to one of their screenings.

Inform My Opinion - a podcast series on various social, political, economic, environmental subjects and activism (mainly in London), featuring voices of people who are well-informed and those who want to speak.

Small, they have a RSS feed so could be part of an alt.

Let Me Look TV - broadcasting videos they like or have produced (mostly activism stuff), and helping others broadcast their material too.

Can only find social media...

Stop the War Coaltion - Stop the War was founded in September 2001 in the weeks following 9/11, when George W. Bush announced the "war on terror". Stop the War has since been dedicated to preventing and ending the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and elsewhere.

Mouldy chestnuts come to mind, closed and bureaucratic.

Goldsmiths Deptartment of Media and Communications

Goldsmiths Student Union

== Media Democracy Meetups ==

In the run up to the Festival we've been hosting a monthly Media Democracy Meetup in London

If you think Media Moguls and Press Barons have too much power and influence in our society, want to protect and democratise the BBC, would love to see media co-ops in every community or just work as an independent journalist, photographer or film maker, then this Meetup is for you.

We want all the various threads/ groups working on some part of Media Democracy to talk to each other more and hopefully become a rich tapestry and the beginnings of a power movement for Media Democracy in the UK.

Come along to meet more Media Activists, help organise the Festival and feed into our forthcoming Media Activism Toolkit. See also our related Media Democracy Facebook group.

What would a new book on “grassroots media” look like


A thinking allowed DRAFT

Was sitting on me boat roof with a bottle of wine talking to me publisher friend about the video activism book, with a refocuses she would be up for helping to publishing it.

From my point of view it need to be based on the complete lack of current grassroots media.

So needs to start by answering what is grass roots media.

* DIY culture, bit of history
* balancing the wider picture, voices balancing, roots, steams and flowers.
* this means majority but not exclusively from the roots to balance traditional and NGO media.

Building networks (ecosystems) - (the flower medow whole)
* the value of the open web (the soil)
* use and abuse the spiders web of corporate “social media” and hosting (the bugs)
* linking and embedding aggregation (openmedia network project) (the growth)

How dose it differ from:
Traditional media
NGO media/Community media
“new media” and “social media”

[we need to briefly slorter each of these]



Then all the video templates and how to's etc. The body.

Then at the end a chapter on sustainability in the “sharing age”
* monetisation is distributed and DIY (not centralised) sharing gets you distribution its up to you to sought out motorisation if you wont.

Then need a concushern  rallying cry that people can/should  rebuild a “unbranded” network.

To recap as a old testament biblical epic

Build a alter to the grassroots

Saluter the failings of the past as a blood offerings

Then temple workshops on the “cult” ways

Concluding with a fable on cult responsibility’s

Ending with lift our voices in song to a courus of how the world should be.



The is a possible schizophrenia here were it makes sense to dull the book down to expand the audience to the NGO's and education as they have the cash – but then the would be little difference to the other 3-4 failed pointless books out their facking and selling out “grassroots media” to “publishers”. That would be both sad and bad outcome.

After thought:

ie.we need to nurture from were our good come from - thus a rebalenceing of values
the grassroots


 

Lets look for a moment at “sanity” in grassroots terms

The are a lot of “insane” people in activism and counter-culture, its what makes it exciting, dynamic and affective. However with everything its a question of balance, lets look at how a movement stagnates, fails or growes and blossems.

A short off the top of head list

NGO'ists push limited bureaucratic thinking over everything, they get into bed with anything that can be shaped to their mind set and is fashionably fundable. They take up mind space and squander resources. The vast majority of “institutional” money goes into this.

Encryptionists – service the paranoid fuckists, they have a strong tendencies to reduce usability and create dangerous fantasises of security and anonymity. The are a lot of these as this has been a dominate way of thinking for the last 5-10 years.

Traditional media panderers have there uses for a companion, but soon start to misshape the movement to mainstream agenda’s – hard not to have this outcome.

Horizontal dotcom'sts try to use our movement to jump start their dotcom, fine if its built with the 4 opens, if its not then distraction if  failur and disaster if people use it – so bad outcome both ways.

Insecure and nasty lifestyles are endemic and are attracted like fly's to any successful grassroots project and they are feed by the felandering of the Traditional media panderist – this can easily tip into being a movement death spiral.

Hidden careerist are good for movement building as tend to be the competent ones, but start to drift to NGO and media philanders to build their careerer rather than the grassroots movement.

Paranoid fuckwists are the bedroock of most grassroots campines and in small doses help hold things together, get to many of them in places of responsibility and you have out of control infighting.

Dogmatic liberals are lovely people, but a strong force for blocking sustainable alternatives, its imposable to meditate the breakdowns with a few of these at the core of any counter-culture.

Now for a corresponding “good” list of activist “insanity's”

On this subject it helps to be a bit "mad" to stay in grassroot movement for any leaghnth of time

The hand's off NGO's the is a long (hidden) history of healthy NGO/atavism synergy

The user focused KISS per2per'ists are working on the uphill project of (re)booting the open web.

Traditional media outreach'sts are promoting grassroots media and technology by linking it into traditional media narratives to build the world rather than misshape it.

Horizontal dotcom's are working on “open” federated sustainability rather than closed client server “solutions”

Lifestyles are though opening up in the campaigning lifestyle flow and learning to let go and build healthy connected lives.

Open careerist, are bootstrapping the campaign while bootstrapping themselves, they take the open energy like a trosion horse into the belly of the traditional beast. Some one has to do this...

Secure organising crew is everyone job to keep it carm and focus, and help out with the very real “offline” security and communication that activism needs.

Liberal liberals the calm and the balance of “common sense” that’s needed to keep things from going horribly wrong.

Activism is a dynamic and crazy place full of “insane” people doing fantastic things, its a balancing act to hold it all together, to much of the top and not anufe off the bottom and it quickly slides into something few people wont to be involved in – then disappears with little trace.

 

Real Media gathering, how not to re-boot grassroots media

Draft

Firstly I don’t have any ill will to the people I know organising this event and would love it to succeed in being a part of the kindling to (re)light the fire of alt-media.

But we have 3 main problem groupings/failures blocking grassroots media (culture) from re-booting

Lets look at how they manifest as negative (can do a positive post on this subject, just ask or look back on my blog)

NGO “culture”

Geek “culture”

Activist “culture”

They all manifest in the upcoming Real Media Gathering, lets use this as an example and look at each in turn.

NGO thinking is a malaise that is filling the vacuum left by the catastrophic failings of Alt-geeks and activist spiky/fluffy debate separation. What is NGO thinking? Well in short its the way you HAVE to think to have a continuing payied careerer in a NGO. It in body’s bureaucracy, (respecting) hierarchy, endemic narrow liberal thinking or at the most radical rigid utopian process – leading to deadening bureaucracy.

Geek culture is dealt with here

Activist culture at its worst is bound by life style, the things you do tobe an activist, that looking/sounding/acting like the change is more important than being the change. Some of the people involve understand this, they are just to lost to take a way out of this malaise. This can manifest as a diversion between spiky/ fluffy and a ritualistic on/off spiting contest between these two mindsets. Change is often lost in this.

How do these manifest in the upcoming real media gathering/movement.

The headline main day of the event is made-up of top-down speakers repeating all the things people already know. For a grassroots gathering this is clearly problematic, think about it for a minute ;) This is how a NGO would organise a “grassroots” event.

Geek culture, the is a tech project going on in parallel with the gathering – its happening in darkness with no knowledge, input or interest. The outcome is likely a black box designed by geeks, now we know for a fact that this NEVER ends well. This is how geek's like to work, just trust us.

Activist grassroots culture is high on the banner header image but no existence in the headline speakers and a shadow in the workshops. They do have a little documented day after for this. No sparks and no rocking the boat, this comes full cirecal to NGO thinking were we started.

The have been a serease of these “NGO” re-booting activism conferences and gatherings over the last few years. I helped to organise some of them for my sins.

Much of the content of the event is fine, the workshops have content, what it lacks is any spark to light the needed media fire. Rubbing the damp sticks of NGO together isn’t going to do it, we need to break out of this malaise, and it's easy to do.

We have a very serous problem at the moment in progressive technology

 

Geek culture has always had a strong ant-progressive side to it and this in now dominant – it manifests as naivety about politics and over- complexity in open solutions.

NGO culture is based on a anti-commons, a dog eats dog fight for survival based on short term funding criteria.

Traditional left political party’s and unions are stuck on the defensive, and when they do step over the trenches to attack they take up NGO or geek prioritises.

Technology has a HUGE potential to shape our futures in progressive ways, BUT it also has a dark side to repress our futures and it is this dark side unchallenged that we are moving to.

If you wont to help in using technology for positive social change then have a look at this project – all areas of skill are needed.

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