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 history .

History of the visionOntv project

The original project was offlinetv and was a online network to setup screenings to bring people together and cross fertilize different radical campaigning groups. I was pushing it as “open” rebooting of the failing undercurrents video activism project.

Before this I had been making a meager living doing screenings by fundraising vie the copyleft ruffcuts video CD project. With the transitioning from dialup to broadband internet speed the was a possibility to move the the distribution of screening quality video to the spreading peer2peer web.As you will continue to see thought my narration here my core thinking changes little.

The first dotcon (enclosures) boom had bust, the web was still a health open network through the “open” pioneers were being pushed out by more mainstream fahernisata people, these people were being snapped up by the next wave of dotcon funding so the clock was ticking on the next boom (and attempt as enclosing the web for control and profit).

Fashernisa´s were all over the open web, conferences, events, media. Geeks were developing open standards - each one unlinked/incompatible with the next it was a "fun" time for “open”. This flowering of geek culture had its fashernista side, the were 100 applications for zipping files or FTP and no easy to use open tools - the geek problem.

P from undercurrents got involved to do the funding side, a lot of “brainstorming” was done. During this time we see a “splitting” of the project. It was obvious that streaming video - that is a technology for watching video real time without having a local copy was going to grow to dominate the next dotcon boom and the fashionistas were buying into this big time. This is a client server technology - from one to many - its old (traditional) media distribution. At the same time the was a subculture flowering or peer2peer technology being used for “free content” this was a “native” open web technology.

The “splitting” was around a miscommunication/misunderstanding of what was going to happen in the next 5 years. And “funding” pushed this in a bad way, it was easy to talk to funders about “online video” it was fahernista mainstream. Few had any thought to the “cost” of jumping on the #dotconS fahernista wave. And in time the rise of the #dotcons from the second boom that was rising for all to see.

The “brainstorming” lead to the project being renamed visionOntv - just for the funding and outreach - much easier to get funding. Why would anyone be interested in offlinetv and peer2peer technologies all the value was about “owning” online space. That is enclosing the commons was unthinkingly embraced as a good thing - a touch on controlfreekery.

This simple change was the first step to the project losing direction and failing.


A political history of the internet

(This is a DRAFT)

This worth reading to go with this view time and libertarean/liberals view of who created the internet

In the 1970s the military looked at a problem – how to keep communication working in an anarchic environment (a nuclear war). Their solution was to work with this environment not work against it. They built an anarchic network – the internet. This network was small and insignificant compared to the traditional centralised networks that existed and continued to grow. Limited Background

In the late 1980s an individual at the anarchicly-organised CERN borrowed an idea that would make it easer to navigate, HTML, the based of the World Wide Web. Few took any notice. Limited Background

In the 1990s people started to build unexpected things with this open network and open standards and surprisingly these things grew and grew... In the end they pushed all the centralised dominate networks to one side where they shrank until they largely disappeared. Thus the single internet as we know it today was born. It was an unplanned birth coming from the DNA of anarchists thinking.

By 2000 the dotcom boom expanded the internet to every corner of the world. It was driven by a very different world view – much like the world view that had built the very networks that the internet had pushed aside so easily. It was an attempt to enclose the new commons, to partition it into walled gardens with gates and ticket desks. But the network that had been set-up to flourish in anarchy and togather with the overlay of open standards of WWW resisted and in the end simply pushed this dotcom boom into a dotcom bust. Limited Background

The internet expanded again, filling up more areas of our lives, and encroaching on our economic system. The network which was created for anarchy and the open standards that embedded anarchy started to touch everything. Our society is based on ever-expanding markets, and the internet was a HUGE market. Increasingly it was replacing existing markets with piracy, which wasn't a market at all. The internet is a giant copying machine and the copies are practically free. Where markets are based on scarcity, the new digital world, grown from anarchy, was based on abundance. In a world of abundance there is little for the market to buy and sell. Very limited backround and background

Round three of this fight by the old society to grasp control of the new manifested in a much more subtle walling and gatekeeping structure: corporate social networking and the fight against piracy (copying). It was an invisible but relentless push to remove the “disease” of anarchy from the core of the web (and large parts of socierty) and to bring the old order back into control. Today both Twitter (2008) and Facebook (2009) can only survive if they continually grow, and increasingly control the information flows and users access. As they do this the walls and gates that are currently mostly invisible will come more into view. I think the interconnected open web that is the internet would shrug this off as before if this was the only threat it faced. But there’s another side to the attack, the fight against piracy, which is an (largly invisible) fight against the open standards and digital logic of the web. It is leading to new laws that reach into and rend asunder the anarchist internet (the one built to work in the anarchy of nuclear war). It will do this by changing the underlying open standards that the net is built on and by rolling back to the days of the pre-internet, the age of closed intra-nets. Then Gate-keeping will be built into the DNA of this network. And this change will snuff out the anarchy and replace it with bureaucracy. The unintentional (largly unseen) experiment in complete social change will fade and die. 

What choice do we have? Now we have many, soon we will have few, and in the end we may have none.

if anyone can help find backup articals to link for this please add them to the comments, thanks.




Distributed 5 video reports from the Thatcher Demo in Trafalgar Sq

People gather in Trafalgar Sq to celebrate the death of Baroness Thatcher.

We talk to a funeral director touting for business "cheaper to bury her in a northern coal pit".

Memories  of the Thatcher years.



Well nothing changes. The police try for a riot at the Thatcher Demo in Trafalgar Sq?

My videos - a winter project

Idea for a project for next winter.

I have been making activist films for 20 years well over 100 short radical actavist 3-10 minit news reports on many different campaigns. 

Tell the stories of video activism by my films – list all films then get key people who were in the campaigns (preferably in the video) to tell there motivation for being on the action/each film. Take all this footage to an abondond village on a Spanish island for 3 months next winter and edit it on solar power.

Its relatively simple and don’t have to work with anyone but me to get it done, which makes it easer (:

A brief history of activism

This is a DRAFT

#Occupy has become bureaucratised and continues as e-mail lists and side projects, not very active.

#ukuncut has become institutionalised. Still active - presser protests in conjunction with NGO's

#climatecamp The anarcho' s left and most of the rest got jobs in NGO's a few continue in other campaigns. It has run its course, the influx of liberals had watered it down till its DNA failed. The healthy ones went onto Ukuncut. Fuckup, not conspiracy sadly. A spattering of global projects remain.

(google trends not accurate)

#submedia still banging the radical drum

#Indymedia failed from the opposite resion the activists excluded other groups in till the weren't a healthy mix left. Then the group dwindled by exclusion and inbreeding till its DNA was two narrow to evolve when it needed to change with the growth of personal publishing. It was replaced by blogs then corporate social networks. Still exists.

The are still some active IMC's would be intresting to look at why some are still working?

#undercurrents burned out of funding then failed to re-new with the fund-raising charity side not feeding into the active political production side. The charity/NGO side then shrank and dispersed. Still exists

(google trends not accurate)

#schnews had some lean times but seem to have survived in the radical project Though clearly fading on this graph of web searches


History of visionOntv


For people who are interested in the history of visionOntv I have just resurrected my old blog which goes back to 2004 and has many articles about the project and the development and p2p media and alternatives to traditional media.

Start to read it here http://beyondtv.blogspot.co.uk/2004_09_01_archive.html

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