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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Moveing through/past "blocking" in activism

can be hard to keep "bureaucratic" thinking out of activist organizing. We do have ongoing adhock strategys that work fine, but, these have issues with scaling.
 
This is an unresolved and un-looked at.
 
Open can help:
 
Hi All,
 
We have a bit of friction going on, lets all try and reduce this by being clear on who is doing what.
 
Am taking the lead on the "**** ****" the *** *** part of the project in general.
 
For the **** *** am taking on **** ****.
 
If you have input into these areas, its good to run it past me, as we all work in different ways, which is a good thing :)
 
(optional) What roles are the rest of you taking on?

 

Food for thought for thoughts who do not like conflict

Food for thought for thoughts who do not like conflict. The OMN is based on bypassing the 2 dominant groups who currently control alt/grassroots media. These are the geeks who control/block the tech and the fashernista who push their narrow agenda over the space. Both squarely stand in the way. Go through um or better go round um, any one can try the first - conflict - the second can only be tryed by a soughted crew. That's what am looking for.

Update: it's not going to happen enless I find the seeds of such a group. Tryed the conflict root it's not going to work.

 

The world is open for change

I think we are at a moment were the world is up for "grabs"

* Old paths have visibley vanished
* People are up for doing things different
* Funders are up for funding different
* The new "commons" is infernat and as much as the #dotcons grab the is more.
* Socerty is being #reboot 'ed (trump, brixet etc.)
* Our planet is likely to #reboot with out us (climate change)

We don't have to be slaves, we do have to create a new path, am suggesting the #4opens as a way of mediating the path we have to take. Trump etal is suggesting the #4closed I think 4 is a nice number anyone think of what the #4closed are?

Am I being flipernt, nop, am not. I am being seruase, the one thing Trump made obvues was that if you repeat something anufe it comes into existences - try thinking about the #4opens then repeating it a lot - its a bit like casting a spell - words have power.

If you wont to "take" the world the #4opens is a way to do it ethically and it has power to get round meany of the current #blocks

 

Is the OMN tech complex?

There is a hard-to-understand idea that the technology behind the OMN (open media network) is complex. At a base level it is not, it's the same tech that has been written 1000s of times in the past and uses nearly 20 year old technology.

What is complex is the ideas and social understandings behind the ideas of using this “stupidly simple” technology in the OMN.

Firstly it's needed to understand that Alt-media and the open web in general is F**cked. Once past this point it becomes easer. Secondly a understanding of the forces that F**cked it are both on their side: the #dotcons, Facebook, uber, Amazon etc and on our-side, our encryptionist geeks, NGO social media gurus, process vampires etc.

We don’t currently have power to affect their side, so let's look at our side, in the sense of understanding the OMN. It's based on the 4 opens and none of our guys like this combination for different reasons. It's based on KISS - our geeks don’t like building on the old and our politicos are pushing the fashionista of the vapours avant-garde, so both reject the “old” foundation ideas/tech of the OMN.

The idea is very simple - that we get alt-media groups and sites to be part of a network so they become bigger than their parts. And a very basic issue is solved, they link to each other, which currently the isolated silos do not consistently do. The link is the currency of the web, in this we all become richer and have wider outreach on the “openweb”.

The “innovation” of the OMN is the use of RSS articles as a database exchange format. We thus create a redundant distributed network of databases holding and displaying (linking) to our collective history. Why RSS? Without it we have to get agreement and write custom code for every site that wants to join. With RSS, it's copy/paste and go on 98% of existing sites on the open web. The first is self limiting and impossible to grow, the second just works. There is no complexity at all at this basic level and no need for site agreements etc.

Trouble-shooting this rollout there are issues, but nothing that can't be solved by tweaking and bodging. The next stage is a little more complex, synchronising these databases and keeping articles up-to-date and exchanging tagged metadata so that the “curating of the flows works”. This will need thinking and programming for real, but nothing that throwing some bandwidth and processing power can't solve in an “inefficient way” - again KISS.

Build it first, scale it second. We are running this out in the small world of alt-media, so geeks keep it KISS. There is a philosophical and design issue that will cause bottlenecks, the CMS's we will be using are designed as portals/silos not data rivers/media flow sites. Some creative thought can help here. And there is the opening for innovation and new CMS's at a later time.

To conclude the blocks on building out the OMN are within our own geeks and politicos and have to be overcome. That is the tech is relatively easy, the social side is complex, Ideas for this? My idea is to form a wide;y skilled affinity group and go for it, lead by example. Other paths, ideas, welcome.

 

 

Torrent blocking notice in my local cafe

Trying to acess one of my legal torrents in a local cafe They have been buessy.

ACCESS TO THE WEBSITES LISTED ON THIS PAGE HAS BEEN BLOCKED PURSUANT TO ORDERS OF THE HIGH COURT

You have the right to apply to the High Court to vary or discharge the Orders below if you are affected by the blocks which have been imposed.  Any application must be made to the High Court directly and must (i) clearly indicate your identity and status as an applicant; (ii) be supported by evidence setting out and justifying the grounds of the application, and (iii) be notified to all parties 10 days in advance.

Identity of parties who obtained the Order

Blocked Websites

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The Pirate Bay

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Trust and control and the role of gatekeepers in blocking

Everyone understands the role of “gatekeepers” in traditional media. I want to look at how there are very similar issues with radical and progressive media. Most blocking and authoritarianism in activist organising is not conscious, rather its roots lie in psychological traits rather than ideological thinking. Everyone might be a professed horizontalist, but some are clearly not acting in the accordance with the way they think/speak.

An example of this is when the are two clear points of view, both valid and valuable, in a group. Typically, the horizontalist view is blocked procedurally until there is no time left in the process. Then the more vertical view is pushed through at the last moment to “save the process”. The outcome is very bad feeling between the groups/indiviuals and the more (dysfunctional) authoritarian view is implemented. This is problematic as it gives a clear signal to everyone involved that progressive ways of working cannot work, which feedbacks to the next process and left/progressive project stagnates. 
 
In general, building radical media needs to have no gatekeepers to the overall structure (just like that hugely successful progressive, horizontalist project, the internet). We need ideas of how we can work our way out of this progressive cul-de-sac and we need them soon. It seems to me that progressive organising is based on trust, and authoritarian organising is based on a need for control (and the distrust that this breeds). So does the answer lie in leaving enough time for trust-building in progressive organising as a core part of the process?

The role of "blocking" in horizontal projects

Mannequins dancing to barely visible strings (DRAFT)

This is an attempt to understand how blocking is used to stop/slow positive social change. By blocking I mean many things, refusing to address core issues, pushing everyday agenda’s to hide more systematic issues, and confusingly using big issues to distracts and fog everyday needed changes.

Outcome-driven horizontal projects are hard to sustain. I understand climatecamp process ossification better now - there is a strong blocking to process change - the continuing pushing of the needed change is blocked thus the change gets harder (more vertical) until it ossifies and becomes non-functionaly strong enough to break the block (thus breaking the horizontal process it is trying to achieve). End up with a broken structure that cannot move or change.

So the issue is "blocking" which largely is a psychological fear of losing non-existent certainty - ie. the false consciousness (cf Marx) of capitalism - Thus the moniker "stupid individualism". The root out of this is to work a way round this "stupid individualism".

Rainbow Gatherings manage this - by forcing scarcity, in visionontv we don’t have this option, in Rainbow you are moved into a world where all the normal options are simply are not there - thus change HAS TO HAPPEN - it's an intentional community. "Stupid individualism" simply becomes too dysfunctional in this situation to stop change. This is at the heart of rainbow process. In our situation, on the internet, in media there is no scarcity, so “stupid individualism” reigns supreme and unstoppable. 

An issue is that many people will self-define what I am saying at this point - BUT will not engage with it - The writer is being a "stupid individual" and this would be the case if the writer was not actively engaged in a real social project.

"Trust networks" are the solution to "stupid individualism". With this understanding I have a more sympathetic view of climatecamp process. The derided “process people” suffered from ossification as much as the wider camp. And I am arguing that this is a re-occurring issue, so the individual who were left pushing a empty agenda are less at fault than the systematic issues that they haven’t addressed. 

Its important NOT to take personal responsibility for this as the is a dead end block in using this as a solution to this problem. Maybe more useful to seeing us as mannequins dancing in a circle twitching to barely visible strings. And the circle we are in - is not the right one. We need a new circle with some different strings (some of them more visible) and to start a new dance.

The blocks: what participants feel are the tangling of strings, the process they are trying to unravel so as to make a new circle to dance in. We are all attached to strings, so get untangling. It's the strings NOT the messenger that stops you. Help is needed trying to untangle and re-set some strings, perhaps the messenger is trying to help? try not to shoot

In this post I attempt to untangled a string (climatecamp process wasn’t as bad as i thought it was). Which string are you going to untangling? "Stupid individualism" is the trap we have to avoid, but we are getting more and more snared in it - on all sides.

The danger is that we are talking about parallel things and more tragically - thinking along parallel divergent lines - "stupid individualism" is strong and kicking and the more we kick the more entangle we become - leaving little hope of a new dance - by the way dance is a metaphor for process and strings are a metaphor for the very human senses of belonging that we need for society to hold together.

Does it end well I wonder - it never has in the past, but one can keep coming at a problem from different angles. Maybe this time it might. Thus am NOT taking any personal responsibility - just seeing us as mannequins dancing in a circle twitching to barely visible strings. And the circle we are in - is not the right one. We need a new circle with some different strings (some of them more visible) and start a new dance.

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