Geek Manifesto DRAFT

Published Date 6/2/11 2:16 PM

VisionOntv is a project to move people from being passive consumers to taking more of a role in production/curating and hosting news media. Its a project to empower the producers of media. So from a very broad-brush perspective:

Has to be easy for normal people to browse, with a constant pull towards people being more involved – even if this has a balancing affect on the ease of use. Consuming of content isn’t social change rather conversation leading to community self action is. Our mission is a hard one to use content to catalyse this change and this is a little harder for users, our website won’t run away from this issue.

Has to not be pulled into the Geek ghetto on complexity and obfuscation , even if this on balance affect security and efficiency. The command line and professorial server infrastructure may have advantages but the project will use desktop servers and GUI were ever possible so as not to disempower the producers also taking on the many of the roles of the sysadmins. With out this movement we end of up with a small cartel off Geek gatekeepers rather than a broad empowered community.

So consumers pushed into producers and producers pushed into sysadmins is our core Geek mission. We don’t wont to replace one media class with a another, we instead won’t to democratise and level the media so that it is a much wider and more embed in community’s that it covers.

To do this technology it self and the people who create it have to change.

The ecology of hash tag organising DRAFT

Published Date 5/31/11 11:42 AM

A look at ideas around Ukuncut, which grew from the winding down of the climatecamp movement.

The ecology of hash-tag organising

A group of driven people get together in a pub and come up with a strategy and a hash-tag – they then build a aggregating website to display the hash-tag and self organise around it. This facilitates exciting, dramatic and dynamic actions, which draw in more dynamic and active crew, the aggregating website allows fast feedback.

Mainstream media pick this up, a group of media savey crew start to feed this media. The mainstream media coverage brings in a flood of more “liberal” activists and normal people, this swells the actions and makes them much more affective. This swerles round for a while.

The targets start to recognise the damage that is being done to them and the threat that they might have to change – and start a two prong strategy

* PR offensive to show how they are changing

* Use of private corpurtae spy’s, the courts and the police to repress the demonstration strategy

The problems of hash-tag organising start here, as the mainstream media outreach has seceded in bring in many more less experienced (and more liberal) people there attitudes start to dominate the hash-tag organising space. And the more experienced activist voices are submerged in this flow. The effects of this are 3 fold:

1) Actions start to follow a narrow predictable pattern which quickly becomes stale

2) The forces of repression create strategy’s for dealing with these static ideas/actions

3) The voices of change are submerged under the voices of flow, and the flow cercals to 1)

This leads to the inflexible liberal elements wilting under the focused repression and the movement stagnating and often turning on it self. It seams to me that hash-tag organising has no way out of this cyclical.

The de professionalising of media DRAFT

Published Date 5/29/11 4:05 PM

The de-professionalising of media

Digitisation is re-shaping many forms of media production and news is one of these. The business model the print press was based on scarcity and physical distribution. Old media is being forced to transform under the technological imperative of digitisation, and most will fail. From the forced change of digitisation there are two possible outcomes:

1. A continuation of the move to churning PR as news, which is the growth/sustainable area in traditional media.

2. The de-professionalising of media production. This is a huge growth area in media production over the last 10 years.

Professional non-PR media is under attack by the search for profit by companies that have the will to survive. The ones that don’t join this savage chase to the bottom will likely not survive in their current forms.

What do I mean by de-professionalizing?

In the Victorian era the “amateur” was held in high esteem and the “professional” was looked down upon. This was based on values coming from a leisured elite of society, the logic of valuing a gift economy over the narrowly commercial. In contemporary society the digitisation project is shifting much old commercial (scarcity) work into leisure (gift) work. Witness the rise of the blogger, the age of wikipedia etc.

At this point I just have to make a quick detour to demolish the mirage of fragile hope that many of the old “professional classes” cling to. Advertising is FALSE information, and social media sees through it – the world of the “free” makes its intrusions more obvious – and people will ignore these images, use adblockers etc. The poison that is embedded in lifestyle advertising will move into PR-driven news production.

The outcome of this transition is not at all clear. At the recent E-G8 conference, Lawrence Lessig talked about the problem of incumbents or gatekeepers and how they distort investments and push to keep obsolete models in place. They are helping to distort and misshape the logic of the digitalization process.

To finish this work in progress
Critique Victorian “amateurism”
Talk about how the will still be a (smaller) role for “professorial journalists”
Fill out the Background on these ideas..

My first backpack Solar edit studio

A how to – Solar video production/editing studio.

Filmmakers/writers/graphic designers have you ever dreamed of being able to work in the hart of nature rather than a boring office in the hart of the rat race. Well now you can work away from the electric grid (in a sunny climate) using small scale, light wate solar technology, the latest folded solar panels work well for powering portable electronics. Here we provide a setup for a solar powered video production/editing studio that fits in a small day backpack.

For a small laptop the cost of the solar power system is around 350-400 pounds, and for a big laptop around 600-650 pounds which might seam a lot but this is for free portable power from the sun for 20 years (the life of the panel).

You can also use this system for charging any small electronics devices: ipods, mobile phones, PDA’s MP3 players, GPS systems etc. vie a car cigarette lighter adapter, or by a using a small DC to DC power adapter (they come with different power tips that fit most devices).

The parts
———————————

Folding Solar Panel
Sunling produces a 25W panel that will charge laptops and camera batteries and run a small laptop if the panel is in full sunlight. The is a more expensive 55W panel (P3) that will run larger laptops. To make it all work efficiently you need full sun and a way to adjust the position of the solar panels to face the sun directly as it moves through the sky.

Charge controller
This acts as a basic power regulator and in shores that the “buffer” battery isn’t over charged and damaged.

“buffer” Battery
The solar panels output unregulated power from 12-25V, with most appliances used being designed to run off 12V this can easily damage electrical equipment – thus the battery provides a buffer to “sock up” this excess voltage and put out a more stable 12-14V of power which the equipment is designed to handle. It also allows a reserve of power when the sun goes behind a cloud the laptop will run (10-15 min) or continue charging (30 min or so) drawing power from the battery and panel. The buffer battery automatically chargesoff the panels when you are not using or have finished charging your laptop/camera batteries.

DC to DC converter for laptop power
This takes the 12-14V from the solar panel (and/or the buffer battery) and coverts it into the correct stable voltage for the laptop in the case of the fugitzue this is 16V. They also come with a selection of connecter tips so you can plug the system directly into the normal DC power plug of most popular laptops.

Cables and adapters
You need a bundle of assorted cables, car cigarette power plugs, crocodile clips etc to plug every thing together. Ones you have the system running well there can be hardwired into a neat/secure connecter box.

Small laptop
Its good to use a laptop that is very low power with a good size battery. Change the power settings in the operating system power management to maximize battery life/runtime.

Camera
To directly power the camera you can use a 12V car cigarette power supply (buy from the manufacture). Or the best option is to get a cheap 12V battery charger which saves the camera from possible damage from the variable voltages of a solar system. Then run the camera off the batteries when using it as an editing deck. This will work better as your panel might not provide anufe power to run the laptop and camera simultaneously while editing.

12V camera battery charger
Are cheap and available for most camcorder batteries.  You can also charge all normal rechargeable batteries for other appliances with the appropriate charger.

A shady waterproof spot for editing
To easily see the laptop screen and work comftabel you need a shady environment, with reliable full sunlight close by for the solar panel. Electronic equipment doesn’t like heat, moister, salt or dust so when not working keep everything in a clean sealed containers and outa the sun.

—————————-
Disclaimer
Your expensive electrical equipment is very fragile and the is no guaranty that the vagaries of solar power will not damage it. We can accept no responsibility for such damage – be careful/aware when plugging things together:

* if in any doubt get some one who understands electricity to help you out.
* normally black goes to black and red to red when connecting 12V cables.
* test everything thouraly, make shore all electrical connections are secure/soldered and cannot move/short out. 
* when testing use a volt meter to check output voltages at each stage of the connections.
* always use a “buffer battery” or some sought of voltage regulator  (the charge controller is NOT a voltage regulator).
* plug appliances in, if the charging light doesn’t come on un-plug themIMMEDATLY and re-check all the connections/settings.
* keep a good eye on all components till you are shore the system is reliable and safe – look for flashing warning lights, burning smells, excess heat and other problems.

When your solar system is stable it can be a very safe and reliably source of sustainable power. If you have any more questions or need handholding through the process of buying and configuring we run a consultancy – please get in touch Hamish@undercurrents.org

 

 

A bit of spell casting from the greek rainbow gathering how to make this work in visionOntv

Published Date 5/8/11 12:28 PM

“Stupid individualism”

We are made this way

Many try to heal on different paths

Most Stumble from the individualism of there path

“all you need is love” sing the rainbow

“all you need is social/economic change” shout the activists

Both drift into baroness with out the balance of the other

To birth a world

“Rituals”

Rituals build and sustain community’s

Rituals bind together the individualism’s

Roots grow from these bindings

Roots hold the earth agenst the weathering of time

And from these rituals a forest grows

And shelters us from the elements (time)

“Beauty”

Beauty grows

Beauty grows from seeing each the same in the performance of the rite

The harmony of the Ohm

The chaining together to stop the nuclear train

Balancing beauty, unerty, grow the bindings

That make life beautiful

“truth”

Truth grows

Truth grows from the light and dark of the touched world

Truth is beauty balanced with social rites

Truth is from the forest, with out the forest the is no truth

“Life”

Life grows…

Its a Party

Published Date 3/29/11 5:26 PM

It’s a “happening” party so you gotta come prepared

Bottle, nibbles and dress for your happening.

As usual to get past the door, you need to bring a “happening” that is a short performance, could be a magic trick, a speech, a song or poem, a one act theatre piece, its up to you. Ever one arriving will be given a numbered ticket and these numbers will be pulled from a hat during the night to make things happen (:

To get the address message one of us with your happening!

This time it’s actually a celebration for Hoon and Richard’s birthday!

April  2nd, 2011 – 8:00 pm – London