Moneydick

Technology, Art, and Power

Month: August, 2009

[LA only] Huntington succulents plants symposium Sept. 4

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Huntington succulents plants symposium Sept. 4 | L.A. at Home | Los Angeles Times.

Have you taken permaculture seriously today?

Myths and falsehoods about health care reform [recommended reading]

Myths and falsehoods about health care reform | Media Matters for America.

Dot Matrix Project: CC in action [recommended]

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Awesome example of the Creative Commons in action over at the dotmatrix project. It’s a group of photographers, bands, videographers in Greensboro, NC who do ‘real Hollywood’ without all the baggage. From their ‘about’ page:

We’re a collective of musicians, photographers, videographers & sound engineers who put on and document live shows to expose our talents to an audience beyond the confines of a small venue within a small town.

Filmmakers have an opportunity to direct the music videos for a show, collaborate with shooters of their choice and actual musicians and walk away with a killer portfolio piece. Our photographers range from pros to amateurs, but they’re all looking to improve shooting live music and, again, build up their portfolio.

All DMP media is licensed with a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike license. What that means is that as long as people provide attribution and link back to the original creators of the media, they can use it however they see fit as long as they don’t make money off it.

And more comforting words (for the fate of The Creative Person amongst the Web) From a recent post “Thinking about CCommunity“:

By licensing all of our work under a Creative Commons (CC) license — one that allows non-commercial share-alike reuse and remixing with attribution — DMP participants are continuously contributing creative material, with structured data of attribution, location and subject matter, to the commons; material that is optimized for discovery (check out the results for a “greensboro music” search on flickr), to then be enjoyed and potentially shared and/or re-purposed out of a person’s connection with both the media and its subject matter.

rad, but the monetization looks possible only for selling live recordings… It’s more of an unpaid internship (which can be fun fun fun) for everyone else.

Daniel Ellsberg: “America has been asleep at the atomic wheel for 64 years” (recommended reading)

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Arms control is an important issue for me, not just because I scared myself shitless from nanotechnology science fiction during college, but because I also managed to get a ‘biological and chemical arms control’ course under my belt at Vassar . Our worldly relationships as nation units have built up a great deal of terrible weapons. More fear, more weapons. Sadly, when the fear diminishes, we don’t unbuild the tools our fear built.

From the man who delivered the Pentagon papers in 1971:

“We have long needed and lacked the equivalent of the Pentagon Papers on the subject of nuclear policies and preparations, nuclear threats and decision-making: above all in the United States and Russia but also in the other nuclear-weapons states. I deeply regret that I did not make known to Congress, the American public and the world the extensive documentation of persistent and still-unknown nuclear dangers that was available to me 40 to 50 years ago as a consultant to and official in the executive branch working on nuclear war plans, command and control and nuclear crises. Those in nuclear-weapons states who are in a position now to do more than I did then to alert their countries and the world to fatally reckless secret policies should take warning from the earlier inaction of myself and others: and do better.”

Unlike nearly everyone else outside the Manhattan Project, my first awareness of the challenges of the nuclear era had occurred—and my attitudes toward the advent of nuclear weaponry had formed—some nine months earlier than those headlines, and in a crucially different context.
It was in a ninth-grade social studies class in the fall of 1944. I was 13, a boarding student on full scholarship at Cranbrook, a private school in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Our teacher, Bradley Patterson, was discussing a concept that was familiar then in sociology, William F. Ogburn’s notion of “cultural lag.” …

…The idea was that the development of technology regularly moved much further and faster in human social-historical evolution than other aspects of culture: our institutions of government, our values, habits, our understanding of society and ourselves. Indeed, the very notion of “progress” referred mainly to technology. What “lagged” behind, what developed more slowly or not at all in social adaptation to new technology was everything that bore on our ability to control and direct technology and the use of technology to dominate other humans….

read more at wikileaks… my favorite source for world news!

…Recently I spoke with a friend of my father’s who had interviewed nuclear scientists in the 90s at the Alamo research labs. At one point he spoke with a well respected nuclear physicist who explained his raison d’être. The scientist had grown up alongside the grad students at Princeton eager to construct bombs, and decided then and there to learn bomb-making just so he could disassemble them down the road. Fifty years later, he is one of the few living nuclear physicists capable of disassembling nuclear bombs, and is frantically disassembling / building disassembly schematics for the aging thousands upon thousands of bombas–all with aging trigger systems–around the world. Sadly, he (whose name I forget) is now in Russia where his skills are golden mana from heaven.

Meager Graffiti

A quick collection of meager graffiti with nothing to prove and nothing to lose. From Thun (Switzerland), Grenada (Spain), Port Townsend MA, Bushwick, NY…

Alphorn Contest in Nendaz, Switzerland (audio slideshow)

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Swiss Alphorn Contest in Nendaz. Check it…

Being a huge fan of the Swissland, I wept with tumultuous joy when I saw these grassy tootin’ happy peoples… Below are some of my personal photos from Switzerland during a trip there in 06…
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More from Switzerland

Jesus God Bible Mix (mp3)

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Check out the Jesus God Bible mix, courtesy of Rude Jude

MP3 (zipppie) (more…)

43 Alumni – The Alumni Association of GWbush

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Been hanging out on the web, wishing I could call myself a member of 43alumni. Sadly, I cannot.

It’s magical to me that people would want to re-associate themselves with the worst presidency ever.

Is there a peak to user-generated content? Wikipedia contributions are on the decline in an age of decline

The ecosystem of Wikipedia, and probably other wikis in the Wikimedia group, appear to be suffering from an over-vigilant team of editors who are increasingly quick to revert changes from less-active contributors. The newness and community-driven aspect of Wikipedia is suffering, in tandem with a decrease in fresh registrations. Let’s not be rash here, but the research presented below (by Ed Chi and colleagues at the Palo Alto Research Center) points out a freaky decline in distributed knowledge-creation—a decline that we just don’t need in this age of, well, decline.

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Jim Giles in New Scientist writes:

“Occasional” editors, those who make just a single edit a month, have 25 per cent of their changes erased, or reverted, by other editors, a proportion that in 2003 was 10 per cent. The revert rate for editors who make between two and nine changes a month grew from 5 to 15 per cent over the same period.”This is evidence of growing resistance from the Wikipedia community to new content,” say the Palo Alto team. Chi told New Scientist that the changes could harm Wikipedia in the longer term by deterring new editors from taking part and so reducing the number of people available to spot and correct the vandalism that constantly threatens the encyclopaedia. “Over time the quality may degrade,” he warns.

Chi thinks that Wikipedia now includes so much information that some editors have turned from creating new articles to improving existing ones, resulting in more disputes about edits. Such disputes are not a level playing field because established editors sometimes draw on extensive knowledge of Wikipedia’s guidelines to overwhelm opposition in a practice dubbed “wikilawyering”.

via: New Scientist

Facebook acquires Friendfeed to become FaceFeed

An interesting set of comments on the recent Facebook acquisition of Friendfeed

Filed in: Recently acquired gems