Get your tennis-rackets ready to play along: one, two, three...!
My old pal Prof. Dan Werneck - the other half of Werneck-Wretchmond - has a Brazilian Surf-Guitar Combo called Reverb All-Stars... and very good they are too!
Get your tennis-rackets ready to play along: one, two, three...!
Well, yeah. And there's not much incentive (or budget?) to upgrade, either: non-networked / air-gapped systems that use near-obsolete interfaces are theoretically more difficult to hack-attack -- though with the emergence of exotic Wi-Fi transmitted (and, apparently, sonic / audio-enabled) malware, maybe that won't always be the case...
Drone-shadow street-art by James Bridle. Really like this. Again, it's something that interests me quite a bit at the moment: rendering hidden systems and infrastructures visible - liberating them from their opaque military and political domains, bringing them into public consciousness and making them accountable.
But this, though, is great, I think:
It's haunting - an unpleasant and brutal hidden truth translated into imagery; collateral damage made shockingly visible.
These are real places, real people's lives. This is going on every day. Repeatedly, relentlessly.
Endless invisible war.
We did this lickle thing yesterday - it was a daft spur of the moment act - prompted by some folks on Twitter suggesting that the UKIP Freepost mail address could be used to return election fliers at the party's expense -- then someone mentioned UKIP also had an 0800-number, and that was like a red flag to a bull: what if we made some 10-second noise-pieces in response to this? An hour later a handful of our Noise / Electronic music comrades fired their own anti-racist contributions across the wire and before we knew it there was a Bandcamp set up called NoiseBurst with the tracks up'n available as free downloads...
It was all a good-natured, comradely bit of mischievous fun, but I'm glad we did it. It's a sort of ad hoc micro-adjunct to Mark ChickenF1sh's terrific (and far better organised / thought-out) Noise in Opposition compilations / site. I bashed out a few words for context (typos now hopefully corrected, as I was trying to do this inbetween working, kids' bedtimes, etc...) ...
“The UK Independence Party,” says Wikipedia, “is a Eurosceptic right-wing populist political party in the United Kingdom, founded in 1993. The party describes itself in its constitution as a “democratic, libertarian party.” It all sounds fairly tame on paper or an HTML-page, but UKIP – leader Nigel Farage and his ilk – have become, by accident or design, a magnet for the more odious end of so-called ‘Englishness’, attracting a mixed Little Britain / White Van Man constituency by pretending to be sympathetic to their age-old prejudices and preconceptions. UKIP prey on and exploit MittelEngland’s fear of Otherness.
In some ways, UKIP are worse than traditional groups of fascists and racists, because they pretend to be apolitical: Farage regularly (and loudly) self-admits (mainly for the benefit of the cowardly, chickenshit media) that “we have no real policies;” “we don’t know what we’re doing;” “we don’t even know what is on our own webpage;” “our last manifesto wasn’t actually serious;” etc. That they deny they have a solid position on any issue beyond a vague anti-EU "Johnny Foreigner" sentiment would be a piece of surreal high-farce theatre, were it not for the fact that it is completely disingenuous and utterly cynical: a strategy designed to make the party slippery, elusive and ‘reasonable’ – to render them intangible, place them in a post-dialectical zone somewhere beyond logic and reason where arguments can't quite ignite, where criticism can never stick.
Farage & co. are a very 21st century sort of ‘threat’ in that they are chimerical: ex-bankers pretend to be everymen; they hate Europe, yet stand as MEPs (to fight the ‘corrupt’ EU system “from within” – though, how, exactly, is never quite made clear: what, by merely turning up for minimum attendance hours and claiming their expenses?); they shift through an entire spectrum of non-positions like air-socks twisting in the wind; constantly shrugging off accusations of racism and homophobia, facing every single direction at once; we’re just “saying what everyone else thinks,” they claim (though exactly what that is, is never fully expressed), and always smiling, smiling, smiling…
Many of UKIP’s mixed inner-city / suburban demographic would be horrified if you called them racists or homophobes to their faces; nevertheless... UKIP’s mere existence – bolstered by their populist, unchallenged media-profile – makes them a lodestone for xenophobia, a rallying-point for muttered contempt around gender-expression and same-sex marriages. Fear of ‘The Other’ surfaces regularly around Farage: his party inflames a form of perpetual anxiety, creates division rather than celebrating diversity.
One of the problems facing activists in an era where traditional Left-Right divides have melted into an undifferentiated Neo-Lib Soft Centre - where the enemy has evaporated into a mist of pseudo-inflammatory (but perfectly legal) buzzphrases about 'immigration' and hides in a hall of mirrors, behind veils of ‘reasonableness’, peeps at us through CCTV cameras, runs call-centres, exists in a tax-neutral 'Cloud' - is how to identify and oppose something that constantly re-camouflages itself, that refuses to be pinned down, that claims to be apolitical – that says it's on the side of an unspoken consensus?
One way we do this by identifying its infrastructural signature – the physical-world conduits, pipelines and processes by which it communicates, does its business, attracts revenue or support. We locate these and then we disrupt them.
This ‘release’ is a series of ad hoc 10-second NoiseBursts created by various UK musicians and artists in response to the existence of UKIP. They are meant as a small, spontaneous, united response – a tiny coming-together of people – the micro-polar-opposite of UKIP. The artists involved may sit on different points on the political spectrum – it doesn’t matter – we are all agreed on one thing:
UKIP do not speak for us.
We believe that if Britain is great in any way, then it is diversity and difference that potentially makes it great, that allows it to constantly reinvent itself and evolve. We want to be part of a community that reflects and embraces difference, that celebrates it.
These NoiseBursts are intended to disrupt UKIP’s background infrastructure, to tilt their signal-to-noise ratio towards ‘noise.’ They are meant to be used in acts of creative mischief -- not to deafen call-centre workers or terrorise folks trapped on zero-hour contracts. None of the artists involved condone violence or aggressive, spiteful and intimidating behaviour. Our intent is to creatively disrupt on a microscopic scale – and to slowly, persuasively win the longer-term argument in pubs and in the workplace, to work towards finally removing the fear that groups like UKIP thrive on.
This could have been written a few weeks ago, but is in fact an extract from Chomsky's Radical Priorities (1981) - a meditation on the supposedly liberal Jimmy Carter Administration. The stuff in quotes in the image below is from the Trilateral Commission report, The Crisis of Democracy. They were a 70's ThinkTank. One of the authors, Samuel Huntington, was "former chairman of the Department of Government at Harvard, and a government adviser. He is well-known for his ideas on how to destroy the rural revolution in Vietnam."
At the core of the report sits this statement: "in the United States the problems of governance 'stem from an excess of democracy'" -- or, er; How To Negate The Effects of The Sixties. I'm not sure if this is the point where the story-line / narrative-concept of "Big Government" / "Too Much Government" came from - someone cleverer than me - or with more time on their hands - might be able to hep me to its true origin, but it certainly seemed to surface and rise to prominence (in my lifetime) around the Reagan Years, so would fit that timeline; anyways, the cynic in me is now self-texting my head that whenever anyone in American politics talks about "Too Much Government", what they actually mean is "Too Much Democracy" -- soooo, erm, basically, they take away people's rights / resources under the narrative smokescreen of supposedly reducing federal 'control'. Classic DoubleSpeak. Teabaggers and libertarians love this kinda talk, makes 'em feel all warm an' proud an' free while the control-structures reconfigure and consolidate their own position.
But, as usual, I digress...
Ended up down this rabbit-hole after Wikileaks suggested that Radical Priorities might make a good contextural adjunct to the #cartercables.
"The service oriented architecture now in use at Warsaw's university hospital is built using standard open source components, including web server Nginx, Linux distribution Ubuntu, database system Postgresql and search engine Elasticsearch. The developers use programming languages Ruby and Python and web application frameworks Rails, Sinatra and Flask. The message middleware includes Rabbit MQ, Resque and Celery.
The e-health platform allows staff to share medical data, including scans, from any source. The system supports staff working from remote locations, using VPN connections and, when correctly authenticated, the records can also be accessed from a smartphone, Rzepka says, adding that he has had to assure the hospital board "that our system is sufficiently secure."
Compare and contrast this with the UK's own lumpen / un-joined-up health systems - the result of numerous ill-planned interventions / bungled developments by successive waves of predatory, budget-raiding IT-consultancy firms. I've seen the current government's Open Data 'strategy' and it's a fucking joke, possibly because they have never been serious about the idea of Open Government and have always had an unspoken intent to, basically, just sell public data to the private sector as it (a) creates temporary surpluses; and (b) becomes one less thing for the management-class to manage. A mixture of short-sighted stupidity and out-moded ideology.
Via @todf -- many of the things I like about Early-Seventies Aesthetics in one image.
Science-fictional Biba-ism (with a slightly sour, quasi-exotic, edge-of-decadent, failed-utopia, semi-Bummerist after-taste).
A spaser (Surface Plasmon Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation) is a nanosized laser analogue - in this instance one made from a graphene resonator and a carbon nanotube gain-element. Previously, spasers have been made from gold nano-particles.
"The use of carbon means our spaser would be more robust and flexible, would operate at high temperatures, and be eco-friendly. Because of these properties, there is the possibility that in the future an extremely thin mobile phone could be printed on clothing.Spaser-based devices can be used as an alternative to current transistor-based devices such as microprocessors, memory, and displays to overcome current miniaturising and bandwidth limitations."
See, also: "Nano-photonics" / nanoscale optical-computing.