I’m making the rounds on the Sunday morning talk shows on the tubes. Well, ok, just one show, and it was Wednesday last week on Cranky Geeks, John Dvorak’s weekly talking head geek show thing. I guested with Keith Teare, CEO of Edgeio, which does something with distributed classified ads. Josh Wolf was also a guest recently on a show dedicated to the subject of citizen journalism. Definitely recommend that one.
Last night, I went over to UC Berkeley to hear Robert McChesney speak on the subject of media control and reform. Media concentration is a big deal as was evidenced by the uproar over the FCC’s decision to cozy up even more to big money corporate media. The evening was sponsored by Media Alliance, who are doing great things in the realm of media activism. I picked up a copy of his latest book, The Problem of the Media, which l look forward to devouring. I took a bunch of notes on my hiptop, which I’ve pasted below. The first speaker was a white-haired dude named Jerry Mander who touched on global monoculture and the spread of global corporatism. His notes are first.
Read More “Media Regime Change”
This town rawks! I take it for granted some times, but San Francisco really is the center of the universe. Those who don’t live here, just don’t realize it. Friday night, Marc tipped me off to a VIP reception shmoozie thing for Wired magazine’s NextFest event. Jedi mind tricked my way in and immediately was greeted with a martini. Wandered around amongst the futurist tech, taking in the shiny sites and think to myself how this all reminded me of dot-com irrational exuberance. I remember fondly the days of weekly launch parties greased with free flowing alcohol and endless hype. Thanks for the memories, Wired!
The next day, I returned to NextFest to take in most of what I had missed the night before. Unfortunately, the mass of humanity flooding the hall made it next to impossible to get a good look at anything clearly. The demo for ASIMO was impossible as everyone and their kids wanted in to see the humanoid robot walk up and down stairs. I queued up for the robotics panel discussion after, which was moderately interesting despite the obvious shilling for robotic products made by the moderator Colin Angle’s company. Stories of war profiteering by this same moderator by his same company elicited several boos from the audience. The most interesting points were brought up by Rodney Brooks director of MIT’s CS and AI lab and Ken Goldberg, professor and researcher at UC Berkeley. Brooks said that the Jetsonian dream of Rosie the robot is still at least 20-25 years off. Goldberg was the only panelist to give props to robotics as an art form, rather than pure market commodification as others seemed pre-occupied with.
Other highlights of NextFest were this 3D printer which I witnessed creating skulls, the K-bot which is a robotic head that emulates human facial expressions, the Moller Skycar and the directed sound of HyperSonic Sound technology.
Later that night was the Cloud Factory Design Collective’s 6th annual fashion show. Fucking amazing! Ravers can make hella cool threads and show them off in the most creative of ways. More on this once some pix become available. Like I said, this town rawks!
I’ve had this fotolog account for awhile now, but only recently got back into updating it. Fotolog is a community of picture lovin’ & sharin’ peeps from around the world (with an interesting concentration of nubile young Brazilian girls posting endless vanity shots). One of the more innovative things about fotolog is the group fotolog. Group fotologs usually center around specific concepts like street art, bumper stickers or tattoos. There’s no automated process start a group fotolog, you just have to email them and wait. I’d love to turn my political art fotolog into a group one. I emailed them last week and waiting for the go.
I took this outside of Fox News during the Shut-up-athon last week, a creative way to give Fox News back a little of what it dishes out. Whille this was happening, the Outfoxed documentary bus drove around the block several times while blasting clips of O’Reilly yelling shut up to his guests. The Dubya PantsOnFire-mobile was cruising back and forth at the same time. Good times indeed.
More people have published their accounts of what happened to them during RNC week. Emmanuel sums it up nicely:
I can only pray that what happened on August 31 was a mistake that will never be repeated. But I can’t say I’m optimistic – with the mayor saying the police did an “A plus” job and the mass media beginning to mock the experiences we went through. If this is indeed the beginning of a trend, then this episode will represent a big step in the decline of our freedom. These sweeps will become commonplace in the name of security. People will be held without charges for days. The suspension of rights now used on “enemy combatants” will begin to be applied in other areas, whenever national security can be even peripherally invoked. We could all wind up paying a very heavy price for our complacency. That’s why, if there’s to be any hope at all, we have to care and we have to get through to others. That’s the purpose of my telling this story and I hope it manages to open some eyes.
And that’s the purpose for my story as well. I’ve compiled and a list of links to all the stories I’m aware of. If you know of others, please let me know and I will add them to this list.
Video interview with a very articulate detainee (Quicktime):
The Washington Post has this excellent front page story about innocent people being rounded up and detained by the NYPD during the RNC. The major media pretty much ignored or downplayed the issue at the time. It’s good to see the Post doing it’s job on this one. It is interesting, but not surprising to see Bloomberg and the cops continue to whitewash the whole thing as if it never happened.
Throughout the week, police also picked up dozens of people who appeared to have nothing to do with demonstrations, the New York Civil Liberties Union said. Among those swept up by police were several newspaper reporters, two women shopping at the Gap, a feeder company executive out for dinner with a friend, and Wendy Stefanelli, a costume designer with the TV show “Sex and the City,” who was walking to get a drink with a friend.
Bloomberg has acknowledged that police may have arrested some innocent bystanders, but he suggested that it was partly their fault.
“If you go to where people are protesting and don’t want to be part of the protest, you’re always going to run the risk that maybe you’ll get tied up with it,” he said on a weekly radio show on WABC.
Yeah Mike. Maybe you should have handed out copies of your new version of the Constitution to visitors before you wiped your ass with the one that has served us so swell for over 200 years.
Democracy Now! has this story on the use of low cost decentralized messenging tools to organize quickly to breaking news and events. SMS text messaging to over 5000 people, a staffed dispatch center, and VOIP text-to-speech breaking news update phone service were all used effectively to mobilize people. The major media and even the cops themselves relied on NYC.Indymedia to find out the latest protest actions.
On Wednesday, an Indymedia journalist posted the following report: “The Entire Scooter Goon Squad is wrapped around Fifth and 48th reading INDYMEDIA from an internet phone booth. Everyone should come by and bring your video cameras.”
You’d think that with a $60 million security budget the cops would have been able to invest in a few mobile Internet devices.