Rickard Falkvinge: EU Court Trashes Mass Surveillance

Rickard Falkvinge

Rickard Falkvinge

Pirate Party Vindicated By Highest EU Court, Killing Mass Surveillance Law

Yesterday, the European Court of Justice ruled the detested Data Retention Directive invalid. Retroactively invalid, even: the court ruled that it had never existed. The directive (a directive is sort of a federal law covering the EU) mandated all EU states to log all communications from all citizens: from whom, to whom, from where, using what method, and when. No communication would be unseen by the Government.

This wasn’t for the usual organizedcrime-terrorism-pedophiles-filesharing mantra. This was for everybody, with the express purpose of using your communications logs against you. The Pirate Party was founded as a direct reaction to this blanket violation; we were quoted in 2006 saying “this is worse than Stasi” in a context depicting us as though we were talking complete rubbish and nonsense.

Yesterday, the European Court of Justice – the highest court of the world’s largest economy – said the same thing in a historic verdict. The blanket violations are intolerable and inexcusable.

Read full article.

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Apr 10

Stephen E. Arnold: Open Review Breaks the Back of Citation Cabals and Incestuous Science

Stephen E. Arnold

Stephen E. Arnold

Open Review Brings Peer Review to the Scientific Masses

This seems like a step in the right direction for the world of academic publishing. ResearchGate News announces, “Peer Review Isn’t Working—Introducing Open Review.” We know that increasingly, papers based on shoddy research have been making it into journals supposedly policed by rigorous peer-review policies. Now, ResearchGate has launched a countermeasure—Open Review brings the review process to the public. The write up happily tells us:

“We’re excited to announce the launch of Open Review today. It’s designed to help you openly voice feedback and evaluate research that you have read and worked with, bringing more transparency to science and speeding up progress.

“With Open Review you can:

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Apr 7

Stephen E. Arnold: USG Considers Open Acquisition

Categories: Data,Governance
Stephen E. Arnold

Stephen E. Arnold

Government Tackles Acquisition Inefficiencies

Given evidence like the vile backlog on veterans’ benefits and the still-operating paperwork bunker in Pennsylvania, one could be forgiven for suspecting that no one in government is even trying to bring our bureaucracy into this century. You may be surprised to know there is plan in place for at least part of the problem, as evidenced by the Integrated Award Environment: the Path Forward from the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). That document, which looks suspiciously like a Power Point presentation converted to PDF, outlines the GSA’s recommendations for improving the federal government’s acquisition procedures.

Anyone interested in the details should check out the document, but the list of “our principles” summarizes the organization’s targets:

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Apr 6

Jean Lievin: Communities: the institutions of the 21st century? An interview with Rachel Botsman

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Communities: the institutions of the 21st century? An interview with Rachel Botsman

Since her influential book about how collaborative consumption is changing the way we live, Rachel Botsman has been a leading actor in the collaborative economy and stimulated important debates about its future. OuiShare Fest Co-chair Francesca spoke to her about her vision of the collaborative economy movement, her current work and what she will bring to OuiShare Fest this May.

A lot has happened since your book “What’s Mine is Yours”. Did you imagine the collaborative economy would look the way it does today? Where do you see the movement going now?

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Apr 2

Jean Lievens: LOOMIO – building public infrastructure tool for decision-making, held in the commons

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

BRING LOOMIO TO THE WORLD

LOOMIO is free and open-source software for anyone, anywhere, to participate in decisions that affect them.

“The world needs a better way to make decisions together. #Loomio is building it. You can help: http://thndr.it/1kaQhmy

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

We’re a small team of open-source developers, facilitators and activists in New Zealand. On Tuesday March 11, we’re crowdfunding to build a totally inclusive platform so anyone anywhere can participate in decisions that affect them. It’s called Loomio 1.0.

Learn more, support options.

LOOMIO Home Page

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Mar 11

Patrick Meier: Crisis Mapping in Areas of Limited Statehood

Patrick Meier

Patrick Meier

Crisis Mapping in Areas of Limited Statehood

I had the great pleasure of contributing a chapter to this new book recently published by Oxford University Press: Bits and Atoms: Information and Communication Technology in Areas of Limited Statehood. My chapter addresses the application of crisis mapping to areas of limited statehood, drawing both on theory and hands-on experience. The short introduction to my chapter is provided below to help promote and disseminate the book.

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Feb 14

Ecuador Initiative: Commons-Oriented Productive Capacities

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

ECUADOR INITIATIVE: Transition Proposals Toward a Commons-Oriented Economy and Society

Sponsored by the National Institute of Advanced Studies of Ecuador, carried out by the Free/Libre Open Knowledge (FLOK) Society.

Commons-oriented Productive Capacities

See Also:

Ecuador Initiative @ Phi Beta Iota

Michel Bauwens @ Phi Beta Iota

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Feb 12

Ecuador Initiative: Limits of Economic Valuations of Nature

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Click on Image to Enlarge

ECUADOR INITIATIVE: Transition Proposals Toward a Commons-Oriented Economy and Society

Sponsored by the National Institute of Advanced Studies of Ecuador, carried out by the Free/Libre Open Knowledge (FLOK) Society.

From Jose Luis Vivero Pol

BIOMOT Policy Brief 1 – Limitations to Economic Environmental Valuation

1. EEV methods fail to secure ecosystem systainability.

2. EEV methods mistakenly assume that money can be used as a neutral measuring rod of people’s preferences.

3. EEV methods are grounds in a misguided approach to decision making.

4. EEV methods misunderstand, and motivate policies which fail to respect, the way in which people value nature.

5. EEV methods may compromise intrincis motivations for environmental protection.

6. EEV methods facilitate the troubling expansion of market norms into environmental valuation and decision making.

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Feb 12

Ecuador Initiative: Integrated Societal Metabolism

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Click on Image to Enlarge

ECUADOR INITIATIVE: Transition Proposals Toward a Commons-Oriented Economy and Society

Sponsored by the National Institute of Advanced Studies of Ecuador, carried out by the Free/Libre Open Knowledge (FLOK) Society.

MuSIASEM in Depth

Source Page

MuSIASEM is an open framework able to take into account the economic, environmental, social, cultural, technical and political dimensions in an integrated analysis, accounting for different flows such as monetary, energy, waste or water. As a result, ultimately we can get “congruent” relations among the different set of variables.

The results of the MuSIASEM are sets of georreferenced vectorial indicators that are easy to understand, and this is one of the strengths of the method. But it is build on strong and heavy theoretical blocks. Here we summarize its roots.

Complex System Theory
From CST, MuSIASEM has taken concepts that are useful to deal with the definition of the societies as part of a broader hierarchical system and with the different levels of it that are relevant for the analysis of the sustainability.

Hierarchical levels of a Socio-Ecosystem. By Cristina Madrid.

Hierarchical levels of a Socio-Ecosystem. By Cristina Madrid.

Under the CST perspective, the Societal Metabolism is a notion used to characterize the processes of energy and material transformation in a society that are necessary for its continued existence, sustainability or Autopoiesis. In order to maintain this, those transformations cannot overpass the thresholds posed by the Ecosystem Metabolism. Both, societies and ecosystems are levels of a Hierarchical System. In them, there are relations that have to be maintained within and among the levels, including the relations that control the biophysical transformations, or metabolic patterns. The metabolic patterns of the social level of a hierarchy depend on its internal and external relations. They pose internal and external constraints to the autopoesis of the system.

More about CST: Robert Rosen, Humberto Maturana, Fracisco Varela, Tim Allen, Howard Odum, Ramón Margalef, Ilya Prigogine

Bioeconomics
From Bioeconomics, MuSIASEM has used the flow-fund model of Georgescu-Roegen. With it, MuSIASEM is able to deal with the degrees of complexity given by the different meanings a resource has in each of the levels of analysis and by the relation between them.

In MuSIASEM, flow is a semantically open definition for elements that come into or out of the relevant system level during the analytical representation. They give information about what the system level(s) does to maintain itself. Fund is a definition used for those elements that remain there during the complete time of the representation. They are the components of the system that must be maintained.

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Feb 10

Neal Rauhauser: MassBigData Opens Government

Neal Rauhauser

Neal Rauhauser

MassBigData Opens Government

I sometimes think I could drop all of my technical Twitter follows except for @kdnuggets and that would be more than enough to keep me busy. Today he mentioned MassBigData, a statewide initiative to open government data for exploitation. What used to happen inside 128 has spread as far west as Worcester.

. . . . . .

I’ve long advocated for expanding our national rail network and replacing the city networks, which once spanned the entire country from Long Island to Milwaukee. Here’s what the state of Massachusetts makes available in terms of transportation data as part of the initiative:

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Jan 21