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.

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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

Jean Lievens: Paracity High Tech Slums as Solution

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

PARACITY

“To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now.”
– Samuel Beckett

Paracity is a biourban organism that is growing on the principles of Open Form: individual design-build actions generating spontaneous communicative reactions on the surrounding built human environment and this organic constructivist dialog leading into self-organized community structures, development and knowledge building.

Click on Image to Enlarge

Click on Image to Enlarge

The growing organism the Paracity is based on a three dimensional wooden primary structure, organic grid with spatial modules of 6 x 6 x 6 metres (6 meters is approximately 18 feet)constructed out of CLT cross-laminated timber sticks. This simple structure can be modified and grown by the community members working as teams or by an assigned Paracity constructor.

Paracity’s self-sustainable biourban growth is backed up by off-the-grid environmental technology solutions providing methods for water purification, energy production, organic waste treatment, waste water purification and sludge recycling. These modular plug-in components can be adjusted according to the growth of the Paracity and moreover, the whole Paracity is designed not only to treat and circulate its own material streams, but to start leaching waste from its host city becoming a positive urban parasite following the similar kind of symbiosis as in-between slums and the surrounding city. In a sense Paracity is a high-tech slum, which can start tuning the industrial city towards an ecologically more sustainable direction.

Learn more — superb range of photographs and graphics.

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Mar 14

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

Jean Lievens: Essay of the Day: The Peer Production of Large-Scale Networked Protests

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Essay of the Day: The Peer Production of Large-Scale Networked Protests

* Special Journal Issue: Organization in the crowd: peer production in large-scale networked protests. By W. Lance Bennett, Alexandra Segerberg & Shawn Walker. Information, Communication & Society. Volume 17, Issue 2, 2014, pages 232-260. Special Issue: The Networked Young Citizen.

From the Abstract:

“How is crowd organization produced? How are crowd-enabled networks activated, structured, and maintained in the absence of recognized leaders, common goals, or conventional organization, issue framing, and action coordination? We develop an analytical framework for examining the organizational processes of crowd-enabled connective action such as was found in the Arab Spring, the 15-M in Spain, and Occupy Wall Street. The analysis points to three elemental modes of peer production that operate together to create organization in crowds: the production, curation, and dynamic integration of various types of information content and other resources that become distributed and utilized across the crowd. Whereas other peer-production communities such as open-source software developers or Wikipedia typically evolve more highly structured participation environments, crowds create organization through packaging these elemental peer-production mechanisms to achieve various kinds of work. The workings of these ‘production packages’ are illustrated with a theory-driven analysis of Twitter data from the 2011–2012 US Occupy movement, using an archive of some 60 million tweets. This analysis shows how the Occupy crowd produced various organizational routines, and how the different production mechanisms were nested in each other to create relatively complex organizational results.”

 

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Mar 8

Jean Lievens: Sharing is Good for Community, Economy, Nature

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Sharing is Good: Building a Sharing Economy & Community

Beth Buczynski

By sharing what we already have (time, energy, money, goods, foods, skills) we can create communities of abundance. By changing our idea of what it means to be sustainable people, families, and businesses, and working together to achieve it instead of alone in our own silos of eco-guilt, we will rediscover our commonalities, our connections, our passions.

We are the change we’ve been waiting for. Movements like Occupy Wall Street and Idle No More show that we’re ready for a shift away from the false power of things and toward the galvanizing power of people. Sustainability, efficiency, and happiness will emerge as by-products, and our communities will become cleaner, happier places to live.

Sectional Headers Only:

Building a Sharing Economy
Sharing Bolsters the Local Economy
Sharing Encourages Community Involvements
Sharing Encouraged Self-Sufficient Behavior and Accountability
Sharing Encourages Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Sharing Grants Access to Under-Served Populations
Sharing Reduces Waste
Sharing Enhances Relationships and Increases Knoweldge
Sharing Protects the Environment

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Feb 12

Jean Lievens: What Is P2P? An Introduction

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

“We can’t continue with a system that creates wealth, but that’s also destroying the planet and creating so much social inequality. I think that after 400 years of this, we know it doesn’t work. We need a new system to reclaim all these communal values”

Julie Tran from MakeChangeTV interviews Michel Bauwens

“We can’t continue with a system that creates wealth, but that’s also destroying the planet and creating so much social inequality. I think that after 400 years of this, we know it doesn’t work. We need a new system to reclaim all these communal values”

What would a post capitalist economy look like? Julie Tran from Makechange TV interviews Michel Bauwens to inquire on the particulars of P2P or “Peer to Peer” philosophy. Bauwens gives clear, direct answers to questions such as: “What is a P2P economy?”, “How does it differ from Communism or Capitalism?”, “Is it the same as collaborative consumption or crowdsourcing?”, “Will it be become a main trend of the future?”.

To round out the video, we also include a short text below, written by Bauwens for Open Thoughts dealing with value, sustainable commons-based production and how P2P works within society.

Openness, a necessary revolution into a smarter world

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Feb 5

Jean Lievens: Michel Bauwens on the democratization of the means of monetization — commons licenses that demand reciprocity!

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

Michel Bauwens on the democratization of the means of monetization

In this new work, Michel continues to propose powerful ideas that not only demonstrate his capacity for synthesis, but more importantly, his capacity to articulate ideas that facilitate points of convergence between broad sectors that are sympathetic to the ideas of production based on the commons.

Michel Bauwens sent us a work that will soon be published, in which he summarizes and clarifies what he sees as the possible evolution of the means of monetization in a world in which the P2P mode of production has gained strength.

[D]emonetization will be a good thing in many sectors under a regime of civic domination, we will also need new forms of monetization, and restore the feedback loop between value creation and value capture.

Michel Bauwens

Michel Bauwens

Netarchic capitalism, the direct result of recentralization, has established a new model of value, in which capital extracts it as an intermediary in the creation of platforms for P2P interaction between individuals, gradually renouncing its role of directly controlling information production.

So, cognitive capitalism can be said to be suffering a severe “value crisis,” in which the use value of production grows exponentially, but its exchange value grows linearly, and is almost exclusively captured by capital, giving rise to exacerbated forms of labor exploitation, especially with respect to the new informational proletariat:

It could be said that this creates a sort of “hyper-neoliberalism”… in classical neoliberalism, wages stagnate; in hyper-neoliberalism, salaried workers are replaced by isolated, and mostly precarious, freelancers.

For example, Bauwens cites preliminary studies that indicate that the average hourly wage of “digital workers” doesn’t exceed two dollars an hour, citing as a prototype of this phenomenon aggregation services like TaskRabbit, in which workers can’t communicate with each other, unlike clients.

The light at the end of the tunnel

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Jan 28

Jean Lievens: How to Design for the Sharing Economy

Jean Lievens

Jean Lievens

How To Design For The Sharing Economy

How do you create the next Zipcar, Netflix, or Airbnb? Follow these five rules, from Artefact’s Lada Gorlenko.

The definition of ownership is changing. We are becoming less interested in owning products and accumulating wealth through long-term purchases. Instead, we crave experiences, seeking out things without much of a financial or time investment, and have a newfound appreciation of bargains and second-hand possessions (a song about thrifting is leading the Billboard charts as I am writing this). We increasingly consume products and services through renting, sharing, and purchasing subscriptions. Being “socially connected” is no longer just about having a lot of people to share your news with; these days, it’s about having a lot of people to share your stuff with–either for free or at a fraction of the market fee. It’s about collaborative consumption.

. . . . . . .

Collaborative consumption is growing from a trend for the young and urban to a viable alternative for everyone. From renting a movie online (e.g., Netflix) to renting a stranger’s couch (e.g., Couchsurfing), the economy of sharing changes the way we behave, consume, seek new options, and commit to decisions. The phenomenon is not just about getting access to new cars and the latest movies; it’s also about creating a new type of peer-to-peer commerce, making meaningful connections, and establishing a sense of trust among those involved.

Read full article.

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Dec 22

Jean Lievens: Denise Cheng at Harvard Business Review on Peer Economy Transformation of Work

The Peer Economy Will Transform Work (or at Least How We Think of It)

Denise Cheng

You can’t avoid peer-to-peer marketplaces. For transportation and housing, look no further than Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb. Skillshare and TaskRabbit are tackling education and task completion. Etsy and Shapeways have created handmade and fabrication marketplaces. They all facilitate integration into the economy without the need to secure employment from a large company.

Instead, the growing peer economy enables people to monetize skills and assets they already have. Vendors and providers on these platforms choose when to work, what to do and where to do it, sidestepping traditional constraints of geography and scheduling. Investors, advocacy groups and companies tout its apparent advantages, including a greater sense of solidarity through peer-to-peer commerce and reduction in carbon footprint through access to products and services instead of ownership.

. . . . . . .

Peer economy providers are also vulnerable but with a crucial factor that makes all the difference: They are a visible workforce, able to make these collective interests heard.

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Dec 19