Thingness of Energy by Jamie Cruse, Friends of the Pleistocene (FOP), 2012
"Energy materials and flows are often hidden in basements or invisibly channeled through pipes and wires. The Thingness of Energy is a provocation to consider and directly experience the material realities of the energy that fuels The New School and enables learning to occur here each day. Taking The New School’s Climate Action Plan as its point of departure, the project reveals the deep geologic nature and effects of the materials we use to generate and transmit energy. And it underscores the power of deep time—both past and future—as a generator of energy forms and effects"Stacktivism + Jane Bennett, oh my!
OKCupid asks Firefox users to switch to another browser due to its CEO’s opposition to gay marriage (via @SaraLang)
Now that’s a business living its purpose. Bold. Gotta say I’m impressed.
Now, I liked this essay from Erin Kissane (Open News, also part of Mozilla) about not rushing to judgement on what exactly should be done about Brendan Eich. And Mark Surman talks about how "Mozilla is messy" and perhaps there’s a case for working with people you disagree with politically.
As Erin says:
“Several of my colleagues have called for Brendan’s resignation. I have not done so, despite my strong feelings on the issue, in large part because of my conviction that the open internet is not and cannot be a progressive movement or a liberal movement or even a libertarian movement. In the climate-change fiasco here in the US, we’ve seen what happens with a globally important issue becomes identified with a single political point of view. We can’t let that happen here: the open internet is not more important than gay rights or any number of other progressive causes, but it should and must be a broader movement. The moment we let “open internet” become synonymous with progressive causes—inside or outside Mozilla—its many conservative supporters will be forced into an impossible position.”
Now, she’s queer - it’s not like she doesn’t take Eich’s homophobia seriously. But it’s a real question any kind of political movement has to consider: how far do allies need to align on issues they’re not working towards? Because if you demand total orthodoxy, you end up working in a coalition of one.
Or perhaps I’m just a sucker for an “It’s all more complicated” argument. Anyway. Despite all that, I can simultaneously admire the boldness of OkCupid’s move.
Now, internet discourse being what it is, immediately people start attacking OkCupid for apparent hypocrisy:
Hey @OkCupid: Are you still taking money from customers who you know from your questions to be anti-gay-marriage? (Thanks, @mala)
But still. Jeez. When was the last time you actually saw a company stand for shit?
I want Quantified Self to be a messy space, one where users willingly choose the aspects of their lives they are proudest of, and most troubled by, and allow them to track, and engage with their narratives over time on their own terms.
I wonder if we can ever reach a point where sensor technology and data-mining can be accessible and successful, flexible enough to be genuinely empowering, allowing users to control their own narratives. Is it improbable to dream of a feminist data future?
—Quantify Everything: A Dream of a Feminist Data Future
Model View Culture, 24 Feb 2014
Making my overgrown reading list your problem… Some highlights from the last week:
Hashtags as Decolonial Projects with Radical Origins
Suey Park & Eunsong Kim
Model View Culture, 17 March
#NotYourAsianSidekick: Rethinking Protest Spaces and Tactics
HASTAC, 12 March
Visual Memes as Neutralizers of Political Dissent
TripleC: Communication, Capitalism, Critique vol 12(1)
The Corporate PR Industry’s Sneaky War on Internet Activism
Tamasin Cave and Andy Rowell
VICE, 24 March
Risk, Rated X: Geopolitics and the Pickup Game
Katie J.M. Baker
Dissent Magazine, 18 March
Everyone Is Getting Turkey’s Twitter Block Wrong
Medium, 27 March
Much Ado About Normcore
Medium, 22 March
Dark Arts: Meet the architects of Tumblr’s cyberpunk renaissance
Verge, 19 March
The rebirth of Italian fashion
Guardian, 26 March
Privacy, Secrets, Whispers
Never Forget That 16-Year-Old Girls Run the Internet
Re/Code, 21 March
In Defense of Ghosting
The Wire, 24 March
14 Whispers About Whisper
Buzzfeed, 9 Feb
After WhatsApp: An Insider’s View On What’s Next In Messaging
TechCrunch, 22 March
Estimating Audience Size on Facebook
Facebook Data Science blog, 6 March
Privacy And Security Settings in Chrome
Noncombatant.org, 11 March
"Let’s face it. We’re undone by each other. And if we’re not, we’re missing something. If this seems so clearly the case with grief, it is only because it was already the case with desire. One does not always stay intact. It may be that one wants to, or does, but it may also be that despite one’s best efforts, one is undone, in the face of the other, by the touch, by the scent, by the feel, by the prospect of the touch, by the memory of the feel. And so when we speak about my sexuality or my gender, as we do (and as we must), we mean something complicated by it. Neither of these is precisely a possession, but both are to be understood as modes of being dispossessed, ways of being for another, or, indeed, by virtue of another."
Judith Butler, Violence, Mourning, Politics
“What does it mean to love somebody? It is always to seize that person in a mass, extract him or her from a group, however small, in which he or she participates, whether it be through the family or through something else; then to find that person’s own packs, the multiplicities he or she enclosed within himself or herself which may be of an entirely different nature. To join them to mine, to make them penetrate mine, and for me to penetrate the other person’s. Heavenly nuptials, multiplicities of multiplicities. Every love is an exercise in depersonalisation on a body without organs yet to be formed, and it is at the highest point of this depersonalisation that someone can be named, receives his or her family name or first name, acquires the most intense discernibility in the instantaneous apprehension of the multiplicities belonging to him or her, and to which he or she belongs.”
— Gilles Deleuze & Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus
Happy Valentine’s, Tumblr…
That someone might distort our arguments doesn’t mean that we stop arguing difficult positions. It means that we keep arguing them with precision and exactitude.
What My Angry Critics Get Wrong About My Choice to Be Gay
The New Republic, 6 Feb 2014
Responding to criticism of his previous essay, I Wasn’t Born This Way. I Choose to Be Gay (28 Jan).
The UK’s intelligence services can process 21 petabytes of data per day - that’s 39 billion pieces of information that could be the private data of any citizen. This mass surveillance violates your privacy and chills free speech across the globe. The current law offers little protection. We are calling for reform of the legal framework so the intelligence agencies stop spying on us
There are three ways for people to take action:
1. Sign the petition at DontSpyOnUs.org, supporting Liberty and the Open Rights Group’s call for an inquiry
2. Use the form to email your local MP. Here’s what I said to mine, David Lammy:
Mr Lammy -
As MP for Tottenham I know you understand better than most MPs the the importance of ensuring that government security does not override our democratic freedoms. You’ve taken an important stand on police-community relations; I’m writing to you today to ask you to help hold the British intelligence services to account in this way too.
Technology has developed faster than the legislation, and so the balance has tipped too far towards what can be done (mass surveillance of all communications), rather than what should be done. Essential principles of human rights - Article 8’s respect for a private life and Article 10 on freedom of expression - have been sidelined.
The Don’t Spy on Us campaign highlights important principles of democratic oversight, transparency, due juridical process and fair redress. You know that all these are essential for fair policing: they’re essential for the just operation of the wider security and intelligence services too. Please ensure that these six simple requests are heard in debate in the House.
But most of all, I am writing to ask you to drive support for an inquiry into legislative reform to enable Parliament to hold the intelligence agencies to account. London’s Labour MPs are essential forces to stand up for the rights of ordinary citizens against security industry lobbyists. Please help our voices be heard.
3. Join Open Rights Group and donate - they’re asking for just £5-10 per month.