Living Public

Hasan M. Elahi
I just read this article about a guy who was harasser by the FBI for 6 months because someone reported him as having explosives in storage somewhere (which he didn’t). They wanted to know everything about him for the last 6 months. SO he started to make EVERYTHING publicly available:

When I first started talking about my project in 2003, people thought I was insane. Why would anyone tell everyone what he was doing at all times? Why would anyone want to share a photo of every place he visited? Now eight years later, more than 800 million people do the same thing I’ve been doing each time they update their status or post an image or poke someone on Facebook. (Just to put this in perspective, if Facebook was a country, it would have the third highest population, after China and India.) Insane?

What I’m doing is no longer just an art project; creating our own archives has become so commonplace that we’re all — or at least hundreds of millions of us — doing it all the time. Whether we know it or not.

Last weekend i also watched ‘We Live In Public’

about Josh Harris who was ahead of his time putting every room in his house online and living in public with his girlfriend. His life became Hell.

With Facebook becoming the internet for most people, this is happening more and more. The first artist thought it was a good idea the second not so good.

As Conan the Barbarian says: “I live, I love, I slay” whats to hide :)

Managing scattered online Social Life on multiple Social Networking sites

I’ve been kicking the idea of a central way to manage accounts on many social networking apps for a while now. I think it starts to go beyond just managing social-network accounts because what your really doing is managing identity.

Some are saying that 2008 is the time for this sort of “killer app”. Google have also started to chip away at the problem offering a way to update your status in many places at once.
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Why Sharing is Caring

The music industry is going down. The Label executives are going out kicking and suing but we all know its over. The music production model has changed and there is no room for them anymore.

In Michael Calore blog post on Wired, The Web’s First Rock n’ Roll Success?, Michael touts proof of what everyone has know since Napster started up: File sharing of MP3s is good for the consumer and bad for the old school Record Industry:

“Their story is remarkable because of one fact: grassroots communication channels like MySpace and P2P file trading networks worked better than the major-label hype machine. The Arctic Monkeys became hugely popular because they wrote good songs, made them available to their fans for free, and encouraged them to share the MP3s with their friends.”

The Arctic Monkey, after this sort of promotion realised “the fastest-selling independent debut in UK history”. The article/post goes on to say “The major labels are still scratching their heads wondering why the kids aren’t buying records they way they used to.”, and the answer to that is, I say, is because the stuff the record companies have been pumping out is not art, its manufactured shite.

The old way was Big Label X spends Y million on PR and more than double their money before the teeny boppers figure out that Album Z is shite. Now, the teeny boppers are downloading The One Song promoted form the album and realising the rest is garbage and so before they go out and buy McFad Album (if they still intended to) the next fad hits them and they have forgotten about what they were just listening to.

I noted an article back in 2004 called The New Economics of Music: File-Sharing and Double Moral Hazard in which the same argument is put forward but using economic theory:

Fundamentally, I’m going to argue that consumers download music, as much to derive extra value from getting something for free, as they do because they want insurance against buying something they didn’t want in the first place. File-sharing is as much about risk-sharing as it is about the ‘theft’ of value. Technological changes have made this possible – but the way the business model of the music industry is at odds with the implicit contract it signs with listeners is what makes it probable.

Ultimately it means that the record industry has to start finding real artist rather than manufacturing fads. Good for real music artist, good for us the consumers. Everyone wins except the fat middle men.

Maybe the internet can eliminate all the middle men of the world. I hope Real Estate agents are next.

MetaWeb is born!

Ideas for using comments on del.icio.us bookmarks and how this could add a layer ontop of the web.

I use Sage to manage the RSS feeds I like to track. I track my friends del.icio.us links RSS feed. When you add a URL to del.icio.us you get to leave a comment on it, like a note. This note comes up with the link in Sage. What I’d like to do is reply to this comment. Comments on del.icio.us bookmarks. Could be in interesting idea.

I heard about a technology that lets you leave notes on URLs for you friends. A Firefox extension could be developed to get all the comments that have been left for your current URL.

Also would be handy is if del.icio.us let you bookmark RSS feeds and then acted as an aggregator for you. I guess this would be pretty server intensive, like a universal cache for all the webs feeds worth bookmarking. People could then leave comments on all the articles coming though. It would be like a web on top of the web: MetaWeb!

Boring old May day

May day musings, have the lefts political means changed with the times or did we miss thge point to begin with?

I’ve long thought that ‘direct action’ is a waste of time in a modern indirect world. Protest are a bit of a throw back to the 1960s where they were first tried in a democracy to a successfully end

  1. I think they were successful because it was quite a new thing to do in a 1st world country and the system of power wasn’t prepared for it thus there was unlimited media focus.
  2. It was coupled with a social movement that expressed the angst of a large group of young people (i.e. ‘the baby boomers’), and rode the already existing momentum of social change.

Time has changed dramatically and I don’t think a political decision in the 1st world has been swayed by a protest in decades. What makes me say this is that we had the biggest series of protests around the world in history against the ‘war on terror’.

So maybe it wasn’t the direct action that was important in the 60s but the social movement. People hanging out, sharing love and drugs and generally having a good time. I think the article ‘Your Politics Are Boring As Fuck’ sums it up nicely and offers a more evolved way forward. It realises that people need something back from volunteering, even if its just the basics of pleasant human interaction.

If political activates are fun and sociable (rather than socialist) they will be able to affect more people for longer. After all who doesn’t want to be apart of fun?

Cops and garbage bins must go

Would society work without cops?

I was waiting at the bus stop and a van full of chunky cops pulled up with what looked like light combat gear on. I thought about how in North Sydney they have removed all the garbage bins and the streets remain clean. What would happen if we removed all the police, would the crime rate increase?

By removing the garbage bins the council has managed to save money, but they have shifted the responsibility from them to us, the public. It’s a leap of faith on their part, or perhaps recognising that its citizens can be trusted. Why not with the police force? If the police force were removed from a city, what would happen? How much does society really rely on the police to maintain order?

I think the cops server two purposes and only one is law enforcement, the other is maintaining the inequality within society. We saw in the famous LA riots how looting and pillaging went on as soon as there was a perceived lack of law enforcement. This I believe is the society coming to equilibrium, or the ‘redistribution of wealth’. What would have happened if it had been permitted to carry on? Once all the shops were looted then what?

Even the looters would have to come to some sort of truce in order to maintain food and shelter, utility services and so on. One thing that could not happen is that people could not continue to ignore each other’s poverty or wealth. Once the responsibility his shifted to the everyone then everyone would have to become aware of this new responsibility. Groups would have to form for protection and to maintain existence.

As a side note I just went to Glasgow and came back to find my Laptop had been stolen. The police came around and could do nothing nor did they get my hopes up about anything happening. Would this have occurred if everyone were a cop?