December 2010

Notes from Underground: Vibration spanning the decades (New Years Weekend 2010/2011)

2010/11Last New Year’s Eve, the card for the “final outcome” in my Tarot reading was Temperance, which represents vibration.*   And what a coincidence: guess what tonight’s psytrance party is called?

It’s been a long decade.  Ten years ago, things were spiralling down: the dot-com crash, a stolen presidential election, with Enron and 9/11 fast approaching.   The ten years since then have been pretty depressing, watching our economy and civil liberties go down the drain as the rich white guys in charge struggle to keep everybody else down and the plutocracy gets greedier and greedier.  I’m sooooo ready to put the Awful Aughts to rest and start moving forward.

First though, let’s take a few moments to remember that there was plenty of good stuff over the last decade too.

At the societal level, the last couple of years have included the emergence of social networks, choosing hope over fear (at least partially),  reenergized womanist, mujerist, feminist, and anti-racist activists, Wikileaks, and an emerging coalition that’s neocons’ worst nightmare and the future of civil liberties.    So the trend is positive — and momentum is building.

And at the personal level, all I can say is … wow.

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Notes from Underground: A Death Guild Twofer

Death Guild flyerWe got back from D’s family around 6 p.m. Christmas Day, car stuffed with food and presents. Looks like we won’t starve 🙂 Then we took a nap, and after munching on leftover spaghetti I headed out to Death Guild’s X-Mess night at the DNA Lounge. Saturday night in the big city! How cool is that?

Saturday night, I posted as Kallisti on Dreamwidth, danced like crazy, and had a great time.   Tonight it’s Death Guild again, a regular Monday night … yay darkness!

every Monday Death Guild

The DNA Lounge is one of San Francisco’s great clubs.  We’ve been going there for years, long enough that I remember when they were serving “smart drinks” for groups like D’Cuckoo, the time when Wil Wheaton used John Gilmore’s light saber to strike down Barney at an EFF benefit, and a great performance by Snog.   It’s a fine spot for Death Guild.

It’s been a low-key few days, thinking about restructuring g0ddesses.net and wrestling with a blog post on Wikileaks … so much to say! And of course starting to think about New Year’s Resolutions too. So a great time to go out dancing.

I heart darkwave.

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The top 23 privacy stories of 2010 and 2011

2010/11The Center for Democracy and Technology is running a Twtpoll on the biggest privacy story of 2010. 

Vote early and often!

Then come back and read the rest of this post.

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Happy Bill of Rights Day!

It’s been another tough year for the Bill of Rights in the US. We spent Bill of Rights day on the road, opting out of the TSA’s abuse of our rights by driving (not flying) from San Francisco to Seattle — so apologies for the lateness of this post.

The National Archives has a great Twitterized version of the Bill of Rights, where each one is reduced to 140 characters or less.  Here’s the Fourth Amendment, by @swanroad:

Don’t seize me big bro! or search me, without a warrant

Yeah really.  And despite what the Obama Administration wants you to believe, the Fourth Amendment applies at airports too: the naked scanners and enhanced patdowns are unconstitutional. TSA Administrator John Pistole told USA Today that he thinks they’ve pushed the public as far as they can, but I think they’ve miscalculated.

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Notes from Underground: Psymbolic and Entheogenic Garden. Hail Eris! All Hail Discrodia!

psymbolic
2010-12-10_2002

An experiment, a (net)work in progress, a meta-level solution, a work of art

e-luminatus

Another Geomagnetic party at the Gingerbread House, and then Arjuna at a downtown venue I haven’t been before … time to take a quick break from the infowar and civil disobedience for a weekend of psytrance in San Francisco!

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Calling the Troops to Battle: EFF’s Say No To Censorship Campaign

‘THE net interprets censorship as damage, and routes around it.’ This quote from John Gilmore, a founding member of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, often appears on the Internet. It reflects its users’ confidence that their electronic world, designed to resist nuclear attack, can also shrug off government regulation. By nature of its global reach and its decentralised design, they believe, it is unpoliceable.

They may be mistaken.

— Christopher Anderson, The Accidental Highway, The Economist, 1995

Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

— John Perry Barlow, A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, 1996

Fifteen years later, Barlow is calling the troops to battle: “The first serious infowar is now engaged. The field of battle is WikiLeaks.”   And Gilmore’s observation once again proved accurate, as hundreds of sites begain mirroring Wikileaks and Twitter briefly functioned as a ‘sneakernet DNS’.   Then Anonymous stepped up, first with denial of service attacks against PayPal, MasterCard and Visa, and now with Operation Leakspin.

Electronic Frontier Foundation, founded by Gilmore and Barlow 20 years ago along with Mitch Kapor, is calling troops to battle as well with their Say No To Online Censorship campaign.  What’s the impact likely to be?  So far, there have been a couple of blog posts: Executive Director Shari Steele’s Call To Action, and Kevin Bankston’s legal analysis Information is the Antidote to Fear, valuable reading for anybody at a web 2.0 or media company.   But they’re clearly capable of a lot more.

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Tales from the Net

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Taking the Train!

picture through a window of Puget sounds and a small wharf

View from Amtrak's Coast Starlighter, Washington

We got on the train in Seattle’s King St. Station: a quick ID check, and that was it.

No nude pictures.

No irradiation.

No groping.

This is how travel should be.

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What Did You Win by Playing Sports? Rally to Help Girls’ Sports Day

Rally for Girls’ Sports DayI almost never blog about sports here … but since today is National Women’s Law Center’s Rally to Help Girls’ Sports Day, I figured I’d make an exception.

The theme for the blogging day is “What did you win by playing sports?”  First, though, a little context.

And it’s something that made a lot of difference to me personally.  I was the stereotypical “weird smart kid” in school, wearing glasses starting in first grade, with a lot of multi-syllable words in my vocabulary and a preference for reading instead of TV.  In the classroom, I didn’t fit in well at all with most of the other students.  But on the baseball field, I totally did.

Second base and shortstop were my thing in Little League.  We moved to a new town when I was in fifth grade, and my team (go Mansfield Mets!) was pretty bad my first year.  But the next year, when I was twelve, we somehow got a lot better, and wound up in a tight race for the championship.  One of our star player’s moms was the main coach, and my dad (who had no athletic ability whatsoever but was a great teacher) helped out too.   I made the all-star team and we went on to the district finals.  Cool!

So one of the biggest win for me was winning people’s respect.   I practiced hard and played hard too, and didn’t mind getting dirty.  Even though  I was a lot smaller than most of the other guys my age, I had a decent eye and was a good bunter — so I added a lot of value to the team.   It really changed how the other kids reacted to me.

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Calls to Boycott Amazon over Wikileaks: #amazonfail 2.0?

Boycott Amazon for Dumping Wikileaks (screenshot of Facebook page via Kurier.at)Heading into the busiest shopping time of the year, Amazon is suddenly facing threats of a boycott over censoring Wikileaks.   Seems like a good time to dust off the #amazonfail hashtag.

It started last week, after a hacker took one of Wikileaks’ sites down with a relatively weak attack.  Wikileaks moved their online base to Amazon, which from a technology perspective makes a lot of sense: their services are reliable and very scalable.  So it was all good.  Briefly.

Yesterday, after a public request from Senator Lieberman (and rumors of pressure from DHS), Amazon shut Wikileaks’ sites down for “unspecified violations” of their terms of use.  I think EFF’s Kevin Bankston speaks for a lot of us when he describes it as “disappointing”.

Unsurprisingly, there are calls for a boycott.  From Austria, Kurier has a great screenshot in Wut weil Amazon Wikileaks fallen ließSeattle Weekly has a good roundup including links to the Facebook page and the #amazonfail hashtag.

Hey wait a second.

Where have I heard that before?

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social sciences
Tales from the Net

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