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Weaponizing Cultural Viruses
A Manual For Engaged Memetic Resistance on The Front Lines of The Culture Wars
What does it mean to fight a culture war? How does culture propagate through a population? What is a meme? And why are some cultural memes more virulent than others? As the capitalist corporate monoculture further asserts its global hegemony, it is vital that individuals become more skillful in their resistance to it. In a hyper-connected world, the most powerful vector of resistance is that of memetics, the core unit of cultural belief. A culture war is, fundamentally, a memetic war.
WikiLeaks Release 1.0
Insight into vision, motivation and innovation
During the last 12 months WikiLeaks representatives have been talking at numerous conferences, from technology via human rights to media focused, in an effort to introduce WikiLeaks to the world. WikiLeaks has had major document releases that have spawned attention in all major newspapers by now, it has triggered important reform and has established itself as part of the accepted media reality.
Tor was originally designed as a civil liberties tool for people in the West. But if governments can block connections *to* the Tor network, who cares that it provides great anonymity? A few years ago we started adapting Tor to be more robust in countries like China. We streamlined its network communications to look more like ordinary SSL, and we introduced „bridge relays” that are harder for an attacker to find and block than Tor’s public relays.
We are more Borg than we thought
The actions of a highly-networked group of individuals cannot be explained as the sum of actions of individuals. Let’s explore how far we are along with evolving collective consciousnesses and what’s on their minds. With the Internet, the individual’s ability for inward and especially outward communication is unprecendented in history. Millions of individuals are sharing thoughts and observations through social networks. The faster and more efficient the information flows within such a network, the harder it becomes to distinguish these processes from the activity in a biological neural network (brain).
Componentization – or the atomization of a given resource into ‚packages’ – has greatly contributed towards the ease with which software developers are able to re-use and build upon each other’s work. We argue that this kind of approach is becoming significantly more important in knowledge development. This talk will discuss the Open Knowledge Foundation’s Comprehensive Knowledge Archive Network (CKAN) – a registry for open data, from sonnets to statistics, genes to geodata. CKAN has recently been used in the UK Government’s beta for a ‚data.gov.uk’ site.
Architecture and urban planning play a huge role in our lives, to a degree not always obvious. The city, however, can be seen as just another system—like any other, it can be hacked, illuminating and subverting existing power structures and creating spaces that allow us to be more human and to live richer lives. In this talk, we’ll see a bunch of the challenges of the modern city and look at possible responses.
Location tracking does scale up
How skyhook wireless tracks you continously
For a long time we warned of the perils of full scale, permanent tracking of persons by the state or corporations. Cell phones, data retention laws and other surveillance techniques close the freedoms of the net. But none can be as pervasive as the permanent location updates sent to Apple and Google via your Smartphone and laptop. With a precision of 10 m to 20 m, BSSID based location tracking has become the ultimative and global tracking of persons. This talk will describe weaknesses and trends in current location tracking methods. The internet learned to locate you in 2009!
The Lost Cosmonauts
I’m going to talk about the benefits of applying critical thinking stories that we hear in the popular media, and the example I’ll be focusing on is the story of the Lost Cosmonauts: Soviet Cosmonauts supposed to have died in space, but who were erased from history. We have audio recordings, allegedly from these dying Cosmonauts, and we’ll apply critical thinking to learn what the real source was.
Why Net Neutrality Matters?
Status update on current legislation, campaigns and actions
Net neutrality is an essential safeguard for competition, innovation, and fundamental freedoms. The debate is high in the US with the announce of FCC non discrimination principles (even if they sound irremediably bound to the interests of Hollywood industry). In the EU, the „Telecoms Package” has been the ground of intense debates on the issue. Dangerous provisions were voted, yet a very high level of awareness was raised, giving hope into further positive outcome of the debate. Why one shall care? What one can do about it?
Privacy, openness, trust and transparency on Wikipedia
How the free encyclopedia project deals with sockpuppets
Wikipedia’s enormous growth during this decade, which has made it a „poster child of Web 2.0”, has been enabled by its „anyone can edit” philosophy – external credentials are not required, and one still doesn’t even need to set up a user account to change the content of one of the planet’s most visited websites. This radical openness created unsurprising vulnerabilites (to vandalism, libel, copyright violations, introduction of bias, organized PR activities, etc.), but it is balanced by an equally radical transparency, where even minuscule actions of editors are recorded indefinitely.
Why Germany Succeeded Where America Has Failed in Achieving Meaningful Voting Computer Changes
And Why All Democracies Should Follow
The decision made by the German Constitutional Court is THE definition of what election reform really is and that all democracies (and not just America) should use the basis of this decision in making the case for banning computerized voting. No more arguing security issues with the experts and accepting compromises that still leave citizens on the sidelines.
Why is Brazil the country of the future?
What is there in common between The Cannibalist Manifesto, written by the Brazilian poet Oswald de Andrade, in 1928, and online file sharing in the 21st century? What is the cultural diversity of Brazil – a society in constant formation – able to offer us to analyze the remix culture in the digital age? This work aim to investigate why is Brazil’s culture revealed as an inspiration for concepts as Free Culture and how the country was transformed in a laboratory of experimentation of new roads for the intellectual property debate.