Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goodbye 2008

A year in Forty Seconds (in case you don't have time)

As my RSS is currently being flooded with blog posts summarizing and assessing the past twelve months I thought to add my recollections to the mass. But I won't. It has been a good year, but hardly better or worse than the others. I detected the faint taste of vanilla in March, but it passed. June saw me in Paris, but I hope my wife does not ever find out. Late in the year I resumed drinking tea. This continues. Soon I shall be a year older, as I hope many other people will be also. While years are fine things too many can be bad for the health. I hope to retire from years sometime late in the Fall, of a distant year as yet undiscovered. Wrapping myself up I bid you all goodnight and best wishes for the coming session.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

China Awaits

Chinese Dub Orchestra (with Jah Wobble)
Improvised duet of 'No No No' by Cleo Rose and Gu YingJi under the direction of Mr Jah Wobble

Rice Corpse
Featuring the glass blowing talents of an old acquaintance of mine, Mr Lucas Abela.

Rice Corpse and Chinese Dub Orchestra are two examples of artists from outside going into China and making contact. With the growing dominance of China in the world, contact and exchange between artists over the borders is important. I hope 2009 is a year of hybrid cooperation between the enormous wealth of art, music, dance, theater, performance and writing from China and the rest of the world.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Sweden and the Pirates

When the Swedish Pirate Party was launched three years ago, the majority of the mainstream press viewed them with skepticism, with some simply laughing them away. Times have changed though. As the government works to introduce harsher copyright laws and others that threaten the privacy of Sweden’s citizens, the party is growing stronger and stronger.

In a recent poll, 21 percent of all Swedes indicated that they would consider voting for the Pirate Party in the upcoming European Parliament elections. Among men in the 18-29 age group, this number goes up to a massive 55% - an unprecedented statistic.

Aside from the support in this poll, more people have joined the party recently. During the last quarter the membership count increased by 50% - from 6000 to 9000 - which makes the party larger than the Green Party which currently holds 19 seats in the Swedish parliament.

Swedish Pirate Party Leader Rick Falkvinge told TorrentFreak that the Internet played a big part in the recent successes of the party. “We couldn’t have done this without the dialog infrastructure that the Net provides. Oldmedia has lost control of the discourse,” he said. With all the controversy surrounding the new anti-piracy and wiretapping legislation, the Pirate Party was often mentioned on blogs, since they are the most outspoken opponent.

For the upcoming European election, the Pirate Party requires 100,000 Swedish votes to get a seat, a goal that is within reach in the current political climate. Falkvinge is optimistic too, and said “We need to grow by another 50%, counting from the Swedish election two years ago, to get seats in the EU parliament and shake the political copyright world at its core. It’s hard, it’s supposed to be hard, but the numbers show we can do it. We can do this, and the charts are going stratospheric.”

The Internet will probably play a big role in this election for the Pirate Party, and recent history has shown that this is not only true for parties that carry “pirate” in their name. Elections to the European Parliament will be held in June 2009, and it’s going to be very interesting to see how the Pirate Party fares.

Post from: TorrentFreak

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The BBC Radiophonic Workshop 1958-1998

You have only four days left to listed to a three hour documentary on the BBCs Radiophonic Workshop (it is being taken down after this). If you know about sound art and electronic music then you know about the Radiophonic Workshop.

The BBC Radiophonic Workshop, one of the sound effects units of the BBC, was created in 1958 to produce effects and new music for radio, and was closed in March 1998, although much of its traditional work had already been outsourced by 1995. It was based in the BBC's Maida Vale Studios in Delaware Road, London, W9, UK growing outwards from the then-legendary Room 13. The innovative music and techniques used by the Workshop has made it one of the most significant influences on electronic music today.

Over 180 minutes the broadcast features a number of sound pieces going back to the 1958 beginning of the workshop. The star of the workshop for many today was Delia Derbyshire:

More sounds from Delia can be found HERE including the most famous piece of sound to come out of the workshop, the theme to Doctor Who:

The BBC documentary contains original interviews, unmixed sound pieces, stories about how the analogue tape-based works were made in the workshop. This is an amazing story of the history of sound.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

TechGnosis and Symmetry

In talking about Erik Davis, one can't help but talk of hybrids, things crashing into each other and having mutant children, millennial mixes of the ancient and the modern, often quite fringe but distinctly new. Davis floats in a very twenty-first century subcultural style, a mèlange of futurism and primitivism, call it cybermysticism or as Davis does "techgnosis".
Mission by Anais Lunet, Alexandre Bailly
Look at this mission also on Check-in Architecture website or on Google Earth

Here's an incident of the coincidental. Leaving my office on Friday for the Christmas break I tuned to my rather packed bookshelves to choose a book to read. I wanted to read one from the backlog that I have been meaning to read for a while but work (thesis) has prevented me from doing so. I grabbed Erik Davis' TechGnosis: Myth, Magic, and Mysticism in the Age of Information, which has literally been on my shelf for over a year on a never ending revolving loan from the library. I started reading it yesterday and to say I am enjoying it is an understatement. Then, a magazine arrived in the mail today, Arthur is its name. It comes from San Francisco and it is very 'groovy'. I have been reading Arthur online, from the blog and website for a long while. I ordered a paper copy two weeks ago maybe (things move slowly in San Fran??) but I was nonetheless so glad to see it today. And whose name is on the front cover, you guessed it, Erik Davis: Trance Planet: The Analog Life, Arthur issue 31

Monday, December 22, 2008

Talking Japanese

In these last days of the year the culture continues and we begin with an unlikely collision provided for me by Amazon:

We recommend: Mamma Mia! [2008]

DVD ~ Meryl Streep

RRP: £21.99
Price: £12.98
You Save: £9.01 (41%)

Recommended because you purchased or rated:
* On the Road: The Original Scroll (Penguin Hardback Classics)

How in the world is On the Road related to Mamma Mia I cannot understand.

Far away from Mamma Mia, I have long been a fan of things Japanese. Raised in a house where my father was a student of Japanese language I read Kawabata and Mishima as a teenager. As a young adult I discovered the new sounds of Japan via friends who were seeking out the most creative sonic expressions that were being recorded in the late 1980s and early 90s. First it was the Boredoms, whose album Pop Tatari (1992) was played over and over again in many chaotic lounge rooms of my youth:

Boredoms, Telehorse Uma

I saw Boredoms in 1996 (Boredoms, Regurgitator, Phlegm, Metro Theater, Sydney 1996) and it was like a postmodern opera of noise kabuki. Over the years I have remained with the Boredoms, through many changes. This year Yamatsuka Eye and Yoshimi P-We have led 88 Boredrum:

88 drummers give an 88 minute performance at the La Brea Tar Pits at 8:08PM on 8.8.08. Hosted by Boredoms.

Following immersion in the Boredoms reality there came other bands. Ghost is perhaps my number two of the Japanese groups I am dedicated to. Their album Temple Stone (1994)is brilliant:

Ghost - Guru in the Echo

In 1984 Ghost was formed in Tokyo. In the beginning, they played only improvisation / freeform music naturally. But when they started their first recording in 1988, their music had been changing to more constructive one. Still now on their live activities we can find they play improvisation sometimes.

"Their music was based on acoustic guitar usually. A lot ethnic instruments or strange instruments are added to it freely on recording. And the place they play were so unique as examples — buddist temples, churches, ruins, metro, fields, woods, caves... Such strange methods are nothing but ones of their expressions. They are Ghost anytime."

Ghost is:
Masaki Batoh: Vocal, Acoustic Guitar, Hurdy Gurdy, Banjo, etc.
Kazuo Ogino: Piano, Oscilator, Recorder, Lute, etc.
Michio Kurihara: Electric Guitar
Junzo Tateiwa: Tabla, Percussions, Drums
Takuyuki Moriya: Elecric Bass, Contra Bass
Taishi Takizawa (aka Giant): Flute, Theremin, Saxophone

No account of contemporary Japanese experimental and improvised music could be without Keiji Heino. Keiji Haino (灰野 敬二 Haino Keiji) born 1952 in Chiba, Japan, and currently residing in Tokyo, is a Japanese musician whose work has included rock, free improvisation, noise, singer-songwriter, solo percussion, psychedelic, minimalism and drone styles. He has been active since the 1970s and continues to record regularly and in new styles.

Keiji Haino (in the middle, long hair and guitar) Yamatsuka eye John Zorn Improvisati0n

Dance and music improvisation at Judson Church, 1999. Zack Fuller has danced with Min Tanaka many times, as has Keiji Haino. This performance was a part of the Movement Research at Judson Church series. Music by Keiji Haino.

Marble Sheep

I discovered both Marble Sheep and High Rise at the same time. I could not have been happier. Heavy psychedelic guitars that took up where bands such as The Seeds and Love left off. It was the record Marble Sheep & The Run-Down Sun's Children from 1989 that was my entry into the tangerine riffs and stone age drumming of the Sheep, beautiful (check out Last Race on the Sheep's Myspace page..sonic canyons of mind melt).

High Rise is an explosive power trio comprising the core of Asahito Nanjo on bass and vocals and Munehiro Narita on guitar, joined by a succession of drummers (including Yuro Ujiie, Pill and free-jazz veteran Shoji Hano in the past, and Koji Shimura currently). High Rise mix the jazz-influenced improvising of live Cream with the often brutal amphetamine-inspired rock of Blue Cheer. Narita is one of rock's unsung guitar players, and his dexterous fingering causes eruptions of pure electric joy. The other players are equally stunning in their total commitment to this high energy music that features the freedom of jazz and the power of rock.

High Rise - Psychedelic Speed Freaks (Live, Tokyo, Dec. 15 2006)

I could go on forever about Japanese music. But I would like to end with one artist who is so exquisite that I almost become emotional talking about him. Magical Power Mako is a legend in Japanese psychedelic circles:

This self-styled visionary and musical hermit has been releasing albums since the mid-70s. But the variety and here-there-and-everywhere approach of his attitude to record releases makes it difficult to grasp just who Magical Power Mako is, and what he does best. Mako’s career began auspiciously enough with thunderous applause for his first three LPs, but the slow nature of his recording techniques soon contributed to record company impatience with this often brilliant artist. Viewed by many as a legend and by others as a chancer, there’s no doubt that the extraordinarily varied quality of Magical Power Mako’s during the ‘90s contributed dramatically to compromising the public’s long-term perception of this charming artist.
Born Makoto Kurita around 1955, Mako grew up in the seaside resort of Izu Shuzenji, a sea coastal town similar to Brighton or Torquay. Throughout his childhood, he was an outsider who wrote much music and played piano and guitar while still in primary school. At junior high school, he decided to make a more concerted effort to realise his musical vision, and would return home after school to write songs every day. His house was situated in the mountains and looked down at the town’s hot springs. Mako became fascinated then obsessed by an octagonal hotel built near the hot springs. Visible from his bedroom, Mako believed that someone was observing him from the hotel’s 3rd floor. This sense of being observed spurred him further into musical activities and, at age fourteen, he began to record with a reel-to-reel, ping ponging the tracks back and forth in order to build up sound. The summer holidays of 1970 were spent in long recording sessions making his own LP. When it was finished, Mako wrote on the reel-to-reel tape box: ‘Summer 1970, things a 14-year-old boy thinks about’. The tape commenced with a song (‘I Bought An Extraordinarily Big Eye In The Town One Day For A Good Bargain Price’).

“One day, I bought an extremely big eye in the town, very cheaply,
When I saw the world through the eye,
Extremely small people were making noise,
Making a fuss about winning or losing,
What pathetic people who only have small eyes,
And they think the universe is the end of this world,
Not knowing that there is another world,
One Day I bought an extraordinarily big eye for a cheap bargain price.”

From the summer of 1973, he took up residence in a house belonging to the US Army, located in Fussa, Greater Tokyo. Mako began to record in this house, multi-tracking instrumental tracks endlessly. So many tapes were recorded that would not see the light of day for over twenty years, allowing new listeners to discover his old music. Even before the first LP, Mako recorded with Keiji Haino at the Fussa house.
From Julian Cope

Magical Power Mako / Open the morning window

Magical Power Mako + Pollypraha at Aoiheya May 11, 2007
Mako's albums are not easy to find, even in file sharing networks. I recommend the first self titled album from 1973 which is decades ahead of its time. The song 'Open the Morning Window' is from this album.

Finally something I discovered just today:
Very beautiful Japanese music can be freely downloaded from the somewhat cryptic ShSkh web site. Etsuko Chiba plays koto and sings with a delicate voice that makes this traditional music quite pleasing and relaxing. There are three tracks at approximately 12 minutes each. This is both a good introduction the koto and Japanese music in general.

Japanese music is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Japanese contemporary culture. I hope to visit Japan one day, until then the music, manga, anime, novels, and so much more will just have to do.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Great Remixes of 2008

Tony "Baloney" Blair sings "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash

Pelt at Terrastock 7

Pelt Terrastock 7 June 22nd 2008 from Mikel Dimmick on Vimeo.

I am on holidays..sort of...well at home anyway. The coming week is home and family. I am however working on the thesis when I can. Not long to go. But I thought over the next week this blog would be a site for music and song, art and pleasure. 2008 has not been a bad year at all. I begin with an excerpt for the performance by Pelt at Terrastock 7 at Melwood Arts Center, Louisville Kentucky on June 19th - 22nd, 2008. This morning I listened to Pelt's Pearls from the River from 2003. What a fine fine piece of work it is. Of course if you don't like rolling waves of steely drone then maybe its not your cup of chai.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

To Share in Times of Austerity

It is Friday, but I began this post earlier as the above image stuck a chord in relation to the pirate utopias of the late William Burroughs (ever a comfort for me). Since I composed the above collage: Greek Rioters and The Wild Boys, riots have started in the Swedish city of Malmö. In the neighborhood of Rosengård youths have been running amok overnight. I wonder which European state is next for all night anarchy?

La Haine: Matthieu Kassovitz 1995 stark depiction of life in a Paris project is just as relevant today. Powerful performances and harsh images shot in black and white and intercut with actual footage from the riots. Said Taghmaoui is right on the money as one of three friends the movie follows for one day in the aftermath of a violent street riot.

Walking to work this morning most of the snow has melted and it was just under 5 degrees Celsius. A week before Christmas! Global warming is clear near the arctic (I live at Latitude 63° 50'). Five thousand Swedes are loosing their jobs every week at the moment (not the same people over and over again..ha ha...but throughout the whole country).

In related news, I am well, the family is fine, holidays (PhD code for 'working at home') have started and we have a Christmas tree. "Now we don our gay apparel, fa la la la la la la". On to the recommended media for the week found on the web:

You & Me on a Jamboree!
Reaggae, Roots, Dub, Ska: Music blog from Brazil lost of Mp3s of whole albums.

Monitor - webbradio -

Special with Karl Bartos: formerly of Kraftwerk and now sound artist and academic

Whole Earth Review Fall 1989 - Electronic Edition

The Alien Intelligence of Plants.....Edited by Terrence McKenna

UbuWeb Sound - Gertrude Stein

From A Gertrude Stein Reader, Northwestern University Press, 1993 These sound recordings are being made available for noncommercial and educational use only. All rights to this recorded material belong to the Estate of Gertrude Stein. © 2005 Estate of Gertrude Stein. Used with permission of Estate of Gertrude Stein, through its Literary Executor, Mr. Stanford Gann, Jr. of Levin & Gann, P.A Distributed by Penn Sound and UbuWeb.

The Wild Boys (1996)
Composer: Colin Bright
Performers: Synergy Percussion
4 Saxophones, 4 Percussion + samples of William S. Burroughs
This is the first in a series of pieces to shift focus somewhat towards a more urban psychoscape. The elements of 'place' are still there, but are less obvious. The title is drawn from the novel by William S. Burroughs. It is basically about homosexual warrior packs out to save the world from an oppressive police state. Samples of Burroughs readings are integrated into the music of four saxes and four percussion. This work was awarded the Sounds Australian Composition of the Year 1996, and was also selected in the Recommened-for-Broadcast List of 10 pieces at the Paris Rostrum 1997. It was subsequently the most broadcast piece.

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & Captain Anomoanon :: 2006
As Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy prepared to embark on what would become a very busy fall of 2006, he played two very special nights at Joe’s Pub in New York City. With brothers Paul and Ned Oldham (Will Oldham/BPB/Palace Music), the trio blistered through nearly 40 covers, nearly all traditionals - playing only one original (“Cursed Sleep” in its pre-release form). Below are three of those shows (all but the first night’s late show). Enjoy, and hat tip to the original taper.

Taking their name from a Japanese religious movement that translates to "true light", Mahikari is the combination of two of Japan's most creative guitarists. Acid Mother's Temple's Makoto Kawabata and Yamamoto Seichie of the Boredoms combining forces sounds like it could either be incredible or incoherent, but thankfully it leans much more to the former on this collaboration. As expected they open things up with a long and winding rumination on the various uses of stings, amps and distortion before plowing on through the rest of the record, touching on walls of noise and psych-wrangled blues along the way. The pair is tethered, though ever so slightly by the able drumming of former Thin White Rope pounder Stoo Odom. This was released in a super limited vinyl edition (of course) but has thankfully begun popping up in a few digital outlets as well. Absolutely brilliant performances from all involved.

Next week is a bit of a mystery. I will be online as usual, but waking and sleeping times become very mixed when I don't go to work. So we shall see. Solstice on Sunday, I will be playing didgeridoo somewhere at sunset as part of the Worldwide Didgeridoo Mediation. Om Gaia!

The Tomorrow Story

If you can read Swedish and are interested in what youth between the ages of 15-24 are doing with mobile media, you should read the new report Unga Mobile Vanor (Young Mobile Friends) (PDF). The big news is that two of three youths have abandoned ipod type technology in favor of mobile phone platforms with multimedia. With these tools media is obtained by 'blutoothing', sharing files over mobile networks. This makes the efforts by the Swedish government to allow authorities and publishers access to IP addresses of file sharers all the more meaningless. There will be no IP addresses in the future, just offshore phone carriers and mobile networks. Of course this is where the FRA law comes in maybe.

Tomorrow Story is a Stockholm based media research company. They have a cool report on branding as well.

Jet Junk and Speculative Architecture

Fanzine for Electronics and Aesthetics Junk Jet just released their second issue, which examines "Speculative Architecture." Published out of Stuttgart, Germany, each installment of Junk Jet pulls together a chaotic assortment of collage, text, art projects, lists, photographs, and much more. The term "speculative" is used to group "works of unpredictable architectures and volatile spaces within real and virtual environments." One such space could be the empty bedrooms found in booty dancing demos on YouTube minutes before the dancer enters the frame. Olia Lialina writes on Dennis Knopf's Bootyclipse which compiles fuzzy, webcam footage of these domestic interiors, while maintaining their original soundtrack. (This article also appeared as a section in her essay Infinite Seance 2.) The confused comments from non-art seeking YouTube users posted in response to Knopf's video entries draw out a sense of speculation in their attempts to understand what it is they're viewing.'s An Ordinary Building also toys with the viewer's expectations. They contribute documentation of this project, in which they placed a plaque on a nondescript building in Viterbo, Italy declaring that the structure "...was designed by an unknown architect in an irrelevant epoch and never belonged to an important person." The sign stands in contrast to others found throughout Italy which detail the history and importance of specific buildings. While Junk Jet's themes are generally quite open (JODI contribute a recipe to this issue), one salient strand seems to be the confusion and suspension which follow speculation, regardless of its architecture.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Some Evening Reflections

Is it Tuesday? I think so. Almost Christmas. I went to town today, only for ten minutes. My mission failed. I forgot my money. Not so many Christmas hyped happenings. Things seen more restrained this year. Maybe things are changing. I am living in the pages of my slowly evolving thesis. I wonder if the great authors spoke to their characters outside working hours? It is amazing how words can become reality.

Visual Audio by Brightblack Morning Light (Holographic Buffalo)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Recommended and Recycled Media from the Web

Another week runs down the cosmic gutter of our dreams. I am so tired but happy. We are approaching the Solstice at a rapid pace and the snow is thick on the ground here. On to the recommended media found by me on the web this week:

abstract hacktivism (PDF Book 66 pages)
In this publication, Otto von Busch describes ”hacktivism” in an abstract sense, relating it to phenomena such as shopdropping, craftivism, fan fiction, liberation theology, and Spanish social movement YOMANGO. Similarly, Karl Palmås examines how publications like Adbusters Magazine, as well as business theorists, have adopted a computer-inspired worldview, linking this development to the boom of the late 1990s.

Nifflas' Games
Two attempts have been made to build a bomb, capable of freezing the entire world. The first was a failure, and resulted in a living blue ball. The second attempt was a success. Now the clock is ticking, and the world is in grave danger. That is, unless...
Within a Deep Forest is a freeware 2D platform game for Windows featuring challenging gameplay, beautiful music, an evil doctor, and a deep forest.

Thug - Electric Woolly Mammoth LP (1988)

Thug's Electric Woolly Mammoth, a noisy Australian post-punk Faust Tapes if ever there was one. This album, the band's second and final LP, is a collection of anarchic hilarity, fuzzy blasts of noise, inspired space-rock trips and the occasional sweet little instrumental, like early Cabaret Voltaire filtered through a devastating outback demolition derby. Though there are two slightly longer, dronier tracks, most of the ideas don't last too long—just long enough to push you on to the next little bit of abuse, the sonic equivalent of that spinning scene from Guinea Pig: Devil's Experiment.

Free Audio Books: Download Great Books for Free | Open Culture
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Podcasts - Learn at Any Time - The Open University
Enormous collection of free podcasts, Arts, Business, Computing, Education, Engineering, Languages, Law. Who needs a classroom?

Salifu Titah’s Band - Babu Me-Ee-Say Ala « Excavated Shellac
Approximately 24 million people in Africa now speak the Hausa language, from Western Africa across the continent to Eritrea. However, it’s in northern Nigeria and the country of Niger where you’ll find the majority of speakers. It is an Afro-Asiatic language, which means it’s in the same general family as Berber languages and the Arabic of Egypt - languages spoken in the northern part of the continent. It can be written in an Arabic script, known as Ajami.
Which brings us to this Hausa recording, made for HMV and on the TM series. The guitars show an influence of West African pop, but the voices sound real and unpolished. The singers are accompanied by two (?) guitars, drum, and percussion (perhaps a bottle). Alas, I could find no information on Salifu Titah.

Rickdog's collected 6,000+ mp3blog links, accessible from the alpha menu at page top. You can open frames on these blogs to view them directly on my site, and you can also view the feeds in a frame.

Digital Islam

I just joined Digital Islam: Research on Middle East, Islam and Digital Media. I am expecting to be happy I did. It looks like an amazing site and community of scholars and resources. One thing that stuck me is the long list of video games dealing with images of Islam and the Middle East. The above image is taken from Kuma War - Battle in Sadr City. Kuma, the company making the game, is affiliated with Stars and Stripes magazine and Military Spot, the US army's web portal. The critical reading of such games should be an essential skill developed in language and cultural studies education today.
The reason behind my contact with Digital Islam is the submission of an abstract for a paper (Digital Space and Religion: Representing the Sacred in 3D Virtual Worlds) for the conference “Changing Societies – Values, Religions, and Education” here at Umeå University next year (June 9-13). I recommend it to anyone interested in the subjects:

At present societal changes take place in societies worldwide. As a result of this, issues related to value changes surface. Issues related to democracy, to identities, cultures and ethnicity are brought to the fore. Through migration, the patterns of religious activities are also changing. The presence of citizens with more varied religious affiliations, some with new understandings of the role that religions play in society, poses new questions to respond to. Gender relations are another societal area where changes are taking place. The roles of women and men – or girls and boys – and equity between them have become crucial issues and are nowadays complexly interwoven with the others mentioned above.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Importance of Careful Translation

I have heard of people getting Chinese script characters tattooed and then find out later what they thought was the sign for Peace was actually taken from a menu.

Now the esteemed Max Planck Institute has committed a similar blunder. The above cover of Max Planck Research (MaxPlanckForschung) has just been withdrawn but not before thousands of copies were distributed. The Chinese text reads in translation:

With high salaries, we have cordially invited for an extended series of matinées

KK and Jiamei as directors, who will personally lead jade-like girls in the spring of youth,

Beauties from the north who have a distinguished air of elegance and allure,

Young housewives having figures that will turn you on;

Their enchanting and coquettish performance will begin within the next few days.

It is taken from a poster set up in the streets of Hong Kong's redlight district.

A meme or just dumb?

A more detailed account with expanded translation is available HERE.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Peer to Peer File Sharing in Sweden

Posts that contain IPRED-lagen per day for the last 30 days.

The topic of the IPRED Law in Sweden has faded in the blog world.

At the moment in Sweden the Justice Minister Beatrice Ask is doing a lot of media appearances trying to explain the incoming IPRED Lag (Property Rights Enforcement Directive) and it does not seem like the honourable minister is doing a very good job. The new law is supposed to make uploading of proprietary materials illegal according to the minister. There is a technical problem with this as most people understand; when one downloads one also uploads in the network scheme of things.

Ask said on the current affair program Agenda (25.30-38:40) recently that the law is designed to act against those which upload "commercial amounts" of copyrighted material. When questioned about what exactly are 'commercial amounts' the minister could not answer and said it is up to the courts to decide. This is despite the initial power to act against file sharers not being given to the judiciary by the IPRED Law but to the publishers of the material being shared illegally. A letter of demand is to be the first stage in any action being taken against file sharers.

According to the web news site the new law does not specify the amount of files being shared as deciding if an offence is being committed. Once again in the article the minister said that it is up to the courts to decide.

I cannot help but think that this is all in preparation for the Pirate Bay trial which has been postponed in the summer and will now take place early next year. The fate of four young men, Fredrik Neij, Per Svartholm Warg, Peter Sunde and Carl Lundström, will be decided in court. I would think that the Pirate Bay trial will be sometime soon after April 1 2009. The day the IPRED Law comes into effect.

Related to the drama in Sweden I read this morning the top ten prophecies of the digital millennium and number 4 is

4. The decline of copyright

Regular readers of this column will know this is a hobbyhorse of mine. Copyright and most intellectual property laws are now an anachronism. Attempts by record companies and film studios and book publishers to stop people copying digital media are doomed to failure.

Technology is forcing big changes to business models.

I wonder how this is all going to play out.......badly I expect.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Weekly Media Recomended by the Management

Today I managed much to little work on the thesis beast. Meetings kept cropping up all over the place. So this is short and sweet and I am going to try and clean up a couple of pages of a chapter draft before I fall into bed for the dream ship takes me away for 8 hours....tomorrow is Saturday oh sweet sweet day!

Here is some good stuff for the week from the net:

New Acid Mothers Temple
Kawabata's and his Mothers are back, this time in full on Melting Paraiso UFO form. As heavy as his recent work with the Cosmic Inferno, the man hasn't lost a step over the course of who knows how many releases in several configurations and numerous side projects. It's hard not to like a release that contains a song called "Cosmic Soul Death Disco" that clocks in around 28 min and change, but the rest of this release is no slouch either. Another long piece starts the album off like a slow trudge to the center of a volcano before the aforementioned CSDD triggers the explosion of molten rock. The band cap Glorify Astrological Martyrdom with a powerful and by AMT standards very short song that gets to the fury without hesitation and though there's no room for an 8 minute solo it seems to live up to expectations rather nicely. This is actually one of the more consistent albums I've heard out of the last couple the band has released, building to a nice momentum without losing a step along the way.

Psychedelic Adventure: Psychedelic Shamans Of The Amazon
Here are some classic documentaries on Amazonian Shamanism

The Entheogenic Evolution Podcasts
Trance, shamanism, music, healing. Its all here in nice podcast form.

Forever Blowing Bubbles: A Walking Tour with Peter Linebaugh and Fabian Tompsett (video)
A walking tour and talk in the City of London with Peter Linebaugh and Fabian Tompsett, taking in landmarks of capitalist crisis past and present. Organised by Mute magazine . 12 November, 2008.

This one looks like a winner. Really cool podcast from ex-Wolf Eyes Aaron Dilloway, with 20 layers of tape-hiss…always, featuring William Burroughs explaining how audio tape cut-ups can tell the future and Mick Jagger wilding on Moog synthesizer for Kenneth Anger’s 1969 film, ‘Invocation of My Demon Brother.” Unfortunatley there are only a couple of them, but certainly worth the listen.

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I had never heard of this guy before but just check out the videos on Arthur magazine this week.

Music Podcast Collection - Classical, Jazz, and Rock | Open Culture

Enormous collection of music podcasts.

Download | The Public Domain
This book is an attempt to tell the story of the battles over intellectual property, the range wars of the information age. I want to convince you that intellectual property is important, that it is something that any informed citizen needs to know a little about, in the same way that any informed citizen needs to know at least something about the environment, or civil rights, or the way the economy works. I will try my best to be fair, to explain the issues and give both sides of the argument. Still, you should know that this is more than mere description. In the pages that follow, I try to show that current intellectual property policy is overwhelmingly and tragically bad in ways that everyone, and not just lawyers or economists, should care about.

Keep on shining in the sunshine.

Body Swap

Valeria Petkova, center, of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm and Karolinska Institute student Andrew Ketterer, left, test the 'body-swap' illusion, a method whereby people can experience the illusion that either a mannequin or another person's body is their own body Monday Dec. 1, 2008 in Stockholm. In a study presented Tuesday, neuroscientists at Stockholm's renowned Karolinska Institute show how they got volunteers wearing virtual reality goggles to experience the illusion of swapping bodies with a mannequin and a real person.

Pedagogy with Mike Wesch

Interview with Mike Wesch
Mike Wesch, US Professor of the year, on anti-teaching and how to engage today's students. Mike was interviewed by Sebastian Hirsch and Ulrike Reinhard.

I have started teaching at first year university level. It is a serious business. What I think is most interesting is that I feel like I actually care about the people I am teaching. I want them to learn, I want them to benefit from the experience of attending my classes. This is not easy. I am using new media in teaching and want to continue to develop my use of these modes.

What Mike Wesch talks about in this video is very exciting. Building community, increasing styles of learning, changing learning spaces. "The possibilities...we can't really grasp them." Welcome to the sea of information!

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

I am in Print (Soon)

Virtual Learning and Teaching in Second Life by Judith Molka-Danielsen and Mats Deutschmann (eds.)

Price: Price not currently set
Availability: Coming

About the book

Coming January 2009

Virtual worlds are increasingly incorporated into modern universities and teaching pedagogy. Over 190 higher education institutions worldwide have done teaching in the virtual world of Second Life (SL). This book is based on the first Scandinavian project to experiment with the design and testing of teaching platforms for life long learning in SL. In 2007 it created a virtual island or “sim” in SL called Kamimo Education Island. The project generated a number of courses taught in Second Life, and instructed educators in the use of SL. This book disseminates the experiences and lessons learned in that project and from other educational projects in SL. This book identifies the gaps in traditional forms of education. It provides a roadmap on issues of: instructional design, learner modeling, building simulations, exploring alternatives to design and integrating tools in education with other learning systems.

Revision: 1. edition
Case type: Paperback
Number of pages:
ISBN: 9788251923538

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Tuseday Evening Somewhere on Earth

Amon Düül II - Eye-Shaking King (1970)

Trying to wake or maybe going to sleep. My thesis has become like a virtual reality for me. I long for it when I am not with it but then when I again open the screen it is agony. Nothing much else to say. Winter. Sky very close to the ground. Writing. I am the eye shaking king.