Wednesday, April 29, 2009

There Goes the Neighbourhood

As I have written here before, between 1995 and 1999 Redfern in Sydney was my home in the world. An amazing neighborhood that centered around The Block, the property of the Redfern Aboriginal Housing Company. In Redfern a lot of artists, musicians and activists made their lives in a fashion that was more often than not cooperative and autonomous. I have written down some of my recollections of the period 1995-97 in Redfern here, when the threat of gentrification, the heavy police presence and the social problems (including uncontrolled hard drug use) where eating away at the sense of community that I found when I first came to The Fern in 1994.

"The Block, Redfern, has been described as the "Black Heart" of Australia and occupies a unique place within Sydney's urban landscape as a centre for the Indigenous community. It was the site for the Aboriginal Tent Embassy, and has been the gathering point for many protests and community events. Just minutes from the second busiest train station in Sydney are the open camp fires and communal use of public space of the community on The Block." Critical Spatial Practice

Today the exemplary blog, Critical Spatial Practice has published an account of the art exhibition There Goes The Neighbourhood along with a short essay on The Politics of Urban Space:

There Goes the Neighbourhood is an exhibition, residency, discussion and publishing project for May 2009. The central element of this project will be an exploration of the politics of urban space, with a focus on Redfern, Sydney. The project will examine the complex life of cities and how the phenomenon of gentrification is altering the relationship between democracy and demography around the world. While urban change itself is not always a bad thing, gentrification often happens at an accelerated rate, out pricing the lower income and marginalized communities from the neighbourhood and dislocating them from their existing connections to urban space. The project brings together artists from Australia and around the world whose work addresses these issues.

There Goes the Neighbourhood is also a 132 page book, that can be downloaded as a PDF from the website.

Virtual Macbeth Seminar

On Friday 8th May at 11:00am (CET) HUMlab will be hosting its first official seminar from the virtual world of Second Life. Angela A. Thomas, senior lecturer in English and Arts Education at the University of Sydney, Australia and author of the book Youth Online: Identity and Literacy in the Digital Age (Peter Lang, 2007), will be speaking, showing and performing on the theme of:

Inside the mind of Macbeth: Understanding and interpreting literary worlds in a virtual environment.
Virtual Macbeth was designed to demonstrate how we might best use the affordances of virtual environments for Education. Shakespeare’s Macbeth reimagined in Second Life provides an adaptive bridge between classic texts and new media technology. In the virtual, the abstract can be made concrete, and complex poesis and abstractions of Shakespeare’s verse can become embodied, elusive, visceral, and affective. The poetic use of metaphor, image and symbol that permeate Shakespeare’s language is brought to 3D life using the online world as a discursive design space where visitors experience the motivations and emotional journey of character, and explore and make personal sense of the universal themes of Shakespeare.

In this presentation I will demonstrate Virtual Macbeth and discuss the way the design of the island allows students to explore aspects of narrative theory, literary criticism, drama theory, gaming theory and digital culture. In particular, I will highlight the deep potential of virtual worlds for immersive, experiential and student-centred learning. The presentation will include opportunities for questions and discussion.

I think this seminar will be an exciting opportunity for anyone who is interested in experiencing a high quality example of digital technology that has been used to engage students in one of the canonical areas of English language learning.

If you are interested in taking part in the seminar there are a number of ways to do so. You can come to HUMlab, under the UB library and Lindell Hall in the social sciences building at Umeå University. If you have access to broadband internet you can watch a live streamed version of the seminar (it will be broadcast from Second Life so you will be watching avatars in a virtual world - much like the video below). The video stream opens a little before 11:00 on Friday the 8th May from here. If you are a Second Life resident you can log into Second Life and participate in the tour and discussion on the Virtual Macbeth sim. The URL to teleport into the sim is (click or copy and paste).

Of course you need to have a Second Life account and the Second Life program installed on your computer to be part of the tour in world. I would say that if you are unfamiliar with Second Life, come to HUMlab for the seminar and we can introduce you to it or you can watch the video stream if unable to visit us.

To provide some background to the Virtual Macbeth project here is a video about the island that captures well the atmosphere created by the site:

Filmed and edited by Gary Hayes of MUVEDesign. Note: This film does not demonstrate the many interactive elements, social intentions or literary integration.

From more information about Virtual Macbeth there is a wiki from the project and a long article with many links from the MUVEDesign online journal on virtual world design, Atmospheric Australian Virtual Macbeth.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swedish Internet Service Providers Destroy IP Logs

The so-called 'intellectual property' environment in Sweden makes this a fascinating country to live in. Today the Stockholm based paper Dagens Nyheter published three more letters to the editor in regards to peer to peer file sharing. The lead letter has the heading "The Recording Industry is Dead. The Music Industry Lives!"

In the same edition, and across radio, television and internet (English) the big news today in Sweden is that an increasing number of major internet service providers are destroying the information on customers IP information. Today it was Tele2 that said it would not be keeping customer IP information more than the obligatory (by European Law) three weeks. This is in reaction to the extreme interpretation of the IPRED law which the Swedish government introduced on April 1, which states that if a rights holder of a music or film work can show there is a suspicion that an IP address is sharing copyright material, the records of traffic for the IP address can be obtained with a court order from the IP service provider. The loophole in the IPRED law is that the legislators forgot to add a clause that compelled the IP service provider to keep the IP address information. The focus of the IPRED law it seems was getting the information.

So today one of the main figures in the so-called anti-pirate forces, Henrik Pontén makes the bizarre statement regarding the destruction of IP records:

This question is much bigger than file sharing. Think of a pedophile alarm for example - how could the internet carriers protect a victim of the crime with this situation? This reaction means that all legislation regarding the internet is compromised. Profit goes before the law.

It seems to me like a panic reaction; pedophiles, victims, anarchy and the dissolving of all legal society online. The final sentence regarding the sanctity of the law over profit seems ironic considering the claims of hundreds of millions made against The Pirate Bay (only 30 million crowns was awarded in damages) recently and the losses claimed to sales which seems to drive the whole legal process against file sharing. The IPRED law is only 27 days old. How did we survive March?

The turn among major (and minor) service providers is the latest in a week of disasters for the anti-pirate organisations inSweden with a retrial demanded and 45 submissions made to the The Ombudsmen of Justice (JO) or the Parliamentary Ombudsmen on the possible presence of bias in The Pirate Bay Trial.

It's only Tuesday. What will happen next?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Downstreams for the Week

I must admit blogging is becoming less of a priority lately. I am fully occupied with work; a thesis chapter to be done by next Tuesday (almost there), then a week to write a paper that has been accepted for the “Changing Societies – Values, Religions, and Education” June 9-13, 2009 at Umeå University (my third publication so far for 2009!). Then during May I will be back in Second Life doing some work on a new building for the HUMlab Island. I am also awaiting a decision on an extension of my PhD position, I hope to hear about it in the coming week (please let it be). On Friday 8th May at 11am (CET) I will be producing (I suppose that is the right word) a seminar from Second Life by Angela A. Thomas from dear old Sydney Australia in HUMLab (details will be posted here shortly). Along with this Twitter has been drawing more and more of my online words. Twitter is fast, conversational, and demands very little time. Although I fully appreciate the depth that comes with blogging (five years ago nobody would have thought that blogging would be the slow-mo of online self-publishing) I need to formalize what I blog and what goes on as tweets. What I do blog is a list roughly every week of what media I have encountered online that I think is good with a bit of a summary of my week (that has already started with the opening sentences of this monologue).

This week in Sweden it was revealed that the judge who presided over The Pirate Bay (TPB) trial may have been biased to such a degree as to effect his decision making processes.

Court judge Tomas Norström has a conflict of interest, claimed his defending counsel Per E Samuelson in a formal deposition to the Svea Court of Appeal.

The news of Norström’s membership of associations concerned with copyright issues drew widespread attention last week. He is a member of the Swedish Copyright Association, among other organisations, as are Henrik Pontén, Peter Danowsky and Monique Wadsted, the lawyers representing the copyright holders.

While many TPB supporters saw this as something of a victory, and I understand why, it sort of makes me sad. Not only is the pursuit of people who use file sharing technologies dumb (this we already knew), it now may actually be contrived as well. With the Swedish legal system facing the possibility of being questioned regarding its ability to make decision on copyright infringement and the government of Sweden slavishly following European Union directives as their solution to the problem, it seems there is now even less chance of a realistic way forward in regards to harnessing P2P file sharing technology in creative and innovative ways. To give you some idea how big this issue is in Sweden here are over 1600 articles published on the topic (in Swedish) over the last decade. As well membership in The Pirate Party has gone up by 20 000 members since TPB trial. They are expecting to win seats in the coming European election, although their performance in the last Swedish national elections was disappointing (less than 0.7% of the vote) they seem to be heading towards a popular base of support. The problem is not many people in Sweden vote in EU elections so far.

Now on to the down-loadable and streamed (downstream) media I am recommending this week:

A Walk Through H: The Reincarnation of an Ornithologist (1978) by Peter Greenaway
Duration: 41 minutes
As the camera pores over 92 mixed media pictures hung in a gallery (all painted exquisitely by Greenaway himself), a pedantic narrator describes his mysterious journey to H, using the pictures as maps. Subtitled The Reincarnation of an Ornithologist, this film seems to be concerned with the migration of a soul (to Heaven or Hell) following the migratory paths of birds (which feature prominently) - but along the way it takes in the curious provenance and interpretation of each painting, and it documents a bewildering intrigue between the narrator, his mentor Tulse Luper and his rival van Heuten (keeper of the owls at the Amsterdam Zoo).

Wittgenstein (1993) By Derek Jarman
Duration: 1 hr 11 min 53 sec
From IMDB: This Film is a dramatization, in modern theatrical style, of the life and thought of the Viennese-born, Cambridge-educated philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), whose principal interest was the nature and limits of language. The film is a series of sketches depict the unfolding of his life from boyhood, through the era of the first World War, to his eventual Cambridge professorship and association with Bertrand Russell and John Maynard Keynes. The emphasis in these sketches is on the exposition of the ideas of Wittgenstein, a homosexual, and an intuitive, moody, proud, and perfectionist thinker generally regarded as a genius. philosophy-dude. Also on Google.

Treehouse For Earth's Children: Don Cherry Organic Music Society
Recorded in Sweden on a hippie / commune / organic farm. Equal parts free jazz, freek folk, and manson family jams.... Apparently released in 1971 although some sources say 1972 or later.

Magic Carpathians Project Live on WFMU, 2001
My friends Marek and Anna play in Amerika.
Indeed hailing from Poland's plot of the Carpathian mountain range, The Magic Carpathians Project ("Projekt Karpaty Magiczne", to wy i ja) first announced themselves to a U.S. audience in March 2001, with a stunning and absolutely captivating performance on my radio show. The project of two artists, multi-instrumentalist / vocal shapeshifter Anna Nacher, and multi-instrumentalist / sound-sculptor Marek Styczyński (formerly of enviro-politico psych legends ATMAN), on this date they were joined by bassist Tomasz Radziuk and percussionist Jan Kubek. Irene Trudel and Chris Stubbs engineered.

Sonic Youth :: Sacred Trickster (Via The Eternal)
Still good after all these years. "Sonic Youth’s upcoming LP The Eternal (SY’s Matador Records debut). Remember in February when we we discussed event albums? Well, this is most definitely one of mine. The label just released the album’s lead off track, “Sacred Trickster”, as a free mp3 feeler. Barely over two minutes, it’s a Kim Gordon tune in the vein of SY’s underrated 1994 LP Experimental Jet Set, Trash And No Star. Those with an itchy trigger finger can take advantage of purchasing The Eternal as part of the Buy Early Get Now program which includes, among other things, a pre-release stream of album on April 28 and MP3 outtakes. June 9th street date."

sms sugarman
South Africa 2008 – 81 minutes Johannesburg – an evil, ugly city on a Christmas Eve. This is the turf of the lonely and the damned and no more damned can they be than Sugar man (Kaganof) cruising the streets in his Valiant ‘66, continually on his cell phone, peddling his girls, white and Asian, to wealthy black punters. This tongue in cheek inversion of the apartheid-years scenario of Afrikaans business men popping off to homelands to sample black girls is delivered with ironic force. From hotel to hotel to palatial apartment, the girls and he journey like Joseph and Mary looking for a manger. The process of the night will awaken something in Sugar man that will be born on Christmas Day, witnessed by no Wise Men nor sheep and cows but witnessed instead, by those who, like him were lost. Strangely romantic, consciously transgressive and aesthetically audacious – shot on a battery of cell phones .

Ólafur Arnalds - 'Found Songs' (Erased Tapes) - follow to download each day's mp3 for FREE
Ólafur Arnalds is a great Icelandic composer. For the first time Ólafur will compose and release a track daily – an idea which he developed as a way to collate several lost and found musical sketches and ideas in a 'very challenging, but fun' series. From Monday April 13th, Arnalds will create a song a day, for 7 days – instantly making each track available and keeping his fans up to date on the artist’s Twitter.

Full Length Films on YouTube
One hundred full length movies on YouTube. Includes the amazing documentary My Best Friend by Werner Herzog about his friendship and working life with Klaus Kinski,,one of the brilliant mad ones.

Dictionary of Non-Philosophy - Updated « Speculative Heresy
Just a quick post - to the hundreds of readers who have downloaded the original ‘Dictionary of Non-Philosophy’, we’ve updated the version with an entirely new (and absolutely stunning) cover.

Throbbing Gristle Interview April 2009

How wrecked is civilization keeping these days? All of Throbbing Gristle convened on the East Coast of the United States for the first time ever and came down to Jersey City to nurse their multinational jet lags and answer questions from Fabio, accuplaylist commenters, and callers around the country. Listen as mysteries from the TG universe are finally unveiled.

Academic Earth - Milton
Series of twenty four video lectures on Milton....Yale University

Global Groove presents Global Groove: Ouza - Wethe, Productions Jambaar 1980
Ouza's music had a political load and was kind of radical. He studied and was teacher and musician at the same time, therefore he did not record many albums. I guess we are lucky I found this one. It is a true beauty and I want to thank that French dealer for bringing it to us. Senegalese music at it's best.

Forward into Spring! The dashes are waiting our liberation.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jumpcut is Finished

Dear Jumpcut user,

After careful consideration, we will be officially closing the site on June 15, 2009. This was a difficult decision to make, but it's part of the ongoing prioritization efforts at Yahoo!

Very soon, we'll be releasing a software utility that will allow you to download the movies you created on Jumpcut to your computer. We'll send instructions to this email address when the download utility is available.

Once you download your movies, you may choose to upload them to another site such as Flickr, which now allows video uploads. You can find out more here:

Thanks for your understanding and thanks for being a part of Jumpcut.

The Jumpcut Team

A shame when an inovative site dies. The video sharing and remix site was more innovative than many of the dominant online video sharing sites:

If creating a video and publishing it to the web seems like a challenge, we think you'll find that Jumpcut makes it easy and fun. If you've been wondering what to do with the video you shoot with your snazzy new camera (or your phone), Jumpcut is the perfect place for you to be creative. If video isn't your thing just yet and you just want to make cool slideshows with your pictures, Jumpcut is still the best place.

Finally, a free online location where you can use all your media, create great looking movies and publish to anyone you choose. There's nothing else like it.

Because everything is online, as soon as you sign in to Jumpcut, you'll instantly be part of an online creative community. This means you can look through all of the media that other people have made public and grab anything to use in your own movie. If you choose, you can share any of your stuff with the community as well. If you missed the shot of The Big Moment, chances are, someone else got it, so the more people that join the community and share their stuff, the better it gets for everyone. Think of the fun you could have making a movie with a group of friends, or even a group of people you've never met, but share an interest with. Imagine coming home from a concert and having everyone's footage to make your own music video with! This kind of creative collaboration is unique to Jumpcut.

Most likely, you've seen the big "Remix" button by now. Remixing is another feature unique to Jumpcut. Basically, Remixing is creating your own version of someone else's movie, usually incorporating elements from the original, and adding more content or maybe just some of your own style and spicy goodness. It's an easy way to get started, and you can do it with the click of a button on any published movie. When you click "Remix", we'll pull back the curtain and show you what's behind the scenes. Then you can get busy being creative. Don't worry, you're not destroying someone else's work, you're just making your own copy. And if yours is better than the original, so be it. The community will tell you.

Two Videos I have on Jumpcut:

Virtual Worlds and baile funk.

My Life as Dream as Life

Friday, April 17, 2009

What Did Copyright Mean in 1710?

One of the strangest elements in the judgment made today against The Pirate Bay was the comments by Horace Engdahl, speaking as the permanent secretary for the Swedish Academy on the national broadcaster's Culture News this evening.

Engdahl spoke of the fact that authors prior to the Statute of Anne, the first copyright law in effect, were forced to live from patrons. "Writers were forced to know power and know the great in the society ." When asked if the time prior to 1710 was a 'pirate time' that was also very creative, that also had its good side, Engdahl replied "Jag förstår inte vad dem göda tider skulle har bestod. Det var helt enkelt bara kaos. En tjuvarnas marknad" ("I don't understand what those good times would have been. It was quote simply chaos. A market of thieves").

That he is the spokesperson for the Swedish Academy (founded 1786) supplies these observations with an extra dimension of relevancy. The ordered system of language and culture which the academy attempts to enforce, its mission of "Talent and Taste" ("Snille och Smak" in Swedish) is a long way from the cultural free for all which The Pirate Bay apparently represents (although may not live up to) today.

I join with literary critic Thomas Götselius and further dispute the idea that "It was quite simply chaos" before the Charter of Anne came into being. Having read the essays and articles of Steele and Addison I have gained some impression of the London of the early Georgians. It was a vibrant time of great creativity and experimentation. As a course description at the University of Sussex states:

However it is described, the 150 years (1600-1742) covered have some claim to be the decisive period in the creation of what we think of as modern politics. It is also a period of astonishing literary creativity. This is true both in terms of the volume, variety and quality of writing produced, and in terms of radical innovations in styles, in readerships, and in media. It also encompasses the growth of a powerful female authorship and readership.

Prior to the Charter of Anne it may well have been a free for all. For the majority of writer's, life was probably harsh, with no guarantees for survival, let along readership. But looking at the diary of Samuel Pepys for the 1660s there seemed to be a fair number of booksellers about, where they all pirates?

Booksellers Pepys mentions by name

Name/location/when Pepys’s 1st mentions:

— St. Paul’s Churchyard, later Duck Lane; mentioned ONCE, 1667 (@ Duck Lane)

— New Exchange; 1667

— St. Paul’s Churchyard; 1660

— Temple Bar; 1668

— Westminster Hall; 1660

— Cambridge; mentioned ONCE in 1660

— Inner Temple; 1660

— At The Bible on Duck Lane; 1668

— St. Paul’s Churchyard, later on Fleet Street when Pepys mentions him; 1667

— L&M Index volume

The digital media environment is far from the pamphlet stalls in St. Paul's yard. But the lack of center in both is perhaps what is causing such anxiety for the Swedish Academy and its like (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, L'Académie française). Putting the genie back in the bottle is not an option. The courts can only postpone this shift in representative technologies for so long. Long term solutions need to be developed if we are going to harness the creative energies of these new (well not so really new) media.

PIrate Bay Saga

A guilty as charged verdict has been delivered in the trial of four men connected to The Pirate Bay torrent site in Stockholm a few hours ago. I am not really surprised, but it is sad that such a decision does not allow for any other way forward concerning the giant torrent site (and the technology in general) than further legal process.

I predict that the legal industry around the illegal sharing of copyrighted material will one day gross more income than the copyrighted material itself. I say by 2015.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Lectures on Milton

Milton's political tract Areopagitica is discussed at length. The author's complicated take on state censorship and licensing, both practiced by the English government with respect to printed materials at the time, is examined. His eclectic use of pagan mythology, Christian scripture, and the metaphors of eating and digestion in defense of his position are probed. Lastly, Milton's insistence that moral truths must be examined and tested in order for goodness to be known is explored as an early manifestation of the rhetoric that will be used to depict the Fall in Paradise Lost.

This lecture is number eight in a series of twenty four on John Milton by John Rogers, Professor of English at Yale University. It comes to us via Academic Earth, a fine source of academic materials on the web. All of them free.

For books are not absolutely dead things, but do contain a potency of life in them to be as active as that soul was whose progeny they are; nay, they do preserve as in a vial the purest efficacy and extraction of that living intellect that bred them. I know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive, as those fabulous dragon's teeth; and being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men.
- Milton, John

The News from Sweden

The Pirate Bay trial judgement is going to be announced on Friday. There will be a live video press conference at 1pm (CET) on Friday no matter what the verdict is. A possible jail term is one outcome for the four individuals charged with assisting copyright infringement. The outcome of the trial against The Pirate Bay has little consequence for the Peer to Peer global community but it does have significant consequences for the media ecology of Sweden. For this reason I will be following the trial result on Friday. Whatever happens their will be an appeal on Friday to a higher court. So this could go on for a long time yet. The trial has polarised the file sharing community and any further legal action will probably continue this. One amazing development from the Pirate Bay Trial is the formation of the spectrial thread on Twitter which remains active and has brought thousands of file sharers into communication with each other.

Here are some observations on the situation in Sweden regarding the Pirate Bay and the IPRED Law and what will happen tomorrow in the Stockholm Local Court:

The second event of interest coming out of Sweden this week is the closing of applications for tertiary study in the whole of the country for the Fall Term 2009. Higher (and lower and middle) education is free in Sweden. No charge for university. Nothing! I think this is amazing. I took part in the No Fees! demonstrations in Australia in 1989 (my first direct political action as an adult) as we witnessed the death of free higher education in that country. Not only is higher education free in Sweden, anyone anywhere in the world can apply to study here. Also for free. All you need is a visa, the requirements for the course (language etc.) and enough money to live on.

The contrasts in Sweden interest me; the severity of the IPRED law against file sharing and the amazing progressive attitude when it comes to education. Both are concerned with the spread of information and knowledge. One, education, is seen as a basic human right, while the spread of what are largely immaterial commodities over the internet is a crime. I would argue that both are related through the desire of people to expand themselves, to learn and experience.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Blogging Refelections

This blog is over six years old. So I have been blogging for quite a while. In retrospect I have noticed that recently my blogging practices have changed. I have always felt that this blog was my primary web presence; loading it up with everything from family snapshots to lecture notes and lesson plans. Lately this has changed. I currently post on four blogs, this one, a teaching blog called Augmented Reality, my video blog SoulVlog and the blog of HUMlab, where I work, perform, explore and experiment. With this fragmentation of blogging I have noticed that 'what I post and where' has been affected. This blog has taken on more of my personal interests, my observations and argument, critique on events and politics. SoulVlog is just videos, but that has branched out into my main interests; music, art, marginal cultures, travel, philosophy and film. Augmented Reality is pure teaching, I use it to post lesson plans, lecture notes and for presentations. I started Augmented Reality to use in conjuction with the 3D web browser, Exit Reality in a presentation. Since then it has been taking on an increased role in my teaching. HUMlab is a group blog and I do not post as often as I would like to. Presenting work in progress is difficult in a blog context, so I tend to post events, publications and more thought-out things there.

Finally added to my own mini-blogosphere is my Twitter site (I really like Twitter). So-called 'micro-blogging' is totally different to blogging. I use Twitter more as a networking tool, to follow the work and ideas of people who I respect or am interested in. I also use it to post relevant information based on the professional interests of those I follow. In short I think Twitter is a community building medium, but a community of interest rather than participation.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Digital Easter Eggs

Being Easter this weekend I thought to open the recommended online media for this week/s with something related. In this video Dr Morton Stith (who seems to have participated in the exchanges between the Eastern and Western traditions that occurred in the aftermath of World War Two) speaks in this video about the Gnostic Gospels, which "erase the rational processes" according to Dr. Stith. Sounds like poetry to me.

Bob Dylan | Songs

Dozens of Bob Dylan songs streamed online from the amphetamine bard's website.

The Mike Wallace Interview
The Mike Wallace Interview ran from 1957 to 1960, but the Ransom Center collection includes interviews from only 1957 and 1958. In the early 1960s, Mr. Wallace donated to the Ransom Center kinescopes of these programs and related materials, including his prepared questions, research material, and correspondence. There are 65 interviews in the Ransom Center's collection. Five are on audio tape, and the others are kinescopes, 16mm recordings of the television programs made by filming the picture from a video monitor. These 16mm films were transferred to video and, along with the audio tapes, were digitized. The interviews were then transcribed and were both embedded in the video files in the form of subtitles and included on the website as text files.

Approaching Plato: A Guide to the Early and Middle Dialogues (PDF 300 Pages) by Mark Anderson and Ginger Osborn. (2009)
We have designed the material included on this site to be of use to students and professors of every level. The outlines are useful in a number of ways. Those who read a dialogue for the first time (or for the first few times) often find it difficult to follow the course of Plato‟s arguments, which can be dense, allusive, concealed, and often long and interwoven with other material. The outlines assist comprehension by highlighting the dialogues‟ main themes, their order of presentation, and their interconnections. The section-divisions within each outline indicate which parts of a dialogue must be read as one—read, that is, in one sitting—and thus where one may take a break from reading without breaking the thread of an argument. Students and professors alike can also use the outlines as brief reminders of the main themes and arguments of dialogues with which they are already well acquainted.

Alberto Ruiz y su Lira Incaica – Paceñita (Bolivia)
Temiuv Damirov - Jeirany (Azerbaijan)
Osman Pehlivan - Anadolu Kasik Havasi (Turkey)
José Gonzalez, “El Presi” - A Xuago el de Sama (Asturias, Spain)
Les Freres Sciallour - La Gavotte de Pont-Aven (Brittany, France)
Cheikh Magari Sliman - Ya Guelba Ya Talef (Algeria)
Parush Parushev - Mlad Stoian (Bulgaria)
Coimbatore Thayi - Sankarabharanam Slokam (India)
Etam and Timah - Dondang Sayang Budi (Malaysia)
Armandinho - Divagando (Portugal)
Bia Te Mongbandi Ya Ngidi - Ilongo Ganga (Congo)
Stonik and Kiprono - Sindenyun (Kenya)
Stratos Payoumtzis and Giorgos Mitsakis - To Organaki (Greece)
Som Jiin - Lom Phad Chaaj Khao (Siam/Thailand)
Tefanake, Reia, and Moratai - Ute (Tahiti)
Steva Nikolic - Arnautka (Serbia)
Lidya Mendoza - Olvidarte Jamas (Mexico)
Philip Tanner - The Gower Wassail Song (Wales, United Kingdom)

Spider-Man TV Series from 1967
anfare is in order, webheads, as the legendary and pleasantly nostalgic "Spider-Man" animated series from 1967 makes its debut! Starting today, kids of all ages can stream episodes of the show right here on, with "new" episodes going up every Thursday!
First airing on the ABC television network in 1967, the series revolves around the scientific-minded teenager Peter Parker who, after being bitten by a radioactive spider, develops amazing strength and spider-like powers. He decides to become a crime-fighting, costumed super hero; all the while dealing with his personal problems and the insecurities resulting from being a teenager. Each episode features two parts so you get twice as many web-slinging adventures in each video!
Episode 1 features "The Power of Dr. Octopus" (Dr. Octopus kidnaps Spider-Man in order to hold the city ransom.) and "Sub-Zero for Spidey" (Spider-Man battles ice creatures to save his city from freezing.).

Academic Earth
Video lectures from the world's top scholars. Academic Earth is an organization founded with the goal of giving everyone on earth access to a world-class education.
As more and more high quality educational content becomes available online for free, we ask ourselves, what are the real barriers to achieving a world class education? At Academic Earth, we are working to identify these barriers and find innovative ways to use technology to increase the ease of learning.
We are building a user-friendly educational ecosystem that will give internet users around the world the ability to easily find, interact with, and learn from full video courses and lectures from the world’s leading scholars. Our goal is to bring the best content together in one place and create an environment in which that content is remarkably easy to use and where user contributions make existing content increasingly valuable.

Jane From Occupied Europe: Colorsound

Jane From Occupied Europe was a British band out of Salisbury. They took their name from the Swell Map’s second album and played a drone-base mix of 70s psychedelica and 90s alternative. I only recently heard of them and it is a shame they did not appear on my radar while they were still in existence for the band had an exceptional sound and deserved a wider audience.
An associate of the musicians has placed all of their releases, with permission of the artists, on this same-titled tribute blog. There is a good amount of music here and I recommend to check it all out but the main event is JFOE’s full length album Coloursound. It is a fully realized effort with a consistent sound. Mid East drones, haunting vocals and psychedelic guitars all create a musical feast. You can hear influences from Echo and The Bunnymen, Nick Cave, The Pixies, The Smiths, and others from the 80s and 90s scene. There are no weak songs but I especially like “Drift 13″ and “Mourning Glass” and recommend them as typical tracks by this band. You can find other EPs, Demos, and 12″ singles offered on this site but this full album should be your first and best introduction to this unjustly ignored band.

A Journey Around My Skull Photostream

A Journey Around My Skull is a wonderful blog that specializes in obscure and avant garde literary works that features heavy elements of the visual. As the blog states: "Unhealthy book fetishism from a reader, collector, and amateur historian of forgotten literature." This is the Flickr site for the blog. Beautiful.

STEAL THIS BOOK By Abbie Hoffman (1971)

The book includes advice on such topics as growing marijuana, starting a pirate radio station, living in a commune, stealing food, shoplifting, stealing credit cards, preparing a legal defense, making pipe bombs, and obtaining a free buffalo from the U.S. Department of the Interior. It discusses various tactics of fighting as well as giving a detailed list of affordable and easy ways to find weapons and armor that can be used in the event of a confrontation with law enforcement. The book advocates rebelling against authority in all forms, governmental and corporate.
The book's reflexive title is a classic example of Yippie culture jamming. It is very hard to find in libraries for that same reason.

As the book ages, the specific information it contains has become largely obsolete, but the book captures the yippie zeitgeist.

On the success of the book, Hoffman was quoted as saying, "It's embarrassing when you try to overthrow the government and you wind up on the Best Seller's List." Hoffman would not respond to accusations that he had plagiarized the book, as published in a detailed article in Rolling Stone magazine (No. 92, 10 September 1971), entitled "How Abbie Hoffman Won My Heart and Stole Steal This Book."
As of 2006, the composition of a Wiki-based version of this work for a new generation was started. The project has been named Steal This Wiki. An alpha version of the final product was compiled and released on July 4, 2007.

YouTube - LibraryOfCongress's Channel

Timeless treasures and contemporary presentations from the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. As the world's preeminent reservoir of knowledge, we are the steward of millions of recordings dating from the earliest Edison films to the present. In addition, we sponsor events, lectures and concerts that are free and open to the public. More about the Library:

David Bixby: Ode to Quetzalcoatl (1972)
Quetzalcoatl (Classical Nahuatl: Quetzalcōhuātl pronounced [ke.ʦal.ˈkoː.waːtɬ]) is a benevolent and mythical deity, creator of humanity in the Toltec tradition, predating the Mexica (Aztecs) god. The name is a combination of quetzal, a brightly colored Mesoamerican bird, and coatl, meaning serpent. He is woven into a mythical prince Topiltzin of Tula, who left that kingdom to found Chichen Itza, according to legend.
Due to their cyclical view of time and the tendency of leaders to revise histories to support their rule, many events and attributes attributed to Quetzalcoatl are exceedingly difficult to separate from the political leaders that took this name on themselves. Quetzalcoatl is often referred to as The Feathered Serpent and was inseparable from the planet Venus. He was also the patron god of the Aztec priesthood, of learning and knowledge. Today Quetzalcoatl is arguably the best known deity. However, Quetzalcoatl was one of several important gods in the Aztec pantheon along with the gods Tlaloc, Tezcatlipoca and Huitzilopochtli.

David Bixby makes a psychedelic folk record that is rare and dear.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Eclectic Tech Carnival (/ETC) in Umeå 8-12 June 2009

/ECT 2007, Linz

/ETC is a week long gathering for women interested in technology, art and grass roots activism. At /ETC you can share experiences and search out opportunities for international collaborations through the use of technology and arts.

We will be exploring how we can use technology and art to connect with each other, deepen our understanding of each other's political contexts, develop strategies for grass roots activism to engage public and raise awareness on gender issues in correlation to usage of technology. In short we will explore new ways of interacting by means of technology and art.

/ETC is an "on the road-event", that is it is held in a new place each year. It was started by the organisation Genderchangers that aims to break stereotypical roles related to technology and encourage and support women to use technology, art and grass roots networks as a tool for social change.

During this 5 day long gathering there will be workshops, inspirational corners, panel discussions, field trips to local NGO's and much more. Come to Umeå, Sweden to be a part of this dynamic platform for exchange!

Activities will take place during the afternoons and evenings at HUMlab (Umeå University). You choose if you want to get a 5 day pass or 1 day pass. A 5 day pass costs 200 SEK (18 Euro) and a 1 day pass costs 50 SEK. Dinner will be served for a reasonable (inexpensive) price...

If you want to come to /ETC, give a workshop at the Carnival, make this happen as a volunteer. If you have any questions...don't hesitate to contact us!

On Facebook

Or mail the organisers /ECT

Thursday, April 02, 2009

What Did Shakespeare Look Like?

Copies of the painting we now refer to as the Cobbe portrait were identified as Shakespeare within living memory of the poet. The original was almost certainly owned by Shakespeare's only known literary patron, Henry Wriothesley, 3rd Earl of Southampton, to whom the Cobbe family is distantly related. The sitter would appear to have been identified as a playwright in the 17th century. The Latin inscription along its top edge, 'Principum Amicitias!', is a quotation from an ode by the classical writer Horace (Book II, Ode I). In Horace's poem, the words--which can be translated as 'the alliances of princes!'-- were addressed to the tragic playwright Pollio. Horace's words warned Pollio of the dangers of writing vividly about recent major historical events (dangers of which Shakespeare was all too well aware) and contrasted the playwright's historical and tragic writings. But even more importantly, the Cobbe portrait seems to have been the model or source (through a copy) for Martin Droeshout's familiar engraving of Shakespeare for the First Folio of 1623.