Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Davy Graham - Cry me a river

I'm a bit of a Davy Graham fan - so much so that my modest guitar-playing skills are usually applied to the DADGAD tuning that he pioneered (annoyingly, called the 'Jimmy Page' tuning in a lot of the books).

I've just stumbled across this 1959 clip - didn't realise that there was footage this old of him - in this case, directed by Ken Russell:

Friday, August 26, 2011

The Tea Party movement explained

From 'The Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte.' (Karl Marx, 1852)
"Men make their own history, but they do not make it as they please; they do not make it under self-selected circumstances, but under circumstances existing already, given and transmitted from the past. The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living.

And just as they seem to be occupied with revolutionizing themselves and things, creating something that did not exist before, precisely in such epochs of revolutionary crisis they anxiously conjure up the spirits of the past to their service, borrowing from them names, battle slogans, and costumes in order to present this new scene in world history in time-honored disguise and borrowed language.

Thus Luther put on the mask of the Apostle Paul, the Revolution of 1789-1814 draped itself alternately in the guise of the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, and the Revolution of 1848 knew nothing better to do than to parody, now 1789, now the revolutionary tradition of 1793-95.

In like manner, the beginner who has learned a new language always translates it back into his mother tongue, but he assimilates the spirit of the new language and expresses himself freely in it only when he moves in it without recalling the old and when he forgets his native tongue."

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Peer-to-Peer Pressure

Isn't it interesting how demands to close down social media during times of civil unrest are characterised as a threat to liberty?

Especially given the huge potential these tools offer the The Man (at no cost to The Man) to gather evidence, monitor sentiment, predict behaviour, 'nudge' it, create demand and stimulate desires and generally coerce us into compliance using peer-to-peer pressure?

When we use social media, we collaborate with and enable the kind of surveillance that the Stasi could only have dreamt of. And we offer it to the state - and, more worryingly, to unelected corporations.

So: Is there a civil libertarian argument for closing down networks during civil strife - protecting people from incriminating themselves?

Tricky blighter, Johnny Liberty, eh?

Friday, August 19, 2011