In my opinion, it is now almost certain that Afghanistan will wreck the presidency of Barack Obama. As I feared, Mr. Obama has allowed the US military and its allies in the Democratic wing and Republican wing of the national-security apparat (there is no real difference between these wings) to ensnare him in the wreckage left by the Clinton/Blair/Bush not-so-grand strategy of “indispensable” power: coercive diplomacy punctuated by endless “[no-so] precision” warfare. Supporting Sources for this Comment at end of posting.
Spinney Comments Continue After the Highlighted Article
Superior Intellect, Comedy, Probing, Provocative, Fun, June 6, 2009
This DVD costs $20 at PeaceProject.com, and less if you buy more copies, which I recommend. This is a superior fun consciousness raising device and a wonderful gift. It can also be used to provoke the mentally challenged.
I received my copy from Carol Brouillet when we were together at an event, and watched it this morning. It is a mix of comedy, poetry, and serious presentations, e.g. by Webster Tarpley, Ian Woods, and others, the latter presenting 27 9/11 anomalies, this bit ALONE is worth the price of the DVD.
I cannot emphasize too greatly the importance and seriousness of this DVD. Everyone associated with it is intelligent, non-violent, and attentive. This is a call to arms–pots and pans and voices, not guns–throughout this DVD, the truth is recognized as the moral force that it is.
PLEASE buy this DVD and share it with others. Taking responsibility for what we have allowed to be done “in our name” and with our complicit silence in the streets is the only way we can partially overcome the shame, the dishonor, of letting a nakedly amoral vice president and a village idiot lead the world to trillion dollar chaos.
For those attracted to this line of inquiry, I have created an annotated bibliography with hot links to over 500 non-fictions books and some DVDs that more or less are a citizen's primer on what is wrong with our out of control federal government, and what need to know to fix it. See the comment for the URL.
Focused on Media, Art, Culture, Less So on Social Networks, May 10, 2008
I come late to this book, published in 2006. I do not regret it. It is a bit too focused on media, art, and “culture” for me, but I cannot penalize the author for being a master of arcane tid-bits. This book is a collection of previously published articles reworked into a book–for me, that is a good thing, as I do not cover the sources that originally carried the pieces.
The book comes recommended by Howard Rheingold and Bruce Sterling, two of the originals, so that alone should encourage anyone interested in this area to take this book very seriously.
Although the author focuses on “participatory culture” the emphasis is this book is on the CULTURE part, not the social networks, integral consciousness, appreciative inquiry, co-intelligence, and so on as I have learned from my Eco-Topia colleauges.
The author himself speaks early on about the book speaking to three concepts:
+ Media convergence
+ Participatory culture
+ Collective intelligence
He gets an A for the first, a B for the second, and a C for the third.
I don't consider myself qualified to be critical of this book, so here are the tid-bits that grabbed me:
+ Paradigm shift is not about communications among individuals but rather about their *being* in *being* with one another (from one to many and one to one to many to many)
+ Author credits Ithiel de Sola Pool (1983) with seeing the transitions that were coming
+ Convergence changes relationships and logics
+ The biggest convergence may be the sharp total confrontation between top down attempts to keep control, and bottom up demands to wrest control
+ Media right now is being excessively influenced by the wealthy that can afford the trinkets (look for my 1993 rant to INTERVAL on “God, Man, and Informaiton: Comments to Interval” for the other side of the story)
+ Emotions and feelings of connection matter more–the author writes of an “affective economy”
+ Producers are finding they must agree to co-creation (this media or cultural trend has a counterpart in the business world, see the Business Week cover story of 20 June 2005 on “The Power of Us”)
+ Media industry is split between the prohibitionists and the collaborationists, and I am most fascinated to see mobile telephone companies in the latter category. If I had to place a bet on Nokia versus Google, I would go with Nokia.
I am glad I got and read this book. It is clearly very learned in the media convergence and media-mind aspect, but it is not at all as versed as I was expecting in the nuts and bolts of participatory networking, appreciative inquiry, deliberative democracy, integral consciousness, world brain, etcetera, nor is it all oriented toward large scale problem solving with collective intelligence.