the near earth asteroid defense system #thinkglobalactsolar

Posted by on October 23rd, 2013

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Lu began by noting that deflecting lethal asteroids is the easy part. We know how to do it and already have the needed technology. Years before a threatening asteroid converges with Earth, we can ram it from behind with a rocket with the precise amount of energy needed to speed it up just enough to miss our planet and keep on missing us in the future.

Funding such a mission will be straightforward. Once you know when (and even where) a catastrophic impact will occur, there will be abundant motivation to pay for heading it off. With good sky reconnaissance, we’ll have years of warning. But that reconnaissance doesn’t exist yet.

As I do several times each year since they first began, I’ve been catching up the Long Now Seminar’s on Long Term Thinking. Much as love hearing visions of Starship programs and DeExtinction projects, it was former astronaut Ed Lu’s talk (above) that really leapt out. Because it is both fantastic and realistic, and immediate. And necessary.

Lu spoke about the consequences of the Overview Effect:

http://www.vimeo.com/55073825

We have to start acting as one species, with one destiny. We are not going to survive if we don’t do that.

Coming back to Earth a changed man, and wanting to do something real. Long story, short (you can hear it all above, after all), he’s founded the B612 Foundation. Their self-assigned mission, to build and launch Sentinel:

The Sentinel Mission will provide a unique opportunity for the public to take ownership in a historic space mission that will protect Earth, while providing the necessary roadmap for future exploration.
Sentinel is a space-based infrared (IR) survey mission to discover and catalog 90 percent of the asteroids larger than 140 meters in Earth’s region of the solar system. The mission should also discover a significant number of smaller asteroids down to a diameter of 30 meters. Sentinel will be launched into a Venus-like orbit around the sun, which significantly improves the efficiency of asteroid discovery during its 6.5 year mission.

 

They’re aiming to share resources with NASA, and funding it via philanthropy and donations from the public. And whilst I view philanthropy as the benevolence of those that have accrued wealth through various forms of economic and legal force, it’s better that those funds get directed toward doing something other purely cosmetic, vanity projects. We simply don’t have time to linearly fix all world’s problems. The pragmatist in me maintains that the rescue mission must accomplished by whatever means are available.

Which brings us to the newly created, half jesting, semi-fictional, deadly serious Overview Effect Enforcement Agency. The product of a conversation between some creatively titled futurist folks on Twitter, it exists, if only as a rescue-lutionary theory object, to encourage the sending of the world’s leaders into low-earth orbit for a cognitive readjustment. A tactic deployed by Picard in an episode of Star Trek: TNG, to correct his own elevation to godhood. As recent political theater events of extreme dramatis demonstrate, it’s sorely needed. And as I suggested: if they learn something, they can come back too.

Because there are more threats to the world than just the ego’s of political leaders and billionaires. Like Lazarus Comets:

“We found a graveyard of comets,” said Ferrín. “Imagine all these asteroids going around the Sun for aeons, with no hint of activity. We have found that some of these are not dead rocks after all, but are dormant comets that may yet come back to life if the energy that they receive from the Sun increases by a few per cent.”

Resurrected space rocks don’t discriminate on imaginary human divisions of map, religion or creed. We can learn something from them. We can be bigger, grow up, build out into the solar system, and beyond. It’s just an idea. But what else has ever changed the world than that?


Special Guest Post from the UK: Cat Vincent brings us “Rate Of Return: Woolwich, 4GW and Kayfabe.”

Posted by on May 27th, 2013

In this special guest post, Cat Vincent reports from the UK on the aftermath of the Woolwich attack, and 4GW (Fourth Generation Warfare).

Rate Of Return: Woolwich, 4GW and Kayfabe.

The recent murder of a soldier by two men on the streets of London has produced a wave of shock and horror around the world.

It has also produced a vicious backlash, both officially and otherwise: the British government has responded with increasing pressure for near-total internet surveillance to be put into law and also restricting the availability of certain ‘radical’ Muslim websites, while the thuggish forces of the neo-Nazi English Defence League have staged several highly-publicised (but poorly-attended – tens or hundreds at most) marches and riots.

At the same time, a heavily organized and well-planned series of non-violent actions (protests in dozens of cities across the world, with literally millions in attendance) against the Monsanto corporation were all but ignored in the popular press. Why is this?

I don’t think it’s as simple or as cynical as the old saying “if it bleeds, it leads”… though certainly, that’s a factor. What it makes me think about specifically is the theoretical work of writer John Robb on the subject of 4th Generation Warfare (4GW).

Robb, a former USAF special ops pilot and security consultant, discussed the concept of 4GW – effectively, the warfare conducted by small non-state actors against heavily militarized governments – at length in his blog Global Guerillas. One of his key concepts in why 4GW is so effective is that of the “return on investment” (RoI). From Robb’s book, Brave New War:

In the summer of 2004, Iraq’s global guerrillas attacked a southern section of the Iraqi oil pipeline infrastructure (Iraq has over 4,300 miles of pipelines). This attack cost the attackers an estimated $2,000 to produce. None of the attackers was caught. The effects of this attack were over $50 million in lost oil exports. The rate of return: 250,000 times the cost of the attack.

It’s clear that the return on investment for the Woolwich attack is considerable, probably on a level of millions to one – committing the UK government to millions, even billions of pounds in police, military and counter-intelligence spending for no more than a couple of hundred quid on some knives and axes and a rusty old revolver. (In fact the cost is so low, the action having been performed by just two people, it makes the attack close to being what the writer Brainsturbator described in his Skilluminati blog as 5GW – warfare committed by “super-empowered individuals” – though in this case, the empowerment comes from their media use more than their actual tool set. Skilluminati in general, and the 5GW Project in particular, are I think vital mind-tools for the aware Grinder.)

Yesterday, I put a mention of the RoI of the Woolwich murder on Twitter (which is what prompted the Grinding editorship to ask for this article). The main thing I didn’t get the space to expand upon there was the question of cui bono? – if there’s a return on investment for such a violent action, who actually profits from it?

A clue about this appeared on my Twitter stream not long after, in a conversation between Brainsturbator and Damien Williams (@wolven) of this parish: the subject of conversation was not terrorism, but a term from professional wrestling: Kayfabe.

To quote from the brilliant Edge essay by Eric Weinstein (who is best known this month for possibly reconciling all modern physics)

Because professional wrestling is a simulated sport, all competitors who face each other in the ring are actually close collaborators who must form a closed system (called “a promotion”) sealed against outsiders. With external competitors generally excluded, antagonists are chosen from within the promotion and their ritualized battles are largely negotiated, choreographed, and rehearsed at a significantly decreased risk of injury or death. With outcomes predetermined under Kayfabe, betrayal in wrestling comes not from engaging in unsportsmanlike conduct, but by the surprise appearance of actual sporting behavior. Such unwelcome sportsmanship which “breaks Kayfabe” is called “shooting” to distinguish it from the expected scripted deception called “working”.
Were Kayfabe to become part of our toolkit for the twenty-first century, we would undoubtedly have an easier time understanding a world in which investigative journalism seems to have vanished and bitter corporate rivals cooperate on everything from joint ventures to lobbying efforts. …What makes Kayfabe remarkable is that it gives us potentially the most complete example of the general process by which a wide class of important endeavors transition from failed reality to successful fakery.

One of the consistent myths of pro wrestling is the concept of the “face” and the “heel” – the good guy and the bad guy. Within the consensus reality of the Kayfabe, these are mortal foes… right up to the point where one or the other makes a “heel-face turn”, the good guy becoming the bad or vice versa. (Like, say, the ‘heroic rebels’ of the CIA-sponsored Mujahideen becoming the post-9/11 enemy…) But in reality, they’re still just performers in a symbolic, mythical struggle. Whether they consciously co-operate or not, both sides need the struggle in order to continue their identity, to define their reality.

So, again – who profits? Those invested – emotionally, financially – in the game, on both supposed sides. The extremists; the governments who seek any excuse to cow the populous, to keep every single person scared and surveilled; the radicals who want to tear down anything that doesn’t look exactly like their fantasy world (be it Dar-al-Islam or Rule Britannia); the corporations that sell the weapons to them all or, like Monsanto, rely on the distraction to conceal their agenda. And, by pure coincidence, those who want to tame the internet, to stop those who don’t want to suffer for their gain from finding out more about the truth behind the spectacle. Anyone who wants to play another game, wants a future of co-operation not competition, strength for all instead of profit-and-loss… are just collateral damage for the drones and the thugs.

John Robb doesn’t write about 4GW directly that much, these days. In his consideration of precisely how one should defend against it, he came to understand the necessity of working towards the living conditions which are most effective in resisting terrorism in general and such cheap RoI attacks in particular – decentralized infrastructure, local and networked co-operation unlocked from hierarchy. People acting in groups sharing common goals, working towards long-term building of resilient communities rather than zero-sum enemies to be obliterated. A long-term solution that strives to bypass the reflexive tit-for-tat of this conflict, to benefit all.

As I wrote this, the EDL marched on Whitehall. Again, only a couple of hundred of them, faced with a similar number of anti-fascist protesters. Supposed patriots are giving Nazi salutes and fighting police in the very heart of British governance, claiming to be protecting England against the infidel. Another front in The Forever War opened these past few days… and for those who aren’t part of the kayfabe, who strive to break past the fourth wall of us-and-them, resilience is becoming that much harder. We have to keep looking for the tools to grind our bodies, minds and tribes to be strong and flexible enough to endure the crushing pressures of these wrestling behemoths, to always remember that whoever appears to be the face or the heel… this should not, cannot be just war.

It must always be a rescue mission.

Ian ‘Cat’ Vincent is a writer and journalist on the Fortean beat, a contributing editor to The Daily Grail and a former professional combat magician. He lives in Yorkshire, England.


Wake. The. World

Posted by on April 25th, 2013

History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake.
~ James Joyce, Ulysses

For two weeks I saw As everywhere. On tshirts, broken signs, torn stickers… or just lying there, on the ground.

Never actually the Avenger’s A, except in my mind’ eye. What connections was my unconscious making?

There are three heroes in Joss Whedon’s movie: Phil Coulson, Natasha Romanova and Clint Barton.

Then there are the projections of the Collective Unconscious: the vicious sky god, the rage monster, the personification of the techno myth and enCAPsulation of the Amerikan Fighting Spirit.

And the Villain? Witness the speech of the embodiment of the Patriarchy, and all Forces of Control:

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And sadly, reality proved this to be true… with the Disney arm of Global Capitalism delivering this Patriarchal  message:

The Disney Store is selling Avengers t-shirts for women with the slogan “I Need a Hero” and “I Only Kiss Heroes,” and an Iron Man t-shirt for boys that reads “Be a Hero.” This sends a harmful message about who can and cannot be a leader in this world. These shirts promote the idea that men and boys are meant to do the saving, and that women and girls are the ones who need to be saved.

Which is completely absurd because the *core hero* of The Avengers is Natasha Romanova (aka Black Widow). She recruits the Hulk, tricks Loki into revealing his scheme, and basically saves the world. As Alyssa Rosenberg describes her for ThinkProgress:

Black Widow, given a personal stake in the fight when Loki brainwashes Hawkeye, tells the villain who wants to know if she’s in love with him, “Love is for children. I owe a debt,” and leaves it at that. Her refusal to clarify leaves room for Loki to speculate, and ultimately to reveal more than he intended. All sorts of skill sets matter in a conflict this big and complex. And without making her a victim or a lesser member of the team, Black Widow’s reactions are a regular reminder that superheroics and space invaders have real impact beyond the financial support of the Cinematic Demolition Industrial Complex. Watching her come back to herself after being badly beaten in a fight is a reminder of how damaging these powers can be when applied to ordinary people. And hearing her tell Captain America in an unconvincing deadpan “It’ll be fun,” when she tries a hugely risky gambit without the protection of enhancement or godlike abilities makes the enterprise seem more serious. These things may be entertaining as hell to watch, but they’d be terrifying to actually carry out.

Ian Grey does an excellent job parsing through the reviews the film got, where seemingly every male critic saw only the Michael Bay-esque aspects of the spectacle presented, and missed the apparent subtly of Black Widow’s role because she wasn’t shouting about it, just getting it done. Witness the entertainment marketing complex displaying a complete lack of critical thinking… almost as if the role of reviews in the press is to repeat the message of the dominantor paradigm, regardless of the truth of the content being promoted.

null

Natasha is the embodiment of heroism: highly trained, empathetic, cognitively agile and unhesitatingly able to make ‘the sacrifice play’, literally in Cap’s face. And that deserves to be repeated until it sinks in:

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Now, post-movie The Avengers we have Jonathan Hickman writing up a storm in the new run of Avengers (and New Avengers) comics… delivering, at core, this message:


Taking the FULL COLLECTIVE UNCONSCIOUS and showing it to us… to build a better tomorrow, together, today. A Mythic Global Frequency.

Tune in and WAKE THE WORLD. Because it’s asleep at the wheel of history and we have figurative seconds to change course if we wish to avoid the coming Crash.


NYPD vs CultureJammer round2 #droneculture

Posted by on December 1st, 2012

“Drones: Protection When You Least Expect It” by ESSAM (full rez here)

I’ll let Gawker do the talking:

Essam Attia is the New York street artist responsible for placing fake NYPD ads reading “Drones: Protection When You Least Expect It” around town. In September, he gave a video interview to Animal NY, with his identity and voice obscured, in which he discussed this project and his art in general. Wednesday morning, the NYPD arrested him at home.

The NYDN reports that he’s charged with “56 counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument, grand larceny possession of stolen property and weapons possession,” the last (and possibly worst) charge coming because cops found an unloaded .22 pistol under his bed when they arrested him. On a practical level, Attia was not the most careful art criminal. He signed his work “ESSAM;” and he told Animal that he was a “a 29-year-old art-school grad from Maine, who served in Iraq as a ‘geo-spatial analyst.’” It probably did not take an incredible amount of police work to narrow down the possibilities.

Still—great work by the NYPD to prove Essam’s point: you are all being watched. Poke humor at the ALL SEEING GOVERNMENT EYE, and it will make you pay. IT KNOWS ALL. In the Animal interview, author Matt Harvey noted, “He agrees that there is an inherent irony in his spoofs: the very fact that the NYPD (which claims to be strongly pursuing him with their ‘counter terrorism squad’) hasn’t caught him yet, is proof that we have not reached a state of Orwellian control.”

Ah…. cancel that.

[Photo via Animal]


We Are Legion – The Story of the Hacktivists [FULL MOVIE]

Posted by on September 28th, 2012

Today’s future present history lesson (or how the Internet developed an immune system lol):

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Enemies of the Internet [INFOGRAPHIC]

Posted by on September 17th, 2012

Enemies Of The Internet

Created by:
Open-Site.org


#NDAA #TrapWire Resistance is not futile

Posted by on August 22nd, 2012

The new totalitarianism of surveillance technology [GUARDIAN]

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TrapWire: The Truth Behind The Hype [STORIFY]
My Abraxas and TrapWire Saga [Tim Shorrock]

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How to Make an Invisible Mask for Video Cameras [WIKIHOW]

http://www.vimeo.com/45819231

DARPA-Funded Researcher Can Take Over Android And Nokia Phones By Merely Waving Another Device Near Them [FORBES]

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#cryptoparty

When reality resembles one product of the Nolan brothers (Person of Interest), how long until it’s a Bane’esque “fire rising” taking centre stage?

North Korea builds EMP munition [DEFENSETECH]

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Richard Stallman: Extreme Capitalism is driving us to disaster

Posted by on August 22nd, 2012
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Stallman really gets going from 6m30s.


“Graffiti as Tactical Urban Wireless Network”

Posted by on May 29th, 2012
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From Pruned, who riffs on this nicely, ending:

Elsewhere, graffiti artists will independently fill in the dead zones. Or maybe not to patch up the network, but rather as part of a collaboration with sound artists to create a pop-up pirate radio station to broadcast an improvisational audio documentary of the local area. During times of protest, they could be used to burst through whatever electromagnetic kettling the security forces might be using to prevent the crowds from organizing and reaching critical mass. If there’s no graffiti antenna nearby, just whip out a Spray On Antenna Kit to reclaim the public spectrum.


Las bio(mecánicas)

Posted by on May 7th, 2012

This “video of last year’s cyborg dance intervention at the Tijuana border crossing” comes via Chris N. Brown:

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Free The Network (30min doc on OWS)

Posted by on April 3rd, 2012

The 30-minute piece follows hacker Isaac Wilder and his Free Network Foundation from providing internet access to the Occupy activists in Zuccotti Park, to their aspirations for user-owned fiber backbones; and includes commentary from journalist Melissa Gira Grant and author and media critic Douglas Rushkoff.


Riot Police vs. Disabled Protesters

Posted by on February 27th, 2012

David Mercato - Reuters - Bolivia

(Photo: David Mercato, Reuters)

 

A caravan of about 50 adults and children ended a 1,000-mile, 100-day trek through Bolivia at the protest near government offices in La Paz on Thursday. Scuffles broke out and pepper spray was used after the group were blocked by riot police, who stopped them reaching the legislature and presidential palace to petitioning MPs and the presidential palace for a tripling of the £91 monthly state subsidy for disabled people. The protesters tried to break through the lines using their crutches and wheelchairs but were forced back in a melee in which several people were injured and four detained. The protest organisers then declared a hunger strike by 10 adults and a round-the-clock vigil by the rest.    (Via:  The Guardian)

 


If A Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front

Posted by on February 10th, 2012

This is probably about as balanced & well-rounded look as you’re going to get (better even than the excellent look at The Weather Underground):

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IF A TREE FALLS: A STORY OF THE EARTH LIBERATION FRONT is the remarkable story of the group’s rise and fall, told through the transformation and radicalization of one of its members, Daniel McGowan. Part coming-of-age tale, part cops-and-robbers thriller, the film interweaves a chronicle of McGowan facing life in prison with a dramatic investigation of the events that led to his involvement with the ELF. Using never-before-seen archival footage and intimate interviews — with cell members and with the prosecutor and detective who were chasing them — IF A TREE FALLS asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism, and the way we define terrorism.


Fun Fact: People are citizens while on the Internet too (SMBC)

Posted by on February 5th, 2012



Motherfuckn’ Bailout Association

Posted by on February 4th, 2012

By Poster Boy NYC.


Anonymous really are EVERYWHERE

Posted by on January 26th, 2012

Awesome picture of the day comes to us from Poland:


higher rez here.

WTF Video of today comes to us from… (go on, watch it first)

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Read the rest of this entry »


Towards a Resilient Industrial Revolution

Posted by on January 26th, 2012

Here’s an updated, and suitably bold, plan from Open Source Ecology, the team behind the The Real Life Civilization-Building Kit:

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Bank of Amerika is using your money to…

Posted by on January 13th, 2012

Lovely bit of culture-jamming from the streets and ATMs of San Fran by the Rainforest Action Network:

The stickers also encourage BoA customers to “Stop doing business with Bank of America until they start behaving responsibly” and have the URL to our new blog, which we’ve just launched along with The New Bottom Line:BankruptingAmerica.tumblr.com.

We’re using that blog to track all the ways BoA is bankrupting America, hence the name. We’ve received so many submissions it’s clear to us that this website was badly needed. There are lots of grievances to be aired with regard to how Bank of America is conducting its business these days, as it turns out. (Not that that’s terribly surprising.)

via Mission Mission


The Coming War on General Purpose Computing – Cory Doctorow’s 28c3 keynote (VIDEO)

Posted by on December 28th, 2011

The copyright war was just the beginning…” Watch as Cory Docotorow extends the copyright struggle into a 100year battle. Stay for the extra QnA (30mins in) where he addresses many of the issues of the day.

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via BoingBoing

See Also:


Miss Representation trailer

Posted by on October 6th, 2011

It is more important than ever, as nearly everything seems on the brink of collapse and/or rapid change, that we honestly examine the past and present state of our culture and society. To acknowledge what counts as progress and what does not.

This film, Miss Representation, looks like a good step in that direction:

http://www.vimeo.com/28066212

(E.C.C.O assures me this is unrelated to my recent McLuhan kick.)

via Jerem Morrow