Archive for the ‘culture’ Category

Radical Monarchs

January 7, 2017

The Radical Monarchs create opportunities for young girls of color to form fierce sisterhood, celebrate their identities and contribute radically to their communities. — Radical Monarchs

A group of girls, they could have joined the Scouts and learnt how to rub two sticks together, instead they formed their own troop the Radical Monarchs and fight for social justice.

A group of very intelligent girls.

The world needs more of them.

Thoughts of what could be for the New Year

December 31, 2016

As one year fades away and another begins, thoughts of Michel Bauwens of what could be.

Merry Christmas

December 25, 2016

счастливого Рождества

καλά Χριστούγεννα

Feliz Navidad

Merry Christmas

Painting courtesy of my friend Ken Crane.

Fake McDonald’s coffee news story

December 18, 2016

Only a clown would serve coffee heated to 190 degrees(!)

It hit the headlines a few weeks ago, a young woman had a coffee from a McDonald’s takeaway, her boyfriend drove off, took a corner too fast, the hot coffee was spilled in her lap, she suffered third degree burns. She sued McDonald’s.

The trolls crawled out from beneath their stones, attacked her for her stupidity.

Not a word of sympathy that she had suffered third degree burns.

Only one problem, the story was fake, it had been planted by McDonald’s to distract from the real story.

There was no young woman, there was no boyfriend taking a corner too fast.

There was a 79-year-old lady sat in a car in a car park with her grandson.  She accidentally split coffee in her lap. Nothing more serious than wet stained clothes. Only it was, because McDonald’s delivered the coffee way too hot, scalding hot, as result the lady ended up in hospital with third degree burns, life threatening injuries and nearly died. And as this was the US, a hefty medical bill.

The lady admitted, the spilt coffee was an accident, but it was not an accident the coffee was delivered too hot. That was the fault of McDonald’s. And this was not the only case. Several hundred cases of customers burnt due to McDonald’s serving scalding hot coffee. Clearly McDonald’s were negligent and liable for the injuries, the least they could so was pay this lady’s medical bills. They refused. It was with reluctance the lady sued McDonald’s.

The court imposed punitive damages against McDonald’s.

Parque de atracciones

December 3, 2016

A middnight wander around around all but deserted fun fair beside the harbour in Puerto de la Cruz.

Night of the Tin

November 29, 2016

Kids running around dragging coke cans, tin cans, any bit of metal and creating a tremendous racket.

UPSat: The first open source satellite

October 21, 2016

At Libre Space Foundation all our projects (currently Sat NOGS & UPsat) are open source hardware and libre software. We consider it our mission to develop, advance and promote open source technologies in space applications. All our work was, is and will be open source. — Eleftherios Kosmas

As I often explain to people, capitalism ended in 2008.  We are now in a postcapitalism phase.

As Paul Mason explains in PostCapitalism, we have waves 50 years long. Mercantile Capitalism, Industrial Capitalism, Financial Capitalism.

cAs David Graeber explains in Debt, we have mush longer waves, pre-classical period, classical period, Middle Ages, Capitalism.

We are now in a period of transition.

The market self-corrects or so we are told.

The market did not self-correct for the banks and they had to be bailed out.

Iceland did not bail out the banks, criminal bankers and politicians received prison sentences.

Price gives a signal in the market.

Cost according to classic Marxism, has has three components, labour, land (raw materials) and money.

We can now add a fourth factor, information.

Information flows freely, the cost tends to zero.

We see this with e-books, digital music.

If there is zero price, there is no signal in the market, the market cannot function.

It is only the application of Draconian copyright and intellectual property rights that blocks the free flow of information.

We think of markets and capitalism as the same, we use interchangeably. As David Graeber shows in Debt, they are not the same.

During this period of transition we could have many different outcomes.

Serfs working for apps, is one possibility. Uber, task rabbit, Deliveroo, atomised workers  bearing all the risks and capital costs, working for a  pittance, bidding against each other in a negative auction,  often working for less than the minimum wage.

Or bullshit jobs,  McJobs, mindless, deskilled jobs, workers cheaper than robots.

Or we  could have open source, sharing, open coops, collaborative commons.

We have open source software, designers contribute for free, the software is available for free. The Hive in Dalston. There are are open source cars, tractors.

We now have an open source satellite,  UPSat, Greek QB50 cubesat, which the Greeks have just delivered. Open source software and hardware. A Cygnus automated cargo spacecraft will deliver UPSat to the International Space Station.

Launched earlier this week, the Cygnus supply spacecraft en-route to the International Space Station after a successful launch of Orbital ATK‘s Antares rocket. It’s next launch, scheduled for the 30th of December, will carry UPsat, the first open hardware and first made in Greece satellite to the International Space Station.

Do we want the future of UPSat, collaboration, sharing, free flow of information or one of atomised workers working as serfs for apps?

The choice is ours.

Aristotle

October 17, 2016
Aristotle

Aristotle

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Aristotle

Aristotle

Aristotle

Aristotle

Aristotle

Only in Athens the graffiti from Aristotle.

Garden Roof Cinema

October 12, 2016

Garden Roof Cinema is breathtaking.

Up two flights of stairs, one side a stunning  view of The Acropolis, rows of director’s chairs, an open air cinema.

It was the last night.

Film The Girl on the Train, an adaptation of the book of the same name.

Previous night I had seen people leaving in stunned silence. It was easy to see why.

Previous night it had been warm. Not tonight, cold.

Temple of Zeus

October 12, 2016

Site of Temple of Zeus.