Archive for the ‘media’ Category

Telling the truth is a revolutionary act

January 22, 2017

In an age of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act. — George Orwell

The Party told you to reject all evidence with your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. — George Orwell, Nineteen Eighty-Four

The point is that the attacks and the attempts to delegitimize this president in one day — and we’re not going to sit around and take it.  – Reince Priebus, White House Chief of Staff

The method for taking over the state and for it becoming a totalitarian police state, is always the same, and it’s always the identification of ‘the other’ as the enemy. In Trump’s case, it’s the Chinese, the Mexicans, and Islam – it doesn’t matter who it is. With Hitler, it was the Jews, the Communists, the Gypsies, anybody who had a physical deformity, or whatever it might be, the homosexuals – they were all lumped together. — Roger Waters

The resistance begins today. — Roger Waters

In Nineteen Eighty-Four, war is peace.

On Inauguration Day, the crowds in Washington were far fewer than for the Inauguration of Barack Obama. The anti-Trump protest, Women’s March, the next day, dwarfed that for the Trump Inauguration.

Estimates of the Women’s March put it at three times for the Trump Inauguration.  The Metro reported it carried three times as many passengers on Saturday as on Friday.

In cities across America, massive anti-Trump demonstrations.  No only in USA, across the world. There was a massive demonstration in Sydney.

But no, according to Trump the media was lying.

If Trump lies on the size of a  crowd, can we believe him on anything he says?

His White House press mouthpiece repeated the lie.  Repeated the lie and launched an unprecedented attack on the media.

When White House chief of staff threatens the media, says will not tolerate media questioning  legitimacy of the Trump presidency, this has shades of Nazi Germany.

What is he going to do, lockup up journalists as they do in Turkey, kill journalists as in  Russia?

In Mexico they have a phrase for Trump, Trump Eres Un Pendejo, Trump, you’re an arsehole.

Bailgate Independent

January 17, 2017

I picked up a copy of Bailgate Independent in Stokes.

A glossy magazine, primarily advertising, crammed with advertising and a handful of articles not worth reading.

I am surprised Stokes stock it.

I left my copy in the Park Street Eatery. Maybe someone will appreciate it.

A tragic waste of trees.

I contrast with the excellent Viva Brighton. Brighton has creative talent, maybe Lincoln does not.

Do Not Buy The Sun

October 20, 2016
John McDonnell Do Not Buy The Sun

John McDonnell Do Not Buy The Sun

Brilliant comment by John McDonnell.

The Sun is not a newspaper, it is a vile rag.

It does not employ journalists, it employs hacks.

It is part of the Evil Murdoch Empire.

In the past The Sun has smeared Charlotte Church and Russell Brand.

Recently The Sun launched an attack on Paul Mason, who unlike the low life scum who wallow in the gutter at The Sun is a reputable journalist.

If you read The Sun, it is like raising a flag you are a complete moron.

Take direct action against The Sun. When you see it in the bins at a  supermarket or W H Smith, turn the top copies back to front and upside down, then pile other papers on top.



13 Shades of Romanian

January 19, 2016

Life of Romanians living in England.


filming at pre-production party

13 shades of Romanian, excellent, well produced documentary of thirteen Romanians living in England.

My main criticism, is how skewed a representation of Romanians in England?

The Romanians featured appeared to be the educated, intelligent, cultural elite. All spoke excellent English, better than 90% of the native population.

For the first two, can watch for £1 each, which is reasonable. Get to the third, and they want £3 to watch all three, and restricted to 72 hours.

I would expect unlimited streaming for £3. I would expect to be able to buy on DVD for £3.

I would have chopped the footballer in Part III, found a more interesting Romanian, for example talented singer-songwriter Jewelia.

13 Shades of Romanian was funded through crowdfunding.

Demand The Sun prints prominent front page apology for Corbyn smear

December 22, 2015
The Sun Corbyn apology

The Sun Corbyn apology

The phone hacking scandal and the inquiry that followed, showed the gutter occupied by the scum who work for The Sun.

But what has since changed?

The evil Murdoch Empire still exists, the attacks on Russell Brand, Charlotte Church, Jeremy Corbyn have been relentless.

We have a toothless regulator, IPSO.

The Sun have been running a smear campaign against Jeremy Corbyn. IPSO has forced an apology. This should be, same size typeface, in prominent page where the the original story ran.

The Sun has printed in tiny typeface, bottom left-hand corner of the front page of The Sun. Blink, and you will miss it, assuming you would even wish to waste something as valuable as a blink of an eye on rubbish like The Sun.

Please sign the petition demanding IPSO enforces a full apology printed on the front page of The Sun.

Please also lodge a formal complaint with IPSO.

Take direct action on The Sun, turn the paper upside down, back to front, then pile other papers on top. That will kills sales of The Sun for the day.

Imogen Heap releases Tiny Human using blockchain technology

November 28, 2015

Singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Imogen Heap is a rare example of someone in the music industry who knows what she is about. As does cellist Zoe Keating.

A music event, with a little music.

Imogen Heap used the event to release Tiny Human into the wild with the help of Mycelia, a blockchain for tracking and cataloguing music.

This one action, release of Tiny Human, could change the face of the music industry, and at a  stroke, eliminate the middle men who for years have been  parasites on artists and music lovers.

Imogen Heap:

I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if I could decide what I wanted to do with my music?. I might decide, today’s my birthday, I’m going to give all of my music to everyone for free today. At the moment, I can’t do that. Because it’s out there, and once it’s out there, I don’t really have a say in it any more.

Zoe Keating:

I can imagine a ledger of all that information and an ecosystem of killer apps to visualize usage and relationships. I can imagine a music exchange where the real value of a song could be calculated on the fly. I can imagine instant, frictionless micropayments and the ability to pay collaborators and investors in future earnings without it being an accounting nightmare.

Imogen Heap:

It feels as if the music industry is a complete mess, a rusty, overstretched, tired machine. Grappling with a lot of old crooked contracts that don’t reflect our times, music services that run on greed to please shareholders smothered in buy-buy-buy adverts, dated accounting setups favouring anyone but the artist thanks to gross inefficiencies, confusing royalty statements and delayed payments… plus patchy copyright databases. It is almost impossible to find out who REALLY gets what.

Artists create the music, but if signed to a record label, have very little control.

We hear all the time of artists being owed millions.  The latest Sly Stone, living in a van.

Bandcamp enables artists to put their music out there. Fans can decide if they like it or not, if they do, they can download, choose to pay the artists some money. The artists also get the data.

Zoe Keating distributes her music on bandcamp, for example her album Into The Trees.

Zoe Keating is unusual in that she publishes her earnings on-line for all to see. Contrary to the rubbish we hear from the major record labels, piracy and sharing is not a problem, it is services like spotify that are screwing everyone.

I initially published my digital music earnings because the dominant story in the press on artist earnings did not reflect my reality, nor that of musical friends I talked to. None of us were concerned about file sharing/piracy, we seemed to sell plenty of music directly to listeners via pay-what-you-want services while at the same time earn very little from streaming.

On bandcamp, music is offered at a low price, or pay-what-you-think-it-is-worth. Far from seeing this as an opportunity to rip artists off, fans will often pay more than the asking price.

Interesting comment from cellist Zoe Keating on the number of times her music appears (unauthorised) in youtube videos.

… other than hit songs, it is near impossible to know what the real popularity of a piece of music is. Nielsen recognized this and added streams to SoundScan rankings, but the internet is far more interesting than that.

What about popularity by “use?” To use myself as an example again, there are to date 15,000 videos on YouTube with my music in them, none of them by me. The videos are other people’s unlicensed dance performances, commercial films, TV shows, student films, experimental films, art projects, soundtracks to gaming session, etc. But currently there is no way to leverage that kind of enthusiasm. Only YouTube knows how popular my music is for unauthorized soundtracks.

With blockchain and Mycelia there would be a means to track, and to pay for that use.

There is a need for change, for the simple reason as Imogen Heaps says, the record businesses was founded on unscrupulous practices, screwing the artist, greed writ large.

It’s time to turn the music industry on its feet. I say that, as it’s always been topsy-turvy. The record industry built its foundation upon the blues and jazz of predominantly African American artists, who were not given the best deals for anything at the time… never mind record deals! Their pockets were the last thing on the deal makers minds. Lawyers and accountants made the decisions, and built contracts entirely around bringing in the big guns the most amount of money and the artists the least; if, indeed, any at all. These founding artists were given a shockingly bad deal, and ever since artists have been struggling to have their voice heard.

Combined with this, the industry wasn’t birthed in our digital age where online databases and flow of information are the norm. It’s adopted technology in various forms along the way, that invariably didn’t fit with what came before, and as a result, it’s become more and more fragmented and ultimately gotten itself into a right tangle.

Now it feels as if the music industry is a complete mess, a rusty, overstretched, tired machine. Grappling with a lot of old crooked contracts that don’t reflect our times, music services that run on greed to please shareholders smothered in buy-buy-buy adverts, dated accounting setups favouring anyone but the artist thanks to gross inefficiencies, confusing royalty statements and delayed payments (if any at all), coupled with the music itself not always being tagged effectively, and thus leading to mistakes… plus patchy copyright databases. It is almost impossible to find out who REALLY gets what. I’ve lost sleep in the past, scratching my head over the small print, with an icky feeling maybe I was selling my soul to do what I love. And, at the end of it all, more times than not, we are listening to seriously degraded quality sound files, on tinny speakers or trendy hyped up headphones lacking quality sound. Artists and music, deserve better.

Mycelia and blockchain offer the opportunity for change.

Who owns Mycelia? This is critical. It cannot be a high tech death star. It has to be an open common, to which we can all contribute, all draw from, part of the sharing economy.

Who owns the top level domain domain name .music? At the moment Amazon and Google are in the bidding. They should not be allowed to control .music, it should be in the global commons, there for artists and music lovers.

Distribution of artistic material, payments, gaining information, is not simply knowing where the material has ended up and obtaining due payment, it may even be as fundamental as deciding will it be released. Artists too often find material they would not wish to see released, is released, or conversely, material they wish to see released is not released.

Nina Paley upon thsi problem when she reelased Sita Sings the Blues.

Depressing, health care companies monitoring us, what we are listening to. Big Brother writ large and a serious infringement of privacy.

This is what was discussed at Europe is Kaput last week. If we are being monitored, are aware we are being monitored, does it change our behaviour, is this the world in which we wish to live? This is a world controlled by death star apps. But illustrates information can be used for good or bad. Artists want transparency, see where their music is going, but we do not wish to create a society in which our every thought, movement, action, is monitored, logged, manipulated by death stars.

This article could be added to the block chain for Tiny Human.

Can Bitcoin and the blockchain help independent artists make a living?
Bitcoin and the Arts: An Interview with Artist and Composer, Zoe Keating
Why use spotify when there are far better alternatives?
The Cryptocurrency-Based Projects That Would Pay Everyone Just for Being Alive
Bitcoin Can’t Save The Music Industry Because The Music Industry Will Resist Transparency
The Bitcoin Blockchain Just Might Save The Music Industry…If Only We Could Understand It
Imogen Heap’s Mycelia: An Artists’ Approach for a Fair Trade Music Business, Inspired by Blockchain

John McDonnell: the Media are trying to destroy us

November 22, 2015

I for one, was very impressed by John McDonnell yesterday afternoon at Beyond Austerity at Methodist Central Hall Westminster. It is unfortunate the entire meeting was not dedicated to a discussion between former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis and John McDonnell, as it would have been a far more informative and productive meeting.

We had excellent analysis, and intelligent proposals.

A breath of fresh air compared with Ed Balls or Alistair Darling.

Maybe that is why both he and Yanis Varoufakis are  being attacked in the mainstream media, to drown out what they are  saying.

Mass media has become rabid propaganda channels for the 1%, spewing a daily drip, drip, drip feed of misinformation, lies, smears and hate.

We must form our own communication channels. The media must be broken up. We cannot have people like Murdoch, Lord Rothermere, Barclay Brothers owning large chunks of the media.

Media channels that give an alternative view and help nail many of the lies.

I don’t read The Sun for the same reason I don’t eat from the toilet

November 15, 2015
I don't read The Sun for the same reason I don't eat from the toilet

I don’t read The Sun for the same reason I don’t eat from the toilet

I do not as a rule watch BBC Question Time, I find it to be a pale imitation of BBC Radio 4 Any Questions. Last Thursday would have been worth watching to see a member of the audience slam the managing editor of The Sun. The reason, the vile coverage of Jeremy Corbyn at The Cenotaph last Sunday during Remembrance Sunday.

Rupert Murdoch, never one to not stoop low, it was a new low for The Sun.

Could Murdoch stoop any lower? As the world is reeling from the ISIS atrocities in Paris, Sky refers to Jeremy Corbyn as Jihadi Jez.

Patriotism of Murdoch (The Sun), Lord Rothermere (Daily Mail) Barclay Brothers (The Telegraph), all avoid paying UK tax.

The Sun lied about Hillsborough, hacked phones of dead soldiers.

Times and Telegraph smear Yanis Varoufakis

October 28, 2015
Yanis Varoufakis in conversation with Paul Mason at Central Hall Westminster

Yanis Varoufakis in conversation with Paul Mason at Central Hall Westminster

It should come as no surprise, that The Times and Telegraph have mounted an unpleasant smear campaign against former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis, accusing him of profiteering from the Greek economic crisis.

No one  did more to fight for Greece than Yanis Varoufakis, unfortunately he was betrayed by his own party Syriza, who surrendered to the European Union, betraying in the process their fellow Greek citizens.

When Charlotte Church and Russell Brand joined anti-austerity protests, they were smeared by The Sun and Daily Mail. Charlotte Church has had the gutter hacks who work for the Daily Mail sniffing around her neighbours, trying to dig up dirt on her and her children. Russell Brand hit back, exposed the tax dodging activities of Murdoch (owner of The Sun and The Times) and of Lord Rothermere (owner of the Daily Mail).

Peter Oborne was chief political commentator of The Telegraph. He resigned in disgust at the lies and half truths peddled by The Telegraph (owned by the tax-dodging Barclay Brothers).

As soon as Jeremy Corbyn put his name in the hat for Labour Party Leader, the smear campaign began, and has hotted up since becoming party leader. We have seen writer of pretentious crap Martin Amis writing Jeremy Corbyn lacks the intellectual ability to be party leader. Garbage in The Telegraph that every ill under the sun can be put at the door of Jeremy Corbyn (which has spectacularly backfired on The Telegraph).

Yanis Varoufakis is not unused to such abuse and smears, he had six months of it in Greece whilst finance minister.

Yanis Varoufakis has responded to the smear in The Times and Telegraph by accounting for his expenses. Will we see the Barclay Brothers, Lord Rothermere, Rupert Murdoch publish details of their tax-dodging activities? Will we see war criminal Tony Blair account for his profiteering from the Iraq war?

It would seem in order for Yanis Varoufakis to file a formal complaint to the press regulator.

We have a cosy media-political establishment.

When people like the Barclay Brothers, Murdoch and Lord Rothermere own and control the media, not only do we no longer have a a free press, we lack a functioning democracy.


September 14, 2015

Welcome to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia that anyone can edit4,967,075 articles in English

I am no great fan of Wikipedia. I have yet to check a page and not find it to be riddled with errors. And it is not as claimed self-correcting. I have corrected pages, only to find edited and the errors re-introduced. The problem is what is claimed as its success, anyone can edit a page, no knowledge required, thus not an authoritative source.

Wikipedia is always cited as an example of p2p open collaboration, for example Paul Mason cites in PostCapitalism.

We are seeing the spontaneous rise of collaborative production: goods, services and organisations are appearing that no longer respond to the dictates of the market and the managerial hierarchy. The biggest information product in the world — Wikipedia — is made by 27,000 volunteers, for free, abolishing the encyclopaedia business and depriving the advertising industry of an estimated $3 billion a year in revenue.

With that I have no argument. The figures cited by Paul Mason speak for themselves.

26 million pages, 24 million registered to contribute and edit, 12,000 regularly participating, 140,000 occasionally. No one forces them to, they do not get paid, and the content is distributed for free.

If a corporation chose to produce, it would need a management hierarchy, sweatshop outsourced workers numbering 12,000, targets, bonuses, deadlines.   And how much would it cost? And how does it compete with a free competitor? On the other hand we could rely upon the market, where we rely upon price as a mechanism, maybe pay contributors micro-payments each time an article accessed, only once again, we have a problem, when the alternative is free.

In the sharing economy, we freely give and we freely draw upon the collaborative commons. We all benefit.

Why do we not have Open Publishing for academic papers? The research has been paid for by public funds, the information that results from that research should therefore be freely available in the Open Commons for all to draw upon.

Some academic research is made freely available, for example Anthropokaluptein (also as Rampant Rainbows and the Blackened Sun in Dark Mountain Vol 6) is published by Academia, where papers are published.

This is not true of most research published by academic journals.

To make matters worse, scientific publisher Elsevier has linked up with Wikipedia, whereby a select few favoured editors, will have free access to academic papers to cite, but no one else will be able to see, not unless they are prepared to pay an access fee. This immediately violates the raison dêtre for the very existence of Wikipedia, namely the free access to information.

Ars Technica:

Scientific publisher Elsevier has donated 45 free ScienceDirect accounts to “top Wikipedia editors” to aid them in their work. Michael Eisen, one of the founders of the open access movement, which seeks to make research publications freely available online, tweeted that he was “shocked to see @wikipedia working hand-in-hand with Elsevier to populate encylopedia w/links people cannot access,” and dubbed it “WikiGate.” Over the last few days, a row has broken out between Eisen and other academics over whether a free and open service such as Wikipedia should be partnering with a closed, non-free company such as Elsevier.

Eisen’s fear is that the free accounts to ScienceDirect will encourage Wikipedia editors to add references to articles that are behind Elsevier’s paywall. When members of the public seek to follow such links, they will be unable to see the article in question unless they have a suitable subscription to Elsevier’s journals, or they make a one-time payment, usually tens of pounds for limited access.

Eisen went on to tweet: “@Wikipedia is providing free advertising for Elsevier and getting nothing in return,” and that, rather than making it easy to access materials behind paywalls, “it SHOULD be difficult for @wikipedia editors to use #paywalled sources as, in long run, it will encourage openness.” He called on Wikipedia’s co-founder, Jimmy Wales, to “reconsider accommodating Elsevier’s cynical use of @Wikipedia to advertise paywalled journals.” His own suggestion was that Wikipedia should provide citations, but not active links to paywalled articles.

Not surprisingly, this has been widely attacked as a retrograde step. Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales has been asked to think again.

Last year, Nature made much of its database free to access, albeit with a few caveats.