30 November 2009


Stigmergy is a form of self-organization. It produces complex, apparently intelligent structures, without need for any planning, control, or even communication between the agents.


Stigmergic Collaboration: The Evolution of Group Work

An “invisible hand” effect results from the several efforts of individuals and small groups working independently.


"One has to expand the concept of love beyond the limits of the couple."

Michael Hardt at European Graduate School EGS 2005


23 November 2009

The Pansy Project


Artist Paul Harfleet revisits city streets planting pansies at the site of homophobic abuse. Each location is photographed and named after the abuse received.


21 November 2009


Twitter co-founder Biz Stone said: "...people are communicating publicly. It is untrue that we are becoming more isolated because of these tools, I think we are connecting more and we are finding new ways to do good."

"A friend of mine asked me, 'what do you hope people will say about Twitter in five or 10 years?' and my answer to him, which I was surprised to hear myself say, was that I hope people will not consider Twitter a triumph of technology, instead that they will consider it a triumph of humanity."

"The idea that the open exchange of information can have a positive global impact. If people are more informed then they become more engaged and if they are more engaged then they can become more empathetic."

20 November 2009

The People Will Give Strength Unto Their Poet

engraved on the Gdansk monument is the defiant penultimate stanza of Czesław Milosz's poem,

"You Who Wronged"

"Do not feel safe.

The poet remembers.

You can kill one, but another is born.

The words are written down, the deed, the date."

Czesław Miłosz in the Guardian 2001

Czesław Miłosz in Wikipedia

enslavement through consciousness

The Captive Mind via Wikipedia

The heart of his book, The Captive Mind, is a portrayal of four gifted Polish men who all capitulated, in some fashion, to the demands of a totalitarian state.

He highlights the processes which force, cajole and woo thinking men and women to believe self-evident lies.

The Captive Mind via Amazon.co.uk

While banned in Poland, The Captive Mind circulated underground there, Czesław Miłosz being among those authors whose name could not be mentioned even in order to denounce."

19 November 2009

Modular Intelligence

......the early precursors to living, thinking, reprogrammable architecture.



Ketman (Arabic kitmān كتمان "secrecy, concealment") is the act of paying lip service to authority while holding personal opposition.

It is a sort of political or religious camouflage, for the purpose of survival, in circumstances where open opposition would result in persecution.

Ketman can be practised through many generations, and eventually erupt in the form of revolutions, uprisings, etc.

Though the term was originally used exclusively in regard to Islamic authority, the term is most frequently encountered in reference to Communist authoritarianism.


17 November 2009


Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass.

It's about learning how to dance in the rain.

16 November 2009

Mario Savio: Sproul Hall Steps, December 2, 1964

"There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part; you can't even passively take part, and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all!"

Comfortable Slavery and Society as a Work of Art

"We must each of us generate in ourselves, and try to generate in others, the instinctual need for a life without fear, without brutality, and without stupidity."

"The fact that today we cannot identify any specific class or any specific group as a revolutionary force, this fact is no excuse for not using any and every possibility and method to arrest the engines of repression in the individual."

"By virtue of the way it has organized its technological base, contemporary industrial society tends to be totalitarian. For "totalitarian" is not only a terroristic political coordination of society, but also a non-terroristic economic-technical coordination which operates through the manipulation of needs by vested interests."

"The question is no longer: how can the individual satisfy his own needs without hurting others, but rather: how can he satisfy his needs without hurting himself, without reproducing, through his aspirations and satisfactions, his dependence on an exploitative apparatus which, in satisfying his needs, perpetuates his servitude?"



13 November 2009

Charter for Compassion

via http://www.ted.com/


The principle of compassion lies at the heart of all religious, ethical and spiritual traditions, calling us always to treat all others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Compassion impels us to work tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of our fellow creatures, to dethrone ourselves from the centre of our world and put another there, and to honour the inviolable sanctity of every single human being, treating everybody, without exception, with absolute justice, equity and respect.

It is also necessary in both public and private life to refrain consistently and empathically from inflicting pain. To act or speak violently out of spite, chauvinism or self-interest, to impoverish, exploit or deny basic rights to anybody, and to incite hatred by denigrating others — even our enemies — is a denial of our common humanity. We acknowledge that we have failed to live compassionately and that some have even increased the sum of human misery in the name of religion.

We therefore call upon all men and women ~ to restore compassion to the centre of morality and religion ~ to return to the ancient principle that any interpretation of scripture that breeds violence, hatred or disdain is illegitimate ~ to ensure that youth are given accurate and respectful information about other traditions, religions and cultures ~ to encourage a positive appreciation of cultural and religious diversity ~ to cultivate an informed empathy with the suffering of all human beings, even those regarded as enemies.

We urgently need to make compassion a clear, luminous and dynamic force in our polarized world. Rooted in a principled determination to transcend selfishness, compassion can break down political, dogmatic, ideological and religious boundaries. Born of our deep interdependence, compassion is essential to human relationships and to a fulfilled humanity. It is the path to enlightenment, and indispensible to the creation of a just economy and a peaceful global community.

05 November 2009

Creative Talent and the Mental Environment

Should the best creative minds of our generation be so focused on high-gloss dishonesty?

"We, the undersigned, are graphic designers, art directors and visual communicators who have been raised in a world in which the techniques and apparatus of advertising have persistently been presented to us as the most lucrative, effective and desirable use of our talents. Many design teachers and mentors promote this belief; the market rewards it; a tide of books and publications reinforces it."

Artists "who devote their efforts primarily to advertising, marketing and brand development are supporting, and implicitly endorsing, a mental environment so saturated with commercial messages that it is changing the very way citizen-consumers speak, think, feel, respond and interact. To some extent we are all helping draft a reductive and immeasurably harmful code of public discourse."

"We propose a reversal of priorities in favor of more useful, lasting and democratic forms of communication - a mindshift away from product marketing and toward the exploration and production of a new kind of meaning. The scope of debate is shrinking; it must expand. Consumerism is running uncontested; it must be challenged by other perspectives expressed, in part, through the visual languages and resources of design."



02 November 2009



"From a lucid appreciation of the absurdity of our life three consequences flow, which Camus calls Revolt, Freedom and Passion."

By 'Revolt' Camus means defiance in the face of the bleak truth about the human condition, hopeless but not resigned, lending to life a certain grandeur.

"We must imagine Sisyphus happy."

"Recognition of the absurdity frees us from habit and convention: we see all things anew, and are inwardly liberated."

"By 'passion' Camus means the resolve to live as intensely as possible, not so as to escape the sense of absurdity but so as to face it with absolute lucidity."


In "The Myth of Sisyphus" Albert Camus elevates Sisyphus to the status of The Absurd Hero.

"Absurdity is a feeling which arises from the confrontation of the world, which is irrational, with the hopeless but profound human desire to make sense of our condition. The appropriate response to this situation is to live in full consciousness of it."