Month: April 2014

Revolutionary Lives and Friendship Part 1

Some questions:

What is friendship?
From the vantage point of a revolutionary what is friendship?
What are the qualities of a friend?
What does friendship say about people?
What can a friend take and give?
Why do we make friends?
What are the limits of friendship?
How do you know when someone is a friend?
What is the relationship of friendship to politics? Organization? Comrade?
How does one know they have been a good friend to their friends?
Why is friendship important?
Are there different kinds of friendships? What are they? Why are they different?

Mesh Networking

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesh_networking

From the NYTimes

 

Photo

Wireless routers attached to rooftops in Sayada form a local network that the developers say is more secure than the Internet. CreditSamuel Aranda for The New York Times

SAYADA, Tunisia — This Mediterranean fishing town, with its low, whitewashed buildings and sleepy port, is an unlikely spot for an experiment in rewiring the global Internet. But residents here have a surprising level of digital savvy and sharp memories of how the Internet can be misused.

A group of academics and computer enthusiasts who took part in the 2011 uprising in Tunisia that overthrew a government deeply invested in digital surveillance have helped their town become a test case for an alternative: a physically separate, local network made up of cleverly programmed antennas scattered about on rooftops.

The State Department provided $2.8 million to a team of American hackers, community activists and software geeks to develop the system, called a mesh network, as a way for dissidents abroad to communicate more freely and securely than they can on the open Internet. One target that is sure to start debate is Cuba; the United States Agency for International Development has pledged $4.3 million to create mesh networks there.

Even before the network in Sayada went live in December, pilot projects financed in part by the State Department proved that the mesh could serve residents in poor neighborhoods in Detroit and function as a digital lifeline in part of Brooklyn during Hurricane Sandy. But just like their overseas counterparts, Americans increasingly cite fears of government snooping in explaining the appeal of mesh networks.

“There’s so much invasion of privacy on the Internet,” said Michael Holbrook, of Detroit, referring to surveillance by the National Security Agency. “The N.S.A. is all over it,” he added. “Anything that can help to mitigate that policy, I’m all for it.”

Since this mesh project began three years ago, its original aim — foiling government spies — has become an awkward subject for United States government officials who backed the project and some of the technical experts carrying it out. That is because the N.S.A., as described in secret documents leaked by the former contractor Edward J. Snowden, has been shown to be a global Internet spy with few, if any, peers.

(more…)

Interview Todd May

http://www.3ammagazine.com/3am/the-poststructural-anarchist/

TM: For most traditional anarchists like Peter Kropotkin and Emma Goldman, the Soviet Union was a crisis almost from the beginning. They saw it as hierarchical in character, and in that way a continuation of the kinds of domination characteristic of capitalist society. In fact, earlier on, in his dispute with Marx, Mikhail Bakunin predicted that a Marxist takeover of the state would simply reproduce the hierarchical structure of social and political relations. AsThe Who said, “Here comes the new boss, same as the old boss.” This is where anarchism becomes associated with a critique of the state. My own reading of anarchism is, however, that it is much more than a critique of the state. It is a critique of domination in all its forms–political, economic, gender, racial, etc. So while the anarchists were certainly right about theSoviet Union, we should read their work as a more general critique of domination. Granted, this general critique is at times in the background of their work, but it is nevertheless recognizable. In this way, they differ importantly from Marx. For Marx, there is an Archimedean point of social change since there is a central point of domination: the extraction of surplus value from the workers. Therefore, there is really only a single struggle: the struggle for the ownership of means of production.”

and later…

“How might one live, then, in Deleuze’s view? We don’t know what lives we are capable of. So a life ought to be an experiment, or a set of experiments, in living. We investigate what is possible, what we can become. This investigation is not limited to anything individualistic. In fact, Deleuze’s ontology is not an individualistic one. Experiments can happen at the individual, group, and even subindividual level.”

Jacque Ranciere on Politics

http://www.critical-theory.com/free-read-day-rancieres-ten-theses-politics/

JR: “Politics is not the exercise of power.”

S: What does that mean? What is politics then?

JR: “Politics ought to be defined on its own terms, a sa mode of acting put into practice by a specific kind of subject…

S: What is that Subject?

JR: ” it involves this subject in the form of a mode of relation that is its own.”

S:This is interesting. What is the mode of relation that is its own? What kind of mode? What kind of mode becomes the subject’s own?

JR: “Politics cannot be defined on the basis of any pre-existing subject.”

to be continued…