The Paradox of Power

From TV News in a Postmodern World: Chaos at the Door by Terry L. Heaton.
“And the paradox of power is that discontent increases with opportunities for acting on it. The more the bottom is given the tools to make and distribute their own media, the greater their power; the greater their power, the greater their discontent and, along with it, the opportunity for acting on that discontent. This bubbling caldron of energy is profoundly anti-elitist and anti-institution, because the more the bottom surveys the landscape these days, the more they realize that our culture has failed them, and this energy is palpable in the halls of power.”

Thanks to Doc Searls for sharing the link to this article with us. (and to linking to me recently) Man, I need to spend as much time as it takes to read all that Doc writes and links to.

Save Big Bird from the chopping block? NOT!

Isn’t that a cool sounding post title? It was the subject of an action alert ‘spam’ 🙂 email I got – minus the NOT! – from It describes the attacks on Public Broadcasting from the right wing. For starters I will miss Big Bird and the Sesame Street crew if they are forced off the air because of budget cuts. Those happy muppets were a positive part of many children’s lives. But honestly why not just let those arrogant republicans take away funding? Yep you read that right. Let them kill Public Broadcasting! Why?! For petes sake why?

Because our government is owned by big corporations, has been for decades. How can anything owned by a corporation be truly publicly created or owned? Public Broadcasting stopped being grassroots and owned by the people long ago. Let a large void be left in the place of Public Broadcasting. Something better will fill the void. The fundraising for public media in America should be conducted for small, local, grassroots productions. Groups that your neighbors work with.

You might think that the void will only be filled with crappy commercial cable TV show for children with tons of ads. Well, that isn’t the only option for parents. We have community radio for kids of all ages, public access TV for kids, books, sports, music, podcasting for kids, etc., etc. All created by amateurs. Not corporations. Why shouldn’t these community created options replace Big Bird and all other Public Broadcasting programming?

Because I respect the people who work hard at Public Broadcasting I propose a exit strategy for them. PUT ALL CONTENT EVER MADE WITH PUBLIC MONEY INTO THE PUBLIC DOMAIN.

Give it away. Even better use a Creative Commons license to help prevent Disney from stealing Big Bird and turning him into the next Mickey Mouse. By giving ALL publicly funded content back to the people who paid for it you will ensure a RICH cultural future and lots of media for the public to work with. Turn this tragedy into a positive strategic move. One that will really give the people the public media they paid for.

Will Google eat itself?

Now that Google’s net worth has toped Time-Warner’s making it the biggest media company in the world, will it eat itself? In high hactivist style Hans Bernhard & Alessandro Ludovico have made something to help it along. They’ve created a hactivist art protest in the form of the Global Web-Marketing & E-Business Information Magazine or GWEI. (Notice how those initials are the same as Google Will Eat Itself…) Check out their live installation art that describes the project and its purpose. Here’s a bit of their own words,
“We generate money by serving Google text advertisements on our website With this money we automatically buy Google shares via our swiss e-banking account. We buy Google via their own advertisement! Google eats itself – but in the end we’ll own it!”

Sounds like an interesting plan to me. Very like something the Yes Men might do. It brings awareness to Googles new mega-corp status. Will Google abuse their power? Shall we play along and believe all that we have read on the web? Or shall we act in our own lives and look for more evidence of positive change down the street? I love the grey areas that art creates. We must question everything or serve like slaves. Guess I just served these very creative artists by passing along their meme. By linking to them we raise their Google ranking. Thus their ads should be worth more. Cha Ching!

The bottom line is no corporation as powerful as Google can be completely trusted as the arbiter of so much information. Doesn’t their fiscal power finally demonstrate the power of the info economy we live in? This darling of the Internet may one day eat us all. I mean how long will they continue to link to sites that question them or work actively to destroy them? For now Google shows that the search phrase “Google will eat itself” is linking 828 pages.

We need a open source community search engine!

Time Management for Anarchists : The Movie

Time Management for Anarchists is a wonderful concept described in a flash movie. It’s title may seem like a oxymoron to some but for me it’s absolutely RIGHT ON! Working hard towards a fair classless society isn’t going to get done if you can’t make efficient use of your own time. There is just TOO MUCH TO DO. Thankfully there are many good suggestions within. Jim Munroe, the movie’s creator, has a talk about time management that he gives while showing this movie. Man I know some radical slackers who should hear this! As for myself I have a paper based date book that I write all my appointments and to-dos in. A pencil and paper just work better for me than a PDA. Now I need to do more project time estimates as Mr. Munroe suggests.

More Politicians Podcasting ?

Taegan Goddard’s blog entry Political Podcasts got me thinking. I know John Edwards has podcast, but what about other politicians? After a google search I came up with this BBC article about political podcasts. Seems it ain’t just the Dems getting into it. Now the GOP (Grand Old Party to ya’ll heathens. ;D ) Republicans are podcasting. When the rulers start using new tech, like podcasting, the OFFICIAL herald of mainstream adoption is sounded. All of ya’ll podcasters are saying, “Like no DUH!” Am I right?!?