Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Timbuktu librarians protect manuscripts from rebels

According to Reuters:

Malian scholars, librarians and ordinary citizens in the rebel-occupied city of Timbuktu are hiding away priceless ancient manuscripts to prevent them from being damaged or looted, a South African academic in contact with them said.

Cape Town University's Professor Shamil Jeppie said he was in daily contact with curators and private owners safeguarding tens of thousands of historic texts in Timbuktu, the fabled desert trading town and seat of Islamic learning overrun by Tuareg-led rebels on April 1.

Jeppie, involved in an internationally-funded initiative to preserve Timbuktu's "treasure of learning", told Reuters there had been no major losses so far to the main state and private manuscript collections, but he feared for the future.

See also:

Report: Tunisian public libraries affected due to the uprising of the Tunisian people

Canadian librarian leads worldwide digital revolt for free knowledge

Meanwhile, back at the ranch:

CIA's 'ninja librarians' track revolts through Twitter and Facebook

Jack London: What Life Means To Me

Excerpts:

It was the same everywhere, crime and betrayal, betrayal and crime--men who were alive, but who were neither clean nor noble, men who were clean and noble, but who were not alive. Then there was a great, hopeless mass, neither noble nor alive, but merely clean. It did not sin positively nor deliberately; but it did sin passively and ignorantly by acquiescing in the current immorality and profiting by it. Had it been noble and alive it would not have been ignorant, and it would have refused to share in the profits of betrayal and crime.

[ ... ]

I look forward to a time when man shall progress upon something worthier and higher than his stomach, when there will be a finer incentive to impel men to action than the incentive of to-day, which is the incentive of the stomach. I retain my belief in the nobility and excellence of the human. I believe that spiritual sweetness and unselfishness will conquer the gross gluttony of to-day. And last of all, my faith is in the working-class. As some Frenchman has said, "The stairway of time is ever echoing with the wooden shoe going up, the polished boot descending."

The Revolution Will Not Be Funded

Because the NPIC looks for “measureable” outcomes, the people we hope to serve and love become “clients”, “constituents”, “customers” and “contacts” rather than brother and sisters or neighbors. We begin to fetishize people. We pity them. We begin to believe that they need our unique service and that they have nothing of value to share with us. The more of “them” we see or help as a non-profit, the more funding we receive. This dichotomy—between “us” and “them”—is just one such disastrous and unintended consequence of the NPIC one important lesson learned from the contributors of The Revolution Will Not Be Funded.

David Harvey video interview - the Guardian


David Harvey compares the Occupy movement to the Paris commune and concludes its aims are similar: to take back and reshape the cities to which its members belongs.

The People Empower (OCCUPY Music Video ft. Tupac)

Can We Occupy Strategy?

by Mark Jagdev, SNU

A strategy for and by the people?

For the last couple of months I have joined in a variety of peaceful protests, celebrations and collaborative enterprises along with millions of other Occupiers rising up across the globe to usher in a new world. Passers by, media analysts and pundits, invariably asked us what was this new world we all wanted… And of course you know as well as I, the answers remained elusive, confounded those on the right and many on the left! While our demands have been directed towards rooting out political corruption and Corporatocracy - more broadly we have laid claim to occupying everything, everywhere, and as a consequence our demands have become limitless.

As time has gone by the growing number of wishes and dreams expressed through forums such as working groups (WGs) has meant a multiplicity of new events and actions springing up. This means Occupy is dealing with increasingly complex issues across working groups, GAs and the camps. Meanwhile a “pernicious spirit of aesthetic anarchism” signified by the phrase “damn the plan” (see here) or a general attitude against organization is often witnessed. This attitude says Charles Lenchner has led to issues such as high bounce rate, a lack of an engagement ladder and the propensity to attract ‘Disruptive Newcomers and Empowered Insiders’ (see here).

These issues have compelled more and more people to wonder where this movement was going and what strategies people had in mind to scale up from protest and occupation to a social movement.

When I first thought about strategy one of the first things it evoked in my mind was images of chess pieces, military generals, top down decision making, and trophy hunters – the competitive advantage. So what kind of approach to strategy could reflect the movements bottom-up, non-hierarchical nature and give Occupy the collaborativeadvantage? Could we occupy strategy and reclaim the term “strategy” for and by the people? To begin answering these questions this blog post centers on the discussions of the Strategic Planning WG (SPWG) of Occupy Venice, CA.

More...

Eastern Europe’s Missile System Risks a “Doomsday Scenario”

In 2012, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the hands of their Doomsday Clock forward to five minutes to Midnight. One of the reasons given was the “disagreements between the United States and Russia about the utility and purposes of missile defense.” The reflexive “defence” appellation is pure propaganda. In 1997, the Pentagon issued a formal declaration of war on the entire world when it announced America’s commitment to achieve Full Spectrum Dominance by 2020: a doctrine of total control in which the proposed missile system will play a significant role.

Goldman Sachs’ Trader Finds a New Occupy Tactic

On Wednesday, March 14, Greg Smith – following in the proud lineage of Micheal Lewis, Frank Partnoy and Nomi Prins – simply bypassed the tedious route of galleys and nit-picking editors and went straight to the OpEd page of the New York Times with his resignation letter decrying Goldman Sachs for abusing its clients. “It makes me ill how callously people talk about ripping their clients off. Over the last 12 months I have seen five different managing directors refer to their own clients as ‘muppets,’ sometimes over internal e-mail,” Smith said. He called the current environment at Goldman “as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it.”

Armed Russian police raid homes of anti-Putin activists in huge crackdown which critics describe as a 'return to the days of Stalin'

Armed Russian police today raided the homes of anti-Putin activists today ahead of a mass demonstration in a major new crackdown on dissent.

The fresh wave of arrests was today compared with the days of Stalin by opponents on Russian language Twitter.

Hello1937 was trending on the social networking site - referring to the year 1937 which was seen as the worst for Stalin purges.

Facebook Acquires Israeli Facial Recognition Company

Facebook, the largest repository of pictures anywhere and at any time in history, has acquired an Israeli company, called face.com, that makes facial recognition technology. Neither company disclosed the sale price nor the other terms of the deal.

It is not entirely unexpected. Facebook has used the Israeli company for two years to identify and “tag” who is who on the social network.

London: Mr Brainwash returns – Part 1

MBW London Show 2012

Four years after officially launching his “MBW” pseudonym at the Banksy’s Cans Festival, Thierry Guetta aka Mr Brainwash has landed in London for the preparation of his first huge European show to date.

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image from http://www.spitting-image.net

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