Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Watching the Wikileaks Spin

Just a little Wall Street Journal op-ed piece that spun me up today:

Mr Abrams is "a prominent First Amendment attorney and Constitutional law expert who represented the New York Times in the New York Times Co. v. United States (403 U.S. 713 (1971)) Supreme Court case that established the 1st Amendment rights of Ellsberg and the NYT in publishing the Pentagon Papers."

Unfortunately it appears as if he has lost a bit of his sharpness since those days, or perhaps it's the paycheck from the WSJ that has made him swallow the Red Herring Pill. Remember, this is what I am studying: the use of weaponized art [propaganda] as a means of controlling thought and debate.

Mr Abrams spends a great deal of time in this op-ed discussing the last 4 volumes of the Papers, which contained the kind of diplomatic material Wikileaks released and was withheld from the initial publication of the Pentagon Papers on sensitivity grounds. He then goes on to build a case on the Wikileaks diplomatic cables leaks and drags in the Espionage Act to vaguely hint that Julian Assange may be a scoundrel taking advantage of our magnanimous legal code.

Ok, so it's the WSJ and you do expect them to use their op-ed pages to push their political masters' agenda; it's widely-known and long-term for them. You'd also expect such a legal beagle like Mr Abrams to be current on the legal opinion that the EA can't be used against Julian Assange (which is why they are pressuring Pvt. Bradley Manning to say that he was coerced so they can use a computer crime law against Julian). What is more interesting is that this supposed authority with the credentials of the Ellsberg case behind him is so compromised/enfeebled/decayed that he can't spot the shifting of the spotlight and debate to the cables.

Please keep in mind that an inquiry HAS been made into these allegations in Sweden against Julian and the worst that they can figure they can hold him for is punishable by a $700 fine. He hasn't been charged with anything else, nor has he even been ACCUSED of anything more. Now explain why he has a $200,000 bond and Interpol involvement. Even if you don't support Wikileaks you can see that something is wrong and there is much more involved here than meets the eye.


The original material published by Wikileaks began with the Apache Helicopter Gunsight Film published in response to the Pentagon's stonewalling of Reuters for 2+ years in their attempt to cover up the willful massacre of two Reuters journalists and a dozen civilians in 2007. The Apache Gunsight Film was only one item in the material that was later published as the Afghan War Diary, detailing the same outright lies, mis- and disinformation, manipulation and coertion that the Pentagon Papers revealed in the buildup of the Vietnam War with the Afghanistan and subsequent Iraq police actions (to this date Congress has not officially and legally declared war on Iraq).

After the release of the War Diary is when these spurious charges of sexual misconduct were first brought to media attention by the illegal leaking of that information by a Swedish prosecutor with a craving for publicity and a willingness to front for the Pentagon© after the Australian Federal Police declined to bow to the USGOVT© and go after Julian Assange for publishing the material, sending a strong letter of support for Julian's civil rights (hey Aussies - i am admiring you muchly lately, and to your Mr Rudd: good show, good show).

When the Pentagon© and USCongressCritters© started darkly muttering about "extraordinary intervention," assassins, bounties and other heinous and deeply anti-American thuggish tactics and fishing for allies in its goal of punishing Julian Assange, Wikileaks published the Diplomatic Cables. I viewed this as a response and a warning to the Pentagon© to back off the murderous mutterings; perhaps the War Boyz didn't get the significance of the monstrous encrypted "insurance" file [archive link-1.4GB download] posted by Cryptome on the Wikileaks website early on in the release of these documents [the insurance.aes256 file is to be kept until and if Wikileaks must use the "nuclear option" in its defense; the password to this file will be then widely disseminated using all available media channels]. It is obvious from the release of the Cables that they are not what is in the encrypted file...


So now we are watching the shifting of the topic and subject of the debates from "WTF is going on in Afghanistan and Iraq really?" to "he (sic) shouldn't have published those cables." Mr Abrams had the NYT, Washington Post and by extension the 1st Amendment protections on free speech behind him; Wikileaks is being bad-mouthed as "not exactly real journalism" by old-skool hacks terrified of losing their deity status and expense accounts pretending to be real journalists.

Wikileaks has not released 97% of the diplomatic cables they currently have access to, and have redacted a great deal to prevent exposure of legitimate secrets like troop movements and identities of spies. That means that (a) not all of it was leaked initially, (b) portions of it may be held back for years because they would harm legitimate US national security interests, and (c) that the purposes of the leaks were to show exactly what lies the US and other governments have been telling the public, particularly in relation to the "war on terror". Many US officials from both major parties have repeatedly stated that Wikileaks dumped all the information all at once, when in fact nothing of that sort has happened. Wikileaks released the cables to five major papers to redact for sensitive and potentially-harmful revelations.

All the personal issues, attacks, innuendos and discussion about Julian Assange is smoke being used to obscure the relevant and pertinent issues that Wikileaks revealed in the real leak, the War Diary. The moral debate about Julian's motives and methods, the titillation of the charges that have already been dismissed once, the actions and reactions from the release of the Cables, the debates about 1st Amendment... every single issue being focused on by the current major media is only a sideshow. It is the Magician's misdirecting hand motion. It is The MacGuffin. In computing or audio engineering, this is known as the signal-to-noise ratio [s/n]. It is also known as the Purloined Letter Principle. It is a way to hide or obscure information in a mass of irrelevant and distractive data. Data is not information.

It is there to distract you from the War Diary. It is there to distract and drown out the information contained in the War Diary revealing deliberate lying and manipulation on the part of the USGOVT© [ particularly Dick Cheney, George Bush and their neocon buddies] in the manufacture and continuation of an illegal war for the profit and benefit of multinational corporations. The War Diary makes a farce out of the Department of Homeland Security's raison d'etre. It calls into question the reliability of the media officially sanctioned to cover this illegal war. It reveals and supports the UN and international Red Cross's findings of continued illegalities all throughout this manufactured war. It supports many ominous conclusions as to the collusion and coertion of oil money in the politics of the Middle East. It is a time bomb.


So if you are debating these issues with friends and others, remind them that the topic of debate is not if Julian is a bad or a good man; inform them that the information available in the War Diary regarding the manufacturing of an illegal war that is destroying thousands and thousands of innocent lives and young American lives, which has bankrupted the country and thrown hysteria into the world markets, far outweighs any of the lesser debates and distractions being thrown at them to cover up and obscure the base issue. You might also bring some attention to the getting-so-obvious-it's-like-a-steven-spielberg-movie collusion of the Press© and the Pentagon© (or a movie by Barry Levinson [IMDB link]).

BTW... in case you've been reading the debate about the cables and not the cables themselves, here's a few of the nuggets people have located so far that justify the release of this information:

- Bribing, threatening, and then withholding millions in aid to Ecuador and Bolivia so they'd agree to the Copenhagen Accord [but Saudi Arabia gets a free pass because we need their oil].

- DynCorp, funded by USA taxpayers, bought young male sex slaves for Afghan cops in a "batca bazzi" party.

- They're moving prisoners out of Guantanamo to foreign prisons.

- Under-reporting and misreporting deaths in Afghanistan, both civilian and military.

- Diplomats know that the Saudi Arabians are the primary donors to Al-Queda.

- The US warning Germany to keep quiet about Khalid El-Masri, kidnapped by the CIA, kept in prison for months, tortured, then dumped somewhere in Albania when they figure out he's not the one they want.

- The CIA pressured Spain into dropping investigations into the killing of José Couso [a Spanish journalist] in Iraq by American troops, dropping court investigations into the CIA's extraordinary rendition and torture at Guantanamo Bay.

- The US pushing for and manipulating support for Monsanto in Europe.

- The US pressuring Sweden to prosecute the Pirate Bay.

-Shoving USA-style IP laws onto Spain.

- The Shell Oil Company claimed it had inserted staff into all the main ministries of the Nigerian government, giving it access to every movement of politicians. Ann Pickard, then Shell's vice-president for sub-Saharan Africa boasted that the Nigerian government had "forgotten" about the extent of Shell's infiltration and was unaware of how much the company knew about its deliberations.

- China was indeed behind the attacks on Google.


I should email a copy of this column to Mr Abrams and suggest he either stop sucking at the teat of the WSJ/Pentagon© or get a personal nurse to help him with his alleged incipent Alzheimer's. But then again... I am sure the NSA already has [ominous thunder roll] :D

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing Day!

Put 'Em Up!!!

You see, in the Olden Tymes, the day after Christmas was Boxing Day!!!!

After the food excesses of the previous day, when everyone was feeling a little bloated, a little athletic exercise was called for. Great Rings were set up in the woods, and anyone who dared was allowed to enter the ring and compete in a little boxing match with all comers.

This also helped to alleviate the social pressures between the Lords, who had many fat turkeys and lots of food on the previous day, and the poor peasants who worked the land and were barely at subsistence levels.

So the contests of Boxing Day were the only day of the year that a peasant could strike a Lord with impunity and not lose thier head or their lands. It also was a time when the people could judge their lord's courage and fortitude; if a Lord would not enter the ring, people knew him for a sissy and they would gossip mockingly about him throughout the new year, undermining his political authority and causing the King to look askance at him.

Thus it was important for a Lord to make a good showing at the matches; even if he was defeated, the people gave him props for showing up, and for abdicating his social and political privileges and joining them in the Ring. Many a Lord, although perhaps not being as efficient or as smart as the people or King would desire, was nonetheless beloved and adored for a good right cross or particularly-agile footwork, and for good sportsmanship in taking the terrific blows of the ironmonger's son (who was quite the terror in the ring). Even more beloved were the Lords who chose to keep their Boxing Day scars and missing teeth, displaying them proudly throughout the year as a mark of solidarity with their tenant-farmers.

Thus today we celebrate this time-honored and most democratic of holiday customs in rememberance of our illustrious forebears.

Put 'em up!!!!

[ editor's note: this is a gag I loved to do in RL for many years; I even had the boxing gloves! ]

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas! - My Favorite Carol

Good King Wenceslas

The tune is based on a 13th century spring carol "Tempus adest floridum" ("It is time for flowering") first published in the 1582 Finnish song collection Piae Cantiones. The "Wenceslas" lyrics were written much later in 1853 by the English hymnwriter John Mason Neale and substituted for the original Latin (to which they bear no relation) in collaboration with his music editor Thomas Helmore. According to older Czech sources, Neale's lyrics are a translation of a poem by Czech poet Václav Alois Svoboda, written in Czech, German and Latin.]

Good King Wenceslas looked out
on the feast of Stephen,
when the snow lay round about,
deep and crisp and even.
Brightly shown the moon that night,
though the frost was cruel,
when a poor man came in sight,
gathering winter fuel.

Hither, page, and stand by me.
If thou know it telling:
yonder peasant, who is he?
Where and what his dwelling?
Sire, he lives a good league hence,
underneath the mountain,
right against the forest fence
by Saint Agnes fountain.

Bring me flesh, and bring me wine.
Bring me pine logs hither.
Thou and I will see him dine
when we bear the thither.
Page and monarch, forth they went,
forth they went together
through the rude wind's wild lament
and the bitter weather.

Sire, the night is darker now,
and the wind blows stronger.
Fails my heart, I know not how.
I can go no longer.
Ark my footsteps my good page,
tread thou in them boldly:
Thou shalt find the winter's rage
freeze thy blood less coldly.

In his master's step he trod,
where the snow lay dented.
Heat was in the very sod
which the saint had printed.
Therefore, all good men, be sure,
wealth or rank possessing,
ye who now will bless the poor
shall yourselves find blessing.

Merry Christmas to all my friends;
pray for peace people everywhere.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Early VW machinima

W00t! Finally I am finding some of what has been packed away a very long time, including this early animation? machinima? of the virtual continent I created in 1996 using a program called VistaPro.

VistaPro was pretty spiffy for its' time: it supported 1024x768 rendering with Phong highlights, 4x antialiasing, VESA drivers and was capable of downloading terrain elevation maps from USGS ASCII DEM and USGS SDTS DEM files from the USGS, NASA, JPL, the US Air Force & Navy and other sources to recreate completely accurate maps of terrain... including Mons Olympus on Mars and the lunar craters (I had models of Mau'i and Big Island to trace my journeys there). Here's a nice review of VistaPro in its prime.

It was also capable of generating a camera path for an animated tour of the created world. The video you see here was a world - land - I made and used as the basis of several stories and chapters of my novel-in-progress 'Anna of the Sidhe'; it was also the source of +100 web pages of scenes from that continent used as backgrounds to roleplaying/writing with the VR co-op RP groups Virtual Camelot and Virtopia and where Anna was born.

Unfortunately, at the time I was creating and working in these worlds, technology was straining; even with a top-of-the-line tweaked and streamlined media computer, I was hard-pressed to make videos larger than 320x240, the compression artifacts were horrible and it took hours and hours to render even simple scenes.

In this flythrough, a lot of the forests and trees have been removed in order to not have the machine choke or gorge the hard disk or just plain quit; mostly the structural canyons and shape of the underlying geology is viewable. You will notice two areas of water; one a lake hidden deep within the interior of the continent and a river which leads inward from the other side of the mountains; these places were pivotal locations in the story of land and Anna of the Sidhe.

I'm excited to find these pieces of my early virtual reality experiences, artifacts and all.

... now if I can find some of the videos of early Burning Man and Big Bang/Moontribe events...

Monday, December 20, 2010

Merrie Solstice & Lunar Eclipse

"I wish you a hopeful Christmas;
I wish you a brave New Year;
All anguish, pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear."

- Greg Lake/Pete Sinfield, 'Father Christmas'

Tonight is the first time a full lunar eclipse has happened at the Winter Solstice since 1703. The Eclipse will begin at 06:32 UT/GMT; the beginning of Totality will be 07:41UT and last til 08:53UT. The Moon will be changing colors then, mostly to a bright orange-red so the show will be spectacular and a once-in-a-lifetime event.

The Solstice point for the Northern Hemisphere is Tuesday at 23:38UT so this is a double-dose of Releasing, Unsticking, freeing repressed and hidden things and exploring the Cave of Mysteries in the Underworld. Think of discoveries, ideas, revelations, inspiring new ways to move on and escapes from tedious situations.

There is also a partial solar eclipse coming on Jan. 4th; this is an exceptionally-active time to make use of some very strong currents. Toss out this old tired reaganesque meme of "tighten your belts and make do"; it's a false idea. Entropy does not rule everything, despite what the Neo-Darwinian robber-barons would have you believe. Living is not all about scrimping and saving, gnawing breadcrusts and huddling in the dark.

The Winter Solstice was traditionally a night to gather together in warmth and love and light, giving a defiant finger to the Dark and dancing "we live!" in the face of the coldest and longest night of the year. So use this spectacular alignment of our two Luminaries to blow off these stupid, gimp-headed, narrow-minded ideas of lack, poverty, limited supply and scarcity! Take out the trash; get wild with creative ideas; go spelunking in Pandora's Box; peer into the inky blackness of a Scrying Pool and see what there is to see. Remember, at first when you go outside into the night, you see few stars; only by gazing patiently will your eyes adjust to the darkness and many more stars will be seen. Then tomorrow night, dance in the New Sun and a new Cycle and new life and goodness for yourself and for the world.

I will leave you with my favorite Christmas material; the 1967 Beatles flexidisk Christmas Time Is Here Again! [youtube]! (particularly John's poem at the end, "When Christmas Time Is Over")

Happy Christmas, John. Happy Christmas, Yoko.

ps - here's my Christmas Card photo for this year

Friday, December 17, 2010

Media Analysis - The Politics of Information V

I'm posting from a Pirate Party party (no, not a typo) at the Amsterdam de Dam sim in Second Life in support of Wikileaks, where we are all declaring, "Hello, my name is Julian Assange."

Some good news and some bad news today on that story -



Julian Assange was released on bail finally.

A hilarious yet very newsworthy machinima by NMA World Edition was disseminated on YouTube.

The US's reaction to the Wikileaks story is doing a lot more harm to America's reputation than the information itself [The Economist].

Today, the House Judiciary Committee held the first hearings on the Wikileaks issue and some surprisingly-hopeful things happened - most of the debate was actually about how the US Govt© was abusing the classification system to make things secret [The Hill] which should never have been placed in that category - exactly what Wikileaks has maintained is the basis for their release of this information.

Chairman John Conyers, Rep. William Delahunt, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, Rep. Bobby Scott, Thomas Blanton and others in government appear to remember what the First Amendment and the American promise is all about and said so in sane and measured words - kudos, gentlemen; America needs your voices now.



The US© continues to show just how asinine, paranoid and juvenile it is as it has been doing since it hijacked the Sept. 11 catastrophe for its own craven and self-serving political agenda.

After locking up Bradley Manning in solitary confinement for 7 months (a condition most of the rest of the world views as torture), they are now aiming for crushing his mind with a plea bargain if he attests that Julian "conspired" with him to get him to obtain the documents and films Bradley gave to Wikileaks. Here's the info on that [The Independent] and a story from Wired.

The USJusticeDept© is also attempting to charge Assange under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) with conspiracy. It would be hard for the USGov© to press charges against Assange/Wikileaks under the Espionage Act (according to the Congressional Research Service [pdf link]) without seriously compromising diplomatic relations and legal precedent and also dragging the 800-lb gorilla NY Times into a wikked First Amendment fight. Instead, they are now angling to pressure Manning into stating that Assange actively conspired with him. This makes prosecution under the CFAA much easier and helps the Fedz© avoid those nasty ethical and Constitutional complications.

So, the release of millions of documents detailing the systemic abuse and misrepresentation of information to me by my government is somehow a conspiracy to commit computer hacking and steal classified documents?!?! Surely that is a clear example of the use of an empty "boogeyman" triggerword to generate hysteria and emotional response; it is the black art of psyops and classic agitprop.



This blog is ostensibly about art; it so happens that my art intersected with life last spring in 'State of Mind [SLurl]," an installation at Four Bridges Project [weblink] which has become more relevant since its opening. It is also a study and critique of art; namely, that of using the media as a propaganda machine and Delphi method to gauge the public social barometer as to what is "acceptable" and a prime example of the Overton Window effect, a sophisticated method of manipulating a debate.

These are certainly valid grounds for examination of the artistic merits of this issue, as this is the outcome of the first generation raised on mass media and television and is strictly McLuhanesque in its conduct and theoretical underpinnings. We can study not only the story but how the story is being manufactured and delivered.


We are seeing the real connections between government and media without the usual soft-focus and Aural Exciter-enhanced spin and masking. We know now who Amazon, Paypal, Mastercard and Visa bow to and why Wall Street can bathe in champagne and swill 300USD-a-bottle single-malt Scotch while eviscerating the US economy. We know a Swedish prosecutor can be bought or pressured by the USGovt©, and so can the British Crown Prosecution Service.

We know the Crown Prosecution Service lied to Julian's attorneys and told them it was Sweden who asked them to ensure Julian be held in prison and not released on bail. We know that certain Senators and Congressmen calling for extra-legal means of dealing with Julian Assange are a shameful insult and traitorous to the ideals and aspirations of the founders of this country.

We also know much more about the shadow politics behind most news outlets by their stance, factual reportage and rumor/op-ed fulminating on this issue. I mean, we always knew who Fox News was beholden to, but some surprising informational links have surfaced in this story.

We're seeing the attempts to discredit Wikileaks as "not a legitimate journalistic outlet" and therefore not subject to the protections of the First Amendment by old-guarde media, who are scared poopless by the net. We're watching the responsibility of an organization being shifted to one individual because it's easier to prosecute/persecute an individual. We're watching informational overload used to shift a debate from issues to personalities. We're watching the production of a cover story.


This is the Information Revolution and you are smack-dab in the middle of it. This is not a textbook case study or a "what if"; this revolution is right where you are sitting now.

"The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" [youtube]

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Blackmail & Coercion in Modern Copyright Law

... referring to Tateru's post today about Ozimals & Amaretto...

First, here's the boring legal mumbo-jumbo from the Complaint for Declaratory Judgement (thanks to Marx Dudek & Tateru for the pdf link):

"11. On or about November 2, 2010 Ozimals, Inc. improperly alleged in a ceast-and-desist letter to Plaintiff Amaretto Ranch Breedables, LLC, that Amaretto's virtual horse that eats virtual food to grow into an adult and actually survive in Second Life was the same as Ozimal's virtual bunny, and that Amaretto's products infringed Ozimals' alleged copyrighted product, although no copyright registration, nor any patent was claimed or produced by Ozimals to Amaretto."

"20. The idea encapsulated in Amaretto's virtual horse - that one must feed it in order for it to grow, survive and replicate - was well known and was in the public domain long before either Ozimals' or Amaretto's products were in existence: [quotes Plant Pets, 2007 ; Sion Zaius Chickens, 2008; HunnyBunny, 2009; Petable Turtles, 2009 and Pinky Pigs, 2009]

21. [goes on to quote prior art regarding a breedable virtual animal that could pass on its 'genetic traits' goes back at least to Digimon, 1997; I would suggest also Tamagotchi, 1996 - ed.]"


This is a perfect example of how modern "copyright" and "patent" law have been twisted 180 degrees from the original intent of the laws regarding protection of ideas.

This claim by Ozimals is ridiculous on the face of it, especially with the numerous examples of "prior art" cited in the complaint and easily researchable by any half-competent patent/copyright attorney. Given these examples, this can only be a frivilous filing - deceptive in nature and a deliberate move to tangle Amaretto in costly legal proceedings designed to harm and damage its business.


This is the way modern patent/copyright law is being used to intimidate, discourage, strongarm and extort businesses. You can lay the blame for this trend squarely on the shoulders of Michael Eisner, who did so much to degrade and besmirch Disney's reputation; on Steve Ballmer, who created a Microsoft Patent/Copyright War machine to hide the fact that MS lost their income stream and viability in innovation years ago; on the slumped and greasy shoulders of Big Media, who are desperately scrambling to retain their golden thrones as Gatekeepers of ideas and culture so that they can continue to suck blood from artists and creators like bloated ticks.

The heart of the idea of copyright law was to spur innovation and creativity by providing for a temporary limited monopoly to recover investment costs and profit from the labor of creation, not lock up ideas forever. Patent law was created with similar thought to the above points - for the company who invested in production and capital outlay to recoup its costs and make a profit from the implementation of an idea in a solid working product (a real object).


Increasingly, companies (who are now 'legal personages' to a court, despite having none of the responsibilities of a legal personage) are using the threat of a DCMA Takedown Notice as a bludgeon in a predatory and coercive attempt to either intimidate or bankrupt a company with legal costs in order to remove competition in their market sector. This is conduct that not only smells of racketeering, protectionism and blackmail but that is also twisting the intent of the original copyright provisions and stifling innovation and competition, the two things that copyright law was designed to stimulate.

Examples are, sickeningly, too numerous to mention them all: The IBM-SCO travesty, 8 years of SCO trying to sue IBM over IBM's use of its own code; the attack on Tom-Tom by Microsoft, again using MS's sneak-patent-torpedo method of stealing Linux and Unix source code; NTP vs RIM/Blackberry... sadly, too numerous to cite here.

Patent Troll has entered the lexicon of modern business; I submit it should be more accurately described as extortion and racketeering. Companies who have no real capital or ideas are buying up old patents, sitting on them like vultures or maggots and waiting to torpedo some young rising company in an attempt to extort a "settlement" or profit from another company's efforts in research, development and implementation of an idea, or are engaged in attempting to patent common knowledge and expressions (Apple's "i" being the most famous currently).

The US Patents Office is also implicated and hip-deep in this protection racket; how else could it grant such obvious patents as #6360693 - Animal Toy (a synthetic stick); #5443046 - Method Of Exercising A Cat (using a laser pointer; there's actually 4 other patents describing the same thing) and my favorite disgustingly-mind-twisting one from Halliburton: #20080270152 - "Patent Acquisition and Assertion by a (Non-Inventor) First Party Against a Second Party" i.e. patenting patent trolling!!!

It might make you laugh until you realize what this implies about the Patent Office, the reach and strength of commercial interests in US law and the deadly effects this is all having on ideas - not products, ideas. This is the Commercial Thought Police writ full-blown and large as life, happening now at any media company or bank near you.


If you are a content creator, it would serve you and your community well for you to be at least familiar with what is being passed off as "copyright law" these days. Too many people are ready to join the Greek Chorus when it comes to "copyright" without having much in the way of research or understanding these concepts and the way they are being manipulated at present. As a creator, you may scream the loudest for "protection" for your "ideas" - at least until someone like these guys comes after you for "infringing" on a "storyline" that has prior art of perhaps 1000 or more years behind it. Sure, you'd probably win... if you have the money, time and resources to pursue this in court.

... which is where my assertions of racketeering and protectionism come in. These aren't valid lawsuits. These are legal Claymore mines, designed to devastate your capital and time and discourage you from fighting back against these kinds of absurd claims. These are suits by people who have no moral qualms about twisting and distorting copyright and patent law for sheer personal benefit and for the insane, ludicrous and ominous assertion that ideas can be locked up for the benefit of a monopoly forever... which is quite the opposite of the intention and aim of the original precepts of copyright and patent law.

So think twice before you start cheering "copyright" as a creator. As I have mentioned before, there's a great example I can point you to: David Bowie, who submitted a double-handful of tracks for an album (industry practice) and took one of the rejected songs and posted it on his own website for download... and was sued successfully by the record company over a song they rejected, forcing Bowie to remove the track. This has happened to more than one artist (Peter Gabriel, Trent Reznor, Negativeland, etc.)

Think hard, long and deep about this type of business practice before you end up on the biting end of the stick. And don't be so fast to cheer on a DCMA takedown notice; you might be cheering for the extortionists.

ps - just as an aside, fsck the MAFIAA :)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Stocking Stuffers - Showings December

Well, ok, enough of the political/world stories for now. My RL move has been accomplished and I have been remiss in documenting some of the showings I have had in this December (after the slow summer, it's always a surprise when things ramp up again)

Besides CHROMA (previously posted) which is showing at Dividni Shostakovich's Split Screen exhibition space and the logo I designed for that space, there's...


in camera - some of my RL 35mm photography work and digitally-processed photographs/paintings at Kelly Yap Galleries through Jan. 15th. I don't show these often in SL so it was a nice change of pace for me.

SLurl: in camera @ Kelly Yap Newcomers and Friends Gallery


also at Kelly Yap's, the Angry Art show, in which I won Jury's Choice and am one of the top 5 semifinalists for Daddy (for Sylvia) - a piece based on a painting I did when I was 16. The 5 finalists in the show also include Sabrinaa Nightfire, Alcibides Zemenis, Trill Zapatero and Myndi Meredith and the voting goes through December 30, so go see and vote!

SLurl: Angry Art finalists @ Kelly Yap Newcomers and Friends Gallery


PiRats Art Network is showing my immersive piece City through December; an uncomfortable (and loud) piece which is seldom shown, but Merlina and Newbab were very enthusiastic about hosting it and I am grateful to them.

SLurl: City @PiRats Art Network


My interactive piece For Your Viewing Pleasure won 2nd place in the UWA 3D Open Art Challenge and is on show at the UWA area for previous winners of the competition:

SLurl: For Your Viewing Pleasure @ UWA

UPDATE JUL 20 2011: It appears as if The Onion had a look at this piece:

City Opens New Art Jail



At Inworldz, I have created both the Christmas Treasure Chest for Stefanik Dagostino's S & S Galleries Christmas Hunt (which is an excellent idea of Stefanik's to expose people to many places in InWorldz) and the Solstice Tree - a limited-edition IW-only numbered sculpture that comes with an MP3 of original music composed for it and only available for download to the purchasers of the Tree.

Both these pieces, as well as some of my other Christmas things can be seen in InWorldz; search me out and look in my Picks for the teleports. There are also photos of them up on Flickr.


So, other than that, I am catching up on what's been going on while I have moved and been spending my days opening boxes and trying to find stuff like dish towels, shower curtains and a bed. Please forgive me if I have missed your show or opening in the past 3 weeks; RL has been taking precedence.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Parallels: Wikileaks and Second Life

If you've been following my blogs about the Wikileaks story, you know this is a cause dear to my heart. As I write, the domain name has been pulled from the root DNS servers in the US.

EveryDNS dropped WikiLeaks "to prevent its other 500,000 customers being affected by the intense cyberattacks targeted at WikiLeaks." These attacks have been ongoing since just before the release of the diplomatic cables; pretty interesting in the light of the Pentagon's veiled threats and the Obama Administration's cyberwar rhetoric of the past few months...

It kinda sounds like a legitimate action... however, what it means is that things can disappear from the web overnight.

Fortunately, the DNS servers here aren't the only ones out there. Several alternate DNS servers are mirroring and will still point to Wikileaks:

and a direct connection bypassing name servers can be made by using the True Name (numerical address) of the Wikileaks server in Switzerland:

As long as a site is connected to the internet somewhere, somehow, it can be accessed via its numeric IP address.

[ ADDED: this interesting link from Apmel:

Assange ‘rape’ accuser linked to notorious CIA operative

See why this story interests me as an artist working in communication? The spin, slants, disinformation and misinformation is textbook psyops warfare/propaganda; the use of Madison Avenue advertising techniques (ie art/design) to sell a political message.

The revelations in the War Diaries material, including authorized death squads, widespread complicity in torture, consistently misreported and falsified body counts of civilians as well as soldiers and the rest of the shocking and morally bankrupt revelations revealed to have taken place for years have now been buried, pushed aside and obscurred by the campaign to paint the messenger ]


... and this is where Second Life comes into the picture. See, even if the numerical server was blocked, you could use peer-to-peer networks like Skype, or a torrent, or FTP, or email, or steganography, or telephones or carrier pigeons to communicate.

Second Life is an application I use to reach a world/community in which I am a resident and participate. I work there. I socialize there. I have some great friendships there, and peers to listen to and learn from. I think it's at least as real as the telephone (only disembodied voices), television (only dancing light beams through a particle mask) or a letter (pigmented water on paper).

But it is the network I reach, on a device called a "computer" over the lines called the "internet" through a program called "Second Life." The network is not the hardware or the software; those are merely tools to reach the network. The network always finds and uses whatever means and technologies are available to communicate.

I've been working in InWorldz lately and walking other worlds, broadening my horizons. I don't wish to be beholden to one company/DNS server/location putting the part of my life which is online into possible jeopardy or ransom or hostage. These politics do concern me, as they are the harbingers and forerunners of the digital war which is coming and in some cases already here.

If we are netizens, citizens of the wide world web, then it's good to be aware of the politics which involve our country; good to know of alternative places and spaces for meeting and greeting, continuing our work and maintaining the network. It's just simple civics; we are making the future world and if we'd like it to be a certain kind of world, it behooves us to be informed and to be active in its shaping. As we are all learning about this malleable universe, interactivity is very much a part of the underlying philosophy.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

CHROMA/Split Screen Inaugural

CHROMA is an installation at Split Screen Installation Space, a new patronage by Dividni Shostakovich, author of the Division Street/Divided Path blog.

CHROMA is an immersion in tint and luminence, constantly shifting and changing, interacting with avatars and objects inside of it - a holiday wash of pure color and light. Avatars become masses of glowing colored light and hidden figures in the build are revealed by slight angular changes of distance and perspective. No sound this time; it's all about the eyes.

Some photos of the CHROMA process can be seen here:

I am sharing this inaugural installation set with Bryn Oh's Mayfly, a lovely and peaceful natural environment, quite different from her usual work and themes.

Split Screen is an installation space for two artists at a time to show large-scale pieces and installations for two months at a time. You can read more about Split Screen here. It's really a wonderful opportunity to work unencumbered by expectations or requirements; Divi is very supportive of artists and their work.

Please come by and support this independent effort on behalf of the arts scene in SL and Divi's generousity.

SLurl: CHROMA @ Split Screen
Dec 1- Dec 30, 2010

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

... also like to mention a really nice interview with Trill Zapatero on Flora Nordenskiold's blog. Trill is one of the most outgoing and generous artists I know. Builder of the Afghanistan Museum, working to support RAWA and Violence Against Women and many other works with both social themes and real results, Trill has raised a very respectable amount of money in SL for these organizations through her tireless (and I mean tireless) efforts and I respect her work and her person very highly. She's hot lately too; several print and video interviews attest to that (so nag her to start a blog).

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Wikileaks Talks Back To Power - The Politics of Information IV

Well, the Wikileaks story is growing, taking on the dimensions of the Daniel Ellsberg/Washington Post/Pentagon Papers; very exciting this is happening in my time!

As I write, the Wikileaks site is under a major DDOS attack, the first beginning 28 Sunday 11 in an attempt to keep Wikileaks from publishing the quarter of a million diplomatic cables released that day and sent to the NY Times, the Guardian and others. That attack was rerouted and Wikileaks got up again (never gonna keep 'em down - thx The Register) but is today 30 Nov @2:51GMT/UT experiencing a 10GB per second DDOSsing.

I was wondering what Wikileaks would do in response to the attacks on Julian Assange and the attempt by the Pentagon to blackmail, intimidate or threaten Wikileaks and obscure the real issue: the Afghan War Diaries and the information they reveal.

The attacks on Wikileaks continue; Forbes Magazine has the incendiary article titled "Julian Assange Wants To Spill Your Corporate Secrets" today. This is ridiculous, as Wikileaks has no incentive nor interest in some company's methods of accounting, share splits or other business-related operations; only in criminal acts and outright lies to stockholders and the public. But you see how this slanting and spinning of news is done as a disinformation and propaganda campaign.

The Obama Administration has revealed its own hollow rhetoric and bombast in caving in to Pentagon and other pressures in instigating US Justice and Defense Department investigations into trying Julian and Wikileaks for charges under the Espionage Act, echoing the charges brought against Ellsberg, The NY Times and The Washington Post by John Mitchell, Henry Kissinger, William Rehnquist and Richard Nixon and finally leading to Watergate and the downfall of the Nixon Administration.

Ultimately in that case justice and the First Amendment prevailed, revealing not "state secrets" designed to keep this nation safe and secure but the considered manipulation by men of power to expand and continue an unjustified war resulting in the death and crippling of hundreds of thousands of young men, the feeding of the military-industrial complex for profit warned against by President Eisenhower and the absolutely morally-bankrupt conduct of men of power to profit off war and human misery.

Hooray for Wikileaks, hooray for the First Amendment; hooray for brave men and women of honor, integrity and journalism and hooray for the net, the Last Free Press.

... and yes, this blog post is about art, as was Picasso's Guernica.

ps - thx to soror Nishi for pointing me to an interview with one of my favorite people, Noam Chomsky on this and other issues:

Noam Chomsky: WikiLeaks Cables Reveal "Profound Hatred for Democracy on the Part of Our Political Leadership"

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Politics of Information Part III

You might know my State of Mind installation currently being hosted by Four Bridges Project in Second Life or from the machinima by Iono Allen.

This post is intimately concerned with both the topics and the mechanisms of that installation. If you do not like politics in your art, please feel free to skip this post. I feel compelled to speak not only as an artist who examines the sociological and psychological underpinnings of people and societies but as a human being.


Julian Assange, editor-in-chief of Wikileaks, has been being made media fodder for a disinformation and smear campaign directly along the lines I engaged in State of Mind after releasing The Iraq War Logs - hundreds of thousands of SIGACT documents detailing the war and subsequent occupation of Iraq from January 2004 through December 2009.

He is being tried in the court of media, which is seeking to influence public opinion and subvert the message of the documents themselves and the mission of Wikileaks. Those documents and that mission are far too complex to go into in this post; I urge you to investigate them yourself.

My concern as a media artist and student is to examine the use of ad hominem attacks, control of the media and disinformation for political purposes, and for shutting down or marginalizing public debate about serious and life-determining issues by distraction, dissembling and targetting the messenger in order to discredit the message.

The "case" against Mr Assange has taken several bizarre twists lately. The truth of the "allegations: are as follows:

- The charges are ex post facto. Both of the women involved have admitted several times in public documents that the sex they had with Julian was consensual. and that they continued to instigate friendly contact well after the alleged incidents. Only after the women became aware of each other's relationships with Mr. Assange did they make their allegations against him. There was no drunkenness, no drugging, no forcing, no persuasion; they admit they freely had sex with him. Neither one is underage.

- Mr Assange did not "flee the country" as is being promulgated by several Large Media Outlets. The prosecutor repeatedly declined to question Mr Assange while he was in the country and approved his request to leave the country on business matters. The first time these charges were brought, the Swedish prosecutor dropped the charges.

- At this point, Mr Assange is wanted for questioning - pretty much standard operating procedures when any criminal charges are brought against an individual. He is not "wanted" for a "crime." The Swedish police informed the press of the charges against him, and identified him by name, before they had even spoken to him - which they still haven't. The Swedish prosecutors (now multiple), in contravention of (apparently) Swedish law, have been announcing "We're going to arrest Assange for rape!" and then not doing anything about it, not telling him what the charges are, and not bringing him in for questioning.


This is not the behavior of someone who wants to prosecute a criminal in the court of justice; if they had a case, they would bring it, and Assange would go to jail for rape. This is the behavior of someone who wants to hang an innocent person in the court of public opinion.

This smear and disinformation campaign began only a few months after the release of The War Diaries and murky comments by the Pentagon alluding to extraordinary rendition and assassination of Mr Assange and the illegal shutting down of Wikileaks.

It has direct ties to yesterday's 19-0 vote by the US Senate Judiciary Committee's Combatting Online Infringement And Counterfeiting Act allowing the Department of Justice, through a court order, to order U.S. Internet service providers to redirect customer traffic away from infringing websites not based in the U.S.

It speaks directly to me as someone who lives and breathes the net and believes in informed public debate, access to all information so that I may make up my own mind and in the principles of the men who founded this country and are given lip service while being subverted for political and profit motives. It concerns my home and what is important in my life, which is what art is supposed to be about.

So please accept my apologies if you think this post has no place on an "art blog" or you do not care to know about such problems. I know it's uncomfortable and unfashionable. This hurts and frightens me. As with State of Mind, I felt I must speak or just start screaming.

I leave you with two excellent letters recently published by Mr Assange's Swedish and US attorneys in the firm belief in combatting propaganda with information. I urge you to make up your own mind about these tactics, this story and the role that art/information/media/influence and propaganda play in your own thoughts and ideas.


[added emphases mine - M]

LONDON, 2pm Thursday November 18, 2010

Mark Stephens of law firm Finers Stephens Innocent said today, “On the morning of 21 August 2010, my client, Julian Assange, read in the Swedish tabloid newspaper Expressen that there was a warrant out for his arrest relating to allegations of “rape” involving two Swedish women.

However, even the substance of the allegations, as revealed to the press through unauthorized disclosures do not constitute what any advanced legal system considers to be rape; as various media outlets have reported “the basis for the rape charge” purely seems to constitute a post-facto dispute over consensual, but unprotected sex days after the event. Both women have declared that they had consensual sexual relations with our client and that they continued to instigate friendly contact well after the alleged incidents. Only after the women became aware of each other’s relationships with Mr. Assange did they make their allegations against him.

The warrant for his arrest was rightly withdrawn within 24 hours by Chief prosecutor Eva Finne, who found that there was no “reason to suspect that he has committed rape." Yet his name had already been deliberately and unlawfully disclosed to the press by Swedish authorities. The so called “rape” story was carried around the world and has caused Mr. Assange and his organization irreparable harm.

Eva Finne’s decision to drop the “rape" investigation was reversed after the intervention of a political figure, Claes Borgstrom, who is now acting for the women. The case was given to a specific prosecutor, Marianne Ny.

The only way the accused and his lawyers have been able to discover any substantive information regarding the investigation against him has been through the media. Over the last three months, despite numerous demands, neither Mr. Assange, nor his legal counsel has received a single word in writing from the Swedish authorities relating to the allegations; a clear contravention to Article 6 of the European Convention, which states that every accused must be informed promptly, in a language which he understands and in detail, of the nature and cause of the accusation against him”. The actions by the Swedish authorities constitute a blatant and deliberate disregard for his rights under the Convention.

We are now concerned that prosecutor Marianne Ny intends to apply for an arrest warrant in an effort to have Mr. Assange forcibly taken to Sweden for preliminary questioning. Despite his right to silence, my client has repeatedly offered to be interviewed, first in Sweden before he left, and then subsequently in the UK (including at the Swedish Embassy), either in person or by telephone, videoconferencing or email and he has also offered to make a sworn statement on affidavit. All of these offers have been flatly refused by a prosecutor who is abusing her powers by insisting that he return to Sweden at his own expense to be subjected to another media circus that she will orchestrate. Pursuing a warrant in this circumstance is entirely unnecessary and disproportionate. This action is in contravention both of European Conventions and makes a mockery of arrangements between Sweden and the United Kingdom designed to deal with just such situations. This behavior is not a prosecution, but a persecution. Before leaving Sweden Mr. Assange asked to be interviewed by the prosecution on several occasions in relation to the allegations, staying over a month in Stockholm, at considerable expense and despite many engagements elsewhere, in order to clear his name. Eventually the prosecution told his Swedish lawyer Bjorn Hurtig that he was free to leave the country, without interview, which he did.

Our client has always maintained his innocence. The allegations against him are false and without basis. As a result of these false allegations and bizarre legal interpretations our client now has his name and reputation besmirched. Thousands of news articles and 3.6million web pages now contain his name and the word “rape”. Indeed, three out of four web-pages that mention Mr. Assange’s name also now mention the word “rape”—a direct result of incompetent and malicious behavior by Swedish government prosecutors. My client is now in the extraordinary position that, despite his innocence, and despite never having been charged, and despite never receiving a single piece of paper about the allegations against him, one in ten Internet references to the word “rape” also include his name. Every day that this flawed investigation continues the damages to his reputation are compounded.”

Mark Stephens is contactable on 0207 344 7661 or his cell 07831 115000


Letter from Swedish Counsel Bjorn Hurtig to English co-Counsel for Julian Assange.

Note Neither Mr. Assange nor Counsel, nor WikiLeaks have ever received a single written word, at any time, in any form, from Swedish authorities on the Swedish investigation against our editor.

From: Björn Hurtig
Sent: Sunday, November 14, 2010 12:43 PM
To: Jennifer
Subject: SV: Our client

Dear Jennifer,

Enclosed You will find a copy of the documents that I have would like to send to the prosecutor. I have not been able to have the document translated in detail, but I will now tell You the most important things in it.

First of all I comment the ongoing investigation and tell the prosecutor that I have asked her several times that they should hear my client so that we can be aware of the accusations. They have said no to this initially (and by this I mean for several weeks). Furthermore I remind her that I several times have asked her to give me the evidence in the case. She has said no to this also. I then tell her that I have asked my questions informally and in writing and tell her about a formal request that I made 14 of September 2010. This formal request has not yet been formally answered, which I find to be a breach of Swedish law (23:18 Rättegångsbalken). I also tell her that Sweden has not followed art 6:3 of The European Convention of the 4 november 1950, because Julian has not been informed of the accusation in detail and in his own language. Neither has he been informed of the documents in the case in his own language. This is an incorrect behavior.

I then tell her that Julian is indeed willing to participate in a hearing. But I remind her that I asked her in writing (14 of September) if he was free to leave Sweden for doing buissines in other countries and that she called me and said that he was free to leave. This is important because it means that Julian has not left Sweden in trying to escape the Swedish justice. Then I reminds her that Julian and I several times have tried to give them dates when he could come to Sweden and participate in a hearing, for example I spoke to the second prosecutor Erika Leijnefors during week nr 40 and told her that Julian could participate in a hearing the 10 of October (a Sunday) or some day the following week. The prosecutor in charge (Marianne Ny) said no to this. Other times Marianne Ny has said no to our proposals due to that one of her police officers were sick or because the time did not suit her. This is also important because it shows that Julian has tried but Marianne Ny has said no. I go on remembering her that Julian has suggested that he could participate over a phone line and from an Australian Embassy. She has said not to this also. Then I tell her that Julian is willing to participate through a videoconference or to make a written statement over the accusation and the questions they may have. This is of utmost importance, since it shows his willingness to participate. I remind her of a ruling from our Highest Court; NJA 2007 s.337, in which the court did not put a man in custody although he was abroad and did not come to Sweden to participate in a hearing. It was not proportional to do such a thing, since he left Sweden rightfully (just like Julian) and thus did not try to escape the Swedish justice, he was willing to participate via phone or in writing and so forth.

In the second last section of the letter I tell the prosecutor that she should think of the damage that Sweden already has done to Julian by letting his name in public. I tell her that I have heard that there is a police investigation going on about the first prosecutor who let Julians name out In public, which shows that it is a serious matter. If the prosecutor now goes forward with a request of Julian being put in custody it is my opinion that the damage could be enormous; whatever the outcome of the trial may be. Therefore I urge her to come back to me with a proposal of when and where we could have this hearing instead of her dragging Julian in to court.

In the last section I tell her that if she proceeds with her plans of a custody trial, I want all documents. This I say because I do not trust them to give me everything.

So Jennifer, this is the main things in my letter. I hope You understand what I am writing. If not, please call me. I will not be able to take Your calls today though, since I will be busy the rest of the day. If You do not call med, please let me know a s a p if I can send the letter to the prosecutor. I would like to send it first thing tomorrow morning. You may tell med by mail.

Best regards

Björn Hurtig


So come and get me, Department of Mental Security, Ministry of Truth. Put me on a Watch List. You can hurt me, you can make me sick to my stomach, you can make me despair; you can make me ashamed of my own country before the face of its fathers. But you cannot take my liberty of mind. I am a free person.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The New Grids - Cui Bono?

I am taking pity on Soror Nishi and making a post here to spare her my post-long mini-essays on her own blog, this one "My Virtual Future." Soror is always a good read and stimulating to thoughts and issues, hence this posting.

The Latin phrase 'cui bono' renders as, "who profits?" It's a good maxim to use in any situation. Who profits from multiple grids, the expansion of the grid technology, the diversity of grids?

We do of course. That is, the 'we' who identify not with some brand-name, some virtual equivalent of Abercrombie & Fitch snobbishness, Microsoft/Apple fanboi fever, Novell 'we're going to rule networking so get with us or die' myopia... in short, people with open minds and the intelligence to think outside the proscribed or trendy view towards the future of the entire network.

I remember when Novell and Token Ring ruled networking, despite awkward structures, deadly custom partitions which, if disturbed, would lock you out of your data and applications and cause untold misery and loss. I remember having to call the High Priests of IBM, doing everything short of sacrificing two cows and a flock of doves to petition for a moment of their mighty time to this unworthy enduser. Same story with Cobol, Fortran and proprietary transmission protocols and disk schemes. I remember being told that TCP/IP was a fringe technology, not really 'ready for business' and that I was wasting my time with this new protocol...

And what was the result? The future blew those technologies and stances away and the unemployment lines were full of those fully-invested in the entrenched wisdom of the past.

Lucky for me that I was on the net so early, in contact with people mostly older and wiser than me, who gave me a thorough grounding not only in the tech prevalent at the time, but in thinking about the future. The most valuable tech lesson I picked up from these people and the one which has continually served me well is that being invested in one single approach, technology or platform is not only foolish but short-sighted and dangerous.

The same principle applies in the arts. I remember the snobbishness that accompanied electronic music's debut into mainstream music; the nose-turning and sniffing against synthesizers and digital recording. Sure, there are good and artistic reasons to use real saxaphone players or analog tape machines even now; the point is that you use the best tool for the job, for what you wish to accomplish, and having a variety of tools at your disposal gives you more options.

The current tussling over "who's grid is da best grid" is a good example of clannish and isolationist thinking which will only hurt those invested in it. If life teaches you anything, it is to be flexible to changing circumstances, to know when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em, to know when an Oblique Strategy or lateral thinking is called for in a situation.

The internet itself was designed to be flexible, to have multiple routes and multiple access points, to be resilient and changing in response to structural problems or obstructions. "The internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it" is very applicable here; censorship of ideas and a willingness to embrace or at least explore new ways and means can be considered damaging to your own thinking, forcing you into an intellectual and stagnant backwater while the future merrily rolls onward, leaving you behind to play with your Token Ring and curse your Novell partition for locking you out of your data.

The work being done by Pathfinder, soror, Wizard Gynoid and others is a laudible example of forward-thinking, net-centric investigation into the burgeoning technology of the grid and hypertransport. The political (because let's face it, that's what it is) wrangling over "why you should go with X grid and not the others" is provincial and indicates an investment in some ideological approach, stance or philosophy that is entrenched and backward-looking.

I'm not urging anyone to commit to a choice of grids; some grids serve an individual or organization's needs better than others, just as some libraries excel in technical reference sections while others concentrate on English Literature or architecture. The point is, we all benefit from the multiplicity of libraries and approaches. We all benefit from being able to access multiple sources and options in almost everything we involve ourselves in in life.

I am part of a community - the network. I do not care if you use Windows, Mac or Linux to get there (although I do have my own preferences). Saying "I will only talk on the net to people using Linux" would be stupid, yes? Because the method of achieving online presence is an irrelevant issue to your presence on the net and your ability to be part of a community. I don't care if your website is hosted by GoDaddy, Yahoo, private host or a university. I don't care if you have an incredibly-detailed technical blog or an enthusiastic independent music site; it's irrelevant to me that you may spend your time chatting away on IRC or building virtual coliseums. What is important to me is that you are present; you are part of the community of the internet. Everything else, all the other issues, are background to this simple awareness of what I am involved and invested in.

So, who profits from the expansion of the grid; the multiplicity of the worlds, the explosion of boutique and specialized grids and the beginnings of the hypertech transport tech that has the importance today that the birth of HTML did in 1990? You do. I do. We all do.

I urge people to remember what they are involved in and what they invest a large amount of time in - a community. Try to see the bigger picture. Try to think of yourself as a netizen first, a gridnaut second and after that, you can be as partisan as you like about which football team er I mean grid you root for. But don't sit back in your comfy armchair and pontificate about something you have no experience in; go out and explore a variety of these grids and open your mind to the experience of them and the meaning of them in the larger picture.

"To explore strange new worlds... to seek out new grids and new civilizations... to boldly go where no avatar has gone before..." This is the continuing mission of the Starship Miso, although it's been longer than 5 years ^_^ I hope it will continue for the rest of my life, and I hope it will for you too.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy Birthday WWW!

"It was 20 years ago today/Sergeant Timmy thought the bandwidth play..."

Here is the original proposal to the 3Wc regarding the creation of a hypertext-linked World Wide Web from Nov. 1990.

It was exciting then and it's still exciting now, to realize how far we have come since then. All cheers and honors to Tim Berners-Lee for having a large hand in the world we experience today.In many ways it's as if the printing press, radio, telephones, telegraph and television had all happened at once instead of over a 400 year time span.

Who will be the visionary(s) that are spoken of in this way in 20 years for the birth of the Hyperverse? Stay tuned ^_^

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The Nazz Lane & Scruplz Interviews


Not only is my butt famous (see last post) but I have been graced in having two interviews published this week.

The first is by Nazz Lane over at Lane's List. Nazz is a great interviewer, making you feel at home and like a friend, and I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation that we had. It's in two parts because of my self-confessed Chatty Cathy Syndrome (CCS) and Nazz deserves 3 Gold Stars for Editing Patience and Effort. * * *

The second is by Dividni Shostakovich and comes in the Scruplz Magazine Intellibook format, which you can read on the website or IM me inworld for a copy there.

UPDATE Nov. 13 - Dividni has posted the blog of the Scruplz Magazine interview with additional conversation cut for length (you know me *ducks head*

Woohoo, my butt's famous!

Ok, some self-promotion here:

A little while ago I was honored to be asked to pose for Gracie Kendal's "I'm still thinking of a name to call it" project. Well, yesterday Gracie sent me a texture inworld of some of the RL prints she made of those photos and put up a blog post about it.

And my butt is prominently featured!!! Woohooo!

You can see my absolutely gorgeous butt here!

That is all ^_^

Monday, November 1, 2010

Virtually Interesting

So, you want to see some hawt 3D virtual avatar action?

Look no further:

Orangina Naturally Juicy - French Version @youtube


New Feature - What Is Miso Reading?

I put a small links section below Followers to paste up some of the links I get to in my travels on the net of articles I am reading & thinking about for people who like to snoop in other people's libraries :D

Friday, October 29, 2010

After The Burn - What lessons learned?

So, Burn2 is over.

House of Cards had a wonderful group of visitors; over 700 uniques for the official Burn and still counting. As far as I could see, being at the Playa every day for 4+ hrs at a time, the Burn was quite well attended. Not too bad, when you consider the dearth of publicity for this event and the sometimes-incredible glue-lag engendered by second-class servers.

Here's the impressions I took away from this Burn:

1. The builds were consistently better and more interesting than the SLBirthday event, and much more consistent than the last Burning Life event. Perhaps this was due to most people having to pay for a plot, which I thought analagous to paying for studio space. I also saw people work a lot longer and harder on their builds.

2. Because of the smaller size of the event, people could actually take their time and investigate builds, rather than rush from place to place taking snapshots in order to "see it all." Rather than the "hey I got a build, let's have a party!" crowds who tend to hang out with their friends at one or two builds, I saw most people taking the time to tour most of the builds.

3. That a small, 32x32m plot with 351 prims could be turned into a huge area with a lot of interesting stuff by use of space, lighting, sound and texture and a build could be fascinating and interesting to many people without elaborate scripting or other tricks.

4. The lack of any kind of support from Linden Labs was to be expected, even though this event should have been on the Showcase pages. It was a nasty bit of sour grapes that LL, having been spurned by the Burn organization over issues of nannyism and the like, chose to turn a cold shoulder to this event and bury it. Their loss. However, giving us crappy, old servers for this event after making us pay for them instead of donating them smacks of Halliburtonesque rip-off and does nothing but harm to the happy-smoke and bullfud LL is streaming out lately.

5. I was sorely disappointed to see so little blog coverage for this event. True, the Burn org was somewhat to blame for this in not understanding the need to provide advance entrance and information to the press. Press and machinima makers need lead-time, and having a Press Day with somewhat confusing and involved procedures for getting a Pass only 3 days before the opening was kind of retarded.

I did expect to see at least the "Invited Artists" blogged a lot, along with such heavy hitters as Ub Yifu, soror Nishi, Bryn Oh, Wizard Gynoid and the rest. Last time I Googled (and then Binged, comparing search engine hits), there were perhaps 4 blogs doing any coverage past one or two builds. Shameful. In my quest to support newer and 'smaller' artists, I spent 3 10-hr days blogging and mapping most of the builds at the Burn because I felt that it was important that someone did it.

I do understand that because of the abrupt change in leadership and direction, things were a bit hazy and fuzzy for this event. The Burn org did have "tour lists" I was informed... three days later, after I'd spent my time mapping the Playa. I guess that's nice; would have been nicer if I knew about them in advance.


It's bothered me a lot lately that the very people who profess to love SL for its artistic community and are a part of that community are so... indifferent, it seems, to the need to do some basic PR. I don't know if it's the "we are artists, PR is beneath us" attitude that is prevalent not only in the virtual worlds but in RL, but it is the equivalent of painting in your bedroom and then whining when "no one values my art." If they don't know it's out there, they won't see it or think about it.


Here's the lesson of 'web 2.0', which is really a lesson we learned 30 years ago in punk, when we were blocked from distribution or publicity from the Major Dinosaurs, couldn't book big clubs because no one would book punk bands and crisscrossed the country and continents with cartrunksfull of 3.98USD singles (at a time when 45rpm singles sold for 0.99), mailings and hand-done posters and 'zines:

DIY - Do It Yourself

It's clear that LL does not have our interests at heart. It's clear that, given our own lack of speech and efforts to publicize and speak about our work in virtual worlds, stories about the lowest and most titillating facets of this new universe will be the most-repeated stories, coloring our efforts at legitimacy and respectability. If you leave it to them, all you're going to get are Prok-like stories ranting about the money-business of SL and stories about "omg furreh nun sex with kidz" and the like.

If you continue to rant at LL for 'yer doin' it wrong' or for focusing on a purely-Kmart-level of business concern, you're attached to the platform and platforms don't last. Unless you want to be a Word .doc or something (and even that format has been changed so many times, old versions of Word can't open new Word files and new versions can't open old files) you're going to be left behind.

Likewise, the political infighting between "what grid is da best grid?" is just so much more high-school factionalism and serves only to dilute the efforts and strengths of a community. Wake up and smell the future. There were some small politics between, say, the Punks, the New Romantics, the Jazzpunks, the Artpunks and the rest, but at heart we all pulled together because we had an identity as a community of musicians and artists, and we supported each other's efforts as a unified front. We did it good enough to get the Majors to beg for a signing by Talking Heads, B-52s, Gang of Four, Ramones, Duran Duran and the rest. Everyone had their own leitmotif and area of exploration, but we all knew we were part of something worthwhile.

You're part of a network. The network is not the machinery or the platform. The network is people. We make our own network; we don't depend on LL or any outside force.

Don't wait on LL, or Time-Warner, or a label or a magazine to do your job for you; to 'discover' you; to court you for your amazingly creative efforts, to bring some interest to your work, to legitimize you. Do it yourself.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monetizing My Blog +LOLcat Forebear

Ok, time to get with this Web 2.0 thing and get on the train. Bowing to pressure, I have decided to monetize my blog.

Yes... henceforth from this day, I declare this blog to be worth one mil... no, wait, umm... 10 million dollars. The value of this blog is 10 million dollars US.


Having monetized my blog now in this initial public offering (IPO), I can relax, sit back and let the manteca roll in. I'll just hire me a team of mercenary Korean clickers to waft my blog to the top of the heap while I giggle over my Paypal balance and start ordering the things I want, like a vacation in the Seyshelles. A new bikini. Caps for my teeth. A cool car like a Ford Falcon.

I struggled for a long time with this decision. I know some people will say that I'm selling out. Well,
let them! Soon I will be able to buy their houses and burn them down! Of course, me being me, I will let them escape in time. But that's to be my only concession. I mean this.

I will still try to be me; just me
with a lot more loose ca$h lying around. In fact, if you are nice to me, I may invite you over to my house to roll around in a huge cash pile on my bed or let you tag along on that vacation to the Seychelles.

I worked long and hard, in fact most of my life, for this. You can't say I'm being selfish. You can't say that I've given up my dreams. Maybe you just never knew my real dreams, because most of those dreams require
huge gorilla-choking wads of ca$h. So I am really only pursuing the dreams I have cherished from childhood.

Ok, guys, I'm ready now. I'm open to accepting all the delicious cornocopia of prosperity. Send your deal-guys. I'm willing to make a generous allowance in your franchise options if you make it snappy. Film rights should be discussed with my agent, who will contact the board of directors and given some time to think about a definitive direction they'll get back to you with an opinion on that.


Two art-related stuffs:

- recent interest in Louis Daguerre's 1838 Daguerreotype of Paris
, purporting to be the oldest photograph of a human being. The Atlantic article also has a handy link to Abelardo Morell's modern camera obscura experiments.

- one of the earliest ancestors of the revered LOLcat has been located.

That is all *checks Paypal balance*