300 Articles

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Syrian Hands Raised: User Generated Creativity Between Citizenship and Dissent 

As much as images of violence, civil war, and sectarian strife become prominent in the media narrative of the Syrian uprising, little gems of innovative cultural production, artistic resistance, and creative disobedience continue to sprout across the virtual alleys of the Internet. These creative gems are also the germs of a viral peer-production process at work at a grassroots level in the new Syrian public sphere. Such acts of creativity - mash-ups, cartoons, slogans, jokes, songs, and web series - are probably too small and inconsistent in impact compared to the horrific magnificence that shelling, bombing, sniping, and killing scenes that provide daily fodder to global television viewers. It is also challenging to discover them; in fact, as remarked by Tunisian blogger Sami ben Gharbia at the Arab Bloggers meeting in Tunis (3-6 October 2011), Facebook is not the most suitable platform for activists to store, archive, tag, search for content, and give it a context.

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Occupy Sandy and the Occupy Movement 

Friends,

At Zuccotti Park, there was always a bit of social service involved in the occupation:-- homeless people sheltered, the hungry fed -- but it was ancillary to Occupy's main objectives, which dealt with societal, structural problems. But the reaction to hurricane Sandy, and the formation of Occupy Sandy, brought out a different aspect of the Occupy movement, not directed at Wall Street or big systemic issues, but directly providing help to those in need.What kind of role is that for Occupy? How does it fit in with Occupy Wall Street's basic thrust?

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The Little Book Of Ideas 

A small handbook which explains complex economic terms and theories in simple language, to help everyone understand what has caused the economic mess, why it's still continuing, and enable them to engage in the debate about what needs to be changed for the better in our economic system. It is NOT a manifesto. It has been created to stimulate people to engage in discussion, and so to make up their own minds as to what they think should be done to create a better and fairer world.

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Art and the Human 

The punk band Pussy Riot, which I belong to, is a musical group that conducts unexpected performances in different urban spaces. Pussy Riot's songs address topical political issues. The interests of the group members are: political activism, ecology, and the elimination of authoritarian tendencies in the Russian state system through the creation of the civil society.

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I disagree with the indictment. 

The indictment says that I committed disorderly conduct motivated by religious hatred and enmity and by the hatred of Orthodox Christians. I fundamentally don't understand this statement. Our performance aimed to attract the attention of the Russian clergy and the rector of Cathedral of the Christ the Savior, patriarch Kirill. We are representatives of our generation, and we are at a loss after his actions and appeals.

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Welcoming the Iraqi Invasion Act 

On the occasion of the action by refugees-on-the-street who started a camp outside the Collective Center at Ter Apel in the north of the Netherlands on the 8th of May, Jo van der Spek of M2M wrote the following column. These migrants are supposed to return voluntarily to their country, because the Dutch government believes that they are not in danger there. However the governemnt in Iraq refuses to take them back if they are forced. So they have nowhere to go to, no right to be here and no way to go there. But they act together for a chance to live and live better than before. Why not?

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'Diesel' hoax press release 

A Brave New World for Female Factory Workers: Misopolis

Diesel is proud to announce a new milestone in its ongoing campaign for successful living. To make a free lifestyle possible for young women in emerging markets, it will help them conquer a key life challenge: the right to safe abortion. Welcome to Misopolis, a brave new world for female factory workers.

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A new culture of resistance: from WikiLeaks to the squares 

Now that the grassroots movement that started inadvertently with the Arab Spring has gone global, it is necessary to cast a backwards glance to try and figure out, with some perspective, the dynamics of what has happened, physically and conceptually, over the last year. We propose a simple vision of the process of uprising in 2011, which was consolidated on the past 15th of October as a new culture of popular resistance and creativity. We also aim to point out the recent or enhanced concepts born in the collective consciousness of society during this period.

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Governmentality of Information 

The American military network ARPAnet was conceived as a way to maintain uninterrupted communications in the event of nuclear war. Ancestor of the Internet and foundation of the Global Information Infrastructure, ARPAnet springs from exactly the same source as the "push­button war" that lay behind it: the change of scale provoked by the early 20th century discoveries in physics, within an industrial society capable of organizing the productivity - including the scientific productivity - of thousands of agents. Here, no doubt, is the real birthplace of the information society: a society massively penetrated by the sciences and technologies of information and telecommunications, using them to carry out the design of the planet or at least, that of its components (with design replacing politics). A society whose governmentality entails the knowledge of the real, that is to say, the transformation of reality into information. A society whose governmentality unfolds between its smallest common denominators (atomic, electronic, magnetic, genetic, chemical) and its largest common denominators (climate, planet, solar system), by way of laws, formulas and norms that determine its productivity, means, and possible destinies.

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