Remember my friend
When you feel helpless
Wield your convictions,
‘Cause these weapons
Don’t sound their metal detectors Read more…
The process of the enclosure of the commons, described by Marx and numerous others as the immediate impetus for the creation of the industrial proletariat and the metropolitan explosion, has not ended. Instead, it has taken new forms. Today we are seeing the enclosure of the biological commons—the process that culminates in the commodification of life forms and the toxification of the total environment to the point that in order to survive its contamination, we must buy freedom from contamination. Read more…
Notes on art/love and fire/passion: There is a pepper vine in the neighbor’s yard. We can reach it from the roof, and a couple of the peppers have grown on our side of the fence. One evening we picked one and sliced it up. With my teeth, I bit off a centimeter of the vibrant orange fruit. For ten minutes a fire raged in my throat and mouth, tears streaming down my cheeks and chin, laughing; I am reminded with a sharp pinch that I am alive, and this is not a dream. The vine winds its way to our second story rooftop sundeck by way of a stonefruit tree, in whose branches it luxuriates and winds gracefully. The tree is in bloom with ten thousand delicate pink flowers like rice paper. Together, the pair—the flaming habaneros and delicate flowers, later to be delicate sweet fruit—take no heed of the barbed wire fence that separates the neighbor’s property from ours; drifting like smoke, gracefully trespassing.
Notes on celebration: Every day is a holiday. Across San Cristóbal, and across the mountains around Oventic, the rockets explode, two on the hour, to invite neighboring pueblos and barrios to the festivities; the roar ricochets off mountains and cathedrals and gorges. At the Universidad de la Tierra, we attended the festival de la Virgin de la Candelaria: the smoke of incense, the air opaque, and the echoing prayers of a hundred indigenous voices; the procession later through the starry night with candles and sparklers. Read more…
The shape of human history has been fundamentally designed by the struggle to comprehend the place of the human being within the greater phenomena of the universe. More specifically, we have wrestled with the sense of the ego—of experiencing consciousness, recognizing it in other humans, evaluating its presence in the non-human world, and grappling with the finitude of the ‘self’ that it seems to imply. Of this struggle have been born countless monuments—a projection of the self onto the world in a way seeming to scratch for transcendence from temporality. Likewise, the struggle has born religion and science. Yet on an individual level, we are still insecure. Theories may provide a limited solace, but at every moment we are still faced with the disconcerting phenomenon of relating self to other, and often find ourselves feeling like islands in a sea of uncertainty. In spite of this though, we still constantly struggle to establish bridges between one another and between ourselves and the non-human universe. These bridges are often flimsy and can only carry certain forms of light traffic. Sometimes however, they are strong; in these moments we feel connectivity and communion, bliss. We seem to strive for these connections. There is power in this pursuit and desire, and until the advent of modern consumerist market capitalism the power was mostly unharnessed. Today however, it has become the tool of the political and socio-economic system, driving the gears that reinforce its own dominance and control.
The new god is a few well-dressed white men around a heavily polished table.
Here pictured is a test of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) near a US-controlled atoll in the Pacific Ocean. The weapon is called the “Peacekeeper.”
This test missile was not armed. The same weapon however, when equipped for war, and many are, carries eight nuclear warheads (each firey streak), each with the power of twenty Hiroshima type bombs.
In this map, lanes of shipping and networks of ground transport are mapped and coded such that warmer colors represent the speed of transit of goods and people on established trade lines.
Clear in the shipping lanes is the omni-directional trade relations, as diffuse port cities meld into highways of sea traffic bound for the US and Europe, almost never directly connecting any other regions.
Keep in mind critical arteries such as the Somali coast and Singapore.
At this instant, there are over 500,000,000 people from an estimated 213 countries with Facebook profiles with the ability to contact any other user at any time. Today, Wikipedia, an encyclopedic, largely user-maintained website contains 16,000,000 articles on almost every imaginable topic. On the Google Inc. program Google Earth, any computer-user in the world can pinpoint a location on the globe, and zoom in to see individual people walking the streets.
It is statistics such as these that have led many to identify the internet as one of, if not the single most promising vector in establishing democratic and horizontal exchange of information, communication, and commerce around the globe. Indeed, when viewed as a conceptual whole and supported by numerical statistics, these claims seem to ring true. However, critical evaluations regarding this massive and multi-faceted network must be based not on sweeping statistics or lofty ideals, but on the deep interconnections, fluxes, and flows of the system itself, manifested in real material conditions. Moreover, we must focus not only on the central hubs of the network, but also on its periphery. We shall examine this in the following paragraphs through both imagined stories and interpreted data, supported by and in conversation with the overlay map provided, comparing global population distribution, internet access, and sites of electronic waste dumping. In contrast to this map, we will place the common discursive ideological map of the internet—a horizontal and equally distributed net of de-centralized nodes.