However, this control comes at a cost. Centralized systems are
far less efficient at managing online communications than decentralized
systems. The corporate, web-based communication-platforms that emerged
under the “Web 2.0″ monicker are hungry for more than just
Capital, the huge datacenters required to run them also consume
massive natural resources and energy, and cause massive amounts
of pollution. And yet desipite all, these platforms still
commonly experience scaling issues and frequent outages, straining
under the profit-imposed need to centralize control. And this is so,
in a world where the majority of the global population does in
practical terms not have access to the internet. Of course,
environmental concerns are not the only issue with overly
centralized systems, perhaps even of greater concern are the
implications for privacy and freedom of speech and association
when control of our social technology is held by only a few
private corporations.


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The creative China plan six years on | Australian Policy Online

The third level in the Chinese creative innovation system is probably the most important – informal grassroots culture. It is typified by creative activity in non-commercial spheres. Much of the activity currently occurring in online communities is not aimed directly at profiteering, but rather functions as informal and amateur incubation. In other words it is both re-creation and recreation. The productiveness of this layer is not measured by economic success but by impact. China has more than 420 million netizens and over 600 million registered mobile phone users. The capacity to contribute spontaneously to online communities, whether in banal chat room conversations or in the viewing of satirical spoofs of Chinese celebrities highlights the potency of user-generated content.

Whereas levels one (official) and two (popular culture) require navigation of censors, the third level is conspicuous by its risk culture. One particularly interesting example of spoofing culture is a short video made by a team at CCTV headed up by Cui Yongyuan, the host of a serious mainstream current affairs talk show called Oriental Horizon. Obviously limited by the constraints of CCTV, in 2001 Cui and his colleagues released a video called Splitting Up in October, parodying the internal power struggles in CCTV. It soon went viral, with the effect of enhancing Cui’s reputation with the ‘masses’ as more than just an anchor man for the regime.

The three levels I have mentioned comprise an innovation system with limitations. The layers are enfolded. However, the tendency to date has been for commentators to see these as separate domains. The top level is concerned with creativity but doesn’t really understand it; it seeks out sounding boards and tests out its ideas cautiously. The book Creativity is Changing China by Li Wuwei is an example of how this level promotes its ideas. Conversely, the realm of commercial popular culture is struggling to understand the market in a restricted content environment; it has one eye on the regulators and one eye on social network markets. It is in the third level, the sphere of recreation, that we find the most innovative work and prospects for further social liberalisation.    


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forentijn hofman: fat monkey made of flip flops

- from designboom

Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts

Is it possible that a better understanding of Naturally Occurring Cultural Districts can help distinguish between what is valuable and what is not in the literature about the cultural economies of cities?

Tamara Greenfield: We certainly hope so! Usually when the arts are discussed now as part of the economy of cities, they are framed either as a Cultural Attraction (large museum, aquarium, performing arts complex) or Cultural Production (high value art, high volume traditional handicrafts, music, film). There is little understanding of the value of diverse levels of creation and cultural activity to the cohesion and economy of a specific neighborhood, rather than to a larger creative ecology or regional economy. FAB’s members range in size from volunteer-run art collectives to nationally renowned theaters, and have long histories of community outreach, racial and ethnic diversity, low cost programs, and training for emerging artists and youth. Each year, FAB’s member arts groups serve more than 1,250 artists and attract an audience of more than 250,000 to our neighborhood. Some artists and productions are developed here and move into a more commercial realm; other dance and theater is experienced exclusively by neighborhood residents or drawn from a focused, regional network (Spanish-language theater, Gay & Lesbian performance art) that serves an important (though less visibly commercial) purpose to those communities.

Caron Atlas: I would say that NOCDs can be useful in helping to reframe the discussion of the creative economy in a manner that factors in equity and considers how creativity is defined and validated and how economic benefits are shared throughout communities. I think NOCDs are a great way to think about culture and creativity as part of grassroots resilience and sustainable development – rather than top down, and often unsustainable, development strategies.


Bob Ellis: The free market that never was

This is not free market capitalism. It was never free market capitalism, the sort of free market capitalism that punished failure and rewarded success; but it was what masqueraded under that name. It was, in Gore Vidal’s fine phrase, ‘Socialism for the deserving rich and free enterprise for the undeserving poor’. It was a restoration of the idea of Empire, and coolies, and black slaves, and cheap goods manufactured overseas that make some white rich men, and some young Wall Street coke-sniffers, very rich indeed. And it’s failed, as the British Empire failed, because of wage-slaves not wanting to pay that much to their masters in return for their enslavement. Of course it failed. It’s what empires always do.

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People want high-speed rail, just as it becomes a political minefield in the US.


- from Infrastructurist

Deadbeat Client Bill Introduced in NY

The New York State Senate just introduced S8084, a bill that would at long last grant freelancers the same protections that traditional employees currently enjoy. This remarkable piece of legislation:

* Grants freelancers the same wage protection as traditional employees.
* Requires the Department of Labor to pursue freelancers’ unpaid wages.
* Holds deadbeat executives personally liable for up to $20,000 and jail time.



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How Do Literary Journals Survive?

Excellent piece by Jeff Sparrow of Overland on the social nature of reading, suggests indie press tied to events and projects, key fans to survive.

Contrary to appearances, serious reading has always been communal. In Terry Irving and Rowan Cahill’s new book Radical Sydney, Bruce Scates describes the political bookshops of the late nineteenth century as “vibrant social centres … [places that] ended the isolation, loneliness and confusion that so often plagued the working-class reader. In the reading rooms, books and newspapers, light and warmth and companionship could all be had for a penny’s admission.”

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NYCDOT – Urban Art Program

The Urban Art Program is an initiative to invigorate the City’s streetscapes with engaging temporary art installations. As part of the World Class Streets initiative, art will help foster more vibrant and attractive streets and offer the public new ways to experience New York City’s streetscapes.

DOT will partner with community-based organizations to install temporary murals, sculpture, and other installations in plazas, and on medians, triangles, sidewalks, jersey barriers and construction fences. DOT will also work with organizations/artists on temporary art projections and lighting projects in plazas and on appropriate bridges (masonry on sides of bridges), viaducts, and archways, as well as performance art and musical and theatrical performances in plazas and DOT ferry terminals.

Organizations or organization-artist teams are invited to apply to one of the three Urban Art Program tracks:

Site to Site

Multipurpose Wrapping Cloth Helps To Reduce Household Waste – PSFK

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bassam el-okeily: narrow house

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roman ondák at the temporary stedelijk

slovakian artist roman ondák’s project is a living infographic, a plotting of visitors’ heights whose mean will become increasingly apparent over the four months at the temporary stedelijk. in some ways, ondák’s work reflects the great challenge of the museum as a vehicle of history.

individuals must and will emerge, and artists will resurrect and bring to the surface those narratives marginalized and forgotten by the nation or the institution.

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World’s Largest Skatepark in New Jiangwan City, Shanghai

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Paul Goodman Changed My Life (doco)

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proletariat chic makes a comeback

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New York University: Department of Politics

Our colleague Adam Przeworski was awarded the 2010 Johan Skytte Prize, one of the largest and most prestigious in political science. He was recognized for “raising scientific standards regarding the analysis of the relations between democracy, capitalism, and economic development” …having “devoted his research to the interplay between economics and politics and specially the relationship between democracy and capitalism.”

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NYU Summer 2011

V53.0306 001 Public Policy

Course Level


DescriptionIntroduction to public policymaking in American federal government. The issues politicians address at election time often have little to do with what they actually do in office. Looks at the operations of the government in terms Washingtonians use. Examines the roles of Congress and the bureaucracy; the procedures of budgeting and regulatory agencies; and the issues in several concrete areas of policy, mainly in the domestic area.

- from College of Arts and Science

CHOICE guide to ethical investing

  • Most ‘ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ funds in Australia invest in big uranium mining companies such as BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto. Funds justify this on the basis that the uranium is used for nuclear energy, not weapons, or that the companies chosen get a limited proportion of their overall revenue from uranium, or that they have good environmental, social or corporate governance performance.
  • A number of sustainable funds invest in companies that have direct involvement in gambling. For example, some funds invest in Macquarie Bank, which has gaming joint ventures with Tattersalls in the UK and Publishing and Broadcasting (PBL).
  • Until recently, BT Financial Group’s Australian Sustainability Share Fund invested in PBL and poker machine producer Aristocrat Leisure. (The fund doesn’t currently hold those stocks, and BT also offers an ‘ethical’ fund that avoids investing in gambling, tobacco and companies that mine uranium for weapons manufacture. See Table 1 in Funds compared).
  • Sustainable Asset Management invests in Tabcorp and cigarette giant British American Tobacco, and its investment approach means that no legal industry (including, for example, armaments) is off limits.
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    Creativity, Community, Innovation: Yes Please More in Denver, Colorado – PSFK

    Yes Please More’s latest pop up store is located on the second level of Denver Pavilions, right behind Niketown, in a space once occupied by a bridal boutique. 70% of the sales made at the store will directly benefit local creatives while the other 30% will be used to support additional programming. In selling quirky, locally-focused pieces, Brian explained, “We kinda feel like we’re exporting a bit of Colorado culture – and it’s a great alternative to the Made in China shot glasses that you can get at the other souvenir shops in town.” An entire class of interior design students from the Art Institute of Colorado created fixtures for the store and will continue working with Sam and Brian throughout the lifespan of the installation, which will close later this winter.

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    21st Century Bonfire

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    Lalique Turtle vase, Sculpture d’Lumiere collection

    See full size image

    363 × 389 – 40k – jpg –…/ 2008/02/laliqueturtle.jpg

    Image may be subject to copyright.

    Below is the image at:…/


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    RENE RICARD, FAMOUS AT 20 (1979)

    … and I still expect to be deferred to
    To get in free with a crowd
    So I don’t go to places where I have to pay
    Sure I miss out on a lot but there was a time
    When every doorman in town knew me as an ornament
    Wherever I stood
    Even though I’m not on the A list anymore
    And don’t even get invited to the B parties
    I’m still treated well where being
    A former underground movie star
    Still carries a little weight
    I can still turn on the charm
    And find a small but enthusiastic audience
    Where the star of a more elegant time
    Is still appreciated once in a while
    By the fossil hunters
    I am no longer sought after by the great hostesses
    The truth is I don’t care anymore
    I’ve seen them come and go
    The addresses change but the guest list
    Remains the same
    The rich are the worst
    And the very rich the very worst
    They only want the Nobel Prize winners
    The Academy Award winners
    They are like little kids when they meet someone famous
    Or someone even more rich then them
    Because the dreams of the poor are only exaggerated
    into the grotesque by the rich
    Yes those great hostesses who purport to be lion tamers
    End up being nothing but head hunters
    Laughed at behind their backs
    But who wouldn’t
    Yeah, it’s a vulgar sprint for the famous
    And the nouveau cute who feed to them
    All those pretty young kids thrown to the vampires
    Some vanish and the lucky ones
    Become vampires themselves
    I didn’t – that’s all
    It’s all right to joke about it
    But my stomach turns when I have to wait
    In line outside some posh nightspot
    And watch my poor friends led like tugboats
    While one of those drunken fiends
    Prods them into a limousine
    What will it get them?
    A few grants for a pathetic art project?
    This year’s pet? Society’s darling?
    You think they’d say “Hi” to try to get me in
    But it Le Monde, dearie
    You know who you are
    All you sycophants and grant hustlers
    I will never apply for a grant
    Let me starve!
    I must look out for my biography
    I may be a pariah but I am still
    And always will be a living legend
    I’d rather starve

    Listen to him read ‘Rene Ricard, Famous at 20′ (2:53)<

    - from Dennis Cooper’s blog.

    tom fruin: kolonihavehus


    Dezeen » West Kowloon Cultural District

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