Wednesday, June 10, 2020

This post goes against Community Standards on spam [CLOSED]

In the past week two different posts of mine (without being flagged as inappropriate) were taken down by Facebook for other unknown reasons, which is fine, I can just post it here, so it's at the bottom. But it reminded me that I don't think I'm nearly careful enough about decreasing my online footprint in solidarity with those who need to do covert things away from the prying/opportunistic eyes of the gigantic corporations that own and sell our data. Unless someone is in the middle of a protest, how does one really understand the importance of online privacy as well as 'challenging the algorithms' that create information bubbles? I've talked with many people who just shrug and say that we just gave it up and that's that.

Similarly, Rachel also pointed out that we're applying for all of these grants but there is still an invisible labor and a product taking place. We do quite a bit of bureaucratic work just for the possibility that an organization can find us, and decide if they want to help us, maybe use us to help market themselves and in the end the only thing we know for sure is that they have a whole lot more information on us than we do on them.

Before I go on, I thought it would be fun to give a quick hack for anonymity/no tracking that requires no technological knowledge: Share a password to a Gmail account, then feel free to keep editing the draft among yourselves. This was the basis for a group called 'neverhitsend'.

What's the best way to think about it? Is it that we need to 'educate' people to have online hygiene, in the same way that we have to teach people how to be less vulnerable to scammers? It seems like the problem, like with climate change, is that too many people don't know or believe that it's a big problem. I'm one of them... and i've been trying to figure it out for years now, but the furthest I've gotten is paying for a VPN... I'm waiting for a good friend to tap me on the shoulder and show me that everyone else has been on an alternative to Instagram/Facebook, an alternative to Gmail, an alternative to Google Maps, an alternative to Google Drive... the amount of 'free' things that I utilize goes on and on.

Isn't is strange that we kindof use the term 'online footprint' which sounds like one's 'carbon footprint' (especially when cloud based services and data servers actually have a large carbon footprint that is kept mostly a secret). And an online footprint is more like leaving a trail of your previously private information, but supposedly, we approved in some small print somewhere that they could clip on a tracking advice in exchange for convenience. Since there's been a lot of really good memes lately, maybe someone can construct a better analogy?:

Imagine almost everyone wearing an N95 respirator mask (for a timely metaphor) or better yet, one of those heavy duty respirator mask where you can change out the canisters. It's just something we're getting used to needing to wear all the time so there's a lot of talk about using them 'correctly'.

9000 Full Face Respirator Mask | Exclusive Design | Buy Now at Moldex
Outside that conversation about their efficacy a technological discovery comes into fashion where one can add a straw or tube through the mask, and all of a sudden there's the amazing convenience where people to hear you better (you're not super muffled anymore) and it gets recorded or maybe you can now do something novel that never existed before, being able to drink something through a straw without taking off your mask and for the most part it's safe enough. With this technology that can control what goes in and out, you're aware that some people don't even wear masks to protect themselves from viruses, but these companies promise that it'll be just as safe as keeping your mask on. But if you really think about it, you might remove the straw when you realize you don't want to be connected anymore, but you still have this hole in your mask that compromises the whole point of wearing one in the first place. You still have all of this stuff that you wanted to be recorded, but now you don't want it up, and you definitely don't get access to change that either.

I went on a longer rant that equated getting bubbles in the straw were pop-up ads and how you think you're doing this to control 100% of viruses, but I digress...

In terms of getting these messages across I just want to take a moment to advertise for a group that I'm in: Workshopping Work Beyond Capitalism that previously was another group that met up monthly called The Future of Labor, and we made these t-shirts that YOU can also get, but only if you join us!:

Being as private as possible online, just like everything else, has become a politicized issue. I may be generalizing incorrectly but trying to get stronger privacy laws and privacy based apps/programs is perceived as something utilized by the far lefties terrorists that have some kind of connection to the tech sector, definitely not for the conservatives who believe that any kind of regulation will harm the best business practices of the internet of Laissez-faire (not the actual free-ness of it, but the ability to commodify everything from fast lanes to censuring and quelling protests).

But at its worse the, "I have nothing to hide" sentiment that I hear in response, regardless of political leaning, is worrisome.

One of the tasks at hand is to understand the power dynamic, the leverage that changes when we open up systems that we partake in en masse (regardless if it's legal or not, like with downloading free music) and businesses will both act shocked as if the world is ending, but in reality they will always seem to know how to adapt (if it has to) and get more from us than we even know. At it's worse, as I think we're about to find out. Again, it's not until shit hits the fan that we realize how used, how vulnerable we are, that once we're a target for whatever scapegoating reason. At that moment, we're not exactly hard to find, so we better hope that the politics ends up working in our favor and that it is us, not president Trump, that ends up getting pardoned for the things that we say and do. Maybe there's other things that are really bad about it all, but I don't know them, and it hasn't stopped me from posting on Facebook/Gmail/MacBook Pro/ etc. so I guess I'm asking for someone to ELI5, why exactly and how exactly do we get disconnected from these corporate technologies? I want to believe, but from my surface experience with making the switches, it simply hasn't changed my habits.

Ok, this was my post that got taken down, except now with images!:

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All I want to do is punch my way through being overwhelmed by all of the resources from BlackOutTuesday, compile all of the various things to sort by topic then compare to figure which advice is most solid/accessible and which may just be outdated,

if it is offered by a white identified person, or a black identified person, and put it into a visual mind map where each link also includes versions of things that may not have yet been transcribed, so that maybe others won't have to stumble through trying to find something again through Instagram stories of TikTok videos crosschecked with Snopes, spend 4 hours a day trying to comb through reposts of IGTV posts that I forgot to Like, or Save or Screen record and then remember what I was doing before getting overwhelmed.

[Examples of differing information where it's all good advice but slightly different: Dealing with myths/methods of dealing with tear gas between Rana Nazzal (Milk not water!) @Ajadventure (Liquid Antacids not Milk!) then Danielle Guldin (Knowledge that helps one stay calm not Baking Soda! although now I feel the need to track down where someone recommends baking soda)] 

In terms of resources and accessibility most likely when you'd come across a resource it's not always transcribed or translated or summarized or all 3. Should you go off of who is giving the advice and how they describe their qualifications? Do you go off the # of likes, # of views, the # of shares? Was it first put up on Twitter, Tik Tok or IGTV? Does it have the right hashtags? Or just trust that since it hasn't been flagged since being up at least a week, it must all be good enough information?

This is what I mean by being overwhelmed... how can a non-organized person access this information when we already assume we're informed consumers... but also we assume that when we save all of these posts we'll just somehow magically want to find the time to go back and read all of it. 

Just like the original anarchists' cookbook, it has the naughty fun of being information that you shouldn't know but unlike right now, it feels like the Library of Babel version of that.

Everything below is what I just sent to a friend, tag anyone who you think is on the fence, i gravitate towards accessibility (even from just a glance):

  • After WWII people in Germany actively looked out for ‘Neo-Nazis’ to keep them in check, the Me-Too movement made public a Black list of high up sexual predators, now there’s a list of the police brutality JUST during the peaceful protests: 

  • Ok, now that you know activism (pretty white ppl) is not going to kill you, what next?: 

  • 5 Ways White People Can Take Action in Response to White and State-Sanctioned Violence (From White People 4 Black Lives)
  1. Come out as anti-racist and invite others to join you. Be public and vocal about which side you are on, share details of the actions you are taking to make this commitment real, and invite others to join you.
  2. Join fights to defund the police. It’s local budget season and right now across the country towns and cities are deciding how your community will spend its resources. Join your local group already doing this work or plan an action to tell decision makers what your community really needs — like mental health services and affordable housing — instead of more funding for police.
  3. Make a commitment to “organize your own” for the long haul. White communities are used to uphold the power structure and business-as-usual. When we break away and join movements for justice, this can help tip the balance of power and win real change. For too long, those at the top have relied on the silence of white folks to keep things as they are — and then we all lose. Our work is to organize in our own communities to bring more white people into struggles for justice, and to support the efforts led by people of color.
  4. Focus on building our numbers, not being right. To end police brutality, white supremacy, and to build a movement to get us all free, we need to move people with us — namely people who are conflicted or watching from the sidelines.
  5. Help resource the work of Black-led groups that are fighting for police accountability and abolition. Find and support a local group in your community or move your money to the front lines in Minneapolis. Make sure folks most impacted have the resources to stay in the streets and dream up the most powerful, transformative pathways forward.


Monday, June 1, 2020

Woah, I found my doppelganger! Another Treatise on 'Doing Nothing' (TLDR version)

While reading articles written by someone in this artist-in-residency with me, I stumbled on an article by another Filipino person who also wrote a long rambling essay about ‘Doing Nothing’ (where mine’s about doing nothing during the Pandemic)
Also, does doppelganger always have a negative connotation? I thought it just meant like a similar person but with one thing different, like they have a mustache or something. My doppelganger gets along with her parents, but also may also live in California, Jenny Odell.
I thought some people with ‘Time-Blindness’ might like the TLDR, i was supposed to get groceries for dinner at least 4 hours ago...
Precursor by Deleuze: We all know that too much of something sucks. Saying Nothing is a relief and it comes right before you actually figure out what you want to say.
1a. Clarifying Negative Space as ‘Nothing’ is neat.
1b. Curating also takes just as much work as making something.
1c. Jenny Odell creates the term ‘Observational Eros’ to describe how things are great when you realize there’s lots of ways to look at things longer, not changing a thing, in many different and artistic ways. Check out my out about how zany the marketing was for computers.

2a. Transitioning from James Turrell’s sky rooms to Architecture that forces you to slow down, possibly even literally get lost.

2b. Gardens are cool. Labyrinths are cool.

2c. Pauline Oliveros created the concept of ‘Deep Listening’ and ‘Nothing’ was hopefully Anti-War.

2d. Turns out that Bird Watching should’ve been called Bird Listening / Bird Noticing.

2e. For every two things you think you know, it’s actually 10 things, case in point, once Jenny O moved on from birds to humans she realized her mom’s been speaking Ilonggo / Hiligaynon not Tagalog her entire life.

2f. Architecture has a way of creating seclusion, oh and btw, when was the last time you thought about your own mortality?

2g. Famous naturalist John Muir once blind made a pact with God to stop inventing cool things and to start studying some sweet fields.

2h. Time is cyclical, Jenny is following in her father’s footsteps, becoming an observation-loving, foam-loving, time-taking, creative Odell. (But we all still exist in multitudes.)

3a. Rich people also do nothing, non-rich people have to be sick to be allowed to do nothing.
3bi. Back to Deleuze: You have the right to remain silent.
3bii. “8 hours for work, 8 hours for rest, 8 hours for what we will (which is specifically associated with rest, thought, flowers, sunshine)
3biii. And rowing a boat with a porkpie hat while your lady friend holds a newspaper up so you both can read it. Also it takes place in free public spaces like parks & libraries.
3c. “In a public space, ideally, you are a citizen with agency; in a faux public space, you are either a consumer or a threat to the design of the place.”
3di. Gentrification and Capitalism both have awful ‘productive’ values.
3dii. Consider how they colonize either time or space (things both important for creativity)
3diii. We no longer have strong unions, freelancers lost any structure that was gained by labor activists, and yet our downtime is now uptime online, and we still think time is money.
3ei. Remember those zany computer ads? Dun dun dunnn… They all promised with new technology we’d have even more free time. 
3eii. Don’t ‘Respect the Hustle’ we are cogs in a machine, the ‘Results-Only Revolution’ that has an infinite leash seeping into every personal moment until you can’t tell where work ends and you begin. 
3eiii. Franco Verardi describes this defeat as, “We are all capitalist’… and therefore, we should all consider life as an economic venture” But he also later goes on to relate our senses and our ability to make sense.
3f. If you ‘are what you eat’ then it makes sense why we feel like crap while searching for ‘truth’ online.
Not actually in this article, but I was wondering why it didn’t use the term Neoliberalism because I thought that had a lot to do with breaking ones identity and time into discrete sellable bits, and then I realized I don’t really know what it is, here’s a shot at it, Neoliberalism: Corporations delivering social services today that have an even deeper engagement in the project of expanding the ‘free-market’ (as in market construction & market freedom, not free time), now since the 70s it’s on a global scale of privatization and marketization (as well as deregulation, confronting the power of unions, and claiming that states are inherently inefficient), so the quality of our lives are being affected by new approaches to macroeconomic policy, but not just by a small circle of elites, but broader beliefs, practices and institutions.
4a. Decrease the fast-paced, overwhelming election news, increase Birds (the winged animal).
4b. Crows are so smart they even decide who goes to heaven. I, for one, welcome our new Crow overlords.
4c. I try not to be weird about this at all, and I am always prepared with peanuts for the smart birds. They will teach you their ways, if only you too become Animal.
4d. Why did I intuit to go to a rose garden to shed off toxic politics? I did it to be in relation to other living things and to be more grounded, literally.
4e. So ‘Nothing’ is being in the present, and it gets pretty Real.
5a. Don’t stop being an activist, but that especially involves taking down time to heal, see: Audre Lord
5b. Jenny Odell creates #NOMO (the necessity of missing out) to break free from #FOMO
5c. Gordon Hampton, acoustic ecologist says “Silence is not the absence of something but the presence of everything.”
5d. SOLIDARITY by encouraging listening.
5ei. In how information circulates, consider the difference between connectivity & sensitivity. Connectivity is instant, like how something either goes viral or not, but it’s still within a bubble of like-minded people, but also only on a surface level of relating to one another.
5eii. Sensitivity doesn’t require being like-minded, but it’s definitely about coming into contact with something, which is bound to happen over time, and one or both entities may come away a little bit changed, and now aware of what may shape one another.
5eiii. Sensitivity takes time, and care, but do we care to take the time? 

5f. You get 2 things from Nothing: Self Preservation & the Cultivation of Sensitivity.
5g. Growth isn’t always so great, See: Cancer, Feeling restless towards further productivity, Too much of anything to the point where you feel like you’re losing touch of your body.
5h. Maintenance gets a bad rep, especially in relation to so-called ‘development’. Perhaps its the maintenance workers that are doing Occupy Rose Garden keeping condos at bay. 
5i. Did you hear about the artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles who vowed to shake the hand of every sanitation worker (all 8,500 of em)
5j. Back to the Rose Garden. Always read the plaque. The ones here are people voted Mother of the Year in Oakland since 1954. To be Mother of the Year, you must have “contributed to improving the quality of life for the people of Oakland — through home, work, community service, volunteer efforts or combination thereof.” 
5k. And how about what is considered women’s work?
5l. Rebecca Solnit has qualitative data to prove that people are not simply desperate and selfish after disasters. Also just like how people in combat create super deep bonds, so too do people who help each other in places that look like a bomb went off.
5m. But maybe everyday is a struggle, and our coping mechanisms may help protect us in the moment but may also alienate us from each other. Maybe what we need to protect are those things that make us feel human.
5n. Things that make us feel human (or animal): non-instrumental, non-commercial activity for thought, for maintenance, for care, for conviviality against being in denial that technology won’t save us, that we’re in soft fleshy bodies in the wilderness, that we don’t live forever.
5o. But y’know what’s actually the next closest thing to living forever? Spending as much time as possible to lose yourself in moments of enjoyable nothingness, even if it’s not innovative or ‘good for business’.
5p. These smartphones are kindof like a sensory deprivation chamber…
Epilogue: As much as I enjoyed showing all the ‘nothing’ digitally, it wasn’t as rewarding as retrieving things that meant ‘nothing’ from the SF dump, and also all of my time spent in the rose garden hasn’t led me to know what i’m doing at all, where i’m going… but there’s something about listening to Gordon Hempton’s podcast (who wrote One Square Inch of Silence) and it’s this sound of thunder… [there’s a link to it]
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Then I recommended:
“24/7” by Johnathan Crary
“Routine Pleasures” Exhibition Catalog curated by Michael Ned Holte
“The Undercommons” by Fred Moten
“Sick Woman Theory” by Johanna Hedva
“Learning from the Virus” by Paul B. Preciado
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Ok never mind about the TLDR thing, brevity isn’t my strong suit. Also I was very glib with things the authors said and the authors referenced, but it helped me focus to get through it, and I took a side journey to learn more about Neoliberalism, so that’s something.
TLDR to the TLDR;
How To Do Nothing:
- Get to a nearby garden and just sit and listen to everything that’s alive, especially make connection with birds.
- You can tell that ‘Nothing’ is a thing because of how artists (including myself) have framed it.
- Rest is nourishing and political!
- There are many Neoliberal forces that are about using every waking moment to be efficient and productive. Doesn’t that sound exhausting? Let’s question that paradigm. But also, hit the Like button below this article…
- Notice how all of the ‘essential work’ and ‘essential workers’, including women seem to be treated as if they’re meant to do this work behind the scenes? Artists have also made invisible labor more visible!
- Get away from your phone, have an existential crisis, it’ll make you feel alive.
- Write a ton about nothing