Disintermedia ‘Sowing the Seeds’ of Platform Cooperatives in Hong Kong

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 24/09/2018 - 4:23am in


News, Open Source

My apologies to my three readers, and to the hard working organizers from The Open Coop, for not getting around to a write-up on Open 2018 yet. One positive outcome from that event is that attendees who are working on ‘Open App Ecosystems’ of various kinds were able to compare notes, and as a result, there has been a wave of new members and activity on the OAE Loomio group. Open 2018 was a fantastic event, and I encourage anyone interested in potential collaborations between the software freedom movement and the cooperative movement to attend in 2019.

I will soon be heading to Hong Kong for another platform cooperativism conference, ‘Sowing the Seeds‘, taking place from 28-29 September at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). This event is a collaboration between a number of cooperatives from around Asia, and the Platform Cooperativism Consortium, based at The New School at NYU (New York University). I’m also hoping to attend the cooperative hackathon taking place over two days before the conference (watch this space!).

A number of the speakers and participants at this conference were contributors to ‘Ours to Hack and Own‘, a book of essays that attempt to map out the transition from data farms that benefit corporations and investors, to digital cafes that benefits their members and workers. It’s a great book, and while I encourage you to buy a copy if you can afford to, I’m aware of at least one place you can download a gratis digital copy (see our Notable Books library).

It’s a privilege to be able to attend these events, and learn more about the fantastic work being done by cooperative organizers and free code hackers around the world. At the same time, it’s taking some effort to get my head around this new social movement, and how it relates to the pre-existing economic democracy and digital freedom movements that I’ve been involved in for decades. Expect to see more writing on this blog about both the organization and technical aspects of platform cooperatives over the next year or so. It may be that some of this writing will provide the ending I’ve been looking for to complete the story I want to tell in ‘Email At My Life‘. Again, watch this space!

‘I’ Newspaper: ‘Have I Got News For You More Trusted than News’

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 22/09/2018 - 8:58pm in

Yesterday, Friday 21st September 2018, the I carried a story by Adam Sherwin, which reported that according to its two stars, Paul Merton and Ian Hislop, people see the satirical panel game as more reliable than the news itself. The article said

Have I Got News For You is a more trusted source of news for viewers than official bulletins, the show’s stars have claimed.

Team captains Ian Hislop and Paul Merton said the long-running satirical series now plays a vital role in challenging “fake news”.

Hislop said: “One of the most cheering things about Have I Got News For You is quite a lot of people get their information from us, which should be terrifying in a properly functioning society.

“I walked in through the door of this hotel today and a man came up and said, ‘I absolutely love Have I Got News For You’ and I said, ‘That’s really nice of you’. He said, ‘I’m from Israel… It’s the only sensible news we get’. And you just think, ‘Oh’.

The Private Eye editor added: “We’ve a very big fan base among immigrants and people from backgrounds where they can’t believe you’re allowed to be this rude, which is a thrill compared to the countries they come from.”

Meron said: “That’s certainly part of the element of its longevity is thatpeople come to it for the news.” (p. 5).

Now I prefer to watch Have I Got News For You rather than the news because I get so irritated with the Beeb and its very strong bias against the Labour party and particularly Jeremy Corbyn. And Hislop’s right that in a properly functioning society it would be alarming that more people are tuning into a comedy show for the news rather than the news itself.

But we don’t live in a properly functioning society. We live in a society dominated by very right-wing politics, almost uniformly promoted by the media. And it’s very much because of this that alternative news sources, particularly on the internet, have been growing at the expense of the mainstream broadcasters and print publishers.

But Private Eye and Have I Got News For You have also not been averse to spreading ‘fake news’. I stopped watching Have I Got News For You and reading the Eye a little while ago because I got sick and tired of their anti-Labour, anti-Corbyn bias and their promotion of the lies justifying current British foreign policy: that Putin is going to take over the whole of Ukraine and is a threat to NATO, and that we should stand solidly behind the rebels in Syria. Even though those same rebels are Islamists, of the same stripe that launched 9/11 and have been campaigning against every secular, nationalist or socialist regimes in the Middle East. And have been aided in this by the West, which saw them as a useful force against Communism and the Soviet Union during the Cold War. And now that they’ve shown themselves to be a real threat to peace in the region, they’re being supported again for simple reasons of global geopolitics and the greed of western multinationals and the oil industry.

But you don’t read about this in Private Eye, or see it on Have I Got News For You.

I’ve gone back to reading the Eye and watching HIGNFY, because they’re funny, interesting and do provide an oppositional voice. But they are still themselves unreliable, and have their own, hidden biases, which need to be guarded against. This goes beyond the simple attitude that HIGNFY is a comedy show, and so shouldn’t be taken too seriously. Both the show and the Eye are still part of the media establishment, and so share some of their assumptions and prejudices.

A Reading from ‘Gharavi’s Bio’

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 22/09/2018 - 4:41am in



As part of Printed Matter’s New York Art Book Fair, TNI contributor and blogger Maryam Monalisa Gharavi will read from her book Gharavi’s Bio. Following the reading is a conversation with Brian Droitcour. Entrance is free, and details are included below. A program for the New York Art Book Fair can be found here.

Saturday, September 22 6:00 – 7:00 pm, MoMA PS1 CL
Bio: Canceled texts and the World Wide Web, with Maryam Monalisa Gharavi and Brian Droitcour
A reading and conversation around Gharavi’s Bio (Inventory Press 2018), a hybrid work that reconfigures canceled text and the World Wide Web. The book captures a span of 365 days during which the artist updated the 160-character “bio” section of her Twitter account each day. While tweets are regularly captured by corporate data storage centers this “bio” section remains the only untraceable and non-archived part of the software’s superstructure. “Bio” ultimately left no record of itself, complicating the normative binaries of online/offline and digital/print. An experiment in erasure, self-deletion, and visibility in the expanded sphere of the net, “Bio” anchors itself in the wider lineage of artists’ canceled texts, but in the age of new data as “soft” power. Presented by Inventory Press & Fully Booked.

Torchwood Fans Take Note

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 21/09/2018 - 6:32am in


Book, News

Hey, are you a fan of Torchwood?  If so, you might want to take note of the new book series forthcoming from Pencil Tip Publishing.

WHAT THE FANS THINK is a new series of books from Pencil Tip Publishing where the fans will review and assess their favourite television series. Fan opinion can be extremely critical, often harsher than that of the meanest television critics. But when the fans love something, you know it. Praises are heaped in droves.

Each volume will concentrate on a specific show and will feature original reviews and analysis of every episode of that particular series. The fans will have their say on what they think are the best, worst and merely average, episodes of a series. You just might be surprised by what they have to say.

The first book in the series, What the Fans Think: Blake’s 7, will concentrate on the 1978-81 sci-fi series “Blake’s 7” while the second book, What the Fans Think: Torchwood, will concentrate on the Doctor Who spin-off series “Torchwood”.

Details on how you can contribute to the Torchwood, or Blake’s 7, volume can be found at:

New trailer released, ABC start time confirmed

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 20/09/2018 - 10:36pm in



The BBC has released its most extensive trailer for Series 11 of Doctor Who yet, showcasing the Thirteenth Doctor in action in an array of sci-fi settings – with her new companions by her side. The trailer comes just a couple of weeks after a specially shot “release date” trailer surfaced, which shows our hero standing in the middle of large dome while glass shatters around her – including the particularly high ceiling… The ABC has meanwhile confirmed that the new series will air on its main channel from 5:45pm, starting on Monday 8 October, with Whovians to follow on … Continue reading

United States: After Delay, Y Combinator Research Presses on with Basic Income Study

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 20/09/2018 - 7:15am in



Sam Altman. Picture credit to: San Francisco Chronicle.   Y Combinator (YC) Research will begin its basic income study in 2019 after regulatory hurdles slowed a pilot program in Oakland, California. The proposed study, entitled “Making Ends Meet,” will provide monthly cash transfers of $1,000  to 1,000 participants for three or five years. Another 2,000 people will serve as a

The post United States: After Delay, Y Combinator Research Presses on with Basic Income Study appeared first on BIEN.

Do you want to be part of Series 2 of Whovians?

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 19/09/2018 - 9:59pm in



Australia’s own Doctor Who panel show, Whovians, is back on 8 October, airing immediately after the first episode of Series 11. And you’re invited to be a part of the studio audience! Free tickets are now available to the first three episodes of Whovians, filming at the ABC’s Sydney studio from 11am each Monday from 8 October. This is your chance to join Rove McManus and his team of superfans as they dissect, delve into and delight in the world of Doctor Who – you’ll even get a chance to watch the latest episode straight from the UK before the … Continue reading

New image and episode synopses released

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 19/09/2018 - 2:38pm in



THE excitement is ramping up to eleven (or is that 13?) as the countdown continues to the new series with the synopsis for episodes one and two and a new image released this week. The new image features the whole TARDIS team in suitable action poses while the supporting BBC press release offers up some brief comments from Chibnall, Whittaker and Bradley Walsh (who we’re of course all about to know better as Graham O’Brien). It also reiterates that the first episode will be called The Woman Who Fell To Earth while the second is The Ghost Monument. It is … Continue reading

Ontario, Canada: Reactions to Ontario Basic Income Pilot Cancelation

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 19/09/2018 - 3:50am in


News, Canada

Anonymous recipient of the Ontario basic income experiment. Photo credit: Jessie Golem, photographer responsible for the Humans of Basic Income project   The Ontario Basic Income Pilot, started by a liberal government, was canceled on July 31st 2018, by the newly elected Ford administration. The conservative government has announced that the last payment to the 4000 recipients that were part

The post Ontario, Canada: Reactions to Ontario Basic Income Pilot Cancelation appeared first on BIEN.

Chicago, US: Chicago moves forward with UBI proposal

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 15/09/2018 - 4:00pm in

Chicago’s City Hall building green roof. Picture credit to: Urban Matter   Earlier this year, the city of Chicago hit the news by introducing a resolution that would summon a taskforce to run and study a basic income trial within the Municipality. That resolution, put forth by Alderman Ameya Pawar, included the summoning of stakeholders, foundations, philanthropists and academics, to develop

The post Chicago, US: Chicago moves forward with UBI proposal appeared first on BIEN.