1. edgeperspectives:

The End of the Internet?
What irony! Government was the catalyst for the Internet and now it may be the catalyst for its demise as it evolves into Splinternet

To lay the blame for balkanization of the internet solely at the doorstep of ‘government’ seems facile and disingenuous.  As pointed out in the article: 

Laura DeNardis, a scholar of Internet governance at American University, argues that the Internet’s character is inherently commercial and private today. “The Internet is a collection of independent systems,” she writes, “operated by mostly private companies,” including large telecommunications providers like AT&T and giant content companies such as Google and Facebook. All of these players make the Internet function through private economic agreements governing the transmission of data among their respective networks.

By throwing in a large measure of governmental imperative to regulate (…or, as often described, ‘protect’…) and to do so in ways that are not in harmony with neighbors and other communicants, definitely adds to the friction and fractious nature of today’s internet.  The governmental meddling and fiddling needs to be replaced by informed decisions and lawmaking … no doubt about it.  But,… owning the problem is not one that is government’s alone.

    edgeperspectives:

    The End of the Internet?

    What irony! Government was the catalyst for the Internet and now it may be the catalyst for its demise as it evolves into Splinternet

    To lay the blame for balkanization of the internet solely at the doorstep of ‘government’ seems facile and disingenuous.  As pointed out in the article: 

    Laura DeNardis, a scholar of Internet governance at American University, argues that the Internet’s character is inherently commercial and private today. “The Internet is a collection of independent systems,” she writes, “operated by mostly private companies,” including large telecommunications providers like AT&T and giant content companies such as Google and Facebook. All of these players make the Internet function through private economic agreements governing the transmission of data among their respective networks.

    By throwing in a large measure of governmental imperative to regulate (…or, as often described, ‘protect’…) and to do so in ways that are not in harmony with neighbors and other communicants, definitely adds to the friction and fractious nature of today’s internet.  The governmental meddling and fiddling needs to be replaced by informed decisions and lawmaking … no doubt about it.  But,… owning the problem is not one that is government’s alone.

  2. Computational Linguistics of Twitter Reveals the Existence of Global Superdialects | MIT Technology Review →

    The results reveal a major surprise about the way dialects are distributed around the world and provide a fascinating snapshot of how they are evolving under various new pressures, such as global communication mechanisms like Twitter.

  3. In my view it is high time, in the light of decades of declining growth, rising inequality and increasing indebtedness—as well as of the successive agonies of inflation, public debt and financial implosion since the 1970s—to think again about capitalism as a historical phenomenon, one that has not just a beginning, but also an end. For this, we need to part company with misleading models of social and institutional change. As long as we imagine the end of capitalism being decreed, Leninist-style, by some government or central committee, we cannot but consider capitalism eternal. (In fact it was communism, centralized as it was in Moscow, that could be and was terminated by decree.) Matters are different if, instead of imagining it being replaced by collective decision with some providentially designed new order, we allow for capitalism to collapse by itself.

    I suggest that we learn to think about capitalism coming to an end without assuming responsibility for answering the question of what one proposes to put in its place. It is a Marxist—or better: modernist—prejudice that capitalism as a historical epoch will end only when a new, better society is in sight, and a revolutionary subject ready to implement it for the advancement of mankind. This presupposes a degree of political control over our common fate of which we cannot even dream after the destruction of collective agency, and indeed the hope for it, in the neoliberal-globalist revolution. Neither a utopian vision of an alternative future nor superhuman foresight should be required to validate the claim that capitalism is facing its Götterdämmerung. I am willing to make exactly this claim, although I am aware of how many times capitalism has been declared dead in the past. In fact, all of the main theorists of capitalism have predicted its impending expiry, ever since the concept came into use in the mid-1800s. This includes not just radical critics like Marx or Polanyi, but also bourgeois theorists such as Weber, Schumpeter, Sombart and Keynes.

    The image I have of the end of capitalism—an end that I believe is already under way—is one of a social system in chronic disrepair, for reasons of its own and regardless of the absence of a viable alternative. While we cannot know when and how exactly capitalism will disappear and what will succeed it, what matters is that no force is on hand that could be expected to reverse the three downward trends in economic growth, social equality and financial stability and end their mutual reinforcement. In contrast to the 1930s, there is today no political-economic formula on the horizon, left or right, that might provide capitalist societies with a coherent new regime of regulation, or régulation. Social integration as well as system integration seem irreversibly damaged and set to deteriorate further. What is most likely to happen as time passes is a continuous accumulation of small and not-so-small dysfunctions; none necessarily deadly as such, but most beyond repair, all the more so as they become too many for individual address. In the process, the parts of the whole will fit together less and less; frictions of all kinds will multiply; unanticipated consequences will spread, along ever more obscure lines of causation. Uncertainty will proliferate; crises of every sort—of legitimacy, productivity or both—will follow each other in quick succession while predictability and governability will decline further (as they have for decades now). Eventually, the myriad provisional fixes devised for short-term crisis management will collapse under the weight of the daily disasters produced by a social order in profound, anomic disarray.

    — 

    Wolfgang Streeck, How Will Capitalism End?

    (via stoweboyd)

  4. atlasobscura:

    itscolossal:

    Good Badlands: Dry Terrain of the American West Captured in a Brief Moment of Color by Guy Tal

    "Grandfather’s stories proposed to him that the forms of life were volatile and that everything in the world could as easily be something else. […] It was evident to him that the world composed and recomposed itself constantly in an endless process of dissatisfaction.” - Ragtime (E.L. Doctrow)

    I miss the desert.  I really miss it.

  5. thisistheverge:

'It looks like you just bought the LA Clippers' “Would you like help designing a new logo?”

    thisistheverge:

    'It looks like you just bought the LA Clippers'
    “Would you like help designing a new logo?”

  6. Isis consolidates →

    Patrick Cockburn’s analysis in the LRB of ISIS and the state of play in Iraq and Syria is possibly the most cogent and disturbing I’ve read. Self-delusion, wishful thinking, demonization of ‘the other’ … all ingredients in the recipes for catastrophy … show up in frightful degree. Well done and bone-chilling.

    As the attention of the world focused on Ukraine and Gaza, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (Isis) captured a third of Syria in addition to the quarter of Iraq it had seized in June. The frontiers of the new Caliphate declared by Isis on 29 June are expanding by the day and now cover an area larger than Great Britain and inhabited by at least six million people, a population larger than that of Denmark, Finland or Ireland. In a few weeks of fighting in Syria Isis has established itself as the dominant force in the Syrian opposition, routing the official al-Qaida affiliate, Jabhat al-Nusra, in the oil-rich province of Deir Ezzor and executing its local commander as he tried to flee. In northern Syria some five thousand Isis fighters are using tanks and artillery captured from the Iraqi army in Mosul to besiege half a million Kurds in their enclave at Kobani on the Turkish border. In central Syria, near Palmyra, Isis fought the Syrian army as it overran the al-Shaer gasfield, one of the largest in the country, in a surprise assault that left an estimated three hundred soldiers and civilians dead. Repeated government counter-attacks finally retook the gasfield but Isis still controls most of Syria’s oil and gas production. The Caliphate may be poor and isolated but its oil wells and control of crucial roads provide a steady income in addition to the plunder of war.

  7. Life on the eve of war →

    The UK’s Telegraph has put together a long form piece that captures the mood and interests of Great Britain in the days immediately following the real beginning of WW I. Interesting and chilling.

    As the new year of 1914 opened, the Telegraph’s pages were dominated by stories about strikes and worries about whether Britannia could continue to rule the waves (reflected in a feature comparing the Royal Navy with its rival fleets - Germany’s above all). The biggest political story was the looming crisis over the demand for Home Rule in Ireland. It gave more coverage, at least initially, to the sinking of the liner “Empress of Ireland” in Canada’s St Lawrence seaway on June 1 than to the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand at the end of the month - a “dastardly crime which has filled the whole civilised world with consternation”. On the second day after the event the Telegraph’s leader suggested that the murder would “exasperate Teutonic feeling against the Slav nationality”, but of course it got nowhere near what actually happened. What is so unnerving reading the Telegraph in those days after the assassination was the way life carried on as normal. People continued to browse dress patterns, plan weekend drives, tear out recipes and queue at cinemas, quite oblivious to what was coming. This is the life they were about to leave behind forever.

  8. DHS Infrastructure Sector Resilience Report: Electric Power Delivery →

    KEY FINDINGS

    Of the 3,352 sites across all 16 sectors that received DHS assessments (2009–2012), 90 percent depend on electric power for core operations.

    Critical dependencies and interdependencies of the Energy Sector mean that the loss of electric power can quickly cascade to other lifeline infrastructure systems (including Water, Wastewater, Communications, Transportation, and Information Technology (IT)), potentially degrading services necessary for public health and safety.

    Of the 41 electric power substations assessed by DHS, 59 percent depend upon an external source of electric power for on-site operations, 62 percent depend on communications, and 77 percent depend on IT to maintain operations.

    Interruption to IT supporting infrastructures, including the loss of electric power, could limit the operating flexibility and efficiency of electric substations and system monitoring equipment. A large-scale IT disruption could potentially impact power delivery to other critical infrastructure assets in the electric service area.

  9. The good news is that 100 years later the world is a far more stable and peaceful place. (via 100 Years Ago Today It Began: “Austria Has Chosen War” | Zero Hedge)

    The good news is that 100 years later the world is a far more stable and peaceful place. (via 100 Years Ago Today It Began: “Austria Has Chosen War” | Zero Hedge)

  10. explore-blog:

George Bernard Shaw, born on this day in 1856, on marriage, the oppression of women, and the hypocrisy of monogamy 

    explore-blog:

    George Bernard Shaw, born on this day in 1856, on marriage, the oppression of women, and the hypocrisy of monogamy