Charlie Brooker talking out of his arse, init?!? More Magna Carta ignorance displayed..

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Yesterday it was some bloke called OwenJones84 – kids have strange names these days – and today some bloke called Charlie Brooker displaying deeply problematic historical ignorance. This comment to his article in The Guardian  says it all, really:

“Another ignorant Magna Carta based anti-Cameron rant. It’s good, put him down, but don’t let him drag you down with him. Get informed:

At the time of the Magna Carta – as enshrined in the Charter of the Forest – plebs, as it were, had close to something you could call full autonomy: that is, they had rights of access to and use of building materials, food surces and fuel – all of which they could clean from / collect or grow in the forest. They sustained themselves.

No dole office, just life.

That’s far more rights than plebs hold today, where most have primarily the rights to be surveilled by a totalitarian state apparatus, the right to eat shitty frozen, processed “fish” fingers, and to hand over the ownership of all their digital creations to, say, Facefuck or Twatter.

Brooker, you are talking out of your behind and that’s a shame. Sit on it and learn a bit. You are perpetuating the progressivist myth – central to the elite’s power game and the social-democractic programme of collaboration with the elite – that we are moving towards a better world, with more rights and a more rightful and comfortable existence. Nothing could be further from the truth!”

Sorry, Owen Jones, but your British history is not mine (or anyone else’s)

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Owen Jones is a political activist, an atheist and a secularist. That’s a kind of people who traditionally receive a lot of training – should we say programming? – in set thought from an early age from various institutional power settings, such as school, college, university, party, NGO and other parts of the establishment.

It’s a very frustrating environment – the activist scene – and a field of ossification. New ideas, approaches and, democracy forbid, free thought is not allowed.

Owen Jones writes in The Guardian that “Sorry, David Cameron, but your British history is not mine“, but Owen Jones has got the wrong end of (at least) one stick: the Magna Carta. Now, the Magna Carta is commonly thought of across the intellectual and leftist spectra of thought as a declaration of rights of barons et al. to do whatever they please and with time it came to be seen as nothing other than the beginning of what is nowadays called industrial capitalism. And only that.

Cameron probably sees it like that, since he wants it pushed into the minds of children in “his” realm. And Owen Jones sees it like that, he rhetorically provokes his readers, repeating a dogma he once heard in a meeting or read in an liberal, academic book, perhaps: the Magna Carta is the beginning of evil, the work of exploitative nobles. What a shame and what admission of ignorance: Owen Jones and David Cameron do indeed share views on British history: they both have false assumptions of the Magna Carta and mislead people with their rhetoric.

Why are they wrong? Simple: Charter of the Forest (Thanks Peter Linebaugh!). Further information available? Yes, of course….

Read the rest of this entry »

Linux Mint 17 “Qiana” has been released!

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Just had a quick look to see if the much awaited Linux Mint 17 Qiana has been released and although there are seemingly no announcements, or press releases, or official blog posts, declaring the release, it has been released!

Here is a link to download options:

And here are direct links for the final 32 & 64 bit Cinnamon flavoured Linux Mint 17 Qiana versions:

Open question to and about Zadie Smith, Orhan Pamuk, Grass and Atwood: agents of U.S. Empire or just ignorant?

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In The Guardian today we can read:

Turkey’s Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk has said that the situation in his country “is going from bad to worse and even towards terrible” following the government’s attempts to block access to Twitter, as a phalanx of major writers, from Zadie Smith to Günter Grass, line up to state their “grave concern” about “the freedom of words” in Turkey today.

The authors, who also include Salman Rushdie, Margaret Atwood, Karl Ove Knausgaard, and Grass and Pamuk’s fellow Nobel laureate Elfriede Jelinek, have added their names to a joint letter from PEN International and English PEN which calls last week’s ban on Twitter “an unacceptable violation of the right to freedom of speech”. The Turkish government restricted access to the micro-blogging website, and prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan indicated the ban could be extended further, saying he would not “leave this nation at the mercy of YouTube and Facebook” and pledging to “take the necessary steps in the strongest way”.

So they are writers, but can they read? Are they in the know, or just talking out of their privileged arses, repeating stuff they picked up in their echo chambers of comfort?

Colonos invite these fine (elitist) writers to read this article, which shows that Twitter is a tool for power twats that s being used to manipulate entire population, subvert cultures, and destroy countries: US Planned Syrian Civilian Catastrophe Since 2007, including a timeline from which an excerpt is pasted here:

2009-2010: In an April 2011 AFP report, Michael Posner, the assistant US Secretary of State for Human Rights and Labor, admitted that the “US government has budgeted $50 million in the last two years to develop new technologies to help activists protect themselves from arrest and prosecution by authoritarian governments.” The report went on to admit that the US (emphasis added) “organized training sessions for 5,000 activists in different parts of the world. A session held in the Middle East about six weeks ago gathered activists from Tunisia, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon who returned to their countries with the aim of training their colleagues there.” Posner would add, “They went back and there’s a ripple effect.” AFP: “US Trains Activists to Evade Security Forces,” April 8, 2011.

2011: Posner’s US trained, funded, and equipped activists return to their respective countries across the Arab World to begin their “ripple effect.” Protests, vandalism , and arson sweep across Syria and “rooftop snipers” begin attacking both protesters and Syrian security forces, just as Western-backed movements were documented doing in Bangkok, Thailand one year earlier. With a similar gambit already unfolding in Libya, US senators begin threatening Syria with long planned and sought after military intervention. Land Destroyer: “Syria: Intervention Inevitable,” April 29, 2011.

And just the other day The Guardian also reported that funding has been awarded to research institutions exploring how false avatars – controlled by government agents – can be deployed in “social media” and discussion forums and so on, to control, distort, change, modify and do whatver else is necessary to keep the public opinion in line with the powers that be.

So, Zadie Smith, Orhan Pamuk, Grass and Atwood et al: what are you? Evil or ignorant?

Russell Brand says it.

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The viral Jeremy Paxman / Newsnight interview – or is it a monologue – with Russell Brand. It feels as if the lost voices of generations are suddenly being heard. Are you listening?

Against the grain: Crops, Towns, Government by James C. Scott

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This is a post with a bunch of quotes and an introduction to an informative book review.

First of all it is time recycle an old school statement:

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.” – William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell.

There is a world out there for us to see. Not made of the stuff they told you in school. (By the way, did you see the new film by Erwin Wagenhofer called Alphabet? It’s tagline goes: “98% of all children come into this world highly gifted. After school it is only 2%”.)

Indeed, “Education is an admirable thing, but it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught”, as that Wilde Oscar said. Recently an EU Parliament Report told us that “Europe Has 880,000 Slave Laborers” – they didnt say that in school, in fact they always said that we were the great liberators of the slaves. But there is more to it than that :”including 270,000 victims of sexual exploitation”.

Once the fog they filled our heads with has cleared, we see that we’re in a haze.

“The fact is that slaving was at the very centre of state-making. It is impossible to exaggerate the massive effects of this human commodity on stateless societies. Wars between states became a kind of booty capitalism, where the major prize was human traffic. The slave trade then completely transformed the non-state ‘tribal zone’. Some groups specialised in slave-raiding, mounting expeditions against weaker and more isolated groups and then selling them to intermediaries or directly at slave markets”.

Consider these words…

“Before, say, 1500, most populations had a sporting chance of remaining out of the clutches of states and empires, which were still relatively weak and, given low rates of urbanisation and forest clearance, still had access to foraged foods. On this account, our world of grains and states is a mere blink of the eye (0.25 per cent), in the historical adventure of our species.” (James C. Scott, 2013)

The work of James Scott is some of the finest that the academy has to offer. That doesn’t say a lot, of course, but it is certainly worth a read. His books are all interesting, even if some basic ideas are recycled, as is common in (academic) writing. Here is a selection:

  • Two Cheers for Anarchism: Six Easy Pieces on Autonomy, Dignity, and Meaningful Work and Play. Princeton University Press, 2012 ISBN 0-691-15529-1
  • The Art of Not Being Governed: An Anarchist History of Upland Southeast Asia. Yale University Press, 2009 ISBN 0-300-15228-0
  • Seeing Like a State: How Certain Schemes to Improve the Human Condition Have Failed. Yale University Press, 1998 ISBN 0-300-07016-0
  • Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts. Yale University Press, 1990 ISBN 0-300-04705-3
  • Weapons of the Weak: Everyday Forms of Peasant Resistance. Yale University Press, 1985 ISBN 0-300-03336-2
  • The Moral Economy of the Peasant: Rebellion and Subsistence in Southeast Asia. Yale University Press, 1979 ISBN 0-300-01862-2

It is a review of a book by someone called Jared Semiprecious or something like that. Apparently not really that interesting in the end, but the review has some golden nuggets:

Crops, Towns, Government

James C. Scott

The World until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? by Jared Diamond
Penguin, 498 pp, £28.99, September,

It’s a good bet a culture is in trouble when its best-known intellectuals start ransacking the cultural inventory of its ancestors and its contemporary inferiors for tips on how to live. The malaise is all the more remarkable when the culture in question is the modern American variant of Enlightenment rationalism and progress, a creed not known for self-doubt or failures of nerve. The deeper the trouble, the more we are seen to have lost our way, the further we must go spatially and temporally to find the cultural models that will help us. In the stronger versions of this quest, there is either a place – a Shangri-la – or a time, a Golden Age, that promises to reset our compass to true north. Anthropology and history implicitly promise to provide such models. Anthropology can show us radically different and satisfying forms of human affiliation and co-operation that do not depend on the nuclear family or inherited wealth. History can show that the social and political arrangements we take for granted are the contingent result of a unique historical conjuncture.

It might also be worth taking a look at Richard Manning’s ““Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization”. “The End of Capitalism”, who says that “A new world is on its way. We are building it, one day at a time”, says this about Dick Mannings musings:

“The book begins by exploring the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, in many ways superior to our own even at the height of industrial capitalism. Hunter-gatherers, it turns out, ate a wider variety of tasty foods, worked far less, and lived much more sensually and connected than “civilized” humans. About 10,000 years ago, certain groups of humans traded all this in for security, namely the ability to stay in one spot and harvest grain to be stored for future food.

What this crop manipulation produced, however, was the first wealth inequality known to the species, as leaders left working the fields to their followers. In time, these stationary and hierarchical societies expanded and conquered/killed their hunter-gatherer neighbors. Soon enough crops like wheat, corn, and rice spread across the globe through violence and disease.”