Self-care in accordance to Qi of Spring

“The three months of Spring,

they denote effusion and spreading.

Heaven and Earth together generate life;

the myriad beings flourish.

Go to rest later at night and rise early.

Move through the courtyards with long strides.

Dishevel the hair and relax the physical appearance,

thereby cause the mind to orient itself on life.

Give life and do not kill.

Give and do not take.

Reward and do not punish.

This is correspondence with the Qi of Spring and

it is the Way to nourish life.

Opposing it harms the liver.

In summer this causes changes to cold,

and there is little support for growth.”

 

From Huang Di nei jing su wen, Chapter 2: Comprehensive Discourse on Regulating the Spirit in accordance with the Qi of the Four seasons.

P. U. Unschuld annotated translation, University of California Press.

Absolutely right

Whistleblowers have a human right to a Public Interest Defense, and hacktivists do too, writes Carey Shenkman, first amendment, human rights lawyer, in HuffingtonPost.

“The United States’ war on transparency is making it an outlier in the international community. Just this week, a high-level European human rights body “urged” the United States to allow NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden to return home and be given a meaningful chance to defend himself.

International human rights law has been clear for decades: anyone engaged in exposing gross abuses through whistleblowing and publishing is entitled to protection. Yet, the Obama administration has waged war on transparency, prosecuting more people for disclosing information to the press than Richard Nixon and all other U.S. presidents combined.

Not a single one of those prosecuted has been allowed to argue that their actions served the public good. Chelsea Manning, the alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower, exposed human rights abuses worldwide and opened an unprecedented window into global politics. Her disclosures are to this day cited regularly by the media and courts. Thomas Drake exposed massive NSA waste, while John Kiriakou exposed waterboarding later admitted to be torture in the recent Senate CIA Torture Report. The story of Edward Snowden’s disclosures of widespread NSA surveillance recently won an Oscar.

Whistleblowers cannot argue that their actions had positive effects, known as a “public interest defense.” The United States treats disclosures to the press as acts of spying — no matter what good they lead to. In response, European and international human rights bodies are urging the United States to adopt better protections for whistleblowers.

These protections should apply not only to insiders who blow the whistle, but also to other transparency advocates such as hacktivists. A public interest defense should have been available to Aaron Swartz, the Creative Commons creator and Reddit co-founder who tragically committed suicide following an overzealous government prosecution. His crime? Trying to make academic articles accessible to the public.

The defense could have helped Jeremy Hammond, who in 2013 was convicted for “computer trespass” and sentenced to 10 years for exposing that the private intelligence firm Stratfor spied on human rights activists. The Justice Department tried to cast Hammond as a cybercriminal. But Hammond’s supporters, which include human rights organizations and Pentagon Papers whistleblower Daniel Ellsberg, recognized that he was motivated to expose government and corporate surveillance.

In guaranteeing a fair trial for information disclosures, the United States lags behind other jurisdictions, including Canada, Denmark and Germany. Canada’s Security of Information Act offers a public interest defense, as does the Danish Criminal Code on disclosing state secrets. The defenses are not airtight, but they are better than nothing. For hacktivists, at least one German court has defended a digital sit-in as political speech, acknowledging that ‘hacker’ does not equal ‘cybercriminal.’

International norms support the human right to a public interest defense. The UN Human Rights Committee, interpreting the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, the world’s farthest-reaching human rights treaty, noted that governments must take “extreme care” to ensure that laws relating to national security are not invoked “to suppress or withhold from the public information of legitimate public interest.”

Additionally, the Johannesburg Principles, adopted since 1995 by international legal experts, stipulate that “No person may be punished on national security grounds for disclosure of information if . . . the public interest in knowing the information outweighs the harm from disclosure.” This principle was reiterated in 2013 in the Tshwane Principles–agreed upon by UN experts, civil society and practitioners around the world. The Tshwane framework outlined in detail specific categories of disclosures, like corruption and human rights abuses, that should be protected.

Finally, the European Court of Human Rights, Europe’s high human rights court, has provided for whistleblower protection on numerous occasions. For instance, in Guja v. Moldova, the court protected as a matter of free speech a whistleblower’s right to disclose wrongdoing committed by a public prosecutor. In reaching its decision, the court weighed the perceived damage suffered by the public authorities against the public interest of the information revealed.

This week’s statements from the Legal Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe follow a tradition of long-standing norms which consistently support the right to a public interest defense in information disclosures. None of these norms depend on the defendant being a government whistleblower; they can certainly protect hacktivists as well.

The free flow of information is necessary for a democratic society, and this flow cannot be purely in the hands of government. This is why the rights to expression and a free and open press are among the most widely recognized rights on earth. When those exposing wrongdoing cannot even defend themselves in court, this is ultimately a failure of the rule of law. It means that even judges cannot challenge the basis for government secrecy, undermining the basic tenets of democratic society.”

Malades et expulsés

FAIRE_PART_05

PERSONNES ETRANGERES MALADES PLACEES EN RETENTION ET/OU EXPULSEES de février 2013 à mars 2015.

“Les associations de l’Observatoire du Droit à la Santé des Étrangers ont le regret de vous faire part de l’expulsion imminente vers le Kosovo, par la préfecture du Doubs, de Monsieur B.

Il est enfermé au centre de rétention du Mesnil-Amelot depuis 10 jours avec sa femme. Au Kosovo, il ne pourra pas bénéficier de la prise en charge médicale que nécessite son état de santé. Ses jours seront en danger. Le ministère de la santé est alerté : il doit stopper cette expulsion.

Monsieur B n’est pas un cas isolé, depuis juin 2012 nos associations ont été informées de nombreuses situations similaires dont certaines ont conduit à l’expulsion. La mobilisation associative et citoyenne aura permis d’éviter que certaines de ces personnes ne soient renvoyées vers une mort certaine.”

La Cimade / Actualités

 

Some thoughts on the common toad (George Orwell)

Nurture your hopes and make the most of the return of Spring with the writings of George Orwell on the “living creature with the most beautiful eyes” : Some thoughts on the common toad. Think and act for those who can’t be outside to enjoy it, because they are “ill, hungry, frightened or immured in a prison”.

“Certainly we ought to be discontented, we ought not simply to find out ways of making the best of a bad job, and yet if we kill all pleasure in the actual process of life, what sort of future are we preparing for ourselves? If a man cannot enjoy the return of spring, why should he be happy in a labour-saving Utopia? What will he do with the leisure that the machine will give him? I have always suspected that if our economic and political problems are ever really solved, life will become simpler instead of more complex, and that the sort of pleasure one gets from finding the first primrose will loom larger than the sort of pleasure one gets from eating an ice to the tune of a Wurlitzer. I think that by retaining one’s childhood love of such things as trees, fishes, butterflies and — to return to my first instance — toads, one makes a peaceful and decent future a little more probable, and that by preaching the doctrine that nothing is to be admired except steel and concrete, one merely makes it a little surer that human beings will have no outlet for their surplus energy except in hatred and leader worship.

At any rate, spring is here, even in London N. 1, and they can’t stop you enjoying it. This is a satisfying reflection. How many a time have I stood watching the toads mating, or a pair of hares having a boxing match in the young corn, and thought of all the important persons who would stop me enjoying this if they could. But luckily they can’t. So long as you are not actually ill, hungry, frightened or immured in a prison or a holiday camp, spring is still spring. The atom bombs are piling up in the factories, the police are prowling through the cities, the lies are streaming from the loudspeakers, but the earth is still going round the sun, and neither the dictators nor the bureaucrats, deeply as they disapprove of the process, are able to prevent it.”

 

On touch isolation in homophobic culture

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“Homophobic social stigmas, the long-standing challenges of rampant sexual abuse, and a society steeped in a generations old puritanical mistrust of physical pleasure have created an isolating trap in which American men can go for days or weeks at a time without touching another human being. The implications of touch isolation for men’s health and happiness are huge.”

>> Touch isolation: How homophobia has robbed all men of touch (Mark Greene)

 

No privacy for spouses (Check Mate)

1300SPOUSE

On SPOUSE-BUSTING: Intimacy, Adultery and Surveillance Technology,

Melissa Gregg

“The rise in online communication has brought an accompanying demand for services that facilitate, obscure and discover intimate and adulterous behavior, from dating sites to detective services and location-based tracking devices. This paper takes recent examples of  “spouse-busting” applications to investigate the relationship between intimacy, transparency and security. Adultery anxieties hold useful lessons for surveillance studies, since intimacy often means entitlement to a certain kind of knowledge – the provision of which equates to dominant ideals of commitment, care and trust. As Laura Kipnis argues, the modern relationship is one in which lovers “ must know everything there is to know about one another ”(2003, 162). This premise accords with broader transformations in intimacy encouraging openness and communication between self-directed individuals (Giddens 1992, Shumway 2003, Illouz 2007). According to Kipnis, the practice of “withholding information or having secrets is a definite warning sign of relationship distress ” , since “in principle nothing should be off limits (even if on occasion, ‘making sure’ may be required)”(2003,162-3). Spouse monitoring software provides the means for  “ making sure”. It demonstrates a major tenet of contemporary intimacy in so far as it presumes there is no need for privacy “if there’s nothing to hide”.”

 

 

On Lateral Surveillance (when hell is other people)

safefamily

 

THE WORK OF WATCHING ONE ANOTHER –

Lateral Surveillance, Risk and Governance – Mark Andrejevic

 

“This article focuses on emerging strategies for what might be described as lateral surveillance: not the top-down monitoring of employees by employers, citizens by the state, but rather the peer-to-peer surveillance of spouses, friends, and relatives.”

(…)

 

“Lateral surveillance, or peer-to-peer monitoring, understood as the use of surveillance tools by individuals, rather than by agents of institutions public or private, to keep track of one another, covers (but is not limited to) three main categories: romantic interests, family, and friends or acquaintances. It also comprises several levels of monitoring, ranging from casually Googling a new acquaintance to purchasing keystroke monitoring software, surveillance cameras, or even portable lie detectors. Rather than providing an exhaustive taxonomy of surveillance technologies and practices, this section explores examples of monitoring strategies in an effort to elaborate the logic of peer-to-peer surveillance, one that it is hoped might prove of some use in illuminating a constellation of practices ranging from the use of lie detectors in reality TV formats to the growing market for home surveillance products, and the commonplace practices of peer monitoring via cell phone, IM, or the Internet. While some of the practices described below might seem absurd, such as submitting children to a portable lie detector test, others have become so commonplace that they have passed into unreflective use, such as caller ID, once a technology paid for by those with security concerns, now a service as ubiquitous as cell phones. The following sections explore three inter-related forms of lateral surveillance: the use of the Internet, the development of do-it-yourself information gathering technologies, and that of offline investigative tools. In each case the goal is to use representative examples of the technologies to provide some concrete examples of the argument developed in previous section as well as to illustrate developments in lateral monitoring that don’t receive the kind of attention academic or otherwise that more top-down forms of surveillance have generated. Of central interest to this paper is the constellation of monitoring practices that emerge from a consideration of the available technologies and techniques. They are, I would argue, worthy of consideration in their own right not as a unique phenomenon but as part of the monitoring assemblage associated with the deployment of new information and communication technologies.”

Article abstract:

 

This article explores a range of technologies for ‘lateral surveillance’or peer monitoring arguing that in a climate of perceived risk and savvy skepticism individuals are increasingly adopting practices associated with marketing and law enforcement to gain information about friends, family members, and prospective love interests. The article argues that the adoption of such technologies corresponds with an ideology of responsibilization’associated with the risk society: that consumers need training in the consumption of services and the development of expertise to monitor one another. Rather than displacing ‘top-down’ forms of monitoring, such practices emulate and amplify them, fostering the internalization of government strategies and their deployment in the private sphere. In an age in which everyone is to be considered potentially suspect, all are simultaneously urged to become spies.

Screenshot from 2015-03-15 13:29:38

 

 

Yoga for every body by instructor who cares

Yoga instructor Amber Karnes reflects on her experience as large body and shares advices on how to create a welcoming learning environment, know what to modify and be a good teacher for every unique someone in the class.

“And it’s not just large bodies that need modifications to stay safely aligned. People with injuries, athletes of all stripes with tight muscles in various places, aging bodies, bodies recovering from surgery, bodies with prosthetics, and on and on—all can benefit when teachers offer multiple entry points to a pose.

But knowing how to modify poses is not enough. Modifications introduced in a positive way can be empowering, clarifying, and nurturing to students. On the other hand, when we teach modifications without a critical examination of our language and presentation, we can leave students feeling singled out, less-than, and ashamed. I’d like to offer six tips for teaching modifications in your classes and creating a body-positive environment of inclusivity:

>> Teachers, are you accidentally shaming your students ?

Bones Architecture

>> What your bones have in common with the Eiffel Tower

“The Eiffel tower is incredibly well optimized to do what it was designed to do, to stand tall and stand strong, while using a minimum of material. Rather than hide its inner workings with a facade, Eiffel exposed the skeleton of his masterpiece. In doing so, he revealed its “hidden rules of harmony”, many of the same rules that give your skeleton its lightweight strength.”

A church inside a nut

Screen-shot-2013-06-07-at-1.04.09-AM-360x495

What is the punishment of Tantalus ? A very intimate light that warms my night

What is suicide ? Slowly descending with the leisure of going up

What is Love ? A very quiet street that you only cross once

What is really hungry ? A silver ink pot filled with blood

What is nobility ? The wind coming from the woods

What is courage ? A church inside a nut

What is a head bump ? An expansion on the back of the head

What is reason ? A letter from far away

What is the night ? A very ancient text sang by a multitude of frogs

What is fate ? Love to its entire length

What is childhood ? An island that is fast emerging

What is painting ? An immense Turkish bath

What is the monarchy ? A bag of stones asking to be carried

What are we doing ? The day

What do we expect ? Your hope

Who is your mother ? A beggar who waits until it’s dark to laugh

What are we ? The eyes of a bird who died travelling

Who was Mario Cesariny ? A distracted oracle who never told the truth

Where did he live ? In the lap of a statue made of flour

Why did he live ? Because there were those who wanted to kill him

 

 

Mario Cesariny

Artwork Bruno Borges / Oficina Arara

 

 

 

 

 

 

Suicide as Escape from Self (Baumeister, 1990)

Suicide as Escape from Self, is a theory developed by psychologist R. Baumeister, exposed in the 90’s journal article accessible here.

Article abstract :

“Suicide is analyzed in terms of motivations to escape from aversive self-awareness. The causal chain begins with events that fall severely short of standards and expectations. These failures are attributed internally, which makes self-awareness painful. Awareness of the self’s inadequacies generates negative affect, and the individual therefore desires to escape from self-awareness and the associated affect. The person tries to achieve a state of cognitive deconstruction (constricted temporal focus, concrete thinking, immediate or proximal goals, cognitive rigidity, and rejection of meaning), which helps prevent meaningful self-awareness and emotion. The deconstructed state brings irrationality and disinhibition, making drastic measures seem acceptable. Suicide can be seen as an ultimate step in the effort to escape from self and world”

 

Jesse Bering in Scientific American, sums up and comments on Baumeister’s theory: “According to Baumeister, there are six primary steps in the escape theory, culminating in a probable suicide when all criteria are met.”

They are :

1. Falling short of standards

2. Attributions to Self

3. High Self-awareness

4. Negative affect

5. Cognitive deconstruction

6. Desinhibition

 

Live and help live

Thoughts on suicide and the importance of taking care of each other, here in REMEMBERING AARON BY TAKING CARE OF EACH OTHER, by Clay Shirky –

Extract:

“The warning signs are well known. Persistent withdrawal. Mood swings. Previous attempts or family history. Talking about it. Self-erasure. The American Association of Suicidology has a good overview. There’s no perfect checklist, but we are better at knowing the signs in general than we are at acting on them in specific cases. Ask yourself “Whose suicide would sadden but not surprise me?”

The useful responses are well-known too. Reach out. Ask. Listen. Take casual mentions of suicide seriously. Be persistent about checking on someone. Don’t try to cure or fix anyone; that’s out of your league. Just tell them you care, and point them to professional resources. Wikipedia has a list of English-language suicide prevention hotlines. Help Guide has a good overview of what we know about prevention generally, and how to help the potentially suicidal.

We need to remember Aaron by supporting free culture, and by limiting prosecutorial abuse. But we also need to remember Aaron by taking care of each other. Our community is unusually welcoming of people disproportionately at risk, but we are also unusually capable of working together without always building close social ties. Github is great for distributing participation, but it is lousy for seeing how everyone is doing.

We need to remember Aaron by thinking of those among us at risk of dying as he did. Most of them won’t be martyrs — most of them will be people like Ilya and Will — but their deaths will be just as awful. And, as with every cause Aaron stood for, we know how to take on this problem. What we need is the will to act.”

COURAGE for Matt DeHart

“Matt DeHart is a 30-year-old former US Air National Guard drone team member and alleged WikiLeaks courier, who worked with the hacktivist group Anonymous. After becoming the subject of a national security investigation — and allegations relating to a teenage pornography case which he vehemently denies — he fled from the United States to Canada with his family to seek political asylum and protection under the United Nations Convention Against Torture. In what represents a moral victory for the DeHart family, the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Board judge found that the teenage pornography case against Matt lacked credibility. However, because the IRB considered that the United States still had a functioning democracy, they denied his claim, and on 1 March, 2015 Matt DeHart was handed over into US federal custody.”

>> Information and support for Matt DeHart with COURAGE foundation, who named him their third beneficiary yesterday

Health-related searches privacy sell-outs

“A new study found that 91% of health-related web pages reveal potentially sensitive information to third parties like data brokers and online advertisers.(…)

To conduct the study, University of Pennsylvania PhD student Timothy Libert analyzed the top 50 search results for 1,986 common diseases, some 80,000 web pages. He found that on 91% of the pages, third parties like social networks, advertisers, and data brokers could access information about who was viewing the page, like the user’s IP address. On 70% of the pages, those third parties could see information about specific “conditions, treatments and diseases” viewed.

Altogether, 78% of the health-related web pages sent information about you to Google, 31% sent information to Facebook, and 5% sent information to Experian, a credit bureau and data broker”

>> Your embarrassing online searches about health problems aren’t private 

BIO-reSEARCH – GYNEpunk (autonomous gynecology lab)

GYNEpunk‘s objective is to make emerge DIY-DIT accessible diagnosis labs and technics in extreme experimentation, down the rocks or elevators if is necesary. Has to be possible in a situated stable place or/and in nomadic mobile labs. Has to be able to perform as much as WE WANT, in a intensive way: smears, fluid analysis, biopsy, PAPs, synthesize hormones at will, blood exams, urinalysis, HIV tests, pain reliefs, or what ever WE NEED. Hack and build our own ultrasound, endoscope or ecography devices in a low-cost way. All this in a strict complementation with herbs and natural knowledges, oral traditions, submarine recipes, seeking with hunger generate superavit of DIY lubricants, anti-conceptives, open doula domains, savage caring of any visceral hands on technologies, as menstrual extraction, all elevated at maximun potential of common learning and radical self-body-power…!

 

Jesse Krimes prison artworks and symbolic escapes

jesse-krimes

Jesse Krimes prison artwork “Purgatory” is visible until May in Paris, in Le Bord Des Mondes, an unusual collective exhibition, particularly exciting to hackers-makers mind (see also Takis). 

On his work and prison :  “Incarceration marked a moment of personal crisis for me, providing an encounter with difference and generating desire and fear, enlightenment and profound disquiet. Being confined to a cell and mediated existence, all measure within prison seems to collapse, leaving only time to reflect. This reflection was the catalyst for significant shifts in my thinking that ultimately facilitated my body of work. The work I created in prison references the tradition of topographical reliquary, which links an object’s meaning to the sacred importance of its originating place. Interpreted through Robert Smithson’s concept of the non-site, the sheets, soaps, and playing cards correspond to Hegel’s non-being and therefore effectively represent anti-reliquaries or reliquaries from Hell. My temporary effacement from the world resulted in a limbo state between being and non-being, where my only interaction with the outside world was mediated and therefore virtual. Ironically, left with only myself, my life-long questions of self-worth and identity were finally answered. I am an artist. This sense of self fortified my identity and through my art I “escaped” prison.

Apokaluptein:16389067
My large-scale project, Apokaluptein:16389067 was conceived and executed within federal prison. The title references the Greek origin of the word apocalypse meaning to ‘uncover, reveal;’ an event involving destruction or damage on a catastrophic scale; the numbers reference my Federal Bureau of Prisons identification number. My process involved smuggling contraband works through the Federal Bureau of Prisons and the United States Postal Service, piece by piece, over a period of six years, resulting in a forced Exquisite Corpse with myself. Apokaluptein:16389067 is a series of 39 disembodied prison sheets sutured together, making up a collective installation of dimensions as vast as the history and timeline represented over my seventy-month absence. I used hair gel as a transfer medium and a plastic spoon hand-press to transfer images I collected from The New York Times. The fragmented images, removed from narrative sources are inverted and effaced from their supports. I then blended the images together through hand-drawn extensions in color pencil. The interior of the prison revealed, its skin defaced and simultaneously veiled with the transferred images of the daily reality it denies.

Purgatory
Purgatory is a series of 300 carved prison-issued soaps confined within used prison playing cards. Using a hand-printing technique, I transferred the New York Times portrait heads onto wet soap fragments, leaving inverse traces of the appropriated image. I began interpreting these “offender” portraits or decapitated heads as “ink-scaffolds,” the printed counterpart of the Foucauldian scaffold. I concealed the resulting soaps within used decks of playing cards. I sharpened the interior connector of a AAA battery on the cement floor of my prison cell as a tool to cut window-like structures into each card which were then adhered together using toothpaste and soap shavings to form containers to conceal the printed soaps. The playing card containers with altered suits and face cards expand the boundaries of chance to form new poetic constellations outside the systematic rules of the game.

>> JESSE KRIMES 

Tools and Tactics for LGBT communities in Arabic region and sub-Saharan Africa

Security in-a-Box is a collaborative effort of the Tactical Technology Collective and Front Line Defenders, which was created to meet the digital security and privacy needs of advocates and human rights defenders. The Community Focus editions of Security in-a-Box are a series of guides which aim to better place digital security in the context of the work carried out and threats faced by different communities of human rights defenders.

Development of the guides is ongoing. The first two guides, for the Arabic-speaking and sub-Saharan African LGBTI communities, were published in 2013 and 2014 respectively.

The guides are researched and written in collaboration with human rights defenders. They include information about the particular digital security risks which the communities tend to face and also add to the existing material in Security in-a-Box to include new How-to chapters and Hands-on guides where necessary, in order to help you to better protect your information, yourself, and your community.”

TransHackFeminist convergence report

With next edition soon in Puebla, Mexico, find out what went on last summer at THF! in the convergence report HERE, and from there access many resources. Feminist Servers, Gynecology Punk Bio-labs, Corporal Decolonization, Public Key Signing Ceremonies, Hacking the Baby / Family, (Let’s talk about) Death cafés, Crips Sexuality, Liberating technologies…

Swedish Doctors For Human Rights

“Our aim is to contribute to the international Human Rights movement based on our research and professional experience in the health sciences. Health concerns are an important area in the HR-international mission that has, unfortunately, been neglected as primary focus by most of established HR NGOs. We have chosen to undertake this endeavour from an independent platform, as a new established organization independent from government or partisan-politic interests. We act upon the basis of the UN chart of human rights and the ethical norms of the World Medical Association. We seek no sponsoring from any institution. We are totally independent from government, and we will not receive any financial support from governmental or corporative entities.”

SWEDISH DOCTORS FOR HUMAN RIGHTS 

Drawing lessons

To draw to take the time to look at things, to perceive and to design, to be delicate, to sense beauty, to relate to it, to rejuvenate one’s mind after the ravages of emergency, or boredom, or blackness, to save one’s eyes.

Some thoughts and drawing exercises in the Three Letters for beginners of THE ELEMENTS OF DRAWING, by John Ruskin

“5. Everything that you can see in the world around you, presents itself to your eyes only as an arrangement of patches of different colors variously shaded. Some of these patches of color have an appearance of lines or texture within them, as a piece of cloth or silk has of threads, or an animal’s skin shows texture of hairs: but whether this be the case or not, the first broad aspect of the thing is that of a patch of some definite color; and the first thing to be learned is, how to produce extents of smooth color, without texture.”

Capture d’écran 2015-02-24 à 04.29.17

 

21. You will see that all the boughs of the tree are dark against the sky. Consider them as so many dark rivers, to be laid down in a map with absolute accuracy; and, without the least thought about the roundness of the stems, map them all out in flat shade, scrawling them in with pencil, just as you did the limbs of your letters; then correct and alter them, rubbing out and out again, never minding how much your paper is dirtied (only not destroying its surface), until every bough is exactly, or as near as your utmost power can bring it, right in curvature and in thickness. Look at the white interstices between them with as much scrupulousness as if they were little estates which you had to survey, and draw maps of, for some important lawsuit, involving heavy penalties if you cut the least bit of a corner off any of them, or gave the hedge anywhere too deep a curve; and try continually to fancy the whole tree nothing but a flat ramification on a white ground. Do not take any trouble about the little twigs, which look like a confused network or mist; leave them all out, drawing only the main branches as far as you can see them distinctly, your object at present being not to draw a tree, but to learn how to do so. (…)”

Capture d’écran 2015-02-24 à 11.47.39

“22. You cannot do too many studies of this kind: every one will give you some new notion about trees. But when you are tired of tree boughs, take any forms whatever which are drawn in flat color, one upon another; as patterns on any kind of cloth, or flat china (tiles, for instance), executed in two colors only; and practice drawing them of the right shape and size by the eye, and filling them in with shade of the depth required.”

 

 

 

Sobre o papel histórico de Wikileaks

Julian Assange em entrevista com ZH 

“Nossas publicações de 2010 se tornaram a base para numerosas ações judiciais por vítimas de crimes e abusos de guerra pelos Estados Unidos, do Tribunal Europeu de Direitos Humanos aos tribunais britânicos, ao Tribunal Internacional Criminal para a ex-Iugoslávia e ao Tribunal Penal Internacional. Só isso é “mudança” – mudança muito real para pessoas reais, que eram incapazes de levar seus casos à justiça e fazer sua defesa, e agora o são. E há o grande número de grupos de direitos humanos e organizações da sociedade civil para os quais nossas publicações fizeram uma grande diferença. Grupos como Iraq Body Count (Contagem de Corpos no Iraque), que pôde usar nossos War Logs para calcular o verdadeiro número de mortos na Guerra do Iraque, ou Public Interest Lawyers, que foi capaz de usar os documentos como fonte para seus clientes em casos de prisão e tortura. Redes de ativistas de direitos autorais como La Quadrature du Net, que usou nossos despachos para investigar a utilização de lobbies corporativos secretos para introduzir restrições ao comércio e impor leis favoráveis aos Estados Unidos. Jornalistas investigativos como o Bureau de Jornalismo Investigativo, que usou nossos materiais para reconstruir a narrativa de sérios abusos contra os direitos humanos.”

Qual foi o impacto histórico do WikiLeaks até agora? 
Nossas publicações também mudaram a forma como o jornalismo é feito. Antes do WikiLeaks, não havia precedente real para trabalho em larga escala com bases de dados. Desde que começamos a fazer isso, outros nos copiaram. Não havia precedente de amplas colaborações jornalísticas de interesse público entre jornais comerciais concorrentes. Demos início a isso, e outros estão fazendo o mesmo agora. Antes do WikiLeaks, ninguém dava importância a informações de segurança para jornalistas, ninguém pensava em usar criptografia para facilitar grandes vazamentos de fontes públicas. Agora essa é a única opção disponível. Mostramos o caminho para se fazer isso, e agora, como consequência também das revelações de Edward Snowden, que se apoiam nos avanços que possibilitamos, jornalistas estão levando isso a sério. Isso é um mar de mudança na cultura do jornalismo. Colocando um grande corpo de correspondência diplomática em domínio público, o Despachogate e suas sequelas elevaram o nível de alfabetização política para nossa geração. Nos últimos quatro anos, jornais de todo o mundo têm usado diariamente nossos materiais para apoiar suas apurações e noticiar suas consequências, em vez de correr para os analistas oficialistas. Essa é uma grande mudança em como nossa civilização entende suas circunstâncias históricas, e pode-se esperar que produza mudanças em cascata no futuro. Há também a imensurável, mas previsível consequência de nossas publicações, que é o fato de, depois das publicações, funcionários do governo americano saberem agora que cada palavra que escrevem pode um dia se tornar pública. Esse é um forte desestímulo contra os tipos de abusos sobre os quais podemos ler em seus despachos. Eles agora sabem que o segredo não vai proteger quem age de forma indevida. Essa é uma grande mudança, porque funciona como uma checagem da conduta dos burocratas do poder americano. E essas são apenas algumas das grandes mudanças. Mas há também aquelas mais particulares. Muitas pessoas argumentaram que nosso trabalho produziu mudanças muito concretas no mundo. Por exemplo, a Anistia Internacional e a BBC disseram que nosso trabalho contribuiu para o início da Primavera Árabe, porque nossas publicações foram uma causa das manifestações no final de dezembro de 2010 na Tunísia, quando a revolução começou. Os detalhes completos disso são dados no meu livro, mas muitos na revolução tunisiana, e mesmo um ex-ministro no governo de Ben Ali, disseram que nossas publicações “quebraram a espinha do sistema de Ben Ali”. Esses acontecimentos contribuíram para grandes mudanças históricas, nas quais outras forças intervieram, e desde então houve mudanças em cascata em todo o mundo. Nem toda mudança foi boa, mas uma parte foi boa. Isso é mudança?”

Proteja-se nas ruas e na rede

 

O destaque do projeto é o guia Vai protestar? Proteja-se!. Ilustrada, a publicação contém informações de fácil entendimento sobre o uso de tecnologias que protegem a privacidade. Através dela, os manifestantes podem também munir-se de dicas jurídicas sobre seus direitos e estratégias de mitigação de riscos em caso de vigilância ou abuso de poder antes de ir para as ruas.

 

 

Peace and Spring

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The I Ching hexagram associated to the month of February is hexagram 11, Tai – Harmony, Peace, Rejuvenation, Prosperity. It is composed of the trigram Qian -the Sky, the Creative- below, and the trigram Kun -Earth, the Receptive- on top. Qian’s energy is ascendant, Kun’s energy is descendant. In this configuration they meet and from their encounter the 10 000 things will be born. Spring is coming, “The small departs, the great approaches”.

There are 12 months in the Chinese calendar each divided into 2 parts. The first 15 days are called Jie Qi and the last 15 days Zhong Qi. The 24 sections of the year have their importance in agriculture, as well as in health and care, following the cycles of nature. The first weeks of February are called Li Chun, Beginning of Spring.

Narcissist1EgeneKoo

Painting Egene Koo

Chelsea Manning allowed hormones in MTF transition

“Chelsea Manning, the US soldier convicted of leaking classified information to Wikileaks, is to receive hormone therapy to help complete the transition to life as a woman.

USA Today said that in what represented an unprecedented move by the US armed forces, the Pentagon had approved Manning for treatment after a review.

“After carefully considering the recommendation that (hormone treatment) is medically appropriate and necessary, and weighing all associated safety and security risks presented, I approve adding [hormone treatment] to Inmate Manning’s treatment plan,” Col Erica Nelson, the commandant of Fort Leavenworth in Kansas, wrote in a memo on 5 February.”

Continue reading The Independent article

UK National Health Service whistleblowers ignored and bullied

“NHS staff who blow the whistle on substandard and dangerous practices are being ignored, bullied or even intimidated in a “climate of fear”, according to an independent review.

A significant proportion of health workers are afraid to blow the whistle about poor patient care and safety failures in the NHS, the government commissioned inquiry, which documented “shocking” accounts of the treatment of whistbleblowers found.”

Continue reading Guardian article

Le droit à l’anonymat et au chiffrement

“L’âge numérique s’est traduit par une capacité accrue de chacun à créer et publier des contenus accessibles par tous (en théorie) et à correspondre presque instantanément avec d’autres. Mais ces capacités accrues se sont en réalité accompagnées d’un affaiblissement de la confidentialité des communications et de l’anonymat des producteurs de contenus ou correspondants. La centralisation des services Web, la création d’un marché des données personnelles et le développement de techniques de croisement transforment l’idée d’anonymat (et l’intimité qu’elle permet) en une illusion que les dispositions juridiques de protection ne suffisent pas à transformer en réalité. Ce ne sont donc pas seulement les protestataires ou les lanceurs d’alerte qui ont besoin de techniques d’anonymisation, de chiffrement et d’outils décentralisés, mais également tout un chacun qui souhaite préserver son intimité.

L’anonymisation de type Tor (et technologies liées) et le chiffrement des communications doivent être vus comme un semble de techniques (réunies par exemple dans le système Tails [4]) qui rétablissent un équilibre perturbé, reconstituant les conditions technologiques d’un droit à l’anonymat et au secret des correspondances qui est mis en danger notamment par les différents programmes de la NSA et de ses partenaires. Ce rétablissement renforce le pouvoir distribué des individus et des organisations qu’ils forment face aux pouvoirs étatiques et privés.”

Extrait de la note de Philippe Aigrain élaborée pour la Commission parlementaire de réflexion et de propositions sur le droit et les libertés à l’âge numérique de l’Assemblée nationale

 

Kiss for immunity

“As many as 80 million bacteria are transferred during a 10 second kiss, according to research published in the open access journal Microbiome. The study also found that partners who kiss each other at least nine times a day share similar communities of oral bacteria.

The ecosystem of more than 100 trillion microorganisms that live in our bodies – the microbiome – is essential for the digestion of food, synthesizing nutrients, and preventing disease. It is shaped by genetics, diet, and age, but also the individuals with whom we interact. With the mouth playing host to more than 700 varieties of bacteria, the oral microbiota also appear to be influenced by those closest to us.”

>> read 80 million bacteria sealed with a kiss

Julian Assange 1527 days detention without charges

Screenshot from 2015-02-11 22:05:21

At a recent press conference in Geneva, lawyer Melinda Taylor – sitting together with Baltasar Garzon, head of Assange’s defense team, journalists Sarah Harrison and Kristinn Hrafnsson of Wikileaks – explained how Julian Assange is, in view of the law, effectively detained inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and not a free man willingly imposing himself a detention to avoid questioning on alleged sex offences in Sweden. The threats, very real, are with the US… Sweden and the UK play significant roles in immobilizing Assange… What choice has a man surrounded by a moat with crocodiles, but to stay longer in the castle where he was granted asylum until this right is no longer obstructed and he can fully enjoy it ?

Screenshot from 2015-02-08 12:15:29

Julian Assange was granted asylum by Ecuador two and a half years ago, not to escape Swedish justice but as protection against political persecution and threats to his life emanating from the US. The US are building an “espionage case” against him and the organization, and public figures there have openly called for Assange’s assassination. Unjust, cruel treatments would be most likely, as we can imagine from Manning’s case and from US practices.

The investigation into him and Wikileaks was confirmed again recently with the revelations that Google has had to hand over to the FBI personal emails and metadata of 3 staffers (see Wikileaks editorial).

Julian Assange, Wikileaks staff and Wikileaks supporters, “the Wikileaks human network”, have indeed long been the targets of an arsenal of strategies essentially devised by the US and its allies to prevent them, and the likes of them now and to come, from publishing troves of truths shedding light on obscure wrongdoings worldwide. Snowden documents have proved this for a fact.

In the same time of the probe into Wikileaks, the alleged sex offences case brought against Assange in Sweden has had him deprived of liberties for over four years, despite still being at a preliminary investigation stage, with Assange not charged with any crime, certainly not rape which he is not even accused of (except by calumniators), nothing, and not trying to escape Swedish justice, contrary to what bad medias have been spinning.

Obviously, Assange’s past 967 dark days stuck inside the Ecuadorian Embassy, and still counting, are the second wave consequence of the multi parties legal struggle  evolved into a deadlock, where Sweden plays the lead stalling role and the UK the watchdogs, and where Assange’s right to asylum granted by Ecuador is obstructed.

Indeed, Sweden is still not giving guarantees that Assange would not be extradited to the US should he travel to Sweden for the investigation, and the prosecution is still unwilling to opt for alternative modes of questioning, like coming to the Embassy themselves. Severely criticized by human rights organizations and the UN, Sweden has recently, by word of a representative, stated that it sees no issues in indefinite detention without charges, confirming that it has, in the words of Assange, “imported Guantanamo’s most shameful legal practice “(see Wikileaks editorial).

Meanwhile the UK, who in the past, has threatened Ecuador to raid their embassy to grab Assange, still refuses him safe-passage to his host country. The Met Police has spent over 10 million tax payers pounds, admittedly sucking their resources, to have their “crocodiles” in place at all times guarding the building in London, ready to arrest and extradite Assange should he set foot outside. The siege has been described by John Pilger as a farce, no less.

An affront to human rights, their seekers and their defenders, and a disgrace to British legendary sense of humour – to say the least – the BBC produced and now airs, a TV “comedy” show called Asylum, in which “a whistleblower and an internet pirate find themselves trapped together under the threat of extradition in the London embassy of a fictional Latin American country.” Seriously ? It should be noted that a writer of this show has called for Assange assassination by the Met Police on Twitter. PUKE, to say the least.

As Assange spends more time deprived from liberties and sunshine, cut from his family, we worry about his health.

Right now despite the tremendous pressures, Assange is well alive and so is Wikileaks, operational, as proven by their continuing publications and brave actions, notably orchestrating NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s rescue from Hong Kong, in which journalist Sarah Harrison certainly didn’t lack Courage.

We should not be discouraged either and show support by our means as Wikileaks, Assange and his team stand among those at the avant-posts of the freedom of the press, which they firmly and innovatively defend. Their fate, the outcome of their struggles, is determinant for the fate of investigative journalism, freedom of expression, freedom of thought, knowledge of the world we live in, the fate of people.

heart1_hourglass1-01

 

 

 

Manual of Psychedelic Support

“The time has come to stop blaming bad acid. Now the focus is on spreading knowledge (…)”

The Manual of Psychedelic Support

is “a comprehensive guide to setting up and running compassionate care services for people having difficult drug experiences at music festivals and similar events. The Manual grew out of the work of its original creators at KosmiCare, the psychedelic care service at the iconic Boom Festival in Portugal. Whilst psychedelic care services have been in operation for decades, and have grown in number and in scope in the past few years, a general guide on how to establish and run them did not exist in the public domain, nor indeed—beyond training manuals for specific organisations—at all. We envisaged a work that would address all aspects of such a project, containing material to guide the care service leader, team leads and carer givers, and those fulfilling vital supporting roles (such as psychiatrists and nurses) through the entire gamut of preparation, training, logistics, operations, and the wrap-up of a care service.”

DOWNLOAD the Manual

Screenshot from 2015-02-11 17:36:06

 

DSM5 Oppositional Defiant Disorder

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health, a.k.a DSM5, published in 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association, has a chapter of its section 2 dedicated to the diagnosis of “Disruptive, Impulse-control, and Conduct Disorders”. These refer to “conditions involving problems in the self-control of emotions and behaviors”. They are are “unique in that these violate the rights of others and/or bring the individual into significant conflict with societal norms or authority figures”.

Within the disruptive disorders group is the rather irritating ODD, namely Oppositional Defiant Disorder : “A pattern of angry/irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behavior, or vindictiveness lasting at least 6 months as evidenced by at least four symptoms from any of the following category, and exhibited during interaction with at least one individual that is not a sibling”.

ODD

The DSM warns that individuals with ODD will “typically not regard themselves as angry, oppositional or defiant. Instead, they often justify their behavior as a response to unreasonable demands or circumstances.” Also “it appears to be somewhat more prevalent in males than females, prior to adolescence”.

These types could seem like sound, possibly even brilliant, people we like to meet. Some in the profession have spoken against potentially debilitating categorizations.

For psychiatrist Bruce Levine, for instance, ODD is part of an arsenal of diagnoses which pathologize, to better neutralize, anti-authoritarian individuals.

See his “Why anti-authoritarians are diagnosed as mentally ill”, on Mad in America :

“In my career as a psychologist, I have talked with hundreds of people previously diagnosed by other professionals with oppositional defiant disorder, attention deficit hyperactive disorder, anxiety disorder and other psychiatric illnesses, and I am struck by (1) how many of those diagnosed are essentially anti-authoritarians, and (2) how those professionals who have diagnosed them are not.

Anti-authoritarians question whether an authority is a legitimate one before taking that authority seriously. Evaluating the legitimacy of authorities includes assessing whether or not authorities actually know what they are talking about, are honest, and care about those people who are respecting their authority. And when anti-authoritarians assess an authority to be illegitimate, they challenge and resist that authority—sometimes aggressively and sometimes passive-aggressively, sometimes wisely and sometimes not.

Some activists lament how few anti-authoritarians there appear to be in the United States. One reason could be that many natural anti-authoritarians are now psychopathologized and medicated before they achieve political consciousness of society’s most oppressive authorities.”

(continue reading here)