Terrorized By The Prospect of a “Presidential Alert”

Last week, on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, President Trump sent out a test message over the country’s Amber Alert system. (A system that we have been assured, for years, would never be used for anything except missing children.)

This “Presidential Alert” message was sent across the emergency network that one cannot opt out of.

“What in the actual fuck?” was pretty much the general reaction.

“You mean the President can do that? And we can’t stop him?” was the second overall reaction.

Come to think of it, “You mean the President can do that, and we can’t stop him?” is a pretty good metaphor for this entire presidency.

Yes he can do that. The joke’s on us.

The joke’s on you, America.

 

Full Text Of Letter From Maya Little’s Fellow History Graduate Students at UNC

New – Saturday May 5 –  SilenceSam.com website!

Get the full background on Maya Little’s story here. The UNC Faculty support her actions. Here is Maya Little’s full statement on the matter.

Page 1 – Letter from UNC’s History Department’s Graduate Students

Page 2 – Letter from UNC’s History Department’s Graduate Students

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text of the Letter of Support from Maya’s fellow UNC History Graduate Students:

History Graduate Student Statement of Support for Maya Little

As individual graduate students of the History Department at UNC studying, among other topics, African-American, indigenous, civil rights, anti-colonial, revolutionary, labor, queer, accessibility, Jewish, and feminist history, we stand with Maya Little and her courageous act of nonviolent civil disobedience at Silent Sam. From a historical perspective, we recognize that Maya joins a long line of activists and revolutionaries who have employed this strategy to gain dignity, justice, and equality for all people when structures of power and legal systems have failed to do so.

Carol Felt and her administration have clearly failed in their responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of all of UNC’s students. Removing Silent Sam, a memorial to racism and white supremacy, would be both moral and legal. Instead, Felt chooses to spend $1 ,700 a day to defend Silent Sam while paying UNC graduate students $1,200 a month. She allowed outside white supremacist and nee-confederate groups to rally around Silent Sam with the protection of UNC Police, putting our campus community at risk.

When the administration refuses to protect its community, it is the duty of students, fa culty, staff, campus and graduate workers to do so by challenging institutional racism and oppression. Maya Little took that responsibility on her shoulders by properly contextualizing a statue thatwas already drenched in black blood. Built in 1913 by white supremacists who enslaved and murdered black Americans, the statue continues to serve as a rallying point for violent white supremacist groups today. We support Maya’s actions unequivocally. Now it is our turn to stand for diversity and equity on campus. These are our demands:

• We demand that Chancellor Felt remove Silent Sam

• We demand that the administration not take action against Maya Little for her act of civil disobedience

• We demand that UNC’s Trustees remove the 16 year moratorium on renaming campus buildings, including our own Hamilton Hall, named after KKK apologist Joseph Gregoirede Roulhac Hamilton

• We demand fair compensation for the campus workers who cleaned Silent Sam of
blood, when it is Felt who should take have taken responsibility for attempting to
whitewash UNC’s history

• We demand that the administration act to address institutional racism on campus
Until these demands are met, we will continue to call out the culture and structures of white supremacy at UNC. We will continue to call out UNC administrators who refuse to redress our institution’s participation in slavery, Jim Crow, and continued racial inequality. We will continue to stand by those who protest these vestiges of white supremacy on campus and beyond.

Signed,
Anthony Rossodivito
Alyssa Bowen
Samuel Finesurrey
Sarah Miles
Samee Siddiqui
Caroline Wood Newhall
Garrett Wright
Ansev Demirhan
Mishio Yamanaka
Angelica Castillo Reyna
Jeffrey Ryan Harris
Justin Wu
Rachel Cochran
Jennifer Standish
R. Joshua Sipe
Peter Raleigh
Oskar Czendze
Maikel Farinas Borrego
Allison Somogyi
Daniel Velasquez
Robin Buller
Virginia Olmsted
Gabriel Moss
Jan Jules Gutgold
Ryan Branagan
Francesca Langer
Robert Richard
Daniela Weiner
Nathan Gill
J. Tait
Dalvin Tsay
Lindsay Ayling
Justin Blanton
Mark Reeves
Nurlan Qabdulhaq
Dakota Irvin
Isabell Moore
Lucas Kelley
Donald Santacaterina
Steven Weber
Kevin Hoeper
Patricia Dawson
Aubrey Lauersdorf
Zardas Lee
Mark Porlides
Larissa Stiglich
Alexandra Odom
Caroline Nilsen
Beth Hasseler
Eric Becerra
Emma Rothberg
Jessica Auer
Mira Markham
Louis Porter
Till Knobloch
Erika Huckestein
Emma Kessel
Max Lazar
Lindsay
Holman
Joel Hebert

Rally: #StandWithMaya this Monday Morning – May 7 at her court hearing in Hillsborough, NC!

New – Saturday May 5 –  SilenceSam.com website!

Get the full background on Maya Little’s story here. Here’s the Full Text of the letter from Maya’s fellow graduate students in support of her actions. The UNC Faculty support her actions. Here is Maya Little’s full statement on the matter.

#StandWithMaya – It’s Time For #UNC’s Silent Sam monument To Be Moved To A Museum. And the Sooner the Better.

Now there is a SilenceSam.com website!

Please join the rally in North Carolina this Monday Morning – or tweet and spread the word however you can. Thank you! 🙂 Here’s the Full Text of the letter from Maya’s fellow graduate students in support of her actions. The UNC Faculty support her actions. Here is Maya Little’s full statement on the matter.

It’s time for #UNC’s Silent Sam monument to be moved off campus and into whatever historical entity would like to have it. It’s done enough damage to the students, faculty, the community of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and the entire United States of America.

As an educator and historian, I am nothing less than offended by its very existence.

Maya Little is a graduate student getting her PhD in History at the University of North Carolina. She was arrested on April 30th for conducting a peaceful protest, in broad daylight, where she poured red ink, mixed with her own blood, on to the Silent Sam monument.

Please tweet and speak out on her behalf this weekend, leading up to Monday morning, May 7, at 9 am – when she will be having a court hearing about her arrest.

Maya Little is a PhD graduate student, majoring in history, at UNC.

I first found out about the Silent Sam monument, and the horrific story behind it, when heard that Chelsea Manning spoke at a protest there in March. Until I looked up the very informative Wikipedia page on Silent SamI had no idea about the history behind this monument. When I learned it was another monument that was placed by the “United Daughters of the Confederacy”  – I couldn’t believe the thing was still standing.

That statue literally depicts a white college student, as he drops his books to go fight in the Civil War (in the hopes of continuing the practice of slavery).

The Governor of North Carolina tried to remove it last year, but the NC state legislature had already passed laws in 2015 that protected it:

“…a 2015 law passed by the North Carolina General Assembly stipulates that local officials or state agencies cannot unilaterally remove memorials or monuments that “commemorates an event, a person, or military service that is part of North Carolina’s history.” Instead, approval for removals or locations of such monuments on public property must gain approval of the N.C. Historical Commission. The law passed the N.C. Senate with unanimous approval of Democrats in that chamber, including former state senator and current N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein. It received just short of a super-majority in the N.C. House of Representatives.”

Maya Little, getting arrested at the protest against Silent Sam.

So, with good reason obviously, PhD history student Maya Little went back to Silent Sam, on April 30th to draw more attention to this festering issue, and was promptly arrested. Her hearing is THIS MONDAY, May 7, and we need to show support for her!

The History Department at #UNC created a rather understated, yet straight forward, page of links about the monument to provide context: http://history.unc.edu/silentsam/

 

 

Here is the video of Maya’s peaceful protest:

Her fellow graduate students at the University of North Carolina’s History Department came out overwhelmingly in favor of Maya’s actions. Here is their letter below:

Page 1 – Letter from UNC’s History Department’s Graduate Students

Page 2 – Letter from UNC’s History Department’s Graduate Students

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text of the Letter of Support from Maya’s fellow UNC History Graduate Students:

History Graduate Student Statement of Support for Maya Little

As individual graduate students of the History Department at UNC studying, among other topics, African-American, indigenous, civil rights, anti-colonial, revolutionary, labor, queer, accessibility, Jewish, and feminist history, we stand with Maya Little and her courageous act of nonviolent civil disobedience at Silent Sam. From a historical perspective, we recognize that Maya joins a long line of activists and revolutionaries who have employed this strategy to gain dignity, justice, and equality for all people when structures of power and legal systems have failed to do so.

Carol Felt and her administration have clearly failed in their responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of all of UNC’s students. Removing Silent Sam, a memorial to racism and white supremacy, would be both moral and legal. Instead, Felt chooses to spend $1 ,700 a day to defend Silent Sam while paying UNC graduate students $1,200 a month. She allowed outside white supremacist and nee-confederate groups to rally around Silent Sam with the protection of UNC Police, putting our campus community at risk.

When the administration refuses to protect its community, it is the duty of students, fa culty, staff, campus and graduate workers to do so by challenging institutional racism and oppression. Maya Little took that responsibility on her shoulders by properly contextualizing a statue thatwas already drenched in black blood. Built in 1913 by white supremacists who enslaved and murdered black Americans, the statue continues to serve as a rallying point for violent white supremacist groups today. We support Maya’s actions unequivocally. Now it is our turn to stand for diversity and equity on campus. These are our demands:

• We demand that Chancellor Felt remove Silent Sam

• We demand that the administration not take action against Maya Little for her act of civil disobedience

• We demand that UNC’s Trustees remove the 16 year moratorium on renaming campus buildings, including our own Hamilton Hall, named after KKK apologist Joseph Gregoirede Roulhac Hamilton

• We demand fair compensation for the campus workers who cleaned Silent Sam of
blood, when it is Felt who should take have taken responsibility for attempting to
whitewash UNC’s history

• We demand that the administration act to address institutional racism on campus
Until these demands are met, we will continue to call out the culture and structures of white supremacy at UNC. We will continue to call out UNC administrators who refuse to redress our institution’s participation in slavery, Jim Crow, and continued racial inequality. We will continue to stand by those who protest these vestiges of white supremacy on campus and beyond.

Signed,
Anthony Rossodivito
Alyssa Bowen
Samuel Finesurrey
Sarah Miles
Samee Siddiqui
Caroline Wood Newhall
Garrett Wright
Ansev Demirhan
Mishio Yamanaka
Angelica Castillo Reyna
Jeffrey Ryan Harris
Justin Wu
Rachel Cochran
Jennifer Standish
R. Joshua Sipe
Peter Raleigh
Oskar Czendze
Maikel Farinas Borrego
Allison Somogyi
Daniel Velasquez
Robin Buller
Virginia Olmsted
Gabriel Moss
Jan Jules Gutgold
Ryan Branagan
Francesca Langer
Robert Richard
Daniela Weiner
Nathan Gill
J. Tait
Dalvin Tsay
Lindsay Ayling
Justin Blanton
Mark Reeves
Nurlan Qabdulhaq
Dakota Irvin
Isabell Moore
Lucas Kelley
Donald Santacaterina
Steven Weber
Kevin Hoeper
Patricia Dawson
Aubrey Lauersdorf
Zardas Lee
Mark Porlides
Larissa Stiglich
Alexandra Odom
Caroline Nilsen
Beth Hasseler
Eric Becerra
Emma Rothberg
Jessica Auer
Mira Markham
Louis Porter
Till Knobloch
Erika Huckestein
Emma Kessel
Max Lazar
Lindsay
Holman
Joel Hebert

Virtual Reality Museum, Art Gallery & Fun House of My Dreams Is A Go

I am building a virtual reality museum, art gallery and fun house to share the archives and stories of Dr. Timothy Leary, Aaron Swartz & Chelsea Manning.

I am learning from the people around me in my Aaron Swartz Day world and also from many people in a COOL makerspace named NoiseBridge, in San Francisco. (You can donate to them here – and they need a new location soon too! In case you happen to have a bitchin space you might want to rent to them 🙂

I am having amazing experiences and learning so much every day, since I’ve been learning things there.

I am keeping notes and creating tutorials, and I will be launching separate blogs about everything soon 🙂

In one of the first exhibits of the VR Museum, “The History of Aaron Swartz Day,” I will show several variations of the historic poster (created by Ryan Junell) when we were experimenting with posters.

Most of these were never seen, like this one below.

Experimental version of the Aaron Swartz Day poster by Ryan Junell. (Original photo by Quinn Norton.)

My Friend Chelsea Manning Is Running For A Senate Seat In Maryland

Yay! See her new website here.

Of particular importance is her Issues page, by which, in my world, all other candidates will be judged. (I’ll be doing a lot of that comparing right here 🙂

This election is SOOOO important folks. Even though it’s a mid-term election – nothing less than the future of our country is at stake.

Chelsea’s positions might just be “dream” positions. Re: how we would make things if we only could. Well, what if we tried to make these positions really happen?

And insisted that other candidates at least went in that direction, for us to support them?

We would end up with something at least a little closer to the ideals we want. That’s what. I, for one, am going to try.

It’s not just about getting any old democrats elected. It’s about taking advantage of this opportunity to elect some real game changers. Like Chelsea! 🙂

Learn more about Chelsea on her website! Yay! 🙂

 

John Perry Barlow Symposium – Teachers Manual – References

For those of you covering this material in your classes 🙂

1. A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, Davos, Switzerland, February 8, 1996, EFF, https://www.eff.org/cyberspace-independence

2. Economy of Ideas, March 1, 1994, Wired,
https://www.wired.com/1994/03/economy-ideas/

3. Crimes and Puzzlement
https://www.eff.org/pages/crime-and-puzzlement

4. Bruce Lehman’s paper maybe https://web.archive.org/web/20040124023148/http://www.geog.ubc.ca/~acitpo/copyright/clinton_whitepaper.html

5. John Perry Barlow Library at the EFF
https://www.eff.org/john-perry-barlow

6. To Be At Liberty
https://www.eff.org/pages/be-liberty

7. Across the electronic frontier
https://www.eff.org/pages/across-electronic-frontier

8. Video and Complete Transcription (with timecodes) of John Perry Barlow Symposium
https://archive.org/details/JohnPerryBarlowSymposium

Matteo Borri in Mondo 2000

I have been doing a fair bit of writing again, and just wrote this piece for Mondo 2000 about my friend and collaborator, Matteo Borri.

(Matteo is on the Aaron Swartz Day Advisory Board and the Swartz-Manning VR Destination Advisory Board.)

Meet Matteo Borri & His Most Recent Inventions

Matteo Borri, 2018.

From the Mondo 2000 article:
LR: Tell me about this stuff you invented to help Puerto Rico. It is really interesting. The solar cell phone charger and the thing you call a “Vampire Charger,” that enables you to get whatever battery power is left out of any battery without the danger of blowing up your phone if the voltage doesn’t match.

MB: Yes. I named it the “Vampire Charger.” It is an inefficient but flexible device which will take any voltage that you might find in the world – from 1.5 volts to 12 volts – to even 110! (That’s when it stops, as 220 will blow it up, but 220 is not a common voltage in the U.S., so if you’re over here, it’s not a problem. I’ll have to come up with an European adapter 🙂

LR: So this is for when something bad has happened, obviously, and you need whatever power you can get, right?

MB: Yes. The idea is that you can use it with any kind of source of power that still works. You don’t know the voltage, you don’t know the current. You don’t even know which is plus and which is minus. You don’t even know if it’s AC or DC!

It has two alligator clips.You connect them to ANY two contacts of the part in question, in any way. (To be clear: the color it doesn’t even matter, in this case.) And it gives you USB power, safely!

LR: I’ve never seen anything else like these Vampire Chargers – in terms of options to keep your phone alive after a disaster. I mean there are batteries that you can keep charged up; and this. Right?

Vampire Charger – How It Works
Here’s a short video where Matteo explains how the Vampire Charger works.
Step 1: find a battery in some device, and you don’t know exactly:
-what exactly the voltage is
-what exactly the current is
Step 2: Connect the contacts to your phone:
– plus or minus/color doesn’t matter
– AC or DC

LR: Why doesn’t the plus or minus or AC/DC matter? What is going on technically?

MB: It has a Schottky rectifier. Then it has a step up. Then it has a step down. So, it’s a bit inefficient, but flexible.

 

Chelsea Manning Speaks Out Against the Silent Sam Monument

New – Saturday May 5 –  SilenceSam.com website!

#StandWithMaya this #April7 – Background hereRally info here

Chelsea Manning protesting at the Silent Sam Monument, on March 24, 2018.

Chelsea Manning attended the Silent Sam protest on March 24, 2018 at the University of North Carolina.

The Silent Sam statue was erected by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in the hopes of creating a new image for white supremacists, one of the “Lost Cause” of the South. (Code for the “Lost Cause of the Confederacy.)

They made sure to put “Lost Cause” language into as many text books as they could, too. It’s one of the main reasons that southerners grow up with such an attitude about having pride in “the south” and their “southern traditions” etc. This is all code for looking back on a better time when people of color knew their place. (As in the  “lost tradition” of slavery.)

Why is this monument still standing? Because the University of North Carolina would rather pay thousands of dollars to guard its white supremacy statue than listen to its community about the correct way to proceed.

Link to tweet below.

Link to tweet below:

Link to tweet below:

How John Perry Barlow Said He Would Like to Be Remembered

“A good man who wanted to make sure that anyone, anywhere, could express themselves AND THAT anyone, anywhere, could receive it, without interruption.” – John Perry Barlow, May 2015

When I was taking care of John Perry at his medical rehab facility, in May of 2015, he was interviewed by a staff member about his life and interests. (They were form questions designed to help the staff give him reading material.)

The questions weren’t meant to be poignant, but for John Perry, they really were. Questions like “Do you try to have an effect on the world?” and “Do you pay attention to current events?” Then, strangely, I thought, for a hospital, she asked him “How would you like to be remembered?”

(Yes, being an archivist, I just had to write it down.)

After much thought, and a few corrections – John Perry said:

“A good man who wanted to make sure that anyone, anywhere, could express themselves AND THAT anyone, anywhere, could receive it, without interruption.”

Let’s continue to work hard to make John Perry’s dream come true! 🙂

Here’s the whole document below, – with my “To Do” list for him at the top.