Category Archives: Friends

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,

2. Economy of Ideas, March 1, 1994, Wired,

3. Crimes and Puzzlement

4. Bruce Lehman’s paper maybe

5. John Perry Barlow Library at the EFF

6. To Be At Liberty

7. Across the electronic frontier

8. Video and Complete Transcription (with timecodes) of John Perry Barlow Symposium

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.


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.

Cylindrian Rutabega and ChangHigh Sisters Perfoming TODAY – Great Music and Visual Performance Art

DATE: TODAY – Saturday, March 22, 2008
TIME: 11am and 3pm SLT
Come see my pal Cylindrian Rutabega – along with the ChangHigh Sisters – performing LIVE.
I haven’t seen the ChangHigh sisters personally yet, but for those of you, like myself, who are interested in both music artists, and the latest set design and visual performance art in the Second Life space, I hear they’re pushing the envelope, and I think you’ll be interested in checking out this show.
I’ll be at the 3pm show, if you want to meet up there.
Cylindrian was very excited to be branching out a little from the traditional “music gig,” and over into a new kind of artistic realm.
Here’s a little more from the notecard from Cylindrian:
“ChangHigh Sisters will not only dance their beautiful firedances of an exotic and seductive nature, but will in the show, present the virtuals worlds first 2, 3, 6 and 7 acrobatic pyramids and will jump up in their rotating trapezes and show the harmony and elegance of an almost unseen kind ever before.”
Click on the image below for a teleport.

Video of Aubrey de Grey on Colbert Report

Wow my worlds collide again. I just met Aubrey last October.
Now, he’s on the Colbert Report.
(sidenote: I have an 45 minute interview of my own with him that I’ll be putting up soon, but I really wanted to present it just the right way. I told him I wanted the “homer simpson version” of what the hell he was talking about, and by golly, I think he gave it to me 🙂
Stephen’s skepticism actually does a really nice job of framing Aubrey arguments too! Nice work Stephen!
You can find out more by picking up a copy of Aubrey’s book too.

Learn more about Aubrey’s SENS platform.
All hail The Colbert Report.

Chris Paine Gets a Mention In This Week’s Time

Chris Paine gets a mention in the opener of a new Time Magazine article about GM’s
Green Motors

No one would mistake Chris Paine for a General Motors shill. In his 2006 documentary Who Killed the Electric Car?, the filmmaker laid out a damning case against GM for unplugging the EV1, the electric vehicle it manufactured in the 1990s and then discontinued in 2003, preferring instead to produce high-margin but gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs. “They were a technological leader, and they fumbled that leadership away,” Paine says. Ask him about the U.S. carmaker now, though, and Paine sounds almost admiring. “Their new hybrids are making a difference, and their plug-in technology is a real advance,” he says. “GM is making some really good moves now.”

March In Santa Monica Tuesday at 6pm to Save The Trees

Hey LA-based tree hugger peeps!
Time to come out in full force tomorrow evening in Santa Monica for a
March to Save The Trees
in memory of Gandhi’s Birthday.
Chris Paine, and old friend of mine, and Director of the awesome film, Who Killed The Electric Car, has been helping to organize a series of Tree Saver meetings that have been going on over the past few weeks to save over 50 Ficus trees scheduled for removal under the guise of being diseased (extreme disagreement over this point by experts in the community).
There’s a Tree Saver Blog where you can get more information about it all.

Below: The Tree Savers Crew

This is a few weeks ago. We’re a much larger group now, with over 70 100 people on our mailing list!

Here’s more about Who Killed The Electric Car too! Lots to talk about on this front in the days – and years, to come:

Press/Reviews of Film
Why Electric Cars Are Better
Cool Scenes From The Film I found on YouTube
Buy The DVD