Monday, February 28, 2011

Here's a sad story from Kiva. One of my loans has defaulted. Looking at Kiva's explanation it seems like it's not the fault of the individual guy I lent to but the "field partner". Of course, Kiva don't themselves seem to know the full story and are investigating but it sounds to me like the field partner had been reliable for a couple of years but suddenly went bad? Maybe a change of personnel? Maybe a sudden economic crisis in Togo?

Kiva haven't done a terrible job in informing me, but there are more things I'd like to see from them. Firstly, more of an analysis of the situation in Togo. Particularly, is there some economic or political circumstance that's likely to have influenced this? Or is it looking more like corruption in the partner?

Secondly, although Kiva uses the web to make connections between the lenders and recipients of loans, they still act as gatekeeper. Is there no way to hear the voices of the borrowers in Togo about their experience with this field partner Could Kiva not at least have a "comment on this partner" option on the page which borrowers could use?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

So Julian Assange is to be extradited to Sweden.

During the hearing two weeks ago, Mr Robertson said his client could ultimately be extradited to the US on separate charges relating to Wikileaks - and could face the death penalty there.

In response, Ms Montgomery said Sweden provided "protection against that sort of threat and violation" taking place.

The European Court of Human Rights would intervene if Mr Assange was to face the prospect of "inhuman or degrading treatment or an unfair trial" in the US, she said.

Let's hope that's true.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I can see I'm going to get hooked on Altered Zones a kind of swarm approach to tracking American hypnagogic pop, chillwave, witch house, "contemplative dance" etc.

Here are a couple of nice tunes :

Giant Claw : I Know I'm Like A Ghost

White Rainbow: "Captain Sandwich Patrol"

There are probably hundreds more if I were to find time to listen to them ...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

This is absolutely awesome if true.

Palantir appologise to Glenn Greenwald for any part they've played in trying to attack him and liberal journalists who support Wikileaks.

Curioser and curioser.

Update : Greenwald does an excellent job in explaining what's at stake.

Sublime Loop

A new musical / archiving project I'm working on.

The Sublime Loop has its own dedicated site. See there for more information.

Sublime Loop (Fairground) by Mentufacturer

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

What's wrong with the Big Society?

Another way of putting this .. there's a lot that's right about the idea of a Big Society where people get involved in running their communities in a more decentralised and autonomous way. But what's wrong is the context of "Capitalism" ie. an economic system with a dominant Capitalist class who are focussed on vacuuming up all the possible surplus wealth for themselves. As long as the capitalist is trying to extract all the surplus value generated by society (by requiring most people to work long hours to earn a modicum of comfort) there'll never be the capacity available for any community to live comfortably.

(More on Dillow, of course.)

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Stumbling and Mumbling :

Nick Clegg’s speech yesterday was either deeply ignorant about basic economic facts, or an attempt to talk down the pound.

He says he wants to “replace the old, debt-ridden economy with a new one, based on investment, export and sustainability.” The debt he’s referring to here, though, doesn’t seem to be merely government debt, but private sector debt too. He says “we are going through the sometimes painful process of unwinding a toxic legacy of personal, business and public debt.” And he wants “an economy where we sell our goods and services to China and the rest of Asia, instead of borrowing from them in order to buy the things they make for us.”

Now, let’s remind ourselves of a simple identity. Across the three sectors of the economy - government, domestic private and overseas - net borrowing must equal zero.

Update : more here.

Friday, February 04, 2011

I think I'm getting nostalgia for the 80s; at least the fucking BBC was politically correct in those days.


"Our own comedians make jokes about the British being terrible cooks and terrible romantics, and we in turn make jokes about the Italians being disorganised and over dramatic, the French being arrogant and the Germans being over-organised," the BBC said.

It added that stereotype-based comedy was allowed within BBC guidelines in programmes where the audience knew they could expect it, as was the case with Top Gear.

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Tonight I'm in love with an aesthetic :

It's partly about Lucky Dragons (check out the awesome Peace on Earth, Morning Ritual and Mirror Friends.)

It's also, old favourite, Threshold Houseboys Choir. And then it's also Hess is More's Biarritz in this Front Furniture Design video.

And, of course, Salem's King Night.