Posts Tagged ‘left’

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February 20, 2010

Flagging up this interesting post from Barrykade, which deals with similar issues (in its first half) to the one below here. I’ll even forgive him the apparently obligatory Monty Python reference.

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Against Ned Ludd

February 18, 2010

Potlatch has flagged up this jaw-dropping Daily Mail/Wired mash-up:

ASBOrometer is a mobile application that measures levels of anti-social behaviour at your current location (within England and Wales) and gives you access to key local ASB statistics.

ASBOrometer is available for iPhone and Android phones. Get it FREE from the iTunes App Store or Android Market now!

Will suggests that someone on the left should use the technology to brew up a Non-Domometer, presumably set to buzz ferociously when its owner is within easy egg-lobbing distance of a tax-dodgers’ palatial des res.

Less facetiously, the technologies are now in our hands to start assembling some dramatic new ways to interact politically with the world. Hardware of an incredible sophistication – GPS positioning devices, digital compasses, and high-resolution displays – is just rattling around in people’s pockets. 85 per cent of people in the UK own at least one mobile phone.

Best of all, the software and the data needed to make it work is largely free, whether in the massive volume of information contained in Google Maps, open source software, or the ability to store and replay millions of short films on YouTube.

A bit of imagination will be required. The late, much-missed Counterfire website began to show how, with minimum expenditure, those on the left could begin to put together an impressive and useful set of tools. Historically, the left has known how to exploit new technologies: whether in the production of cheap, widely-circulated newspapers, or the creative use of film. Here’s a more recent example, from Kenya, showing how widespread mobile phone ownership can be turned to political use.

It won’t be a panacea for all the left’s many and varied problems. But it could help to open up new audiences and strengthen organisations.