Free Culture Howto

A UK Blogger’s Guide

UK blogs, boards, Web 2.0 sites: how to not get sued – A Consuming Experience.

Improbulus’s notes on a talk about UK blogging law from  Robert ands of Finers Stephen Innocent, and his slides.

Close to a UK equivalent of the EFF Blogger’s guide, which is more US-specific.

[Update] MJ Ray in the comments points out that the blog and notes are NC and the slides are all rights reserved. Sorry about that. I’ve suggested a freely licenced version to ORG, and Francis Davey seems interested. Email them and let them know it’s a good idea…

Reviews Satire

Non-Relational Aesthetics

Sometimes, in a free society, we may read things that we not only don’t agree with but that we find personally offensive. For me, Charlie Gere’s “Non-Relational Aesthetics” is that book. It is the most godawful piece of shit ostensiby about art that it has ever been my misfortune to read. But rather then firebombing the publisher, as Gere defended other aggrieved critics doing recently, I’ll commend Artwords Press for seeking out new voices and encouraging readers to engage with ideas that they might not otherwise encounter.

If anyone wants a copy let me know in the comments and I’ll send you mine, post free.


From An Ancient Star

The bands signed to Ghost Box records are developing the most fully-formed musical mythology in British music since The Fields of the Nephilim (or possibly the JAMMs). With “From An Ancient Star”, Ghost Box band Belbury Poly have continued to expand and integrate their range of retrofuturistic references, blending them into an intensified musical dreamtime of the historical and technological uncanny of the 1970s.

This is the time (and space) of ouija boards and “Tomorrows World”, synthesizers and maypole dances, standing stones and polytechnics, Eric Von Daniken and Denis Wheatley. This is the synthesis of techno-social utopia and haunted rural folk culture. Add the words “dialectic” and “simulacra” to taste. And as the album’s cover strongly suggests, this is the time of the final Quatermass adventure and of “The Children Of The Stones”.

It’s an accessible and rewarding listen. The analogue synth sounds echoing Tangerine Dream, Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis, The BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The musical styles and found archive reodings echoing folk culture, television and film music, and public service announcements. The reslt is much more than the sum of its parts, and very contemporary. This is not nostalgia, it uses the musical past as a prism for the cultural present.

A nagging voice at the back of my mind asks “what next?” Is there only so far this formula can be refined? But then the reggae rhythm starts. And it works, and works well. If you’ve bought any other Ghost Box releases, this is one that you have to ad to your collection. And if you haven’t bought any other albums from Ghost Box this is definitely the one to start with.

Free Culture

Copyright Extension Failage In Europe

The European Union have decided, against all the evidence, that copyright on audio (music) recordings should be extended from 50 to 95 years.

Worse, next year they will consider extending audiovisual (film) copyrights to the same ridiculously long term.

The value of most works is exhausted within two years. Setting copyright at almost fifty times that duration, almost double the amount required by the Berne convention on copyright, is not reasonable. This will have a chilling effect on culture and knowledge in return for almost zero economic benefit.

Free Culture

ebook Sources

Project Gutenberg is has tens of thousands of ebooks collected since the 1970s.

Manybooks is a good source for plucker ebooks and of useful collections or listings of books.

CC Gems have a list of 1001 books to read before you die, with links to ebook versions.

Art Computing Free Culture Howto links

FLOSS Manuals To Plucker

# Copyright 2009 Rob Myers
# Licenced under the GPL version 3 or, at your option, any later version.

if [ "$1" == "" ]; then
echo "Please enter name of manual directory on server (e.g. FlossManuals)."
echo "You can find this by going to the printable version of the manual."
exit 1;

plucker-build --zlib-compression --stayonhost --bpp=8 -p . \
-f $1 --staybelow=$1/ \$1/print
Free Culture

Ancient treasures put online by an international project | Technology | The Guardian

Tens of thousands of Buddhist manuscripts, paintings and other treasures scattered around the world have been brought together in probably the world’s largest computer database of its kind.

The International Dunhuang Project (IDP), based at the British Library in London, is an ever-growing digital assemblage that makes it possible to study online around 160,000 images of 80,000 objects dug up in the deserts of Chinese central Asia and now in institutions across Europe, Asia and North America.

via Ancient treasures put online by an international project | Technology | The Guardian.

Aesthetics Satire

An extemporisation of the remainder of the negative concatenation of the numino-correlative nexii reified by problematics of empire-congruent non-aximatic foundationalisms qua bovine residue

[a rant, via netbehaviour]

Art *is* the specialised language [for art].

Being smart at medicine is no good when a car won’t start. But being
good at quoting Theory is good no matter what, apparently, much like the
transferable skills of management. The idea that Theory is the proper
domain language of art is one that needs “problematising”. Or spanking.

I’d refer to my favourite theorists Art & Language to make two points.

The first is that art is only a defensible activity if it does things
that cannot be done any other way. Reducing art to a mash-up of
fashionable cod-philosopho-political jargon doesn’t do this, and *art*
students are within their rights to reject the verbal fetishes of this
cult in favour of actually making art. And/or theories.

The second is that given the current march of a corporate information
culture grinding the world down to manageable, sellable binary digits
(cf Alan Liu), the aesthetic is not the conservative fetish of the
illiterate – it is a vital means of resistance. One that the semiotic
managers of Theory are helping to neutralise.

Politics Satire

Number Crunching

[from Private Eye]

£85bn Tax contribution from financial sector, supposedly crucial to the UK economy, from 1997 to 2007

£250bn Officially predicted increase in government debt, to be repaid from everybody else’s taxes, following banking-induced recesion

Personal Satire

Snow Fail

As Canada points and laughs, another bit of England succumbs to a few centimetres of snow. The bit I’m in, as it happens. Brrr.