Hypermodern International Congress 2175

Remember, it wasn't raining when Noah built the ark.


Information Transfer, Laws of the Sea and the So-called Darknet

Well, it's come to this. Now, information transfer services must swear on their mother's highly encrypted panties that they will not narc you to the highest bidder. It seems to me unreasonable to expect this from anyone given random possession of valuable data. Add to this the common knowledge fact that file-sharing is protected and given continuity funding by the international Russian and Chinese cartels, commonly called mafias, and it's patently absurd to suppose that such a software would be allowed to exist outside the world intelligence community, or that legislation in any one country would make a flying fuck of difference. The black market in the net or in the colonial Carribbean was never more than an advance market. A fun free-wheeling place to be, but never disconnected enough to give birth any kind of revolutionary reformulation of property.

from the BBC

File-sharing 'darknet' unveiled

The service offers anonymous use of the internet

A "darknet" service that allows users to share music files anonymously on the web has been launched in Sweden.

Relakks, as the service is known, allows users to send and receive files through a heavily-encrypted connection.

It is the first commercial example of a darknet, a virtual network set up to share files between trusted users.

The service is endorsed by political group the Pirate Party which is running for election in Sweden under a banner to reform the country's copyright laws.

"There are many legitimate reasons to want to be completely anonymous on the internet," said Rickard Falkvinge, chairman of the Pirate Party.

"The right to exchange information in private is fundamental to the democratic society. Without a safe and convenient way of accessing the internet anonymously, this right is rendered null and void."

Closed groups

A darknet is a cordoned-off, anonymised section of the net where users can meet, chat and swap data.

Usually darknets are confined to small tight-knit groups such as hackers who use the secure connections to distribute information and hacking tools.

We don't have any control over what is being sent over the network but that's the point

Rickard Falkvinge

They have also been used by paedophiles to distribute images of child abuse.

Many are invitation-only services where potential members have to upload material to prove themselves to the group before they are granted full access.

Similar identity-hiding tools such as Tor are used by net dissidents in countries like China to avoid persecution for their activities on the web.

Previous attempts to launch large scale anonymous networks, such as Nullsoft's Waste program have been unsuccessful. After its release in 2003, Waste was removed form distribution by Nullsoft's parent company AOL.

Unique service

The new system claims to be the world's first commercial darknet. It is provided by Swedish company Relakks and is endorsed by the Pirate Party.

It works by giving a user's computer a new IP address, the unique number the machine uses to identify itself and communicate with other machines over the net.

Copyright law and file-sharing are divisive topics in Sweden

IP numbers allocated by your internet service provider (ISP) can be used to trace and identify a specific computer on a network.

Computers using the Relakks system look like they have a Swedish IP address, no matter where they are in the world.

Users can then share files, such as music or films, with any other users. In theory anyone monitoring user's online activities will not be able to trace their geographical location.

The Pirate Party acknowledge that the service could be used to distribute copyright material or other content such as images of child abuse.

"We hear the argument a lot," Mr Falkvinge told the BBC News website. "No, we don't have any control over what is being sent over the network but that's the point.

"People who want to hide their activities online already have the means to do so. We're just giving those tools to the general public."

Democratic rights

File sharing and copyright law is a divisive topic in Sweden. Until recently the country was a hotbed of piracy where films, music and software were readily swapped online.

Last year, it outlawed the unauthorised downloading of copyrighted movies and music in an attempt to curb piracy, after criticism from Hollywood.

What is the difference between trusting them and trusting my own ISP not to give me away?


The Pirate Party was launched in part to temper what they say are "aggressive" tactics by the entertainment industry to enforce copyright infringement.

They say techniques such as tracing IP addresses threaten privacy and democracy.

The Relakks service, they say, offers people the ability to use the internet "without fear of being monitored or logged". It costs five euro (£3) per month with some of the funds going towards supporting the Pirate Party.

However, not everyone is convinced that it is what it claims to be.

In a forum on the US website of the Pirate Party, a post by a user called Smironv questioned whether the service is really anonymous.

"You can't connect to Relakks anonymously, because then they'd have no way of verifying you are a paying customer - so Relakks knows who you really are when all your traffic goes through them.

"What is the difference between trusting them and trusting my own ISP not to give me away?"


Shannon's Song 4 Tha G Train or Digital Art in the Age of Hypersimulation (AKA Hey White Boy Gimme Your IPOD!)

Hey, white boy gimme your ipod!
Hey, white boy gimme your ipod!
What's up nigga, that's a nice cell phone
Oooh yeah nigga, I'm lovin' that ringtone
Hey there shorty fork ova that GameBoy.
Damn lil' man, look just like my GameBoy.
Hey there's a white boy go get his ipod!
(fight riff)
(hands behind your back nigga)
Gimme that cellphone
(face down on the ground nigga)
Gimme that cellphone
Hey there's a white boy go get his ipod!
(fight riff)
Hey white boy gimme your ipod!
Hey w-white boy
w-white boy gimme your ipod
gimme gimme gimme your ipod
gimme that motherfuckin ipod
(this is the police. we can protect you from ipod theft. Simply, walk into any police station with your ipod and hand it to the officer on duty. He or she will take down the serial number, your social security number, your date of birth, your credit records, your internet download activity, your blood type, your height, aproximate weight, political affiliations and sexual status. Then if your ipod is stolen, we can determine if you are the criminal. For your own safety, please help us prevent ipod theft.)


Call Alex Jones - Child-Haters (i.e. Life-Haters) on the Loose

In which the Baby Boomers, facing retirement, encounter the dilemma posed by the Gang of Four in "Natural's Not In It": "The problem of leisure/ What to do for pleasure"

Way We Live Now


Published: August 13, 2006

There are places in America where most of the newly built housing cannot be occupied by families with children. These families won’t be living, for instance, in the 242-acre tract planned for Kissimmee, Fla., of which a city administrator boasted, “The beauty of that is: No impact on schools.” Such communities are, in real estate parlance, “age qualified.”

The mighty fortress of anti-discrimination law and custom has an exception when it comes to satisfying the wishes of older people. And builders, residents and local governments are exploiting it. Gated communities, condo complexes and plain old suburban neighborhoods can, provided they meet certain criteria, legally bar children under 18 as residents — or even, in some cases, as visitors. According to Big Builder magazine, such communities are the hottest trend in the residential housing market. There are already thousands of age-qualified “lifestyle communities,” and their growth is accelerating.

Children should not be roaming unattended around nursing homes, of course, and there are some good reasons to minimize youthful disruption in assisted-living and continuing-care settings. But the age segregation of old folks’ homes is supposed to be a concession to medical necessity, not a perquisite that can be marketed to perfectly healthy people annoyed by the din of kickball. When Congress amended the Fair Housing Act in 1988, it forbade discriminating against families with children (though it exempted developments for people 62 and older). In the case of communities for people 55 and older, the law required that the developments have “significant facilities and services specifically designed to meet the physical or social needs of older persons.”

The lobbyist who wrote that language earned his money. There is no obvious line between “needs” and tastes. Some developers took “older persons” to mean the middle-aged and “significant facilities” to mean golf. It was a bait-and-switch, exploiting compassion for the old to advance the consumer preferences of people in their prime. In 1995, after judges blocked such housing on civil rights grounds, Congress stepped in to clarify the criteria for keeping a residential complex child-free. It waived the requirement for “significant facilities,” and the remaining strictures are very lax: 80 percent of households must have a person 55 or older, and the development must be billed as a “senior community” or a “retirement community” or some such straightforward phrase. This last requirement is almost universally flouted. Developers prefer to say “active adult community.”

Whatever you call such places, local governments have a strong short-term incentive to see them built. They bring in people’s life savings for a district’s builders, banks, stores and municipal coffers, with no corresponding need for increased school spending. Florida has a “pay as you grow” law, which in theory ensures that as a community’s population grows, its spending on schools grows as well. In practice, it often means that projects are approved to the extent they can be rendered kidproof.

It is tempting to link the popularity of active-adult housing to the bigots, contrarians and attention-seekers of the “child free” movement, who rant quotably on their Web sites about the favoritism accorded to “breeders.” But few people in age-restricted communities give vent to any such feelings. “I love children,” one fairly typical homeowner in Delray Villas, Fla., told The South Florida Sun-Sentinel. “But when you get to be a certain age, you want to be in a community where people around you are the same age you are.”

“I just want to be with people like me” is the argument made in favor of every kind of segregation. It was not an unreasonable-sounding argument even when it was being made by Alabamans and Boy Scouts and club men. But it wasn’t a winning argument either. What explains our sudden readiness to make moral exceptions when children are the ones excluded?

In part, this is the final chapter in the story of the baby boom. The 78 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964 used their clout in the market and in the electorate to twist all of society’s institutions into the shape of their needs at each given stage of life — freedom in the 60’s and 70’s, money in the 80’s and 90’s. From here on out, their priority will be leisure. Therefore everyone else’s priority will be leisure, too.

Leisure needn’t mean avoiding other people’s children, but in our era it tends to. Longer life spans and smaller families have already attenuated the consideration we pay to children. According to David Popenoe and Barbara Dafoe Whitehead, who direct a marriage research program based at Rutgers University, young adulthood and retirement, which used to be short and transitional periods, are now life stages in their own right. In 1960, half of all households had a child under 18; today, a third do. So the landscape of communities, Popenoe and Whitehead argue, “is changing to fit the lifestyle of the non-child-rearing population.”

There is a limit to how much they can change. Municipalities that use “age qualified” housing as a quick fix are budgeting for their new residents either to live forever or to be replaced by similarly unencumbered aging people once they depart. But since the boomers will be followed by a generation half as numerous, that can’t happen. Someone will be left holding a hot potato. Unless communities are willing to see these places wither into half-occupied ghost towns (and there goes your “active lifestyle”), some will eventually be converted to other purposes. They may even be opened up to children, non-cost-effective though they may be

Christopher Caldwell is a contributing writer for the magazine.

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