Control of everything, at what cost to Britain?

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On Friday 24th June¬†I woke up in another universe, one where 51.9% of Britain voted to exit from the European Union. I had gone to bed just as I heard the news Sunderland had voted to leave the EU. There is so many things to say but I want to say…

I¬†reiterate, I am so so so embarrassed and ashamed to be british to all my EU friends and collaborators for the ‚Ä™#‚Äébrexit‚Ĩ result… Kat says it exactly right

I don’t usually watch¬†much live/broadcast TV but it was on at work, so I watched a bit of coverage. There was quite a bit with people¬†from both sides. What I found really interesting from most of the people who voted leave, was the need to have control. control of our borders, control of our¬†laws, control of immigration, control of our money, control, control…

Or the rather the illusion of control… This is set in motion¬†through Fear. Interestingly Adam Curtis’ Power of Nightmares¬†talks about this…

…fear will not last, and just as the dreams that the politicians once promised turned out to be illusions, so too will the nightmares. And then, our politicians will have to face the fact that they have no visions, either good or bad, to offer us any longer.

Watching the leave campaign talk about what next after the decision was, lacking in vision to say the very least. They got everything they wanted including the head of Cameron.

But back to control… Control seems¬†at odds with¬†collaboration and¬†cooperation. It’s exactly the kind of thing you expect from young children¬†not reasonable adults. This was even clearer watching back some of the panel debates (the world was watching too) on the run up to¬†Thursdays vote, although there’s enough dust kicked up to make¬†both sides look¬†like screaming children.

And it goes much deeper than just the EU.

The vote blew the lid off tensions between Scotland and the rest of the UK. Could stir up trouble between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Threw a series of molotov cocktails at the already growing differences between the lower and middle classes. Then dug a hole the size of the channel tunnel, straight through the baby boomer generation and every generation who followed.

How different would things be if 16-17 year olds could have voted? Heck what about all the other people who made the UK their home from the EU?

There is a slight glimmer of hope as the referendum isn’t legally binding, yet.

The referendum is advisory rather than mandatory. The 2011 referendum on electoral reform did have an obligation on the government to legislate in the event of a ‚Äúyes‚ÄĚ vote (the vote was ‚Äúno‚ÄĚ so this did not matter). But no such provision was included in the EU referendum legislation.

What happens next in the event of a vote to leave is therefore a matter of politics not law. It will come down to what is politically expedient and practicable. The UK government could seek to ignore such a vote; to explain it away and characterise it in terms that it has no credibility or binding effect (low turnout may be such an excuse). Or they could say it is now a matter for parliament, and then endeavour to win the parliamentary vote. Or ministers could try to re-negotiate another deal and put that to another referendum. There is, after all, a tradition of EU member states repeating referendums on EU-related matters until voters eventually vote the ‚Äúright‚ÄĚ way.

Theres also a¬†petition with almost 2 million¬†encouraging parliament to step in and debate the legality of the EU referendum. I signed it as something as devastating as¬†leaving the EU must be debated in a rational way,¬†not children paying in the¬†mud that was the previous campaigns. Even if¬†it doesn’t¬†become legally binding some of the¬†damage is already done and there will be collateral damage as a good part of the 51.9% will cry foul, maybe turning to greater supporters, further¬†stiring up troubles?

I cling to the fact I never voted to leave and all the places I’d lived

  • Bristol (61.7%)
  • London Croydon (54.3%)
  • London Bromley (50.6%)
  • London Greenwich (55.6%)
  • Manchester (60.4% )

All voted as a majority to stay.

I am so greatly sorry to be British, in a similar way to how Americans use to have to apologize for George W Bush and the middle east war. Well the shoe is on the other foot now.

My country is acting like spoilt little children, fallen for the lies and needs to get a clue that the future is about collaboration & relationships not control & dominace.

Podcast’s 3rd era?

Myself and Chris were walking back from Sunday roast dinner, and we got talking about Podcasting. The current media darling is a thing called Serial.

I have always maintained that podcasting is different from radio and part of the confusion (as such) is radio shows using podcast distribution to deliver content. Most of the professional stuff is radio shows using podcasting distribution, which is a real shame. I remember my cry out for more British podcasts even.

…there were not enough amateur British Podcasts. I know theres the BBC podcasts and the Guardian podcasts which both have got a lot of success in this area but theres nothing like TwiT or Revision3‚Äôs series of video podcasts

Now of course that was 4 years ago and things have shifted. Chris pointed out the raff of amateur to professional media on youtube. But the big question remained…¬† what is the difference between a podcast and radio show?

Well I struggled to remember the arguments about podcasting when the BBC first did its podcast trial, to replay back at Chris. The verge video reminded me exactly what the point I should have made more clearly.

Its not about production, its about depth! I eluded to it but never actually said depth. With Radio you need to be broad, with podcasts you can be so niche it hurts.

Talking of niche audiences and podcasting, we launched the Lovegrumps podcast this weekend. Lovegrumps is like Techgrumps but about love, sex and relationships. Audio  only and wondering if audioboo, mixcloud or soundcloud might be better places to put the podcast?

If this is the 3rd era of podcasting, then its certainly time to evolve… Expect intro music and other production stuff next time.

Oh by the way, the verge are wrong. Perceptive Radio is clearly the future of radio… Just imagine what could be done with Perceptive Podcasts!

Official Perceptive Radio photo

UKNova without Torrents

UKNova has always been a interesting place for a clue about the future (specially when they use to share the data of how many people were downloading what, and from which country). Its existed way before bbc iplayer, 4od and all the ondemand services we all use now. It also has a very interesting stance on what content it does allow to be shared. But despite all that, they have always been on the wrong side of the fence for many in the industry.

UKNova is being forced to change. We have been issued with a “cease and desist” order by FACT (The Federation Against Copyright Theft).

Despite our efforts to cooperate with the UK media companies, FACT have stated: “ALL links or access to content provided by UKNova are infringing, unless it can be proven that explicit permission from the copyright holder for that content has been obtained”.

Whilst we believe that they are wrong both legally and morally on account of the strong ‘no commercial content’ stance that we have always taken, we are not in a position to be able to risk lengthy and costly court battles to prove this. Therefore we have no other option but to close down the trackers. It has not been an easy decision to take, but it is apparently our only option.

The argument by FACT sounds wrong too from what I know about UK copyright law but would I state my flat on it? Not a chance… I expect moving to Magnet links won’t help their dilemma either? Such a shame and a great loss, people will just seek their TV from elsewhere now, somewhere with less rules.

I remember UKnova was once asked to come into the BBC to meet content producers and defend their position as part of a BBC Backstage outreach (one of many engagement with the darknet/undernet, etc). The guys behind UKnova at the time were scared of arrest but they did come in and that discussion was one of the best discussions I’d seen. Thanks to Jem Stone and Ben Metcalfe for setting that up by the way…

Remember what I said about chilling effects?

Torrrentfreak just published about it before I did as I wasnt’ sure if I should, so I left it in the drafts for 12hours… thanks Mark Boas.

Join Techgrumps now…

We need your rants
With the 50th edition of the ever-so popular (Popular with 2 or 3 people at least) #Techgrumps¬†podcast coming up, and it being the holiday season, we will be recording two or three special editions with as many new ranters as we can think of. Like YOU! If you have nothing much to say, but can whine on a bit under the influence of too much caffeine, you too can join this most illustrious cast.¬†And yes, that is Comic Sans in the speech bubble. Angry now? Rant with us!Remember, techgrumps is a family (Family of feral polecats) show, so use age appropriate language…

Let us know which dates & times works for you (add your twitter name to the doodle) and we’ll be in touch…

Techgrumps – Angry people going on about technology

Microphone

I’ve been taking part in a new podcast for a while now. Its called Techgrumps and is basiclly a couple of us (@tommorris, @nicferrier and myself) ranting on about the bad side of technology and the internet.

@Abizer was kind enough to write the first review on the itunes music store.

Three guys who rant about computer technology. Pro Open Web, pro Open Source; Java, Scala, Ruby, Python. Not too hot on Apple and certainly not fans of ‚ÄúNew Media‚ÄĚ. They don‚Äôt sound like fans of non-technical computer users either. I see them as vertex on a triangle formed with the Angry Mac B******s and Leo Laporte‚Äôs podcasts. They‚Äôll cling on to their command lines like a hipster hugs his iPhone.

If you’re an Apple fanboy, or someone who does little more than use their computer for FaceBook and Twitter then this podcast isn’t for you.

If you have opinions, and like listening to or talking with people who have different opinions – and you aren’t embarrassed to be caught swearing to yourself on public transport while listening to podcasts on public transport – then this is worth a subscription.

They aren’t always right (well, in not my opinion anyway) but they at least try to come to their conclusions with reasoned (and expletive seasoned) arguments. And it helps that they are technically proficient so these aren‚Äôt baseless discussions. But they are always entertaining. If you can get past the parts where you want to scream, there is plenty to be learned from them as well.

I see it more as the ruder and British version of Crankygeeks and Leo Laporte’s Twit podcast. I’m not so sure about us hanging to our command lines but you get the general idea. Its very rude with lots of swearing or explicit language. No one and no topics are taboo for us on techgrumps.

Our podcast isn’t very professional, in actual fact its not meant to be, we deliberately choose the low-tech approach to podcasting, hopefully encouraging others to either join us or setup there own.

I said a while ago at a barcamp and a social media cafe manchester, that there were not enough amateur British Podcasts. I know theres the BBC podcasts and the Guardian podcasts which both have got a lot of success in this area but theres nothing like TwiT or Revision3’s series of video podcasts. We need more podcasts like Techgrumps and I’m glad to say that we have in our own unique way convinced @cbetta and @thehodge to setup there own podcast called Padaddicts (not pdaaddicts as I first saw and called it).

If we can get more british podcasts then thats a good thing! Why not setup your own?!

2 hour special Cracker tonight (october 1st 2006)

Cracker

Cracker is back for one more special episode. Hopefully to sort out that terriable mess of a special episode which they called White Ghost. The story line goes something like this.

Fitz returns to Manchester for his daughter's wedding, but is soon involved in another murder investigation when an American comedian is killed, apparently without motive.

Just incase you don't know what Cracker is, from Wikipedia

Fitz is a classic antihero, unfaithful to his wife, alcoholic, a chain smoker, overweight, addicted to gambling, manic, foulmouthed and sarcastic; and yet cerebral and excellent at his speciality: getting into the heads of violent criminals. As Fitz confesses in “Brotherly Love”: “I drink too much, I smoke too much, I gamble too much. I am too much.”

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Why are there so few uk bloggers?

So I was also in the "otherwise NDA’d BBC blog policy meeting" when Tom Coates suggested that the reason why there are few UK bloggers compared to our ummm friends in the states. Ben metcalfe paraphrases

Maybe the reason the UK public are a little behind our Amercian cousins when it comes to being across blogging is because it‚Äôs not very ‚ÄėBritish‚Äô for the common man to stand and up and ‚Äėhave his say‚Äô on something.

And as you have predicted, I have to agree. But I'm not so sure its quite as simple as to blame our British culture. I feel Geek culture is still kinda of looked down on while America geek culture is much more prolific. I'm not saying that's the only reason either but it like broadband pentration, etc have there part to play in the sum. But lets not forget the ability for the British to quickly change like in the case of House music in the late 80's.

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