Noam Chomsky has seriously impaired by ability to appreciate NPR. On the worst day of civilian casualties in Iraq the American Media was overtaken by a crack pot with a gun. My image of NPR as a "fair and balanced" news source was flooded every fifteen minutes with an update on Virginia Tech. The media has sensationalized the tragedy to the point that we overlooked our President sending even more of our children off to die. The simple bait and switch routine gets us every time.
But the trick of it is that you've got to have a big enough flash to get our attention. The easiest way to accomplish this is to have us all watching the same show. This is how we lost control of our Freedom. This is also how we have arrived at a turning point in our culture. The shows they once controlled on our televisions and radios are being replaced by an open source: shared videos on YouTube, free software on Linux, public audio through podcasts, along with an overwhelming explosion of social networks.
This is the beginnings of the Free Culture Movement.
Elsewhere on NPR I was disappointed with an interview on Fresh Air where the host repeatedly attempted to shred the creator of Wikipedia. For those of you yet to be addicted to knowledge please know that everyone from my grandmother to my daughter has fallen in love with learning thanks to his site. The interviewer's constant criticisms of the accuracy of Open Knowledge felt like Fear to me. The fires she doused on his Free Culture Movement made it difficult to understand what he was talking about. Thankfully, he's got a website!
The Free Culture Foundation
After the interview I caught PRI blending the two subjects together on a discussion on Open Source Terrorism. The idea being that terrorist cells are evolving along an open source frameworks. This means that structures, which once had a core that could be attacked, are now composed of individual nodes which work in conjunction with one another towards a common goal. The common goal, in their case, being to overthrow the Capitalist Empire of the United States -- their words, not mine.
And like a perfectly organic, open source, social web, the jihad is spreading from the Middle East, across Europe, into Africa; connecting the strong network in Cuba, and the whole of South America. In plain terms, we're fighting a war using 1950 military tactics, relying on our superior technology to overwhelm the enemy in their home territory. Just like Vietnam all over again. What you don't see is a bunch of long haired hippie types tied up naked to a tree.
This generation is tied to their keyboard, putting the words of Karl Marx into action by providing software which is free and open to everyone to use and benefit from. But that is barely the tip of the iceberg. Free Culture seeks to explore the furthest reaches of what a Free and Open Society truly means. Please sign up and show your support by using free software such as FireFox and OpenOffice, and building social networks on Blogger, Wordpress, and Ning.
The future is happening now. Get involved!