Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rock Throwers in the West Bank

I just saw a short video clip on NY times, which made me come back to this blog research which was done in 2007. At that time, my interest in the research was to propose wireless mesh network system which can be operated anonymously - to encourage the engagement of the people of Palestine to overcome their geographical segration due to the Israeli check points.

A group of Palestinian throws rocks (more like a pebble stone) to the Israeli armies every Friday at the Israeli check point - the video clip did not specified which check point.. To maximize their exposure on the media, they deliberately position themselves in front of groups of reporters. Activity of rock throwing seems to me as a representation of anti suicide bombing - but not quite silent protest either. It is quite witty yet makes strong statement. Although the intention is to not hurt anyone, the counter attack from Israeli army using smoke renegade and rubber bullets sometimes causes minor casualties.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The exponential growth

After talking about the swarming of the tagging system, and interconnection of network - the strategy of the system growth need to be exponential.

Let's say two like minded individual - either me and you or somebody else who would start off from the instruction manual, make this device and attach it to the urban fabric of Jerusalem. There should be some way to make the system spread further than two people - either the function of system fits into cultural political or economical context and fulfills the needs and the system increase because of it is needed, or the device itself actually has duplicate function like virus.. like RepRap Project.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Graffiti Ressearch Lab - A case study

Here's a group of people using the idea of graffiti + anonymity in digital context onto the urban fabric. The bottom image is a letter formed by array of LED lights attached to a border.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hierarchy and Protocol

Protocol is a totalizing control apparatus that guides both the technical and political formation of computer networks, biological systems and other media. Put simply, protocols are all the conventional rules and standards that govern relationships within networks. Each nodes in the network act based upon the protocols embedded onto themselves. Once the protocol is ignored, it is impossible to maintain the network since the network is formed by nodes and connecting edges and the behavior of connection and communication is based upon the promised protocols.

In this way, the idea of hierarchy is replaced by the protocol. Instead of obeying one directional command, the organizational behavior of network is decided based upon the negotiated protocols. In that sense, the network as a system is more adaptable to the rapid change, since the behavior inside of the network is always negotiable. At the same time, it can be more effective, because the protocol is universal value and had to be followed to maintain the life of the network. Meanwhile, the idea of hierarchy is being challenged.

Protocol, the rule set of the network is either top down or bottom up organizational power. Yet, protocol and power are strongly related in a sense that the greater the network is, the stronger or the greater the number of control.

Then what would resistance in the network would look like? If there's control, there should be resistance, and the distributed networking system does not prevent the resistance. In the example of internet, the computer viruses or hacker communities can be viewed as a resistance for the status quo or continuation of the network.

However, if networks is not only technical, but also real-time, dynamic and living, then it would make sense to think that the resistance is also living, means that the intention or force of resistance can be adaptable as much as how network is.

The mixing between live control and resistance, the protocol and counter protocol mutate to achieve the state of bigger "hypertropic" state. The protocol itself, therefore, has to be flexible and robust, and need to be restarted often. In the end, the protocoligical control will substitute the idea of hierarchical control, and what matters is not only the protocol itself, but the effect created by the protocols.

Reference: Protocol, Control and Networks by Galloway and Thacker.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Technology as a shared value

At this point, I think it is important to point out what it means to bring networking system into the Jerusalem area as a new layer of value set. One thing came to my mind was the movie 2001: Space Odyssey. The appearance of the stone tower - whatever you call it, created new sets of behavior, which can eventually viewed as a step of evolution. The tower, even though it does not have any function, somewhat refers to the technology assuming from the following sequence of tools and floating spaceship - and since we all know that this represent the technological evolution, i won't go into the details.

What I am trying to point out is that, by imposing the value that has nothing to do with current situation will be able to solve the problem and even create the foot step to go beyond the reality. It can be random system that drags the random attention and make them self organize. Or it can be some well designed system. The benefit of imposing networking system is that it can be both way - the well designed networking system will help people self organize.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Anonymous Network - requirements

1. Target

The main target of the network is starting from East Jerusalem area to create the connection between East Jerusalem and West Bank. Bir Nabala Enclave or No Man's Land is one of the prospect starting point because it is so obvious that they are segregated or forbidden from the rest, and it will be obvious if they get the adversary attack.

2. Infrastructure

There are two different ideas.

First, what if the storage is literally on the wall and people need to access to the wall to store and retrieve the information. In that case, it will be really obvious that who is accessing to the information, and based upon how the system is being used, it will be easier for the authorities to take action upon it. Yet, if the system is guaranteed that there's no surveillance, and initiated by the authorities from both side, the areas around the system will be somewhat neutralized public space - like library, or considering the idea of anonymity and expressing the idea, maybe shooting range? Again, what is the intention of the system and who is driving it is important to be defined.

Second, what if the storage is a hand held device distributed by some kind of joint grass-root movement started from both side? In this case, my proposal is wireless mesh network that can be accessed by the device. The device is refurbished / recycled hand held devices like PDA or black berry. Since those devices are used for the networking, it won't take too much resource to refurbish them. In this case, there should be a manufacturer of the device, distribution system, the interface for the device and the radio transmitter for the network is needed.

3. The Outcome

What will the anonymous networking system in Jerusalem look like? How will it function? Is the networking system will really work as a communication channel to help both side understand each other, and also connected the divided communities to function better? Or is this will be appropriated by informational dark forces that seek anonymity for their own good?

Segregated Road

This is an article from NY Times, several months ago.

"Israel is constructing a road through the West Bank, east of Jerusalem, that will allow both Israelis and Palestinians to travel along it — separately.

There are two pairs of lanes, one for each tribe, separated by a tall wall of concrete patterned to look like Jerusalem stones, an effort at beautification indicating that the road is meant to be permanent. The Israeli side has various exits; the Palestinian side has few....."

Even the attempt of creating connection is already divided.