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Archive for November, 2008

Monty Python compete with pirates

I have no idea how to compete with these kinds of pirates.


According to the BBC, “Pirates have anchored a hijacked Saudi oil tanker off the Somali coast, as the spate of hijackings gathered pace with two more ships seized on Tuesday… The vessel is carrying a cargo of 2m barrels – a quarter of Saudi Arabia’s daily output – worth more than $100m. A cargo ship and a fishing vessel were the latest to join more than 90 vessels attacked by the pirates this year.”

The only thing I can think of is avoiding them with locally manufactured, 3-D printed stuff, and using alternative energy sources (which seem to be getting closer every day) so we don’t need oil tankers. Until that’s possible, it’s all about fighting them.

Dead bull

Dead bull Ji Lee

I love this illustration my pal Ji Lee did for Portfolio magazine. The article by Michael Lewis that comes with it isn’t bad either.

The good Halliburton

My friend Cat Laine gave a great presentation at BIF this year. AIDG, the organization her and partner Peter Haas run, is doing some amazing work, I’ve always thought of them as the good Halliburton. AIDG helps people in developing countries get environmentally sound and affordable access to energy, sanitation and clean water, creating small businesses that manufacture, install and repair green technologies for people living between $2-4 a day. It’s brilliant because it breaks the vicious cycle of development being large scale, funded by dodgy international loans that can quickly become toxic, crippling debt. AIDG thinks small, but gets huge results. Find out more here, and check the video Wedia made for them here.

The Change That Comes Next

Virtuous Circle

The sound of Brooklyn roaring last night at 11pm as spontaneous street parties broke out will stay with me forever. The power shift at the core of The Pirate’s Dilemma, people taking matters into their own hands and organizing in new ways from the bottom up when markets and governments fail them, is what fueled Obama’s incredible campaign and this immense source of people power will be the beating heart of his presidency.

Before he arrived at Grant Park, he sent this email to all his supporters:

“Matt –

I’m about to head to Grant Park to talk to everyone gathered there, but I wanted to write to you first.

We just made history.

And I don’t want you to forget how we did it.

You made history every single day during this campaign — every day you knocked on doors, made a donation, or talked to your family, friends, and neighbors about why you believe it’s time for change.

I want to thank all of you who gave your time, talent, and passion to this campaign.

We have a lot of work to do to get our country back on track, and I’ll be in touch soon about what comes next.

But I want to be very clear about one thing…

All of this happened because of you.

Thank you,


Over a million people actively campaigned for Obama across the country. Three million more donated. He said in his speech: “If there is anyone out there… who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer.” What we saw at last night was a new improved version of democracy, but also a highly visible manifestation of the new power we have to organize. The technology to get the vote out the way Obama did has been around for a few election cycles, the missing piece was inspiration, the motivation – the belief that it would really make a difference. The idea of hope is genuinely new to those of us who missed the 1960s. It’s one of those things you sort of know is true in theory because you saw it in Star Wars IV, but can’t quite believe it ever happens in real life. Last night we saw it.

The realization that we can change things when enough of us are motivated is here to stay for a generation. Now we know it’s possible, it will happen again. All of those who voted last night for the first time will vote for the rest of their lives. America’s undercurrent is moving in a different direction today. Paranoia seems passe. The message that change is not something to be scared of will affect everything, not just politics. It will increase our willingness to innovate in the face of adversity (and indeed, pirates), to approach complex problems with systems solutions as opposed to knee-jerk reactions. This will affect every part of our culture in ways none of us can yet see coming. The world is still in deep shit, but I’ve never been more optimistic about our future. Not just because of the end result of this vicious election cycle, but because what comes next will be a virtuous circle. We are finally waking up to the power we have to make things better.

Git r done!!!


Stay in line. Don’t wear a shirt with your candidates name on it, they won’t let you in. If you see anything shady going on at your polling station, call 1866-OUR-VOTE (1866-687-8683) or go here. Get your voting rights here. Si se puede!

This should be a real ad campaign.

I want to believe it’s butter

Butter smooth.

Just in time for the holidays…

pirate t-shirts

For the longest time I’ve been getting requests to do a T-shirt – and today being a quiet Sunday afternoon I finally got round to it. You can plaster logos on a ton of horrendous crap using cafepress, but I decided to keep the selection down to nine tasteful items. As well as apparel featuring the pirate logo, there are also a few pieces featuring Art Jaz’s Punk Capitalism cartoon that he drew for the book.

Get all the pirate booty here!

Futurama’s Anti-Piracy Message, Just Do It

Via Torrentfreak:

“The latest Futurama movie, Bender’s Game, is released in a few days and as usual it’s already on BitTorrent. However, Matt Groening has included a nice extra on the DVD – a pretty amusing parody on one of the classic anti-piracy messages.

“Anyone who watched The Simpsons Movie will have noticed Bart in the intro chalking his famous blackboard with the words “I will not illegally download this movie”. Matt Groening seems to appreciate the comedy anti-piracy message as his latest movie, ‘Futurama: Bender’s Game‘, also includes some mockery of file-sharers or, on closer inspection, possibly some encouragement. Whatever the intention, it is pretty funny.”

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