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[liberationtech] Drones are not storytellers or why Syrians need better storytelling was Re: Pirate Bay turns to drones

Patrick Meier (Ushahidi) patrick at ushahidi.com
Fri Mar 23 10:05:50 PDT 2012


Some thoughts on The Use of Drones for Nonviolent Civil
Resistance<http://irevolution.net/2012/02/18/drones-for-civil-resistance/>




On Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 1:01 PM, Andrew Lewis <andrew at pdqvpn.com> wrote:

> I never indicated it would, but it would defiantly be complementary, as
> well as useful for things outside Syria.
>
> It is not an either or situation as you are portraying it, and as videos
> from drones in Russia/Poland illustrate not only are video resolution
> getting better, but they can provide an overview that on the ground
> coverage.
>
> Andrew
>
> On Mar 23, 2012, at 4:49 PM, Brian Conley <brianc at smallworldnews.tv>
> wrote:
>
> Not only the development costs, but the litigation/jail time costs as well
> are a huge issue with more innovative applications of drone tech.
>
> Further, the idea of implementing drones in Syria first of all is a huge
> safety risk, and could fundamentally change the perception of an already
> hostile regime to encourage increasingly worse actions.< /div>
>
> Secondly, the drones for human rights stuff all forgets a fundamental
> issue, people care about stories, not grainy footage, unless the crimes are
> so enormous, and even then they don't encourage action nor do they help
> inform outsiders what exactly Syrians want or need.
>
> For example, there is a fundamental difference between videos like these
> that Iraqis we worked with in Baghdad were producing years ago:
>
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BVib2fMtP1w
>
> http://www.aliveinbaghdad.org/2008/07/28/al-sahwa-mistakes-in-adhamiya/
>
>
> http://www.aliveinbaghdad.org/2007/10/08/us-military-destroys-iraqi-homes-by-mistake/
>
> ...and shaky content and long range images of what often may or may not be
> the "heinous crimes" individuals claim.
>
> see this video for example:
>
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1kQMSkdo_jc&feature=player_embedded
>
> I think its pretty clear why more efforts are not being made to more
> effectively and repeatedly tell the stories of individual refugees and
> people who have lost homes and loved ones. The people documenting are most
> often men, and as a man who has had the same problem myself when
> documenting police violence, war, etc, we too often resort to documenting
> horrible events, both because we are shocked and because that involves an
> adrenaline rush and provides its own sort of benefit to us as individuals,
> and leaves beside the wayside any review of whether this content is really
> moving minds or pushing forward a liberation agenda.
>
> As a trainer who has worked with individuals all over the world in
> conflict areas and the developing world, I have found that women are the
> best trainees, followed closely by older men. Young people are often too
> caught up in the moment and the injustice of it all to more effectively
> document or listen to recommendations about composition, pacing, etc. I
> guess this is a bit off-topic, but after spending a long time in a fairly
> pointless discussion with a man from Hama about this subject last night, I
> felt the need to mention it here.
>
> I'm still trying to sort out exactly why I think the idea of drones as
> human rights documentation may make sense, but it certainly cannot replace
> storytelling or investigative reporting.
>
> On Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 9:32 AM, Andrew Lewis <andrew at pdqvpn.com> wrote:
>
>> Yes, telecomix is looking at drones, and really the proposal by TPB is
>> outlandish to current drone builders/operators, but most of the limitations
>> seem to be artificially limited technical issues that no one has thought
>> past due to limitations by US/UK/EU regulations. If you disregard these
>> rules, long range drones are well within the realm of possibility. I think
>> an open source drone program is possible, if people are willing to commit
>> the resources and accept the overall development costs.
>>
>> Andrew Lewis
>> Twitter: ThePunkbob
>>
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>
>> On Mar 23, 2012, at 4:53 PM, KheOps <kheops at ceops.eu> wrote:
>>
>> > Indeed, we're working on drones to film and livestream stuff in hostile
>> > environment such as Syria :) Will keep you posted if something concrete
>> > is somehow produced :)
>> >
>> > On 03/23/2012 04:57 PM, David Johnson wrote:
>> >> It sounded ridiculous, but ideas can come from jokes.
>> >>
>> >> On Fri, Mar 23, 2012 at 9:48 AM, KheOps <kheops at ceops.eu
>> >> <mailto:kheops at ceops.eu>> wrote:
>> >>
>> >>    This is a joke - at least according to tetsu0, one of the TPB folks
>> :)
>> >>
>> >>    On 03/23/2012 04:44 PM, David Johnson wrote:
>> >>> http://thepiratebay.se/blog/210
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>>      /TPB LOSS/
>> >>>
>> >>> /We were down a few hours earlier today. There's no need to worry, we
>> >>> haven't been raided this time. We're only upgrading stuff since we're
>> >>> still growing./
>> >>>
>> >>> /One of the technical things we always optimize is where to put our
>> >>> front machines. They are the ones that re-direct your traffic to a
>> >>> secret location. We have now decided to try to build something
>> >>> extraordinary./
>> >>>
>> >>> /With the development of GPS controlled drones, far-reaching cheap
>> >>    radio
>> >>> equipment and tiny new computers like the Raspberry Pi
>> >>> <http://www.raspberrypi.org/>, we're going to experiment with sending
>> >>> out some small drones that will float some kilometers up in the air.
>> >>> This way our machines will have to be shut down with aeroplanes in
>> >>    order
>> >>> to shut down the system. A real act of war./
>> >>>
>> >>> /We're just starting so we haven't figured everything out yet. But we
>> >>> can't limit ourselves to hosting things just on land anymore.
>> >>    These Low
>> >>> Orbit Server Stations (LOSS) are just the first attempt. With modern
>> >>> radio transmitters we can get over 100Mbps per node up to 50km
>> >>    away. For
>> >>> the proxy system we're building, that's more than enough./
>> >>>
>> >>> /But when time comes we will host in all parts of the galaxy,
>> >>    being true
>> >>> to our slogan of being the galaxy's most resilient system. And all of
>> >>> the parts we'll use to build //that system on will be downloadable./
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> --
>> >>>
>> >>> David V. Johnson
>> >>> Web Editor
>> >>> Boston Review
>> >>> Website: http://www.bostonreview.net
>> >>>
>> >>> Twitter: http://twitter.com/BostonReview
>> >>> Tumblr: http://bostonreview.tumblr.com
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> Mailing Address:
>> >>> San Francisco Writers' Grotto
>> >>>
>> >>> 490 2nd Street, 2nd Fl.
>> >>> San Francisco, CA 94107
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>> Cell: (917)903-3706 <tel:%28917%29903-3706>
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>>
>> >>>
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>> >>
>> >> --
>> >>
>> >> David V. Johnson
>> >>
>> >> Web Editor
>> >> Boston Review
>> >> Website: http://www.bostonreview.net
>> >> Twitter: http://twitter.com/BostonReview
>> >>
>> >> Tumblr: http://bostonreview.tumblr.com
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Mailing Address:
>> >> San Francisco Writers' Grotto
>> >>
>> >> 490 2nd Street, 2nd Fl.
>> >> San Francisco, CA 94107
>> >>
>> >>
>> >> Cell: (917)903-3706
>> >>
>> >>
>> >
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>
>
>
> --
>
>
>
> Brian Conley
>
> Director, Small World News
>
> http://smallworldnews.tv
>
> m: 646.285.2046
>
> Skype: brianjoelconley
>
> public key:
> http://pgp.mit.edu:11371/pks/lookup?op=get&search=0xCEEF938A1DBDD587<http://pgp.mit.edu:11371/pks/lookup?op=get&search=0xE827FACCB139C9F0>
>
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