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Nov 12, 2013

Democracy is Dead Without Privacy

"Violence Traps the US" by Tim Holmes
This TED talk is not the best, but it is the most important I have seen, I think. Mikko Hipponen tells us
how privacy is the root of democracy. The question to pinpoint wrongdoing is not "what do you have to hide?" but "why does the NSA have to remain secret?"  Only cockroaches and criminals never come into the light.

Now the US government (which used to be We the People) has effectively drained democracy from the world, with the ironic exception of those nations like China who insulated themselves from the western internet. In a further bizarre twist, because of the corporate influence on government, the US is assuring its own economic destruction since– as Mikko points out– the only way to be secure in maintaining your privacy is to avoid using anything made in the USA since no US entity is apparently granted privacy. This is of course a remedy only for foreigners. For US citizens there is no remedy.

The sad fact is that while Americans were on the hunt for terrorists who might threaten our freedoms, our democracy was stolen from within. I don't know about you but I can no longer look at my nation with the sense of pride that I once had. I still believe in American citizens and our constitution, but we have designed a system that can be hacked. Now it has been and I don't know if we will be able to get it back. If so one of the early signs will be that Ed Snowden is transformed from a villain into a hero. The future is uncertain, but God is with us and it is as yet unwritten. Keep the faith!
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I'm a sculptor/filmmaker living in Montana, USA. I am using art to move the evolution of humanity forward into an increasingly responsive, inclusive and interactive culture. As globalization flattens peoples into a capitalist monoculture I hope to use my art to celebrate historical cultural differences and imagine how we can co-create a rich future together.

I see myself as an artist/philosopher laboring deep in the mines of joy. I've had a good long career of exhibiting work around the world and working on international outreach projects, most notably being the first American to be invited to present a one-person exhibit in the Hermitage Museum. Recently I have turned my attention from simply making metal sculpture to creating films and workshops for engaging communities directly, tinkering with the very ideas and mechanisms behind cultural transformation. I feel that as we face tragic world crises, if the human species favors our imaginative and creative capacities we can cultivate a rich world to enjoy.

For me the deepest satisfaction in making art comes in engaging people's real life concerns rather than providing simple entertainment or decoration. Areas of conflict or tension are particularly ripe for the kind of transformative power that art uniquely carries. I invite any kind of challenge that serves people on a deep level.