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Ricardo Mendes

Vulcan is a framework that gives you a set of tools for quickly building React & GraphQL-based web applications

https://github.com/vulcanjs/vulcan
http://docs.vulcanjs.org/
demo webapp: https://sidebar.io/

Ricardo Mendes

Quite amazed by some men's utter inability to listen without mansplaining survivors of any type of abuses, from harassment to direct sexual abuses that they also get impacted by having to endure the state of things with woman traumatized & unable to discern a decent men from Predators. It's like the first concern of some men is to note How harassment & sexual abuses directly touch them regarding their dating habits is more important or equally important for them as the abuse itself, to me it shows a terrible lack of empathy and possibly a even worst issue at hand: we won't fix this mess if all men's don't give even just a little attention to their behavior and to how they react to the current epidemic of abuses : certainly not by posing in the center of the issue describing how shocked they are from being equaled to pigs (regarding the French tag ) as if men = pigs was even said once by all the woman that used the tag or . It's really disturbing to notice that some of my best friends are unable to react or not react, they feel almost threatened by just woman getting the word out, this little action that often mirror a wide variety on the scale of abuses is felt like a threat or something that critical men's should have their say as if their opinion on the matter was more important than the root of the issue : widespread abuses.

Ricardo Mendes

Ricardo Mendes

Winds is an open source & beautiful #RSS reader built using React/Redux/Sails/Node

Winds is an open source & beautiful RSS reader built using React/Redux/Sails/Node and Stream (https://getstream.io). It showcases personalized feeds powered by the https://getstream.io API. This tutorial explains how the personalization API works (http://bit.ly/personalization-winds). Try the online demo: http://winds.getstream.io/

 

Ricardo Mendes

Ricardo Mendes

#Brexit How the root causes of Euroscepticism, even after #Euref are still largely unaddressed. #my2cens

12 min read

Cartoon by Marian Kemensky

If you read this blog post, you're probably aware I run @EUwatchers - a Twitter news Bot spitting EU related information on social media 24h/24h - I follow European information closely since a few years but I decided to observe / / / campaign and take note of how it enfolded.

I think is probably the worst campaign I ever witnessed on social media and traditional media and it's the main reason I stayed silent about it. too much noise, too much hate & hysteria and so little integrity & humanity.

Remain clearly could have done a much better case, much sooner, instead of waiting for a murder to happen to suddenly have something to say & regain a little bit of the ground in the campaign, too late.

Leave campaign was horrible to watch, the arguments, the confusion, the lies and the general drive to demonize instead of inform made this campaign horribly hard to handle, not even going to speak about the phobia and other neo-fascist style arguments being normalized and becoming mainstream with the help of some mainstream media tabloid/TV doing a terrible job at being a media. nurturing the confusion instead of putting arguments above emotions. Terrible Job but it worked mostly because Remain was unable to compete. not that it lacked arguments, probably more because it lacked legitimacy

So I stayed quite. the last 2 days of campaign I decided to amplify some opinions in favor of and the fact that many many people in Europe are immigrants: one way or another in Europe we are all from somewhere else and we moved where we could afford to live,work and build.

That being said and back to the reason of this blog post, how did we arrive here ?

first some definition : EU in this blog post does not mean "Brussels" - here EU means the collective decision making process of 28 members states because we like or not, that's how EU works.

  • 1 EU geopolitcal enlargement at the cost of cohesion and social Europe.
  • 2 EU failed to recognize the Irish, Nederlands & France Vote on the European Constitution mutated into Lisbon Treaty - that opened the way for the European Fiscal Treaty & the harsh imposition of Austerity doctrine all across Europe. 
  • 3 EU role in the financial crisis of 2008 and the banking bailouts while imposing Austerity for citizens.
  • 4 EU complete inability to measure the impact of its economic policies managed to create huge distrust.
  • EU inability to re-invent itself & experiment new participatory democracy mechanism to bring more legitimacy and participation in the democractic process. 
  • 5 EU foreign non-policy regarding Saudi Arabia or Turkey & countless other dubious countries still considered as "partners" when these countries are acting clearly against EU values everyday but still are geopolitical partners because EU foreign policy is in fact proxified US foreign policy.
  • 6 EU disaster regarding the predictable Refugee Crisis. (you can't watch War in Syria & the region for 5 years without counting that at some point it will create a humanitarian refugees) situation that was completely predictable after 2 decades of disaster foreing policy.
  • 7 In light of today's it is interesting to compare how was considered and how is.

it's not easy to communicate about all these matters in one tweet but I tried anyway addressing the false perception portrayed by National Politicians that EU or Brussels is the faulty parameter here : 

 

1) EU enlargement was never done in a concise and precise manner, much less with the participation and "have a say" of the rest of the Members States, during Barroso time it is like the goal was to become the new empire without ever thinking about the consequences or the disruption opening too much too fast would create for the future of the European identity. I sincerely think this enlargement doctrine was serving US interests much more than European interests and at the end of the day, growing too fast too large is just going to work against Europe, it was a bad idea and still is a bad idea. Instead Europe should have forged concrete ties with Russia (that maybe could have avoided the whole Ukraine quagmire) and worked to enlarge itself with the soft-power of its reputation combined with concrete and reproductible steps to bring more equality between members states instead of this patchwork of everything. by following the US proxy foreign policy as blueprint to its enlargement position, EU pretty much recreated the conditions of a mini "cold-war" to start and Russia took the opportunity to play it's old regime tactics of deception and blatant provocation. a lot of people feoded to US foreign policy think : Russia started it, completely forgetting the abusive and provocative EU position of enlargement at any cost. 

2) When the EU constitution was voted and rejected by Ireland, Nederlands and France, EU institutions simply rebranded the whole project and passed it anyway, lead by the arrogant Barroso. to me this is the germ, the seed of the EU downfall. I even argue that we should come back to this point and do a lot of things differently. most people don't remember this part of the story but this moment in time was clearly the rise of the first organized Euroscepticism across Europe. the lack of democratic legitimacy started on this page of the EU history. 
this is when a lot people across Europe printed in their mind: this structure of institutions is not democratic, because it can bypass national referendum and move along with it's project. this is when EU lost a lot of citizen not necessarily against the whole Project. 

3) When the Financial crisis hit Europe in 2008 the only measure citizen noticed across Europe was to "save the banks" - banks responsible for the financial crisis in the first place. in 2011 with the rise of grassroots movements against Austerity Europe entered the ongoing phase we are now : it's decline. the very way the financial crisis was "handled" is an insult to EU values because it forged into national constitutions, harsh financial dictates that turned citizens against the very European Project. Greece is since then in a perpetual humanitarian state, for citizens across Europe it looked like a sadistic experiment soon followed by softer austerity experiments in Portugal, Spain and Italy. How much House evictions ? suicides ? famillies disbanded because they had to pay for the games of a financial and banking elite completely cut from the real economy & people's life. I remember EU doing assesment of Austerity measures impact AFTER imposing it, another absurd aspect of this bureaucracy. usually we should have impact assesment BEFORE imposing anything that will undermine fundamental human rights of european citizens. this is a fire burning under EU altar and it is going to keep burning and misused by the extreme-right until EU notice the alter is burning because of it's own path. own choices. 

4) Even when confronted to thousands of Protest each year, in Brussels nobody hear or is actually touched by the Protesters. it's like another world, divided by an invisible wall of disdain and patronising attitudes towars citizens of the like : citizens are sick of politics or sick of Europe because they don't understand it, we have to explain it better, blablablabla. In fact lobbies in Brussels have more power than any protest near the Schuman roundabout. Spain took the streets in 2011, in 2014 the same movement or parts of it launched Podemos, in a few month they will enter National Parliament while already having 5 MEP seats inside the European Parliament. It's very encouraging but its a micro experiment that concern mostly Spain even though traditional particracy should better listen and watch the wind changing before it is too late for the old political generation. 

5) Even since 2 decades ago, EU knows pretty well what "Saudi Arabia" is and what it isn't. we all know SA is meddling in all sorts of extremism and radical islam, we all know it's not a democracy, we all know fundamental rights of woman, migrants, workers and what not are systematically ignored if not blatantly and openly crucified before our very own eyes. but business as usual takes place between EU and Saudi Arabia, in fact it's a US best partner. Turkey is jailing journalists, shooting at refugees, migrants and even killing it's own Population: the Kurds but even like that, Turkey is one of the best EU partners regarding geopolitcal situation in the middle-east and now the EU-Turkey deal about regugees: while Turkey "handling" of this situation goes directly against all EU values you and I can count on. but still, "we have no choice" has they say. so basically if EU have no choice it will not hesitate working with a dictatorship at the conditions it allows EU to maintain or keep its interests in the mariage. principles? values ? human rights ? does not matter anymore !

6) the refugee crisis : everyone predicted it, nobody reacted to it. Ever since the begining of the Syrian wars Eu was pretty much following US steps (again) for it's foreign policy. the only good thing it did in the region was to pacify the relation with Iran. beside that, we pretty much watched another country empty it's weapons on it's citizens, and in fact we even supplied the weapons, arming "rebel groups" and so many "freedom fighters" that nobody can explain today what side they are on and who is fighting for the Syrian People anymore. in fact we probably sell wepaons to both sides of the conflict or amunitions and we all go to sleep everyday knowing that a huge percentage of thos killed by our weapons are Woman and Children and generally speaking civilians. but who cares ? how many millions death we have to witness abroad, far away, while still having the luxury to buy our breads before doing something ? before making Peace. Indefinite Wars create Refugees: it's all over war books. it's nothing new. we participated in those wars, first in Iraq, than Afganistan after 9/11-2001 and since than nobody can say the region of the greater middle-east got "better" with our native interventions or proxy interventions. in botch case we are only witnessing on our shores the seed we planted. and now we found a "deal" to let Turkey become a refugee camp ruled by a despot. in short we externalised our problems at our borders and we think that with a big fence and lot's of tents it will all be okey. we are wrong and the future will show it to Europe. 

7) Remember when Greece did it's own referendum ? remember how it was managed by "Brussels" ? remember how instead of taking this opportunity to bring more legitimacy to the whole Union by allowing Greece time to recover with decent human conditions to recover ? instead, Greece was sent back home like a bad kid avoiding home-schooling, by this action EU showed without a doubt that there is no way to change anything under current EU design. even myself, usually a big European supporter, I started to slide toward thinking that definitely "This Europe" was not meant for us, citizens of Europe. Now I'm watching how UK seems to have a far better treatment at "getting out" and since EU needs the City we're probably going to see this differential treatment going along and fine, because well, it's London, not Athens. 

So is this the Europe we want ? 

Europe was made to avoid Wars. Good this worked quite well. 

Europe wasn't made or designed to bring equality and fiscal or political cooperation between members states. this is only tools that are being "produced" now to allow EU institutions to react to ongoing issues. but instead of trying to fix an old patchwork I propose like others, a complete refoundation of the European Project. 

We have the technoology to allow mass participation, we could have more "integration" IF members states pushed by citizens want more harmony between wellfare states across Europe. we could have a totally redesigned Europe, Europe for the People, by the People. the only reason we are not getting it is most of the time Members States not ready to share power or to even loose power. Instead members states prefer the old school and dying way of "more sovereignity" while completely at the mercy of markets that give absolutely no importance at all to the sovereignity you might think to have and will put your "rating" down if they deem necessary without any democratic control. 

In short in my point of View we need a complete Refoundation : either toward regionalism (just look at the situation of Flanders, Scotland, Wales, ireland, Catalonia and what not in the future) or Federalism. 

no matter what we choose to be, nationalism is going backward. it's useless. it's a temporary fix that will not matter in 1 or 2 decades but the argument might help neo-fascist to take power or enter parliaments. 

Is that really what we want ?

 

 

Ricardo Mendes

@cfarivar @Ghostistheshell I understand the victims because I have read how in this community going to the police is seen as snitching, its also a community not prone to recognize any type of vertical system, going to the police is contrary to their belief. Talking to other community members is often being stigmatized even more and not taken seriously: man most of the time give more credit to the abuser because of his social position, his experience and the reputation. the victims have no chance compared to the social reputation of the abuser. they feel trapped. what do they do ? they go public ! they disrupt the social interactions by disclaiming on the public domain what happened to them. If they feel it's their only way, who are we to say: you should go to the police or you should follow legal ways, legal ways that honestly most of the time the "community" does not recognize on his day to day, but suddenly, for serious stuff, then you must follow due process and go to the police ? I don't think most of the readers of this story actually understand the victims side because we are trained not to give attention to all kinds of daily abuse : the reaction most of the time will be : you're making drama out of nothing. this completely eradicate the victim from being heard. most of the time the community react like a virus: rejecting with strong words anything that might disrupt the living organism represented by the community. and by doing so the community is actually closing the door and killing it's chance to make know what's actually going on. by doing so the community force the victims to go public. by going public, most of the victims will want to preserver their identity. who wants to be globally known for getting abused ?
Man comes and say: if this is true you should go to the police and justice and assume publicly that you got abused !! does man Knows how hard that is for a victim ? NO it's doesn't but Man keeps knowing better than any other victim what's the best route to follow "due process". Man is a predator trying to say to it's pray: don't denounce me or I might have to eat you. and if you accuse me I will unleash everything against you.

do you think victims will want to go publicly talk about their abuse when they live in a world where Man and his social status is way more important than the bad actions it does toward others ?

Ricardo Mendes

Facebook might not be consciously meddling the newsfeed taking out conservative view point. Maybe. But it is consciously & actively burying any post you push to Facebook from an application. Even if that application is public and published. Actually since I use Known the only posts people react on Facebook are when I share something inside Facebook or if I take a picture on Instagram and syndicate it to Facebook. These last 2 case scenario get instant reaction. Anything that comes from this website is simply buried. Does not exist because the mighty algorithm doesn't like that in some way bypass the way Facebook was supposed to be used.

Am I completely wrong?

Please provide comments & explain why, I'm really interested to discover that I'm wrong.

Ricardo Mendes

Each time there is a new terrorist attack Members States react the same way :
- Becoming a military police security first totalitarian style democracy (but it's to keep & watch our freedom)
- Cutting on civil liberties (mass surveillance, stigmatisation of communities, ban encryption etc..)
- Using the opportunity to pass laws & brutally reform parts of society without transparency or public consultation
- Going to War (or proxy-wars by smuggling weapons to so called "rebels" or meddling in very complexe situation that it can't possibly dominate or control but still risk doing so for "our security")

Europe in all its glory is applying differently across Members States the 4 big mistake at the same time !

Ricardo Mendes

Changing social media habits thanks to #indieweb

I have been using Twitter since 2006 and Facebook since it opened for the world outside universities back when it was still fun and useful to use facebook for news or grassroots movements issues.

since then even if the world is more and more connected everyday, it also shrink-ed and is now a global village.

By registering to Facebook, we gave our data to online advertising and we basically abandoned our own content rights, coupled with the massive scandal of mass surveillance and corporations basically being private secret services entities for governments.

It took me a while to react : adopt encryption, adopt self-hosted instant communication alternatives, change the way i'm used to deal with my emails (and my various accounts across domains) learn about SSL, secure certificates and many other aspects that changed in a post-snowden world.

one the aspects i wanted to change is the way I use social media : previously i would either use a third party service that would update my different profiles from one post OR i would simply cross post into each social network the information, adapting it's format to the social network being used.

But there is another way around :

IndieWeb can be defined by a bunch of principles : https://indiewebcamp.com/principles

Own your data.
Use visible data for humans first, machines second
Build tools for yourself
Document your stuff
Open source your stuff!
UX and design is more important than protocols
Build platform agnostic platforms.
Longevity. Build for the long web.

and lastly : Have Fun !

When I first heard about i got immediately interested by Idno (at the time) now called Known (powering this blog) I knew it was made by Ben Werdmüller (Elgg) and I got immediately baffled by the simplicity of it's installation to it's daily use.

but most of all, by connecting my own blog to my different social media profiles i was finally able to produce content on my own site and distribute it across the different social networks i want to target my content with.

it allow individuals to go back to the basics : back to the web, let's make the web the social web and NOT "let's make my private garden the place where you have all your interactions with your friends".

in a post Snowden era, it is more & more important to change our habits, otherwise the Snowden revelations will not have the impact they deserve to have to actually be the catalyst to change online behavior but most of all corporate and state behavior toward online activity.

in today's world, we, users are the products. if a third party service is free, then you are the product. in fact "free" should not even be used in the case of facebook, twitter or google. because nothing is free, everything comes at a cost.

the cost we are paying for the road the online world took when Twitter/Facebook/G+ took the lead over more distributed, decentralized, secure alternative is our Privacy, Freedom, Data and ultimately our very own Online Identity.

bring back Your identity in the center of the arena. your website becomes your identity, your login provider, your one stop shop to post any type of content to wherever you want.

in future scenario, one where a lot of people actually use the Web with it's recipe, we could like, favorite, reply, share from our own website to another, without the need of private gardens such as Facebook or others.
we could simply create little by little a distributed social network, simply by connecting and adopting the protocols to our own website/platform/CMS.

this will take out the need to create a facebook/twitter exodus because, instead of making people leave these privates gardens, YOU can start with your own exodus, you can join me and countless others in reclaiming back our identities and still use these corporate social networks to inject content over there, but always retaining control over the data and where it goes or not.

In a probable future, we might be able to subscribe to each other websites, follow etc.. without depending on or having to use a corporate platform to do so. we might be able to subscribe to a indieweb wordpress blog from a Known or Drupal indieweb instance.

Let's build a web that is open, agnostic, self-hosted and secure, not only because we can, but most of all because the time is now !

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.