Category Archives: Uncategorized


Hi, this is Katie Maguire. I’m sort of attempting to create this big paper style post which I would describe as my contemplation of the readings that we have have had during the semester. Admittedly, I’ve been really terrible about blogging consistently, and seemingly MIA, but I have been following the readings.  I’m just really bad at blogging, unless I can easily reblog something on tumblr (the lazy girl’s excuse).  I am so sorry for the delay and thank you for your patience in waiting for my last minute discussions of the readings and the meanings I have taken from them.

Every student should have the opportunity to take a class like this because we have to educate each other on how to appropriately and intelligently communicate our dissent with the new technologies that exist in our lives. (My parents were really happy to know that I was taking this class because they want me to become more knowledgeable about my rights as a creative person who will express my work to a large audience, most often digitally.) I also wanted to say that one of the most important things I have learned from this class, is it’s ok to have opinions, but its not ok to make assumptions. You have to do your research. Overall, also before I begin my posts,  I have to say what an awesome time is has been studying  “freedom of speech’ in the social arena (both online and in real life) this semester. Excellent timing, I’d say! (I’m posting these in snippets tonight until 10p. )

Reading Respons : 11.16

Afghanistan’s Amazing DIY Internet
This reading was really interesting and the FabFi itself looks like a really hands-on project. Being a citizen of developed country, I never thought about building a system out of recycled items. In a way, it’s much efficient and environment friendly. This also made me think about how designers /technicians  sometimes design products that won’t be able to be sustainable and recycled. FabFi projects sort of takes the idea other way around. A product/system that made by recycled items may not be sustainable, but it definitely inspired us to consider more about such issue.


US Underwrites Internet Detour Around Censors
Comapre to FabFi project, I think the idea itself not only waste the money but also very inefficient. Even though the idea is to help independents to develop a better environment to be able to communicate, I think there’s a better way to execute the problem. Sometimes I feel there’s such a big contrast between developed country and non-developed country and that you need so much money to get everything done while another is other way around. 

Iran Protests, Tech Tools at Work
The reading really emphasized how social network effect directly to our society, not only nationally but also globally.  And I think it really become a problem for Iran to control these media platform and limit their influences.  It’s almost impossible to control social network, especially one like facebook and twitters who have billions users.  The most terrible thing about social network is that you can’t estimate  the results once you post something because you don’t know who’s out there and reading your post.

Reading Respons : 11.9

The reading “Digital Zapatistas “really reminds me of Jordan Seiler came in talking the idea and relationship of public and private space in October. The aspect of public space being private has a different meaning to its audience. The idea of digital protest may be a different approach because the method is extremely different. Compare to other two readings, this interested the most because we live in a time when protest movement is one of the events in our society, so  the idea of public space itself being occupied and commercial seems to be an issue.

The “What It’s Like to Participate in Anonymous’ Actions” reading  once again made me realized how the Internet has merged to our basic daily life. It’s just really hard to connect MasterCard and Paypal to such concept because these two services are based on verified individual information.

Reading Respons : 10.19

Truth is a Virus, Meme Warfare And Billionaires for Bush

In the “Truth Is a virus” reading, Boyd talks about how media and advertising as a medium to spread the news, like a  virus. I really like the way Boyd described the media and advertising transaction as viruses, because it is so truth.  Those designs that were meant for a purpose are the ones that especially appealing to the public because there were more creativity and thinkings involved to send out their messages, which makes advertising played an important role in a campaign. Even though nowadays advertisings still play an important role in campaigns, what’s more important is there are so much more mediums that are more efficient than advertisings. I think social network is the “virus” of the new generation because it has been a part of life. Unlike advertisings, social network spreads out a news/event/information faster than any other mediums. Design of this news /event/information means even more because it has to be extraordinary in order to catches people attentions, which I think is a larger challenge for designers.

Users Guide To Demanding The Impossible

This reading also talks about how art/design as mediums to spread the messages. And I thought it is interesting that the design of the cover is rather different than other readings that we have read. The idea of using art to tell something than clearly send to its audiences.  I think this reading really brought out the issue of whether or not a design/art being successful to tell massages. After all, if a design/art is not be able to communicate to its audiences, then the idea of art/design being a medium has lost.

Posts to the Wiki

Just in case, I’d like to share my posts to the Building Speech Wiki here as well:

Persepolis and Speech



Persepolis is a 2007 French animated film written and directed by Marjane Satrapi with Vincent Paronnaud. The film is based on Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel of the same name. The story is a memoir about Satrapi’s childhood in Tehran during the Iranian Revolution and adolescent exile in Vienna.

Persepolis and its relation with Speech

Persepolis examines the self-policing nature of patriarchy. Living under the Islamist regime in Iran, Marjane states: “The regime had understood that one person leaving her house while asking herself: ‘Are my trousers long enough?’ ‘Is my veil in place?’ ‘Can my makeup be seen?’ ‘Are they going to whip me?’ no longer asks herself: ‘Where is my freedom of thought?’ ‘Where is my freedom of speech?’ ‘My life, is it livable?’ ‘What’s going on in the political prisons?’…When we’re afraid, we lose all sense of analysis and reflection. Our fear paralyzes us.”

Fear is a great obstacle towards freedom of speech. Fear, e.g. of being called “fat” in America or “amoral” in Iran, makes women monitor their physical looks and behavior. Thus, patriarchic systems minimize an important threat to their regime: a free female mind.

Western vs Iran Feminism

“Wearing the veil is synonymous with emancipation” (Persepolis 2, 144).

While Western feminists see wearing the veil as a form of repression, some Iranian feminists do see the veil as pro-woman act . They believe that using the veil protects them from being commoditized as sex objects and enables them to act and move freely in the public sphere. In “Islam and Feminisms: An Iranian Case-Study”, author Haleh Afshar says that “once women have freed themselves from the shackles of femininity and its demands for sexuality, they become human beings; they can gain the gaze and cease to be the object of attention.”

In Marjane’s Persepolis, sex seems to be primarily liberating and a way to express her rebellion against norms (e.g. proudly declaring she is no longer a virgin to her friends, etc.). At the same time, in order to have an acceptable sexual relationship in Iran, the main character enters into an early marriage. Persepolis doesn’t choose sides on “who is to say that women definitively do or do not want Iran’s moral codes?” Both the comic and the film rather advocate women’s self determination and individual voices.


Persepolis won the Jury Prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. In her acceptance speech, Satrapi said “Although this film is universal, I wish to dedicate the prize to all Iranians.” The film also won Best First Work (Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi) and Best Writing – Adaptation (Vincent Paronnaud and Marjane Satrapi) at the César Awards (France). Other honors include Best Foreign Language Film at São Paulo International Film Festival, Rogers People’s Choice Award for Most Popular International Film at the Vancouver International Film Festival, Grand Prize at the London Film Festival, and Special Jury Prize at Cinemanila International Film Festival.

Critical Reception

Although the film was critically acclaimed by a number of sources, such as Rotten Tomatoes, Metacritic, Time magazine, Empire magazine, among others, Persepolis also received complaints from a number of countries.

Iran Farabi Foundation, a government-connected organization, sent a letter to the French embassy in Tehran saying, “This year the Cannes Film Festival, in an unconventional and unsuitable act, has chosen a movie about Iran that has presented an unrealistic face of the achievements and results of the glorious Islamic Revolution in some of its parts”. However, the Iranian cultural authorities allowed limited screening in Tehran.

The film was also dropped from the Bangkok International Film Festival, when Festival director Chattan Kunjara na Ayudhya agreed with the Iranian Embassy that it would be beneficial if the film was not shown. Lebanon initially banned the film because it was “offensive to Iran and Islam.” In Tunisia, there was a demonstration the day after the private television station Nessma showed the film.


Scatter Chat (by Hacktivismo)

Hacktivismo Skullreporter
Hacktivismo Skullreporter

Scatter Chat is “a free, open source application designed to facilitate secure and private real-time communication over the Internet. ” Scatter Chat is an instant messaging client based on Gaim (now known as Pidgin), written by J. Salvatore Testa II, and released at the H.O.P.E. Number Six conference in New York City on July 22, 2006.

Scatter Chat lets users connect to messaging networks such as AIM and Yahoo, but also allows to communicate with others using Scatter Chat over these networks under the veil of encryption.

The software is intended for non-technical activists and dissidents communicating through Internet servers subverted by oppressive governments. It is also useful in free countries whose governments are trying to better national security by spying on its citizens.


Hacktivismo is an offshoot of CULT OF THE DEAD COW (cDc), whose beliefs include access to information as a basic human right. It was founded in 1999. The group’s beliefs are described fully in The Hacktivismo Declaration, which seeks to apply the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to the Internet. Oxblood Ruffin, the director of Hacktivismo, has argued forcefully against definitions of hacktivism that include web defacements or denial-of-service attacks. Hacktivismo has also authored its own software license agreement, the Hacktivismo Enhanced-Source Software License Agreement (HESSLA). The HESSLA prohibits use or modification that would violate human rights or introduce features that spy on the user.


Its security features include “perfect forward secrecy, immunity from replay attacks, and limited resistance to traffic analysis, ” all armored through a pro-actively secure design. According to lead developer J. Salvatore Testa II, “the anonymity and encryption that Scatter Chat provides ensures that both the identities and messages of activists remain a mystery, even to well-funded totalitarian governments.” James Thornton in his review at Softonic affirms that Scatter Chat, although it “drains more bandwidth than most IM clients and takes a while to set up”, “represents a great way to make sure that your private conversations stay private, by allowing you to connect securely through Gaim encryption technology” .

On the other hand, Steven J. Murdoch in his article “Protocol design is hard — Flaws in Scatter Chat “ identified several non-critical protocol flaws that introduce a vulnerability within certain threat models, which are capability probing and spoofing attack, lack of forward secrecy, and collision attacks. Murdoch suggests that, while the new OTR-protocol –based version arrives, “a similar result can be achieved with GAIM, and official OTR plugin then configuring them to use Tor, albeit without secure file transfer.”


Entries for the Un-Manual

Ai Wei Wei (katie)
Bust mag (katie)
illegal art (haley)
network in a suitcase (hirumi)
mobile projection unit (hirumi)
ad hoc mesh networks (jonathan)
flash mobs (ashika)
game mod virtual jihadi by wafaa bilal (haitham)
festiva come out and play (haitham)
psa’s (sue)
guerilla girls feminist posters (anna)
voina Russian art collective (biran)
Anti Advertising agency (brian)
direct action (ben & pasha)
manual syndication (pasha)
velvet strike mod of counter strike (pasha)
scatter chat by activismo (ricardo)
persepolis (ricardo)
AIDS post it project (tina)

Reading Response 11.30

I have to admit, I haven’t really kept up with what has been going on with Occupy after the Zucotti removal, besides what has happened at the Occupy NS locations and at UC Davis. The Shocking Truth article was very helpful in synthesizing the hierarchy of control as imposed by the puppet masters. Of course there must be a large (powerful) network, run by fear, that is calling the shots and acting with such brute force simultaneously across the country.

Pasha had posted this image on facebook, and it just speaks volumes about our country. The last time I saw an image like this were about the Syrian protests and brutality; the only Time cover that didn’t have this was the US one.

In one of my earlier posts, I had mentioned that the Occupy movement reminded me of the National Mall in DC during the inauguration. The second article had mentioned that we should expect some big uprisings in the spring related directly to the upcoming election, which I’m personally very excited for. I hope that this movement evokes changes within our political system.

And I actually want to state my piece a little bit on what I observed from the New School occupation. Granted, I wasn’t  a part of it, so it’s not my place to critique the mission statement behind this group, but holy cow was this the first time I was embarrassed to be a supporter of this movement. Yes, I understand this is private property, and that private institutions are responsible for a lot of fucked up greed, but what was the point of this? It was a lot of damage. And who had to clean this up? Not the 1%, but janitors and security guards, and probably us and future students with however much our tuition increases because of this. Unless someone has another way to justify this, I am definitely not a fan.

It also opens up a new host of “Lord of the Flies”-esque (Or “The Others” from LOST, or what happened with Shane in last weeks The Walking Dead) questions with movements like this. How do you proceed when a sub-sect of the community decides to go rogue?

Reading Response 11.16

Recently, cell phone, Internet and even television have been using as a tool for the power of political issue. Therefore, some countries are not available to access to the Web to share news and information online because of increasing political tensions. For example, in the article “Iran Protests, Tech Tools at Work” in Iran, as the government keep blocking most of the website especially social networks, many protesters are trying to find the way to access the site and share information. I know that people have freedom of speech online or public space, but they need to be careful to talk and share about political issue in Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, and so on. The article “Afghanistan’s Amazing DIY Internet” talks about Afganistan’s DIY Internet Brings the Web to War-torn Towns. After I read this article, I was surprised that people who in Afghanistan built their own wireless networks out of found materials called FabFi. I thought because people who live in war torn countries are hard to find and get lots of information with Internet, they really need more fast speed Internet network. Imagine if you will being stuck in a country like Afghanistan where even the most basic amenities (water, food, shelter) are hard to come by. Would the Internet bring any sort of benefit at all? Absolutely. At least, that’s what the guys behind the FabFi project believe. The purpose of FabFi is not to just set it up and go, they’re determined to empower dissidents located in remote places to connect with the rest of the world. I think This MacGyver-like project, FabFi is a very creative system because it provides technical training and computer resources to local Afghanis — but more importantly, it is tasked with helping to build an open, extensible, wireless network in and around Jalalabad.

The Bible

Not sure if this is helpful, but in one of my classes, we got to see the special collection for Visionaire in the Gimbel Library, which is on the 2nd floor of 2w 13th st building. There was a special issue of these really amazing artistic reinterpretations of passages from The Bible so it made me think of Ricardo’s project. It might be helpful if you need other precedents or inspirations for your project, since we mentioned yesterday that other inspirations should be included on our site. In order to see the collection, you have to schedule a visit with the librarian, they are very careful of how the collection is handled. The collection for other issues of Visionaire is amazing, I recommend it to everyone.

The case for it: