Degenerate Art revisited – new beginnings of fascism?

Recently posted on Facebook by a young (white) sympathiser /supporter of the burning of art and vandalism of historical monuments by #Rhodesmustfall protagonists at the University of Cape Town (and subsequently at other institutions of learning in South Africa) –

If you’re white and you’re complaining about paintings being burned, please do us all a favour and get to some self – reflexive thought processes…

Here’s my knee-jerk reaction to this hasty and short-sighted fulmination –

In March, 1939, the Berlin Fire Brigade burned some 4000 paintings, drawings and prints which apparently had little value on the international market. This was an act of unprecedented vandalism, although the Nazis were then already well used to book burnings on a large scale.   A large amount of “degenerate art” by PicassoDalí, Ernst, Klee, Léger and Miró was destroyed in a bonfire on the night of July 27, 1942, in the gardens of the Galerie nationale du Jeu de Paume in Paris.  By Nazi/Fascist protagonists.

More recently we have seen destruction of world heritage sites in Afghanistan, Mali, Syria, Iraq and Libya –

The Islamic State (IS) has destroyed much of the cultural heritage in the areas it controls in Iraq. At least 28 religious buildings were looted and destroyed, including Shiite mosques, tombs, shrines and churches. In addition, numerous ancient and medieval sites and artifacts, including the ancient cities of Nimrud and Hatra, parts of the wall of Nineveh, the ruins of Bash Tapia Castle and Dair Mar Elia, and artifacts from the Mosul Museum were also destroyed.  The Islamic State also destroyed the Lion of Al-lāt, the temples of Bel and Baalshamin, the Arch of Triumph and other sites in Palmyra. The group also destroyed the Monastery of St. Elian, the Armenian Genocide Memorial Church, and several ancient sculptures in the city of Ar-Raqqah.


Inasmuch, I agree with Oxford historian RW Johnson that what this campaign is trying to do here is no different from what ISIS /ISIL and Al-Qaeda have been doing to art and cultural history elsewhere.  To quote, “#Rhodesmustfall campaign is not merely fatuous but ugly, vandalistic and dangerous.”

The #Rhodesmustfall campaign is simply a bunch of myopic, spoilt, ungrateful fascists using racial politics and cheap guilt-tripping to ruin the life and fabric of respected institutions of ‘learning’ in their attempts to destroy history.  Watch them start wearing uniforms scheming new forms of militant intimidation; South Africa’s very own Kata’ib Taswiyya – fundamentalists, looting and plundering,  grabbing the world’s attention through the destruction of art and heritage, particularly given the extensive media coverage that comes afterwards, defining an ugly spot of their own degenerate history.




Posted in Uncategorized

Indiegogo just got richer…

As the nascent industry of crowdfunding “matures” (read more profitable for fatcats), some big-name investors are getting involved. Indiegogo, an early player, said an all-star list of tech entrepreneurs and venture capitalists is now backing the company.

The new investors include Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson, PayPal co-founder and Yelp chairman Max Levchin, Yahoo board chairman Maynard Webb, Draper Fisher Jurvetson Founding Partner Tim Draper,’s former Chief Executive Dawn Lepore, and a former Visa President Hans Morris. The company didn’t reveal details about amounts invested.

The new money follows a $40 million Series B financing the company raised in January to accelerate its international expansion and develop new product features.

As the industry matures, the field of crowdfunding is also growing cluttered and competitive, with a proliferation of sites that help users connect with donors, investors, or customers willing to “pre-order” projects and products before they’re made.

At the same time prospective backers are being offered an even wider choice of places to lose their money to charletans.

According to LORA KOLODNY   @lorakolodny

Indiegogo Inc. has raised $40 million in a new round of financing, the single largest venture capital investment into a crowdfunding business so far, according to DJX VentureSource.

Institutional Venture Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers led the Series B round, joined by the company’s existing investors Insight Venture Partners, MHS Capital, Metamorphic Ventures and ff Venture Capital.

The new funding brings the company’s total venture capital raised to $56.5 million, according to co-founder and Chief Executive Slava Rubin.

The company does not disclose how much money its platform has raised on behalf of its campaign creators, nor does it disclose the percent of campaigns that attained funding.

Mr. Rubin says Indiegogo distributes “millions of dollars” to people running crowdfunding campaigns in 70 to 100 countries every week. Those campaigns include charity fundraisers, startup teams seeking to “customer-fund” the creation of a new app or device, and filmmakers, musicians and other artists seeking to fund a creative project.

[seriaas? jk]

Kleiner Perkins’ Partner John Doerr says that to remain a leader in the increasingly cluttered field of crowdfunding, Indiegogo should “continue to obsess on the customer…[and] emulate Android and YouTube’s global, open platform strategy.”

[seriaas? They are clearly obsessed by the money, NOT the customer based on our present negative experience with Indiegogo’s customer happiness support programme which issues stereotyped form responses to compalints about rip-off campaigns jk]

John expects the company to invest near term in hiring engineers, accelerating its international expansion and developing new product features that “matter to users.”

Jules Maltz, a general partner with Institutional Venture Partners, also noted the company’s open model, saying he expects Indiegogo to become “the Android of crowdfunding” while viewing Kickstarter as “the Apple of crowdfunding,” referring to the tighter limits Kickstarter imposes on the kinds of campaigns it allows.

Kickstarter bans, among other things, political, “fund my life” and charitable campaigns. Indiegogo encourages these and has fewer limits overall.

[And this clearly is the reason why the sondors ebike was campaigned on Indiegogo, not Kickstarter! jk]

“If people can’t back a campaign right then and there, a campaign will lose a lot of conversions,” Mr. Rubin said…

[and I stand to lose a lot of money…jk]

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Posted in ebike, Indiegogo

Indiegogo Customer Happiness? A response

Oh dear. customer happiness ? indeed.


Please forward my response to your CEO Mr Rubin – nice picture of him with Storm Sondors!

I would appreciate if your company would refund US$ 2396 which I paid in consideration for the (Indiegogo InDemand) pre-sale *perk* of four Storm Sondors ebikes which we planned to have operational, powered by remote solar-charging stations, by a RHINO anti-poaching team in Damaraland in northwestern Namibia by mid July 2015?

In case you don’t know, Namibia is a country in southwestern Africa. We have the largest remaining wild population of seriously endangered Black Rhinos in the world.

The monies which I extended for this product are important to me and the future of rhino conservation, and I am deeply concerned by the fact that a lawsuit was filed by your Agency 2.0 against Storm-Sondors for (contractual) non-payment.

If Agency 2.0 has not been paid, then how am I going to receive these ebikes that meets the specifications that were outlined in the offering, that will be properly supported, will be safe to operate and help Namibia prevent the extinction of the last remaining wild black rhino population in the world as directly correlated to the sexual inadequacies of very wealthy Chinese businessmen who clearly appear to be associated with the manufacture of this Sondors ebike?

I would ask that you step in as the strongest party in this transaction, not have your staff send me very patronising, stereotypic form letters, and refund my money at this time. We are not completely stupid here in Africa; indeed this whole messy business reads like a 419 scam, which has its roots in Nigeria – another country in Africa.

By refunding me, you might consider this as a likely first philanthropic commitment to supporting rhino conservation in Africa, and not come across as just one more callous money-making partner in this “second most successful indiegogo crowdfunding campaign”, while we sweat to prevent rhino horns from getting to Chinese businessmen with erectile dysfunction.

I also expect your team to work with Storm Sondors to resolve any and all of my existing concerns; and share this likely positive engagement with the 13,000 well-meaning supporters of the Sondors ebike campaign.


Joris Komen
Netday Namibia

cc. Ambassador Martin Andjaba, Embassy of Namibia, Washington DC
cc. One Africa Television

powered by solar energy!

On Fri, Apr 24, 2015, at 09:22, Christine (Indiegogo Customer Happiness)
> ## Please do not write below this line ##
> [Indiegogo Support] Re: Sondors bike campaign
> ———————————————-
> Christine, Apr 24, 01:22
> Hi Joris,
> Thanks for your question. Indiegogo is not able to guarantee that perks
> will be delivered or deemed satisfactory. The nature of crowdfunding is
> such that campaigns on Indiegogo are raising funds for work-in-progress
> projects, ideas, or causes. Contributing to a campaign and claiming a
> perk on Indiegogo is not the same as buying something online. Because
> projects may still be in their early stages, many things can happen
> between the time the project is raising funds and the expected project
> release date. While your contribution brings the campaign idea closer to
> becoming reality, there’s always the chance that a project may end up
> falling through, and the campaign owner may not be able to offer their
> contributors the perks they’d originally promised.
> That said, campaign owners **are** still held by our Terms of Use
> ( to fulfill perks. If for any
> reason they’re unable to offer you the perk you claimed, campaign owners
> are obligated to reach out to their contributors and work out a mutually
> satisfactory resolution- this resolution could be an alternative perk, a
> promise to issue the promised perk at a later date, or a refund. We
> always recommend opening up a conversation with the campaign owner if you
> have any question about what will happen to your contribution.
> Thanks for your understanding.
> Cheers,
> Christine
> Customer Happiness
> Indiegogo (

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Posted in #namibia, ebike, EV, Indiegogo, solar power, sondors, sondors ebike

How To Purchase Ebike Motors And Batteries From China Without Getting Screwed Over (too bad) In The Process

Some more sage advice on ebike acquisition!

Posted in Uncategorized

How To Be An Educated Crowdfunded Electric Fatbike Consumer

And here a warm fuzzy perspective to make me only a tiny bit more comfortable with the upcoming additional risk of paying for the shipping of the sondors ebikes to Namibia!

Posted in Uncategorized

Will the Sondors ebike campaign yet turn out to be a grand scam?

The enthusiasm!

The Sondors eBike campaign is the 2nd most funded campaign on Indiegogo of all time, having raised over $5.2 million. More than 12,000 backers have supported the project with the majority contributing with the expectation they will receive a budget eBike this year. It now looks like Indiegogo have allowed some thieves to rip off well-meaning supporters to the tune of US$ 5.4 million, which, based on their fees and pricing structure, means Indiegogo are also scoring on this – at our expense. If this campaign turns out to be a scam, what, if any, chance do we have of recovering the funds we committed??

Some depressing threads on this topic –


So far no reaction from either Indiegogo or the Sondors campaign staff.  This could turn out a depressing turn of events for our efforts to get affordable ebikes into Namibia

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Posted in ebike, Indiegogo, sondors

About OER world map

About. let’s hope this becomes a considered map of OER IN THE WORLD – I also wish that these collaborators would also work on a cohesive solution for an online pick-menu of OER – from which I can select the OER I want and burn an image for a gazillion offline users; not what the OER service, often very patronizing, believes we need!

Posted in Uncategorized