Real life intrudes on my virtual world

...meaning I don't get to post very often, but I've moved on to Flock, and it has what appears to be some great internal blogging tools. Seems good so far, supporting drag. and drip from the excellent web clipboard the Flock provides...



Schrodinger's LolCat

Weeks away from the blog, and this is the best I can do? A lolcat? For shame!


the changing sound of the noise floor

As I listen to the dying notes of 'videotape', the final song on the new radiohead album, and the less-than-perfect 160kbit mp3 reproduction collapses into the alien digital noise floor, it occurs to me that I have become as emotionally attached to this sound as I once was to the the needle-drop, the rumble and the crackle of the vinyl of my childhood. It has become a pleasant sound, attached to more than two decades of music listening that has brought me much pleasure. The crappy digital noise now brings with it those positive emotions.

Over the past few years, most of my listening has been sourced from my computer, where I often have to deal with digital noise from hard drives. I wonder how ingrained that will become in my psyche, and if in later years, when solid state drives are the norm and computer sound more crystal clear than the best audiophile systems available, I will yearn for the strange clicks and whirrs of my knackered old hard drives clunking their way through thermal recalibration.

Powered by ScribeFire.



Ah, the net is filled with all kinds of funny.


The Accellerating Prescience of The Onion

I've recently found a reasonably convincing set of arguments that google is god, or as close as the classic definitions as anything that has ever existed. Well, if gods can exist online, why not prophets?

Let's face it, The onion has been remarkably prescient from time to spooky time. Just check out their take on a bush presidency in January 2001, or their article on the RIAA in 2002. Here's a version of the bush prediction, annotated with links to actual events - it's quite scary.

Now check out this 2005 article regarding Bush's planned exit strategy for Iraq, which involves exiting through Iran, with a fuel stop in Syria. It doesn't sound so funny now. It hasn't seemed that ridiculous an idea for quite some time.

Previously we had to wait years for the Onion to go from satire to reality, now I fear that is coming down to months. I'm beginning to worry that the onion satire to reality time is part of an accelerating process that will soon reach a kind of singularity, where the onion will no longer be able to be funny. No matter how out there or ridiculous the headline, reality will have got there first.

The US 2008 Elections and the Rest of the World

With 70% of America now online, a new force comes into play in the 2008 election which has never been of much importance to Americans. The rest of the world. The results of the 2008 elections and the candidates chosen will have a dramatic effect on global stability. While they may not have a vote, they do have a voice, and they can do a lot of work persuading Americans to make the right choice. Ideally the choice of a politician willing to stop US warmongering and to concentrate instead on making the US into a healthy rational peaceful country, which would be better for everyone (apart from a small number of rich people running arms companies, who, quite frankly, deserve a slow ignominious death).

Actually, whenever I turn on the telly and see 4 channels of American imported junk, and have to endure identikit strips of Macdonalds and KFC's, I think I deserve a vote too. Then I look at the crap UK imported junk TV and the crap homemade NZ junk TV and realise that the problem lies not in the country of origin, but in the medium. Maybe the same could be said about nationalistic party politics.

Anyway, there you go, Rest of the World. There's your challenge. Persuade and cajole your American cuzzies to vote for Paul, Gravel or Kucinich. Shit, just persuade them to get out and vote, or to put some thought into the choice they are making and how many lives other than their own it will affect. To some Americans their vote is still decided on which party will give them more money or job security next year, but to millions in Iran (for example) it is literally a matter of life and death.

So America, please stop electing warmongers. Pretty please. We'd go back to liking you and saying how swell y'all are. Then you'll be less scared of us, and we'll be less scared of you, and all will be well.


Reg rants on reddit again: American Consumption

For American consumers, how much is enough? (reddit.com) context

This is a question the world has been asking for decades.

We'd really like an answer please, because if Americans don't stop their overconsumption, they're doomed. As much as they may feel picked on and hated by us Euros at the moment, we'd really rather see them succeed than go down writhing in the flames of their own greed. Most days.

There is no possible way they can continue with their current lifestyle. The 1000 mile Caesar salad, the Fiji water and the McMansion at the end of a two hour commute, all are entirely reliant on cheap oil. Problem is, most of the remaining oil is in The Rest Of The World. They have pissed off pretty much all of The Rest Of The World recently, so I wouldn't anticipate a return to cheap oil anytime soon.

So, somewhere along the line, the American mindset of 'bigger is better', the love affair with SUV's on steroids and the crass idolising of bling has to end, and a more sustainable mindset take it place. The only question is when, or is it too late?


Cthulhu 2008


Let's face it, it can't get any worse. Surely some many-tentacled beasts from a hellish dimension would be a welcome change in US politics. Or maybe it would just be same-old same-old.