September 29, 2000
# ah, the olympics


13 Good Reasons to Hate the Olympics gave me more than enough reasons. Go read it.

The Olympic Games: a good excuse for Fascism (tm). Free speech? Nah. You gotta pay for it.

The Sydney Indymedia Center.

Trudeau dead at 80. Wow.

I saw the best minds of my occupation destroyed by venture capital, burned-out, paranoid, postal...

Different ways of dealing with entertainment.

Things are getting veritably insane over here. I've got a lot to do.

posted by dru in blog
September 27, 2000
# oral tradition


From the forthcoming 'Dru's big book of tenuous aphorisms':

How interesting an internet project is varies inversely with its potential profitability.

There are two kinds of local business owners. The kind that loves what they do are found in diminishing quantities

posted by dru in blog
September 26, 2000
# reductio ad absurdum


Libertarianism makes you stupid [Via Daily Churn]

Compare the choice of photographs between this story, from the BBC, and this one from CorpWatch. What makes violence so interesting that it gets covered to the exclusion of massive peaceful protests?

Infoanarchy is covering the death of intellectual property.

posted by dru in blog
September 24, 2000
# A Wall


Clinton, Albright, others, sentenced to 20 years in jail for war crimes. Too bad this trial was conducted by Milosevic, as that seems to rob it of its credibility.

However, if such a trial were conducted in a more credible context (the context reuters places it in), I doubt the results would be any less harsh.

A thread about democratizing media with lots of good links is happening over at metafilter.

Democratizing the Mass Media: an assessment and a proposal.

MP3.com payed record companies a few hundred million dollars to carry some of their music. How much went to artists? Zero.

Support artists. Boycott the RIAA.

I just picked up Pink Floyd's The Wall Live double album. I would have downloaded it and sent money to directly to the artists, but I'm out of hard drive space, and the cool photos that comes with it make it a little more valuable in tangible form.

posted by dru in blog
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September 22, 2000
# Argosy


I posted a buncha stuff to Blue Green.

This year's first issue of the Argosy is online, using my new design. Comments welcome. dojy@mta.ca

Kendall criticized what I said yesterday. He was right. I suffer from a side effect of low-friction publishing: not saying what I mean.

posted by dru in blog
September 21, 2000
# Canuck Academia


Canadian Academics object to their work being sold by Contentville. They say:

"The public has already paid for our research with their tax dollars. We don't feel anybody should be making a profit on the selling of theses"

So do they plan to offer them online for free? If tax dollars paying for research is the basis of the decision, then there's really no excuse for not providing the theses in a medium where publishing costs the reader next to nothing.

posted by dru in blog
September 19, 2000
# Capital


I just finished a day packed solid from 10am to 10pm with classes, meetings, projects, and a bit of stress. And now I can't sleep.

The Register examines the insanity that is the Olympics. What a crock. Why o why o why is this tolerated? It's completely nuts. It's capitalism.

In another forum, someone mentionned the importance of quantitative differences. For example, in copyright law, the difference between sending a few paragraphs of a book and sending a chapter matters a lot in terms of legality.

In an abstract sense, capitalism is the same way. Money is a useful medium of exchange on a relatively small scale. It provides incentives to provide a quality product or a reliable service. However, when you try to say that money provides the same incentives on an exponentially larger scale, things tend to fall apart much more quickly. Control of the market, manipulation of demand, and the subversion of culture become economically incentivized.

From there, things just get bad. It doesn't look like it, because it seems that we're getting what we want. Problem is, society has already been set up to want tangible, profit-making items. Capitalism can't fulfill a demand for less stuff.

If culture and commerce stayed at a reasonable distance from each other, capitalism could work nicely. Except that staying away from culture is inimical to capitalism as we know it.

In other words, there have to be strict limits to what meta levels capital can affect in order for it to be beneficial to society. For instance, exclusive control of, say food distribution on a college campus should not be put up for sale. Marriott owns these rights here in Sackville.

Those are my thoughts on capitalism.

posted by dru in blog
September 18, 2000
# Nader
posted by dru in blog
September 17, 2000
# Genocide

Here's a syllogism - you provide the conclusion:

    Genocide is "the systematic killing of a racial or cultural group."

    The United States and Britain are systematically killing Iraqi people.

    The Iraqi people are a cultural group.

    Therefore: __________

And we thought that was just for Nazis!

Factual note: no, we're not just targeting weapons; the UN has withheld chlorine and other necessary elements for drinkable water, and dams have been bombed (leaving flood control and irrigation capacities damaged). Furthermore, we (that's "we", in the sense that our democratically elected governments are doing this) have denied Iraqi doctors access to medical journals since 1993.

What could denying access to medical information possibly be good for, except for systematically killing a whole population?

It is a truly sad and evil thing we are doing.

posted by dru in blog
September 15, 2000
# red... no wait, blue! aaaauuuuuugghhh..

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

I remember commenting that one of the more potent metaphors that The Matrix represented was the collective illusions we hold as a society. Otherwise known as Concensual Realities. [via eatonweb]

posted by dru in blog
September 14, 2000
# /., ideal democracy.

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

First Monday: Slashdot and the Public Sphere.

My web surfing has become book reading to a large extent (probably a good thing). Last night, I started in on Herodotus and some Presocratics. I also did some figurative sculpture yesterday, which is darned hard. All indications lead me to believe that this is going ot be a fun (if a bit strenuous) term.

posted by dru in blog
September 11, 2000
# Love the glam.

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

A better way to 'buycott' the RIAA.

Aussie protestors block conference"Organisers of the summit branded the demonstration an 'abuse of democracy.'

Probably the most common criticism of direct action blocking conferences such as the WTO and the WEF is that forceful shutdowns are undemocratic. Such a criticism, however, ignores the fundamentally undemocratic nature of such meetings. How can one oppose an undemocratic process through democratic means which don't exist? Our sources of information, our political representation, and our self-determination have been hijacked.

Not convinced? Ask yourself, did I vote for genocide in the last election?

I wonder if the spirit of the Olympics is being lost on some people?

Very large numbers [last three via Daily Churn]

Scott McCloud:

'Slaps' are becoming very common, those lawsuits that are nothing but nuisance suits to intimidate people. Thatís gangster stuff. I see no difference between that and planting a bomb in your local greengrocerís apartment because he wonít pay up to the mob. I think itís the exact same thing, itís just a matter of degree. Itís criminal behavior from an ethical standpoint.

...and...

[Stephen] King charged too much! I want that on the record. That thing cost too much! Heís cutting out an army of middlemen and heís still going to make the same amount per word from the consumer. Thatís not right! He should be charging fifty cents for that thing. Itís not his fault, thereís not a model in place to do that. It bugs me.

...and...

A book is like a bomb. You pack all of these chemicals and things into it over the course of a year and they read it in a second, with that amount of compression. Think how long it takes.

Ah heck, I'm not gonna keep quoting all the good stuff I see, so go read it.

Back to school. Misnomer updates may or may not occur less frequently. A lot of projects have been put on the back burner.

My roommate is listening to some kind of speed/death metal. The drumming is really quite impressive. [it turns out the band is called Opeth, and are better described as black or doom metal.]

posted by dru in blog
September 09, 2000
# A bed of sound

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

NPR has a short, sweet piece on various applications of the Street Performer Protocol. [realaudio]

There is a review in Feed of Volume: A bed of sound, an exhibition of audio art at PS1 that I went and saw in July. It's a sixty-foot long futon with minidisc players embedded into the sideboard, and headphones extending from it. Visitors to the exhibit can (after removing shoes), lay on the futon and listen to one of sixty minidiscs filled with various audio art pieces. I can't say I could think of a better way to present audio in the context of a visual art museum. A very cool idea.

posted by dru in blog
September 08, 2000
# I don't want to pay record companies

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

Suck says the internet will not change the world, because The Lawyers rule, and will continue to rule. "the blind narcissism that leads geeks to confuse "can be done" with "will be allowed" is disastrously naive."

Nick Petrely: Information doesn't want to be free, people want it to be. It seems that the original quote that spawned the "wants to be free" catchphrase has been all but forgotten.

Stewart Brand said it, and his full quote was:

Information wants to be free -- because it is now so easy to copy and distribute casually -- and information wants to be expensive -- because in an Information Age, nothing is so valuable as the right information at the right time.

Petrely would have done well to look it up. However, this hardly dimishes his points, since hardly anyone who drops that line knows the full context of the quote.

I agree with Petrely's point in principle: if we really believe in free information, let's support musicians who copyleft their work, instead of stealing the work of the people who want money for their intellectual property.

However, it is my opinion that the record industry is so fundamentally corrupt that erasing the possibility of making a lot of money from Brittany Spears albums would be a good thing overall.

People who buy music don't really give a s#it if Ms. Spears makes $1.00 (if that) from a $15 purchase. If a lesser known artist supplies quality content freely on their website, however, there is a much better likelyhood that people who listen will say "this is worth my money", and if there's an easy way to send the artist $3 (Paypal, anyone?), then they might just do it.

If I have to pay $15 so that an artist can make $2 (and that's darned optimistic), then the economics just don't work for me. At that point, I'll download the songs from some hotline server, and since there's no easy way to send money to the artist, no one makes any money.

posted by dru in blog
September 06, 2000
# Yet more stress in Sackville

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

I'm back in Sackville, but now faced with the somewhat daunting task of finding a place to stay. Unfortunately, this means that all the fun projects I had planned for that week before school starts are on hold. </whine>

On the good news side of things, I just installed an additional 128 megs of RAM on my s900, so computer-based life is considerably less stressful.

posted by dru in blog
September 05, 2000
# Scott McCloud

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

Another Scott McCloud interview. A long one, with interesting topics this time. "Why should you be restricted to this technologically mandated rhythm of the page?" Scott McCloud is the man.

An interesting account of the current Seattle music scene. Artists are less taken with the record industry these days. Good Article.

No Media Kings.

posted by dru in blog
September 02, 2000
# Colombia

The United States and British governments killed Iraqi children today.

Ten Ways to Democratize the Global Economy.

Colombia Support Network's statement on the Clinton Administration's national security waiver on military aid to Colombia.

Bijan Parsia on Clinton's doubletalk regarding Colombia.

Olympic Organizing Committee bans athletes from Net Storytelling. The real reason is a little farther down: "The organizers are taking every precaution they can to ensure that their broadcast partners, which have paid $1.32 billion for exclusive TV rights, don't get scooped by the Net."

When events that have noble intentions at the start, but tend to degenerate into greed-fests and power grabs (witness the above and Olympic committee corruption), it becomes harder and harder to keep the original goals in sight. A sad product of globalized media, perhaps, but sadly, it seems that good intentions get easily crowded out for stronger (and less noble) motivations whether locally or otherwise. Human nature?

thuja:

An old, very sweet dog named Thuja, sitting on my front porch.

posted by dru in blog