Monday, October 27, 2008

Using Twitter? You're probably a Terrorist.

Eh, brilliant - Twitter is for activists terrorists! GPS is also to be suspected as dangerous.

"Twitter is already used by some members to post and/or support extremist ideologies and perspectives," the report said.

"Extremist and terrorist use of Twitter could evolve over time to reflect tactics that are already evolving in use by hacktivists and activists for surveillance," it said. "This could theoretically be combined with targeting."

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Music to Rise to

Wasn't expecting much from the Official UK Top 40 on telly this morning, but the video for 'Handlebars' by (The) Flobots really grabbed my attention. No embedding for it (nor for the Youtube version, so follow the link and check it out. Watching it the second time, I got a lot more out of it in fact (mostly as I had no idea who this lot were, and assumed they were as vacuous as the rest of the top 40).

The Flobots battle against the trend for banal pap that litters the charts (update: they even have a manifesto). Their video for "Rise" (also worth checking out) links to AmericaWillBe.org and FightWithTools.org, both entrances into community-led, non-violent activism that we probably need more of.

Here's their official site, UK site, and Wikipedia page.

Also, I thought I'd blogged it before, but can't find it now, but the recent video of Rage Against the Machine going acoustic after being stopped from playing outside the Republic National Convention back in September. 10 minutes, but a great watch. Embedded below.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Small Conspiracies #1: Deodorant

Noses, eh?

Those TV adverts where you smell so much like the best chocolate in the world that you BECOME A CHOCOLATE at the expense of all else. And as if losing all sense of ego to a Cadbury-based life-form ain't enough for you, you can look forward to being Eaten Alive by attractive women who would rather digest you than sleep with you. (Fortunately, according to the ads, fat and ugly woman just don't care about chocolate, forming a paradoxically attractive-yet-cannibalistic horde of women around you. Or maybe that's just Milton Keynes for you. Who Can Say?)

It's come to my attention not-so-recently that under-arm deodorant is a small yet major player in the global conspiracy to keep us from realising Our True Selves. In terse terms, it is a scam, and a sham, and should be exposed for the snake oil it truly is. Moreover, it strikes at the very heart of our very hearts. For, through those insidious forms of advertising that seek to stigmatise our own bodily functions, we are trained into becoming prisoners of sweat-tastic guilt of Epic Proportions.

Ladies and Gentlemen, there is nothing wrong with a good bit of sweat. Sweat is all around us, it denotes and delights those that have the pleasure of manual labour, of physical challenge, and of feats that engage the mind-body complex so such a degree that the stress is made tangible.

Covering up that sweat, on the other hand, is akin to wearing a happy-clown mask even whilst we sob profusely in gin-soaked sobriety. It is to hide our physical pride, and pretend that we go out of our way to avoid the work of the body. In other words, deodorant is a facsimile of the bourgeoisie, a symbol of escaping both the drudgery and the joy of bodily work, a faux retraction into the dwindling of the human form.

Cast off your deodorant, I say, and let your armpits sing! Go out, enjoy chopping wood, indulge in lifting large items, play intense sports until your lungs break! Take back your smell!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

The upgrade treadmill is wearing us out

This Greemonk post by monkchips really makes a point that should be made more often.

I want to buy "the" quintessential Apple product and cherish it for years, like people would cherish a vintage car.
Replace "quintessential Apple product" with pretty much "any product" (use your imagination) and you start to get at a shift in both attitude and culture that would solve a lot of problems.

Get off the upgrade treadmill. There are already too many others.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

More on the Lewes Pound

Tab clear-out... According to the Argus a few weeks ago, "[the] currency has shot up in value by 3,000% only days after its launch because collectors are selling it on the internet."

I'm wondering about this. Is it better to leave this to happen and accept that x% of the currency will "leave" circulation? Or could you somehow "auto-expire" physical notes after a certain period, and maybe renew the expiration date once they're used to buy something?