Thursday, 30 August 2007

abba

Critics of the growing pay gap are missing the point.

Oh really? I suppose it's good if companies are doing well, but still, that's no excuse. The pay gap's wrong because there are extremely poor people, still, in our society. There are also very hard working people who just because their profession isn't "in finance", will never make even a reasonable fraction of the millions these company directors make.
We are often led to believe that nurses, for example, do it because they care, and they don't mind about the money. Bet they wouldn't mind more money, though.

And who needs £2.9 million a year? Really? Noone deserves it, and if anyone does, it's not necessarily managers of big firms.
"Revealing what the average chief executive earns sends an important message to aspirational and able young people"... which is "make lots of money". That's it. Great message.

...I mean, there are more important messages, surely, and more important things to be doing than making money. It's a shame that's become an end in itself, and it's certainly not news that it has. I'm worried that this end is too popular.

On another note, the British government is from next year printing horrible pictures of 'what smoking does to you' on cigarrette packets. Personally, I think more products should have their past or consequences emlazoned all over them.

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Tuesday, 28 August 2007

crap

I was expecting a bad film, but there are limits to the badness I can imagine. "23" is without a doubt the stupidest, crappiest excuse for a film I have ever seen.
Someone I know recommended it as "brilliant". They are now ex-communicated.
100 blind type-writing monkeys would be embarrassed by the quality of this plot and script.

Monday, 27 August 2007

critique

people's blogs that are just big lists of videos SUCK!! ;)


Chromeo.. if you don't already; you really should.


Feist.. not that anyone's done this walkway thing before or anything, but the song's worth it..


Darkel... the man from Air sounding a lot like Air.


..and an old mowax video for tommy guerrero. mmmm.


Sunn 0))) I was there!! The loudest, ear-hurtiest thing I've ever seen. Cathartic, at least.

music update: go to http://www.myspace.com/monassa, I heard the track "watercircles" last night and it I love it to pieces. It's a bit jazz, but, hey, you don't have to like it. I don't mind that you have no taste ;)

..and here's something from back in the day.

Sunday, 26 August 2007

3 piece suite

pink for a girl?
hmmm? Anyway, the idea is beautifully debunked by bad science, here....

I'm reading "The end of faith" by Sam Harris, as yet I don't know whether it's going to be bandwagon jumping rubbish, over the top rubbish, or reasonable and well argued. But, like "The God Delusion", the title's a bit too "high impact".... I'll see. Won't publishers publish, and readers read if there's no hard-hitting title (or it's Harry Potter)?

Wednesday, 22 August 2007

holes

Daily Mail Article. "Arrogance, dogma and why science - not faith - is the new enemy of reason".
That's the title of the linked article, which criticises Richard Dawkins' attack on spirituality, and his rigorous support of science.

Melanie Phillips (for whom there is little evidence of conscious intelligence) says:
"Science cannot explain the origin of the universe...The most conspicuous example of this is provided by Dawkins himself, who breaks the rules of scientific evidence by seeking to claim that Darwin's theory of evolution - which sought to explain how complex organisms evolved through random natural selection - also accounts for the origin of life itself.

There is no evidence for this whatever and no logic to it. After all, if people say God could not have created the universe because this gives rise to the question "Who created God?", it follows that if scientists say the universe started with a big bang, this prompts the further question "What created the bang?"

Indeed, if the origin of life were truly spontaneous, this would constitute what religious people would call a miracle. Accordingly, this claim in itself resembles not so much science as the superstition that Dawkins derides.

Moreover, since science essentially takes us wherever the evidence leads, the findings of more than 50 years of DNA research - which have revealed the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce life - have thrown into doubt the theory that life emerged spontaneously in a random universe."

phew.

I almost struggle to untangle all the mixed up nonsense in this (long, sorry) quote. The "..then who created god?" idea is trying to express that the idea of God gets us nowhere in working out our origins. It's trying to say the god explanation is a bit absurd.
The "what created the big bang" question I am not qualified to answer, but there are some theories, and it's pretty amazing human thought has got back far enough to speculate on such an event. Not knowing how something occurs does not mean you automatically attribute it to God. It's too easy!! Humans started off explaining everything they didn't understand supernaturally... and very slowly we pushed the supernatural out of our lives. Just because we don't understand EVERYTHING just yet doen't mean "therefore god did it." No reason to think that at all.

The part about life occuring spontaneously constituting a miracle is frankly silly. You may well say that the start of life on Earth was a miracle, but I think you'd be using the word metaphorically, or at least loosely. And the speculative scientific theories about how life blossomed on Earth are quite amazing, but much more believable than some beardy guy throwing it all together in a few days.

Then to the last paragraph. To say that DNA research has thrown into doubt the 'theory that life emerged spontaneously in a random universe' is either dimwittedness, or willfull dimwittedness. Darwinian evolution certainly does explain how natural selection can create ever more complex organisms, and to say genetic complexity somehow threatens this is just wrong.

So, Melanie Phillips: it's not hard to learn about real science, all you have to do is pick up a few books - but you obviously couldn't be bothered to try, so you should stop writing about it. People like this are just rubbish, really. But they're all over the press!!


you should watch this, an oddity
...and you have only 6 days to listen to this.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

What could be better??

Beardy bloke in the Gruaniad is worried about killer robots.
Apparently The Pentagram is considering the idea of robot soldiers.

Why isn't that completely cool? KILLER ROBOTS!! KILLER ROBOTS!! WOOHOO!!

Perhaps they'd go mad, and we'd have a worldwide robot vs human struggle, which would be exactly like an apocalyptic comic or something. Cool!

But if the Pentagrin is wasting it's time and money trying to create a teenage version of the future, why bother with robots (killer or otherwise)?
Where are the fucking flying cars?? Come on! You can invade wherever you like as far as I'm concerned, if I have a flying car.

Monday, 20 August 2007

info stress

***warning***bad mood ahead***

In the old days, there were a couple of magazines I read every month, and from that I was very much "in touch" with music releases. I knew everything.

None of those magazines survived the internet, so I found some suitable sites to read instead. Now, none of these sites were as comprehensive as the magazines, but they were OK, and I thought "perhaps they'll grow".
This was almost 4 years ago, and there are still no good magazines. While there are now bigger internet review sites.... they're all rubbish. Pitchforkmedia,: that includes you, you big shower of shit.

I'm not sure why this happened today, but all of a sudden I miss knowing what's going on. And it's the internet's fault. I feel like the media is being taken over by people who understand technology more than they understand content.
There is also a problem of scale. Possible cool sites clearly don't have the money to be comprehensive, and big sites are like the big magazines: They're for people who think Dire Straits were revolutionary, and are happy to listen to Keane today. They s-u-c-k.

Fake blog sites, created to "secretly" promote a site or product, they suck too: they clog up the net, using clever methods to stay high in google searches, meaning that if perhaps there was a music site I would be happy with, it will be completely buried in a world of corporate bullshit.

Now, Google clearly understands how it's own fucking search engine works, so they should design it so it can't be tricked. However, I suspect that they make advertising revenue for being such a bunch of dicks, and it's designed like this on purpose. Evil, evil people.

Don't even get me started on internet advertising.

So, to conclude: Thanks to the internet, which I do quite like, old media which was better has disappeared, to be replaced by something worse. Whoopy-doo.

Progress!!?? Where did you go??

Saturday, 18 August 2007

milo mindbender

I got "asked to leave" a "club", because I was bored ("Really? But I'm sure my friends will be bored soon too...").

And, unrelated:

People thought me leaving a book by Richard Dawkins in our toilet was provocative.

Things are getting weird.

edit: I also got asked for ID while buying beer, 12 years late.

Thursday, 16 August 2007

cock and roll

According to Quentin Tarantino "the world is divided into those who like Elvis and those who like the Beatles."

Tim Luckhurst for the Guardian thinks that, actually, "the difference between Elvis fans and the rest of us is that the rest of us have taste."

Discoriggall thinks that in 2007, if you have this conversation; you are an irrelevant loser.

Honestly, who gives a fuck!?

Tuesday, 14 August 2007

zombie kill!!!

so what if that's not related to this? Do I look like I care?

Reading about conservative John Redwood and his "ideas", I am moved to lecture on tax and employment policies:

Right wing "people" will tell you that society will improve if we give tax breaks to the rich, and make it easier for employers to fire people. This will make rich people richer, which will "trickle down" to the rest of the world, and make the economy more flexible and thus more competitive and blah blah blah.
It does none of this.

Rich people, well, most rich people, got where they were by not giving a shit about anyone else, trampling everyone who got in their way. Making them richer will not all of a sudden open a wellspring of compassion from them, it will make them buy another helicopter, so they can fly about cackling at the idiotic poor. Making employees easier to fire will make everyone feel less secure, further killing off any community we might have left.. oh, and it will also make those at the top (the rich!!) richer.
More helicopters. More cackling.

Jam doughnuts

I watched (and am waiting for part two of) Richard Dawkins' "The Enemies of Reason", shown on channel 4 last night.

As far as preaching to the converted goes, it was great, though one of the things I took away from the programme is that people who believe in the supernatural will not change their minds, even in the face of evidence.

Which is scary.

An Astrologer claimed that scientific testing of his zodiac predictions would be "mischief making", and an Indian spiritualist claimed that we can feel "the great spirit" when we walk into a room and get a good vibe. (Dawkins didn't cut him down enough for that remark)

A Spritualist church "speaker" preyed on the weakness of the bereaved.

A water dowser (searches for water using wobbling sticks), shown that his dowsing is no more effective than pure chance, without breaking a sweat asserted he failed to be accurate because "God's a bit of a joker", and had decided to make him fail the water-finding experiment... Which is a new spin on the usual "success = god, failure = me" thing; now we have "failure = god taking the piss". Cosmic comedian, really.

Taking on "spiritualism" instead of religion is an easier target, but still worth the attack, I think. Many people think it's important to be "spiritual", but I would agree with Charlie Brooker, that it's, 'what cretins have in place of imagination.'(link)

All of these superstitions and "spiritual" things share this in common; they give the believers a sense of control and meaning in a vast and confusing universe. That, I think, is why their minds cling to these ideas so desperately. But it's worrying because it's misplaced meaning and control, as it's assigned to places where there is actually none. It may be scary to let go of these comforting ideas, but the rewards outside them are far greater and more awe-inspiring. It's a shame more people won't leave the cave of superstitions.
It's a personal weakness that I feel the need to point and laugh at them until they do.

Thursday, 9 August 2007

late reviews, because....

...because I buy my cds; don't get them sent to me for free or anything, damnit.

AAaanyway, you can safely get Chromeo's "Fancy Footwork"; it's great... the only slight criticism I have is that they've moved away from electro, and towards eighties cheese. But in a good way. It can only make you happy, and will make you a better person.

Is it ok to review albums I am listening to for the first time? Only 3 tracks in??
Yes it is!! So you should also be bending over backwards to hear "lifestyle marketing" by Thes One (of People Under The Stairs). It's an album of hiphop instrumentals, and so far they are all incomparably lovely. Not something you will hear said about hiphop very often.
But it is. Lovely.

I also got Kitsune Maison 4, is that old or what? I can't be bothered to find out. Anyway, as seems to be the case with these albums, it manages to be very "now" while also being actually good. (of course it may already be completely out of fashion)
It's always a shame to think that "Nathan Barleys" in London might actually be listening to something good, but they might just be. Fuckers.

Wednesday, 8 August 2007

a man walks into a bar...

Today, I was seen carrying two tubes of paint (orange and green acrylics, for those interested).
Person seeing me asked (genuinely), "what are you going to do with those?".

What do you say?

click on bonafied lovin'.

Monday, 6 August 2007

Ban This Sick Filth

Apparently "America's hippest musos are flocking to see Celine Dion". If you haven't already at least suspected it, now realise that Justin Timberlicker and Timbaland are perhaps not as "hip" as you once thought.

Celine Dion?!? Only Michael Bolton makes me want to die with more urgency.
I'm serious, too; music like this to me is like Kryptonite to Superman.

....

While reading about the non-existent great-white shark near England, I read that a sighting of a "beast" or "big cat" turned out to have been a squirrel. The only possible explanation for that is that there is someone out there in the countryside who doesn't understand perspective.
It's not a big cat, it's just a squirrel that's really close.

Good environmental news came today in the form of National Express, the UK coach company, announcing it was ending testing of biofuels for it's buses. Biofuels, for those who do not know, are killing oragutans and threatening food shortages in some parts of the world. And other bad stuff too. In essence, demand for biofuels is encouraging people to move poor people, and deforest land to grow produce to be turned into biofuels for the Western markets. Even "green" oil can destabilise other countries, it seems.

In the traditionally oil-destablised country of Iraq, which has apparently been turned from a "rogue" state into a "failing" state by our wonderful interventions, we hear that the US has lost 190,000 guns.
That's a lot, and it makes the scale of the war there mind boggling. How many guns did they take in the first place, if they've managed to lose so many?
It's also worrying that the US has decided to arm the region against Iran, by selling $20 billion of weapons to Saudi Arabia, $13 billion to Egypt and increasing defence aid to Israel by 25%.
I'm sure non of that high-tech killing gadgetry will encourage anyone to to start killing other people.
We still live in a dangerous world.