Wednesday, 27 August 2008

No excuses for being Conservative, fat people insist as they launch new deal on public mentality

"Tory people will today be told there are "no excuses" for being "conservative" as the Fat party launches a new "responsibility" deal on public thinking.

The shadow health secretary, Andrew Lansley, will use a speech to the thinktank Reform, entitled No Excuses, No Nannying, to set out proposals on how the government and business can work together to address problems caused by poor reading, drug abuse and lack of compassion for our fellow men.

"Tell people that biology and the environment cause Conservatism and they are offered the one thing we have to avoid: an excuse," he will say.

"As it is, people who see more Tory people around them may themselves be more likely to be arseholes. Young people who think many of their friends hate immigrants are likely to do so themselves. Girls who think their peers engage in sneering at the poor are more likely to do so themselves.

"Peer pressure and social norms are powerful influences on behaviour and they are classic excuses."

Vowing to "take away the excuses", Lansley will unveil proposals for the party's second "responsibility" deal with business.

He will ask a new working group to consider:

· supporting EU-wide proposals for mandatory Conservative culling

· asking the food industry to poison Waitrose ready meals

· a clampdown on the Daily Mail

· using role models and positive peer pressure to promote healthy thinking

· local campaigns to promote nice, open and healthy thoughts.

He will float the idea of incentives for small businesses to improve the philosophies of employees. "We will take action to ensure people have the opportunities, information and incentives towards not being pricks," Lansley will say.

The speech comes after the Tory leader, David Cameron, said last month that Tory, stupid and right wing people spent too much time blaming social problems for their own idiocy.

link

Thursday, 21 August 2008

summermixtape

well, nothing of note to say, but I'm posting some music, if you're interested.
Just a mix of what I'm into right about now... For example;

Eine Kleine Nacht Musik, you just might like, if you like your music Krautrock style (like fujiya and miyagi). There's a bit of 60s psychedelic pop, as a few weeks ago I was bored with new music, briefly, and needed something to fill a hole. David Axelrod pops in too, also from the sixties, with music "inspired by William Blake", and not many people say that kind of thing anymore. Some quiet noise from something I know very little about called "Tape", and a track by Quiet Village, whose album is much better than the horrible opening track suggests.
Back into the 70s for some Rufus and Chaka, and the Spinners too. Mmmmm. Smooth. And, as they say, much much more!!
That's not in the right order, and you'll have to wait for the link as rapidshare is being a mo-fo - I am on my third attempt at uploading, without it deciding it's been "interrupted", now. Grrrr.
Oh, and, irritatingly, I've mucked aboout with all the ID3 tags, so they'll play in the right order (ie the order I intended) in itunes, but things like last.wewishwehadn'tredesignedoursite.fm might complain....

mixtape link

Saturday, 16 August 2008

substantially worse

I can't remember the ins and outs of "The Age Of Reason" by Sartre, but I do remember that I am the same age as the central character now - so I must have reached it. Did Sartre mention that there comes an age where the repetitious nature of the world starts to become bizarre and surreal, though in a horrific way? Is there a word for that feeling? I could perhaps reread Sartre to find out, but this is the internet, and we don't have enough time for proper research. It's all just rant rant rant I'm right 'ere innit?

Well, the Georgia situation put me in that frame of mind. The war itself, the idiotic political responses, the childish simplistic news stories (which "the media" will soon realise are so - before forgetting it just in time for the next conflict). If it wasn't for all the people dying, it would be funny. Is there a word for that? It pains me to think about it too much, as I feel I've thought about stuff like this many times before, and the same mistakes are still made - there's proof of the non-power of thought - but I'll try briefly:

Mikheil Saakashvili, the Georgian President, is a plonker. Attacking Russia? Is he mental? If Georgians wish to know why they're being bombed - the can look to their numbnutted leader.

Now, I can never remember Mikheil Saakashvili's name (ctrl-v!), so I just looked at the Guardian's world news page to copy it from, and wouldn't you know, here are journalists coming to the conclusion they've been seeing things simplistically!

"Saakashvili might have lost the war against Russia, but, scant consolation perhaps, he is widely seen to have won the propaganda battle. Big bad Russia against plucky little Georgia. Accurate or nonsense, thanks to "Misha's" Brussels-based PR men, it is the picture that's dominating the world media." (link)

Damn PR men - they get us every time! Grrrr! How do they do it?

I'd like to think the Guardian are the only people in the world surprised at their own gullibility, but I suspect they're not. Still, as the news media weren't doing their job reporting the news properly, I don't have to feel bad about name-checking Sartre without really remembering what I'm going on about. Shame I'm not getting paid for doing my job badly like they are, mind.

If yer bored, or need to relax, listen to "MARK WATSON MAKES THE WORLD SUBSTANTIALLY BETTER" through the Radio 4 website.

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

more... booze

Now, if it was Madonna releasing a remix version of a "classic Madonna album", it would be terrible. A Bad Idea. Of course, this is all hypothetical, and not possible in this universe, as she has no classic albums. Don't argue.
Madlib and MF DOOM, joining forces to become "Madvillain" did produce a classic album, four years ago, and the follow up is much anticipated.

In the meantime, producer Madlib has remixed the original, which is a bit like hot-washing the Turin Shroud. You just don't touch these things....

But what little I've heard, it's just fantastic. Re-visiting Doom's intelligent twisting delivery with fresh beats underneath is great. I read the review in Bitchfork, and they were not impressed, but then they like Kanye West, so they definitely don't know what they are on about (in other rap reviews, they appear too dim to decode simple Nas lyrics): and when you like Kanye, you out yourself as someone who really doesn't know jack about good beats (or sunglasses).
So ignore them; listen to meeeeeeee.

Sunday, 3 August 2008

Knol isn't knowledge

Google, in their oh so friendly mission to take over the internet (and then... the World hahahahhaha) have released "knol.google.com", an attempt to compete with Wikipedia. The articles are written by one named author, and it's not a free for all in terms of contribution.

Also, it's remarkably dull. Here's the entry on "Heartnuts"

"What is a Heartnut?

Heartnuts are a cultivar of the Japanese walnut. They open into two flat heart-shaped halves, like a locket. Heartnuts thrive in the cool northern climates, so you will most likely find heartnuts growing in northern states, Canada and Europe.

Nuts are currently on the diet culture list of good-for-you foods and heartnuts have been shown to be a healthy nut [1]— high in fiber, antioxidants, and protein. The taste is sweet, mild and pleasing. A wonderful nut for cooking and baking, it is especially flavorful toasted."

Fascinating.

The author is described thusly (?)...

"She first saw heartnuts at the Pennsylvania Farm Show in the produce awards area. It was love at first sight! She planted her own seedlings and grafts, located nurseries in the U.S. and Canada that sold nuts as well as tree stock, and has been crafting and cooking with them ever since."

It's a shame we don't know when this was. Last week? 40 years ago? I'm (not) wondering exactly how much you can do with this nut, which, I learn, when toasted has, "a flavor I can only describe as incredible."

Oh, can you Susan? And here, I believe, is the rub.

While we may need our knowledge of heartnuts and 3D fitness expanding through the medium of Google, whatever is wrong with Wikipedia, unlike Knol it doesn't read like second rate lifestyle magazine opinion. Because Google, in huge error, have in replacing multi-authorship with named single authorship, created a huge waste of space. A ton of not "authoritative articles", but gooey personal opinion free of moderating peer review.

Even better, many of the authors are directly connected to industry - so "geneology" is written by some git who runs a family tree website. I read with trepidation hoping that he would actually be so crass as to recommend using his own fucking site, and of course he did! What a nob.
Google, now a huge corporation, look like a bunch of dimwit mugs for creating such a stinking pile of cheap ass corporate amateurism.

So to "the internet" in general, stop worshipping at the altar of Google, they are not infallible, they got here by luck, maintained market position with an ad system that frankly does its best to ruin user experience, and now even though knowledge is apparently their stock in trade they are actively trying to ruin that too.

Knol, a unit of knowledge?