Sunday, October 29, 2006

Hippie Covers Outkast



Mat Weddle does acoustic cover of the Outkast hit.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Windies victory dumps out England


See you and your stumps later Mr. Tendulkar!!

When the Windies are good they really get you excited.

Go on the boys

"West Indies hung on for a nail-biting win over India to book their semi-final place and knock England out of the Champions Trophy in Ahmedabad"

read more here

Grumpy?

As any good anthropologist will tell you categories like race, age, gender, sexuality and the character traits that go with them are social constructions. Essentialisms whose positivist geneology is traceable and part of the power structure to keep old-white-heterosexual-male as the power centre in modern western society. with this defense i thought i should put forward some interesting research no doubt designed to further the constructed differences between men and women.

here goes:

A recent report by the sleep council (i know what a silly name) finds "women are officially more grumpy than men in the mornings... Not only are women grumpier than men first thing, but their foul mood also lasts longer"

read more here

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Not my cup of tea




Saucytrini got her hands on some artist drawings of the new National Carnival & Arts Centre to be built on the site of the current savannah grandstand.

Personally i think it looks stupid, its two big and blocks the view of the hills, but thats just me.

From Gold Leader

On the 14th of February, 1990, the Voyager spacecraft took this picture from the edge of the Solar System, 4 billion miles from Earth, showing Earth as a pale blue dot hanging in the sky.

" We succeeded in taking that picture [from deep space], and if you look at it, you see a dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors, so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we've ever known. "

- Carl Sagan

The essence of neoliberalism

Pierre Bourdieu - a truly great intellectual who passed away in 2002 - on the essence of neoliberalism

"Thus we see how the neoliberal utopia tends to embody itself in the reality of a kind of infernal machine, whose necessity imposes itself even upon the rulers. Like the Marxism of an earlier time, with which, in this regard, it has much in common, this utopia evokes powerful belief — the free trade faith — not only among those who live off it, such as financiers, the owners and managers of large corporations, etc., but also among those, such as high-level government officials and politicians, who derive their justification for existing from it. For they sanctify the power of markets in the name of economic efficiency, which requires the elimination of administrative or political barriers capable of inconveniencing the owners of capital in their individual quest for the maximisation of individual profit, which has been turned into a model of rationality. They want independent central banks. And they preach the subordination of nation-states to the requirements of economic freedom for the masters of the economy, with the suppression of any regulation of any market, beginning with the labour market, the prohibition of deficits and inflation, the general privatisation of public services, and the reduction of public and social expenses."

more

Sunday, October 22, 2006

DRM

Fuck

"Fuck" is a paper by Christopher Fairman @ Ohio State University. They were talking about it over at Savage Minds. its a good one. Socio-linguistics doing something useful for once.

Abstract:
This Article is as simple and provocative as its title suggests: it explores the legal implications of the word fuck. The intersection of the word fuck and the law is examined in four major areas: First Amendment, broadcast regulation, sexual harassment, and education. The legal implications from the use of fuck vary greatly with the context. To fully understand the legal power of fuck, the nonlegal sources of its power are tapped. Drawing upon the research of etymologists, linguists, lexicographers, psychoanalysts, and other social scientists, the visceral reaction to fuck can be explained by cultural taboo. Fuck is a taboo word. The taboo is so strong that it compels many to engage in self-censorship. This process of silence then enables small segments of the population to manipulate our rights under the guise of reflecting a greater community. Taboo is then institutionalized through law, yet at the same time is in tension with other identifiable legal rights. Understanding this relationship between law and taboo ultimately yields fuck jurisprudence."

Will write sumthin when sober

"Over the course of little more than a week, we have learned that civilian casualties so far in the Iraq war may be more than 600,000; that Britain's Chief of the General Staff believes the conflict could break the army apart; that a federal solution to the growing chaos involving the effective dismemberment of the country is being openly discussed in America; that the US Iraq Study Group, headed by Republican grandee James Baker, is recommending that the US military withdraws to bases outside Iraq and seeks Iranian and Syrian help; and that Britain is now the number one al-Qaeda target, partly, it seems clear, as a consequence of events in Iraq.

There should be at least one universal response to this in Britain. Why is Tony Blair still Prime Minister after leading his country into such a disastrous war? Any large company would by now have got rid of a managing director guilty of a mistake on that scale. Any institution you care to name would have done the same. Why is Blair immune from the normal requirements of high office?"

more

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Protests at Gallaudet

There have been ongoing and intense disputes on Gallaudet campus for weeks now. Underneath the surface are a number of issues which are hard to pinpoint without the correct conceptual framework. This blog entry by Joseph Rainmound is a helpful way into the issues which include egos, community building and gatekeepers.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Guvinator

They say he's a shoe-in

"Again, Mr Schwarzenegger used a TV appearance - this time on Jay Leno’s late-night show - to defuse attempts to link him with the president. “Trying to link me with George Bush is like trying to link me with an Oscar,” he said."

Funny; but doesn't schwarzeneggar execute death row inmates in the Bush family style?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Manning is an arse

"The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and the Attorney General have both distanced themselves from controversial statements made by Prime Minister Patrick Manning that two former UNC members now affiliated with Winston Dookeran's Congress of the People are facing corruption charges and may be arrested soon.

DPP Geoffrey Henderson has not only distanced himself from the comments but has also strongly condemned them as irresponsible. Henderson has also denied that the "corruption file" of any former UNC member is currently before him and he has said Manning was out of place to attempt to undermine the independence of his office."

The express article is here

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Acronyms

Maybe im slow on the up take but this has to be the best acronym i've heard in ages

"What I am saying is that if we look at the discourses that structure our immediate political reality – most strikingly the discourses that surround T.W.A.T (the war against terror) we can see how this war is a condition of the discursive poverty of erroneous relations that we do not, of course!, have to affirm by perpetuating its reductive logic, but nonetheless these structures hold enormous sway over how we can think of relating to each other. "

Its from a so-so article about Butler and Braidotti, the two central gender philosophers of our present moment, who are well worth reading in their own right. But because of the authors great use of the word twat and the war on terror together i'll put the link to 'Transformative thresholds: Braidotti, Butler & the ethics of relation' here.

On place and context

From space and culture

"[Latour] makes pertinent points about the sociology of the social’s preoccupation with context and place, hence the eternal return conceptually to the analytical split level of the global and the local...I think that Latour’s arguments about place are worth exploring for the way they jog ones’ perspective and decentre comfort zones about where we are and what we are claiming to describe when we set out to describe other places. Latour proposes that there is nothing intrinsically contextual about place, that place is simply a staging or framing for traces and associations, near and distant, past and present. Context as such does not exist as a factor which explains or accounts for a place. Placeness is brought to a situation through framing, and only part of this situation is localised."

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Cracks in the Constitution


"[Bush's] Justice Department," Dahlia Lithwick wrote in Slate, "sees through the sophisticated legal prism known as the Toddler Worldview: Anything one doesn't wish to accept simply isn't true." Because the Founding Fathers never anticipated the possibility that the nation's chief executive would treat its final judgments with the respect due an out-of-state parking ticket issued to a rental car, the Supreme Court has been rendered as toothless as a gummy bear.

The more you look, the more you'll find that our Constitution has been subverted to the point of virtual irrelevance. The legislative branch has abdicated its exclusive right to declare war to the president, who was appointed by a federal court that undermined the states' constitutional right to manage and settle election disputes. Individuals' protection against unreasonable searches have been trashed, habeas corpus is a joke, and double jeopardy has become routine as those exonerated by criminal court face second trials in civil court. Our system of checks and balances has collapsed, the victim of a citizenry more interested in entertaining distraction than eternal vigilance.

Where evil men rule, law cannot protect those who sleep."

From WHY BUSH IS UNIMPEACHABLE by Ted Rall

Friday, October 13, 2006

Micro Finance

"How it works

Microfinance is lending to poor, often illiterate, people who have no collateral, no business experience and who therefore cannot normally borrow from the banks.

In the developing world the poor often work at home with raw materials bought with borrowed money.

The finished wares have to be sold back to the moneylenders, leaving scarcely enough, after repaying the loan with interest, to feed the family. So to make the next batch of goods poor people have to return to the moneylenders.

A failure to repay a debt ends up with people paying by working. The result is bonded labour, often with the children bearing the burden of unpaid debts.

Microfinance banks break the cycle by lending to the poor to buy raw materials. This means the workers can sell at a fair price on the open market, a price which means enough to service the debt, feed the family and make a profit.

To ensure that debts are paid, money is lent to groups, often women, who appear to respond better to financial terms.

Less than a dozen clients guarantee each other's loans and a default by one could result in the entire group being penalised. The resulting peer pressure means repayment rates exceed 95%."

Read more

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Jaffa Cakes



The best biscuit in the world. I know it says cake but its definately a biscuit. honest

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

655,000 dead since invasion


I have a major problem with the amount of people dead and dying in Iraq because of decisions made by politicians who represent my place of birth and the country i now study in. These guys are implicated in a death toll that has reached 655,000. As i've said before that is not only a war crime but a crime against humanity. Under a supposed banner of democracy, lets not forget Bush stole both elections, such a death toll is now a normal part of Western everyday life. We read it like it don't matter, its just out there. Like we did the right thing. Wankers.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

North Korea


"Like alcoholics condemning teenage drinking, the nuclear powers have made the spread of nuclear weapons the terror of our age, distracting attention from their own behaviour. Western leaders refuse to accept that our own actions encourage others to follow suit."

read more

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Waste of space

"Unfortunately, there are practically no special fields or educational programs, such as 'ethnology of building' or 'architectural anthropology', at today's architectural schools. Western architectural theory is completely fixed on the Euro-Mediterranean history of art. Systematic comparison with non-European cultures could not only place in question our own basic assumptions regarding principles of design: it could also provide stimulating insights."

The Japanese House

Sontag and Leibovitz

"If, as Sontag complained, Leibovitz skimped on taking photographs during the normal run of things, it was because "the more you know about someone, the harder it [a photograph] is to take. It has to do with knowing how they imagine they see themselves. And I think that when you love them, you don't want to disappoint them."

My time with Susan

Stumbles

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi ~

Two good
stumblers

Friday, October 06, 2006

Carnival of Crime

"Bakhtin, in his discussion on the need for carnival, saw that “capitalism created the conditions for a special type of inescapable solitary consciousness” ; a solitariness caused, according to Weber, by “puritan ... ascetism turned against one thing: the spontaneous enjoyment of life and all it had to offer”. This spontaneity is where identity is forged. Without it we feel strait–jacketed and shoe–horned into a constricted way of life, where consumption is central and where to ‘have’ is to exist and where to ‘have nothing’ is to be nothing."

Read more

YouTube

1. YouTube and Time Warner

2. YouTube backtracks on copyright tool

3. Google said to be bidding $1.6 billion for video site

Mars orbiter looks down on rover

"This image from the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter shows the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity near the rim of "Victoria Crater." Victoria is an impact crater about 800 meters (half a mile) in diameter at Meridiani Planum near the equator of Mars."



Fancy a cuppa?

"Both groups exhibited significant levels of stress measured by increased levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, increased heart rate and raised blood pressure. Statements of how they felt were also taken.

Fifty minutes after the task, levels of cortisol in the real tea group had fallen by 47 per cent compared with 27 per cent in the fake tea group."

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Guy Debord

Im reading society of the spectacle again.

Here's what wikipedia says about it:

"In broad terms, Debord's theories attempted to account for the spiritually debilitating modernisation of both the private and public spheres of everyday life by economic forces during the post-WW2 modernisation of Europe. He rejected as the twin faces of the same problem both the market capitalism of the West and the state capitalism of the Eastern bloc. Alienation, Debord postulated, could be accounted for by the invasive forces of the 'spectacle' – the seductive nature of capitalism. Debord's analysis developed the notions of "reification" and "fetishism of the commodity" pioneered by Karl Marx and Georg Luk√°cs. This analysis probed the historical, economic and psychological roots of 'the media'. Central to this school of thought was the claim that alienation is more than an emotive description or an aspect of individual psychology: rather, it is a consequence of the mercantile form of social organization which has reached its climax in capitalism."

Trinipedia

I stumbled across this page called Armeniapedia:an online encyclopedia about Armenia that anyone can edit.

Its a good wiki, in the tradtional wikipedia mould. Made me wonder if anyone has started a Trinipedia yet. Couldnt find it on any searches i did.

Maybe we should start one

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Google Truth Predictor

"Voters would be able to check the probability that apparently factual statements by politicians were actually correct, using programmes that automatically compared claims with historic data...One of my messages to them is to think about having every one of your voters online all the time, then inputting ‘is this true or false?’ We are not in charge of truth but we might be able to give a probability.”

Sunday, October 01, 2006

naomi klein on Iraq

This article is pretty intense and long, but well worth a read for its ability to connect the dots.

"Torturers believe that when electrical shocks are applied to various parts of the body simultaneously subjects are rendered so confused about where the pain is coming from that they become incapable of resistance. A declassified CIA “Counterintelligence Interrogation” manual from 1963 describes how a trauma inflicted on prisoners opens up “an interval—which may be extremely brief—of suspended animation, a kind of psychological shock or paralysis. . . . [A]t this moment the source is far more open to suggestion, far likelier to comply...If there ever was a moment when Iraqis were too disoriented to resist shock therapy, that moment has definitely passed.”

Klein lays out what the economic plan was behind the invasion of Iraq. There has always been an economic front to this war, it is one drenched in neocon values with their embedded religious undertones. But its all gone wrong. terribly wrong and until Bush and his allies loosen their desire to hold on to a cause they can no longer win more people - civilian, soldiers, innocents, future generations - will continue to die for an extremly violent economic ideology. The sad truth is that civil war is and was the only option US/British policy allowed for people to fight the wholescale robbery and western imperialism forced on their country. Bush and Blair are more reponsible than either will admit. Bob Woodward of Watergate fame will tonight address the masks and lies the White House has used to distort their ideological economic front. This war has always been about money, about the rich capitalist class getting richer. Nothing else. simple as that.

As Klein concludes:

"The great historical irony of the catastrophe unfolding in Iraq is that the shock-therapy reforms that were supposed to create an economic boom that would rebuild the country have instead fueled a resistance that ultimately made reconstruction impossible. Bremer's reforms unleashed forces that the neocons neither predicted nor could hope to control, from armed insurrections inside factories to tens of thousands of unemployed young men arming themselves. These forces have transformed Year Zero in Iraq into the mirror opposite of what the neocons envisioned: not a corporate utopia but a ghoulish dystopia, where going to a simple business meeting can get you lynched, burned alive, or beheaded. These dangers are so great that in Iraq global capitalism has retreated, at least for now. For the neocons, this must be a shocking development: their ideological belief in greed turns out to be stronger than greed itself."