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Little Teeny-Tiny Incoherent Rant That Squeeked Around The Edge Before I Clamped Down On The Hot Spurt Of Indignation
f–k the ‘A-list’. f–k ’em in the eyeball with Adolph Hitler’s wasabi-dipped dick.
Thank you ladies and gentlemen, and good night.
(Edit : I kid because I love. No, really.)
One of the few non-tourist-pose pics from our recent trip to Soraksan. That’s a big Buddha! The black slates are prayers…for a small fee, you can go to the little booth that sits over on the Buddha’s right, and have them write up the prayer of your choice – for health, wealth, for your kids, or whatever – which you can then place on the pile, and make an offering.
I’ll make a gallery with some others later today, perhaps…
There’s a strange eerie silence out on the wires tonight. It feels like the hush before Something Big happens – it feels like the brief interregnum of silence between the doctor’s slap on the ass and the first juddery indrawn breath and full-throat wail. It feels like the puff of air that precedes the flash flood. It smells like blood, and piss, and it scares the hell out of me.
Then again, it could just be that slightly elderly spaghetti sauce I had at dinner coming back on me.
WE ARE MEMBERS OF A SPECIAL COMMITTEE FOR BUDGET AND PLANNING OF THE FEDERAL MINISTRY OF WORKS AND HOUSING(FMWH). THIS COMMITTEE IS PRINCIPALLY CONCERNED WITH CONTRACT AWARDS AND APPROVAL. WITH OUR POSITIONS, WE HAVE SUCCESSFULLY SECURED FOR OURSELVES THE SUM OF THIRTY ONE MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATES DOLLARS (US$31.5M). THIS AMOUNT WAS CAREFULLY MANIPULATED BY OVER-INVOICING OF AN OLD CONTRACT.
BASED ON INFORMATION GATHERED ABOUT YOU, WE BELIEVE YOU WOULD BE IN A POSITION TO HELP US IN TRANSFERING THIS FUND (US$31.5M) INTO A SAFEACCOUNT. IT HAS BEEN AGREED THAT THE OWNER OF THE ACCOUNT WILL BE COMPENSATED WITH 20% OF THE REMITTED FUNDS, WHILE WE KEEP 70% AS THE INITIATORS AND 10% WILL BE SET ASIDE TO OFFSET EXPENSES AND PAY THE NECESSARY TAXES.WE INTEND TO USE PART OF OUR OWN SHARE TO IMPORT FROM YOUR COUNTRY AGRICULTURAL AND
THIS IS BECAUSE THE PRESENT GOVERNMENT OF MY COUNTRY IS EMPHASISING ON PROVIDING FOOD AND HOUSING FOR ALL ITS CITIZENS BEFORE THE NEXT ELECTION. HENCE, AGRICULTURAL AND CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT ARE IN HIGH DEMAND OVER HERE. WE SHALL ALSO NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE IN THIS REGARD ON A COMMISSION TO BE AGREED UPON WHEN WE FINALLY MEET.
ALL MODALITIES OF THIS TRANSACTION HAVE BEEN CAREFULLY WORKED OUT AND ONCE STARTED WILL NOT TAKE MORE THAN SEVEN (7) WORKING DAYS, WITH YOUR FULL SUPPORT. THIS TRANSACTION IS 100% RISK FREE.
IF THIS PROPOSAL SATISFIES YOU, PLEASE REACH US ONLY BY EMAIL FOR
PLEASE, TREAT AS URGENT AND VERY IMPORTANT.
The above is an amusing spam message I received today, which was send to a shell mail account I used a couple of months ago to leave comments on a Radio-based weblog. A variation on an old theme, of course, but the amusement factor almost makes the annoyance of dealing with crap like this worthwhile.
Anybody know if Radio has fixed its vulnerability to email-harvesters reading comments threads yet?
(The return email address for this piece of crap was email@example.com, by the way. Harvest away, spam-robots!)
Who teaches logical positivism, and is he (or she) also in charge of the sheepdip? If not, I hereby volunteer for ‘Professor Emeritus of Being In Charge of The Sheepdip’.
Update : As the Good Reverend has seen fit to put me in charge of Analytic Philosophy and cruelly denied me my request to be in charge of the Ovine Excreta, I figured I’d read up on it. Most interesting.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a shameless plug, so : if you’re fond of ‘vintage blues and various cognates, kith and kin thereof – from a capella to zydeco, including but not limited to deep delta blues, jump blues, Hawaiian slack key, hillbilly, Western swing’ and so on, I most highly recommend Karl Kotas’s (y2karl of Metafilter fame) streaming show here.
The policy of the U.S. government to promote newspaper “content” at the expense of person-to-person communication through letters may or may not have been correct. It would be a hard task (and one well beyond the scope of this work) to decide this question. However, there are reasonable arguments that the preoccupation with newspapers harmed the social and commercial development of the country by stifling circulation of the informal, non-content information that people cared about….
A skeptical reader might say that all this historical stuff is amusing but irrelevant. We live in the 21st century, and our high-tech present as well as our future are on the Web, where content is universally regarded as king. Studies of the Internet regularly find that Web traffic makes up 60 to 80% of the bytes that are transmitted. Certainly most of the commercial development effort on the Internet and almost all the attention are devoted to content. Thus even if content was not king in the early 19th or late 20th centuries, it might be king in the 21st.
There are three counterarguments to the above objection, all of which support the “content is not king” thesis. All argue that the dazzling success of the Web has created a misleading picture of what the Internet is, or is likely to evolve towards. One argument, to be discussed in more detail later, is that the future of the Internet is not with the Web, but with programs like Napster or (even more, because of its decentralized nature) Gnutella, which allow for informal sharing of data.
The second argument is that content is not king of the Web. Most of the traffic on the Internet is corporate (especially if we include internal intranet traffic that is not visible on the public backbones)….Because browsers are a user-friendly tool that is ubiquitous, a multitude of services have been squeezed into a Web framework. They help perpetuate the image of the Internet as primarily a content-delivery mechanism. (Note that the Web was invented to allow scientists to communicate with each other and access data, not for content delivery.)
The third and final argument is that even if content were king on the Web now, the Web is not king of the Internet. This may again seem absurd, especially in view of the statistics quoted above, that most of the Internet traffic is Web transfers. However, consider again the U.S. postal system of 1832. Content certainly dominated in terms of volume of data. Newspapers sent by mail weighed about 20 times as much as letters. Further, the density of printed matter is higher than of handwriting, and a typical copy of a newspaper was likely read many more times than a typical letter. Hence newspaper “content” was probably delivering at least a hundred times as much information as letters. But volume is not the same as value. Letters were bringing in 85% of the money needed to run the postal system in 1832. On the Internet in 2000, it is e-mail that is king, even if its volume is small.
– Andrew Odlyzko, Content is not King
I’m not sure I agree with Mr Odlyzko, entirely, but that may only be a matter of semantics. My feverdream defense of ‘content’ a couple of days ago took as its launchpad an understanding of the word that is broader than the one Mr Odlyzko uses (and in some ways is actually diametrically opposed to it, but that’s a side-issue, I think). Blogs as open letters, as content rather than Content….
One of the things Mr Odlyzko is saying is that the internet is not a broadcast medium. As obviously wrong as it seems, thinking it is was one of the core dumbass mistakes that businesses were making before the bubble burst, one of the dumbass mistakes that’s still being made. AOLTimeWarner indeed. LOLTimeWarner, maybe. (Ba-dump dump tish! Thank you, you’ve been a great audience. I’ll be here until Thursday!)
One-to-oneness is where value (questions there are aplently about the word ‘value’, too) lies, more than one-to-manyness (Mr O talks about letters and newspapers, about email and the web). The bridge between the two concepts is (ta-daaa!) the weblog, of course. It’s not email, but it shares much of the intensely personal nature nature of correspondence. It’s not ‘Content’, at least not in the way that Big Media regards it, as a ‘non-recoverable expense‘. But it is true that blogspace contains some of the most compelling writing and imagery and pure fun that’s available on the internet or elsewhere, ‘content’ that’s constantly renewed by the passions of thousands of individuals singing their individual songs for the pure joy of the singing, and for the comradeship that comes from finding people who hear similar music in their heads…
This message of Mr O’s reminds me very much of the sort of thing that a certain Mr Locke (quoted recently here: “You can broaden the pipe as far as you want, but if everybody can play, it’s not broadcast any more. There isn’t that control of the passes. The channel is out of control and that makes it a different game…”) and his cohort of merry cluesters have been saying for a while, and are still saying.
I like it when things come together like that.
I’m not entirely sure what’s going on here, but I think I like it.
I always find the visceral hatred some web-purist types seem to harbour for Flash puzzling, particularly when wacky folk can use it to make trippy stuff like Crankbunny. Each thing in its proper place. Kumbaya, my lord. Something like that.
This Metafilter thread has put me into an old well-worn groove wherein, despite many thoughts ignited and roman-candle launched across the night sky, I keep circling back inexorably to a conviction that people are evil, and that we are all circling the bowl waiting for that terminal clean-up flush, and so, before I get too terribly worked-up about it, I just move on.
Edit : Yes, I know :
“People seem not to see that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
Exhibit The First
Exhibit The Second
A Rant, in One-Part Harmony.
See me feel me touch me heal me. Wasn’t that what the Burning Sun God sang, all falsetto fakery? It’s really all in the way the words are said or sung or screamed, rather than the actual words you choose, isn’t it? I am content. I am content. See what I’m sayin’, there, folks? Not what you deliver, but the delivery itself!
Shuffling, whether off the mortal coil, or into the spotlight, it’s the motion, not the meat, mama. The medium ain’t worth a rat’s posterior. The eye is drawn to motion – ‘don’t move or he’ll see us‘ is whispered child’s-voice breathlessly in a technicolour dream of Monsters Under The Bed.
Shoot the messenger, or wait until the marathon man Phidippides collapses of his own accord, it’s all the same to me. Amp up that pure sweet white-noise signal. “These ones go to 11!” Don’t talk to me about Signal versus Noise – the noise is the signal. The carrier wave carrying itself. Not amplitude, but frequency modulation.
It’s not the Message, by golly, it’s the Carrier.
Go go gadget fugue state!
Comedy comma improv. The native indian aboriginal american whatever the hell we’re supposed to call those poor bastards these days (racist sacks of redneck dung, amongst drooling cadres of whom I spent my formative years, referred to them as ‘chugs’), anywaywhatevernevermind, the tribe that lived for a few thousand years in the area in which I grew up in Northern British Columbia before us white devils arrived, the Nikozliautin the Pintce and the Nakraztli, are collectively referred to as the ‘Carrier Tribe’. This name arose from their custom in which a widow was obliged to carry the cremated remains of her husband on her back for three years after his demise.
Just think of that. Three years of carrying that dust and those bones.
Exeunt omnes, with sackcloth and ashes for damn sure.
All that you see, all that you eat, all you excrete (sucker that I am for scatalogical humour, one of my favorite moments of the late lamented Family Guy is when the son, Chris (ain’t that a kicker), stares intently at a chocolate bar before gleefully declaiming in his oddly-timbred voice : “I’m going to turn you into poo!” and taking a bite), and so on a la U2 ripping off Pink Floyd : it’s content, baby. And we are all just containers : conduits, conductors, conspirators. In this I am content.
Now gimme that money, ‘fore I smack you up!
Help save them from themselves
Help save the sun-tanned surfer boys
And the Californian girls
When the lights go out in the rest of the World
What do our cousins say
They’re playing in the sun and having fun, fun, fun
Till Daddy takes the gun away
From the Big Church to the Big River
And out to the Shining Sea
This is the Land of Opportunity
And there’s a Monkey Trial on TV
A nation with their freezers full
Are dancing in their seats
While outside another nation
Is sleeping in the streets
Don’t tell me the old, old story
Tell me the truth this time
Is the Man in the Mask or the Indian
An enemy or a friend of mine
Help save the youth of America
Help save the youth of the world
Help save the boys in uniform
Their mothers and their faithful girls
Listen to the voice of the soldier
Down in the killing zone
Talking about the cost of living
And the price of bringing him home
They’re already shipping the body bags
Down by the Rio Grande
But you can fight for democracy at home
And not in some foreign land
And the fate of the great United States
Is entwined in the fate of us all
And the incident at Tschernobyl proves
The world we live in is very small
And the cities of Europe have burned before
And they may yet burn again
And if they do I hope you understand
That Washington will burn with them
Omaha will burn with them
Los Alamos will burn with them
You have been awarded the TPM service medal! This is our third highest award for outstanding service on the intellectual battleground.
The fact that you have progressed through this activity without suffering many hits and biting only one bullet suggests that whilst there are inconsistencies in your beliefs about God, on the whole they are well thought-out.
How did you do compared to other people?
41533 people have completed this activity to date.
You suffered 2 direct hits and bit 1 bullet.
This compares with the average player of this activity to date who takes 1.30 hits and bites 1.07 bullets.
36.16% of the people who have completed this activity have, like you, been awarded the TPM Service Medal.
8.38% of the people who have completed this activity emerged unscathed with the TPM Medal of Honour.
48.93% of the people who have completed this activity took very little damage and were awarded the TPM Medal of Distinction.
From ‘The Philosopher’s Magazine on the Internet’, it’s Battleground God! Give it a whirl. Just don’t do it after a few beers, like your humble host. That was a bad, bad idea.
The instructions – “the aim of the activity is not to judge whether these answers are correct or not. Our battleground is that of rational consistency” – threw me off a bit, dammit. I think this may be why after a couple of years of university philosophy, I deemed it all a big wank, and henceforth focussed with laser-like intensity on holding forth from barstools. More fun than parsing out logic, ’twas, by golly.
Regardless, an amusing diversion. Enjoy.
I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, one who would condone the spraypainting of graffitti. Even the ‘urban art’ thing. Give the bastards some brushes and cleaning solution, and make ’em do something useful for a change. Pay ’em to do it, even. If they spray paint even one word, arrest the little bastards, and put ’em to work.
Now, despite this aversion to defacement I feel, this image (popup, 16k) from Page 3 of today’s Korea Times annoys the hell out of me, because it speaks so eloquently of Koreans’ endless ability to either blame their problems on other people, or shine the light of disapproval on the Outsider, while ignoring their own failings. The mote in your brother’s eye, and all that crap. Find this halfwit Cedric and his hydrocephalic girlfriend Andrea and make them scrub the throat-oysters off subway platforms for a while, sure, but don’t turn a blind eye to the endless acts of incivility and filthmongering your own people do, every goddamn day, you sanctimonious, self-important bastards!
(Whew. That feels better.)
If you’ve been following the Korea-related rantings of the wonderchicken for any length of time at all, you know how I feel about the filth and pollution that a city dweller here in Korea must wallow through. I really wish I had that digital camera I want to buy, just so I could show you some of the refuse-handiwork around my neighbourhood, by way of comparison. Later, maybe.
Via Lia, these more-than-slightly-surreal photos of the so-called Arirang Festival in North Korea at the moment.
Isn’t it just amazing sometimes the stupid stuff people do? I mean, at least once a day I mutter to myself about things South Korean : “What the hell can they be thinking?”
But even the most oddball of behaviours here in the South (today’s example was the environmental Green Festival posters plastered pell-mell across every non-moving surface, vertical or horizontal, at the university, literally hundreds of them, printed on paper that will dollars-to-donuts not be recycled…) are peanuts compared to what would to all intents and purposes appear to be some sort of weird consensual hallucination (possibly triggered by the predilection (seemingly limited to Koreans and Ukrainian grandmothers) for mixing swaths of pastel pink and green wherever possible) north of the DMZ.
(My, I’m parenthetical today, aren’t I? Must be the vitamin B.)
I offer these Canadian facts as accompaniment to the post about America earlier :
(Source: McMillan’s Culture Guide 1999-2000)
Canadians lead the world in per capita binge drinking. The average Canadian drinks an average of 16 beers on an average day. Seven of them are normally consumed while on the job.
(Source: Wild World Of Booze Facts)
Canada is the world’s largest supplier of cocaine, heroin, methamphetamines and back bacon.
(Source: Gene Raphael’s Big Book Of Canucks)
Canadians are more likely than any other nationality to spit in public, especially on the windshields of other people’s cars.
(Source: New York Times – June 15th, 1998)
If you try to order a quarter-pounder in a Canadian McDonald’s, you won’t get a quarter-pound hamburger. You see, Canadians use the metric system for units of measurement. If you ask a Canadian for a “quarter-pounder,” he will kick you in the knee and take your wallet and any jewelry you are wearing.
(Source: America West Airlines travel guide)
These shocking facts and more can be found here. Once again, I leave my gentle readers to draw their own conclusions about this hateful, evil nation and its unpleasant denizens, with their incessant foul language and their flip-top heads. [via boingboing]