Friday, 29 June 2007

Class divide on the internet

Just who are the glitterati of the internet? The geeks? The bands? Who are the aristocrats? Mass owners of land in second life? A high-level dwarf in World of Warcraft? Hard to tell at this juncture, and I have little time to think about it at the moment.

Suffice to say, is danah boyd, a PhD student in the School of Information at Berkeley, has been looking into this realm for the last four years, and just the other day, one of her recent papers kicked up a right stink across the net…getting down to brass tacks and saying Facebook is for the wealthy, educated, middle-classes and Myspace is for every other deviant subculture under the sun. HAH, how I laughed.

I wouldn’t care to agree or disagree just at the moment, I wish I had more time to read her blog, it’s terribly interesting, and actually makes me quite jealous of her insight an the respect she commands. I’ll broach this subject again once I’m in possession of all the facts and can really hit it hard, in the time being I thought any readers might be interested in the argument itself, and the fuss it’s caused online.

On a side note, there are changes ahead, namely a re-design, it was always in the pipeline, as I don’t like these generic blogger templates, and now my designer friend has a bit of time on his hands he’s getting cracking. So things will go missing, stuff will appear, problems may strike, we’ll see how it goes.

More soon.

Monday, 25 June 2007

Presence updaters and Shane Macgowan

The social presence revolution is all starting to kick off as far as I’m concerned. Most people will only know about this though their facebook ‘Richard is doing blah blah’, and probably won't even realise they're part of a wider picture when they put on all manner of applications to their Facebook profile.

Alas, the real revolution is rocking this way, giving people the facility to see what their friends, loved ones, family members and even favourite personalities online, are doing at any given moment throughout the day. It’s 24/7 surveillance, except with this Big Brother, you can turn it off.

I currently rock Jaiku, Facebook and Twitter on occasion, although I’ve yet to set it up properly so my feed is coming off my Jaiku account. Robert Scoble, is pushing his omnipotence, the pros and cons of each part, on us with a recent blog post, he say’s there’s something interesting going on that we should all be aware of, I’m inclined to agree.

It’s a tough on to call though, whether it really will be incorporated by the masses or just left for us geeks who continue to believe we’re ‘right on the edge, above the curve, living in a technological space, right out of the box... man’ or whether the ‘normies’ will actually pick-up on any of this sort of stuff.

On a technological and hedonistic level, I believe it’s about staying in the loop, and having the facility to do it anywhere, any time, keeping right on top of what everyone is doing all the time. I was in a pub on Saturday somewhere in north London, good times, good music, reasonable prices and Shane Macgowan sat in the corner, HA. The point is I could have loaded up Jaiku, or Twibbler, geo tagged a post and let the friends that I have on my contact list know exactly where I was, what I was getting up to, and told them to get down for some awsomeness.

I didn’t as it happened as I was a little to drunk, and totally forgot about the ‘presence updater revolution’ at the time, in favour of some ‘real life’ hedonistic pursuits, one of which was losing my mind.

Where will it all go? Who knows? And in the light of wanting to keep these posts relatively short, I’ll end it there, leave the question open, and maybe address it again soon. Lets see how it goes.

I’ve got so much to talk about here at the moment but the lack of internet at my house is a serious drag on my want and ability to blog on a personal level. But there you go.

More soon

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Gadgets, technology and the history of man

With all the god damned hubbub that’s taking place around the iPhone at the moment, the wired blog has taken it upon themselves to put it firmly in its place, get a real perspective on things, and ask their readers in a good old fashioned poll, what they think the greatest gadget EVER is.

Hedonism and technology have gone hand-in-hand from the dawn of time, from the first flickers of fire heating up fine cooked meat, to the humble toilet bringing forth sanitary and an all around more pleasant atmosphere to modern civilization.

Calling fire a gadget is pushing the boundaries, defined by the internet a gadget is officially:

"A small specialized mechanical or electronic device; a contrivance."
Some online dictionary

So everything else in their list easily falls into this remit, from the combustion engine – my personal favourite – to the personal computer. What exactly is the greatest ever is something that could obviously rage on forever. The iPhone is clearly not the greatest, it’s average at best, the Nseries N95, which I currently sport, wipes the floor with it in most departments and it’s already freely available.

I’d also submit Lego, simply for it’s awesomeness, whilst some would argue there’s no real practical use, Lego art is just one example of how this work of engineering and technological genius is moving leaps and bounds ahead of what it was originally set out for. In fact, I’m going to start blogging more about Lego, I invisage a world made of Lego, and not just the miniature ‘Lego World’ I visited in Blackpool as a child.

On a side note, I still have no serious internets at home, so I’m staying late at work and blogging from here, which sucks, I still want to get my head wrapped around a few cool ideas I’ve been introduced to but don’t have the inclination to at work. Very annoying.

More Lego and more other stuff tomorrow.

Monday, 18 June 2007

Grinding my teeth

I was going to read up on social objects, maybe talk about that a little, throw in some other garb about things I like, about the future and other assorted bits, but in all honesty I’m fucked off.

So after three days and being quite keen to get a blog post up I’m eager to get home, give my parents a call (fathers day yesterday) sit down with a movie and not think, because my slow as fuck computer at work is pissing me off, the fact that one of the students at the house still hasn’t got the fucking internet sorted after three weeks, is pissing me off, and a couple of other things to boot.

Will sort this out tomorrow. Before I break my knuckles.

What’s fucking you off at the moment?

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Faster blogger! Kill! Kill!

Just a quick one tonight, I’m still at work, 13 hours so far, hitting the road soon, but inline with the subject of this post, and the general blog theme, may I present to you the Razer titanium-clad Boomslang Collector's mouse, a very awesome piece of kit for you gamers out there and anyone any geek who appreciates the finer things in life.

It’s a genuine limited edition, 10k to be made and the DreamHack expo in Sweden on June 16 is expected to have the info on pricing and whether or not it will use a High-DPI optical sense or opt for laser tracking.

Arh, all this fuss over a mouse?! Well, who’s to say? In yester-year it may have been a fine fur, rubies, metals, and whilst those goods a still touted as high-end hedonism in many respects, the people that abuse them now are, how should I put it? Often out of the loop? HAH.

Well I told you it was going to be a quick one.

More soon.

Tuesday, 12 June 2007

MTV generation 2.0

Ye Gods! I can wait until the mainstream press picks up on the likes of this malarkey, the coined phrase, at the beginning of its evolution I’m guessing, is ‘The Attention Crash,’ and by god, it’s pretty accurate right at this infantile level.

It revolves around the human capacity to absorb information, and those of us who work in the social media, with computers, marketing, PR, this ethereal environment where so much money flys around, so little gets done, but so much is accomplished. Steve Rubel kicked things off by simply saying;

“We are reaching a point where the number of inputs we have as individuals is beginning to exceed what we are capable as humans of managing. The demands for our attention are becoming so great, and the problem so widespread, that it will cause people to crash and curtail these drains. Human attention does not obey Moore's Law.”

The one thing that always stuck out in my mind about the MTV Gernation, which I’m gladly a part of, was our lack of any sort of decent attention span. Well, fuck me, as I’ve grown and my inputs have kept up, my attention span has drifted to what I think is around 3 or 4 seconds. That’s generally how long I’ll stay looking at one thing, email, blog, twitter, jaiku, facebook, myspace,, imdb, plazes…the infinite list of social tools. Terrible.

Hugh Macleod obviously had his own succinct opinion on the matter in hand, which as usual also hit the nail on the head.

“Of course, this web-enabled, stressed-out success model isn't anything new. Since the dawn of time, to get anything interesting done in this world pretty much requires one kissing normal life good-bye. This sudden mass overload of input we're constantly witnessing is just one more example of it. One of many. Same as it ever was.”
I think I’m in an interesting position though, as Hugh says, “to get anything interesting done in this world pretty much requires one kissing normal life good-bye,” I’ve pretty much always know the life I’m leading now, although now I’m getting paid for it. Blogging, jumping into technology and the social media, I grew up with it, this fast paced, action packed ride of geekery and hedonism, it is what I do, and have over the last decade (since I was about 13), so it’s no different.

I love it, every minute, apart from my increasingly apparent lack of attention that is, HAH…it’s the future-boyo. So where am I? I work 60 hours a week, I play 50 hours a week and sleep the rest, it’s brilliant, give me more, I want to absorb everything. What are your thoughts? Lunacy or progression? I can't seem to agree with this '4-Hour Workweek' stuff, what the hell am I going to do with the rest of my time if i'm not absorbing information that I like? Play golf? Go fucking swimming with dolphins? FUCK THAT, GIVE ME EVERYTHING ALL AT ONCE. I'll chew it up and ask for seconds, some might that’s young naivety, but I’m fine with that, when the hell else am I going to have the chance to balls up what I’m saying? So there it is.

More tomorrow.

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Build ‘em big, build ‘em fast

That’s what I say, nuke the rainforest, throw up gigantic scrapers of the sky that protrude like terrible stalagmites of doom. Surround me with concrete, awash in a sea of grey and strangers, orange light and thick air. That’s me, a brutalist at heart, I love the nature of intrusive architecture, maybe because I’m some sort of terrible 80’s Wall Street driven, power tie, cigar smoking beast. I actually think is has more to do with my technological influences during my youth, but that’s a different blog all-together.

For now we’ll concentrate on the 3000ft Burj Dubai. Monument. Jewel. Icon. Don’t take my word for it, A-rabs in Dubai have been playing with words and came up with those three. I’d tend to agree, this beast is a testament to the long development of human architecture and, as far as I’m concerned, just totally outstanding in every aspect.

It’s a beautiful spectacle, and almost at the pinnacle of this theme that I try and write about, the combination of hedonism and modern technology. There’s literally nothing quite like this building, and as soon as it’s built I’m going to visit, and do my best to dominate it, as I have done with a wide array of other earthly structural monuments.

Anyway, I love this building, and the fantastic thing for you green types out there, it’s surprisingly environmentally friendly, just read the spec over at their site.

Now, it’s hot, I’m bothered, and I want some food and then some cider. So I’m off, into the fray once again

More tomorrow.

Friday, 8 June 2007

Hedonism and technology

Okay, less of my astounding political and social insight in this post (HA) and more straight-up technology that can benefit us in hedonistic ways, short and too the point as somewhere in this damned city there’s beer to be drunk.

MIT have been developing their magnetically coupled resonator technology that essentially allows for wirelessly powered…well anything hopefully. NO MORE WIRES! FOR ANYTHING THOUGH WITRICITY!

The one thing that I always thought would hold us down, how to actually get power to something without wires, okay yeah there’s batteries and possibly fuel-cells but this is a much more viable option and will prove for some very exciting times in the future, I’m hoping at least.

Secondly there’s Steam Punk, I’ll probably do a slightly more in-depth post on this one day and the guys behind it, but it never fails to impress and if I ever get any serious cash, everything I own will be calibrated in a steam punk fashion.

Just look at this wonderful set up, post-modern to the hilt, outstanding work as always, I’ll definitely combine this with my Witricity for some serious aces.

More tomorrow.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Content is King

Yeah I know, I know, I’m just rushed off my feet at work, I have no internet at home, it’s summer and I like beer gardens. Combining these factors doesn’t do anything good for the old blogging situation.

A good thought though from Amnesty International on the changing face of censorship on the internet, especially in China, god damn commies. To quote –

"The chinese model of an internet that allows economic growth but not free speech or privacy is growing in popularity, from a handful of countries five years ago to dozens of governments today who block sites and arrest bloggers,"

Tim Hancock, Amnesty's campaign director.

What I don’t think they realize is by opening up the net, they’ll actually have greater control and economic growth, but I guess commies will be commies. Speaking of which, Putin is threatening to train his missiles on us? Better get some of that factor 3k sun lotion on standby because things might just get a bit hot out there.

Just a touch of hedonism today, and pretty much completely off the general theme of this post, but this walking robot is outstanding, just pull up a seat and away you go, lazy legs, let the robots do the work, hopefully they’ll make one that can feed and clothe me soon.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Terrorism? No fun to be had here.

Problems and problems, freedom vs protection, being the main of them really, I wrote on this issue a few years back when I was travelling America, but in a different light all-together, here’s a snippet.

“It’s unlikely the rent-a-cop security employed to search and scan everyone getting onto Greyhound busses, for example, really know they’re infringing on the natural civil rights of all of these people, the 4th Amendment:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

‘Probable cause’ I think is the phrase that comes into discussion at this point, “Our intent is to root out and discover possible terrorists and to protect the greater good”, indeed, that seems to give these rent-a-cops the right to search anyone, well, where are the individuals these days…?”

Jack Rawstone - Circa 2003

More and more of us I guess, and that’s just the problem as the internet opens up with the social media, I wrote just the other day that my entire life is basically online, and I’m fine with that, I don’t mind, it’s my ‘15mb of fame’ (just call me the next Andy Warhol). But the guys at read/write web wrote an interesting article the other day on naivety in the social media, essentially technology and terrorism. Am I being naive?

Will the openness that we’re experiencing now come and bite us on our rosy red arses? Will the governments come in and close us all down for our protection? “Sorry, you’re not allowed to upload your images online son, you took that picture in front of the White House / it proves you’re a dissident for some commie faction”. No doubt some madness will ensue, there’s already talk of the CIA and likes tracking everything online, EVERYTHING. But at the same time they’re partly relying on that, to keep track, to categorise, I guess it would do more harm than good for these fascist agency types to kill the social media than to keep it going.

Really though, it is great for me, I can find out what I want, when I want, where I want, however I want though a few key clicks, and it’s going to get simpler, as search engines become more intelligent (no Skynet please), I’ll soon just click and have. And I’m not scared, it’s a bright future as far as I’m concerned, no ‘the glass is half empty’ for me thank you very much.

Your thoughts?

More tomorrow.

Monday, 4 June 2007

The uncanny valley and disturbing times

I love technology, but I would never actually ‘make love’ to technology. I very much doubt the Japs were interested in the pederast possibilities when coming up with the CB2 Child Robot, but none-the-less, it’s completely fucked up. I mean, fucking look at this thing, it's an abomination.

The video (found here) is even worse, the man softly-softly patting its leg, fucking hell! And this inevitably brings us to the Uncanny Valley, how we as humans feel unthreatened by robots, cyberoids, etc until the point where they look too much like us, then we freak the fuck out, and I’m thinking this monstrosity is at this point.

Getting back on point for the blog, we're almost at that hedonistic mildstone of ‘sexbot’ technology. Would I genuinely fuck a robot? It would probably depend if the robot was my overlord and pointing a laser gun at my face, in that instance, probably yes.

But undoubtedly this technology is going to become more and more familiar, the Japs probably leading the way, until ultimately, you’ve got the facility to walk down the street and get your pleasurebot in any size, shape or form. In my mind there’s something just categorically wrong with that, but thinking about it, that’s a healthy train of thought.

Take for instance Darwinism killing off the greasy bottom of the gene pool leech heads because they’re all out fucking robots instead of real humans. But, inexorably these robots are going to be for the rich, well-off types that can afford them, not the proletariat webbed feet type at the bottom of the social hierarchy, so which way will it go? Hmm lots of room for thought here I guess, yours on a postcard, or perhaps in my comments section.

Anyway, my net connection at home is down at the moment so I’m just going to be doing short daily, somewhat thought provoking, posts in my short lunch break at work for now, and if I get access to some wifi at home I’ll do slightly larger more commentary based posts from there.

So, adieu!

More tomorrow