Heavy Plant

Walk past a "Heavy Plant" warning and wonder vaguely if the trees thought it was for them; if whoever put it up had enough imag...



Away for Christmas and new year. Occasional mobile posts only!


Interesting times

I must be serious, I've spent money on it, well $10 anyway.

I have registered dataphage.com through google apps for your domain with registration, which also gives me email addresses, web hosting etc. For the time being there is a badly republished version of the content here on the site.

I'm not sure what I'll do with it and I'm waiting to see what other google services are tied in with it and whether I can migrate everything over. Ideas on a postcard to the usual address.


Zeitgeist - the new apathy

"Down with a world in which the guarantee that we will not die of starvation has been purchased with the guarantee that we will die of boredom." - Raoul Vaneigem, The Revolution Of Everyday Life
There is a not so new apathy spreading everywhere I go. A feeling of disinterest, dis-empowerment and despair that is evidencing itself as a kind of feckless self-absorption. Cynicism abounds, there is a dearth of originality and what talent there is seems intent on rehashing on commenting on events elsewhere, egocentric diarising or a kind of neo-nihilism that lacks enough sophistication even to call itself Dada . Reality is eating itself.

This isn't just a general feeling but an all-pervading malaise, a pernicious meme that has infiltrated and taken over. It's almost as if an alien invasion has begun:
Phase one: kill their spirit, make them chaotic and they will walk willingly to slavery just to regain a sense of order
I am not a shut-in with a tinfoil helmet and an assault rifle but someone who has realised that they are part of the problem. The hope of there being a solution is vanishing quickly as it rests almost entirely on a sense of personal involvement, ownership and action that is vanishing from people's agendas, mine particularly.

People have become their contextual value to organisations: a vote, a victim, a sale, a rented opinion. In all but a few areas there is no feeling of collective enterprise, community is the distant and fading memory of my parents. It has been reconstituted as a pale reflection of itself in the near consequence-free virtual environment. People isolate themselves with iPods and mobile phones. Ironically the very means of communication somehow shutting in the person rather than facilitating their outward expression.

If you've read this far then you have some sense of what I'm talking about but haven't yet given it a name or thought about a coherent resistance to it. It is the removal of people from reality, homogenisation of perspective, over communication with little or no content and what this does to the rest of the world. When cynicism is common sense, apathy an instinct and distinctiveness a dying hope something is clearly wrong.



There has been an absence of more verbose postings on here for a little while as more and more often I seem to be triggered into thinking about concepts that I bring up in the longer ones. For example after the post on Music and Thinking I started a piece on browsing that has taken on a life of its own and had me sat around looking pensive for some time (people thought I was constipated, I was just confused).

I keep returning to philosophical ideas that I covered at University to do with contemporary life, self and identity and trying to contextualise these with working life, the internet and the idea of personal happiness. It's producing some interesting thoughts. They all seem a little obvious at the moment but I'm going to keep following them and see if they produce anything insightful. I haven't had any time to write any more fiction and I might try and make some time to do this too as I've had some half decent ideas, however these are all tied up with the ideas so they may be a little pretentious, but that's never stopped me before!


Raising a few eyebrows

I had no idea this was a competitive area.


And so Christmas began

Oh dear there's another layer.
Life is like a box of chocolates; some bastard's got the one you want and you have to get your hands dirty looking for one you might like.



But what happens when your knees go?
Edit: you'll need to click on the photo to see why I even bothered with this.


More fibre




Music and thinking

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furious pig - I don't like your face

Why is it that I no longer listen to or buy music? I think I used to enjoy it, certainly I spent a lot of money trying to enjoy it. I'm bored by listening to the things I own, after all I've heard them before. CD's seem too expensive, and you have to be careful how you download mp3s, it can get you sued.

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Kimya Dawson - I like giants

I seem to be seeking out variety at the moment. I've abandoned what I might have considered a discerning ear in favour of constant change. I listen to to FBi radio here in Sydney which refreshes its playlist weekly and is stakcked with new msic, a lot of of which you can't hear anywhere else (the link is worth a look, you can listen over the internet). The DJs tend to be younger than me and some of them are a little bit unworldly but their chatter is somehow soothing.

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Astronomy class - Heatseeker

Perhaps it's like Scott Adams says, music is like a drug. At least overdose isn't terminal in most cases, though you do worry how many car crashes are attributable to The Chemical Brothers. I think I've stopped listening to music because it stopped being ineresting. The music industry has become too much of an industry and is definitely suffering in the information age where broadcast is the same as presence and distribution is a casual, almost thought free exercise.

I don't blame the internet for the downfall of the music industry - the medium is not the message - but I do blame a commodity based approach to creative work by that industry. It seems contrary to the nature of creative people and the reason they create to turn their output into property that no longer belongs to them and over which they have little or no authority. Such is the nature of a capital economy.

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The knife - Heartbeats

I have lost most of my interest in music because of a lack of access points to new material and because a lot of it seems stale. Maybe that says more about my outlook than it does about the music but I don't think so.

One of the reasons I don't put commercial radio on or buy the CD's that are peddled on it is because the world we now live in is governed by browsing. Browsing is an activity where concentration and attention span as well as a deeper qualitative appreciation are hostile to the activity itself. It also means that people are more sensitive to negative forces, browsing has both push and pull forces and the push is instant and final and the pull is creeping and fickle (more on browsing in another post, I seem to have quite a lot to say about it).

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Scala girls choir - I touch myself

Music is now something we use to fill up transitory spaces in our lives and a background to a different activity; every commuter has an iPod, every bar, coffee shop or newsagent you go into has music playing (browsing again). Perhaps I don't want to overload senses with a sensory experience from outside the event or maybe I don't want to dilute the moment but I seem to feel that adding music detracts from the moment more than adding to it. This is probably becauase we do use music to enhance experiences that would otherwise seem dull and its presence therefore infers to me that what I'm doing is dull and needs livening up.

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Alvin Lucier - I am sitting in a room (1969)

Music also seems to inhibit thought. Hearing is not as highly processed by your brain as sight, which is thought to be one of the reasons mentally ill people have auditory hallucinations. Sound arrives in your consciousness half-processed giving it strange levels of access to your mind. Environments actually can be too loud to think and I quite like to think although it seems I do a little too much of it. Stuff it I'm going to put the radio on and watch the cricket.

On the margin

If the thoughts you have on the edge of a party are restricted to 'this is a bit shallow' then have another drink. I'll talk to you another time.



The nice people at Blogger/Google have sorted all the problems I was having posting to here from the mobile. In celebration here is a postcard shot just for them.

Edit: Link so the apropriate people see it.