Photograph of Jesus by Laurie Hill

Pretty interesting little piece about the Hulton Archive, which I've never heard of before. Kinda makes you wanna go picture diving there.

Via Twitch.


Aimee Mullins´ TED Talk

Another interesting TED Talk about legs. No, seriously. It's about prosthetics, beauty, people's different reactions, and so on. It's good, only around 10 minutes, and inspiring.


JJ Abrams TED Talk

Really interesting if you're into writing, movies, or something related to those. He also manages to sum up a big part of why most remakes suck.

What's In the Box? by TimSmiT - Thibaut Niels

Stumbled upon this little test film on io9. If it's turning into a proper film, or if this is it I have no idea. It's pretty damned good for a fan made production though.


The Death of the Internet?

With Acta, and quite a few national restrictions and censors of the Internet you have to ask yourself: When does the Internet stop being the Internet?
What defines the Internet in the first place, you might ask yourself. I'd have to say the diversity of it myself. No matter what your opinion you can find people who agree and disagree, questions, doubts, information, and more about whatever you want.
Then there's sex. Any fetish, no matter how deviant and absurd can be found online. You can even find a video of a monkey trying to hump a goat on YouTube if you so wish. Well, you could yesterday anyway.
Not that all of it is good of course. Absolute freedom isn't possible, since others will abuse that freedom by abusing others.
But the Internet is still pretty damned close.
The things you think might be illegal, like snuff, pedophilia, and so on, can be reported to various organizations that have contact with the police and will report it for you.
People masturbating with their own feces doesn't count, no matter how much it might offend you.

But back to the censorship and attempts at control then.
There's of course Acta that's looking kinda like an a attempt at a global copyright law to me. The secrecy is the worst part of it though, since no one except a few select politicians know what it actually says. Yey democracy and transparency in government, ey?
Then there's FRA in Sweden. Monitoring connections going to and from Sweden. Which effectively means almost all connections in Sweden as well. Connections don't go directly from you to your friend, or whoever/whatever you're in contact with. It goes the roundabout way, so I guess you could say that FRA affects the whole of Scandinavia to some extent.

Then there's the Great Australian Firewall, called so after the Great Chinese Firewall.
What the problem here then? True, it is a opt-out system, but from what I've heard the people pusing for it have all but said "If you're not with us you're with the pedophiles!" Very nice and democratic of them. Fuckers.
I sorta want to move to Australia and opt-out of the system, then I'd sue them for slander. Probably wouldn't stick, but it's the principal that matters. It's either that or punch them in the face, and that'd be bad considering that they're political figures.
Oh, and they've censored Wikileaks, which is considered something of a goldmine when it comes to publicizing all kinds of documents and information. It mostly has to do with governments and big coporations.
They were apprently censored for posting a list of sites blocked by the Dutch goverment. Again, go democracy! How about just blocking the sites in question instead? Too much work?
Oh, and it isn't really opt-out, you're just moved to "watered down version of the blacklist". Sure, all of the content on that list is considered illegal in Australia, but that includes "advocacy of euthanaisa", so who knows? "Indecent content" doesn't seem quite specific enough, and that just the censorship in itself.
I'd recommend reading more on Computer World, who seems to have most info on what's going on, what it's consequences will be, and so on.

Edit: Forgot to mention Ipred. It's more or less the European Unions own Acta. Not sure if it's the same thing, but it seems possible.


Social Security, Poverty and Me

I'm not sure how to start this off, so I'm just gonna start.
I don't believe anyone choses to be homeless, poor, or whatever you wanna call it. No one in their right mind decides "Hey! I can be homeless! Then I don't have to work and can get rich from government aid!"
First off: no one gets rich of the money they get from social services. And that's only if they get money from social services at all.
I'm not sure how the terms differ from country to country, but at least up here you have be actively seeking employment to get some financial support. This means you have to seek any and all jobs you have even a minimal chance of getting, and some you don't even fill the requirements for, just in case. The requirements seems to be "Can you send them an application? Then do it." I'm not sure what they point of applying for a job they're not going to give your is, except for making you feel stupid, and annoying the employer. But you have to apply for a certain number of jobs to get money, and I suppose just applying to whatever job you find is a good way to get money if you're desperate.
It's safe to say that you only seek social security if you're desperate and don't have any other choice.
Generally speaking that is.

Then there's people with various addictions. This isn't a choice either. It's an addiction, which means that their basic motivation (like a career, a nice dinner, etc) is replaced with one thing, and one thing only. The substance they're addicted to. Nothing else matters anymore. "Family is only good if it helps me get my drug." Same with friends, jobs, and so on. It's all just tools to help achieve a goal. Most people suffering from an addiction don't want to take the drug. But their bodies, distorted by chemical abuse, demands it. It's hard to fight something that's stronger than the need to eat and sleep. Imagine if you're really tired or hungry. You can of course skip both sleep and food for a time, but how does that make you feel? How long can you keep it up?
And it's hard to cure as well, because an addiction changes the body. The change doesn't disappear just because you don't take the drug anymore.
If you've stopped smoking you know what I'm talking about. Sometimes you feel the need to have a smoke, even if it's been years since you had one the last time.
Some drugs cause a distortion right away, other's take a few doses. Generally speaking this is true for medicinal drugs as well. If you're taking anti-depressants for some time you're gonna have to switch to another pill that cures you're addiction to the anti-depressants once you stop taking them.
Generally speaking you should be careful when it comes to drugs. I'm not saying that "Drugs are bad!", just that they can be really fucking horrible and fuck you up for life if you're not careful. Kinda like driving. Crash once and you're dead or in a wheelchair for life.

So, why should you listen to me in the first place? I've never been homeless, but it's been close once or twice. If worst comes to worst I've got family I could move in with, so I'm lucky that way.
Have I ever been poor then? I haven't been so poor that I've had to beg, but it has crossed my mind at one point. I have been on social security though.

You know what the hardest part of applying for social security is? The psychological aspect of it. At least for me anyway. I'm a bit proud of myself. I hate borrowing money from people, and I feel like I should be able to take care of everything myself. I bet it'd be worse if I had a regular job and then had to seek help to survive though.
It's the American dream of the proud self-made man that's infected our motivations, you might say.
If you just work hard and determined towards a goal you'll make it! Too bad it doesn't work like that. You need help and support from others to get started at least. A family that helps motivate you probably helps too.
So what if your only motivation is "not starving to death under a bridge"? First of you make sure you somehow get money, begging might work, unless people shouts "Get a job!" and gives you disgusted looks.
But begging, social security, and so on has a drawback. People that have never been close to being poor will despise you. They'll happily assume that you're just a lazy slacker with no motivation. You probably seek social security just to get money for meth anyway.
Feel free to protest, but I know I've thought "Fucking drunks" in disgust at beggars at times.

There's one things I'll remember for the rest of my life though. I was on a buss on the way to Spain I think, when we stopped for some time in Brussels and decided to walk around for a bit.
I'm not sure how I ended up there, but I found my way into a long thin mall with small exclusive boutiques like offices in a corridor.
And on the stairs of one of them a young woman was sitting crying with a paper drinking cup in her hand and an expression of hopelessness and despair in her face like I've never seen before.
It felt like a bucket of cold water over my head with a punch in the stomach straight afterwards.
I got choked up, almost collapsed to my knees crying with my head in my hands right there and then. I  mumbled some words about being sorry and not having any money and almost ran away from her.
And the buildings of the administrative sections of the European Union was only a few hundred meters away.


About Acta

I personally dislike copyright in it's present form, and trying to get a global copyright reinforcement on both traditional copyright issues such as art piracy, and medical ones, just seems wrong to me.
I am, however, a strong supporter of Creative Commons, so it's not like I'm against any control the creator wants to have over their creation.
I don't mind people trying to make money by selling pirated goods getting caught, at least not when it comes to art, but medicines can be a different issue.
Of course, that depends a lot on the companies creating them. If they get a new patent by changing some minimal detail in their medicine for the sole purpose of keeping the patent, then I don't mind pirated medicines at all. I'm even in support of them, as long as the people creating them do their best to help others. If they're just in it for the money they're of course no better than the previously mentioned medical companies.

But what about Acta? The biggest problem I have with it is the massive confidentiality around it. I'm pretty sure there's already conspiracy theories aplenty about it by now. What I don't get is why they thought it needed to be kept a secret in the first place, and why they think they have the right to keep it one?
This is looking more and more like global agreement on the verge of a law, so it only seems fair to be transparent about it.
If it was some sort of halfhearted attempt to avoid protests they should have realized that it'd only get people more interested. And I'm personally a little surprised that accusations of fascism and global leadership hasn't been used a lot more.
But then again Alex Jones might not have heard about it yet...



Being Productive

I'm starting to get things done again. I've started writing another story that I'm doubtful that I'll finish anytime soon.
Have also discussed playing a part in a friends short movie. I've gotten dialog and a general sense of the character, and I've already changed almost all of my dialog, and some of his. Hopefully he doesn't mind too much.
Then I'm writing my research report for my 50 or so page essay about memetics, and reading about a chapter of psychology a day. These are the things I need to do, but that I don't manage to motivate myself into doing a lot of the time. Ah well, at least I'm keeping up with my reading I suppose. I'm gonna have to get something done on the research report soon though. Need to get that sent in sometime this month.
Oh, and the role in the movie is as a government spook of sorts. It's a minor detail, so I'm betting it's alright if I let that one slip.
What else am I doing then?
A few things I've got bouncing around in my head:
how to create a self sufficient and environmentally friendly community somewhere around these parts
starting a more organized local parkour organization. Possibly workshops.
Making a storyboard and a proper script for a short movie I've written.
Writing another short movie pitch/script/fluid description.
And I have an idea for another, thought that one's not really thought trough yet.
I'm also thinking about trying do the storyboards to each of the shorts as a comic, and possibly a short story too. So you'd have have the same story in 3 different formats basically.

Oh, and I decided to play trough Half Life 2 for the first time as well. And then I did Episode 1 & 2 for good measure. Valve is really something when it comes to doing interesting FPS-styled games I have to say. Go try Portal if you don't believe me.

Well, that's what going on production vise you might say. I've still got other things I'm thinking about, like how personality is constructed. If leaning towards Carl Rogers on this one. Phenomenology ties neatly into the philosophy of parkour on some points as well, which is part of the appeal. But I'm thinking the other guys can't be dismissed just because I happen to prefer one way of looking at personality. They're all pretty interesting, and they all contain something I agree with, so we'll see what I conclude eventually I suppose.
And now I make porridge.


Good News Everyone! & The Cult of Done Manifesto

Not as much news as assorted links and interesting things.
Ah well, here goes:

James Cascio kills Long-Term and elects Multi-generational instead.

Bruce Sterling predicts the future whiteout money.

Charlie Stross' FAQ for the 21st Century
Both via Grinding.

The Cult of Done Manifesto

1. There are three states of being. Not knowing, action and completion.
2. Accept that everything is a draft. It helps to get it done.
3. There is no editing stage.
4. Pretending you know what you're doing is almost the same as knowing what you are doing, so just accept that you know what you're doing even if you don't and do it.
5. Banish procrastination. If you wait more than a week to get an idea done, abandon it.
6. The point of being done is not to finish but to get other things done.
7. Once you're done you can throw it away.
8. Laugh at perfection. It's boring and keeps you from being done.
9. People without dirty hands are wrong. Doing something makes you right.
10. Failure counts as done. So do mistakes.
11. Destruction is a variant of done.
12. If you have an idea and publish it on the Internet, that counts as a ghost of done.
13. Done is the engine of more.

And FYI this is a manifesto, which means it's not universal. Some people will agree to all of it, some will agree with some of it, and others will hate it. If you hate it you're not that kind of person.
I like to do thing, but have a tendency to wait too long before starting, have ideas that I'd like to do that I've started and never finished, and so on. This helps me get motivated, although I don't agree with all of it. Doesn't really matter I suppose, since the goal is to get things done. Even if it's barely, failed, or turn into something else completely. "We live and learn" seems fitting in this case...

Found via Zadeta od Lajfa.
Which is the blog of a photographer I must have liked, why else would I have added it to my feeds?

And here's a really interesting interview with a Korean director/actor/writer/producer by the name of Yang Ik-June on Twitch.
Really interesting, entertaining, and inspirational all in one. Though if you don't like to read it's not for you. Hell, if you don't like to read occasionally what are you doing on a blog in the first place?

I was also gonna post about Zoƫ Bell and the show Angel of Death she's in, but seems like it doesn't want to to work for me, and I don't wanna send anyone to a dead link. (I can't actually get the right address to link to.) It's online television as well, which makes it extra tricky when you can't watch it.
Ah well, here's the site anyway. Crackle is the name, online television is the game. Unless you're me, in which case nothing video related seems to work.
Ah well, link here. Good luck!

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