Monday, 31 December 2012
Sunday, 30 December 2012
transits, became markers of the ages, a fixed reference point in time, that are equally accessible to us as inheritors and far in the future, who are able to trace backwards and reliably match our measures against those of our ancestors. I wonder how people will reckon this upcoming year of the comet.
Saturday, 29 December 2012
Friday, 28 December 2012
By engaging in the politics of terror, I think the United States is poised to play a very risky game that risks it becoming a caricature, mockery of the democratic process. It is unfair to lay blame squarely and solely on one party faction, since there is more than ample blame to go around—including the voting-public and the abstentious, but I think it is a safe assertion to point to one cadet wing of the Republican Party, trenchantly conservative and angry, as blocking compromise and negotiation.
The Swedish language is celebrated as a plastic and living entity and each year dozens of new words are championed by the Språkrådet, the national language council.
Thursday, 27 December 2012
The BBC reports on a project underway along UK roads that aims to deploy privacy screens to erect around the scene of traffic accidents, so rubberneckers (Gaffern) in the oncoming lane will not slow to get a glimpse of the wreckage and response.
Wednesday, 26 December 2012
Tuesday, 25 December 2012
I wonder how such an exclusive yet ubiquitous substance was translated to some universally hoped for but escapingly rare commodity as providence. It is strange what can develope in abject isolation. It’s no explanation, but the luckiness of the chimney sweep, who introduced industrial cancer and labour reform to the world besides, seem to operate under a similar logic—a reminder that one’s hearth and home had not burnt down, due to a poorly maintained fireplace, but still representing a kind of forbidden and untouchable skill, like for those who live in psychedelic houses.
Monday, 24 December 2012
Sunday, 23 December 2012
We mostly take for granted the fact that we live in charted territory and that almost any route imaginable has been scouted out, the path is well-worn and clearly marked, and that the starting point and destination have fixed addresses, precise under any number of conventions, by the postal system, government and satellite telemetry. The planet’s newest nation, South Sudan, however (and with its capital Juba situated in a district called Central Equatoria, one might be excused for thinking one ought to be able to pin point whereabouts precisely), possesses a paucity of cartographical information about itself, which is a disservice to the young country in terms of understanding demographics, infrastructure and its own resources and moving forward after years of strife.
Saturday, 22 December 2012
I have noticed an overarching theme in portrayals of the near future, usually of the dystopian or post-apocalyptic varieties, which include as a strange, albeit convenient, deus ex machina of a human sub-species with telekinetic or telepathic powers. Cinematically, to me, this seems as troublesome as the paradoxes of time travel, and it seems terribly unlikely that such a patently useful and fulfilling trait would evolve or a mutation pedigreed. I think man has little impetus to evolve, because environmental factors and disadvantageous qualities can and should be accommodated. It’s hard to say what humans would have tended towards, left to the brute elements, had empathy and industry not converged along with natural developed, and we probably would not have liked it—especially since evolution is not a matter of wish or sophistication but practicality and claws and fur and spider-sense, I think, would return long before the debut of psychic powers.
Normally, the last few days in the office before Christmas and the inter-festum week are pretty quiet and peaceful with calling on each and every colleague with season’s greetings, but there has been some ruinous and reactionary business that’s managed to sideline everything else.
Thursday, 20 December 2012
We will see what the close of the year and the new one to come bring. A lot of the matter of 2012 appears to be continuation of old business, only to out-do itself and be more glorious or notorious.
Tuesday, 18 December 2012
On the state level, two separate regions of Germany are calling for very different reforms whose intentions and actions wear both the sticks-and-stones persona of cyber-affairs and speak to the growing entanglement, irretrievability and dependence on connections and the synapses between people. Officials in the state of Sachsen-Anhalt want to give law-enforcement the ability to shut down telecommunication service providers unilaterally in cases of imminent threat to life and limb, and as a staunch corollary, courts in Schleswig-Holstein want a certain social-networking service to change its policy about joining under a nom de plume and is poised to impose hefty fines should the requirement or real names continue.
Currently, law enforcement can only shut down a cellular tower outside the express physical presence and permission via warrant if and only if there is bomb inside the cell tower. Opponents to the measures fear, as has been done in the US and elsewhere, that the police and government will use these martial-powers to silence dissent and hinder coordination for protests. The proposal further imposes that all infrastructure (along every point) have an easily accessible kill-switch, which can only be brought back online by competent authorities. The social network is refusing to waive the requirement on identity (I never knew that one had to use such credentials but apparently so) and is not entertaining arguments, despite the fact the rule is in violation of German and European Union privacy protections—not that people are guaranteed anonymity or pseudo-anonymity but that people are guaranteed certain protections on their personal data which no business or aggregator government can pretend to honour. Anyone who exercises freedom of speech and expression does so contractually, knowing that there is no intent to harm or befoul, but that contract is not drawn up in a vacuum, by companies or by government agencies. The right to be forgot entails that one’s footprints are not tracked without good reason and that an shadow that cannot be shed be linked to one’s name evermore. It is strange that the trade and tools of civil rights has been summarily reduced to this sort of smugness.
Monday, 17 December 2012
Sunday, 16 December 2012
Occasionally I wish that I had better recall of my dreams. Mostly they evaporate too quickly and I’m only left with the nagging tug of something forgotten, and regardless of what techniques I try, I am usually only able to remember my dreams as I am dreaming and they all come back in many layers with similarities that tunnel through. Although I am far from sure that I am loosing anything particularly creative, profound or prophetic by not remembering or if that’s just the preserving nature of dreaming, I do sometimes manage to retain, with some effort, not so much the content but rather the mechanics of an idea that I dreamt. I woke with the impression, already slipping into vagaries, whether ones nightly imaginings were responsive or pre-programmed.
Though I feel woefully inadequate to offer relief to the unthinkable tragedies of the headlines and do not want to be another haunting voice to those who suffered loss, especially for those without intermediacy and far-reaching empathy, it is the hard things that sometimes one must do: that the author of the Hunger Games franchise hails from the same small community strikes me as something curious and unexpected. It is surely nothing to detract from the gravity of the situation nor the serious discussions that need to take place in the aftermath, neither is it any condolence or help for healing.
Far from glorifying violence, which I believe the American media unfortunately does with its cause-celeb, striding on the necks of facts to try to be first to get the story without regard for the consequences of inaccurate reporting or of making matinee idol monsters to be understood rather than allow us to contemplate those enduring monsters that we create and tolerate, the stories were an allegory inspired by seeing the same kind of terrible juxtapositions of war and violence and the anodyne chasers of misfit reportage filed under culture and lifestyle and usually for the benefit of sponsorship, the stories were allegories questioning the same kind of spectacle and of the horrors that go unseen by institutions and estate. Redressing injustice is not a matter entertained due to customs imbued. Shield laws are in place for other crimes, meant to stave off premature incrimination and allow the law to pass judgment before the media and public has already decided, and though there is no innocence to protect or peace to be recaptured in such cases, maybe allegory for the outside world is a better format in order to avoid the vicious trap of fame. These terrors need to be seen and should be consigned to history, but the unfiltered unfolding of events and hastily assembled biographies and backstories do not help law enforcement and responders once broadcast, and I fear only serve to propagate that awful virus of twisted, angry logic when all involved become instant and intimate characters on the world’s stage that the audience is keen to analyze and interpret.