edjog Photo
Smack X Photo
H5N1 Photo
Hosted by Putfile.com

For words, meanings or references.
Hosted by Putfile.com
fuckin tunes on then...

Hosted by Putfile.com

Friday, November 25, 2005

Make Poverty History Campaign

So, after much pondering, i've decided to join.

As DLA's know, far from wishing to vote for Trade Justice, i'd like to make the WTO, IMF and World Bank history, however, anything moving in the right direction has to be supported, i feel. Check it out people, click the band at the top of this page for info.
While you're at it, check this blog out as well: D-Notice.
Seen the NO2ID banner? Go there, DLA's, and make the pledge. It worked with the Poll Tax...

BlogRankers.com ~ Vote or Comment on this Blog @BlogRankers.com.


So this comes from The PBA and, in the light of my recent experience with a Goddess of my understanding, i'm reproducing it along with my reply, because it made me think. The original post was by PaulEdward Snyder and to check it you can follow the title link or go to: PaulEdward Snyder's blog. The full text of PaulEdward's post can now be found 'Off The Main Page'.

Much of which post I sort of agree with, but not wholly, so i replied thusly:

I think that's too simplistic.
From my own experience, it is possible to apprehend one's environment and those others in it as unpredictable variables and still choose not to compete in consumption, leaving almost everything to chance, whilst knowing chance will inevitably affect the outcome of one's actions anyway. Having said that, it is a lonely perspective and one which may well have contributed to my having spent years consuming drugs. No longer however, life is precious to me these days, too precious to destroy through inordinate fear of pain.

There are other variations and surely ones I haven't thought of. I'm suspicious of any doctrine which has, at it's core, a dichotamy. Life has taught me that, in as close to objective reality as my subjective experience of it can get, there is no "on the one hand this, on the other: that" however, as well as biology, insecurity makes people attempt to see life in this way. We have two hands, we look out at the world and are comforted by the notion that "in this hand which I see before me is one thing, in my other: the sole rest of the dilemma" therefore i can "hold" this problem, it is not beyond "my grasp".

Of course, this is not true. Most situations in life have to do with other people who are, as you rightly point out, very complex and ultimately, just as we are to ourselves, unknowable, merely approximately predictable. Those others are similarly affected by still more people and there are also a whole raft of other possibilities involved. This train of thought multiplies the variables exponentially, not even a millipede would have enough limbs to "grasp" them all. However, as Aristotle pointed out,

  • "All men by nature desire knowledge."
Which statement would tend to suggest that we must somehow plot a course through these variables, engage with our experience and extract meaning from it. Certainly, survival without knowledge would be difficult, but not impossible, or else how would creatures without much, if any, conscious thought survive?

I think the truth is more complicated again, because we don't have a conscious will to survive and thus a 'natural' thirst for knowledge, but rather a disinclination to repeat actions that seem to cause us pain, unless there is some greater factor of fear involved. I would also disagree with your notion of the soul, for me my soul is that quiet part of myself which has always been there, regardless of what my knowledge, feelings or others' opinion tell me, it says there need not be a point to life in order for it to be worthwhile. That in fact, if there is a point it is ineffable, life is all the more beautiful for that and, despite many people's best efforts, will continue. It holds a compass which, should I choose to take note of where it points, will steer me toward what is best, not just for me either. The sad truth is that this is often incompatible with modern civilisation and perhaps why so few of us choose to look there, because having to comply with that which one knows is wrong is surely one of the most overwhelming sources of pain.

  • "To know that you do not know is the best.
  • To pretend to know when you do not know is a disease."
  • Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu
  • Chinese philosopher (604 BC - 531 BC)

So that then is true faith, to realise that one will never understand, but to crack on anyway and be at peace with that. Personally, I wish I could keep that notion firmly fixed in my mind at all times, but no... I get sucked into the whirlpool of striving and before I know it, my choices are being limited, my fear of undesirable outcomes has me making poor decisions based on a desperate need to mistakenly apply Ockham's Razor. It's not until I've cut myself with it and that hurts enough that I then remember, not me... I don't have an answer to everything nor need I. Then I'll be quiet, then I hear my soul and whether I survive or not seems of little consequence, but seemingly at odds with my instincts, that is when I make my best decisions.

BlogRankers.com ~ Vote or Comment on this Blog @BlogRankers.com.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Art vs commerce: case closed - really.

Please note: if you would like to view this photo in portrait mode, you may need to rotate your head to one side by approximately 90 degress.

BlogRankers.com ~ Vote or Comment on this Blog @BlogRankers.com.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Irrefutible proof that Starbucks are evil.

I was in London last Saturday with my mum. I am ashamed to say that we went into Starbucks for coffee.

To make up for this terrible lapse of iconoclasm, I made sure my subconcious was aware that I was only in the place for ironic gratification. The stupidly smiley staff, the psuedo-bohemian visual design of the place and the fake jazz playing quietly in the background, all conspired to drive the guilt home and shake the very core of my soul.

The coffee was relatively good - strong enough for a bit of buzz, but not quite strong enough to stop you considering a second cup.

But everything felt wrong.

My mind wondered and I started examining the artwork on the walls. I decided to take some photographs, just for sheer thrill of breaking copyright laws. Really. It was then that I noticed this:

Yes that's right folks - it's the all seeing eye on top of the pyramid! The same symbol found on every dollar bill. The symbol of the Illuminati!!!

What could this mean?

BlogRankers.com ~ Vote or Comment on this Blog @BlogRankers.com.

Friday, November 11, 2005

what's going on with the links then?

Yes, it's a bit fucked right now, but i'm trying to get the links and archives organised into drop down menus using a combined javascript & CSS but in fairness, i may well be trying to run before i can walk. It'll be cool when it's done though, i think. I'm planning some tabs to the iframe above to swap between PBA, probably ZNet, Corpwatch and possibly some others also.
Anyway, got to go and get some cheap tobacco, so back to it later.

Update: (04:00 GMT) So i've got the 1 menu working but when i try to add more it makes them part of this 1, but without the links visible. New colours too, natty eh? Also, we've got a 'base target=_blank' tag in the header so links should open in a new page, but it doesn't work with the radio tuner as of now. Bummer! There's not many of the radio stations that have links direct to their playlist url's anyway (seemed a bit rude), only if i had to copy&paste it from the station's home page into Real Player, so, barring inspiration, i might use the CSS menu in the radio section and go with summat else in the links fields.
what an absolute cunt! it fucking works when previewed but not when live! BastardShitCuntMuthaFucka!

Update: (06:00 GMT) As you can see, i thought i'd go for a simple drop down menu in the end and worry about the look of the thing later, but of course, the form has no event handler to send it to the embedded url's and the only example of such i have to hand is the radio tuner, which stubbornly refused to obey the 'base target=_blank' tag. (which has temporarily gone west) However, do not despair! I've sussed it, DHTML is the way forward and after some sleep, onwards and upwards we will follow Aslan!

Update: (21/11/05 03:34 GMT) So, it's ugly but it works. more to follow.

BlogRankers.com ~ Vote or Comment on this Blog @BlogRankers.com.

Self obsessed or just a dick?

So, DLA's, H5N1's photo used to link to my blogger profile! This is because, when i added the code to put it there, i simply copy&pasted it from my own and forgot to change the 'href' tag at the same time as the 'src' tag. Sorry to disappoint those budding armchair psychiatrists out there, but i'm not suffering from anything that bi-polar, just yet!
It's sorted now.

BlogRankers.com ~ Vote or Comment on this Blog @BlogRankers.com.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Step 2

Some of you may remember that i'm engaged in a 12 step program of recovery from drug addiction, to read what i had to say about step 1, follow the title link. This is what i've been writing to help cristalise my thought around step 2:
“We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.”
p. 17 NA Basic text ISBN 0-912075-02-3
This time around, I believe that more has been revealed. With that in mind, I suspect that my thinking has been disordered ever since I can remember, even as a very young child. Whether or not it would qualify as insanity, I’m not sure, but what I am certain of is that my personality was such that the first time I used a mood altering substance, I was an addict and from there on in, I had no choice but to continue using until it became clear to me that drugs were making my problems worse, not better.

For this, I have the fellowship of NA [Narcotics Anonymous] to thank. It was there, working through various individuals, groups and sub-committees telling and showing me that there was another way. When I did finally get clean, without a 12 step program, and thus had a choice over what to do next, it was still there. A power greater than myself. Since then I have achieved a level of conscious contact with a spiritual Higher Power, a Goddess of my understanding, but I chose to go my own way and finally relapsed. [i attended regularly for 3 years, staying drug-free and doing very well, but stopped participating and went back to drugs after a further 2 years]

I have experienced a degree of sanity in recovery and I have every reason to believe that I am now and will again. I do not believe, however, that this time it will be about ‘restoring’ but rather rebuilding. Hopefully, a process of continuous re-evaluation of my attitudes and beliefs, with the help of my sponsor [a person with more experience who helps me work the program], other recovering addicts and the security of knowing that I am fortunate enough to be looked after by my HP.

Now, to the present: there will be many of you who are cynical about spirituality, i know i was and can still be, at times. All i can do is tell you about my experience and hope that you have, at least, enough sense to read with an open mind. Yes, it's entirely possible that everything that has happened in my life is purely by chance and that the times where i have felt a direct contact with something that i cannot explain, within the model of current science, was a hallucination. If you had any notion though of the amount of times that my life has been saved by some seemingly random action taking me out of harm's way or even just being resuscitated after consuming vast quantities of drugs, you might well agree that i have led a charmed life.

Believe me when i tell you that i'm not on about your run-of-the-mill dangerous activities here either. A lot of people like to say things like, "I'm crazy!" Or my personal favourite, "I'm mad for it!" When what they actually mean is that, within the safety of their peergroup, they occaisionally find some benefit in doing or saying something a little contraversial. I'm talking about the kind of things that happen on a regular basis during 16 years hard drug abuse and criminality. Clinical personality disorders, insane people trying to murder me and The Rozzers on my case 24/7. In fact i could fill this blog with war stories of amazing coincidences, weird goings on and remarkably lucky escapes (a small portion of it is forming the novel i'm writing), however, i'm going to limit myself to just one thing that happened last sunday night.

I'll preface by saying that i haven't consumed anything directly mood altering for 5 months (to 05/11/05), however it's true that i am taking a serotonin enhancer Mirtazepine and, whilst it has been giving me weird dreams, i was wide awake the other night, having just switched my Mac off and lay down on my bed. So far it hasn't been responsible for any hallucinations, but rest assured, if i do start having any, you'll hear about it here.

So, i'd been thinking about how frightened of giving up smoking i am (because last time i did it, in '98, it nearly drove me to using heroin again). The fear seemed quite overwhelming and so i resorted to The Serenity Prayer:
Goddess grant me the serenity
to accept the things i cannot change,
the courage to change the things i can
and the wisdom to know the difference.

Full unadapted text attributed to Reinhold Neibuhr

As i was saying it, eyes closed, i felt a sharp rap on the top of my skull like somebody had knuckled me, but it didn't hurt. This was accompanied by a vision which i'm not going to go into, partly because it faded so fast that i can only just remember it, partly because it's private: bugger off and get your own conscious contact with spirituality. I'm serious, do it DLA's... i've been on a chilled one ever since, smoking less, doing my stepwork, eating well and without the never-far-away sense of impending doom which has characterised much of my life without drugs. As a starting place, i'd suggest this as a meditation:
imagine yourself on the planet Earth
hurtling through space
you are a tiny speck on it's surface
feel how enormous the sphere is beneath you
you are almost nothing at all
and yet your mind encompasses so much
First one to see God get's a free iPod! Want an iPod now?

BlogRankers.com ~ Vote or Comment on this Blog @BlogRankers.com.

Friday, November 04, 2005

On The Origin of Speciousness

Today, 'Darwinism' and 'Darwinian' have entered into our common vocabulary. To read the Origin is therefore to grasp an opportunity to estimate how closely that common understanding relates to its supposed source. - Jeff Wallace [from his introduction to "The Origin of Species", Darwin, Charles. (1998, Wordsworth Editions Ltd. Ware, Hertforshire UK) ISBN 1 85326 780 5 itself a reprint of the 1st (Nov 1859) edition of "On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection or, The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life." Darwin, Charles]
So, although i had not yet read Wallace's invitation, when i bought the book, i had already decided to do exactly that. It has been something of a wade, not because the book or it's scientific information is at all difficult, but rather that there is much exhaustive detail in expounding Darwin's positions that is nothing new to anyone who has been taught elementary biology and while this may be of interest to historians or biologists, i am neither.

OK, so Survival of the fittest, right? No. That phrase was first used by Herbert Spencer in his 1851 work Social Statics, relating to free market economics. Only in his fifth edition of The Origin, did Darwin himself use the phrase, which had become popular and indeed popularly synonymous with his own descriptive phrase Natural Selection. As the linked Wikipedia article further states, however: At this time the word "fittest" would have primarily meant "most suitable" or "most appropriate" rather than "in the best physical shape". In fact, much of the revision and clarification Darwin added to his work, in later editions, was precisely to clarify his ideas in strictly evolutionary biological terms, both to answer his critics and distance himself from often Malthusian influenced social theories.

Of more importance to the understanding of the 'common vocabulary' use of 'Darwinian' ideas however, is the fallacious idea of 'Survival'. What Darwin was saying is:
that natural selection is continually trying to economise in every part of the organisation. If under changed conditions of life a structure before useful becomes less useful, any diminution, however slight, in its development, will be seized on by natural selection, for it will profit the individual not to have its nutriment wasted in building up an useless structure (114).
The 'organisation', a plant or creature, itself will not survive, obviously, unless we assume it to be immortal, whether or not it has useful or useless structures upon which to expend its nutriment, but rather, the 'individual' that may or may not profit from a genetic alteration will be the former's offspring. What will 'survive', in the sense of being genetically perpetuated, is any advantageous adaptation, because those individuals which exhibit it will tend to leave more living offspring, which will do the same, compared to those without, or with an expensive adaptation which no longer functions advantageously.

Debate continues over whether the phrase 'survival of the fittest' is a tautlogy, the point being that those that survive are, de facto, the most aptly suited to their environment and thus 'survival of the survivors' has nothing useful to teach us. Well, in a strictly biological sense this may be true, assuming that we already accept the truth of evolution, and, in fairness, those who promulgate Creationism as a 'theory' not only cannot be taught, but, sadly, cannot be killed in sufficient numbers or fast enough for my peace of mind. However, a deeper understanding of the idea promts us to realise that should an environment quickly change, which is quite common on Earth, then those 'survivors' may find themselves at a sudden massive disadvantage, in comparison to a more generalised 'organisation'.

So, what about 'Darwinian' ideas in sociology or economics? Since we are talking about entities which can and generally do, in fact, survive the death of individuals, surely it is tautologous? Well, i would argue not. In actuality, it is a fundamentally flawed concept because it assumes that any human group, such as a nation state, social class or business company exists separately from the entire human race. Eh? What am i saying, mate? Yes, you read me correctly: The Entire Human Race. Every individual supplements a variety of voluntary or involuntary social groupings, the interests of which can seemingly compete, and which also accomodate others who themselves may well belong to yet other groups and so on. Thus the fallacy is demonstrated, because how can an organisation prosper which is in competion with itself? The biological simile is obvious: when a structure within a body continues to grow at the expense of other constituent parts it is a cancer.

Yet this is exactly the situation we are faced with in modern socio-economic practices, much of which is based on exactly this misconception and misrepresentation of 'fitness', whilst justified by spurious claims to be 'only natural'. I'm not interested in any questions of supposed morality, because it is my belief that anyone who claims to know what is right and/or wrong in this sphere has either never been faced with a tough decision or has an underdeveloped sense of empathy (usually both), but rather in facts and what logical conclusions can be drawn from them.

Firstly, it is a fact that the management of 'leaner, fitter' economics using theories based on supply and demand market forces has not prevented downturns and depression. Indeed The Great Depression of the 20th century was crippling to the world's economy at the time which did not see real recovery until governments were forced to intervene, both directly and in response to war. How is this possible when the world population was steadily rising? More population should equal more demand, supporting more supply and thus generating more business. Ah well... but.. it's more complicated than that... Is it?

Secondly, to a scientist, a theory which has any 'ah buts' is bºllºx. It may be used, with appropriate caution, in matters of short term engineering, until something better is discovered, but certainly not as the basis for fundamental decisions about the nature of the subject at hand. In fact, many observers, including the influential Kondratiev, have believed that global slumps are actually a product of capitalism. Well, surely we can say that a company which has a minimum of manpower with a maximised productivity will do much better in the market place than one which has neither of these characteristics? Possibly, in the short term. It will depend how much that company's activities damage the interests of other social groups.

Thirdly, it is a fact that only a person with a mental disorder measures the value of their own life based on economic output alone (i would argue that you've got a problem if it comes into the equation at all). Now we get to the nub of the issue, which is: what is the function of commercial activity? It seems that a prevailing view would be that it is to provide the owners/shareholders with as much income as possible. This is where it comes into direct competition with the rest of human activity: in an arena of finite man hours of work, it is the current western model of business to convert as much of that global activity as possible into resources which can be used by a small group of beneficiaries. It is my contention that the actual function of commerce, in society, is to provide a living for its employees whilst making resources more widely available than they would otherwise be.

What we have now is like a peacock transplanted into a local park. A huge effort gone into producing a gaudy decoration which, in reality, makes the bird far more likely to become prey to a neighbourhood cat or dog than a more generalised bird such as a seagull. You don't believe there is an analagous predator waiting to do for us? What about disease, or terrorism? Still a better analogy, describing all humanity, would be something like a creature whose head has become so large that it requires the support of its limbs. Fine, and great for flights of imagination, whilst it is sitting around on its arse but fucked if it suddenly needed to swim. So, there we go, we can apply Darwin's theory in this area somewhat, only far from supporting the kind of reactionary politics it has traditionally been used to justify, we see that, much as the Abstractionist Artists like Mondrian of the early 20th century believed, this individual must die to make way for more aptly suited offspring.

Hang on! We're getting into Trotskyism here! Well, only in as much as the idea of a permanent revolution accords nicely with a theory of evolution, i.e. that in a changing environment the inhabitants' offspring must necessarily keep pace with their adaption to that environment or die out. Wait though, why does this dinosaur have to die? After all it's not actually a single creature but the conglomeration of many individuals, it can evolve and survive! No, it isn't like that at all, The World Trade Organisation is not the beast, merely the cancer on the beast. What has marked this particular body politic we share for the evolutionary list of also rans is the very nature of it: a shortsighted effort on behalf of its members to blindly foist the responsibility for policy onto any self serving individual who will take it up so that they, themselves, can then persue their own ends free from self reproach.

Fourthly, the trouble with any form of Communism is that it requires a level of trust in our fellow man which most of us are incapable of, having been raised in a dog-eat-dog, pseudo-Darwinian crucible. In order for individuals to work hard for the state they must first believe that they will reap the benefits, that their fellows will also work as hard as they and that nobody will take the piss by living it up off the sweat from their back. Hardly likely eh? No, the only hope we have is the abolition of government per se. You think not? Ask yourself this: how do you feel when somebody tells you what to do? Exactly. That is why government doesn't work, because people resent it. It has us by the short hairs though and will never relinquish power voluntarily: it must be undermined and poisoned from within. The beast must die! Only then can humanity evolve better structures.

Penultimately, a word about the even more ludicrous attempts by people to apply 'Darwinian' ideas to individuals. Look what happened to the 'fittest' of the 20th century, it's still going on: sacrificed on the altar of war. Oh yes, we can apply the theory of natural selection quite correctly here. Those who were most aptly suited to their environment did indeed prosper. Those men who were in a position to avoid having to fight, through societal position, age, or minor infirmity were veritably presented with better mating and/or business opportunities than they would have otherwise expected. In truth many did so well that they advanced their finances and thus status to the extent that, barring unforseen recklessness, their successors will never have to actually fight a war. Some seem to have gone further, realising that causing war will allow them to elevate themselves further and thus lending veracity to the aphorism: Scum always floats to the Top. I've started wondering if the fact that every 3rd person seems to be wearing glasses these days might have something to do with the lost generation of WW1 mostly having had good eyesight, because spex were not only beyond the means of most but deemed unacceptable for a soldier. Presumably, they had to be able to clearly see the machine gun fire, as it cut them in half, in the pre-dawn dimness.

Finally, what has this got to do with DLA's? We're a bunch who are not only disenfranchised, but can't be arsed to do anything about it, aren't we? Well, it comes down to another, and most pernicious, codswalloping of Darwin's ideas, namely when they are used as justification for downtredding the poor and those whose skin isn't white. You'll have heard it: they're just like that naturally, etc.
Until the philosophy which hold one race
Superior and another inferior
Is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned
Everywhere is war, me say war

That until there are no longer first class
And second class citizens of any nation
Until the colour of a man's skin
Is of no more significance than the colour of his eyes
Me say war
- Bob Marley RIP [from the song "War"]

Follow title link for full song lyrics, or Go!

Personally, i'm sick of it and even more sickened by the arms trade/oil conglomerates/stock market in general making me a party to it without my consent. Fuck off the lot of you, you disgusting, cowardly, profiteering shitbags. And die.

BlogRankers.com ~ Vote or Comment on this Blog @BlogRankers.com.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Audio stream ripper

So, the title link takes you to a freeware mac ripper to download mp3's from some of these radio stations. For those of you in microshit land, i'm tempted to just tell you to fuck off, but:
This page should give you all you need.

BlogRankers.com ~ Vote or Comment on this Blog @BlogRankers.com.

PC vs MAC: let battle commence...

Yeah, nice one, typical Edjog PC baiting with the animated GIF down the bottom!!

Heard it all before - yawn... ;)

Oh wait, hang on a sec I don't need to defend PCs anymore! I have a mac - I have two actually, although one of them is a next to useless nubus mac with a G3 upgrade that I use for OS9 stuff only.

But yeah finally I agree, PCs totally fucking suck!!! It's getting to the stage now where my mum can operate Windows XP on her PC better than me (okay, I'm exagerating...), but yes Windows XP is the work of the devil. For a short time I was a fan of Windows 98 - if you strip it down with 98Lite it is a kick ass operating system and boots in about the tenth of the time it used to take macs to boot OS9. You could also run a hacked version of Pro Tools Free that gave 32 tracks - none of this needing an M-Box crap or being restricted to eight tracks on the mac Pro Tools Free.

But mac-intel...

Could my dream finally be coming true?

OS-X released for PC???

(Yeah, I know there's a hacked version but it runs next to no software)

I've never really bought into the mac hype, I still think their computers are over-priced shite. The keyboard on my Powerbook flexes when it gets hot because Apple in infinite wisdom decided to *glue* it to the computer rather than use screws! The battery only last two and a half hours. I could have bought a PC laptop for half the price that runs four times the speed! Of course that would mean running XP with some similarly shite music turdware like Cubase SX...

If wasn't for Apple bundling all the instruments into Logic Pro, I would have never got one. It is the software that makes Apple, which is odd considering they've always claimed to be first and foremost a hardware company. With OS-X though I have never looked back - these days, it *hurts* using my mum's computer - if only she had listened to me! We could have got one of those lovely shiny iMac G5s.... drrrlllll.....

No, bollocks to that! I want OS X released for PC! Fuck all this iNonsense, in a few years it will be a beige Mac-Intel for me!


BlogRankers.com ~ Vote or Comment on this Blog @BlogRankers.com.