Saturday, April 23, 2005
posted by Irdial , 11:06 PM Þ 

All in all, it was not a poor programe. It was basically a re-hash of Matt Cowan's excellent NPR show, only longer.

The BBQ, due to its 'ethics' is never allowed to actually say anything, or be anything; it is like an elephantine slug that slobbers all over England without leaving a drop of slime or a single smushed building.

Imagine a programme that had as its tagline, "Is the moon a hoax, or is there really a huge orbiting object circling the earth every thirty days, creating tides, crime waves and causing dogs to howl in the night? We investigate!". This is what that programme was, essentially, and it is how many BBQ programmes are put together. They pose a question that they already know the answer to, and then ask a legion of subjectes (yes, the plural of 'subjecte') questions so that they may fall on either one or the other side of the question. This is a useful device in programme making when you want to guide the listener into and through a subject, BUT, it rules out the asking of important questions by virtue of the narrators paternal voice guiding the listener thanks to the pre determined agenda.

For example; a programme on the 'war in Iraq' would pose the question, "Were we right to go to war in Iraq, and what is the future of that country now that the elections have taken place?". A set up line of inquiry like this excludes the asking of pertinent questions like, "How is it that the country went to war on a lie and no one resigned for telling the lie and murdering innocent Iraqi people?" or, "Where is all the money coming from to execute this ongoing operation"? or, "If the will of the people was not to go 'to war' and they were right in that judgement but were flagrantly disobeyed by the government, is it not now time for a change in how democracy works so that the will of the public is obeyed in crucial decisions like this?".


And here is another example from something that is not a fait accompli; "ID cards: a bullwark against terrorists, illeglal immigrants and fraud, or a pointless excersise in burocracy and an infringement of our civil liberties?".

Now in this case, we will get trotted out all of the innapropriate talking heads, none of whom are computer literate, and of course, the presenter will be completely computer allergic, meaning that the right question cannot be asked in this or any other universe.

These two examples show how a style of programme like of this type, when it discusses something important, is like the slug I described above; a hulking thing that ultimately leaves no effect behind, no change, no information and no good, which the BBQ is meant to exist for; the public good. There is a feeling that on some level, that information has been passed, some form of 'democratic debate' or portion of 'the democratic process' has been undertaken, and that indeed, the brief of public good has been fulfilled. This is of course a lie.

Programmes like Newsnight with its recent Paxman roasting of Bliar, for example, actually do nothing at all. Bliar was roasted but remained unsinged, like the burning bush if you will. All the newspapers jumped on it, counted the number of times he failed to answer the figures question, but ultimately, no good came of it, no instruction, no crowbar of change...nothing, save the pleasurable experience watching Bliar loose his cool, but then, we get the same feeling from watching the contestants of Big Brother debase themselvs, and they dont go to war illegally and kill 100,000 people for the priveledge.

Programme making that does not have a thrust, that does not try and engineer change, that sits on this endlessly boring fence of false objectivity, that doesn't innovate, that doesn't make the hair on the back of your neck stand up is, ultimately, a failure. 'Tracking The Lincolnshire Poacher' does not fall into that category, thankfully. We still need however to be delivered programmes that have a thrust in a single direction, which are paid for by the licence fee and broadcast by the BBQ. After all, we all PAY for this 'service' and frankly, the milk blooded, limp wristed, say nothing, do nothing, grey plane white noise production values are just not cutting it. It is not what the population desperately needs.

Now for the example of what works. In the interests of balanced reporting.

'Jamie Oliver's School Dinners' was a perfect example of how a programme should be made. It had s single thrust, presented its argument, proved its point and made something happen in the real world. It conveyed real information, made people think about the core problem fully and did not dilute the issue by giving the other false 'side of the argument'.

Being objective about the mass poisoning of England's children should not be an option - ever, but if that programme had been made for BBQ (!) it would have to have been neutered in order to toe the false objectivity line, and it would indeed have said that the poisoning of children with Turkey Twizzlers was indeed one of the options, equally weighed against not poisoning children. The programme would have been fatally crippled, would have lost its thrust and ultimately been weakened so much that it couldn't possibly have made a difference.

What 'Jamie Oliver's School Dinners' shows is that it is still possible to make programmes that can change the way we live and the way things get done. It shows that these programmes can be hugely popular. There is no reason why this sort of programme should not be done on our bill - the licence fees paid by the public.
posted by Irdial , 4:00 PM Þ 

Tracking the Lincolnshire Poacher. Now available to listen again, any time over the next week.
posted by Alun , 11:30 AM Þ 

Residents' Eyeball being sold on eBay,

it's for real, being sold by the cryptics themselves no less,
check out the buy it now price:

posted by THESE , 9:47 AM Þ 
Friday, April 22, 2005

Google your own search terms

That post about the addictiveness of email is too true Alun! Too true!
posted by captain davros , 8:36 PM Þ 

Smile: you're under global surveillance

Published Thursday 21st April 2005 10:56 GMT

A newly-published report warns that a global infrastructure of registration and surveillance is emerging through the efforts of groups such as the EU, G8 and ICAO. According to the report, which was produced by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Focus on the Global South, Friends Committee (US), International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (Canada), and Statewatch, anti-terror and security measures being driven largely by the US are being used to roll back freedom, increase powers and exercise increasing control over individuals and populations.

The report details a number of "signposts" on the road to global surveillance, and argues that these add up to a bigger picture where the aim is to ensure that "almost everyone on the planet is 'registered', that all travel is tracked globally, that all electronic communications and transactions can be easily watched, and that all the information collected about individuals in public or private-sector databases is stored, linked, and made available to state agents.

Most of the signposts are already clearly visible. Registration systems for foreigners, national ID schemes and biometric passports provide the registration process, while electronic borders, passenger data sharing and threat lists cover surveillance of physical movements. The increased sharing of database and their convergence at an international level have accelerated the globalisation of surveillance and security, while mutual legal assistance arrangements contribute to an erosion of democratic values and sovereign checks and balances.

The technological capacity of the structures being built "dwarfs any previous system and makes Orwell's book Nineteen Eighty-Four look quaint", says the report.

The result, however, will be a massive loss of freedoms in exchange for systems which do not succeed in their intended purposes, and which may even obstruct them by chasing down the blind alleys of predictive 'threat models' and risk profiling. "The initiatives described in this report are not effective in flagging terrorists or stopping their determined plans," it says. "They divert crucial resources away from the kind of investments in human intelligence we need to give us good intelligence about specific threats, rather than useless information on the nearly 100 per cent of the population that poses no threat whatsoever."

On the back of the report the groups have, with the support of around 100 civil liberties groups and NGOs world-wide, launched the International Campaign Against Mass Surveillance (ICAMS), which will campaign against mass surveillance-oriented anti-terrorism efforts. Commented Statewatch director Tony Bunyan: "Our message is that mandatory registration and mass surveillance are not the answers to the problem of terrorism, and not a road that any nation should be heading down. What is needed is good intelligence on specific threats - not the so-called 'risk-profiling' of entire populations and the generation of more information than can possibly be usefully analysed. There is a real danger that in trying to watch everyone you are actually watching no-one." ® [...]

The words sound like old style paranoia, but it is all true, and will come to pass if everyone registers. If no one registers, then none of this can happen. Commerce is more important than this, and if commerce is distupted by people refusing to travel, for example, these measures will be dropped immediately.

If an airline has all of its bookings cancelled for one month, it will not be able to survive - it will go out of business. People who are against registration if they want to stop what is happening simply need to boycott a single airline for 30 days as a show of power. As a result, that airline will cease to exist. The message will have been sent; "we will not go along with this in any way shape or form.:

posted by Irdial , 10:56 AM Þ 

Emails 'pose threat to IQ'

Martin Wainwright
Friday April 22, 2005
The Guardian

The distractions of constant emails, text and phone messages are a greater threat to IQ and concentration than taking cannabis, according to a survey of befuddled volunteers.

Doziness, lethargy and an increasing inability to focus reached "startling" levels in the trials by 1,100 people, who also demonstrated that emails in particular have an addictive, drug-like grip.[...]

posted by Alun , 9:24 AM Þ 
Thursday, April 21, 2005

I'm not going to ATP but I notice that The Vitamin B-12 are playing, a report on their set would be lovely.
posted by meau meau , 1:43 PM Þ 

I have one spare place in my chalet for ATP this weekend. £140 as it's a 'VIP' chalet — nicer than the normal ones, closer to the venue, all mod cons, etc. — anyway, email me if you want to come.

Someone just filled my hole. M2 I will report on Vitamin B12 for you. I am going with a couple of journalists, one of whom is interviewing Yoko Ono, so they'll be able to help me write a 'proper' review innit.
posted by alex_tea , 1:01 PM Þ 

What is "demand shaping"? It works like this: at 10am Austin time, Dell discovers that so many customers have ordered notebooks with 40-gigabyte hard drives since the morning, its supply chain will run short in two hours. That signal is automatically relayed to Dell's marketing department and to and to all the Dell phone operators taking orders.

If you happen to call to place your Dell order at 10.30am, the Dell representative will say to you, "Tom, it's your lucky day! For the next hour we are offering 60-gigabyte hard drives with the notebook you want - for only $10 more than the 40-gig drive. And if you act now, Dell will throw in a carrying case along with your purchase, because we so value you as a customer." In an hour or two, using such promotions, Dell can reshape the demand for any part of any notebook or desktop to correspond with the projected supply in its global supply chain.


The story of a laptop
. And an updated "Golden Arches Theory of Conflict Prevention".

[..] The Dell Theory stipulates: no two countries that are both part of a major global supply chain, such as Dell's, will ever fight a war against each other as long as they are both part of the same global supply chain, because people embedded in major global supply chains don't want to fight old-time wars any more.[...]

Note that countries with McDs and Dells will still wage war on those without. This is the "Democratic Dictatorship And Anaesthetized Polulace Theory Of Self-serving Egomaniacal Greedheads" which states that once a nations population has eaten enough shitty food to make it sluggish (and slug-like) and has enough TV channels to keep it stupefied and brain-dead, it will become so selfishly apathetic as to leave society to crumble around it and the government free to rape and pillage the host population and any nation it feels confident can't fight back without fear of local political retribution in the form of electoral loss or civil uprising.

posted by Alun , 12:20 PM Þ 
Wednesday, April 20, 2005
posted by Irdial , 6:55 PM Þ
Great scrolling.

We should have a Blogdial chair!
posted by captain davros , 2:46 PM Þ 

The Future and the Popes
Catholic Planet ^ | September 2002 | Ronald L. Conte Jr.


Pope #111
on St. Malachy's list is given the phrase: “From the Glory of the Olive.” This prophetic phrase has several meanings which correctly apply to this Pope.

a. What is the glory of the olive? The olive branch is a well-known symbol of peace. The glory of the olive is peace. The next Pope after John Paul II will be a man of great peace. Peace will be his banner, peace will be his work, peace will be his goal. He will seek peace among individuals, among nations, among Catholics, between Catholics and other Christians, and between Catholics and adherents of other religions. The next Pope after John Paul II will have a Pontificate distinguished for seeking Peace around the world. He is called the Pope of Peace.

I do not know which man will be elected as Pope after John Paul II. St. Malachy's prophecy about John Paul II only fit his Pontificate. Before being elected Pope, Karol Wojtyla did not distinguish himself by traveling constantly. The next Pope after John Paul II may not have distinguished himself yet in works of peace-making. Or, he may have distinguished himself in peace-making in God's eyes, but not yet in the eyes of the world.

b. Some say that this prediction of St. Malachy, “From the Glory of the Olive,” refers to the Order of St. Benedict, who are sometimes called 'Olivetans.' This is true. But it does not mean that this Pope will come from the Order of St. Benedict, but rather that he will take the name of Benedict and live in imitation of him.

c. He will take the name Pope Benedict XVI, in imitation also of Pope Benedict XV. Just as Pope Benedict XV was an emissary of peace, so will Pope Benedict XVI be an emissary of peace. Just as Pope Benedict sought peace and spoke of peace and wrote papal documents seeking peace, so will Pope Benedict XVI do also. Just as Pope Benedict XV failed to achieve peace in the world, so will Pope Benedict XVI fail to achieve peace in the world. Just as the Pontificate of Benedict XV began prior to World War I, so will the Pontificate of Benedict XVI occur prior to World War III. After the Pontificate of Benedict XVI, the Arab nations will invade and conquer Europe and much of Africa.

The "Glory of the Olive" is also OIL it will be interesting to see when section c comes to pass and the role of OIL in it's happening

posted by meau meau , 12:47 PM Þ

A nice looking graphic, but a totally useless gesture. This sort of activity doesnt actually do anything; the evil ones still harvest your money and use it for war and to treat you like a slave - you can use this logo until the end of time and it will not change a single thing. It is another distraction, another red herring. Everyone has to discriminate between the shape of things that are accociate with things that make change and the structures that actually make change.
posted by Irdial , 12:40 PM Þ 

The push for a “global ID

In the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks, some in the United States began to push for creation of National Identity cards. These efforts collided headlong, however, into a fierce backlash from Americans who did not want to see the creation of a tool that would inevitably be used to track and monitor average citizens.

So the Bush Administration turned to international forums. It prompted Congress to pass a law (the Enhanced Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act, or EBSA) requiring our allies whose citizens do not need visas for entry into the U.S. to begin including biometrics on their passports, with the threat that any nations that failed to comply would lose their status as “visa-waiver” countries.

For the citizens of other nations, the U.S. created a system called US VISIT, under which foreigners visiting this country would be fingerprinted and photographed, and their information stored in a biometric database for decades.

Neither of these measures is targeted at the U.S. population – at least directly. But many other nations appear to resent these measures, and foreign governments will inevitably reciprocate, with the result that Americans will find themselves similarly treated as they travel abroad. One nation, Brazil, reacted swiftly by putting similar measures into effect for just their American visitors.

Far from being concerned that such systems would lead to the retaliatory creation of systems for tracking Americans elsewhere in the world, Bush Administration officials have embraced such reciprocation. “We welcome other countries moving to this kind of system,” Department of Homeland Security undersecretary Asa Hutchinson declared. “We fully expect that other countries will adopt similar procedures.”

The U.S. assigned responsibility for the crucial question of exactly how biometric passports would be implemented to a heretofore-obscure international group, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which is nominally sponsored by the United Nations, and made up primarily of representatives of advanced-industrial nations. ICAO developed these standards over a period of months in meetings held around the world. The ACLU and Privacy International tried but failed to arrange attendance for a representative at a March 2004 meeting held in Cairo. An open letter to the ICAO on privacy concerns over the biometric standards met with no response. The ACLU again wrote to ICAO asking to attend a May 2004 meeting in Montreal, and received no response.

In short, despite the importance of technical and interoperability standards, which can mean the difference between a use of biometrics that poses enormous problems for privacy, or one that poses little, ICAO has ignored attempts by privacy and civil liberties groups to join in their process. To a degree that would not be possible with a domestic government decision-making body, they have rebuffed NGO attempts to provide input on the privacy implications of the particular standards being considered, or even to just attend the meetings.

The resulting standards provide for the use of the unreliable face-recognition biometric technology, as well as the inclusion of Radio Frequency Identification chips, which emit radio signals that can be used to read a passport holder's identity at a distance. A retail store or restaurant, for example, might gain the ability to capture the identities of those who walk through a portal; a government official could instantly sweep the room to discover who is attending a political meeting.

By skipping right over the politically untenable proposals for a National ID card, the U.S. government with its push for a biometric passport has set a course toward the creation of a global identity document – or, at least, toward a set of global standards for identity that can be incorporated into a wide variety of national identity documents. Once created, these passports will likely come to be seen as the gold standard of identity verification around the world. In the U.S. they will become either the template for standardized versions of the driver's license that amount to a de facto National ID card, or displace them altogether. Such documents will increasingly be demanded for more and more purposes, not only around the world, but domestically as well. Features such as the inclusion of a remotely readable RFID chip would greatly enhance the private sector's tendency to piggyback on the perceived “trust value” of these documents. Eventually they may become what are effectively necessities – advancing the government's interest in tracking and controlling the movement of citizens....

From the Policy Laundering Project
posted by meau meau , 12:37 PM Þ 

On Saturday, April 23rd 10:30GMT BBC Radio 4

A wild journey to the outer limits of radio cryptography and espionage as Simon Fanshawe enters the clandestine world of shortwave Number stations.

Are they the mad aural daubings of pirate DJs, an extraordinary and elaborate hoax or are they, as many believe, coded messages broadcast by intelligence services and governments to their agents in the field?


This programme has been discussed with me for over a year, by a producer named Simon Hollis who works for Ten Alps Productions; a company that makes programmes for the BBC.
posted by Irdial , 9:41 AM Þ 
Tuesday, April 19, 2005

kill your television

My thoughts about six years ago too.
posted by meau meau , 6:57 PM Þ 

blossom on pavement
beware of gum
posted by meau meau , 2:44 PM Þ 
Monday, April 18, 2005

Where was the 'outsider' music?

Well thats what you get when you watch bad TV!

Have you noticed the new format TV? It consists of a set of 'usual suspects' talking heads blurting out anecdotes, and then some footage of the band/TVprogramme/'Blooper'/World Event/Celebrity Embarrasement that is the focus of the programme and then more of the talking heads etc etc reapeat ad nauseum. This is usually tied together with either a theme which may feature a bogus countdown of some kind to build up the suspense.

There are many of these programmes, which I assume are very cheap to make, since they keep making them over and over again. Pathetic, unedifying, garbage TV, for the lowest common denominator...for the birds!

The other formula knocking around with much more entertainment value is the social enginerring programme where they take some dreadful family and then turn them into near-human beings by trials of the flesh. Wife Swap is probably the root programme of this genre; a more recent and gut wrenching decendent being 'Honey I'm Killing The Kids'.

In the episode of 'HIKTK' I watched, a family from somewhere north of Watford, with what can only be described as a monster for a 'mother' who had never heard the words 'skin cream' strung toghther, and what can only be described as a chinless slug for a 'father' were shown digital morphs of their children 40 years in the future, given their current diet of turkey twizzlers, litre bottles of Diet Coke and whatever ghastly garbage they put into their brown toothed mouths.

A civilized woman is brought in to teach them basicaly three things; take walks together as a family in the countryside, eat real food, eat together at a table as a family. I'll leave out the details of the battle to get them to eat real food. What I will mention is the attitude of the mother to the family eating around a table. This woman refused to allow her children to eat at a table (they normally ate on the sitting room floor in front of the TV) because the room that the table was in 'is for best' and she did not want anything to happen to the table. Ever. This woman said that her table was more important than her children. On TV.

She then had it explained to her that if her children were not to grow up to be monsters like her (the morphs used the parents current state to create the predicted outcome for each of her three children) they would have to have some manners. They showed her the morph again, and she eventually relented. They of course, discovered that eating at a table together is rather fun, and guess what; the mother was the only one that spilled something in her precious room.

These programmes, (another great one being titled something like 'super nanny' where a nanny comes to a disorderly house to discipline children who think that 'fuck off you cunt' is a way to address your mother), are more than just reality TV - they are edutainment, social engineering, of the sort that presumably used to be handled by the C.O.E. but which now is done one at all.

This TV is new, it takes effort to put together, is rewarding in a 'there but for the grace of God go I' sort of way and very probably influences many people to clean up their acts and get with the pukka nosh.

In the final analysis, eveything on Sky is total garbage. All top N $whatever, best of $whatever, gretest celebrity $whatever, can be not watched on principle, and of course, if you are REALLY intelligent, you will be like the BLOGDIAL posters who keep their TV in a cupboard, only to be brought out when someone alerts them that there is somthing to watch. Thats not me btw, but I do watch alot less TV than I used to simply because it is a total and utter waste of time. I have cancelled my Sky subscription, and keep it off most of the time, its evil glow entering my eyes only when I am alerted to something spectacular like these social engineering programmes or some other unusual or new televisual

It has to be asked also, what if in that top 100 albums, all the stuff that should be in there was in there, and it was all 'correct'? Then what? What in the world woud change, what would be better for all of us? Would we get more good music - unlikely. The people who released the records might get some sales, but then what? Nothing that matters in the world would change, and this is why these things are a waste of time, wether they have the right lists or not.
posted by Irdial , 9:03 PM Þ 

I felt such a strong reaction seeing that site, I almost 'coded'. ...

CHARGE 250, EPI, CLEAR!!!!!!!!!

So many carts, so many consoles, and its OBVIOUS that he has played them ALL.

That person, 'Gibby' is a TRUE Arkanoid.

He has old consoles, he has new consoles, he has old games, he has new games, he has MANY games, he has color coded stacks of carts, he has Super Famicom carts, Super NES carts, and MANY of EACH. This is TRUE Arkanoid behaviour, he is a TRUE gamer, totally immersed, totally dedicated, awesome, 'into it'.

The room, the walls, the shelves - pure dedecation - ABSOLUTELY PURE!

The feeling I get when I see this sort of thing is very special; as I scroll down the page, its a rush like no other, seeing the collection, the LIFE that is that of the TRUE Arkanoid, the cart obsessed, the console insane - its a buzz, but its MORE than a buzz, its a fire, the feeling of the sound of 10,000 people blaring air horns in a stadium a rush of exitement, astonishment, dismay, disbelief, great joy, reassurance -- you cant possibly understand.

The only thing that would be more exiting than this would be a collection similar to this PLUS a complete collection of arcade machines that actually included Arkanoid, Space Firebird, Space Invaders, Tempest, etc.

Then, it would LITERALLY be the end of the world...or at least, the end of me!
posted by Irdial , 8:40 PM Þ 

That article completely missed the most important part of Adobe buying Macromedia:

Adobe now owns Flash

What incredible news; its like Pepsi buying Coke...or is it Coke buying Pepsi?

From my point of view, Golive is dead, since its a piece of crap.
Freehand is dead since illustrator is better than freehand.
Adobe already killed its flashalike piece of garbage, so thats moot.

Stranger and stranger - next we will hear that Quark Inc. has been swallowed up by Adobe!
posted by Irdial , 8:29 PM Þ 

The EMI recording of Celibidache's Bruckner 9 with the Munich Philharmonic is currently up there for me. Along with Frequencies by LFO.
posted by Mess Noone , 3:15 PM Þ 

The end of Dreamweaver? Or will GoLive bite the dust? Given that one sits nicely in Adobe CS and the other doesn't, should DW fans be worried?
posted by Alun , 3:07 PM Þ 

Currently Musica Elettronica Viva: Soundpool would be in my top album picks a semi organised pandemonium of pianos drums trombones whistles electronics and shouting, it makes you want to get out and hop down the street throwing confetti and cakes at passers-by, banging noisily and peeping on whistles and basically overthrowing everything. There should be a law against it, perhaps there will be!
posted by meau meau , 3:00 PM Þ 

Kill your television.

That 'Greatest' programme is just sickeningly lazy televisual trolling.

At a wedding this weekend, at least a dozen times I was invited into conversation with the starter "Did you see...?"

No I didn't. Over 6 years TV-less and no intention of ever going back.
posted by Alun , 11:30 AM Þ 

What about Wu Tang? 36 Chambers has to be up there in the top 20!
posted by alex_tea , 11:09 AM Þ 

The 100 Greatest Albums on Channel 4 last night was a load of shit. It was so slanted towards the Channel 4 viewing, Guardian reading, home counties, media sector, thirty-something middle-class white male. I guess it was voted for by the viewers who could be bothered, which skews the whole thing into a warped perspective of society anyway (think Comic-Shop owner from the Simpsons).

Where was the Hip Hop? There was none inside the top 70, and of each of the three or four albums included there were about 10 missing. Where was Paul's Boutique? Illmatic? Fear of a Black Planet? WTF was Eminem doing in there when Snoop, Dre and NWA were missing? Where were Run DMC, KRS-One and Missy Elliot? Where was the Jazz? The Blues? Where was the experimental? Where was the electronic (Human League, Kraftwerk and Air. AIR? Really?) Where was the 'outsider' music?

The whole thing stank of Q/Mojo readership. It veered violently towards the last 20 years of mainstream white rock.

As much as I hate best-of lists, it would be interesting to see your top 100 albums, I might try and make one myself. The thing is, it's so subjective, so personal that no-one is ever going to find a definitive.
posted by alex_tea , 11:02 AM Þ 
Sunday, April 17, 2005

Gibby's Game Room
Someone look after Akins blood pressure!
posted by Claus Eggers , 9:26 PM Þ 

Darcus Howe asks people to persuade him as to why he should vote in teh general election.
posted by Alun , 8:37 PM Þ 

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