Tuesday 30 November 2010

The Irish Troubles

It is a slow day in a damp little Irish town. The rain is beating down and the streets are deserted. Times are tough, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit. On this particular day a wealthy German tourist is driving through the town, stopped at the local hotel and placed a €100 note on the desk, telling the hotel owner he wants to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one to spend the night. The owner gives him some keys and, as soon as the visitor has walked upstairs, the hotelier grabs the €100 note and runs next door to pay his debt to the butcher. The butcher takes the €100 note and runs down the street to repay his debt to the pig farmer. 

The pig farmer took that €100 note and cycled over to pay his bill at the feed Co-op. The Co-op guy nipped out, donning his cap to pay his 100 bar tab at the pub. The publican immediately slipped the money along the bar to the local prostitute as she had also been facing hard times providing "services" on credit. 

The hooker then rushed to the hotel and paid off her room bill to the hotel owner with the €100 note. The hotel proprietor then placed the €100 note back on the counter to the wealthy traveller hoping that he wouldn't suspect anything. At that moment the traveller comes down the stairs, picks up the €100 note, states that the rooms are not satisfactory, pockets the money, and leaves town. 

No one produced anything. No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now out of debt and looking to the future with a lot more optimism. 

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the bailout package works.

Monday 29 November 2010

British Raj

I wouldn't post this if it wasn't first class interview material. Nobody likes to be lectured and Raj Patel has a gift for conveying a lot of information, in a compelling manner with admirably restrained finger pointing yet candid picture painting on possibly the most important subject for our species. 

Even if the subject matter isn't quite of interest, please watch it and let me know if my judgement is awry. One caller goes on a bit long but in fact has something very revealing to say about how Corporations use monoculture to send prices crashing then buying up the land on the cheap.

Ontological Interpretations of Quantum Theory & Damn Fine Drugs


When I was younger I collected the entire encyclopaedic weekly publication of The Unexplained. My father must still have it I guess. I disappointed myself by failing to buy one or two issues out of hundreds so it's technically incomplete but actually it's a good primer on much of the unexplained which gripped me as a lad. 

It was all there. UFO's, spontaneous combustion and the like. I was a bit obsessed by it but then completely dropped interest until I think about 5 years ago when I started to question the veracity of 911 and then once again I was lurking about on some very unpolished websites where in one memorable instance I realised the content was so well researched but looked shabby so I emailed the author to beg him to stop using Times New Roman and to justify his columns as I do on my posts. You can take the boy out of advertising but you can't etc etc. 

Incidentally that site is now an' alt news-source' bible but I don't to want link to it because I think the onus is on all of us to not judge a book by it's cover but to assess information by it's internal logic, and qualitative dimensions such as credence, syntax and tone, not to mention supporting evidence and most importantly open receptive minds. That's a journey each must make for themselves. A resistance to heat is needed too. Fingers get burned all the time.

I'm not sure if that specific surfing pattern led to Doug Rushkoff but I definitely was introduced through his podcasts to Terence McKenna and Robert Anton Wilson where I pretty much inhaled what I thought were all McKenna's available speeches online.

From there I learned a lot about entheogens, and ethnobotany of shamanism and all the other stuff that is pretty much thousands of years of history that contemporary living doesn't like to have a grown up conversation about. I think it was Timothy Leary who said "LSD is a molecule that causes insanity in people who haven't tried it". This is actually the case. People with no experience have virulent views. But let me tell you it's not the same as saying just because I've not been to Iraq doesn't mean I don't know what it's like. I'll elaborate more on that in a later post.

My own use of LSD when I was 18 or so, and later on when I was doing my degree were quite remarkable in so much as I had authentic revelations of a lucid nature about me myself and I. In my mind it seemed as revealing as modern therapy over extended sessions though I've never actually done that but listened to people who have. I'm not talking about flippant issues or fuzzy new age camp fire singing topics. 

No, I'm talking about the raw stuff of life. Sexuality, ego, morality and virtue etc. This isn't an attempt to suggest some sort of intellectual closure or elevated superiority. On the contrary I did too little and insufficiently strong enough doses to squeeze my way through the basics. I use that word 'squeeze' because the single most misunderstood point about effective-dose hallucinogenic experiences is that they are not necessarily fun. They can be extraordinarily hard work but there's gold at the end of them. They are most often powerful, boundary-dissolving ego-stripping processes.

I know a lot more now since reading up and listening on the subject of entheogens, DMT, Ayahuasca and Psyclocybin which living close to the New Forest in my youth, I've also had the blessing of trying. The latter is particularly satisfying in nature. The splendour of the complexity is profound and actually between you, I and the internet I'd eaten a dose Psilocybin when I did a bit of creative planning and got this tattoo on my chest. I don't recommend tattoos under hallucinogens. I can't imagine you would but if you really need to I have something to share that might help. But it's too private for here.

So getting back on track (as I obviously wanted to get that out of the way). I've been fascinated with Terence McKenna's experience of a transdimensional voice that shared something with him, under I think the effects of Psilocybin or DMT. (Very different durations those two. One is 3 to 5 hours. The latter 5 minutes or so.) I've been fixated on this voice not because it's necessarily real but because what it said is so compelling, so disruptive. The Logos said to him:  'What you call human we call time'. 

If we cut some big bang slack here i.e Pretend like Big Bang that it's so big and so bang that whatever the rationale it's a voice from somewhere else as opposed to borderline insanity; this actually makes a lot more sense if one were to consider the ontological interpretations of quantum theory. i.e The notion of for example trying to imagine a message being conveyed between say the 8th and 3rd dimension. It's simply not possible while shackled to three dimensions and a fourth of linear time.

OK that's a bit hard to convey without dipping in to string theory so I'll try and explain using dream analogy. Ever noticed that time is on a different level in dreams. It's not like that whole narrative you managed to remember takes place in a time anything like the way it does in a waking state. Some suggest it all happens at once. Or parts of it do. 

Think about that. 

It's part of the reason dreams so often frustratingly dissolve by the time we've hit the restroom in ten or 15 steps for our morning ablutions on awakening. It's frustrating but it explains why so much is lost or not even remembered in the first place. How can we lose that which we never recalled? The transfer doesn't compute into sentient space time. I'm sorry it doesn't. I don't make the rules...it just doesn't.

I've written another post about this sitting in drafts trying to explain what I've learned so far on this so I should finish that little fella off first, before going on and on here but I just wanted to finally share a story here because this post is about time.

I ask lots of people the same question about time. There's a reasonably consistent linear relativism argument which is always nice to hear articulated, because it's a conclusion I've reached too, in the past. It's quite exciting to hear a prior self-determined logic conclude by forcing it's way out from another person's voice as if proof that quite complex hypothesis can emerge from separate sources. A bit like magic.

 Some people call it 'great minds think alike'. I say great minds thinking alike is randomly meeting down the pub or something. This other stuff is more 'Have you ever thought that wearing sneakers inside super size Wellies keeps your feet dry and keeps a spare pair of footwear to chill out in the Saloon  without carrying anything seperately? Only to look down and see you've both done exactly that. OK that's a terrible analogy but if you have a better one I'll use it. Promise.

I digress. Let's wrap up. 

The thing is, I asked my friend Marcus Brown my usual question about time and he said something I've never heard before. You know, I don't really want to share it, but if you like ask him yourself for a robust explanation that time apparently really is speeding up outside of the oft concluded explanation I've just written about. 

I like Marcus explanation: It's allegedly stupid, but empirically bright. 

If that doesn't wet you're appetite to watch the video above then I've no idea what you're doing down here anyway and I've clearly just wasted too much of your rapidly diminishing time.

Saturday 27 November 2010

Christopher Hitchens

I swear I wasn't going to do this and that I even started to write, but thought I'd be boring all three of you shitless so I canned it originally. However everything being seemingly connected I have to come back to it because Christopher Hitchens is in the news for debating Tony Blair on religion, so if you can indulge me, I'll just throw in those few thoughts on Christopher Hitchens that I fretted about at first.

I think he's a complicated man. I first became aware of him as a supporter of the Neocons when I was trawling through the Project for a new American Century's archives, and building my personal shit-list of people who I think are deeply venal. That also included Francis Fukuyama who added his name to the cosigners of PNAC fan boys, though it's now probably evident that it's more a case of the end of Fukuyama than the 'End of History' as he originally claimed, although to be fair Zizek think's we're all Fukuyamaists now if seen through the lens of neo-liberal economics. That point is debatable, though getting back on topic I find it hard to be totally binary on Hitchens because he's clearly an educated and interesting guy and unlike most British thinkers, is easy on the eye.

So I was schmoozing around on Youtube earlier, and the highest viewed clip on a search of his name, is the one of Hitchens going through the waterboarding torture process. That's when I realised I wanted to write about the man. Whatever I may think of his jumping ship to the right when in his earlier days he was a staunch socialists/leftist I admire a person who takes the trouble to find out for himself what something actually feels like rather than the armchair theologian debates on what constitutes torture by people who are mainlining on corn syrup and day trading in their pyjamas. 

I was particularly shocked to observe and later watch Hitchins describe the overwhelming sensation of the amygdala's adrenalin-release of fight or flight kick-in. You should watch at least the first 30 seconds of the video if you want to hear a pro Iraq invasion supporter articulate why water boarding is in no way fucking around. Then if you really want to dig into the obnoxious but moral relativism details of the act I'd read Fox News explaining why Khalid Sheik Mohammed was not actually waterboarded 183 times, but was mostly put through dummy runs of it even though Hitchens explains above that he had nightmares of the experience after only one girlyman waterboarding session in the film above. It's extraordinarily sobering.

So even though I think Christopher was somewhat ungallant when he debated Tariq Ali over here just last year, by resorting more to mild calumny than debating, it seems evident that the two men are of a similar generation and seemingly rely on an independence of thought which often finds them with more in common than not. That's a good thing.

So I think I can let Hitchens slide a little there. I also can't condemn a man for changing his political ideology when if you were to ask my Mr Carter, my physics Teacher at St. George Roman Catholic School if I were a solid socialist he'd laugh in your face and explain I was the most annoying of Conservative pupils he probably ever had. 

I was young, what can I say. 

That old trope about being a socialist when young and a conservative when older is for people who stopped evolving intellectually. Even though I have some unorthodox ideas on infrequent uses of hard core sandboxed capitalism to give the State sector a kick in the junk once in a while.

Then there's religion and Hitchens. The man is practically Richard Dawkin's atheist rottweiller security. Don't get me wrong, I'm particularly despairing of pretty much all religions but I find the absence of the awareness of God particularly troubling in lots of people when for me that subject is both not up for debate and yet at the same time is beyond our ability to fully comprehend. Or to quote James Ellroy; "If you're still an atheist when you get to my age then you don't know shit". Not that Elroy and I have all that much in common. But really, if the educated world are debating the subject what the fuck are we thinking of doing with the illiterate poor. Think about that one.

But I can let Hitchens slide on that one too. All in all it's probably that Neocon thing, though I definitely would like to paint the town red with the guy and score some tail if I were up for that kind of hedonistic life..wait a minute.

Anyway, on a more sombre three chord guitar riff, Hitchens is now afflicted with cancer and unlike say the Bush family and the rest of the war profiteers I wish him only the best of health and yes, a miraculous recovery as I think the world is a better place...generally speaking. But getting back to the second reason for this post, his debate earlier against Tony Blair about religion had him saying a line I'm very glad to know because it's a simple but scientific point for any of us interested in a better world for the impoverished and hungry. He said:

It's for this reason I felt compelled to come back against the far less important topic of waterboarding which I thought was a good one in the first place. But I didn't want to get too political.

The New Bolivarians

It's funny how things are increasingly connected. I've mentioned I like Oliver Stone's work and that the person I most like listening to and reading at the moment is Tariq Ali. Well I recently watched both of them in a video clip as they worked together on Oliver Stone's "South of the border" documentary about American Imperialism in South American, so I downloaded it last night to check it out.

One of the reasons I'm still engaged in political thinking is because of the unchecked role of the media, particularly in the American Empire's politics. I have always kept a lazy eye on South American politics and particularly on Hugo Chavez and so it was a gust of clean fresh air to learn more about the man than I've ever managed to accumulate before. Most importantly it blew away some of the demonic myths circulated by the American propaganda machine.

I think it's self evident that the leaders Oliver Stone interviews here like Lula, Evo Morales, Hugo Chavez, Fernando Lugo, Rafael Correa all come across as principled and decent men with countries that the U.S has fucked over at one time or another. Most surprising though is the modesty of Raul Castro and of course the inclusive societal vision of Hugo Chavez. Fox News make their usual retarded (for profit) contribution with one host confusing cocoa with cocaine in an attempt to demonize one of the most inspirational political figures of the 21st century. 

The U.S. elite has a lot to fear if the increasingly powerful Stateside Latino lobby catch on to the reality that democracy isn't about filling the pockets of the rich but instead about providing as much as possible to as many as possible.

As an interesting aside I learned last night that John Lennon's Power to the People was inspired by his interview with Tariq Ali in the sixties for The Black Dwarf. Tariq Ali is a very interesting guy.

The Bolivarian Revolution name comes from the 19th century Simon Bolivar who led many South American countries to freedom from the Spanish Empire. The latest country the U.S. has fucked over in South American is Honduras. Hardly anybody in the U.S. knows.

Friday 26 November 2010

Google On My Blog

Checking through Google Analytics recently I noticed that Google had returned to visiting my blog. There was a time when this happened quite frequently and I posted about who  visited this blog most over here. However in the last month, I've notice that they've returned again a few times, and on one occasion spending upwards of 20 hours on this blog. Or did somebody land here and then head home for a nice snooze? 

Naturally this couldn't be because the content is so compelling though I admit the Which one is the ladyboy post is a cracker if only because you all voted a lady friend of mine in Hong Kong as being a transsexual. This is proof that none of us really know shit from shit, though why this and others would be of considerable interest to Google remains a mystery to me. 

I haven't even written my anti American imperialist post yet. But I will.

Thursday 25 November 2010

The Future Of Advertising Isn't Advertising

View more presentations from William Owen.

Thought provoking presentation by William Owen of Made by Many that references a withering attack on advertising over here that's worth having an opinion on unless keeping your head down and sucking on the FMCG teat till it runs dry is your game.

Monday 22 November 2010

Jon Stewart - Rachel Maddow

Watching Jon Stewart interview a Republican politician a couple of weeks ago I was struck by his grasp of political detail. It occurred to me that if Congress were a place where the American people were taken care of these days that he might be considering running for congress one day like Al Franken did. What's notable about this discussion is how grown up it is compared to the dribble being peddled by the so called professionals.

Rachel and Jon both disagree a fair amount in this interview, in a way that highlights the soft balls thrown to interview subjects on the right by Fox News.Some time back I caught an American philosophy lecturer point out that for real news go to The Daily Show or The Onion which says to me that there's a problem in the way that news media works in the States. I don't think Jon Stewart realises his remit for satire doesn't include the idea that his viewing audience may have changed since those black and white days of comedy and news as distinctly separate. Either way it's reassuring knowing that discussion of this caliber still exists and that fine people engage in it. Stewart's comments at the end are both gracious and human.

I was initially going to post this to my tumblr as it's easy to get sucked into political discourse and start becoming irrelevant, but as I had a few things to say on the matter I've posted it here.

If that hasn't tempted you to watch this than I should point out that Stewart takes a wholly contextual view of waterboarding and war crimes that may or may not be wrong but is interesting as an example of a mind not interested in binary thinking. It may not be correct but it is evolved.

Disavowal - Zizek On Intolerance of Tolerance & Only Foreigners Should Vote

Al Jazeera has to be the only media outlet giving people like Slavoj Zizek (who can talk for hours, his friends call him Castro) at least half an hour to discuss some of the most important challenges of our times. Zizek's deconstruction of tolerance is why I'm leaning towards his somewhat humorous reframing of a Stalinist mandate to fix things. 

This is a topic I've been straddling the fence on since I first challenged it in a theoretical sense with Sandrine in Hong Kong. It's not as if the answers are easy, but at least Zizek makes the point that there's an imperative for all of us to be philosophers here.

Update: Zizek on only foreigners should vote is kind of the big thinking I'm attracted to.

Saturday 20 November 2010

Sam Ismail

sam ismail
View more documents from Sick Sam.
More on the background for this document over at Agency Spy and here, here, here, herehere and Sam's side here not to forget George over here.

Tuesday 16 November 2010

Chris Hedges - Death Of The Liberal Class

Chris Hedges connects more powerful political punches then I've come across from any other American commentator. Liberal limpness, the power of permanent war, propaganda to Madison avenue, evils of objectivity, Foxes pursuit of emotional consistency against truth, hedonism of power, complicity in one's enslavement, distinction between revolution and rebellion, price of virtue, hope, intellectual ghettos, the rise of fascism and the new deal in the 1930's, moral nihilism, digital tribalism and more. 

His last words in this 20 minute interview in response to the tough nature of this interview: "Why not go down swinging? What's the point of letting them wipe their feet all over our faces?".

Shoulder to shoulder Chris.

Monday 15 November 2010

Class Struggle

Throw them all into first.

Random Access Memory

If Fox news are airing this I'm inclined to believe as I blogged earlier, that the tipping point is approaching. However it's unlikely to change the most important achievement of 911 which as Zizek points out is a domestically satisfying sense of victimhood

It's hard for me to guess with respect to large swathes of the American electorate, if anything changes when one is still a victim even as the perpetrator changes masks? I mean, what chance does history have when memory so often barely stretches from one tweet to the next?

Asia's First Lady - Aung San Suu Kyi

I was cynically optimistic when I read that Gordon Brown's last correspondence as Prime Minister was a hand written letter to Aung San Suu Kyi. I suspect that this didn't happen without some smoke filled corridor meetings attended by the United States and China. Principally with trade deals as the sacrificial lamb whereby everyone benefits but the environment. Thailand most notably signed a reported 8 Billion dollar deal just recently with Burma so clearly they were privy to yesterdays news.

Burma is the place I've explored the most by backpack and skull bustingly long (24 hours +) dilapidated bus journeys outside of Thailand. I spent an idyllic week or so a few years back on one of the most beautiful and peaceful beaches off the bay of Bengal in Burma and took this favourite picture of cattle used by the fishermen to haul in the catch while immersed in the water. It's here and across the country that I got to know a little more of the people. Most importantly that the ethnic tribes of Burma are another Yugoslavia or Balkanisation of S.E Asia waiting to happen.

I'm extraordinarily happy that an historical olive branch as been extended. It's by no means going to be any easier from now on. Indeed it will be harder to avoid bloodshed, but this first difficult step has been taken by the military junta. Which means somewhere inside the General's clique, the story of evolution continues to gather speed with what is to employ  metaphorical adumbrations; a race against extinction. 

Friday 12 November 2010


Anyone else sodding about on Grooveshark? Spotify doesn't work in Asia so I've been mucking around with other services. The UX for Grooveshark has improved since I first joined.

Super Social

Just finished  a conversation with the very hip Helena in Athens. We were talking about all things super social (among other things) and I shared the video above with her as I watched it earlier in the week and it strikes me that it's worth posting here.

Mark's book Herd is in my opinion an important one, because like most big ideas, it's not so revolutionary that it's too much for us to digest but is equally recognisable as a tectonic shift in seeing who we are, how we are, why we are and any combo of those such as, why we are who we are. There's also a quite elusive to grasp explanation of group actions that I still think Mark needs a better soundbite for thus far. Here's Mark at the Do Lectures. I think he uses the super social term in this though I'm still gagging to know if he's read Will Self's Great Apes.

It doesn't get more anthropological.

Islamic Crescent?

I don't think the American right gets it. That's fine by me.

Monday 8 November 2010


Cupertino based Apropos have just shipped an app that monitors desktop/notebook and  Smartphone usage dedicated to real time profile building that can also parse your social graph to determine the most effective app(s) pertinent to your needs through lifestream and social graph analysis.

That's right an app that figures out what app(s) are best tailored to your needs. It's a quintessential American pedagogic idea that ticks over in the background, surfacing at the point of purchase to either endorse, reject or recommend an alternative during the period of app consideration review including organic search, or as and when needed. 

Genius really. Here's the stats.

Ok I made all that up but the middle man is where it's at. I alluded to this in the pointillist podcast though I don't think I made a very good job of it. In any case. It's very democratic, very bespoke and dare I say it very convenient. Apps are OK.


I feel Samurai.fm are worth a plug too. I came across them when the Web 2.0 moniker was a buzz word around 2006 latest. Initially I was blown away with the sheer volume and quality of content. They're a bit different from the other services as it's a curated music service so someone is choosing who does or doesn't make it.

They have pulled a clean interface together since their original layout, and somewhat unusually, have a keen bias towards Tokyo. This minimal set by DJ Camiya works for me.

Sunday 7 November 2010


There was a time when it would have been imprudent to write this but over the years I've learned that as more people become aware of the events of 911, it has become a sort of byword for open minded critical thinking. I've also learned a few things about polarizing issues. The first is that we can't argue people into adopting a point of view. So please don't think I'm trying. I simply don't need to.

A few years ago I came across the Loose Change video and its audacity floored me. I thought I'd try and research it a bit and find something so inconsistent with its assertions that I could then stop thinking about it. I haven't found that evidence to date.

I'm not the greatest fan of Occam's razor but in this instance it supports claims to the contrary better than the orthodoxy. There's now a second edition of Loose Change and it's a lot tighter than the first. If you haven't seen it yet then you owe it to yourself to do so. It still goes into areas that baffle me completely (The Pentagon. WTF?) But pick the one you can get your head round easiest and stick to it as a litmus test for staking out a postion.

I've found that the visceral response from people who prefer to use the conspiratorial epithet means I should clarify a couple of points in case anybody makes the common mistake of assuming that I'm asserting I know the truth of what happened on 911. The answer is I don't. I do know it wasn't President George W. Bush. But I also know that the people who think a man in a cave plotted the downfall of the United States merit the response 'looks like it worked'. Again a bit too fantastic for my tastes.

If there's one 911 issue that is most awkward to explain. It's the Building 7 puzzle. There's a substantial segment of the population who don't believe something till a familiar news broadcaster says it, or a trusted newspaper prints it. 

That should change soon.

Looks like somebody raised some dough. The following ad is about to air 350 times in the New York area. It should be interesting to see if it creates any outrage. I've found that the implications of coming close to accepting some quasi version of Thomas Becket's apocryphal 'will no one rid me of this troublesome priest' scenario, are so unsettling that irrational defensiveness is a normal response. 

Love to hear from you if you've got a silver bullet theory on Building 7 in the comments below.

NB:This post is dedicated to Will Self. I love Will very much (particularly for Great Apes which is the gift that keeps on giving) but about that disappointing article on conspiracies in The New Statesman? You left yourself a bit naked there as time will tell. To conspire comes from the Old French to breath together

Conspiracies are felonies. Theories aren't. Facts are stubborn things.

Tariq Ali - Empire & Resistance

Once in while I'll come across one of those inexplicably embarrassing gaps in my knowledge of the world where it seems I've must have gone out of my way to avoid getting to know something or someone.

Is it just me who is only now discovering Tariq Ali? I came across him being interviewed the other day by Jonathan Derbyshire for his production of the Wittgenstein movie directed by Derek Jarman . I Googled Tariq to find out a little more about him. Here's a quote from Wikipedia.

In 1967 Ali was in Camiri, Bolivia, not far from where Che Guevara was captured, to observe the trial of Regis Debray. He was accused of being a Cuban revolutionary by authorities. Ali then said "If you torture me the whole night and I can speak Spanish in the morning I'll be grateful to you for the rest of my life."

This says a lot about a man. Even if it wasn't true it's a first class anecdote. If you want to know my politics by proxy then before this weekend, I'd have said listen/watch/read everything Chomsky has to say. I'm now adding Tariq Ali to the short list of people who can't seem to put a foot wrong. This isn't quite as gemütlich as it may sound. I'd prefer it if I disagreed with someone on some points and at least once or twice fundamentally.

It's more plausible to have some disagreement isn't it? 

However after working through a good deal of his online presence, I've yet to find that point. The video above is classy. I've noticed it seems to start at a slightly later point than when I originally watched it, so I may rectify that if it changes, but it's worth it just to see a man who can talk about the American Empire through the mind of the Roman Tacitus or even more juicy Neocon gossip, mentioning that the inside story on a troubled Korean peninsula is not about the North Korean's but  perversely about the South Korean Generals who have already factored in the potential of acquiring nuclear weapons overnight in the event of conflict with the North. This would destabilize the region putting pressure on the Japanese to nuke up in double quick time. It actually makes startling sense for East Asia watchers, but then so does much of what the erudite but avuncular Tariq Ali says.

I've learned something recently. The really class acts are the people who sound most relevant the further you dig back into their historical record. It's hard enough to stand out from the crowd in the present, but to consistently stand out in the past? That's quite rare. Don't take my word for it with respect to this gentleman. There's a lot online and I'll be coming back to some of it now and again to knock on the head some double standards I can no longer remain silent over.

Saturday 6 November 2010


I've embedded this in the new Youtube iframe embed code for HTML5. I'd appreciate it if you could leave a comment for any viewing difficulties; particularly on mobile phones. Thanks a lot.

The Stoned Ape

The inexplicably rapid evolution of the neocortex is akin to an organic singularity event. It's the first piece of steak to recognise it is a piece of steak. Not quite a tautology but not far off either. I came across this yesterday night by accident. Peter Webster does a lovely job of reframing a potential hypothesis for why we have a garden of Eden story in our mythology, and he provides more evidence for Terrence McKenna's stoned ape theory which hits my confirmation bias hotspot.

Friday 5 November 2010

The Great Internet Balloon Race

I'd really like to put this widget in the margin for the duration of Balloonacy, but I don't think it's going to fit. 

Balloonacy Is Back

The lovely people at Poke are doing Balloonacy for Orange again. You may have noticed a floating animal icon around the blog as you're reading this, but it's simpler to understand if you watch the video above that Orange made to explain how it all works. I hear that this latest version makes 2008 look like an 'Atari game of Pong'. That's tucked between the Babbage Difference engine and a ZX Spectrum I'm guessing.

I'm looking forward to joining in, and you can too. If you know where your blog template is then cutting and pasting a snippet of code into the end shouldn't be so hard. Then you're off. More over here.

Wednesday 3 November 2010

Silence Is The Loudest Scream

This isn't the first time I've wanted to cut and paste a comment. I wrote this before my Sheepish post.  So a bit of seriousness after the madness.

Giles Ungapakorn is a Thai academic in political exile in the UK because of Lèse majesté laws. Nobody takes the subject seriously elsewhere, but Thailand is the world heavyweight champion, the undisputed leader. Full evidence in that first link. It's good that there's no such burden in the UK. A lot of people think Prince Charles is a bit of a tool. I don't know for sure as I've never met him though I like his multi-faith ideas, I think it's healthy to have a viewpoint on architecture even though I disagree with HRH. Other than that I could say openly and for all to hear on public transport for example that Prince Charles is a complete cunt and I'm almost certain that nobody would object to what I think but to the use of vulgarity.

More obscene would be the loss of freedom to talk about say Republicanism. Or how moved the Brits were as Charles Spencer delivered his eulogy at the funeral for his sister The Princess of Wales. These things matter. The importance of talking uninhibitedly about the large crowds listening to the service outside Westminster Abbey matters. How their applause for Charles Spencer's scathing speech against the Royal Family coalesced from outside Westminster Cathedral and swept inside and unquestionably humiliating the Queen. It was a gesture of solidarity for the Peoples Princess, as Tony Blair named her.

That's a freedom not fully appreciated until discussion of the monarchy can land a 20 year sentence.

I haven't read any of Giles' academic work. I'm sure he was a Marxist before me. I'm also sure he wouldn't agree with my Neo Marxist thinking which is principally about sharing as an economic model. However he's written a piece about the Royal Thai Military which I think is extremely interesting to those like me who find his analysis helpful in negotiating the rapidly shifting multi-factionalism that typifies Thailand's institutional and political relationships.

The article is also really useful as a ready reckoner for astute people who find Thai current affairs confusing. A lot of the contextual information is unintentionally informative. There's more glimpses of the national psyche than entire books I've read about Thailand. I've noticed that Giles attracts a lot of irrational venom. As far as I can see it's mostly the people who think that Marxism is historically obsolete . This is odd given that Capitalism's single largest failure is its inability to factor in the costs of relentlessly liquidating nature. A colossal miscalculation that is least easy to grasp by those who are rewarded for ignoring the blunt logic of corrosively global imbalances.

In any case. Once in a while a comment I write needs to be here so that there's no ambiguity about what I think. This ticks off a fair bit of where my heads at on a lot of things, and although I categorically accept that Communism was nothing less than a complete disaster for millions upon millions of people around the world. It's evident our current model is busted. I'm often surprised that nobody calls me out on this post I wrote back here, because I got some things the wrong way around. I totally underestimated Wall Street and The Federal Reserves' ability to game the system. My timing was wrong but I still stand by what I wrote back then. As indeed I stand by this comment.

Giles gets deserved airplay because nobody articulated the military triangulation dynamic better. His consistency and coherency are an anxiety to the bildungsphilister. A leitmotif to their impending loss.
That is loss of respect, loss of credibility, loss of status and finally loss of wealth not to mention the plot.
The Royal Thai Army has its own poetic consistency. Periodically massacring Thai citizens with asymmetric force while safeguarding with first class whitewash. A matter of least vulgarity to those most disinclined to sharing the peoples burden no less.
Instead of applauding he who speaks truth to power, the calumny commentariat debase reason, side with might and bully in unison. They are intolerant to pluralism, ignorant of Marxism, drunk on capitalism while hallucinating on history.
Why else would one solitary exiled voice continue to rock every institution his attention focuses on.