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American Politicians call for Concentration Camps

Well well. It was just a matter of time if you ask me, looking at the development of politics in the US there is a clear parallel to what happened 70 years ago in Germany. Now slowly the true evils of humans society are starting to show face having lost any fear that they might cause an uprising.
The gubernautical candidate for Arizona Don Goldwater was quoted by the Mexican News Service EFE as saying that he wants to hold undocumented immigrants in camps and use them "as labor in the construction of a wall and to clean the areas of the Arizona desert that they're polluting."
Basically excactly what the Nazis did with Polish and Jews and other prisoners of war - build bombs to destroy their own kind. I suggest putting up a sign over the wall that reads "Arbeit macht frei".
Its slowly but surely getting out of hand over on the other side of the pond.



Steward, DailyKos, TruthOut.Org: The right wing media onslaught

Isnīt it funny that just a week ago I wrote a couple of entries about the organisational skills of the right wing in the US and it just unfolds in front of everyone eyes and yet nobody seems to sense a connection? Now that Karl Rove is back in bussiness the media onslaught against dissenting voices is in full swing, it seems coordinated and timed.
First was truthout.org - a webblog/aggregator that is trying to promote an honest peacefull world and other liberal thoughts. About a month ago they posted a story that Karl Rove would be indicted and offered eyewitness accounts to some meetings between Firtzgerald and Roves lawyers - they were the only ones reporting this - no mainstream media outlet picked the story up. Interestingly now that it is out that Rove wonīt be indicted its the first outlet that gets a massive mainstream media treating about spreading only fud and that the name is the tip of hypocrism - interestingly there is no proof that the original claim truthout made was really false - in the contrary there are "sealed" court orders with "secret names" on them dating to that date that truthout made the story public. It seems a distraction story away from Rove as a person and retailored to be an attack on a media outlet that dared to mess with Rove. While noone really knows what is true or not, truthout has been forthcoming with every single bit they know and admit themself that there are uncertain facts in the original reporting that they regret having written - yet the mainstream media is not stopping to smear them in every way possible - convicting the writer to be a drug addict and other lame ass assults.
Well if that story was strange in timing and execution just three days afterwards the DailyKos - the biggest most influential independent Democrat blog gets accused that its founder is taking bribes from Democratic contenders and then uses his influence on other bloggers to write positively about those people. Well everyone reading DailyKos occasionally knows that this blog is made by its users, there is an open thread hanging there all day which has most prominence and each and every attempt to change public reception by Kos staff would be sensed by the highly knowledgable people on the board and would be challanged - yet alone that any independant blogger would take the word of one blog and reprocess it without further thinking - let alone a whole army of bloggers. This attack is step two and hit mainstream press right away as well - consider that most major news from the terrorist battlefront that are showing a negative picture of the war either never make it or only when such a huge amount of public pressure is growing - now the little democratic youth blog is making headlines on day one. This time the attack is not only targeted at the blog in general. By trying to make it look like that this blog is corrupt, the picture painted is that nobody can trust nobody and so the power of a global blogosphere could be deminished when mistrust is ruling - divide and conquer.
Now this could still all be and would not pose a problem (other then these are the two MOST influential alternative "lefti" blogs in the US at the moment with some real power to change political talk) and everyone would say that the two incidents are related call me a conspiracy theorist today then there was a third attack - the attack is on Comedy Centrals John Steward. The article cites a study that asked college student what they thought about politics and those who watch the left leaning comedy central that hosts commedy stars such as "Mr. Press Dinner" Colbert and Steward. Those who watch Commedy Central apparently donīt like politics and refrain from voting more often then those who do not watch this show. Yes of course it is totally unlogical that those drawn towards Commedy that makes fun of the shadowy political elite would also like how politics beeing played out. And of course its only the commedians fault that those young dissenting people opose politics in general. Two way attack again - one personal towards the left commedians - one that makes those who dissaprove politics look bad. Or to see it from the other side: A PR campaign to strengthen bad politics.
Its just too coincidental that three of the most influential media voices of the left in the US get attacked so closely together just at a time when Karl Rove can focus on daily politics again and is not distracted by some proscecutor. I think the timing and execution are brilliant and I have lost faith in the democratic movement in the US to counter that might. My guess for the US election -> Republicans keep both - House and Senate - and might even gain seats. There is nothing coming from the other party that would make you think otherwise and every trap that is opened they fall into - the only hope that I see is that at least the last attack will just bite back at the next Colbert Report - but this will not change the overall outcome a bit.

PS: Yes I read "Colbert" instead of "Steward" before I had to correct this. sorry - sometimes its better to read articles twice if one would have time. The point still stands.

Sledgehammer to Nuke:
"I bring peace to the world"

silo-E8-gate-1.jpgSome real stories are better then everything you could make up. Three honorable people - one a priest - put on a clown outfit painted their faces white stuck a red ball on their nose and broke open a door - to a missle silo that holds a ready to launch armed and targeted 300kt nuclear warhead (27 times the destructive power of the hiroshima bomb). Once inside they used sledgehammers to break the silo lid that covers the warhead as to disable it - then they painted 'It's a sin to build a nuclear weapon' on it and sprinkled it with their own blood. The people are from a group called nukewatch in Wisconsins and the event was staged in protest against nuclear power and weapons on the anniversary year of Hiroshima. Needless to say that eventually they got them and they are charged with criminal trespass and criminal mischief - no terrorist charges yet.
Makes you think if spying on peoples bank account makes your country that much safer if people can walk up to one of the biggest weapons you posses and work it with a sledgehammer during the daytime.

Pressrelease here.

The cool Fluxus Manifesto from 1963

From the Live Cinema Blog and my research into the field of Live Performance Art comes this very forward thinking manifesto that seems naturally applied to art nowadays (street/graffity, club visuals, netart, demo scene, knitting etc etc etc), the only thing not implemented is the call for a unified voice within the living message art:

As a very interesting conceptual guideline for the approach Live Cinema could take, the Fluxus Manifesto from 1963 written by Maciunas and corrected by Joseph Beys is acting as a nice prototype:

* Purge the world of bourgeois, sickness "intellectual" professional & commercialized culture, PURGE the world of dead art, imitation, artificial art, abstract art, illusionistic art, mathemetical art,

* PROMOTE A REVOLUTIONARY FLOOD AND TIDE IN ART: Promote living art, anti-art promote NON ART REALITY to be grasped by all peoples, not only critics, dilettantes and professionals.

* FUSE the cadres of cultural, social & political revolutionaries into united front & action.

PS: The emphasis on words is already in the original.


Record only the important things in your life

gaze_detect.jpgThe dream of many media gangstas is it to have a constant record of the world surrounding, visual as well as audible (and possible in holographic quality). This "Feed" has been featured in quite a few science fiction writings (gibson etc pp) and as beeing heralded as the ultimate truth tool it is also a privacy fear device par excelance. Even if a camera inside your eyes and a direct soundfeed straight out of your brain would be feasable you still have that enormous amount of data where only a fraction would be interesting - sleeping would just produced a noozle sound and black pictures after all - and you sleep at least 1/2 of the time during the day (daydreaming included). This part of the problem seems to be solved by the Japanese Manabe Hiroyuki working for communication giant NTT DoCoMo. The device trains itself by looking at your attention peaks. Means when you daydream the device turns off an audio/video recording and saves the environmental setting as preset - so when you next encounter a similar situation it turns on automatically without consulting your brain. As anyone can see - this will probably stay away from massmarket at the moment. Original story found at engadget.

Media aware Artists in Theran/Iran

mtviran.jpgfound at woostercollective blog comes this antifa - ähm - antiMTV - or pro visual culture stencil. The Iranian artist is called Banger.


Shake 4.1 : $499

Shake.pngThe one thing that I love about Apple is that they are liberating prices for HighEnd Markets. When you have an inside look into the Pro Video Editing World you have a sense of what I am talking about. With the introduction of FinalCut and pricing it below $1000 you can now get a highend editing station for about $8.000 total that is about 100x as capable as a $150.000 AVID system just 5 years ago. AVID has felt the heat the most while their prices dropped considerably as well they have lost about half of their market in less then 6 years - tendency downward. Now Apple is doing it again. After bying the (Film) Industry Leader in compositing application - Shake - they originally priced it at 1/5th the original price - still around $3000 for a mac version - $5000 for a Linux version. This still seems high but we are talking about a Highend floating point perfectly stable compositing app that is used in all of the high end hollywood productions - only rivaled by the discreet line of Apps with the one coming closest to shake costing about three times the price of the Linux version - its a steal.
Now in a surprise move they pitch Shake 4.1 - the new version released today - as a "plug-in" to Final Cut and lower the price for the Mac version to $499. This will create quite a stir in the compositing community and will start a price war that is only benificial to the customers. I dropped After Effects for most compositing work in favor for Shake quite some time ago and can just tell everyone to have a deep look at it - the interface workflow makes a hell lot more sense, its much faster, more precise (tracker must is likely one of the best 2D trackers on the market), integrated network rendering (not through some lame hack ala AE), fully Unix scriptable. Interesting move for sure - now if Apple would do the same it has done with the video market with the 3D market I would be a happy camper indeed (I guess there is no need as they wouldnīt need to rip out the internals of a 3D app to put into one of their own as they did with shake/motion).
A 30 day fully functioning trial is available.

Shake Homepage

Update: It appears this is the last version of Shake in this form and shape. Apple is planning a complete rewrite of the App to incorporate newest OS technologies. This would likely mean a merger of Shake and Motion (one would hope not) or as "Pro" part that is fully integrated into Final Cut (again one would hope not). Anyway new things canīt be bad and if it means this programm is going to rock even more then all the better.


Anti War Art Gallery

stopwar.jpgMoGreens pointed me to a webpage today that is dedicated to host anti-war art from around the globe specifically targeting US war mongers. Anti-war.us has stunning stinging biting beautiful art with an impact. You can send them your anti war art if you have some laying around that you want to share too.


Seperation of State and Church

stoiberKreuz.jpgBeing someone who does not believe in the ultimate god in whatever form or shape I am a strong supporter of the fundamental thought about the seperation of church and state - something that has been implemented into western society because humans tend to learn from past mistakes - one would think. The current reversal in that direction all over the world is something I strongly oppose as it has enabled humanity to make some of the worst atrocities in its history - much worse then anything in the last century. Religion - as clearly visible at the moment - still inherits this destructive force. I really do not care if people practice religion on any level - as long as they leave me alone with their believes and that I am able to say that I think its bullshit. Exactly that - saying that I donīt believe in anyones god and that I have deep objections about gods in general - will be a political sin soon in Germany if a new law passes parliament that was proposed by our Bavarian overlord Stoiber. Heck I could even go to prison for three years if I tell someone I donīt believe in their god and have a long heated discussion about it. Welcome in the Modern Dark Ages (tm).

Related article in german over at Spiegel Online.



GraffitiTV.pngIn the dire need of inspirational input I stumbled across the Graffiy TV Website wich hosts a collection of Graffiti related videos from all over the web. Superb interesting to watch. I just wish they would put them in an edited magazin form - ala the Grafiti Mags of the 90s just in video and on the net. Grafiti more and more becomes like the only artform that seems able to make a nice transition from the industrial to information world.


Peace is what humanity should crave for


Artist chics6 crew
via Eyebeam


Psyops, Desinformation and Controlling the Facts

You ought to admire the people architecting the media campaigns for the NeoCons. No matter how embattled they still give the direction of the talk of the day. The slogan is: "It does not matter how the public opinion is about a certain topic - as long as they talk about the topic we have given them and they are only reacting and not come up with their own topics".
This works extremely well. I guess they care shit about people refusing to believe them as long as those people are occupied with trying to uncover the truth and not accidently tripping over a much more important topic that could derail their agenda. They are fast - as soon as something creeps up that could pose a threat a lesser problem is elevated to the headlines - even things that are unfavorable of themselves - just not that unfavorable as the topic just about to be revealed. The critics barely have time to make a short statement and there we go on to the next topic - overinformation used for desinformation. The strategy is well thought out and there must be a lot of coordination going on on what to present how through who at what time. Its something the critics need to watch out for - not forget about past incidents and hold the people responsible accountable even if the topic is not on the massmedia radar at the moment. The critics need to set their own topics - refusing to even acknowledge the topics that seem utterly important on the day because chances are they are not important - just over-hyped side notes in the broader context of history.

Brig. Gen. Mark Kimmitt, the U.S. military's chief spokesman in 2004:

"The Zarqawi PSYOP program is the most successful information campaign to date."


The Amazing Body of Sarkawi

While you get branded as conspircy theorist whenever there is something that seems not so right, there are still things that seem so strange that not reporting about them - while most of the media just copies press releases from the white house - is ignoring your right as citizen to speak up. Especially with news for the White House as bad as they were last week - the skandal of Haditha and top military commanders saying the war is lost. So while conspiracy theories of the following event of course making the rounds on the internet already and mutiple people have spoken out in distrust about the latest publicity stunt of the US government there are hard facts that deface this is a one big lie.
For short the "news": Abu Musab al-Zarqawi - terrorist and enemy number two to the United States (no. 1 being the phantom Bin Laden) has been killed by TWO 500 pound bomb in his hideout in the northern erea of Bagdhad.
Only minutes after the airstrike - that killed nine collaborators and a woman with her child - the US Army declared that:

"We had absolutely no doubt whatsoever that Zarqawi was in the house," U.S. Major-General William Caldwell said.

Okay... Then three hours later the world is presented with photos of the dead al-Zarqawi that look like this:

Okay.... all well and fine - a mass murderer dead can not be a bad thing for a peacefull world I thought. Then I started thinking. Did they say they dropped TWO 500 pound bombs on the guy? And it took them only three hours to evacuate him from a classical brick build Iraqi two story building without any reinforcements? Hmmm... It takes them sometimes days to get people out of a crumbled house that has "only" collapsed due to earth quakes. How did they manage to get someone out of a completely leveled house that has been hit by two of the biggest portable bomb the US Army posseses (there are bigger bombs of course but these are the biggest dangling on a F-Type fighter plane on a normal support mission). Here is a picture of a house hit by ONE 500 pound bomb in Falluja - also a two story building - also Iraqi made.


So now please someone explain me how they can find a corpse in a house that is already leveled by bomb ONE and then spread into dust by a second equally big explosion. And not only find the corpse within three hour but also find a corpse that is virtually unscathed (judging from the fotos). No matter in what floor of the house he would have been he would either be shredded to pieces by the bomb itself on the upper floors or totally crushed by the first bomb on the lower floors - but for sure he would have vaporized after the second bomb struck. In no way would a face be as intact as the one shown in the photo - except that they hit a house three blocks away and he fall off the stairs from the shock of the loud bang. I suspect he had some kind of secret DNA mixed to make his skin super strong (I mean he has regrown his bombed of leg before as can be seen in his last video appearance) and then he killed himself to worship the american precision bombs.

Update: There has been more information on the web now and pictures and such that are supposed to underline the clear victory but make my statement and distrust above even more true.
Pictures of the Bombed House and more Pictures show the devestation caused by the bomb - there is not a single piece of the concrete house that is bigger then a head - yet the soft human head of Sarkawi is unscathed. Then there is a video about the bombing that shows the first bomb ripping through the area of the house with a radius of about half a kilometer at least - so if he was just outside the house it would still have shred him to pieces seeing the hard structured house looks like it was fed into a concrete shredder. Reading a post from a rightwing blogger trying to compare this incident with the bombing of Japanese in the second world war showing people virtually unscathed doesnīt work as the people shown have been either deeply underground or far away from the explosion - Zarqawi was right underneath two 500 lbs explosions - no burnmarks and not ripped of flesh and no crushed bones - heck he was even alive when they found him and had a blue eye - only caused while his blood circulation was still running for at least 10 minutes.

What this incident achieved is manyfold - it directed attention away from a lot of unpleasing facts that the US administration was and still is facing. It has diverted the attention of the left who are writing about conspiracy theories that are easy to defuse by just calling them conspiracy theories. So enough of helping the propaganda spread the message and back to the real problems (Haditha, Afghanistan, Slave Labour in Iraq by the Coalition Forces etc etc.)


Psyop advertising agency

psyop.pngNot often do I get around a advertising agencies webpage and even remotely think it might be worth mentioning. Not so with psyop. Away from "bauhaus is the end" they have produced beautifull organic commercials for big corporations like AT&T, Nike, MTV etc etc. Their gallery with videos is an absolute must to see where organic design (as in shapes and forms not as in nature preserving) has moved to recently. Their use of particles combined with hand-drawn art and logarithmic functions is outstanding.
For the graffity artists around here (and there are some that read that blog I know) check out the "coflow" spot that sports flowing tagging in a subway environment - absolutely awesome. For the typography freaks there is the spot "teletext" that uses type as particle foundations. And for the VJs and advantgarde people there is the "MTV HD" spot worth watching as its a superb symbiosis of sound and vision.


The Dutch Tub - portable hot open air bath

dutchtub.pngLiving in the green and not liking cold water that much myself especially since this hemisphere is - despite global warming - manufacturing only cold weather all the time I ultimately love the idea of this dutch invention. With a simple but cleverly designed wood heater outside the tub and a lightweight tub itself this is a good addition to any northern hemisphere garden - but apparently you can also take it with you - strapped on the roof of any car - to the alps or such. Sadly as always with nice inventions its on the pricey side for around 4000 Euros. They also have it for rent.


Design in balance with Nature

re-norusih-logo.pngDesigners who care about nature and want to create in sustaining harmony with mother earth have now a website that is half blog half information resource about papers, printing companies, designer shops and general information all in regard to sustainable, clean, fair design. So still a little light on information this is a healthy resource for otherwise uncaring designer community.


Coolhunting Designers Blog

coolhunting_logo.jpgA site that has until now escaped my radar is geared toward designers. The writers seem to be located in New York and its a professional for profit blog. The reports so are quite nice and very diverse. There is something in them for everyone interested in design, modern living, moneymakingsubculture and audiovisual arts. A video part rounds off this endeavor - this time featuring the most tattooed person on earth.


Magnetic Implant

magneticImplant.pngEven so this has been all over the place I still would like to share that very interesting body modification. What they do is implant a rare-earth magnet into your finger tip and all of the sudden you can feel electricity or when your harddrive is spinning up. Not for the soft spirited souls as it is dangerous as any "art" implant. The story writers implant got infected and when trying to remove it at a professional doctor it broke in pieces and was lost inside the finger - after a while it reassembled (as magnets tend to do) inside the finger and the ferro-magnetic sense is back. Read more at wired.


JumpCut: Web 2.0 meets iMovie

JumCutLogo.pngRising to prominence among the home video editors through its Scanner Darkly Remix contest that has been reported all over the place it gains popularity about as fast as YouTube did just 3 month ago. Now this in itself wouldnīt be worth reporting here but there are some ramifications that go along this that makes it a much more special case compared to the relatively straight forward YourTube.
First of all it gives all a new meaning to the "remixing is active consumption" metapher as it basically lets you remix all and every movie on the system inside the browser without further software and just a few mouseclicks all in the "easier is not possible" iMovie interface. So armchair cutters can now remix the wedding video of one guy with a porn scene and publish it on their site (I would think that there might be rules as its a "bussiness" and not a wild free internet website but its worth a try anyways). This puts YouTube with its closed you can never upload it to your iPod or do anything else with the watermarked blurry rererecompressed video concept in the backseat. Not only are the videos not watermarked they seem to be raw converted judging the quality of some (upload raw uncompressed and its compressed only once) hey and you can download them and without any investment in expensive hardware that delivers you the only software amateurs seem to be able to use sufficently these days (read the title) you can roll your own or destroy others. Very cool indeed.
But what is even more important about this - and forget about all this videosharing for a sec - is thats a fully functioning editing program (well almost) inside the browser. Well well that is what everyone wants - making software that runs without OSes in the browsers on some distant server - seeing that happening so fast surprises me a bit and makes me utterly scared - think of renting software by the hour and such things that are possible with that kind of technology. The software industry wants that - that has been stated more then once - it would put the death knell into software piracy without any way to escape and would make sure that all those monolpolies are nicely guarded against competition. Of course this is all a bit off - but that video editing is one of the first implementations of this strategy - even before word processing or spreadsheets (oh no google is supposed to make a spreadsheet I just read today somewhere) got there is a bit worrying as it demands much more data-throughput and processing power. Interesting times to come.

Link to JumCut

PS: Oh no they have the same green as the Lifeform - no I didnīt know before....

Total football madness

a harsh critique on media society

There is a topic that everyone seems to be talking about at the moment and that is the soccer/football world cup starting on Friday in Germany. First of all I am not a fan of football in general, while I do watch a game here or there at times when there is nothing else to do - so hardly never - I never really enjoy it and feel its an utter waste of time watching people running behind a black and white ball. With that out of the way people probably accusing me of bias now with the following statements - but it could be anything other then football if it would enter the dimension of consolidating masses of people.
Now you hear read and see in the media that our nation of great germany is absolutely exited about this World Cup - like everyone from the hardcore Punk to the old Granny from the Skinhead to the Turk everyone seems to love of what is going to happen - but how come they all are so feverish about the event?
"Give them Games and Bread and they will be happy" some old age phillosopher has said 2000 years ago (whoever I am too lazy too look it up) and its exactly what is going on - in a media bombardment that I have never seen or heard before you can not escape the topic - nowhere. Internet Radio, Magazines, Newspaper every thing and all is talking about football and all and every outlet it seems puts it in a positive light - when you tell someone you are not a big fan of the happening you get lynched and be told that you would talk bad about anything. Its one of the most dangerous viral marketing campaigns this earth has ever seen - and everyone who publishes is guilty (just like me with this article probably too). Nine out of ten television commercials are about football. Ten out of ten program commercials are about football seven out of ten sentences of the radio commenter this morning where about football (yes I counted) five out of ten statements regarding politics are about football (or the security surrounding it). Now if this would be a national event helping some poor and devastated country (like earthquake regions in Indonesia or Pakistan, war torn countries in middle Africa or East-Asia) I would totally understand it - but no we are talking about an event by a private company - the FIFA. They get unprecedented support from our - oh so poor - government and have to pay zip zero for security and most of the logistic and they get even paid when someone does advertising for them and on top they are a cartel with 100% market share in their bussiness of selling football.
Did I say that each and every media outlet helps them? I mean EVERY ONE is reporting about football since two three four month now. Every angle, every history every joke that can be made about football is on german media now. Now people tell me probably "hey just ignore it and chill". I donīt even have TV hear only Internet Radio that is not from Germany and read two to three very alternative german websites at most and still I seem to know everything about this event just from sitting in front of a TV at friends houses for an hour or two (arbitrary) or listening to the radio inside some car that happens to be on.
Still you could say "just ignore it wonīt do harm". And this is the point where I am not so sure. We are having a country now where 95% think favorable about something - they form a group so to say. Lets say something disrupts this something - something bad - all of the sudden you have 95% of a huge country against something. Get where I am getting to?
To make it more precise - a terrorist plot in this environment would kill each and all rational thought it would put ALL of germany on the street and support just about any and all measures without further thinking. We hear too many hints in the last weeks that something big is going to happen (scare tacticts are on the rise - london police raids house because of "chemical bomb" - canadian police raids house with 19 terror suspects - you know that hints and scary things that just about now reach a climax again?). On top there are midterm election in the US where the republicans donīt look good and the war with Iran is not so on track and one big reason is Germanies pacifist movement which seems to be stronger then visible (according to our Bundeskanzlerin Merkel there is no war possible with the Germans "at the moment"). Now a terrorist plot big enough to create headlines would suit all of them all too well - just connect it to the Iranies and the biggest missing ally of Washington is on the boat to Mesopotamia carrying with it the hate of a whole nation.
Well that is a conspiracy theory. So to make it less dramatic then this - and it might be all to obvious and transparent - there is still that 95% of people who over the course of six month (minus three month from now and probably plus three month from now) will not be interested in much else then football - our politicians can probably push through laws that are "uncomfortable" with the general population and society at whole will not move one inch further in their evolution - just because one profit making cartel company is raking in billions of Euros.

Brave New World we live in now where was my Soma again?


One half of a Manifesto

Self Evolving Technology is hold up by bad software?

The One Half Manifesto (PDF warning) by Jaron Lanier appeared on my screen while looking for "Nonlinear Storywriting" at google and while I have been reading Ludity statements about the assertions that Mr. Kurzweil makes there never seemed to be an informed comment against the technology religion that spreads like a wildfire around the world these days. While I am a supporter for Kurzweils immediate drastic change in society through technological advancements I have been sceptic about the paths he draws out that lead towards the change and think that the problem this would cause in humans psychology would probably be so overwhelming that it would cause the collapse of society in general and negate any technological advancements we might have.
Jaron Lanier seems to think so as well - again with the normal "I am american and my believes are the utter truth" attitude that I already hate in Kurzweils dissertations - he defuses lot of the predictions that have been made about the future from Kurzweil and the like. His most objective comment and one that I havenīt thought about but that plagues me every day is Software - or better the sad state that software is still in despite the technological advancements we had in the past years. And when I type on this computer (not state of the art but fast as hell compared to 15 years ago) I have to agree. Not even on a 1 Mhz KC85/III has a computer lagged when I was typing something - now in the year 2006 I have lots of occasions where the computer displays the text that I am writing with a huge delay. Of course I have about a billion of windows open and run tons background processes but also the computer is about a million time faster then when I had my first computing experiences. The problem seems that software is not scaling as well as the hardware. This he connects to evolution in saying that evolution is also slow - even if parts seem to evolve fast - there is never a revolutionary step in evolution - and evolution is what the techno pundits hold up as their biggest motive - that technology one day will become more powerful then humanity - more intelligent even - and that technology is an extension of evolution. So plagued by overheads too much data and too little solutions to solve that the hyper expansion of technology seems to be slowed down. Yes there will be drastic change in the future but it wonīt be autonomous and it will be controlled by humans.
Then again - as is my belief - that a stupid mistake or strange coincidence might make all the difference - as is the case in evolution as well. I do not understand the "humanity will be doomed" approach that Mr. Lanier is taking in his paper as I go with Mr. Kurzweil on this issue saying that if there is technology that could wipe civilisation off the map there is also technology (or information) on how to prevent that and it would create a balance as there has been a strange balance all throughout history keeping us from our own destruction.
So in the end the "One half of a Manifesto" is exactly that - one half - the other is uncertain and only time will tell if we ever reach a point where we need to worry about such things. Hilarious is his remark about the future beeing a blend of the best of socialism and capitalism because 95% of the world population will work on help desks that try to fix software problems - I can clearly follow him on those lines - software sucks and this will not change as long as humans write it.

Circles around del.icio.us

deldiscoveryred.jpgEver since my interest in the interface design side of all digital things has been spiked through my school opening an interface devision I do look out for the next generation interfaces that might make the life of a information junky and digital lifeform easier and maybe even more understandable - so most interface designer out there seem to rather like science art then interface design and are presenting pretty pictures of lots of data to the world with claims about saving the world with them. One such example is the "del.ico.us.discover". Wrapped around the de.licio.us social bookmarking service owned by web 2.0 yahoo its supposed to be a commentary to social bookmarking from the view of the creator. While it produces some nice pictures - and I do like data visualization from an aesthetic standpoint - it falls flat to show me anything on the first look - and that is what such a project should be targeted at - giving you an overview of data that you understand at the first look - read Mr. Tufte on this subject - while creating beautiful pictures you get each and every of his presentation on first or mostly second look - the del.discover art is just pretty pictures that where generated with some formula - an exercise in Flash programming. Yes if you dig deep into it you can actually see what is meant by it but again the hype vs. utilization factor is still very much on the hype side. The graphs he shows before going all "cirlcly arty" are much more clear and are worth digging into - he should have made those a web application and accessible to others to put in their data instead of just his own - you know its web 2.0 time and all is about participation especially if you are commenting on social bookmarking that is about others more then yourself. But yeah pretty pics in pretty style.

de.licio.us.discovery homepage


FX Tutorials for the masses

I thought "oh no not another site that collects tutorials" and my worst fear came to true. pixel2life.com is sporting a web 2.0 interface to more tutorials of popular animation and still visual FX application then you can read in all of your life. Why I think its bad? Because there are about a million of them out there already and finding just the special trick is already like looking for that needle in the haystack - well the haystack has just outgrown the barn and you have to look for the needle in the rain now. While more information on anything is always welcome I think as long as a somehow standardized tagging across all those tutorial sites springing up everywhere is in place it adds to confusion for the users looking for a quality tutorial on anything. I would love a proposal by those companies selling those nice software to have an open (source) api that those websites can use to aggregate tutorials - but in the competetive world we live in everyone cooks its own soup and you have to spend the tight minutes in the production environment searching through another site for a solution that was caused by a bug in the programm in the first place. Anyway I still consider the HighEnd3D.com and HighEnd2D.com sites the best around for the true professional fxlers - the most knowledgable people working in this field (also outside "the industry") hang out there and the scripts, tutorials and message boards are the place to flock for the advanced interests. As for the hobby and casual user pixel2life will probably appeal with their flashy rainbow interface and lots of icons that suggest lots of content.


The artificial lifeform has a new heart

KC85UserManuelCoverPic.jpegWell well. It had to be done at one point I just thought I could put it off until I am finished with school and have a bit more time at hand. I upgraded the prototypen.com blog software to movable types 3.2. As said before I was looking into migrating to a nonproperitory solution but this would have cost me even more time and all other solutions out there are just not so well when you have a multiblog/multiauthor environment and I just want this to work without having to adjust things all the time - because if I hate one thing then its webdesign and programming. Because of the older blacklist version ceased to function the only other viable solution was to upgrade. I can not say how much pain it still was. I donīt know what the people at sixapart smoke all day but to change EACH AND EVERY CSS HOOK made "moving the templates to the new version" just not possible - the comments wouldnīt work or this and that would not work - you might even think that they made it on purpose to sell more "service contracts" that offer you painless upgrades. Not only did they change every CSS class name the new names utterly made no sense whatsoever calling the side navigation "beta" is the most stupid thing I have ever heard - you always think its something that is in beta and has not been fully implemented - logic descriptions that could be readable by other people seem not to be in the knowledge base of the movable type originators. To make things worse - all my old templates lost there formatting leaving me with a garbled mess of code (and I do style my code so I can change it later on). And then there is something called "clever commenting" that makes other people read your code easier - especially when you absolutely know that other people need to understand your code in order for your program that you sell for lots of money to work. Needless to say that there was only rudimentary commenting in place - and most seemed to be left in for the programmer himself as it the codes and shortcuts seemed utterly non understandable.
So for all you out there looking for a blogging solution - Six Aparts Movable Type is NOT IT. I am stuck with it and I hate it and throwing money into their mouth is really not the thing I really wanted to do in the first place but could not circumvent - if I can help that they are utterly destroyed tell me how and I am on the front line.
The reason why I had to upgrade - the spam plugins - while looking shining new and nice on first view do nothing different then the blacklist plugin - except for a few functions that are tied in the proprietary "Type Key" registration that is also a Six Apart project. I am utterly against any "proprietary authentication" entity and so I choose not to enable this - well I have more spam then ever - not that its filtering through to the blog because I am moderating almost all messages now but its sitting there waiting to be looked at and handpicked by me and I thought that those times would be over with the upgrade... SixApart if you read this - you have a very very very unhappy customer. Not only was I forced to pay for an upgrade from a former free version of your software your software sucks in all things that are not basic CMS especially for people wanting to alter it and people with a spam problem may a fast crash of the economy be your grave.

One positive thing is of course that I had to touch the design side of things with the blog that has not seen a design upgrade since day one. So I am not fully happy - especially do I hate fixed width websites - the new design is a bit more to my liking and I have a blog logo now - something that I always thought missing. Originally it was to become the picture on this entry (the artwork is from the cover of the KC85/III east german "home" computer that I started of with venturing into digital territory when I was nine years old) but I decided for a simpler solution and the ascii face representing the artificial life is better so I think. As for the fixed width: I will probably go into that at one point when I have more time - at the moment it has to be like this - even so it goes against all things dynamic web layouts should inherit - blame Six Apart not me.

Media Distortion: "wipe off the map" vs. "vanish from the page of time"

If you need any further proof to see in how deep shit we are since it seems that 90% of mainstream media is reporting unchecked facts, pure simple one sided propaganda and one sided political views there is this quote from the Iranian president that has been not only ripped out of context it has also been completely mistranslated. I think you do not even have to explain the difference between:

"wiped off the map"


"this regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time"

not only is it not a threat against Israel but against the political power elite in Israel with all its proofed human rights violations against Palestinians and he simply states that his way of politics is surprior and history of the future will proof him right - a thing about all politicians in the world have made once in their live and there is a certain president who makes such statements on a daily basis. The second translations has been approved by multiple farsi translators who say the first one is not only ripped out of the bigger context its just utterly wrong. (more at the guardian)

Anyway if that is not enough of proof of media bias there is another president of another state that is Bushes new axis of evil - its Venezuela (Bolivia now joining). There is a documentary on google video about the failed attempt to relieve the democratically elected president from power. Its an inside story from a reporter who just happened to be there doing a larger documentary about Chavez. Its so scary how the private TV channels spin the happenings when you actually have a first hand view on the other side. The spin is so powerful that if you would not see the other side cut in you would believe it. Now needless to say that I like Chavez with his Neo-Socialistic idea and wish the best to make his dream of a people rules South America come true. The spin on Chavez is still continuing - despite lowest unemployment in Venezuelas history and the best health care system the country has seen the western media still portrays him as "killing business and making people poor and jobless" and despite him being an democratically elected leader Mr. Bush just today bashes him as beeing "undemocratic" and not valuing human rights - as if Mr. Bush would be in the position to talk about human right ever again - especially with his soldiers on trial for killing innocent Iraqis - there is neither proof nor any reports of human rights violations inside Venezuela and even the putschists getting a fair trial - but yet the mainstream media is reporting Bushs remarks without further discussion and indepth look and that is the truly scary thing. With that much media power - where every sentence you say is relayed around the world instantly without questioning you can do just about everything you wish.
People ask me why I am so vocal about politics while in real life I would never attempt to go into the slimy business. Well I am of a generation that has been exposed to different world views while both have not had enough time in my live to shape my political world view. This has somehow enabled me to look through the fogscreen and what I see disgusts me to the heart - how we can live on such a beautiful planet and all that rules is hate destruction death money. I have not much places to speak out other then here just to hope that it might open the eyes of the one or other who might one day join in a bigger revolution for life, for peace for a recognition of this planets beauty and the preservation for it. While this seems overly romantic its good for my own psychological state of mind and I hope the more people donīt buy into media messages, overhyped press releases lobbying efforts and other slimy tactics that have poisened humanity and the information it carries the brighter our future might be.