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22.03.10

Live Cinema Book - Open For Questions

I am currently writing a book on Live Cinema fusing all that I have learned by VJing over the last 11 years enhancing my three year old theory and trying to actually define a new media and art form. I am looking specifically to theories of storytelling, engaging audiences, keeping them interested all the while enhancing the general atmosphere and not loosing the spontaneity that VJing brings with it and tell a message.

At this point it is a very personal look at how I think Live Cinema would work. In an efford to make it easy to grasp and make the appeal broader I want to get a sense of what is actually needed to understand the medium. If enough questions that have not been answered in the main part of the book arrive I will add a Q&A section to specifically answer them.

Questions can range from the mundane to the specific - it can come from a musicians perspective or a vjs perspective or the audience perspective or an actors perspective - whatever your background please don´t hesitate to ask - the more questions the better.

You can either leave a comment here or send a mail to falk(at)prototypen.com

So if you have any kind of thoughts about the artform in your head that have not yet been answered please fire away - I would be very happy to incorporate and answer them.

28.04.09

Prototypen teams with E-Gruppe & Visual Berlin for Raum E - Open Air 1st of May

We are proud to finally announce that we have teamed up with the E-Gruppe Berlin to deliver a fantastic crazy Berlin style open air event this Friday May 1st.

Raum - E originally an indoor event featuring a massive display of moving visual art and Berlin electronic music is now moving outdoors to bring you even more moving visual art under the summer sky of Berlin. The location - Die Sysiphos Hallen - is an absolutely crazy abandoned factory and has this Berlin underground flair that has been missing from the shiny sterile clubs of the city center. The party itself reflects this feeling with a lot of the people who grew up with in the scene and have since become artists supporting a lifestyle and a message that reflects that community feeling that had been predominant before the investors took over the party folks.

The E-Gruppe has been involved in making visuals and decoration and also organizing parties since 14 years and is celebrating its birthday. Prototypen has made a splash with the first massive open air at the abandoned russian military airport "Altes Lager" with its 1995 Planet Port and has since also supplied visuals, music and organization to a multitude of parties in and around Berlin and is this year celebrating its 15th birthday. Visual Berlin has grouped all the VJs and motion visual artists of Berlin and gave them a voice an a message - together with the help of friends and artist from the city we are bound to give everybody a great audiovisual feast into May.

If you have been helping the Prototypen in the past in any kind of project we would like to take this moment to thank you - please get in touch with us we will provide you with a free ticket. If that does not apply to you - we will give out 2x2 free tickets to the first people who follow us @prototypen on twitter.


The Event is located at Berlin/Germany Hauptstrasse 15. Nearest S-Bahn Station is Ostkreuz from there you take the shuttle or walk 15 minutes south (direction of the big chimneys with the blinking lights).

So bring some good spirit and we will see you all on Friday.

Audio LineUp:
area 1 - listening / aber auch beats:
22:00 - 23:00 uhr: Mex Schlüpfer - live
23:00 - 00:30 uhr: MoGreens
00:30 - 02:00 uhr: Das Kraftfuttermischwerk - live
02:00 - 03:30 uhr: Paskal
03:30 - 05:00 uhr: The Marx Trukker - live
05:00 - 07:00 uhr: ED 2000 + Vela
07:00 - 09:00 uhr: Gaya Kloud + MoGreens

area 2 - dancefloor:
22:00 - 00:00 uhr: Georg Wedel
00:00 - 01:00 uhr: Der Monotone Rauschzustand - live
01:00 - 02:00 uhr: Jaxson
02:00 - 03:00 uhr: Shackelton + Sin C.T. - live
03:00 - 04:00 uhr: Deph
04:00 - 05:00 uhr: Der Arzt
05:00 - 06:00 uhr: Sebastian Wolff
06:00 - 07:00 uhr: Morte
07:00 - 08:00 uhr: Johannes Palissa
08:00 - 09:00 uhr: Conocybe

Visual Artists (on THREE floors):
(visualberlin selection)
e-gruppe
fALk (proto.beamaz)
=ff=
lichtpiraten
pixel-royal aka leinwandler
hilmikillme
tofa
dr. mo
vj pixelschubser
vj king of chaos aka steffen baermann
jorgk
servando
cypher
lucas b.
austastlücke
christian sonntag
devon miles
tobi
illuminated art
c.a.f. + hollie & flockey

din-plak-_e-netz-big.png

10.04.09

There is No Business Model on the Internet

There have been two noteworthy content additions to the internet yesterday that portray a story that I have been battling with for the last year and a bit. The big question these days for numerous people and whole industries is: How do you make money by creating novel content for the internet?
There is the newspaper industry mentioned in the last blog post, there is the tv industry, the bloggers, the musicians, the online-vjs, the painters, the photographers, the illustrators - about each and every person in the creative business has this big question mark over their head. For me I always thought that at least some have no big problem because they have big enough a brand that money just flows in no matter what they do. Such was my thinking with the NineInchNails (NIN) who have had such a huge meme going by untether
them-self from the grasp of a big music company and self publish their heralded music under a creative common license with a "pay what you want" model that included "pay nothing". As far as I heard they had millions of downloads and the whole thing was a huge success. Now I hear this really long substantial indepth interview with Trent Reznor - lead of NIN in the Digg Dialog Series (Digg users ask questions).

I encourage anyone making content on the internet and trying to make money to watch it. He explains a lot of the inside of the grant experiment with the internet and while he is - like many of us - absolutely enthralled by the possibilities of reaching out to millions of people and spreading his art to places that a generation before us could have never dreamed of - he makes it very clear - not even for a big brand like his is it possible to easily generate money and they barely made a profit with merchandise - donation and pay what you like has in his eyes completely failed - that means the 1000 fans rule that has been talked about is really not that true because NIN has definately more then 1000 fans. (yes they scrape by and probably better then most other musicians on the net judging from the massive amount of hardware in the background but he says twice that they are barely making a profit and I believe it 100%). Now he is reiterating what I thought when it comes to advertisement - there is so many and its not really that usefull for generating money and you loose people who are just sick and tired of seeing pages full of ads with a tiny bit of content in the middle - I will get back to that point in a second.
The most revealing thing he said for musicians out there is that its simply almost impossible to try to sell the music itself as music is comprised of bits and bytes there is certainly always a copy floating around the net for free and people prefer free over anything - the iTunes store does not help this situation at all - contrary to what the big press tries to spread. Very insightful interview an absolute must watch.

Some now might say "oh there are so many sites that are advertisment supported and seem to make a good living". I thought so too but another article from yesterday seems to absolutely ridicule that line of thought and makes you wonder if money and the net goes together in any kind of form or shape. The same article also supports another theory of mine - namely that you shouldn´t spend hours on for profit social media sites because they can go boom any minute and then all your content goes boom with it - all the time spend is then lost - you get nothing and you didn´t even do anything wrong (other then giving your time to a big company that is).
I am talking of nothing smaller then YouTube. The article in question is called "YouTube is Doomed". First I wanted to shrug it off as somebody seeking attention with such a headline but the reasoning is sound as it is scary, clear and probably quite right.
YouTube - and I hope you are tied to your seat - made a loss in revenue of roughly $500 million. That is after 3 years in googles hand. Not even Google can sustain such a lossleader for a very long time - no matter how much they paid for it in the first place. I completely agree with the article on that. Then the article does some real good investigative reporting by trying to see if YouTube could ever be profitable - and the clear answer is no. There is no math that would support this even if Google would plaster adverts over any and all videos and charge 3 times as much as they do today they would still loose money - especially with their operating costs multiplying as their catalog of dogs on skateboard movies grows.
Now if Google can´t make money on the internet with content that they don´t even need to pay for - how in the world would a content creator earn any money?
I mean its probably possible to survive but these two anecdotes by what is perceived the most successful in their niche on the net just show to me that there is no sound business model. Still all content comes to the net with full force. I would conclude that the internet and capitalism as it is right now just don´t go together and probably never will. Bits are free. You can´t cage them because then nobody sees them and then nobody knows that they exist. If you send them around with a cage around them somebody will find a way to help them be free - that is their nature and there is nothing that can be done about it except for caging the people them self.

YouTube is doomed @ business insider
Digg Dialogg with Trent Reznor

13.03.09

Breakapitalism 090328

breakapitalism_090328.pngWe kick off the Prototypen event year with a breakbeat party on march the 28th in the local Affenclub with some multiple twists. First you might have noticed the name - on March 28th 2009 multiple nongovernmental organisations are calling for protest against the current financial crisis and our current financial system. The protest will be under the motto "We don´t pay for your crisis" and naturally we here at prototypen believing in a future that is sustainable in synch with nature and with a (more) even distribution of wealth support the motto and the action and will do the Breakapitalism event as a show of support.
It wouldn´t be a prototypen event if there is not another media experiment happening as well - So I am proud to announce that we will have a virtual guest playing visuals at this party over the internet. Brian T Moore will join us virtually from Toronto/Canada and play his very locally themed visuals at the Kleinmachnow/Berlin/Germany Monkeyclub. This will be the second installment test of our virtual live media series which you will be hearing about more in the short future.
On top of all that expect some massive great broken beats from a wide range of music artists. (See Flyer).
I hope you all support the motto and show the action some support by dropping by and celebrate the crisis as a possibility of a new beginning.

(shouts go out to Captain Mulda for the great flyer design)

10.03.09

Kutiman ThruYou Youtube CutUps - feat. our own Bastai ;D

I was just pointed by captain mulda who is our new flyer designer to these amazing cutup videos - and the original reason for the journey to ThruYou was that our own MC Bastai is featured in one of the videos. The idea of the cutup videos is to take lots of different youtube videos with soundsamples in them and cut them up and remix them into one continuous new song. Bastai features in the fitting dubby song all complete with multiple dub sirens and some other really strange music gear from another dimension.

Be sure to check out the other creations with different music styles in the above link.

1.03.09

Bruce Sterling Assay about the future of the web.

A fantastic powerfull transcript of a speech by futurist and SciFi writer Bruce Sterling at the Webstock09 conference. He talks about the transition of the web 1.0 to 2.0 and how that is now transforming to something completely new - his bet "ubiquity" - being networked anywhere anytime. He says thats its a rollercoaster drive we are all boarded now and that the future will look different but will be what we make it. And he couldn´t hit it home any better:

We've got a web built on top of a collapsed economy. THAT's the black hole at the center of the solar system now. There's gonna be a Transition Web. Your economic system collapses: Eastern Europe, Russia, the Transition Economy, that bracing experience is for everybody now. Except it's not Communism transitioning toward capitalism. It's the whole world into transition toward something we don't even have proper words for.

The Web has always had an awkward relationship with business. Web 2.0 was a business model. The Transition Web is a culture model. If it's gonna work, it's got to replace things that we used to pay for with things that we just plain use.

In the Transition Web, if you're monetizable, it means that you get attacked. You gotta squeeze a penny out of every pixel because the owners are broke. But if you do that to your users, they will vaporize, because they're broke too, just like you; of course they're gonna migrate to stuff that's free.

But you know, I'm not scared by any of this. I regret the suffering, I know it’s big trouble -- but it promises massive change and a massive change was inevitable. The way we ran the world was wrong. I've never seen so much panic around me, but panic is the last thing on my mind. My mood is eager impatience.

via boingboing

18.02.09

We Can. Let´s think together?

There is one of the most fantastic threads ever on the internet initiated by Cory Doctorow on BoingBoing. I applaud the influencer's coming around and become more political and the corresponding comment thread shows why this is so important. Its a slice through society and shows the problem with stemming any kind of transformation. But one thing stuck out which I had to reply to there but I don´t want my reply burried there so I put it out front here. NYAM #58 said:

… "We have so much collective intelligence and we can't think our way out of this?"

"We can. Let's think together!"

to which I replied:

It would be lovely to see all the worlds intellect that is not centered on self interest but rather on advancement of human society actually got together and formulate a powerful enough message of unity to actually go against the status quo. The problem is that the intellectuals are individuals with their own self centered universe. They can give great ted talks or collect 2 mio friends on facebook but most have failed again and again to get out of their self centered self promotional world and actually get involved with something really transformative that does not primarily advance them self.
I think for a transformative movement to form it has to get much much worse and then it might just be too late.
I am quite happy to see some of the more influential people come around and at least acknowledge that there is a problem. But unless there is a voice of unity calling for fundamentally changing our society quite soon I have not much hope for the general future. And the voice also would need to be put in action which is hard because that takes time and resources and reading through the comments - those people who are affected most are either working 5 jobs or are watching TV and having a depression the others say "oh its not so bad - sure the shops around me close and generally there is a distress but MY family is just fine".
If something does indeed form that has not one person doing self-centered self-promotion - something that is sound peaceful and in synch with earth and advancement of society - I am all on board but I am skeptical that this can happen with one part of society "we need a strong leader" sheep and the other "its me me me" wolfs.

Yes there are projects (Transition Towns (as mentioned by 13Strong #64) and Transition Cultures (as mentioned here before with the Oamaru Declaration Of Independence and of course justfortheloveofit) out there but there is a reason that they are not gaining critical mass to come out of the closet. Influencers are loosing as much as bankers in a positive future and most would loose their influence on fellow beings and hence power so they are not really supporting projects that they are not influencing - its based on the same problematic power structure that has been happening since the Romans.

To get out of it we need to get over wanting to be leaders or wanting to be followers but become transformers. Transformers are people who show through their action how to transform the world into a habitable loving beautiful place. Technology has and should have a place but so should nature and our planet and our collective consciousness. Then we might have a chance of survival. A leader will not bring us there and passive people following will neither.

17.02.09

/b/ is where the internet goes to die.

/b/ is where the internet goes to die. Its a place where both God and Satan vow to stay away from. /b/ is where every internet meme ever ends up. /b/ is rule 34. /b/ in is my mind forever. You cant undo /b/, but you can undo your search history.

/b/is my life
I am /b/

Don't go there. Don´t talk about it.

11.02.09

How fast can you talk?

This 30 year old FedEx commercial has the fastest talking person in that I have ever seen. I wonder if the human race "evolves" talking this fast one day. Funny as hell too.

9.02.09

Tribes

And while we are at the topic of tribes and somehow stuff magically appears in front of me (or gets send to me by awesome people) there is this really eye opening interview at wired with the author of the book "tribes" explaining what a tribe is and why its so cool to embrace them.

Wired: You've said that a tribe doesn't have to be encouraged to connect, they want to connect with each other. And that you as the person in the center aren't required to do anything.

SG: That part's not true. It requires you to do a great deal. But what you don't need to do is sell people on the fact that they want to connect. That's human nature. We want to connect with like-minded people. What you have to do that's very difficult is create the platform –- whether it's a cocktail party or a technology -– where people can get over social friction, where people can make connections that would ordinarily feel awkward.

15.01.09

Adbusting in Berlin - Photoshopping a Model

photoshop_adbusting_berlin_3-600x398.jpegphotoshop_adbusting_berlin_1-600x398.jpegI really love this idea of adbusting that is going on in Berlin at various locations. It makes the poster look like its being worked on in Photoshop showing how to fake the look of the "stars" with gloomybloomylayers and lots of gaussian blurs and stamp brushes to eradicate any signs of real life like aging, pimples and natural spots on the skin. In addition it adds some subliminal messages to it - like the "consume" layer - I am sure some advertisement companies would love the patent on that one :)

More over at brandinfection

12.01.09

Facebook (& co) the new Microsoft

Lock-In - Megamassmarket - Proprietary - driven by advertisment. That are things that I connect straight to Microsofts Windows - which has no right on the digital planet by what it does - the only way it survives is because it has the successfully locked in a mega mass market with proprietary mechanisms and keeps itself alive through an advertising budget that is larger then the GDP in some African countries. Luckily its a slowly dying dinosaur. Yet we wouldn´t be humans if we wouldn´t fall for the same traps over and over again - not learning a thing about past mistakes and here we go into 2009 and I have recieved 20 facebook spams - ähm friendship requests - already. Now my take on the whole social networking has always been clear - I am not spending my time on something that makes other people rich while there is no apparent value to human kind or even worse it halts innovation and true progress.
I truly believe that facebook and myspace (and the german studiVZ) are clearly aiming to become the new microsoft and want to lock in their users and control the content the users see and make it hard for them to switch - and the most proprietory of them - facebook - the only one who did not join the open social endeavor - seems to be the winner of them all.
Now if you look at a facebook user page (my gf has one to my distress) it already mimics an operating system nicely with "webapps" and a task bar and such. Now what is it offering again? Basically what it is is a glorified chat system with some blogging functionality and a working RSS feed implementation. The only thing its good at is combining these tools and organize the output. It does so by making "friends" the upper category of organization. I don´t understand the concept of "friends" that you are unable to track through your live except with a digital tool - I do sincerely think people that you are unable to track with your own memory are not real friends and might be even too uninteresting in the first place to even be acquaintances. You know there are people I contact or they contact me after I have not "spoken" (in any sense of the word) to them in over 5 years and yet both sides tracked each other over the years because there was more then a hyperlink connecting us.
Now organizational tools are not bad per se. Indeed one could argue the popularity of the social network sites is because people need to organize their input stream somehow. I think its laziness to learn the underlying principles of the web and understand that all the tools to connect to your friends and make them aware of your output are there without facebook et all - the most often reason I hear when I challenge someone why they are using a social network site is "it makes it so easy". I think some of the 2nd tier (facebook becoming the Nr.1) sites going belly up in the next few month and the people see their "friends" disappearing because their content was locked in - all the time they spend on the site that they thought is theirs but isn´t and maybe even some of the content they put up goes into the "wrong" hands and is being used to make ridicule out of them (its not their content anymore anyway) might see an awakening. Until then maybe there is hope to make a decentralized open source open community out of the internet again and not a giant hub of advert sponsored data mining endeavor.

Meanwhile please to all my "friends" out there: Please don´t send me more facebook/mysapce/studiVZ spam - I have enough other spam problems already. I won´t join even if 90% of the world is signed up.

23.12.08

The Idioticity of Unlimited Growth and Overconsumption

In this time of the year when the chinese plastic made with iraqis blood oil toys painted in toxic chemicals hang from the flashy led lit christmas trees (that could have grown to big trees and eat up some CO2 to prolong the time global warming becomes catastrophic or be used as a carbon neutral energy source) and the children lick their corn syrup phtalate soked chemical mixed lollipops made from gene manipulated corn plants that are 50% pesticides 50% useless energy and the family gets together to eat the goose that was force fed the same gene manipulated corn full of pesticides but also sprayed and fed with antibiotics so that the bacteria and viruses can get immune to them - all happily not talking but watching the glowing tube on the other end of the room making them feel guilty that they have not bought more chinese plastic toys - at this time of the year its great to see that there are sane people out there that actually understand that the world as we know it has to come to and end and a new beginning has to look at the faults of our current past. So my christmas present this year is the following paragraph by the author of "Citizen Renaissance":

It is estimated the US economy needs to grow at 3-5% just to stop unemployment from rising. Unfortunately people don’t have insatiable needs (an annoying disagreement with neo-classical economic theory) so we need a huge industry to keep creating desires and wants – called advertising and mass-media. This advertising created consumption fixation merely locks us in to the ultimate lie that extrinsic-values satisfaction will make us happy. As all the stuff we consume does not satisfy our spiritual needs we keep consuming more and more hoping the next fix of our addiction will do the job. So it’s growth for growth’s sake. Not with any philosophical endpoint of seeking ‘good lives’ for all. Just to keep the machine going. What a dull old job politicians have given themselves. Surely a not so sophisticated computer could replace them all if that was all we wanted from politics? Clearly someone needs to pull the power on this crazy merry-go-round and think again with some vision about how we attain ‘good lives’ for all within the carrying capacity of the planet?

The carrying capacity of the planet - that is the phrase of the year. With overpopulation, destruction of natural habitats through expansion of an economic system that just wants growth instead of survival we are somewhere around the threshold of human survival on a large scale. Remember that the current economic and cultural living has only been in place for round about 100 years - a blink in the universal timescale. Look at past empires collapsing out of the blue mostly because the planet could not feed them, water them, shield them.

So when you go shopping for a goose try to get a goose that had a happy live or get a organic tofu goose. When you consider a toy for your toddler instead of giving him 10 plastic toys that will break withing a month give him one solid locally produced handmade wood toy. Don´t give away shit that you wouldn´t see any need for yourself. Don´t give away shit at all. Don´t consume for the sake of consumption. Resist the urge the bling bling and keep your wallet to your chest. Don´t make yourself buy something just to support de economy (read the paragraph above again if you are not getting it). Go to your local farmer market and buy your food there - it might be more expensive but you might also not need as much. Just WAKE THE FUCK UP before its too late for everyone including those who already woke up and see the problem and have not much to stem against it other then little words.

30.11.08

Only...

because I stumbled over it today and its still as right as it has ever been and brings it to a point:

Only after the last tree has been cut down
Only after the last river has been poisoned
Only after the last fish has been caught
Only then will you find you cannot eat money.

Cree prophecy

26.11.08

Here.

Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.

David Wagoner

24.11.08

Economy worth then great depression.

Its week of fALks favorites reapearing. My favorite mathematician - yes I have such a thing - is Benoit Mandelbrot since the day he coined the butterfly effect and made me play endlessly with mandelbrot "Apfelmänchen" on my Commodore Amiga 2000 endlessly applying new formula alterations and watching the 12 MHz 7,09 MHz processor due its duty (yes it was slow). Said man is the mentor of Nicholas Taleb - an author whos book "The Black Swan" I almost got once but then didn´t and since then regret not having read said book as it was forecasting the current and all future financial collapses. Good thing for boingboing for linking an interview with the two men explaining in a bit too little but good enough detail why the current crisis is so scary - yes maybe the sack of rice falling over in China had to do with it in the end. Oh yes the greatest mathematician of modern times says that its quite possible that we are in a worse position then in the Great Depression.


Some info from Wikipedia about the book (linked above):

Why do people tend to neglect rare events? Partly because humans underestimate their ignorance in most situations—the effect of unexpected events is far more significant than people often imagine. Taleb argues that the proposition "we know" is in many cases an illusion—the human mind tends to think it knows, but it does not always have a solid basis for this delusion of "I know".

Taleb also questions the authority of experts. The "truth" behind science is limited to certain areas and methods, and in many areas having an academic degree and presenting oneself as a scientist is irrelevant. Indeed, authority can stifle empirical experience which, so many times, has proven to have a sounder base for accuracy.

Extreme events do happen and have a big effect. Examples abound, including September 11th. The Internet with its various effects was scarcely anticipated, and it is a development that has had a significant effect. The effects of extreme events are even higher due to the fact that they are unexpected.

"Das Kapital" by Karl Marx as a Manga

daskapitalmanga.jpgThe comic is expected to sell tens of thousands of copies in its first weeks on sale, but is up against stiff competition: anti-capitalist books are the hottest sellers in capitalist Japan at the moment, and it will take something extraordinary to beat the sales of Hideki Mitani’s “Greedy Capitalism and the Self Destructiveness of Wall Street.”

Kapitalism is going away and to speed its departure the Japanese have drawn "Das Kapital" as a manga book to be sold 10.000 times to japanese comic lovers and capitalism haters. Funny dat hope they put it online at one point. I love mangas and I would have nothing against this very book to be in a more digestable form.

The UK Times has more juice to the story

New Conservative London Mayor: High Culture for the Young instead of HipHop

Meninplaid.jpgSometimes you stumble over articles where you need to rub your eyes slap your hand against your head take a couple of deep deep breath and try to wave the little birdie coming out of your screen goodbye. Today was such a day again. The newly appointed London mayor - the first conservative London mayor since generations - has said that media companies should stop "underestimating" young people and stop "target" them with "cheap" hiphop and instead educate them to "higher" art like classical music and operas.
No I am absolutely not kidding. He wants to spent money so parents can send their kids to learn classical instruments.
Now - nothing against funding of letting people learn classical instruments - but who the fuck does he think to suggest hiphop or any other youth culture is "cheap art" and why does he think he can define what "high culture" is?

In a report outlining his strategy, his chief of arts and culture strategy, Munira Mirza, argues that too much emphasis has been placed on making events "user-friendly".

ugh? make parties user unfriendly so nobody goes to them anymore? See classical concert halls are empty for a fucking reason and that is that young people are BORED TO DEATH hearing songs that have been written 200 years ago and have not evolved since then. It might be an artform where rich kids are pressed into and then can behave as if they are something special - but the innovation in musical art comes from the street the dark warehouses the garages all over the world not some on multimillion dollar live support hanging concert houses that are playing Beethoven the 9th for the 2 millions' time. You rich conservative mummies you need to get out more - especially when you are the mayor of a city that used to be trendsetting when it comes to music.

Give Young People High Culture Not HipHop - Johnson. The Guardian

Picture from the Muppets Wiki

3.11.08

When the wheels loose their teeth...

Since I get my last wisdom teeth pulled in about 20 minutes I thought I share the last bit of wisdom in me - no actually I am in a gloomy doomy mood and want to spread that around - no in fact I think topic is too important to be pulled out with my wisdom teeth - anyway...
I have talked to a lot of people about the "financial crisis" in the last weeks and to everyone I talked to it seemed a bit distant to affect them personally (with the few exceptions of the persons who are in the doom camp already). They all had to endure my preaching - if one bit of the capitalistic market comes to a proper grind the whole system collapses. Why do I think that? Look at the world out there. This whole system is like a house of cards, carefully stacked on top of each other of the last 100 years. One layer of cards made the next layer possible and then the next and the next. The bottom layer is comprised of the oil chain and the food chain, next one is housing, then transport, then consumer goods, then luxury goods (its much more fine grained but you get the idea). Now the thing with house of cards is that any part can topple the whole deck - even those on top - but the ones underneath definitely topple everything. Another analogy I am using is clockworks. If just one of the tiny teeth (ha you thought I would get around the post without mentioning teeth again he ;) is being pulled out the result is that the whole clockwork consisting of millions of teeth is coming to a halt. So same with modern day capitalism with a global supply and demand scheme. One part of the whole system stands still the rest will follow very very soon. Now the thing with the "financial crisis" is that at first it doesn´t look like it will affect you personally (not unless a savings bank is bankrupt and people flock to the ATMs to get their nonexistent money out - its all virtual - there is no money because it has all been lend out and then some). I have been watching with open eyes because I believed that pulling that much money from under the market out there must have an affect somewhere in the "real" market (not the virtual "we trade empty numbers" money market) rather sooner then later. Well it seems that food is actually the one thing that might be affected first.
Yes food the thing everyone needs for living. Why? Because our food system at the moment depends on proper fertilization and since everyone just wanted to make profit in the last years they ignored any natural fertilization cycle (crop rotation for example) and instead poisened the field by overloading it with industrial NPK (Nitrogen Phosphorous, Potassium) fertilization techniques. To switch a field from that to a natural cycle takes about 5 years minimum. Now why is that important? NPK fertilizers are freakishly expensive (big part of it is made from natural gas f.e.) and since the banks are extremely nervous they do not give the farmers any loans to get fertilizers - which had been the norm up till this year. No fertilizers mean that on bad fields you can loose up to 70% of your crop. Thats 70% less food on the market - that means skyrocking prices in the supermarket that means a lot of people will be hungry - what this means I don´t want to think about.
This is one scenario of how the system might collapse - one that is already in the making (means its already happening to some extend). There are more paths to doom but happily also some paths out so not all is lost. Then again looking at the world politics I have not that much hope for a instant enlightening of the ruling caste.

Millions will starve (on dailykos.com)

Recent rains have improved seeding conditions, allowing farmers to begin planting soybeans in parts of Mato Grosso, Brazil. Farmers now face another problem, the lack of fertilizer. Even farmers with access to credit have not received their fertilizer due to a distribution delay. A Cuiaba newspaper reports that one producer who normally plants about 15,000 acres of soybeans will plant 10,000 this year because he did not receive enough fertilizer

...

With food and energy prices soaring around the world, a constant supply of high-quality, affordable food is no longer guaranteed, the officials are warning Britons. That could mean an era of scarcity like Britain's 1940-54 food rationing, during the war and its aftermath

31.10.08

Dear Old Media....

Your business model is about to fail in an epic drama because over the last 10-20 years you have not invested into new ideas, you have not looked beyond your faith of the economy flushing you with cash, you have not even invested in good content. You got into a spiral of self fulfilling prophecy - ever worst content to please the ever shrinking lowest common denominator. And worse of all you have tried to buy out ideas from outside your scope, tried to humiliate those that don´t work with you, tried to stop any content business model that isn´t formed around your believe of distribution of media power. You close your eyes when its aparent that copying things from one media to the other has never worked and will never work as most different kind of medias have a completely different underlaying social behaviour, modelled on that a completely different user interface and so dear old media fusing your failed business model with a social model that is not even build to be a business model and try first and foremost to generate ad revenues by connecting people and giving them an very expensive chat window on their tv screen which they interface - wait for it - with an iphone or similar network enabled device - this dear old media is so falling flat on its face (not even to mention that a remote control is also not the best input tool to engage in socialising activity of any extended sort). Please get it and stop your desperate attempts to save your failed business by trying to mimic real innovation that is about the people first and foremost and money only as an enabler. Try to see were your old business model can help future generation, heck become an archive and let people search in the past - and even charge some administrative fees for it or do live broadcasts or even just let people rent your facilities to make people powered media - but please see the light and see that people want real interaction, people want to publish want to speak their own voice and the TV or a dead tree newpaper is not the medium to deliver that - it was never designed to do that and to make it work is like trying to transform a school bus into a first class ultrasonic airplane that can carry 2000 people at once.

A response to the aptly titled article "TV+Social Network=?" on the wall stree journal.

14.09.08

Why we drink


6.07.08

The Gong Fu of Tea

Teance is a tea company who sell tea. Their mission statement is one of the most sensible mission statement I have ever read for a company.

The spiritual practice of mindfulness, concentration, and deliberate intention through tea is ultimately used in the service of others. The guest should be moved by his experience without imposition; the generosity and spirit of sharing one's best effort should be felt without display. The guest should experience, wordlessly, the years of artful practice that brought to life the leaf as intended by the tea masters' equally skillful crafting, somewhere far away in the mountains of Asia.

They learn all of the formal presentation steps designed not for show, but to produce the best cup of tea possible.

teance.com

2.05.08

The Generation War

The politcial commentator for "The Atlantic" Andrew Sullivan posts a comment one of his reader made to his blog. That comment is so on the spot and reflects the feelings of so many youth not only in the US but also elsewhere in the world that I would want to question: Are we heading to a generational war?

What The Old Farts Don't Get

A reader writes:
Your old farts really do miss the point completely, don't they? These younger people were convinced that political involvement was useless because the the system was so broken. They came of age anywhere from the second Clinton term (Lewinsky) through the disaster of the Bush years. They have no reason to believe that politics can work, or that it is possible to effect any large scale change, so they work locally or just opt out.
This is what Obama has tapped into. The reason all those thousands of young Dems registered for the first time and voted in a primary was because he made them believe honorable politics was possible. And if someone like Obama gets chewed up by the system because the forces arrayed against him are too strong -- just look at the sworn enemies who are teaming up to bring him down, united by nothing more than a vested interest in the status quo -- then they will conclude that the system is as broken as they thought it was.
The mistake is reading this as an Obama personality cult, in which case "grow up" would be appropriate. But the Obamaniacs I meet are nothing like that...
they don't sing his praises, they sing their own. They are intoxicated by the idea of a politics where things they thought were not possible become possible, and people talk to each other like adults. They don't think he's going to fix things, they think they are.
What the old farts might want to consider is that these young people who have no particular vested interest in the current system might be seeing the rot much more clearly than the fogeys who have been entangled in it for decades. And the mature folk might want to accept that the burden of proof is on them to show why such a viscerally disgusting political game is worth playing.
Opting out of that is not immaturity, it's intelligence.

28.04.08

Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations

Clay Shirky just said that the death of Soap Operas/Sitcoms on TV is freeing up 2.000 wikipedia worth of contribution time... Soap Operas are of course just as on thing of the epic battle between the distraction media vs. the contribution media. I still found the original comment (boingboing.net) a bit "lush" so I looked at a talk from him and its a very refreshing organized view on things that I deep down understand but couldn´t communicate. Here are some Quotes from the talk:

- "Social Lag"
- "Social Capability has not transformed society at anything like the rate as other applications have launched "
- "Groups are natively conservative"

- "It is curiously the moment when Technology becomes boring that the social effects become interesting"

The 4 step ladder of which a participatory internet society is going through...
"1. Sharing, 2.Conversation, 3.Collaboration, 4.Collective Action"

We seems to be past 1. 2. and 3. and apparently approaching number 4 fast. Now with 2.000 wikipedias worth of time freed up the possibilities of collective action that transforms us into a new kind of culture - a free open source culture perhaps - are imminent? This guy thinks so. Listen to his catchy fast worded speech on the Harvard - Berkman Center for Internet and Society.

20.04.08

Financial sector collapsing- stocks rising

It ain´t easy to understand the underlaying dynamics of the financial sector of a capitalistic system these days because they defy any of their own set rules. I am in no way a financial expert (except that I watch tons of stock market TV when I was a younger person because after school there was nothing else on back in the days). But I had a recent conversation with a friend studying that stuff and I can read articles. And no I am won´t quote any doomsday conspiracy theory leftist websites - I will quote the financial times germany... Because two headlines grabbed my attention and together with some logic I come to a conclusion that is not to argue against so easely I think.

"Finanzsystem stand kurz vor dem Kollaps" (Financial System was almost collapsing)

"Extreme Kursausschläge sind möglich" (Extreme Stockprice changes possible)

The first article cites the head of the Credit Suisse swiss bank that the the collaps of bear stearns almost brought down the whole system but then goes on to relevate that in saying that "Banks are more carefull" "They don´t give out credits easily any more". In a side sentence they mention that this will probably "bring the economy to a halt".
THe second article tells us nicely and in detail that "the worst is not over" and that big banks might make huge losses in the coming quarters.
Contradiction? Anyone? So we almost had a collapse but it was averted and things look more rosy now but the next quarter is hell?
Also why if the banks do not give out loans "so easely" is it that I got THREE adverts in the snail mail post today telling me I can get credits up to "50.000 Euro" without showing them my income - me a person that has no money and nothing to back up a 50.000 Euro loan - heck they even give you a 2.000 loan with a mail in form? Well credits is the only way a bank can reap in huge amounts of money so not giving out credits any more is saying that killing the most profitable business is not what we should do anymore and rather concentrate on business that makes us a loss.
Now pair that that capitalism is growth - without growth there is no capitalism and if there is no abundance of money floating around capitalism ceases to exist in its current form - no there are multiple people that have predicted that there can be no endless growth because there are no endless resources (human or raw materials) in the world and those prediction/calculations where that we would hit this point somewhere between 2005 and 2015 - spot on I would say.
Now with all those self contradicting articles in the financial sector saying "oh its bad but it CAN ONLY GET BETTER" and then the next quarter you have it worse you have to wonder why all major stock indexes in the world are RISING when a bank announces the biggest loss of its existence - especially when this bank is the biggest bank of the USA which is still the biggest trade market in the world?
Its like collectively trying to hide the fact that the rosy times are over and painting the building fresh on the front while the back is falling apart. Interesting times indeed.

25.03.08

You know you are in the future when …

you read headlines like Transgender man is pregnant or Man regrows his cut off fingertip with pigs bladder powder (so this one could also come from the dark ages witches ;) or Engineers Test Highly Accurate Face Recognition or that google thinks it has a turing test capable AI to be used for natural language search. Now if it would all just translate to now for everyone instead of in the lab sometimes in the future the future would have arrived - yet no proof, concept art, concept essays, blog posts is all we get while our pals drive our CO2 emissions to levels where the world might have a heart attack before any of these things pan out - I for one could live with some real news that are not political that are not sci-fi wishes futuretelling that are actually bringing mankind ahead instead of make them dream - then again I see most of the westworldpopulation living in an alternate universe where global warming gives some tension, there is no banking crisis, war is only in a different world and all problems have only one side to look at - the look at them self is forbidden by death.

17.03.08

Tibet, the holiest of holy lands

RedMonk.JPGI was waiting and hoping and hoping that what I saw and heard would not be true that it was an exageration by the media. I believed firmly that this could not happen - not now anymore. As some of you know I was in that holiest of holy lands in the year 2000. Its one of the places on earth where you go and come back as a changed person if you look beyond the golden roofs, into the spirituality into the people into the high treeless land. Yet what changed me most was a multiple days talk with a young tibetan monk about buddhism, about tibet, about politics about Tibets past and its future - and for me in the end one thing was clear - there is no Tibet without China anymore, the occupation has been made permanent and the Tibetans slowly started to realise this and tried to adjust their lives accordingly tried to save their culture nonetheless. But it was also clear that there are still warriors among the Tibetans - those who would want to fight - those who wait for a chance to blow up the next bridge - but these people have been by far far the minority. Back then even the Dalai Lama admitted that the goal for Tibetans should be cultural sovereignty - politically they stand no chance at the sleeping giant dragon.
Now I don´t know exactly what happened but I do actually believe the Chinese media account because that is exactly what I saw when I was there 8 years ago.

Peaceful march in India joined by prayer ceremonies in Lhasa - organised by the Dalai Lama. Extreme World Wide Media attention - those who still want to fight stir up trouble, poor Tibetans living in Lhasa take opertunity to go against some Han-Chinese controlled shops - sleeping dragon awakes, sees no difference between the friendly protestors, monks and the raving mob - especially since the main monestaries involved are right inside Lhasas Tibetan district - kills them all (and I truly believe the 300 dead number floated around is understimating the real toll of what happened). More restrictions in Lhasa (which have always been there but where not enforced heavily btw) complete news blackout, closing of monestaries (making them pure tourist attractions in return) and the only dream left for the Tibetans - to save their culture, religion and spirituality - might be lost forever.

Who to blame? Western media arrogance in thinking they are helping by giving the protests such a huge feedback without talking about the dangers of a Tibetan uprising that stands no chance and therefore giving the violent groups of both sides a good reason to exploit the peacefull presentation of their original goals. And yes I do not only blame mainstream media but also some mainstream blogs like boingboing who should have known better then just spread a meme.

13.02.08

What if I no longer have the patience to read a book because it’s too…. linear.

Is a question asked by Scott Karp from the Publishing 2.0 blog. The question is asked in the context of why one does read so much less books these days - even people who used to read a lot. And quite frankly he has the right answer -> they are too linear and linear is about as 20th century as it gets. The deep lying issue is that people are getting more and more used to nonlinear in any kind of media and nonlinear is better because it leaves you with choices and branching gives you pathes to futures you did not anticipate. On top of it you can shortcut to the important bits and save time. Surely there is detail missing here and there but there is always a side path to get to that detail if you really really keen for it and crave so badly. The article hits the nail right on top and it applies not only to books it applies to film and any kind of linear media we know - even music, rhythm and general life (who is under 30 and wants to stay in one and the same job for the rest of its life ?)
So its not only a move from an industrial century to information century its also a move from a linear century where paths have been laid out for us and futures have been drawn to a nonlinear century where the paths you walk on have a multitude of branches and options and winds and side paths and only you are in power to choose the ones that make you most happy. Now if that isn´t an uplifting prospect I don´t know what is....


Net advertisement is ineffective across the board - who would have thought

I never understood how google is making these shitloads of money because I can not believe that "click throughs" most of them accidental give advertisers any kind of leg up in the market. It seems my suspicion is right as a recent article on slashdot notes:

"A recent study finds that 6% of Web users generate 50% of the click-throughs. Worse news for advertisers: these clickers are not representative of the population as a whole, most have incomes under $40K, and their clicks are not related to any offline buying. (They are mostly males between 25 and 44 years of age.) The number of clicks on an ad campaign is also not strongly correlated with brand awareness for the ads' subject, according to the study. This is bad news for ad-supported Web sites and businesses, as rates should drop if the Net economy begins to take these findings seriously."

JNo brand awareness - no translation to actually go out and by a thing neither online nor offline - so what the heck is the use of online ads - especially unbranded adwords in general? But my suspicion goes even further - advertising as a whole in its current form of super branding and subtle force buying has seen the end of life on any media. People are over saturated by XX thousand brands competing for their brain cells and actually people find they might wanna use their braincells for something else. I would say as with the decline of TV we will also see a decline of advertisements in the coming years - now the question begs -> no brands -> no advertisements -> no free money -> no free culture? or is it free culture -> no brands -> no money -> no advertisement?


29.01.08

Multitasking makes you slower and age faster

kirn-horses.jpgThere is a lot of buzz out on the tubes the last days about how Mutlitasking is affecting you and your brain. Multitasking is everything 2 thing that you do at ones - listening to music while reading a book, beeing on the phone while eating and driving. I am about the worst multitasker in the world - I just can´t do two things at ones it drives me nuts - I need to be completely concentrated on one thing to get anything done - a reason why I seldom answer the phone and my chat messages are left unanswered for days. I thought I am wierd but modern science comes to my rescue and says its absolutely normal because task switching - so the thing to go from one activity to the next - takes a huge amount of brain resources and with it a huge amount of time. Not only hinders multitasking in every person the amount of things they can accomplish but also what can be remembered of what was done (a hugely important thing if ever programmed anything and tried to look at your code afterwards). On top of it makes you age much faster and very likely makes you sick over the long term.


Mythos Multitasking (german)
The Autumn of the Multitaskers (very funny and good written self reflection with scientific facts interwoven)

Even worse, certain studies find that multitasking boosts the level of stress-related hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline and wears down our systems through biochemical friction, prematurely aging us. In the short term, the confusion, fatigue, and chaos merely hamper our ability to focus and analyze, but in the long term, they may cause it to atrophy.

13.12.07

Movable Type is free

As noted before Movable Type has been put under the GPL (Gnu General Public License) which means its open source and free as in speech and the bare bone version also free as in beer. We have used Movable Type from the beginning and just couldn´t - wouldn´t want to to migrate to a different platform as it always seemed to much hassle. Also we coughed up the small fee for a multisite blog (that was a point where we almost switched). This is all past us now and it seems we have bet on a long distance horse with our blogging software. Now I think a company developing the software and having their business model not to sell the software but to sell distributions and support will be the business model for all software rather sooner then later (quote me in 10 years). Because with a truly open source approach you have tons of helping hands in your code to make it better more stable faster secure and saturate it with plugged in feature at no cost. You as a company are still the ones who know the software best (you coded it from the start) so you are probably the best to help big corporations to install it - meanwhile the free nature of your software allows anyone to get used to and train them self to use it, generating a legion of enthusiast who in return will advocate your software over closed source alternatives giving you company a sustainable income - everyone is happy. This approach is also in my opinion much better then the all non leader community approach of free software (for example wordpress) with no real direction and to many side roads leading to stagnation or confusion among users (drupal is also one of those beasts, buts thats about to change to).
As said I think sooner or later most of the software industry comes around this business model. I am very happy that I don´t need to think about migrating the two active blogs.

11.07.07

"I have nothing to hide" counter arguments

With todays surveillance mania by our oh so beloved governments there is this one big argument cropping up everywhere in favor of surveillance. Its the "I have got nothing to hide" one that uninformed mom and pop spout out in repetition to propaganda mass media brainwash.
I personally usually just say "not at the moment", because what you do today might be illegal tomorrow with a neonaziconservative regime ruling earth.
But since that convinces only some smart people there is more ammunition needed.

Some of that come in a form of a PDF from Professor Daniel Solove.

My favorite is still the the "You have curtains? Yes? Well then it seems you have something to hide!"

There is also a nice slashdot thread about it.



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13.04.07

"In all due respect, real artists use canvas."

is what Paul Fleuranges, a New York City Transit spokesman said when asked about an event that a german shoe company is hosting to promote their newest shoe styles. The event features european graffity artist like Can2 from Germany or Skore from the UK who will paint graffiti on a replica of new york subway train.
Authorities are not happy (per usual) because their view is that it promotes crime. How absolutely dumb they are you can see in the headline of this post.

"In all due respect Mr. Paul Fleuranges, real artists have never ever ever only used canvas."

12.04.07

Software Company Ethics 2.0 and the pleasant surprise I had today

First and foremost: I am a very skeptical person and I am very cynical especially when it comes to today companies and their policies but what happened today shattered a small part of my world view about kapitalism in a very positive way.

A little background story: As most of you dear readers know I am doing lots of 3D animation visual FX and similar virtual pop art media work. I do this since 1992 where I started with a program called Silver3D (that then became Imagine) on an utlra fast Amiga 2000. Anyway this backstory is getting out of hand already. I love doing 3d - or at least I love what comes out in the end because it allows me to put into visual form for other people what I see inside myself (even the boring small stuff) so for me its the only way to share my inner vision. The big problem is the technical side. It consumes so much energy that I can´t just pump out stuff. Things are getting better on a grand scale in this field. Jez – I can´t keep focus. Anyway one of the coolest things that I love to do is integrate 3d into real life footage. Its lovely and puts my innerpictures right into clash with reality (and I love it). BUT for doing that you either have to take a camera on a tripod (boring) or try to recreate a real world camera move inside your computer through a process generally called "tracking" today. While there might be a third way that I will hopefully talk about soon the tracking is the state of the art thing to do. Now as easy as it sounds it is not. Its a thing that until a couple of years ago you did by hand (yes I did that by hand in a 1996 project for a local bar commercial with a flying dragon - 30 seconds handtracking 3d is something you never forget in your life as a BAD experience). Of course it was the military that developed computerized tracking guides for their missles and some Hollywood studios got to think that it would be cool to use these algorithms and created half intelligent match moving programs. Now as it is with hollywood and its inner circle - they do not like healthy competition purely based on artistic merits (some bad tongues might interpret this as they would loose their monopolistic propagandistic business model) so in good american manner they keep competition out by either completely shutting out the public (they only use "inhouse software" thats never released in any form) or they price software at sums where any independent artist would need to sell both kidneys half a liver and three quarters of a heart to get their hands on it (outside the wrath of the studios that is) - oh and its not just Hollywood its the whole entertainment "industry". But I am loosing track again (pun pun). Match moving is no exception and in the early days matchmove software cost you the sum you would pay for a house and a garden. Match Mover I think it was that cost like upward of 50.000 USD until like 2 years ago then it all changed. First a university project came to the "market" called "icarus" and it rocked (and it was available for the mac - the only one at that time). It was a very crude interface and all but what it did was generate very accurate 3d tracks. The absolutely shocking thing was: It was free. Yes some student/prof hackers did something for free that the close to hollywood developers where charging you the price of a house for. (Just for the record about the same time it was when Alias|Wavefront|nowAutodesk Maya was dropping in price from like 20.000 USD for the "small" version to 1.500 USD). So the monopoly of big industry studios in terms of 3D was falling like the sky on a doomsday. Then when all independent 3D artists where dancing in the street filmed by shaky cheap DV cameras and later accompanied by their 3d visions the software disappeared. Speculation and conspiracy theories emerged in the whispery hallway chatters in rundown artist mansions all over the world. Did a big hollywood post house bought the right to the software, did a rival company made "contribution" to the University were the software was developed - nobody really knew until a small message on the icarus website hinted that the developers where going to become independent developers and form a company called The Pixel Farm (I am not so sure on that part, PixelFarm might have existed before, but for the drama lets say they created it). The company was also based in some English country side rather then on the self-dominating westcoast of the US of A. So they brought out Icarus under the new name PFTrack (PixelFarmTrack) und they did so for a far lesser price then the original about 4500 Euros and on top brought out cheaper siblings like PFMatch (750 Euros) and PFHoe (150 Euros) that seemingly put the 3D in reach the indy artist. Just last year another app entered the market called SynthEyes (crude interface not good project management but good tracks) which sells for like 350 USD. In the end if you are serious about 3D tracking you need the big PFTrack or one of the other big two (Matchmover boujou) that came down in price to match (pun again) PFTrack. PFTrack for me would still be the choice as it offers about every option available for 3D tracking and matchmoving and scene reconstruction and track project management available and you really want all that for a good workflow without boundaries. Still I mean 4.500 Euros come on, what artist is gonna be able to pay that chunk of money?

The real story (god I wish I would stay on point better): Having an ok start into my after school career at the moment and with some 3d projects that need tracking lining up on the horizon I decided to try out some demo versions to see what I really need and what tracking software would work with me best and so applied to PixelFarm to get a 3 Day fully functioning version of the app — and I loved it a lot.
After 4 days I got a lovely formulated email saying something like "thank you for testing of our product if you have feature suggestions, saw bugs or have general commentary please let us know". Needless to say that the inner betatester came out in me and I gave them a long detailed answer of my experience, send them some crashlogs and a very repeatable bug report and about six feature suggestions. A mail came back thanking me and while I planned the bank robbery to pay for the app the communication went silent. That was all about two weeks ago.

- a little pause for the suspense factor -

Today the phone rang with a number somewhere from germany that I had never seen before. Now normally those numbers only call to sell me something (like lottery tickets or "free" bankaccounts for all the money I don´t have or a vacuum cleaner or such shit). So I was reluctant to answer at first. But I do like to hear their sorry attempts to actually win me over (just so I can cruelly hang up on them) so I picked up the phone. A nice voice in broken german answered and ask if its me on the other end. I said sure that it was me already wondering why they get so personal. Then right in the second sentence he mumbled something that I understood - PFTrack. AHA...

- pause for more suspense -

Now I was preparing to ward off a reseller for PFTrack who probably got my contact details from the trial signup. First I offered him to switch the conversation to english (his german was not very understandable) so the conversation went on. He turned out to be really caring and listening and wasn´t in the slightest way pushing for a sale — a new tactic I though (I already mentioned that I am cynical and skeptical right?). Once we were over the smalltalk part of the conversation (great programm blah blah) I told him quite blunt that there is no way in hell that I can afford the program at this stage. Then (and I spare you another suspense pause) something happened that I have not ever witnessed in this capitalistic society. He offered to me that if I have a project coming up that needs 3d tracking we can talk about it that I would get PFTrack for that project for free.

O.O

He said they intend to multiply market share and get into the Industry and they need artists that can use the program and a bigger installed user base so that PFTrack can become the industry standard. Ok thats quite a capitalistic thought process but in the subsequent talk he acknowledged that companies need to care for the customers and see their needs to expand themselves and a lot of other things that normally would sound like marketing talk but sounded for once very honest. He also said that whatever I need we work something out - also for a permanent license in the future. Some more niceties and the conversation ended.
I am baffled - I mean we are talking not about a free Donut or something like that but about a 4.500 Euro software. No they won´t give it to me completely for free but help me establish my business. Something that makes SOOO much sense from my and their perspective its unbelievable.

Conclusion or that means the following: Software companies are start to realize that code can´t be sold like hardware. That there are different needs for the same product out there that deserve special treatment. That your installed user base with lots of experience using your software is more important then a single lost(or never to be done in the first place) sale. That leads to a completely new software sales paradigm for the future - the call today was definitely a right step into that direction and I will surely take them up on the offer rather sooner then later. It is a SURE way to get along with piracy or making the reason for piracy mood. I would always pay for software if I earn money with it but I can´t pay 5.000 euros for a software for projects that - at least in the beginning - only garner 500 euros - there is no relation in my not so humble opinion. Software needs to become an individual product that earns money through services (see all and every big opensource project where this works quite well already).

So thanks to Marcos Silva-Santisteban from FES Media GmbH - the german Pixelfarm reseller - for the enlightening conversation.


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6.09.06

Dropping Knowledge - The Question the World is (was) afraid to ask

droppingknowledge.pngIn three days a extraordinary event will take place in Berlin. 500 Questions choosen from a vote ranking system on the official website www.droppingknowledge.org will be put on a huge round table in the middle on Berlin. 112 "important" thinkers, artists, writers, scientist, social entrepreneurs, philosophers and humanitarians will be seated on that table, each one with a networked screen in front of them with a new question flashing up on their screen for them to answer. The questions are uncensored and some in the top ten that are visible for anyone are quite to the point. Most are "anti-global" "anti-market" "pro-nature" kind of questions and are surely tough to answer. The whole event is planned as an artinstallation and is to tour around the world after the initial installation.
The epic size will ensure huge media coverage, one can hope that the answers to the questions are biting, to the point and actually helping humanity move forward - and are beeing heard by those in power or those who want to be in power or those that resist power completely.

September 9th, 2005 - Bebelplatz Berlin, Germany

it is worth a try...

23.06.06

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,
PURGE THE WORLD OF AMERICANISM

* 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.

6.06.06

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 don´t 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 won´t 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 don´t 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?

5.06.06

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 haven´t 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 won´t 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.

28.05.06

the future is total unemployment

Arthur C. Clarke co-author of the book "2001: A Space Odyssey" that came to prominence in the same named beyond cult film had an interview with the author of the aforementioned book "Expanded Cinema" and said something that reflects the feelings from people thinking of a peaceful and better future and its worth sharing I guess just to know some 30 years ago these thoughts have been very active in very prominent thinkers and people. The question is: "Why did they not manifest in todays reality?".

I said "Now it's time to play." The goal of the future is total
unemployment, so we can play. That's why we have to destroy the
present politico-economic system.

Teaching the future in addition to history

What seems like a brilliant plan that I have not heard about yet Alvin Toffler suggests in a quote inside the book "Expanded Cinema" (review to follow shortly on the live cinema blog):

"We offer children courses in history; why not also make a course in
'future' a prerequisite for every student? A course in which the
possibilities and probabilities of the future are systematically ex-
plored exactly as we now explore the social system of the Romans
or the rise of the feudal manor?"

Yes of course playing through different scenarios of actions taken now to see theoretically how they would play out in the future therefore inventing and controlling our future would really open up kids mind to the possibilities they have for transforming the future. Its an enlightening thought I would suggest people should be mulling over especially teachers in politics or philosophical classes.

25.01.06

The End of Google: Distributed Search Engines

Amid rising concern of online privacy in the light of subpoenas issued to the major search engines I have a look at alternatives that ensure privacy in a world that runs amok on private citizens right of anonymity.

NetworkPicture.pngHow many of you can remember times when the site to look for information on the net was NOT google but some other obscure search engine? Infoseek, Webcrawler, Yahoo and many more competitors in the late 1990s net where searching for the holy grail in Internet search. And then one day someone asked me through a chat that if I had tried out google yet - I didn´t and when I went over to the google.com page I was won over instantly and have not used any other websearch engine since then.
The question bumming in my head today was why - why did I switch over to google so instantly like many other early adopters of the net?
First of all it was the interface - while you had to click through heavy graphic pages on slow internet connections back then to get to the search queries just to be presented with an even uglier search result page that loaded even slower because it had a trillion of ads and banners and buttons on it. The navigation through results was shady at best and it took you longer to find out which result would work best for you then it took the server to actually find the results - Google in all this respects was much better. The same clean (and it was even cleaner in the old times) interface that you see today and the result page that does make sense and allows you to see and analyze your results fast.
When more and more information about google surfaced netizens agreed that it was an independent company that worked for the good of the net and respected the basic principles of privacy.
Time changes things and so Google today is one of the biggest technology companies catering to their shareholders. Search results are infested with google ads and other things have put a shady light on the netizens darling. If you have a google account and forget to log out then you searches are "personalized" and surely put into a database together with your name - and even if you do not have a google account your searches end up in a database - very probable together with your IP address. That database is what the recent subpoena from the US government was aiming at and even so google declined the request - unlike Microsoft and Yahoo who fully or partially complied and handed over all the data big brother wanted - it seems just a matter of time until some terrorist laws surface that require google to hand over the information and looking at what google is doing in China - complying with all and every rule against free speech - you would think that the once so activistic looking search giant is turning into the overpowered tentacle that misuses its trust.
In the light of all this a look at alternatives is in order. The problem like with so many other problems facing the internet today - seems to be the central server philosophy. Have one central server (or a private cluster) just gives the people who would regulate the net to death an easy target and once something becomes to big there are easy ways to curb this power easily - pull the plug or sue the hell out of the entity running the server - a look at the all so Popular Napster is in order. Since we seem to turn from a free open internet to a private controlled network with rules and without privacy searching that old wild net seems to be an offense to the government - I mean who needs search if you get bombarded with tons of URLs on TV commercials and if you look for something else on the net you must be an enemy of the state - well its not that bad yet but its easily visible that we are heading towards this direction.
Now the most interesting thing about the Napster phenomenon is that Napster was never extremely big compared with the millions of users using the net. Since the shutdown other technologies have taken over and they seem to be much more efficient - I am talking of course about Peer to Peer networks. Workload and traffic distribution has made it possible for the "Napster" community of filesharing to grow ten to hundredfold and the subject to sharing is not only music any more but also movies, code and about any stuff that is digital. The peer - to - peer concept seems to work so much that the government wants to outlaw it all together - which is besides some claims not possible because the Peer to Peer networks have shown a lot resistance to such trials and the further they are threatened the more they do to protect them self - the once so common tracker sides which run on just one server have been made distributed as well for examples. The data is split up into tiny pieces and controlling such a network seems to be extremely difficult.
Now I woke up this morning with the thought that someone must have started to build a distributed search engine - its such a simple idea and indeed I was greeted with some search results from google itself.
By further examining what was turned out I found that the most popular in the news was GRUB from looksmart, Inc. - a company that was once a popular search engine itself before the rise of google. This distributed search engine concept seems not operational anymore.
Then there are some Distributed Search Engines coming from the Open Source Community. The Windows only GPU originally just another Peer to Peer Client based on the popular Gnutella P2P client it has a plugin architecture with one plugin supporting a Distributed Search - the windows only nature will make it not very successful with the geek community who would be the needed early adopters for a such a project. Another seemingly succesful one is Majestic 12 even sporting a user-ranking which looks like the community is active and alive - yet there is no Mac version for me to try out - only Windows and Linux are supported at the moment.
The last one I want to mention is YaCy this comes as a java binary and runs flawlessly on OSX. Unfortunately there is no graphical user interface for it and only a shell command to start the crawler. Yes once you found the right command (a shortcut is in the directory "startYACY.command") everything runs smoothly and after the startup phase you are presented with an interface within your browser to further configure the distributed crawler - and so I am crawling away at the moment. Using the search (of your own crawl together with the accumulated crawls from the other users) is on the same local page that opened in your browser - making a bookmark is in order.
Now I do actually like the concept and the results - so far fewer then what you get with google - are very accurate and usable. Massadoption will not come until nice shiny likable interfaces are put on top but its a good step in the right direction.
Yet not everything is great yet and again a look at current Peer to Peer networks shows us what the pitfalls might be. Even if you cancel out the central server mentality of the google, yahoo, mcrsft giants there is still a week point between you and the government which would so badly look at what you look at. This weak point is the ISP you connect to of course and the big ISP do not seem to hesitate much when it comes to record all your movement and even with the smallest threat from big brother are handing this information over. The big rage right now is to encrypt all and every communication over peer to peer with a good enough key. There is still not a workable solution to P2P encryption out there but there are open source groups working on it and in the light of the current search engine fiasco you can bet that it will be introduced to the distributed search engines as well - once they become widespread that is.

14.11.05

The BuFu movement

Or how to survive the moment of technological singularity - formerly called the point watershade

RedMonk.JPGSingularity - in a non Einstein way - is now the catchy name for the moment when technology outdoes the human in every field and therefore creates a feedback loop that is not controllable by mankind. This moment in space-time might come sooner then most of the masses expect as all technology from all is rapidly advancing together for the first time in mankinds history and cross feeding itself. Singularity is not only about Artificial Intelligence outsmarting the human mind - its also about reinventing the human body nature the universe and beyond (ok I exaggerate). Undeniably this point in history - it might be a longer line on the time graph rather then a sharp point so - will come along with the need to change the collective mind of the mankind as this will bring along changes that question everything we have come accustomed to. Besides that singularity might not come due to earth beeing destroyed by evil meteors, US presidents or science comes to a halt through Creationistic theories in the next few years the likeliness that everything we take as granted today might not be so tomorrow is high and the worst problem we might have with this is our own state of mind. Meet the Buddhist theory with its central thought that change is un-invitable and you might find the solution to this mind boggling problem of our soon to come future - forget to look at the Bible or similar outdated print work - which only tells you things should stay the way they are - we are moving at a too fast pace to stop without derailing and crashing and burning alive.
BuFu - Buddhists meet Futurists is a new movement helping along people who see the problems of the future and try to find the answer to mental survival in Buddhism. Very valid thoughts when the rest of the world seems to go wild trying to "safe the status quo" by going back a thousand years into the dark ages with the revival of the traditional church - even questioning evolution or taking the word of "god" as "godgiven". On top of all BuFu sound good a little like foo.

3.11.05

Up and Coming: The Internet Generation

Reading the web today I stumbled over two paragraphs in two different articles that basically say the same thing: The youngster are coming and they are endorsing the net. One article in wired is talking about the myspace.com phenomena of supporting unknown bands through a "friendster&orkut" type of service. The goal of this service is to encourage creativity in a global friend network. The websites generates more traffic then google at the moment and its indy bands are highly popular - some are selling up to half a million platters to its strong fanbase. Back on topic - inside the article there is the following paragraph:

And in the entertainment universe that MySpace is helping to create, friends count. "This generation is growing up without having ever watched programmed media," says Courtney Holt, head of new media and strategic marketing at Interscope, one of the first labels to embrace MySpace. "They don't think in terms of the album, and they don't think in terms of a TV schedule. They think in terms of TiVo, P2P, AOL, and of course MySpace. We're just going to have to adapt."

TV is out - who would have thought :P so is traditional channel music distribution and coming are the days of creative commons remixing free sharing and personal embracing your favorite band and really making an impact beyond feeding the ultra rich more money.

Now after reading this I stumbled across a "study" that more then half of all teens in the US (that is kids between 10 and 20 I guess) are considered content creaters. Now who is saying the net is NOT about participation - not only do the kids not sit in front of TV anymore they are also creatively engaged in human interaction and communication and all. Now a side slab to all the copyright supporters the study say the following (after shortly telling the world that the blog revolution is led by older teenage girls):

Teens continue to actively download music and video from the internet and have used multiple sources to get their files. Those who get music files online believe it is unrealistic to expect people to self-regulate and avoid free downloading and file-sharing altogether.

Yes and as we learned from the first paragraph - they doing cool things with their free as in beer downloaded unrestricted sound files and movies and the corpos should wake up and support them rather then sue them - otherwise they all will just stop buying chart music shit all together and rather go with the myspace.com bands.

So to put together the facts - 87% of all children (in the US) between 12 and 17 are using the internet - 57% are content creators and all that are using the net think its their main media consumption format - if that is not huge I do not know what is - that basically means the main target group for TV ads the late teens early twenties will just stop using the medium in less then three years. Combining this with the fact that print media has seen a 13% decline in the last 20 years while online print ad revenues are surging 25% in just one year everyone will start to acknowledge that we are surely at the tipping point of a societal transformation far greater then anything we had before. Accessible news, personal stories, pictures and videos from anyplace and anytime all with feedback re:feedback intermixed intervened no mass media opinion forming a global one mind - its the global individual that counts and popularity comes from expertise or artist qualification more then from media push hype - true opinions from all side come in unfiltered and highly opinionated.
Only sad thing that all this counts for the developed world with internet access. The most important thing is that ALL people alike should take part in this interpersonal communication.
One can dream.

He says and is greated with a german article on FAZ that basically says the same things - from a "professional" journalist point of view.

29.03.05

ANT´s not Television

If you are frequent to this blog you heard my multiple ramblings on how bad i think television is for the population on the planet. Actually I did something I rarely do - criticize without having a handy solution. The world will breath again the solution is here and its even better then I ever thought as it combines two of the three coolest web-technologies and puts it in an interface as easy to use as a TV box. The ANT is here and their slogan is "ANT´s not television". The slogan is a ripoff from "GNU´s not Linux" and could not be better suited. ANT gives you a nice clean interface as easy to use as the Quicktime Player and a TV set fused together.
The cool thing: its actually nothing more then an RSS feed reader. Yes this little "rss feed" or "xml feed" or "atom feed" you see on the right of many blogs and more and more newssites is used to give you an almost TV like experience. You alter the RSS feed a little (for example in movable type you put <$MTEntryRelEnclosures$> in the RSS 2.0 feed template) and then put in a rel="enclosure" in between your link to the movie you post and from that the ANT filters out the movies. You subscribe to the feed through ANT and click on refresh and there you go. You just watch the movies as they come in. You can refresh all of your subscribed feeds during the night and watch true Blog TV in the morning. You have to try it out to see how cool and easy this is.
After you download ANT you have some pre-installed feeds in there. You can just go to add to add another feed like the one for my vj-blog (copy link).
This programs brings you the closest to TV experience on the web while at the same time beeing MILES away from beeing TV as this is truly giving everyone the right to be a publisher of their own TV channel - on demand and fast :)

5.02.05

As a Rasta, Ethiopia is my destiny.

For all the Reaggy dreadlocks out there - for those who care for the true one rastafari. Rita Marley wife of Bob and mother of three of Bobs children wants to move the remains of the mighty reaggy god to where he always wanted to be - the homeland of all Rastaz - Ethiopia. Depriving the Jamaicans of the vibe of the great grandfather of their music religion they don´t want to let him go to his own choosen destiny. They want to throw Rita out of the country for even proposing this.

"leggo he to whey he feel him destiny".


from the Guardian










19.01.05

rel="nofollow" <- death to blogging?

Comment spam is something every blog owner hates as much as the neighboring dogs. We here at prototypen had very bad months last year with about 1000 comment spam messages per day. We took the matter seriously as it was really disrupting our blogs. Since we use a free old version of Six Aparts Movable Type we have not much tools available to us to fight the spam. In the beginning the blacklisting worked out quite well but with the massive onslaughter of comment spams the mt-blacklist broke down before our eyes, its database - full of phrases to look for- made the hosting computer go down to its knees - it seemed - processing mt-blacklists database with waiting times up to 10 minutes for a message delete page to load. So that was not the best way around to do this. What was always clear is that we wanted the comments open to everyone with the least amount of hassle for serious poster to let the voices be heard.
We have now a custom coded solution to the problem - a problem that came because of the hegemony of Movable Type in about 90% of all blogs active on the net. it must have been easy for the spammers to use bots given that the comment spam script is searchable with google and is easily executed externally outside of MT. Anyway our spam problem went away to 99% with some manual spammer coming across now and then but those can be deleted by hand rather easily. Our custom solution can not be applied to all blogs out there (and I already see the day that it gets "broken") and the comment spamming got so utterly bad that googles search algorithm freaked out and you get so many spams on top of so many search terms that this threatens to make google and other search engines unusable.
So they all United in Peace to free the world of the uterly bad. Google, MSN, Yahoo!, Manilla, Six Apart, Wordpress, Flickr, Blogger, Livejournal, Buzznet, Blojsom, Blosxom etc have all joined the efford and are now introducing a new tag to the html header. The syntax is very very easy just type rel="nofollow" and all links on the corresponding page are not attributed to the search engines page ranking anymore.
Great way to get rid of the problem BUT this effectively gives the spam war a clear long term winner - and the winner are the spammers because they successfully harmed our basis democratic blogoshpere that was using comments and blogs to express opinion. This interblog page ranking democracy is seriously crippled with this as now only links that the author of a blog posts are considered worthy and all disagreement or enhancements inside the blogs comment that gets funded with links is out of the loop and will not be considered worthy by Google and Microsoft. Needless to say that we will NOT incorporate this system - at least not as long as our hack works.
That gives room for a personal "conspiracy theory" of mine. The spammers are government funded agents that try everything they can to destabilise the free internet as we know it so the evil governments of the world can step in and - together with their corporate buddies - establish law and order slowly eating away the freedom and voices from otherwise powerless individuals around the world. The more of the "spam links" you click and there are not even corresponding pages on the other side the more this conspiracy makes sense and in a way it seems to be succeeding very nicely. Just put some more "antispamlaws" in place and control the internet a little more every day. Its happening and its creepy.
Don´t understand me wrong. I hate spam - I hate it A LOT but its better to stand up to the spam then crippling and jailing the net as I have learned to love it - free and anarchic - and spam is part of this anarchy side of things - the internet is not the clean shopping mall in the suburb and I hope it will never become such a boring place of mass consumption.

14.07.04

Slashdot Obscure Fun

Reading through the Slashdot comments from times to times you get a feeling for the obscure fun of some of the geeks. Sometimes its pure genious fun. I just have to blog this one. It came up in the comments for a East German Consol Game that was found:

Myrmi writes on July 13th @03:53PM:

The Berlin wall was the largest official game of Breakout to have ever existed. They won.

then only 12 minutes later Rhinobird writes:

I guess that makes the new wall in Isreael level 2?

- nothing else to say -

23.01.04

Many to Many missing in US election

Every one is trumpeting the great advance the internet will bring to the 2004 US presidential election (yes you will see lots of commentary on this little world changing subject in the coming month from me). I am a strong advocate of many to many communication and I simply HATE TV and massmedia. Massmedia and people in charge of it have more power then any politicians, had no real enemy for almost two centuries and therefor flourished beyond control. There is no census for them, but instead of using it advocating peace and justice they are victims of corporate bribery (advertisements) and powerhungry moguls that teamed up with the worlds worst in politics and smear over the world with a tasteless dark view, full of hate and fear. I blame the massmedia for much that has happened over the last two centuries.
Anyway, along comes the internet and all go uhyeah on it. It will give the freedom of speech the liberty, it will give the people a voice to be heard. Presidential faithful Governor Howard Dean (who I still like best out of the 8 slimy smeary democratic contenders for presidency this year) tapped on it heavy, opened a blog and multiple tools to team up and go public. Everyone saw that move as smart, clever and the mass media was shivering because this could have been read as the true many to many revolution. Witnessing a slight decline in TV watchers, heavy decline in Newspaper readers those media moguls are seeing their fait going down where the red martian wind blows. So they are hammering on this candidate as much as they can.
But is his campaign really so devasistating to one to many communication. Is it really a many to many communication platform - even so all circles around a Blog. Lauren Gelman is given a good commentary on this subject. and I can not agree more with her. Even so the blog has a commentary function it has grown so big and serves now as a centralized portal for all things Howard Dean (supporting wise). But things are not free for everyone. Not all can post. The guest bloggers are handpicked and the critique is mostly hidden somewhere down in the threats of sometimes up to a thousand posts. I mean that they are leaving the threats open for everyone to post is a good thing (so they have required registration now because there have been several dos and troll attacks on it in the past day) something that hadn´t been done before, but to really have this blog as a true many to maby medium it should stay on paar with the thausonds of blogs of other supporters perhaps even the millions of blogs of everyone. No censored stories, critique allowed. Maybe it should just serve as a portal to the other blogs who want to have there links there and then have a polling mechanism which puts the most popular blogs on top. Maybe do a feature from now and then on some extraordinary commentary.
This would be truly untested pure democratic water to be entered. This might not work at all at present times for a Presidential campaign but its worth a look at if the mass media is really what you want to get rid off (regulate) Mr. Dean - as you state so often in your speeches.
Th bloggers are on their right way to make many to many communication possible large scale. With them the friends of the wiki, where I am still amazed how well this goes with even unexperienced web users.

5.01.04

What you can`t say.

A long look at the forbidden words by paul graham put inside a lovely essay about the heresay. He not only gives an overlook on how you can identify things some groups want you not to think or talk about but also on how to avoid or stay above those long tiresome discussions that lead to nowhere and suck up you energy.

Anarchitektur - Production and Use of build Surroundings

A very cool site that deals with architecture in our culture on a philosophical level we have found. It deals with an architectural view on society, covers all things build. Examples are Law and Room: US Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, German-Japanese Village, Utah 1943 and many more.