Thursday, May 31, 2007

Picasso is to Cubes as...

What place does art have in our society?

The answer seems too obvious at first, on walls to be observed by high society who wear monocles and top hats and spats and sashes and medals instead of neck ties. Man those neck tie medals are works of art in and of themselves. It would be awesome if one of them was like a flaming skull with a snake going in one eye and out the other eye.

But I digress,

Art is surely important because it's literally the tip off of the creative process for visual type thinkers. Plus given that art beign definitionless extends to written and audio forms as well I guess as 3d objects which can be felt by people who can neither see nor hear, and since said people won't be reading my blog, I frankly question their ability to appreciate good 3D art in the first place.
I hope nobody invents a computer-type device that can turn text into a 3-dimensional sensation and I get beat up by a bunch of deaf-blind guys that enjoy nothing but working out in a gym all day.

But I digress,

Anything is art, I once proposed in a debate that if we simply declared our Nuclear Waste as an avant gaurd artpiece we could sell it to the Louvre instead of have to pay people to take it.
The art is anything debate was defined by some artist signing a toilet that some artist being Marcel Duchamp and he signed it R Mutt 1917.
It was a challenge to people who thought they could define art.
The versict is you can't. And since most people didn't follow the debate, most people get angry when governments spend taxpayer money on art, with such famous exhibits as the 'nothing' exhibit, which I really wanted to see.

but what function does art have in progress?

I guess for me all art is the tip-off of the creative process, it is inspiration. Or examination, it generally is done with porpuse but no clear sense of direction.
For example Surrealism drew on images from dreams to inspire us, even though often the images portrayed made no clear social comment.
Cubism could have been construed to talk about perspective and perception, yet also carried other messages or told stories within it.
Leonardo invented anatomical drawings.
Warhol mass produced art out of a factory, creatively challanging the need to be creative.
A picture of nothing challanges the notion of what we want to get out of art.
Art clearly examines us, its not quite communication, it's not necessaraly productive.
Similarly though, if sci-fi is agreed to be an art-piece taking the form of a written art composition sci-fi has provided the starting point for many modern inventions, such as cyborgs, cloaking devices, lasers, mobile phones, the internet and so fourth.
Was Da Vinci a scientist or an artist? he made more bread as an artist than as an inventor, though had he been in the patent age that may have switcherood.
But would he have done anything if art didn't have a place in society?
Well I guess like any famous artist, if art didn't exist I guess he wouldn't, because that is precisely what he is famous for.
So take that fucktard.

Oh yeah and Picasso is to Cubes like Anna Nicole is to Boobs.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Salmon Swimming Upstream

Almost three years ago now I met Don. Don was the most whipped guy I had ever met. You met him and thought, man what a cool guy, I bet he gets all the ladies.
Don had himself a very very nice lady. Mary, she was pretty damn cool.
Mary clearly wore the pants.
This became apparant early on when Don would consistantly spend his weekends going to hilary duff films despite being the same age as me.
I have a pretty good track record of weasling my way out of so called 'chick flicks' and the more subtle cousin 'romantic comedies'.
But anyway, the thing that stuck that whipped crown or mister whippy hat on Don's head was that one time when Mary was doing a class presentation as part of the PSP program so near and dear to my heart.
Mary did it on the popular past time of jewellery making, that hobby that justifies the existence of stores that sell beads.
Her presentation was straight forward and lacked any real punch.
Feeling the feedback from the audiance was a little flat, she busted out with a story about how Don enjoyed making jewellery and earrings.
And Don burst out 'Why would you do that, I was just sitting hear?' and Sonam and I just bashed our fists against the table while tears ran out our eyes.
I mean you'd have to know how cool Don should have been to truly appreciate such cruelty for all it's comic value but a couple of weeks ago I walked into a bead shop to check out and see if I could find a cheap plastic ring or something to send my gf in Japan.
And I saw these beads that where little fish. And then over a couple of weeks or so it culminated in my mind this idea for a bracelet. But the bracelet was not for Miki but for me.
Salmon are the simbol of the samurai because they are strong enough to swim up stream to mate, very masculine in themselves, and 'my salmon are all swimming upstream' is a way to say 'yes I'm still fertile' to boot.
So I thought it would be pretty manly to go make myself a bracelet out of beads.
And here it is.

incidently I also saw my friend swanny in a bead shop. But he had his girlfriend take him in. You never think you'll get caught by another guy in a bead shop.
I was there for me, it was a shameful day.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Live as if

Living as if is a simple but necessary philosophy. Living as if is a way to effect personal change, it kind of ties in a guess with the 'law of attraction' as pushed by 'the Secret' although instead of focusing on selfish material goals of average people who want to unlock alladin's cave it's more a philosophy for an altruistic lifestyle.
The way I live as if is that I live as if riding 15km to work each way is the most practical way to cover said distance. And it is, it probably takes double the time it would to drive but it costs me roughly the price of my bike given how long it last:

$450 for the bike plus $130 maintenance a year divided by 25 years.

x 25
/ 25
/ 52

Which breaks down to roughly $2.85 a week to cover 75km so even if the onroad costs were to double and adjust for 4% inflation I'm still looking at $5 or so a week or less than 1% of my earnings.
Now that's affordable.
So everybody talks about cars being practical. Now I'm not sure if petrol is still in the basket of goods used to calculate the CPI for inflation, I imagine the ABS would have been instructed to remove it like credit card debt as these things tend to drive up inflation which in turn drives up interest rates which cause recessions.
But anyway about 3 years ago I read the average cost of a car is $100 per week, in insurance, depreciation, fuel etc. and I assume that doesn't include parking tickets (and fines) and that petrol by the sounds of it has been outperforming inflation.
Thankfully true cost economics aren't really applied to petrol so we pay indirectly for the repairs to the environment necessary.
But anyway I'd put the weekly cost of doing the same thing that I do now on a bike at $115 a week. Now you get the added benifit of it only taking half the time.

Car 30 minutes each way at $115 per week
Bike 65 minutes each way at $2.85 per week
Car = $57.50 for same benifit (distance travelled)

Presumably the hour a day you save can be spent, sleeping watching tv or working out at the gym.
Now I already slagged off cars a couple of weeks ago, what is the real travesty is what I recently discovered since I stopped taking the oft promoted viable alternative Public transport.

Unfortunately my 15km each way is not a winding path through Metropolitan Melbourne but a straight line out of town. Said straightline follows the train line from my station onwards and thus presents the train as a viable alternative.
But a straight line of 15km takes you just out into the zone known as zone 2. (1 & a half stations deep no less, which is to say almost too little zone 2 to bother with)
Now let it not be said that metcard doesn't give ticketing options to it's commuters you can choose between:

Full fare 5 x daily Zone 1 + 2 @ $45.20
Full fare weekly zone 1 + 2 @ $45.20

the advantage is that with a weekly ticket you get to use the ticket for your travel on a weekend.
But with 5 x daily presumably the ability to commute one of the daily tickets outside of a 7 day time frame makes up for the fact that you pay the exact same amount for 5 days of travel as you do for 7 consecutive days travel.
Which would lead one to conclude that you don't pay for the weekend travel anyway.
so $45.20/5 = $9.04
A grand saving of 70c per day.
Plus as I said you either lose part of that value any time you have a sick day, day off or offsite day. or if you've done the 5 x daily you have to buy a daily ticket on the weekend to cover that travel (or use one of your 5 x daily in which case why charge as much as a weekly?).
Even if you were to try and amplify the benifit of a weekly zone 1 + 2 it gets complicated:
45.20 / 7 = $6.46 but any weekly ticket gets zone 2 free on weekends so the benifit is half on the weekend because adding zone 2 doubles the price.
So really it's:

45.20 / 6 = $7.50 a day except that on a sunday you can get a sunday saver for $2.50

anyway the point is rather than giving us full value, all the convoluted ways to save money in an overly complicated ticketing situation the discounts frustrate connexs most loyal users.
And the fact remains that connex trains on peak are unreliable (around 3-4 cancelled services a day) over crowded (you never know if you are getting two carriages or one) and as such you lose all the convenience of a car, they are as much as I hate to admit it, not in the same ballpark as far as transpot goes which is why price wise the $12 difference between driving your own car with air conditioning, flexibility and personal space.
I'm sorry but the heirarchy currently ranks:

bike = $2.85
car = $57.50
train = $45.20

right now connex is everybody's dog to kick I know. But they deserve it, add some real incentive.
The Sunday saver is the greatest thing in the world, it should be the daily lynchpin.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

On the Upside

I think it's worth remembering, that if a person wants it bad enough they can conquer the world and capture the imagination of everyone.

The Long Walk

It's national sorry day.

I saw Michael Long being interviewed by Voss, but my long walk of reconciliation was followed by a longer walk home so I didn't see what was actually said in the interview. I guess I can't comment on it. But you know if it's going to be Channel 7 coverage then it's probably some mincing of an understanding of reconciliation as well.
I mean I have a lot of respect for both Voss and Long but you wouldn't want them talking about the Middle East situation either. Well scratch that, you would want them talking about it, you wouldn't want them to be the forefront of conversations about it.

Unfortunately for Australia's standing in the world, and possible Deontilogical historical standing a pre-game interview on Channel 7 probably is the forefront of discussion on this topic.

I think the issues are pretty clear establishing that this land was misappropriated from a white supremacy position, and that the indigenous peoples of this country have been poorly treated in by 'white' Australia. Up until the 70's they were legally subhuman (maybe not explicitly but it was Whitlam that got rid of confiscating property owned by an Aboriginal woman).
There are some questions as to how we should feel about this 'Is genocide better than slavery?' but overall we have to say, with the wisdom of hindsight though historically the colonial mindset was probably the best to be expected at the time, we should look back on our past and seek to pay reparations.
Now, sorry day I have to say is less distracting than 'thanks-giving' day.
Here's how I would say sorry*:

Since all wealth in the nation of Australia can be attributed to the productive use of land (less foreign investment of capital) The net present value of the nation is attributable to property stolen from the indigenous people less the efforts of labor.
So what is to be determined is the net value of the unimproved land at the time when it was confiscated, plus any damages to the land by the unauthorized tenants to calculate at what price the land should have been bought under a preferable treaty arrangement, as opposed to the terra nullis policy wereby we simply had the unwilling seller legally declared not to exist.
But this should come up with a principle that can then be adjusted to figure out how much this blight on our reputation that is our stolen nation makes up of our present wealth. Then add interest.
Then determine a payment plan.
I would suggest, switching to land taxation, as in geonomics, as this will minimise damages to the land in the future and create more equality of opportunity as well. Then simply add a levy to said land to start paying off said amount.
It may take a thousand years.
But you know I think it says sorry, and it's possibly workable.

Anyway, I'm sorry about the stealing, the racism, the genocide, sorry about the fear and discomfort, sorry for the dishonesty, sorry about kidnapping, sorry for the injustice, sorry for the violence, sorry for the lack of opportunity, sorry for the exploitation.

*Not of course a practical solution, I would as usual be required to be supreme military dictator or something to swing this.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

The American Dream

No this post isn't a scathing remark from a 'bleeding heart' liberal on US foreign policy, global citizenship etc. It isn't about climate change or the rise of religious stupidity.
It's the rags to riches story of Latrell Sprewell.
I was on Youtube last night watching Kareem Abdul Jabbars highlight tapes last night. Now yes there is the occasional dunk or jump shot but it was more just a capture of the amazingly consistent mind boggeling sky-hook. After watching five minutes of dedicated footage I felt I knew less how to pull off this move than I did before seeing it in detail.
Then hoping to find some comedy gold I looked for a Sprewell mix. Now a fan had lovingly removed some of the less flattering aspects to leave us with a tasty cordial of one simple explosive drive/jump to the basket for some rim rattling dunks.
He was a hungry man at a buffet, if there was nothing occupying the space between him and the basket for a split second he exploded into scoring.
He also could nail 3 pointers.
His nickname I find amusing is 'the American Dream' now this is the kind of guy, no matter how idealistic I ever get, no matter what Utopia I create here on earth, no matter how expansive its borders I hope this American Dream stays alive.
Now you have your Rasheed's and your Rodman's and other angry angry millionaires but Sprewell was the only one that would have such episodes of the red haze that when criticised for not making 'cleaner passes' escalated an altercation to choking his coach. Not only that but when the fight was broken up, returning later in the game to try and finish the job.
That's right, in the time you or I would normally spend calming down and getting a hold of yourself he spent planning a heinously brilliant surprise attack.
A plan so perfect that nobody saw it coming, it sort of reminds me of street fights I've seen where 3 big drunk guys rough up 1 small drunk guy. And in their judgement impaired state rather than consoling themselves that they are okay and it could have been much worse. Run at the biggest guy and try and plant an uncoordinated kick in their back thus escalating their beating to one where they will be physically hard.
Just so stupid, so very stupid that's why nobody sees it coming.
So then the American dream was banned by the NBA from playing in the league due to his assualting his coach on two occasions in the one match under provocations that was in fact the coach fulfilling his required role.
He won an Appeal and was traded to the New York Knicks where he enjoyed some success.
When it came to renewing his contract he was offered US$21 million. An amount Sprewell felt was beneath him and his official line of arguement, which may be my new favorite of all time:

'I've got a family to feed'

This puts me in mind of MC Hammer's building a gated mansion in the ghetto's to inspire the kids there that they could achieve their dream.
I mean all those kids out there eating mac and cheese, and cut up hot dogs, doing paper rounds just hoping aspiring to have the chance to become a sporting star just like Sprewell.
Now that's the American dream I could toast to.

Have you any wool?

One of the only reasons I was looking forward to reconnection at home was to once again be able to update my music.
For a long time Black Sheep, the dark side of the Native Tongue hip hop collab. and they didn't dissapoint. Anyone who has listened to hip hop enough to have tastes and preferences, and particularly if they lean towards the De La side of the spectrum, do yourself a favour and get Black Sheep into your vocabulary. Now the group crashed and burned I hear on their second album but 9 tracks into 'A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing' I have to say it is worth spending money on, not that you'll ever find it in JB hi-fi. Going by my old rule of thumb in my teenage years that a good buy had minimum 4 decent songs on it (Foo Fighters being one of the few LP's to fail this test) was worth the $30, faith no more put an end to that low standard.
A Wolf in Sheep's clothing is at least half killer and by the time I listen to the remainding tracks and they decided to unnecessarily fill out the album with some fizzle, then this may be one of the greats of all time.
If you got $15 in your pocket get Black Sheep: A Wolf In Sheep's Clothing.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Semco a case study

I was just trying to nut out something for work, and it's so expansively fragmented I thought I may as well chuck it down here and see what happens.
The 'normal' career is a serious of positions, followed by milestones, followed by a promotion to a new position, followed by a milestone and so on.
Paths can be predefined, flexible, individually tailored.
Now the earliest turn off with my employer occured in my job interview where my prospective manager started talking about the 'ten year plan' for me, and what the career path was. You know how you progress through the organisation and when you start earning the big money.
Fortunately said career path fell to pieces after one year, after another one we scrapped my job title as meaningless and have just worked on my personal development ever since.
So anyway I am trying to figure out a way to make the recommendation that we move away from a mentality of pre-designated career paths.
I was going to start out something like this:

We should move away from pre-designated career paths.

Now the reason I say this is a matter of focus. I'm assuming people if they are developing in their current role will eventually outgrow it and move into a bigger better position. Not essentially different. However I feel a mentality that requires a focus on a career path allows us to blindside the development process, stunt growth or miss opportunities.
It's leaning towards being inflexible. Furthermore there are limited avenues in a pyramid organisational chart for all those on the bottom to rise to the top.
Eventually at least two people will contend for one formal position.

Okay so where I'm stuck is that surely shifting the focus from career paths to 'personal development' that is focusing on the gap between promotions (increasing an individuals ability and therefore value) instead of the process of the promotion itself. My reason being that a promotion is seen as a contest, a contest seems to draw in percieved competitive advantages such as politicking the process.
Now the only way I seem to be able to figure to do this is to make the development of an individuals value aligned with the incentive rather than the promotion to be the incentivater.
Rewind that, that is to say what's the pain that the current system causes - being passed over for the promotion.
It's fine to compete and win a promotion, it hurts to compete and lose a promotion. It feels like ones progress, ones momentum is lost. Its hard to then go back to one's existing role and continue to develope (which is precisely what should be done regardless, the other option is to leave the company in pursuit of opportunities).
But an assumption oft made is that a promotion is attractive. Usually related to pay/rewards, whereas developing one's current role has less dramatic effects on our reimbursement, it can often be seen as a requirement of the job.

So that leads me to think:..... break the relationship between reimbursement and promotions.

Which pragmatism tells me isn't as easy as management saying 'Now your position in the company, your job role has nothing to do with your pay.' people don't trust this sort of thing. My experience tells me people say 'bullshit' because such bold claims by management have to be taken on trust. Unless, unless you openly display wages for all to poor through the books and see that it is the case.
But this too pragmatically has it's problems. This is where some people's palms are sweating because people will see the big pay gap they were previously privy too. Other people's palms are sweating because they will see that after 50 years loyal service their pay will be for all to see, less than the pimply teenage kid sitting next to them.
Which means people have to justify to their community what resources they are taking out of it.

Transparency is a good thing except for the problem of how unfair it is for people to have to justify their wages when they have only a part say in what it is.
In most positions of most companies, the HR department has gone and come up with a valuation of exactly what that person contributes. And said person may have had some variable degree of success in negotiating higher or lower reimbursement than the norm.
Most pay negotiations are indeed made from behind a fog of war (though employers generally make the first offer so you can't lowball yourself unintentionally) however, the salary can be based on numerous distractions unrelated to how much share of the value your work creates you take with you as opposed to the value retained by the company.
Said distractions can be: how much you think you need, how much you think someone else is worth, benchmarks, how much you think the company has etc.
The only real thing you should be contributing is how much you think you are worth.

And the most advantageous way to increase that is if you develop personally to be more valuable through a greater skills base, better effeciency, better integration etc. stuff that isn't related to the position.

So: reimbursement is not related to job description, but the value contributed by the individual employee.

But leaving it there would be half arsed because some people will feel hard done by by such a situation. these people we refer to as hard workers. These people have a conscious association that 'hard work pays off' despite all evidence to the contrary.
Take pistol pete, was required by his father to shoot 100 free throws after dinner each night. Child abuse: maybe. But pistol pete would sometimes get to 99 consecutive shots before deliberately missing so he could continue playing (by his own account).
Now Pistol Pete is listed as one of the 50 greatest players of all time. It would seem his hardwork paid off? Yes & No. Being a great free throw shooter is useless if you never get fouled taking a shot at the basket. There's no more reliable way to get to the free throw line. Pistol Pete was forced through a relentless training regime but he developed all the skills necessary to be a great player, he was not only an excellent scorer (before the introduction of the 3-point line) but one of the best passers and team players in the league.
Now the standard hard work sort of mentality is actually more akin to Syssero's eternal punishment of pushing a boulder up a mountain only to have it roll down the other side as soon as his task was complete.
That is people engage relentlessly in a task and never develope their efficiency or skills. What was the marginal improvement in Pistol Pete's free throw shooting from shooting an arbitrary number such as 100? what if he had only shot 80 in a row? what would his accuracy have been shooting 1000?
We don't know. Similarly what if he had taken one night off a week? how much would this have diminished his ability. A hard worker is unlikely to risk answering these questions, and thus unlikely to increase their value.
Which is an extraordinary leap in logic, but it follows like this - to learn effectively you have to be conscious of what it is you want to learn, this requires an evaluation or reflection on current circumstances (determining A the present situation and B the destination) then time & resources need to be dedicated to the journey.
If you work hard all day there is no capacity left to dedicate to development. This means you can't get beyond that initial learning curve of becoming efficient at the initial process. A big difference to making the process more efficient.

So look at Semco for a working example:

condition one: The companies finances are displayed publicly, and all employees trained to read profit and loss statements, therefore all employees know the financial circumstances of the company.
condition two: all salaries are disclosed publicly, for any employee to refer to.
condition three: the organisational chart is based on concentric circles rather than a pyramid and their are only four titles for job roles within the company.

Semco thus have the capacity to allow self-set pay. They have removed dead end jobs and people are responsible for their own training and development and thus can pursue their careers in accordance with their own ambition.
They add in many other factors over this starting point to remove other problems such as ambition exceeding natural ability.
But i don't need to go into that now... thanks me it's been helpful cognating with you.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Once again I have the internet at home. and nothing else to say...

Monday, May 21, 2007

missing misaki

I have had to conclude, inextricably that I miss misaki. After a week of eating fried foods and dragging my feet over all surfaces I started cleaning my room on Sunday.
Almost as if Miki was coming to yell at me for letting my room get into such a state.
But there was nobody to throw a tantrum at, and really as the cleaning process involved moving shit off my floor onto my bed and then when it came to sleeping time I discovered I have to move shit off my bed onto the floor so net effect 0.
Anyway I feel like chucking a tantrum, give my Miki back. damn miki.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Words from a bearded hot action type guy

May or may not have been ghostwritten by someone in this picture I know i'll be moving out of Kew into Brunswick for this vote:

check out my patented rebound king jump


I reckon it's really really important that we make
sure EVERYONE we know is enrolled to vote in the soon
to be announced Federal Election.

For 2 reasons-
1. Often more progressive free thinking types will not
be enrolled correctly as they move around a lot doing
cool and interesting things. Unlike conservative types
who often stay in the same place FOREVER and don't
have to worry about changing their details. So we need
ourselves and everyone we know to be enrolled
correctly so we don't get another spirit crushing 4
years of John Howard.

2. The government has changed the election rules so
that enrolment to
. This again disadvantages those who move
around, are new to citizenship, are young etc...
people who tend to vote progressively, funnily enough.

So, if we don't get the enrolment wave going, many
will be jumped by the election announcement and unable
to vote. Crucial violation of democracy point

So please send this site-

out to everyone you know, especially young people. We
CANNOT let this sneaky violation of even the tiny
vestiges of democracy that lives through the election
cut us off from voting for something new and decent in
our mixed up land.

Rant over, happy enrolling,


I am not a role model

Well obviously I am not a role model. Or maybe I am, I'm certainly pussy enough to be regarded as a role model. Apart from the language.
But what I'm refering to is Charles Barkley's Nike Campaign 'I am not a Role Model' Charles Barkley was the greatest opinionated player of the late 80's to 90's. He was good at playing basketball, the round mound of rebound. He was a short power forward that outplayed a lot of taller opponents and an NBA MVP.
But he was criticised like almost every other athlete ever for being a poor role model.
I mean we can look at John McEnroe, Bill Clinton, Ben Johnson, Ben Cousins, George Bush and on and on as 'role models' and every now and then the media will flare up about them setting a poor example as a role model.
We act like there is a socially binding contract to success and having a high profile. Infact it may even be worth my time to read up on this whole role model phenomena.
I mean I used to be all like: 'footy players being violent, that must set an example for young players which is why most people I met on football scholarship at my high school, I didn't particularly like them.'
But now when I think about it, what are my expectations of any sports star. Or if I was manager of a bball team what would I expect out of Dennis Rodman, I would expect him to pull down 12+ boards a game and control the glass for me. I would probably expect him to foul out. But if he left the stadium and started preaching the benifits of martyrdom, I guess that would be his business.
I mean I have to agree, just as it seems apparant that we shouldn't be able to place the expectation on a person to be straight in politics, sport whatever. It's less apparant to me that we should not place expectations on them to be nice, modest, mature, responsible, loving athletes, politicians whatever.
In short the only expectation you can put on a player is that they do what they are paid to do. And that goes for any role, ever. Regardless of the impact it has on children.
I mean, we act like we know what is good for a childs character development. Feasibly it is reasonable for a kid to want to be able to bowl flipper's like Shayne Warne without them leaping to the conclusion that part of his development regime is sending dirty text messages to pommy tarts.
Or that Bill Clinton's economic management required him to proposition interns for extra marital affairs. Or that Barkley's ability is directly related to how many people he throws through glass windows.
The whole role model arguement falls down on it's arse frankly. Its like a magical unicorn, we conceive of what it is but it doesn't really exist.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

And the Winner Is...

Ben Wallace. aka 'Big Ben' aka 'the Body'. The only player to win the NBA defensive player of the year title 4 times. The NBA's premier defence specialist, and bearer of the most stylish fro in the league. I am endeavoring to buy myself an alternet Ben Wallace Detroit Pistons jersey. Let's face it on the playground I'm finishing top ten in Rebounds, Blocks and possibly steals and my scoring average would be close to 0.8 ppg.

Sorry Kobe, but that romantic side of you put me off, maybe if you drop 81 again.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


I just finished plugging the Semco lexicon into inspiration, mind flow software is such a cruch I don't know how I lived without it.
Furthermore the process engaged the learning part of my brain thingy.
Which is to say I had to look up the word 'Lexicon' and 'sabbatical' and you know what? I think I need a sabbatical.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Generation Gap expands

About 2 years ago or something I read Growth Fetish and then I gave it to my mother to read. Predictably she never got around to reading it and my brother eventually did and then I took it back. Now it sits on my shelf as always.
Then about a year later I read the follow up Affluenza. It was pretty good aswell. Both books were highly critical of marketing (something I have a degree in) and particularly the unnecessary "stuff" we feel compelled to buy in order to feel successful.
Then for someone my age having to watch TV commercials by commonwealth saying 'retirement is your revenge' and those adds that should be illegal they are that bad the 'understanding over 50s' I tell you if I was over 50 and saw that add I would just go out and hang myself tomorrow.
Anyway maybe it's me going through a teenage-girl-turns-vegetarian-to-the-disgust-of-her-family type phase but I think the cracks between generations are starting to appear.
I mean I always though my folks were pretty 'with-it' well maybe not mum but dad enjoyed RATM, Soundgarden and other Grunge bands. They've always been pretty laid back and swore casually. Yes they occasionally tucked tshirts into jeans but otherwise were doing good.
But their general attitude is starting to seem really dated, it seems to be the paradox of Australia dated thinking is the way of the future.
Anyway I walk out the other night and my dad's cooking snags on a Beef-Eater BBQ. These things are a couple of grand and are usually marketed as the 'Outdoor Entertainment Area' or 'Outdoor Kitchen' which is to say excessive.
I guess I was wholeheartedly dissapointed to discover said purchase decision, this being capped off by 'it's the lifestyle we want.'
it made a bunch of purchase decisions my parents hade made in the past couple of years click into place.
My parents are deluded.
The fundamental 'truth and lie' that makes our world spin.

truth = if you are naked, in the rain on a cold night having not eaten for days and somebody gives you shelter, warmth and food you go from being sad to happy.

lie = if you double the amount of shelter, food and warmth you have you go from being happy to double happy.

My parents have thrown down and for all their brilliance and achievement in life are going for the 'who dies with the most toys' end game.
I wish when they were setting these lifestyle goals they looked into the mirror and saw that they aren't extravegantly wealthy millionaires.
Just like when I look in the mirror and see a 6'7" african american NBA star looking back at me.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


I've lost my edge, maybe my memory is fuzzy and I just never had it, but overwhelmingly I just feel I've lost my edge.
No more pointy corners, no more attitude, whilst still being an overwhelmingly negative person. Overbearing perhaps, deconstructive maybe... I think I've spent too much time being friendly and not enough time picking on people weaker than me.
When I read some of Morley's scathing tirades and ability to devide the world into winners and losers I wonder, what happened to me?
If a bunch of starving villagers suddenly had some band of banditos come down from the mountains and start deriding them with cutting insults, would I find the villagers gathered outside my hut asking me to step out and retort on their behalf?
"Good swords should stay in their sheaths" it's true but maybe I need some time to be gangsta.
full time gangsta.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Cars vs Bikes

A simple observation, the convenience of a car is that it can take you to your specific destination and is generally a lot faster than most other forms of transport.
A car weighs roughly just under a tonne (well maybe not just but relatively speaking) for a four door sedan, the model of choice amongst most metropolitan drivers followed by 4x4s. Your average person let's just say weighs around 80kg so it takes something that weighs hundreds of kilo's to move around something under 100 kilo's, considering that on an international flight they only allow you 25 kgs of luggage for arguements sake let's assume most people don't generally haul more than 25kgs around in their car.
Weight wise the car exerts more effort transporting itself than it does transporting you. And that's import in itself, the energy required to move a car is generated through combustion usually an engine.
Engine power is measured in terms of horsepower, a lot of horses. Compared to using horses cars I guess are efficient, 100 horses generating 100 horsepower would weigh a lot more than 1 tonne and take up a lot more space.
To do this it has to consume a fuel that has no substitutes on a free market and requires energy to be expended in its production and transportation plus various suppliers in the value chain require returns on their inputs so their is a margin at each stage of wholesale, furthermore said fuel requires future investment in exploration that needs to be allowed for.
Now the same applies to food but consider.
My bike weighs at most 20kg, UCI regulations say the minimum mass of a racing bycicle is 6.8kg to support an average weight of 80kgs, most engineering practices require a factor 10 safety load that is usually bridges and so fourth are designed to withstand pressures that are 10 times greater than their expected normal load.
Certainly true for cars and bikes do pretty good at supporting weights that far exceed their own.
Furthermore the occupant on a bike has to propel themselves, that is they exert their own energies into the bike to make it go. The bike just makes a persons own efforts more efficient.
I mean yes Lycra is bad, cyclists are generally pussies and unpredictable on the roads, but the bike itself is a marvellous invention, the car whilst an engineering achievement is horribly inefficient and not as convenient as we may first assume.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Loshersh whine about doing their besht, winnersh go home and fuck the prom queen

Which is to say, one form of pure loss I found I discovered was getting your bike stolen, just dissappeared, without a trace, I didn't get to say goodbye, it was gone, I locked it to a steel hoop in the ground and I came back and it was gone.
But that's the middle of nowhere.
Let me talk about competition, as my mind was coiling around the idea of a sports league that worked like Semco, as in players set and declared their own wages, ticket sales takings were open and transparent, fans rated the games and there was no salary cap.
It would make a good double blind type experiment to determine what makes content interesting to watch.
I read an article where some dudes had thought they'd devised a mathematical formula to access how good an event was... but I think it deviated from what I would call exciting as it could be predicting the greatest sporting moment by said formula was an olympic mens rowing gold for England in 2004.

Maybe it was but the founder of the modern olympics said the point wasn't to win or lose but to show the true essence of sportsmanship, struggling to be your very best all that shit...
'Pierre de Coubertin Medal' is considered the highest honour, better even than a gold medal. It only occasionally gets awarded by the IOC.
Anyway I have my own theories about what make a contest exciting or not:

1. Emotional Involvement - if you care it is ten times the experience than if you don't.
2. Uncertainty of the outcome - a close contest gauruntees tension and tension builds to inevitable climax
3. Unlikelihood of the outcome - a one sided match is dull but if one by an underdog it gets more exciting.
4. Skill level - as players are pushed to the limits of their abilities the entertainment value goes up.

And that's basically it, I mean hollywood gets it. And yet most free market sporting clubs go the opposite way, they want 100% winning records. They want their players to dominate so thoroughly that they are 'in a league of their own'
I would contend that the games I enjoy the most, infact if anything are the ones where I am simply pushed to my limits. My brain trips out, my muscles fail and I just want to collapse.
And generally they are right, whilst winning is fun and bragging rights should be tradable in the market place, its not important at the end of the day.
Because of a strange compulsion possibly from the depths of natural selection.
But I like to play against a strong competitor, much, much more than dominating a weak competitor.
Third preferance goes to being dominated by a much much stronger player.

See I would have thought that the contest, the competition is what makes the players better, and increases the fun, that being said rather than having Lennox Lewis and Hollyfield punching on the same team is a lot less entertaining than Lennox and Hollyfield punching eachother.
Similarly Jackie Chan fights are often a lot more drawn out as he the underdog attempts to overcome some fighter with a physical advantage over him until eventual triumph are a lot more entertaining than Bruce Lee kicking some poor extra around like a rag doll.
But that highlights a point in itself, I guess players like Bruce Lee and Jordan are a phenomena of their own, pushed themselves so hard as to ascertain another plain of existence. But they are only created because of that insatiable lust to compete.
In summary it is the drive to be our best and to do so by pitting ourselves against the best competitor we can find.
Crushing ants is fun but only for a while. I say in life it should be about a constant pushing upwards, making other people better through our desire to be the best, and not the best there is but the best we can be. By surrendering no quarter. Giving no inch. Unshakeble unstoppable resolve.

High 5's all round.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I'd rather be a rapist than a christian

Just hear me out, the rapist I refer to is Kobe Bryant and in the interest of non-defamation it was an allegation dropped by the plaintiff, the Christian being Dwight Howard Orlando Magics new big man who isn't an alleged Christian he's a Christian.
Dwight was my front runner for taking my second Jersey honours because my Vinsanity singlet needs to be washed from time to time. I liked his powerful physique and extreme dunking style, Kevin Garnett said he didn't have that much talent when he entered the league. Dwight will be big one day (which is of course to say that he is currently physically very big what I mean is in a celebrity status sense).
But It's playoff time so that means I spend most of my working day watching's play by play text rundowns of the playoff matches. I gotta say it's been a pretty exciting run in the western conference and the east with the exception of Netz versus Raptors were just about all sweeps including Detroit Piston's wiping Dwight's Orlando magic off the floorboards.
In the western conference I was hoping to see the Laker's bounce back as underdogs to the pheonix suns but after winning one game in the best of 7 round they got rolled.
I wanted them to win because I wanted Kobe to step up, to put down numbers in the 40's and 50's to dish out 9 dimes and rack up 2 blocks. Or at the very least a quadruple-double.
And Kobe does that from time to time, Kobe has close to the worst team in the league, I mean there's Lamar Odom who is a servicable Power Forward but compared to just about every other team in the playoffs there are no other teams this dependant on one man.
Kobe has the best stats in the league, is without a doubt the greatest player since Jordan and is occupying a space between Jordan and Wilt the Stilt. He is a serious contender for greatest of all time.
Yet unlike Michael he has an army of haters slightly bigger than his army of fans, he is viewed as arrogant and spoilt (and in some parts a rapist) but everyone has to hand down maximum respect for his game.
But he raises a point that resonates with me, that has propelled him up my list of jersey contenders from down the bottom as too mainstream (that honour has to go to Lebron, I don't know why he is never viewed as spoiled, I mean if that guy wasn't the most heavily marketed person to have not achieved anything yet in the league...) up to number 2 behind Vinsanity. Because something tells me that someday Kobe's jersey will have as much old school cool as MJ23, KA-J34, CB34 and so on.
The guy's got three rings, 2 consequtive scoring titles, the second highest single game score in history, an equal record 4 consecutive 50+ point game and seems to progressively get better.
I'm told he can't win the MVP because his team doesn't win enough, suffice to say I would wager you could put Kobe in any team in the L and they would scrape into the playoffs.
I can't say I've ever been a Kobe hater but he does highlight the important point, infact maybe he doesn't highlight it but flea certainly did in his nba blog

Confidence Not Arrogance

Posted by Flea on March 23, 2007, 2:20 p.m. ET
kobe bryanti have said it so many timesbut it is something that bares repeating
he is so taken for granted
people often think, oh he is so arrogant because he is so talented, let me tell ya something
people mistake the confidence that comes from a superb work ethic as arrogance
this is not just a matter of talent, or some bizarre genetic gift
some magic fairy dust that was sprinkled on him as a baby
his will power,
and his discipline,
and his work ethic,
and ability to stay focused and never rest on his laurels,
but always
work on improving his craft are part of who he is
yes all these things come from his god given nature,
and his genetics,
and the way he was raised
but the bottom line is
the guy works hardreal hard
day in day outhe is gonna make the most of who he is
he is gonna fulfill his potential
he will never look back later at his life and think oh i could have tried harder
he is willing to make the necessary sacrifices to be the best
and he is the best
because he cares the most
and gives all he hashe loves basketball
and we are all lucky to witness it
along with that the lakers all played well
they could have the put the clamps down on the grizzlies a little harder that's for sure
they let em score way too much
but luke payed welll
amar played well
kwame made some great defensive plays
smush moved the ball well
the momentum is gathering steam
where was jerry west?

go lakers

go bruins

end of flea's post.

Flea makes a good point, a good good point. I don't know how many movies push the message of believing in yourself but this seems to be the paradox of virtues. To become a champion you need to believe in yourself, but this is a quality to be observed, not said, no don't you dare profess your self belief out loud because that is arrogance.
Really the first person in every case to believe in you is you, not your coach not your teacher not your hair stylest. That's the starting point, others can jump on the bandwagon as the momentum overcomes the friction but really that's what believing in yourself should be all about - once you believe it, promote it. It's not exagerration it's just communicating who you are.
Freakin' humility is just a waste of time, and I find incredibly arrogant. Ian Thorpe demolishes record after record, how humble he is, what great humility from a great athlete. First time he was honest was when he quit - he didn't find it challenging or worthwhile.
Arrogance is going out with a sense of entitlement, that you don't have to compete, don't have to step it up. But arrogance is not believing you have the goods. Because you may have the goods.
Similarly humility isn't saying you don't have the goods when you clearly do.
Humility is being good, but knowing you want to be better. That's the only time it is permissable. That's the word from Rev. tohm.

Undercut Nation

I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I know, I KNOW!!!
Any kid that has an undercut is trouble...the undercut is for bogan kids, drug dealers, kids that spit, shoplift and smoke cigarettes in primary schools. Kids that try to make their own crossbows, kids who use sodium bulbs to blow up things, kids who tagged, kids who wore flannel shirts around their waists...
But I find myself having to admit, the undercut is pretty cool. trouble, but cool. The mullet has had a renaissance thanks to a resurge in websites dedicated to it but the undercut was a similar late 80's early 90's sensation that may represent the suburban graffiti period of white gangsta.
I see white kids with corn-rows and it makes me want to vomit. Then you know the shaved head has made it's way into every sub culture it doesn't say anything anymore. But the undercut says 'stop looking at me old man' or 'keep your hands in your pockets whilst on public transport'.
I guess it went out, like me with the grunge movement. And sure a new generation needs to define itself with a retro take on goth vis a vis the assymetrical emo haircut.
The problem with emo is that it's goth with the romance removed, so what was easy pickings with some ingroup upside before is now easy pickings with all emotional vulnerability downside.
The undercut represented the top bit of an empowered individual, it took dedication, commitment, self confidence. You could accesorize but not overly so., sadly I think my undercut days are gone. Furthermore you punch undercut into google and you find frustratingly few examples for me to substantiate how gangsta it is/was. I don't know anyone these days with an undercut, something happened to masculinaty sometime when friends came in and every white boy became a gel boy.
Let's not forget the importance of the undercut to women though. It can give that same fuck-off vibe whilst preserving femininity. time for some exhibits:

Exhibit A: Mike patton circa Epic channeling pure white cool slightly pre-grunge watch the you tube clip to gain full appreciation

Exhibit B: Trent Reznor circa Head Like a Hole, the dawn of industrial sub culture, check you tube again for appreciation of the 'english headbanger' where dreadlocks and the undercut meet

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

On cyclists

If a cyclest is irresponsible and unpredictable on the roads they get killed.

If a driver of an automobile is irresponsible and unpredictable on the roads cyclists get killed.

A grievous offense with a car can result in you not only killing a cyclist but killing yourself. But who knows if you hold your nerve the bike goes under, the corpse bounces off the bonnet, a lesson is learned? or is it.
I think if people think execution helps deter crime and that guns can deter home invasion and muggings - maybe fitting all cyclists with C4 could make our roads safer.
I mean if anything having exploding bycyclists is really an exercise in evening up the exchange. You clip a cyclist they blow up you also die in your big car.
Just like guns are the great equaliser "who needs courage when you have a gun" so too could be exploding bicyclists.
I put this revolutionary idea to my housemate...

...i just thought about dinner and it's far too early in the day, now I feel agonisingly hungry...

...and my housemate suggested that people would just try and wing cyclists and drive away causing an amusing explosion at no personal cost.
That's true except I'm thinking more like the cold wars M.A.D. sort of explosive - Mutually Assured Destruction. The explosives would be big enough to vaporise a family sedan or porsche 4x4.
Furthermore it would also make cyclists less tempted to run that red light. To cut across 3 lanes and maybe even look behind themselves once in a while.

And I wonder why nobody takes anything I say seriously? A serious post on this face-off between self powered and internal combustion powered later.

see you douchebags.