thinglets: lovehate creed

I believe that people are too loud.
I believe we are loathe to admit weakness.
I believe that all problems can be solved.
I believe that communication can change the world.

I believe mustard is the best hot dog condiment.
I believe cheese makes everything better.
I believe that if lettuce tasted like pizza, I'd be much healthier.

I believe that anyone who thinks Robert Downey Jr. is just finding his stride should go watch Chaplin.
I believe that the 1970's was the Golden Age of Hollywood films.
I believe Spielberg will never be Kubrick.

I believe the White Stripes are over-rated.
I believe Oasis should have disbanded five years ago.
I believe Dave Grohl was the most talented member of Nirvana.
I believe Madonna is playing us all for fools.
I believe popular music has no farther to sink.
I believe rap begins and ends with Chuck D.
I believe time has run out on Flav.
I believe Gil Scott-Heron knew how to speak to power.
I believe Tom Waits speaks in tongues.
I believe Jeff Buckley was John the Baptist.
I believe Bill Hicks died for our sins.
I believe that Jacques Derrida's epitaph is morphing to WTF?
I believe McLuhan parsed the divine.

I believe Reality TV and reality are coming closer together, and it's not the shows that are changing.
I believe we create myths and monsters so that we can think of ourselves as heroes.
I believe too much good television gets cancelled because of its originality.

I believe there is nothing heroic about wielding a plastic guitar.
I believe that platform gaming is built on very few archetypes that got stale fifteen years ago.
I believe that within two years major podcasts will be purchased, re-packaged and subsequently destroyed through tinkering by major media networks.
I believe that social networks negatively impact society.
I believe we are staying home more often.

I believe art is giving way to craft.
I believe craft is giving way mass production.
I believe mass production is being bought and sold through the toil of Chinese factory workers earning $50 a month.

I believe that no matter how much leaders preach about the good of humanity, the good of the individual will always come first.
I believe that altruism and self-interest often get packaged as good and evil.
I believe that democracy is a noble illusion.

I believe that most of the untapped mystery on earth lies within humanity.
I believe even our most insignificant creations speak volumes about us.
I believe almost all of the world's problems are caused by self-esteem issues.
I believe unencumbered creativity is growing cobwebs.
I believe that love and hate are borne on tempestuous waters.

I believe we can find comfort in the smallest things.
I believe that everything is everything.
I believe that life has rhythm.
I believe we should listen harder.


lovehate: Monotasking

There's an old insult that still get thrown at people who are either clumsy or obsessive: you couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time. As the world turns more wired and media streams at us from all angles, I'm starting to wonder if the insult will soon be turned around to say "you can't just walk" anymore. After all, how many people when walking aren't a) en route, b) plugged in (earbuds or otherwise), or c) waiting to pick up their dog's stool sample?

When I sit in front of the computer, I almost always have the TV on. Sometimes the TV is on (muted) while I'm streaming web radio. Last night I caught myself blogging while watching a podcast in the corner of the screen while the TV was muted and I was involved in two games of online poker. I can multitask with the best of them... I don't know that I can monotask anymore.

While going to sleep, I always have a podcast, music, or TV playing in the background. While walkin' down the street I always queue up my "walkin' 'round" playlist on my Nano, and I wish I could say I was just walkin' 'round to walk 'round, but I'm usually going somewhere instead of just walkin'.

It's the reason I can't live with a browser that doesn't have tabs. A hotel I recently stayed at was still running IE6 and I kept wondering why my clickthroughs weren't showing up in my active window. It's the same reason I have at least two dozen add-ons running in Firefox; I must know as much as possible in the smallest amount of screen real estate possible.

I feel lucky that I'm old enough to still sit through a film without restlessly twitching around. I feel sorry for the 16 year old that compulsively texts during films and then feels it's necessary to discuss the conversations with her friends during the part where Bruce Willis takes out a helicopter with a police car!

I am thrilled that, while enjoying a concert, I don't have to be viewing it through a two-inch digital camera or cell phone screen. That I don't need to shuffle through 50 yards of death march-like meandering for overpriced beer in order to enjoy listening to live music.

I suppose that what Windows was all about though, the burgeoning dawn of multitasking. We've moved into an age of snippet efficiency where the majority of us don't only find it tempting to allow our minds to hop, skip and jump from job to job and back again, we will soon be to the point where we can't do anything but.

I remember, through university, sitting down in front of an archaic PC where the concept of doing anything while typing up an essay was just as impossible as it was impractical - after all, it took hours to download even a few songs from an FTP server on a 28.8 or 56.6 modem as long as the three other people in my house didn't get a phone call. There was certainly no way you were going to be listening to streaming web radio... because, quite simply, there wasn't web radio. And if I tried to burn a CD, I'd was better to even move the mouse around for fear of causing a buffer underrun error.

Technology has allowed us to centralize our multitasking, because, let's face it, ask any parent who's been a primary caregiver and they can tell you all about the history of multitasking, but they put a crapload of miles on every day. My PC's sedentary interface allows me to communicate in real time (and by mail), listen to music, watch video, and then turn around to record and produce my own content. I read, critique, mashup, digg, stumbleupon. I can buy and sell anything while negotiating a home mortgage and investing in an RSP at tax time. I can research any topic and aggregate information, catalogue, hyperlink and blog to my heart's content. And I can do this ALL at the same time while sitting in a chair.

So am I doing more or less? From the micro perspective, there's a lot of stuff going on. From the macro perspective, I'm sitting at a computer, occasionally clicking or keying and really embodying what an outsider would call monotasking. I've become the living metaphor for Jamiroquai's "Travelling Without Moving".

I just wish I could fall asleep without aural and visual wallpaper.

Why can't we just enjoy chewing gum for its own sake?

Cell Show

thinglets: Tangerine Frankenstein

Tangerine Frankenstein

I am a paradigm.
Sense scores by a nose.
Blue sails sucking up the sun.
I am the iconographer reduced to stick figures - crass acrobat underneath the gun.

Circus freak columbine pumped by the multi-facet ball.
Ecstasy Clementine spooned by the grease monkey alcohol.

Holiday, do you care I been waiting for his call?
An’ til he’s had his toast and jam, make a beeline for Havana singing songs of Old Susanna.

I am semiotic, symbolic signifier, verbal ectoplasmagraphic goo.
I am syntheseismic, tectonic normalizer, cabalistic paranormal stew.

Couture chic valentine, runway-pathic optioneering slim.
Tangerine Frankenstein, autostatic flailing seraphim.

I seek the cosmic rototiller foraging through the underbrush.
Undiscovered tangleweed pulling at my boots.
I leak orgasmic motor oil and I’m OHC/FI.
Son uncovered creator’s creed grasping for my roots.

Reykjavik I’m coming home, back to the land of the ice and snow.
Reykjavik I’m coming home.
I’ll be on Friday’s floe.

I am cyberotic. 
Infested technocratic literal command structure chew.
I’m phantasmagoric, dense rationalizer, exodermal jigsaw puzzle brew.

Couture chic valentine, runway-pathic optioneering slim.
Tangerine Frankenstein, autostatic flailing seraphim.

Systematic peel.

lovehate: Languages's bold tagline claims that it catalogues 6912 of the world's living languages. While the claim is surely impressive, it makes one wonder at the freak happenstances of history that have allowed us to become so messed up as a species that we couldn't unify some of our communication. Even body language is radically different between adjacent regions.

Let's face it, if there remain 7000 different interpretations of words as common as "water", we are always going to have destructive global conflicts around the world. I know this sounds like quite a leap, but when a mesh-backed cap wearer in Mississippi will turn around and crack someone over the skull with a beer bottle because he misheard someone complimenting him as a "flag lover", the variations of language have proven their destructive powers. In the meantime I'm going to enjoy a tall cool glass of wasser,  agua, uma, su, wossa, ondou, ji, akvo, banyu or H2O.

While the Esperanto experience was noble in its conception, and small groups have adopted the constructed language to varying degrees, it certainly was never the over-riding success that would change the face of world communication. That said, technology has radically changed the ability to communicate across borders, continents and oceans. While trying to propagate a language through print would be cumbersome at best, involving drawn out exchanges by letter on usage, failures and successes, the current state of connectivity allows for everything from a text file dictionary e-mail attachment to live video-on-demand tutorials. There are, however, problems that would tax any attempt to resurrect Esperanto or some other existing or constructed language.

The sociological impact of a newly-learned language distributed throughout humanity sounds tempting, but consider the risk. As knowledge is power, so is language. While certain countries may endorse, adopt, perhaps even legislate the language's education to its populace, those falling behind would not only put themselves at a disadvantage with regard to simple understanding but, moreso, on the precipice of an economic sinkhole. Clear language is essential in business and is the reason so many MBA sycophants pick up Japanese or Chinese as a second language; there's always a job for someone that can bridge the verbal and written gap between world languages.

Those who, for any reason, could not maintain the pace of the language's growth would start to suffer implicit economic sanctions as trade would become scarce. Third world countries would hardly stand a chance as the technology that would allow for ease of assimilation is beyond them.

I suppose that half of the problem could be alleviated by eliminating the written language altogether. If books become e-books, letters remain e-mail, and business can be validated digitally, does an a/v language become the standard of correspondence? I'd wager that ascii emoticons reach cross-culturally far more effectively than the words "smile" or "wink".  Will broadband lead the way for the constructed language of the future? Maybe the tight head shot of a webcam will prompt a serious re-examination of strictly face language instead of body language. A new business crops up of web notaries that will witness and certify verbal contracts completed via Skype. All chat, journalism, blogging, becomes aural or visual. All poetry, short stories and novels become spoken word recordings. The death of the written word - as Sanskrit became increasingly divorced from a verbal component, the new "Visaural" language would evolve without a written component.

I know it sounds far-fetched, but could we at least start with proper names? I think we need to evolve to the point where we can respect the language of the place that spawned the name of the place. Would it really be that difficult for us to pronounce Rome as Roma or Paris as "Pa-ree"? Couldn't we say Espana for Spain or Deutschland for Germany? It really wouldn't be that hard, because while I honestly don't see a way to avoid history's diverse explosion of languages, I really hate it.