My week of Monday 10 to Sunday 16 March 2014 has been a vast improvement, with plenty of signs of productivity returning.
The difficulties hinted at last week were more about continuing gastro-intestinal problems rather than stress and depression — though obviously such things interact — and I’m fairly sure that the third anti-depressant I’ve been trying has very much not been helping in this regard. But I won’t tangle that thread of thought into this Wrap.
While there might not seem to be that much more this week, that’s because I don’t include the various geek-for-hire things I still do from time to time for some legacy clients. A couple hours of relatively straightforward systems administration pays more than writing a typical column, which can reduce the stress remarkably. Such a thing happened this week.
By the time today (Sunday) ends, I should also have finished a piece for Crikey that’ll probably be published on Monday — though given the fascinating political news following the state elections in Tasmania and South Australia yesterday, I wouldn’t be surprised if it were held over until later in the week.
We seem to have gotten back on track from Wednesday, and the coming week is looking good.
The Week Ahead
On Monday and Tuesday I’ve got lunchtime briefings in Sydney, with Dell Australia and infosec company Imperva respectively, so that means I’ll almost certainly be in Sydney overnight too.
I haven’t locked in the exact order of play after that. It’ll depend on when payments arrive and when I feel in the mood for work, but obviously you can follow my Twitter stream to stay up to date.
[Photo: Study in purple and grey, Leura,14 March 2014, being a picture of the typical pre-storm cloudscapes we see up here in the Blue Mountains.]
Australia’s federal election campaign kicks off in a flurry of clichés. And the instant-continuous news media battle to be relevant.
Given that we’ve got a federal election campaign on our hands, I figured I’d resurrect The 9pm Edict podcast. And here it is.
You can listen below. But if you want all of the episodes, now and in the future, subscribe to the podcast feed, or even subscribe automatically in iTunes.
Podcast: Play in new window | Download (Duration: 16:38 — 7.9MB)
If you’d like to comment on this episode, please add your comment below, or Skype to stilgherrian or phone Sydney +61 2 8011 3733.
[Credits: The 9pm Edict theme by mansardian, Edict fanfare by neonaeon, all from The Freesound Project. Photograph of Stilgherrian taken 29 March 2009 by misswired, used by permission. Responsibility for election commentary is taken by Stilgherrian, Enmore, New South Wales.]
Here are the web links I’ve found for 11 through 20 December 2008, posted not-quite automatically There’s quite a few, but then it is the weekend.
- The Internet is a filthy cesspit of depravity and moral turpitude (and must be stopped) | the platform: This article makes several points that I’ve been meaning to introduce into the censorship discussion but haven’t had time. “Just as in real life, parents have to protect their children from dangers. Just as in real life, you don’t have to visit the seedy part of town if you don’t want to. Just as in real life, blocking a freeway doesn’t stop me driving on other roads (it will increase congestion though).”
- First Dog on the Moon’s Christmas Spectacular! | Crikey: “Join in the seasonal frivolity with the Official First Dog On The Moon Christmas Spectacular! Hooray! Kevin Rudd’s pets embark on their most ambitious adventure yet, a daring night time raid on the innocence of Australia’s kiddies.” One of First Dog’s best.
- 2008: Dashed dreams and mouldy political compromise | Crikey: Crikey‘s Canberra correspondent Bernard Keane has written a magnificent 2000-word essay summing up the key issues of a year in Australian politics.
- Guy Rundle’s that was the year that was | Crikey: Rundle’s delightfully snarky look back at 2008. He’s in fine form here!
- The great porn war | smh.com.au: This overview of the Internet censorship issues seems to be remarkably behind the pace of the debate, but I suppose it’s aimed at what’s considered to a non-technical audience. These days, though, when the vast majority of literate Australians have their own computer, aren’t articles like this speaking to a minority?
- Rundle08: Everything goes to cr-p, and just before Christmas | Crikey: One of Guy Rundle’s more magnificent essays. Did you know that the Ponzi Scheme is named after an episode of Happy Days?
- The Cowbell Project: “We all know when a song needs that extra oomph, that extra push over the top, there’s only one thing that will satisfy: The Cowbell.”
- The right to the Simpsons | Charterblog: And yet another analysis of The Simpsons decision, this time by Jeremy Gans of Melbourne Law School, who teaches and researches in criminal justice law.
- McEWEN v SIMMONS & ANOR  NSWSC 1292: The actual Supreme Court decision itself by Justice Adams. A lot to read, but of course a thoughtful analysis.
- Sex and “The Simpsons” | On Line Opinion: Another analysis of The Simpsons case by lawyer Greg Barns.
- Simpsons and sensibility | ABC Unleashed: Mark Pesce’s analysis of two recent Australian legal decisions: that uploading a video of someone else swinging a baby around makes you a “distributor of child abuse material”; and that characters from The Simpsons are “persons”, making anyone who looks at those popular parody videos of yellow-skinned characters having sex a child sex offender. Channel TEN must now be closed down because they regularly show Homer strangling Bart.
- We are the Future: In 1993 there was a dance party in Adelaide to launch The Core EP, a 12-inch vinyl release containing 4 tracks. I was the executive producer. This website has the DJ mixes from the party.
- To be liked, or not to be liked, that is the question… | nowwearetalking: “Does social media make it easier for customers/stakeholders to develop separate emotions and opinions between product and corporation?” A good question, and it quotes one of my more angry tweets as an example.
- Why the demise of civilisation may be inevitable | New Scientist: “Every civilisation in history has collapsed, after all. Why should ours be any different?” From April 2008, but even more relevant now.
- Georg Simmel: “The Metropolis & Mental Life”: A fascinating article essay from 1903 about the way cities change us humans. Remarkably prescient, though slightly hard to read the century-old style. Worth the effort.
- Impact of Net filtering overstated, claims agent | Computerworld: Internet filters don’t degrade performance as much as people fear, says a man whose job is selling Internet filters. Anyone see a neutrality issue here?
- 20 signs you don’t want that social media project | qwghlm.co.uk: Chris Applegate’s amusing-because-it’s-true list.
- Enceladus! | Bad Astronomy: Disgustingly beautiful photo of Enceladus, winning my vote for Best Moon of 2008.
- Twitter: Menace or Threat? | Xark!: A brilliant if slightly ranty blog post giving a real face-slap to curmudgeonly journalists who are still behind the pace at understanding new communication tools like Twitter.
Various people pointed me to this, and they said they found it creepy. I think it’s cool. Homer Simpson rendered as a “real” human!
If you’ve never seen the short film Powers of Ten, now is the time. OK, it’s from 1977, so our understanding of things at either end of the spectrum has changed. But it’s narrated by Morgan Freeman — and it’s way cool. As is The Simpsons version.
’Pong and I have just let The Simpsons Movie and Burger King absorb an hour of our valuable attention in exchange for turning us into yellow-skinned characters. Simpsonize Me is a promotional tool for the film, but one which gives you a toy to play with — the ability to turn your photos into characters from The Simpsons — in exchange for a bit of brand reinforcement.
I reckon this is how “interactive advertising” has to work. A fair exchange of value. As opposed to Audi’s over-produced self-indulgent wank, where they get your psychometric profile and you get — well, nothing.
The question now, of course: How good a match for me is the character I’ve made? Comments?