Monday, June 4, 2012

Important Impotent Media

Today I started the day in a rather bad mood. You see... I started it by watching one of those news channels that get commercials... Mostly about the news channel itself, telling me how important it is, and how awesome their work is for my personal improvement/empowerment in life.
Have you ever seen this?
Suddenly the "news" is interrupted by cool effects, explosions, drama, oil-tankers sinking, hugging children, and the fierce news-anchor standing in the middle of it, telling us all how impressed we should be by the sacrifice he or she does on our behalf by telling us a somewhat random story in the general vicinity of the action.
Their slogans might sound something like this: "CNN, telling you what you should know so you don´t have to!" or "FOX; in a shitload of action so YOU might live to see another day!"

It took about five minutes before I was fuming at the TV and my girlfriend was fuming at me for being a dick at the breakfast table later on.
WHY you ask? Why was I fuming? Because of the ridiculousness of it all, basically.
To me it seems like the news channels are giving themselves a blowjob every time they see their own reflection, so they make x-amount of commercials in addition to the actual news casting.
This makes the news, at best, second rate in my opinion. 
You see. The general media, or the world media, have lost their value. What in some point in the past was news, has now become shredded pieces of shit-stories, borderline propaganda and drama seeking. Instead of watching the news, I suddenly find myself watching old men giving themselves the dirty look in high resolution profile pictures where there in a perfect world instead would be deliverance of information.

Staring stoically into the horizon

Its not that I don´t get the news... Its more like I am increasingly aware that the "news" is highly suspect as it is made by people who are more engulfed by their own story than the actual news.

I am no media-scholar, so I will save myself the embarrassment of trying to sound like I have the competence of one. Yet, I can´t pretend to NOT know the extreme impact of the world media. Sufficed to say, it is great... therefore it´s even more important for them to act less like cancer, and more like the democratic institution they are.
If I wanted news the "interesting" way, I would watch this guy:

The sad thing is that I get more information about the actual state of the contemporary world by watching him, than watching some of the mayor news-stations.

holy shit I have to learn how to not give a crap
Because right now I believe that a ten year old is more suited to do the job properly than some of the current anchors...

"And in Iran today..."

Agreed. The anchors aren´t the ones that make the stories, or makes the decisions concerning the way in witch we get the news. Its easy to get angry at them though, as they represent the face of the institution. It just pisses me off that the news has become more and more tabloid even in the current information-gathering environment of the world. This leads me to think about a world without any news at all and what it would look like. I mean... As humans in the western hemisphere (and most probably the rest of the world as well)  we are addicted to information, so there would obviously be some kind of "news" in some form or another. But would it be possible to do it without the "grandness" of it? Would it be possible to transcend information without the "big-daddy"-syndrome taking over? The intention of the media, in my opinion, is to make society more open, more free. Not borderline theater like it is today...

I´m going to go apologize to my girlfriend now, unless I want to make the headliners on tomorrows cockshow.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Long Trip

 Have you ever heard of the voyager program? The one with the two probes launched into space in the 1970s?
Originally the probes were sent of to explore the surface on some of the other planets in our solar system but what they also did when they sent them of was to stop for a couple of seconds and think; "hmm. These aren´t coming back... so that means that someone else might find them some day... We should probably send a little greeting."

Radiolab, One of my favorite radio shows and podcasts, had a show in 2007 about that greeting. They actually interviewed the producer and maker of the recording that was sent with the two voyager probes. It contained all sorts of sounds from earth, including "hello" in many different languages, music from Mozart, Beethoven, Bach etc, The sound of a whale. A mothers first words to her newborn child... You get the gist.
And while listening to the thoughts and feelings that went with the voyagers I get more and more exited.
Just think about it...
Put yourself out there in the universe, as an alien, discovering one of these recordings of us! Imagine being one of the team finding out that it is a recording and turning it on... Imagine hearing Bach´s cello suite prelude being played to you and through it, another civilization reaching out to you across the stars!
Imagine standing perplexed and listening to alien music never before heard by a non-human.
Kind of scary and moving at the same time.

As I see it, the voyagers are probably doomed to either roam space for ever, or being pulverized by some random asteroid before ever reaching another civilization. That is what probably will happen anyway. Yet, the chance is there... That they, some day, after our civilization is dead and gone and swallowed up by our sun, that they will reach someone. Lucky bastards.

Hands up to Radiolab for giving such  a fantastic podcast each week! Recommendations all around...
If you go to the site, there will probably be some kind of pledge which you don´t have to pay. The podcast is free.

Have fun!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

42 and beyond Music

I realize that it has been a while since I last wrote anything on the blog. But never mind. Im sure most of you don't follow any particular thread here on the web anyway, so what do you care?

So what to write about after hitting this humongous dry spot? Music ofc.

Thats the one thing that all men and women around the world can agree upon: that music, in one form or another, is a part of their lives, either to a greater or a lesser extent.

I am one of those people who is regularly hit by really vivid day-dreams. The other day, while riding the bus, I started to think about what it would be like traveling back in time to the 18th century and giving someone there an example of todays western music.
The ultimate social experience I imagine.
My first thought would be that the people of that time would react with disgust, since music is heavily related to culture, language, social stigma, etc. To them, most of our music would probably sound like gibberish, trash or just random sound escaping from some sort of imagined animals, because they would have no knowledge of electric guitars, drums (like the ones we have now) key-boards, programs, etc....
So what would they have thought? Or more interestingly; what would they have heard?
Think about it. The people of the 18th century had simple string instruments, drums (bongo, tambourines, etc.), piano, vocals, and maybe a flute? They could never imagine using rhythm like we do today... or even using vocals as a main factor.
I imagine me standing in front of a small group of puffed-up victorian-time english people, holding up my iPhone and playing DFRNT. I imagine they standing wide-eyed and gasping as my magic glass plate expels sound. And then they all shriek and panic because the sound doesn't make sense to them.
From there the day-dream goes downward, either ending in me finding some way to travel back to our time, or just ending my days in some victorian jail somewhere, charged with witchcraft or something.

Anywhoo. Hope everyone out there on the plane of Zero.1 are all right! Im sorry if you find spelling errors in the text. Im not using my own computer and lack both spell-check and a keyboard I like.


Friday, September 9, 2011

Japan, the News and its Relative Interests

I just wanted to take a few moments out of my workday to write a short note about the news (or -the lack of news) about what happened in Japan mid March.
Is it only me, or am I one of the few people who thought the coverage about the nuclear disaster went away to fast?
I can´t help but think about the Japanese situation once in a while, even though Europe has its own troubles  at the moment, with pending economic crash.
It might just be that I have a soft spot for the people and their culture. So I was glad when The Guardian had a small input to give, about how people are recovering from their trauma.

Anyway. Here is the link to their VID.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Terror in Norway

In the last 72 hours Norway has been through the biggest attack it has witnessed since the second World War.

Its hard for me to write about this, since I think its not a person in this country that has, in some way not been touched by what has happened.
I´m not going to recap for you everything that has happened. You´ve got CNN and whatnot to do that for you.
What I´m going to do is to describe what is happening in Oslo and in Norway at this moment.
The thing is. The terror attack that befell upon our country has made a couple of things abundantly clear. One of which is that Norway, as a people, have reacted a bit differently than what would have been believed. Its difficult to explain how grief strikes people, but believe me when I say that the Norwegian people is a small people, and it is currently collectively grieving as one.

Normally I would have thought that people would react with anger and hate towards the man who bombed our parliamentary district and shot over a hundred young, politically active men and women, killing 92 people in total (this number may be adjusted). But no. Instead most people have reacted with a sense of resignation towards the animal who did this. With that said, instead of flocking toward the prison where he is held, we keep to other places, places of mourning, rather hate.
It makes me proud to be a part of this nation.
We keep to the words of our Prime Minister: “We will react with more democracy...” - Jens Stoltenberg. Even though those words were spoken with the thought of a man who sought to rob us of it, in mind.
With that said: I believe that this situation is teaching us something very important about ourself as a nation. But I´m very glad, and I can´t stress this enough, that this act of terror was done by a white man from the better part of Oslo city, and not by a known terrorist organization. 
The day after the bomb exploded I had a talk with a taxi-driver. He was ethnic norwegian, but his parents were from Pakistan. Both he and I were both glad that this act was not done by a man with a muslim background because then the story would probably been a different one. Like he said; “If this had been done by one with my color of skin, I, even though I was born and have lived all my life here, would have been seen as a terrorist.” Sadly enough there is racism in this country, and the thought of that fire being fueled is a scary one.
Instead people are more open than ever before.

The 22 of Juli, was the day Norway changed. The 23 was the day that Oslo was silent. The 25 was the day of reaction with love.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Greece: The Economic badass of Europe

I woke up today to the nice smell of hot coffee and a steady stream of news from the TV. Before I went to work though, I could not help but overhear a report about the happenings in Greece. If you have payed attention you would know that the great and bountiful nation of the ancient philosophers have made a boo boo when it comes to their economy since the crack in the market. You see... the Greek people didn´t want to pay taxes... or go to work... or pay their loans... and their government lied to the EU council about their amount of revenue... so they went bankrupt. And now their people are howling and moaning about their dilemma and refuses to cut back in spending.
As you well might have guessed, the rest of the EU nations were pretty pissed off at their lazy-ass attitude from the start, and what they are seeing now is not helping Greece´s reputation around the world neither. I mean... even Americans pay their taxes to some degree. But what we are seeing in that slosh-pool of laziness is just mind-blowing.

Let me explain the extension of my raging with an example: One of the great uppers by being a Greek employee before the crack was the amount of bonuses they got, like: Bonus for coming to work. Bonus for staying home sick. Bonus while at work. Bonus for working over hours. Bonus for eating bananas while not wearing pants, etc.

I have no problems with bonuses. On the contrary. I love bonuses for work well done. But what they had in Greece was just borderline retarded. If you PAY someone just for getting to work on time, you effectively make them lazy. You might THINK that you are getting them to work harder, but as we see now: no one in that hot-tempered country is working. They are yelling in the streets and calling that corrupt government of theirs unsatisfactory. And by all means... they might be right. What pisses me off is the fact that no one of the general public of retards are taking responsibility for the way their society has gone down the bloody drain. Instead they refuse to see the truth of the situation and are blaming the EU for not giving them more money so they can continue to spend like badass monkeys high on helium.


I`m not very nice, I know. The fact is that my dream has always been to live like a king while not doing any work for it. Contrary to my dreamworld of naked ladies and crowns though, I have to reside in the real world... the real world of working two jobs while I study and paying taxes at 18%-32% every single month.
You might think that is a lot, but then again I get free healthcare, free education, financial help to pay for classes, easy accessible loans and a huge kiss on the ass from the head of state just for being me in return. But I don´t get payed simply for dragging my huge ass to work.

YARR! gief moneys noews! gtfo!

whatever he is saying + 1

I´ll make you a deal. I bet I can change my diet in accord with the new Greek cut-back package. I´ll suffer with them! I´ll drop some kg´s just to show them how much I care about their honorable plight. In return the Greek people who happen to read this has to swear to go to work like every other joe in Europe. And drink a healthy amount of coffee every day (Don´t worry. Its cheap and has zero calories.)

Here is the recent article from the guardian about Greece´s development.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

The internet as a factor on Democracy

As I may have mentioned before; I´ve been working on my Bachelors degree. In the paper i recently turned in, I worked on a perspective on social media as a participatory tool in new democracies, where one of the themes I came upon was the internet as concept. It turned out to be very interesting, and rather complex.

I found this video, and almost jumped because it touched upon what I thought was something very few scholars was aware of. Guess I was wrong.

I´ve been toying with the idea of publishing my paper in this blog, but my intuition of putting something of academic value on the internet told me not to.

Enjoy the vid!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Escape Artist & Gaming

I´ll admit it. I play a lot of different kinds of games. Though not so much as some might think. Normal people think of gaming as a serious default in the range of things to do in an everyday life. Although I´m not going to discuss the broader debate between gamers and non-gamers, I´ll say one thing: its better than fishing.
Thing is. The gaming community has grown in considerable size over the last 10 years, swallowing Japan whole, along with the larger portion of USA and Britain. Some have managed to capitalize on us, while some have managed to reach "famous"-status because of us. The important thing to notice though, is that gamers are in control of most of the world already. Not because we are one big blob of control-freaks, but because gaming is so enjoyable that state managers and leaders around the world are probably enjoying some kind of game when they get home from work.
I enjoy thinking of Obama coming home after a long day, yelling for a beer, telling Michelle to shut up and bring him a sandwich, sit down in a chair and fire up some Black Ops. "F*ing dawg, I´m gonna paint the wall with ur entrails!"- he´ll yell into the mic in frustration.

With that said, there are some baaaad games out there. I love to criticise different flaws of shitty games, but I enjoy it even more when other people do it. Like Zero Punctuation, the rambling Australian/British-dude, talking too fast for his own good, with a satirical or nostalgic comment every 0,14 second. He rips the games apart and puts up spotlights on the broader perspective. One example is that he talked about Nintendo stagnating within 2 games, copying them over and over. So true and so sad. But I love Zelda tho. And thats why Nintendo is still in business... because of idiotic old-timers like myself.
Thank god I don´t own a Wii.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Putting crap in perspective

The mind is obviously a complex thing, giving us the ability to think about several things at one time. I have used up my effective quota of things to think about it seems.
So here is a list of all the impossible things I have to have in mind simultaneously:
  1. The time limit of exams and paper due-dates
  2. My research question
  3. Case studies (there is two of them)
  4. Theoretical framework and its relevance
  5. A discussion that should, in theory, shed light on the totality of the paper
  6. News and new material
  7. Other fields and other exams not related to the ones I´m working on
In addition there is a social section of the stuff I have to worry about, most of which I can´t help but think about.
  1. Organizational work
  2. Work
  3. The usual social interaction a.k.a: drinking beer and talking sh*t with people
  4. Showing up at events that somehow I came to agree to earlier, and now have forgotten about
  5. The vacation coming up: what to do, what to do?
  6. Certain individuals 
  7. Concerts, barbeques and other parties...
  8. Several young people who have decided to have their "confirmations" at the same time, thus making me inadvertably pissing off an occational aunt or uncle if I´m not showing up. 
  9. Birthdays
  10. The people who I pissed off by not showing up to something themselves, or me not caring enough to tell them of my absense before an event. (Social capital thus going down)
  11. Food (I have to have nurishment sometimes... though this is highly unimportant to me at the time. Coffee is enough.
  12. Money---> Not getting any from work related to issues with contracts
So. By deviding this by zero, we get two conclusions:
  • That my brain isnt capable to think of more than 19 things at one time
  • Getting things in perspective is good for you... Although I realize that this was probably most for my personal benefit, and I have wasted the time of whoever is reading this. 
One interesting question pops up though: Do I really care about any of all this? Only time will tell I guess.
    In any case: Thank you for reading? Here is a link and a video clip to make up for the motivational-post to myself.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    The filter bubble

    This is both relevant to my degree and pissing me off at the same time. A kind of laaaame A.I that screws up our information-flow.

    Its kind of a irritating thought that the utilities that are made to make our lives easier are actually blocking us from potential news and the like.