Saturday, May 05, 2001

After ten years of apprenticeship, Tenno achieved the rank of Zen teacher. One rainy day, he went to visit the famous master Nan-in. When he walked in, the master greeted him with a question, "Did you leave your wooden clogs and umbrella on the porch?"
"Yes," Tenno replied.
"Tell me," the master continued, "did you place your umbrella to the left of your shoes, or to the right?"
Tenno did not know the answer, and realized that he had not yet attained full awareness. So he became Nan-in's apprentice and studied under him for ten more years.

Full Awareness, from Zen Stories to Tell Your Neighbours.

Friday, May 04, 2001

Well, it's a good headline: Large-scale, Global Anti-capitalism Protests Putting Smaller, Local, Anti-capitalism Protests Out Of Business.

From the files of FBI, Groucho Marx's connection with marxism. Not to be confused with Marxism, which is what the Why A Duck study circle is dedicated to.

Thursday, May 03, 2001

Banner ads aren't dead, just misunderstood, claims Suck, (and their readers agree.)

Imagine a web without ad-sponsored content. Would you still be on it? The thought of that scares me a hell of a lot less than spending entire evenings watching TV, so I know I would. (Nothing wrong with TV, really, it's just .. frustratingly slow and constricted.) Boredom spawns creativity, and most good things in life are either non-profit or worth paying for, so I'm watching the struggles of ad-sponsored websites with detached curiosity.

Wednesday, May 02, 2001

Det er i det hele tatt tid for � sl� tilbake den markedsliberalistiske tenkningen om at det skal v�re 100% effektivt med h�yest mulig tempo.
Akkurat denne ideologien har enorme kostnader i form av slitasje p� mennesker, dyr og natur.
Det ser vi i landbruket.
Vi ser det i arbeidslivet. Utst�ting fra arbeidslivet er skremmende. Mange klarer ikke � f�lge med i stadig h�yere tempo. 10% av befolkningen i yrkesaktiv alder er uf�retrygdet.
Den �delegger idretten. Den bringer mediene inn i en konkurranse som gj�r at stadig mer vold vises fram p� skjermen.
Idretten b�r ut av h�ydehusene.
Landbruket b�r bli mer �kologisk.
Vi m� ruste opp NRK og gi TV2 gode betingelser slik at de har r�d til � la v�re � v�re med p� voldsspiralen.
Det b�r bli lov til � trene p� jobben.
Torbj�rn Jagland's speech at Youngstorget, Oslo, yesterday, right before receiving the cake treatment by a bunch of kids even more naive than himself. That image below is both funny and tragic on so many levels, I don't know where to begin, (so I won't - but Kristin Halvorsens expression is priceless).

Also at Youngstorget, Aslak Sira Myhre, long-haired messiah of our largest communist party, delivered the following pearl of wisdom: Markedsliberalismen er en muggen og r�tten ideologi fra 1700-tallet som noen har b�rstet st�vet av. Den gj�r alt og alle til varer. Now excuse me while I vent my frustration by whipping some random workers from that dickensian coal mine I bought last week.

I was unable to dig up the speech of Gerd Liv Valla, coming leader of our largest union, but her chilling threat against unorganized labor last week should give you an idea of what kind of alternate reality she's living in. I don't have anything against unions, (except their hypocrisy in hiding capitalist greed behind socialist terminology), but nothing, ever, no matter the financial benefits, will convince me to join an organization led by a woman that quite possibly holds a norwegian record as last person with an IQ above 70 to reluctantly abandon stalinism.

Tuesday, May 01, 2001

Stryk kristenkorset av ditt flagg
og heis det rent og r�dt.
La ingen by deg det bedrag
at frelseren er f�dt.
Og vil du ikke d� som en trell,
s� m� du saktens fri deg selv.

Old communst / atheist poem by Arnulf �verland, (urging norwegians to remove the cross from our flag, and raise it pure and red.) Somehow I doubt the speeches the various leftovers of this ideology are holding today, will approach these six hammering lines in terms of emotional and ideological power.

Today, in case your boss didn't tell you, is May Day, the international labor day. So, in the spirit of this political holiday I suppose I should say a few words about workers:

I like workers. It's their fan club I can't stand.

(With apologies to some witty fellow. More to follow, I'm sure!)

Monday, April 30, 2001

I keep forgetting that in terms of .. well, reality, the internet is still a pretty new and not very widespread phenomenon, with millions of people actually logging on for the first time every month, (the september that never ended), and a huge majority of humanity that propably never will. Even among the regular users, very few perceive the nuances, the details and the opportunities of this medium, behaving very much like adult immigrants in a foreign culture.

Some would have me pity the people on the outside and the newbies who stumble clumsily where others fly gracefully, (or despise them - same thing), but that smacks of nerd elitism and lack of perspective. Others would have me feel guilty or at least ashamed for being this privileged, (which is the real message of the 100 villagers parable), but that doesn't feel right either. I try to face the opportunities I have been given, and do my part in keeping good things alive, which is as much as anyone could do in my place. (So what do I feel about being right here, right now, with my skills and my resources? Wonder, excitement, and optimism - but that's a subject for another day.)

Hilariously, the RIAA and SDMI Foundation has successfully threatened a group of scientists from publishing their research on SDMI's proposed watermarking technologies, (the "Hack" SDMI contest). I say hilariously, and not tragically, because you can read their paper at I don't think the RIAA knows what they are up against here. Perhaps the Napster case has inflated their egoes at the expense of brain cells, or perhaps all those law books has warped their sense of reality. Bullying a small group of individuals into submission is as easy as closing down a clearly illegal music company, but waging a war against the hacker underground, (and I do mean hacker in the original, good sense), is somewhat akin to chasing commies out of the Vietnam jungle: It's not their terrain, everyone is a potential enemy, and the public at home is (or will be) very divided on the issue. I sleep safely at night, knowing that the day I (voluntarily or not) install SDMI-compliant hardware or software in my computer, I'll find the software to crack it with within the hour.

Why? What's wrong with copyright? Nothing, nothing at all. But knowing the kind of restrictions the music industry likely want SDMI to enforce, I have some very serious misgivings about all of this. Here's what I want to do with music: I want to collect it all and keep it in a large bin. I want to dive around in it like a porpoise, burrow through like a gopher and toss it up and let it hit me on the head. Or hang on, that was Scrooge McDuck, but you get the idea. I want to buy music in a cheap, efficient format, where the money ends up with the artists and not a long chain of distributors. And when I buy that record, I want the freedom to take it with me wherever I like, take backups without problems and give copies to friends and family. Will SDMI allow that? Fine, then it's not a problem. If not, well, as I said, some ingenius hacker will solve the problem soon enough.