I am trying to post every day, but I tend to get long-winded when I think by writing, and I often get distracted by trying to understand things like this entry on John Locke, because I’m interested in copyright lately. Also I have to get off the internet and cut my hair because it has been too long!
This article about the decline of book reviewing is long and dry, and it gets caught up in itself and loses its way. This harrowing thought caught my attention though:
“There are no critical movements evident today,” observed Miller. (And even if there were, they’re not all going to be online, or in one forum. Any real critical movement simply should not be confined to one community or some new means of communication.) Perhaps a large problem in the decline of good criticism is that readers no longer know how, or where, to find critics, and, more importantly, how to define what makes it Good.
Who are your favourite critics? I’ve been looking for a critic who’s a strong and characteristic writer but who also has good taste.
1. Advice to writers from Cory Doctorow. But he says:
Especially don’t get in the habit of writing while smoking or boozing. Don’t hook the thing that makes you sane and whole to something that’s killing you.
Smoking and boozing is exactly what keeps me sane. He does say this, though:
Write even when you feel like it’s shit. You can’t tell what’s good and what’s bad while you’re writing it.
A necessary skill.
2. My housemate kind-of-jokingly said she wants to import a live kangaroo, so I looked up some info. This DFAT page says:
The live export of kangaroos is prohibited under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. There are a few exceptions where the purpose is noncommercial, such as inter-zoo exchanges.
And this page lists the native Australian pets that can be exported from Australia. Kangaroos are not on the list. It’s kind of sad that we still have to regulate such absurd behaviour as exporting kangaroos out of their natural habitat. Can you spell ‘cane toad disco’?
3. Boing Boing‘s post about Leo Geo and His Miraculous Journey Through the Center of the Earth, a ‘a lengthwise comic’.
4. The geometry of sound, visualised:
5. This comment on an awful post about one douche’s attempt to justify his obsession with porn.
I’ve used porn as much as the next young man, and sometimes it worries me: how it affects my relationships with women; whether it’s ethical to consume porn; and, lately, whether it goes against the fourth Buddhist precept of not engaging in sexual misconduct.
The last two are kind of the same thing.
The most affecting part of the comment, for me, was this:
also believe that the industry is already taking advantage of people’s sexual desire, turning them into consumers in order to access their own sexuality.
The idea of selling my sexuality to a porn company is just something I hadn’t considered I was doing, and selling my anything to anyone just isn’t right.
6. This awesome clip of Goyte’s ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’, covered by Walk Off The Earth:
All of the following links have some bearing on the research I’m doing for Flux.
- An article from the Guardian, by Margaret Atwood herself, about The Handmaid’s Tale, one of my favourite books of all time. I read this book many years ago, and had forgotten about ‘the forbidding of literacy’ and ‘the denial of property rights’, both of which are themes in Flux.
- While I’m on the theme of dystopia: an epic article about Gmail privacy, the home page of EFF: Electronic Frontier Foundation and the home page for Fastmail, the webmail provider I’m considering switching to in my ongoing attempt to escape Google as well as I can. (Fastmail is run out of Parkville, Victoria, Australia, where I lived once. And, um, I used ‘epic’ because the article is epic, then I realised the article is published by EPIC: Electronic Privacy Information Centre. Can you spell ‘tunnel vision’?)
- Let’s run with this theme. See this picture, which I found on Facebook and then sourced from tomorrow started, a visual collective outlet of inspiration:
- A Wired article about We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists, a documentary about Anonymous, a hacktivist group who relish in taking down websites of organisations they consider to be acting unjustly. Check out their Twitter feed for updates on their hacking activities.
- The Wikipedia entry for ‘hacker ethics’.
- The Concept page of OpenLeaks, the project a former spokesperson of WikiLeaks set up after he apparently got tired of Assange’s dictatorial ways and his determination to release information faster than the organisation (or the world, perhaps) could handle. The video linked to in the page explains it well:
I’m a tab fiend: I am easily distracted, and interested in everything, so I read one article and before I’m three quarters of the way through I’ve got another ten tabs open.
Sometimes my browser spits the dummy like it’s a passive-aggressive ‘gentleman’ and I’m a turtle-paced lady walking through the door he’s been holding open for weeks, maybe months.
These tabs are doorways to knowledge, ideas, miscellany. Sometimes I find it hard to justify spending the time required to read everything I’ve opened, so I’ve decided to do a good ol’ fashioned annotated-link post for SIB II.
Also I have this half-baked idea of getting away from the homegenising forces we know of as Facebook and Twitter, in the interests of user-generated web-filtering with a bit of Painey flavour.
So, Linkage #01:
- A review of Atlantis, a Luc Besson soundscape documentary about the ocean. I was reminded of this when I read in Julian Assange’s unauthorised autobiography (which I just wrote about) about a Robert Bresson film called A Man Escaped. That Atlantis was directed by Luc Besson is entirely coincidence: it wasn’t the directors’ names that caused the connection; until recently I never really followed directors.
- The Channel 4 page for Black Mirror, which I haven’t watched. I can’t even remember where this suggestion came from, but it says ‘a suspenseful, satirical three-part mini-series that taps into collective unease about our modern world’, which is probably why I’m interested. I couldn’t watch it online in ‘my area’, so I’ve hit up Pirate Bay.
- The Pozible homepage, because I keep meaning to investigate using this to raise money for future development of Flux. Like I’m going to forget Pozible exists: it’s Australian, and I remember Format used it quite successfully to raise money for beer. If you’re into crowdfunding (AND infrographics), you might dig this. I nearly linked to this other infographic about where good ideas come from, which is also cool.
- A ballin YouTube clip about LED bike-wheel animation, from Lew:
- Page 4 of Pat Grant’s latest comic, Blue, a tab that is staying open because I like to read a page at a time and savour it. Pat Grant is made of the awesome sauce, as Willow & Blake have attested.
- A Wikipedia article about their blackout initiative in opposition of SOPA and PIPA.
- A Wikipedia article about miliaria, which I found by googling ‘prickly heat powder’ after I discovered the revolutionary wonders of this magical powder. ‘Miliaria’, not to be confused with ‘malaria’, lest you treat the latter with dosed-up talc.
- Ride a Fucking Bike, my new favourite dispenser of unnecessarily aggresive bicycle advocacy. The t-shirts are like 13 bucks, but they have to ship from the US.
- Ride a Fucking Bike put me onto Urban Velo,
a reflection of the cycling culture in current day cities. Our readers are encouraged to contribute their words and art. We pay real American dollars for published submissions—get in touch with your ideas.
- An episode of The Bolt Report, in which Andrew Bolt employs confirmation bias in his characteristically shameless way to debunk myths about global warming and Australia’s carbon tax. I’m undecided about climate change, but, weirdly, leaning toward the deniers’. Don’t shoot!
- A wiki-novel produced by users, called Omnictionary. This one’s also staying open, because it most closely resembles the publishing method I’m considering for Flux. More about that soon.
- Steve Williams on Twitter, from his tumblr.
- A preview of what looks like a cool new multi-media magazine I found by searching in Twitter for ‘Thai literature’. It’s called Electric Literature and is based in Brooklyn. Nice one, Twitter Search. Another one that’s staying open.