Saturday, 29 December 2007

On My Sister's 20th Birthday

It's my sister Lmo's 20th birthday today.

20 years we've been together, good and bad. I'm glad I never succeeding in getting rid of her when we were young, and I'm sad I wasn't always there, but in all I am happy we are where we are today.

She's applying for universities this year. Queen Mary's have already accepted her, and we're waiting to hear back from Sydney Sussex. She has an interview at York after the new year. I am very proud of her. Not just because she gets good grades and can decipher poetry like nobody's beeswax. I'm proud because she's my sister and I love her, and she always attacks any job or challenge with an insane vigour that I don't possess but do admire.

Having been tenant long to a rich Lord,
Not thriving, I resolved to be bold,
And make a suit unto him, to afford
A new small-rented lease, and cancell th' old.

In heaven at his manour I him sought:
They told me there, that he was lately gone
About some land, which he had dearly bought
Long since on earth, to take possession.

I straight return'd, and knowing his great birth,
Sought him accordingly in great resorts;
In cities, theatres, gardens, parks, and courts:
At length I heard a ragged noise and mirth

Of theeves and murderers: there I him espied,
Who straight, Your suit is granted, said, & died.

We are terribly different - she's competitive and sharp, I'm quasi-apathetic and ponderous - but we share the same sense of humour. I think that twenty years of laughing together keeps us close.

So indeed! Happy Birthday Lmo! I love you dearly, and plan on causing trouble with you for a long time to come.

Friday, 21 December 2007

Very Polite Spam

I'm glad to see spammers are starting to follow a more subtle sense of decorum.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Eavesdropping = Moral Equality

I was on the train yesterday evening, coming home to my tiny Georgian Surrey firetrap, eavesdropping on the other passengers, as my iPod was drained. I quite enjoy eavesdropping, because I i; feel like a spy, ii; learn stuff about strangers. It's amazing what people will tell other people aloud on the train. Loose lips sink ships, and all that. Anyway. This was an asian man named Abdul, who had studied Forensic Science and now worked for a Pharmaceutical Company in London. He was 27, his birthday was the first of December, he knew humpty million languages because his father was a translator and thought it was important. He apparently didn't believe in working for money, but for happiness - but he was very career driven, never the less. All this I learned through him chatting up a 19 year old Polish au pair named Tasha whose birthday is, so she said, today - the 18th. Happy birthday! The age part was funny -- when he learned, there was a palpable awkward silence, and he gave a very good impression of being embarrassed. Beautiful.

This isn't the point, though. Though eavesdropping, I learned also that pharmaceutical company's have been outsourcing their human clinical trails to eastern europe, because they are more cost effective. It got me thinking, whether or not it was ethical for pharmaceutical company's to offer a financial incentive to the poor to be tested on in eastern europe? While it could help give economic sustainability to a region, could it also cause a conflict of interest between local commerce/government and the human test subjects? If the subjects were mistreated or manipulated by the pharmaceutical company, would local government have enough pushing power to fight back and get subjects what they deserve -- or, with the pharmaceutical company's economic contribution to the region, could local government be tempted to ignore the complaints of a few subjects, if it meant many others were still being paid and channeling that money into the local economy?

I was going to join a clinical trial last summer in London, but I was discouraged by family, because they are fearful souls. It would have been £4k for three weeks of my time, but alas, my dreams of escaping my ever growing student debt will have to utilise something other than medical science. While I know the incentive for me was financial -- as well as medical curiosity -- I had the luxury of knowing that I didn't totally depend on medical clinical trials as the only way of getting money. It would have been a fast and easy way, be it high risk, but much less high risk than, say, robbing a bank or selling cocaine to stock brokers.

Now there's an idea... Blah. So, I am trying to get into writing my essay. It's not working. I still only vaguely know what I am looking at for specifics, although I have about 9 books out. The question:

How liberating is the notion of the cyborg? Is the 'posthuman' a desirable future?

For me? Fuck yes. I am a cyborg already -- a transatlantic gender-nutral culturally ambiguous technophile who doesn't have to fetishise technology any longer, as it is so smoothly integrated into my being. Liberation of the cyborg will be an acceptance of miscellaneous and hybrid beings with cultural and moral autonomy. We have so much 'rubbish' DNA within our bodies, it is just there for the ride - and we very well could be nothing more than temporal vehicles for DNA -- but the notion is, we are not pure. There is no fundamental human nature in the rigid yet delicate sense that Francis Fukuyama rants and raves about. It could be that our fundamental human nature is the will to change our environments to suit us, while retaining the ability to adapt to our environments themselves. Or not. It doesn't really matter.

But as for the posthuman being a desirable future... What is desirable? To be free from suffering is a novel concept, but I think it would be most impossible -- our ability to daydream and imagine keeps us with fresh suffering all the time. But to have more freedom to choose or adapt the physical bodies we exist in while on Earth, while offering every human being the same opportunities to remove the biological constraints which we live within now, that certainly seems desirable to me.

There are pigeons in my chimney cooing wistfully. I've got to get some work done, as my chum E should be hanging out with me later. It is then that I will eat bad homemade Mexican food, and watch The Wire for the first time - and attempt to force him into conversations over what superpowers he'd have, why he insists on refusing to have a superpower, and how the answers to thrash lyrics like 'ego stroker / shit eater / self serving unreality / gutted cavity of / pixelated futility / human flesh disconnect / get the fuck off the internet' are all within the Birth of Tragedy.

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Moar Interactivez

Hey, look! I made that!

What that is, in it's poor quality you-tube uploaded glory, is a recording of me messing about with my designed digital cellular mirror. Mm, delicious DV & youtube compression has gotten rid of the crispness of pixels and colour that flood the screen, but what's really important is to focus on the tempo of tonal shifts and distortion. Mimics heartbeats! Or it does, in theory...

I can't sleep. Blah!

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Interactive Works

Oh how I enjoy working with MaxMSP.
Currently I'm making a digitalised cellular mirror.
Look at how happy it makes me.

If anybody was thinking about an xmas gift, the $35 for student 9 month package of MaxMSP/Jitter wouldn't go amiss...

Begging aside, I've been doing nothing but making Max patches, drinking coffee, and listening to hardcore/pop-punk for hours upon hours.

I really hate how there are hemp seeds in my salad seed mix.
Avocado skins taste like the smell of dried blood, which is beyond gross.

Blah, blah, blah.

Friday, 7 December 2007