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Sunday, May 21, 2000
trawling the past, our cognitive net hauls up highly salacious treasures from the ongoing dialogue that is the C-K ConneXioN!!!

in which cjsmith talks down k.liu from a massive head trip/contusion [brought on by creamy (mmmm, mmmm slorp 89) intellectual masturbation (involving monomaniacal delusionment and variegated but unwarranted assumptions) engaged in all too frequently (with very little encouragement, i might add - MASTURBATION!! SELF-PLEASUREMENT!! YAY!! :D)] leading to his penultimate mollification, cjsmith discusses feminist politics as received from the liberal propaganda machine :P and quiet reflections on the star trek origination series - the scavenger hunt episode!

***
> that was interesting. they're like part of the avant-garde tradition or something where their brand of art=life=work is given mass appeal by passing on their “cool” to the corporate marketing machine. it reads like a revolutionary manifesto, but its message is almost completely opposite. it’s like they’re trying to stake out some prime real estate *within* the establishment.

It's the modernized status of the artist. Gots ta git paid y'know. One has to work WITHIN the system now to affect change. Can't be some fuck up like Van Gogh anymore. I guess it's kind of like the chemistry R+D guys. There are the guys just sort of riding along, they do what interests them, and, you know... whatever (sort of like the artists who do the weird-ass shit, supported by benefactors and arts programs, but never really get anywhere with society at large). And there are the guys working at the forefront who recognize potential value in some abstract research and integrate it into technologies that directly affect daily life (draw the parallels).

> they remind me of the growing legion of hipster anarchists leveraging their unconformity to buy into the system under the pretense that they’re changing it at the same time. it’s also cool that they align themselves with wittgenstein et al which is as good as any since they want to locate themselves within a tradition.

What's with Wittgenstein?

> my thing, though, is that hacker enclaves or whatever would be more influential than artistic movements because they’re appropriating machine language which i think is functionally different than audio and visual communication. machine language augments natural interpersonal communication to such an extent that meaning is exploded.

Tomato was talking about how to communicate with today's individuals visually. The state of information, due to machine language, is such that "people are less seduced by pictures of the world and more engaged by the representation of pieces of the world." Machine language may have changed the way we operate, but art adapts in response to social change (and vice versa), so I don't think it has been rendered impotent.

> it’s like a medium that allows many voices to be easily harmonized or a single idea to be greatly amplified which makes possible a sort of info organism where previously there was only static. when these organisms clash they don’t just break apart like they did when they were built from weakly interacting particles. the new organisms, stitched together by iterative and reflexive infotech, act more like waves that can pass through one another, but not without creating ripples or waves coursing dissonantly through reality.

Ever thought about writing one[1] of those new_age philo%19sophy of science>bitract=books? oper_stat1 [rem]YouACTIVEDAT.sys could make.mem
overrn(13byt)a killing88%yrunsys %brunsys
Agree19pro?
/stat xell=0
un>21.344.6
un>21.344.9
un>54.133.1
/stat xell=0 19pro %initstring.un %initstring.re
sysdat> &execute &rnapps
mode= agree [flipmode: stat_xell &set pp0000 &set pp0001 &set pp0010]
...
...
/flipmode xell
mode= agree
/stat xell=1

> nowadays i don’t think artists necessarily have this *power* to initiate or unleash forces that can transform culture or society. if anything they’re there to pick up the pieces and provide sideline commentary. the demiurge, that vortex where, as tomato put it, “the act of ‘doing’ comes initially uncontrolled” has migrated into new territories of the mind, and i think machine language provides the lingua franca for its expression. basically, it’s like impossible to be subversive as an artist anymore, you have to be a hacker.

Kenny Liu: hardcore daytripper/internet bastard/armchair philosopher For all of the complex social phenomena that you seem to be engaging on a daily basis, one would think that your weekly reports would be more heavily peppered with subversive commentary. Come on man, you run a frickin advice column, so let's get to some real mind-hacking!

You have to consider which artists you're speaking of and what signifies cultural change. In graphic design, the communicative abilities of the artist can potentially be so widespread that they saturate the cultural mind. These sort of identifiable movements don't happen on a year to year basis. The only readily identifiable movements are huge cultural sweeps like the renaissance, the victorian age, art nouveau, which cycle through no faster than every fifty years. We're still trudging through art nouveau ideals from the turn of the century. The fact that neither of us has lived through anything quite so extraordinary might contribute to such a perspective of artistic powerlessness. but i might be full of shit.

> yeah chicago. ground zero, rave central. cool. what’s their new single/album like?

It's kind of like Underworld.
I didn't go check out that NTTimes stuff, cuz I have to keep making a new login and it's a pain. Also, if it takes a while for YOU to download, I probably wouldn't even be able to get the whole thing before my lousy system cras[01]hed.

***
FEMINIST ETHICS:

It is an attempt to revise, reformulate, or rethink those aspects of traditional western ethics that depreciate or devalue women's moral experience. Feminist philosophers fault traditional western ethics for failing women in five related ways. First, it shows little concern for women's as opposed to men's interests and rights. Second, it dismisses as morally uninteresting the problems that arise in the so-called private world, the realm in which women cook, clean, and care for the young, the old, and the sick. Third, it suggests that, on the average, women are not as morally developed as men. *Fourth, it overvalues culturally masculine traits like independence, autonomy, separation, mind, reason, culture, transcendence, war, and death, and undervalues culturally feminine traits like interdependence, community, connection, body, emotion, nature, immanence, peace, and life. Fifth, and finally, it favors culturally masculine ways of moral reasoning that emphasize rules, universality, and impartiality over culturally feminine ways of moral reasoning that emphasize relationships, particularity, and partiality.*

I put the stars in. It's the part that I think really gets to the core of the issue because this disparity of values makes possible a context in which mysogeny exists really without notice. It's CULTURAL femininity that is undervalued and perhaps dismissed or looked down upon, and of course we see the direct extension of that.

***
> i was thinking about the startrek origination story this morning while staring out the window at a new morning listening to electric ladyland. its the one about the first race of sentient beings who discovered they were alone in the universe and decided to seed the worlds with DNA in order to populate the cosmos with beings such as themselves. i think the point of episode was that even across intergalactic distances and through the rise and fall of planetary civilizations over the eons and stuff klingons, humans, vulcans or whoever are essentially the same because of the shared ancestry of their DNA.

> what's implied by the episode, however and what i find interesting, is that underlying everything - physical appearance, demeanor, history, culture, even sentience itself is some understanding that it's the DNA which matters most, that DNA is more real than we are. from a hyperdimensional standpoint, were just representational shadows of a more enduring yet unseen family or population of immortal genes. on a microcellular level, one can consider our DNA as empire builders and our cells and ourselves rendered as inconsequential vessels on a stage whose immediate scale can be measured in split seconds and hairs breadths (read TRON variation). i think thats sort of the appeal.

> the fallacy of the argument lies in the truth of representation. if when caught in a deception the truth is revealed, what does it mean when the deception goes unnoticed?

Saturday, May 20, 2000
cleaning out my email account again...

presenting...

         (unauthorized :)
THE CAREY SMITH WORDS OF ART RETROSPECTIVE!!!

***
I'm watching a Superboy short on cartoon network. A nearby "sun" was "sending out snaking lines of destructive energy" that was "wreaking destruction" on barns and stuff and so superboy decided it was a "job for me" and "up up and away"ed himself and Krypto, some flying dog with a cape, joined him and they flew around the snaking destructo energy lines real fast and tied them up somehow and then visited a nearby planet to "see if this planetoid has anything to do with" blah blah and they came upon a crowd of cheering goofballs out in the middle of nowhere... they had shields and spears and I think they were going to attack the sun or something, but... hey, did you konw that wonder woman is friendly to rats? i just saw her petting one of them. anyway, superboy turns out to be an obsessive compulsive because he has to say "up up and away" before he can actually launch into action... and, oh, did you know that you can also defeat sneaking destructive energy lines by blowing on them really hard? Superboy can take deep breaths, even in space! And he can talk and make whooshing sounds in vacuum too! He's great. The goofballs made him king and he went off and did some other cool stuff. Then he and Recto, the flying dog, went home, I guess. I don't know what they're going to do about ruling the oddworld in habitants (they're aliens cuz they have big brows and sharp buckteeth).

Everything I need to know I learned from Hannah Barbara.

***
your friday was uneventful; the excitement continued into saturday.

you decided at 8:00pm saturday night to drive with friends to eugene and party like astronauts on launch day.

4:00am, sleep was able to overcome consciousness to the tune of college parties still raging... Jay-Z's constructed basslines bumping in your dreams.

8:00am neighbors end party. 8:30am, you wake to drive to Corvallis and drop off a passenger at their parents'. Parents invite you for breakfast, quiet, sunshine, and other goodness. Despite 3hrs sleep, day seems to be going quite well.

you arrive at home, sleep all day, buy used copy of Lauryn Hill album and it rawks.

how about MY weekend... any good?

***
"Yeah, hi, I uh... I guess this is a customer service problem, but maybe it's a..."
         "Sir, may I ask what this call is regarding so that I may forward you?"
         "Oh yeah, uh, I got this thing in the mail. It's a... ahem..."
         "Did you receive the Cock-n-ball Teaser Ultra, sir?"
         "Yeah, I guess that's what it's cal..."
         "And what is your concern with the product?"
         "Uh... I didn't order one."
         "But you wanted one."
         "Uhh..."
         "Yes, I have it on the screen. We have you logged as 'desirous' of this product."
         "Oh, but I really..."
         "Rest assured, sir, this is what you want."
         "I'm pretty sure I don..."
         "If you give it a few weeks, we think you'll find it a very natural purchasing decision. Thank you for shopping."

***
Shnickerbeedickerbee doodly dum
doodled bumdickersue's dickerme bum
cuz deedledeedoo shnick wickerbeeboo
bumdickermesue sed eye wont sum too

Shnickerbee first made sue's sister hum hoo
now shnickerbee's doodler burns at the loo
for shnick's ol bumdickery went to VD
a colony lives in shnick's ho peepee

[premature ending]

***
Hey, how are things? Are you doing less sleeping now? Allergies are hitting pretty hard here, so I'm a snot geyser, but you've been there for a couple of summers already, so I'd guess you're probably not doing so bad. I saw High Fidelity with my dad this weekend. Not a laugh-a-mania XXV, but really good anyway. John Cusack staged a little soliloquy on one of the bridges outside of your office. They had the bridge behind him raised so that the scenery was more spectacular, but it looked unnatural cuz it was just one bridge raised in the middle of a river of bridges, which doesn't really make much sense. Also, it looked warm. That didn't make sense to my small mind either.

Oh yeah, and for some reason I decided last night that it was time for me to make my radio broadcasting debut, so I called NRK "The New Rock Alternative" for the 8 o'clock itch, which is just where some dumb slob calls and asks to have their three most favoritest songs played, and then they win a prize. I called, and the phone rang and he picked up and I started going off about this stuff i wanted to hear but he said it had to be stuff they normally played, so I asked for some other stuff, but he said it had to be NEW stuff, so I said I didn't have an itch for the new stuff cuz they play it all the time anyway. I was being a hyperactive ass the whole time and he couldn't hold his radio persona together to get the conversational sound bytes necessary for the itch, so he said he'd give me a cd and some movie passes and then he went on the air, said that the itch caller was being an ass and that he couldn't talk to me, but here were my three favorite songs... and he just picked crap that they play all day every day. Then he cut the crap out of our conversation, pretended to answer the phone, and played selected footage. It was really stupid. I felt sort of cheated, even with the parting gifts. I mean, he asks me what I'm "up to tonight?" and I say, "eating graham crackers and blowing my nose a lot," and he can't deal with it?

So I'm feeling kind of cheated with my lack of airtime in this, my broadcast debut, so I waited for "desperate and dateless" on Z100, where someone goes into the studio and a couple of people call in and the studio guest asks them each really stupid, highly loaded questions, and then there's an evolved decision-making process, and the guest picks one of them to go out on a date, and they also get some FAN-TASTIC PRIZES. So this girl is describing herself on the radio and then people are supposed to call in, but most of the time, people don't care, so she had to come on and announce that no one was calling. I'm still feeling like a dipshit so I call and they actually put me on. This is like an hour long show with musical and commercial interludes, and they have me on in real-time, mind you, and I'm feeling pretty sassy. Like, I could have put the phone up to the radio and heard feedback. There wasn't going to be any censoring. I sorta let it fly and it was like a big party line, except I wasn't allowed to talk to the competition. Then after the third round of hard core questioning where I think I was asked, "if there were one thing you could ask your lover NOT to do to you, what would it be," to which I replied, most obviously, "pack my ass with pushpins," listeners were asked to call in and make their suggestions on who she should pick, and then they "run it through the computer" or something, and then she just says who she wants to go out with. I'm not sure what's up with the computer. It's probably a speak 'n spell. Anyway, I guess I'm going out with 5'8" brown-eyed Karen. She gets a $50 gift certificate and I get to drive her around or something. So much for my FAN-TASTIC PRIZES!

***
Yesterday I found ants in my stomach. I heard them shuffling around in there. I think I might be able to talk them into not burrowing through my veins anymore as I think that might contribute to circulatory diseases in the future. Plus, it makes my fingers twitch, and I fear that someday they'll figure out how to control my arms. Maybe if I drink a lot, they'll get drunk and won't make me hurt anyone. That's it. I'm becoming a drunk as of tonight.

***
I eat beans.
I make steam.
I am newest Pokemon fighter.
I am great evil from thundering mountain substation EEM1.
I come to destroy Pika magic and return happy Jollymon fighters to     torture palace in Sorumon system Gy.
I fight most dangerous battles in urge mesa champion rings to win        wooden crystal helmet and SiegeWind human worlds.
I robotomon into a truck with real flashing lights and my digimon          extra is flowers.
I am sign of checkered and will not stop until Pika magic has no          more robotomon to feed Pokemon fighters.
Gonu tsu!!!!!!!

***
This thursday, I was driving my mom's car, the convertible saab, because my car is in the body shop getting the door fixed. I got off of work at 1:00 because the company was having a picnic at champoeg park, so I had to drive out in the boonies in the saab and I treated the roads like a race course and hit 120 (with the top down) on a straightaway. I loaded up on food at the picnic, learned how to play frisbee golf with some freak frisbee fanatic who was wandering the course and could chuck a frisbee about 120yards. Then I drove to my parents', dropped off the saab, picked up the bmw (yes, convertible), went home, and then went to Jezebel's at 10:00 or so. It was dead there and a couple of people I know decided to head off to this party in a friend's loft downtown, and I said I'd drive because... duh... the bmw. We got there and it was pretty cool. top story loft in a 3 story building between burnside and couch on 2nd, next to the Cobalt lounge. The loft was packed, the fire escapes were packed, the guy on the turntables was spinning good drum n bass, I actually drank beer... and just about gagged. Peter, one of the two people that I went with, took over the tables and totally rocked the floor, so that was cool. We were talking with this friend of Sarah's (she being the other person I went with) who said that she had been learning how to sort of juggle these flaming things... kind of like a strap with a chain from which dangles a wad of cloth doused in gas and lit on fire... and a few minutes later, the guy who lives in the loft announced that the same girl was going to do her flame-juggling thing out on the sidewalk. So here's a hundred people spilling out of this building, crowding one of the lanes of the street, half-way to drunkenness, with a girl who's spinning these flaming balls around her body in a clearing on the sidewalk, drawing people out of the packed go-go girl night at the cobalt lounge, at midnight, on a thursday, in chinatown, with a small police station 150ft away and everyone screaming and clapping and you can almost feel the bass clear down on the street.

***
Hey, y'know, if a planet once orbited a sun, desolate and dead, and life began to grow and thrive on it, and that life gained sentience and that sentience sprouted many intelligent units and those intelligent units came to unify themselves as a hive to form one cohesive brain and then physically modified themselves to become one actual being, a giant network of organic nodes, and this mammoth brain wrapped round the globe like the white of an egg around the nutrient yolk, one fetus maturing in the womb of the galaxy, and then began remixing itself and sending offspring off to mature on other planets to increase the scope of its own being and to inevitably reanimate the universe from its cold death into a living whole, and then that sentient intelligent life emerged from its coccoon of physicality into something we cannot understand, not light or energy, but otherness, then I think I'd either wanna be part of that or at least be there to take pictures.

***
Poopsie,

I hope your trip to the Nether-world is going well. Me and the kids sure do miss you and your witty humor. Little Joey grew another three quarters of a meter last night, and he's still the squirming little larva you knew before you left. Cindy hasn't started speaking and I think she may have stopped breathing last month. I'll let her stay in bed.

Oh yes, and the neighbors buried an African elephant up to its neck in our front yard. I was wondering if you think it's a good thing for the kids to be playing on. What with the thing thrashing its trunk around like that. I told them I didn't like the idea but that you'd have final say.

I took that friend of mine from work, Joseph, to the annual turkey toss last week. I fixed a whole heap of mashed peaches and fried milk and he ate it off of my chest. Oh what a time! There was a limbo line forming up, but we went into the forest and I swallowed his ejaculate. That was a pretty tiring day, but other than that, it's been work and taking care of the kids, as usual.

I can't wait for your return. Maybe when you get back, we can celebrate by exploding that elephant in the yard. You know Joey, he sure likes to get his clothes messy.

-your honey bunny

ps. do you think I should have my legs taken off? they always get stuck in my hair when I shower.

***
Hi. I'm bored. My parents have some people over from work and they ordered chinese take-out and I had to go get it. I walk into the restaurant and ask for the order waiting for bruce smith and the guy finds the ticket and goes,
         "wow, you got big familry?"
         "No.... uh... but we're having guests, I guess."
         "Oh yeah... how many peoplre?"
         "Um, five total."
         "WOW, das a lrots of food for onlry fi peoplre!"
         "Uhhh.... oh. Well, I guess we want some for lunch. I didn't order it."
         "Oh, ha ha, yeah. Uh, I go get it."
         I look at the receipt ($80). I wait... and wait... and wait some more. [insert doubt and fear here]
         Guy comes out of kitchen carrying huge box... he's tilting under the weight... my eyes grow large.
         "Uhhh... yeah. Oh my god. I'm wondering if that's maybe not our order."
         he checks the receipt.
         "Yeah, you order for smith, das your phone number? 617-XXXX?"
         "uhhh... yeah. that's me."
         "yeah, das a lrots of food for you. you want a chocolrate? you order so mauch!"
         "hmm... no thanks. I think I've got enough here."
         looking inside the box, I can't see to the bottom. just stacks of take out boxes, rising steam and evaporating grease. he opens the door for me and lets me out. watches to make sure that i don't cave under the weight while I get it into my car. I drive home with my arm around it to steady it, like a drunken date or something. These two white homies in a low riding civic or whatever pull up next to me at the stop light by bales' and look at me with my arm around the box and I kinda smile and up my chin to them like I'm a frat boy with some hotty in the seat.

end of super adventure story

***
         hi
         hi
         hi
  -------hi----
         hi
-----    hi
         hi
         hi
         hi
         hi
   ------hi-------------------------------------------------------so
       --hi-------------                                  ...anyway
         hi                                          ...any waaay
         hi                                    ...a knee weigh
         hi                               ...is a fact like
------   hi---------------------     ...a fact or is it an
         hi                     ...opinion agreed upon by
         hi                ...everyone who sort of matters
         hi           ...or more an absolute value; God's truth
         hi      ...a secret which with us It shares, for some reason?

Friday, May 19, 2000
not too much going on... so i redesigned :) i got this reggae winamp skin from this site and thought it'd be cool to have a matching web page! that's about it, though. so...

...dipping our toes back into the ongoing and highly personal dialogue that is the C-K ConneXioN, we search for and FIND the fetish of revelation!!! (edited to protect the innocent :)

***
> Damn, kind of a bummer.
> I thought http://www.word.com/features00/artfrahm/ was stranger, even still.

yeah, the 'oops my panties fell' fetish is pretty bizarre, if not in very refined taste.

> > she ignites flame retardant.

> starlightstarbright my ass is on the sun tonight.

that impish fart girl, explodin' the supernovae.

> you no like? is fatboy.

it's fratboy.

> > i thought i was drifting from 'edgy & subversive'. i'm about to give up, though.

> Hey, MY ass was on fire.

it was another lame attempt at presenting a 'voice' for the project. i'll just return to the interstices of meaning, e.g. vague intelligibility.

> > so intriguing :)

> I'm not sure what's going on. She may be sick of me. Or I, her.

i distinctly remember you saying the same thing about "ani c." you might've found a motif! or it could just be that deja vu feeling.

> > i'd rather listen to my own thoughts and the conversations that go on in my brain - the echo & the feedback, the seeds of dissonance spread through constant whispering, the low rumble of murmer, the voices in my head! at first it'd filter into my background experience, unnoticed as cancelled waveforms. but eventually idiosyncratic perturbations would begin to break up my consciousness until the buzzing totally subsumed my personality and all that'd be left me, an oscillating pressure wave, "CHUNG! CHUNG! CHUNG!..." taking up my senses. i'd have entered a place where only sound exists - tuned.

> Maxx flashback, or are you sleepwriting? Keep falling asleep to music and you'll find your relaxuring happy place.

definitely, that was the first instance i can remember on the 'use of sound' in a comic book. actually 'relaxure' makes me want to release my bowels. i think maybe because it's tagged with 'ensure' - the dietary supplement for older folks, which doesn't really make any sense. but hey, old people products kind of just blur together for me.

> By the way, why bother thinking about life after job? Just write. Publications are in your future, don't you think? The dream of the 15 yr. old is still alive, and the comic book industry needs a new figurehead.

um, like i could start a zine, or better yet a web zine! i dunno, what i like about writing is that i write what i write (again, makes no sense), everything else is incidental. i wouldn't ever want to make it [with discrete intentionality, formality] a job because it's kind of what i do anyways and i wouldn't want to corrupt that by pretending it's something that it's not. which i guess doesn't really preclude writing as a career, as long as the career was incidental to the writing (artistic integrity?), so maybe it's just me not wanting to apply any discipline to the craft... either out of laziness or a genuine appreciation of how thoughts arrive ultimately unforced and in free form. i'm a lazy, patient writer, i.e. not an author :)

Thursday, May 18, 2000
rented the insider the other night. it can only accurately be described as a beautiful movie! the cinematography reminded me of this movie medium cool, which happens to take place during the 1968 democratic national convention in chicago :) oh hey, and it stars robert forster of recent jackie brown fame!

these are some other movies that i think are beautiful:

  • petulia
  • walkabout
  • the king of marvin gardens
  • koyaanisqatsi
  • paris, texas

if you like cinematography this is great to watch, too. btw, cursorily scanning the imdb, i had no idea that the cinematographer for paris, texas shot repo man the same year. how cool is that?

stinkymeat!!! (via the irrepressible metalog)

Wednesday, May 17, 2000
hey, noam chomsky – a fixture among dissident american voices over the past few decades or so, especially during the reagan years! – is featured on mp3it courtesy of chumbawumba :) thanks brian!

i was thinking a mix of spoken word chomsky with instrumental godspeed you black emperors would be great to fall asleep to :)

here's some more scholarly remarks and trenchant criticism of the power structures that rule our world from other radical american voices:

Tuesday, May 16, 2000
bad acid trip by david shapiro!

Monday, May 15, 2000
exploring consumer culture (via robotwiz) and raising advertising awareness (via andrew)

i am constantly disturbed by the amount of product placement that's going on in my life. i guess don't mind that my coffee maker says BODUM or that my new stereo says RUBBERMAID, but the products i put in my mouth and on my body scare me. my family ate like most other middle class families, i think. our dinner table was blessed with an assortment of starches and water-blanched canned vegetables. but there was also HUNT'S and SEVEN SEAS and HELLMAN'S and ROYAL CROWN COLA and all sorts of other product labels. it made me feel like i was a focus group participant. these products would make me sick and i would often ask my parents to remove items like salad dressing bottles from the table as soon as everyone had properly lubricated their greens.

a friend of mine, who deals with this anxiety in a way that i envy but lack the energy to replicate, explained the crisis beautifully: it's the creeping feeling that you're living inside a commercial. i hate that.

Sunday, May 14, 2000
The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society. Conservation of the old modes of production in unaltered form, was, on the contrary, the first condition of existence for all earlier industrial classes. Constant revolutionizing of production, uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions, everlasting uncertainty and agitation distinguish the bourgeois epoch from all earlier ones. All fixed, fast frozen relations, with their train of ancient and venerable prejudices and opinions, are swept away, all new-formed ones become antiquated before they can ossify. All that is solid melts into air, all that is holy is profaned, and man is at last compelled to face with sober senses his real condition of life and his relations with his kind.

been trying to frame use vs. exchange (economic) value in relation to intellectual property and borrowed an analogy from karl marx & frederick engels (via sociorealm!), "All that is solid melts into air," which also happens to be a nice book on modernity by marshall berman :)

so the use value for air is very high, without air we would not be able to breathe. but air's economic value is low, because no one as yet has figured out a way to ration air to individuals. because of its commodity status air is freely shared despite its clear value.

however, in an environment where air is scarce, such as underwater or outer space, the control of air is much easier to regulate. those who own the compressors, tanks and regulators (infrastructure) to deliver air to paying customers are able to derive economic value from what nominally is a ubiquitous and free resource.

the same reasoning behind use and economic value can be applied to IP. control of IP in the past was relatively straightforward given the use value of IP was limited in scope to those who had the necessary infrastructure in place to utilize it. in the music industry, recording and selling songs were a function of owning the distribution rights and the facilities to mint IP onto vinyl, tape, CD or whatever media format desired.

high capital costs were a deterrent for widespread multiplication of IP and hence supply was relatively easy to regulate, copyrights enforced and economic value maintained. but with widespread and low cost availability of equipment to record and exhibit all sorts of media, even marginal consumers are now able to gain access to IP (and even produce it :), rendering those types of IP essentially free.

the important thing to recognize is how amenable IP is to commodification. given use value for a specified market, if the IP represents a complicated process that only companies with large resources are able to replicate, then its economic value is easily defended. but if fixed and marginal costs to replication are low, the ability to defend IP declines, whether through legal enforcement or otherwise. it becomes like air.

Saturday, May 13, 2000
the latest issue of harper's includes anarchical subculture,

Once you are past the age where everything unmistakably matters, it is easy to lose track of time, most often with the more general goal of escaping from your life. There is the thrill of dropping in from the sky to unfamiliar places. There is excitement of meeting new people and forming instantaneous bonds that allow you to penetrate their personal thoughts and record them on tape. There is the practice of emptying out your own center to create whatever space is necessary, a process that combines a zenlike appreciation for the void with the interpersonal dynamics of carnival sales. Or the no less false and manipulative but still emotionally connected position that allows you to shut off your empathetic radar, disengage, and turn the people you meet into characters whose dreams and aspirations are revealed in a sentence on the page.

...'the museum of me' an essay by ellen ullman,

Something changed, however, not in me but in the Internet and the Web and in the world, and the change was written out in person-high letters on a billboard on the corner of Howard and New Montgomery Streets in San Francisco. It was the fall of 1998. I was walking toward Market Street one afternoon when I saw it, a background of brilliant sky blue, with writing on it in airy white letters, which said: now the world really does revolve around you. The letters were lower-case, soft-edged, spaced irregularly, as if they'd been skywritten over a hot August beach and were already drifting off into air. The message they left behind was a child's secret wish, the ultimate baby-world narcissism we are all supposed to abandon when we grow up: the world really does revolve around me.

...and a conversation amongst h4x0rs in progress,

personally i think Mahir got pissed off at the net in general and is sitting at home with a big bottle of tequila in his hand, hax0ring away, yelling I FUCK YOU!! to no one in particular.

Friday, May 12, 2000
a statistical portrait, from a nytimes series on rampage killers.

Whether they happen in a school, in a mall, in a crowded train or in a workplace, these crimes have been characterized in a language of incomprehension -- "senseless," "random," "sudden," "crazy."

pirates! (via guardian unlimited)

They use speedboats, automatic weapons and satellite technology to create a wave of terror on the high seas. The pirates of the 21st century are far deadlier than the romantic heroes of the past.

Thursday, May 11, 2000
butthole surfer

augie hovered over the tightly puckered hole for what seemed like an eternity until the smooth muscular orifice began to quiver uncontrollably under the strain of prolonged effort. slowly but surely the fleshy iris expanded. its cabled strength, which had held in wiry tension for almost 11 full hours, dissipated into a soft, pulpy portal - a yielding entranceway to all unholy comers.

as the last involuntary spasms rippled through the ringed musculature, his impenetrable resolve melted away. defeat. the once clenched closure now lay open and inviting, all that was left him was the expectation of entry... of violation.

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