Technology cannot replace talent

March 30, 2007 at 8:32 pm (Uncategorized)

Were you aware? A new camera does not make you a better photographer. I am rapidly discovering this with the acquisition of a new camera phone. I was planning all sorts of flickr craziness and blog illustration, but no. Photography, like music composition, is a mysterious arcane art that completely eludes me. This is why I think photographers, composers, and graphic designers (to an extent) are just that bit cooler than normal people. They get something that profoundly baffles me. I think they may be mutants.

Meanwhile, this is a handly tool that I’ve been using for a couple of days now to decrease productivity to the absolute bearable minimum.

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My IM with God

March 28, 2007 at 10:54 pm (Uncategorized)

 You too can hook up with the Man upstairs at iGod (“Repenting made easy!”)!  Having grown up with Sierra adventure games, I have a soft spot for AI-baiting.  Hence the following transcript. Read the rest of this entry »

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Recent musical discoveries

March 19, 2007 at 8:17 pm (music, politics)

Jenny Wilson: Love and Youth

I was sitting in the living room of a friend in Sydney with the TV on. A bizarre little music video with black-and-white doodles wandering around the screen came on, with a vaguely lazy post-electroclash sound and a woman singing delightfully strange adolescent lyrics. What made this embarassing was that I had no idea who this person was despite Jenny Wilson having been massively hyped by the Finnish/Nordic press when her album was actually new. And I think she is the author of my favourite sound byte of the past couple of years – I obviously don’t remember it word for word, but the gist of it is that as she was an unemployed single mom while she was working on the material for Love and Youth, she can be thought of as a product of the Nordic welfare system. Which sounded wonderful and a little disturbing.

On one hand, this is what you get from a strong welfare state: exceptional talent comes out and benefits the state (here: probably the Swedish tourism bureau) regardless of economic background. On the other, the government gave her money while she wasn’t even trying to find a job, and just played around with samplers and lyrics and things. I suppose it depends on your political affiliation whether you think this is worthwhile. I’d like to think that it is, but for this kind of a system to be supported, rich people will have to pay lots and lots of money in tax.

Rufus Wainwright: Want (Two) Read the rest of this entry »

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March 15, 2007 at 6:44 pm (knits)

Lion and Lamb


For patterns that are AWESOME!

But I cannot afford it! Because I bought shoes! That are AT LEAST AS AWESOME!

But not as awesome as ANYTHING HERE!

sigh, shoes’n’yarn.

(We will return to our normal pseudo-academic discourse shortly)

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Slippery Little Devil: Feminism

March 14, 2007 at 4:05 pm (politics)

Feminism is funny

When I first discovered my mother’s stash of Doris Lessing books, I was delighted. My mom – dedicated warrior against all things genre (unless the genre was nouvelle vague or Russian realism) – had forayed into science fiction? Also, female sf writer? Has to be feminist. And if she’s a feminist, she must agree with me on gender equality issues, and I can safely expect her books to offer me the warm fuzzy smugness of agreeing on politics. Little did I know that Lessing was but a few years away from denouncing her status as a “feminist icon” (having already denied writing “science fiction”), or that feminism was mighty different back in the day (1970s). I trudged part way through her Canopus in Argos series, and wasn’t quite sure whether to laugh or cry when I got to what can only be described as the sf precursor to Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus – part two of the series, The Marriages Between Zones Three, Four, and Five (1980, admittedly).

Read the rest of this entry »

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