Adam Curtis’ #Bitterlake today on BBC iplayer?

Adam Curtis’ Bitter Lake  (previewed on Charlie Brooker’s yearly wipe) is on BBC iPlayer today from 9pm. I don’t think I’ll be watching at that time (find it interesting there is a time, but I guess there has to be one), due to the Techgrumps podcast. But I’m sure to check it out soon enough.

Politicians used to have the confidence to tell us stories that made sense of the chaos of world events. But now there are no big stories and politicians react randomly to every new crisis – leaving us bewildered and disorientated.

Bitter Lake is a new, adventurous and epic film by Adam Curtis that explains why the big stories that politicians tell us have become so simplified that we can’t really see the world any longer.

Funny enough today I started the morning with this related playlist…

I was a little peed off that the doc about subliminal advertising’s results were split across podcasts… Could have done with a warning really! One for the physical playlist.

Ello and welcome to no pesky ads

inspired by ello, the network

Been keeping my eye on the move to create ethical social networks which don’t take the living piss with our data. Things like Tent.io, Known and now Ello are gathering some momentum…

We originally built Ello as a private social network. Over time, so many people wanted to join Ello that we built a public version of Ello for everyone to use.

Ello recently got quite serious about its non-ad and no selling of personal data.

Ad-free

Ello doesn’t sell ads. Nor do we sell data about you to third parties.

Virtually every other social network is run by advertisers. Behind the scenes they employ armies of ad salesmen and data miners to record every move you make. Data about you is then auctioned off to advertisers and data brokers. You’re the product that’s being bought and sold.

Collecting and selling your personal data, reading your posts to your friends, and mapping your social connections for profit is both creepy and unethical. Under the guise of offering a “free” service, users pay a high price in intrusive advertising and lack of privacy.

We also think ads are tacky, that they insult our intelligence and that we’re better without them.

To be fair its way off being something massive, but thats what makes it interesting I feel. I’m now on the network, so if you are interested in a invite and we are friends, drop me a email or tweet…

Blip.tv does good on its promise to archive

Mike Hudack of Blip.tv

A long while ago I talked about why I used Blip.TV over Youtube, Vimeo and other video uploading sites.

  • Upload video of any length
  • Download the archived original
  • Use there non branded flash player anywhere you like
  • Add a creative commons licence
  • Automatically add content to Internet Archive
  • Add advertising to your video (start or end)
  • Add alternative formats of the same clip

Although most of these features are now supported by the others, blip.tv was promising this in 2006!

It was a shame last year when I saw the message in my email saying blip.tv was removing my videos. I did try and download most of them, but remembered the promise of uploading everything to archive.org.

…If Blip.tv ever pulled a Yahoo/Flickr thing on its users. You could pipe them all to Archive.org and remove them from Blip. Metadata and all..

Well they didn’t exactly do a Yahoo/Flickr thing on us, but their business models changed when they got bought. But they nicely honoured their word and dumped everything requested on to archive.org. I was having a hard time finding stuff (archive.org’s search isn’t the best) but I found everything using this search. Including classics like Mike Arrington thinks the BBC should be dissolved. Remember the firestorm which came from that video and his lack of ignorant comment. Finally it was followed by this.

The only disappointment is the links around the web are now broken as redirection of blip links never happened… Maybe I should contact mike (if he’s still in CEO) to remind him, wonder if he remembers me?

Dataportability for the win…!

13 questions you should ask on the first date?

Claire asks what I feel about 13 questions you should ask on the first date.

Now before I start, I’d point out I understand these are conversation starters and therefore will be thinking about them in the context of number 9 – social objects.

A shared experience is a powerful key to being interesting to other people. For example, on the train as I am now, I could turn around the lady across the table and say “nice drawing, how did you learn to draw like that?” The social object would be the drawing… Hugh has better examples

  1.  How often would you say you bring notecards to your dates?
    I can’t take this one seriously… is the notecards a social object? Nope…
  2. Are you a Beatles fan or an Elvis fan?
    This question does give you a lot of information, its also a good way to get the person talking. Even if they look at you blankly, its still interesting. If I was to answer, I would mention the fact I spent most of my time with my head in the underground and some stuff about the Beatles, which my friends have heard a few times before.
  3. Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck?
    This one reminds me of Oli‘s who would win in a fight at the beach between a Giant Squid and a Bear. Although I think they are silly, I guess that is the charm. I would advise against lots of this type of stuff because it can come across as slightly weird and kind of trivial. Maybe more of a nice ice breaker?
  4. How do you feel about chick flicks?
    Talking about movies isn’t a bad idea, but chick flick might cause slight abuse. What is the last film which made you laugh or cry is a favourite for me.
  5. What’s the best book you read last year?
    Yes this is a good question and I have been known to ask the question while speed dating.
  6. What did you think about ‘Too Many Cooks’?
    Ok this is might get back the response of a ? But if they have seen it, well I guess you can have a laugh or indepth discussion about sitcoms.
  7. What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
    Geez! Really?
  8. Do you love or hate Love Actually?
    This falls into the same area as the chick flicks and too many cooks. Maybe best left alone.
  9. Is Pluto a planet?
    Nice but odd to put in a conversation, and the reply may not be that satisfactory unless you are both really geeky about space.
  10. What’s your idea of the perfect date?
    Ok good question at long last, although it can sound a little creepy
  11. Do you have any allergies?
    Yes a little creepy but actually quite a talking point (see my last post)
  12. Star Wars or Star Trek?
    Elvis or Beatles all over again. After my display of (lack of) knowledge about both at BarCampManchester5, I can really talk.
  13. What’d you do today?
    This is a good question (although I would say it in a different way), open ended and plenty of places to go afterwards. This is the kind of question you should be going for…

How do you say I’m allergic to… in Japanese?

A Sushi Bar in Wakayama, Japan [October 2010]

Chris broke to the news to me about a girl who died eating at Almost Famous while we were eating in TGI Fridays (yes I know I said I wouldn’t go back after dronegate which end with somebody hit in the head but it was one of our regular Friday drinks). I was wondering why TGI Fridays was taking my nut allergy extremely seriously, alot more than last time, Chris then broke the news about the death.

The 18-year-old collapsed on Withy Grove in Manchester city centre on Friday night shortly after eating at the restaurant’s site in the Great Northern Warehouse

Police have launched an investigation after a teenager died from a suspected allergic reaction following a meal at the well-known burger bar Almost Famous.

The 18-year-old woman collapsed on Withy Grove in Manchester city centre on Friday night shortly after eating at the restaurant’s site in the Great Northern Warehouse, on Peter Street, off Deansgate.

Police were called to the scene and the teenager was taken to hospital but she died on Monday.

Its tragic, I have eaten there a few times and although I don’t know what she was allergic to, it certainly focuses my mind around my trip to Tokyo. When I say I am scared of dying, I certainly was not joking!

The inquest was told that she had begun to feel unwell near the Printworks, on Withy Grove, shortly after.

When it became apparent she may have eaten something she was allergic to, she used her inhaler and her epi-pen, which gives a shot of adrenaline to treat severe allergic reactions.

But they had no effect and she collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest.

An ambulance was called shortly after 8pm and she was taken to the A&E at Manchester Royal Infirmary before being transferred to the intensive care unit. She died on Monday.

The Home Office post mortem revealed the provisional cause of death was hypoxic encephalopathy – damage caused to the brain by oxygen starvation – due to anaphylaxis – a severe allergic reaction.

The amount of fish and seafood the Japanese eat and consume is no joking matter for somebody allergic to themt. Although I’m a fan of the new EU rules which have come into effect this is a timely reminder its not perfect and of course I won’t be in the EU.

I found some cards which someone has nicely put online.

japanese shellfish allergy

japanese nut allergy card

I still need to find the same for Beans and Peas but theres a lot of useful tips and people trying to solve the same problem.

You shouldn’t have much of a problem in Japan, as long as you can communicate your allergies and you know how the substances you are allergic to are written. Food allergy awareness is about on par with the U.S.

Oh and the answer to the question I asked is…

The word for allergy in Japan is アレルギー – pronouced a-RE-ru-gee, a loan word that’s pretty close to ‘allergy’ if you say it out loud. (It was taken from German (Allergie), as were many medical terms.)

The eve of night mix

The eve of night mix by Cubicgarden on Mixcloud

This is a mix I did over the holidays but just had the chance to upload it. Lots of new tunes mixed up in the usual fashion. Enjoy!

  1. Grotesque (Alex MORPH and RAM mix) – RAM
  2. 3rd Earth (Heatbeat Remix) – Solarstone vs Scott Bond
  3. Solarcoaster (Protoculture Remix) – Solarstone
  4. Running up the hill (jerome isma-ae bootleg) – Placebo
  5. Tears (Protoculture Remix) – Markus Schulz pres. Dakota
  6. Take me away, into the night (purple haze remix) – 4 Strings
  7. Humming The Lights (Full Version) – Armin van Buuren presents Gaia
  8. Connected (Craig Connelly Remix) – John B feat Kirsty Hawkshaw
  9. Love Never Came (W&W vs Armin van Buuren More Intense remix) – Armin van Buuren
  10. Diss! – Ferry Corsten
  11. UFO – Shogun
  12. Refused – Mark Sixma & Jerome Isma-Ae
  13. For the moment – Solid state
  14. Alliance (Original Mix) – Andy Tau Pulstate
  15. Heal – Electrique Boutique
  16. Sundown (Sneijder Remix) – Thomas Bronzwaer
  17. The Ultimate desination – ARDI
  18. Ecstasy – Eddie Makabi feat. Einat

Women Are Sexual Predators too

The apparently benevolent hangover of sexist attitudes does women no favours. If women are to own their own sexuality, they must also own their potential to be sexual predators with all that this implies.

From the Festival of Dangerous Ideas: Alissa Nutting’s Women Are Sexual Predators. Its a great talk and Alissa really outlines the appalling double standards. Within the talk there are parts which further my thoughts about why I’m a feminist. Equality extends both ways.Its a complex equality…

Got to say the festival of dangerous ideas looks really good, will have to look out for it this year.

Shape-shifting politics and the non-linear world

Politicians used to have the confidence to tell us stories that made sense of the chaos of world events. But now there are no big stories and politicians react randomly to every new crisis – leaving us bewildered and disorientated.

And journalism – that used to tell a grand, unfurling narrative – now also just relays disjointed and often wildly contradictory fragments of information. Events come and go like waves of a fever. We – and the journalists – live in a state of continual delirium, constantly waiting for the next news event to loom out of the fog – and then disappear again, unexplained.

And the formats – in news and documentaries – have become so rigid and repetitive that the audiences never really look at them.

If you watched Charlie Brooker’s 2014 wipe over the end of last year (One of the only thing I actually looked forward to on TV over the festive holiday period), you would seen a preview of Adam Curtis’ Bitter Lake.

The central theme seems to be around cognitive overloading and distortion, fascinating and can’t wait to watch. Reminds me of the experiencing Adam Curtis vs Massive Attack 2 years ago.

Are you actually monogamish?

There’s a flaw in the way we choose our life partners. We pair up based (mostly) on preferences outside of the bedroom, and hope that what happens in the bedroom will match up. Infidelity is not the end of the world, it’s a reality of long-term relationships. We accept the good and the bad when it comes to our partner’s jobs, families, and failures, but quickly default to divorce when we yield to natural temptation.It’s time to stop fooling ourselves and accept that outdated concepts of “proper” sex are torpedoing discussions needed to reach mature sexual compromises. Many of the relationships that we think of as monogamous are actually probably ‘monogomish': mostly monogamous, but with bits on the side. If we really want to protect the sanctity of marriage, we need to make it our playground, not our prison.

From Dan Savage… also  in Urban Dictionary
A relationship that is mostly monogamous but occasionally exceptions are made for sexual play.
My boyfriend and I are monogamish, so it’s cool if you want to make out with me

Not much different from what was talked about at the event I went to in Manchester. The argument then was pretty much the same from Rosie Wilby, as she also wrote about.

Its a enlighten way of looking at relationships, certainly don’t think society can yet grapple with this as of yet. Which is not an excuse…

Why shes not a feminist

I have already posted about being a feminist and dating feminist. Interestingly Rosie posted how to find yourself a feminist partner which hopefully we will talk about on lovegrumps soon.

Recently I have butted head with different women over feminism. I don’t know what it is but so many women really hate the term and will never consider themselves feminist.

One such person is Girl Geek Upnorth, who wrote her feelings about why she doesn’t identify as a feminist. So I will reply…

  • I do not need to identify myself as a feminist to believe in equal rights and opportunities. I live in a world where I am free to make this choice, it is my right to do so, even if you don’t agree with it.

I agree, and I support her rights to make the choice not to identify as a feminist. Its ultimately up her, I just suggested she might want to consider it.

  • I do not believe that men and women are equal. I believe we should have equal rights and opportunities, but I celebrate our differences, and I can accept that these difference may lead to a divide in political, economical, cultural and social representations. This does not necessarily mean that equal rights and opportunities were not given.

Its all about equal rights and equal opportunities. Everybody is unique and different, I do celebrate this too. But they should have equal rights and opportunities.

So I think were saying the same thing pretty much, although she doesn’t use the label. However when it comes to the movement against and women against feminism, I’m less certain we agree.

It is my opinion, that in more recent times, feminism has been tainted. Something must be causing these women to feel like feminism is trying to make them feel like a victim, claim oppression, or be ashamed of wanting to be a stay at home mum instead of lawyer or doctor. These feelings don’t come from no where, and whether or not feminism represents these ideas or not, it does not make the opinions of these women any less valid. Maybe in their cases they don’t need feminism anymore because for them, the feminist movement has done its job, but I think it’s a damn shame that such an amazing movement has become so misunderstood and warped by today’s society.

I feel people are people and in groups, there will always be parasites. Or in this case people who claim to be feminist who don’t respect other peoples right to make decisions for themselves. For example when Jody wrote about her breast augmentation in the Guardian. The hateful comments from radical, self righteous, hypocritical, or even judgmental feminists was shocking.

I will admit I am finding more smart women who subscribe to the values of feminism but refuse to be called one. And its their right. I feel the word is in transition of being reclaimed, maybe in many years it won’t be a taboo to be called a feminist…. maybe?

Update… Andy Powell added his thoughts.

He asks the question about FEMINIST verses feminist. Or I you could say big F vs small f feminist. I did find the language politics highlighted by Tom Scott very interesting too. Although I can’t get behind Equalist.

…because of the attitudes of the FEMINISTS I find it difficult to claim I’m a feminist, so Im just going to go on record as saying I’m an Equalist.

Equalist for me is like when somebody says I’m  African American. I have been called it before while in America, to which I had to say I prefer Black thank you . I understand and respect why some people want to use that term but it feels like a half way house, and for what?

Feminist stirs the pot and conjures up thoughts in the people who hear it. Same as Black, same as Gay, same as Geek…

I guess at the end of the day as long as the values are equivalent it doesn’t matter what you use. Now thats something I can get respect.

Traitor to the male race, a reply from Molly

Molly drops in for lunch at Backstage

Remember the post I wrote about being told I am a traitor to the “male race” for sharing knowledge about pickup artist literary with female friends? Yes it wasn’t long ago and I’m still looking forward to bringing these guys up to Manchester to defend their position.

But I also cross posted into Google Plus, Molly responded. Unfortunately the post is not public but I asked Molly if I could repost it here, which she said happily…

I think the most important part of your personal statement to read and reread as necessary are these two words: old friends.

I do not know much about this aspect of culture as I am older and not necessarily in the game as it were. But any truly great movement has its heart and soul in the betterment of the entirety of the human, and thereby humanity at large. Not just the individual selfish end need or want.

To bring people together with the greater ideal of wanting them to have fulfilling and lasting relationships in their lives that are not abusive in any direction is to me perhaps the highest goal human could pursue!

I may just be not well informed about these issues but I cannot for the life of me in figure out how anyone could call the desire and action of helping people achieve a better way of relating a traitor to *anything*

Thanks Molly! Really nice, honest and heart felt response!

Tokyo awaits

Japanese Shopping Alley

I said in my new years resolutions I was going to Tokyo.

  • Go to a new part of the world
    I’m scoping Tokyo and think I got the flight sorted, some friends who maybe interested and I’m looking at Airbnb for somewhere to stay. My cousin has mentioned eastern europe is cool…  regardless, I got to try going somewhere new and further east

So I have looked at the best times to go and I’m the very edge of booking the flights. Found some great flights for about £500. But I’m a little stuck when it comes to the hotel/airbnb.

Its not the cost, its more if I’m going alone or with somebody else?

I have had a few offers but nothing has stuck yet,  So I guess this is a open call for anybody who would like to join me or has advice on where I should stay or go. Wikitravel and a host of recommended books have been useful.

I will visit other parts of Japan but Tokyo is my main destination, we all know how much I love cities.

I bought into the Philips Hue system but why?

Philips Hue Bridge

After my blog post asking about which smart lighting system works best for me… I choose the Philips Hue system but why?

  1. Philips made its simple REST API public! Yeh!
  2. Seen activity of people hacking around with the Philips hue lights.
  3. Replace my aging and dying Philips Light/wake-up clock.
    It keeps waking me up at the wrong time of the night and missing the alarm time! I barely use it because of this. Looking forward to combining my sleep pattern with my wake up. May even help with my alertness?
  4. Have better control over my living room lighting.
    I like warm lights at night and hate the way the lights are in my living room at the moment but don’t want to do the massive alterations to change it at the moment.
  5. I really want to experiment with XBMC and a Ambelight style setup

Thoughts and ideas of a dyslexic designer/developer