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Journal: End of the world 6

Journal by Farmer Tim

Well, its now 1 AM, 6/6/06, and so far the minions of hell have failed to burst forth and wreak havoc upon the world...or at least my rainy corner (maybe demons don't like wet weather; their horns poke holes in their umbrellas, I imagine).

For anyone concerned I'll be providing regular updates, but I really don't expect any activity more diabolical than the average Tuesday. Admittedly, that's a pretty high standard around here...

My apologies to anyone who mistook the title of this journal for something important. You should know better by now ;)

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Journal: Weirdness... 3

Journal by Farmer Tim

I'm sometimes given reason to ponder the strangeness of life and how it seems like there's some mysterious force playing silly buggers with us. Today was one of those days.

Last year I did the audio work for a short horror film (I know, I'm a pretentious tosser) about a home invasion where someone gets a knife through the back of their head. A week after filming a member of the crew was attacked with a machete in a home invasion, and his right ear was nearly severed.

One hell of a coincidence, right? Read on.

Forward to last week. Myself and the afore-mentioned crew member, now recovered, are packaging short films for a local community TV station. The station wants to put on classic horror films, and approach us to provide films and a host (my colleague having almost scary expertise in film trivia). Being a little camera shy and not even remotely photogenic, the best idea we could come up with was making a skeleton puppet, so we set about ordering one for the job.

Today, some police turned up on my doorstep with grim news: the severely decayed corpse of my long lost uncle Tony has been found in a tent in a national park.

Conclusion 1: The universe has an incredible sense of comic timing. Two days earlier and we could have saved $80.

Conclusion 2: Some people will do anything to get on television.

I think I'm in danger of developing a metaphysical persecution complex. Does anyone else have a true story of bizarre coincidence?

It's funny.  Laugh.

Journal: When is a joke not a joke? When there's velcro! Wha...?

Journal by Farmer Tim

Several weeks ago I responded to a comment about velcro-tab sneakers, mentioning that I still have two pairs, and it was marked up as funny. Oddly, I was only half joking: for anyone wanting to re-live the 80's (and may God have mercy on you) they're still made by Pacific Dunlop*, and available through K-Mart* stores here in Australia. I suspect these are still popular here because Australian beer generally contains more alcohol than American beer, and as a nation we don't like having to sober up enough to cope with shoelaces before walking to the pub.

Just a warning: Dunlop also make car tyres, so be careful not to confuse the two product lines unless you have really big, odd-shaped feet. If you're uncertain, use the compatibility guide at the top right of this journal entry.

*I'm not trying to advertise for them, I'm providing this info as a service to the sartorially impaired. I don't honestly expect anyone to actually buy a pair...

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Journal: Anti-corporate politics and efficient energy use

Journal by Farmer Tim
Recently I've been accused of being a corporate apologist because I made a qualified positive remark about Apple - not the first time I've heard the accusation, and I suspect won't it be the last. Now, I'm not fool enough to believe that corporations are all sweetness and light; quite the opposite, I've had ample experience directly dealing with corporations (large recording and media companies mainly, better known as the dregs of the scum), I've worked for corporations, I've bought from corporations, I've been screwed at both ends of the supply chain and in the middle, so I've learned first-hand what utter bastards they can be all round. They're money making machines without concern for any other issue, pure and simple.

That's the vitriol out of the way, now for the pragmatism.

Corporations, for all their lack of ethics and outright illegal activites, do represent the largest source of investment in R&D and manufacturing infrastructure, whether we like it or not. The government isn't going to take over any time soon; if anything, government investment in R&D is going to drop as welfare spending increases (and its debatable whether government R&D is the most efficient method of funding, but that's a side issue). To use a subject close to all our hearts, without corporations the size of Intel, AMD or IBM, who would step up to continue development of microprocessors? I'm not trolling, its a serious question. Building a new chip fab isn't really compatible with the open source philosophy because it needs a substantial investment in physical equipment; though I'm sure the talent is available to design a very high quality processor through a distributed effort, getting it into production would be another matter. That's just one example, and our mass-production based consumerist society is full of others.

So the question I'm enabling comments for is this: what would you, gentle slashdotter, suggest as a way of making the existing corporate system more accountable and ethical, or alternatively, what system could be used to compete against the corporation from a grass-roots level, in an open source-like manner? How can the energy from all the anger I see be channelled into useful action? I'm interested to hear what people think can be done; of course, I'll patent any really good ideas ;)

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas

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