Ownership, Legacy and Efficiency

I’m a person who creates, I always have and I always will… it’s equal parts a desire to help people, personal vanity through my creations and the high I get from problem solving and understanding things. While I acknowledge the veneer of selflessness that the open source philosophy pays lip service to, the realities are far more practical. Most open source has corporate sponsorship, even control so that the innovation which does occur is almost 1:1 with commercial features of products, whether or not there is any profit motive, a simple desire to compete for users drives this. Now there’s a viewpoint that this interaction produces a type of darwinism which leads to efficiency which dovetails nicely with our society’s bizarre obsession with efficiency.

Our civilization(s) came about through an enourmous glut of resources which are the result of millenea of carbon based life absorbing solar energy and decomposing, now that we’ve taken to carelessly consuming as much as we can take, there’s a strange focus on optimizing this consumption as if your saving the planet driving your hybrid on your 2 hour commute. Elimination of consumptive behavior, however, isn’t possible… so what can we do? Virtualize. I believe a decentralized visualization/simulation protocol with ownership rights that can overlay is the only thing that can both save the consumer culture and markets we all enjoy as well as all the resources that form the basis of our current and future survival. We have one biomass, there is no do over. I firmly believe the lack of a resource glut is a major warning sign this culture is unsustainable and rather than move to a brave new world of management and regulation, a major shift in how we consume and commute would allow us to continue our present mode of exploration and abundance.

“Well this all sounds very Science Fiction, Abbey… get to the point.” My point is that in the pursuit of maintaining this pyramid schemes modern corporations are eroding ownership rights in this country, as if because virtual object have no corporeal existence they are somehow ‘worthless’, so media companies line up to stream us the same content over and over endlessly wasting power and bandwidth on a truly massive scale, for the simple purpose of denying the user ownership and preventing creators from linking directly with consumers. In the modern world the only useful purpose media companies serve is production, as an artist can easily handle (assuming they have a little help) their own marketing, distribution and booking, this relevance is still meaningful in the Movie industry… but many artists are now letting their fans buy music directly and our lawmakers are making laws to enforce this total lack of media ownership, across the board. According to them I can’t sell you a DVD that you own, you own a license to view it… this is central to why it remains illegal to decode a DVD enven though software to do so is widespread. Everyone knows they aren’t stopping any piracy this way, what is it they are stopping? Our rights, and they have legal teams scaring the shit out of them. I’ve been lucky to know some creative people during my life, and as one got some noteriety and was doing the talk show circuit she wound up back in town and I got to hang out and talk for a while, and I saw a few alarming things. Beyond the beginnings of the ‘mirror thing’ (watching celebrities near mirrors can be slightly nausea inducing), I endured a number of stories about how she refused fans autographs because they didn’t buy her CD. It was pretty disturbing. A bunch of asshat lawyers scared this chick who’s career had been, errr, ‘enhanced’ by payola that her actual fans, you know… the people that would have *caused* her fame under normal circumstances were somehow out to get her. Mindblowing.

“Yeah, but DRM is stupid Abbey, it didn’t work and now we have all these sweet home network devices that allow us to strem our media libraries in our house!” Well, actually this is the focus of media companies right now to erode exactly those rights so you don’t own anything and will be commiting a crime by transcoding media so it can be viewed in any other way or using other devices. Every time you stream some shit from Hulu and Netflix (I’m guilty too) or Spotify and Last.fm you are contributing to this new world. But in the end this is less insidious, because they’re relying on our own laziness to shrink the demand for owned media… slimy? yes. changing the country? no.

And in comes signed code. Part of Apple’s desire to lock down their own platform without you know, relying on engineering prowess, is to requiring every developer who wants access to the full featureset of their API to sign their app with a key from Apple requiring any app pass a submission process as well as giving them a global kill switch. Also included in this shift is apple ‘simplifying’ your apps by linking each apps data to the app itself. What if apple pulls the kill switch? oops, sorry! What if the developer goes out of business? oops, sorry! What if I die and I want to pass on my digital life? Fuck you, dead guy!

And then the final barrier: Patents. Now patents make sense in a world of knock-offs… when you make something it makes sense to protect primary movers so that the research investment can be recouped, so as to encourage investment. That is not at all what is going on in software patents. The modern system is so fucked I could lock myself in a room write the software from scratch out of my head and I’d violate a whole goddamned slew of patents, it’s unavoidable. But it’s also pointless for a patent troll to sue someone who could be a potential source of revenue. So what happens is a race where you are trying to build or aquire enough patents that when the trolls come knocking you can cross-license instead of getting royally screwed with licensing fees… but of course these shitheads only show up after a couple of rounds of funding. Because it’s no fun sticking up poor people 😛 These guys are the very bottom of our society, speculating leeches taking advantage of the carelessness or misfortune of other innovators, buying up patents in bulk for peanuts.

If we allow these things to happen we will shackle our own hands and inevitably the system eventually implodes from a lack of input as we continue to scale physcial consumption for our own vanity. We have to find the courage to stand up for these rights, and frankly I’m not even sure what that entails.

Over the next year I will be migrating to technology which opposes this tide and try to more clearly define who is working on these problems and what I can do to help. I will periodically post progress updates toward this end.

5 Highly Effective Make Word for Blog

If it sounds like a goose it must be a duck (bad english is more than bad hair rock).

Why bother with accuracy or definitions? I could *gleam* information from a dictionary and tell you what I *leaned*, but what would be the advantage in that? So many bloggers have a miniscule vocabulary, which they supplement with things they’ve heard (or misheard) or just use a thesaurus to substitute every third word. Because when most of your readers aren’t experts, why would the writer ever try to be? I like to imagine gnomes in some subterrainian lair, desperately trying to piece together words cut together from magazine articles, like some kind of ransom note to my intellect. This results in bizarre disjointed blogs, who have clearly been spell-checked, but not proofread by someone who understands context.

Crosses are more comfortable with padding (play the game without blame).

I’m not sure how people seem to change personalities in between blog posts, and  demean other’s problems by creating a simple calculus to address a complex problem (badly). They offer is some anecdotal bullshit, supported by some quote scavenged off of google, and backed up with a link to other blogs in order to increase the connectedness and, in turn, their content stream, which eventually becomes a revenue stream, even though it’s generally a rewording of some other blog. Like a giant game of telephone which begins with an Associated Press story and ends with utter nonsense, but perpetuates until the leaf nodes of this tree are getting no real hits.

One stone of doubt ripples across the pool (Vagrants don’t live in glass houses).

Rather than actually refute something in a reasonable way, just occlude the inconvenient details, and create a nice little microcosm, which can be dismissed by a glib, one line assessment. Cast your reader’s doubt to the wind, creating precedent to which you can later refer. Chances are your reader doesn’t understand the details of the issue at hand, which is why they’re trusting some random person on the internet in the first place… so why hold yourself to any level of accountability or give some disclaimer? Bravely forge ahead like a post-modern Lewis and Clark, but without a compass, map, or natural sense of direction.

Synonyms have spin to them (Reduce. Recycle. Reuse.)

Why write your own material, when the Associated press and other legitimate media outlets do that for you? …instead, make a business of summarizing existing articles, amalgamating them into contrived lists and repeatedly submit that content to high-volume peer-vetted frontpages, so to maximize that minimum of work you inflate it’s natural exposure using cheesy catchphrases and cliches. Sampling works in music, so why not in writing? …without other people’s inspiration what person could possibly have their own? Blogging is a compost heap, so whoever adds the most shit to the pile, wins!

And the lord said ‘let there be add revenue’ (Why shell out, when you can sell out?).

How much money can be squeezed out of all the permutations of a given story?Only google’s adsense knows. You know those blogs you see with 6 panels of advertising, per story? Ever think ‘Wow, what a great idea!’? Well… you too can join the parade of tacky, questionable blogs which monetize your gimmick driven traffic (the previously mentioned ‘news’ frontpages) using a swath of targeted ad blocks which far exceed the visibility of your content. What would a drive down a road be like without billboard after billboard, who could take all that unspoiled scenery? Let’s just plaster money streams everywhere, if *anything* will convince people of the legitimacy of your words, it’s to try and extract a dime while you speak!

Via the Seedy Overbelly

So here I am speeding across GA on my way to Chicago for our christmas extravaganza, and I must say: Having a [Treo] in conjunction with my [MacBook] really give me more flexibility than I’m used to… I highly recommend the combination.

I hope all you evil bastards have a great holiday; filled with guerrilla thermostat adjustments, sarcastic undertones and unsober politics.

So… 2nd exit to the right and straight on til morning…

Duck Billed Platitude

So all the progressives I know (other than myself) are cheering the election results, patting themselves on the back for a job well done. This is despite the fact that to get the job done, even in the face the christian coalition fucking up in every possible way, is to invite conservatives into the party. Pathetic.

So, I’m making my new year’s resolution early this year: I am going to be apolitical. Being aware of the constant flux of the political landscape simply divorces you from the brutal reality, that despite the platitudes that we are dealt, we shift further and further towards third party control over our daily lives. The political spectrum is static filling my screen, and I’m just letting go.

Launch Pad

I’m taking the new site live even without checking in IE7 (which I’m sure will be an issue). But I’m just not much for caring right now… I’m tired of everyone seeing the same old tired site when they hit khrome.net. There are a few rough edges, but it edges toward completion, hopefully it’s not totally unusable for anyone.

So, no longer is khrome.net frozen in time.

Dub Standard

Over the past few weeks I’ve been dubbing all my VHS movies to disk in an effort to reduce the ridiculous amount crap I have to physically own, and in turn find  place for in my life. All this conversion from format to format and planned obsolescence of technologies have made me wary as time progresses… but I have to admit, I had forgotten how awful VHS looks on a large screen.

In addition to training my pets to do silly things, I’ve been doing a bunch of work for the job in addition to working on the [Datalus] site. I’m continuing to add blog site scripts as I build this site and test out features on other sites. In the next few weeks the core should solidify and the example scripts will get a little more robust (particularly the forum). Someday I’ll have a second to write something a little more thoughtful on this wall, but for now I’ll just leave you with copulating anoles engaging in a bit of exhibitionism downtown.

Verbal Tea

So, I had an exceptionally odd weekend… I had one friend go awol on a visit, but considering it’s father’s day, and was visiting his family, that’s hardly a suprise. What is really odd, though is I got a call from a number I didn’t recognize. Assuming a cell phone transition had happened since his relocation I dialed it back and got a groggy voice. As this person has a tendency to be asleep at any given hour of the day, I just said his name, which he responded to in a confused way… he did not know who I was, however and was sure his roommate chris had called me and would call back. 2 hours later the roomie call and demanded to speak with some chick (avy-anne?, favian?… something..) and it turns out my number is one digit off some former interest (I didn’t ask, but got the feeling things were rocky) who’s nickname ‘avie’? happened to sound quite a bit like ‘abbey’ to a groggy person who happened to have the same name as the guy I was expecting a call from. That sort of eerieness typified my weekend.

I’m probably going to follow this up with a technical blog, mainly because I’ve been doing a lot of associated work as of late and feel the need to vent. But I feel that a blog like this, while being devoid of any lasting value has much more legitimacy than some douchebag’s opinion about the intricacies of some banal pursuit.

So, I’ll throw caution to the wind, because I’m sure this is all about self-expression, I’m sure this site would never devlove into a demographics experiment and meta data harvesting tool for news corp… surely…

A Lexical Trainwreck

One of my oldest friends, Chiz, has the same inability I have: to work a job we consider tedious or uncreative, without creating some kind of mischief in order to keep our minds at bay. Perhaps some choose to medicate their beasts, to take the nagging feelings that drive me and shut it out living in a mind filled with picket fences, atomic families and strip malls. Models of mental clarity. Sometimes this idea is attractive to me, a sudden flash and then… contentedness. Then I realize, that everyone I look up to was conflicted by their own mind, and that the struggle pushed them to their destination. Life is a process, and it’s the methodology you use which gives a destination value. At least in my world.

At the other extreme: I work in an *extremely* conservative “boy’s club” environment, so much so that it’s best if I don’t divulge too much… but not only is the rhetoric strong, but those values are transposed to maximize personal advantage. Here, only destinations matter, and even then… there is little personal responsibility.

To come full circle, Chiz used to select phrases at the beginning of each day, sometimes from notes he had made, something he had read or perhaps heard. He would make a list and one at a time forcibly work them into professional conversation. I always thought this was a particularly genius outcropping of a behavior we had engaged in for many years, spontaneously inventing satirical forms of expression, then trying to convince our peers of it’s legitimacy at face value. Slang, clothes, hair, prose, poetry and art all felt the sting of our disingenuous lance.

As I’ve gotten older I now am able to be constructive in inventing ways to artfully approach the mundane, and allow my blog to satisfy my personal vanity and sense of the absurd. But then, you are here too. Lucky you.

Pedantic License

Blogging is a strange exercise, throwing things up against the filter… who will read this? could it prevent me from getting a job? could it make someone I love hurt? Would it reveal something that would alter people’s perception of me in some way I hadn’t planned? After all this distillation, is the product not bland? I think it is… like a diary who’s pages are burned and only barely legible.

I have considered doing a technical blog, since that’s what I am ‘expert’ (said in the voice of ooly in ‘logjammin’ from The Big Leibowski) at.. but really who needs one more dry bastard droning on and on about XML, web 2.0, prime encoding and other drivel I do on a day to day basis. But for that matter who even needs a cynical, witty curmudgeon? A self-deprecating slacker? A cornerstone of a cubical workspace? I think all bases are covered…

So in the interest of taking a medium that is already lame and trite and pushing those boundries, I’m going to continue to insult you, my loyal readers, with more poetry, which beside being completely devoid of any artistic merit, should hopefully lull you into a fraudulent sense of legitimacy, then suddenly leave you intellectually unsatisfied. I know, I know… I’m just a devious guy.

Substance

We like to feel that we are independent, undirected… that there is some substantive reason for things being the way they are. I think a sense of empowerment and hope (pandora’s final, most severe curse) is what allows us to continue in an environment where we are all raised to be heros but social necessity demands pawns. The strange thing it seems is, despite the common perception, all the trappings associated with this lifestyle may be had easily by anyone who is interested. It’s *social* pressure that keeps that sort of thing in check, not any logistical problem… not to mention, if you *had* that kind of personal liberation, would anyone need pop culture to vicariously live these experiences? So why is it experimentation is such a bad thing?

My personal slant on this is the ‘on the wagon’ personality. This person cannot absorb responsibility for their own impulse. A simple case of this is someone who feels their level of intoxication absolves them of some level of responsibility. When a person takes on this attitude the tendency is to push it as far as possible, then when disaster strikes: Blame is deflected in order to conceal the root impulse. Thus people who don't want to take responsibility for their own actions and impulses and blame the subject or circumstances of their new activity. Don’t you just hate it when people spoil things for everyone?

So this basically forces anyone outside convention to totally eschew norms and live antagonistically, play a multi-level game where you very slowly let people into your life, or adopt a view which puts you into the least suspect group and you lead a double life (don’t think I don’t know who you are). These options all seem somewhat lame, but given the innate competitive environment which spurs us to greatness, the situation demands secrecy.

Don’t let them irradiate your brain selling you the dream of a life you can have tomorrow.