Via reddit, a three part documentary called “The Power of Nightmares” on Google video – part 1, part 2 and part 3.

They do adopt a Michael Moore-esque “propaganda against propaganda” style – the imagery is sometimes almost farcically divergent from the narrative but the general views it takes feel consistent, filling in some of the elusive reasons behind things like why G. Bush Snr. stopped before toppling Saddam, while G Bush Jnr went the distance or why Osama bin Laden switched from being “America’s man” to “America’s most wanted”. And portraying the neocons and the islamic fundamentalists as two sides of the same coin is an effective approach.
My conclusion: it’s time to dispell thinking about “the masses” from all discourse – there’s no such thing as a “mass” anyway, and this is always a cover for dangerous, fanatical world views.

From Ruby to Perl?

July 26, 2006

No criticism of the author intended but reading this is a little strange. Ruby itself seems (from second hand sources) about the most inspired by Perl, compared to Python and PHP. I guess there’s a generation swapover happening, Ruby being the choice of the new crowd. Perl is worth learning.
What needs saying is if happen to meet an old Perl programmer, show some respect and, better yet, listen carefully. These guys have a habit of knowing what they’re about – like really knowing what they’re doing – from the days before Universities taught Java.

Clor

July 24, 2006

Last one tonight – just dumping links to the (short-lived: shame) Clor videos.

Love & Pain – for whatever reasons, love this song and video

Good Stuff -that’s the promo version – the altnerative (and better IMO) version here but needs WMV

Outlines – OK…ish

Where Newman got to…

July 24, 2006

A flurry of posts together…

Always thought Robert Newman was the better half of Newman and Baddiel but after they split, he kind of dropped out of sight, while getting into writing. Anyway – by chance ran into his History of Oil on Google video – entertaining spin on the whole global thing – can’t say if the humour is exportable to non-Brits – perhaps. He’s still a brilliant comedian.

Side note – why are Google’s videos identified with a query parameter called “docid”? Whatever.

Mojo

July 24, 2006

Seems Mike Patton has a new album out – you can hear some here. Always been a sucker for Mike Patton, mainly for having followed all the old Faith No More albums up to ’98 – won’t overstate the point but heard together, they tell a story; what happens when you take things too far.

Quite a lot of what he’s done since then is unlistenable but he’s got a talent for the warped, if you ever need a wake up call – off the Mr Bungle California album – check out Ars Moriendi. He also reminds me of an old friend from school – looks almost the same.

The new album “Peeping Tom” is supposed to be “pop” and there’s an interesting mix of other artists on it but – from a quick listen not sure – these days I’m also a sucker for a catchy tune, and not hearing any – must be a midlife crisis.

Input

July 24, 2006

Sometimes fresh input helps – Shantaram is an absorbing auto-biography, by Gregory David Roberts. His perspective on many things is challenging – made me question this safe, easy nerd life I’ve got. Set against the background of India in the 80’s / early 90’s, there’s that thread of spirituality but it’s more about a guy finding his feet in his early thirties against a dark past and nature. Did start to drag towards the end – kind of disolves into an action thriller but thats OK. Need to quote…

One of the reasons we crave love, and seek it so desperately, is that love is the only cure for loneliness, and shame, and sorrow. But some feelings sink so deep into the heart that only loneliness can help you find them again. Some truths about yourself are so painful that only shame can help you live with them. And some things are just so sad that only your soul can do the crying for you.

That’s set against a narrative which includes description of how he pulled someone’s eye out in a fight. Still – a great book

…still in the considering stage but been thinking about a personal blog for a while now. Kinda “known” for writing PHP stuff on Sitepoint.

Anyway – lots of fiddling around to do here first. More later