Thursday, December 21, 2006

List of things that are pissing me off (with respect to George Carlin)

To spread some holiday cheer, in this festive season, here are a few things that grind my gears..

1) Stock Photos

Nothing lends inauthenticity to a static web site like stock photos, especially when the company is trying to appear global and culturally diverse.. If you really are culturally diverse, why don't you put actual photos of your employees, huh?



2) Social Networking Sites
I've been a part of three, and I haven't made ONE new friend, one new business contact, a single buck from all the hours wasted online, except maybe voluntarily sacrificing my privacy on the altar of web savviness. Like a pack of gypsies, we've all moved from one socialweb to another, adding the same buncha people we vaguely know. Ryze, orkut, hi5, linked in, myspace, friendster...VC money is being redundantly pumped into newer social networking sites, which keep spamming my inbox mercilessly... when will it stop?!

3) People who advertise their tastes in music and books like it means something
You know what I'm talking about. These people are so self involved, that they think dropping names of artists or authors imbibes them with the same mystical ether of personality. Yeah well, you don't have to be from the UK today to listen to the Smiths, the geography in music is fucked. CDs are dead, all you need is a broadband connection.

From a friend's Orkut:

Music:rock, electronica & alternative from the eighties to the mid nineties; Gary Numan, Wall of Voodoo, Murray Head, Art of Noise, Alan Parsons Project, STP, Pearl Jam, Depeche Mode, Icehouse, Nik Kershaw, Duran Duran, Joe Jackson, Howard Jones, Live, Digable Planets, Lucas, Glenn Frey, The Police, Level 42, Aztec Camera, Modern English, Styx, Journey, Blondie, Fleetwood Mac, Til Tuesday, The Tubes, The Clash, The Cure, David Bowie, Baltimora (muhahahaha), Yazoo, Devo, Go West, Men at Work, Midnight Oil, The Fixx, Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, Tommy Tutone, Michael Sembello, Naked Eyes, Glass Tiger, Matthew Wilder, The Smiths, Wang Chung, Alphaville, Billy Idol, Huey Lewis & The News, REM, Information Society, Beats International, Psychedelic Furs, Bronski Beat (anything by Sommerville really), U2, The Romantics, Romeo Void, Simple Minds, Styx, Information Society, Madness, Swing Out Sister,

And these things are tagged in Orkut! Like I'm going to find a soul mate based on the fact that we have both listened to Massive Attack.

This never happenned:
"Hey! you listen to Band X! I listen to Band X too! ! We have so much in common! We should make babies based on the fact that we dig the same recording artist!!!"

4) That flangey effect they use in Hindi pop music now
Do you know that Cher song, which has this voice mod that makes it sound like "do you beleueueueueve in love?" Yeah now someone's distroing a torrent for that Pro tools plugin, and every producer is abusing it like it were a retarded stepchild. This MADNESS HAS GOT TO STOP.

5) RJs
Why do
all Indian RJ's have the same voice? They do! They've ALL got the same style, that fake effusive friendly tone, like they're trying to sell you something. And they're all peddling the same old payola crap for bus money, making insipid, hackneyed comments about the weather, interspersed with product plugs or some vagueass remarks about some celebrity, and trying to be edgy by mocking Himmesh Reshammiya.

And I hate it when they fade out a song repeatedly to make some crappy comments:

Jaagi soi rahoon

"Aaand you're listening to 109.2 radio FM, "

khoi khoi rahoon
uski yadoon mein

"I'm your host Kritikaaaa, taking in callers for the next half an hour... dial 2226221!!!"

uske khwaabo mein
jhome jiya re

"You're listening to the Crazy Kiya Re from Dhoom 2"

(Na usko pata
Na uski khata

"If you haven't already, you muuust watch movie!!! Hritik Roshan looks so hot!!!"

Mein us pe margai
Zara usko bata)2

"Craaazy"

Dheree dheere ikraar mein
kabhi kabhi intezaar mein
uske hi pyaar mein jhoome jiya re

6) The House Nigger in Bhangra and Bollywood
remixes
You know what I'm talking about. I'm less offended by Bhangra music that has the house nigger, because it is offset by Punjabi bitchaez can afford electrical appliances to shave, wax, and epilate their body parts.

What annoys me more is when Bollywood remixes add an asinine rap part which has ZERO lyrical finesse, or merit. I'm unable to remember any song in particular, so I'm going to leave a placeholder for my beloved readers of this quality blog to fill me in here. Please give me a bollywood song with a rap interlude that sucks. (with transcribed lyrics please)

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Monday, December 18, 2006

A couple of very interesting links here:

http://www.policyreview.org/aug02/harris.html

"My first encounter with this particular kind of fantasy occurred when I was in college in the late sixties. A friend of mine and I got into a heated argument. Although we were both opposed to the Vietnam War, we discovered that we differed considerably on what counted as permissible forms of anti-war protest. To me the point of such protest was simple — to turn people against the war. Hence anything that was counterproductive to this purpose was politically irresponsible and should be severely censured. My friend thought otherwise; in fact, he was planning to join what by all accounts was to be a massively disruptive demonstration in Washington, and which in fact became one.

My friend did not disagree with me as to the likely counterproductive effects of such a demonstration. Instead, he argued that this simply did not matter. His answer was that even if it was counterproductive, even if it turned people against war protesters, indeed even if it made them more likely to support the continuation of the war, he would still participate in the demonstration and he would do so for one simple reason — because it was, in his words, good for his soul.

What I saw as a political act was not, for my friend, any such thing. It was not aimed at altering the minds of other people or persuading them to act differently. Its whole point was what it did for him.

And what it did for him was to provide him with a fantasy — a fantasy, namely, of taking part in the revolutionary struggle of the oppressed against their oppressors. By participating in a violent anti-war demonstration, he was in no sense aiming at coercing conformity with his view — for that would still have been a political objective. Instead, he took his part in order to confirm his ideological fantasy of marching on the right side of history, of feeling himself among the elect few who stood with the angels of historical inevitability. Thus, when he lay down in front of hapless commuters on the bridges over the Potomac, he had no interest in changing the minds of these commuters, no concern over whether they became angry at the protesters or not. They were there merely as props, as so many supernumeraries in his private psychodrama. The protest for him was not politics, but theater; and the significance of his role lay not in the political ends his actions might achieve, but rather in their symbolic value as ritual. In short, he was acting out a fantasy.

It was not your garden-variety fantasy of life as a sexual athlete or a racecar driver, but in it, he nonetheless made himself out as a hero — a hero of the revolutionary struggle. The components of his fantasy — and that of many young intellectuals at that time — were compounded purely of ideological ingredients, smatterings of Marx and Mao, a little Fanon and perhaps a dash of Herbert Marcuse.

For want of a better term, call the phenomenon in question a fantasy ideology — by which I mean, political and ideological symbols and tropes used not for political purposes, but entirely for the benefit of furthering a specific personal or collective fantasy. It is, to be frank, something like “Dungeons and Dragons” carried out not with the trappings of medieval romances — old castles and maidens in distress — but entirely in terms of ideological symbols and emblems. The difference between them is that one is an innocent pastime while the other has proven to be one of the most terrible scourges to afflict the human race. "

________________________________________

When postmodern thinkers wish to communicate about the possibilities of contemporary thinking, they speak today about the disappearance of the difference between being and appearance. Human reality, according to them, has taken on increasingly the form of an artificial construction, so that traditional differences between reality and fiction, truth and simulation, or art and technology have more and more been leveled. [...]

This then leads to a further claim: modern thinking "has since Kant moved closer and closer to the insight that the grounding of what we call reality is based on fiction. Reality proved increasingly not to be constituted as 'realistic' but as 'aesthetic'. Where this insight has been accepted-and it is widespread today-aesthetics loses the character of a specialized discipline and becomes a general medium for understanding reality."

http://hcs.harvard.edu/~hrp/issues/2000/Feger.pdf

cyn.in (Sign-in)

cyn.in: a Bliki for Enterprise Collaboration (Blog + Wiki)

cyn.in is the flagship product of Cynapse, a privately held company based in Delaware. cyn.in's focus is on taking the principles of zero barrier, freeform, social and emergent software apps and applying them to the enterprise market.

cyn.in is targetted at internal and accross organizational teams, irrespective of
whether they are in large enterprises, small and medium-sized
businesses, or non-profit organizations.

cyn.in provides a centralized single place for team members to store information about a team project like documents, presentations, timelines, task lists etc. Email is no longer an ideal technology for aligning and sharing deliverables. A single knowledge worker can easily generate 25,000 e-mails per year; a company with 100,000 employees could find itself with 2.5 billion e-mails in its archives. Searching through these plethora of emails for the correct document is an inefficient way of working.

The other problem with email is that the anti-spam servers might block messages, attachments are generally blocked by corporate firewalls and the flow of a discussion is not maintained.

cyn.in is a serious collaboration service for businesses. cyn.in works as well for two users as it does for 1,000 and can be adopted granularly. cyn.in offers a free-for-life Professional Edition and a paid Enterprise Edition. Each free cyn.in site gets 25MB of storage for 2 users, whereas the Enterprise Edition can be scaled infinitely depending on the requirements.

cyn.in has a self explanatory, de-jargonized, 100% WSYSIWYG user interface. Any data in cyn.in is simply a note. A note could contain rich textual content, pictures, media, categorization tags, or files of any type.

Creation of content in cyn.in's web based editor is as simple as making a document in Office. Attaching files to a note is very easy and adding in-line images to the content of the note is just a click away. No HTML. No FTP.

This note can then be stored for oneself or shared with team members for collaboration, eliminating email and related issues. cyn.in has a secure 'intranet space' where you can publish the note for consumption by members of your organization.


With most legacy
software, a team has to pre-define structure of their folders or
categories prior to creating any information. And every member of the
group is required to adhere to it and extend it only with caution.
Without this authoritative mechanism, information inadvertently runs
into chaos. This ends up being a serious waste of resource and yet the
final outcome of the information structure is far from satisfactory.

cyn.in counters the problems that folders and categories bring about with SlashTags. SlashTags are the pivot of cyn.in. SlashTags, are the most freeform, organic and social way of structuring information. SlashTags provide the flexibility of tags and the structure and path creation of hierarchical folders.

The crisp cyn.in Bliki is delivered as a Software-as-a-Service offering an emergent mechanism of delivering software applications to customers over the Internet.

SaaS or On Demand software can be implemented rapidly and eliminates the infrastructure and ongoing costs that traditional applications require providing lower TCO and very high ROI.

cyn.in is completely delivered and managed over the web, and is setup instantly.The cyn.in Enterprise Edition costs between $30 - $16 per user/month.