News for February 2008

When change is not enough

A well thought out and provocative look at the 1962 work of sociologist James Davies, who laid out seven preconditions for violent revolution. The author stresses the point that all of these preconditions have now been met to one degree or another in the current U.S.

The seven conditions are:

1. Soaring then crashing standards of living
2. Rising class war/disillusionment

3. A generation of abandoned intellectuals (hey that’s you guys)

4. Incompetent government

5. Failure of leadership

6. Fiscal Irresponsibility
7. Inept and inconsistent use of force

More can be found here through Warren Ellis’ blog

How is this for thought control

Tan Le of Emotiv shows Darren Waters a neuro-headset that controls a video game.

Here, on the BBC website a couple of happy students who found a way of utilizeing EEG

Posted: February 25th, 2008
Categories: media, technology, weird
Tags: , ,
Comments: No Comments.

can somebody explain this to me?

Search for:

jordan maxwell David Icke Credo Mutwa expose amazing origins of evil identified extraterrestrial Imbulu Zishwezi dival divel glidal spiritual fallen lower dimension demonic posed trans astro beings dimensional parasites identity creature Quetzalcoatl Imanujela sirius isis osiris orion King Shaka Zulu Chitauli chitauri ghost paranormal ufo ovni orbs flying disk et star wars gate windows sex subliminal symbols signs Dogon Draco Dracon Dracul Dragon Vlad Dracula Count Vampier Brotherhood Serpent Snake Death skull bones nazi bush cheney saddam bin laden Freemason Illuminati Centaur ishtar ashtar pleidians iann jinn hashem films galactic federation holly holy wood dimension prime creator creation sun man hell false prophet religion Signs Dajjal Anti Christ Reptilian Shape shifter NWO MAFIAH Debunk Zionist Babylon Bible Koran Jesus israel palestine

People have to much time on their hands.

Noteto self: put these words into a youtube harvester for later feed fun!

Posted: February 25th, 2008
Categories: weird
Tags: , ,
Comments: No Comments.

Testament

testament

[...] A screenager (a modern day teen who grows up with screens;television and computers -XX) creates his own identity, based asmuch in what he points to with the links on his homepage as anythinghe may have to say by himself. Constructing one’s page is delivering oneself, as he chooses to be known, to the society at large. However naively conceived or psychedelically enhanced, this is the self-birth of the children of chaos.

-Douglas Rushkoff, children of chaos page 239

I’ll admit that I am a bit of a sucker for Douglas Rushkoff, but when I came across a couple of Trade Paperbacks by his hand I bought them all. Rushkoff is probably best known as a very influential media-theorist. His current bibliography includes media virus, screenagers and some weird books on psycho-active drugs.

Besides, it’s not the first time I mention him Cool

So when one of my favorite media theorists starts a comic book I want to have it. So I bought the whole damn lot. And to be totally honest, it isn’t that good. To be fair, it’s not bad either. First problem is the artist; Liam Sharp, who seems to be drawing just a bit above his power. With that I mean, that some pictures seem rushed, mostly the pictures that are likely to have been drawn last. Just before the deadline. Don’t get me wrong, some of the lay-outs are amazing, but now and again he gets a posture or a face just wrong. Seems rushed. I have a feeling if the whole style of the comics would have been a tad more ‘iconized’, more graphical instead of realistic, it could have worked much, much better. It is however quite easy to stare through that setback, at least after a couple of pages it didn’t bother me that much anymore, but once or twice that eerie feeling of “FAIL” came to mind.

So what about the story then? It’s a bit pompous to say the least. Rushkoff tries to make an argument that the stories in the bible are happening over and over again; So he writes a parallel story with biblical events and near-future events. Graphically this could work really well, for instance in the story about Abraham offering his favorite son to God; this is paralleled with a father in the near-future that has to inject his own son with a tracking-RFiD chip for the government.

The gods hover outside the panels, influencing the events in the story lines. This all is conceptually vey nice, but the stories that are told don’t really provoke. The characters don’t sparkle and come to life, like in the bible they are pretty dull and one-dimensional. This is not helped by the fact that the same characters act out different biblical characters. For instance, the near-future Abraham, is the same character that presents Adam in another story on Adam and Eve – near future adam creates an AI.

Still, Rushkoff manages to parallel the biblical stories with very interesting near-future finds. Adam and Eve’s ‘apple’ is paralleled with an AI-program, and the tower of Bable is paralleled with a businessman building a global currency. Again conceptually interesting but without proper facial expression and good dialogs the story just doesn’t seem to sparkle.

Then there is the business of the outer-panel gods; although I though the idea a bit lame when I read about it in the introduction, it works pretty well. Especially the connection of the gods with the stories is interesting. Since the gods cannot interfere directly they can push and pull a little. Rushkoff again is very creative as to how this process works. A particular find that I thought interesting takes place in the garden of Eden. Elijah, Melchizedek and Krishna create a garden for man. Elijah is presented as the Hebrew god, but could as well be Allah, Melchizedek would be the closest to the Christian godhead and Krishna, of course, is presented as a Hindu god. They basically decide to write a new creation myth for one ruling faceless god. The other gods in play, Atum Ra, Ishtar and Moloch are left out of the garden. These latter three gods can best be describes as the Egyptian god, the sex godess and de devil. Together they want to pervert man in the Garden of Eden. Ishtar manages to stick her hand into the comic panel that represents Eden and grows a tree, the tree of knowledge of right and wrong.

All interesting concepts, great finds, even thought-provoking at some points, but not an amazing read. Too bad really.

Posted: February 25th, 2008
Categories: comics, media
Tags: , ,
Comments: No Comments.

The Bionic woman

“Do androids dream of electric sheep?”

- ‘Do androids dream of electric sheep?’ – Philip K. Dick

Let me try to explain what I have been doing the last couple of weeks. For ‘the national career event‘ in the Netherlands we were asked to build a viral. Literally. So we did some research and came back with an idea about making a ‘digital recruiter’, an online interview, but with a computer. Then the client said yes, and we were fucked.

Although the idea seemed to be fairly straightforward, the sum of it parts came out a lot bigger compared to what we anticipated. There was the ‘video’ bit, which we outsourced, there was the, ah, ‘talking engine’, that matched keywords to certain video files. And there was the ‘player’, which mixed the video together and handled user input. We even through in a sponsership deal, by which the client could recoup a bit of the investment in our product.

So with that, we set out to work. Which was about the same time that friend Hidde came back with an assignment for 9292, the game. Keep that in mind, that all the while there is another game in development here at Sense as well.

We called some friends of ours, a company called ‘Bigshots’, and asked them if they were interested in doing a video-viral with us. As we would would be drowning in concepts and programming, we needed somebody to focus solely on the video-part. They came up with this fantastic actress; Jennifer Hoffman, and started to plan a shoot. I started testing with flash video and loadbalancing multiple files simultaneously and Gnuif started mumbling about something he called “the great hat“.

Then suddenly it was alive…

No really, somewhere during these efforts Chantal was born and we nourished here into adulthood. The first prototype contained but one question; “are you horny or do you want a cookie?”. It did feature 20 clips or so, but it played magnificently. A design was made by Nz and the videoshoot came near.

With the basic prototypes of a player Gnuif started tinkering with his ‘great hat‘-system. Now I first proposed a xml-based system that would wander through a series of nodes. So if there were four possible options for a next videoclip, it would measure recognized keywords against one and other and come back with the videoclip or event that was mostly matched. Nz however wanted more for his script and Gnuif and he sketched out a system that would take all variables (including the time and the scene) and match that against ALL the videoclips. So the main difference between these two systems is that the first would wander to a predefined tree-structure and the second could come back with anything because time is accepted as a variable (allowing to jump to and from scenes, but also allowing to connect scenes in between). The system is called a big magic hat, because it can come back with anything from anything, instead of walking predefined paths.

This seems all very nice, but the downside of such a system is, that the databse of events (in our case little bits of video) has to be very precisely defined

Without further ado:

the bionic woman

Posted: February 17th, 2008
Categories: media, web, work
Tags: , , , ,
Comments: No Comments.

Introduction ( 8 years overdue )

A beginning is a very delicate time.

- Princes Irulan, from the Movie ‘Dune’

This is for first timers, or for people in the future that read back here and wonder where it all came from. It is also an update for myself and a short set of axiom’s I’ve been building my Blog on. The original blog can be found at http://weblog.xangadix.net/ or at xangadix.net itself. It’s reaching it’s 8th birthday, making it one of the eldest blogs of the internet. It never became even remotely popular however, and it is, to be very honest, only interesting for me and probably my mother.

The highlights of the blog are few, but they are there. For instance, I have been said to be ‘cybersquatting’, or illegally using the name XangadiX. Xanga.com tried to sue my ass, but I pointed them to a blog-entry from 2001 (which is within a year of their original founding) where my site was hallowed as a great site by one of their own bloggers.

Another highlight was an article I posted on comics in the Netherlands. In it I stated, rather harshly, that most of the Dutch comic-talent on the web refrains to much from telling stories, and only posts short,three-day comics. Which I found (and still find) a shame. The story was picked up by Nozzman which is a fairly popular artist in the Netherlands and for a couple of weeks there was interesting debate.

There was also a deep-undercover story; in which I presumed to be a young girl, and logged into the TMF chat box on a Sunday night. Within minutes I had a zillion guys on my fake MSN account, sending me the most horrendous pictures of themselves. 

Aah, those were the days Smile

 But seriously, the eight years that went were mostly about my work and some views on the world, comic reviews, a bit of politics, and a couple of links that have faded away and died. I am going to change that a bit.

For starters, this blog supports a spelling checker, which should help my writing a bit. There are spelling mistakes on the old site, that are just unbelievable. Next, this blog supports categories. Aaah! AHA! How fucking dandy! Come down with all the other features; youtube embedding, audio embedding, smileys, font tags, and everything nice. I feel like a child molester in a kindergarten. I think I have a hard on. Only this terrible skin, I really NEED to get rid of that.

What I will keep the same are the beginning of the posts; Especially longer ones, like this one will open with a nice quote that actually might have something to do with the contents of the entry. Like the nice quotation of Princess Irulan in this post.

So, back differently but still the same, XangadiX’ rantings, because it keeps me calm and off the drugs. A bit.

and for first timers; dive into the abyss at http://www.xangadix.net/index2.php?id=00300

Posted: February 10th, 2008
Categories: site
Tags:
Comments: No Comments.

where do I put my fucking links?!

GODDAMMIT!

This template is ugly!  I feel terrible in this new skin. Actually I feel quite terrrible about moving to an actual blogging system, and I really hate it that I am moving it to the Sense domain. But the fact of the matter is that I am too damn lazy to install all these scripts back at XangadiX.net and I’m thinking of doing someting else with that domain entirely. So, here I am again. Downtweaking this terrible template and posting some blog content for the first time in a couple of months. now where do I put the links?! WHERE DO I PUT MY FUCKING LINKS?!

 

Posted: February 10th, 2008
Categories: site
Tags:
Comments: No Comments.