Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Great Gazoo

Someone sent me yet another reference to Facebook's weak defense of their policy that once on Facebook always on Facebook. I tell them to try get rid of their MySpace page and see how that works out.

Relational databases make it difficult to remove related entities once in the system and used by other entities. Given the numbers of friends one befriends, Facebook is possibly a tedious thing to administrate. That said, people seem shocked as they begin to finally realize the Web's existence has a dark side manifesting in everything from intellectual property to keeping one's DNA private. Databases leak and if one is using free services without reading the terms and conditions one is a fool. The world does not protect you. It will let you starve while it buys back a dime on a dollar of your retirement account from the men who stole your water.

If I am in a bad mood, I describe the web as a man-made viral pathogen rewriting our cultural DNA quickly, quietly and without our permission. No one knows how this will turn out for those who turn it on and can't turn off, but if you don't mind being the naked emperor, it should be ok at least until dildonics come with a URI and that is not far away.

In a good mood, I think of the web as the Great Gazoo combined with Fred's two feet. In the first case, a self-admitted "undependable, bit of a kook" alien can raise havoc if you call on him. In the second, a car made of stone, wood and animal skins can take you on a wild ride downhill. If you get in, you may not get out. How good are your own two feet?

Did anyone forsee all of this? Sure. We even warned you. First we were told it wasn't a problem, then it was society's fault, then that we were sick people for wanting to hide information from the commons.

What do I have to say now? "Take heed. Don't ask for more than you can handle You may get it." Toodaloo, Dum-dums!

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Mirror Ball Mosh or Buffy The Umpire Slayer

To assess digital art in these modern times, there are ten critical criticisms:

1. Popularity: How many sites link to it.

2. Citability: How many reviews link to it.

3. Authority: Of the links, how many links link to the sites that link to it.

4. Covetability: how many copies were stolen.

5. Enviability: how many competitors ripped it off and changed the names to claim originality.

6. Originality: huh? Who would link to something they don’t recognize? This one doesn’t matter but I toss it in here to satisfy the need for a ten item list.

7. Authenticity: how many animals were harmed making the thing.

8. Cultability: how many forums are dedicated to proving the artist is wrong about the interpretation of their work.

9. Derivability: how many forums dedicated to proving the artist is wrong are right.

10. Extensibility: how many new pieces of art are created to *honor* the resource at the bottom of all of those links.

The best way to assess art is to find the average size of the pile on top of it that keeps you from finding it times the number of those looking for something like it divided by the number of those who claim to have it for a price they will reveal to you if you give them your social security number.

Protest Songs and The Punctured Pretension

A friend of mine is letting his freak flag fly with political protest songs on mySpace. I sang on some of those including Sly Stone's "Stand" and "Vicious Love Affair". Ground Level Sound still covertly records when no one is looking. Well... no one is but... we have a good time together.

Everything I know about protest I learned from Doug Kenney, Henry Beard and Robert Hoffman although it was Christopher Guest who finally nailed it to the masthead.

That song is A Mighty Wind years ahead of the time but somehow these days, it's even more relevant. We should stop to deflate our shoes occasionally.

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