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Showing posts from May, 2017

Two minutes: A Life

"Get a Life!" she said, and left. What she did not realise was that, from his perspective, she did not have one at all.

"A Life" is something everyone has had, or will have had by the time they die. How they choose to fill it is a series of personal choices and coincidences that lead to a patchwork made up of labour, leisure, relationships and knowledge (to name a few components of this weave). The quilt matches others- or it does not. What is generally implied by this suggestion is: "Why is your life not like mine- something I can understand."

Some will follow up on this suggestion. Others will not. Either way, this does not change the fact that they have a life. How they share this is up to them.

Rant: NPC VI ////// A reality in which Douglas Adams saves the day

Caramblogage has, for a long time, been the main space I have aired thoughts in, hung out my brain to photosynthesise, ranted and expressed myself in a longer form than invites reading. I return here when I need to get stuff out of my head and talk to myself as if I were talking to an audience- Hello!

Most of what you find here is freeform writing that I supplement with a bit of research and/or personal views. In a time in which my feeling tells me most media (and the people following that media) is moving too fast to react coherently, consistently, this is a soapbox built of letters and words that I pontificate from at my own pace. I have chosen to present myself by thinking about things, rather than in person here- my personal life informs these thoughts, but does not help me express, or illustrate them. Though, if you’ve been here for a while, you’ll find some posts that prove the reverse- I illustrate my life with these thoughts, and express them through these illustrations, whil…

Two Minutes: On the Dangers of Heroes

Descended from Greek males- exclusively- this word has become open to gender-bending and in its more modern forms includes women, as well as assorted animals, aliens and the occasional heroic single-celled organism. 

A powerful idea and a double-edged sword: On the one hand, the idea of heroism and heroes inspires achievement, goals, values and something to work towards. On the other, it can hamper this very inspiration by allowing the inspired to delegate their actions to those they consider heroic- transferring the possibility of a heroic act or life to other, more obvious figures. In stead of asking "what can I do", the question becomes "why doesn't the hero do?" and the person asking that question doesn't, though they could. 

Heroes come in varieties: 
1.) those that swoop in, capes aflutter, to save the day in a flash of colour and explosive displays of heroism. They then swoop out again, maybe never to be seen again, but are remembered forever.
2.) those …

External: What ever happened to Egypt? | Porkins Policy Review Talk

I've enjoyed Pearse Redmonds work on Porkins Policy Radio/Review for a while now- a radio show/podcast that covers many topics, but mostly the influence of intelligence services on the media and media narratives.

Imagine, then, the pleasure of being invited to converse for a couple of hours on a Tuesday night in Berlin and New York about Egypt, parallels in media and unofficial policies to the current situation in the US.

He describes our conversation thus:

Today I am joined by friend of the show Caram Kapp. Caram was last on episode 42 The Homeland Hackers, and returns to discuss the Egyptian uprising six years later. We start off by discussing the basics of the uprising and some of the behind the scenes actors. Caram explains his own experiences as an Egyptian, and as someone who was there on the ground around this time. We touch on the rumors of Western manipulation and how some of these allegations have overshadowed the real life grievances of the Egyptian populace and…

Two Minutes: Hunger: 5 variations

1. You can imagine how important food is to me- a vital ingredient to a life that does not lack in variety or flavour. When I make it myself, I usually know that it will be good- more so when I set my mind to making something yummy. It has many side-effects, part of which is a feeling that is very close to flow- the knowledge that you know where you are and what you are dealing with, surrendering yourself to combination and action unhampered by thought. And the result- it is even more rewarding as it has a tangible, edible outcome- is an excellent example for instant gratification. It smells delicious and fills you up with a warm feeling. 

In this ongoing art installation, the artist will perform the act of cooking without ingredients, without additions or, indeed, food. They will undertake to cook only water and salt, necessary to sustain basic life functions. This ongoing performance, conceptualised in solidarity with those who use their hunger to protest all over the word, will take …

Rant: NPC V ///// Remaking a reality

When the world no longer meets with your approval, you change it. There is a mod for that. 
Every game comes in two versions- the one you buy on the shelf, and the game you make out of that game. As early as the late 1980’s, gamers began modifying certain aspects of games- whether for artistic purposes of gameplay is a fine point that cursive research didn’t provide me a ready answer to. I assume it’s somewhere between the two- experiments into changing gameworlds, activating certain bits and bytes, creating animated sequences with pre-built characters in a certain game, but this is the realm of urban legends and suppositions. We're not going there. 
Making a game your own happens in two stages- first you play and master the game, then you discover the limits the game sets upon you and you begin to develop ways of unbuilding the limitations in the original game. 
Modding was a new field for me. I became very obsessed with load orders and frame rates and squeezing out everything n…

Two minutes: Love

Love is a big word that has been filled with so many meanings that for me to strain its contours by doing more than writing it out in pretty letters is to do it a disservice. There is much to discover about the content of the word- go out and find it for yourself and fill it with your own meanings, which only experience can give you.

Like religion, discovering love is deeply personal- books and people can help guide you, and give your understanding a foundation and context, but what love ends up being for you cannot be determined by anyone but you.

Maybe we need a new word for love.

IGAF: Lying on Camera // Astounding Armaments

Nizar Qabbani wrote his epic poem "When Will They Announce the Death of Arabs" in 1994.

He was living in London at the time, far from his native Syria, watching the world he had grown up in and represented as a diplomat from afar. America had launched operation Desert Storm- a storm that lasts to this day- two years prior, and marked 1993 with the launch of 23 cruise missiles on Iraq. Qabbani will die of a heart attack in 1998.

In 18 stanzas, he explores the wishes and dreams he once carried, describes, however tribes and nations at war, that believe that secret services (like a cold, or a headache) are part of some heavenly order. He bemoans that the idea of the "Arab Nation" (possibly derived from the Pan-Arabist ideology that was crystallised during the Nasser years) has never come into being. He has been trying to draw a picture all his life, but his crayons have been taken away. He has watched wars- on TV, he has tried to imagine the idea of a peaceful Arab unio…

Gif: A teaser

It took me a while to figure out what I'm angry at.