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12/25/03 08:31 - ID#30657

xmas changes

Flacidness, whoa, you are one strong dude. Hang in there. 2003, is another year where "Jesus" messed everything up for me. It kind of worries me but at the same time I really don't give a fuck either way because I've been here before and I know how to move on. I wish I could just live in the pre-christian era. I was definately made to worship some earth spirit and not some lame jew king.

I guess, to each his/her own
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12/25/03 04:09 - ID#30656

Xmas Time Again

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Well, I bet you are thinking who is that Santa and why is he on your page. The answer follows right below in picture two. I cannot believe that this is real. I just heard something in the chimeney. Is it a bird or can it be ...

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12/24/03 01:57 - ID#30655

Contra for Emily

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Here is a place where you can play many nintendo ROMS online. Contra is one of them and I know it's your favorite.

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12/23/03 03:53 - ID#30654

Bush Laden

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Great job with the clone tool. What more can you say about this?
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12/22/03 05:25 - ID#30653

prisons, soldiers and responsibility

I have debated this very same issue in the context of soldier and their role as killers. So in this response I am going to be refering to soldiers and prison executioners collectively as the "killers." Terry often argues it is society that sets them up for their situation and that I cannot possibly understand the predicament that many of them are in in terms of growing up poor and not having any hope. I think that is not true.

There are plenty of students both at UB and Canisius that come from extremly poor families in the "ghettos" of America that are choosing not to be killers but rather to educate themselves out of the system.

Yes, they may have had encouragement from parents who were more caring then others. But I am sure not all of them, when it comes down to it, you (the individual) have a choice to pick up the gun or not. By picking it up the individual is making the choice to possibly play the role of the "killer" in return for weath, education, or increased class status.

In the end I can give a specific examples of another route. Through turning to a religious organization. While I am usually not a big supporter of religion, I definately see turning to god a better solution than killing people with guns or electric chairs. For this example, I would like to explain my friend Jacob's situation.

His mother was an extremly poor Najavo that lived on the reservation in the South west. At some point the mormons( who I typically do not like) came around and converted them. Evtually, she ended up at BU where she met Jacob' father, a mexican-indian who was also from a poor rural ancestry.

They eventually got married, Jacob's Dad became a bishop and started a business around their beliefs, helping kids with social problems like drug addiction in one of those desert outreach programs where the youths are subjected to living with nothing.

Jacob's family eventually became quite wealthy both monetarily and spiritually. Now I have to say I cannot support the Mormons and I am not giving any credence to their belief system. I am just saying their are alternative to killing and those who can't see this are purposely being blind.

There is nowhere in America where people do not have access to the teachings of any of the major religions which support the idea that killing is really wrong. I think the idea of not killing even transcends the moral and spiritual responsibilty of religious tenants and is actually a very humanistic construction.

In the end I am saying if you pick up the gun you are guilty. While society is at fault for making the decisions so tough and difficult for those that are less fortunate. We cannot dissolve everyone of personal moral responsibilty.

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12/22/03 05:22 - ID#30652

Blogger Purge

I have just taken all of my most favorite blogger posts and moved them here -see previous posts. It is an effort to move myself away from the corporate driven web publishing scheme and into the realm of local discourse. Respond to them if you wish. I figured they were better here where they were searchable.

I would encourage other people to do the same.
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Category: opinion

12/22/03 05:20 - ID#30651

The Typewriter, Emancipation and Slavery

Kittler's discourse on the typewriter in his book "Gramophone Film Typewriter" is an informative piece concerning the development and influence of the typewriter. In “Typewriter”, Kittler discusses the many influences the typewriter has had on our society, from acting as an emancipating mechanism for women, to affording the blind the ability to write, to changing the way our entire global society conceptualizes and communicates. Seen as one of the of the major emancipating agents for women, the typewriter, a word meaning both the machine and the woman who operated it, aided in tearing down the "walls" of educational institutions that previously barred them from enrollment.

For the blind, the typewriter tore down the walls of silence in a world full of written expression. The most obvious example being Nietzsche, who suffered a form of blindness which ultimately forced him to give up his position as a professor at the university of Basal, as he no longer could control the medium of his creation, the written word. Nietzsche was one of the first adopters of the typewriter, as the typewriter bridged this gap, allowing the philosopher to literally feel the words come out of his hand and be pressed onto the paper. At the mercy of the machine as messenger for his word, Nietzsche was seriously set back when it malfunctioned only months after he first began to use it, thus destroying the fragile link between the author and the medium that the typewriter had offered. Because Nietzsche was wealthy enough to afford a subordinate to take his dictation, this may seem insignificant. However, this separation between author and work rendered allowed room for intellectual manipulation so extreme, by his sister and her pro-nazi agenda, that for the first half of the twentieth century Nietzsche was thought of as the primary philosopher of Nazism although it was well known that he had a
hatred for German Nationalism and antisemitism, as demonstrated in many of his earlier works.

While I agree that the typewriter was an emancipating force in many ways as demonstrated above, it cannot be overlooked that it also enslaved our society as a primary vehicle to the current state of technical dependence.

The typewriter was the first personal machine that began the trend toward our dependence on brain enhancing machinery, which has been nearly perfected with the advent of its evolutionary great grand child, the computer. This technological wonder, shooting forth from the military production facilities of the west, moved us toward our greater goal of increased efficiency and mass production. Once we reached this goal our society could not ever turn back without being completely destroyed, thus enslaving us in this cycle of endless technological innovation in terms of machines that allow us to rapidly disseminate information. From the brain of the master to the eyes of the subordinate in the shortest time possible, who ever gives up in this race loses all power.

The typewriter itself as a medium can also physically enslave the intellectual. As with the example of Henry James (Kittler, 216). The typewriter, a master product born out of a capitalist society, alters our ability to think by forcing a certain stimulus, in this case the typewriter clank, to be associated with intellectual production in a Pavlovian way. Kittler quotes James, “Soon a reflex loop was created: only the clanking of the typewriter induced sentences in the writer.” In this way the typewriter itself asserts a form of control over the user and demands to be purchased and worshiped.

While it is obvious that the typewriter has affected the way that we think and write, it must also be asserted that the typewriter itself is a product of the society through which it lives. A cycle which means that as far as technology can change us as a society it is ultimately only a reflection of our society's desire.
r

Lastly, the typewriter has also be
en
a


m
ajor source of governmental and religious propaganda, a theme which cannot be overlooked when speaking of it as an emancipating machine. Even more important than propaganda is the fact that the typewriter allowed, for the first time, true governmental efficiency; directly leading to the ultimate submission of the global masses to capitalist agencies. With both governmental and business issues, words became far more powerful than guns.
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12/22/03 05:17 - ID#30650

Posthuman

I am not afraid to accept the situation where I become one with the machine. Sometimes I even welcome it, with the idea that it quickly bridges the gap between me and the collective knowledge the internet holds. I spend way to much time interfacing with machines in a primitive mouse/keyboard way and would love the opportunity to merge for convenience. However, I remain reluctant to accept a cyborg future for myself. My fear is not based on losing myself or being dominated by the machine's will but rather being dominated by the humans that make the machine which would allow me to be a cyborg.

An aspect often overlooked when discussing the role of the machine in the modern human condition is that the machine itself embodies only what the creator of the machine considered relevant. A machine is a reflection of the will of the individual programmers and engineers. This becomes a serious problem when we are dealing with ethics of internal computing. Even if the argument is that machines will be able to create themselves in the future without humans being involved. There is still the aspect that the original machines which made the machines, which in turn made the newest generation of autonomous machines are still dependent on the original design specification created by the humans in power at the time of the orginal machines creation.

What may seem even more terrorfying for woman is that men created the computer langauges and hardware structures that we use today. Granted there may be many females in the field today but the field itself was created by a the will of men. Future machine that will be considered for the creation of cyborgian humans will be based on the history computer sciences. The languages that program them may be new but will definately be based on what languages were in the past like C or java - all languages built by men. Thus the machines must inately reflect a male perspective. The nature of future cognitive computers will definately have a very masculine way of thinking unless there is some major intervention by woman thinkers. This leads to a situation where men inscribe their cognitive ideals onto a chip. Which is then implanted into a woman, where she begins either to function and think like a man or how a man wants a woman to think, being dominated by the male ideal - or does not accept the chip. Thus being evolutionarily left behind in the cyborgian tranformation.

Machines, can be easily dominated by the malicious intent of a select group of people in power. Email servers for example, a society shifting machine that pracically replaces the need for transportation in terms of messages and information. However, add "carnivore" and it becomes reminiscent of Big Brother. The issue being that the people creating carnivore, do not see it as infringing or unethical. They see it as "justice prevailing over the evil terrorists." What happens when the people in power, the ones who create programs/machines such as carnivore make the machines that may be someday implanted under my skin or in my brain.

Most importantly, It is easy to believe that the producers of these machines and programs that would directly interface with the human are going to be profit driven. They therefore would directly have interest in raising your purchasing drive. Today's machines can feed humans information, but there is no guarantee that information is true. Because of the physical separation between man and machine we can chose to ignore information that we perceive to be incorrect or of malicious controlling intent. For example, an advertisement for pornography on the internet. Who is to say that once we accept this information into an internally reglated machine interface that we will retain the ability to reject information. Once the gap has been bridged between man and machine, there is nothing stopping the influence of micropropandga. Will we just be converted in buying machines - or slaves o
f the reamining humans who create
d
th


e
inferface.

Lastly, even if you exclude the possible unethical agenda of the cyborgian interface creator, there is still the issue of computer viri. A computer virus of machine that may regulate your motor control and/or breathing, and or cognitive control would be a source of outside control by a third party. For example, a hacker could program you to carry out his/her murderous wishes. Also, viri could be made o shut you down. In the end I fear the influence of the human in the creation of the cyrborg n the same way I fear George Bush in the creation of a "global democracy."
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12/22/03 05:17 - ID#30649

Human Condition, Recorded by the Masses

Blogs are an important technical development concerning the recorded history of the human condition. For eons written history primarily reflected only the perspective of the power classes. During the last two centuries we have seen a move toward the "common people" recording their own history in a written format, as the technology and cost of paper based publication has gone down. This trend has began to change the way that we see our own history, a history that was previosly left to a much tenuous oral tradition.
Blogs bring recording history to the speed and mass availabilty of instant messaging. While possibly a pop trend in their current form, blogs are definately a step away from information being controlled by the power classes. The name blog will someday be replaced, however, the concept of instantly publicated, dated entries will be a cornerstone of future information technology developments.

Journalistic Style Blogs - Blogs of this nature allow the author to immediately publicate information about current events, often events that are neglected by the mass media, bringing the attention to a larger concerned by uninformed population. For example, I witnessed a major incidence of rascism at the Wilson Farms on Elmwood and Auburn. I immediatley posted the information concerning the situation to my community blog with links to Tops corporate headquarters, the owners of the Wilson Farms Francise. Within hours people who check my community blog began to write letters to Tops within a day Tops responded that the manager had been repremanded. While I cannot be sure that this stop him from future incidences of rascism, I can be sure that he has been warned that the people of the community are watching and that they care about what happens in there community markets. This type of small community information is drectly overlooked even by the local media. A more public example wa st he case of Trent Lott, whose racist remarks at the Birthday of Strom Thurman were vritually unreported until the mainstream media picked up on reports from Blogs.

Personal Style Journals - 1st person vs 2nd person historical record
While many people in our class have discounted personal blogs as frivoulous, self involved publications I would like to argue the importance of such blogs. One of the greatest aspects of personal blogs is the ease of use factor. Blogs provide an publication outlet for many people in our society that are otherwise excluded from pubically expressing their feelings due to technological and social barriers.

I was totally outraged at the statement by Elizabeth Osder, a visiting professor at The University of Southern California's School of Journalism, who said "Bloggers are navel-gazers," "And they're about as interesting as friends who make you look at their scrap books." She added, "There's an overfascination here with self-expression, with opinion. This is opinion without expertise, without resources, without reporting."

The mass recording of the human condition should not be conducted soley by the well-trained, highly educated classes. In upholding such opinions Ms. Osder is submitting to the historical precedents of information oppression by the power classes.

In the long run, the mass number of personal blogs currently recorded in databases, will allow future historians to get a much more accurate representation of how people in a particular community felt. A much better representation, in my opinion, than if we are limited only to the opinion of those "studying" the human condition.

Group Journals-
Group journals also represent another way in which we can harness the power of blogs for community building. Group blogs and other closely related online discourse formats such as Wiki, provide many benefits over the traditional online community based communication tools. For example, Blogs offer significant benefits over mailing lists. First, anyone can read a blog, meaning that it is not restricted only to the recipients of the mailing list. This publication of the contents also allows for new members to be introduced to the concepts of the group before joining. Blogs also provide a historical record that is often more accessible than in mailing lists.

Many people still say that blogs are just contributing to the numbness created by mass media saturation. Blogs are not the problem. The true offender of free knowledge is mass advertising. Blogs truly embody what the internet was created for - a free trasnfer of information between people and communities. All in all, I realize that blogs are a trend that will definately be replaced by something better. However, blogs are a really important step in the transfer from a humanity based on closed information to one based on free publication and sharing of the historical recording of the human experience. It is no wonder that in 1999 there were only 23 blogs and now there are millions.

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12/22/03 05:15 - ID#30648

Globalization and Immigration

Globalization is not panacea - the Earth will not return to Pangea. While the higher ideals of globalization are a world with no borders, the unfortunate realistic outlook is world with no community and international slavery. Economic globalization is a tool of the power classes used in order to move labor sources from places where the worker is well protected and of higher cost to place with no restraints and low costs. Economic globalization is also a return to the tradition of colonization. Global corporations, once free from the constraints of national law and able to comb the earth for places which will harbor factories run on cheap and dirty child labor. Publically, this movement is conducted in the name of all middle to upper class western citizens. In reality this movement of labor forces is conducted in the name of capitalism to produce profits for the ultra rich.

Television is a major instrument in the promotion of economic globalization. Television make speople from all cultures want the goods of one culture. The culture of a globalized world. Who profits from the export of our popular culture. Nike, MTV, Coca-Cola, Britney Spears, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake, the Spice Girls, etc. It is no coincidence that huge corporations and the personalities the represnt them fund the production of our exported mass media. Through globalization our media is taking over the world and shoving our propaganda down the throats of many unsuspected entertainment consumers in foreign countries. For example, when I lived in Germany I was able to view many American network television stations, including ABC, NBC, CNN, MTV, etc. We now know that during the earlier days of the Iraqi war, George W and his administration lied about many of the reasons and facts surrounding the conflict. There is no doubt that people is hundred of countries witnessed this same incorrect information dissemination while busy consuming our exported entertainment. Because we now know of these outright lies and inconsistences (Sadam was responsible for 9-11, etc) we can now assume that many other things reported on the main stream globalized news media sources may also be questionable.

The same goes for television, the huge lack of local and public television stations terrifies me. This is definately a reflection into the globalization movement. The precursor to globalization is national homogenisation. Soon through media promotion and increased interconenctivity every city in the united states will consist of a Walmart, a Target, A Best Buy, a Texaco, Office Max, and a McDonalds. This import precursor means that main stream media becomes more expensive in terms of advertsisment. For example, to get a spot on NBC at 7PM on Tuesday ocsts far to much money for most local establishments. However, the large multi-national corporations can fund such advertsisments across the world on these globalized media netwroks. The reinforces the position of such corporations in the global market place, opening up channels of demand in more and more places. With the channel so demand in place, the companies become more powerful and can do things such as bribe governemnts for off shore tax protection, child labor, etc

I would like to argue that the internet, originally designed for military purposes of post-apocalyptic communication, is quickly becomming yet another tool in the move toward globalization. While we often see the internet as bringing our global citizenry together in a positive way, by providing free access to many of the worlds information databases, I would like to argue that the internet may also be a tool which can be used to rip our local communities apart and focus us on the acceptance of globalization. By moving our neighborly associations from a local to a global/virtual level, we are giving up much of the freedoms associated with local organization and politcal change. While the internet provides a way for people from around the w
orld
to
u


ni
te in virtual communties under a common interest, it is also providing a distraction from our actual communties. Through services like AOL, the typical internet user is provided with an experience that makes them often feel more "at home" with a fellow "smurf" collector in Sweden than with their actual neighbors, who share a political, social and community infrastructure wth them.

Globalization is a sham, it a a tool that will take the dirty work american corporations particpate in and move it across borders, in essensce sweeping it under the carpet.
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