Tuesday, December 23, 2003

Games BBC Visitors Play

I had a real boost after visiting the online games of the history section of the BBC site. Loads of educational fun and good use of the medium. Flash, of course.

Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Another dolphin being freed from a cupboardDolphin Studies

This Finish guy, Matti Vuori, has a page with some pretty amazing CGI stuff. Brings back memories of a Simpsons episode, from the 12th season, named "Treehouse of Horrors XI."

Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Back Online: filip.stir.org & Longbow

Longbow screenshot, detail.Overcoming tech-dificulties and the revival of the site filip.stir.org leads to re-publishing of the original site for the game Longbow (v. 1.0). Longbow has a decent web presence via copies on other sites (as attested by Google), but having an identifiable base is quite useful. I made it using Macromedia Flash 5 back in January of 2001, and it features from-scratch animated characters, as well as original music score by Vasil Buraliev.

Hopefully, I'll find the time to revamp the whole site, and make some more games. It's fun! :-)

Monday, December 08, 2003

MS Macedonia, out of Beta

Last week, I attended a meeting with Goran Radman, the regional Microsoft executive, regarding the multi-million Strategic Partnership Contract they've just signed with the Government of Republic of Macedonia. Here's the report, and a very peculiar excerpt:
He also explained that Microsoft will correct the "mistake" regarding its attitude towards the Macedonian identity, such as using constructs such as "FYRO Macedonian" instead of the proper name of the Macedonian language in its publications.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Google Expanding To IRC?

By Slashdot:
In this The Register article, Google apparently has been involved in a little bit of activity in various IRC channels. According to Google, as asked by IRC Junkie: they're researching ways to improve their service and the activity is only temporary. Could this mean an ability to search for information that is contained on IRC? Services, such as Netsplit.de and Search IRC exist, and both allow the ability to get information from various IRC networks. Is Google trying to replicate what both these sites have done?
David Horsey's take on the American Empire :-)

Monday, November 10, 2003

It's Worth It

You may know I find the Matrix a shallow myth-exploiting money-making scam. But! I am willing to amnesty it's makers on account of the silver lining: if it wasn't for the Matrix, there wouldn't have been for the Meatrix!

Sunday, November 09, 2003

The New Teen Titans, Again

Titanstower.com is a fan site for one of my favorite comics series. The fans add their own interpretations in "swimsuit editions," some hand-drawn, some CG. Too bad no new George Peres emerged, but we can only hope. They also run an index of the issues, with short plot descriptions. As far as I can tell (I have major gaps in my collection) they nail the plots pretty well.

Check out the interview with Marv Wolfman, co-creator of the New Teen Titans. Excerpt:
UGO: Of these three, which is your favorite movie franchise: Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, or the Matrix?

MW: An unfair question. Star Wars has five movies, the first two of which were great, the last three lousy. Matrix has only two movies, one great, and one lousy. Lord of the Rings has only had two of its three movies, both great, but so were the first two Star Wars - I'll wait, though I assume, unlike Star Wars, they will remain great (and no, I am not a fan of the books). My favorite trilogy is Back to the Future. They're all great.


Unbeknownst to me, a cartoon series based on the comics appeared. According to Wolfman, it's "aimed more at the younger crowd than the high school/college age audience" of the comics. Well, it’s been a while since I could conjure up a reason to plug in a TV, and run Cartoon Network on it. But, let’s make a mental note.

PS
The name is Marv, not Mary. With a "V."
The Matrix 3: Resolutions? Nope.

The plot:
The male hero, facing enormous challenges threatening his life and his community, has a female lover who is also his helper (but, without offspring). Tremendous force gathers strength to destroy all that he holds dear. Regular people believe him to be their savior, in spite of his personal doubts. A powerful conspiracy is in the making, including persons positioned very near. The traitor attacks, blinding the hero (burning his eyes out). But, the hero can still see, thanks to mystic power bestowed upon him. He manages to circumvent obstacles and accomplish survival of his project. His mate dies in the process, and he soon follows. But, his destiny is reached; his task, accomplished. Thus ends Dune Messiah, an inspiring novel, part of enormously popular series by Frank Herbert. What a coincidence! Matrix 3 uses all these plot elements, also.

Tech:
Visual effects remain quite decent. Even though they seem to have run out of FX money and decided not to make another Burly Brawl scene: agent Smith tells Neo they’ll do it mano a mano this time, instead of using many virtual CG actors.

Acting:
Again, this movie confirmed my precognition that Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure and Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey offered the best performances by Mr. Keanu Reeves, ever.

Propaganda analysis:
Affirmative-action characters spill out references promoting religious outlook on life, sucking up to the bulk of the USA public. US of A maintain a level of religious fundamentalism comparable only to third world countries (to paraphrase Chomsky). Their representatives team up with Iran and the most backward Arab countries to limit freedom of female reproductive choice in appropriate UN bodies, for God’s sake! The Matrix brand relies heavily on biblical associations and the like, assuring good reception with the target audience. I don’t feel that the authors used the humanizing effect of the food-making African-American old lady (Aunt Jemima, AKA the Oracle), the Asian martial arts master, or the Indian child prodigy by accident. Just as all warriors in the movie, including the prep scene of the action-figure-look-alike Zion "infantry" are WASP males, “jock” subtype, with an exception of the Malaysian officer, and all “intellectuals” or support crew are black. Anyway…

In retrospect, even the seemingly novel idea of vanquishing the virus (Agent Smith) by letting oneself merge with it (Oracle, Neo), and then infecting it with goodness, seems just like a suck up to part of the audience who go on with the program all over the world, doing their part, being a little wheel in the giant machine of hypocrisy and exploitation that goes by the name of economic/political system. Especially to those who know better, but excuse themselves by saying that they want to change the system from within (rip the benefits and use the power instead of someone worse), and are then sentenced to a lifetime of boredom.

Was the time & money worth it?
Watching this movie “synchronizes your attention spans and cultural abilities to your peer’s.” (Tom the Dancing Bug)

Would I like to see it again?
Not really. It would be quite boring, I’m afraid. For the same reason I don’t go to strip-joints. I don’t care for tease very much. The best way is all the way. Matrix authors pose too many questions, and do not provide satisfying answers. Like, what is the source of Neo’s power over the machines in the tactile reality. How come he can wave his hand and destroy hardware that could match the impact of Abrams tank on steroids? Who was the imbecile in Zion that designed the “infantry” battle gear with the human pilot exposed in front of all the machine parts, with no armor or protection whatsoever. A person might as well be safer in a Volvo or even a Yugo. A Yugo on the streets of Prishtina during NATO bombing of 1999.

Friday, November 07, 2003

Cuba, Libra

Saul Landau: The Cuba Embargo as Rip Off: "The embargo has unquestionably hurt Cuba, which claims that over forty-one years, the policy has caused $72 billion of damage to the island's economy. Ardent embargoites blame Castro for the suffering, but Washington's policy players care little about Castro the human rights violator. They still want to punish Castro the disobedient. Recall, how President Nixon, 1970-3, ordered the CIA to help overthrow Salvador Allende's government in Chile because of his noncompliant politics, not because he violated human rights."
You Can Be Young Only Once, But Immature Forever

The rate at which a person can mature is directly proportional to the embarrassment he can tolerate. I have tolerated a lot.
-- Douglas Engelbart, computing pioneer

Thursday, November 06, 2003

Dulce Et Decorum Est

A poem by Wilfred Owen (1893-1918)

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

Gas! GAS! Quick, boys! - An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound'ring like a man in fire or lime...
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.

In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil's sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues, -
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent for some desperate glory,
The old Lie: Dulce et decorum est
Pro patria mori*.

* "It is fitting and proper to die for one's country." A line from "Ode III" by the Roman poet Horace.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

Reference about Macedonians in the Byzantine Empire by a XIX century British scholar

The Art of War in the Middle Ages was first published in 1885 in Oxford and London. A revised edition was re-published in 1953, with indicators of revisions included in the text. This particular portion is true to the original, and I included it because of the use of terminology. It is part of the section that deals with the "arms, organization and tactics of the Byzantine armies".

The whole book is enjoyable and provides intelligeble analysis of military matters. I liked the "100 year war" part best.

Medieaval warrior saint, fresco from a Macedonian church (1389).AUTHOR: C.W.C. Oman
MAIN TITLE: The Art of War in the Middle Ages
Copyright: 1953
PUBLISHER: Ithaca, NY, Cornell University Press

p. 46-47
It would appear that Maurice had intended to break down the barrier which has been imposed in the fourth century between the class which paid the taxes and that which recruited the national army. "We wish," he writes, "that every young Roman of free condition should learn to use the bow, and should be constantly provided with that weapon and with two javelins." If, however, this was intended to be the first step toward the introduction of universal military service, the design was never carried any further. Three hudnred years later Leo is found echoing the same words, as a pious wish rather than as a practical expedient. The rank and file, however, of the imperial forces were now raised almost entirely within the realm, and well-nigh every nation contained in its limits, except the Greeks, furnished a considerable number of soldiers. The Armenians and Isaurians in Asia and the Thracians and Macedonians--or more properly the semi-Romanized Slavs--in Europe were considered the best material by the recruiting officer.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

The Dark Country

Based on the Serbian folk story "Tamni Vilajet."

Once upon a time, there was an army which got lost the wilderness. They come to a place that was very dark: "the Dark Country."

They were wandering around in complete darkness, when suddenly a strong voice said from above: "If you take some of the stones from the ground, you will be sorry. If you take none of them, you will be sorry twice as much."

Some of the soldiers took some stones, and some did not. When they found the way out of the Dark Country, it turned out that the stones were diamonds. So those who took some, were sorry for not taking more. Those who did not took any, were double-sorry.

Monday, November 03, 2003

Two African Folk Poems


A Baby is a European

A Baby is a European
he does not eat our food:
he drinks from his own water pot.

A Baby is a European
he does not speak our tongue:
he is cross when the mother understands him not.

A Baby is a European
he cares very little for others:
he forces his will upon his parents.

A baby is a European
he is always very sensitive:
the slightest scratch on his skin results in an ulcer.

(Ewe)


The Moon

The moon lights the earth
it lights the earth but still
the night must remain the night.
The night cannot be like the day.
The moon cannot dry our washing.
Just like a woman cannot be a man
just like black can never be white.

(Soussou)

Sunday, November 02, 2003

Rep. Check: A Long Way Down

No content, no visits. Last time I checked the index was 0.82. Now it's down to 5 a day. 1420/1543 = 0.92. (0 - best, 1 - worst). But I am hopeful, as I found a way to provide updates every day in a foreseeable future - by recycling items from my old site.
Getting To Know A Person: Quotes


GrooThe only man who behaved sensibly was my tailor; he took my measurements anew every time he saw me, while all the rest went on with their old measurements and expected them to fit me.
-- George Bernard Shaw

No matter who you are, there's always someone who is a little worse because (s)he thinks (s)he is a little better
-- Sergio Aragones

The human mind suppresses uncertanity. We're not only convinced that we know more about our politics, our businesses, and our spouses than we really do, but also that what we don't know must be unimportant.
-- Daniel Kahneman
Love of a Stranger: Quotes From "Eaters Of The Dead"

The book Eaters of the Dead is science fiction novel based on an ancient manuscript by the Arabian traveler Ibn Fadlan, who before A.D. 922 encountered the Vikings. The style of the original manuscript is preserved in the book, as well as great regard to historical details. This story served as a basis for the script for the movie 13th Warrior.

AUTHOR: Michael Crichton
MAIN TITLE: Eaters Of The Dead
Date: 1976
PUBLISHER: New York, Ballantine Books

p. 66
Chastity among women is said to be a great virtue, but seldom did I see it practiced, for adultery is not accounted as any great matter, and if the wife of any man, low or high, is lusty, the outcome is not thought remarkable. These people are very free in such matters, and the men of the North say that women are devious and cannot be trusted; to this they appear resigned, and speak of it with their usual cheerful demeanor.

I inquired of Herger if he was married, and he said that he had a wife. I inquired with all discretion if she were chaste, and he laughed in my face and said to me: "I sail upon the seas, and I may never return, or I may be absent for many years. My wife is not dead." From this, I took the meaning that she was unfaitful to him, and he did not care.

p.116

Herger made this reply: "The women believe that the Arabs are as stalions, for so they have heard as a roumor." Nor was this any amazement to me, for this reason: in all the lands I have traveled, and so also within the round walls of the City of Peace, verily in every location where men gather and make for themselves a society, I have learned these things to be truths. First, that the peoples of a particular land believe their customs to be fitting and proper and better than any other. Second, that any stranger, a man or also a woman, is accounted inferior in all ways save in the matter of generation. This the Turks believe the Persians gifted lovers; the Persians stand in awe of the black-skinned peoples; and they in turn of some others, severally; and so it continues, sometimes by reason given of proportion of genetalia, sometimes by reason given of endurance of the act, sometimes by reason given of especial skill or posturing.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

How spammers are targeting blogs

From BBC:
Technology analyst Bill Thompson has been getting lots of comments on his weblogs, unfortunately most of the want to sell him Viagra. He has been "flyblogged".

I found this snippet handy: posting a porn/whatever spam ad is an "[o]nline equivalent of putting ad for 'private massage' on your coat." Well, good I don't have the time to insert that comment inserting feature.

Sunday, October 19, 2003

Mountain-climbers discover mummified leg of unknown creature in Altai, Siberia

...according to this article from "Getaway to Russia."

What a coincidence: just a few days ago I read "Tintin in Tibet," an enjoyable comic book by Herge. In it, Tintin goes out of his way to save his Chinese friend Chang who's stranded in Tibet after an airplane disaster. Of course the Yeti is around - there. But, back to the article...
The discovery continues to be examined. Scientists say it's early to attribute it to a yeti because this would require a DNA study. Besides, a European size 36 shoe would fit the discovered leg while yetis are believed to have exceptionally large feet.

Friday, October 10, 2003

Would You Like Some French With That?

The War Nerd (eXile) & Ted Rall (uComics) Revisit French/US Military History. Rall is part French, but that has no bearing on his cartoons. Especially this one.

Get your war on poses a deep question:
If the terrorists destroy the Statue of Liberty, would the French pay for it's rebuilding?
For another link choice free of bias, I really liked when I noticed Macedonia mentioned at the bottom of this page.
Homecoming

The dullest blog in the world (see 2 posts bellow) reminded me of a scene from the movie Queens Logic.

There's this guy who's trying to impress a girl, and talks to her about this and that in the corner of a party. At one point she exclaims something to the effect of "Why do men try to take perfectly ordinary events from their lives and turn them into fucking mythology?!"

Thursday, October 09, 2003

Trendy

The same day Reality Macedonia published a critical article by Darko Angelov on missing Macedonian public relations, I got word that MIM set up a special site for PR education, called PR.ORG.MK. How appropriate. I love coincidences, but also warn against attempting to "read" from them. :-)

The problem with Macedonia's PR impotence is missing opportunities (which come at the least opportune moment, check the link to Marphy legislature), and refusing to learn from past mistakes. And not planning ("failing to plan is planning to fail" - an American proverb). So basically, working both ends of the time scale against the middle, and being the middle!

Funny :-)

Thanks Ania, for the link to the dullest blog in the world. Dear reader, do not feel obliged to thank me... at least until I install a paypal account or something to that effect.

Tough luck: Macedonia got blacklisted by most of the e-commerce community because our banks suck, and especially because those pesky X-induced brats greedilly ordered way too much stuff with stollen credit card numbers few years ago.
Murphy's Legislature

A train of thought starting with the chain-letters and belief in magic healing paired with lack of knowledge about computer technology lead me to Quotes about Murphy's Law from Basic Quotations. I was looking for Clarke's law:
Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
Reminding me that couple of weeks ago I almost read an article on origins of Murphy's law via a Slashdot link.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

Back In The Day

David Sugar (also known as "some GNU guy"), came to Macedonia in 2002 and subsequently wrote the article Software Freedom for Macedonia?, appearing on the highly popular Linux Journal. Here's a striking observation:
The problem the hacker community faces in Macedonia is that, especially in regard to their age and historic isolation, they do not have anyone who fully understands free software philosophy in the country.
The article is worth reading, at least for its humorous ending:
I have learned that the people of Macedonia do care deeply about software freedom, and that they relate to it in regard to their own unique cultural history and national identity. With their recent elections and change of government, there is new hope that software freedom will become part of the agenda of their national government, for it already is part of their society.

Sunday, October 05, 2003

Awright, now!

I want a pet.
In the urban jungle that is New York, cops found a 400-pound tiger and a 3-foot alligator relative in a Harlem apartment yesterday after their owner was hospitalized with suspicious bites on his arm and leg, police said.
Whole story by Fox News.
Rep.check: 11 visits a day, 1102/1346 = 0.82. Skyrocket! :-)

Friday, October 03, 2003

Beer Saves Man's Life

News item Dave Barry proclaimed the feel-good story of the decade.

Bridging the Language Barriers

I noticed that a Hungarian flash mob forum site linked to my Agora article "The First Hungarian Flash mob." Its English translation originally appeared on this blog. In spite of the intuitive interface, I can't help feeling rather good because I managed to sign up to the forum and post a link to the translation, considering the fact that I can't even order a beer in Hungarian.
Microsoft Watch: India

From Slashdot:
Economic Times, India reports on the failure of Microsoft to sign up the Indian government as part of the Government Security Program. The Print Edition carries a comment by an official: "... there was tremendous pressure on us to sign an MoU (memorandum of understanding) which would allow Microsoft access to all TDIL products (Technology Development for Indian Languages)." The government has gone ahead and put all the project initiatives in the public domain. TDIL recently released Indix : an engine for rendering Indian languages on Linux.
Reputation check: with 9 visits per day, holding 1135th place out of 1334, the quotient is 0.85. Improvement. :-)

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

I've decided to start keeping track of the status of this blog by checking the rating provided by The Truth Laid Bear. Today, with an average of 8 visits per day, Razvigor holds the 1161 place out of 1328. Dividing those two yields a quotient of 0.87. Closer to 1 - bad. Closer to zero - good. We'll see how it works out.
MS Macedonia

Microsoft moves towards a "strategic partnership" with the Government of Republic Macedonia, called FYROM (an insulting designation the people detest) by the software giant. Details of the relationship are still not disclosed, even though the negotiations have been going for over 5 months, just after Macedonia joined the WTO.

Few days ago, Microsoft and the Government signed a letter of intent, a step towards closing a contract. Balkanalysis gives a scoop of the situation in the article "Quietly, Microsoft arrives in Macedonia ."

Monday, September 29, 2003

Reality Macedonia on Atrios

Eschaton (Atrios), one of the most popular blogs on the web (currently with 33959 visits per day according to The Truth Laid Bear) posted a link to Reality Macedonia article "Eternal Fascism: Fourteen Ways of Looking at a Blackshirt" by Umberto Eco (originally published in the Utne Reader, November 1995).

According to the independent web counter SiteMeter, this provided for additional several thousands visitors to come to the site over the last weekend.

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Predicting Away

Thought Viper posed an interesting question in the post from Sept 1, 2003, inspired by the Telegraph article "Astrologers fail to predict proof they are wrong." Excerpt:
If you wrote a sci-fi novel set in a world where astrology actually worked, you'd come up with a world far different than the one we live in. Astrology would be a priority project for the Pentagon, and NASA would be the most heavily-funded government agency of all. Apollo wouldn't have been about landing a man on the Moon, it would've been about building the ultimate deep-space telescope on the Dark Side.
Besides horoscopes, psychohistory is another aledged future-predicting method to be examined on its own terms.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

Toward a Weblogging Empire

According to this Wired News article, Jason Calacanis (also known as "some dude") is attempting to build a blog-based business venture.
"Weblogs are sort of reinventing the space that I was part of, the class of 1995 publishers," Calacanis says.

Ditto, man. I hear you. (Link via #seir topic by Deckard.)

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

MP3s? Tip of the Iceberg
The global AIDS crisis has reached epidemic proportions in the Republic of South Africa, where nearly 1 in 10 citizens are HIV positive. While patients in the West enjoy widely accessible treatments that allow them to live longer, fuller lives, treatment in Africa is practically non-existent. The drugs, manufactured by U.S. and European pharmaceutical companies with exclusive patents, are priced far out of the range that even Africa's most developed nations - including South Africa - can afford.

more >>>

Monday, September 22, 2003

Applying the Lessons of Macedonian War

The recent article by Robert Fisk on American tactics of appeasing its guerilla adversaries poses interesting moral questions. Reporting on the content of the letter by Major General David Petraeus to suspected Iraqi war criminal General Sultan Ahmed who afterwards surrendered to the occupator, Fisk writes:
In his quite extraordinary letter to General Ahmed the US officer says that "although we find ourselves on different sides of this war, we do share common traits. As military men, we follow the orders of our superiors. We may not necessarily agree with the politics and bureaucracy, but we understand unity of command and supporting our leaders [sic] in a common and just cause." Thus far have the Americans now gone in appeasing the men who may have influence over the Iraqi guerrillas now killing US soldiers.

What is presumably supposed to be seen as a gesture of compromise is much more likely to be understood as a sign of military weakness - which it clearly is. Historians will also have to ruminate upon the implications of the meaning of "supporting our leaders in a common and just cause". Are Saddam and Mr Bush supposed to be these "leaders"?


Sunday, September 21, 2003

Online Music Issue, Explained

Keith Knight, an artist who does both comics and music, candidly and conciselly explains the current predicament of the music industry. The comics is on Salon.com, so you will need to let it show you through an commercial to get a "day pass" to read it.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Ecoterrorism?

Ted Rall writes:
The environmental crisis is, hands down, the most important matter facing humanity today. Who cares about peace in the Middle East if the region is under water, stricken by famine or choked by dust storms? Weather systems are becoming increasingly violent and unpredictable, species are going extinct and virgin-growth forests are vanishing at an alarming rate. While smog has diminished somewhat in places like Denver and Los Angeles, air pollution is getting worse nationally. Ohio's EPA, for example, announced that 2002 was the most toxic summer on record in 14 years.

Thursday, September 18, 2003

Non-Review: Dune Messiah

The convoluted wording of legalisms grew up around the necessity to hide from ourselves the violence we intend toward each other. Between depriving a man of one hour from his life and depriving him of his life there exists only a difference of degree. You have done violence to him, consumed his energy. Elaborate euphemisms may conceal your intent to kill, but behind any use of power over another the ultimate assumption remains: "I feed on your energy." (p.183-184)

ChaniI read the book Dune Messiah by Frank Herbert last week. It chronicles the time after the events described in the colorful movie by David Lynch, which coincidently aired on a local TV station few days before I picked this tattered volume. Of course, the movie served as a reminder to the early strategy game by Cryo - ah, sweet memories.

Truth suffers from too much analysis.
- Ancient Fremen Saying (p.79)

Instead of writing about how I feel about this story of Paul's struggle to break away from the jihad he started, court intrigue and conspiracy--all very good read--and how it all relates to our life, universe and everything, I decided to offer several quotations.

Empires do not suffer emptiness of purpose at the time of their creation. It is when they have become established that aims are lost and replaced by vague ritual. (p.54)

 

Monday, September 15, 2003

Cyber-what?

Among many an interesting information item in the new Wired article by Bruce Sterling “The Growth Market in Walls,” dealing with some globalizing aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (forwarded by Deckard by way of #seir, again), this particularly attracted my attention:
Soon, thanks to the Wall, Sides I and P really will be two different sides, physically and permanently. They won't even be able to see each other; suddenly, the enemy will become little more than a blank concrete slab. Humanizing interaction will become impossible, except for email - but even that medium has found the two sides at odds: In 2001, Mona Awana, a bright and pretty young Side P activist and journalist, used her cyberchat skills to lure a 16-year-old Side I boy named Ofir Nahum into a deadly Kalashnikov ambush.
This sounds like a pretty significant story, and the only excuse I got for missing it at the time, was that I was too busy absorbing domestic news of war in 2001.

When you don’t get results, you get excuses and fries with that. Anyway, here’s a Reuters photo of Mona and Ofir, from some Hungarian site:

NewsFactor cited several possible motives in their article about the case: nationalism, robbery, and:

Still another possibility, according to one Palestinian source, was that Rahum's murder might have been an "honor killing" because relations between Palestinian women and Israeli men are prohibited and seen as a blight on the family name. It's possible, the source continued, that Awana might have offered up Rahum in exchange for her own life.

In addition, this really unmade my day:

Whatever the motive, Rahum's bereaved parents told an Israeli newspaper that children "should not use the Internet because the Internet kills. The killers attracted" their son through the Internet "and took him to where they wanted to kill him."
Most recent piece I found about Mona is Jerusalem Post article from some January 23 (year unknown) informing that she “petitioned the High Court of Justice yesterday, demanding the right to meet with a lawyer.”
People Are Products

SinFest, it's understandable.
Poland Enables Localization Of Domain Names

Starting September 11, NASK, the Polish national Internet domains registry, introduced domain names with national characters for common use as the first in Europe and among of the first in the world. During the summer, they also launched a huge drive do lower the prices of registering, resulting in whooping increase of new domains. (Full article in English, Polish, and Macedonian language.)

Localized (for instance, Cyrillic) domain names have already been enabled elsewhere. For instance, Russia. According to ICT expert Yevgeny I. Korneev, a similar attempt made a few years ago "had not proved to be successful, as many users found it cumbersome," but nevertheless VeriSign launched a new, plug-in based scheme this August.

Friday, September 12, 2003

Architectural Abomination

Here's a little story for you. Over the course of a few years, some Austrian corporation, represented by certain Dragisha, managed to convince members of two successive, mutually opposing, governmental administrations and got a permit to raise a new building on the main square of Skopje, my home town and a capital of Republic of Macedonia. Ok, so some public officials were fired after signing some deals with Dragisha about this, but still, his right to build on former public land (which he paid dirt cheap) was upheld by the Supreme Court.

Naturally, nobody does anything about this until one day the citizens of Skopje wake up to a giant crater in its heart, right next to the location of the house where Mother Theresa was born (a plaque and markers on the pavement designate the place). The current Government officials (who run the first of the two afore-mentioned administrations) cry foul, some media raise havoc, and even a group of concerned citizens decided to present awards "Golden Piccolomini" to the people responsible for this mess.

A solution? To bribe back the perpetrator with taxpayers' money.

PS
Piccolomini was an Austrian general who burned Skopje to the ground in 1689, as a side-show while inciting a rebellion of Orthodox Christian Serbs and Macedonians against the Ottoman Empire. (Something along the lines of US support of Shiite rebellion against Saddam after Gulf War I.) Austrians then abandoned their indigenous allies, and the Ottoman reprisals resulted in depopulating of vast areas in Kosovo and Northern Macedonia, latter to be settled by Muslim colonists (Albanians, Turks).

Thursday, September 11, 2003

Virus (Alert) Expected

According to Slashdot, Microsoft Identifies, Patches Another Critical RPC Hole. This means that you've got some time before some virus maker decides to exploit this in order to release some new worm/spam/whatever virus thingy, attacking Windows NT/2K/XP machines. Do the patching!

PS
If you really feel like it, explore the DOS-oriented mind of a certain Macedonian virus maker.
Invisible Naked Protesters

Many agencies reported that anti-evil-globalization protesters in Cancun spelled the words "No to WTO" in Spanish with their naked bodies. But, most of the news (I tried to track via Google and Google News, and checked about 20 sites from about dozen countries) lacked pictures from this event.

Finally I managed to find a meager AP photo in the article published by The Topeka Capital-Journal, featuring just several protesters, and not the whole arrangement. A microscopic version of the same photo appeared on CNN also. I presume the event just wasn't photogenic enough to receive sufficient editorial attention.


Wednesday, September 10, 2003

Naomi Disagrees With Empire-Building Explanation

In her article "September 11’s Legacy: War as Franchise", refering to the concept of "War on Terror" (WoT™), Naomi Kline says:
Many have argued that the war on terror is the United States government’s thinly veiled excuse for constructing a classic Empire, in the model of Rome or Britain. Two years into the crusade, it’s clear that this is a mistake: the Bush gang doesn’t have the stick-to-it-ness to successfully occupy one country, let alone a dozen.

Bush and the gang do, however, have the hustle of good marketers, and they know how to contract-out. What Bush has created in the WoT™ is less a “doctrine” for world domination than an easy to assemble tool kit for any mini-empire looking to get rid of the opposition and expand its power.


The Scourge of Militarism

Rome and America - Chalmers Johnson provides a comparative analysis of the (ancient) Roman and American militarism, imperialism, and how republican system of government gives way to military dictatorship. (TomDispatch.com)

Johnson scored high credibility with his invaluable volume Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, which mainly focuses on Asian examples.

Read also:

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

A Copyright Classic

The Hugo-winning story "Melancholy Elephants" by SF writer Spider Robinson is a must-read for anyone interested in the issues of intellectual property. Available at the site dedicated to his book By Any Other Name.

The League of Un-Copyrighted Gentry

I just enjoyed watching The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (includes a woman), a comics-based tale of adventure and action, whose wonderfully rendered computer effects often have visual sensibility reminiscent of the best days of ID Software.

The movie is worth watching, in spite of heavy propagandistic shading & displayed misogyny. The story revolves around a group of 1899 ragtag characters who attempt to stop some arms merchants from 'promoting increased return of investment' by starting a world war. So far, progressive enough.

Sadly, the movie also glorifies imperialism, both British and American (its 'heir'), endorsing the idea that even though an individual person might not like an empire (disenchantment allowed for family reasons) s/he has to support it, since the interest of the (current) world empire coincides with the best interests of humanity and world peace. The movie portrays colonialism as benevolent and protective, especially in Africa (!); totally ignores the contemporary Balkan situation; and avoids considering the fact that, just as Washington warned, empire/alliance-building was the primal reason for the World War I.

Of course, the really extraordinary feature of this movie is that all characters come from works of art & entertainment with expired copyright, and are now in public domain. In order to fully understand the significance of this fact, here's a short excerpt from the site of the U.S. Copyright Office, from the document "Copyright Basics":

A work that is created (fixed in tangible form for the first time) on or after January 1, 1978, is automatically protected from the moment of its creation and is ordinarily given a term enduring for the author's life plus an additional 70 years after the author's death. In the case of "a joint work prepared by two or more authors who did not work for hire," the term lasts for 70 years after the last surviving author's death. For works made for hire, and for anonymous and pseudonymous works (unless the author's identity is revealed in Copyright Office records), the duration of copyright will be 95 years from publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.

Similar conditions refer to works created before the stated date. In short: the copyright (the privilege  to prevent free use of certain product) may be extended up to 70 years after the death of the individual author, or up to 95 years since the publication if the copyright holder is a corporation.

This cute and fun movie would have been much poorer without the ability to re-use the characters and plot ideas ("raw materials"). League's success provides excellent proof for the need to revise the current, oppressive, legislature on intellectual property.

The movie also has educational value, providing a cross-section of some of the most important early SF & F works. Here's a handy list of (some of) the characters and authors featured in the League:

In addition, an inquisitive question from Deckard:

Do the authors of the movie have the copyright on their new universe? Do I have the right to use the same characters and write a sequel of the movie?

Monday, September 08, 2003

C|Net Comfirms Their Credibility

I got a word back from C|Net: the link I mentioned yesterday was a mistake, and they removed it from the article, because there's no further info on raised security concerns over Microsoft's software at the ASEAN summit on their site.

Well... anyone can err, but only the cool persons admit it, and the admirable do something to improve on it. Best of luck to C|Net.

Sunday, September 07, 2003

Asian Linux: Big News, Small Controversy

Slashdot published links to two C|Net/Reuters articles about Microsoft’s displeasure with the development of their own Linux-based OS by China, Japan, and [South?] Korea.

I found it interesting that the link in the following quote, from the second article “Asia Linux: Some keen, others cool,” by Reuters goes to an article which does not mention security concerns or the ASEAN conference.

But Japan's trade minister, Takeo Hiranuma, took a different tack at the ASEAN (Association of South-East Asian Nations) economics ministers meeting in the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh by raising security concerns over Microsoft's software.
IMHO, it’s probably due to an honest error, not an intentional misleading. Unfortunately I didn’t find the appropriate article using Google, so I sent a letter to C|Net’s editor with an inquiry. Results: pending.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

The First Hungarian Flash Mob

Other languages:
македонски, српски

Flash mobs are sudden gatherings of people at a predetermined location at a predetermined time. People in flash mobs usually perform according to a written script, then disperse quickly. Flash mobs can be for many purposes but most groups stick to having fun.
- definition from the site flashmob.com

The term flash mob comes from the words "mob", meaning crowd or mafia, and "flash," relating to sudden and short occurrences, such as the flash of the photo-camera, or public exhibitionism ('flashing' by raising the skirt or showing breast).

When on August 26 a congenial local student approached our group during a session of the ICT Training Programme, taking place at CEU in Budapest, offering to take part in the first Hungarian flash mob, I got the same fuzzy feeling I got after reading the Salon.com's July 24 flash mob article.

Distraction - a classic story about the crazy and the confusedThis also involved an interesting coincidence: few days before, I finished reading the science fiction novel by Bruce Sterling Distraction (first published in 1998), describing an intelligent mob which extremely efficiently destroys a bank. The book proceeds to use that event as a symptom of creating of new world order, instigated by digitally conscious (and enabled) marginalized layers, who redefine the concepts of intellectual property, the structure of government and the society as a whole.

Even if the global phenomena of flesh mobs remains "just" an another form of l'art pour l'art public performance, I reckon it's worthy of attention (and participation), at least due to the contagious feeling of joy which accompanies the baby steps of a new kind of human communication.

(It must be noted that the Hungarians make good organizers of public spectacles. In the preceding week they provided the people in Budapest with several splendid examples, such as the St. Ishtvan Day fireworks (Hungarian National Day - the unification of the kingdom), the lusty Budapest Love Parade and the Formula 1 Grand Prix.)

The plan for the flash mob called for gathering of the participants at Deak Ter (ter = square), at 7 pm the next day, and listen to church bells under open umbrellas. Except by word of mouth, the spontaneous coordination (pleonasm?!) took place via web sites and SMSs.

Deak Ferenz Ter is an area in the centre of Budapest, which contains a key metro (subway) station, several little squares, crossroads, and churches.

The following (hot summer) day, lead by our cordial host Henrik, we passed through the biggest DFT square (consisting of a park and a fountain) where only several persons played with their respective dogs, and we avoided the (umbrella less) crowd standing on the traffic light next to it. Using the principle of elimination, we found the right spot - a circular open space next to a smaller church (if you compare it with the big cathedral nearby).

Braving the "innate" non-Western relaxed perception of time, our little team got where it should several minutes before the deadline. Many dozens (up to a hundred or more, even) people were already there, some of them carrying umbrellas. Standing in groups of apparent acquaintances, everybody waited, acting aloof, trying not to glance around.

When the church bells started tolling, the people started opening their umbrellas with great gladness, assuming dignified and attentive positions. The sole bigger exception were the considerably numerous representatives of the local media (and us), who tried to take as many pictures as possible. In the meantime, the faces of the participants radiated pleasure, while the passersby and the resident beggars tried to realize what's going on.

But, a moment after, a surprising aberration from the usual flash mob scheme occurred. Several young men suddenly burst from the edge of the square, spraying water with plastic pistols. They moved through the crowd from one end to the other, leaving behind them wet and smiling people. This amusement also got side wing support, and resulted in burst of good sentiment.

Soon after the bells went silent, and the crowd closed the umbrellas and cleared the square. Several small groups remained, delayed by the reporters' inquires, or in order to waste some time. Most of the just inaugurated flash mob veterans, such as Eman & Resu, stated that they found out about the even through a certain blog, or one of the two leading Hungarian forum sites, and that there's no special reason for their involvement.

Talking to these people I got the deja vu feeling, reminding me of the time of the early modem-meetings1 in Skopje. These happenings also had an implicit goal of connecting the cyberspace and the tactile reality2. It turned out that all the interviewed groups, such as the one on the photo bellow (Bori, Màtè, Zsòfi and Miki) consisted of local computer-people who invited their (analog) friends or romantic partners to join them (in an effort to bridge the digital divide?). As a rule, the later claimed that they do not speak English (nor Macedonian), which is not unusual in Hungary3

All who were asked about it said that they have no idea who are the organizers of the event, even those who were interviewed by the local TV stations as alleged organizers.

Fingering the presence of the media, the lad in a suit who uses the nick Hackler2 said that it all got "a little bad," because of the lack of the element of surprise.

In conclusion, even with the nonstandard elements, the general impression about the creation of the first Hungarian flash mob is favorable. Considerable number of diverse people used the digital media to organize, and do something together, in spite of the atomization forced upon all of us by the modern society. Their success had no political or economic background: they did it simply because they could.

The moral of the story? Use self-service for that one.

---

Notes:

  1. Modem-meetings took place every Saturday, gathering the members of the first Macedonian BBSs, such as Dzunica, Izvor, InForma, and SunLine. The BBSs (Bulletin Board Systems) were a form of decentralized digital communication used up to the late nineties, at the time when Internet access in Macedonia was hampered by infrastructural, institutional and economic barriers. A BBS member would use his/her modem to connect directly to the modem of the server, leaving messages (written mainly off line) and collecting what the other users left in between calls. Some of those systems were home based. Adding additional phone lines to the bigger BBSs (such as InForma EIS), which provided for direct online chat of several persons created sensations. Besides opportunity for friendly socializing and courtship, the modem-meetings provided creative energy for positive developments in various areas, from ICT, via boza appreciation, to development of the Macedonian electronic music, grounded in tracker-parties.
  2. Tactile reality - analogous, and complementary to virtual reality. Term designating the world outside cyberspace, which some people call quite inappropriately "the real life." For example, IRC users use the acronym IRL (In Real Life) for meetings face to face. The need to create this term comes from the fact that the world of digital communications remains an integral part of the real life. The basic meaning of the word "tactile" concerns the sense of touch.
  3. According to László Drajkó, the CEO of the Hungarian ISP Axelero, only 10% of the population speaks a foreign language. That's why his company invests a lot in creation of content in the local language. Axelero is a counterpart of the Macedonian ISP MT.net, and is part of the Mátav group, owner of the Macedonian Telecom.

Saturday, August 30, 2003

Bruce Sterling and Ceca Razhnjatovic

Back in Skopje. Coincidently enough, Deckard posted a link to a fine Wired article as topic of #seir (my favorite Undernet IRC channel) dealing with much of the issues related to the Budapest conference.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Greetings from Budapest

The posts are slow because I'm visiting the capital of Hungary and attending a conference on ICT policy. Much to do, much to learn, and much to see. Will get back online as soon as I can.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

I just could not believe this!

From Casualty Notification Officers Train for Worst Job in the Army:

The young soldiers who used to tell families of deaths weren't always professional and sometimes became sexually involved with widows, said Deryline Watts, head of Fort Carson's casualty office.

The Army now sends older soldiers who have taken a class that includes role-playing.


The whole article is quite informative, and recommendable.
Funny strip

I had a showdown with foreign and domestic state bureaucrats today. The result is pending, I just might win, if all goes well tomorrow. This provided a refreshing change of perspective and attention emphasis.
One third of state's teachers failed English test

In Massachusetts.

Monday, August 11, 2003

Kewl columnist

George Monbiot - check "America is a religion" and esp. "Shadow of extinction."
Terminator 3: the Rise of Matrix

Not the Terminatrix! The Matrix. 2.

Matrix II disappointed me, so I secretly hoped that T III will offer something new. But, on top of its lack of innovation, it seemed to copy Matrix elements: starting with Schwarzenegger assuming a Keanu style-pose when putting on new sunglasses, to flying cars and trucks in highway scenes (also present in the Bad Boys 2 trailer – Matrix is truly an industry leader), the absurd fist-fights. The worst was the promotion of the notion of destiny, the unavoidable future and the victory of the powerful and evil machines. (How romantic!)

The T-series was far more optimistic even at the height of the technophobia. T1 (1984) came out at the time when PCs started "conquering" homes, but it still featured human ability capable of finding solutions. T3 offered total black-out: there's no use fighting, whatever you do, those who are most powerful than you will use it to their ends. Consequently, you must fear and hide like a rat! Just like in the Matrix.

Mirror, mirror, on the wall

Dumb part 1: Danta tipped me to a crucial detail that I'm sorry not to have noticed myself. After the dumb fight scene in the public toilet, the Terminatrix starts running after John and Cate, but stops for a moment at the exit to take a look at the mirror.

Yes, it is her. Flowing like the mighty river of Vardar.Women! Even if you are a murderous robot made of "liquid metal," capable of knowing the position of and adjusting every molecule of your body at will (the embedded Victoria's Secret commercial), don't miss a chance to pay even more attention to your looks. There's never enough cosmetics. (Antidote!)

DP2: If the Skynet was in fact a software which "escaped" the Army mainframe in order to "live" (in a decentralized manner) on the computers around the world, why would it destroy those same computers by causing a nuclear war? One of the less-known effects of a nuclear explosion is the strong electromagnetic pulse, which would spell death to such electronic devices.

Better moments: unlike the M, there was no blatant promotion of unnecessary affirmative action quotas. The beautiful blonde was cool, IMHO they could have made a whole better movie featuring her just walking around (and save tons of money on FX). The cliché jokes referring to the prequels (and the starry-eyed sunglasses), the subtle irony – Matrix proved itself completely incapable of the later.

I was already fed up with the Matrix guys trying to blow their "concept" out of proportion into some sort of "philosophy". They even have a philosophy section on their official web site (and use comics, a powerful weapon ;-), to provide "background" stories). I still think that the essence of their concept is the marketing survey of the U.S.A. market (containing large proportion of Christian fundamentalists) which resulted in embedding Biblical "associations" in the "story."

PS
Ebert's review.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Cumming of Age

Pardon my Freedom. Anyway, I was completelly oblivious to the fact that this song, which I got reminded of by discovering a CD by Shawn Colvin, appears on the "Stealing Beauty" soundtrack. Of course, Liv Tyler is an eye-candy - here's a treat:


Exclusive photos

Galichnik wedding, July 13, 2003.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Confusion Avoidant

Ok, it's done. From now on, all Macedonian-language posts go to http://razvigormk.blogspot.com. All English-language posts remain here. :-)

Synchronizing? Maybe. If possible. Not a rule.

It seems that the Blogger is taking its time activating it, but that's not a big problem. I'm in English mood anyway.
It seems to me that it would be best to make versions of the blog separated by language. Not that I am getting too many people confused already, considering how many visitors get here anyway, but it would be more user friendly = hospitable. This would probably continue to be the english version, and I'll think about how to design the Macedonian/Serbian ect. one.

Friday, July 25, 2003

Book Of The Week: The Dark Knight Returns

Okay, so you win some, and you loose some. Time, that is. Reading a long Frank Miller comics usually makes me feel I fall back on the winning side. So, sharing the wealth, I offer a short review.


Making a "Tenth anniversary edition" of The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller, Klaus Janson and Lynn Varley must have been a good marketing idea in 1996, reaping the harvest of a build-up momentum. Miller's reinvented Batman indeed contributed into bringing a new vigor to the medium which went into full swing in the early nineties--to be nearly crushed by the advent of the web--just as artists such as Gaiman (Sandman) and McCloud began offering equally innovative products, often minus the ultra-violence which is Miller's forte.

Miller reloaded some elements of the structure of the DKR when shaping his (IMHO) masterpiece, Elektra: Assassin, most notably the secret plan of the protagonist, who gets the adversaries to play along. This adds value to reading the story of aged Batman who goes out of retirement to die fighting once again. DKR can also be viewed as a blueprint for another landmark comics from the same series, Batman: Year One published in 1997, but depicting events way before it, namely, the start of Batman's career from a viewpoint of Gordon, his cop friend (who retires in DKR).

DKR covers some familiar Batman/DC issues, such as abuse-prone media power and corruption of spineless politicians, especially in the chilling episode of the reluctant mayor who insists of appeasing a terror gang/army through negotiations with their leader, jailed by Batman. This leads to some unfortunate outcomes, and only Batman prevents a catastrophe. Luckily, "incidents featured in this publication are entirely fictional." It is good that such things don't happen in the real world, since after 2001 we seem to be in a short supply of Batmans, at least here in Macedonia.

As usual, Miller uses the comics to unravel some superhero stereotypes, and even to jokingly question Superman's obedience to American authorities, most notably ex-President Reagan.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

Way too kewl for art only

This lady says blogs might be the next kind of spam... er, internet business application used to promote whatever is there to promote. Might be useful, in some of those "I was there, too" moments, when you hang with your other wealthy palls drinking your Bailys® and munching on your smoked salmon. So here's the link:

5 Key Questions (You've Been Dying) To Ask About Business Blogs by Debbie Weil

Monday, July 21, 2003

Summertime / Летна шема

Appropriate SinFest comix.
Соодветно стрипче од Синфест.
Expression of gratitude

Big thank you to the guys running Blogwise for using the proper name for Macedonia. :-)
The same goes for another blog index, the pepys project.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Чукајте и ќе ви се отвори (Матеј, 7:7)

Пред некое време се пријавив на Блогвајз, сајт што индексира блогови. При пријавувањето ми попречи тоа што земјата ми беше наречена нешто формер ово оно, па им го испратив следното писмо на раководството.


Sent: Saturday, July 05, 2003 12:02 AM
Subject: Remark about Blogwise


Dear Nick,

I just listed my blog, Razvigor, on Blogwise. I noticed that this might be the first blog from Macedonia to hit the site. ;-)

I have one important thing to share: Macedonians really detest when someone refers to their country as "Former Yugoslav Republic of." That addition was imposed on our country by a more powerful un-friendly neigbour, but that's a long story (which I would be happy to share, if you like - some links are at the end).

The bottom line is that it would be great if you change the phrase "Macedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic of" into just "Macedonia." All we want is to be accepted for what we are now, not what we were in the past. And anyway, there are 6 more former Yugoslav republics (Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina) - if we have to bear that burden, so should they. It would be only fair to add a historical reference to whatever former "union" was a country part of for all the countries in the list: USA - former British colonies, Russia - former Soviet Republic, Greece - Former Ottoman Turkish PRovince.. ect.

With good will,
:-)
Filip Stojanovski


Background articles:
http://www.realitymacedonia.org.mk/web/news_page.asp?nid=2616
http://www.realitymacedonia.org.mk/web/news_page.asp?nid=2518


Резултат: Дечките сосем доброволно ја променија номенклатурата на сајтот, ем дознаа нешто за Македонија. За сега овој блог е единствен запишан во категоријата „Macedonia“ - се надевам ќе му се придружат и други наши.

Friday, July 11, 2003

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Која мајка сина изгубила...

Ммм, преку линкот од претходниот пост стигнав и до блогот на духовитиот новинар Дејв Бери.

Бери на нашата јавност и е познат по популарниот напис „Зошто просто не го фрлат тоа прстенот во канализација?“, во кој тој го раскажува толкиновскиот филм „Две кули“.
Compare & Contrast

The Truth Laid Bear - a site that ranks blogs by audience size, using data provided by SiteMeter. (Via This Modern World)

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

Od koleno na koleno

Edna drugarka mi go dade linkov shto i' go dala druga drugarka, a vodi do srpska narodna erotska pesna.

Neshto se zbuni blogerov, pa morav da napisham so latinica. Oti, mesto kirilica, se pojavija vakvi chudni bukvi:
шт�¾ �¸â€™ �³�¾ �´�°�»�° �´Ñ€Ñƒ�³�° �´Ñ€Ñ
Тренд: заштита на детската „невиност“

Дневник во написот „Крв блика од лектирата за првоодделенците“ смета дека е „скандалозно“ тоа што на децата им се наметнува да читаат народни приказни во кои има убивање, умирање и слични настани.

Оставајќи ја настрана моралноста и полезноста на самиот чин на обврзување да се прочитаат точно одредени текстови (де факто создавање на канон), во моментов се прашувам дали има некои показатели кои би укажале на тоа колку информирањето на децата за непријатните страни на животот е полезно или штетно. Информирањето, кое не опфаќа искусување во смисла децата да бидат изложени на случки од тој вид.

Дали за детето е неопходно или потребно да помине икс број години „под стаклено ѕвоно“, па дури на подоцна возраст да дознае за темната страна на светот?

Ми изгледа дека самиот чин на добронамерно цензурирање доведува до навикнување и помирување со цензурата и при други околности.

Дали со ист аршин би требало да се мери и во однос на знаења од областа на сексуалноста?

***

Еден пример на наметнување на искусување наспроти информирање: изборот на мис-дете во Капиштец.

Како што забележа членката на тимот на Риалити Маседонија што ја обработи темата, првиот напис на Дневник за овој настан беше афирмативен, а вториот и понатамошните во кои се споменуваше ова беа негативно настроен кон настанот. Но тоа е дигресија.

Прашањето во која мерка она што ќе го дознаат (прочитаат, слушнат, видат) го одредува однесувањето на луѓето е отворено. Тука е и прашањето за (пре)насочување на внимание на влијанието на медиумите во програмирањето на децата, наспроти сите други влијанија, почнувајќи од примерот на родителите до примерот на државата (в. „Боулинг фор Коломбајн“). Радо би дознал што мислите вие за тоа (в. „контакт“ тука десно).

Sunday, July 06, 2003

Биро за изгубени смс пораки

Од време на време добивам пораки од некое момче што живее во Истанбул. Типот мисли дека мојот број е нечив друг, а кога му одговарам и известувам за ситуацијата, не возвраќа. Еве како изгледа една таква порака.Sent:
30-May-2003
00:02:49

CAO SELMA OVDE
FIKI ONAJ
RoMeO_-:)EVO
TU SAM U ROZAJE
DAJ NAPISI MI
JEDNU PORUKU
DA SE
OBRADUJEM:)ZNA
M DA NE SPAVAS
,)CMOKA PISI
MOLIM TE VOLIM
TE,

Селма, пиши му жифти све!
Се вративме од Кучица. Поминавме многу убаво. Еве една фотка за почеток. :-)
We got back from Kuchica. Had a really good time. Here's a photo for starters. :-)



Наскоро ќе има повеќе за овој излет. More info - soon.

Saturday, July 05, 2003

Забележав реакција на краткото написче во врска со ставот дека Хари Потер е плагијат.

Сопственик на еден од сајтовите споменати во текстот дигнал узбуна на еден форум да му се преведе што пишува. Се обиделе да го преведат користејќи автоматски преведувач од руски и другар што знаел полски.

Убава прилика кај тамошното население да се афирмира постоењето на македонскиот јазик.
Придружете им се. ;-)
The moral of the story: how to choose between two good things?
Try the one you haven't tried before. ;-)
Translation of the previous post: I acted Hamlet-like agonizing whether to spend the weekend in Novi Sad on the Exit festival, or finish some urgent stuff on Saturday and then reward myself with a visit of the village of Kuchica, Karbinci municipality in Eastern Macedonia (map bellow).

It's a remote area of the country, quite poor and isolated. The village is inhabited by Yuruk Turks, who alegedly live very traditionally ("like in 19th century," according to an overheard conversation at the recent photo exibition about them). MCIC helped the villagers build waterworks, so there will be a small celebration at the inauguration.
Бев во голема дилема дали да одам на Егзит и да го потрошам викендот таму, оти има точно одредени прекрасни луѓе на лице место, оставајќи да ми висат над глава куп обврски, или да станам малце одговорен и ако успеам со обврските да се наградам со еден друг вид излет.

Се решив да се обидам да суредам што може да се суреди, а во недела да одам на „експедиција“ во село Кучица, општина Карбинци, во источна Македонија (слика лево). Таму живеат Турци-Јуруци, па според кажувањата патувањето нема да е само низ простор, туку и низ време. Инаку, настанот е пуштање на водовод во употреба, помогнат од од МЦМС.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

An article by Salon.com on power of blogging: presidential candidate apparently used it to raise a lot of campaign cash.

"A world in which it is wrong to murder an individual civilian and right to drop a thousand tons of high explosive on a residential area does sometimes make me wonder whether this earth of ours is not a loony bin made use of by some other planet."
- George Orwell (who would be 100 years old today were he still alive)
quoted by Electric Sheep, a damn good comics site

Галичка свадба
Едвај чекам. Се спремаме со доста луѓе да отидеме, толку многу што изгледа дека ќе мора да се спие во шатори. Нема врска, ќе понесеме и друга логистика - полски кревети, душеци, покеиф ќе биде од внатре. Ако кликнете на сликичката ќе видите како беше минатата година. Делумно.

Galichnik Wedding
I can hardly wait. We prepare the trip with a lot of people. So many will go (tens!) that it seems that most of us will have to take it to the tents. Does not matter, we'll bring other logistics too - picnic beds, beach mattreses, it's gonna be more comfy than indoors. If you click on the image you'll be able to check some of last year's happenings. Partial report.

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

"Power comes outta lying..."

"Power doesn't come from a badge or a gun. Power comes outta lying and lying big and getting the whole damn world to play along with you. Once you got everybody agreeing with what they know in their hearts ain't true, you got 'em trapped. You're the boss. You can turn reality on its head and they'll cheer you on."

- from That Yellow Bastard: A Tale from Sin City by Frank Miller
Еден топол летен ден, Развигор се разбуди и свати дека пролетта е веќе замината. Znachi, treba da se organizira neshto za da se meri vremeto. Kako na primer, nastan. Pa se' shto se sluchuva da mozhe da se postavi pred i potoa.