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.