Wikimotives

Z told me not too long ago about a bit of media that sprung up around a Russian academic who had illegally supplied huge numbers of academic papers for free on the internet. I responded to this information with something along the lines of “that sounds like a more useful but less important wikileaks.”

So impressed was I with this scathing and shrewd analysis I had voiced, that I decided to put it on the blog. You see, I believe that is what people like Assange and Snowden think when they find a juicy piece of confidential sticker. They think,  “How bad-ass would I look if I told this secret to the whole class?” Clearly the reasons, happenings and benefits behind all the things they’ve done are more complex than my off the shoulder cynical assessment. Still, I bet they wanted to release whatever they were given before thinking about whether it might be a good idea or not. Maybe that was even part of the drive to find out a good reason to do it.

I should disclose that I recently found a site called “wikileaks.somethingorother”  by accident on google. I thought ‘oooh!’ and clicked it to find out what kinds of juicy facts it might tell me that I couldn’t access otherwise and then feel super informed. Unfortunately it was full of just a bunch of links to public access government documents of no interest. Like a white paper on plumbing infrastructure for the greater Talbingo area or something. So I was disappointed and now I’m cynical about anything whistle-blowery.

Apart from generate some scandal, I never learnt if there was anything useful that people could do with the information that was leaked. maybe there was some kind of PR pressure that led to citizen freedoms being protected from what ever means the government was using at the time that got leaked. IDK, I didn’t pay much attention. My disinterest informed my conclusion that they probably did it for the glory and attention.

Wouldn’t it feel cool to uncover a conspiracy like that? Let’s face it, the power trip would be pretty sweet.But the childlike excitement of discovery would be better. No wonder Assange looks like he’s got his dick in every pie on every windowsill in the world, he’s a real life Nancy drew.

More importantly, who will win survivor? lol jks, like all issues I bring up here I shall avoid having an opinion and leave it open to a hypothetical future discussion… actually I’m going to say I think their innate humanity let them down and that the whistle-blowers are uncool.

-W

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Livin’ in the good old days

 

It seems that a lot of people including myself feel great nostalgia for the good old days which we were too young to have any genuine appreciation for. This can be for something as simple as old timey nineties music I was barely old enough to remember. Alternatively it can be as large as feeling nostalgia for whole ways of life, and I’m sure we’ve all felt this, for say, being a swashbuckling pirate in the age of sail.

Obviously this is obvious, everyone on the face of the planet except anti-torrent legislators want to be a pirate in some way. However, its strange to think that we long for this backward, pestilent, hard life of crime and pain. Still, those romantic notions of exploring the unknown, free from the rule of international law, always win through. The challenge can add to the reward. Humans just can’t be comfortable being comfortable, it seems.

“Sure I was a sex object without basic human freedoms, I wouldn’t go back” says grandma, “but it was ever so quaint, ooh you don’t get cheese dixie dances like you used to…”

The good old days are full of these paradoxical compromises. We strive for a better world so we can be a bit bored and disappointed with it. For instance, we lament the disparity of wealth in the world and yet the image of the eighties corporate playboy washing down the coke snuffed down off a woman’s belly with a glug of grange straight from the bottle is somehow glamorous. It’s all a game I guess, and it’s only fun if someone’s losing, otherwise no one can be winning.

Alcohol was never as fun as it seems it was in the Prohibition era. The crime and danger adds to the thrill. Farming was never as fun as cowboys made it out to be, and that was mainly due to the likelihood of getting shot or lynched for no good reason. Sex in the sixties…well I guess STD risk is the exception to these things, not too nostalgic for the aids epidemics in the eighties, but the drugs were new. I like disco….

All this nostalgia for something we only know from what others tell us about it. It can make us look at the boring old world around us today. Sure we have phones, but they get boring pretty quick. It’s a computer in my hand, yay, time to watch cat vids with it. Drones are cool, but you need a license. Bloody safety. Everything is tarnished with process and bureaucracy. Freedom isn’t real, we aren’t trusted to not kill ourselves, for good reason, but it still sucks. I guess that’s why Americans are so desperate to cling to their gun laws. It’s a personal freedom that they need purely because it doesn’t make safety sense to keep it. It’s a choice they make as adults. They can feel the rules are still their’s for the making.

Despite housing affordability crises, more and more tariffs on booze and cigs and spending more of your life looking at a screen indoors, there is something to look forward to.

Good news, the future will be worse! 🙂 yay, that’s right, all the amazing technology will be drab, all the rules will be stifling, and it will still seem as busy and problem-riddled as ever.

Aren’t you lucky you live now. You’ll be old then, you won’t have to deal with that shit. No, you can just sit around and complain about how you used to be able to drive the car yourself with controls instead of telling it where to go, it was much more fun. And you will be able to rely on the modern medical technology to extend the time you have to tell all the kids how you were so much better than them at their age. Because no matter how shit it is now, it can get worse. So little things like riding a push bike without needing a road license and a rego slip might be the coolest thought in the world to those upstart little future kids.

“I built a billy cart and burnt dinosaur-juice just to cut grass with whirling knifes when I was young” you can tell them. Sparklers and candles, will be tales of the elicit and dangerous activities kids used to be allowed to do. That’s right. We used to take all our nicotine by burning it! Fancy that!!! They won’t believe you. “I remember when they started being electronicalised” you’ll groan. “They were great big things, had to be to hold the battery.”

Getting old is only any good because the world around you is shittier than before. So if you start lamenting the way the world is going, remember that’s a good thing and live up the good old days.

-W

 

Is it a cultural thing?

Since arriving in the UK, my abnormally insensitive mind has begun to pick up on things about the place that most people probably already knew. The most striking of these things is that theft is an important part of British culture, and the more grandiose the better. Prior to coming here I was well aware of the history of the British Empire and how the place I’m from was mercilessly used for British self interest, wrested from the hands of its original inhabitants. I was aware this was also true of many, many countries, all over the world. I was calmly well educated as to how this was based on an immoral culture of theft on the part of the British.

But I thought top hats and tea (apparently also stolen from afar) were far too quaint to belong to a bad culture, so I brushed my education aside. “All this evidence and logic doesn’t really mean anything.” I convinced myself. “Britain is still a medieval fantasy land where everyone will love me and all my dreams will come true.”

But then I watched the news on one of the first nights I spent in the UK. There was a story on a dramatic bank heist. This heist involved happy-go-lucky crims abseiling down elevator shafts and drilling giant holes into secure vaults, evading sleepy security guards and making their getaway with untaxed millions. The crims took the shady contents of secret cabinets, in this bigger-crim swindling escapade. The news crews were all over this. They couldn’t get enough.

I thought that was it. The heist gang would surely be hightailing it through the Italian Alps by now, singing their successes on a bus. However they made a critical mistake; the complication in the media’s action film, if you will. They missed CCTV cameras in the elevators which they used to cart the gold out of the bank in, disguised as bin men. What the media then did with this footage was the point at which I started to suspect that this was all a bit odd. The news gave the crims nicknames.

They didn’t name them to suggest who they were or give identifiers for the purposes of clear exposition. No. Instead the clearly super-excited BBC newsreader gave them names seemingly inspired by the Italian Job. For example there was “The Gent,” so named, and in gleeful tones, because the news crews believed him to have shiny shoes, evidenced by the grainy-as-a-beach CCTV footage. I realised they were jumping at every excuse to masturbate over this, admittedly pretty boss, crime.

Maybe this over-excitement runs deeper though. Maybe its why there’s pennies here; more opportunities to short-change people. Little thefts, British simple pleasures. Maybe it’s why they hate being in the EU; “what is this ‘Sharing’ you speak of?” they might wonder. You only have to look at a brief synopsis of the Falkland Islands conflict to realise that Britain likes to make a big deal over, even re-theft of, stolen goods. However, by “runs deeper” I meant sex, maybe, yeah why not.

Has all that British reserve, sexual oppression and keeping-face to convince everyone that civility breeds superiority made simple crimes like theft as exciting as a threesome on a private jet? I would wager yes, because I’m writing this article and you can’t stop me. There are, I’m sure, many that would argue “yeah, love of crime is just human nature and it’s in all of us and we’re all unique and beautiful all over the world but we’re all actually the same.” But it’s clearly Britain that has a culture which uses human nature to affect its culture in order to disguise its basic human nature so as to trample other cultures in order to satisfy its collective basic human nature. Or, said with greater complexity, “They act all full of themselves, but they just want your stuff.”

Now that I’ve pleased all the anti-empire commie readers I’m going to have a cup of tea.

-W