Saturday, July 16, 2005

Completely Missing The Point

I'm not going to deny that 100,000 people died in Iraq. Let's not fudge the issue, okay? Iraq's a fucking mess, and it shouldn't have happened at all.

We Know, Already.

I'm not going to even quibble about the scale of death that's happened in what we all facetiously call the ‘civilized world’, compared to the death we see in, oh, I don't know, Iraq, Israel, the ten thousand military hot spots around the world where life is very expensive but hot fiery death is free and more often than not comes jumbo–sized for the whole family. Because it's true.

It's true that more people die in these places, and that the climate has been so soaked in death and misery that the only sane response to people who live there is to throw their lives into the furnace, and feed the flames. Yes, it's fucking insane and it's fucking tragic.

The “Yes, Massa” Reflex.

And yes, let us not forget how sucky it can be to be on the losing side of history. Let us rekindle our grudges against our Great Western Former Masters and repeat the same old story about how we always invariably get the shaft. Look, our anuses are sore already, but feel free to fuck us with your Great White Dick, O Gweilo, it's not as if we can stop you anyway.

Whenever someone brings up those numbers, and starts whining about how it's all the West's fault, I roll my eyes. Any more rolling and I'll look like an epileptic, but that's what I do nowadays. Because that's what it is, whining.

Stupidity, 70% Off

Stopping terrorism isn't easy. It's never easy, because it means not doing the stupid and cheap thing and packing as much explosives as you can conceal, getting into public transportation, and blowing the shit out of your fellow citizens. Or sitting down on your ass and calling the Other Dude “barbarians”.

It means not looking at your enemy like he is Satan, Dajjal, Safari-Hat Dude with Pipe and Goliath and deciding, “Hey, he doesn't want to listen to us. He'll never listen to us, because he's That Way”, thus exalting his power and debasing his humanity. Because exalting someone's power and debasing his humanity is the cheap way of doing things, and stupid, because the only thing that'll come out of it is more dead people, and possibly a dead you.

No Thinking, Act Only?

So yeah. Talk about Western Imperialism. Never realize that you know, for once in our long and sordid history as a people, a race, a religion, these people are offering a hand in friendship and trying to listen. They're polite enough to not convert you first up; they can try that later, and if we're strong and secure enough in our faith and culture we can say no.

Sit on your ass and whine. Or plot to kill more people to fuck them up so that they can fuck us up and continue the cycle. Don't think, or listen. Don't stop, and don't listen to these people, these barbarians. Ironically, in calling them barbarians, we repeat the same mistake they did, long ago — the mistake of not listening, of thinking we know how they will think and act, the way their great-great grandfathers were certain of what we were and what we were capable of and what was good for us.

They're paying for it now, in terrorism and death. I wonder what the bill for our foolishness and arrogance will look like.

Friday, July 15, 2005

More Kudos To Where It Belongs.

I wanted to blog about Aizuddin and his Petaling Street, but reading this was more pleasurable to read than fantasizing about running Aizuddin over with a bus.

It's a nice blog. And another Londoner.

Shit, Tariq, are you missing that wet and depressing hell-hole1?

  1. Well it was. The people are great — well, apart from what seemed like an alcohol dependency to having fun — but I wouldn't be able to stand living there for at least another half-decade.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Thoughts on Project Petaling Street.

Looks like spam in PPS is making an appearance, and people are noticing.

I've got a few things to say, and not all of them are nice.

The Vikings are already inside the café.

If that particular ping is spam, it's spam, and it'd be best if we assume that the horse has been let out of the stable. It might not have happened already, but let's assume it has, and thus act proactively to stop it.

No, I don't mean lynching the buggers who are responsible for this. Wouldn't that be nice? Gruesome, but nice.

No, don't panic either. It's not the end of Petaling Street. Geez, get a grip, people.

Rethinking Petaling Street.

Aizuddin Danian is a great many things to a lot of people. I don't exactly like or hate him; I've never met him, though Hani has, and hasn't got a bad thing to say about him. I've heard people slagging him off, but who hasn't? Femes blogger syndrome, what did you expect?

Petaling Street, for lack of a better term, is the centre of the huge, messy megacollaborative gestalt that is Malaysian blogging (I think I just out poyo-ed ‘blogosphere’… quick, someone get the Poseur Police!). It wouldn't have been so coherent, so focused for so long without PPS. Face facts, ladies and gentlemen. PPS is our NEP.

It's Here and You Use It.

No, no, don't laugh. Seriously. Without it Malaysian bloggers would've been forced to assimilate themselves into the global blogging community. Instead of one megacommunity we'd have dozens of small communities interacting with Everyone Else and getting blown around by External Forces, oblivious to our fellow countrymen.

We're still dozens of small communities, but at least we're talking with one another on a regular basis.

And frankly I like it. Kinda. I can leech off the careers of bloggers who have made it good and use it to enchance my readership (hey, I just admitted to being a faker last post). And others can do so as well. Most of the time we know when a Malaysian blogger posts something — they usually post, and then ping.

And that may be threatened, not by the forces of globalization, but by spam.

Wait, that is a force of globalization. Nevermind then.

The Future of PPS

But the issue is that PPS is kinda sorta under attack. Well, not yet. Probably. Let's not just over-focus on trying to warn people not to give up their ping addresses. Like I said, too late. Let's start looking at ways in which we can solve this issue — not reactively, but proactively. Perhaps a way to get community members to determine which post is spam and which post isn't? Or something simple (theoretically; I understand that it's pretty damn difficult to implement) as a Bayesian filter?

Then there's the issue of who owns Petaling Street. Aiz does, there's no question. Is that a good thing? I mean, not to diss you or anything, Aiz, but what if you got run over by a bus? PPS dying with you… would really suck.

It's not at all related to spam in PPS, but it's worth thinking about.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Your Life Was Never Your Own

Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I announce to you all that I am a faker.

A fraud. A prevaricator. Someone who projects a face across an impersonal medium. A charlatan, a poseur; One Who Is Not Truly Himself.

My admission of guilt, and horrible guilt it is, comes from the realization that I have never been true to myself on this blog. I have never been true to myself, and will never be true to myself; not here.

You want to know the shocking thing? I never meant it to be in the first place.

Oh, you look at poor Minishorts, and her wondering where her private space went. Or to mrbrown, who posted something about how potential employers now use blogs as an assessment tools. Oh, woe! Where hath the blog, the private space where we pour our hearts, gone?

It was never there, children. You just pretended that it existed, when in truth all the world did was pretend that your little place didn't, and ignored you.

But that's not true any more, is it?

You ever wonder why Jeff never talks about his life? Or why all Mack does is talk about the actions of others, only representing himself as a detached observer, even in the most poignant of moments?

That's because they know, kiddies. Tie yourself to your blog and you tie yourself to a potential anchor.

I had to learn the lesson kinda the hard way, but I learnt it, as all bloggers eventually do. But instead of mourning the loss of a private den to kvetch away, I made my own.

It lives in a little place called LiveJournal — a placed scorned by many of the cognoscetti of the Digital Realm. It's a place of losers, they cry. Emo boys and goth girls writing shit poetry and whining about how dire their jobs in Hot Topic are! No self-respecting entity goes there! Even Google avoids it!

Exactly. And LJ provides the technological tools to limit participation and viewership. Notice how I never, ever talk about my opinions about my workplace and my colleagues. Where do you think it goes? Go ahead and take a look, you won't find anything incriminating apart from extremely fanboyish stuff.

Unless I trusted you.

Bloggers, do not mourn. You want a private space? Find one. Make one. Make an effort at it. Get your friends, people you trust to join the service if you want to spill your heart to them occasionally. Whatever.

Don't come whining to us about how hard it is to keep your private life, well, private.

Of course it isn't private. You fucking blog it.