Posts Tagged 'communism'

Avatar

So what’s the deal about this Avatar thingy? Some people say that it’s amazing and groundbreaking. Some critics say that it is so bad that it can hardly be called “cinema”. Russian paleoconservative communists say that Cameron should be executed for ripping off the plots of classic Soviet science fiction novels, by which they probably want to say that it is good.

All the images that i’ve seen from this movie look like screenshots of an early-00’s 3d video game, such as Black & White. It was a very good game, but it doesn’t convince me that it will work so well as a movie.

Advertisements

Dogs

The highlights of the chart of the most downloaded Classic Rock tracks on Amazon.com:

  • Number 01: The Wall by Pink Floyd. Go on, listen to them on your stupid iPod Shuffle, mixing Vera Lynn with One of My Turns with In the Flesh, when what you really wanted was Another Brick. And that’s if you put nothing but The Wall on your iPod, but you probably put 5000 other songs there, so you get those songs in between others, which have totally nothing to do with The Wall. Congratulations—you are an iAsshole. Of course, you could also listen to it in your stupid Windows Media Player, which is very helpful at showing you where The Happiest Days of Our Lives ends and Another Brick part II begins. If you don’t understand what i mean, you are lucky.
  • Number 02: Pop Up by Yelle. What by what?
  • Number 10: Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd ($7.99); Number 23: Dark Side of the Moon (2003 Remaster) by Pink Floyd ($8.99). If you downloaded number 10, see what i wrote above about The Wall. If you downloaded number 23 and payed one dollar more for it, the you are a truly unbelievable idiot, because you paid extra for an album that was in the first place one of the most meticulously recorded pieces of music ever, and in 2003 was remastered for playing on special high definition players, and then was converted to a lossy format, which pretty much throws all that sound quality out the window. But you are a part of a rather big group, because 23 is still a pretty high ranking. A study should be conducted on this group, trying to understand—what the fuck causes people to do such stupid things. It will surely win an Ig Nobel.
  • Number 19: Communism Is Fascism by Undercover Slut. See number 02.
  • Number 39: August & Everything After by Counting Crows. Classic Rock, anyone?
  • Number 42: 1984 by Van Halen. I ain’t the worst that you’ve seen. Oh can’t you see what I mean? Might as well jump. Jump! Go ahead, jump. Jump!

Who wept at the romance of the streets with their pushcarts full of onions and bad music,
Who thought they were growing old and cried,
Who sang out of their windows in despair,
Who vanished into nowhere Zen New Jersey,
Who conversed about America and Eternity, a hopeless task.

Changing my life with a wave of her hand

Lately i’ve been reading the printed version of Richard Stallman’s book Free Software, Free Society.

Reading and thinking to myself – here i am, reading a book, which is revolutionary to a certain degree. Which is naïvely (?) written and edited in a way that is supposed to be understood by people who are not computer geeks. I am sure that it fails. I even think that there’s a slight possibility that someone who doesn’t understand computers will actually read it, misunderstand it, and start some extremist group.

It makes me think – is it revolutionary like The Kapital? No, it is not. The Kapital is rather scientific, with historical and economical research behind it. Stallman is not so good with providing references for his claims. Some company did that, some guy did this, someone sued somebody else – almost without any reference. (It doesn’t mean that the whole Free Software movement sucks at reference – Lawrence Lessig’s excellent book Free Culture is very well referenced.) Yet the tone is convincing. I read it and i like to imagine Stallman speaking. This part is particularly powerful – he is talking about the first time he tried to get the source code for something and was refused:

See, he had promised to refuse to cooperate with us — his colleagues at MIT. He had betrayed us. But he didn’t just do it to us. Chances are he did it to you too. [Pointing at member of audience.] And I think, mostly likely, he did it to you too. [Pointing at another member of audience.] [Laughter] And he probably did it to you as well. [Pointing to third member of audience.] He probably did it to most of the people here in this room — except a few, maybe, who weren’t born yet in 1980. Because he had promised to refuse to cooperate with just about the entire population of the Planet Earth. He had signed a non-disclosure agreement.

Now, this was my first, direct encounter with a non-disclosure agreement, and it taught me an important lesson — a lesson that’s important because most programmers never learn it. You see, this was my first encounter with a non-disclosure agreement, and I was the victim. I, and my whole lab, were the victims. And the lesson it taught me was that non-disclosure agreements have victims.

Transcript of Richard M. Stallman’s speech, “Free Software: Freedom and Cooperation”, New York University in New York, New York, on 29 May 2001.

I may not agree with every word, but i deeply respect this kind of universal radicalism – to see society and humanity beyond the dry legal texts.

I like to amuse myself with the idea that this book is revolutionary; that i am a revolutionary; that i read the right revolutionary books of the generation. And then i think that i am not sure that i would be very proud if as a young person a hundred years ago i would read Marx. Well, i am quite sure that had i lived then, i wouldn’t think that Marx is my kind of revolutionary, anyway, although i don’t know who would it be.

But guess what makes Stallman a little like Marx after all, even though it is probably not important to him?

They are both Jews.

I didn’t know it until today. Look at this: R. Poynder interviews R. M. Stallman (PDF).

Gmar khatima tova, everyone.


Oh (edit): H.L.A., thanks for the corrections.


Archives

Advertisements