1. Here is my personal response to the five pages of collected quotations from the secretive person running the most well known virtual black market “Silk Road.” Check out Andy Greenberg's series of articles at forbes.com for more information on what this is to make sense of my response and to make up your own response yourself.

    Rationalizations. Much of what he says is rationalization. It’s very sophisticated and knowledgeable but it’s still really just rationalization. The bottom line is that he’s making millions by providing the largest platform in history for the proliferation and profit of dangerous and addictive drugs. But I believe him when he says that it’s not just about the money. He’s managed to convince himself that this is morally good for humanity. The main reason that he does this is for the thrills he gets (as he described regarding how he felt after the first press release in Gawker and how he likely now feels after Forbes). Like an anonymous WOW gamer, a person posting naked pics of themselves in Reddit, or a Twitter celebrity -he does it for the rush he receives after each time he sees how much further he has pushed the bar, how many more fans he has attained with each risk exceeded -he does it for the points, the likes, the hits, the unlocked achievements of it (or whatever you want to call it). The fact that his “successes” are all completely secretive and anonymous make them no less thrilling or meaningful for him. Also, the illegality of it and rationalizations of its dangers make it all the more interesting. This then is his drug of choice, and like any hardcore addict, he’ll be damned if he doesn’t convince the rest of the world that it’s a good thing. 

    Making a perceived  impact on the world as evidenced by large numbers in site visits, transactions, and revenue -these are the highs and riches that really drive him to do what he does, that give him purpose in his life, and that justify, for him, every addiction or overdose indirectly caused, and that fuel the false rhetoric of his oh so noble mission. For those that are duped into following him, I feel the same sympathies as I do for those who are manipulated by any more-orthodox institutions. At least with his Arsenal argument he can make a stand for the second amendment, but that quickly collapsed when it wasn’t profitable enough (when it didn’t bring in the numbers or thrills he’d anticipated). If anything, he’s taking part in his feared future oligarchy of money-made power mongers, virtualizing a soma lounge for the elite socially/technologically savvy of the world. He’s also undermining the actual humanitarian needs of Tor and Bitcoin for the many people who really need it (the Chinese or Iranian people as he exampled). He seems to endorse government wherever it’s conducive to his wants (i.e. healthcare, defense, quality control, etc), but he’s against paying taxes to what he calls the governmental “cronies.” These regulated services that enable a free society are brokered by the people. He has no problem exploiting all the “cronies” at the Postal Service while giving them no tax money to support them. 
    Overall, these articles in Gawker and Forbes have been fascinating news that have made readers consider history, economics, IT, religion, philosophy, law, and political science. It is all extremely relevant to the trends, ideas, and debates of our time right now, which therefore makes it very newsworthy. Journalist Greenberg did well in his presentation of the information. This Oz behind the curtain provides us with a fascinating persona to think about. He exudes the impression of being well educated, he likely had a significant prior history in corporate America, and he now peddles his secret trade with a grandiosity of rationalization to rival Walter White’s. I’m not one with any right to judge but I am within right to criticize something so profoundly impacting on society, and with no other worthy dissenting opinion yet well argued, I must give him a solid thumbs down. Don’t bullshit a bullshitter, drug lord Robert. We both know what you’re really doing. Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. If anyone should know about the nature of connectivity, it’s you. Your personal choices don’t happen in a vacuum or manifest any dream of world peace, they can and do inflict great harm on other people. 
     
  2. Here’s my 2 cents on the future: Nature and complex conciousness are antagonists to each other- If complex conciousness is a disease and nature a vaccine then complex conciousness will eventually evolve itself beyond the destructive force of the vaccine in its current state, which will then become even more destructive, and so on…

     
  3. Spring Breakers - A Moral Masterpiece of Cinematic Satire

    "I wanted to make a movie that was about a culture of surfaces" -Harmony Korine    Taken as a whole, Spring Breakers is maybe the most morally important satire of contemporary culture in years à la film. This cinematic fantasy of contemporary Americana both indulges and identifies our cultural sins. Spring Breakers is an indictment of our image-obsessed culture in its most contemporary form. Ridiculing mass media, social media, pop music, video games, and movies, Harmony Korine presents a violent/lecherous fulfillment of cultural wants and dreams. The underlying racism, sexism, and loveless hypocrisy of a generation is overtly brought to the silver screen to show the idiotic hell of pop culture fulfilled. The blame is also properly (albeit subtly) cast on our previous generations and social institutions for having developed a generation of sociopaths raised on contradictory ideals for admiration. Written with lots of simple symbolism and repetition, and shot with a vividness like Malick and an unflinching imagination like von Trier- his fast-paced hilarious black comedy succeeds, disturbingly disgustingly horrifyingly, succeeds to educate and entertain. Most fascinating to me was the way in which each character (from casting to acting) responds to their meaningless environment -their methods to the stupid madness- and the transportation, from the buses to the sports car, that finally takes them home. It is a satirical indictment of that which our insane culture most rewards. The mainstream theatrical-release of the film is what really seals it as a sociological masterpiece: The audience who condemns it as trash shock or, even worse, goes into it like a diddler at a beauty pageant, completely misses the joke, of which they are the brunt of.

     
  4. I’ve been enjoying this album for a few months now. It always seems to sneak up on me. The album begins with the listener as already dead under the title track “RIP” and from there goes on a kind of “What Dreams May Come” journey through entirely non-lyrical sound/music. It’s a convincing accomplishment. The interview (click the title above) with the British producer, Darren Cunningham, is interesting: conducted at St Paul’s cathedral with the dual checkered masonic floor, his unabashed religiousness combined with his childlike weed fancies seem as paradoxical as his music, extroverted techno produced in a very introverted way (electronic minimalism at its finest). The album makes for a nice introspective listening experience, like listening to Bob Dylan classics, only on a computer and without any lyrics. He says fta, “The themes of our world are based on God, the devil, temptation and the loss of paradise. We are the walking dead – there’s only one thing that’s guaranteed in life, that we’re going to die.”

     
  5. 01:48 19th Jul 2012

    Notes: 1

    Tags: Film

    Wes Anderson and the Greatest Film Ever?

    Wes Andersonhttp://www.ifc.com/fix/2012/07/wes-anderson-johnny-depp-the-grand-budapest-hotel

    Wes Anderson seems to be on one lifelong career streak of win: amazing film after amazing film, stylistically consistent but narratively diverse, an artist with a True method.. And now he seems to be poised to outdo even himself, by setting the bar as high as possible with expectations beyond comprehension in the pedantic (and oft-times cheesy) hipsterdom of arthouse cool (which has, of course, now become dominating mainstream culture)… He’s cast Johnny Depp alongside Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jude Law, and Willem Dafoe. Yep, this could be the greatest film ever.

    Can this possibly live up?? Terry Gilliam had a similar kind of momentous chance/task with The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus. However, beset with struggles, like the passing of Heath Ledger, his grand ambitions and final result were not in sync with the satisfaction of global critics and audiences.Wes Anderson lands Johnny Depp for The Grand Budapest Hotel

    But if anyone can do it.. the film to fulfill cinema history no-less (at least in my silly mind).. it just might be Wes Anderson. While films like Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life and Charlie Kaufman’s Synecdoche, New York attempted an “ultimate” cinematic pursuit, they did it in a way that showed that pursuit blatantly on the surface (in other words, their point was to be “the” point). Wes Anderson’s films, on the other hand, never let on that air of austere grandiosity (though the grandiosity is undeniably implied by this cast press release). This is because there is ALWAYS a thorough playfulness brushed into his films. There is a color or humor of “play” both in the meaning of “theater” and in “recreation” in his films. With Anderson, we are taken to a level of highest cinematic entertainment, listlessly, as the profundity of meanings sink into our minds like silver-screened osmosis.

    I’ll not go into all the reasons why Wes Anderson films are so incredible (there are plenty of reviews and blogs already that do that), especially when you need only watch one to find out (though I always say that you haven’t really seen a Wes Anderson film until you’ve seen it twice - time for that osmosis to sink in). But, I will say that the trait of his that stands out to me as the most incredible, the criterion that makes all that is Wes Anderson (and holy) is his complete immersion of symmetry (or balance) on the grandest and most minute scales. The man must be crazy, or at least extremely obsessive compulsive, but he has manifested that insanity into such great works of art. Few people in history have been so fortunate.

    So I’ll end with the notion that what we have here is one of the very greatest screenwriter/directors of our time -soaring on the immediate success of Moonrise Kingdom- taking on what appears to be one of the most ambitious casts ever in order to create (as Simpson’s Comic Book guy would describe) the best movie ever! The only way that he will actually pull this off, I mean really pull it off, is if he is able to be as true to himself as possible. And judging by the history of his filmography, I have faith that he’ll do just that.

    (Source: WesAnderson)

     
  6. 11:54 1st Jul 2012

    Notes: 1

    Tags: jecca

    image: Download

    Summer afternoon

    Summer afternoon

     
  7. 14:03 19th Jun 2012

    Notes: 1

    Tags: jeccame

    image: Download

    …she knows what I mean.

    …she knows what I mean.