20/20

Went along to the 20/20 cricket international at the stadium last night.. I haven’t been able to sustain any interest in the Indian 20/20 league, and had never been to a game live.

Maybe I’m getting old and reactionary, but I think 20/20 is fairly flawed and naff as a form of cricket. Now, this is kind of what people said when one day cricket was first introduced, but the ODI format has evolved into a pretty awesome game.

However, 20-20 is too compressed. Either the batting side gets away to a flier in the first 6 overs or they don’t. There isn’t enough time to repair a bad start, whereas in the ODI format, there is. The games easily tend to being lopsided. Maybe action packed thrillers do happen, but I haven’t seen one yet.

Much of the pleasure of watching cricket is cerebral. Appreciating the balance of the game, the tensions and battles as they arise. 20/20 just doesn’t allow for sustained interest. The focus is on “action”, but this is a game that’s original form is five days. 20/20 is the Hollywood idea of cricket – repackaged in a convenient commercial form. But it lacks the depth that makes the action good. It’s like a Michael Bay film, unaware that explosions need a context to make them interesting.

And I wonder if the danger for the game is that due to the money following the 20-20 format, the selection pressure will be to generate sloggers who can’t build an innings, and fast bowlers who can go like sprinters for four overs but would quail at a day in the field.

Maybe something worthwhile can evolve out of 20/20, as they tweak the rules. Maybe not. Commercial pressure is seeking to adapt the game without respecting its core. The resulting hybrid just won’t be cricket.

Nothing is what it seems

Hits shay haghase nu dai che khkari

Nothing is what it seems

– Pashtu proverb

“All those foreigners,” he said, “are looking for something quite different than the Indians. Both have contrasting demands on their gurus. Indian people – especially those in villages and small towns – are looking for a cure for illness and increased prosperity. Guru means “dispeller of darkness”, but that’s not what the Westerners are after. They’re looking for someone to praise them – to reinforce their self-confidence.”

– Hakim Feroze, Indian sorceror

in Tahir Shah – Sorcerer’s Apprentice

social media and attention

I find it frustrating that we are in the midst of the learning cycle for social media. Sure, it’s “interesting” and “exciting”, but mostly it is wading through treacle until we develop efficient systems. (And of course it could be looked back on as the amazing heyday before some corporate entrenchment of the internet takes place. Maybe I should shut the fuck up already. But onward we plow.)

With technology, I can largely ignore things. I don’t need to own the latest toy or gizmo. and in five years, something far better will be a quarter of the price. I can wait out the curve. I can adapt in small principled ways – I run Ubuntu not Windows – but my hardware decisions are cost and function based. My needs in both domains tend to the minimal. (My laptop can’t run Dragon Age. This both good and bad.)

But with social media, since it is entangled with lived experience – social reality – it is harder to disentangle from the adaptation process.

I have blogged for years. Guilty. But I perceive the value in the medium.

I am on Twitter. After a brief enamoration, I have all but stopped using it. Too much information. It is amazing as a feed Рan aggregator of what interesting minds are attending to.  As a means to filter information it is useful. I currently check my /mutants list once a week or so, and generally skim the /nz list daily. And socially it is another channel of conversation. I think as conversations they make way more sense to people working in offices simultaneously with their networks Рan outlet for distraction, venting and support. They are adaptive technlogies for that context, but outside it I wonder. They require different hacks to be useful.

I joined Facebook a month or so ago, when hell froze over.

What the hell is the fuss? Other than the fact that it cuts across most of my social groups, its functionality is pretty shit. What the hell is it for? What is its usability focus? What is the point of collating two hundred streams of noise into one channel? I am sure there is some value to having a communications line with lots of people I know. Facebook doesn’t seem to be providing that value. (And more people play Farmville on Facebook than are on Twitter.)

Interestingly, other cultures use different social media.

Particularly interesting is that the emerging powerhouse BRIC (Brazil Russia India China) which accounts for most of the world’s population are using other systems. Does anyone want to experiment with those other platforms and see what they are like, what functionality they offer? It seems like the point is to have people to interact with…

Anyway. It seems obvious that we will collectively work out what it is we want from our social media, and then it will be provided in an integrated fashion, hopefully without overtones of Orwellian or corporate evil. I just wish we could fast-forward to that point, without the weird economic battles, and the years of time wasted.

***

How do these come together to be meaningful and useful in our lives? Take the Save Radio NZ campaign. 15000 members. 200 people at the protest. Now, the plus: I only knew about it because people I know on Facebook joined the group and I became aware of the situation. But to what extent is joining a Facebook group a meaningless action – information without action is a bit redundant. And we are left with the need to bridge the gap between awareness and action. (We know we should eat right and exercise as we sit on the couch eating pizza.) So I wonder is it possible that this sort of minimal social action gives the appearance of being involved and doing something, without actually achieving anything? Now, again, once you have all the people connected this is potentially powerful. The question is how to actualise that potential? Something seems missing in our social media.

Peruvian shaman discussing communication with other dimensional entities

3 minute video extract of an interview. Interesting.

http://www.realitysandwich.com/video/maestro_aliens

Aphelion

Fringe Recommendation: Aphelion at Bats. Last night is tonight.

Francesca Mountford on cello, with a puppet show and live video etc. A beautiful and strange sliver of world-class wonder. Saw it last night and it was fantastic.

all sorts of randomness

So the random roadtrip was great. High point was hanging out with Ramsey Dukes. Surreal point was hanging out in the casino in Hamilton on Saturday night. One of the least fun places ever. Wellington is very lucky to remain free of such a pit. Listening to an Alan Moore spoken word performance while barreling through the night was also pretty choice.

There is a town called Eureka on the road between  Hamilton and Morrrinsville. It seems like they could turn their sign into a photo-op. We certainly made use of it.

I won muffins last night at a Fringe thing, The Deepest South Wayest Wildest West Electric Rodeo and Grand Ol’ Opry . Opening night was energetic, entertaining, and incoherent. I figure later iterations will be more together, and it is definitely a fun *show*. Beware of audience participation. Although you may win cakes.

My current couchsurfer is a Chinese artist called Mu. He is very talented and pretty fascinating. Last night we ended up hanging out with the dudes behind Manky Chops, which is one of the more interesting and vibrant artistic collectives around.

Mu is doing some stuff at Te Papa over the weekend, I’m not sure quite what. If anyone has a video camera spare we could borrow for any part of the weekend, he would be quite keen to get some kind of document of it…

more fire

A wider view on the illuminati fire ritual at kiwiburn

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Regarding comments, I think that the spam filter isn’t playing well with the page theme … hopefully will figure something out soon.

wellington notes

The Companies Office is… an internet kiosk. With a printer. Just a Future Here Now moment.

Possibly another one: multiple homeless people begging on Lambton Quay. Is this normal now?

comments are go

Aha. Just noticed that the new wordpress is treating comments like spam. Have retrieved a bunch. Will keep an eye on the spam filter from now on. Hopefully it will remember people who have had comments approved.

EDIT: Hmm. Actually, maybe you need to register to post comments that wont get eaten as spam? First link on the right under Meta

2010 reading vol 1

Hmm. Why not do these during the year?

Genius of the Beast – A Radical Re-vision of Capitalism by Howard Bloom.

His usual sort of energetic polymath brilliance explaining the roots of the Western system in biology, cosmology, etc. A hell of a ride, intelligent, erudite, and fascinating; yet while I felt his heart was in the right place and the conclusions are useful, I disagreed with a lot of the development of his thinking. He has written a book he felt was needed rather than a book which expresses the limits of his current thought, and I doubt it will have the impact he is hoping for. On the whole disappointing compared to The Lucifer Principle or Global Brain, both of which are fairly essential reads.

Reave the Just by Stephen Donaldson.

A short story collection of mostly reasonably lengthy fantasy stories by the author of the Gap series (awesome) and the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant. They are all pretty solid, but “The Killing Stroke”, in particular, was amazing. As was “The Woman Who Loved Pigs.” Probably exactly what I needed in the sense of short-form fantasy that is mature and not bound by genre convention.

Vagabonding: an uncommon guide to the art of long term world travel. – Rolf Potts.
Kind of what you would expect. A mix of attitude entrainment and practical tips. Light but useful.

The Round; and other cold hard facts – JMG Le Clezio
Randomly picked up a short story collection by the recent Nobel winner. He is pretty good, if tending bleak. “Villa Aurora” was really beautiful.

The Death of Artemio Cruz – Carlos Fuentes.
In Latin American literature, Fuentes holds the status of Joyce or Hemingway in the West. He is pretty amazing. Told in a mix of 1st, 2nd, and 3rd person, as the title character lies on his deathbed flashing over his life, which is a window on a century of Mexican history. Immense, varied and magnificent.

Sorcerer’s Apprentice – Tahir Shah

Dude goes to India to study under a magician – illusionist – who in the superstitious culture of India have a really different standing, revered as Godmen. Describes his training (nuts) and then his odyssey travelling around India seeking out other godmen, magicians, seers and weirdos. Pretty stunningly weird and wonderful travel account of an India most people will never encounter. The insight into Indian culture, and the life of its cities, is brilliant. And it is pretty funny, too. Shah is becoming my favourite travel writer, in the sense that his journeys are ones I would like to take.

Also skimmed a whole bunch of stuff as research for the Illuminati performance rituals.

Weirdly I feel like I have been doing heaps and not reading this year…. hmmm.

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