I got myself a Flattr account.

The first time I even heard of Flattr was when I was watching The Pirate Bay: AFK. It made me a little intrigued but I quickly forgot about it. Then the same week, I saw this article on Tech Dirt that talked about how this “social microdonation” service had partnered with other apps/platforms to make it easier to give to creators through likes, favs, stars, etc. When I actually looked into what it was, I was immediately in love with the concept and added “JOIN FLATTR” to my master to-do list.

flattr

So now I’ve finally made an account and I can’t wait to Flattr the hell out of eVErYoNE.

But first, I gotta Flattr that Tech Dirt article introducing me to Flattr.  >_<

 

 

Our National Insecurity (a rant)

Whether or not my job necessitates me to constantly pay attention to the brokenness of our society, I’d do so anyway. There was a turning point in high school Morality class when we were discussing the morality of war. A fellow student who claimed to be the most faithful to Jesus Christ Our Lord and Savior, said that the invasion of Iraq was well-justified in our hunt for terrorists. Moreover, that the lives that were lost were unfortunate, but unimportant in the scheme of things because we had to win the War on Terror and bring justice to the lives lost on 9/11. National security must be restored, she said.

At that point I lost it. Without a word, I shoved everything off my desk, threw my chair backward, and stormed out of the classroom to find a place to cry. I ended up in a fire escape, where I promised myself I’d fight against such ignorant callousness in any way that I could. As that girl continued to spew neoconservative garbage throughout that semester, what stuck to haunt me ever since was the concept of “national security.”

Really though, what the fuck is “national security”? I may not know exactly what it is, but I do know where it isn’t.

It isn’t in a society that allows millions of people to fall through the cracks of the broken educational system and throws them aside into poverty because it recognizes no use for bodies no longer capable for manual labor.

It won’t be found in a system wherein billions of dollars of value is held by a few thousand individuals who can buy their way through democracy and rig the rules in their favor.

It isn’t in a world where discrimination based on gender, race, sexual preference, religion, ethnicity or any other characteristic is exacerbated by violent and savage rhetoric that is perpetuated out of unsubstantiated cowardly fear.

And it definitely won’t be found in a state that uses technology to intimidate, surveil, and kill innocent individuals for the sake of state-defined interests.

 

The U.S. has become a crumbling fortress from which we coerce our neighbors and shoot at our illusory foes. We bully others through the manipulation of international law, and cultivate enemies through state-sanctioned violence.

We have an entire agency committed to this thing “national security.” We throw billions of dollars at it, and all it does is undermine the exact values necessary for people to feel secure: trust and good will.

 

 

 

=====

 Sidenote:

I just finished listening to this week’s episode of This American Life and it made me furious.

“Trends With Benefits” is about the U.S. federal disability program where 14 million Americans receive monthly payments because they’re unable to work. In theory, because they are too “disabled” to have a job. They step you through the statistics, peppered with interviews with individuals who are part of the system to personalize the cold numbers. As the number of people on welfare has declined, the number of those on the disability program has about tripled in the last 30 years. Private sector groups benefit from the situation, as do states and counties across the nation who can relieve their ailing budgets of the thousands of individuals on welfare, by shoving them over to the federal disability system where they tend to receive better benefits overall.

You just have to read this piece or listen to the story. It’s nasty.

 

 

Three-Step, Thom, Inspired and the Sleep.

Here goes another stream of consciousness.

It’s 12:45 AM.

This week seemed to zip, slide, and blow past as they seem to do these days. I must be having fun.

On Thursday I spoke to a law school class for the first time. It was on international intellectual property law. I admit I was bit nervous but I somewhat successfully channeled the stray energy into speaking very animatedly about the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement and its effects on the Internet and access to knowledge issues (which I can always do), as well as very briefly cover the history of fair use in international law. There’s this really obscure concept called the “three-step test” which essentially is used in international IP agreements to restrict the kinds of exceptions to copyright protections countries can make to their laws. Not gonna go further than that here, for everyone’s sake.

Mmm change of subject.

I just found out about the new music video by Atoms for Peace, a side/parallel project of Radiohead. The entire thing is just awesome— the song, choreography, color palette, costumes…and god damn will Thom Yorke ever stop getting cooler? Here just watch it (full screen is better):

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DpVfF4U75B8&hl=en_US&version=3]

 

ALSO, I had to do work on something extremely tedious tonight and decided to listen to music while doing it. I’m following several accounts on Soundcloud but one of my favorites (besides the Reverberation mixes) is this self-described DIY record label called Bad Panda Records that releases songs every Monday under CC-licenses. I was going through listening to their song feed when I stumbled upon this band Inspired and the Sleep.

Holy man it’s so good! It’s like a mix between Tune-Yards, Kishi Bashi, and the Unicorns (Afternote: I’m aware this sounds music-snobby. Oh well.). I haven’t been this excited about a band for a long ass time. I bought their album through Bandcamp and have already listened to it 4 times. My favorite songs must be “Snow Den” and “Running”:

>> The Snow Den by Inspired and the Sleep

>> Running by Inspired and the Sleep

Alright its 1:15 AM. Going in and adding links to this and passing out. I gotta publish something at 7am tomorrow.

Jya-ne.

Frog.

It’s midnight on Sunday, which means I have three hours to write a blog post before the Iron Blogger deadline.

I’d been thinking about what to write all day, while cleaning and rearranging the various crap in my room until it no longer looked like I’d just moved in. It somehow got this late and now the things I wanted to write feel too heavy to articulate right now. It’s mostly that I’m feeling really nauseous. I gonna blame it on the three gigantic meals I had this weekend, including frog which I tried for the first time. Its consistency felt like a cross between chicken and eel. I might’ve liked it more if the stew that it was part of wasn’t full of numbing pepper… Having not had frog before and being very aware that this was a “weird” food, I couldn’t stop my brain from blaming the tingly, numbing bitterness of the pepper on the frog.

Anyway, I’m exhausted and thinking about food is making me feel grosser. I’m actually gonna make an effort to write something substantive this week.