Archive for April 2006

Podcast Scaricy

Okay, okay, I know. Scarcity would have been the right word, but it wouldn’t have rhymed with heresy…

When I went away in March, I stocked up on an excess of podcasts before I left. I subscribed to a bunch of new podcasts (including the Dragonpage podcasts, and Keith and the Girl – both of which are among my favorites) and downloaded all the back episodes my podcatcher could find.

Over the last 6 weeks, I’ve been slowly working my way through the backlog. I’ve averaged one Wingin It every three days or so, slowed down only slightly by the more recent voicemail shows.. I’ve had one KatG every couple of days.. I’ve flirted with things like Nobody Likes Onions and a few other shows that have been dumped…

I’m caught up now. No more KatG on demand! I’m going to have to wait a whole week between Wingin Its, just live everyone else! bah. Bah!

Podcast Heresy

I’ve committed podcast heresy.

Again.

I unsubbed from Adam Currey’s Daily Source Code months ago, when I could no longer stand listening to Adam prattling about how magnificent he was and how his show was fantastic, and hearing all his grandiose plans for making millions off other peoples music and other people’s podcasts.

I’ve now unsubbed from Dawn and Drew as well. They used to be funny, they used to be interesting.. but now they suck. Instead of the rambling ADD-fests they used to be, each of their shows is now cauterized at a nice neat 30 minutes, perfect for a slot on Sirius. I thought podcasting was all about getting away from those time limits, wasn’t it?

D&D used to talk about their daily lives, and the insight into someone elses life – and the insight into how the two of them interact – was fascinating. Now that they’ve turned professional podcasters, their daily life is the show, so the spend their neat hygenic 30 minutes talking about the show…. and that’s all. Nothing else happens to them any more, so there’s nothing else to talk about.

Things went even further downhill when the minion army started up – there’s nothing more annoying than hearing Dawn telling all her minions to check their mailboxes for secret shiznatches. I’m not a minion, I wanted to be, and knowing I’m missing things… well, let’s just say it doesn’t contribute to a pleasurable podcast-listening experience.

It’s even *worse* now that they’ve accepted sponsorship from a casino. Actually, the fact that they’ve got sponsorship from a casino in itself isn’t so bad – I have no objection to gambling, provided the games are played (by the house) fairly and the odds are a matter of public knowledge. What was *intolerable* was putting up with 20 minutes of prattle about how much fun gambling is, and even worse, how much money you could win from the casino!

Not fun.

Keith and the Girl, by contrast, continues to be funny and entertaining. A large part of the show is still KatG talking about the show (and about Keith’s comedy career, which the podcast is just a small part of) – but I somehow find it more tolerable, probably because it’s so openly acknowledged as what it is. Even better, KatG have regular guests – Patrice in particular is fantastic.

So… yeah, that’s it. I know D&D are/were the most popular podcast on the net.. but sorry guys, no matter how much you claim you haven’t changed and haven’t sold out, it only takes a look at the length of your episodes to prove that you have.

Relationships II

This is a responce to a comment in response to a post from two weeks ago You should probably read at least timdude’s response prior to reading this.

Completely unrelated, but hi to jimatta1 and poundmyarsehard, whoever you are :p

I’m going to respond to some of this here, and some of this elsewhere…

Firstly, you’re right, axioms was a bad word. Ideals would have been better.

I would like to add one axiom though:

* Change is inevitable

I’m not going to explicitly refer to this, but you’ll see that it’s implied in much of what I write below. I think it’s inevitable that as we travel through life, many things change, including people. This can mean that two people who were perfect for each other at one stage of their life aren’t so perfect any more, and sometimes it’s preferable to accept that change and move on rather than fighting the change and refusing to grow.

I don’t think there’s much I need say about “accepting” vs “better”. As you so amply pointed out, they’re not opposites at all – accepting someone as they are doesn’t stop you from having opinions about how they should change; it just means accepting that they only person with the right to insist on that change is the person themselves. You seem to agree with me on this:

I will not stop encouraging you otherwise, however this does not mean I will not love or accept you.

It’s interesting that you used the word “encouraging”, when what you really mean is that you’ll discourage me from my sinful ways… :p

Your second point, about needing God, is entirely subjective, and not something I’m going to attempt to converse about. First, prove that God exists; second, prove that your description of God is the correct one; then we can talk about whether or not God is a neccessary component of my life.

Regarding your summary of our earlier conversation:

*You believe that when you are in a relationship, at any given time, someone who would give your partner more pleasure/happiness at that given time, should replace you without ramification. This is because you would want the ultimate pleasure/happiness for someone you love.

Close, but not entirely true. Personally, I feel that long-term low-intensity happiness/pleasure is preferable to short-term/high-intensity happiness/pleasure. If I were to make a rational choice, I’d choose the former most of the time – I say most, because some degree of short-term/high-intensity pleasure is neccessary as well.

Thus, in a relationship, choosing between a certainty of short-term/high-intensity pleasure and a certaintity of long-term/low-intensity pleasure, I’d aim for the long-term goal most of the time. I definitely believe that that’s the rational choice – but I’m not entirely a rational being, and sometimes decisions do get made based on emotion…

Of course, there’s also the complicating factor that neither choice is actually guaranteed, they’re both risky and both gambles. Both choices also expose one to the posibility of pain and hurt…

What I will not do is expect anyone else to follow the same guidelines as I do; nor will I expect them to make the same choice that I believe I’d make in their place.

If my partner chooses to focus their attention on someone who they believe going to give them great short-term happiness than I am – that’s their choice, and I’ll respect that. It doesn’t matter how wrong I think they are, or how much this decision hurts me – the choice is theirs.

In short, you seemed to think that I thought they’d be making the correct choice by choosing short-term happiness. In truth, I think that that choice would often not be the best choice – but it’s their choice to make, not mine.

* You believe that sex and other lesser intimacy is not sacred, necessarily-meaningful or impacting.

Not neccessarily, no. Context can make it so; and I do think it’s a good idea to be aware of that.

* You hold a utilitarian view that pleasure = good and pain = bad. Where there is a conflict, simple addition and subjective valuation can determine whether something is good or bad. E.g. big pleasure – little pain = good still.

Not at all – as anyone into B&D can tell you, pain is good 🙂

I do agree that a simplified version of the Moral Calculus can be used as a tool in decision making, but it’s a very flawed tool; the answers that it produces will always be subjective and will never be complete.

* You believe that an agreed good and bad value system between two people is correct and viable, and not accountable to a higher system outside that relationship.

Not neccessarily correct; but, provided the decision has been made between two consenting adults with full access to all relevant facts, they should certainly be able to come to any agreement they like without outside interference.

I may still have the opinion that their decision was unfair, unbalanced, or just plain wrong – but I’d respect that the decision was theirs, and not mine, to make.

However, I believe you also have to take into consideration the future. You said something along the lines of you would be happy to give up your boyfriend if he found someone who made him happier. But I would say in a relationship where there is committment, your boyfriend would have decided to ignore that possibility and stick it out with you for the golden time that would eventuate, including trust, reliability and genuine caring

As I’ve said above, I agree with you in general about long-term vs short-term benefits.

I agree with you that if my partner’s was committed to our relationship, he’d place a higher priority on nurturing that relationship in order to get the long-term benefits of that relationship rather than pursuing short-term happiness. However, to some degree I think it’s neccessary that he find both short-term and long-term happiness outside the relationship as well, so the mere fact that he’s looking for outside pleasure isn’t neccessarily an issue.

If, however, he does decide that the relationship isn’t worth pursuing, that’s evidence that he isn’t/wasn’t committed to the relationship already.

I’m not “giving him up” just because he wants to look elsewhere; I can never own him in the first place. What I am doing is recognising that, no matter how stupid I feel his decision might be, it has already been made, and failing to recognise that is only going to cause more pain than neccessary. Also, no matter how stupid I think the decision is, I respect that it’s his decision to make.

Sex is sacred. … I don’t believe it is just an act, but a process, a reward and a privilege. Used as just a detatched act it is a perversion of its potential and purpose.

You’re seriously saying that using sex as a privilige or a reward is *less* of a perversion than viewing it as simply short-term pleasure?

There is nothing as despicable as a man who quotes himself. — Zhasper, 2004

(Not so) Ok Cupid

So.

I got an email from OkCupid.com a few weeks ago, informing me they’d updated their matching algorithms, and to show what they could now achieve, they showed me some good matches “near you”.

They have an interesting definition of “near”, that’s for sure. The guys were scattered all over Asia, Europe, and the Americas, but none from Australia. Well done, OkCupid!

Deciding to give them the benefit of the doubt, I logged in again tonight. I decided to have some fun, so I expanded my normal search from “Guys seeking guys” to “Guys” “Within 20 Miles” (don’t ask why they used 18th century units for measuring distance – it makes no sense to me either!).

Hit #2 was a former workmate. I quickly switched back to “Guys seeking guys”.

This wasn’t any better though.

I’ve slept with #1 (and he’s intermittently one of my closest friends – we need to see more of each other!)

#2 is also an intermittent close friend, although of a shorter duration (and stature) than #1.

#3 is someone I’ve met frequently (he’s in the same broad social grouping as #1), but never clicked with. Last I heard he’d left for Germany though…

#4-#6 are unknown to me. #7 is 22 but looks 17, and is an ex of a sometimes friend (who happens to be a drag queen with a name similar to that of a popular fashion designer)… I was there the night they met. He’s far too girly for me to be interested – he’s a nice guy, and I’ve enjoyed chatting to him, but I just can’t see myself in bed (or a relationship!) with him.

#8 is a friend of an ex of #1 – I’ve never met him, but keep seeing him mentioned by various friends on LJ.

#9 is unknown, and #10 is someone I met once or twice – on a bushwalk the first time.

Bah. Sydney is too small.

Google Calendar – Teh First Week

So it’s been a week of Google Calendar Goodness.

Let me summarise herein the highs and lows of my experience thus far.

The Good:

* The interface. It’s just pretty. Lightweight, clean, simple, uncluttered. It works like I expect a calendaring app to work.

* The “Quick Entry” feature is pretty intuitive

* It exports my calendars in ical format; which imports into my iCal.app, which exports via iSync to my phone. Beautiful.

* It’s nicely integrated with gmail; eg, if the automagic filters detect an event being described in an email, it offers to add that event to your calendar

* Every event you invite other people to becomes a little webpage where they can accept/decline, invite other people or view the guest list (both of those are configurable – the former is off by default), mention that they’re attending “+X guests”.. the emails sent out are a nice simple HTML format, with accept/decline/tentative links.

* The emails also have an iCal format attachment for easy interoperability with other calendaring apps

The bad:

* Well, it can all be summarised by saying that it don’t quite work.

* The nice HTML email – my friends using some web-based email clients, as well as mail.app on the mac, don’t see the HTML by default – they just get an empty email with two attachments – a .html and a .ics

* The .ics – my friend using a web-based client clicked on the .ics. It opened in some flavor of outlook, he clicked accept. I got an email informing me that he’d accepted. However, despite an error message saying that he’d already accepted and the acceptance had been recorded in my calendar, it’s not actually recorded in my calendar.

* The same happened to my friend with mail.app – I got notified he’d accepted, but despite the error message, the acceptance didn’t get back into the calendar.

* The automagic filters automagically break; every single email I’ve seen them fire on hasn’t actually described an event, so there’s been nothing to add to the calendar. Conversely, the emails I’ve sent to test the filters haven’t actually been able to make them trigger

* Although the transition from gCal->iCal is easy, there’s no way to make the reverse journey. I could publish my iCal calendars online, and subscribe to them in gCal – but again, there’s no way for any changes I might make to an event in gCal to get back into iCal. I’m effectively stuck with two sets of events – one set that I can edit on my phone/iCal, and another that can only be edited in gCal.

Lets do something fnu!

A friend just pointed me at something interesting…

Blogspot has been full of splogs for a long time, nothing new there.. however, this is the first splog I’ve seen on LJ.

My friend noticed the splog because it added him to its friends list randomly. Judging from the comments, it’s done this to a few people.

I don’t understand the splog though. It doesn’t seem to be advertising anything, it has no ads..

Maybe it’s not really a splog? it’s certainly very confused, whatever it is..

On Brokeback

I know I’m late, but there’s just one thing about Brokeback Mountain that I haven’t seen anyone else say, which I think is fairly important.

I don’t thank Jack and Ennis were gay. Well, Jack maybe, but certainly not Ennis.

True, he had sex with another man regularly. True, he fell in love with another man. Is that enough to make you gay?

Relationships…

Over the last few weeks, a topic that has come up in conversation several times with several different people in different contexts has been relationships; specifically, why I don’t believe in (or understand) monogamy.

In order to explore my own beliefs (they’re by no means fixed; and I don’t know that I fully understand them myself) I want to start a conversation here about them. You should hopefully see some contributions from a pseudonymous guest blogger (or commentor, at least) shortly…

I don’t expect anything I say here to neccessarily be correct; this will be a work in progress, and it’s likely that my beliefs may change over time; or, in exploring my beliefs, I may find inconsistencies or errors which need to be corrected.

To kick things off, I’d like to outline my threetwo guiding axioms.

* I accept other people and situations as I find them.

* I am a whole, complete being, needing no-one else to fulfill me.

Everything I understand/believe/feel about relationships stems from these tenets.

For instance, the most common place this has come up is in the context of what I’d do if my significant other slept with someone else. My response is – not much. They are certain circumstances that could cause me to see this as a problem – to take an extreme example, if I’d taken a day off work and travelled for three hours to meet my partner somewhere, but they didn’t show up because they had decided to shag someone else instead but hadn’t told me, then I’d care. However, the issue here wouldn’t be that they’d slept with someone else – it would be that they’d been inconsiderate and severely disconvenienced me by not giving me notice.

However, I would accept my partner as they are, including the fact that they slept with someone else or that they showed little respect for my time. I may, or may not, choose to continue, discontinue, or attempt to alter the relationship at this point – but regardless of the choice I make, I will continue to accept the other person as they are.

Incidentally, if you don’t want to have to put up with all the other guff I write here, you can choose to see only the posts on this topic, or for a more automated way of achieving the same thing, add the RSS feed of just these posts to your aggregator of choice.

I thought these girls were meant to be professional?

I saw something briefly on the tv news last night about a womens running relay team from England not getting a medal, and some scandal over this, but didn’t get details.

Today I see this:

SMH: English want all four golds

Pittman has reportedly written a letter of apology to the English team which was disqualified from the 4x400m final at the Melbourne Games after crossing the line 10 metres clear of Australia.

The protest was lodged by Australian runner Tamsyn Lewis after Englishwoman Natasha Danvers-Smith took up an incorrect starting position for the third leg.

Apparently the English are upset about this.

Apparently at least one of the Australian team has offered to give her gold medal to the English team.

Apparently at least some of the English team think this is a great idea!

What the fu…????

I thought these are professional atheletes we’re talking about here?

Any sport has rules about what is, and is not acceptable – usually designed, at least in theory, to create a level playing field (eg – all of the rules against performance enhancing drugs). Every professional sportsperson should know that unless they conform to those rules, they’re not going to be allowed to win.

What’s the controversy here? The English team broke a rule, they get disqualified. It may have been a minor violation of the rules, but so what? They knew the rules as well as anybody did – or they should have, anyway – if they didn’t, the English people certainly have a right to be upset with them. They should have known the consequences of not following the rules as well as any other team. They should have spent some time training, rehearsing moves that would allow them to perform at their best while staying in the rules..

For whatever reason – whether ignorance (stupidity?), lack of practice, or just nerves on the day, they’ve broken the rules, and the prescribed consequences have been applied.

Why are they unhappy with our team? The only analogy I can think of is a 6 year old crying because his little sister dobbed him in to mummy for cheating at Snakes and Ladders.

Even more perplexing – why does anyone on our team feel guilty? Our team was the best performing team who stayed within the rules – they deserve the gold!

Bah.

I’m a professional too, although my profession is rather more sedentary. I’m so annoyed by this that I’m going to go to work now. My job. Where there are rules (known as a contract, which I signed) which I must follow if I want to get any reward.

What don’t they understand?