…if we treated sports like we do sex. Only HBO would regularly show scenes of people playing sport in their shows, ESPN subscriptions would be listed anonymously on credit card transactions, late night tv would have adverts for sports chat lines where women naughtily talked of goals and tackles, men would frequent footie bars where fully dressed women kick balls around, it would be illegal in some countries for a fan of one sport to play with a fan of another sport, and in most countries they definitely couldn’t get married. It would even be illegal to wear a team jersey in public in most civilised countries. Not that hard to imagine though is it?


Many Thanks!

So I’ve just reached over 3,500 total views on this wee little blog of mine and I’d like to first of all thank everyone who has visited, whether infrequently or regularly, you all make me intellectually satisfied in the knowledge that my inane ramblings, while as coherent as I can make them, are actually interesting for some of you. I never imagined when I started this blog back in June 2008 that I would have received anywhere close to this number of views. Mind you, I would love to see a hell of a lot more comments on my blog and get a bit of discussion going on, but beggars would be hard pushed if they tried to be choosers. Secondly, and I think maybe more importantly, I’d like to ramble on inanely about where the blog came from and how I see myself progressing through the various posts.
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There Will Always Be Content

The above link is an article that references this report by Ofcom (an “Independent regulator and competition authorityfor the UK communications industries.”) and based on their analysis of the report they express concerns that the widespread rise in the use of smartphones and other mobile devices to read, watch and listen and not create is the beginning of a move towards more closed, hierarchical structures where content is provided primarily by media companies directly and not from the end-user e.g. like Apple’s App store.

I think they’ve got it all wrong though. The report itself makes no mention of how much of the apparent 45% of the average British person’s time is spent creating content, whether using their smartphone or desktop computer, and the article itself gives no sources or evidence for it’s claim that there has been a “wholesale change in behaviour around user generated content.” They do make the obvious point that using smartphones restricts the ability to create content to specific forms i.e. text, photos and videos with little to no editing functionality, but this does not impact the fact that people create content all the time, and they are the end-users. People upload videos directly to youtube from their phones (or they transfer them to another machine for editing and then upload the finished product) they upload pictures directly to Facebook (or again edit them elsewhere and upload then) they post on twitter, they blog, they comment in forums and bulletin boards.

The point is there will always be content so long as there is a reason for the content in the first place. People share videos of events or for entertainment, they share photos with friends and family, they blog and make social or political commentary, the create artwork or media for entertainment and/financial gain etc…

What we will see, and we are seeing it already, is a rise in the use and popularity of these hierarchical App Store-type setups that are not generated directly by the end-user to be provided to the end-user, but that has been the way for generations of technology. Video games have been blown wide open by fan communities when the source code was made available or toolkits or modification tools were made available which spurred on a new generation of content creators to remain as end-users or to move on to become indie developers or even become professionals in their chosen area of contribution to the content creation. While that is the reverse situation of what we are seeing now, the exact same applies as those people who wish to create content, and as I mentioned above there is always a reason to create new content, will continue to create content in the ways that are available to them, and they will move to create new structures or join or modify existing ones to help pass that content along.

As long as there is technology available to create content, there will always be content. As long as there are end-users who have content they wish to share, they will harness this technology or that technology and they will share and there will always be content.

The Gravekeeper II

It was bitterly cold as he ascended the steps to the graveyard and the wind was a constant callous companion that continuously threatened to penetrate deep beneath the layers of clothing and claw at the skin underneath just as it had long ravaged his face as he made his way from the town along the short coast road to the graveyard atop the cliff. As he reached the summit of the steps he looked behind him to see the town below him and the coast stretching out for miles as the hue of pale clouds above signified that the dusk was fast approaching and it would soon be dark. He smiled and turned back towards the path. He enjoyed the dark and the solitude. It was a comfort and such a pleasure to be away from the yelling children and the nattering townsfolk that he heard passing by his door as he lay half-awake, half-immersed in torpor every morning after his night shift at the graveyard. As he turned, his smile dimmed as he saw a mourner kneeling over the headstone of the plot that was interred not four days ago. He paused, and studied the form. It was a man; he was weeping, sobbing quietly, yet audible above the low murmur of the wind as it whipped and swirled over the edge of the cliff. He was unfamiliar to the Gravekeeper. He had not been among those scant few mourners at the burial that morning. It was always his task to supervise the burials in the morning before heading home, and his was a good eye for faces. It always made him chuckle lightly that his hands and his body could become so gnarled and mottled and so closely resemble the twisted roots of the giant oak tree he passed every day on the coast road, and yet his sight was as crystal clear as the day he was born. So clear, that he could see the lack of a wedding band on this man’s hands and the dried, caked mud beneath his fingernails. A relative? A close friend? A lover. The puzzle would help ease him into the dark hours.

Atheism is not a belief

Atheism is not an active disbelief, it is a passive disbelief, in that passive disbelief is the default state for any extraordinary claim that has no apparent and obvious evidence for it’s truth claim. (take a second to re-read that bit and understand it, it’s important)

One can however take the lack of apparent and obvious evidence for this extraordinary claim and say, based on this, that they believe that this claim is not true, however this is an active disbelief and is distinct from ‘textbook’ Atheism. Many among the atheist ‘community’ have described the difference between these two as being ‘weak’ and ‘strong’, the latter being an active disbelief, however this is unfortunately confusing and unclear for those who are unaware of this distinction and most uninformed people assume that Atheism is in fact an active disbelief, which is not the case.

It is from this lack of clarity in terminology that comes the claim from many religious people that atheists “have faith” in their atheism, or even worse, in science. This is not only intellectually dishonest, but it’s also based upon a mountain of bad inferences and terrible logic and again a lack of understanding where terminology is concerned.

Faith is belief without evidence. Science only takes seriously claims that display overwhelming evidence for their truth claim. Atheism is a lack of belief.. An active disbelief in the existence of God, or gods, is based (in the case of rational minds) on the lack of overwhelming evidence in favour of that truth claim. As such, atheism, even when it’s not correct to refer to it as such, is all about the evidence, as is science.

If there’s no evidence either way, then there’s no basis upon which to form a belief either way.


Roaming Caps are not enough

teh interwebsThe EU is saying that while Roaming charges from European Mobile Network operators are coming down, they are not low enough.

The European Commission’s interim report on roaming published today found roaming call costs had fallen by more than 70 per cent since 2005 and sending a text message between EU member states now costs 60 per cent less.

One of the sentences in this article is one that most people would simply skim over and just accept, but it has me doing a double-take:

Interim report finds prices coming down, but competition still not strong enough

Am I the only one who thinks this should be about reasonable pricing for such available technology…? Or is money really anyone cares about…?

[rant warning]

I mean, am I alone in saying that this is the 21st frakkin’ century and we should be paying next to nothing for our telecommunications? And by next to nothing, I mean 2c or 3c for EVERY text and call per minute. (if not free, but clearly free would never work as they are run and owned by businesses and aside from the ‘need’ for profit, the upkeep of the systems is clearly costly)

On a related note, internet access should be free with unlimited bandwidth. Again, this IS the 21st century, what’s the point of being so technologically advanced and still requiring that people pay to be able to transmit information across the world (which should be free, even if the upkeep of the systems isn’t)

Three cheers to Finland for making Broadband access a legal right! That’s a step closer to the 21st century, that’s for sure! And as for issues with filesharers, hooray to Finland for not deciding to cut off access of people discovered doing it. Copyright issues and filesharing debates are mired in laws that were made for the era before the internet and computers. They need to be updated and revised. Pronto.