Friday, November 09, 2007

Time for revolution...

UPDATED: November 10
ello all,
Alright you know how sometimes you want to blog about a lot of things and then suddenly one thing comes along that just binds all of them and presents you with the base to your point? Well me neither, until now that is.
On the 7th of November, Finland was stunned. In a public school in Jokela, an 18 year old boy opened fire on several students and staff members, killing 9 and injuring several others. He then pointed the gun to his own head and shot himself. A few hours later he died too.
This incident is not unlike the few others in the recent past and has several essential similarities. Obviously people will compare and contrast and in doing so they will choose points of blame. If you want to know a bit about this kid, or the little of himself he'd like for you to know anyway, then follow this link to his channel on Youtube.
I don't know this guy and the only exposure I've had to him is from that site and from the subsequent news releases. What I do know, and this is something Marylin Manson pointed out in his interview with Michael Moore from "Bowling for Columbine," is this: this guy, like the guy in the VaTech shooting, and the kids at Columbine, basically needed someone to listen to him. What are the similarities between the killers? They all feel they're outcasts. Granted the stance they take is one of superiority, deeming the rest of humanity weak and senseless, but the basic fact is they were alienated and had to develop independently. Hence the videos on YouTube before they do it. They know they will be judged and they have to give someone that idea that's fuelling them.
The point of this post is something we've discussed in length in class. It's essentially web 2.0. I'm not willing to talk about what fuelled these killers and whether they were right or wrong because that's a judgement I cannot make. My morals are mine and theirs are theirs. I've reached where I am for my reasons and I have to trust that they have reached theirs for their own reasons. The point is, that web 2.0, represents the last, and I mean final bastion of free expression. I can blog here and post videos on YouTube. I can say what I want and how I want to. I can care about whoever's responses I want. YouTube have suspended this guy's account and his last one, and I'm not sure what the terms of violation are. If I find out I'll update below, but if anyone does know, I'd appreciate a comment.
The point is, people will look to blame YouTube for allowing the spread of such 'sick' thoughts, as the Australian paper the Herald Sun deemed them. None of us can decide what's good or bad and none of us will EVER reach a unified conclusion on it. Many of us feel that objectivity is therefore, the only answer.
Some will feel therefore that certain things shouldn't be said. Motives should be questioned. They believe objectivity is therefore, everything that is not subjective. What web 2.0 offers thought, is the OTHER way to objectivity, whereby everything should be said and all motives should be allowed. Let everyone be as subjective as they want and then pick sides or hell, even make sides! This is to me is a silent renaissance. A splurge of thoughts and ideas, terribly subjective and close minded at times, but genuine none the less. If my blog gives it's views today it's because I feel it, and the beauty of web 2.0 is you can make your own blog and slag off mine! The Finnish kid who deemed the rest of the planet weak and mindless, believed that for his reasons and it was only on his YouTube and MySpace pages that he could express that. You can choose to blame the net for spreading his ideas and possibly influencing several others to do as he has, but the net has no reasonable liability, because another net user, the Aussie Herald Sun, deemed his thoughts 'sick.'
Che Guevara believed in a balance, in using past ideals where they are apt and incorporating all of them into your own ideal which is apt to your context. This balance will not be achieved by restricting thoughts and ideas. It'll only be achieved by making these thoughts accessible to everyone and that is what wikis like Wikipedia do.
A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked me how I could expect to reach a point of 'no expectations,' pointing out the blatant contradiction. What I have to say to him now, as I told him I would, is that what I can expect is to expect everything.

OK, bad news.
From YouTube's Terms of Use :
"YouTube reserves the right to decide whether Content or a User Submission is appropriate and complies with these Terms of Service for violations other than copyright infringement, such as, but not limited to, pornography, obscene or defamatory material, or excessive length. YouTube may remove such User Submissions and/or terminate a User's access for uploading such material in violation of these Terms of Service at any time, without prior notice and at its sole discretion. "
The implications are quite clear, and it explains in part why Sturmgeist89's stuff was erased completely. I'm not certain if this was a term of use since the start, or whether it was added later when Google took over, but either way, this is how it is.
There's even more stuff here, to dispell any undue expectations and assumptions we may have had, or atleast I may have had. What's interesting though, is the restrictions I've pointed out are in place even in spite of the vast number of disclaimers and 'liability limitation' clauses they have in place already.
At the same time, it is a great site and as much as these damn restrictions are in place, it still serves a very large part of the purpose of web 2.0.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Plain as sand...

I'm blogging for the sake of blogging here just so I'm clear. I hate getting expectations messed. Just about everything for me can be brought down to some form of expectation. But well, that's another blog altogether. One I may write sometime soon. Who knows.
Anyway, I'm here again in Jaipur.
It's strange because I've never spent more than 2-3 months in this city but somehow it fulfills the qualification of home for me somehow. Like some sort of pit stop I can come back to and re- fuel so I can head back out and get on with the race. It's a good feeling too, because for a while you can just sit back and ride the flow with no particular purpose. Do I wish I pit stopped in Dubai? In some ways yes. I mean Dubai's great for that. It's clean as hell for the most part. Everything's automatic and available. It's as close to being completely objective as a commercial city can be. Too objective? Yes, but I'm talking pit stops here not retirement.
Anyway, it's always great to get away from stuff and look at things from a different angle. That way Jaipur's good for me because I don't have to dwell on too many things here. I mean it's great to encounter in so many ways a representation of where I come from in terms of an amazingly varied family scene, but there's nothing to worry about. It's the quintessential chill pill.
However, on coming here I got a taste of a different root to objectivity, one I fervently support. An uncle of mine who along with my aunt makes up my single favorite couple and favorite two people on the planet, said something that had me re- arranging alot of the thoughts I had become a bit set on in my head. We'd started talking about my course and how my goals have changed and ofcourse reached the role of the media. We got into social responsibility and it was there that he really shook me because he reminded me that any social change is always based on any one person or group's ideology and you can never have a unanimous 'right' or 'wrong'.
The actual discussion is not something I want to get into in this post, not yet anyway but the point is that just as I had pit stopped and let all the excitement, thoughts, emotions and intoxicants settle and take their course, I had them fluffed up a bit again.
Jaipur is awesome for getting yourself together, much like a dear friend of mine feels about her Abu Dhabi. I thought I wasn't dependent on places like this anymore, but in a way I've allowed myself this because, for the same reason I sleep at 10 30 sometimes, I simply can.
So here's to chilling with the dogs, cat, geese, birds and family, with no sea to stare at, but a whole lot of beautiful country side, a clear night sky and Jaipur's first cold November.
Till whenever.