Does Culture Jamming actually do anything?

I got onto this topic because observing global reaction to to our new pesident has me chomping at the bit to do something socially active using my time or money. I haven't found anything yet that I can really embrace. There are a number of truly worthwile global causes that I could give my own money/time to, but I want to do something with serious leverage. How can I turn one hour of my time into 1000 man hours to actually due some good, or to make 1000 people think for a few moments and decide to do something good on their own. So I thought about becoming a "culture jammer", engaging in subvertising with other socially conscious types trying to get people to consider the global implications of of corporate and governement actions, and hey, it's kind of cool.

The problem is I have no idea of its impact, has anyone who has seen a subvertisement actually changed the way they behave, purchase, or even think about these issues. Or is it just another way to be part of a group of the (socially conscious) indie urban elite. Does the truth.com ad campaign cause people to smoke less, to invest less money in cigarettes? There are all kinds of little cool groups doing things like putting up fake ads and throwing little awareness events, but do these actually do anything or are they like a berkeley protest, just minorly increasing the noise of the signal. So, I remain eager to do something, but without an outlet. I suppose I will just end up giving a reasonable sum to a worthwile charity where most of the money actually goes to the projects rather than being pissed away on overhead ( I recommend Child Vikaas this charity actually runs very leanly with 100% of the donations actualy funding projects, not administration)


Tommy B, scourge of republicans in the blogshpere, returns

Many regular readers of this blog may be familiar with the online political commentary purveyed by my good friend Tom Berman; well, after a brief hiatus due to his involvment in the star-crossed Kerry campaign, he's back! In blog form! Those of you who are unfamiliar with the writings of Tom Berman (aka "Malibu Beach Phatty", "Kansas City Kid", "Impressario of Funk", "Nylar", "Tubby Pigeon", and simply called "the Antichrist" by the catholic leage of america) are in for a treat. Tom isn't just another sharp witted liberal putting his opinions to the web. Thanks to a healthy dose of cynicism, and thoughtfulness, his discourse is chock full of realism and reflects his understanding of the atomic issues he addresses as well as their implications in the global political landscape. I am about to make a claim that I make about few things on the internet: reading his blog is time well spent (and this comes from one of the least political people to have ever disgraced berkeley's hallowed halls). Oh, and for an alternate view, his equally insightful conservative amateurnight counterpart John Atkinson (Chiasm link from tom's page) is also worth a read.


Incoherant ramblings in this blog's future

In my blog I occasionally go off on tangents about information theory data description etc. The more I work with data, and the more propellerheads, philosophers, metadata junkies, culture jammers, and wannabe-sophists I encounter, the more fascinated I become with semantics, context, and the potential and methods for inferencing higher level content out of information streams ( both professionally and recreationally). In the interest of validating some of my thoughts on these topics I have decided to start putting my ramblings up on my blog. Who knows, maybe some day I'll pursue a graduate degree in marketing, philosophy, information theory, or "symbolic systems" and the blog posts will be re-edited into a thesis.

New York is starting to grow on me

So I've never been a huge fan of the big apple, I've always seen it as a difficult place to exist in because of the hassles of the crowds, the cold weather, and the prevalence of type A personalities. However, my last few trips there have been so good that I could actually see myself living there (if it was 30 degrees warmer in the winter and 10 degrees cooler in the summer). There's definitly something to be said for a city where everything's accessible by foot or subway. It's no Rome by a long stretch, but it's definitly got one thing that the Bay Area doesn't, and that's a glut of young professional women. It's like all the women that fled Silicon Valley, to escape the engineers, have all resettled in NYC. The difference is staggering and instantly apparent when one first sets foot on the island (I make no claims about the B&T set, it's been years since I've been anywhere in NY state outside of Manhattan, JFK, and the road between them). New York is also the site of my new favorite bar in the US, The Campbell Apartment. Hidden in plain view in grand central station, this little anachronistic gem has all the atmosphere of a wealthy 1930's Industrialist's office with nice little extra touches like hostesses who will escort your drink to you so a waiter with a tray can actually hand it to you.

Bloggin again

Those of you who read this blog may have noticed that it hasn't been updated with anything too interesting in quite some time. This isn't because I have stopped having interesting thoughts, but just because I've been extremely busy. I am once again back in Rome for work, but this time the project is much more reasonable and my hours are much more manageable. I leave the office by 9pm, and I don't do much work from the hotel. My accomodations this time are not as nicely outfitted, but I am staying in a one bedroom apartmet with a kitchenette in a great part of Rome (essentially in the piazza Bocca della Verita). Indeed, this trip will be different.


Reebok Pump Bringback Basketball Shoe Mens

Reebok Store - Reebok Pump Bringback Basketball Shoe Mens So when I was 8 these were the coolest shoes on the planet, a built in pump! Such leaps and bounds in useless shoe technology have now been improved with the upcoming release of the pump 2, but lets be frank without the orange basketball on the tongue do you really want one?


Rediscovered tracks this week

Beck-Beercan (from Mellow Gold)

U2-The Fly

Bare Naked Ladies- Brian Wilson

They Might Be Giants- Twisting

Escape Club- Wild Wild West (the audio equivalent of an AM/PM BBQ sandwich-terrible but somehow good)

God Lives Underwater- Still

Chris LeDoux- Life is a Highway (see escape club)


An alternate blogging topic

Nixie Clock and Nixie Wristwatch site So today I decided to (mostly) avoid the obvious topic, and instead offer a gadget link. I love retro looking gadgets with high tech functionality, and I love time pieces. This is the best of both worlds. If not for the extremely high price of these I would have to own one. This is the kind of retro chic I would be proud to display in my entertainment room. (my livingroom will be a little less technologically oriented)