Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Okay. I feel like a cat that's now playing with a bunny that's it's cornered: Do I drop the strikethru on him? Or do you think there's another act in this play?

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Let's get one thing straight. I had a breakthrough a couple months ago, when I realized that I actually hate phones. I don't hate much in my life, and almost all of it is of the form "I hate that it has to come to this." But somehow I realized that in fact it has come to this. The phone is simply a piece of equipment, a medium of communications I do not wish to associate myself with any more than is utterly necessary. I'd gotten it down to the bare minimums, the occasional explanatory phone call for NAQT, the endless and tedious sessions of telemarketer harassment, the once a week call of "do I need to pick up anything before I get there", and the 3am sound of my cable box calling home. Simple clean minimalism. The phone was not a necessary component. But then I realized the parallelism. I don't like instant messaging either. There was the excuse I had for a long time that because there were three or four different formats, I didn't want the hassle of dealing with three or four ID setups. But it was more than that. IM and phones share the same problems. When I am thinking, when I am at my best, I've got three to four different thoughts occurring at the same time. You can't express that properly in a phone conversation, and as for typing that, forget it. There's an expectation of exchange of information that simply doesn't work there. I can't tell you everything I'm thinking in one sentence. This is why I like email, this is why I like posting here. I can lay out everything, edit my thoughts, keep the slanderous mambos to a minimum. (This has taken an hour to write already.)
I can also see why people are addicted to these forms of communication. And I do mean addicted. The more hooked in people are to these things, the worse it is. And I tend to find that it's about as repulsive to me as it would be to watch you shoot up. It lessens my opinion of you, if you have to take this call. If you can't break yourself off. And with a cell phone it's as if you couldn't even control yourself long enough to get home. On a cell phone, half the time I can't hear you because of the signal cracking up, and the other half of the time, you're phoning from something that I can hear in the background, and frankly, I'm usually distracted to the point that I want to know what that is, and you're talking over it, so your message isn't getting through. Now I know I've got my addictions: irony, a codependent relationship with the Pirates. But I at least think I'm aware of them.
So why is this coming to a head now? Because my birthday came and went, and now I'm sitting here staring at my 'gift'. Somebody bought me a cell phone. And I think it's worse that they did it for what they thought was the best, but for the worst of all reasons. "We worry about you driving by yourself." Great... somebody thought of the children. Given my predilections for being self-motivated, and knowing all my options all the time, if I get to the point where it's necessary to use it, it's going to be "Hi, Mom and Dad. Gonna die now. Nope, all options exhausted, completely doomed. Bye." That's of course pending whether I remember to charge the thing, or put minutes in it, and given my penchants for cheapness, laziness, and minimalism, I don't like my odds. As for getting rid of it, I can't. It's one of those, it was a gift, and I'm stuck with it, because it would break their heart. Or they got it from a cell phone store, which would make for a damn amusing return. This is one of those family things, you can't understand it. Sometimes I don't either. So I'm doomed to keep this thing in my glove compartment, kind of like the OnStar that's even closer to my head, violating my right to privacy, and not allowing me to terminate service until I actually begin being served. I realize I'm not rational on this issue, but I don't really care. I at least realize, I may not be rational, but nobody else is either.
Isaac Newton thought it a great thing that he died a virgin. I wasn't aiming for that, but I was aiming to live my life without having to deal with cell phones. Now I don't even have that going for me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

A while back in the days when people were talking about how digital TV and 500 channels were going to revolutionize the world, Joe and I kicked around the perfect notion for sporting events. Since you'd have something like seven different audio channels available for each channel, you should hook up the system with appropriate sound for each side, Audio 1 being the network feed, Audio 2 home radio, Audio 3 away radio. The kicker was setting up audio 4 and 5, drunk guys in a bar (home), and drunk guys in a bar (away). We thought it was genius, the home team fan experience, no matter where you are.** Well, I think someone else has made the connection: OpenTV

Please note the paragraph in the article:
"...Their 2.0 PVR allows viewers to not only choose amoung 4 -8 camera angles on select programming, but even more exciting they are able to choose from 4 - 6 audio streams as well. Recently during a Rugby match they not only miked the tradional commentators, but also hooked up some die hard beer drinking hooligans to their audio streams as well. While FCC regulations might restrict what fans say or do on air in the U.S., because of Austrialia's progressive censorship policies, fans were able to enjoy true color commentary from like minded fans."

**Note we thought of this prior to the FCC getting all tight about such things, so it can't work with the existing technology/legal climate, but it's good to see the theory was sound.