Friday, 28 April 2006

"Cleanliness Is Next to Godliness" or washing and brainwashing

"The remaining noticable characteristic of 'Che' is his filth. He hates to wash and will never do so. He is filthy, even by the rather low standard of cleanliness prevailing among the Castro forces in the Sierra Maestra. Once in a while, "Che" would take some of his men to a stream or pool, in order that they might wash. On those occasions "Che" would never wash either himself or his clothes, but would sit on the bank and watch the others. He is really outstandingly and spectacularly dirty." --slanderous description of Che Guevara from the 1958 C.I.A. dossier


These days, cleanliness is defined more by corporations selling "sanitation products" than by anyone else. This is important to keep in mind. Certainly, most of these products have an uncanny ability to cut through natural dirt and grime-but does removing natural dirt and grime with synthetic chemicals necessarily constitute the only acceptable form of sanitation? I'm at least as frightened by these manufactured, artificial products as I am of a little dust, mud, or sweat, or (god forbid!) a stain from food or blood on my shirt. At least I know where the dirt/"filth" came from and what it's made of!

The idea that it is worthwhile to use chemicals (whether they be deodorant, detergent, or shampoo) to eradicate organic dirt has some frightening implications, too. First, it supports the old Christian superstition that the biological body is shameful and should be hidden--that our bodies and our existence in the physical world as animals are intrinsically disgusting and sinful. This groundless idea has been used to keep us insecure and ashamed, and thus at the mercy of the priests and other authorities who tell us how to become "pure": once, by submitting to their holy denial of the self, and now, by spending plenty of our money on the various "sanitation" products they want to sell us. Also, as capitalism transforms the entire world from the organic (forests, swamps, deserts, rivers) to the inorganic (cities of concrete and steel, suburbs of asphalt and astroturf, wastelands that have been stripped of all natural resources, garbage dumps) the idea that there is something more worthwhile about synthetic chemicals than natural dirt implies that this transformation might actually be a good thing... and thus implicitly justifies their profit-motivated destruction of our planet.


Continues on

Wednesday, 19 April 2006

Cat Brain Map

Tuesday, 18 April 2006

Let there be light

Creative Commons "Some Rights Reserved": Building a Layer of Reasonable Copyright

Too often the debate over creative control tends to the extremes. At one pole is a vision of total control—a world in which every last use of a work is regulated and in which "all rights reserved" (and then some) is the norm. At the other end is a vision of anarchy—a world in which creators enjoy a wide range of freedom but are left vulnerable to exploitation. Balance, compromise, and moderation—once the driving forces of a copyright system that valued innovation and protection equally—have become endangered species.

Creative Commons is working to revive them. We use private rights to create public goods: creative works set free for certain uses. Like the free software and open-source movements, our ends are cooperative and community-minded, but our means are voluntary and libertarian. We work to offer creators a best-of-both-worlds way to protect their works while encouraging certain uses of them—to declare "some rights reserved."


Sunday, 16 April 2006

Common sense

I'm confused

Albert Einstein:

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.

Will Rogers:

Common sense ain't common.

Henry Ward Beecher:

The philosophy of one century is the common sense of the next.

And my mum watches soap opera while I type.

Monday, 3 April 2006


"Creative minds have always been known to survive any kind of bad training."

Anna Freud

"I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination. Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."

Albert Einstein

Saturday, 1 April 2006

What's next?