Monday, December 29, 2008

A chat I thought was interesting

[10:50] wongojack: I generally just don't think Japanese fiction is very good
[10:51] wongojack: I think we have much more mature perspectives on life and human interaction [in this country]
[10:51] wongojack: I've got some detailed thoughts on this that I don't want to bore you with
[10:52] K: please do...
[10:52] wongojack: Basically Japan hasn't gone through the decades of social change that our country has
[10:52] K: is it the whole hello kitty and obsession with that sort of stuff?
[10:53] wongojack: they were pulled from a near fudal society into the modern world after WWII
[10:53] wongojack: now they have a world class economy but still live within severe sexism and classism
[10:53] K: that's true
[10:54] wongojack: as a result their fiction doesn't depict a realistic 'tableau' of emotion and feeling
[10:54] wongojack: certain things are not accepted as acceptable for mainstream content
[10:54] wongojack: Their attempts to write ream after ream of gender bending manga should be applauded as a step in the right direction, but that doesn't make it interesting
[10:55] wongojack: I play a lot of video games and the same sort of thing comes up over an over- the stories are less than what they could be because of the cultural limitations regarding what is appropriate
[10:56] K: i've never thought about it. it's true that most of the stories I enjoy from Japan are ones of history and past cultures that, as you said, don't exist any longer.
[10:56] wongojack: Chinese fiction on the other hand always seems to be able to really tell stories without that same impedement
[10:57] wongojack: but they have other things that get in the way
[10:57] wongojack: still, I usually prefer things that are Chinese to things that are Japanese
[10:58] K: food? :)
[10:58] K: i do love me some sushi
[10:58] wongojack: Actually me too; Japanese food is usually better than Chinese
[10:59] wongojack: Having traveled I really admire our 'social progress' in this country. We usually don't let things get in the way of expressing ourselves and I think we are typically better adjusted psychologically for it
[11:01] K: you'd think from watching the media, films, and TV, that our country is terrible, uneducated, and filled with uncaring people.
[11:01] K: that's kind of a blanket statement. i don't really think that - but I have to say it has definitely opened peoples' eyes to what more we can do to help other people and the world.
[11:02] wongojack: the problem is that people see our way of treating each other as different than their own
[11:02] wongojack: we are fast and efficient
[11:03] wongojack: But we offer therapy for em because we can be serious with each other without cracking a joke; talk about how we aren't really very good at some things; and we think about what really matters to us
[11:04] wongojack: In France they see that kind of self-honesty and don't trust it.
[11:04] wongojack: But its like a therapy patient before and after 2 years of therapy; you have no idea what the benefits are before you start but they can end up being life changing

Thursday, December 18, 2008

in 2008 I work in Technology; in 1898, I'd work in meat packing

I work in the technology industry which is very different than the auto industry but the same. Here's what I mean:

I'm not really central to the creation or innovation of any technology, my job is necessary but was created by someone else who had an actual passion for software, or money, neither of which I really have.

I don't even really like using technology all that much. I go to Best Buy and I see assignments:
"I'll need to get a flat screen to have a serious TV experience." "I better play that new game if I consider myself a gamer." "I should research that new camera so that my wallpaper looks respectable." "Maybe my iPod is too old? Where do you get cheap MP3s again?"

All that being said, I am an excellent USER of technology. I built my own DVR, share files all around my wireless network from my 'Home Office' PC, have built or rebuilt every computer in my house (I think we've got at least 6), take advantage of the 'discounts' the internet has to offer, play Wii and 360, keep my iPod loaded, and take advantage of the various communication and social networking opportunities on the web.

In short, technology is my friend and it makes my life better, but I am not really an 'insider' to the tech scene.

I got my job at a major US software developer because I was in the right place at the right time. I learned what they needed me to learn and am a really good fit for my job. However, I don't have ambitions to innovate or create the next great business software solution. I just think what I do is interesting and it lets me live my life.

I think that the auto industry was probably able to support tons of people just like me 50/60 years ago. They were the growth industry in this country and because of them tons of other businesses were able to thrive. However all their "Right Place, Right Time" workers have cost them. It seems that at least one cause of their now seemingly imminent collapse is that they've overpaid their workers. The abundance of fat times has made the now lean times unbearable. Will the US tech industry be in the same position in 50 years? I dunno but if I had been out job hunting in 1965 instead of 2005, I probably would have headed to some sort of job related to the auto industry to help me live my life.

And if it had been 1895, I probably would have found some job related to meat packing and food transportation. This is actually still really big business in our country (food transport) and meat packing companies were once included amoung the fortune 500. They helped establish communication and transportation lines all over our country and introduced lots of towns to technology that drastically improved people's lives.

Meat packing companies are either transformed or are long gone. Thus too shall (probably) pass for the auto industry. I personally think that if these companies were worth saving then some Asian automaker would make an offer to buy them, but that isn't happening which means their debts must really be out of control. Maybe we should do something to save them, but even if we do I only think its a matter of time before they go the way of the meat packers.

If you worked for the auto industry in 1965 then you were doing what you needed to do to live well. If you worked for it in 1995 then you were in an industry with no future. If you work for it now then I hope your retirement is sured-up. If not then you should switch jobs and do something else. I hope someone will warn me about my own industry when it is time to go.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Make Friends with my Wii or Else

So many people have Nintendo Wiis out there but since its so hard to share your console number, very few of my friends are also my Wii friends. Here is how to add me as a Wii friend:

First you need to enter the message center of your Wii menu. You can do this by clicking on the little envelope at the lower right hand of the main Wii menu.

Next you should click on the 'Create Message' icon on the lower left of the message dashboard. Its an icon that looks like a pen and paper

Now you have 3 choices, select 'Address Book.' Its the one with the happy faces on the right. This shows you your Wiis unique id number.

Click on the blue arrow on the right hand side to turn the page and show you the first page of your address book. You can also press the + button to get there.

If you've never added anyone, the next screen will be an empty page of your address book. Click on an empty slot

You'll now see a screen that prompts you to add a 'Wii' entry or 'Others.' Choose Wii and it will prompt you to 'Enter a Wii Number'

Click on the box to bring up the keypad and then use your Wiimote to enter my console number:

0846 4447 8635 1869

To complete the registration process, you will have to comment on this blog post with your console number which I enter on my end. When all this is complete, we can share Miis and I will send you a Mii for myself (or you can make one) that you can associate with this address book entry.

I'm tired of not being able to share content for Boom Blox, play Dr. Mario together or have some fun with Smash Bros online. I also want to see the creative Miis that everyone creates, so please add me as a friend and


I'll send anyone who friends me the trial of Dr. Mario onliine

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

So we went to the R&R hall of fame

Some Thoughts:

Music is so many things to so many people that its hard to communicate that with a walk through musuem. They did have music available to listen to which was nice, but I didn't have time to really experience that.

I know just about every inductee from the 60's 70's and later. This either means that I'm a well versed rock-o-phile or that the industry has crammed these artists in our faces to the point where we all know who they are weather we like it or not. We all know that there is some cramming and that those worthy of induction aren't all super-terrific rock geniuses. I like the Beatles but I don't really need to listen to a best of album with George Harrison's greatest hits.

Naming it after a Genre is weird; do they want to honor the youth movement that happend when R&R was first getting going? If so then it will always be frozen it time. I know that Rock and Roll is more than a genre, but that phrase is almost unuseable now. So many other music movements have come and gone, even some that wouldn't want to be called R&R.

I think the recent changes in the record industry have made me view the history of R&R with a much different view. Instead of explosive messages changing the course of history, I see expression being limited by the vision of a corporate record industry that for the most part is now a thing of the past. Internet distribution of music might make something like the R&R hall of fame obsolete. How can we determine who has #1 songs when no one listens to the radio anymore?

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