Monthly Archives: October 2008

Brave New Busy World

A few ideas on post-(post)+modern living.. a longer and more random post than I set out to write..

Hi, my name’s Joe and I’m an addict… Hi Joe!

I’ve had a bit of a Facebook addiction lately, it comes and goes, but the last two weeks have been bad. I’ve also started sending (sms) text messages, shock, horror. Maybe I only feel guilty about this because I’m not a teenager anymore. It’s hard work stying hip. I guess growing up can be fatal.. not in a life or death kinda way but more in a quality of life and excitement kinda way, we’re all dying minute by minute, but you don’t want to be old and boring before your time. Keep with the pace. Get with the program.

I find Crackbook very useful for planning parties, finding out about events, sharing photo’s and researching (stalking) (-;

Yes, I know it’s a closed system and a content motel (what checks in, never checks out), but it’s fun.

I was at an art exhibition opening in Cape Town this week and randomly spotted a few (new’ish) cool people I know, so I thought.. wow, this is a small city. Then again, maybe our network of acquaintances just grew rapidly in the last year or two.

I don’t think we really notice the change so much, but it’s kinda cool.. more friends, more new friends, more new friends at a faster rate.. and with a few filters (a.k.a.social fly swatting) more cool people around.

You see people with 1000+ friends on FB and you have to wonder.. let’s extrapolate, what if everybody had 2000 friends in a year’s time.. things can get noisy. What about the pathological case.. what if everybody knew everybody?.. given a long enough time line, kinda like interview with a vampire social networking. No more secrets.

Life in the time of Facebook dating.. how did we ever manage before?

One of my housemates was contacted by a girl on Facebook last week, had drinks and ended up in her up-market apartment all on the same day, now that’s progress gents.

Time to get that pro-photographer portrait for your profile picture, I’m getting mine soon. Haha.

Everybody seems to be a photographer these days. Which is cool… but sometimes I wonder if IQ’s have not scaled with the needs of technology.. WTF is it with the muppets that can’t figure out how to rotate a photo correctly before uploading it?

Some people on Facebook are dead. Think about it.

A friend recently commented on a photo and soon discovered that the person moved on to the the big social network in the sky. Most interesting the mark we leave on this world..

Talk about legacy.. my uncle is the CEO of a major train building project in Gauteng. Very Atlas Shrugged. How cool would it be to leave a rail road? I think this kind of raw infrastructure legacy is going to become more scarce.

I wonder about the volume of photos we’re gathering. In 2001 I had pretty much zero photos. I now have about 25k, actually I’ve lost count. That’s a bucket load of photos. Not something you can just flip through in an hour. If everybody had 25k Facebook photos it’s going to make people “researching” a bit tricky.

When I fire up Rhythmbox it tells me I have 50 days and 21 hours of music. Remember that Micky Mouse CD collection you had 10 years ago.. how sad.

I think all woman believe that the yardstick of civilization is a made bed.. I must be a modern day savage.. I hate making up my bed, not sure why, but I think it just feels pointless. I think the unmade bed hints at our implicit need for progress.. what if the bed just made itself dammit!.. my point is: entertainment is the last industry, the rest can be automated.

I’ve found that a number of high profile people are not on Facebook, maybe it makes them too accessible, takes away the mystery.. truth is, they have friends and they are human. Maybe they just don’t like the idea that on Facebook everybody has a public image to project, everybody is their own PR agent, everybody is a rock star.. mass democratization of fame.

At least 2 of my top-five best friends are not on Facebook. Annoying at times. More annoying than the gay neighbours’ two lap dogs. Less annoying than no-number phone calls. I wonder why they are resisting.. not like it’s the fad that Orkut or Myspace was.

All the people I invited to our last party are on Facebook.

I think social media feeds on busy lifestyles, busy and interrupt driven lifestyles. We are forced to work in short bytesize bursts and we are social animals.. given the choice you tend to keep your fiends happy. Other things have the volume turned down. It’s like social networking has some spread spectrum modulation that scales with the noise floor of life.

Is blogging dead? Maybe, I think the fad is over.. the rush of being a part of something new and cool and personal is over. The weird turned pro. Now it’s just personal publishing and life caching.. for those with longer attention spans who can actually write something interesting. There are about three blogs I love to read.. they are all written by close friends.. not really “media”, but I’m hooked.

In the end it’s all about reputation and scarcity (of attention). We can be so primal in our new found sophistication..

“I don’t think people are meant to be alone. That’s why if you find someone you care about, it’s important to let go of the little things. Even if you can’t let go all the way. Because nothing sucks more than feeling all alone, no matter how many people are around.” — Scrubs

“Get busy living, or get busy dying.” — The Shawshank Redemption

Thanks for your attention and reading my little rant.

Ignoring Me

A few weeks ago there were two or three things I needed to get done or wanted feedback on and the people involved just kept ignoring me.. two, three emails later.

At first I was a bit annoyed, then mildly pissed off. In the end they responded.

I think..

In a perfect world, it would be nice if people can just respond and say: No! ..but we’re not all autistic, so the path of least resistance is often just to ignore something.

I guess I do it to. I ignore some people and I ignore some tasks for a few days until I’ve figured out what to do with them. Sometimes they hang around until they drop off the todo list without any action.

It’s just easier to ask for things people don’t want to ignore.. like being a preferred client.. which translates to exciting things and good relationships.

Next time, try to figure out if you are asking for something that will be ignored, maybe you should be proactive and ignore it first.. save us the pain.

Just a thought.

Nokia E71 Review

This post is a bit overdue.. its been in notes mode since September. I guess most people who wanted an E71 already have one by now, but I’ll give you a few thoughts on my new toy.

I love it. Best phone I’ve ever had.

Weird how a week before you can get the E71 nobody in the mobile phone market has a clue what you are talking about.. you get the signature George Bush confused look when you ask about an ETA.. and then suddenly it’s advertised everywhere from the airport to girly magazines. The GSM companies really need to have better comms with their resellers.

 

Before we start, I had an E61 before this, so I’m going to compare these. Let’s see..

  • The best feature of this phone is the QWERTY keypad and the Notes application. I use this everyday. It’s my augmented memory. Keep notes on the phone, process to text and todo list once a week. In fact it has two Notes applications, which is handy to keep those long term notes like bank details, PO box details etc.
  • You’ll notice the E71 keypad does not have the usual alphabet dialing hints.. try dial 0861 AMOBIA 🙁
  • The keypad is smaller than the E61, but I think I can type faster on the E71 because of the shape of the keys. Better feedback.
  • The screen is smaller, but works well. Good rez, brightness and contrast.
  • It sucks that you have to hold down 3 keys to do Ctrl-C.. not fun when you use Emacs style editors.
  • It general it’s a much better design than the E61, solid feel, nice size, good looks, rugged. I’ve dropped it twice (actually Mia dropped it once), no problem.
  • Good battery life.. I get 3 – 4 days, sometimes 5. The GPS sucks battery.. as you would expect.
  • It boots up a lot faster than the E61. Very nice.
  • Camera is a bit crap.. but functional. Kinda handy that it has a macro mode (press T).
  • The UI is guru friendly, not user that friendly, bit strange at times. Especially when you want to configure a SIP account on get your Bluetooth car kit to pair.
  • GPS-nav works well. The voice guide is pretty cool. Speaker phone speaker is at the top of the phone, handy when you are driving with the phone in your shirt pocket. Works well if you receive calls while in maps mode.
  • GPS-nav works well with a Bluetooth car kit.. but it gets annoying when your music keeps being interrupted.
  • I found that the calendar syncing works well with my Mac. One snag was that there seems to be a max character length for event descriptions.
  • Would be cool if it had a torch.
  • All the rest of the toys are there.. it’s really an office away from the office, mobile phone, sip phone, car phone, ssh client, watch, camera, calendar, alarm clock, wifi, web browser, podcast player, fashion accessory, thing to play with when people get boring etc..

 

I think the E71 is the anti-iPhone.. it assumes it has a smart person driving it. It’s geeky and fun to explore. You can spend a lot of time trying all the features and playing with the config until it’s just the way you want it. I’m talking weeks.. if you tend to over-focus on these kind of things like some people. (Not Me!, never)

I like the idea that it’s an open platform.. and it has a SIP client.

This phone may be intimidating for a first time E series user. You have to grin when you see the Sea Point koogirls with this phone.. they can’t be using 5% of the features.

I overheard somebody saying: “the HTC is the best converged phone.. it does everything equally crap!”

The E71 is not perfect, but everything works well. It has my vote for the best phone on the market today.

My R8 Test Drive

I (finally) took an Audi R8 for a spin. Brilliant weather. Insanely fun.

It was a white V8 4.2l FSI R-tronic.. which you can pick up for just over 1.4 bars.

The first thing you notice is the clean and solid design. It feels like sports car.. but it’s very much a luxury German auto mobile inside. All the toys included.

It’s a little too small to get laid IN it, but you get laid the minute you get out of it! — Crazy People

 

The R-tronic gearbox in sports mode is just crazy. The rev counter climbs about as fast as the grin on your face grows… it just does not want to drive slow.

You can feel this car leap through its gears.. just noisy enough. Handling is perfect. Like a space ship.. maybe too perfect.

 

I’m guessing the manual model will be more fun, but you need to have a car like this for at least a week to know its limits.

Yes, it turns heads, it’s pure thrill, a car for the pure pleasure seeker.

Quick Update

Week 43. Cape Town in the Summertime. Wish you were here.. (to all the London friends)

  • Monday, Jamaica Me Crazy R29 burger, babies don’t sleep this good.. yeah, Sunday was a bit rowdy.
  • Tuesday, gym, swim, bumped into Rob and Sarah, watched Choke at the Labia.. it was OK.
  • Wednesday, Cape Town’s finest taxi service, Wakami with Cath and Parri, Andy cooked a nice dinner.
  • Thursday, Clifton 4th at 4pm, Camps Bay walk, trail run at the foot of Signal Hill, drinks at Asoka.. try the Porn Star Martini, attempted to finish watching Seven, but fell asleep again.
  • Friday, 9 (Mickey Mouse) holes at the River Club with Parri, lunch with Jono, fetched Meebs, a bit of shopping with Cath, nice drive to Betty’s, home made gourmet burgers for supper.
  • Saturday, a relaxed windy day in Betty’s, nice dinner with a big group of cool people, Cath made an awesome Pavlova.
  • Sunday, early morning beach walk with Mia, day with my mom, Stellenbosch botanical garden, Beads, walk (and a swim for Meebs) at the Eerste Rivier bridge, seared tuna and Hartenberg Chardonnay ’06 at Fishmonger.
  • “Everyone knows, anything goes” — RHCP

  • Interesting how you can instinctively tell that some people will make good parents.
  • Been thinking about Cape Town after reading a Cape Times article, it basically said Cape Town has become a global city with lots of lots of inequality.. because of a number of trends and many capetonians pushing and engineering it to be a first world city. I guess it can be a city of wild mood swings.. with a lot of pressure to get with the program and keep up the social calendar. The price you pay for being able to stroll down to Clifton on a random afternoon.
  • Feel like I’m living a bit of an inverse Jerry Maguire story in the time of shake and bake families.

Idea of the week:

“Nothing worth having comes without a risk” — Choke, Anjelica Huston

Yearly Photo Stats

One of those random things I was wondering about..

My photo album storage needs:

1998: 0.4 MB
1999: 2.1 MB
2000: 13.5 MB
2001: 128 MB
2002: 817 MB
2003: 571 MB
2004: 526 MB
2005: 2444 MB
2006: 7264 MB
2007: 11921 MB
2008 so far : 12733 MB

15GB/year.. I think I’m safe.

Quick Update

For those who are new to this blog, this is my weekly list of diary entries, random ideas and general self absorbed rants.. because I can.

“Vanity is definitely my favorite sin.” — The Devil’s Advocate

  • Monday, a visit to Christo’s office to chat about our party invite design, burger at Da Vinci’s, try the Brussels burger with caramelised pear.
  • Tuesday, meeting at the Westin Grand hotel, drinks at Neigborhood bar with Parri and Cath.
  • Wednesday, Lions Head walk for a bit of a tan, took an R8 for a spin (finally).. insanely fun, tea with Tim at Melissa’s in Constantia, flight to Jozi, sushi with the infamous Thomas.
  • Thursday, Joburg, early morning run in Bryanston, ISPA media breakfast at Piccolo Mondo.. Nelson Mandela square, cruised around the Sandton malls a bit, killing time at the airport.. felt a bit like Roger Wilco in Space Quest 4. Met Thomas at Vida before my flight home.
  • Friday, got a new car.. it has four seats.. goodbye frog-mobile. Dinner at home with Mia and friends.
  • Saturday, Elgin organic market with the Web2 geeks, Georg and Mia, Grabouw Country Club visit, took Mia to see her grandma and play on the beach.
  • Sunday, Lions Head walk with Jules, Nikki and Ben, a braai at home.. yum, Glen Beach and the Camps Bay strip with Georg, Andy and Parri. Project Mayhem.

Music the great communicator.
Sweet talk but don’t intimidate her.
Can’t stop the gods from engineering.
This life is more than ordinary.
Can I get 2 maybe even 3 of these.
This life is more than just a read thru.
— RHCP, Can’t Stop

Frogspeed crazy kids.

Random Quotes

A few random quotes I jotted down..

“Happiness is the most insidious prison of all.”
Anarchy means “without leaders”; not “without order”.
— V for Vendetta

“Candy Is dandy, but liquor is quicker”
— Ogden Nash

The second shortest book ever written is: American Business Ethics,
second only to: American Culture.
— Somebody I know in Stellenbosch

“It’s deep how shallow you are”
— Could have been Andy

“If you want trouble, buy an Alfa”,
..when hearing about a friend getting married.

Vincent: A year is a long time.
Irene: Not so long. Just once around the sun.
— Gattaca