Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The First Rule Of Success

Yeah, who's gonna remember an obscure Will Powers record?  I wanted to put something else in, like "Disappointed by success", but i can't think of a song title.

Here it is:

Doobly Do:

A response to Alex Day's (Nerimon's) video on showing us the report on fairtrade chocolate - watch his video for details.  The website for the petition itself is here:

Back in the day, i used to try to make chocolate axolotls for Easter because of the rather silly reason that both had Nahuatl (Aztec) names.  I could equally have made chocolate tomatoes and it would've been easier.  However, it never worked because i was not an expert at making chocolate axolotls - few people are.  However, for all i know i might be able to make chocolate frogs, although i wouldn't be able to grow the chocolate.  The issue, however, is time.

Because many people have little time and more money, they often use that money to buy other people's services.  These people have become expert in that particular activity, so we can pay them for it and get high-quality stuff.  However, when we do that, we hand over our responsibility and trust for ethical production to them.  This is what has happened with chocolate frogs.  There's a magazine called 'Ethical Consumer' which specialises in ethical reports on companies, and often the companies which seem to have the best ethical record are unfortunately those which disclose the least - the ones which don't "show us the report".  These are able to avoid having the ticks in the nasty boxes on the criteria such as child slavery, dealing with oppressive regimes and the like.

Back in the 1980s, i avidly boycotted very many companies because of their poor ethical record.  I stand by this now as well, and certainly support the petition to Warner Bros to show us the report.  However, i also try to take the maximum responsibility for what i do, and to do this i do things like bake my own bread, home educate and so forth.  To some extent this is a luxury i have because i am time rich and money poor, and i realise many people can't take that option.

So, i wholeheartedly support the Harry Potter Alliance in its insistence on getting this report out in the open, and clearly few people are going to support child slavery morally and many or most would support fair trade, but this is what happens when people hand over the responsibility for making and doing stuff to other people.  Unfortunately, that's what happens when we have more money than time.

This is what i think has happened.  Sorry:  let's step back a few paces shall we?

A few days ago, Nerimon posted this:

I think it was on Saturday (today being Wednesday).  Clearly i missed the boat, which i realised before i even made the video, but it was this or "Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo" and i basically made a stab in the dark and opted for this.  There's nothing essentially wrong with the other one and it'll be tomorrow's, probably, but i happened to choose this one.  It was approved as a response to this video, yet it only has five views.  My conclusion is that automatic approval must be turned on, and i hereby present Exhibit A:

I'm not sure that fits in the space.  If not, it merely illustrates what i've said before about the internet:  there's no need to worry about invasion of privacy because being noticed at all takes a huge amount of effort and luck.  This is a list of responses to Nerimon's vid on chocolate frogs and fair trade.

In fact, i want to dilate on this point.  People worry a lot about stuff they stick on the internet being "spied on" in various salacious or otherwise dodgy ways.  As someone who had a website for a decade which had about six dozen views in that entire time in spite of spending the majority of it at the top of Yahoo's and then Google's search rankings for search strings such as "Leicester herbalist" and a number of combinations of common ailments and phrases such as "alternative therapy", "complementary therapy" and so forth, i have long since ceased to worry about this. Two things about this:

1) Anything you put on the internet is the electronic equivalent of a postcard, or rather you should assume it is.  For instance, i have been entirely open about certain kinks at great length on it, not because of being exhibitionist but because i often feel that i'm not telling people the whole story but am torn between secrecy and inappropriateness.  What i mean by this is that just as anyone might read a postcard, anyone might become aware of what you've sent across the internet, so you shouldn't do anything you wouldn't like to be widely known.


2) It's an avalanche of postcards, with each postcard the size of a snowflake.  There are, to be sure, programs designed to sniff out dodgitude, but if there was really any danger of being noticed, people wouldn't get paid for SEO or marketing.  If it were really that easy or dangerous in that way on the internet, they'd be perpetrating a con trick almost as big as the virus one on an unsuspecting public.  Whereas that's plausible in itself, there's really no difference in that respect between the internet and the West in general - we are a mass society on a huge scale for this tiny blue speck, though clearly not compared to even the smallest hypothetical Phase Three civilisation, and the activities of marketing and advertising, unlike memes, are not altered substantially by the existence of the internet, or even the Web or anything on top of that.

Therefore, when people worry that something is public, it gives me pause, not because i don't, although of course i don't, but because i know that actually getting attention for what you want is practically impossible and the vast ocean of apathy is in this sense our friend.  There's no need for concern because - Gott sei Dank - nobody cares.

Oh yeah, just regarding quotas and bandwidth, i've put together a demo version of my video "The Most Depressing Day Of The Year" which is only just over six and a half Mb in size.  It's unlisted, but here it is:

 By the way, you will notice that as usual there are no tags on this entry.  Apart from the fact that i don't care if anyone reads this blog, the above facts ought to tell you that actually making this easier to find is a pretty futile activity because whereas it may previously have had a probability of 0.000000001% of being read by a random stranger, adding tags, even if they multiplied that probability by a million, would still only get me to 0.001%.  Yes, those are made up stats, along the lines of the numbers used in Hindu cosmology.