Posts tagged: internet

Tweetin’

By , October 7, 2009

So I have a Twitter. I update it rarely, but there it is. The point of this blog, however, is not to advertise my Twitter. Instead it is to express wonder at someone else’s Twitter. Looks kinda’ familiar, doesn’t it?

What the hell?

That’s my name, photograph, and city. But it isn’t me! Worse, that person is far better at updating, or “tweeting,” than I am. Look at all the interesting things he (she?) has to share! Note also that this peasprout has way more followers than me.

It is with some chagrin that I must admit– my impostor is doing a better job of being me than I am.

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Online Dating

By , February 14, 2005

Most afternoons during lunch I read the San Francisco Chronicle. Most likely because today is Valentine’s Day, today’s business section focused on the phenomenon of online dating. I was amazed to read that millions of people worldwide are turning to internet dating sites in hopes of finding love. I won’t lie– I laughed when I read that; then I stopped to ponder the more serious aspects of such a thing.

My first thought was that the most desirable people are not searching for their mates online. Online dating is something of a last resort– nobody starts there; people only turn to the internet when they find their physical appearance and/ or social skills are not such that they are able to find partners in the real world. More than that, people with interesting and fulfilling lives are out living them, not sitting in front of a computer searching for like-minded soul mates. Someone worth dating, and possibly even marrying, isn’t going to be so desperate for love that they run personal ads online. Such people have too many suitors as it is– they certainly aren’t going to waste their time trying to find any more on the internet.

Someone searching for matches online is basically dredging the bottom of the dating pool in hopes of landing a passable catch. Meanwhile, plenty of interesting, active people are coming and going every day, people our internet daters could pursue. Instead, they interact online with the other people who likely share the same common traits: a lack of self-confidence, an inability to make social contact in face-to-face situations, an addiction to the internet, and a willingness to settle for less than the best; in short: hardly an ideal mate.

Just today, while walking to my aforementioned lunch, I encountered a girl standing next to me at a crosswalk. It was raining, and she had no umbrella. I only saw the back of her head at first, but on reflex I shielded her with my umbrella. She was polite and thankful, and we walked the next block together until I arrived at my chosen luncheon spot (La Fiesta). During that block walk we chatted a bit. As it turned out the front of her head was even cuter than the back of it, and were I single and looking for a date or a girlfriend or what have you, I’d have asked her for her phone number. I relate that story to illustrate only the most recent opportunity I had to meet someone, but that’s neither here nor there. What matters is the moral to the story: there is no shortage of fun, attractive, single people in this world. Said moral leads nicely into Today’s Question: Why would anyone sift through the anonymous, unwanted masses online when a world full of real, live, desirable people is just outside his or her door?

The Chronicle article had all manner of losers at the bottom of the page relating their online dating horror stories. One poor fellow admitted that he flew all the way to Thailand, only to find that his soul mate was dating multiple men she had met online. Oddly, this seemed to surprise him. You’d think anyone willing to fly to Thailand of all places just to meet a woman would be used to facing such disappointments and embarrassments on a daily basis.

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Wireless Fidelity

By , January 25, 2005

Have I written before about how wonderful the wireless age is?

I’m now sitting in a Starbucks cafe in San Francisco. With my T-Mobile wireless account I can get online at any Starbucks or Kinko’s, as well as any major airport. I’ve been able to check e-mail in El Paso and post to my journal from New York City. Good stuff.

There really seems to be no limit to what one can do these days. Things like real-time chat, and even voice or video chat, are the norm anymore, but that is only the tip of the iceberg. From this little table in a cafe I can broadcast my streaming radio station, and thanks to the miracle of software I can mix it turntable-style, live, using only my Powerbook. I can snap pictures or take video clips with my mobile phone, use Bluetooth to instantly upload them to the computer, and share them with the world mere moments after they were taken.

When I was a kid my (much) older brother was in England earning his master’s degree. Perhaps once or twice a month we’d receive a letter from him, and we’d respond just as often. International phone calls were just too expensive to warrant more than one or two calls per term. Were he going to school in England today, we could communicate, for free, using iChat. We could see one another, again for free, using a webcam. Yet, neither of those things seems even remotely amazing– in the short time such forms of communication have existed they have become commonplace and pedestrian. Who knows what we’ll be able to do wirelessly in another 10 or 20 years, but odds are we’ll take whatever it is for granted in much the same way.

I just answered a phone call. I forward my 800 Number to my mobile phone, so anyone, anywhere in the U.S.A., can reach me for free no matter where I am. This time, it was a woman who had searched Google for a party planner and found me. She hired me on the spot to provide a casino, DJ, and clown for a party she is hosting.

Wireless life rocks.

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Hodge Podge

By , January 5, 2005

Something amusing I heard in an episode of Buffy, the Vampire Slayer:

(Talking about Jonathan)
Andrew: That boy is our last hope.
Warren: No, there is another.
Andrew: Wait, really? Who’s our last hope?
Warren: No, I was just going with it. It was a thing. I… No, he’s our last hope.

Additionally, I’ve another internet quiz result to share with you:

Charon ushers you across the river Acheron, and you find yourself upon the brink of grief’s abysmal valley. You are in Limbo, a place of sorrow without torment. You encounter a seven-walled castle, and within those walls you find rolling fresh meadows illuminated by the light of reason, whereabout many shades dwell. These are the virtuous pagans, the great philosophers and authors, unbaptised children, and others unfit to enter the kingdom of heaven. You share company with Caesar, Homer, Virgil, Socrates, and Aristotle. There is no punishment here, and the atmosphere is peaceful, yet sad.

The Dante’s Inferno Test has sent you to the First Level of Hell – Limbo!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

Level Score
Purgatory (Repenting Believers) Very Low
Level 1 – Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers) Very High
Level 2 (Lustful) Moderate
Level 3 (Gluttonous) Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious) Very Low
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy) Very Low
Level 6 – The City of Dis (Heretics) Very High
Level 7 (Violent) Moderate
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers) Low
Level 9 – Cocytus (Treacherous) Low

Take the Dante’s Inferno Test

I was really hoping I’d be on the glutton level. I don’t get what I did wrong.

Finally, while I’m at it, let me inform everyone that I am worth $2,771,706.00 on HumanForSale.com.

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First Dance Foibles

By , July 20, 2004

I DJ’ed weddings on Saturday and Sunday this past weekend. On Sunday, the bride and groom showed up as expected, and the groom handed me the promised CD of their first dance song. They insisted I play the version of the song they were to provide, as they had prepared a routine to it, so I arrived ready to oblige them.

I took the CD and just to be sure I popped it in the CD player. No response. So I popped it into my computer and looked for it in iTunes. Nothing. Next I double-clicked the CD icon and looked inside. Aha! The groom must have taken it for granted that I’d have a laptop with me (even though very few DJs bring one) as he saved the songs as mp3s. I dragged it into Traktor, my mp3 DJ software. Still nothing. A closer inspection of the alleged mp3 revealed it to actually be an m4p. Okay, not a problem, time to open Quicktime. I dragged that pesky m4p into Quicktime and it opened right up. Their particular version of “Fly Me to the Moon” ready and a-rarin’ to go.

The bride and groom take the floor and embrace in preparation for their routine. The guests are a-quiver with anticipation. I click play.

This computer is not authorized to play “11 Fly Me to the Moon.m4p.”

Turns out the groom had purchased the song online at the Apple Music Store and did not know the appropriate trick for playing it on multiple machines, nor did he know his password info to authorize the song on my computer.

Today’s Question: Do you know that trick?

All was not lost. I regaled the guests with jokes about Napster, the R.I.A.A. and the groom’s honesty in actually paying for the song while he ran to his suite to get his own laptop. In all it turned out to be a pretty humorous and hopefully memorable situation. I was just glad I could come up with enough schtick to cover it all. In the end, a good time was had by all when the song played and the newlyweds performed their exciting dance routine.

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Ruining It for Everybody

By , July 8, 2004

MP3 Blogs are all the rage these days. I suppose in a way, with my occasional song blogs, Divisione di Gioia is something of an MP3 Blog, but the people quoted and mentioned in the linked article have taken it to an entirely different level.

I actually know one of their sources, though it has been a few years since we’ve crossed paths. Oliver Wang, a.k.a. O-Dub, used to hang out with me and my crew when we did our radio show back in college, and he’d show up at many of the parties I’d DJ. I mostly remember him as the kid trying to learn about hip hop, who was constantly asking “what song is that? what song is that?” and then jotting down the information we’d give him. It seems to have really paid off– he now markets himself as quite the expert on hip hop and old soul music. And before you read this as some sort of condemnation, or damnation via faint praise, I give him props for making a name for himself, and even more props for being honest– I see in his blog that he credits his mentors and admits to being a late-comer to the hip hop bandwagon. You’re welcome, Oliver.

After reading a bunch of the MP3 Blogs, I remember why I stopped collecting old soul and breakbeat records: it became this fetishist obsession that everyone and their brother was doing, seemingly more to be trendy than for any admiration of the music. When I started collecting records, virtually no one else was really into that style of music, but I loved the stuff; there is a rawness to those records that was nowhere to be found in the polished fare being transmitted over the airwaves at that time (or now). This meant that I could find great records at affordable prices all over the place. When hip hop went from being underground to mainstream music, a sudden interest picked up in the soul and funk records that spawned the genre. It was neat at first, as I suddenly had other people to talk with about the music, but once it reached a sort of critical mass there was this influx of the fetishists, and it all changed for the worse.

It became crappy for a few reasons, the first of which was strictly supply and demand. As people began wanting the same records, they became harder to find, and record sellers began upping their prices. Not only could I no longer find something awesome in the 99 cents super-saver bin, I pretty much couldn’t find it all. And if I did, the seller wanted $100 for the record.

Economics aside, by far the worst byproduct of all was that I had to associate myself with all those nouveau record-geeks. Imagine if something very personal and enjoyable to you suddenly became the trendiest fad among, say, the popped-collar polo shirt preppie and sorority girl set. Unless those are your people (and if so, my apologies for singling them out as especially moronic), you’d be embarrassed to associate yourself with them. And that’s how it became with the “crate digging rare groove beat junkies,” as they began to label themselves.

They all dressed the same, spoke the same, and had the same want lists. Once one of them would find some great new beat, they all had to have it. They produced massive lists of “All the Funky Songs, Ever” and distributed them. Maybe I am an elitist, but I believe in the whole pay-your-dues, old school mentality. I don’t want to know every great breakbeat record. That takes the fun out of discovering them. When I first found The Incredible Bongo Band’s “Apache” or Billy Squier’s “The Big Beat” it was a treat, because I had come across a great track that I knew nothing about. Certainly, other DJs, and some collectors, already must have had those records, but the fact that I’d found the record myself made it fun. Now it’s like collecting stamps. You have this master list of every soul record ever released, and you are supposed to search and search until you find a copy. Boring.

It grew so tiresome, in fact, that eventually I just quit collecting records. The Oliver Wangs of the world had officially sucked all the fun out of it. As he says, now “the whole point is to show off.” To me the point was to find music I liked. Again I should point out– Oliver, pretty okay guy. He is just today’s magufffin, to use what seems to be my new favorite word.

When you like something, sometimes it’s great to find other people who share similar interests. But when that interest becomes something thousands of people are turning to simply because it has become a cool thing to be into, it starts to suck, and when a faddish “scene” develops around it, it sucks even more. There may be a more graceful way to phrase that, but that is basically how I feel. It sucks that a fun hobby was ruined when it became mainstream. I hear people bitching about this all the time with regards to any of a number of once-personal/ now-mainstream interests, and I empathize completely. It does indeed suck.

Today’s Question: Doesn’t that totally suck?

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Online v. Real Life

By , May 3, 2004

During the week, I work at home. The benefits of this are numerous, but one of the drawbacks is that I have no co-workers. As I have never had a regular nine to five job I don’t necessarily miss having workmates, but I do notice that my peers all have them. One thing that I do to simulate interpersonal interaction during my workday is AIM chat. I keep AIM running during the day, and every now and then a chat buddy will send me a message and we’ll converse a bit; this makes for a nice distraction. Some friends I chat with almost daily, others but once or twice per month, if that. In all, I have 19 people on my buddy list, 16 of which are friends I know in my day to day life. The other three are people I only know through AIM.

Yes, I know three “people from the internet.” And yes, I know there is a stigma attached to having met someone online. People even refer to it as “online” vs. “real life,” as though things you say or do in chat don’t count, or take place in some kind of netherworld. I don’t understand the distinction. Pretty much everyone is online these days. People who defend the distinction are quick to point out that someone can pretend to be someone else online, or only put forth their best side, but how is that different than what people do face to face? If you meet someone at a bar, library, cafe, park, or any other supposedly “safe” meeting place, who is to say they aren’t putting on an act for you? Furthermore, those same people are likely online. Are they safe to their in-person friends but dangerous to their chat buddies?

The reason I’m writing about this is because just the other night one of my three internet-only friends (who, by the way, initiated our online friendship) decided that, since we don’t know one another in “real life,” we should cease chatting. Now, I have no problem with someone telling me “Peasprout, you are boring,” or “Peasprout you are always lurking outside my window with a big axe” as valid reasons not to be chat friends, but come on– in this day and age, when both George W. Bush and John Kerry have Friendster accounts, I think it’s a given that most of the world is online.

I imagine you could see it coming a mile away, but here is Today’s Question: Do you think meeting someone online is just as viable, and respectable, a way of making a new friend as meeting someone in person? My answer is pretty clear, but I’ll spell it out. I think that the internet is a great way to meet and interact with countless people with whom you would never have had the chance to interact in the past. Blogging is a perfect example of a place where strangers from around the world can come into contact with one another, and friendships based on similar, or opposing, interests or beliefs can flourish. You’re shooting yourself in the foot if you limit your friends to people you only originally encounter in person. A great friend, or maybe even the love of your life, may never be at your favorite cafe at the same time as you, but he or she just may be in the next chat room over. You owe it to yourself to go take a peek.

In case the aforementioned chat buddy is reading this, I want to be sure to clarify that I am neither bitter nor bothered or anything along those lines. I understand and respect other people’s feelings; her announcement merely made for a good blog topic. Alfred Hitchcock would refer to her as the maguffin of today’s post.

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