Comfort

For the last week or so i’ve been working on something mind-numbingly boring, and yet at the same time painstakingly detailed. At some point this afternoon it all got too much for me, and i sat down, took my camera to pieces, gave it all a good clean, and put it back together.

Horrendous-ness slipped away. Calming… and so clean!

Straw Dogs

For the past couple of weeks i’ve been slowly making my way from John Gray’s Straw Dogs – Thoughts on Human and Other Animals. It has been one of those books that i’ve savoured reading, going back and re-reading pieces, and even putting it down to let sections sink in. 

It’s an ambitious book, attempting to rubbish such sacred cows as humanism (as defined as a believe in progress), man’s unique position on the planet, free will, universal morals… all in a rather didactic style, that often seems to appeal to a sense of having been ‘out read’.

For all that, i found it rather inspiring. Yes, it’s nihilistic, doesn’t leave you feeling good about humanities chances at dealing with it’s issues in relation to the ecosystem, demolishes the idea that technological advances universally provide benefits… but it left me feeling much better about my conviction that we are nothing special, except in our ability to delude ourselves.

Man is simply another animal, but an animal tortured by a need to define some sort of purpose, and justify it’s existence.

Seeing in Colour

Don’t know how it happened, but for some reason my interest in colour has waned. Obviously it’s harder to get right than black and white, but there is also the practical part of this; that as i can’t / don’t develop my own colour stuff it’s harder to get as enthused about it anymore.

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Still glad that i took colour film to Izu at the end of last year – those pictures of Mt. Fuji in the late afternoon light just wouldn’t have worked in b&w… or maybe they would, but i’d have to be much more skilled to realise them. How contradictory.

Useless Intuition

Seems that i’m a couple of months late on the old, ‘this feels dangerous’ business with British banking. 

Lord Myners, the financial services secretary, said the bank system came close to collapse last October, before the government’s £500bn rescue package.

“There were two or three hours when things felt very bad, nervous and fragile,” he said. “Major depositors were trying to withdraw – and willing to pay penalties for early withdrawal – from a number of large banks.”

It appears that the BBC have edited his remarks, as elsewhere the “major depositors” are linked to New York and Tokyo.

Makes you wonder what kind of guarantees they had to be given in order to convince them not to remove their funds. The trouble with this game is that, like a Ponzi scheme (how about that?!) once it starts to unravel it will be fast, furious, and essentially unstoppable. The failure of one UK / US bank will bring down a couple of others, and the collapse of those, five more… if it makes it to ten, the whole system would likely fail.

Interesting time to be in government – essentially held hostage to the whims of capital movements. Lots is being written now about the unique problems of the UK state due to the relative size of the banking system. Can’t see the americans bailing out the UK (remember what happened after WWII?) so it might soon be time for another trip to the IMF.

Interface Hell

After a couple of months of barely contained frustration with the Canon scanning software i’ve finally found the button that stops it trying to make (retarded) guesses at the frame crops. Oh! The fun we’ve had…

Wonder what it is that makes Japanese engineers geniuses at designing hardware interfaces, and yet completely brain dead at software? It must be something to do with being overwhelmed with choices. Every piece of Japanese software can do everything but seemingly goes to immense lengths to then hide it from the user. Wild.