Saturday, May 29, 2004

Quickfire post

-The new Big Brother UK is looking pretty good.
-I have to leave for work in about 35 minutes.
-My nephew has those bruises on his shins like all little boys have because they're always falling over and skidding about and things.
-I'm looking forward to my stirfry tonight. I'm eating alone tonight since I wont be seeing my girlfriend till Thursday.
-Also looking forward to the week coming because I get to relax and chill out for a while, but I do have to get some revision done.
-I need a new job that makes me feel a lot happier.

According to one of the house mates: "Size matters." This was in reference to the rubber pertrusions coming out of the wall which look quite like dildos.

Now time to get into that damn fine ADSA uniform.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The cats have gathered about me

I'm currently posting in front of a fire. I'm about to sit down to a couple of hours revision for my exam tomorrow - really just something to get my mind in gear for tomorrow morning. To get me into the essay writing kind of mood really, nothing too strenuous.

The crackle log is burning away and we kids are about to sit down for Daddy K to read us a story from The Gruesome Book of Horrid Tales From The Depths of Hell.

People should spend more time next to fires, they are lovely and extremely warm things. The only problem is I can feel myself being covered in insects that are most certainly drinking my blood with joy.

There were some form of protesters in town today trying to get signatures for their petition to get troops out of Iraq. My argument on the matter is this: The troops signed up to go to war - and to die for their duties so they knew what was coming. Saddam did terrible things to his own people and needed to be taken out and it is well possible his country was harbouring 'terrorists'. The troops that are there at this moment in time are needed there to provide domestic security for the country until Iraq's own security forces are ready. The country's power is going to be given back to the country and (if I'm mistaken on this I do apoligise) a provisional government will be in place which will organise a general election when the country is in a position to undertake a democratic election.

Some people really are too naive about things like this. We're trying to promote democracy and people in democratic states aren't willing to give undemocratic states their rights just because it means sacrificing something. Yes we shouldn't have gone to war with Iraq for the War on Terror but rather under the name of Democracy. It should have been stately most clearly why they were going to war - fuck oil and fuck terrorism.

Monday, May 10, 2004

Posting on my TV

Yes I'm writing this on my TV. I was bored so I decided to hook my laptop up to my 20" TV. The resolution isn't great but having everything blown up on my set is really quite a site.

The new Blogger interface is pretty dandy. It's very new and crisp and much to my liking. I'm that kind of guy when it comes to web design. Nice crisp designs, with lots of little shapes and colours that make you go 'mmm', with pleasure. They've added comments but no trackback - perhaps they don't know of a good way to incorporate it into the layout without just hosting it back on Blogger itself. I'll stick with the c+tb service I'm using now. It works well for my needs.

I just converted so that the posts are stored on their own pages as well. This uses more of our space but it looks better when you link to them.

The making of one of the new templates.
Not a bad blog / comic.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

Iraq - British troops interrogate at torture prison

I have yet to read this article as I'm leaving for work soon, but it looks interesting.

British military intelligence officers were interrogating prisoners in the notorious Abu Ghraib jai as reports of abuses at the prison came to light.(Guardian)

Reality meets satire.

Saturday, May 08, 2004

Get off my land

The UK government is still trying to build 200,000 houses in the south-east, which is where I live.

"We have never said no to housing here, but we do not want housing built for commuters," he said. "Some people are resigned to it and say it's bound to happen. But if they want to double Milton Keynes in size, surely to God they do not need to come to small villages." (Guardian)
And they can stuff it if they want to build near my town. Get off my land!

Iraq - I wont quit says Rumsfeld

The defense secretary said that he wont be leaving his job.

Donald Rumsfeld, the US defence secretary, yesterday struggled to contain America's prisoner abuse crisis as he faced allegations that the maltreatment of Iraqi detainees was widespread and systematic. (Guardian)
I think it's right that he shouldn't leave his job. He should use this chance to rectify the situation and publically humiliate those who tortured those under their supervision and for making a fool out of their country. They investigating this whole thing back in January, it wasn't until recently that the press believed they were revealing something new.

New Blogger release

The people over at Google (Pyra) have released a new version of Blogger. It has a new spangly layout and it's supposed to have some new features which I shall endevour to discover very soon. I just noticed that it comes with keyboard shortcuts - very nice.

Friday, May 07, 2004

Your First Blogmeet

It's an interesting thought about going to your first gathering of fellow bloggers. You don't want to feel like you're going to be an outsider for some reason - but then why should, your a blogger as well.

I have a few things that might be interesting to prepare yourself:

1) Revise your knowledge of techy speek - PHP, CGI, XML feeds, processor speeds etc.
2) Make sure you're the type of person that enjoys socialising. If you're not then you're going to be a bit of a boring arse for everyone else and you're not going to like the situation either.
3) Where casual clothes - bloggers are new and hip and coming all smartly dressed might make people hang away because you're a business type and maybe not coming across as cool and new.
4) Do a little research into other people you know may be coming. Read their blogs - do some further reading on the subject the've written about so you can be prepared for an indepth discussion.
5) Bringing a partner might not be a good thing because you will make other people feel like outsiders - perhaps on a subsequent meetup you could introduce them.

These are just a few things that might make it a bit easier to prepare yourself and maximise your enjoyment of the meetup. Just jump into it and have fun.

Reynolds is going to a meetup.
Creative Commons applied to a novel.
Life in the clouds of Venus.
US torturers make screensavers of prisoners.

France - The Dream is Fading

The dream of moving out to France seems to be getting out of our grasp. The guy over there who we think is our friend wants the money we're going to give him to help build his house and partly pay for the house we're going to buy before he will provide us with a preliminary contract from his solicitor - which we need to start our offshore morgage. If we give that to him then if the deal goes toes up then we may not get it back.

Slow crawl to the finish line.

Couple of Things

I've added Google Ads to the site just to get some revenue in and plus there may well be some interesting things on there for you any way. I've also added comments and trackback, for you.

My nan was taken into hospital this Monday with broncitis. They did some x-rays on her to get an idea of what was wrong with her and found that she had an enlarged heart. This could either have been down to her having a strong heart or it was the beginnings of heart failure. It is the beginnings of heart failure. She suffers from emphasima anyway, which is a terminal disease in itself, but this could well be the beginnings of the end - even if she does just about bounce back from this there is still the dread that she is going.

We always knew that this would come.


Hit submit if you would like to quit.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Zimbardo and the Mistreatment of Iraqi Prisoners

An interesting point was made by Schlyer, could there be a link between the mistreatment of prisoners in Iraq while under the supervision of American soldiers and the ZImbardo's Standford Prison Experiment? There is psychological evidence that people taking on the role of prison guards could become victims to the characteristics of their roles and it could be argued that the American soldiers conformed to their roles as guards and this led them to act beyond their own beliefs.

In the Stanford Prison Experiment by Zimbardo, the people assigned to be guards began to behave in a manner that was contradictory to the way they acted outside of the experiment. It would seem that people can blindly conform to the demands of the roles that they take on.

So, it could be argued that the American soldiers treatment of Iraqi prisoners could be down to their conforming to the social role of a prison guard, which could cause them to act blindly.

However, from the pictures I have seem of soldiers smiling and posing next to prisoners that are being disciplined (if they are in fact being disciplined at all) and this had nothing to do with the social role of a prison guard. It is my view that those soldiers should most certainly be punished for their actions because, whether or not they conformed to the role of a prison guard, they acted beyond their duties as guards and they would be well aware that what they were doing would be bringing harm to people who themselves would have been suffering from the psychological effects of conforming to their roles as prisoners.

However, should the American Defense Secretary give up his job over this situation? No, I do not think so. Yes, this was terrible and should not have been allowed to happen but the government could not have been aware of the terrible treatment of these guards because conditions can easily be changed when inspection of the prisons happens (as seen in Zimbardo's study when participants parents came to visit their inmates). The DS should, however, tighten supervision of American soldiers acting in prisons so that these terrible things cannot happen.

France - So close and yet so far

My parents went out to France to visit the new house, Le Port, to clean up some of the details for the hand-over. They didn't enjoy their time too much, Gill (my mum's bestfriend) has given her a bit of a cold shoulder because she loves the house so much. They were a little unimpressed with the way in which they have used the house; there is no central heating even though they have lived there for about ten years, they just haven't decorated it well and in the winter it makes it all so dreary.

They're close to getting it, but there are still some financial problems. There is only 50,000 to get but there are problems getting a hold of a morgage due to my father becoming self-employed in June.

The story continues.


Confusing me with maths.
Link between mistreatment of Iraqi prisoners and the Stanford Prison Experiment (Zimbardo)?

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Gothamist Holds Blogger Meeting, a great blog about New York City, organised a large get together at the Apple Store in SoHo. It seems the night went quite well.

If you're interested in the blogs that I read on a regular basis then check out my Kinja account, linked on the right. Or check out the Now Rolling section.


Pictures from the blogger meeting.

A Little About Myself

I'm a student living in south-east England. I'll shortly be living both in the UK and in France, and plan to emigrate there to for the rest of my life - if all goes to plan. I have interests in psychology (specifically in the area of DID), badminton and I may become interested in playing cricket, Russian history and Indian music.

This blog shall cover most of the subjects above, on some sort of basis. Below some posts there may be found links which may or may not be linked to the post's subjects but are of interest at the time of writing.