The Null Device

2001/4/27

Cute: In an attempt to help cult indie band Guided By Voices break into larger markets, some journalists tested their music with a focus group from one of the largest music-buying demographics: 10 and 11-year-olds:

Zoe C.: "They look dirty in all the pictures."
Zoe S.: "They need more style: rings, earrings, and colorful clothes."
Tony: "Colorful clothes, baggy pants maybe, and matching outfits."
Cody: "They need a name that catches your attention. How about the Shining Stars? Now that's catchy!"
Lena: "The songs are mysterious, but definitely too weird."
Cody: "I could make this up just as good by making up three words."

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2001/4/26

The Victorian state government unveils plans for a "green" suburb. Situated north of Epping (on the Northern fringe of Melbourne), it will feature water recycling, energy efficiency and reduced dependence on automobiles. Mind you, they have not promised to extend the Epping railway line (which should be easy to do, as there is a dismantled railway line running north for quite a bit that they could rebuild), and so if they decide to do the typical thing and cut costs by having a 6-days-a-week bus service which stops at 7pm, everyone will just drive everywhere like they do in all the other outer dormitory suburbs. (This is also the government which recently banned the PTUA from a forum on plans to extend a freeway through the inner city, for what it's worth.)

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Big surprise here: Bush to drop tobacco lawsuit, by cutting funding for the suit. Wonder how much help he got from the tobacco industry in getting elected?

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An interesting interview with veteran rapper KRS-One, about the state of hip-hop culture, the recording industry and such.

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And now, the latest fashion accessory from the US: the combination bra/gun holster .

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Metablogging: Meg's Coffee Morning sounds like a good idea. In Australian EST, it's at 8pm tomorrow. Not sure I'll be able to show up, though, as I'll be busy at work then. (Why do so many things happen on Thursday evenings?)

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Hear, hear: An insightful article on the differences between liberalism and neo-liberalism, and in particular on the threat that privatisation of education, currently underway in Australia, poses.

While I am usually pretty gung ho on the good properties of market capitalism, I am not blind to its many deep and ugly flaws. One of those is that in the war between Profit and The Right Thing To Do, you just can't trust Profit to play nicely when left alone.
If we are honest with ourselves, the current assault on Universities is simply the culmination of a process that has been underway ever since compulsory schooling was made the law of the land in Prussia. Prussia introduced compulsory school in order to create citizens who were homogenized, unquestioning followers. Primary and highschools were engineered to prize conformance over individuality, to produce unthinking collectives before critical thinkers. Attempts by schools and teachers to change this fact are hampered because they don't understand that the system was engineered to produce drones.

Apparently this was censored from the University of Sydney student newspaper, for going against the student-left groupthink that anarchism/socialism is the only alternative to being sodomised by multinational corporations.

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