The Null Device


Far and Wide on 3RRR just played a long and interesting interview with Peter Hook; he talked about the recent New Order album (which is actually not bad, if you ignore the lyrics), and recounted some funny anecdotes about going to the filming of 24 Hour Party People, a film about the Manchester music scene, for which the filmmakers rebuilt the Haçienda (which was torn down two weeks earlier) and got actors to play the members of Joy Division/New Order. (Hook said that the guy who played Ian Curtis looked uncannily like the real one, so much so that seeing him was spooky.) He also said that they're working on a more electronic EP, and that the next New Order album may be more like Power, Corruption and Lies; that will be interesting to see whether they recapture the greatness of it.

(And remember kids: if you drink and drive, you're a bloody idiot, but if you take Prozac and write lyrics, you're Bernard Sumner.)


CHOGM meeting postponed. Which will not only rain on the Nu Marxist love-in planned for October 3, but also allow the Australian government to call an early election to capitalise on John Howard's illusion of wartime statesmanship.


Euphemism of the day: Old computers are, among certain politically correct circles, "mature computers", as seen on a "community garage sale" flyer found in a Northcote organic grocery:

... has kitchen gear, books, mature computers, fabric and lots more.


If you're happy and you know it: add the word "sex" to all your search engine queries...
(...thus ending up with things like "linux usb scanner support sex", "springfield bus timetables sex" and so on.)


A thought-provoking article: who will notice when you die?

Three weeks before Christmas 1993, Wolfgang Dircks died while watching television. Neighbors in his Berlin apartment complex hardly noticed the absence of the 43-year-old. His rent continued to be paid automatically out of his bank account. Five years later, the money ran out, and the landlord entered Dircks's apartment to inquire. He found Dircks's remains still in front of the tube. The TV guide on his lap was open to December 3, the presumed day of his death. Although the television set had burnt out, the lights on Dircks's Christmas tree were still twinkling away.

Which brings me to something I was speculating about: the possibility of developing new methods of fulfilling fundamental human needs, which evolved in tightly-knit hunter-gatherer societies, in a way that works more economically in a post-communitarian age. Perhaps like the robots that are being developed in Japan to take care of the aging population. Perhaps someone will develop devices (machines, software, or even drugs) to satisfy psychological need such as affection, belonging and social status by entirely synthetic means, allowing people to remain in their cubicles, fitter, happier and more productive.

alienation atomisation society 0

Researchers in the US have found that many of the areas in the brain stimulated by the euphoria of sex or food are also stimulated by music; in particular, when people hear personally selected pieces of music which gives them "chills", they experience increased activity in regions of the brain associated with sexual or gastronomic euphoria.

(Isn't it interesting how profoundly music can affect you; for example, from the first time I heard it, I found Dead Can Dance's Persephone (the gathering of flowers) (the last track of Within the Realm of a Dying Sun) profoundly moving. With no words that I could understand, it nonetheless spoke volumes to me about the fleetingness of life, and everything that means anything to us against the vastness of eternity, and the desperate, passionate intensity of each moment, among other things. It's hard to describe adequately in words.)