Friday, July 02, 2010


Last day at work today.

Sent this email to the team:

Almost forgot - today is my last day at Datacom*. It's been awesome working with youse*.

I'll be contactable on Internet or by carrier pigeon.


*so I probably won't be back on Monday
**please support entry of the word 'youse' into the English lexicon by using it consciously but without irony - many other languages have a plural equivalent and English could use one too!

Will 'Ted' Hesketh

Ex-Customer Service Reprentative | Datacom Connect | At my house, which is not here.

Email: william.hesketh@datacom.com.au, but not for long. | Ph: Yes.

So, yes. I could have stayed, cruising along here while I studied at TAFE, but I need to stop working in a call centre - the fact that this one's pretty cruisy while I'm actually at work distracts me from what's more important - it's still a call centre.

So, yes: I'll find a place closer to home to earn the cash while I devote my life to...my life.

This should, dark spirits willing, assist me in achieving one of my goals - to not be working at a call centre by the time I'm 30.

We'll need to wait half a decade or so and see if I've achieved it, but so far, so good...

Monday, June 21, 2010

"The 28 hour law, enacted in 1873 and amended in 1994 states that when
animals are being transported for slaughter, the vehicle must stop every 28
hours and the animals must be let out for exercise, food, and water.
United States Department of Agriculture claims that the law does not apply to


And why not?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chevy Chase - The Novel 

Quite a few interests of mine are coming full-circle. A few months ago, I was reading anything I could find on the anonymity of expressing oneself online - I'd say that this started with an article that I was linked to when I first started working where I am now - it was about moot defending/discussing the anonymous nature of 4chan. The idea of anonymous posting is, in my opinion, a good idea - in theory. I agreed with his statement that a lot of people place too much importance on identities, which can sometimes compromise the original message - in other words, allowing their perception of the speaker to shape how they view that person's message.

Is this important? Well, if one considers the fundamental intangibility of verbal language (and I'm not alone in believing that it's a huge factor), then knowing who's talking to you will alter how you receive that message - you'll make assumptions based on prior knowledge of that speaker, unconciously or not. Accurately or, as the odds would favour, not.

This idea interested me because our existence on Internet is anonymous anyway - 4chan just removes any pretention of identity.

Sure, we can all fill in our facebook profiles and blog every single day, twittering everything that happens to us, but we're still arguably behind a facade of sorts. After all, what does that data say about us in the real world*?

Well, it might say something, but it might not. We might intend to paint a picture of ourselves when joining facebook groups and listing as many movies as we can think of that we enjoy in the hope that other people will like the same crap, but we don't know that the reader will be getting that message. I could list "The Boondock Saints" as a favourite movie in the hope that I'll be viewed as a guy who likes a bit of chin-stroking social commentary in a pretty violent film (how about that open ending, eh?), but in all likelihood, I'll just be telling that person reading my profile that I have the mentality of a 12-year-old boy. They're a different mind with unique experiences, thus forming differing associations. So, it's all a bit hit-and-miss. And we don't really know whether we hit or miss, do we?

I even became interested enough in 4chan to spend a bit of time as a member of the "community"** for a while. Why bother contemplate the workings of something without experiencing it, right***?

Additionally, I've been studying Japanese, all the while not being entirely sure why. One thing I know is that the language does interest me and has since I got my first taste of it in early high school, but that's not really an explanation to give someone when I'm asked, but it's all I have (obviously if I'm voluntarily learning a language that'll take me years to gain a reasonable amount of fluency in, well, duh, I'm interested in it.) I'm not that much into Japanese culture - I like some anime, but I'd hardly call myself an enthusiast. I like their diet, except for the fact that, for a nation which can be quite forward-thinking and rational, they are decidedly un-vegan in their dietry habits (although I have the same love of tuna and salmon that most Japanese people apparently do - I just no longer act on it)****. All the same, I never intend to actually visit the country - in part, because I'd rather not fly anywhere that I don't have to, and in part, because there was always something depressing about the country's modern culture that I couldn't put my finger on. But then, maybe the travelling-bug isn't in me. I dunno.

Additionally, I've been reading about the increasing virtualisation of our culture. More internet sourced information-things than I can count and quite a few books. As far as this process is headed, the authors of these sources are split into two camps - either viewing this as a factor for a future utopian society, or a future dystopia.

I was reading a magazine article called Japan's Private Worlds. It brings together the three things I've allowed to dominate my headspace***** for so long, questioning the increased virtualisation of modern Japanese culture - how people will avoid eye-contact and public conversation, how more Japanese than ever before have been living in single apartments by themselves, only socially interacting with others via a computer or other virtual interface. Privacy and anonymity is also brought up - the article cites an AP report that Mixi, a networking website, stated that the "...vast majority of Mixi's roughly 15 million users don't reveal anything about themselves..." and that "less than half of the Japanese customers of the dating site Match.com were willing to post their own photographs, a practice gleefully undertaken by the site's American users".

The article also discusses the concept of "Communities" that exist online, using soshoku-danshu, moe and other relationship-based communities as examples. This is a term that's thrown around quite a lot, but it's questioned here - the idea being that in a given forum that represents a community, any number of users could be merely 'passing through', giving some input after spending five minutes in said community, only to move on half an hour later. How do we really know how many people truly represent a given community if we don't pay any specific attention to this? The point being - the actual "community" that we're a part of (or are we?) may actually be a lot smaller than we think it is.

I guess Japanese culture is probably predisposed to lean in this direction with the aid of the technology that perpetuates a hermitic lifestyle and these products are, by and large, designed and manufactured in the same nation.

Both the products and the virtualised lifestyle along with them have clearly been spreading to the western world - I've only really considered this from a western perspective before - I've never really considered that Japan could easily be considered the genesis of this social shift. Hmm. Maybe I am interested in going there after all.

Oh, incidentally, I've got a facebook account now, which I activated last weekend, quite possibly as the last human on Earth who hasn't done so yet. Huh. Full-circle, eh?

*For those who are not paying attention, I'm not talking about superficialities
**I'll return to this momentarily...
***Say hello to Ted, otherwise known as "Jack-From-Fight-Club", otherwise known as a hypocritical tourist.
****There, I said/implied it. All you non-vegans are not either of these things. Please be merciful in your killing of me. Interestingly, in complete contradiciton to my generalisation, some Japanese coporations are thinking ahead in this area - synthesizing meat-products is something that's on the agenda and it may be a little less environmentally suicidal than raising livestock for slaughter. Maybe.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Borderlands, Borderlands Borderlands. 

Borderlands borderlands, borderlands. Borderlands borderlands borderlands borderlands - borderlands, borderlands - borderlands, borderlands borderlands.

Borderlands borderlands, borderlands? Borderlands borderlands! Borderlands. Borderlands borderlands, borderlands. Borderlands, borderlands*, borderlands & borderlands. Borderlands, borderlands. Borderlands borderlands, borderlands.

Borderlands borderlands borderlands.


Borderlands borderlands, borderlands. Borderlands.

*borderlands borderlands, borderlands - borderlands borderlands borderlands borderlands borderlands!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010


C&C4 is released. I've checked it out. When I heard about the release of the game, I didn't really care - C&C3 was mediocre.

This looks to be a Ground Control-esque style of game, which would be potentially awesome. I loved Ground-Control II.

As much as I try to keep away from the lure of gaming, the unstoppable force just keeps tugging away at my subconscious.

edit: Actually, I've done a bit more research. While the game mechanics look great, you need to put in about 10+ hours before you even have a handful of units available to you - they have to be unlocked on your gamer profile, rather than in the game you're currently playing. Think back to the Battlefield 2 days, where you had to spend hours upon hours in order to unlock all weapons. Same deal, but in an RTS. Not a good idea, by anybody's standards.

Additionally, the DRM system is a bitch. Requires a constant internet connection. Officially, this is to allow your profile's experience to be updated centrally, but previous systems have worked without a constant connection being required. This is obviously a ploy to punish pirates, who, ironically, will not be affected by it (cracked versions exist already which can be played offline). So who's getting punished? People who've legitimately purchased the game and have connection issues with their ISP - or even just the odd router issue.

See, I'd rather not support them if they lack this much foresight.

But I so would love to play the game...whatever shall I do?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Moar Brains, Plz 

So the Zombie March March is approaching. Atkinson stepped down. And as I'm sure you guys are, I'm reading more and more articles about the R18+ issue and I just don't care.

So many gamers are perpetuating the myth that gamers are immature jerks - I don't even bother reading the comments to the articles I read - if I finish reading the article at all.

I know that there's doubt that the replacement for Atkinson will present a different attitude among most gamers out there - when Craig first told me about the stepping-down, as though it were good news, the first thing I thought was 'How does this actually change things?' I then expressed a similar sentiment out loud when I couldn't think of an answer.

I assume that folks that I interact with on a daily basis, if not the general Australian gaming demographic, are well aware that scapegoating Atkinson was a dangerous thing - a few arguments aimed towards him as a person did not address the issue of R18+ gaming at all, but people still invested energy into mocking him. This means that energy is wasted discussing/insulting/attacking his religious standing (although not all who agree with Atkinson are of the religious right standing, nor are all of the religious right in agreement with Atkinson), his perception that gamers are dangerous people (I can actually see his point - some gamers were taking the issue quite personally. If I were in his position, I'd feel threatened after what some gamers allegedly did), that he's abusing his power (which he might well be doing, but this isn't an example of abuse of power - he's expressing an opinion that many disagree with).

Regardless, it still happens. His character is being attacked more than the issue at hand. I can still see why he takes the stance he does - it's all about protection. I'm just making a few assumptions here, but I think he believes that protection of what kids do and don't see is the responsibility of the government because many parents are not taking on this responsibility themselves. The way many adolescent gamers - and a few too many 'mature-aged' gamers - express themselves kinda doesn't help bust this particular myth.

I still personally think that any information that assists parents in raising their kids is a good thing, so I'm ultimately for the rating system, but I won't waste time by preaching to the converted.

I'm dubious about attending the Zombie March March. A bunch of people who have mostly just entered adulthood, parading around in costumes that themselves despict things that the rating system would protect minors from seeing. Minors are in public places.

Now, it's arguable that the costumes would be graphically violent enough for a rating of, say, M15+, should they appear in a video game or movie, but that's kinda the point. If it's arguable (either way), then I'd say it's probably better to drop the cosplay altogether if you want to be taken seriously while participating in a public protest.

Unless you didn't care about the opinions of those who you haven't completely swayed in your favour.

Then there's the other issue - there are many issues that I feel, quite strongly, that need to be changed - animal rights, environmental concerns towards industrial and commercial regulation, equal workers' rights, gay marriage, drug decriminalisation...the list could go on.

I'd say, unflinchingly, that all of those that came off the top of my head just then - all of them - are more important things to be concerned with than not receiving a few games each year - some of which I might still miss a year after they've been released. That's stretching the reality of it for the sake of argument.

Sure, I'm a white male, aged 18-60, living in Australia and considered straight by the commonly accepted definition of the word. Everyone listens to me and I don't have to listen to anyone else, so the only one of those issues that affects me, really, is the Game one.

Doesn't for a minute imply that it's the only one I should care about.

It's been a long time since I've attended protests for anything that I believe is worth protesting for. If I go to this thing, I'll just be reminding myself of all the energy I could be spending on more important issues, but aren't. The same goes for everyone else there, as I find it hard to believe that a single one of them could seriously consider that R18 ratings for games is the single most important thing in their lives, because that would imply that they are the single most important thing in their lives, which is a scary indication of the direction that society is headed in.

Yes, this means that I'm assuming that the Zombie March March is the only cause that the majority of the attendees have invested their energy in, at least in the past year.

...an assumption, sure, but hardly one of the more risky assumptions I've made.

Anyway, it's something that I'm still thinking about increasingly, as I've implied that it whatever it says about those kids out there it says about me. Quite rightly, too - It'd be silly to point my finger at them and ignore the similarities in our mindsets, lifestyles and values.

I can only change how I live my life, though, but I can change it.

Thursday, March 04, 2010


So, I've had a twitter account for a bit of time, now.

I can't remember whether or not I've had a rant about why I'm against twitter/facebook, but in case I haven't, I'll probably be reiterating a fair bit, but if I did rant, it was before I actually had a twitter account, so...my opinion has changed, at least a little, making the subject of this post hopefully less invalid than before. Things have gotten clearer, reasons refined, like white sugar, or some other substance that can cause dietary problems in a large number of people.

Anyway. It's like blogging, which I don't do much as it is - I only see the point in posting when I have something interesting to say, which evidently ain't often. If I don't think that whoever reads it will likely glean at least something of use from it, then what's the point?

The difference is that twittering has a text-limit. If you really get down to the functional differences that makes posts on one platform different to the other, that's it.

There's also the mobile phone thing, which I forgot - a feature I have deliberately not used - all twitters from my PC, thank you. Still, this does make it a very different beast, which I have a few thoughts on that I'll get to...*

Anyway, with the character limitation - What this means is that what the user is intending to say is often stunted. I've had the problem that if I've genuinely wanted to say something with meaning (which I don't feel is that often), then I've had issues with what words I have to select. In the end, once I cut back on things, I realise that what I want to say and what it lets me say are very different things.

So instead, I'll put up a link on twitter to my blog, where I've talked about it in the way I want to.

Easy. Problem solved! :-D

But then comes the temptation. I occasionally read twitter. Some people talk about mundane details in their life and that's fine - often (Lucas, you're a good example), said person will transform it into an amusing anecdote. To use one of Lucas'** examples, the twitter about Magrat confronting the cockroach was hilarious. As it was, I got a laugh out of it, but it could have read like this:

"My cat just ran from a cockroach. lol"


*Ted blocks twitter person*

I really hope I'm illustrating the difference between 'just twittering about shit that happens in your life' to 'giving a little something back to the person who read your virtual toilet-cubicle scrawl'.

But most twitterers don't do that - they do it the boring way. And it becomes infectious. I want to start doing it - just talking about something I'm eating now (as though nobody's ever eaten anything before) or writing about being on the train (as though people reading my twitter have only ever known buses or private helicopters made of plankton).

I have to stop myself and ask: Does anyone really care? I know it's a great muffin that I ate***, but does anyone else have to know? What good'll it do them? Can't it just be my private little moment of joy?

If I share it with people, what'll it do? Well, maybe it'll be appreciated - no harm done, right? But what if I tell people this sorta stuff five times per day? Or ten****?

They'll probably take less notice over time. It's like reading junk-mail subjects as you're deleting them.

Dunno about you folk, but when I first set up an email address, I probably***** realised that Certain Shit was unsolicited, so I'd occasionally read the mail for fun (well, if it could have been construed as funny - bad grammar brightens my day) and deleted it.

Now, though? I just delete everything without even looking. I forget what I've read five seconds after I've read it. Literally. I must put myself into a trance if I'm totally incapable of retrieving such a recent memory, but there it is: It's just so horribly trivial that my mind practically has a block on ads.

This is likely the case because those ads don't affect me at all. Neither does how many people are on your bus, nor does the rain that you're walking through as you commute (trust me, I've done it myself once), nor does the show you're watching (watching free-to-air/cable is a bad habit that I proudly kicked years ago - I'd only like to hear if you've done yourself a favour and done the same, thank you, but only if you take the time to share how you feel about it, etc, etc...). So I've become desensitised to it. I've had to delete a few people who I just read with a glazed expression because I just...keep...reading...drivel...and...



...pull my head away from the screen a minute later and realise that nothing I've just read was worth the time. And won't ever be worth the time.

And I'm conscious that when I do the same, I'm no better than them. I found myself twittering about how I was installing windows 7.

Windows Fucking Seven.

Sure, I'm excited about it - I spend heaps of time in front of my PC. It's where I work. It's where I communicate with people (meaningfully, if possible). It's where I game.

Why should you be excited to hear this momentous news, deer reeder? You don't know how/why I use my compy. It's a bloody operating system change. If I just tell you that I'm changing OSs without at least making you crack a smile in the process, I can't expect you to do anything other than block me.

Maybe it is twitter that's making all of us like those people I love to despise - advertisers. They pump our lives with useless data about things that are useless to us as though they're life-changing, eventually causing our minds to become jaded to shock and awe...

...and now we have an outlet to do it to ourselves. Via our phones, just in case something boring happens when we're away from our PC - or if we have to twitter about installing 7 before it's actually completed, making it impossible to twitter from the PC...******

Meh. Anyway, I'm tired of typing now. You don't have to go home, but you can't stay here.

*I never do, it turns out. Don't hold your breath.

**@lokified, to those playing from home...

***And it was - seriously. It was so fuckin' moist, dude. Just thinking about it makes me want another one right now. And another one. And another one...

***Or even eight? No, really - eight. Think about it.

*****Probably. Can't remember, but Probably.

******Well, I twittered during the install, but I used my lappy.

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