Posts Tagged ‘standalone’

thesis done!

April 21, 2010

Yes, I finished my thesis! Sorry I only put up one post about it…although in retrospect I do think that post was a fairly good indicator of where I was headed with it.

You can see the finished product here (courtesy of scribd.com).

Please feel free to leave comments and let me know what you think, if you do check it out. Thanks!

what I’m doing next week.

August 14, 2009

This is another one of those “write something on the blog so I give it some thought” posts.

I’m taking a week off from work – the week before school starts (well actually I quit my job, too, but that’s another story) – for pretty much the first time in the past year (not counting family events).I’m not really going anywhere, but here are some of the possible ways I might spend my time (besides staying home and doing nothing, which is the most important one):

go to Denver, check out my friend Scott‘s new place, catch up with some friends that have just recently returned from Spain, and maybe pay a visit to one of my favorite pubs

finish reading Discipline & Punish (I’m getting there), order books for school, organize / move the hell out of the way the many I already own (this includes setting aside a lot more to get rid of), and pay a visit to the Ginsburg library – maybe check out Derrida’s Acts of Religion

spend some time hanging out with my turntables (I cleaned them pretty thoroughly this week, outside and in – but I haven’t mixed much in ages). hopefully Sennheiser will ship my headphones back to me before then (I sent my HD280s to them for repairs and they very promptly shipped me the wrong ones; not talking shit because they make good stuff, but I will be happy when the proper model arrives)

practice karate more outside of class. I was on a roll for a few weeks, but then the heat and my laziness made their presence known.

figure out how to ask out girls I don’t know (I suck at this. yet it’s always the ones I don’t know that I’m most interested in). then go out and do it. (yes I have a particular person in mind)

do something to organize my room and make it look better.

get my hair cut.

try to hang out with friends at least twice, and if possible catch a DJ or some live music (in Denver needless to say)

drink cold beer on a hot afternoon.

do a lot of nothing.

YES. my vacation is going to be awesome. I just realized this list is at least 85% about me. Narcissism has its place and I welcome it.

A Specter is Haunting my IPod (or, Marx’s Capital as digital commodity)

August 6, 2009

So in other news, I have downloaded Karl Marx’s Capital, volume 1 for my iPod touch (text format with optional accompanying audio of a reader). Link here. Total cost $0.99 (I’d say I’m getting pretty good use-value in exchange for my slightly-less-than-dollar). The text could have benefited from more thorough copy-editing, since there are lots of little typos and such.

Other than that, though, I quite like the format. Because the text is divided into fairly short segments I can just concentrate on reading a little at a time (say, 10 minutes a day) – whereas reading Capital in book form would likely lead me to become intimidated or discouraged at its length and stop less than halfway through. I’ve just barely begun reading the actual text but I am already struck by the fact that Marx was pretty sharp.

(Absurdly the ending of the King Missile Song “Jesus Was Way Cool” just flashed into my mind. After several minutes of narrating in a tone of utterly sincere admiration all the way cool things Jesus did – and repeatedly asserting that yes, Jesus was way cool – the vocalist ends by concluding almost as if a new realization has dawned for the very first time: “No wonder there are so many Christians!” Struck by the clarity of Marx’s thought and presentation – well, at least so far – a similar realization is starting to dawn for me: “No wonder there are so many Marxists!”)

Anyway…I am almost losing track of all the things I am reading. But thanks to this particular commodity-form (which somehow lends itself particularly well to me reading in bed), I have no doubt that with little effort, prolonged over the next several months, I will easily make my way through the first volume of Capital. Technology is amazing…and all for just 99 cents. Amazing…no wonder there are so many capitalists =]

Oh, and don’t forget, kids:

Anyway, please check out some of the other links I’ve added to the sidebar – and stay tuned…

New Machine

June 3, 2009

So, I haven’t written anything here in awhile – in fact, I’ve scarcely written anything on this blog at all. The reason for that is my first extended entry, a lengthy overview and commentary of all the Lynch and Fellini films I’ve seen, which took at least an hour to produce – completely disappeared from WordPress.com. Totally gone. Oh, that whole “revisions” feature, where you get to revert to previous drafts? No help at all. So I already feel somewhat disenchanted with this website. That, and it’s alienating: the whole “Dashboard” feature actually evokes a real dashboard – such as, perhaps, that of a highly complex aircraft, one which I am not qualified to handle. Yet all that, and I can’t change the background image without taking a crash course in Cascading Style Sheets. I mean, you gotta me kidding me – I don’t even communicate in HTML. Why can’t I just upload a JPG file? (Maybe I’m just not competent enough to handle the Dashboard.)

All of which, in one long breath, explains why I might migrate over to WordPress.com’s chief competitor blogspot.com if I’m serious about continuing to blog. Complaining aside, though, I’m fairly pleased right now because for the first time ever, I bought a new computer. Not only that, but this is the first Mac I’ve owned since before it was fairly routine for personal computers to be hooked up to the Internet.

My last machine was a generous gift from my family, one of those solidly built Dell desktops (the Dimension series) that is very rectangular and black. (If you have any association with Naropa University, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about because it’s pretty much what the school’s able to afford). Anyway, I’m typing this on my brand new 24-inch iMac desktop. I’ve never used the word sexy to describe a machine before, yet suddenly that’s the word I feel compelled to use.

Actually, my intention for this entry wasn’t to bubble over with loving praise and adoration for machines – even one as admittedly awesome as my new iMac. I must be getting carried away, because what I was trying to say was actually more along the lines of “Yes, this is a wonderful machine, and technology is clearly awesome, BUT–

Along with my wonderful iMac, which makes me want to use the word awesome for yet a third time, I also bought an iPod Touch, which because I am a student, will be in essence a completely free purchase. That’s right – Apple is going to send me a check for $229 or whatever for the iPod Touch because I bought it at the same time as the iMac (which was $100 cheaper for me – after all, I’m a starving student). I know, I should shut up and stop complaining now, right?

Well, I’m not complaining. Just observing that technology is a funny thing. It’s kind of like Pringles or cocaine – never enough to keep you happy. I would have been pretty happy with just the iMac, but now I’m kind of attached to my new iPod as well. I can read news during my lunch break at work, or respond to an email. I even have the entire Qu’ran on it, in both Arabic and English translation, and I can even listen to the recitation of any surah I want if I’m willing to wait a few minutes until it downloads…

So, my point is? I almost forgot it, I’m having so much fun just typing and gazing at my brand new iMac. But you know, I’ve been reading Judith Butler’s book Gender Trouble (which is in my reading list – go take a look and offer me suggestions) and since I bought this machine, I’ve scarcely read two paragraphs of it. I just can’t tear myself away from the machine…

…which doesn’t really bother me too much. I have plenty of time to read, and I plan to do lots of reading this summer. I know I’m still kind of in the honeymoon phase here (my old machine was really on its last legs, the poor thing can finally retire) but I guess I’m just a bit disconcerted, because there’s a tiny voice inside of me that insists that technology, as amazing and wonderful as it is, is like capitalism only thousands of times more potent… the final development of human civilization that incontrovertibly spells doom for us all.

It doesn’t help that there’s something voyeuristic about this huge screen I’m sitting in front of. I mean, you know what the iMac looks like, right? The whole freaking thing is a screen. It’s not like there’s the monitor, and it’s connected to the actual box, the “brain-case” so to speak, that houses the processor and all that. No. The screen is the brain. And the more I stare at it and interact with it via the keyboard and mouse (admittedly quite a pleasurable experience), the more I wonder whether it is staring back at me… oh, I also engaged in video-chat today for the first time ever, with my friend Roo. That’s weird too. You can see yourself, and the other person. But then you realize that the other person can see you even if you’re not looking at them, like if you’re checking your e-mail or browsing through the music in your library. That’s not like real life, really. Instead, you are completely subsumed within the intensity of your own gaze. You forget, or somehow repress, the idea that you might very well be the object of the gaze of someone else… perhaps of the machine itself. There’s something Lacanian about all this. Too bad I don’t speak, or comprehend, Lacanian well enough to articulate it.

Know what I think? Barack Obama may well be the last human U.S. President ever. Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to Skynet…

and off we go…

April 16, 2009

Hi. This is Akiva, and welcome to my blog. In the increasingly busy, complex and unpredictable world we inhabit, there is often much to say and not enough opportunity to say it. This portal on the internet is intended to be a vehicle for my own thoughts and observations (of course), but also (I hope) for multi-directional discourse and dialogue with anyone who decides to partake in and of it (yes, this does mean you).

Please post your thoughts. Dissent and disagreement are not only welcomed but encouraged.