Fear and Loathing In Documentary The Epic Journey Seminar Series Week 8

The story so far..

So the documentary seminar came and went. It was a little bit of a hectic day as I was using the multitrack studio at Building 9 to record some audio for another assignment, and then had to rush to the seminar to post up some new posters I had made over the night. As we all agreed (my opinion at that point had no weight) to wear colourful Hawaiian shirts and not owning one I was lucky to borrow one in time for the show. It somehow turned out to be the darkest shirt that anyone was wearing that day haha.

So my job, was to collaborate with Axel and Nadine to design the poster for the event which I ended up making using paint and ink, the old school style. I thought it was pretty ugly considering I can’t see anything I make to have any value, buuuut the rest thought it was cool so we ran with it.


The night before the event itself we thought maybe we should make some handouts, but considering I had been given handouts at all the previous seminars and never read them, only to find them scrapped and tossed away, I decided to just make large single page bios of the guests and paste it outside the seminar hall for people to read before coming in. I had printed an extra copy of each just in case, and the guests ended up taking them home because they liked it. Which I also thought was really weird.

They’re not really that great.

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Upon arriving at the seminar about 30 minutes before the show was to start, I realised everything and everyone inside was in chaos and disarray and quickly went in to help whoever needed assistance. The problems mostly surrounded the technical stuff as the wired mic’s couldn’t reach the speakers desk, which resulted in the use of wireless mics that we had no control over. So some of them were soft some were loud, but it really didn’t detract from the seminar.

The seminar itself.. well honestly I think it could have been a lot more engaging if the discourse was more about the documentary making process instead of just what getting jobs is like because after seeing all the seminars, some even from the music industry, I realised that all the guests just repeat the same things over and over. Equal parts luck, equal parts hard work, all parts ability to network. If you can’t network you’re dead. Which really always just depresses me and makes me wish I could disappear =-=

second time I get to use this


but yeah if you’re going to get industry professionals to come in, have them talk about their work more than what it takes to get a job, because you could probably just pick that stuff up from motivational posters anyway.

Also I reckon Gabrielle could have been more assertive in stopping the guests from droning on and on, but all in all the event went by fine, there was plenty of food (whoever made those chocolate chip cookies, god bless you they were awesome), we got some audience questions in, the guests were really nice and informative. I’ve not really managed to work on my networking ability, if anything this is probably the second worst I’ve ever been in terms of co-existing with other human beings, the worst probably being last semester – In saying that though I suppose progress is progress and I have spoken out loud to people I otherwise would’ve hid away from just out of sheer terror. Working on the posters was pretty fun even though there was a tiny bit of adjusting required by the Steering Committee’s which reminded me of what it was like to work in an advertising company and why I hate advertising so much, I managed to maintain relative creative control and my preferred design.

What I picked up from this whole adventure is that I would’ve thought to maybe move in the direction of making documentaries,

but as the guests pointed out it’s not really a thing you can just do, and to work towards TV instead, which is really kind of the opposite of what I want to do (also why I felt like asking people who’ve been out of the job market for so long probably wont be too helpful unless they’re the ones with jobs to offer). So now I’m really confused and have no idea what I should look towards doing other than continuing to study and do research on media and its relation to human behaviour and control which is really where my interests lie. Media, PR (a phrase invented by Edward Bernays as a new word for propaganda to move away from its negative connotations), marketing, management, economics, business, politics and advertising are just means to the ends that I’m interested in and I should like to study them all to achieve desirable ends, the only problem is that there are not jobs or courses that exist like that at least in public hahaha. So I don’t know, I don’t see a crossroads in front of me, I see no roads at all, I’m just out in the middle of the sea, floating along and watching the world and trying to understand why I should stay alive.

come at me bru


I think I’ve learnt a lot about myself through these kinds of processes. I have the capacity to create things that hold a lot more value than I believed them to have, as well the ability to engage in serious discussions about difficult topics although this is probably more of a problem socially as these topics have become all I care or talk about and nobody wants to hear that shit all day. I can actually contribute to a group where I might have felt totally inadequate before even in a leading capacity where I ended up spearheading a few groups because nobody else would do it. I’m just a very reluctant leader. Probably too reluctant. But thats probably why I try to always work alone. I just don’t dig power structures.

Generation of Jesters

So I just finished watching a 4 Corners doco [EDIT: Link works but no video cause they want money for views so don’t bother] on how kids both utilize and are utilized by social media and how the world runs on ‘likes’

Big companies that own these platforms sell the data they collect on user behaviour and sell it to advertisers. As a user of social media I’ve personally done everything I possibly can to ensure I don’t get any ads at all or the least possible on anything I use because I grew up in the era of pop-ups and in your face advertising where you were bombarded with that shit the moment you turned on your computer. I also studied advertising for my diploma which really just made it so much worse, as a result I’ve shut it out from my life as much as I now only allow space for things I’m specifically interested in. Otherwise I actively seek out new things through my own channels – which is all fine and dandy – but I realise how this can be a folly on my part too as I may miss out on things that are of genuine interest to me because of my narrow channel of information.

The actual scary thing I suppose about data being collected is that they’re creating a profile of me that even I don’t really understand. It’s having people you don’t know knowing more about you than you do yourself, which is really just unnerving. It makes me feel like less than a person, like I’m defined by the data they collect. It takes away from my individuality. Is this a good thing? I’d say yes. If I was a machine. In the past privacy about any or all of these things was always paramount (at least that’s the way they made it out to be). There would always be a disclaimer stating that your information would never be given out under any circumstance. Very suddenly things quickly turned into “we’ll give every single piece of your information away to the highest bidders – oh and it doesn’t matter if you signed up years ago when our policy was different, we’ll take old data too anyway because fuck you that’s why”. It’s a problem because kids don’t understand this, and frankly neither do their parents, only a handful of people in the world who really pay attention or have been exploited by it know to be aware of their presence online.

As bleak as I make my position on this out to be I’m actually pretty uncertain of the role that this ‘generation of likes’ plays. I think it’s flipping awesome that people from all over the world can share and connect with each in the way that they do. But knowing that so much more than money is being made off of data about me and my behaviors and likes and aspirations without even an affirming pat on the back [no I don’t actually want a fucking pat on the back]. This data is simply invaluable and the way it was acquired and sold is comparable to slave trade, except that people don’t know they are the slaves and that makes it just perfect for the companies who own the data as no one will ever really complain. It just seems like the greatest violation or our era.

I’ve been turned into a product being sold to other products by larger products

But hey, maybe I’m wrong about all of this, maybe this is the perfect system of distribution of knowledge and wealth the world has ever known. It doesn’t matter if we don’t get paid with money, we get the experience that social media offers. A world catered to us individually based on our metadata. You pay with personal information to use a service they provide which in turn helps bring us closer to each other and to products and services that are in line with our interests and we can stay stuck in this never ending consumerist dream world. So in a way everyone wins. Except poor people. They always lose.

Sorry about the rant. This shit just irks me.

Also I newly noticed that this blog is under the Creative Commons label. Is it me or was that not there before?

Beam it in!

Paul Baran’s network was based on a technology called packet-switching that allows messages to break themselves apart into small fragments. Each fragment,or packet, is able to find its own way to its destination. Once there, the packets reassemble to create the original message.” Galloway. I love this, reminded me of teleporting. Imagine if you could break messages apart into small fragments and have the destination be someone elses brain. Teleporting thoughts hahaha.

Interestingly enough though – they used the internet for this little project, but I do see someone in the comments section making an interesting point about this setup just sending a signal that makes the receivers muscles twitch. Still though – using the internet to fiddle with yer muscles.  WHAT DOES IT MEEEAN!


The Internetwork(s)

First off I feel like I should point out that this post originally began its life as 4-5 other drafts I had floating around my dashboard, and when I was going through them I realised that they seemed pretty well interconnected, so that explains the length, I did my best to keep it interesting.

Does a network have a center? Normally we’d believe that it would/should (it’s gotta start somewhere right?), however, nature seems to be structured randomly (heh isn’t that funny) yet still manages to work just fine. I think a good way to look at it is how we learn things via trial and error; answers are not given and we need to actively seek them out, by working around existing knowledges as well as trying to break new ground with experimentation. When we try to learn about something we don’t know, we engage with a certain kind of infiniteness to the possible approaches; we can use existing knowledges, but if the knowledge turns out to not necessarily be the best option, it is explored nonetheless to be fully excluded from from any contingency and/or an entirely new approach must be taken, and when exploring ideas outside of existing knowledge, new knowledges or technologies need to be constructed to adapt accordingly to the situation (experimentation).

MAP OF THE INTERNET: Enlarge to see just how intricate and detailed the connections are.





If you think this is cool –>

Check this ” bi-dimensional presentation of links between websites on the Internet.” and more specifically detailed and interactive map out. 





I think its possible that the inherent randomness of a nature-type system is both random in its infinite possibility of executions but not so in its reason(s) for executing them. That kinda makes it sound like conscious thing that makes decisions, but I don’t see why that is unreasonable, if you look at nature as a system, it constitutes living things that need to constantly call the shots.

Decisions, decisions.

The internet as a network also constitutes living things (hoomanz), has no center, yet still functions, and is constantly evolving. I think that is because the internet as a whole IS a center more than anything else – but to what end? lulcatz? A collective intelligence? – just because something is a center doesn’t mean its not complex. Our minds are the center of our sentience and its one of the most complex things out there (in there – whatever) , all focused into a single blob of goo, that moderates consciously as well as subconsciously; I feel, in a similar fashion that protocols moderate the interwebz. According to Galloway a protocol is/was a (1) set of rules and recommendations that outline specific technical standards, and (2) refers to any type of  correct or proper behavior within a specific system of conventions, (3) introductory paper summarizing the key points of a diplomatic agreement or treaty and (4) standards governing the implementation of specific technologies. Some of it constant stuff and some of it stuff that changes accordingly. He goes on to use the analogy of a highway system to better define protocol as a technique for achieving voluntary regulation within a contingent environment.  (else we’d still be a bunch of crazy baboons or more likely extinct by now I imagine)

Stanley Kubrick is awesome

I took away from this that a protocol is a form of governing something in a place where anything is possible(I mean that in the best sense); which I think suits just fine with the brain as a center, having its own version/types of protocol, as they have been mirrored in the developing internet, possibly by accident, but probably not. I’m not exactly a specialist when it comes to how the brain works though [and that sucks because I really want to be able to elaborate more how Galloway’s descriptions of protocol could be better linked to the brain] so this whole argument is probably invalid just on that basis, but I would like to look into it more to see if the internet really is sort of structured similarly to the human mind.


I like how Holly used a mosh pit to help describe a distributed network. Conversely I went for the Lamb of God/Meshuggah show last week and it was my first actual proper encounter with a mosh pit. I’ve been a big fan of metal since I was 10 but Malaysia was never very receptive to metal, in fact Lamb of God was supposed to play there this week as well but they got banned at the 11th hour [heh] for being Satanic or some dumb shit like that. I was even in a metal band for a while and they’re still doing great back home under the name Sacwrath (rock on brothers!), but I never actually got to be in the mosh pit and part of that audience. It’s something I had always wanted to do, but never comprehended either.. it just didn’t register in my head why people would gather in a pile and just go into a total rampage on each other. I’ve been to lots of raves and electronic music festivals before and some of the meat piles I’ve ended up in were insane, but every time I knocked into someone I would get disconcerting stares and threatening looks; even though everyone piled up together, I never felt a togetherness, people were pretty much there for themselves. When I was waiting for Meshuggah to come on stage I was seriously nervous, I looked at the guy next to me and told him I’d never done this before, and asked him if I was going to die, he just laughed and reassured me that everything would be fine, and it just so happened that a whole group of guys heard that conversation and greeted me and started telling me about mosh etiquette  but most importantly to make sure if anybody fell down to pick them up right away because “you don’t wanna be that guy”, and to look out for each other – one guy pointed at me and said “especially this guy.” I was there pretty early so I had a decent spot near the front and center of the stage, and when the band came on it just took a few moments before the pit started to form, I didn’t think about it I just ran straight into the madness.

I felt like a human pinball being bounced around and shoved left, right, front, back, diagonally, it was just insane, eventually I got pushed hard enough that I fell backwards, but before I knew what was happening I was back on my feet being thrown forwards, and that was so confusing, I had no idea who that kind samaritan was that picked me up but I’m eternally grateful because I thought I really was going to get trampled, but after that somehow I just knew I was going to be safe here, I felt safer there than I had anywhere else in a long time. I only fell another time after that but I was picked up no problemo, I even got to help a few people up myself, and that really was awesome. I’ve never experienced that kind of connection with so many strangers before, didn’t matter who you were, you looked out for everyone there and they looked out for you. That NEVER happens at electronic music festivals, in fact you’re  more likely going to hate the people around you for shoving around so much and not keeping to themselves and I suppose that’s really because the mindset going into them isn’t about the connection you have with the other people as much as it is at a metal concert – metal-heads are fucking awesome people \m/ – but as a distributed network it works with a collective, active and voluntary participation from parties involved.
EDIT: Don’t get me wrong, Flume is flippin awesome too!

Holly also mentioned that the idea of distributed networks appealed to her sense of democracy and/or possibly socialism, but as Eric Hall puts it, “IP uses an anarchic and highly distributed model, with every device being an equal peer to every other device on the global Internet.” and I believe this is more accurately representative of what the internet and distributed network are/have the potential to be, but also kind of like what I ascribed the brain is to hoomanz.

“We’re used to the idea of the internet being characterised as a democratic, open, non-hierarchical technology and space: is Galloway arguing something that fundamentally challenges this?”


Lets play

First off, to the by now non-existent readership of mine, I realise my blog has been a little barren lately, but that’s because I’ve got many posts floating around incomplete in the dashboard waiting for some curation and closure, this is not entirely due to negligence. heh. My apologies.

Its been bugging me all week just thinking over again what was discussed in the unlecture 8.0, and how the idea of hypertextual games unanimously being regarded as mostly unfeasible. Being an avid player of video games this got me thinking quite a bit as to just what a game is exactly. Adrian mentioned being a part of the first discussion that covered this and mentioned that games do not require a story and are not narrative based. He also mentioned that games are governed by a notion of winning.

“You can’t win stories”

So what is a game then? Is a game supposed to be fun, or is it supposed to be competitive? Are games supposed to have narratives at all or does that turn them into something else?

How can a game be competitive and fun if there is always a loser? [For arguments sake] If losing isn’t fun, should competitive games be called games at all since there is always a loser (doesn’t that mean its always not fun for someone playing it), and wouldn’t that mean its just a competition and not a game? What about games that are narrative driven which rely on character development and have multiple endings or none at all (like Dungeons & Dragons or Skyrim maybe?) [my thinking is that the narrative IS the game and the platform is inconsequential] You play [maybe with friends] to navigate a fictional world which is being moderated or controlled by the game master(D&D) or game engine (Skyrim). Who are you competing against here – the game master? the fictional world? Is losing insubstantial when/because there is no human opponent? What constitutes as winning the game? -the closure you get from the ending narrative which could potentially change at any point (is that what makes these games fun? Closure). Doesn’t that mean you can win stories? Or does that mean that these aren’t games at all.

Isn’t that what interactive narratives give us – The ability to create, direct or choose our own paths and conclusions by concluding or “winning ” the stories we explore the way we want to? Maybe not so much in Skyrim  – as it does has a specific ending, but the way you get there and what happens in between is entirely up to you within the confines of the world you’re in and where although the provided content is limited by technology, is still massive enough and explores so many avenues, that most people will never get to see or explore even half the content – but its getting there. Would that mean that interactive narratives are actually games we play?

I think games are meant to be fun and non-competitive but challenging. We hoomans find that the more we do something the better we get at it, and games are an avenue for exploring potentiality which could be why they’re fun because of the interactivity and discovery that it comes with.

Then again.. isn’t that what art is? blerhg..

Time to go on an adventure!!

Since hypertext fiction does not have the fixed, tangible beginnings and endings of print stories and books, readers decide when their experience of the text ends. – Douglas, J. Yellowlees