Not that I really need any corroborating evidence that the way the general public treats its private data has marked similarities to the way cats present themselves when on heat – a theme I began expanding on substantially here – but occasionally I still run into stuff that flabbergasts even me.

People in general have no shame, no dignity and not even the slightest interest in pondering the potential consequences of doing what is the data equivalent of streaking down Main St. at peak hour. All anyone needs to do it seems in order to harvest people’s personal information is simply ask. Mark Zuckerberg knows it very well, and wants to thank about half a billion imbeciles for making him richer than he ever thought possible (or deserved). His sentiments about privacy and end users have been captured (and verified) by Business Insider for all (a personal chat log, privacy be damned) – (more…)

Rick, Al and Tom

Shrinks have (I think anyway) an unhealthy preoccupation with asking people to remember the times that they were happy. This is problematic as they never seem to consider that the answers that they receive may not be entirely honest – especially if the therapy is not exactly voluntary, eg. as part of a rehab program – and that the answers may only be what the subject thinks the therapist wishes to hear (think the Rorschach character in Watchmen). I question the value of such probing and what actual benefit they hope to leverage from it – especially if the probing will impact diagnosis and treatment. But then I have very little faith in the shrink arts to begin with. It’s probably because I have never met one I felt I could trust.

Whenever I get asked these questions, I just say I don’t have any, ask for my scrip and leave. Any answer I could give would be beyond meaningless to them. Without the contextual basis of similar experience in which to frame it, my good memories would have about as much relevance as my writhing on the floor and babbling in tongues. (more…)

Or the strange case of The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade (aka Marat/Sade)

Valhalla Cinema, Glebe

Valhalla Cinema, Glebe. Being turned into another filing cabinet for yuppies.


In many ways, the demise in 2005 of the Valhalla Cinema was the final nail in the coffin of Sydney, Australia, as a valid cultural epicentre in the greater kosmopolites. It was a final kick in the groin to a city that had once boasted an underground arts and music scene to rival London, Frisco, New York or Berlin. Of course the rot began some two decades earlier, the deadly combination of easy wealth and imbeciles saw the gentrification of its inner city. Music venues closed, replaced my slot machine casinos and retarded techno/dance clubs with bright lights and mirrors to hypnotise the vapid. It was a descent into narcissism and shallow spectacle, a playground for nouveau riche vulgarity, a culture effectively placed in a coma. And it was a scene replayed the world over. As a testament to the abject hollowness of what Sydney has become, the Valhalla hasn’t even merited its own Wikipedia entry from any of its residents – all a google search reveals now are a former map location, some minor footnotes in irrelevant blogs and some private photo galleries. It may as well never have existed. (more…)