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Spring/Summer

It's that season again. That season when little yellow caterpillars repel from the trees on thin strings, aiming for my head, and the sun rises higher and higher for each day that goes, fueling me with enough energy to ponder becoming a shungite reseller, and post 42 movie reviews in one week.

Elite shungite. 98% carbon. The miracle stone from the Karelia region of Russia, billions of years old, and one of few materials with fullerenes, which a group of researchers were given the Nobel prize for back in the nineties. It's pretty cool. I'm wearing an illuminati pendant of it (that's the name the shop gave it) as I write this, right at the end of that 42 review writing spree.

Did I mention I posted 42 reviews this week? Feeling pretty proud of myself right now. Just gotta revise them a bit. Didn't do so right away since: time.

And speaking of time, I guess I made the mistake of writing a way too long post back at the time when I wrote this. It's been a while now. It took me over a month and a half to finally backtrack through recent posts and revise the ones that needed revising, concluding with the one mentioned above - in non-chronological order.

So if you wonder why I haven't been around the blog so much lately it's because I have, I've just been going through old posts instead of writing new ones.

I really should make it a habit to review everything before I publish.

I'm having a hard time focusing these days though. It's probably a lot of different things that factor in. Warm weather. Bad priorities. Bad shape. Procrastination habits that have been getting worse and worse. Constant high-frequency radiation from neighborhood WiFi and cellphone towers that I'm all the more conscious of right now. Enhanced by nocebo? Placebo? All of that. New rant on the latter bit here btw.

Whether it's the shungite stone I now wield that bestows upon me the power to finish projects I previously left abandoned, or the recent surplus of sunshine (the weather's been so warm I actually ordered a couple of fans - I'll probably be picking them up tomorrow but now it's cold again), or my currently very high-carotene diet since I ordered a batch of 60 x 120g jars of carrot puree with an expired best-by date and have been eating them at an increasing pace since, with a more and more easily tanning skin but also growing constipation as a result: I feel like I'm back on track now.

Hopefully it's not the peak of the wave with the fall right behind it, but you never know. Better ride the wave while it's here!

I also helped fund this thing, so that feels pretty good.

A month back now I was having some tech related troubles, but since then the technical bits have been going alright too. I'm not doing so much strange tech-related stuff right now. I'm backing up files and making my way through the third RAID stage in RE: Revelations by night. That's pretty much it. I'm still tuned into One Punch Man (almost wrote One Piece Man there), and enjoying the ride, but for some reason they didn't put out an episode last week. I was ready. I was just waiting to watch it.

The one week where I was actually waiting on the episode: no episode.

Otherwise life's been going good. I haven't met that Mormon again (not that it wouldn't be good if I had - wonder if he's moved onto greener pastures), have felt no after-effects of the by-now-ancient iodine poisoning case (I'm hoping my daily 240g compact carrot minimum won't bring me anything similar), really enjoyed the Endgame (finally posted that review too), am still hyped for the ChutneyGlaze collab, renewed my driver's license (first 10 year anniversary woo!), have been to the first few concerts of the season, am staying up-to-date with all new ice cream, voted in the EU Parliament election (wish I could vote against the EU, but better some vote than no vote), celebrated Pico Day with just a simple post (even though I had a verse written for it - no time this year), and at the end of May I took my first trip up North.

It was hella great. I had a rental car this time, a brand new VW Golf all to myself, and drove around on forest roads while the rain pelted down outside. Rabbits everywhere.

Had to keep both the fire burning and the heater on in the living room the first couple nights, but towards the end of my visit it started warming up.

Needless to say it was nowhere near as warm as it was last year, but it's always great to be there. In the wild and free. Visited a good friend on the way and had a great time overall, and flew back straight to work after six days, tired but happy.

Had some adventurous moments up there too. Lemme share those moments.

On the first day, as I was bringing up water to the sauna - I dropped my cellphone in the lake. Snatched it up quick and dried it as well as I could, and it still works (its definitely not waterproof though)! Feeling lucky. This is the same cellphone I accidentally dropped, from two meters up, onto a hard stone floor back in Budapest (I thought I had a post about that hmm... can't find it, feel free to search). Needless to say though this is one lucky/tough/possible very smooth/slippery and accident prone phone.

We had hail one day. In other words: pretty cold.

And finally, just as I was about to leave for the airport: the key wouldn't turn in the ignition. I couldn't start the car! Middle of nowhere. Cold morning. Alone in the woods. Tried again and again and again, started Googling (imagine if that phone had been dead at this point), learned that other people had similar issues but no solutions, kept trying, and again, and finally: it worked. Rest of the ride went fine, and for some reason I didn't take a single break along the way. Talk about a stressful morning.

I also took my first swim of the year on the 28th of May, fixed up the garden, and that was that. Did what needed doing. Weeding/grooving. Good trip. Defective weather but I did what I was there to do!

Played some more RE: Revelations too. I usually never game up there. Not particularly proud of that, but some nights were cold, and long, and some days rainy. So much I could've read instead though! Or sharpened some blades. Did some other types of maintenance. It's in part a bit inefficient a start to the season, but I'll get back on track again. Next time it'll be back to basics: outside. As much as possible. No matter what. Summer's short.

That was actually what I was plotting to write most about in this post. The first trip. The plotting trip. The shortest but earliest. A little preview of the great things (hopefully warmer things) to come this summer.

The next weekend my parents drove up to finish what I'd started, I joined in on the maybe-first-ever Swedish cellphone strike (no cellphones on for a whole day - they're trying to make it a thing on the first of every month), I started eating that carrot puree like crazy and on the 6th we celebrated Sweden. And I got a new bike!

Actually it's a bit old, and used, and rusty, has a couple dents and a scar on the seat, but it rolls well, it was cheap, and hopefully nobody will feel a need to steal it this time.

I'm not even using a security lock now since the lock would be worth about half as much as the bike.

Needless to say I won't be getting any insurance money on this particular vehicle if someone does something with it, but I'd be losing a lot less either way. The only caveat is that I just don't feel as proud when I'm on it. That 55'' black, classy Monark Karin was something else...

No time to get depressed though. Gotta workout, eat some more carrot puree and revise these posts before they start sapping my motivation; keep me from keeping up with more relevant tasks. Summer's coming up quick! So much to do. I'll see y'all soon.

Time For Change

All progress depends on the unreasonable, but if those who are against new technologies; against an indiscriminately dangerous realm of high-frequency radiation are seen as the unreasonable party... then maybe 'progress' would actually be a technological regression at this point? Have we gone too far? How far can we go? How much can we consume? People. Always pushing it. For better and for worse.

Some national economists might argue that though resources aren't finite, and as such neither is the economy, the extent to which we can refine our resources is the extent of our earning. And that this is only limited by the human creativity and inventiveness - which has been shown time and time again to have no limits.

But what they miss to bring into their equation is that for each new product we create there is also a side product. For each technological advance there is an environmental sacrifice. For all progress, since the dawn of this industrial age, we have sacrificed a wealth of natural luxury that, to me, just isn't worth the advance that it's brought us.

Are we really happier today than we were a hundred years ago? And if we are: isn't this more because of the social gamificiation system we've surrounded us by, that gives us a dopamine kick each time we accomplish the most trivial task, than because we have 'progressed'?

Just like the advocates for Augmented Reality might be exhilarated at the fact that one day the AR world might integrate seamlessly with our own, and the benefits of this fictional realm be made an integral, and all the more rewarding a part of every day life, I'd like to argue that each step we take to superficialize the reward is also a step backwards in our strife to find 'true' happiness. It's a delusion of happiness. It's not real. It's a devaluation of our collective, potential; real-world bliss.

Maybe that doesn't matter to those without a spiritual connection, who'd see the potential to make this one life as rewarding as possible to be our right and our great advantage in this new time and age, because you only live once right - or at least you don't know if there is something after this life or not. Better make the most of what you have. So why does this matter to me? As the agnostic I am.

I'd like to think my gut feeling that it's WRONG would stand for something, but there's no science in gut feeling. Unless you're on laxatives or probiotics.

So how about commercial interest? If the world around us is preconditioned for us by the companies that control it, you can see how that could be abused, right? We're already bombarded by constant advertising campaigns, a brim with behavioral psychology tricks. A whole new realm of directed marketing could open up with AR. A whole new business model for such companies, sure... where all this seems to be leading me is that I am severely anti-business.

You've heard the saying that money's the root of all evil, and I hold that true on so many levels. It could be a means to accomplish something not evil, too, but why create a system that relies on monetary incentive in the first place, if the intention wasn't originally evil? If it wasn't based on greed then we would have no need for such a system.

Share and share alike is a much better mantra to me. Sharing is caring. Take and give. Trade, create, and build a society based on a creative, and caring foundation, rather than an enslaving one, where gamification becomes the indemnification against a world that is slowly falling out from our lifeless, heavily radiated, hand. I'll keep putting in that radiation bit all over because that's what this post is really all about. Bear with me.

The biggest technological advancement right now, the one I'm so heavily against, by unreasonable but hopefully a reachable popular opinion - is 5G.

The scary thing about radiation isn't that it harms us. It's that we don't realize how much.

The scary thing is that we unintentionally harm ourselves, voluntarily, for the sake of progress, as those who wish for such progress would like to make you think that is (but it's not - as per my point above).

We're already subjected to way higher doses of EMF radiation than would've been considered prudent back in the day when there was time to 'test' new technology as to be sure it was safe... if there ever was such a day. Uranium. Radiobiology. Nuclear gardening. Amalgam. Asbestos. Teflon. PFOA and PFOS. Micro plastics.

Our history's riddled with our technological mistakes, and they just keep coming, no matter how much we'd like to think we've learned from our cancerous past. We haven't learned anything. The ideas of today are as dangerous as ever, but with an ever-increased potential for their spread, and even though we know of the dangers there are people who keep lobbying for them, and denying the dangers, and even more disturbingly: those who just don't care. Or want to care. Blissful ignorance.

It seems decades of bad ideas and decisions have led to a social apathy, where we just ignore the dangers and keep on going. Maybe the notion that everything now involves the entire world makes us feel small and helpless, incapable of any important change anyway. So we do nothing instead. We become so fatalist in the face of relentless change that we lack the means or the motivation to control not our own destiny; nor that of the world as a whole.

And when we walk around like zombies, getting by on our routine dopamine kicks, siphoning our life blood via the digits in our rote-in-spleen chips, either slaves to the machines - or machines to those who take our bidding and don't want us quick, our immune system so slow we feel choked by it's grip, we just cope and that's it... then we won't even have the energy to realize, that real life: wasn't supposed to be this.

I urge you: Be unreasonable. Listen to your gut. Do what's right. Look at Greta Thunberg and realize that we do have the power to make a difference. It's never too late to make a change for the better, and right now that change is more important than ever.

On the topic of change: we gotta keep our coins too. Our currency. Material money. The only ones that benefit off of an entirely digitalized national currency are corporations and governments; all those who control. There's no way to live with personal integrity intact, to at least the level it is today, if your money is tied to you with every transactions you ever make, yet that's what most people seem to be opted for.

Don't get tricked by credit card perks and initial payment simplicity. It won't be to your benefit when that's the only option you have, and there won't be a need for perks when there's no alternative. If something's on offer, then someone benefits off of it, and that someone's probably not you. Keep paying in cash when you can, and be unreasonable there too.

Are You Worried About The Climate?

55% Yes, 45% No

45% not worried?! How ignorant can people really be.

The Avengers 4 - Endgame (2019)

The Avengers 4 - Endgame (2019)

So it's time for the one. The finale. The end of the line.

I guess I should've expected that nothing could really compare to the last one though. They had the element of surprise there. Of shock. This one held a boatload of emotions, but it just didn't have the same factor of the unexpected, and Thanos is once again turned into a simple villain, from just recently the inconceivable victor and visionary.

Meanwhile humanity can't adapt. It feels of hate. Of love, too, but hate based on love more so than anything else.

You'd also think that cities with half their inhabitants wouldn't be quite as barren as they were here. It was like the end of the world, basically, and Thor's jelly belly doesn't hold. Not good enough, Marvel! Not good enough!

That said I did enjoy the journey, the epic battle at the end of it all, the twist and turns and bits of comedy, and wisdom, and the wondrous special effects along the way there.

There's really nothing like it. It hit me in the feels time and time again, and nothing more so than the ending... or beginning. One of those. Even if I knew what was coming with the both of them.

So I have mixed views on this movie, and not least because I had incredibly high (albeit a bit hesitant - knowing it'd be hard to match) expectations of it. And I was right - it didn't hold up to my expectations. Not all the way.

I believe that's all mostly because it took the expected route. This is how a movie like this usually ends, and that the last one didn't: that's what really made it stand out. I think that'd still hold true if I watch the previous right after this one.

I feel like I should be noticing more nuances too, but maybe I did; I'm just not coordinated enough to pinpoint them. It was fragmented and predictable, but also an emotional and worthy finale, and those three hours really didn't seem like more than two.

Feels like they could've thrown in another hour and that would've been OK too. So much to tie together. So many personalities. Such an epic battle done in such haste. But then again so much time spent up on tear-eyed meetings and build-up. But I wouldn't have complained had they had some more of those too... it was great.

That's gotta be the consensus when it was hella long but still: just not long enough after all. Ain't that how life always is. Always the endgame.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Free Solo (2018)

Free Solo (2018)

Free Soloing doesn't have anything to do with Han Solo if that's what you were thinking. It's about climbing. It's a documentary about Alex Honnold, his attempt to free solo El Capitan, and the exciting times leading up to it. Free soloing: climbing without ropes.

It's an exciting journey but also... scary! They make me realize I really wouldn't be one to take on this particular occupation, though I can see why some do. Not so much for a thrill as for just plain: feeling. Challenge. Fulfillment. At least in Alex case. Well I guess it is the thrill after all.

On the flipside it seems like everyone who really becomes passionate about this particular sport ends up dying - and not of old age.

It must require a certain kind of person to choose this route, but here's one of those people. He seems like a pretty humble dude too. Interesting glimpse...

...is what I wrote when I'd watched the first half of the movie, but after the other half I'm on a whole other plane of appreciation, and inspiration, and fear. Or maybe unease is a better word for it. I feel faint. Awed. Strange.

How does someone ever seek to do such a death-defying thing? How do they persevere? How do you climb a mountain like El Cap without so much as a slip of water, or an extra bag of powder in case you drop it, or most importantly a safety net of some sort.

The final trip really had me on the edge of my seat.

I imagine I get as much a thrill out of watching this as Alex seems to get out of the climb - without having to go to such extremes. But he doesn't seem like a fatalist either. It's just the way life led him, and so he does what he does... and that's what it feels like this movie seeks to explain. And does.

I can't convey it. My words feel wrong. You'd better just watch the movie.

Action movies? Forget that. Documentaries. That's where it's at. When the final music kicked in I didn't know if it was foreboding or not. I didn't read up on the movie beforehand. I didn't know if he was going to live or die. And after the movie was filmed I still don't know... had to Google.

I'll leave the surprise to you, though. It's an intimate, and both inspiring and SCARY display of... I don't know if it's bravery or foolishness, but it's something special. A performance I'll definitely remember.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Alita: Battle Angel (2019)

Alita was so much better than I expected! Early in it felt like a blend between GITS and Elysium, with a little Ready Player One or Wreck-it Ralph in the second phase (as well as in regard to graphics) - but those came after. Alita's been around. In anime before the movies.

The real world and animated mix together well, and the battles get intense fast as soon as the learning phase is over, but it's not just that. It's emotional. And yet they don't really push it as far as they could have. I'm so happy they kept the FUCK though. So much else was just left out. Potentially unnecessary profanity, and violence, but still. That one word made it feel like it was still free. Kept it true to origins.

The pace was a bit high too - too much to fit in two hours maybe. Feels like they could've easily made it 3, and made it epic at the same time. All the greatest movies seem to be a little bit longer, and when this was over I felt like I wouldn't have minded some more. I hadn't had enough yet. More!

But holy shit, flawed or not this was Ready Player One level stuff on a next level. I left the room feeling... woke. It did something with my emotes.

If you don't have anything against sci-fi - both in plot and visuals - this was straight up fantastic. Could've been one for the memoirs if the ones who steered the budget of it believed in it as much as they should have. But it was still awesome.

Hope there's more on route.

 rated 5/5: friggin awesome

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