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Things that me and Luke Skywalker now have in common - Tactical Ninja

Apr. 19th, 2011

09:41 am - Things that me and Luke Skywalker now have in common

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First, I paid someone to come at me with a needle. Then I paid someone to come at me with a scalpel. Now, I have paid someone to come at me with a laser. What on earth could be next?

(actually, moar scalpel is what's next)

The pain level was about the same as the cutting but the whole process lasted just under an hour (instead of 6 hours) and the skin wasn't broken so it came with less shock/body trauma. The machine makes a weird clicking noise like a repetitive electrical spark, that I think someone should sample and remix. It's left red lines where the pigment lines used to be, with some subdermal pinpoint bleeding. From what I understand it'll be difficult to see how well it's worked for a couple of weeks because the ink is broken up by the laser and then expelled naturally - but I can already see the lines are less defined and I suspect it'll be overall a success. Today I feel like I have a sunburn, and overall I'm pleased with how easy it was.

The upshot of all this is that in 4-6 weeks I'll be able to go back to Scott for the touch-up work and he'll be able to see clearly what needs doing and where. I plan to get it done in small pieces so I can really work at them to make sure it comes up even. Apparently you have to wait that long with laser treatment because the subdermal layer is damaged by the heat of the laser and breaking the surface can cause it to pop open while it's healing, creating an uneven scar. Folks wanting to get tattooed over a removal be warned.

Seems I have a high pain threshold. I'm also getting intimately familiar with where the nerves are in my back. I know just where to poke you to make you twitch. O.o


Last night I tweeted this:

"Dear geeks, please make the connection between the anti-filesharing law and the #tppa. Small part of a bigger picture. #blackout"

It was retweeted a bit. This has happened some lately, and every time it happens I get followed by all sorts of weird and wonderful people. This morning I woke up to discover I've been followed by a man with a conehead icon who claims to be 43, Christian and living in Mt Eden with his wife and 2 kids. Well that's nice dear. I do wonder why folks feel the need to declare their religious beliefs when introducing themselves. It's kind of like declaring your sexuality in that it's not something I really need to know on first meeting (unless I'm trying to sleep with you, then both your religion and sexuality might be important).

*cough*

Anyway, this tweet was the result of going to a meeting about the TPPA, in which I was surprised by the age range of people there, and disappointed by the complete lack of geeks. Most folks at the meeting were older people, and (possibly quite rightly) most were more concerned about the privatisation of state owned assets and the sale of NZ land to corporate interests and the impact that the US's imposition of patent law might have on health costs in New Zealand. And the gasps of surprise when I brought up the connection between the filesharing law and the US demands regarding intellectual property in the TPPA told me that this is an area that hasn't been explored enough as part of organised action against the agreement.

This feeling was exacerbated when discussing over cookies (come to the dark side!*) afterwards, and pombagira asked one of the main organisey people if the TPPA Action Group have a Twitter account. This person didn't seem to grasp the significance of using Twitter as a network. So essentially, the people opposing the TPPA need more People From The Internet to get involved. Last week's filesharing bill upset A LOT of geeks, yet the same group of geeks doesn't seem interested in following up that upset with tackling this problem where it really sits - and the absence of geek involvement is really showing in this group.

The thing is, nobody has yet been able to explain to me specifically how the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement will benefit New Zealanders. There's a lot of ideological wank out there about free trade and the so-called efficiency of the private sector vs the state - but I have not heard a single solid example of how the TPPA will make my life, or the lives of my fellow Kiwis, better. I've heard a lot of evidence-based examples of ways in which folks who've taken this very road in the past have suffered. Hello, Ethiopia! Hello, AirNZ! Hello, railways! Hello, fucking USA who are actually quite a lot worse off than us, standard-of-living wise!

So again, how is this good for us? And what about these unspecified good things makes them worth the sacrifices in lifestyle that evidence shows us we will make should we sign this thing?

And why the hell are Kiwis, especially smart, informed Kiwis like the geek community, not standing up and going "FFS STOP THIS BULLSHIT!"

*ggng*


So yeah, more geeks needed. Stat.

* I actually said "Come to the dark side" and the only person who got it was the priest-person (sorry I'm crap at religious titles) who was cleaning up the church hall after the meeting. *meep*

Meanwhile, I am hoping that today's lovely sunshine will help Dr Wheel get better. We have dinner tonight, tomorrow and Thursday. Because we're that social-butterfly-ey. Even when he's all sick and only operating on some cylinders, he's still awesome. And multidimensional. And warm. <3

Comments:

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From:t_c_da
Date:April 18th, 2011 10:05 pm (UTC)
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Actually I'm right with you on the TPPA - it's a load of old cobblers being sold to anyone who wants to trade with Uncle Sam's corporate sponsors - and for some obscure reason (ideology anyone? Anyone?) the lot currently occupying the beehive seem to think it's fine to drop your trousers and bend over for Uncle Sam when any carefully observant person can see quite clearly that the US is screwed up beyond rational belief. e.g. healthcare, social security, intellectual property, just for starters, not to mention their political system which requires humungous quantities of money to function...
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From:tatjna
Date:April 18th, 2011 10:10 pm (UTC)
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The thing is, Labour also supports the TPPA which makes me think two things:

1. Voting out National in November will not change much - strategic voting to install powerful coalition partners is called for if we want to stop the bulldozing.

2. There's a lot we're not being told about what's in this. And I want to know what that is.

So I'm suggesting that rather than simply voting in November, people need to stand up now and lobby for some transparency so we can make informed choices - especially in a governmental situation where there is zero trust that they will act in our best interests.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 18th, 2011 10:14 pm (UTC)
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Oh and another thing I find disturbing - a lot of people I know personally who are probably far more informed than I am on this issue have been strangely silent about it.

This makes me wonder what they know that I don't, and why keeping quiet is being chosen as the best option.
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From:rantydave
Date:April 18th, 2011 10:27 pm (UTC)

Sunburn and despondency

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I think you do have sunburn. From what little I know it's a carbon dioxide excimer laser which gobs out extremely short but very powerful blasts of ultra violet - horribly owning the now ex-pigment in your skin and giving you sunburn into the deal. It's an improvement on the alternative though, right?

And the geeks are, I think, disempowered and despondent. With National riding high in the polls and having got away with fucking us over under "urgency" there seems little point in fighting. What would be practical, however, is learning Mandarin.
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From:ferrouswheel
Date:April 18th, 2011 11:13 pm (UTC)
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I am very much enjoying the fact that the sky is crisp blue instead of a gray haze of blue.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 18th, 2011 11:15 pm (UTC)
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And you can tell it's sunny without having to crane your neck! ;-)
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From:wildilocks
Date:April 19th, 2011 12:08 am (UTC)
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I had to scroll back a loooooong ways in my Twitter (past numerous RTs about TPPA stuff I realise in retrospect, more than I thought given all the crazy travelling I've been doing over this time) but found it! THis was a Twitter RT going around from Johann Hari a few weeks back, it stated:

"I always feel so sad when people message me saying "Yes it's terrible, but we can't change any of this." You can:"

which linked to this news article and seems worth repeating here in case there's anyone *cough* above who feels despondent and that there's nothing that can be done. YOU CAN make a difference!!!

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From:t_c_da
Date:April 19th, 2011 12:50 am (UTC)
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YOU CAN make a difference!!

OK, so when are we going to start waving placards outside parLIARment??
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From:danjite
Date:April 20th, 2011 12:01 pm (UTC)
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Geeks work the way geeks work: Do a systemic analysis, figure out what needs doing, and do it.

Protesting in the streets will be covered by the unions and the usual anti-FTA crowd.

TechLiberty and many organisations like them write public position papers and do submissions directly to government.

At this point I am literally hundreds of hours into my TPPA opposition work, including many coffees with many people in and out of Govt,, attendeing the Auckland round of talks back in November and I'm currently working on setting up an event specifically focussed on opposition to the IP chapter in Vietnam before the next round of talks.

My cohort of like-minded geeks is similarly occupied, quietly working other fronts.
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From:tatjna
Date:April 20th, 2011 06:32 pm (UTC)
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Yes, I know all that.

Part of the problem here is that the street-marching types being assumed to be 'unions and the usual anti-FTA crowd' means they are easily discounted as not representative of the population. The petition that was presented the other day was rejected for that very reason - "Those people have never seen a FTA they liked."

Likewise, the geeks talking in a language the politicians don't understand and getting uppity about the filesharing law are easily discounted as an elitist minority of people who just want to upset diplomacy so they can watch Doctor Who.

In this situation, there needs to be representation from the whole population and it needs to come across as united, because this thing affects all of us.

And if the number of geeks who were outraged last week vs the number that went to nerdnite instead of the TPPA talk on Wednesday is anything to go by, the people who would judge them might well be right*.

* Obviously not all, but I'm amazed how many care so much yet do so little.
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From:danjite
Date:April 20th, 2011 07:02 pm (UTC)
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"...how many care so much yet do so little..." could describe most of human endeavour, and certainly when it comes to politics.

Or sex, or sport, or diet, or, or, or...

Those who do get involved figure out where their niche is, as people find different things that work for them.

Despite being a geek, I have marched with the unions. Wasn't my thing. While I have been involved with (Many) street protests in the past, it is clear from previous behaviour that this government is immune to the consideration of public action, so a different tack must be taken in the name of effectiveness.

That said, that very street theatre is essential for increasing public awareness in case - with an election looming - the government does decide to pay attention to public opinion- which they aren't going to.

Fighting insanity like TPPA or Section 92A requires an ecosystem of opposition, with each concerned activist finding their ecological niche. If I were working publicly with the hard left, I wouldn't get into some of the places I do where I can be effective.

That said, we absolutely meet with each other to discuss long term strategy and work to make sure our tactics and scheduled activities don't usually conflict- but sometimes you get Nerdnite happening on the night of a TPPA event and both of them conflicting with a Jewish family holiday.



Edited at 2011-04-20 07:02 pm (UTC)
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From:tatjna
Date:April 20th, 2011 08:25 pm (UTC)
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The biggest hurdle I've come across so far is the lack of public awareness or interest in the TPPA. For some, they've never heard of it (witness my experience in a tutorial at uni where even the tutor had no idea it existed). For others, it's a boring thing, this high-government trade interaction - why on earth would they want to find out about that?

So I see a lot of value in raising awareness of the issue. As Happy says, some kind of soundbite statements that make it clear that it exists, what it's about and why people should care.
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