tatjna (tatjna) wrote,

Roll up, roll up! *cough*

A question for those that know me in person: was my hair better before I started growing it, or now? (yes i am sick of trying and failing to make it look nice at this in-between stage, why do you ask?)

This made me laugh - Steve Jobs fashion through the years:

Last night I finished retrieving data, and ended up with 433 statements from a variety of people - I figure this is enough to be relatively representative given only 1500 answered the question. The first run through will pull out any demographic information and after that I'll get into the harder stuff about motivations, goals etc. Weirdly, I like coding data. I still don't really have a thesis statement but I'm interested in who these people are and why they are doing it, and I'm expecting the thesis to come from that.

A lot of the people tell personal stories and some of them are really poignant - someone made homeless by government cuts, someone whose child was imprisoned for 8 years, someone whose child was killed by someone who walked away without punishment, someone whose child died due to a failing health system. Others are funny - the guy who saw a UFO aged 9 and has been "seeking the truth ever since", the woman who thinks pole dancing is destroying civilisation. The thing they all have in common is dissatisfaction with the current system and a belief that what Anonymous is doing is a chance for them to be part of changing it. I don't know if this is actually the case, but the concept of microprotest is something Gabriella Coleman touches on in her seminal work on Anonymous. Ever signed an online petition? Same kind of deal, and sometimes they actually have an effect. So I can kind of see the appeal.

The cynic in me sees what's happening with Anonymous and fears that the huge influx of people will actually dilute what it's doing and render it ineffective. And part of why I really want to find out who these people are and what their agenda is, is because I'm studying theories of effective social movements and I want to apply those theories to what I find out and see if that information is of any use to the movement in terms of helping it BE effective. Because deep down I believe in what they are doing. I want change too, and the combination of Anonymous and Wikileaks has a lot of potential to rouse the kind of dissent that's required to create change. I don't want that to fizzle through large numbers of disparate agendas dissipating the momentum it's built up, you know? And maybe identifying the core things the people who are joining have in common might be useful to preventing that.

Holy shit, I actually care.

Meanwhile, back at the Rugby World Cup, seems the government has used special powers to seize control of Auckland's waterfront and is forcing a new plan to be written to deal with crowds.

For those not following it, Auckland council created a section of waterfront called "Party Central" for the RWC. On Friday for the opening ceremony, it didn't handle the crowd of 200,000 odd that turned up. People were stuck waiting to get in, to get out. Large TV screens failed and folks were crushed in the movement to get to ones that worked (nobody was killed luckily but there were injuries). Security was apparently useless. Waka performers say they were bashed trying to get out of the crowd. It was, in short, a fuckup. This was exacerbated by the Auckland train system not coping with the crowds of people trying to get into the city, and the fact that people needed public transport to get from the waterfront to the game at Eden Park, and the transport failed. Some people didn't get in at all, others couldn't leave - the upshot being a very large crowd of excited people stuck milling around with nowhere to spend their energy. Considering that alcohol was available, it's amazing nobody was killed.

Several higher-ups in the organising crew have egg on their face, and the government has now taken over. Apparently they think they can do better. Am I the only one wondering about the Special Powers? Does our government have a secret superpower to make the Auckland trains work efficiently? If so, why haven't they used it till now? And why doesn't our government seem able to do anything without invoking special powers and urgency to create ill-thought-out new laws? Did you know we actually have a Minister for the Rugby World Cup? Here he is:

Yeah, I'd be looking a little worried too - at the moment it's up to him to prevent NZ looking foolish on the world stage a second time - and international embarrassment is the sort of thing that might make voters take a dim view of the government that allows it to happen. Just before an election lalala.

So, um, this morning I got sucked into Poorly Dressed for a while. How sad is it that I find looking at the outfits on there inspirational for costume ideas?

But not these:

Yeah, I'm just gonna leave that there.
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