A Clash of Interests

I’m always interested in how all these new ways we have of taking in information are affecting how we behave and how we think. Here’s a five minute talk by a guy named Bruce Schneier, who is an authority on online security and a regular commentator on these kinds of issues. In this clip, he talks about how we’re moving from social means of communication to technological ones, and how we must become more specific about how we control the terms of this kind of communication for our own sake. A lack of control is resulting in a thing he refers to as information pollution, and puts our private information in the hands of big business. He’s one of the most informed and articulate people I’ve heard discuss this stuff.

With the release of ‘The Voyage of the Dawn Treader’, naturally comes a re-release of the book, previewed in its ebook form by Wired.com. The features the publishers have added are worth noting, but my attention was caught by another point mentioned in the article. There’s a blatant clash of legal/financial interests once you start taking text into other media. It’s obvious – at least for anyone who’s ever seen a publishing contract, but just shows the need for a more comprehensive view of what publishing is, and how far it can reach.

The Dawn Treader in the above picture is not the ship from the movie, by the way – it’s a boat we saw when were on holiday in Scotland a while back. Made me wonder how many boats bear the same name, and was it a name for boats before CS Lewis made it famous?

This photo, on the other hand, was taken outside a DIY store in Navan.  As you can see from the picture there is a roof-height extension ladder on the roof of this van, which is parked in a disabled parking space. No, he didn’t have a disabled symbol in the windscreen. And I mean, come on . . . Whatever about being a trog, but the ladder’s not exactly subtle, is it? Yes, these spaces are often empty, and they are nearest the shops, and in these big car parks there can seem to be a lot of them. But it’s the principle of the matter. Still, it made a good picture. The space next to this one, a normal one, was empty. And don’t get me started on people who park in parent and toddler spaces without a child in tow. That gets right up my middle-class, suburban, estate-car-driving nose, that does. And as for people who drive in normal conditions with their fog-lights on . . . ! Ahh, maybe I should just quit while I’m ahead here.

Just as an example of some very subtle communication, my brother pointed this out to me: a sweet little trick Hans Zimmer pulled in the soundtrack to ‘Inception’ (still my favourite film of the year – and I don’t often do ‘favourites’).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *