What are the staples of being accepted in the culture of today?

Is it that you know something about everything, can fix things that are broken and strive for learning things you have no previous skills in?
No, I don't think so. The conversation of today when you apply anywhere may it be a job or an education is what kind of papers and previous experience do you have. Willingness to learn is a secondary positive once the prerequisites have been met.

How many times have you spoken to someone who seems to know a lot about any subject you may throw at them? How many times have you thought of them as pathetic no-life geeks or nerds?

It used to be that people learned the skills they needed by work and experimentation. It served not only yourself but the people around you as well. People like Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Edison, the Wright brothers, Benjamin Franklin, William Blake, H.P. Lovecraft, Terry Pratchett, Charles Darwin, Gustave Eiffel, etc. were all self-educated. You'll throw the trump card of course in saying that some of those were noted professionals in a field or two and had studied it for a long time and I'll give you that. However, Darwin did not get his degree in natural history and biology, Edison had only three months worth of official schooling. I could explain each and every one of those names and why it is that I find them such an inspiration, but I won't. You'll have to teach yourself the facts.

Why has our society gone to the point where education is the most important thing in the world, yet one who is self-taught and oftentimes more in touch with not only the world but also the knowledge pushed on the unwilling at school will be shunned just because he doesn't have the credentials?

There are plenty of self-taught people even in this day and age of course. Mostly labouring in dead-end minimum wage jobs while waiting for their time to shine while the idiots, without any kind of knowledge in any field but how to apply make-up were you a female or male, rake in the cash by appearing on one reality show or another and then seek to extend their spotlight moment for as long as possible with the eventual horrible no-talent album of them singing - no sorry, brutalizing their favourite hits from the 80s.

Before you ask, yes I am extremely cross that no-talent hacks who go through life with their biggest worry being which party to attend and what to wear and how many times to change their clothes within 24 hours get the easy life. It can't be that those people who want an easy life get an easy life with the snap of their fingers while those who take the world a tad bit more seriously and seek a real meaning get left off with the scraps.

The other choice is of course to make yourself into an entrepreneur and make a job for yourself that you are happy doing. And that, if anything, is the real path to self-learning as you learn from your own mistakes and attempt to make your job lucrative enough that you can survive on the income you get from it. But that's the dream isn't it? The freedom to learn as you go along without the kind of peer pressure that comes with you being a subject of someone higher-up in a company.

I was thinking of condensing this into a simple point or thought of the day, but I won't. You'll have to look for it yourself, search for the knowledge and form your own point to this blog post. Teach yourself, FFS, it's not my job to do it for you. Not yet anyway.

Brain Bottom Burp

Right, this is it right? I'm twenty-one years old. 2012 is nearing it's end. I was born around the time the massive Soviet Union collapsed and former soviet republics started building their own nationstates and identities, I remember the 90s pop scene, the fall of the twin towers in New York, the C-cassette, floppy disks, the coming of PlayStation and the time when Apple was big on the scene because Mac had opaque sleek back panels for their monitors. All sad things upon themselves when you look back on them and what came in their aftermath. There's been a huge amount of technological progress in the 21 years I've been around and the people made the awesome decision that neon-colored attire wasn't cool. Is this it though? Seriously? Should we be proud of this? Nine-year-olds going into court for pirating one album, despite going to the store with his dad the very next day to buy the same album? Every piece of modern technology is built to die relatively fast so you have to buy a new one? Really? Really? I can't complaint about technology though, not a lot at least. I met the person who would become my first love while in elementary school via the internet. At the time I didn't realize it of course, that came much later, but it's a good example of what you achieve with technology. Sure there have been pen-pal love stories throughout the ages, but the growth in international love stories must be exponential with the internet and instant messaging part of the daily life. Internet knows no stigma, peer pressure or cultural bindings. That's why it's free and should always be free even though racism and sexism blooms in that kind of environment. The mind can be whatever it is on the internet and much more advanced thoughts and ideas can be relayed over thousands of kilometres without the danger of your peers becoming the thought police as long as you follow at least some common sense in your internet behaviour. I'm a different person on the internet than in real life, that's something I discovered early on. The only other place where I could be that person was an environment where I didn't have to keep walls around myself or act a part; the military. I don't exactly yearn to get back there, not at all. However, it is a place where the rules and hierarchy binds people together in a fashion where peer pressure is not an issue. The unique culture inside the barracks and the camp is one where you do not have to worry about the normal cultural bounds, taboos and stigmas even close to the degree that you would in civilian day-to-day life. Right, that was an interesting brain fart. When I started, I was actually thinking about what'd happened in the last 21 years in my life, about stuff I though I'd never do that I now am comfortable with, about stuff I would like very much to experience such as a stable long-term relationship and a bit about kids of my own in the future now that I've seen my nephews a lot more and in a different way than before. But what the hey, this is what came out so thar she blows I guess.

A Quick Bit of Religion

And lo, the blazing bush began to speak and Moses though it was spiffy, rolling a new joint.
Oh wait, that's not right. That's just silly. On with it!

Throughout the ages, humankind has resolved to put it's faith into many things. The sun, the moon and the stars have all been gods at one point, from this has evolved the various pantheons of world from classic Scandinavian pagan gods to the gods of Egypt and Greece, even those of Hinduism. All those gods have provided a link and answer to the human psyche, the seasons of Earth, natural catastrophes and indeed the creation of the world, the universe and intelligence. The current religions most prominently at the tip of our tongues are probably the various Christian sects and Islam. The sad irony of it all is that Islam is derived from Christianity and Judaism, it acknowledges Jesus as a prophet of God, yet to Christians Islam is like a whole different religion while to my understanding the major difference with the Christian and Islamic cultures is the fact that Muslims live what they preach, whereas many Christians have become to see their religion as a forced Sunday trip to church and a guaranteed salvation thanks to Jesus coming down to absolve mankind. And there's also their younger brother religion, Baha'i Faith, that preaches tolerance of other religions while still holding onto one single God and his commandments to the man. But I'm getting well off-track here and ahead of myself.

There are the monotheistic religions on one side and then there are the other religions we sometimes hear about in school or the news; Hinduism, Buddhism, Shinto. All of which are more philosophical in nature rather than being about following the directives set by one god. There's reincarnation and personal enlightenment, walking the golden path, really philosophical thinking about human existence that is not just confined into books and single-minded preachers. Especially Buddhism, which I recently heard for the first time being called a religion compatible with science because it is a study of the self and one's own mind (which is rather odd since science abhors sample sizes of one).
There are neo-pagan religions such as Norse religion with Thor and the likes, there are Druids and Wiccans who would have been burned some centuries ago for witchcraft by the inquisition. There are even the Satanists who believe, and correct me if I'm wrong on this one, that Satan released humans from their chains set by God and gave them ultimate free will to do as they pleased and not just within an extensive set of rules laid out by God.

And then there are those who do not have religion in their lives but have faith in science, a group of which I am a rather proud member of. There are the Hitchens and the Dawkins who wage their personal wars against religions, spewing out overused examples and speeches that does no real good for some atheists while being a waking call to others to fight the system as well.

And here's the personal opinion bit of this, although that prelude was sprinkled with it a bit already. I do not honestly care what you have faith in, I respect humans enough to know that waging my personal war against someone's faith is wrong on so many levels. I do not wish to be the target of a war of conversion into any religion, so I do not try to convert others to my views by force. If it comes up, I can state what I believe and don't believe but it remains on the person to make sense of it all and see if it's right to them. However, as much as I tolerate the freedoms of others, I have a very hard time tolerating the religious organizations who say they are the middle-man of god who is infallible and they should be followed while he is concerning himself with other business. The first objection I have is that as much as god may be infallible and sacrosanct in religion, the middle-management is not. Religious leaders are humans, often elected to that position by a small group of humans. And humans are even by religious sources fallible. When people take the holy book in one hand and the dogma of a religious institution in the other, they cannot seek a golden way in the middle because that more often than not goes against the dogma of the institutions. It needs to be either or.

It is my firmest belief that humanity has the best hope when a majority of the people with dogma in one hand and the holy book in the other discard the dogma and rely on the holy book. Because humans do cherry-pick things from holy books, that's simply natural since every holy book has commandments and rules in them, half of which contradict the other half. When people actually get to that crossroads in their faith that they look at things critically, even if they still believe in something greater and infallible, they can discard not only the dogma, but they can also look at the holy book and pick the commandments and rules that are morally and ethically the right choice for the modern day and age. If they choose at that crossroads to discard both, that is equally fine because they will find a whole different kind of beauty. The beauty of not having all the answers, but that you must think for yourself and rely on yourself for a moral compass and the right ethical choices without hiding behind an umbrella of religious tenets. The beauty of all things science has ultimately given us a comprehension of that no holy book could ever relay. You don't have to be able to do the maths to be able to find the awesomeness that's often hidden beneath it in astrophysics, quantum mechanics and even the marvels of engineering.

If we can get out of this whole religious downturn of civilizational growth, we may even take a look up to the skies and do something about the asteroid Apophis that will come very close to Earth (well below geo-orbital range in the worst case) on the 13th of April 2029. And if it then hits a 900 mile "keyhole" perfectly, it will plummet into the Pacific Ocean on April 13th 2036 and cause 40 five-story tsunamis that will come in at 50 second intervals.
And since you probably won't believe me, believe the astrophysicist community who has actually done the math. I give the floor to Doctor Neil deGrasse Tyson:

Fresh Chic

Right, so. This past week has been marking some significant changes in my life that will actually realize themselves next week. I am now officially moving to Ilpoinen, a district in the eastern part of Turku. My parents are supposed to move into the same place, so it's not quite the bachelor pad yet, but I'm getting the sense right now that they will be living more in this old place in Pikisaari than the new apartment. At least taking by the amount of packing that has been going on, I'm the one that's packing up my essentials while they pretty much limit themselves to the basics. No personal items that I've seen yet.
Maybe they're doing it the smart way, but frankly, all my stuff goes in one ride over so I can get this move easily over with.

I don't really comprehend what's going on in my head right now about the move, but I am quite anxious to get there already. The only thing that limits me right now is the fact that power is switched on Friday and internet is connected Monday if I remember correctly. So on Monday or Tuesday I could pretty much grab my stuff and get it over with.

On related note, I've been looking over some computer desks and chairs for the apartment. I'm not going to move this writing table I have now, because it weighs a goddamn ton. I've pretty much settled on what I'm going to get and from where so that needs just a trip to Raisio at some point. God how I wish IKEA wasn't so cheap and simple... I got enough of the assembly thing last summer and now I'm thinking of doing it again...

I have also purchased a new better-ventilated case and a more powerful PSU for my computer to avoid overheating and power supply issues I'm getting now. They haven't been too bad, but my nephew sleeping over last weekend took it's toll on the computer. As much as I booted him off the computer once in a while, it made me realize how varied my computer usage is in the end. The only thing he did for the time I allowed him on the computer was play a computer-heavy game, followed about an hour later by another game and then maybe the first game or a third game after that. He literally played like five games over and over and over during his visit. And whenever I booted him off to play something a little less heavy or do something else, he nagged me with all kinds of questions about what I was doing and why and how and what the NPC in a game said and... well, you get the point. I counted about ten times when I was ready to blow up at him for the annoying questionnaire. Trying to translate while someone is continuing to speak and with the nephew, who asked for translation, cutting me off all the time with more questions for which answers were not given in the speech or I missed because of the constant questions... Well, it gets a tad annoying at some point.

Woah, that turned into a slight rant... Anyway! The downside with the purchases right now is that I'm due some thousand euros for a car project I did and finished. It didn't have the best finish, I admit. But taking the conditions where I and my father were working in his expectations were way too high. Frankly, after working on the car for about two months, mostly on-and-off because I still had military when I started it, and with now two paintjobs that aren't satisfactory to the owner he can go suck a big fat one. His expectations were way too high for me and the conditions. He should know, he's 'painted as a hobby once in a while'. Hah...
In any case, it's better than what it was when I started so I expect him to pay up. If he doesn't, well... There are ways to get the car back in the shape that it was. What was it, roughly fifty hits with a nine iron.

Also, quick announcement! I have opened up another page for the blog. You can find it by clicking "The Artist" tab at the top of the page, under the banner. Commentary on my art pieces is welcome. I'll be adding pictures there when I get some done.

Ain't My Game

The one conclusion I can draw from my dating experience is that dating ain't my game. The back and forth between me and my last interest went no further than flirting, the relationship before that hit the rocks and only now we've started getting back in touch, and the dating in my youth was catastrophic in the sense that nor even Sandler's movies come anywhere near it in awkwardness.
The unfortunate truth there may very well be that I just suck at the dating game and should stop, or I haven't met anyone who is anywhere near to being my type of a girl.

Actually, that's not quite true.

I know that amongst my family, relatives and friends, the idea of long-distance relationships hasn't been very supported. And I can see why that is. I can understand it's risky and when someone doesn't know what it's like, they figure it out as being just chatting and never seeing the true self of the other person.
But I have to say, the only date I can call successful and the only person who has understood me and my quirks on some level has been the one I didn't know from real life. The one who has been the most real for and with me has always been her.

I've been telling myself ever since the breakup that I don't need her, she's not the one for me and so on and so forth. I may be right, I may be wrong. But a part of me knows for sure that it might very well be worth another try. A trip to figure things out. If we can make it happen, or if we really should just be friends.

A week wasn't enough for anyone. Things went way too fast, even if the build-up was the previous seven years.

But for now... military. After that, who knows how things'll look.

Uncertain Futures

I realize I haven't updated for some time and my apologies for that. I'll call it lack of inspiration, for the lack of better reasons.

Life, as it is, is an unpredictable mess. You can either take it with a positive or negative attitude, but being the jaded cynic that I am, I tend to reflect on many a thing with plenty of negativity. Yes yes, I realize I may not seem that way to those who known me in real life and think of it as a happy and bubbly existence that I go through purely because I am the jolly sort. Perhaps socializing is the only thing I don't counter with massive negative feedback.
Sod's Law, Murphy's Law, Finagle's Law - If things can go wrong, they will go wrong and at the worst possible moment. It's by these three adages that anyone can find some comfort in this world; to believe that the world is ruled by predestined laws. We all know the passionate explanation from Jurassic Park about the chaos theory as the very example of this.

There are always things in the past that one will look back on with a melancholy mindset just as much as there are things one will look back on with joy. One can blurt out things that will drive relationships to their ends or things that will suddenly surge it to a whole different level, just because of the moment. And the future? Well, the futures that we all must face are and always will be uncertain. We can't foresee the actions of others or the impacts of our own actions until we must ourselves face the aftermath and nothing in this world will change this fact. Sometimes you just have to go with what's thrown at you. Opportunities, losses, whatever they may be.

It's all a part of life, even if sometimes it feels like the most horrible, fucked up thing in the world. Sometimes you just happen to bump into that one person who makes it all worth it. And maybe sometimes you've already met this person.

And that's about the last I have to say about that for now, I think.

I'll get around to making a brief update of what's been happening lately before I leave. Until then, see you on the other side.
8 mornings left.

Good little future son-in-law

Call me crazy, but I honestly do not like to be complimented. Words like 'cute' and 'reliable' and 'honest' and 'upright' and especially 'cute', did I mention 'cute', are not good! Word like that, when used to describe a male between the age of 10-28, do and will mean that that person will have trouble in the dating scene.

I just got through discussing this point yesterday with a Canadian female friend of mine. Sure, girls want a nice, reliable kind of guy that's cute and nice to cuddle with. Suure. But I'll bet all the money I have that nine out of ten times this cute, nice, honest person will be overlooked when there's a gruff, handsome and all-around bad boy available.
Yeah, you can try to deny it all you like, but the fact of the matter is that these nice, cute and all-around son-in-law material come into play when the single woman in question is nearing her thirties and getting ready to settle down. And even then the eyes will easily rotate towards the bad boys.

You know the guy is bad, you know he will probably cheat on you and dump you like a wet rag when he finds the next girl in the block. You know for certain that he's not going to mean a word he says and all he's after is getting inside those panties you are('nt) wearing.
Do you like being mistreated? Do you crave for a man to just use you?
Seriously, I can't figure it out.



I started thinking while playing Modern Warfare 2 (I know, imagine that someone actually thinks while playing a game like that) about the mechanics of firefights in most recent games. I've played these games since Return to Castle Wolfenstein and I have to say that as much as I appreciate the fact that now you get that squad feeling in firefights instead of just running and gunning alone, what are the squadmates there for?

Probably 9/10 new FPS games hail themselves as the most realistic military combat game that's out there. I can see it maybe with Operation Flashpoint and Americas Army titles, since those are heavily based on simulating military tactics and places full importance on covers. It feels like a team that you're leading and losing a member is a major hindrance to how the rest of the op plays out. Others have to pick up the slack of the dead fireteam member. Unlike in Battlefield titles where the other members won't die and Call of Duty where another soldier replaces the one that just dropped dead at your feet.

So, what are these squad members for? As you play through these games at some point it will hit you that you cannot rely on the AI soldiers to do anything that would otherwise be a given in a combat situation. You are the lowly Pfc. that has to run and gun through every situation, enemy fortification and occupied house before you can be sure that that place on the map will not have an enemy soldier that will shoot you in the back as soon as you try to move forwards. The sergeant is always this gruff African-American vet that more often than not sounds like Keith David. I'm sure such an authority figure would be able to relay some orders to other soldiers as well, instead of always throwing the player character into the thick of it. Another thing that bothers me is how the AI soldiers follow the player, even if he is the most junior in the ranks. If in a real situation a private went off on his own, he would not be followed by the entire battalion.

I know, I do realize that it's all a part of the game design and mechanics for the player character to be thrown into the frying pan in each and every situation. Otherwise the player would get bored and perhaps not bother to buy the game on the basis of not having much to do in the game. That way the player can influence the game world much more and feel like he's achieving something.
I'm more worried about the generation that grows up playing Modern Warfare games and Battlefield and stuff like that, enter military service and suddenly has to deal with the fact that not every general is malicious, not every NCO is gallant, your unit is not the best equipped and best trained ass-kicking machine in the company and you will not be everywhere where there's fighting going on. Most people should understand that life isn't what it shows on TV and in the video games, but unfortunately there are those cases where people cling too heavily on aspects of life that in the end turn up to be imaginary.

A lot of people might not enjoy something that would emulate military combat or even the hierarchy. I know this, but that doesn't mean that game developers shouldn't give it a try. Brothers in Arms was a gamble because it limited how much the player could and should do in a relatively open gameplay area and it became a pioneer, a pathfinder for the next generation of FPS games.
Either it should be given a go, or developers should stop calling their games the best in military combat shooters and whatnot, when they clearly have nothing to do with military or combat. Deep down each and every one of these is just a Wolfenstein 3D with some makeup and useless AI squadmates slapped on them.

I'll get off this military-theme soon, I promise.

Kick Out The Jams

This heat is killing me.

That is all...


No, seriously.

Oh, fine then.

It's been a couple of months from the Finnish parliamentary elections and we still don't have a cabinet formed. Our old cabinet, which is still holding out as acting cabinet until the next one is sworn in, refuses to enact any policies for the time being and basically runs things by bare minimum. Every decision is pushed forward, Finland is getting more and more indebted by something like 20 million euros per day. Is this what we seriously voted for? No! That's why previous parties that had ministers lost a lot of seats. The people demand a change to how things are run.

But holy fuck. Seriously? I can't say I voted, but did YOU really vote four years ago for a government that first pushes Finland right into the mix of a global economic crisis, that refused to listen to any sort of reason when it came to running the interests of Finland through the EU, that is now paralyzed and cranky towards the people to the extent of allowing Finland to spiral out of control? Do these politicians honestly want us to be the next Portugal? We have unrepayable loan as much as they do, we're taking out even more loan just to cover Portugal and Greece.

Right now, the right decision would be to shift the opposition parties into power and let it be. Katainen, as the leader of the biggest party and as one who has failed now three times in finding a compatible coalition, should honourably step down and let the social democrats to take charge of building the future government. The cabinet seats should be spread between SDP, Left Alliance and the True Finns. As much as I hate the True Finns, the fact of the matter is that with these three parties, we would have a strong eurosceptic government for the next four years. One that would not drag us down to the extent of what the last government has done.

"Socialism is no longer viable"

The formation of a new Finnish cabinet has reached a dead end. The two leftist parties were thrown out due to their uncompromising attitudes towards economic decisions, the True Finns left when it became clear the new government would back the Portugal aid package. The National Coalition Party has lost two of four big parties and the largest small party. With that it seems the next government will be formed of pretty much the same parties as were part of the previous one, despite the massive losses they faced in this election. That happens only if the Centre Party decides to change it's previous statements about going over to the opposition due to the election loss. But even if they do change their minds and Jyrki Katainen finds a deal for the next cabinet, it will be a short-lived one. The opposition will find reason for a motion of no confidence and they will have a chance for getting a majority on their side in the parliament. That would mean a dissolution of the government and a new election. Poison for SDP and Centre Party, which lost seats and will continue losing seats to the True Finns, but perhaps something that is necessary for the creation of a democratically elected government.

During the election, the resounding opinion seemed to be that socialism is not a viable way to go anymore. It was claimed that the leftist parties were outdated and their views would hamper more than aid in the current economic situation. Frankly, people who say such things couldn't be more wrong. And it showed in the election results as well. SDP lost few seats compared to most other parties and the Left Alliance lost only a three seats. Even the climb of populist True Finns could not break the Left Alliance, which under Paavo Arhinmäki pushed back and was very vocal against the True Finns who tooted their horn about supposedly being the only party that was opposing cabinet policies.

I admit that neither SDP nor the Left Alliance stand for good old-fashioned socialism anymore. SDP especially has lost it's touch over the last couple of decades. The Left Alliance with their Green Socialism are the best that Finland still has to offer that's a viable political force.

In current economical times, with Greece and Ireland and Portugal facing bankruptcy despite aid from other EU nations, the need for socialist ideals is even greater than before. Finland has as much loan that it can't pay back as Portugal and it will only get worse if it keeps spewing money to relieve countries just for the money to end up in the hands of British, German and American banks.
What we need right now is to remove nations from the reach of banks and corporations. In these current times, money is drastically undermining the sovereignty of nation states. Common currencies, countries acting according to their customs despite international treaties, disregarding EU policies and the common disregard for the EU founding document which specifically says no to any involvement in aiding countries with economic difficulties. Globalization, the European Union and the economic crisis that started from American banks is not the problem - it's the result. It's the result of weakened national integrities in the face of conglomerates and moneyhungry businessmen.

I'm not saying that there's a conspiracy. It's far from that. If there were a conspiracy of some sort, the economic situation would be much more stable and foreseeable than it is. The facts are that banks have been for decades been churning out loans that they know cannot be paid back. They hold individual people in just as much of a stranglehold as they do countries such as Iceland, Greece, Ireland and Portugal. It's not that they are being malicious or wish to dominate the globe, not at all. It's all because of good business practices. You give someone a loan, you tend to wish for it to come back your way with interest; it's how banks roll. Unfortunately for the banks, they are plenty and all of them have been financing utterly ludicrous national projects that have benefited nobody but the few upper echelons of the social structure. The world is once more becoming polarised and subsidies to banks and large businesses will not aid in preventing that.

What is needed is for banks to be responsible for their actions. They have knowingly lent money they would not get back. There must be a system to watch over banks and corporations for wrongdoings and business practices that would in the end lead to situations such as the one in Greece. There must be a system where people can decide where their money goes off to, not one where the decider is some banker with a new quarter million dollar car on the parking lot of his private luxury residence.
But the blame doesn't reside wholly on banks. Governments must realize that the money they get isn't a luxury for them to use up into private salaries and benefits. They must use the money to benefit the people of their nations. They must build infrastructure, provide job opportunities, give healthcare to those who need it, enable the growth of their economy by investing in their own citizens.
If governments do not realize that the people are the ones they should serve, then the future will look very bleak. The current situation will continue in one way or another until it sparks a revolution against the established policies. And one thing we do not want is for a vengeful mob rule.

Homo unius libri

I have a couple of things that have been bothering me lately. I'll start in entirely reverse chronological order, since I'm more pissed off about this particular news story.

As seems to be the case, according to a leaked memo from the Copyright Council of the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, there is a process for introducing new legislation which would censor any website which includes pirated material. This includes many many websites, but one site that has been held up in the limelights is, as one can expect, The Pirate Bay.

Now a few years ago I would've laughed in my naivete and trusted that our nation, which has been ranked for years amongst the most free and uncorrupt nations in the world, would never go through with this kind of notion. That it would be thrown out of parliament like a rat out of a five star kitchen. But now I'm not entirely sure anymore. The fact of the matter is that in the last eight years, Finland has moved away from independence and freedom, only to become a lobbyist-infested pro-nuclear powerhouse for mad schemes and utter disregard for personal rights and freedoms.

I wouldn't perhaps be so angry about this, had I not read the comments of a certain copyright group lobbyist who stated that legal alternatives cannot be put out and developed if piracy is still on the internet.
As we saw with Spotify and Voddler, simple easy-to-use alternatives that are cost-effective and still bring certain royalties to artists is the way to go. They cut down drastically the amount of music and movies pirated off P2P networks. They are cheap and good alternatives for laggy and buggy websites with a shitload of advertisement and exploitative prices. And who knows how much of that money really would go to artists.

The solution to piracy is not to try and ban it or put up flimsy obstructions. Even the average internet user can find out how they get around blocks in e.g. China and Iran. The solution to piracy is to win hearts and minds. Smear campaigns, warnings, fines and blocks will not avail those dastardly flames of Udûn.
If the money currently being spent on tracking down and making life miserable for pirates of the world would be used into developing a good, reliable and cheap alternative to P2P networking, there would be no problem for the big corporations. A lot of people find pirating stuff annoying and if there is a good alternative that is within legal confines, they will gravitate towards it.

But that would mean corporations and governments listening to the masses and relinquishing their notion about how evil piracy and pirates are. Forget terrorists, pirates seem to be the real problem of the world. And why wouldn't they be? They cost corporate America more money annually than a few suicide bombers hitting a subway station.

The world is a corrupt place. There's no such thing as a democracy any longer. People put their faith in parties who then do what they will after securing enough seats of a stupid fucking parliament. The world's full of fucked up oligarchies which in turn are puppeted around by special interest groups.

But alas, democracy does not build consensus - it enforces consensus.

Fait accompli

So, Obama got Osama. Or rather Navy Seal Team Six did.


So what?

The war against terror is a war of terror waged against civilians and counterrevolutionaries in Afghanistan and Pakistan. What Al-Qaida and other terrorist groups stand for is of course well out of order, but it is not our place to go in there and tell them so. The efforts of countless western countries to establish pro-western democracies in the Middle-East has failed time and time again. Our laws and our ways are not the ways of Iran or Afghanistan or Iraq. For change to matter, it must come from within. Even if it's crushed, like the efforts in Syria are currently being crushed without international outcry, it does not make the change any less true. History books are full of crushed attempts at change; every single crushed revolution means another one in the future.

Revolutions will always provoke counterrevolution. When the change is being implemented by a foreign power, the people will get a patriotic reason to stand up against it even if it were a better way. Sovereignty of nations relies on this principal that the people in a nation are responsible for themselves and that no other nation may barge in to say what should be done next. Unfortunately, this utopistic view on things has never been factual. Nations that actively avoid intervening in other nations' internal affairs are sidelined as unimportant.
If the people themselves rise up and call for change, it will be much more focused and it will reveal the true colours of the government and civil servants. No matter how it ends up, the seed has been planted. This can be seen in the republican revolutions that started off the French Revolution, the American war of independence, the socialist revolutions across the globe after the February and October Revolutions of Russia, the wave of independence in former colonies, the dissolution of apartheid, and to no small part in the Fascist movement in Italy, Austrian and Germany.
If the people are unhappy, they will show it and join together when you push them too hard.

Never has the killing of one person ended a powerstruggle. Julius Caesar was murdered in an effort to save Rome from becoming an autocracy, only to be followed by Emperor Augustus crowning himself to head Rome.
We can expect only few changes to how Al-Qaida and the Taleban conduct themselves in the near future. Why? Because Osama has not been in tight control for years. He has been hiding, unable to operate due to the manhunt. The true power lies elsewhere and this power remains unchanged. The only thing to change is the whitewash of the inability to locate Osama sooner and the declared martyrdom of Osama.

What's done is done. There is no way to change that.

Viento de cambio

I first wrote about the topic of politics way back in January. The topics in the news then were the rise of Perussuomalaiset (True Finns) and the crisis of the Euro that seemed it wouldn't die down even with Greece and Ireland being bailed out. My general mood towards politics back then was that I didn't know who to vote for, or if I should in the first place. The feeling of protesting by not voting or voting blank was strongest throughout March. But with the coming of election panels and the release of party policies for the next term, my changed drastically. Like I thought, my mind was divided between Vasemmistoliitto (Left Alliance) and Piraattipuolue (Pirate Party). I chose Vasemmistoliitto, mainly due to the lack of all-rounder policies by the Pirates. As much as I'm for representatives in the parliament voting for their own beliefs and for those who have voted them in, under the current election system it just doesn't work like that. In the parliament elections, the vote goes first and foremost to the party, not to the person in the party.

If the polls are anything to go by, this time next year Finland will have four almost equally strong parties and a number of smaller ones in the parliament. Which of those will get into the cabinet is anybody's guess. However, the fact of the matter is that Perussuomalaiset will have a massive election victory and only because the Finnish people are sick and tired of lying politicians who hide behind party politics to make a difference. EU is blamed for the massive amounts of red tape and bureaucracy that's been introduced to the Finnish system and the immigrants are blamed for the increase in crime statistics. The Finns are sick and tired and they want a wind of change to go through the parliament. Unfortunately, the bunch that's being sent to do the job is an incoherent mess. On one extreme, there are real people who might make a difference, on the other there are borderline nazis and holocaust deniers.

I do hope that the Finnish people will see some sense before they go off in a nationalistic rush to vote for Perussuomalaiset. It would be a better direction than if Kokoomus (National Coalition Party) or Keskusta (Centre Party) remain in cabinet and nothing changes in the Finnish policies, but there are better options. Fortunately for us, even if the Perussuomalaiset get into the cabinet as a majority party, they can't revert the decade of europolitics and perhaps someone less crazy can retake control after the four years.

Haba na haba hujaza kibaba

It all starts with a single thought:

I have an urge to go. Just go.
No detailed plan, no ultimate destination, no life's baggage.
Just go, do, live, experience.

A thought can bring about a lot in a life. On a whim, a person can make a life's decision that turns the world upside down and inside out. Whether one can honour this thought is a different matter entirely.

I haven't had this urge to travel since late 2009. Mainly because afterwards, I have had nothing to travel for. Sure, I've wanted to go on short trips with my legs to carry me around or even on a bicycle, but due to varying reasons I haven't carried them out. But right now, there's an urge to just experience something new. Get out of the rat race of life.

I'm sure this all sounds tedious and boring. Whining about life and wishing to travel. Perhaps the first thing in your mind is that it's a phase everyone goes through. Maybe so, but that doesn't undermine the fact that it's something I feel is important to me right here and now. Putting aside the facts that I can't finance or take leave for a trip, it's still a thought that wraps itself around my brain and pushes itself to develop. It wants to materialize and take me with it to who knows where.

Canada. Canada looks like a nice place this time of year.
What is it with me and Canada anyway? Why would I want to go to a place that is colder than Finland when I could with the same amount of money go anywhere else in the world that would be more interesting, invigorating and exciting. There's just something that draws me to Canada. Maybe it's the shiny red and white flag.
On the same subject, if anyone has about 42,000€ spare cash, I could take it off your hands and finance an education in Trent University over in Ontario, Canada.

Power of the Mind

It's been a while. I'm still alive and kicking, but I haven't been able to put my thoughts down, partly due to my thoughts being all over the place and partly because I couldn't be bothered on my short week of vacation to jot it all down.

I was accepted into a group that convenes weekly around two in the afternoon for two hours per day. It's about studying mental conditions and seeking to better understand it. It's also about controlling the emotions that come up and how to avoid them becoming too powerful. I'm really glad I could get in, since the group is quite small. Apparently someone cancelled at the last moment and I could be squeezed in. I was probably prioritized due to me being on the third year of studies and so on the verge of graduation.

Graduation... that word is an iffy at the moment. The teacher is up to date with my situation and the school counselor is as well, but I still need to find the energy and will of mind to make it to the classes. I had a case of stomach flu for the first three days of this week and I was pretty glad the nurse sent me home because of it. It was a relief not to be forced into the classes with my current state of mind.
Last week was a period of enjoyment. I got to finally relax, but as soon as school started again my mind backtracked to the point of having mood swings all over again. Even right now I have no real will to do anything. I just suddenly was overwhelmed with everything, even when I wasn't doing anything. Right now I'm tired as hell, but I should be preparing for the Finnish essay prelim that's tomorrow.

I spent some time after school with Huila, a classmate of mine from the double examination. We talked for about half an hour today about school and how it just sucks at the moment. These last few months will be hell if it continues like this.
I have plans, I have things set in my mind that need to happen. But it's burning me out right now. I just can't deal with all this shit right now. For the first time I'm seriously considering maybe quitting the vocational and moving to read the full upper secondary degree in night school. But this close to the finish, I just can't. Graduation is three months away, for christ sake. It's shit, but shit one should struggle through.
This last year isn't working out like I wished it would. All I want is for all this to end and the weight of graduation to be lifted off my shoulders.

I watched this documentary yesterday about abnormal mental conditions and how it's mainly through the efforts of the medical industry that people are diagnosed with them. Ordinary changes in mood are diagnosed as bipolarity or schizophrenia even when they are just ordinary mood changes that come to everyone every now and then. It sounds like a conspiracy theory when written out, but I can see the point. You buy shit when you feel like shit, which is the basis of most medicine that effect the brain.
I know I use depression as an excuse, I realize that. I allow myself to be overwhelmed by these emotions and I allow myself to slip up. I'm not perfect, I'm not as good as everyone wants to think. Years of going through the "good little boy" routine just starts to get that taste of sick in my mouth. I don't want to be the "good little boy" and I don't want to be the pride of the family who takes the good bits of Tomas and the good bits of Tero and the good bits of Teppo, only to combine them into some sort of übermensch. I'm the youngest, but I'm not even by far the best out of the four. I want to live my own life and make my own choices and make myself into something I can see as a complete and healthy person.

Right now, I just want to drop everything and travel the world. Go to Russia, go to Canada, go see sites and get away from everything. A backpack, a set of plans without a schedule and a freedom to move wherever I want to.
I know, it's hard to think of me as the travelling and outgoing sort. That's because I'm not. I'm not a survivor or a camper. I'm certainly not a person to travel the wild wastes. But after the trip to Norway, I can see the fascination of backpacking around the world. It's an event in one's life and it gives a whole new perspective to the cushy life of a westerner.
I want to flee, to escape and to put my head in a bush. But I want to do even that on my terms, even when I don't know what my terms are.

ame futte ji katamaru

It's odd how Japanese and Chinese traditional music can bring up strong emotions and thoughts. It's not the music itself that brings you to the brink of idealism and self-awareness, but rather the effect it has on you. The smooth tones that massage your eardrums and reverberate throughout your body relax you to the point of having slow movements and heavy eyelids. Times passes softly, quietly and quickly. You become concentrated and the world loses meaning in a way. A magical feeling indeed.

On a side note, I got today my Finnish essay and prelim. Overall I got from them 75 points, which means I'm a couple of points over the point limit for E (=eximia cum laude approbatur) which is the second highest score attainable in the matriculation exams. According to the teacher, I just need to pay close attention to using further examples from the source text and also have to pay attention to the questions so I'll fulfil them the best I can and not sideline anything. In any case, it's looking good. The first Finnish test is next Friday. Not excited or nervous, we'll see about that again when Thursday comes knocking.

Kachou Fuugetsu

Home Taping Is Killing Music

If nature has made any one thing less susceptible than all others of exclusive property, it is the action of the thinking power called an idea, which an individual may exclusively possess as long as he keeps it to himself; but the moment it is divulged, it forces itself into the possession of everyone, and the receiver cannot dispossess himself of it. Its peculiar character, too, is that no one possesses the less, because every other possesses the whole of it. He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. That ideas should freely spread from one to another over the globe, for the moral and mutual instruction of man, and improvement of his condition, seems to have been peculiarly and benevolently designed by nature, when she made them, like fire, expansible over all space, without lessening their density in any point, and like the air in which we breathe, move, and have our physical being, incapable of confinement or exclusive appropriation. Inventions then cannot, in nature, be a subject of property.
- Thomas Jefferson

The progress of international conglomerates and corporations to block and curb the spread of everything from music to games to artwork still rampages across the globe. Not only that, but the entire concept of freedom is under threat. Not by conglomerates or corporations perhaps, but the united power of such, from which blossoms the hideous flower of ACTA.
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement is not just a special lobbyist group or a loose band of special interest groups to try and lessen the impact of piracy on the shareholders' profits. It is much more than that. The Deliberative Draft of ACTA is by no means some angelic choir that protects the rights of artists or developers. It is a gathering of copyright owners and lawyers who seek to breach the freedom and security of regular people under the guise of the good guys.

ACTA seeks to bypass national laws and international agreements by using the copyright ace card. It's not worrying that it exists, it's worrying that politicians are actually going for it. The full exposure of any possible copyright infringements revealed to copyright holders will only give massive amounts of useless information to corporations who... well, what would they do with such information?
The EU political system has very much already approved the ACTA. It's been done in full silence without the knowledge of the citizens of EU member nations, without even mention in any of the respectable large news outlets. Such a shame.
The ACTA has been challenged by a number of European law professors who state that the treaty is not compatible with EU laws and statutes. Neverminding such frivolous little facts as national integrity, it is still pushed through.

The entire concept of working in the name of freedom and transparency and keeping all negotiations secret is ludicrous. An agreement made in secret and kept as secret will not strengthen the judicial standing of anyone but those who have signed ACTA.

The world is looking more and more like System Shock.
This worries me.

A very good source of information on ACTA and the progress of it's quest for infringement of personal rights and liberties.

Deus ex machina

A couple of days have passed since my last entry. Mainly due to having been slightly more busy than usual setting up a forum as a co-admin. As promised, here follows an insight to my views on God(s) and the followers of such.

I was not brought up in a family of many religious views. Religion for me was always something that came up in bedside stories, fables, preschool and then elementary school. It was always there, but it was never talked about. I think my eldest brother was the first one I remember to talk about other beliefs. At the time it was present as healing crystals and chakras and chi, what now would be called "alternative medicine", but which I later found out to be heavily based on Hinduism. My second eldest later got me more interested in the concepts of Taoism and Buddhism but mainly on the philosophical side of them. To some extent, I believed in inner forces for a long time. Longer than I ever had believed in a mysterious bearded chap looming over me in the clouds, looking after me on this road of perils that is life.

It was actually from the 7th grade onwards that I started to see the futility of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. I had dropped any beliefs in a God long before that, but it was then that I began to seriously reconsider the organization that is the church. I for some time practised a more Taoist way of life, then got a craze for Norse paganism (around this time I was being heavily drawn into metal music and my research into what they were singing about peaked my interest) and finally a couple of years ago just finally decided that none of the religions was right for me, my lifestyle or my moral compass. I deemed myself atheist (NOTE: Not agnostic) and held strong to my belief that there was no God or Gods that had created the universe or even life for that matter.

I'm now nineteen. I've had complete control of my life for over a year now and that has also brought about some rethinking of my values. Not because I would doubt myself, but rather because I doubt the meaning of the categories I had set myself in. Simple atheism was not what I was about and it conflicted strongly with my political views over the freedom of individuality and beliefs. I am still an atheist but not to the same extent I was prior. My views these days are closer to anti-theism or even closer to antireligion.

The modern world is in a religious turmoil. Not because of the beliefs, the beliefs consolidate each others and the true believers of any one faith could never become violent rampaging crusaders for their own beliefs. It's not the person who throws the rock, but the man in a silly hat standing upon the balcony of his glamorous palace preaching for the throwing of the rock. The ridiculous amounts of dogma surrounding each and every organized religion is mind-boggling. Over the course of the last few thousand years, even the oldest religions have been thrown off their path of tolerance and faithfulness. Were Jesus alive this day, he would cry for what mankind had done to his beautiful vision of a new rising of Judaism.

Any religious leader who incites violence under the banner of his God is no better than any dictator doing so in the search of lebensraum.
Any believer who truly goes by the core tenets of his God(s) or prophet(s) will not stray from his/her path. Any believer will know not to judge others by their views any more than they would like to be judged for theirs.
Any true believer would not need a person to come between the believer and his God(s). Especially if this person acting as the middle-man of a God is naught but a heretic and a puppet to an old man in a silly hat.

On The Roll Again

First of all, a slight correction notice to my very first blog post. It was indeed not last December when I was in Norway. It was in fact the December of 2009.

And now for something completely different.

Methinks it's time to form some opinion on music now. Just to lay foundation of bashing modern consumerist popular culture.

Hello, hello baby you called?
I can't hear a thing
I have got no service
In the club, you see, see
Wha-Wha-What did you say,
Oh, you're breaking up on me
Sorry, I cannot hear you
I'm kinda busy.

What the hell happened in the 1990's? Did all good lyricists suddenly drop dead, or was it in fact the corporate tools who thought they could hammer out the same thing over and over again in the seeking of larger cash flows?
Where is the use of music to convey thoughts and emotions? For me the sudden downspiral in music quality came when Genie In A Bottle came out. I remember those days vividly. Tomas always had the radio on, or so it seemed at the time anyway, and from that come some of the earliest childhood memories I have and my general fondness for 90's music. The arrival of Genie In A Bottle on the airwaves is the one thing I remember that made it all go sour all of a sudden. The turn of the 21st century brought American rap and pop culture into Finland in one fell swoop and everything made prior to that was the nostalgic.

It took me some time to get out of still listening to the greats of the 90s and the 80s. In fact, I believe I was in the 7th grade when I first got my hands on some heavy metal. It shifted my whole life around. I moved away from the filth spewing out of NRJ and moved to downloading Iron Maiden, Metallica and other such pioneers of the metal genre. Now that I think about it, I've never looked back from my path either. I took in the scene so hard that my friends started calling me raggare because of the clothes and mannerisms I showed. I wore heavy rings, leather jackets, jeans and sunglasses. I stuck with early metal for two years before I started taking in the more hardcore stuff.

On the 10th grade (an extra year of primary school for those who want to recap before secondary education or more for those who couldn't get in due to grades being sub-par) I formed close friendships with two guys I found some of the most awesome personalities ever.
Tuomas was a metalhead from head to toe who listened to the most hardcore metal I had ever heard and was a pagan to the core. He introduced me to a lot of the lesser known genres of metal that I still listen to a lot. Cheers to him for opening my eyes wider.
The other guy was Marko. Rastafari without the hairdo. He used pot, we all knew that even though he never said it himself, but more importantly he listened to a lot of reggae. I had listened to some reggae (mainly Bob Marley) at this point, but had never really started exploring all one could find in the genre. He opened my eyes even wider to the other genres of music I was missing out on. Without him I might still be stuck going back and forth between heavy metal and Weird 'Al' Yankovic.

For the last five years I've been a metalhead. For the last two years I've been a metalhead who can appreciate other forms of music as well.
I actually dropped the use of jewellery early 2010 and tried to update my look a bit, even though I still sported leather jackets. Only in the last six months have I come to show a bit more young adult look. In a way it's right on schedule. However, that's all beside the point.
What I'm going at is that no matter how many genres I listen to, whether they are hardcore metal bands formed in 2004 in Sweden or American pop groups from the 80s, they all have some sort of message in their tracks. They all have something valid and true in their music. This is something that the recent megastars, who brand themselves and expand into conglomerates, do not have. It's about clubbing or drinking or sex. Those things may be excellent experiences, depending a bit on the person in question of course, but what do they really convey to the people who listen to the songs?

Run, Run, Run, Run
Everybody move run
Lemme see you move and
Rock it til the grooves done
Shake it til the moon becomes the sun (Sun)
Everybody in the club give me a run (Run)
If you ready to move say it (Yeah Yeah)
One time for your mind say it (Yeah Yeah)
Well I'm ready for ya
Come let me show ya
You want to groove Im'a show you how to move
Come come

I reject the notion I'm sounding like one of those old farts who thinks everything the "modern youth" are doing is wrong. I'm far from that. I just happen to enjoy anything that actually conveys something to those who listen to it. What the modern music market is full of is just an extension of the corruption in the current social norms. It may be fact that your target audience is going clubbing to drink and have casual sex, but that doesn't mean you should do music just so you can put a beat in a dark room and have cash every time someone rocks their booty to it. The most successful artists and tracks are always those that have some sort of personal attachment. Even the greatest of beats can turn annoying really fast if there's not anything to balance it out.

Now, there will be people who think I'm a nutter gone mad with years of listening to the devil-worshipper music. Perhaps I am, if that is your opinion. Or perhaps I see things for what they are instead of assuming deeper spiritual meaning?

I am my own God
Master slave and I will be beyond the grave
No one will take my soul away
I carry my own will and make my day

I am my own God
See the truth beyond
Through endless lies thy kingdom come
Glorified wisdom illumination tool
Self deceit it's the golden rule

Live your life you're gonna die your own death
There's no one above that's gonna take your breath

I dip my forefinger in the watery blood
Of your impotent redeemer
And write over his thorn torn brow
The true Prince of Evil

What man's created
Man can destroy
Bring to light
That day of joy

The song directly above is Left Hand Path by a hardcore metal band called Entombed.
Does it convey to you the message of the Devil? Or can you see the actual meaning?

The lyrics at the very top are from Telephone by Lady Gaga
The second lyrics quoted are from Pon De Replay by Rihanna.