rough notes

Earth Hour, Salsa, and Aggregate Data

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I am listening to some Sierra Maestra this afternoon in honour of our blessed early-April overcast skies in Halifax. I ought to be listening to these sunny tunes in honour of The Pineapples, who has gloriously abandoned our region for a much warmer climate for the next three months, but I’m pretty sure that Sierra Maestra is Cuban instead of Mexi-Cal, so I’m happy to keep these dignities and laurels for the not-quite-freezing browns and greys of the north atlantic today.

The Pineapples scurried out of town early this morning under the cover of darkness and a drizzle of freezing rain. At one point I had thought about going to the airport to see her away, but then I came to my senses. As if the 3:45AM wake-up call wasn’t an infringement on my basic right and priveledge of a good night of sleep at the start of the weekend, the last thing I needed was to watch her move through security toward the land of sand, harmful UV Rays, commodified coffee, and hot temperatures interpreted by Daniel Fahrenheit’s scale. I had suffered enough injustice already by watching her pack away sandals and summer-wear. Frankly, airport security is there not to scrutinize tickets, but to prevent stop us plebs from savouring the favourable climates enjoyed by a select few. I may be splitting hairs, but its my hair to split. One day I will be the governor of my own island-nation, and then we’ll see who gets to wear the linen shirts and capris…

Last weekend, The Pineapples and I “celebrated” “Earth Hour” in our own seperate ways. While she turned off all the lights for an hour, I took in a nap. Although I was incredibly tired from a long day of avoiding school work, I think she was a little perturbed that I took in the hour of darkness to catch some shuteye rather than to reflect on The Over-Consumption Of Everything by the west. Mind you, I do believe that The Earth Hour Experiment was a great idea and a smashing success (the Province of Ontario’s Independent Market Operator – there’s a nice bureaucratic name for you – reported a 10% decrease in power consumption against the average Saturday 8-9PM hour, for instance), and I was happy to have taken part in it, if only in spirit. I am a most-vocal critic of consumerist fetishes, after all, including our fetish for light and heat. I do have to wonder where all this Earth Hour hype leaves us, though. Here we are, one week after, and I imagine not many people are going to turn off as many lights as they can tonight. I told The Pineapples that although the intentions of the project are nice, the entire exercise feels hollow in the end. But I may have surprised her when I suggested we do this every weekend now, to give it some gusto and some flair; such proactive ideas are not my department (I deal with cynacism and a near-offensive dry wit). I know I surprised myself, at least.

I had a discussion with one of the readers of this blog the other night about the nature of privacy and information on the internet. We both agreed (I think) that Google’s and Yahoo’s aggregate data on our persons amounts to a hill of beans because we’re not leaders of the free world (yet), but that shouldn’t stop us from being apprehensive (I don’t want to say vigilant – one is vigilant about Terrorists, not about the Interweb) about passive and active data collection on the net. It’s definitely a cause for concern for myself – hence the locked up entries. I may still yet demand all of you to register for this so I can lock it down completely. But then no one would read it but me. Goddamn by desire to communicate, and need to stay anonymous, goddamn it all to hell.

Anyway, back to the sunny salsa-rific southern tunes. I think I need to learn to play the steel drums.


Written by mitchellirons

April 5, 2008 at 2:34 pm

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