I learned something new today. The Streisand Effect is what happens when you try and shut something down online and as a result everyone finds out about it and loads more people see it than would have if you’d kept your mouth shut. It’s origins come from Babs’ suing of a photographer over an aerial photo of her house.
The wikipedia page relates it to this quote which I also like:
The [Streisand] effect is related to John Gilmore‘s observation that “The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it”
I found the term at the bottom of this page – despotify.se – a project to create an open source Spotify client.
Following on from this weekend’s activities. I’ve been thinking about what a great bunch of things Jason set me to do. All could be done with little investment, they were all quite fun, and thankfully all legal.
Asi seemed to suggest that I was lucky – and I think he was right. If he’d been in charge I’d have been:
deer-hunting, try nude modeling, kidnap a kitten, learn ballet, minor shop lifting, etc…
A totally different, and much harder, set of challenges.
Anyway, here’s the first few things that popped into my head:
Go into a pub you’ve never been into before and order a drink you’ve never tried before.
Paint one wall of your house a totally new colour.
Go to a record store and buy a CD you’ve always thought you should have heard but haven’t. Then go home and listen to it. Properly.
Buy an ingredient from a ‘specialty supermarket’ and make something with it.
Gamble £5 at a local arcade.
Go to a class in something you’ve never done before at a local leisure facility (this may be more scary for some of us than for others).
Like I said before I’d love people to add to this list in the comments so we can compile a bunch of interesting things to do when the computers are off.
It also got me thinking that this is quite similar to a show that’s been on the BBC (radio and TV) called I’ve Never Seen Star Wars. Where they take famous people and get them to do stuff they’ve never done before.
Comedian Tim Brooke-Taylor buys his first pornographic magazine, tries some unusual seafood and listens to his first hip hop record.
Magician Paul Daniels reads feminist literature for the first time, learns how to swim, and experiences the film The Great Escape.
Stand-up comedian Arthur Smith watches Top Gear for the first time, eats his first Pop tart and watches Les Misérables.
All good inspiration for the start of this list of things.
I had a fun weekend this weekend. Thanks to a number of things.
1. Weekends are good anyway.
2. The weather was pretty nice.
3. I did normal stuff with Sophie like have nice lunches. Laze around. Drink a bit of wine. Get some chores done. Etc.
But in addition this weekend was a bit more exciting because of something that happened on Twitter on Friday night.
I was trying to decide whether to spend the weekend catching up on emails and that kind of thing. Or whether to go the other way and sod it all, so I posted:
To which Jason replied:
And Andy provoked me with:
Which is pretty much the same as a double-dare, and being the child I am I thought. I’ll show them guys. I’ll go offline and I’ll do them things. Then Andy will have to respect me, and not just for a bit. For the rest of eternity!
And you’ll never guess what. It was fun to do a bunch of freaky things. And it wasn’t just the act of doing the things. It’s was the other stuff around doing them that was interesting. Like having to go and acquire knitting needles and wool. Or spending time in the heavy dairy section of the supermarket.
So here’s what happened…
I started out with a shopping list.
Task One – Learn to Knit.
Acquire wool and needles first. I went to the Open Market in Brighton which is quite a place. I think it deserves it’s own post so watch out for that.
Here’s the wool stall.
And as you might have noticed on my shopping list I also needed knitting instruction. Which I got like this.
Absolutely brilliant! I’d have never had a knitting lesson off a geezer if it hadn’t been for Jason’s challenge. Although, to be honest, I did have to cheat a bit later on and look up a couple of how-to videos on the internet. The bloke’s instructions were too fast for me.
And here’s me with my sorry-raggedy-ass knitting.
It’s too tight. There’s dropped stitches and all sorts. But fact is I’d learned how to cast-on and to knit (a bit). So in my book that’s task one passed.
Needles and wool cost about £2.50 and it was quite fun after I’d got past the initial frustration. I reckon I should have got bigger needles and bigger / sturdier wool to make it easier. Would I do it again? Maybe.
Task 2 – Make Your Own Butter
Then I went shopping for some cream so I could make butter. And here’s what happened when I got home and tried to make it.
But you know what, after that minor fuss it tastes pretty good. And it didn’t work out to be stupidly expensive either. I made loads of butter out of 2 medium cartons of double cream. I might even do that again one day. I’m guessing you could do flavours and all sorts :-)
The home made butter turns up again during the Cheese Eating Task.
Task 3 – Make a Weapon
Simple. A throwing device made out of various sized screws and foil.
It may not look much. But during this photo:
It rolled off my hand and onto my bare foot. It hurt. Therefore it works as a weapon. Task 3 – complete.
Task 4 – Make a Fort
I quite enjoyed this. I think if I’d been making it with more of a purpose it would have ended up better. To be honest as a 30-something guy making a fort on your own is a bit of a sad and lonely thing so I just wanted to get it out of the way really.
Here it is.
The close up perhaps disguises the overall lameness of the fort:
But it’s a fort. And I made it. So Task 4 is technically complete.
Task 5 – Eat Cheese
Both simple and fun.
Here’s the cheese board.
Here’s cheese + chutneys + home made butter.
Here’s me eating some cheese.
Task 5. Smashed it!
Task 6 – Paint a self-portrait
Here’s the one task where I may have technically ‘failed’ but I think it would be a tough judge who failed me because of choice of media, especially under the circumstances.
Here’s my excuse. I didn’t want to get out loads of paints and make a mess because we were trying to tidy up the house at the same time. So I decided to do a self-portrait in charcoal.
If you think this is a cop out on my behalf you are very much wrong. Art was my lowest GCSE subject and I’ve never been good at drawing or painting so even trying to do any kind of self-portrait was a big ordeal.
And here it is:
Here it is next to me:
So, self-portrait done. The rules didn’t say it had to be good.
Task 7 – Write a Poem
Arse. When proof reading this post I realised that there was ‘write a poem’ snuck in the middle of the Tweet. Oh well here goes…
Writing poems is never easy,
Specially when I feel this cheesy,
I enjoyed my time making a fort,
A little more than perhaps I ought,
Making butter was a lot of fun,
But my weapon wasn’t quite a gun,
I suprised myself by learning to knit,
And home-made butter didn’t taste that bad,
I’m afraid my portrait weren’t in paint,
But it’s clear an artist, that I ain’t.
It might not scan quite right, but it’s late and it’s an emergency last-minute poem.
Anyway like I said it was fun. I learned a few things and it snapped me out of a few bad / lazy weekend habits. Like spending it doing pseudo-work on the internets.
So next time your not sure what you’re going to do at the weekend why not get some friends to give you a bunch of stupid things for you to do. You might enjoy it. And you might earn their eternal respect. Right Mr Whitlock ;-)
He also sent a link to 39 Forks which is a collection of his art projects. There’s some really nice stuff in there including the $200 car project where he bought a car for $200 and drove it till it broke. Here’s the road movie:
And perhaps my favourite thing of all is Web Street
Based on the insight that more street art is seen on the web than on actually on the street, he’s set up a blog of digitally manipulated street art. Things that have never actually existed on the street. But look like they might have done. Check it out.
I’m not even sure what it means. But it shows just how far political campaigning has become integrated into the fabric of the web. What’s next? Political allegiance verification messages before you get to enter sites?
To try and lift everyone’s spirits I’ve put together a little (30min) mix of uplifting feel-good tracks to see if I can raise the mood of the internet. It’s a mix of styles from soul / mashups / hiphop / drum and bass / other so there’s something to suit some people in there.
It’s not perfect. The more I’ve played with it the more I’ve noticed little things that could be improved (I’ve listed them at the bottom). But you can tell the guys are working on constantly improving the app. And they’re taking user feedback splendidly well. Which is my first big tick.
10 Things I Love About Blip.fm can be read below (I’ve had to put it on another page or people’s mouse-wheels would wear out on the homepage).