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  • 1:37 am on March 28, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Watch “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Conspiracies (Web Exclusive)” on YouTube 

    Last Week Tonight with John Oliver: Conspiracies (Web Exclusive)

    Watch this video on YouTube.
     
  • 7:30 pm on March 24, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    Is CGP Grey not a Bush racist? 

    Everyone knows the Trump racist. The loud mouthed one who clearly hates on certain groups of people. Do you know the Bush racist? Very nice, smiling folk, who treats everyone equally. Obviously not a racist. Until it comes to policy. Affirmative Action? Reparations? Programs to empower people of color? Nah man, everyone is equal so why give people of color special treatment? Color blind racism – that’s Bush racism.

    While I enjoyed CGP Grey’s video and the Hello Internet podcast and found it amazing that someone from the U.S. was a proponent of a proportional representation electoral system, I found the occasional encounters with race uncomfortable. The first was when Grey and Brady mentioned Serial. Grey said, “it’s a show about a high school student who was murdered”. Now I understand you may not try to promote competing products too much, but Serial’s most prominent feature is not that a high school student was killed. That’s pretty dull by U.S. standards. Serial is a relevant social commentary because it happens in black majority city in uneasy arrangement with incoming immigrants, including Arab Americans and a minority Asian population. The school was almost entirely black, and the Pakistani student and the Korean student were dating. The Korean student was killed, and the jury blamed the ex-boyfriend. Some even cited muslim traditions, even though the student’s religious practice was near nil.

    All that was summed up as “a student murder”.

    Anyway. Then came Guns, Germs and Steel. I majored in Anthropology in college, and never came across GGS in the curriculum but knew it was a famous book. I actually have it, and I was still in the process of reading it when the episode came up.

    Americapox: The Missing Plague

    Watch this video on YouTube.

    Related Discussion on Reddit

    As Grey argues, there’s a lot of people arguing over details. But the fundamental problem is that there’s tons of people in the world who think Europeans amassed their wealth because they lived in a cold region and had to rely on hard work, and people of color did not have this because they lived in warm environments were food was plentiful. It’s a pretty stupid argument, but for most people who don’t care about the issue this is good enough and that’s why they are sticking with it. The world is like 40% people who don’t care, 15% people who believe in shit like this and think people of color are inferior, 40% people who don’t really care but have heard of these theories and generally think them to be true, and 5% people who are beyond this environmental determinism. Just because you are surrounded by people who are beyond environmental determinism, it does not mean that the majority of the world is still dominated by this incorrect theory.

    The problem with GGS is that it gave fresh, relatively easy to read ammunition to environmental determinism. People who talked about the weather to justify the inferiority of blacks and asians now can sharpen the theory and cite way more variables. It doesn’t matter what the author’s intentions was. This is why it is an otherwise boring anthro book became a bestseller.

    Why do people not focus on this argument and instead go for pointing out the details? Because a lot of people in the U.S. learn to systematically criticize racism in academia. In college, pointing out racism outright is an ideological argument – it’s considered a low effort argument. To make a proper argument, explain the details – because those can be debated in a meaningful way that builds up knowledge. Just arguing over racism without the facts is generally not welcome in academia.

    So the people did this proxy battle over racism through facts, and Grey is overwhelmed. But the racism argument was clear enough, that Brady and Grey for the first time in over 50 episodes finally uttered the word “race” in their podcast. For the first time!

    Then Brady quickly diluted this explosive word by poking fun at Australian nationalistic pride. Seriously? You spend 2 podcast hours to finally bring up race, then laugh it over a cricket game?

    I do enjoy Grey’s functionalist approach to processes and the dynamic duo that Brady and Grey make up, but his encounter with GGS are bringing up aspects of their world view that I wish I hadn’t known about. Now that I do, every time they get close to the subject I just wish I was able to feed into the discussion, but I am frustrated that 99.9% of the podcast’s fan base completely agree with them on this.

    So there.

     
  • 7:55 am on March 10, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: copyright   

    Is YouTube video footage of the act of singing church songs copyrighted? 

    I run my church’s youtube video channel, where we upload sermons, choir singing, special events, seminars, and full length footage of every sunday’s worship. 80% of the worship footage triggers copyright claims, and it’s invariably either the opening band portion involving singing, acoustic guitar, bass, violin and synthesizer, or the two gospel songs from the hymnal that the entire congregation sings. Strangely, the Church Choir performances never get flagged.

    I just let them sit there because there were real copyright infringements that this youtube channel had made before, such as including four 3-minute clips from an actual movie (“La Vita e Bella”, “Jesus Hospital”) into the sermon video, because that sermon was a sermon themed on a movie and how a theme is shown through a movie. Those infringements have brought down our channel before – it didn’t delete the account, but prohibited 15min+ videos from being uploaded. Our christmass special performances include recorded music, and they also trigger these warnings.

    The copyright claim notices (the ones mentioned in the first paragraph, not second) do make me nervous. Why are they there and if we accumulate enough of these, would they trigger account suspension or something significant of that order?

    One day, I saw Mozart’s Sonata in D Major (we have had musical festivals organized by our church before) was flagged as copyright infringement on YouTube. And I was like.. hey man, I know you like to file copyright complaints, but this is Mozart. And he’s DEAD. Not Disney-dead, but Mozart-dead. That shit’s in the public domain. The claim was filed by “One or more music publishing rights collecting societies”. Whatever. So I filed a dispute stating “Mozart died in 1791, which has been over 300 years ago, and copyright only holds for 70 years after the creator’s death” and some more, and I won. The claim disappeared.

    I was encouraged by this, and filed disputes for all of the full length footages. I won all the disputes.

    I was like, wow you have been filing these claims just to make money? Seriously? On church channels? (Yes I understand the process is automated via Content ID.. I hope)

    Until one day, one of my disputes was denied.

    I don’t know if there are negative consequences to losing a dispute, so I stopped filing them. It’s still unclear to me whether uploading footage of the congregation singing a gospel from the hymnal is a copyright infringement.

    So I googled this today, and found stuff like this. “Church” and “copyright” evoke topics such as Can music leads make copies of a scoresheet? Can they perform? Can a movie be viewed during an event? Who owns the copyright over the bible? Etc. I haven’t seen the “If I uploaded a video footage of the church worship including hymnal gospel singing, is that a copyright infringement?” question addressed. The credibility of these sites also strikes me as an issue. These are not the kinds of sites I have seen in the past. Do they contain real information? I understand churches in general are a niche topic in the world of internet.

    So I’m still sitting with the questions “Is singing an hymnal gospel at church an infringement?” “Is uploading a video footage of this act an infringement?” “Who are these pesky copyright claimants and why are they even claiming Mozart?”

    The latest episode of Hello Internet: Hawk & Mouse brings up the fact that there are individuals out there who just go around making copyright claims on any video that is going viral so that if the video maker doesn’t respond in time, the claimant will take the ad profit of the video claimed until a dispute is settled.. or forever if the video maker forgets or doesn’t realize that there was a claim. And since there is zero negative impact on claimants who lose a dispute, they just go making claims and stealing the ad revenue from others.. just by filing copyright claims *that they do not have at all*. All. The. Time. The Mozart claimant may belong to the aforementioned variety.

     
  • 7:15 am on March 8, 2016 Permalink | Reply  

    hmm so for the past year I’ve had a sleep issue on my computer. It was randomly booting up around 6:00 am in the morning. I have a DD-WRT router, and at some point I goolged it up and changed the comptuter network card to only wake up for magic packets, not all packets, and it subsided for a bit, but it continued.

    I upgraded to Win10 because I wanted the multi desktop feature.

    I used this feature many years ago on Ubuntu. Compiz made the multi desktop feature become alive and super useful – the cylinder/sphere view allowed you to quickly zoom out into a birds’s eye view of your 4 desktops and see all 4 at the same time – you could see the ones in the foreground directly, but the cylinder or sphere was semi-transparent and you could see the other desktops across the cylinder. The crazy thing was that all animation actions (eg a movie playing) were still live on this cylinder. It made it super easy to find your window. This made me very hesitant about choosing Windows 7.

    Well Windows 10’s muli desktop feature is not as good, and it has some kinks such as re-opening hte same application seems to bring you to the desktop that has that application already open, but it’s still usable and it’s natively supported. I upgraded to Win10 and increased RAM on the computer from 12GB to 24GB to ensure I wouldn’t run out of ram running dozens of Chrome sessiosn. The upgrade exacerbated the sleep problem – now the computer would almost always come back from sleep, show me the screen it was at before sleep, but be completely unresponsive. It would still wake up on its own at 6am, and be irresponsive.. needing a hard reset.

    Last night I tried wipng the C drive completely and installing Windows 10 from scratch. So far, no sleep issues and it doesn’t wake up at 6am on its own. Maybe it was some program that was causing this issue. Maybe it will resurface as I use this system longer. But so far it’s pretty good.

     
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