philosophy politics psychology

Meedya is the muddle

Pondering the following quote which I saw on Facebook today. The irony of that sentence isn’t lost on me 🙂

“All media exist to invest our lives with artificial perceptions and arbitrary values.” – Marshall McLuhan.

It puzzles me that many otherwise intelligent people argue that the Internet has democratised media and so the above could not be true in the current age.  In reality, media companies are aggregated and conglomerated like never before – they are owned by rich media czars. It’s certainly true that the mechanisms for news distribution have been democratised and are now much more affordable thanks to social media and web publishing software. However, what people talk about is determined by mainstream media. We retweet, repost, add colour to and debate the topics that we’re encouraged to believe are important. Whether’s it’s “shirt gate” or Adele not singing on Bandaid30, it’s all such rubbish. Often mesmerisingly trivial banalities dressed up with complicated ideological arguments to suggest it’s something more important.


to err is human

I thought this reg article on error messages was brilliant. Of course it makes sense that an error message would be required for a screen buffer related exception hence the “blem wit” extract from “There is a problem with the Memory Control Block for the shell”. Did windows TSR programmers of that era consider logging to files? You betcha but debugging TSR’s was often a nightmare.
My favourite error message for jaw-dropping unhelpfulness is the old win32 error

Error: “The parameter is correct”