Forward in all directions

While I strongly doubt anyone actually reads this blog, I’ve re-loaded lots of old entries that got lost as a way of marking time today. They date back to March 2007.

I admit, I thought twice—well, seven or eight times—before re/committing to the GoogleBorg. I may yet find another home for all this; the very principle of inserting advertising into your ordinary socialization, as happens on Google searches or Facebook, disgusts me. It is not enough to commodify our own internal, and perfectly ordinary, sufferings and call them neuroses in order to extract payment for their remedy (Freud the bourgeois capitalist!); now our own ‘face’ in cyberspace has been colonized by adverts. But for now there is now choice; I can’t afford to pay for yet another subscription cyber-service.

Do we pay to have a face? Do we subscribe to our clothing? To be able to speak? But we pay for premium online presence, for programming tools, for ringtones. Late capitalism indeed. FOSS it all! Though even that has infelicities

It’s been a few months since I was at the British Library. They’ve instituted a bag search at the door. Given the recent brouhaha over British Transport police searching Scottish of some other sort, I began to wonder if the BL was being viewed as a target or as a hotbed of dissension. It could go either way, really; the BL of necessity employs a wonderful range of people – over lunch I had a lively conversation with Ramesh Dhungel about the Hodgson archives in Nepali and heard the usual two dozen languages around me in the Africa and Asia reading room. So is it the priceless holdings of the BL, or the suspicious foreigners that hang around there? At this point I am so confused and ashamed by the anti-terrorism mania that I cannot guess.

Now, my university—Aberdeen—has developed a habit of hiring ex-BL staff to major appointments – both the new head of IT and the new head of the library are ex-BL people. Hmm. I will have to watch the security policy at the new library verrrry carefuly indeed.

Frustrating then, to find that of all the books and articles I needed, almost none of them were available, even at the BL!. If anyone out there has issues of Maha Bodhi, the journal of the Maha Bodhi society, from 1955-65, do please let me know. Otherwise I will have to go begging for funds to buy them on microfilm.


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