While doing some research for a project, I dug up old archives of Ang Aming Katha, and it was interesting, to say the least. I had already sent links to the texts to their respective authors, and apparently, old articles from back in college can be just as cringe-worthy, if not more so, than old pictures from back in college. At least with pictures, you can see how thin you looked way back when.
I did get a kick out of the "About the Author" write-ups:Mika is in her sophomore year as an English Lit major at the Ateneo. She has books as her constant companions, and she has her head in the clouds, but she manages to keep at least one foot on the ground. She runs http://gossamer.effronte.org/ and you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Mika is now a junior at the Ateneo Law School, after years of singlehandedly making LiveJournal cool for everyone. Everyone wishes she'd blog more often
.)Jill is a 15 year old senior at the PAREF Woodrose in Alabang. She's an member of the the school's debate team and the editorial staff of her paper. She likes ice cream. You can visit her site at http://dragonfly.effronte.org/
(Jill is Mika's classmate at the Ateneo Law School. She's still part of the Ateneo debate team, which unfortunately doesn't allow her to blog much anymore
.)Frances Ellen is an 18-year old BS Computer Science sophomore at the De La Salle University. Visit her site at http://littleboyblue.org/frances.
(Frances has been part of the IT industry for several years now, and though she doesn't write much, she still takes breathtaking photographs
.)Macy is an 18-year old sophomore at the University of the Philippines at Diliman. You can know more about her, including her other works, at http://luminouz.net/blush/
is deputy managing editor for CandyMag.com
, and runs a brilliant site that combines her fifty-five word fiction pieces and her lomographs
that is updated daily.)Stephie, 18, is an AB Comm Arts freshman at the UST. She has a lot of hobbies, including web design, eating, texting, and shopping. She absolutely loves Harry Potter, and she likes Survivor, green tea, good music, movies and weepy books. You can visit her site at http://koolasa.com/joyride/
(Stephie works alongside Macy for Candy Magazine as its art director
, after spending several years with BusinessWorld.)Katrina,16, has the same surname as the current president and is thinking about entering politics someday. She likes reading tragic love stories while nibbling chocolate chip cookies AND listening to alternative music. She does not think she is a very good writer, but she loves writing anyway. Visit http://katrina.imess.net to learn more about her.
(Katrina, unfortunately, still shares the same surname as the current president. After a very colorful college journey as a campus activist and a writer for the Philippine Collegian, she is now part of the UP Diliman Faculty
.)Angela really likes the real Autumn Tree especially when it's shedding its leaves, because she thinks autumn is the most romantic part of the year, even if there isn't any autumn in the Philippines. And romance, for her, is the fuel of life. More of her romance with life (among other things) at http://angela.unjaded.net.
(Angela moved to Singapore a couple of years ago to be part of Yahoo!'s technical team, but she's still active in various web projects
It shows how long we've been around; by September, I will have been blogging for ten years now. That is several lifetimes ago.
Earlier, I was chatting with a couple of them about this, and I was thinking that we came up with were not, well, very good, at least it served as a showcase for everyone's talent. The fact that we found each other and became friends and collaborated online, that was pretty special, isn't it?
Or perhaps is it a case of all these years--since when?--I had been seeing the light of dead links, long extinguished, yet seemingly still in their appointed places in the Internet. *
* - with apologies to Paz Marquez Benitez
Labels: blogs, writing
"Jae, why aren't you on Facebook or Plurk?" is the question most online friends and acquaintances ask me most often, right after "Jae, bakit sa mga picture mo sa Internet, mukha kang hindi naliligo
In response to the first question, I usually come back with another question, "What, I don't overshare enough of my life?" (I don't really have a reply to the second question.)
But it's part of the plan. In fact, for the year, I made up this list of my goals for my online life:
- Join Chictopia. (It *is* the people's fashion destination.)
- Start a cooking blog, one that's aimed directly at single guys trying to cook. Recipes would include ways to fry the perfect Purefoods Tender Juicy Hotdog.
- Revive Ang Aming Katha because there's no more mushy love stories in the blogs. Everything you read includes people beating up other people in golf courses.
- Grow a mustache (as per my fearless leader Brad Pitt's instructions) and document the adventure online. It'll be my political statement.
- Start a blog about blogging about blogging. I'll cover blogs that write about blogging. .
- Join Facebook, then "like" everyone else's bikini pictures to creep everyone out.
- Join Facebook and get this over with.
But I'm not joining Plurk. Jologs ang Plurk eh.
Heads up ulit
Tonight's i-Witness by Jay Taruc is all about the Eraserheads. With GMA-7's co-presenting the big concert, the i-Wit documentary crew got unfettered access to the rehearsals leading up to the show. Catch it tonight after Saksi.
(Or don't, it'll probably show up on YouTube this week anyway.)
Labels: eraserheads, music, television
It's odd how I've been reading a lot of news about the global economy lately; I know that it's been all over the news, but it's still remarkable how fresh the recent stories about the topic have been. Here's some that I liked in particular, promise they won't make you guys fall asleep:
- The maestro Michael Lewis is back with an in-depth look at the financial troubles of Iceland. Usually, 10,000-word features about financial systems aren't really recommended reading, but remember that opening narration in Elizabethtown about failures and fiascos?
"As somebody once said there's a difference between a failure and a fiasco. A failure is simply the non-presence of success. Any fool can accomplish failure. But a fiasco...A fiasco is a disaster of mythic proportions. A fiasco is a folktale told to others that makes other people feel more alive because it didn't happened to them."
Well, this is a total fiasco, and Iceland might as well be renamed Shitland. The economy is a total clusterfuck (the country's debt is 85 times its GDP), and Lewis gets to the bottom of it while painting a funny picture of the typical quirky Icelandic people (and the unpleasant Icelandic men). It's such a caricature that it couldn't possibly be true, could it?
Because Iceland is really just one big family, it’s simply annoying to go around asking Icelanders if they’ve met Björk. Of course they’ve met Björk; who hasn’t met Björk? Who, for that matter, didn’t know Björk when she was two? “Yes, I know Björk,” a professor of finance at the University of Iceland says in reply to my question, in a weary tone. “She can’t sing, and I know her mother from childhood, and they were both crazy. That she is so well known outside of Iceland tells me more about the world than it does about Björk.”
- A Wired Magazine feature titled Recipe for Disaster: The Formula That Killed Wall Street takes a look at the research of David X. Li, a Wall Street actuary who came up with a way to model correlation between securities.
It was a brilliant simplification of an intractable problem. And Li didn't just radically dumb down the difficulty of working out correlations; he decided not to even bother trying to map and calculate all the nearly infinite relationships between the various loans that made up a pool. What happens when the number of pool members increases or when you mix negative correlations with positive ones? Never mind all that, he said. The only thing that matters is the final correlation number—one clean, simple, all-sufficient figure that sums up everything.
The effect on the securitization market was electric. Armed with Li's formula, Wall Street's quants saw a new world of possibilities. And the first thing they did was start creating a huge number of brand-new triple-A securities. Using Li's copula approach meant that ratings agencies like Moody's—or anybody wanting to model the risk of a tranche—no longer needed to puzzle over the underlying securities. All they needed was that correlation number, and out would come a rating telling them how safe or risky the tranche was.
We all know how it all turned out, right? Then from later in the article:
No one knew all of this better than David X. Li: "Very few people understand the essence of the model," he told The Wall Street Journal way back in fall 2005.
"Li can't be blamed," says Gilkes of CreditSights. After all, he just invented the model. Instead, we should blame the bankers who misinterpreted it. And even then, the real danger was created not because any given trader adopted it but because every trader did. In financial markets, everybody doing the same thing is the classic recipe for a bubble and inevitable bust."
- A couple of weeks ago, CNBC analyst Rick Santelli went on a rant against Barack Obama's housing plan, saying that it rewarded "losers" who took on more debt than they could afford. The whole sentiment carries on a theme in the rich people wing of the American right about going back to Ayn Rand and her writing.
Back in college, some friends of mine were into Ayn Rand, but I never really got into all that. Some of it was because I wasn't really comfortable with Rand' philosophy, but most of it was because I found her writing style to be garbage. But that's just me.
Anyway, it's funny to note that former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan (along with other, uh, architects of this economic collapse) are huge Ayn Rand fans.
That's about the second worst thing to come out of Ayn Rand's career; in 1999, there was this awkward sex scene between Helen Mirren's title character and Eric Stoltz from The Passion of Ayn Rand.
- Here's a more pleasant video: Jon Stewart rips another asshole into Santelli and CNBC for their history of fuck-ups, after Santelli cancelled on going on The Daily Show.
- On the other side of the intellectual spectrum, you really ought to be reading New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman these days. Krugman named his blog after his book, "The Conscience of a Liberal", and his work deals with the "politics and economics of inequality". His columns don't go over the head of the regular reader (regular readers of NY Times, at least) while he saves his nerd shit over on his blog.
Krugman isn't a very big fan of Obama; unlike most of Obama's critics, Krugman though feels that Obama doesn't go far enough, and his criticism of Obama's stimulus legislation drew a reaction from Obama Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel.
Anyway, Krugman was pleasantly surprised over budget proposal, and in his most glowing piece about the new administration yet, explained why there's so much to be excited about, and how excited he is about the transparency of the document.
[Budget priorities] are laid out in a document whose clarity and plausibility seem almost incredible to those of us who grew accustomed to reading Bush-era budgets, which insulted our intelligence on every page. This is budgeting we can believe in.
But can Obama deliver on his promise to reduce the deficit? "Yes, he can!" writes Krugman:
Right now the deficit is huge thanks to temporary factors (at least we hope they’re temporary): a severe economic slump is depressing revenues and large sums have to be allocated both to fiscal stimulus and to financial rescues.
But if and when the crisis passes, the budget picture should improve dramatically. Bear in mind that from 2005 to 2007, that is, in the three years before the crisis, the federal deficit averaged only $243 billion a year. Now, during those years, revenues were inflated, to some degree, by the housing bubble. But it’s also true that we were spending more than $100 billion a year in Iraq.
So if Mr. Obama gets us out of Iraq (without bogging us down in an equally expensive Afghan quagmire) and manages to engineer a solid economic recovery — two big ifs, to be sure — getting the deficit down to around $500 billionby 2013 shouldn’t be at all difficult.
- Now that he's in office, it's great to look back at this feature about Obama's economic philosophy (I linked to it back in August). The article predicts and predates all of Obama's moves so far, including his plans for large-scale spending, his commitment to deficit-reduction, and even his reluctance to go ahead and nationalize American banks. Awesome.
Labels: barack obama, economics, politics
This is a couple of days late (I've been busy, you know, working
), but this is just all kinds of awesome and really needs to be shared.
The Washington Wizards earlier this week played host to the Chicago Bulls, so Chicago native Barack Obama took the opportunity to watch his home town team in the nation's capital
. And instead of sitting in a luxury box, he actually sat courtside and mixed it up with die-hard Wizznuts, including this little Tuff Juice fan
And the President even started to enjoy a cold one:
Then things started heating up on the court, and a Wizards fan started talking trash to Obama
, who was rooting for the visiting team:
[Wizards fan Miles Rawls] told the President that if he was rooting for the visitors, he was "gonna have to keep it to a low roar, because we're cheering for the Wizards over here." Obama, in turn, repeatedly needled Rawls about the Wizards' habit of letting leads evaporate, especially when the Bulls made a run.
"We was just going back and forth," Rawls said. "Once Chicago started coming back, he told me, 'Now I think you need to sit down.' When Tyrus Thomas dunked on somebody, he turned around, was talking smack. Then JaVale McGee had that alley-oop, and he gave me the high five. We was just supporting each others' team, having a good time."
Labels: barack obama, basketball
O ayan, excited na talaga ako
Raymund Marasigan posted this on the Cambio mailing list:
its thursday morning. i woke up too early (played a late pedicab gig last night). i'm getting excited about the eraserheads show this coming saturday.
i haven't been excited up to this point so let me back track a little. sandwich just got back from rocking singapore, pedicab is preparing a new video and getting ready for the mosaic festival, cambio is writing songs for the next album, gaijin (my new band)is in the studio recording.
aside from the busy gig sked, i've been (distracted) skateboarding downhill with the whiskey hill crew.haha
the eheads rehearsed again last tuesday. we played the whole show without breaks. we did it that way the previous session to test our endurance (and to go home early haha). rehearsals are more taxing mentally and physically than the actual show. we played for more than 3 hours straight repeating a few songs that needed some work. some friends dropped by, romeo lee even jammed some old tunes from the u.p. days.
i'd like to report that everyone is healthy and in tip top shape to perform this saturday. (i had a minor surgery early this month and have been recovering steadily these past few weeks.)
the stage in moa is getting built as i type, i've picked the shoes i'm wearing haha if you don't know what to wear check out the team manila website for some shirts we designed.
excited is good, the band seems to be in good spirits. ely hinted that we might extend the show if the crowd behaves haha.
its going to be a different show from the previous one. its a different set of songs. no countdowns, no wigs, no green hair, yes yes yo! i'm going to play drums now, see y'all this saturday!
raym < s >
Hala, let's all behave!
Labels: eraserheads, music
EXCITED NA AKO SA CONCERT...
...ng Journey sa Manila
Labels: hehehe, music
So wait, how does this work again?
I just send her a text message, right?YES!!!
Wait, shouldn't I be, like, calling her for this? That would be more polite, right?
Or should I send a few text messages first, then call her? That sounds better.
Ah screw it, I'm just going to create a Facebook account and send her a message there..
(Probably more productive than, you know, blogging about it.)