365 T-shirts - the reasoning

This blog should be sub-titled: a journal of my life in geek.

I get my geek on with things about which I am geeky: comic books, Baseball, Ultimate, science fiction, my favorite bands, books I have read and loved, and Jungian psychology to name some of the most frequently traversed subjects.

I began this project simply as a way to count my T-shirts. I own a lot of T-shirts. But how many do I have? Do I have 365? We shall find out.

When I started this blog, I thought about how each T-shirt means something to me. I bought it for a reason, after all. I set myself the task to post an entry about a new T-shirt every day as a way to simply write something every day, a warm up for writing fiction, which is my passion. Writing is like exercise. Warm ups are good for exercise. But after completing a month of blogging about T-shirts, I have learned that this blog serves as a journal; it documents my life in geek, sort of a tour of my interests in pop culture. The blog serves as a tool for self-inventory, for assessment and analysis of self and the origins of self, for stepping through the process of individuation in catalogues, lists, and ranks.

The blog also made me aware that I have some serious gaps in my T-shirt ownership, and I am in the process of collecting some new T-shirts for several of the great popular culture icons that I truly love. Stay tuned.

I was also a bit surprised that people checked out my blog and continue to check it, read it, and even comment on it. I am very appreciative of this readership. Please feel free to share your thoughts in my comments section. I will respond.

Also, please note that I have moved the original introductory text to the side bar. And now, I present to you the most recent entry of 365 T-shirts: a journal of my life in geek. Thank you for reading.
(Second Update - 1310.24. First Update - 1306.05 Originally Posted - 1304.25.)

Friday, May 31, 2013

T-shirt #71: IsoHunt

T-shirt #71: IsoHunt: Freedom of Information

In keeping with the theme from yesterday's shirt, today's shirt features one of the most popular BitTorrent engines on the Net: IsoHunt.

Prior to the proliferation and accessibility of streaming technology, BitTorrents offered a relatively quick and easy way to download music, films, and TV shows (and still do). I discovered IsoHunt after some power failures caused me to miss certain TV shows that I watched avidly and regularly. I used BitTorrents to download them. Though some downloads were slow due to a low number of seeds, others were lightning fast and downloaded in under an hour, even the slow ones, usually finished overnight. For fear of legal reprisal and because I do not like leaving my computer powered on all the time, I did not re-seed the files for others users.

And, yes, I do feel guilty about this.

IsoHunt also helped my mother and me with our daily addiction to the soap opera The Young and The Restless. Before SoapNet began rebroadcasting the day's soaps and before a streaming version was available online each day, I would use IsoHunt to download the soap broadcast, which was always available on the day we missed it as, apparently, the show is broadcast a day ahead of time in Canada. The Canadian torrents would already be loaded on the days we missed episodes due to power outages or preempted programming. A quick download and burning to a DVD allowed me to supply my mother (and myself) with our Y&R fix. I have watched Y&R with my mother since it came on the air in 1973. In 2000, when my mother spent eleven days in a coma, I played Y&R in her hospital room in the hopes that the familiar sounds would be comforting to her or that she might wake up to watch our soap together. Earlier this week, I spent the day with her in a soap marathon as I was behind in my viewing. One May 28th, we watched soaps for May 3rd-May 16th, such is the power of the DVR.

I bought this IsoHunt shirt to support IsoHunt, since a part of the cost of the shirt funds the site. IsoHunt turned ten years old back in January (of this year, 2013). This shirt commemorates the eight-year anniversary. The IsoHunt founder had this to say about still being active after ten years of battling Internet shutdown:

When I started isoHunt during engineering school, I truly did not think I'd be working on it for 10 years, but here I am... I saw solidarity against tyranny in protests against SOPA, which did not pass (happy coincident that Internet Freedom Day, Jan. 18 when SOPA failed, is so close to our anniversary)...We are moving into the world of science fiction. Will copyright or even money be relics like in Star Trek, where all material scarcity and wants are gone, replicators can make anything needed, and holodecks can create any world imaginable? Too utopian perhaps, but if someone from 100 years ago is to look at technologies we have now, a lot of it maybe construed as magic, too... To quote Breaking Bad, am I "in the empire business", subverting the establishment? No, we are in the culture business. Culture, distilled into digital files, shared by people, on the Internet. In the culture business, there are creators, and there are consumers. In this age of "broadcasting yourself", we are often both creators as well as consumers. And in my ideal world, consumers will share what they want, freely, and creators will be promoted accordingly and compensated fairly. Minimal friction, and minimal middlemen in the way who doesn't help in connecting consumers directly with creators... I've fought Hollywood's lawsuit for almost 7 years now, it's so ancient it's almost not even worth mentioning... Thanks for your support! Cheers to the next 10 (IsoHunt, 2013).

As a final thought, a comment on streaming: You may notice some widgets to stream music on my blog site. Currently, I have three: SiJ - Daguérose, The Catalanian Tapes, and ZENИTH. This kind of streaming was not readily available five years ago, let alone ten years ago when IsoHunt went into operation. Ownership is changing as more and more material is available to stream both from a desktop or laptop computer or any mobile device. Maybe I am old fashioned. I own all three of the musical art works featured on my page. I paid for each and download the files. I do believe in paying artists for their work. I think it's important. And yet, I like information; I like the freedom of information.

When the network finally wakes up and says "I am," everything we think or think we understand about data will change forever. Until then "information wants to be free" is just a cute saying. After, who knows what we will be saying?

- chris tower - 1305.31 - 10:18