Body image – cultural brainwashing

Look at this picture:

gijoefigureThis is the “evolution” of the GI Joe action figure from the sixties to the latest iteration. From an average Joe, to a well toned Joe, passing trough the bodybuilder Joe and ending in the extreme Joe.

This was all good if it was a all about the toy, the problem is that the toy is a reflection of the society. And is not only the toy, but also in movies, advertising, sport and general media. There you go, the collective cultural brainwashing of a dis-formed body image as a society imposed goal.

I say dis-formed because (for the 99,99% of us mortals) it’s either unachievable, or achievable trough unhealthy options, long term unsustainable, and just non functional bulky body. In the information age, is rather sad to see most of young guys at the gym training hard for bulk and mass, not for health or functional gains.

Now you mix this set of mind, with the fast pace “I want it now”, there is no time to loose, Internet age, modern world. A time that hard work, wait for results, seed, feed and wait to grow are all old-school. And is the perfect formula for substance abuse. First things first, protein supplements in form of powders, bars, gels. This is a $11.5 billion (USA data only) industry in 2012 and could well deserve a post on its own… then you figure out that the big guy holding the can is using other stuff: steroids, human growth hormone, insulin, etc…

Come on, why not do it? Most of the cool guys at Fast and Furious do it, Rocky did it, Conan did it and was California governor, and even a couple of the big guys at the gym do it. And they look somehow alike GI Joe extreme, and it’s cool, and big is better, and they get the anorexic girls, and they are popular, and, and, and…

At the information age, smart and well educated persons are willing to risk their health in the name of this cultural imposed body image model. In my opinion (well, this is my blog) is just time to break this non-sense, to start an awareness campaign, kind of the anti anorectic girl campaign in the 90s. To promote an healthy and achievable body image and stop this collective brainwash backed up by the supplements industry.

Personally i choose life. I’m more and more into crossfit exercises, functional lifts with compound movements, own body weight exercises, catabolic anabolic balance, deep breathing and relaxing. Will trade, anytime, anywhere the superficial muscle grow for long term balanced core strength.

The not so quiet revolution

How many times did i hear… the “ahh…good old times” rant. Sure, sometimes the world as we know it now is complicated, sometimes unfair and even cruel and bad. But if you stop and zoom out a bit, like 20 years (don’t need to go all the way to the dark ages), one realizes the leap forward. And in technology the leap is nothing short of massive – thank you Mr. Moore. I’m really glad and lucky to be apart of this.

You can get a Raspberry PI a fully functional (and power efficient) computer running Linux for about 30€. You can get a TV stick running Android OS for about 50€ (there are Linux distributions for this kind of device). Linux is free, BSD OS family is free. Most of the SDKs are free. MySQL is free (as other fully capable Relational Database Systems). Many compilers are free. Open Office is free. Heck, even Adobe CS2 can be freely downloaded from Adobe…

Transit Price Drops

Also the price of bandwidth and networking has gone South over the years as the speed and quality has gone North. I remember to dial-up with a 28.8 kbps modem, downloading a single mp3 file was task for one hour, loading a simple webpage was eternity, etc… and in the end of the month the phone bill was obscene… Nowadays, i can download pristine high resolution full movie (in Itunes or other payed service of course) in less than an hour for a fraction of the cost that the mp3.

Documentation, tutorials, examples, e-books, howto’s all over the place. Information (for all levels) is freely available to anyone, you just need time and the right mindset, to read, test and educate yourself about any technology that you want to learn.

So in the web business capital is not the main factor, it’s knowledge and labor. The funny thing is that capitalism did this, an industry that moves billions of dollars and for start capital is not the most important factor (by far). Some kid can (and probably is) somewhere in some room build the next big website or mobile app costing him (or her) nothing more than time.

There is a bright future in this model. You don’t need some guys in suits that are sitting on top of the money to believe in your idea. You are the only one that needs to believe (can you picture the scared faces?) and learn, learn, learn:

Personally i wish i had much more time and piece of mind to learn and thinker with new technologies and projects because now is the time.

Facebook pollution

facebook-logo-reversedIt’s spring time cleaning at my Facebook account…. i am sick and tired of excessive crap that don’t add anything, except loosing my precious eye time. Facebook for me is a really cool medium to keep up with friends, family and companies. And guess what? If i added you to my Facebook friends list is because i want to ear something about YOU. Something that YOU did, some of YOUR photos or video, some great (or not so great) news about YOUR life, some place that YOU are or have been, YOUR thoughts about something, etc… Not this pollution that i currently get in my news feed.

I can even categorize the persons that i am about to remove from my news feed, “unfriend”or block.

The human hubs

These are the most annoying people for me. Just read some news (or just the main title) in the Internets, and share, share, share… Guess what? I read the fucking news in my tablet, also listen to radio and watch some TV like most people do.  I really don’t need 20 shares in my news feed about something that is all over the media. Please, please don’t do this, if the news isn’t related to you and you don’t have personal toughs or insights about it. Don’t share it with me.

The compulsive gamer

Also very annoying kind. Let’s be honest, i don’t care less that you waste your time growing virtual animals, vegetables, villages, whatever you feel like, it’s your time anyway. If it makes you happy, just do it, but please don’t send me more game invitations. If i want to play video games, i do it in my Playstation with my big TV set and powerful speakers in full throttle mode, and even all that apparatus is just picking up dust most of the time.
So, do your thing for entertainment and i do mine, but please don’t send me no more fucking game invitations (except if it is outdoors, or go and watch a football game or something similar and non Facebook related).

The political activist

These people are also a pain in the ass. Yes, these are difficult times, i agree, and maybe your are in some deep shit because of the government and the austerity policy. Maybe your unemployed and got nothing else to do but to share 50 posts about how bad are the politicians, the government and the all system. I’m far from being apolitical and if you have your life messed up you have my sympathy, but please, please don’t spend the days sharing posts against the president, the government, Angela Merkel, EU, etc… It makes you look a negative person distilling hate, notably if it is obsessive, and i have people with more than 20 posts of this kind daily… Take your cause elsewhere, go outside, write your own letter to the president, write in the walls of the parliament, show up in the demonstrations, whatever. And then please, also take some pictures of what you did to change and post them in Facebook.

The humorist

The least annoying, if it is done with moderation. Moderation, again, keyword is moderation. But unfortunately some people just share and post every each and single meme that they come across. A dog a cat and a mouse picture, share. A sentence about live with a sunset picture, share. A guy falling down some stairs, share. A pope-mobile pulled by monkeys, share, etc, etc… please use some common sense and share with moderation and with some quality criteria, not just some shit that you happened to see somewhere.

And, that’s about it. One has got to do, what one has got to do. Cleaning time now.

 

My bite on Apple

Love it or hate it, it’s the kind of company that leaves no one indifferent. It showed the world (at least to the masses) the personal computer, the graphic interface, the decent portable music player, a real smartphone and what a tablet should be like. All very nice and disruptive. All products are incredible well made, beautiful design and taste, and they just work out of the box like no other in the market. I should love it. But the sad true is i don’t.

Company culture runs top down, and Steve Jobs was indeed a visionary and incredible smart person, but also a manipulative, control freak, indifferent to his own child’s, cruel kind of person (probably a big jerk). Unfortunately a lot of that spilled over to Apple.

Lot’s of (unnecessary) proprietary stuff.
Long story of conflicts with other companies and standards. Adobe, Google, just to name a couple.
Closing the market with all kind of patents and legal tricks.
Mac OS X has a huge portion of FreeBSD on it but i don’t see a cent donated by Apple (list of donors include Cisco, Google, Juniper, NetApp, McAfee, Dell, etc).
I see Google doing some incredible work at a social level, Google foundation, X-Prize. In counterpart is there an Apple foundation?
One buys an Iphone/Ipad and must pay a developer account or jail brake. The SDK is only available for Apple computers.
One must get his OWN files to his OWN device trough Itunes…

And the list goes on and on… does the profit, a vision, or whatever justify this kind of policies? Do the ends justify the means? For Steve Jobs sure, for Apple sure, but not for me. So me choices are rather obvious (check here, here and here).

FREEDOM, FREEDOM, FREEDOM bitch!

One more thing 🙂 … it’s kind of sad that all those geeks that were upset some ten years ago by Microsoft monopolistic actions and autism, most of all switched to Apple, giving their love and support to an even worse company in that matter. You can get in a meeting with IT staff and 90% of those that were running Windows laptops some years ago now proudly show their Apple gear… talk about brainwash… i can only recall the old Apple motto “Think different”… probably will glue this to my Linux laptop one of those days.