About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

25 May 2007

The end of an era?

So, last night was the last time I played badminton as a member of the UCT Badminton club, for the forseeable future. I have "threatened" to leave before, notably at the end of my 3rd and 4th year, but this time it is for real.

The club has changed a lot, since Tim, Murray, Kevin (Feng) and I joined in our first year (2000). It was a social club, and back then, it was struggling to sign up enough members to justify itself as a UCT sports club. Since then, the membership numbers have improved, and there is a good balance of competitive and social activities of the club, although some may justifiably say that the social aspect of the club has diminished substantially.

My association with the badminton club has been rewarding. I don't think I set out to get the club to be competitive, and many of the things that happened, almost arose from accident. I remember going to Frans' office, to ask him about SASSU, and whether he thought I should run. I left, not only wanting to run for SASSU but also the WPBA.

It is in the WPBA that I have possibly had the most rewarding time, but also the most frustrating time. The red tape, and the pig headedness is difficult to get used to, esp when you are used to getting things done (because usually, you are the only one doing anything). At the same time, seeing the results of the development program, such as Gugulethu and more obliquely Ocean View, is reward enough.

Unlike Navine, I don't think I can commit to UCT Badminton club after I leave UCT. It takes special dedication to commit to a club for 20 years, and sail through the turbulence without actually taking the helm. I don't know what my future holds, but if it is in Cape Town, then, maybe I should start my own club :P

24 May 2007

Movie: Spiderman 3

Take one hero, who is going through a "I am the best, the greatest" etc phase. Take an alien "molecule" with a mind of it's own. Take a criminal with a concience. Take a self centered guy who just hates our hero's alter ego. Take the son of the hero's fallen nemesis, who wants revenge. I think we have enough for a good dose of action ... but wait, throw in a love triangle, some self loathing, some other girls going for the heros charms.

In the end, there is too much - it becomes boring, long winded and a bit too preachy. I can see why many people didn't like the movie, and I am with them - there isn't much to see. There was just too much hype and not enough substance.

Movie: Pirates of the Caribbean - At World's End

Way too long - and at the same time, still leaves enough scope for yet another sequel. Don't get me wrong - there is a lot of action, and the effects are super brilliant. But when you get bored during a movie, then there is something wrong. Worth watching once, just for entertainment maybe - but not more than once.

21 May 2007

Perpetual Copyright

In this New York Times article, Mark Helprin presents the case for perpetual copyright.Basically, ownership of property is perpetual - ownership can be transferred, but property is rarely transferred back to the commons. Helprin suggests that a similar concept should apply to intellectual property. The concept of perpetual copyright is not new - it was in fact suggested at the very begining, and for a brief while, perpetual copyright actually existed.

However, intellectual property itself is not like normal property, as it is intangible. It is also used in different form to normal property, and has different characteristics. Firstly, there is no wear and tear in IP, and there is a need to maintain property, to maintain its value. IP is valuable in itself - there is no attached maintainance costs for example.

Secondly, physical property, if fallen into desrepair and left unused, is often recycled and available to the commons. There are means to get rid of ownership of a physical property. IP cannot have perpetual ownership, until there is a means to recover abandoned works without fear of prosecution.

Lastly physical property has a narrow range of uses, morphing physical property to other uses is not easy. However, IP is about the idea - and a design of a house can be morphed to a design of a boat etc.IP is also used differently - you can't really combine physical assets to form new usable physical assets, while retaining the use of the original assets. With IP - you can mix songs and videos to produce something new.

IP and physical property are different types of property. In fact, copyright protection period is too long and need to be shortened; and not the other way around!