Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Sleep-deprived ramblings of a postgrad student

Almost 5am and I am labouring on data analysis for my thesis, taking a break by writing this. What on earth made me think I could write a thesis, I wonder. Then I remember that I never thought I could or couldn't. I just registered for my Master's and the thesis was part of the package, a part I never questioned. There wasn't an option for coursework only.

I am seeing my supervisor in 12 hours -- at 5pm. I don't chide students for being last-minute, for the simple reason I have always been the quintessential last-minute student. I don't think I do it because it works for me, although certainly if it didn't work for me I'd probably try something different. Granted, being 1,400 words into Chapter 4 and having barely even started is beyond last-minute, even for me. I am sure I won't be able to complete the whole chapter by 5pm. There's also work to be gotten through, for one thing...

At this point I am certain that anyone who undertakes a postgrad degree needs their head examined, and I'd be the first to volunteer. Why am I doing this to myself?! Oh right, I wanted to teach. Although I am not sure how producing a 30,000-word document qualifies me to teach. What's the connection?

Nelly Furtado's Spanish album "Mi Plan" is playing in the background. I bought it for RM9.90 in Speedy Video earlier this evening. At that price, you can't test the CD, and I'm not familiar with her music although I recognised her name. But I took a gamble. One of my better ones. I've never been up to speed with popular music, so I find myself always trying to catch up. But the good thing about being behind everyone else is you can then pick up CDs for cheap. Others I got tonight at the same price include Maroon 5's "Hands All Over" and Kelly Clarkson's "My December".

All the noise about SOPA and PIPA is annoying me because the companies that are ferociously trying to bring down pirates outside of the US aren't making their products digitally available outside the US. I have the Kindle app on my iPod Touch but can't buy ebooks for it because I live in Malaysia. Yes, I know there are ways around that, but why should I have to try to circumvent the system just because I want to get a legitimate ebook on my device? Isn't that almost the same as pirating (also another way of circumventing the system) except that the writer and publisher still gets their dues?

In December I was frantically searching for the instrumental mp3 of a certain song my cousin had set his heart on for his wedding. And I found it on iTunes, but of course I couldn't purchase it because -- again -- I don't reside in the US. Book, movie, music publishers and producers: I really don't want to hear you moaning about IP and copyrights and lost royalties when I cannot get a product legitimately even when I want to. If you don't make your stuff available to consumers, and the consumers want it, then guess what? They'll take steps to get it in any way possible. Fair means or foul. Kindly solve this problem, THEN go after the pirates. Kthxbai.

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