Blog Jamaica ( page 18 )

About Jamaica and stuff. 2 pound a weed in a napsack. new article

School, girl and a bus

written by owen, Sun, 04th Dec 2005 at 7:28 pm

I had an assignment last week, and I tried to pay off a UWI Economics/Politics double major to "do it" slash "help me with it". Critical Thinking Assignment - opinion writing. She refused. She said it was against her principles or maybe she didn't like my attitude or maybe I was being too needy about it. I asked her number - she refused - mine as well. She kept asking me "you don't watch the news? you no see how the country stay bad? you no have no opinion on the situation?". Well, actually no, I don't. She did not realize that our "realities" were totally different. I offered her my services but still nothing. I never asked her name which was surprisingly impolite of me. She gave me some pointers though, and I scraped my way through another paragraph of a critical analysis of Delroy Chuck's article on "Poverty, Economic model causing hardship..." (I forgot the exact title). Still waiting for the grades. I wished her good luck on her student loans and she ran off like I was a deranged-psychopath or she was late for something.

After all, I had just met her on the bus, 2 minutes ago - homework on the first date was out of the question - even if I was paying. And she looked like the type who would be good at - that sorta thing - writing. Later that day I went on the internet at work to get an "opinion". Because obviously I didn't have one and she must have gotten hers from somewhere. About the Jamaican economy - because the internet knows everything but I couldn't find it. It was a point of luck for me to meet someone who actually was good at the 2 areas which I needed to finish the assignment. But I had nothing to use as leverage. Without leverage you simply can't get anywhere (or into anything) is this country.

In my present course there are points where I end up with modules carried over from the business degree for the sole purpose of torturing the more technocratic among us. Leveling the playing field for the lesser capable "business types". The school refers to it as "wanting to produce more well-rounded individuals". Crap. Leveling is good but don't throw it in my face. Saying that is akin to saying comparing a BMW to a Volkswagen. Or better yet Beyonce to Britney Spears. A BMW is not a well-rounded car. Being well rounded is like being Volkswagen Beetle not a M6. Of course you cannot have a straight IT course in Jamaica because you don't have that many candidate students to enroll. That is a much better reason for cheapening the whole whole future IT sector. You don't go around giving doctors hand writing lessons because you want them to be well rounded? of course not! Because they are professionals. Professionals don't need to be well rounded.

Well rounded individuals do better on Survivor? Saying that you producing "well rounded individuals" into the work force is a cover for the fact that you can't teach anybody to be good at anything in particular and risk them not being able to get work in an unstable economy. If this is the case then the whole course should be renamed "Jack Of All Trades Info Tech". I do what they tell me, hopefully I get a "C" beside my number on the grade sheet at the end of the semester. Maybe she did teach me something after all.

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michael_halvorsen commented: you're damn right about that. why do i need to take a class on 'music as a world phenomenon?' yeah, its interesting and all. i learn a few songs and music genres from here and there, but to study and memorize the music and be able to tell one song from another in a minute exerpt of the song is asinine. what reason do i have to learn this? i'm paying $4k a semester to learn shit thats fun. i can do that by doing a search on in fact, i could probably learn more in a days time on any one subject just by doing that because they pull information from so many sources, not from a publishing company looking to make a killing by selling you a book for the cost of a weeks food intake. but its all just work towards a title. its a title to need to be able to stand in a long line of others who have the same title as you. its the experience that counts in the end. work towards that harder than you do for that title. ... read 8 more

Welcome to Jamrock

written by owen, Sun, 27th Nov 2005 at 5:52 pm

Many of the technocrats in Jamaica don't even know what a blog is or what it is about. When I started my blog in August of 2003, most of my colleagues didn't even read it and were still using Internet Explorer as their main web browser. They still don't read. Now every other day some idle technocrat coverts to the blogging scene and starts to hail Firefox/Opera as the best thing since slice bread. If I see another Blogspot blog I'm going to flipout. I could say that I told you so but nobody remembers me telling them that the end was near. Bandwagonists? maybe. I had to explain to a IT class that "Blog" / "Web-logging" is not a chat-room slash guest-book slash diary. Journal was the best explanation I could come up with.

The blog thing hasn't caught on in Jamaica because it is hard to differentiate between it and a regular static website. You have to know how a blog works in order to use it effectively. Quote "It look boring eeh? nuttin but text". Too much reading necessary I guess. So I bought an camera (broken now), added pictures and picture submitting features. I am always working on it, constantly restructuring to appeal more to the local audience which don't/can't/won't comment on posts. I don't know why. You have really be "net aware" to pick up on the blogging in general and Jamaicans are still getting accustomed to the forum concept. and are a couple of the main culprits. I am not perturbed by this because this website is mainly a showcase of my programming skills rather than my voice to the world. I have never been much of a writer.

First impressions last and locals like to see what they get the first time they visit. But a blog is more of a "over time" process. Which most Jamaican internet users don't really get. Appealing to such a fickle audience is something I am still trying to figure out. I need to get out to more parties. Play some dance-hall music in the background? The Hi5 network managed to do something I've always wanted to do but the social networking route is going to require a lot of time to implement.

A Jamaica still, a so we stay. Some things catch on fast, others get lock down like the movie theater in Portmore. :( People often ask me how I find content or stuff to "write". I update only on the weekends. Focusing on being "random" so as not to set a standard for myself to uphold or for readers to expect. Mostly I try to think of something funny yet ingenious at the same time. Appealing to as many people as possible without getting my self murdered. Fear of being murdered is the main deterrent to doing anything substantial. As the Afflictedyard states; "I don't want to blow my cover". Plus politics is boring. I do very few things well and I spend a lot of my time doing them. Keeps me safe. Being socially conscious isn't on my portfolio or list of things to do. I don't even watch the local news. The local news is slightly depressing and it makes you unreasonably or obsessively anxious, suspicious, or mistrustful aka paranoid. I much prefer to watch the BBC because it gives me perspective. I won't stop other people from watching it (the news) though because you need the paranoid people to let you in on the information you need to know.

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michael_halvorsen commented: yeah owen, i know exactly what you're talking about when it comes to appealing to the right audience. everyone who knows me in person who has my screen name on aol instant messenger visits my website on a regular basis. i track it. but they almost never comment on my site. its not that hard to leave a comment. i've tried to make my site community oriented, but it only goes so far. i come close to dying and everyone comments on my site. but now that i'm okay, cmments are down again. my site will never have the following daniel bogan has. it just won't. i became community oriented too late in the game to have a following. i think we both may have. i can't create a following without having a active fan base, you know what i mean? i'm going to work on another site thats going to have a community following. but it won't be a blog or anything like one. blogs are hard when it comes to community interaction. who cares about a jamaican? who cares about an ohioan? everyone who reads does, but they won't ever admit to it. thats the other part. they don't admit to reading your site and checking it compulsively. i don't think most people have noticed i track who visits my site from my aim profile. if they did, would they still visit, much less post a comment? who knows. but i still read your site on a daily basis and i'll fess up to it and interact with whatever you make for it. i love your site owen. ... read 20 more

How to take a bus in Jamaica

written by owen, Thu, 07th Apr 2005 at 8:35 am

The crucial factor is to find out where the buses are and where they are going. Some buses are numbered and these numbers have specific patterns especially when combined with letters. Other times the number are just used to keep track of the buses and are no indicator to their destination.

It is also important to take note of how buses react at certain times of the day. In rush-hour buses will simply leave you on the spot if you don't look like your going somewhere. You should try to get onto the bus as quickly as possible, secure a foot hold and bring exact change they hate when you bring big bills. In Off peak hours some buses wait an indefinatly(until they are at capacity) before they move and you usually end up late.

Sit towards the middle of the bus, it is harder to lose you seat to an elderly person or pregnant woman. If you close to your stop try to get to the front of the bus because the drivers are usually very impatient.

Buses often over charge at special times late at night or on public holidays. Very late at night everything shuts down and they may not be any buses on the road - take a taxi which costs 10 times more than the bus at night. Trust me they are out there waiting, find the nearest clock tower.

Buses are usually a safe means of transportation except when they are not. Become familiar with the area. Learning and adapting to changing situations is key.


  • Avoid seats reserved for disabled people and don't hesitate to surrender it to them.
  • Look before sitting.
  • Never throw garbage out the window of the bus - EVER - for any reason.
  • If you know your messy or have messy children don't eat on the bus. Even better don't eat on the bus at all.
  • Avoid using your cellphone on the bus.
  • press the buzzer early
  • Avoid standing too close to the people who are sitting


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