Monday, June 30, 2008

Random streamitis

Not to entirely be confused with stromateis:

Can you tell that this:

is this:

If you are in Tallahassee, FL, or select other locales, Wal-Mart can look like this. Still the same inside, as far as I know (didn't enter the one pictured above). Wal-Mart will adapt.

It is good to find the all too, too scrotechafed WonderChicken returning. Who, by the way, is so right about geekcons as to be almost Scriptural. Geeks need to find humans other than viral clones of their geekly pale selves to appreciate.

New oldmedia news: (for the NYT and all media, but especially the NYT, since you there are so high on interactivity) - put a little polling device next to every story you run, inviting your readers to respond to the question, "Is this news?"

Corporations: don't survey or poll anyone over 50 about anything, ever. Life is too short for your shite.

[Add]: Gathering of silence

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Thursday, June 26, 2008

While they're hot

Some fabled 2.0 brand names can be got today at fire sale prices. Get 'em, flip 'em, arbitrage 'em.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Purposive representation of groups

Clay Shirky has an intriguing thought about formalizing and legitimating groups:

to create a corporate form that allows groups to come together easily and quickly in the ways now made possible by our digital and social tools, while giving those groups the legitimacy that incorporation provides, which includes the ability to raise and spend money, to offer and enter into contracts, and to adopt binding forms of governance.

My interest is more in how groups can be represented and interact with other groups - how systems of groups are represented and defined.

One thought that has occurred to me, and I am curious what others might think, is to look at something like the AllVoices map, above. Suppose your neighborhood - the one where your body, not your avatar, actually lives - wanted to share and explore common issues, problems, with other neighborhoods in your area.

Such a map could serve to show which other neighborhoods in your locality (however defined - county, city, state, province etc.) were bringing up news from their locations. This would be the awareness function.

Then, the various items posted by the neighborhoods could be tagged and searched -- enabling discovery of common ground. "Oh, they have the same problem with speeders/road deterioration/code enforcement laggardness etc. that we have!"

Then those neighborhood groups could move into a forum where ideas, best practices, planned actions are shared. "We will all meet next Tuesday at the county - bring your brickbats."


[add: Neighborhood" is merely par exemple. Could of course be any kind of group or constellated entities seeking relations with other entities with similar concerns.]

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Adventures in JSTOR

Too much academia probably isn't good for you

I need to read an essay by Helene Cixous. ... I spend the rest of the afternoon in an abusive relationship with JSTOR. I login and search for the article. JSTOR denies all knowledge. Trusted Archives for Scholarship my arse. ... Google shows me the front page of the article in JSTOR. It looks so beautiful. I’m sure my article will be a total disaster if I don’t read it. I begin to feel like the wife in some old film like Gaslight with JSTOR as the husband trying to convince me that I’m insane, possibly in cahoots with Google.

via Text & the World

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The honor is all mine but

...not sure why I was invited to join this particular flickr group...

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Monday, June 23, 2008

Information, News, Libraries

One day I found a squeal sheet that was so good —it combined rape and murder—that I went straight to the homicide squad instead of reporting first to the poker game. When I showed it to the lieutenant on duty, he looked at me in disgust: "Don't you see this, kid?" he said, pointing to a B in parentheses after the names of the victim and the suspect. Only then did I notice that every name was followed by a B or a W. I did not know that crimes involving black people did not qualify as news.


So the defeat at Brandywine turned into a case of miswritten and misread news—a media non-event whose meaning was determined by the process of its transmission, like the blogging about the convertible dome and the filtering of crime reports in Newark's police headquarters.
Robert Darnton, The Library in the New Age, musing on the stability of information, the lies we call news, and, very oddly and seemingly without an equal degree of provocative percipience, Google Book Search.

What new age? It seems to me the library as we know it (there is but one) arrived via the death of Alexander's cosmopolitic vision -- Alexandria as the site of the body and of the muses' hymn to its former inhabitant. Nothing about the digital network changes that in the slightest, despite the worries of bibliophiles and the economic wagers of JSTORians and other profiteers of scarcity.

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Preboarding the post-funct express

Aw c'mon, George's humor was never ill. - Sheila Lennon.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

one of the mistakes was my language...

Still, kinda cathartic


IAIN BANKS, novelist

Please charge Dubya with being a war criminal, a peace criminal and unfit to be in charge of anything larger or more important than a pretzel. Actually, including a pretzel.

MOAZZAM BEGG, former Guantanamo detainee and spokesman for Cageprisoners

History will judge G.W. Bush as the man who wreaked devastation and destruction on the earth even as he was having men tortured in the world's most notorious and secret prisons. Justice cannot be done until such men are brought to book for their crimes.

WILLIAM BLUM, US writer and journalist

I charge George W. Bush with breaking the hearts and crushing the idealism of an entire generation of young Americans who have been forced into the realization that America, their beloved America, has no regard for international law and human rights, and worst of all, tortures people, routinely and cruelly. They are compelled to wonder: What kind of world is this we've been born into?


George Bush - with the assistance of Tony Blair- has demolished any moral authority formerly commanded in the world by the US and the West. The veil has been torn open on the true nature of US global power, never to be replaced. When Bush comes to Britain he should be detained like Pinochet and sent for trial for crimes against humanity.


Killers often think they're making the world a better place. It's not a defense.


George Bush bears a heavy responsibility as the leader of most powerful country in the world who has comprehensively turned his back on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and the whole concept of international law, has authorized world wide oppression, detention without charge and torture and has attempted to put himself and his army beyond the reach of the rule of law. He has betrayed the Founding Fathers of America who were inspired by liberty, fraternity and equality.


The Bush administration has been responsible for the de-stabilisation of the whole world which has made us all victims of its policies. It is not too late to impeach this fantasist and terrifyingly dangerous President. Wiping out hundreds of thousands of people does still seem to be worse than having an inappropriate affair with an Intern.

DAVID EDGAR, playwright

Powerful UN members are refusing to agree a definition of terrorism unless it excludes the actions of states. Our own Terrorism Acts define terrorism as the use of force for a political objective, against the state. Thank goodness the Nuremberg trials - and now the International Court of Justice at the Hague - provide an alternative way to get the heads of government who order illegal acts of indiscriminate violence against other people's countries.

BRIAN ENO, musician and producer

I feel ashamed that my country has chosen to honour this world-class bungler and his ideological comrade, our ex-Prime Minister, as though they were experienced elder statesmen. Their callow disregard for the democratic values they claim to defend is hypocrisy of the highest order. Their blinkered self-righteousness (God told me to do it) makes them intellectual equals to the terrorists they claim to be fighting (for didn't God tell them to do it as well?). And their astonishingly childish military hubris led them into an imperial adventure that our children, and their children, will have to pay for. Let's make that two pairs please.


George Bush criminally lied and deceived a panicky United States into starting an illegal, bungled, shameful and counter-productive war. Bush also persuaded the eagerly gullible Blair to believe anything that might seem to justify needlessly dragging Britain in as well. These two men, forever handcuffed together by history, will be remembered only for the futility, the terrible consequences and the unnumbered victims of their joint folly.

LINDSEY GERMAN, Coordinator, Stop the War Coalition

George Bush was responsible for launching the war on terror and is responsible for its failure. He was determined to take us into war in Iraq despite the lack of evidence justifying war. We have caused up to a million dead in Iraq, four million Iraqis are refugees, yet none of the architects of the war have been held to account. We should not forget the role of the British government. Our former Prime Minister went along with Bush at every stage and the present PM, Gordon Brown, was the Chancellor who bankrolled the war and who has now reneged on his promise to begin the withdrawal of troops.

BEN GRIFFIN, former soldier

President George W Bush, a vile war criminal, visits a subservient client state to be feted as "The Leader of the Free World". Meanwhile the subjects of said client state get pissed, buy junk and watch TV. WAKE UP

KATE HUDSON, Chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament

I charge George Bush with illegally attacking Iraq on trumped up charges, imposing a brutal occupation, wrecking the infrastructure and public services, using chemical weapons on civilian populations, littering the country with cluster bombs and depleted uranium munitions, causing hundreds of thousands of deaths and untold human sorrow and suffering. He must be brought to justice.

BIANCA JAGGER, human rights advocate

George W Bush is responsible for flagrant violations of human rights and international law. His immoral, illegal and unwinnable wars have cost the lives of more than a million people. Bush is responsible for extraordinary renditions, detentions without trial and the atrocities at Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, and he must be held accountable. An international tribunal must be established, along with the inquiry into US war crimes that Amnesty International has called for. If Bush and Blair had presided as CEOs over comparable fraudulent and deceptive practices in the City, they would have been immediately and unceremoniously sacked.

SABAH JAWAD, Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation

We call for George Bush and his criminal gangs on both sides of the Atlantic to stand trial for the unimaginable war crimes they have committed against Iraq and the Iraqi people. If there is any justice in the world they should be locked up.

TERRY JONES, actor and former ‘Monty Python’

You'll not catch me calling President Bush a War Criminal! He could put me away without explanation or recourse to law the moment I next stepped into the Land of Freedom!

A.L. KENNEDY, writer and novelist

Mr. Bush continues to contravene human rights law in his treatment of prisoners in US custody across the world, in his abduction of "suspects" and in his enthusiastic endorsement of torture. He has dragged the US and its allies into two illegal wars of pre-emptive aggression, using illegal weapons and repeatedly contravening laws set in place to protect non-combatants.

NIGEL KENNEDY, violinist

IT IS NO LONGER POSSIBLE TO AVOID BEING LABELLED WAR CRIMINALS OURSELVES if we continue to vote for or tolerate leaders who deprive people in different parts of the world of their way of life or, in many cases, of life itself. George Bush and his allies should no longer get away with respecting international law and human rights only at their own convenience.


To add to the extensive list of crimes committed by the heinous war criminal George Bush, I charge him with being responsible for the birth of hundreds of babies deformed as a result of the chemical bombs dropped on Basra and other cities during the Iraq War.


George W Bush you face disgrace
For crimes against the human race.
Put these handcuffs on your wrists -
Terrorist of Terrorists.

ANDREW MURRAY, Chair of Stop the War Coalition

George Bush bears the moral responsibility for the violent deaths of hundreds of thousands of civilians in Iraq alone. He should be in the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, not Downing Street and if Gordon Brown wants to speak for Britain, he will tell him so.

JOHN PILGER, journalist

Criminal power always fears people. That's its greatest fear. That's why even a House of Commons committee worries out loud about the draconian surveillance that now distinguishes a Britain dominated by Washington. The MPs are worried because they know that if the state goes too far the people will act. History tells them that. The reason George Bush is surrounded by an army of police today and why we cannot march along Whitehall is because the system Bush represents fears our voices. It fears our many voices, and it fears just one voice, like Brian Haw. All potentially are a threat, because we speak the truth. And it's truth, not Al Qaeda, that is Bush's enemy -- as the dead and maimed and dispossessed in Iraq and Afghanistan bear witness."

HAROLD PINTER, playwright and Nobel Prize winner

There is no more suitable candidate for Leading War Criminal than George Bush. The only person that comes anywhere near him is Tony Blair. They are both beneath contempt. Bush should certainly be arrested and sent to Guantanamo Bay where he can rot forever.

CLARE SHORT, former Cabinet Minister

Where is Brown on this issue? Has Britain got any bottom line? All that rhetoric about Brown being the change after Blair has been exposed as nonsense.

CAROL VINCENT, Big Brother contestant and arrested on 15 June on her way to deliver this statement after being hit repeatedly on her hands and arms

George Bush senior got the ball rolling as a hawk instead of a dove and his son continued with this behaviour. The USA was clearly on a flight trail to take over the Middle East and its resources regardless of the human cost. Undoubtedly George W Bush is a war criminal and Blair was his puppet. Gordon Brown had the opportunity to bring the troops home, but has chosen instead to continue with Blair’s wretched alliance with the US, but Not in My Name.


Not just responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people, George Bush seized the very word Democracy illegally, mocked it, tortured it and did his best to kill it. This is a crime against the future.


George Bush is a war criminal who has murdered uncounted hundreds of thousands of Iraqis.

HAIFA ZANGANA, Iraqi writer & novelist

If democracy is to return to America and Britain, both Bush and Blair have to be charged with war crimes against the Iraqis. As the US Commander-in-Chief, he is guilty of the crimes committed in Abu Ghraib, and those committed by his soldiers; in particular, the rape of A’beer Qassim Hamza al - Janaby, the fourteen year old girl who was gang-raped and set on fire by US marines after they had killed her parents and her four year old sister.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

etc. fallacy

The earthquake collapsed 5.36 million houses and damaged 21.42 million more structures throughout Sichuan province, according to China’s State Council. wsj

Here we go. If that's not an error, it offers the crisis of Twitter outages a certain light. the question of Hillary's future. the point of Bush and his phantom impeachification. the vacation you are about to take. the 5th season of The Wire due Aug. 12. the fate of JSTOR or Mycrow'soff or Tim Russert. The fatuity of large oikoi. campaign financing. the life of Lindsay Lohan. the betrayal of homeland security.

image via Jeff

Monday, June 16, 2008

attention of media, media of attention

Ronni Bennett in the WSJ writes of bloggers she's met. Included among whom (how very deservedly and nicely) is Frank Paynter.

Tho, I'm just saying, should anyone whisper a certain term elderblogger in my general direction, I'll be less nice.

Anyway, another blogger I know as Bennett knows some of her elderbloggers but whom I would never call an elderblogger could use a few sheckels. If you've spent time with Mike, you have found a potent critique of the Standard Lens of USian media with every post via a rare constellation of range, scope, instructive attention, and intelligence. Unobtrusive honesty, boundless curiosity,and adventurousness too. If you've not visited, do yourself a favor.

For ease of reference.

Add: just noticed this re who's not (yet) in wikipedia. There are more. Sins of omission harder to mediatize or even cognize.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

no shit, shyballs

Findings – JSTOR usage has expanded exponentially.
Google indexing has had the further impact of exposing the content to a very much broader audience, creating a new set of opportunities and challenges for the organization.

Article Information:

Title: JSTOR and the changing digital landscape

Purchase this document:
Price payable: GBP £13.00
plus handling charge of GBP £1.50 and VAT where applicable.

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eezee listening.

if the IP police nab it again, it's here.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

coraggio, ragazzi

Thursday, June 12, 2008

¿Qué pasó?

What is an event?

A few years ago I recall talking with Jon Husband and eventually some people from flickr about a breaking news facility that would put work from photographers at a breaking story into a basket that could be summoned by a simple tag.

AllVoices (via Dr. Weinberger) is going that idea a few better, it seems. Events become instigators of aggregated sources about them -- other news stories, blogs, images, comments (so far, no tweets even though the concept and map seem related to twittervision).

Curious to know more about the methods of aggregation. And of course to see whether we end up with original news, an additional column of the Nu YorK times, tabloidal enthusiasm, or something else. It seems very clever.

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Opener JSTOR in Bangor

JSTOR Access

After previously only be available to library card holders from within the Bangor Public Library, access to JSTOR is now available to card holders off-site.

Bravo Bangor! If JSTOR won't see reason, free the public, one hamlet at a time.

Also noted: recent discussion on Language Hat.

Update: Maine Public Library Card Application - via Mark Wood.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

can grande

"You concern yourself with infinite, I with finite affairs. You raise your ladder to the heavens, while I rest mine upon earth lest I should mount so high that I may fall. Now it seems to me only just and honest that I should prefer the good name and honor of my house to you: that I should work for my own interest rather than for yours. You and I will act like two big dogs who, when they meet, smell one another and then, because they both have teeth, go their ways." ~ Cosimo de’ Medici to an angry rival.

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Sunday, June 08, 2008

¿Qué Pasa?

"A herdsman once appeared in great trouble at the confessional, avowing that while making cheese during Lent a few drops of milk had found their way into his mouth. The confessor, skilled in the customs of the country, discovered in the course of his examination that the penitent and his friends were in the practice of robbing and murdering travelers, but that, through the force of habit, this usage gave rise to no twinges of conscience within them." Poggio Bracciolini, Facetiae, fol. 164.
A Janus-tale that points two ways: to the pleasures of the Commedia dell'Arte and the ethical urgings of Reinhold Niebuhr.

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Thursday, June 05, 2008

Accolades for JSTOR

With a few preoccupations we've nearly failed to note these recent outpourings of praise and acclaim and admiration for our favorite closed noetic loop:

JSTOR, get out of the way

JSTORE [sic] is taxing public knowledge in order to sustain its ability to block access to public knowledge.

Making JSTOR into a public treasure

JSTOR should find a way to throw open its doors.

THATCamp 2008: Text Mining and the Persian Carpet Effect

All of the following were touched upon as being barriers or challenges to text mining:

  • access to raw text in gated collections (ie, collections which require payment to permit access to resources) such as JSTOR and Project MUSE and others.
A personal favorite, tho it's just a cite:

JSTOR Delenda Est!

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