Thursday, July 31, 2008

The TRUSTed preserve of metastasizing communal citadels dedicated to the self-serving propagation of ignorance needs YOU

Do you thrive in a fast-paced team environment? Are you a creative problem-solver? Are you passionate about designing and building systems that make a difference? If yes, then you will find JSTOR's Interface Group a challenging and rewarding place to work. ???


JSTOR ( ) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping the scholarly community discover, use, and build upon a wide range of intellectual content in a trusted digital archive.

Since its inception in 1995, JSTOR has grown significantly and will continue to grow.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Academic objects and tools

If it encourages a recast of current practice...

Microsoft Research has released a set of free software tools aimed at allowing researchers to publish, preserve, and share data throughout the entire scholarly communication lifecycle.


Tools currently freely available include:

  • The Article Authoring Add-in for Word 2007 that lets metadata be captured at the authoring stage to preserve document structure and semantic information throughout the publishing process, which is essential for enabling search, discovery and analysis in subsequent stages of the lifecycle.
  • The Creative Commons Add-in for Office 2007 lets authors embed Creative Commons licenses directly into an Office document (Word, Excel or PowerPoint) by linking to the Creative Commons site via a Web service.
  • The Microsoft e-Journal Service provides a hosted, full-service solution that facilitates self-publishing of online-only journals to facilitate the availability of conference proceedings and small and medium-sized journals.
  • The Research Output Repository Platform helps capture and leverage semantic relationships among academic objects -- such as papers, lectures, presentations and video -- to facilitate access to these items in new ways.
  • The Research Information Centre, in partnership with the British Library. This collaborative workspace will be hosted via Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and let researchers collaborate throughout the entire research project workflow, from seeking research funding to searching and collecting information, as well as managing data, papers and other research objects throughout the research process. link

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

What is it

Monday, July 28, 2008

what it is

"...while we've all heard stories about how much waste and inefficiency there is in our military spending, this is always portrayed as either "corruption" or simple inefficiency, and not what it really is -- a profound expression of our national priorities, a means of taking money from ordinary, struggling people and redistributing it not downward but upward, to connected insiders, who turn your tax money into pure profit

"the basic dynamic is transnational companies raiding the cash savings of the middle class.

"These fantasy elections we've been having -- overblown sports contests with great production values, decided by haircuts and sound bytes and high-tech mudslinging campaigns -- those were sort of fun while they lasted, and were certainly useful in providing jerk-off pundit-dickheads like me with high-paying jobs. But we just can't afford them anymore.

"we all liked to imagine ourselves in the wealthy column, or at least potentially so, flush enough to afford this pissing away of our political power on meaningless game-show debates once every four years."

Economic Realities Are Killing Our Era of Fantasy Politics via wood s lot

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Wednesday, July 23, 2008

thought bubble

Erasmus saw that the distinction he was making was of central importance for the substance of the Annotations. Of course, it was not always clear where grammar ended and the res theologica began. ~ Latin Translation in the Renaissance: The Theory and Practice of Leonardo Bruni, Giannozzo Manetti and Desiderius Erasmus.

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lacking in props = improper?

The earth . . . is held up by nothing, but remains stationary owing to the fact that it is equally distant from all other things. Its shape is . . . like that of a drum . . . We walk on one of its flat surfaces, while the other is on the opposite side. ~ Anaximander.

A false theory may be as great an achievement as a true one.
~ Popper, World of Parmenides.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Happy (in your ) end

(Enter Lady Macbeth, pursued by a bear, barely above a whisper)

Lately I have been experiencing spasms of retardation. I'll be attending to something - a story, a radio announcer, a tweet - I do not listen to ads, so this is really more like "media" - and suddenly my entire face will contract as in some sort of epileptic seizure, and from the rictus where my oral cavity just was will spew some stream of sound, not a grunt, exactly, more like the enthusiasmic oozeandahhings of those unfortunately afflicted with severe mental, and often physical, disability.

I've wanted to confess to this disconcerting - at least to me - and unaccountable phenomenon for some time, as it would perhaps relieve my symptoms to ask several fair and balanced experts - Dr. Seligman, perhaps, or Condi, or Hugh - to weigh in and help sort this out. Or perhaps this is not such an isolated symptomology as I am led to believe. ? Others may be out there who are also being incapacitated, reduced to gibbering drool, convulsed, snuffed, wracked by debilitating and unsuitable-for-social-media seizures that take hold upon listening to stories on NPR, Fox, or ABC.

Zounds! methinks one e'en now approacheth. . .

Wallace didn't know that Comcast had a digital detecting unit searching the Internet diligently looking for unhappy customers who needed help.


Tracey Wallace is now a devoted customer, thanks to the help she received after her post on Twitter. "I am totally loyal to Comcast -- they took care of me." #$#

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

They're here

Weekend Edition Saturday, July 19, 2008 · In northern California, organized crews of poachers are raiding residential recycling bins and are sometimes threatening homeowners who get in the way. Authorities in the Bay Area say it's a sign of the sour economic times, but it's costing cities plenty. San Francisco alone estimates it's losing $500-thousand a year to recycling bandits. NPR's Richard Gonzales reports. (4:10) NPR

If it's a sign, well, how about reading the sign. Why "poachers"?

No poets, no entrepreneurs, no ragpickers, no priests, no judges, no lawgivers, no soliders, no mothers.

Marching lockstep with the general degradation of value, (yesterday's NYT had a front page video ad for iphone starring david pogue) NPR is more consumer spectacle, more Night of the living dead, than journalism. Especially All Things Considered and Scott Simon.

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The action of the imitation depends on the imitation of the action

To enjoy an action film, the sequences of hurly burly must be not just impressively novel, big, and thunderously astonishing in effect, but also intelligible -- legible to to the mind. Some ways in which expensive action sequences can fail to hold the attention include:
1. The action is patently impossible, but is convincingly mimed.

2. The action is slurred - you can't quite tell what is happening, but the editing and sound track tell you it's REALLY big.

3. The micro-causation is unclear - you get what's happening, but not all the details of how. You can get away with this to an extent within a sequence, if it's only a small part of a larger series of coherent causes and effects.

4. The causation is muddy - you have no idea how what is happening is happening.

5. The action itself is inchoate - not only are you unclear how, but you're not even sure what just happened. This is the worst offense, usually, because the syntax from one moment in the film to the next is uselessly loose or lost.
Dark Knight murkily suffers from all five of these. At least so it seemed to my eye, which admittedly is not expert at bombastious action flicks. I tried to follow and enjoy, but a lot of the time those little signals that keep the action followable and intelligible were either difficult to pick out, or just not there. At times that absence seemed to verge on open disdain.

After a while, the slippage takes a toll: the mind loses faith in the good faith of the mimesis. It shrugs its shoulders: spare me the thunder, just update me when a clear plot point emerges. Then it's like watching Bush's mimesis of presiding.

Ledger had the Nicholson vanity-of-evil thing going though. Nice to at least believe he knew what he was doing.

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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It would be ungracious of this blog,

having celebrated Mr. Friedman here on more than one occasion for his stalwart billionaire bravado, his goody two-shoes sadism, his facile one flat suck-on-this world of dyslexic olive oil and so much more not to note the latest in a series of panegyrics honoring his moustachioed meatbath, this, from Greenwald:

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Make that a Double Google-Effect

Bruce Heterick, whom I interviewed a while back about JSTOR's delightful notion of keeping the world from knowledge (here and here, not necessarily here), has "published" an article about one key feature of the matter, and of our discussions. It's called Measuring the “Google Effect” at JSTOR.

I can't provide a link to the article, because it's firewalled here. I'm sure there's much of interest in the article, and regret that not just JSTOR's resources, but even the conversation about Google's manifestation of those resources, is under wraps.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Big Mac Panic Attack

Peter Overby at NPR:
Fannie and Freddie have kept their profiles high because of their odd situation: They're not government agencies, but they're not regular corporations either. As government sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, they're often thought to have guarantees of federal support. It lets them get discounts when they borrow money.

To maintain that advantage and others, they hire well-placed politicos for big salaries.

A rival lobbyist once described Fannie Mae as a political organization that happened to be in the mortgage business.

Italics added.

What Overby, a very sharp reporter, is describing could be termed a "rhetorical object." This is not the guarantee of the federal government, but the appearance of that guarantee, the promise of a promise. The underlying blurry charter, history, and function of the Macs depend on the actions of a market that is constantly in need of being persuaded that something that could be true, or could just as well be illusory. Its status is constantly being contested and depends not upon a legal determination but upon the greasification of certain surprisingly august palms.

According to The Center for Investigative Reporting, the gaggle of palms, a distributed chorus of hortatory specialists, includes the likes of James A Johnson, Louis J. Freeh, Rahm Emanuel, Susan Molinari and more who work to maintain this state of affairs because upon its undecided status rests a good portion of their income as well as a considerable portion of their juice:

In the first three months of the year alone, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac spent a combined total of about $3.5 million on lobbying and hired 42 outside firms.

If the object that undergirds so much of the housing, lending, and credit industry worldwide indeed is rhetorical in nature, rather than stable, fixed, and "guaranteed," it might be useful in public discussion to acknowledge this, rather than proceed as if the question of the Big Macs' promise were, in the reductive sense alone, rhetorical.

Update: Another take at Gifthub.

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Monday, July 14, 2008

Projo spiffy

Sheila Lennon has performed an upgrade on the ProJo Blog -- with great good grace, she credits in particular the work of Dave Winer. Dave in turn noted as much on Friendfeed. Nice to see he's brought his usual affability to social media.

Hao Chan metastatizes it.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Losers in Beijing

Those who are unable to join President George W. Bush at the Olympics in Beijing might console themselves with a film that will probably be worth its weight in Olympic Gold, and more than that long after these games are forgotten. See Lost in Beijing and let me know if it doesn't offer more China than you'll ever get from NBC and its multi-tiered affiliates.

The plot involves the mutually assured destruction of two marriages, two claims to paternity, several assertions of mastery (boss, husband, player, trickster) executed with geometric exactitude. Everybody loses as the lives of families unravel along with the city and the larger entity in which it once meant something.

Pieces of the city get sort of not seen by a casual, target-less, restless, jerky camera. It displaces or maybe un-emplaces. You get the piece of something without the foundation shot that sets it within a graspable context. The piece is usually nothing worth seeing, It's more like what you ignore before you get to what you mean to see, which is pushed out. It's a bullying sort of unscenery.

Bullying is big in this film. So is Sino-tchatchke. Characters keep looking for something that keeps not being there. A woman is raped by her boss, the rape is witnessed by her husband, the rapist dreams of finally becoming a father, he ends up paying his cuckhold for the privilege of sham paternity, wives subvert partners and get their deals in writing. They stumble through festoons of hopeless banners, wall hangings, and objets d'art. As the opening scene tells us, you are in for trouble when you hire a prostitute and then feel cheated when she's not carrying a torch. For you.

The film bears traces of censor bullies - 53 of them - which could account for that jerky sense of the camera's not quite being able to see what it's trying to shoot, or shoot what it's trying to see. But I think that's serendipitous -- the censor doing to the film what the film shows China doing to itself. What a rich, mindful, distracted gaze it offers.

For their pains, the film's producers are barred from working for two years.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

I got my Quintilian exercise thru the New York Times

Let's see now. Today's New York Times says

Loan-Agency Woes Swell From a Trickle to a Torrent

In the beginning was the word:
The word began spreading...
inches go by, lined with journalistic cliches offering what is most accurately described as a phantasm - "tumult" "plunging," the cliched trickle "has suddenly become a torrent" ...

All by way of exordium. That's the part of the oration that is designed to capture attention.

Finally, a few inches down, the hooha - the nut graf - the narratio the place where we learn what's at the root of all this viral panic:
What set off this storm, and what happens next?

The cause of this week’s huge declines remains somewhat unclear.
Having been treated to a personification of Rumor, we learn that Charles Duhigg does not know its basis. Mr. Duhigg is the Times employee typing the vivid portrait. He has a Harvard MBA. He proceeds to the confirmatio - the advancement of proofs. "The appeal to logos is emphasized here," says Quintilian. Mr. Duhigg weaves concatenations of mights and coulds and woulds:
  • 5 mights
  • 5 coulds
  • 7 woulds
In one graf, he niftily manages one should, three coulds and a would:
Should that happen again, Fannie and Freddie could suspend buying some loans — which could bring much of the American housing economy to a standstill. Or the companies could continue doing business, but losing money on many of their deals, which would continue to undermine investors’ confidence in the stocks.
Mr. Duhigg doesn't offer much in the way of reprehensio - the bit where you knock down opposition to your figment:

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, for their parts, say such talk is dangerous. Both companies say they have capital on hand that exceeds what is required by their regulator.
Mr. Duhigg's reprehensio:
But people are still worried.
His case - of journaljism - is strong. He buggers off with a quick peroratio, quoting a fearful Florida legislator (Mel Martinez) rather than offering some authorial statement:
“All we can do sometimes is grab on and hope we don’t get thrown off the ride.”

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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

the poo of homogenized discourse

Jeremiah Owyang (friend of Dave Winer) posted a message [on friendfeed]:

Despite all the hubbub about Blogs 'killing' mainstream media in 2005-2006, most of today's top blogs resemble mainstream media or star columnists.
A hubbub of comments ensued.

kiwi light:
The room is painted a "poo" brown. - not very nice. When you buy telepresence you buy the room including all the furnishings etc. this means that every telepresence room looks the same so even if you are using telepresence with other companies you still get the feeling that you are around the same table

trompe l'oeil images.

In both instances, a corporate illusion is introduced to create perspectival effects of continuity, simultaneity, likeness. A necessary part of incorporation?

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Infinite rooms on the intertoobs

Monday, July 07, 2008

In some places, sources are being nicely cared for

If the community of scholars would lend its skills to editing and translating enterprises such as IntraText - it's incredibly rich - click on, for example, Cicero, or his Renaissance buddy, Alberti, and you'll find original texts with concordances -- well, there would be enormous amounts of original source material for all to share.

Kinda makes JSTOR look like...

update: another collection, French this time.

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Friday, July 04, 2008

it deepends

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Defenestrate this corporation immediately

in toyota, if you feel like it you can say no to your boss or act directly against orders and not have to deal with the consequences. korenshadmi via No Caption Needed via dirty beloved

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Turbulent VelTweeta


via Chabert:
With [the] tremendous development of technology, a completely new poverty has descended on mankind. And the reverse side of this poverty is the oppressive wealth of ideas that has been spread among people, or rather has swamped them entirely—ideas that have come with the revival of astrology and the wisdom of yoga, Christian science and chiromancy, vegetarianism and gnosis, scholasticism and spiritualism. For this is not a genuine revival but a galvanization. We need to remind ourselves of Ensor’s magnificent paintings, in which the streets of great cities are filled with ghosts ; philistines in carnival disguises roll endlessly down the streets, wearing distorted masks covered in flour and cardboard crowns on their heads. These paintings are perhaps nothing so much as the reflection of the ghastly and chaotic renaissance in which so many people have placed their hopes.