During a recent trip I took to San Francisco I picked up an incredible piece of musical history. It’s a single (vinyl) from 1984 of the SF 49ers singing “We’re the 49ers.”
This record signaled the beginning of an alarming trend in which football teams produced their own music.Â It started with this, in 1984, and followed by half a dozen more teams making complete asses of themselves. Whether rationalized to show their toughness, their rhythm, or what have you, these records may be mesmerizing for fans, but History must now look back on them with disdain.
These are not stadium songs, cheerleader tunes, ra ra fight songs, but songs sung by the team, involving two-stepping, quarterback solos, and pop culture references and full-blown music productions.
The record I picked up is pretty tame, and goes a little something like this:
I’m overwhelmed with a lot of aspects of New York. But when I think of what I want to photograph, it’s hard to think about what I wanna capture. After spending 21 days as a real resident of Brooklyn, NY, I definitely could see more to get that “critical distance” to finally start taking meaningful photos. And by meaningful, I mean important to me as a moment in time, shown in a way that may survive as a compelling image-memory of that moment.
Because I went to school nearby, had internships in the city, and traveled with my family to NY over the years, I’ve had a lot of outsider experience with the city. Having a key to open my own door, however, is a new thing.
There’s some images near where I work and live that I’d like to photograph, but It’s far too cold now so I’m gonna look back at past photo times while I wonder if my friend at Citibank (read this) will get fired.
Here’s some I’d like to share:
Malibu, California Continue reading “Thinking about Photos”
Me and the entire team here at Moneydick.com would like to wish Obama well in this important contest for supreme ruler of earth. In truth, Obama’s the least worst of the bunch, but he’ll do. In the tradition of leaving the details to others, I’d like to close this post with a recent email from Moveon.org. Too often Moveon just throws out facts like they’re golden, expecting you to pester Congressmen over issues that are far too complex to explain in a couple sentences–this email takes a hint from academia and throws some footnotes onto some facets of McCain’s record. Read them if you like…
10 things you should know about John McCain (but probably don’t):
1. John McCain voted against establishing a national holiday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Now he says his position has “evolved,” yet he’s continued to oppose key civil rights laws.1
2. According to Bloomberg News, McCain is more hawkish than Bush on Iraq, Russia and China. Conservative columnist Pat Buchanan says McCain “will make Cheney look like Gandhi.”2
3. His reputation is built on his opposition to torture, but McCain voted against a bill to ban waterboarding, and then applauded President Bush for vetoing that ban.3
4. McCain opposes a woman’s right to choose. He said, “I do not support Roe versus Wade. It should be overturned.”4
5. The Children’s Defense Fund rated McCain as the worst senator in Congress for children. He voted against the children’s health care bill last year, then defended Bush’s veto of the bill.5
6. He’s one of the richest people in a Senate filled with millionaires. The Associated Press reports he and his wife own at least eight homes! Yet McCain says the solution to the housing crisis is for people facing foreclosure to get a “second job” and skip their vacations.6
7. Many of McCain’s fellow Republican senators say he’s too reckless to be commander in chief. One Republican senator said: “The thought of his being president sends a cold chill down my spine. He’s erratic. He’s hotheaded. He loses his temper and he worries me.”7
8. McCain talks a lot about taking on special interests, but his campaign manager and top advisers are actually lobbyists. The government watchdog group Public Citizen says McCain has 59 lobbyists raising money for his campaign, more than any of the other presidential candidates.8
9. McCain has sought closer ties to the extreme religious right in recent years. The pastor McCain calls his “spiritual guide,” Rod Parsley, believes America’s founding mission is to destroy Islam, which he calls a “false religion.” McCain sought the political support of right-wing preacher John Hagee, who believes Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for gay rights and called the Catholic Church “the Antichrist” and a “false cult.”9
10. He positions himself as pro-environment, but he scored a 0â€”yes, zeroâ€”from the League of Conservation Voters last year.10
John McCain is not who the Washington press corps make him out to be. Please help get the word outâ€”forward this email to your personal network. And if you want us to keep you posted on MoveOn’s work to get the truth out about John McCain, sign up here:
Thank you for all you do.
â€“Eli, Justin, Noah, Laura, and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Â Saturday, April 5th, 2008
1. “The Complicated History of John McCain and MLK Day,” ABC News, April 3, 2008
“McCain Facts,” ColorOfChange.org, April 4, 2008
2. “McCain More Hawkish Than Bush on Russia, China, Iraq,” Bloomberg News, March 12, 2008
“Buchanan: John McCain ‘Will Make Cheney Look Like Gandhi,'” ThinkProgress, February 6, 2008
3. “McCain Sides With Bush On Torture Again, Supports Veto Of Anti-Waterboarding Bill,” ThinkProgress, February 20, 2008
4. “McCain says Roe v. Wade should be overturned,” MSNBC, February 18, 2007
5. “2007 Children’s Defense Fund Action CouncilÂ® Nonpartisan Congressional Scorecard,” February 2008
“McCain: Bush right to veto kids health insurance expansion,” CNN, October 3, 2007
6. “Beer Executive Could Be Next First Lady,” Associated Press, April 3, 2008
“McCain Says Bank Bailout Should End `Systemic Risk,'” Bloomberg News, March 25, 2008
7. “Will McCain’s Temper Be a Liability?,” Associated Press, February 16, 2008
“Famed McCain temper is tamed,” Boston Globe, January 27, 2008
8. “Black Claims McCain’s Campaign Is Above Lobbyist Influence: ‘I Don’t Know What The Criticism Is,'” ThinkProgress, April 2, 2008
“McCain’s Lobbyist Friends Rally ‘Round Their Man,” ABC News, January 29, 2008
9. “McCain’s Spiritual Guide: Destroy Islam,” Mother Jones Magazine, March 12, 2008
“Will McCain Specifically ‘Repudiate’ Hagee’s Anti-Gay Comments?,” ThinkProgress, March 12, 2008
“McCain ‘Very Honored’ By Support Of Pastor Preaching ‘End-Time Confrontation With Iran,'” ThinkProgress, February 28, 2008
10. “John McCain Gets a Zero Rating for His Environmental Record,” Sierra Club, February 28, 2008
Now, please help me find a speech like this by the other two candidates…
Let’s talk about awards. Statistics:
The speech has been featured on the News and Politics pages for 19 nations besides USA. (featured by youtube staff) #1 Most viewed today in News and Politics. #1 Most Favorited Today.
March 18th, 10:15am, Philadelphia, PA (text from WSJ)
‚ÄúWe the people, in order to form a more perfect union.‚Äù
Two hundred and twenty one years ago, in a hall that still stands across the street, a group of men gathered and, with these simple words, launched America‚Äôs improbable experiment in democracy. Farmers and scholars; statesmen and patriots who had traveled across an ocean to escape tyranny and persecution finally made real their declaration of independence at a Philadelphia convention that lasted through the spring of 1787.
Continue reading “A more perfect Union – Barack Obama, Philadelphia, PA”
(update: The Issue has closed its doors. wah)
Crowdsourcing is another word for clown sourcing. Things have to change. Digg is filled with lolcats and misspelled link descriptions. It’s like Web 2.0 run by monkeys. Google constantly fights the capitalistic art of search engine optimization, making true content discovery more difficult. We have a problem. There’s so much quality content out there, but no way to get to it.
The massive democratic aggregation of content will never be a quality portrait of media, news, entertainment, culture, or sports.
The Old Model
FARK, the original link blog (circa 2000), grew to popularity because of the distinct flavor of the place. It was a linkdump for high school kids who liked stories about animals getting electrocuted while motor homes caught fire. Mr. Drew Curtis |npr interview| would go through his inbox and see if anything made him churtle. If it did, it made it to the list. Today, it still retains the quality of a high schooler’s myspace blog, but I can’t knock it. A stupid post about Fake State mottos I compiled made it to the front page in 2003. Twenty one thousand hits (in 2003 numbers) in one day gave me my first e-erection. Still, most posts are like this:
Improving on Fark
Sites like Mahalo are gaining ground because they provide an (sometimes) enlightened editor to cover a topic. New Web 2.0 or whatever point oh sites try to resolve the problem of mechanistic content discovery.
Google’s response to what we can consider mechanistic content discovery is the ‘knol.’ Building on the success of Wikipedia, Google announced that they will be introducing ‘knol,’ a more conventional encyclopedia with articles written by actual people. It’s nothing new. The knol is just a fancy term for a new ‘About.com.’ All the hype about Google’s ‘knol’ is silly. Google writes:
A knol on a particular topic is meant to be the first thing someone who searches for this topic for the first time will want to read. The goal is for knols to cover all topics, from scientific concepts, to medical information, from geographical and historical, to entertainment, from product information, to how-to-fix-it instructions.
Compare this to About.com’s about page:
Exclusive to About.com, over 600 expert “Guides” steer About.com’s content – sharing their passions, expertise and how-to information with visitors every day. The result is a vast information “bank” that couples the breadth and reach of large content providers such as AOL and MSN with the depth of consumer-focused sites like CNET and WebMD.
The only difference between Google’s Knol and About.com’s ‘Aboutie?’ is that anyone can write a or comment on a knol. To contact an about.com writer, you have to painstakingly EMAIL THEM. I think every expert should write from a ivory tower on a mountaintop, dropping their typewritten pages to secretaries below. But that’s just me.
In content discovery, Web 2.0 was the birth of dynamic crap (DC)
The list of Digg clones is a testament to how amazing this idea of democratic media seems. Just sit back, and promote your site. Have people vomit out links, and let the public decide. It’s kind of like having people fill a warehouse with random interesting things they find. People entering this warehouse of crap press a button to elevate crap they find interesting.
Time for Change
The aggregator and the digg clone is out. People who talk about the next ‘Digg Killer’ piss me off. Digg is not what we need. We need a swift kick in the head, or perhaps a slam in the back of the head with a NEWSPAPER. I’m not saying the web has failed, just our idea of dynamic content. ‘Reliability’ in content comes from experience, honesty, and education. Not from the number of people who chortled. Digg should not be hackable. This list of ways to get on Digg is just what I’m talking about, and it speaks to all social media sites (the list itself is touted as ‘Diggable’). Formulas and ‘post on a Monday at 5pm’ strategies kill the reliability of content.
Enter ‘The Issue’
If you want to shed a tear, please read their mission statement. In a word, it’s beautiful. It goes straight to the heart:
Exposure to alternate perspectives is invaluable in a media source. Without this exposure, the breadth of understanding will always be limited to the pre existing context of the reader. If the aim of a media source is to expand the understanding of its readers, to help them better understand their perspective and those of others, then publishing different points of view is fundamental.
The evolution of blogs, from eccentric personal diaries to influential and reliable news sources, has created the opportunity for a new genre of newspaper-one that can effectively expose its readers to myriad points of view while maintaining the highest editorial standards. The Issue aims to harness these perspectives in order to shed light on the news that affects us all. Our mission is ambitious, but we believe that even partial success will create a valuable resource.
It’s what we need, and there are lots like it. Blogging doesn’t have to be sloppy. The mission statement for 10ZenMonkeys is very similar:
We have declared ourselves a ‘webzine,’ as opposed to a blog, and that was quite deliberate. Because we’re seasoned, professional journalists and authors, and are committed to publishing thorough, feature-length articles, we just thought it fit better…But unlike the mainstream media, our content is very heavily informed by the blogs themselves, which is visible in the themes we explore, such as: technology news and gossip, internet phenomena and controversies, and even our coverage of politics and media. Our voice is firmly rooted in the flux-bound memes of the digital culture.
Caring about Content is Key
Content discovery should be natural and organic. Things you share should be things you care about. Here’s some more services that move in the right direction:
But at the end, we need editors. No amount of technology or algorithm could ever replace a real person who knows what’s worth reading. Believe it or not, other people know better than us. It’s the PHDs who tend to write the most insightful Digg comments, but none of us have enough minutes in the day to seek out their blogs. We can do better than this:
I scoured my Google Reader shared items for things I want to share.
Hey, how y’all doing out there? I done lost my voice. Y’all be strong now, alright? Don, thanks man. I love you, Gloria, always baby. That’s all I got to say. Hey, don’t y’all worry about me, okay? [link]
An artistic exploration of Fictional Radio Spaces — coming to terms with the unseeable frequencies surrounding us…
Clips from “The Mystery of Life” (1967) – a show addressing genetics, eugenics, and the future.
Stache and Beard world championships (via tiff)
Plans unveiled for the A380 ‘flying VIP palace‘ for billionaires. (already has a buyer)
It’s not your daddy’s 747 [via things magazine]:
Closing with a sad story…
Well you probably missed it, but November 21st was ‘No Music Day‘ in Scotland. I like the idea:
It’s meant to make people appreciate music the day before St. Cecilia’s day (the patron saint of music). I highly recommend reading the comments on this whole thing I pasted below. My favorites are bolded.
I doubt this will catch on. There’s little offensive or charged about music, and there’s really no reason for it. And mostly it takes attention away from more worthy moratorium days like ‘Buy Nothing Day‘ set up by Adbusters.
Make sure you don’t miss ‘When the Space Age Blasted Off, Pop Culture Followed‘, another article typical in this blossoming period of Cold War reflection. But it’s not the typical ‘unclassified something or other reveals that…’ type of history/pop article. This article focuses on the space race/boom as a sort of cultural and artistic grandparent whose habits and tastes have significantly influenced our architecture and artifact design. Let me help illustrate.
Do you see Kubrick’s 2001, the Swedish design school of the 80s, The Jetsons, and trillions of other cultural possessions in the above shape?
As a genuine American aesthetic, the space technology influences provide us with the heritage to design the Mac, the Ford Thunderbird, and the insides of art galleries.
From the article:.
Many cultural critics say probably the biggest impact can be seen in architecture. Especially in California and elsewhere in the West, the work of architects like John Lautner transformed the look of cities and highways with upswept winglike roofs, domes, satellite shapes and starbursts that became the dominant visual language of motels, diners and gasoline stations.
A Russian-themed Sputnik enthusiast’s video. It sounded like this on ham radios worldwide.
John Lautner, spaceman supreme. Continue reading “A Post Sputnik Era Reflection”
I stumbled across what I thought was a joke feature film showcasing the sport of ‘staredown.’ You know…. gazing dreamily into someone’s eyes until they blink. I figured it was like making a feature film about the IACJ (the International Association of Cat Jugglers). But as it turns out the NASP is a real organization with a genuine rule book. And olympics-like drug restrictions (though you can use eyedrops before a match).
Here’s a quote from the rule book:
B. The Match
i. Staredown does not have a time limit. A match will continue until a winner is determined.
ii. Competitors may not smile during a match. Smiling or laughing is grounds for immediate disqualification.
iii. There are not time-outs in Staredown and no stoppages in play are allowed.
iv. Sneezing and coughing are strictly forbidden.
iv.1.If a competitor sneezes/coughs on another player he/she is disqualified.
iv.2.If a competitor turns away to sneeze/cough he/she will be disqualified.
v. Burping is strictly forbidden. A competitor who burps (intentionally or unintentionally) will be disqualified.
vi. Spitting is strictly forbidden. Any competitor who spits in the face of another competitor will immediately be banned from participating in any NASP sactioned event.
So check out ‘Unflinching Triumph.’ A full length completely online film. It seems like a drawn out SNL skit. The people and their issues just don’t seem real.