Tagged in: media

The Rundown for Wednesday, July 7th 2010

Mistress Internet reveals her hidden delights in response to my tender ministrations:

  • Borders Gets in the E-book Game
    Seems they are selling titles in epub format. Easy to convert with Calibre to make them Kindle ready…
    Filed Under:[books ebooks technology media publishing ]
  • The Rundown for Thursday, May 27th 2010

    Mistress Internet reveals her hidden delights in response to my tender ministrations:

  • How to Save the News
    by James Fallows @ The Atlantic
    Filed Under:[google economics journalism media toread theatlantic ]
  • How to Get a Book Deal: Lessons From My Adventures in the World of Non-Fiction Publishing
  • @ Studyhacks
    Filed Under:[advice howto writing publishing books toread ]
  • Cyberpunk detective novel Altered Carbon really is all that
    Altered Carbon book review @ io9.
    Filed Under:[books bookreviews cyberpunk scifi ]
  • The Nation of Gods and Earths – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  • Filed Under:[islam religion toread cults fringe ]

  • 21st Amendement Brewery
    One of my favorite spots.
    Filed Under:[bayarea beer sanfrancisco breweries ]
  • Shrill

    Bill O'Reilly

    I like politics. I hate punditry. I’m interested in the way public policy is conceived, debated,  and implemented. The ins and outs of political sausage-making fascinate me. Theoretically, at least. In practice, the problem is that the only way to keep up with the K Street wheeling and dealing of our elected representatives is to consume some manner of (and I use the term loosely) news. And right now, there’s no such thing.

    The tenor of the national conversation tends to be such that reasoned debate or thorough reporting never actually happens. The television replaces it with shrill, shrieking talking heads who take turns yelling at each other and making disingenuous attempts at “balance” by having shrill, shrieking talking heads from the opposing political party yell at them. And then they cry. I’m not calling out for some standard of objectivity, or news outlets. A certain amount of lean or bias is an inescapable aspect of the human condition, and as long as they own up to it I’m fine with that aspect of the media. I know that in the early days,  political reporting was done by the most viscious of partisan hacks and I don’t see a big gap between the libelous pamphleteers of the 1700s and Fox news, say. And that doesn’t bother me

    Bias is fine, but at least give us some reporting somewhere in between the shouting and bullying. Even if it’s biased reporting, give us some facts and some depth not just regurgitated talking points and press releases. Whether its the conspiracy theories and calculated histrionics of the Glenn Becks, the aggressively dismissive shouting of the Chris Mathews,  or the smarmy condescension of the Rachel Maddows, watchers of news get nothing but punditry. Blogs are even more brazenly partisan, and the echo chamber effect means that links and links give lots of cross-pollination but outside of a few serious outlets there is even less room for actual reporting. Newspapers. meanwhile are heaving the last choking sobs of their death spasms.

    As fake news becomes the only palatable outlet for keeping up with the day-to-day political landscape, Americans lose something important. As much as I love the Stewarts, Colberts, and (to a lesser degree) Mahers of the world they are a poor substitute for substantive news reporting, told in manner meant to educate more than it entertains.

    Haiku of the Quotidian: What’s So Great About Twitter, Anyway?

    I’m screwing around with Twitter.

    The service was a blip on my radar when it emerged a couple years back, and I promptly discarded it as a pointless waste of time. But its been in the news quite a bit lately, with apparently huge numbers of people migrating to the service. I thought maybe I am missing out on something, so I decided to give Twitter another chance because maybe I missed something. It wouldn’t be the first time. I tend to be something of an early rejecter, discovering trends while they are fresh and cutting edge, then deciding that I want nothing to do with them until a few years when they become popular and I come around. I did it with Myspace, I did it with Facebook.

    It seems to me that its a little redundant, offering the status updates of Facebook and nothing else. It seems to me that Twitter doesn’t do anything that you couldn’t accomplish more easily elsewhere. I just don’t get the appeal, and I don’t mean that harshly. I just feel like I must be missing something.

    After creating an account, you are prompted to tell Twitter what you are doing. You have 140 characters to respond, and while I appreciate the creativity that such constraints brings out I can’t help but wonder what the point is. Economy of language is good, but maybe 140 characters explaining what I had for breakfast is still 140 characters too many.

    Part of the problem is no doubt that I am coming to the service cold. I don’t know anyone on Twitter, so I am approaching it almost purely as a consumer. I picked a few famous-ish people to follow (mostly writers and newsish types) and I get a continual stream of their updates. These hold my interest but I don’t think my life would be diminished if I didn’t read the mini-observations and work updates of these quasi-celebrities. My life doesn’t feel any richer for them. I also randomly picked some people to follow from blogs that I read whose voice I feel like I know. But the majority of the output seems to be half-cocked thoughts and observations, frequently witty but ultimately unsatisfying.

    Twitter updates (tweets as the cool kids say) feel like intellectually empty calories.

    And those are the good ones. I’m not even getting into the multiple followers I receive that want to tell me about their SEO opportunities or their marketing consulting. I guess there’s nothing wrong with using social media to solicit business, but I really don’t need another place where people are always trying to sell me.

    Granted, my experience would be far different if I had a group of friends who were all avid Twitterers. The ability to engage in back-and-forth tweets using @replies seems like one of the coolest features but since I don’t actually know anyone on the service I feel weird interjecting myself into their conversations. I’m never sure what the etiquette is on social media sites, and I hate looking like a jackass.

    I’ve only launched a handful of tweets myself. I feel self-conscience enough writing here where I generally try to think my posts out and not write anything here unless I have something to say. Your mileage may vary. Not every post on Semantic Drift is as insightful or deep as I would like, but they do tend to be more substantial than what tends to fly on Twitter. I worry enough about the value of my regular blogging without burdening the world with even more tangential ephemera in microblogging form.

    Like any open-minded young person, I don’t mind experimenting. I’ll continue to play with it for a while, but it seems like Twitter and I don’t have very much of a future together. This feels like another web2.0 fizzle.  It will likely turn out to be a brief flirtation like the Digg Affair of Summer 2007 or my abortive fling with last.fm. Or it might turn out to be an internet Friend with Benefits like Del.icio.us.

    The jury is still out.

    Internet Goodies for Sunday, January 11th 2009

    Back in San Francisco and positively tingling with anticipation for classes to start, I still have a few links for my adoring public.

  • 9 Reasons Not to Attend Law School
    All true, and yet I remain undeterred.Filed Under [lawschool ]
  • People Who Deserve It
    Deserve what? A punch in the face, of course.”This blog is not written with malice or scorn, but with a sincere desire to witness the upward progression of the human race. And some people are ruining it for everybody.
    People who wear sunglasses inside.
    Savages who pee on the seat.
    This kind of conduct only perpetuates the acceptance of degenerate behavior.
    On this space log, you will find examples of socially responsible reasons to punch someone in the face. And remember, we do it for the kids.”

    Filed Under [humor blogs ]

  • Borges: Pathways of the (Postmodern) Mind
    Jorge Luis Borges and some problems of taxonomy.”At first glance, I was fascinated by the idea of so many academics being fooled by a supposed misquote. But then I saw: in these three paragraphs there are multiple levels of story going on. First of all, academic infighting: “they hoped to tear me apart.” Then the philosophical differences between Modernists and Postmodernists, which is interesting in itself, because really, their conflict is all about ways of thinking about reality. Which is, of course what Borges’ works all played with.”

    Filed Under [literature philosophy postmodernism ]

  • Zoom Baby, Zoom
    A panoramic photo with awesome details.Filed Under [photography ]
  • Is it Art?
    Re: the cultural significance of video games.”There is no other medium that produces so pure a cultural segregation as video games, so clean-cut a division between the audience and the non-audience. Books, films, TV, dance, theatre, music, painting, photography, sculpture, all have publics which either are or aren’t interested in them, but at least know that these forms exist, that things happen in them in which people who are interested in them are interested. They are all part of our current cultural discourse. Video games aren’t. Video games have people who play them, and a wider public for whom they simply don’t exist.”

    Filed Under [media videogames ]

  • NIN best selling cc-licensed music
    Lawrence Lessig considers the implications of Nine Inch Nail’s CC licensed album’s success.”Even more exciting, however, is that Ghosts I-IV is ranked the best selling MP3 album of 2008 on Amazon’s MP3 store.”

    Filed Under [music copyright creativecommons ]

  • What WWE champion Mick Foley thought of The Wrestler Mankind talks about a movie I am dying to see, but haven’t yet:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         “I even heard that I was one of his influences in preparing for the role. But what did Hollywood know about my business, anyway? Who had they ever beaten? (As we say in the biz.)”Filed Under [criticism film sports wrestling ]
  • On Language – Bleeping Expletives
    William Safire examines the media’s censorship techniques:
    “The need for today’s review is the coverage given to the participial modifier employed with great frequency and immortalized on recordings of telephone conversations made by the F.B.I. as its shocked — shocked! — agents eavesdropped on Rod Blagojevich, the Illinois governor. His favorite intensifier was reproduced in many newspapers and Internet sites with dashes as “—-ing” or with asterisks as “****ing” and was substituted in broadcasts, telecasts and Netcasts as a word descriptive of the sound called bleep.”

    Filed Under [media language profanity nytimes ]

  • Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere: writing The Other
    “I think he does an overall good job with female characters. But the imperfections of a writer like Gaiman, however small, are infinitely more revealing to discuss than are the the glaring mistakes of writers who don’t even seem to like women.”Filed Under [criticism Comics feminist ]
  • Some Modest Advice for Young Law Scholars
    “If you want to have an easy tenure case, here are some modest suggestions”Filed Under [law lawschool academia ]
  • Net Scavenging for the New Year, January 4th 2009

    How did I spend New Year’s Eve? I drank beer.  I watched Justice League cartoons. I read Vonnegut. I fired a shotgun into the air. Not a bad way to send out 2008, symbolically speaking. Here’s some digital detritus:

  • Town Asks Kung Fu Monks for Tourism Blessings”
    “Mr. Dou found a savior 1,200 miles away, in the Song Mountains of central China, where the warrior monks of Shaolin have mastered the art of monastery marketing.” Can you get a black belt in that?
    Filed Under [religion nytimes china tourism ]
  • William Burroughs: Do Easy
    “DE is a way of doing. It is a way of doing everything you do. DE simply means doing whatever you do in the easiest most relaxed way you can manage which is also the quickest and most efficient way, as you will find as you advance in DE.” A sort of everyday zen.
    Filed Under [psychology ]
  • Daredevil: The Man Without Fear
    A resource for my favorite superhero.
    Filed Under [Comics superheroes ]
  • Abandoned London
    A Flickr set.
    Filed Under [photography flickr ]
  • A New Taxonomy of Gamers
    A thoughtful look at what we talk about when we talk about video games and the geeks (and others) who play them.
    Filed Under [Culture criticism videogames ]
  • Long Now: Projects: Clock
    “The idea to build a monument scale, multi-millennial, all mechanical clock as an icon to long term thinking.” Just having read Anathem, this sort of thing is on my mind.
    Filed Under [science technology philosophy ]
  • Choose Your Own Adventure Short Films
    Cinematical offers some short films that require a little audience participation, just like those books you remember.
    Filed Under [movies postmodernism ]
  • Internet Goodies for Wednesday, October 29th 2008

    Linking and driving, only without the driving.

  • 20 Civil Liberties Laws Every American Should Know – Criminal Justice Degrees Guide

    Filed Under [none]

  • Intellectual Property Colloquium
    "The project is called the Intellectual Property Colloquium, and it is essentially an online audio program devoted to intellectual property topics. It aspires to be something like an NPR talk show, but it will focuse on copyrights and patents, and is aimed primarily at a legal audience. The programs are neither lectures nor debates. They are conversations, ideally thoughtful ones, with guests drawn from academia, the entertainment community, and the various technology industries."
    Filed Under [none]
  • Authors, Publishers, and Google Reach Landmark Settlement – MarketWatch

    Filed Under [none]

  • Mexico acknowledges drug gang infiltration of police – Los Angeles Times
    Los Departedo
    Filed Under [none]
  • We Don’t Need Another War on Poverty : City Journal Autumn 2008

    Filed Under [none]

  • Moving Toward Web 2.0 in K-12 Education | Britannica Blog

    Filed Under [none]

  • Joe Simon, a Creator of Captain America, Still Fighting for Comic Book Artists at 94 – New York Times

    Filed Under [superheroes marvel comics law ]

  • EFF:Legal Guide for Bloggers
    "The goal here is to give you a basic roadmap to the legal issues you may confront as a blogger, to let you know you have rights, and to encourage you to blog freely with the knowledge that your legitimate speech is protected."
    Filed Under [technology law journalism media blogging ]