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From User: Rattle

Current Topic: Media

Book Excerpt: The Assault on Reason by Al Gore
Topic: Media 3:51 pm EDT, May 18, 2007

I didn't read this in detail. Only skimmed it. This observation, connected with an anecdote about the skill of his campaign managers, is quite interesting.

Clearly, at least to some degree, the "consent of the governed" was becoming a commodity to be purchased by the highest bidder. To the extent that money and the clever use of electronic mass media could be used to manipulate the outcome of elections, the role of reason began to diminish.

Its comforting when such control exists in the hands of men like Gore that they are willing to admit it and furthermore see it as a bad thing. I wish, however, that I shared his optimism about the present:

Now, broadband interconnection is supporting decentralized processes that reinvigorate democracy. We can see it happening before our eyes: As a society, we are getting smarter. Networked democracy is taking hold. You can feel it.

I don't feel it. Our politics has become deeply partisan. Few people are willing to maintain a healthy disengagement from identification with one of the ruling parties. They use the network to seek out information that confirms their prejudices, true or not. There are minor ways in which this helps. I can access legislation being considered, and I can speak out. But there are major ways in which it doesn't help. People do not know how to think critically. They don't really seek truth. They seek social validation. The truth is rarely the most comfortable option. It has a tendency to challenge you.

Book Excerpt: The Assault on Reason by Al Gore

Reason Magazine - South Park Libertarians
Topic: Media 3:20 am EST, Dec 12, 2006

Stone: I had Birkenstocks in high school. I was that guy. And I was sure that those people on the other side of the political spectrum were trying to control my life. And then I went to Boulder and got rid of my Birkenstocks immediately, because everyone else had them and I realized that these people over here want to control my life too. I guess that defines my political philosophy. If anybody’s telling me what I should do, then you’ve got to really convince me that it’s worth doing.

I find this comment strongly resonates with me and my life.

Reason Magazine - South Park Libertarians

Friendster lost steam. Is MySpace just a fad?
Topic: Media 9:17 am EST, Mar 23, 2006

A lot of folks have asked me "What went wrong with Friendster? Why is MySpace any different?" I guess i never directly answered that question, even though i've addressed the causes in other talks. Still, i guess it would be helpful to piece some of it together and directly attend to this question.

* Social technologies succeed when they fit into the social lives and practices of those who engage with the technology.
* People use the social technologies that all of their friends are using.
* Social technologies need benevolent dictators who love their constituents.
* It's not all about productivity.
* It is not about technological perfection.
* Is it all a fad?

This essay by Danah Boyd is worth a read. Danah is a Berkley PhD student who has been watching this space very closely for quite some time now and has always shown some good insight. Also take a look at the followup post where she talks about the term "super publics" in the context of traditional communications theory.

Friendster lost steam. Is MySpace just a fad?

Al Gore tells it like it is
Topic: Media 2:08 am EDT, Oct  7, 2005

I came here today because I believe that American democracy is in grave danger. It is no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse . I know that I am not the only one who feels that something has gone basically and badly wrong in the way America's fabled "marketplace of ideas" now functions.

It is important to note that the absence of a two-way conversation in American television also means that there is no "meritocracy of ideas" on television. To the extent that there is a "marketplace" of any kind for ideas on television, it is a rigged market, an oligopoly, with imposing barriers to entry that exclude the average citizen.

Gore peppers this speech with some annoying political swipes, but the core message is something that I have strongly believed for what is now a very long time.

Al Gore tells it like it is

Welcome to California
Topic: Media 8:55 am EDT, Jun  7, 2005

Arnold is PodCasting. So is Rush

Where are the dems?

Welcome to California

Wired News: Podcasting Killed the Radio Star
Topic: Media 1:45 am EDT, Apr 28, 2005

] Podcasting will soon break out of the "pod" and onto the
] public airwaves.
] The world's first all-podcast radio station will be
] launched on May 16 by Infinity Broadcasting, the radio
] division of Viacom.

Read as: They are going to play Podcasts.

] In addition to the newfound reach promised by radio
] broadcast, podcasters may be free to include in their
] podcasts some music from major record labels, Infinity said.
] The company said it plans to cover the cost of music-licensing
] fees, which are prohibitively high for most individuals.
] In part because of licensing requirements, which usually cover
] only broadcast and streaming, the company has no plans to
] provide downloadable program archives.

Got programming? Infinity has transmitters..

] Hollander said Infinity does not plan to assert ownership
] claims on content submitted by podcasters, who will remain
] free to publish their podcasts on the internet -- or anywhere
] else they choose.
] "They can give it to us and give it to somebody else, because
] we're not taking anything away from them," Hollander said.
] "We're just helping them reach a broader audience with
] our bandwidth."

There is where the Podcasting space starts to get interesting.

Wired News: Podcasting Killed the Radio Star

small world
Topic: Media 11:48 pm EST, Mar 30, 2004

Brilliant commentary on configure-your-friends/six-degree style social network sites.

small world

OhMyNews English Edition
Topic: Media 9:20 am EST, Feb 23, 2004

OhMyNews has started an English language section.

OhMyNews English Edition

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