Tuesday, June 30, 2009

McClatchy vs. Daily Show

Here's the thing: The Daily Show sent a "reporter" to Iran to cover the elections. McClatchy Corp, owner of 32 daily newspapers, sent no one.

I can see that they couldn't afford to, and it's much easier to reprint whatever the New York Times produces. But this is exactly the sort of hole in reporting that I hope we figure out how to fill. Maybe the Huffington Post will eventually have a foreign correspondent doing reporting like this. But the Daily Show? Really?

My brain hurts.

Monday, June 29, 2009

ASCAP are huge jerks

Artists should get paid. But suing AT&T for ringtone performance fees? If the cell phone companies aren't properly reimbursing the holders of the rights of the music, that's one thing. But ASCAP has gone way off the rails in their insane copyright arguments about ringtones. Damn.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wikipedia wars

Now that we know about the group that banned Scientology members from editing Wikipedia, it's interesting to learn about the various other fierce internal wikipedia debates. Like the one about whether Lucky Charms is sold in Ireland. Or how significant it is that Bono plays the harmonica.

Thank you Internet. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to care and fight passionately about such tiny, tiny things. Thank you for making it easy to ignore torture and famine and war.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


And now, a story about testosterone, or the lack of it. Just as with This American Life's episode about testosterone, you kind of don't want the differences to be as stark as they are. You wish that the differences between women and men had more shades of gray, with exceptions to the rule. And they do exist. But they don't get their columns published in the New York Times or have stories on This American Life.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Anonymous Blogging - Ethical?

There's an interesting debate about anonymity going on right now. Two guys who disagree strenuously about politics were arguing, and the conservative unmasked the liberal who blogs under a pseudonym.

I was taught at [elite liberal-arts] College to take responsibility for my words. That writing without putting my name by it was dirty, and anonymity allows for the worst in people to lash out without consequence. Certainly on the internet it's easy for anonymity to allow the worst in people to come out.

But some are making good points about the distinction between pseudonyms and anonymous writing. You can hold a pseudonymous writer to account to a limited extent - you can form a long term opinion about a body of work, you can quote previous writings to refute current arguments. You can't put toilet paper in the tree outside their house, but that's possibly a good thing.

I don't put my full name on this blog because I'm easily stalkable. Hell, there's enough already here for you to figure out where I live, but I'm going to make you work for it. Am I ethical in trying for a little privacy? What if I used a completely fake name, like monkeydude?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Scientology banned from editing Wikipedia

You know, if you're so aggressive in defending your reputation that you constantly shout out opposing points of view, to the point that Wikipedia bans all members of your organization from editing, you might be a cult.

I wonder where Scientology will be 100 years from now. Will they mature into a fringe religion like the Mormons? Or will they be like Pythagoras' bean cult, popular in its time but a historical curiosity?

Thursday, June 4, 2009


Yesterday I posted a video of Hitler complaining that people are posting videos of Hitler online.

Now I read that Apple blocked an iPhone app for linking to a Hitler video. They did this, in fact, because the video at one point has a curse word on screen.

There's so much copyright awesome nerditude here. The video was made legally, which turns out to be quite difficult given the terms of the DMCA. And Apple banned the app because it linked to a video about banning, in which those who ban are personified by Hitler.

I think this might possibly be amusing. But it's so confusing, I'm not sure.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Hitler is a Meme

Not everyone may find this funny, but I find the idea of altering subtitles to put words in Hitler's mouth hilarious. This video is one of hundreds out there.