Thursday, March 31, 2005

blog of a madman

…It is one of the most deplorable traits of our strange civilization that we are still discovering truths that are commonplace even among peoples much less advanced than we. This is because we have never moved in concert with the other peoples. We are not a part of any of the great families of the human race; we are neither of the West nor of the East, and we have not the traditions of either. We stand, as it were, outside of time, the universal education of mankind has not touched us…

Look around you. Everyone seems to have one foot in the air. One would think that we are all in transit. No one has a fixed sphere of existence; there are no proper habits, no rules that govern anything. We do not even have homes; there is nothing to tie us down, nothing that arouses our sympathies and affections, nothing enduring, nothing lasting. Everything passes, flows away, leaving no trace either outside or within us. In our homes, we are like guests; to our families, we are like strangers; and in our cities we seem like nomads, more so than those who wander our steppes, for they are more attached to their deserts than we are to our towns...

Our memories reach back no further than yesterday; we are, as it were, strangers to ourselves. We move through time in such a singular manner that, as we advance, the past is lost to us forever. That is but a natural consequence of a culture that consists entirely of imports and imitation. Among us there is no internal development, no natural progress; new ideas sweep out the old, because they are not derived from the old but tumble down upon us from who knows where. We absorb all our ideas ready-made, and therefore the indelible trace left in the mind by a progressive movement of ideas, which gives it strength, does not shape our intellect. We grow, but we do not mature; we move, but along a crooked path, that is, one that does not lead to the desired goal. We are like children who have not been taught to think for themselves: when they become adults, they have nothing of their their own--all their knowledge is on the surface of their being, their soul is not within them. That is precisely our situation

Peoples, like individuals, are moral beings. Their education takes centuries, as it takes years for that of persons. In a way, one could say that we are an exception among peoples. We are one of those nations, which do not seem to be an integral part of the human race, but exist only in order to teach some great lesson to the world.

Petr Chaadaev
Philosophical Letters Addressed to a Lady (1829)

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

days of our queens

A Republican clinamen of public accountability was held here in southwest Florida yesterday. FEMA Secretary Michael Brown, at the behest and invitation of legacy Congressguy Connie Mack IV, arrived to answer questions from folks still "coping" with problems from last year's four hurricanes.

Many of the people who came were coughing, asmatic, living in mold-infested homes, or cars. Some had received FEMA trailers but had no furniture. Some had applied for FEMA trailers but, for reasons lost in the bureaucrasphere, had been denied, or simply ignored.

Mr. Brown's approach was to rally, as though it were a matter of morale. Like a beloved general who knows all will be well if the troops are loyal, he listened attentively, always with the disclaimer that he might not know all the answers, but he'd get them.

But it was not a matter of questions or answers. Nothing in the need these people were facing took the essential nature of a question, or even a complaint. There was simply the plight they are in, and the absence of a way out.

Nearly every time a resident had coughed her way through some harrowing description of loss and unintelligible Federal stonefacedness, Brown summoned a FEMA lackey in navy blue and have name and information taken, for follow-up.

No one seemed to be charged with taking notes to make sure all the promises of follow up were actually recorded, let alone followed up.

The format was reminiscent of the Springer show, where some obstreperous guest is seized by giant bouncers and wrestled to the ground. Here, as these people told their stories, they were hustled off to be attended to in private.

The upshot: several people received promises of help: "We'll look into this." "We'll see if we can't get you some help." "I don't know why this happened, but we'll see what we can do."

But, apart from these individual promises, there was the absence of any program. That is, we did not learn how FEMA sees its mission. What its exit strategy is, with less than two months before the next hurricane season begins. What it plans to do with all the people it has put in highly destructible trailers. How it is working with other agencies to move people out of emergency treatment mode to something like a return to real life.

This is what I meant by "Republican": There's the show of good will. The revival-meeting singling out of individuals (Schiavo) for high-minded commitment. But no general pledge, or mission, or goal, or thought-through strategy, which the public can help shape or evaluate. Instead of a policy for recourse, this show was the recourse, as if FEMA were a private charitable organization whose model is Queen for a Day. We leave the auditorium grateful for the spilt milk of human kindness, lacking any discernible public accountability.

This seems a form of clubism, rooted in the meeting formats of dissenting religious sects of the Reformation. The same sort of thing staged in localities everywhere you turn by Mr. Bush to push his empty visions of Freedom on the March and Social Insecurity. It's private, intimate, ecstatic in a frigid sort of way. It is not possible to engage it in open political debate, because it has substituted the affective format of USian tent shows for democratic process and accountability.

It works because we saw it on TV.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

ends of simulacra

Assertions that we live completely in an environment of simulacra - the posture which is aware of coffee advertising but not the WTO's forced closure of the fund Columbia used to have to stabilize the price of coffee - are, to a great extent, the pronunciations of people who have deliberately chosen to content themselves with simulacra and consider the predicament inescapable. Alphonse van Worden read the whole thing (rtwt)

. . .if we were allowed a measure of control over the truth. . . we would control it to death on the cross. AKMA rtwt

Friday, March 25, 2005

There is no politics of real estate

Gary Weisman, who owns air-conditioning and heating businesses in Baltimore and Sarasota, has lived off Honore Avenue in a 3,100-square-foot home for six years. But he wanted more space.

He spent about $500,000 for a 3-quarter-acre lot at The Founders Club, a golf community being built off Fruitville Road east of Interstate 75.

He plans to have a 7,500-square-foot home built there for about $2 million.

"I've been in the suburbs all my life," he said. "I'd like to have a little bit of room. You can always go downtown or to the beach when you want to."

His Mediterranean-style home...will have six bedrooms and six bathrooms, a home theater, a six-car garage, and an elevator to the second floor.

He was attracted by the tranquility of the community, the quality of the homes and the country club being planned.

"It's pristine," he said.

[source: HeraldTribune (Florida)]
Not only is there no politics of real estate in the US. There is no consciousness of there being no politics of real estate in USian media.

The only detectable mission of this nation appears to be obesity.

slaves of formerly living brands

Addenda to this business of accelerated signification (preceding post):

1. When we seek for news about something using some news search tool, a seach string pulls up a few hundred or thousand stories from a variety of branded media. The speed at which this occurs is blinding, we do not see it. Then, click on one resulting media link - some newspaper in Kansas, e.g.. There the flow ends, as a page requiring registration or subscription pops up. Like a gaily colored arrow sailing through the bullet and bomb drenched air of Iraq, seeking to arrest the quest. But this consuming pause is contrary to the very reason we are using the Web - if we wanted to meet and greet a media entity, we would not need the Internet.

In search, the actual identity, brand, of the specific information bearer, blurs, vanishes. For the specific bearer to attempt to call halt, require the seeker to declare his name, address, likes and dislikes ("Tiki bar or Quonset hut?"), is inappropriate in terms of the form. Any messenger seeking compensation for bearing messages is a contrivance, an anachronism, an unfortunate effort to prolong the life of a being whose time is gone. It is seeking to break apart something that has fused into the felicity of a single moment, a unified act of information seeking.

More than simply derailing a process, it's bad form: Trying to turn what is an instantaneous quest into a marketing moment, a branding opportunity, is like a pallbearer for a head of state suddenly dropping the casket and breaking into "Gotta Dance."

One shrinks, hits the back button and selects another source.

2. It's not just acceleration. The existence of innumerable sources is another factor that exerts pressure for the erasure of the specific name, or brand. Back when we lived in "media markets" where there might have been one or two local newspapers and a couple of TV news outlets, brand could matter. Now the very multiplicity of sources serves to level them. Plurality itself seems to insist on a lumping-in procedure in which end use is the operative feature - ancillary identifying features of the specific newspaper or TV station - which they might like to think of as primary - tend to recede because they play no role in search.

The more that standard media insist on brand features as practiced in local, analog markets, the less compatible they are with current modes of search. Traditional media's very insistence upon visibility is now rendering it invisible.

Monday, March 21, 2005

All you need to know of the world can be found in the Marx brothers.

in the woods
they’re sanding something down to essence

bsmoffat responded to a brief request for an example which I'd left on his blog, there where he'd cited a definition of allegory and then asked what happens when a symbol becomes literal.

I find his response triggering synapses, and rather than wait for some modicum of sense to sink it all, I'll just try to put some of the connections out there. First Brian mentions the Bible and takes a pass. He then turns to
Democracy. Where The Vote, a symbol (or symbolic act) of the representative form of democracy has been reduced to its literal level, where the Vote, that act that symbolizes for some the beginning of the democratic process, and a relationship between citizen and representative, is now seen as an end, as though The Campaign is democracy and the rest of it - the making of laws, the debating of issues etc. - has been taken care of, with the Vote, which is now, more than a political action, an abdication of responsibility.

Democracy has been reduced to one second in a booth, and when exported - franchise-style - The Vote becomes the singular self-justifying measure of its success. People have been given a "choice" and they have exercised that "right". But, like walking into a McDonalds and choosing between a Big Mac and a Fillet of Fish, the Act does not necessarily guarantee that you are getting food. Reducing The Vote to its literal level (choice, as opposed to, say, election, the subtle difference being that he that is chosen represents those that voted for him, and that he that is elected represents everyone in the electoral body), more or less wipes out democracy's 2.5 millennia evolution.
Among the synaptic sparks: the reduction of duree, the deliberative process generating its own narrative development (which would include the quest for a representative political leader, along with the wannabe representative's representations about her/his representativeness, the discussions with voting peers vis a vis said representations, the internal processing of same along with the discussions, the impressions, affective states, responses to political ads, spin, off the cuff remarks, party affiliation, social and ethnic quotients, policies, degree of estimated effectiveness of the candidates, hair, humor, impact various taboos that grow daily in size and variety, seeming mental stability and the like, all subjected to algorithmic review by the mental black box hibernating some decision which is destined to be carried not only to the ballot box, but beyond it to the arena in which representational democracy is allegedly carried on), following the narrative arc to its issue, i.e., the vote made flesh, Servant of the Vox populi...

[the reduction of that] to

the single stabbing finger on the touchscreen, collapsing into a single jerk what was, hitherto, the result of "democracy's 2.5 millennia evolution."

Very much what Walter Benjamin saw in his essay on motifs in Baudelaire, who was fascinated with the acts of gaming: the throw of the dice, the laying down of the bet, the mechanical, repetitious act of the gambler whose entire intercourse with fortune has come down to one roll, one slam of the slot, one shot, fired, it must be said, not so much at random, as at the random

death and his diminutives, the clock and the seasons
now mute and powerless to count the ways

Brian continues: Or, something along those lines. When the complexity of the symbol is reduced there is a transference of power. Where there was an opening up, there is a shutting down.

Opening and shutting in the same gesture, the rhythm of the automaton, the assembly line worker making nothing but the same gesture again and again, the whole of human creativity and labor reduced to a one-armed bandit in a Las Vegas toilet.

Brian is talking of the mode of the symbol, and its reduction. The symbol, the prime modality of art and politics, the rich and connotative dimension in which we have synthesized the "subjective" and "objective" worlds, flattened into gestural stutter: vote, void, vuoto. This acceleration of something that once had the luxury of time and development, this compression into a mute, powerless thing to be counted only the way the dead are toted up, listlessly, the mindless thump of Diebold machines
And for those that have a way with the manipulation of symbols and language - an audience of the literally minded is more easily swayed than a pack of children at a Punch and Judy Show.
The symbol reduced becomes a puppet, void of vow, intent, aim. The voiding millions, arms extended, stabbing at names on machines whose results in turn are the puppets of programmers nowhere near these theaters, is the discourse of representational democracy.

Which might be something for the Happy Tutor and Timothy Burke, among others, to ponder as they deliberate upon the fate of rational discourse in the day. It has accelerated. Become another sort of thing. A missile, a gamble, forgetful of its origin and heedless of its end.

As Benjamin noted in this citation from Alain:
The basic principle . . . of gambling . . . consists in this: . . . that each round is independent of the one preceding . . . . Gambling strenuously denies all acquired conditions, all antecedents . . . pointing to previous actions; and that is what distinguishes it from work.
it was the cry of a lone Mallard,
lost from the Mallard Convention,
crossing the busy street without a crosswalk.

[Thanks and apologies to Ray Sweatman for the title of this post & riffs & and getting his name wrong. Sheesh.]

my friend flickr

As for Flickr being acquired by Yahoo, there are unknowns. As one who has grown fond of Flickr and its disposition to shared images with minimal words - the relative absence of words seeming to help cement a communal feeling without lots of positioning - I feel the sort of concern that happens when a local, or home grown, business is acquired by a corporate entity orders of magnitude larger.

Perhaps I feel this way because I used to work in a small start-up type operation that was then glomerated into a much larger corporate machine with completely different values and priorities. Every single soul in the small operation jumped ship, or was nudged into exploring new seas, in a very short time.

Loss of the local and communal in the mergers and acqs of industrial corporatism is an old story. How fully it applies in a case like this remains to be seen. It's wise to accept change; it's sensible to be wary. I feel as though a realm of some shared intimacy, which had my trust, has become a pygmy star in a much larger, less assuring realm with far more vertical layers, cascading luminous profit centers, at the very top of which are, because there have to be, batteries of unblinking accountants. It's these people, not Mr. Yang, who concern me.

Here's a case where an understanding of corporate idiocy and of the nuances of customer sensitivity could make a difference. That, along with lopping off the hands of the accountants.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

dollas for dinars

This image was found on several pages of this immodest bilge, next to ads for bulking up and offers to Make a Killing in Real Estate:

It's well and good to write incessantly in the service of some partis pris: you are a hack for half of a dipole? for the Raptured? the situationists? the talk show 100? the anarchists? Leninists? Knights of Malta? Have at it.

But how much more Horowitzian, Hayekian, Surowieckian to make a market in your ideology. You believe that Bush has the right idea, that Right will triumph, that Freedom on the March damn had better see the light of day or there'll be hell to pay. Now, instead of simply blogging yourself into the DTs, you shall act. Put your money where your ideological spittle is and buy a few trillion dinars. Invest in the future of Iraq, and put your kids through college (David H. will advise on where to send them) with the money wallop you'll get when your dinars turn to Gold, backed by the full Faith and Credit of the Iraqi people, who in turn are backed, or jacked, by the full Faith and Credit of the U$ian dolla.

On the other hand, if you're a stinking liberal sack of shit, then consider pumping this market action. Every Horowitzian dolla invested in dinars is one less spent on the Oedipal nighttrain, discovering yo' momma.

"This is no pipe dream," says

"This is not a pipe," said a representation of Magritte.

"Sometimes a dream is just a pipe," said Herr F.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

US media: transparent to point of invisibility

At this hour there is one USian report about the killing of Iraqui Brigadier General Ismail Swayed al-Obeid by US troops. The story had already appeared in the media of five other nations, according to this. via this.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Disappearing criterion

As bookmarks, here's Kenneth Minogue on Journalism, Harlotry, Pathology, and a bunch of other stimulating provocations from the realm of the long view, in the New Criterion.

Here's Jay Rosen and a passel of others' comments on same.

Lotsa insight therein. One observation - apart from noting that Minogue comes out, in his final graf, touching upon a whole other thematic having to do with the nature and historical identity of liberalism which is quite the timely theme - is that these discussions invariably seem to take as given that what we understand as "journalism" is sufficiently uncontested to allow us to fruitfully discuss it.

In other words, the moment in which a piece of journalism, or several pieces, are actually read, is not there. Jay Rosen does spend a lot of time exploring Minogue's think piece, to very good effect. But where do we see the same attention given to actual works of journalism? That moment is elided, in order to get to the fray of opinion about its place, its role, its trajectory, biases, and failings.

What does this elision possibly foreclose? What purpose does it serve? For one thing, by reducing a large variety of modes of writing (not thinking blogs here) and epistemological practice to "journalism," it leaves unexplored the possibility that the word is being used to "cover" a somewhat ill assorted group of rhetorical modes and practices.

Some of the prime distinguishing allegations regarding USian journalism include assertions about its transparency, neutrality - that is, the disappearance of the journalist and his report, leaving us readers to confront the ding an sich. It would seem worthwhile to test these out. But that would probably involve having to read some of it.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

the persistence of soap

Execute this summary: We the People do not want to Form a More Perfect Union. We want to watch one on TV.

This is more about the combinative facility of blogs - as in here and here, but from maybe another angle, helped by some reflections found on Charlotte Street:
if, in order for certain kinds of story to get off the ground you must construct something like a hermetic village, then this also implies that the actual everyday life of contemporary capitalism - characterised by dispersal, atomisation, spectacular 'communities' - is radically incompatible with certain kinds of storytelling and certain story-shaped experiences.
This has to do with hamartia: the way in which our signs wander, err, unrelate to that to which they seem to point. Put another way: We subscribe to master narratives, which, as part of their "mastery," posit the community of us about whom they seem to be. But in fact, there is no such cut-and-dried us, nothing like such a community, except within the narrative. The truth of the representation lies. It lies within the narrative, where it is represented.

Some applications:

1. TV: Sitcoms, soaps, the device-ridden stories (guaranteed to satisfy) used to sell cars and good smelling things on TV. It is shrewd to examine these, because TV genres, while full of echoic modes of recognition, are so helpfully unlike anything in anyone's experience (except for the experience of certain TV characters who feel their lives are not like those on TV).

2. Journalism: Most clearly evident at the local level, in which some town, village, city is posited as being what the news entity (paper, tv, radio news) is about - what it covers. The thing-in-common, now, anthropomorphically "you," "we," "us," covered. Only it's again so riddled with generic narrative strokes that limn the community in ways drawn largely from 19th century fiction, that the reader can only participate by accepting overly broad characterizing hypotheses such as: "half this town consists of born-again used car salesmen." This gets worse, but less experientially obvious, as it rises to the national and international scale.

3. Politics: Within US media, largely a notarized currency of "semantic dead matter." Trained by television reactivism, steeped in journalistic vagaries, the public requires political narratives that are themselves about the exclusion of other narratives. Mr. Bush is the exemplary political speaker for this very reason. The topology of Bushspeak conforms closely to that of Archie Bunker, who would be elected president if he were to run. The moment the presidential mouth opens, the banishment of the dialogic is accomplished. We feel so at one with Mr. Bush because, within his linguistic universe, there is no other. (Except that which is to be extirpated.)
Because the sole office of such phrases is to secure recognition, they are beyond or beneath the level of true /false. Their function is to plug the speaker in to the wiring of the Big Other. (Charlotte Street.)
4. Blogs: More complicated in some ways. There are the blogs that are totally inscribed within the fictions of (1), (2), or (3). These mostly include teens (1) and people who take the news as the master narrative of their world (2), (3). (If you take some fictive genre (the Quest, the Battle of light and darkness, Animal House) as your master narrative, then of course you can rightly say the narrative has truth value - for the world it constitutes for you.)

With blogs, certain de-stabilizings might occur. The "USian Scene" -- the frozen face of impersonal statehood-made-cute that looks exactly the same on televised nightly news, no matter which channel, or which night, or which anchor -- does not rise, intact and monolithic, from reading across diverse clusters of blogs.

Blogs or some other networked mode could help us learn to tolerate fragmentation, openness, uncertainty, modes of incompleteness, deformations of narrative. But that will require reckoning with coercive habits formed by years of schooling in (1), (2) and (3).

Monday, March 07, 2005

Happee disaster


According to the spam this came in, from "Chinee," this product is 12 meters L X 5 meters W X 5 meters H. Which prompted the minivision: Some morning, awaken and find China-inflatables towering above the rooftops in your suburban gated community: replicas of the Hindenberg, 9/11, Challenger, Titanic. Upon which children are playing, their cries echoing to the skies.

doing the math

"...either this was an ambush, as I think, or we are dealing with imbeciles or terrorized kids who shoot at anyone," Pierre Scolari, partner of Giuliana Sgrena.
Your all-purpose checkpoints can kill a shiteload of poor Iraqi folk with impunity, but it's less simple to drown Italians in bullets. They bring bothersome Renaissance aptitudes like perspective to the event, and living memory, and a Viconian penchant for assuming that human things can be understood.

«Stai attenta, perché ti vogliono ammazzare»
Ambushes are intelligible quanta, and typically are denied by states. That tends to leave the unintelligible, often portrayed as the offspring of either madness or chaos.

The thing about US murder is that it is often difficult for administration spokespeople to link it to the unintelligible. It's one thing for a child/lunatic to spray bullets into a crowd. It's another when the spray regularly manages to strike, with lethal accuracy, Martin Luther King, Malcom X, or John Lennon.

Details of death in Iraq - of the US side, that is - can be found here. In a note on that site's methodology, we learn that the US Dept. of Defense issues individual notices of deaths, but in a break with custom and tradition, refuses to add them up:
the government provides no tally of those releases.
This is suggestive of how, as our ability to synthesize information increases, the State responds with checkpoints to blast truth on the fly. Media who look to government-issued information have no second act (well, unless they're Jeff Gucknon pretending to the mantle of HST). Anyway, enough stitches in the fabric and there's a figure in the carpet.

[Note: dead links to Iraq war data were replaced with updated links 9.1.12]

Sunday, March 06, 2005

mad ave

The group, wrote Freud, “thinks in images, which call one another up by association (just as they arise with individuals in states of free imagination), and whose agreement with reality is never checked by any reasonable agency.” So it is a perfectly closed loop: terrorist groups manufacture convenient images of the enemy, and then those oversimplified images prompt attacks that are themselves highly symbolic and image-conscious. Abu Ghraib: A Global Family Portrait
Maybe because I'd been thinking about it, this brought to mind the matter of blogmills (see previous post): Blogs, in this view, would constitute another component in a matrix of fuel cells incubating a mode of mass hysteria. The self-stimulating, autohypnotic loop of will, incubating incubus of fear.

The irony is, blogs are supposed to be where individual voices, liberal and loosely joined, permit themselves a civility of discourse that is both open and strong, critical yet not discriminatory, sensible without falling to mush. Blogs (pace Scoble) are supposed to be the opposite of corporate and institutionalized speech. Yet clearly large numbers of blogs, and podcasts, and all the panoply of vox populi, can be looped into breeders, incubators of ideological phantasm.

Serpentine hyperblogrolls and efforts such as Horowitz's are among the more obvious indicators that blogs no less than anything else can be, are being, militarized, incorporated, into larger cells. Self-energizing fuel cells. Table-top (con)Fusion. Which puts them squarely athwart the militant imagery of mass-marketed brands. Blog street, at the crossroads, finds Madison Avenue:
There was never an institution of production of symbolic uniformity as efficient as advertising. Alphonse Van Worden
I want to get back to this - for now, let this serve as placeholder.

Friday, March 04, 2005

reverie and nightmare

Very often when I click on the little flickr thingy there on the right, I am rewarded with a holiday tour of somewhere I have never been, but often it is a place to which I've wanted to go.

Tags become a desireable item in flickr, because they often provide the only clue to where we are, what we might be looking at.

With blogs on the other hand, tags never seem necessary. I have never thought to tag or look for a blog entry via tags. I'm not saying this is a good thing. Just how it is.

What's interesting is the way in which, on flickr, we can see a place through the eyes of a native, or a tourist, and feel a kinship with that person. We see how they see, or so it appears. They lend us eyes, theirs, contained in what was seen. It matters not a whit whether the place can be found on a map. The intimacy of sharing the secret and generous joys of regard is all.

In complete contradistinction to this flickr mode, which I associate with reverie, you must travel to blogs like this, from Norway. How long it took for Fjordman to master the insinuative racist bait he spews is unclear. He's studied with some master baiters. As we hear how vile slacker muslims are raping the helpless Aryan children of Scandinavia, fellow Klansmen, let us hearken back to our own sweet days of yore, when good lynchings made good niggahs. Boy what I wouldn't do to get me and some of the boyz over there with our shotguns, a few barrels of 180 proof, and some shells. You'd see some raghead nukin' going on, bo'.

Do check out the comments to that post: it received the golden handshake of blogdom - having signalled solidarity with the International Brotherhood of Racist Blogger Virii, Fjordman is King for a Day, luminous on blogrolls everywhere, glorified by self-crazed Trollblogs of Distinction. (Don't miss the comments here as well.)

Something is being manufactured in these here satanic blogmills, to a constant drumbeat in the forest, pounding out the political capital of war. The Voices proudly vaunt their freedom of speech by saying altogether, "me too."

A while back the Tutor offered a haunting phrase:
I believe in the English Language. I believe the August Dead walk the earth until they find a friend to inhabit. The Dead are transmitted like a disease.
The nightmare: far from all of the dead are "august."

Thursday, March 03, 2005

We crack us down

Stories about pending regulatory action can be dull, unless you can whip up a little whiff of crisis, paranoia, and political oppression.

This should add a little sizzle to the question of the status of blogs, vis a vis publishing in general, journalism and advertising in particular:
Bradley Smith says that the freewheeling days of political blogging and online punditry are over.

In just a few months, he warns, bloggers and news organizations could risk the wrath of the federal government if they improperly link to a campaign's Web site. Even forwarding a political candidate's press release to a mailing list, depending on the details, could be punished by fines. CNET News.
The devil you say. Let us go further and opine that an intricate pay-per-hit formula will be arrived at, making it more economically efficient to burn dollar bills than to be an A-list blogghir.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


This soldiers' perspective is a rare one in popular media and is a valuable contribution to anyone who's interested in a more comprehensive view of the war in Iraq. Kottke.
How come this gets cred, and this does not?