Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 30, 2009
You can gaze, but you can't see
Michael Parenti: The Hypocrisies of Capitalism
Nena Baker: The Body Toxic
Raj Patel: Stuffed & Starved
Maude Barlow: Peak Water
Vandana Shiva: On Gandhi
David Suzuki: Betraying Nature
Bill McKibben: Climate Change: Tipping Point
Ralph Nader: The Politics of Health Care
Paul Roberts: Food System in Danger
Satya Sivaraman: Human Rights in India: Binayak Sen
Robert McChesney: Journalism and the Crisis of Democracy
Arun Gupta: Banksta Capitalism
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The President of Regulation
The greatest poet hardly knows pettiness or triviality. If he breathes into anything that was before thought small it dilates with the grandeur and life of the universe. He is a seer … he is individual … he is complete in himself … the others are as good as he, only he sees it and they do not. He is not one of the chorus … he does not stop for any regulation … he is the president of regulation. #
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Haque and Doc on news, evolution, and bucks
The results paint a mosaic, or perhaps even a pointillist, picture of news sourced, reported, and re-reported by many different people, organizations and means. These are each portraits of an emerging ecosystem within which newspapers must adapt of die.Where Haque is looking at the hierarchic depth of knowledge as gleaned from informed sources by discerning journalists, Doc is watching the world scan itself, reacting with almost a visceral immanence, seismically, to events. Twitter picks them up and gossip bubbles up.
"What is different about them is that they are finding new paths to growth, and rediscovering the lost art of profitability by awesomeness."
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
re.pressing the Italians through open access
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Open: for business
The FCC released a Notice of Inquiry on developing a national broadband plan that will seek to ensure that every American has access to broadband capability. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 requires the FCC to create a national broadband plan and to deliver it to Congress by Feb. 17, 2010. The FCC seeks comment on the most effective and efficient ways to ensure broadband access for all Americans, strategies for achieving affordability and maximum utilization of broadband infrastructure and services, evaluation of the status of broadband deployment, and how to use broadband to advance consumer welfare, public safety and other national purposes. link
In crafting the national broadband plan, the Federal Communications Commission must protect Internet users from corporate gatekeepers who seek to keep prices high and speeds slow, limit access to content and stifle innovations and market choice.Broadband Opportunities for Rural America
FCC develops strategy for rural broadband
Rural broadband vs. red tape "Fortune"
The biz publications (e.g., "Fortune") always have these stories depicting federal efforts as squabbling, lacking in determined, forthright action. They usually downplay the complexities, the ethical elements that enter a host of decisions, definitions, and planning exigencies.
It's a tried and true USian way to side-step the difficulties inherent in capital expenditures that attempt to implement equitable policies - such as open access to the Net. We are a closed business world masquerading as an open society.
Access is the moment in Capitalism at which fake scarcities, exorbitant overcharges, massive profiteering, failures of cooperation, and mere business-as-usual enter the system. Healthcare, Internet Service Provision, and Open Access Publishing all suffer from the failure to adequately articulate the justifications for public access.
Friday, July 24, 2009
To David Simon
*h/t for image to Juke aka Informant38 aka dirty beloved.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Bernanke brought to us by Rupe
My colleagues and I believe that accommodative policies will likely be warranted for an extended period. At some point, however, as economic recovery takes hold, we will need to tighten monetary policy to prevent the emergence of an inflation problem down the road. The Federal Open Market Committee, which is responsible for setting U.S. monetary policy, has devoted considerable time to issues relating to an exit strategy. We are confident we have the necessary tools to withdraw policy accommodation, when that becomes appropriate, in a smooth and timely manner.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Description and judgment
The problem with objectivity is that it tries to show what the world looks like from no particular point of view, which is like wondering what something looks like in the dark.Yes and or no. If the object is an object, and one is describing it, there is some sense in which, through trial and error and comparative observations, one can determine if the description is more or less accurate, for some purposes, some of the time.
In journalism, of course, the object is rarely an object, in that reified sense. One is dealing with characters, motives, interested speech, commerce, rhetorical ploys, misrepresentations, missing data, dubious sources, events sometimes rooted in earlier events, now hidden from view, veiled, or forgotten, for starters.
Then one is utilizing all sorts of processes of judgment, including the senses, but going beyond that to intuition, research, bullshit detection, critical thinking, imaginative interrogation, official records etc.
Transparency of the reporter as source can then be a valued element in his readers' (and editors') judgments of her/his total process of judgment. Prior to that, transparency of the reporter to her/himself is also a great plus, unless one works for Fox.
But neither one or the other of these transparencies, though offering significant interpretive clues, equals objectivity, so far as I can see, as neither speaks to the quality of the thinking, research, or intuitional sensibility informing complex acts of journalistic judgment.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Fuck the piper (an immodest proposal)
Google Inc. (GOOG 429.53, -13.07, -2.95%) on Thursday said its second-quarter net income rose to $1.48 billion, or $4.66 a share, from $1.25 billion, or $3.92 a share in the same period a year earlier. Net revenue in the period ended in June rose to $4.07 billion from $3.9 billion, Google said. Excluding special items, earnings were $5.36 a share. Wall Street analysts had expected Google to post earnings excluding special items of $5.09 a share, and $4.06 billion in net revenue, according to data from Thomson Reuters. #
I'm not understanding why everyone thinks Google is brilliant but no one seems to grok the model.
It would be edifying to know how many stories at the NY Times site have been clicked on by users (or by bots) over the past decade, if that's how long they've been available. Must be in the hundreds of millions. Let's say 300 million [add: that's way low - see here]. Had they charged $.007 per story accession (i.e., click), the Times would have made $2.1 million. That's $2.1 million more than the ZERO their content has earned for them thus far (offset by whatever grand total their short-lived scheme of charging for Rich, Dowd, etc. brought in).
But who would agree to pay them even $.007 per access? you fairly ask. And my model says - it doesn't matter. Because the money would not come directly from the end user's pocket, but rather from those funds spent by all of us to all the large corpses who bring bits into the home, by whatever means - Comcast, Verizon, etc. Because these companies right now are thieves. They are making money hand over fist from users. But users do not pay them in order to see dark screens (that bliss is for television). We pay the Comcasts and Verizons in order to access content. Their mega-earnings are contingent upon their parasitism of Content.
Does it not seem appropriate that the pipers pay for that which enables them to exist? I have put forth this model before, (also a bit here) and of course it's patently absurd. However, I assure you, it's the only fair way to make sure that there is quality content on the Net. As of now, that assurance is lacking. The black holes of internet service providers are threatening to suck down all the light. They are making vast profit while thinking only about metal and fiber and trucks. All of those who are trying at least to think, to tweet, to make something or do something or read something, sit atop an enormous pile of bupkis. This is wrong.
The only fair way is to let every click on the net - to anything, except closed sub sites (like JSTOR), and sites featuring socially challenged content (bestiality, child porn, Republican Senators) - move a bit of micromoney from piper (a general fund fed from all pipers) to contenter. And, the same amount. Equal bits. Let's not quibble over how much more quality one finds in the NY Times. You provide content, you get clicked on, you get the everybody micro$, period.
This in no way obviates Big or Small Content from selling ads or running contests or selling t-shirts. It is simply the addition of a revenue stream that wasn't there before, taken from the profits of Big Pipes. You know the gold is there.
My argument would be improved by containing actual numbers of clicks for some content providers. But I don't think it would change the underlying logic. Please now tell me why I'm wrong so I can remove this chimera from my skull.
[Update] from the Man who Knows Everything:
Labels: all thungs JSTOR, jstor, micropayments, New York Times, open systems, we shall not be content until we have monetized the services your body provides for you -- down to the excremental function
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
Not Pamplona but
... By 6 July 1984, when the Jacksons played the first show of their "Victory" tour, in Kansas City, Missouri... Jacksonism had produced a system of commodification so complete that whatever and whoever was admitted to it instantly became a new commodity. People were no longer consuming commodities as such things are conventionally understood (records, videos, posters, books, magazines, key rings, earrings necklaces pins buttons wigs voice-altering devices Pepsis t-shirts underwear hats scarves gloves jackets - and why were there no jeans called Bille Jeans?); they were consuming their own gestures of consumption. That is, they were consuming not a Tayloristic Michael Jackson, or any licensed facsimile, but themselves. Riding a Mobius strip of pure capitalism, that was the transubstantiation.
Lipstick Traces, cited in this fine piece.
So what just happened - the consuming of the gestures of a wraith's consumption of mourning?