Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Inspector will see you now

A necessary fence:
Murka is a country founded on the rights of property, and about the only thing that's changed since its bloody birth is that some things that were once property — ie: people — achieved legal personhood (after much more bloodletting, of course). It's also interesting to consider that shortly after this wrenching transformation of property into people — so vigorously and violently opposed, remember — that a new class of person was created, almost as if to compensate for the loss; and, in a fitting irony, these newly defined legal fictitious entities, these "corporate persons", quickly became everyone's new master, making slaves of us all. Read the whole thing.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2008

love what you've done with your cognitive reduction system

Note to self:
If corporate media and academic JSTOR*izers work to place human experience on a pay-per-view basis, NPR music programming works to ensure that our open range aural worldview consists of mincing pissant bullshit.
*Did you know...
  • JSTOR includes 1,856,206 full-length articles across 47 disciplines [that you can't read].
  • There are 1,387,437 book reviews in JSTOR.
  • The oldest content in the JSTOR archive was published in 1665.
  • JSTOR is active in Facebook.

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Monday, April 28, 2008

bloodlines of legitimation

AKMA notes the curious fact that the "legitimate" online offerings from music companies typically offer no added value, no lyrics, no liner notes, nuthin', in other words, that would differentiate the "legitimate" from the pirated file.

I'll add this one to the pile of examples of USian Grifterism (a pile which includes, among other things, certain forms of mortgages, FEMA, several major corporations and the entire Bush Administration).

For the record co's, the thing that makes their pay-for-it files "legitimate" has nothing to do with the listener, or with the music, or with the quality of the file. It has to do with the contractual relationship of the corporation to the property.

This is the working definition of legitimacy in USia. It's also the reason we have no culture, no community, and no public forums for consensual intelligence. Legitimacy by contract is not love. It is the blood of USia, and it's poison.

imhfo, of course.

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Monday, April 21, 2008

viral dude

Here's what Sawyer and I have been watching -

As explained in the show, the Omnitrix works by binding alien DNA to Ben's, transforming him into the alien of his choice for ten minutes and then reverting him back to normal. As revealed in Ben 10: Race Against Time, the time limit is a failsafe designed to keep the alien DNA from overwhelming the user. Ben 10

Someone hacked the failsafe. . .

now your DNA.

The only way to attract your true tribe is to authentically be yourself. Take a stand. Do what is natural to you and you won't have to fake it. Understanding your company's DNA is central to experience design.

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Thursday, April 17, 2008

The NYT understands Politics as JSTOR comprehends Open Access, Merrill Lynch grasps Credit, Countrywide has mastered mortgages, Comcast delights in...

At least three USians thought last night's debate offered no signs of infantilism or trivialization: Adam Nagourney, Jeff Zeleny, and


David Brooks.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Brain fair and balanced, but dead

The River finds The Times working on a low-pulp diet with regard to failing to have covered Winter Soldier.

FAIR finds The Times' reasons for not having covered Winter Soldier virtually insane on arrival.

The more The Times works to excuse itself, the more brittle is its hypothesis of being something other than an unnecessarily elaborate weather vane.

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Twitter is a cauldron. People are being consumed. You'll see.

Oh and


Twitter's expanding popularity has frustrated some users. "I'm a little annoyed by some of these newbies," said Tara Hunt, a 33-year-old marketer in San Francisco who complains that many users seem to be focusing on quantity over quality in their updates. She blames the influx of new users on Mr. Scoble, a Twitter user who began writing frequently about the service on his blog earlier this year. She removed him from the list of people whose posts she follows, turned off by his frequent notes about the service itself. "He Twittered about Twitter," she said.

"Twitter hate is the new black," joked Mr. Scoble, who is linked to more than 1,000 friends on the site. "Some haters have already come around, but to tell the truth, they do have a good point. Do you really need to know that I'm eating a tuna sandwich for lunch? Probably not, although I've had more than one person come over and join me for lunch because I told where I was hanging out." As a concession, he has created a second Twitter account, called "SilentScoble," where he limits his posts to five a day. A recent dispatch: "It's hard to post less than five posts per day..."

Meanwhile, in Japan:

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Charlton Heston is alive and well at MSNBC

MSNBC reportedly thinks this is "too controversial" to run...

Monday, April 14, 2008

TwitTer rUlez

The Times does the Fox News version of Deconstruction


I've smelled worse Fish. But

deconstruction cannot possibly be made either the generator of a politics you like or the cause of a politics you abhor. It just can’t be done without betraying it.

You'd not know if from the gnashing, scoffing, foaming Times readers.

Once Fish tells them we can safely say deconstruction is useless as a political tool, and that uselessness was the irremediable vacancy into which academics of various stripes rode their hobby horses, untold numbers are compelled to trot on in, choking on bile beans.

Truth and utility have been sort of at odds since Thales, no?

If the 600+ comments to the New York Times are any indication, there's a goodly amount of impotent betrayal going on.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

panopticon of the asinine

Thivai recalls Brian Springer's Spin - an open site of media archaeology of the 90s.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

Here she comes

TV might oughta be this entelechy

Much thanks to whatever apocalyptic beast is driving Twitter and other compressions of voice and data for providing a mutation:

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Monday, April 07, 2008

More 2 the point than 2.0

We are still in the position of designing our product and our progress on the web in a way on the competition. ~ Firefox's Mitchell Baker.

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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Blogging kills: I read it in the New York Times

Jeneane is to be credited with bringing to our attention a new low of New York Timesian stupidity - so deep and dense a nadir as to make us wonder whether the author ever managed to escape the black hole he wrote himself into.

The illogic is patent: Two males who blogged have died -- one 60, one 50 years of age -- ergo blogging is dangerous to your health.

Passing over that in silence, I will say that Jeneane manages to make her own intelligent point despite having such material to work with. Blogging, she notes, has decayed -- and has done so, in fact, much as other initially exuberant new forms have been known to do. She's right, although that does not mean there are no longer interesting blogs, including Jeneane's. That's fodder for another post.

I'll settle for two quick observations:

1. The Times article stands at # 1 in the Times' own "Most Popular - Technology" list. Major surprise: blogging's bogus lethality caught the attention of, huzzzah, bloggers. Were the Times not sure its asinine pretext would get such attention, the article's tortured premise would have remained unexplored. For the moment blogging is, as Times readers know, the Paris Hilton of technology tags.

Which leads directly to:

2. Given the venality of the subject and its treatment, we might as well ask: is there any tastelessness to which the Times will not stoop? Marc Orchant is cited merely as a man who blogged and died. That he left a young family, devoted friends, and a community of devoted readers is beside the point. Let's work him into some tripe about blogging and watch the clicks tote up.

Which is why you'll find no link to the tripe herein.

Technorati as of this posting:

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Saturday, April 05, 2008


via ~

Sexy new JSTOR
Friday April 04th 2008, 6:12 am
Filed under: Database News, Library News, Search tips

The JSTOR database unveils a new interface on April 4, 2008.

Some of the improvements:
- “My JSTOR” allows you to manage and store citations. With your My JSTOR account, you can save or email citations or send them to bibliographic software like Endnote.
- Limit searches by discipline or specific journal title.
- Try the new “search within results” to narrow your original search.

For more information on the JSTOR upgrade, visit their sandbox.

undoctored photo via Alaska Report.

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

A ring around it

Congress created the Federal Reserve after the Panic of 1907 with broad authority and a range of instruments to assume precisely this type of risk, in support of overall financial stability and economic growth. Timothy Geithner, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, who negotiated the $30 billion loan to JP Morgan that facilitated its acquisition of Bear Stearns. WSJ

~ Bear Stearns ~

NYT asswipe.

Retrospectively more newsworthy:
"The paramount symbol of ... immigrant independence [in the early twentieth century] was the Bank of United States, which served immigrants and within a few years was establishing sixty offices spread out around New York. ... While it was large, because immigrants were arriving fast and saving aggressively, it was not a member of the New York Clearing House, and therefore outside the established network of banks. ... The Bank of United States served the textile and clothing businesses--the rag trade and many other, for depositors would soon number 400,000. From the jewel trade to the wholesale meat business, immigrants were integrating into the New York economy. ...

"That December [of 1930], the Depression took on a new seriousness. Heretofore, most of the banks to fail had been rural banks. Now an important bank in a big city ran into trouble, one that was a member of the Federal Reserve System. It was the young Bank of United States, the one that served so many immigrants--half a million depositors. The trouble at first did not appear so bad: unlike many others, the bank could count on more than $200 million in deposits. Something like half of depositors were small fry--low earners. ...

"The New York state superintendent of banks, Joseph Broderick. organized various potential rescue mergers with Manufacturers' Trust and the Public National. But the Clearing House banks killed the mergers. At the time, many observers saw the bank's problems as a consequence of class differences between the working class and immigrants on the one hand and Anglos on the other. The Establishment believed that the Bank of United States was marginal, and that this was a moment when only the strongest banks, as in Darwin, deserved to survive. But the Bank of United States had relatively strong books--at least as strong as many that were propped up by fellow banks. The problem was not so much individual weakness as bad monetary policy, inconsistent credit policy, and sheer bigotry. The bankers who turned against the Bank of United States were acting like Victorians.

"Broderick begged for the bank's future: 'I said it had thousands of borrowers, that it financed small merchants, especially Jewish merchants, and that its closing might and probably would result in widespread bankruptcy among those it served. I warned that its closing would result in the closing of at least ten other banks and that it might even affect the savings banks. The influence of the closing might even extend outside the city. I reminded them that only two or three weeks before they had rescued two of the largest private bankers of the city and had willingly put up the money needed. ... I warned that they were making the most colossal mistake in the banking history of New York.'

"The bank did suspend payments to depositors, the largest bank in America ever to do so. A leading banker described the attitude that motivated other banks' decision to abandon Bank of United States. 'Let it fail, draw a ring around it, so the infection will not spread.' On December 11, the sixty offices--sixty emblems of hope--closed their doors. ... Only a fraction [of the long lines of its customers that quickly formed] were served. ... It shortly became clear that sacrificing immigrants' banks would not confine American depositors' demand for currency. The infection that the banker had described was too large to draw a ring around. By 1931, panics at the larger banks began in earnest." Amity Shlaes, The Forgotten Man, via