aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
Alright, alright, I agree with Siva! It would be swell if Google gave billions to libraries and libraries did the print project. I love libraries; I work in a library; on a panel at a library conference just last week I said IT would do well to model itself on libraries.
But I simply refuse to give in to the notion of the corporation as inherently and unalterably evil. I believe there possibly could be a corporation that will do no evil. Maybe it’s Google.
I expect many of Google’s millionaires will one day match or outpace Bill Gates’ (egad! almost linked to that infamous Wikipedia entry) prodigious library giving and the rest of the Microsoft’s millionaires in their charitable giving.
What I wish Siva would have commented on, or anyone else for that matter, is this notion of a powerful aggregator of human preferences solving some of the problems inherent in democracy. I qualified my utopianisms with “hint” and “maybe” and “inspiration.”
Maybe my problem is nomenclature. Maybe if I said “automatic democracy” or “ultimate democracy” or “ÃƒÂ¼ber-democracy” or “emergent democracy” instead of “post-democracy” folks would warm to the idea. Or at least respond to the idea.
Yes, that’s it! So from here on out I’ll refrain from all that “post” thinking. It was nothing more than a gag reflex to our American notions that by holding elections and drawing up constitutions, no matter the complications, we solve all the world’s problems.
Personally, I’m inclined to agree with Fareed Zakaria that economic reform must happen with or before political reform (so I’m more optimistic for China than Russia) and our ignoring the one in favor of the other dooms our efforts.
But to return to my the-future-of-democracy thoughts, while reading The Wealth and Poverty of Nations or some such some years back I started imaging an evolution from the nation-states of today to a future corporate-state.
This would be roughly analagous to the way we transitioned from the church-state to the modern day nation-state. And, if something like that were to come to pass, I don’t see that it would have to be bad.
Obsessions turn people off
Anti-tax activist Grover Norquist spoke Saturday night at the ninth annual Grand Ol’ Party dinner and fund-raiser for the Log Cabin Republicans of Dallas. The group says the appearance was a great success and raised thousands of dollars.
Social conservatives are less pleased:
One pro-family leader called Norquist’s appearance “an act of utter betrayal.”
Cathie Adams, president of the conservative Texas Eagle Forum, also criticized the Dallas Log Cabin Republicans and Norquist… “If he was a serious economic conservative, Grover Norquist would not have accepted the invitation or the honorarium for speaking at a fund-raiser for a group bent on the destruction of traditional families,” Adams said.
Taxes are his issue, so I don’t know why even I was surprised to find he has a history of such sympathies:
Norquist has clashed with conservatives over same-sex marriage in the past. According to a Jan. 16, 2004, report in the New York Times, “Norquist said some potential Republican voters might be turned off by raising the issue to a constitutional level, just as they were by too much talk of guns or abortions.
The paper quoted Norquist as saying: “Obsessions turn people off.”
I’m no fan of his tax policies, but I’m glad to see his agnosticism on gay issues.
Via Think Progress, The Fissure Grows.
This is the same Orlowski who has in the past misrepresented email correspondence from Robert Scoble and whose lame publication “The Register” will not even respond or admit to their mistake when it’s been pointed out…
I sent an email message to Orlowski’s editor Joe Fay at The Register to ask why they still have not corrected this post where they represent an email as coming from Robert Scoble when Scoble denied ever sending it. I think it’s irresponsible for The Register to behave in this way and it most certainly makes anything they publish suspect in my mind—particularly if it carries an Andrew Orlowski byline.
Hey, at least my article Andrew Orlowski Sloppy Journalist or Bold Faced Liar has remained on the first page search results for the search ”Andrew Orlowski” on Google.
A Wikipedia fan, I recognize it is flawed genius.
Encouraging signs from the Wikipedia project, where co-founder and ÃƒÂ¼berpedian Jimmy Wales has acknowledged there are real quality problems with the online work.
Criticism of the project from within the inner sanctum has been very rare so far, although fellow co-founder Larry Sanger, who is no longer associated with the project, pleaded with the management to improve its content by befriending, and not alienating, established sources of expertise. (i.e., people who know what they’re talking about.)
In theory, Wikipedia is a beautiful thing - it has to be a beautiful thing if the Web is leading us to a higher consciousness. In reality, though, Wikipedia isn’t very good at all. Certainly, it’s useful - I regularly consult it to get a quick gloss on a subject. But at a factual level it’s unreliable, and the writing is often appalling. I wouldn’t depend on it as a source, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it to a student writing a research paper.
The entry on Bill Gates he calls “garbage, an incoherent hodge-podge of dubious factoids...that adds up to something far less than the sum of its parts.” The one on Jane Fonda, “worse than bad.”
[T]his emanation of collective intelligence is not just a couple of months old. It’s been around for nearly five years and has been worked over by many thousands of diligent contributors. At this point, it seems fair to ask exactly when the intelligence in “collective intelligence” will begin to manifest itself. When will the great Wikipedia get good? Or is “good” an old-fashioned concept that doesn’t apply to emergent phenomena like communal on-line encyclopedias?
He goes on to critique blogs; grist for a future post. Gary Price at SearchEngineWatch says Jimmy Wales has lots to say, and promises a podcast next month. I’ll be watching for it.