aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Monday, June 19, 2006
MySpace sued, lawmakers likely to become unglued
I’m guessing this is not good news for those who oppose the Deleting Online Predators Act of 2006: Wonkette has photos of Brian Bilbray’s kids’ under-age drinking and partying from MySpace & Photobucket.
When taken together with Republican strategist Jack Burkman’s sleazy propositioning (also posted to MySpace and by Wonkette) you might expect more Republicans to sign on to the bill.
Icing on the cake is the Texas mom suing MySpace because, she alleges, her 14-year-old daughter was sexually assaulted by a 19 year old she met on the social networking service.
Important context to all of this is found in this interview with Henry Jenkins (co-director of the Comparative Media Studies Program at MIT) and danah boyd (PhD student at the School of Information, University of California-Berkeley) by Sarah Wright of the MIT News Office.
RELATED UPDATE: MySpace changes the rules.
Pentagon: Homosexuality a Disorder
Last year we learned that the Pentagon was spying on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ protests, because the name of a protesting group was OUTLaws (apparently missing the meaning of the term out).
Today we find that more than 30 years after the mental health community recognized that such a classification was a mistake, the Pentagon Lists Homosexuality As Disorder:
WASHINGTON—A Pentagon document classifies homosexuality as a mental disorder, decades after mental health experts abandoned that position.
The document outlines retirement or other discharge policies for service members with physical disabilities, and in a section on defects lists homosexuality alongside mental retardation and personality disorders.
Critics said the reference underscores the Pentagon’s failing policies on gays, and adds to a culture that has created uncertainty and insecurity around the treatment of homosexual service members, leading to anti-gay harassment.
Now let’s be clear here, those of us who are gay know of gay people serving in the military. By and large those gay individuals are known to and accepted by their peers inside the military.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Pursue, Don’t Harass is a political policy put in place by and for the brass.
A science giant
In November the Times reported that China wants to transform its top universities into the world’s best within a decade. Today we read they’re equally intent on becoming a science giant:
China wants to stand up scientifically, as it is beginning to economically, and it is pouring money and talent into the sciences, particularly physics. Jie Zhang, director general of basic sciences for the Chinese academy, said his budget had been increasing 17 percent a year for the last few years as China tried to ramp up research spending to about 2.5 percent of its gross domestic product. By comparison, the United States spends slightly less than 2 percent, according to the National Science Foundation. [...]
Hardly a week goes by without an announcement of another research initiative or new investment in a building or an institute. It is hard to find an American physicist who is not on his way to China to consult or collaborate, or has just come from China, glowing about the experience.
“The Chinese are so smart they knock your socks off,” said Andrew Strominger, a Harvard string theorist who visits here often. “The impression you get when you go over there is that China is going to take over the world soon.”
My optimism for China continues unabated. (Even after reading on to the largely critical end of the Times’ article.)
Music video on blogs
Lost Remote’s Cory Bergman tells us that Sony will let bloggers post music videos:
Well, as long as they display them in Sony’s ad-supported player, which bloggers can soon embed on their sites. It’s part of a new Sony site called MusicBox Video, powered by Brightcove. Very slick presentation. And I’m a little surprised other media sites haven’t picked up on the powerful YouTube idea of letting anyone copy-and-paste their player on their sites.