aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Brad Pitt, my hero!
Brad Pitt has said that he won’t marry Angelina Jolie until the laws over gay marriage are changed in America.
The Hollywood megastar believes that same sex marriage should be made legal - an issue that is currently dividing the country.
Pitt told Esquire magazine: “Angie and I will consider tying the knot when everyone else in the country who wants to be married is legally able.”
Cringely’s Apple prediction
What I think is coming next week is exactly what I thought was coming last January when Apple at the last moment changed its mind about an earlier set of announcements. We’ll see a bunch of iPods, two televisions, and the Video Express adapter I first wrote about more than 18 months ago.
Yes, we’ll probably see a larger screen video iPod, a larger capacity flash-based iPod, and some models with yet larger hard drives. All of those are no-brainers. The televisions are no-brainers, too. Gateway started this trend, but now HP and Dell both sell HDTVs so it’s logical for Apple to do so, too. Apple was set to deliver a pair of plasma models back in January, but those may now have LCD displays, I don’t really know. But with the HDTV market booming, Apple would be crazy not to grab a piece of that action.
However, the most interesting announcement I am expecting will be the Video Express, which I sure hope is finally here. If you don’t remember, this is a gizmo that plugs into a power outlet just like an AirPort Express, only where the AirPort Express sends WiFi AND audio around your house, the Video Express will send WiFi and audio AND video.
Osama been missing?
What members should learn from the Facebook trainwreck
While I agree with almost everything in danah boyd’s post wondering will Facebook learn from its mistake - I, too, hate when people try to configure their users - I’m more inclined to agree with Fred that this is the future and it is good.
It’s clear that Facebook blundered with the introduction of feeds, but I come away from danah’s full-length essay on Facebook’s privacy trainwreck with a different lesson. I begin with the analogy danah uses to illustrate how the Facebook architecture change leaves members feeling exposed:
Have you ever been screaming to be heard in a loud environment when suddenly the music stops and everyone hears the end of your sentence? And then they turn to stare? I’m guessing you turned beet red. (And if you didn’t, exposure is not one of your problems.)
When the music was still on, you were still speaking as loudly in a room full of people. Yet, you felt protected by the acoustics and you made a judgement about how loud you should speak based on the understanding of the architecture of the environment.
Where danah and I may disagree is on the member’s ”understanding of the architecture of the environment” part. It has been my contention that students have consistently misunderstood the Facebook architecture, and that the university community should participate in an exchange to facilitate a greater understanding of it.
That contention has gained no traction here - not with students, faculty or administrators - and, hey, I may well be wrong. Maybe the arrests and expulsions and embarrassments are the only learning process we need. But I agree most emphatically with Henry Jenkins when, in a discussion of DOPA with boyd, he observes that:
One of the biggest risks of these digital technologies is not the ways that they allow teens to escape adult control but rather the permanent traces left behind of their transgressive conduct. Teens used to worry about what teachers or administrators might put in their permanent records since this would impact how they were treated in the future. Yet, we are increasingly discovering that everything we do online becomes part of our public and permanent record, easily recoverable by anyone who knows how to Google, and that there is no longer any statute of limitations on our youthful indiscretions.
I don’t think students get that. I want them to. Facebook’s changes may be part of the process. My experience relative to boyd’s analogy above suggests they can.
Some months ago I went deaf in one ear. Now I never know how loud I’m talking, or if I’m interrupting and I struggle to pick out voices in a crowd. I have to learn all over again. It sounds to me like the Facebook community hears loud and clear that it has to learn all over again too.
I bring some other experience to this discussion as well. I ran a bbs in the early 90s first using tbbs and later FirstClass. Later still I was the producer of an online dating site. I understand architecture and believe we all must engage in the fight for an architecture of freedom.
We’re living in an era of information promiscuity; this era will pass as we negotiate and establish the norms of our technologically enhanced information environment. I’m not so pessimistic as danah. We’ll develop tools and learn how to use them. I see this latest privacy dustup as part of that process.
danah says gossip’s “too delicious to turn your back on.” Gossip is not too delicious for me. I tune it out and from here in rural Georgia tune danah in through my RSS feed. danah wishes they’d turn off the feeds. Me, I don’t want to turn back time. If not Facebook, it would be someone else. We need to learn to live in this world. We built it. We’ll make it better.
LATER: From the NYTimes, this member gets it:
“Because our generation has been so obsessed with putting themselves up on the Internet and obsessed with celebrity, we didn’t realize how much of our personal information we were putting out there,” said Tim Mullowney, a 22-year-old aspiring actor in Brooklyn and a Facebook user. “This really shows you how much is out there. You don’t see it until you get it served on a platter to you.”
Mr. Mullowney said the Facebook episode had opened his eyes to a surprising conclusion: “I don’t need to know every little detail of everyone’s life.”
The salt sucker
Today is my birthday. Yesterday was Star Trek’s:
Cue the iconic theme music: Forty years ago, on September 8, 1966, “Star Trek” lifted off into TV and cultural history. Over the subsequent decades, the sci-fi adventure series has amassed millions of fans and emerged as a relentless entertainment empire.
Stars William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy sat down recently with the Associated Press and recalled “The Man Trap,” the episode that would kick off the show’s three-year prime-time run.
“The first show that was on the air was a show with a creature that was a salt sucker,” recalled Nimoy. “It was somebody inside a weird-looking suit and it attacked humans because it needed the copper or the salt out of your body to survive or something like that.”
“That was the first one?” asked Shatner.
“Yes, that was the first one on the air,” Nimoy answered. “And it was because NBC decided that this series would be most successful if we had sort of a monster of the week to sell. What’s the monster this week? And so they put a monster show on the air the first episode, and I think it was a terrible mistake, because it was really not what we were about.”
I watched it religiously, alone in my mother’s bedroom. No one else in the house was interested. Their loss.