aTypical Joe: a gay New Yorker living in the rural South
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Geoffrey Stone in the University of Chicago Law School Faculty Blog:
Among the many intriguing facets of this decision is that the vote was 4-to-3. The three dissenting justices did not argue that gays and lesbians do not have a right to the legal benefits of marriage; rather, they argued that gays and lesbians are also entitled to equal access to the word “marriage.” Thus, the court was unanimous in holding that New Jersey could not constitutionally (under the state constitution) deny gays and lesbians the legal benefits of marriage. [...]
A few years ago I attended a dinner with twenty more or less randomly selected students. When I asked how many would vote as legislators to authorize gay and lesbian marriage, 90% said they would. The very idea of gay and lesbian marriage twenty years earlier would have seemed preposterous. Most students would have considered such a suggestion tantamount to proposing today that people should be allowed to marry cats. Most students would have been completely taken aback by such a suggestion, and likely replied, “that’s just not ‘marriage’.”
This is what is meant by “raising one’s consciousness.” I’m old enough to remember when blacks couldn’t drink from the same water fountain as whites and when a woman Supreme Court justice, an African-American secretary of state, an openly gay congressman, and a Hispanic attorney general seemed unthinkable. Today’s students will no doubt regale their children with their memory of a time when, believe it or not, gays and lesbians couldn’t marry. Pretty amazing.
You know what they’ll call it but it just won’t pack the same punch this time. Dahlia Lithwick:
Whatever the court actually did today in New Jersey, you can’t call it activism. Yes, the court directed the legislature to do something to balance the inequities between heterosexual families and homosexual ones. But it offered plenty of space for the legislature to maneuver as it sees fit: “[T]he Legislature must either amend the marriage statutes to include same-sex couples or create a parallel statutory structure, which will provide for, on equal terms, the rights and benefits enjoyed and burdens and obligations borne by married couples.” It’s for the electorate, not the courts, to determine what that legal regime will become. Moreover, the court “will not presume that a separate statutory scheme, which uses a title other than marriage, contravenes equal protection principles, so long as the rights and benefits of civil marriage are made equally available to same-sex couples.”
The future battle is not over the bundle of rights and obligations granted to same sex couples. The court finds no rational reason to deny them. The only fight-to be duked out in the legislature-is what to call the thing.
Of course I want it called “marriage” but a rose by any other name... Dahlia’s kicker:
Memo to Karl Rove: Those who oppose this decision aren’t opposed to judicial activism. They are opposed to judges.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
New Jersey’s highest court ruled on Wednesday that gay couples are entitled to the same legal rights and financial benefits as heterosexual couples, but ordered the Legislature to decide whether their unions must be called marriage or could be known by another name.
In a decision filled with bold and sweeping pronouncements about equality, the New Jersey Supreme Court gave the Democratic-controlled Legislature 180 days to either expand existing laws or come up with new ones to provide gay couples benefits including tuition assistance, survivors’ benefits under workers’ compensation laws, and spousal privilege in criminal trials.
All seven justices agreed that the state’s Constitution demands full legal rights for same-sex partners. But its ruling, 4 to 3, revealed a split in how to proceed.
Now let’s see who gets more energized. Moments ago Chris Bowers moved New Jersey from “Lean Democratic” to “Toss Up.” I say that we’re going to be more motivated than they are.
There was discussion on Talk of the Nation this afternoon that the Democrats don’t know how to do mid-term election turn out because they don’t play to the base. I’ll buy that. But this decision does.
We’ve been loosing too long on this issue; we’re real hungry for a win. I think we’ll see it. In New Jersey.
LATER: The Republicans are going to spend what it takes to be sure I’m not right. I still think they lose.
The demise of Free Use
Perhaps motivated by my earlier post of Fair Use resources, with a librarian today I discussed the decline of free use as described by Larry Lessig in this podcast of a Princeton University panel on Creativity and I.P. Law: How Intellectual Property Law Fosters or Hinders Creative Work, and again in an answer to a question from Stephen Johnson at The Battle Over Books panel Wired magazine presented at the New York Public Library.
I said something like:
The freedom to read - in a library; from a borrowed book or from a book you bought - is a “free use.” In the digital realm...because every use requires a copy, every time we engage in any use it must be justified as either a “licensed use” or a “fair use.”
Once there were three kinds of uses: “free use,” “licensed use,” and “fair use.” If the content industry’s view prevails, in the world they’d like to construct, one day soon there will no longer be “free use.” There will only be “licensed use” or “fair use.”
This, I agree, is a serious, significant and culturally tragic loss. I urge you to hear his message too.
Dateline and the wankers
Sacha Zimmerman writing in The New Republic looks at Dateline’s “To Catch A Predator Series:”
[A]fter eight shoots and 15 hours of broadcast episodes of one predator after another--after another, after another--it’s clear this is no longer informative; it’s just lurid. [Gotcha “journalist” Chris] Hansen is not the heroic investigative reporter he pretends to be; he’s an entertainer, creating a black-and-white world of good and evil that allows the audience to cheer as bad guys are taken out, while simultaneously appealing to viewers’ own twisted perversions.
Dateline performs this feat with the help of Perverted Justice ("PeeJ"), the not-quite-vigilante anti-predator online organization that poses as underage victims to lure in the would-be perverts:
[I]f enticing would-be predators to “Dateline“‘s hungry cameras seems a little, well, predatory, it is. Meet Xavier Von Erck, PeeJ’s founder. The 27-year-old Kevin Smith look-alike, a self-professed “Childless Atheist Libertarian,” told Radar magazine that he dropped out of community college when a “‘productive Internet addiction’ ruined my studies, which I were [sic] not all that interested in anyways.” That “productive Internet addiction” is, of course, posing as young girls and boys on MySpace as a way of outing predators. Funny thing about that: “Age play” is it’s own form of fetish. But, then, why shouldn’t Von Erck enjoy himself while saving the world from predators?
And saving us is very gratifying indeed. According to “Beef the Troll"--"Red Baroness“‘s husband and a three-year PeeJ employee who thinks that his background in “theatre” and “improv” combined with an “overdeveloped sense of justice” make him a good fit for the job of seducing pedophiles--there is nothing like sitting down to watch a “‘Dateline’ piece and enjoy the satisfying sight of seeing 50+ men who thought they were meeting a child for sex instead be confronted with TV cameras and hauled away in cuffs!” Viewers evidently agree. The show is a ratings bonanza for NBC.
She points to the Perverted Justice Wankers Page, “a collection of masturbatory pornographic videos sent to the PeeJs when they were posing as kids.” I went and it was sad and pathetic. These guys looked every bit like the perverted losers they were cast to be.
Though Hansen and Perverted Justice maintain that they always leave punishment to the proper authorities, these strange bedfellows never reflect on the fact that exposure is punishment itself. Take Hansen’s reaction to the harried pace of interrogating one predator after another as scheduled “dates” begin to pile up throughout the night: “It would be easy to start to feel sorry for some of these guys, but it’s almost as if there’s not enough time,” He wrote on his behind-the-scenes blog. “There’s always another guy on the way.”
It is almost as if the folks at “Dateline” have been seduced themselves. Without even a whiff of self-awareness, “Dateline” recently aired an interview with Debra LaFave, the statuesque platinum blonde teacher who was convicted of having sex with her 14-year-old student. But, unlike the men on “To Catch A Predator” who are whisked off to law enforcement after being stunned by Hansen’s sudden appearance and who barely have time to get their bearings, LaFave was presented as a complex woman. Raped at 13 and later diagnosed with a bipolar disorder, she possessed myriad factors that led to her present circumstance, and “Dateline” took the time to address them. While the program never denied her responsibility--and LaFave herself admits to full culpability--it did present a more complete portrait than Hansen could ever hope to convey.
So “Dateline” is at least capable of looking more deeply at a story than the easy headline would suggest--or it is when an attractive blonde is at the center of the account. But, back in hidden-camera land with Chris Hansen, the middle-aged male predators that PeeJ ropes in for the program just aren’t sexy enough to be treated fairly. On “To Catch A Predator,” the world is a stark place where evil men are brought to their knees for our enjoyment. By all means, get these guys away from our children, but serving it up as entertainment is gross--and it certainly isn’t journalism.
WHILE ON THE TOPIC: Say No to Prop 83 in CA, and even if you’re not in CA take the time to read danah’s excellent listing of the reasons why.
Coming in the Sunday NYTimes:
NEXT Memorial Day weekend, Cunard’s behemoth liner the Queen Mary 2 will depart for a routine six-day Atlantic crossing from New York to Southampton, England, with the usual white-glove service, decadent cuisine and formal evening wear after sundown. The difference this time: practically all the guests aboard the 2,592-passenger cruise will be gay. It’s a first for Cunard. The line signed a deal earlier this year with RSVP Vacations, a gay travel company that has chartered the ship. The agreement is one sign among many of gay cruises’ progression into the mainstream of cruise travel.
Most gay-cruise operators run charter businesses, paying cruise lines to use their ships and crews. In the early days of gay cruises, about 20 years ago, that often meant working with little-known lines or securing second-tier ships. Itineraries often included just a handful of gay-friendly destinations. But as the overall rate in the growth of passengers and spending has slowed in recent years, the cruise industry has become keenly aware of the gay travel market, estimated at $55 billion and growing.
Gay travelers tend to take trips more often, stay longer and spend more than other travelers…
We won’t go to Jamaica but:
[W]hile a gay cruise charted by Atlantis Events was turned away from the Cayman Islands in 1997, this year 3,200 passengers on a similar cruise by the same company were greeted in the Caymans with rainbow-patterned welcome signs in some shop windows.[...]
In fact, gay cruises have become so popular that a reverse phenomenon is starting to emerge. “We’re finding a lot of gay travelers have straight friends who want to be a part of this,” said Tom de Rose, owner of Friends of Dorothy Travel in San Francisco. Because of this, he said, gay cruises are increasingly becoming “straight-friendly.”
Fair Use Resources
An “investigative newsletter” with an outrageous clause (since ammended) appended to its copyright notice on each and every page - “This article is copyright protected and Fair Use is not applicable.” [emphasis mine] - occasioned an interesting exchange (see the p.s.) and this important collection of Fair Use resources:
Three of the most comprehensive resources dealing with the topic of Fair Use are the Stanford University Copyright & Fair Use Center, the Fair Use Network (sponsored by the Brennan Center for Justice at the NYU Law School), and Electronic Frontier Foundation with its EFF Legal Guide for Bloggers. You can find less comprehensive information at the U.S. Copyright Office site. The Stanford website offers information on all aspects of fair use — from basics to specialized issues, to legislative activity, to caselaw, to lists of relevant website and articles.
Here are some specific articles and webpages that may fit your needs:
-- The Chilling Effects Clearinghouse has an excellent set of Frequently Asked Questions about Copyright and Fair Use, with a nice summary of the four statutory factors. The FAQ answers the question Do I need permission from the copyright holder to make fair use? like this: “No. If your use is fair, it is not an infringement of copyright — even if it is without the authorization of the copyright holder. Indeed, fair use is especially important to protect uses a copyright holder would not approve, such as criticism or parodies. See Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, 510 US 569 (1994).” When at Chilling Effects, you might also want to check out Betsy Rosenblatt’s Copyright Basics.
--Kimberlee Weatherall (an academic Australian IP expert) and famed weblogging law professor Eugene Volokh offer 14 Copyright Tips for Bloggers, which looks at the issues from the perspective of both the copyright holder and the prospective Fair User.
-- Mary E. Carter’s eFuse article When Copying Is Okay is also a very useful document. As for the kind of copyright notice to use on your website, she advises: “Placing your copyright notice on your Web site is a start to protecting your copyrights on-line. Read some of the copyright notices on the Web sites of newspapers and other mainstream content providers for inspiration on how to word your notice. I generally recommend the simpler-is-better approach. Just place the “circle c” Ã‚Â©, or even just (C), and your name and the year of execution on the first page of your site and leave it at that.”
-- — Nolo.com has a basic discussion on the Fair Use rule (annoyingly spread over 4 pages). [Note: In a lengthy monograph, I disagree with its notion that a haiku poem is too small to every be quoted under Fair Use].
Admittedly, it is not always easy to know with certainty whether some assertions of the Fair Use exemption are appropriate. Nonetheless, the Fair Use Network correctly says that “Despite this unpredictability, it is important to assert fair use, and reject assumptions that all uses must be licensed and paid for.” And, Marjorie Heins put it well in the Online Journal Review (Feb. 23, 2006, via Ambrogi’s Media Law): “To the extent that fair use is not used, it will shrink, and to the extent that it is used and asserted, it will remain healthy and even grow.” Perhaps, the courts or legislature should explicitly decide, as suggested by Judge Posner at Lessig Blog in Fair Use and Misuse, that excessive claims to copyright protection through the denial of Fair Use rights amount to copyright abuse that forfeits the law’s protections until remedied.
Via Boing Boing.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
When I was 38 I had been in therapy for twenty years. I up and quit. The therapist, seeing me in her penthouse apartment, was visibly shaken. From then on I took to saying, “self-awareness is the most over-rated aspect of personal change.”
From a NYTimes interview of Dr. Owen Renik, an analyst questioning the self-perpetuating side of therapy:
Q. You place great emphasis in the book on symptom relief as the central measure of the effectiveness of therapy. Shouldn’t that be obvious?
A. Not necessarily. There is a tendency among psychoanalysts to pursue self-awareness as a goal in itself, rather than a means to an end. Originally, the idea was that the self-understanding that arose as a result of psychoanalysis was unique and impressive and valid because it afforded relief from symptoms that were otherwise impossible to treat.
If you don’t require that self-awareness be validated by symptom relief, there are two destructive consequences. The first is scientific. You have no independent variable to track; you set up a circular situation in which it’s the analyst’s theory that determines what is found in analysis. Many critics of psychoanalysis have recognized this.
But an equally important consequence is that you relieve the analyst of any accountability. The process can go on forever, and there are all kinds of temptations to extend it, including the therapist’s vanity, his inability to admit failure, his narcissism - and nobody likes lost income. The therapy then becomes an esoteric practice of proselytizing, rather than a discipline, and the proof of that is everywhere in the world, where fewer and fewer people go to analysis at all. If the therapy worked, people would be going.
Therapy is the norm in New York; leaving was a bold contrarian move. Here there’s just as much need (if not more!) but in this culture it is stigmatized, frowned upon and to seek it out is seen as a personal failing. Is there irony then in the fact that being here has driven me back to the therapist’s couch?
All of us like some of it but none of us likes all of it
What I’m saying is that rather than being ‘over,’ television has the opportunity to expand as never before. I just wrote an expansion of that Guardian column and some posts here for the magazine published by aforementioned Royal Television Society; I ended it this way: “All the limits that used to define television are gone. TV can now become whatever we want it to be.” I don’t look at the old, linear channels as the definition of TV; I look at them as the limitation on TV. [...]
Do we like the programmers’ linear TV schedules? Not much. That’s why God invented the remote control, VCR, PVR, and cable/satellite box: to give us choice and control over our consumption of media. Now we also have the power to create media.
I like Jarvis’s construction of “linear TV” and hope against hope and wholeheartedly agree that its time has past. Linear TV requires that all of those programmers fill up all of those channels with something, and often that something is anything that costs as little as possible because there’s so much time to fill and so few of us watching.
I invite anyone to look at the schedule of any media channel - broadcast, cable, satellite, radio; you name it, any channel - I think you will find that the majority of what is on that schedule is of no interest to you. Add it all up and you will find that the majority of what the content industry gives us we, individually, have no interest in.
All of us like some of it but none of us likes all of it and I see an opportunity here.
An advocate excited by the rise of peer-produced media, I certainly don’t think the hit or the high-quality series program is dead and destined to be replaced by You & Me TV. Rather, I think all that filler schlock that programmers use to take up all that time can go away. It will free them up to focus solely on higher quality fare and make some room for those of us who want to produce culture just as badly as we want to consume it.
There are two trends out there that I hope and expect to be borne out. In one, people are buying large screen high-definition home theater systems on which they want to display high-end high-quality professional media. In the other, screens are getting smaller and more widely distributed and ubiquitous. I expect the professionals to dominate that large-screen high-resolution space. I only hope they might be forced to cede some of those ubiquitous small screens to the rest of us.
Monday, October 23, 2006
Rush on Fox: He is an actor after all
I stated when I saw the ad, I was commenting to you about it, that he was either off the medication or he was acting. He is an actor, after all… I think this is exploitative in a way that I think is unbecoming.
the chorea that Michael J Fox has in that ad comes from chronic use of dopamine agonists in the context of Parkinson’s. They’re movements from the medicine, not the disease itself. Although he might have odd movements OFF of his meds, they wouldn’t look like the ones in the ad. They’d look like the Parkinson’s-like presentation of Muhammed Ali’s Dementia Pugilistica.
In addition, those movements are hard to imitate accurately because they stem from circuits between the basal ganglia and cortex that you can’t just turn off or on. Those aren’t volitional circuits. There is little chance he was acting, and if he was, he could only accentuate slightly movementse already had. In other words, this is as tragic as it looks.
See for yourself. Here’s the Fox ad.
Which of these arguments do you think will resonate with America?
John Cole: “there are no false promises, there are no lies, there are no distortions. Michael J. Fox isn’t saying that a vote for the Democrats is a vote for a cure.”
Steve Benen: “There’s nothing exploitative about Michael J. Fox asking voters to back the candidate who offers hope, and voting against the candidate who doesn’t.”
Then there’s Hugh Hewitt, who can’t imagine why Fox would care about Stem Cell research since it won’t likely offer an instant cure. He finds the ad “crass, tasteless, exploitative and absurd.”
Pandering you can count on
One of the biggest issues in Georgia is illegal immigration. We are inundated with political ads telling us that illegals are taking our tax dollars because liberals let them and that it threatens our poor and our seniors.
So what kind of investigation does Atlanta’s ABC affiliate, WSB-TV, do? “A major loophole in Georgia’s voter registration: Non-US citizens who don’t have the right to vote, REGISTERED BY MISTAKE! Today at 5. In High Definition.”
Sounds like an ad for Mac Collins to me.
Sunday, October 22, 2006
I want the NJ gay marriage decision now:
The conspiracy-minded question whether the decision is being delayed until after Election Day to avoid political repercussions. Some say a ruling in support of gay marriage would goad conservative voters to punish Democrats, including Mr. Menendez.
Others think that even if such a ruling were to galvanize Republicans elsewhere, it would barely register in New Jersey. Mr. Menendez and his Republican challenger, State Senator Thomas H. Kean Jr., have both supported some benefits for domestic partners, but have said they believe marriage should be between a man and a woman.
Yet even those who study the court’s daily moves concede that they have no way of knowing what the justices will do or when they will do it. In fact, the court has no deadline; unlike the United States Supreme Court, it can carry cases over from one term to the next. One decision issued in August, for example, came 20 months after oral arguments. And court officials say a retired justice may vote and even write opinions in cases that he or she heard.
I think it would energize the Left even more than it would galvanize the Right.
The iPod turns five
The iPod turns five Monday. Steven Levy:
Happy birthday, iPod. It was on Oct. 23, 2001, that Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs stood before a relatively modest crowd in an auditorium on the company campus in Cupertino and reached into his jeans pocket to fish out a 6.4-ounce gizmo that he described (with the hyperbole Jobs exhales routinely) as “a major, major breakthrough.”
This time, however, it was no exaggeration. Though it took Apple well over a year to sell its first million units, during the last holiday season it was moving a million iPods every week. It holds a market share of about 75% of the MP3-player market (an astounding figure for a consumer electronics category). Its iTunes music store has an even more impressive 88% share of legal song downloads.
As it happens, Steven Levy is the author of ”The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture and Coolness,” reviewed today in Salon. In keeping with my earlier theme, I quote a spoilsport passage from the review (not in the book) on how the technology changes the music:
Music portability has changed—for the worse—the way engineers record music. To ensure that people can hear new songs in noisy settings, record labels now use a very low dynamic range when they’re mastering new albums. This means they set everything in a track—the vocals, the various instruments—to be at more or less the same volume, making for few interesting variations during a song between quiet moments and loud moments. To be sure, this is chiefly an audiophile’s complaint, one that doesn’t bother even most ardent music fans. It goes along with that other common snooty-sounding complaint about the iPod—that the digital compression required to make the thing work ruins music, especially classical and jazz.
Run from Colbert!
"Lawmakers are wary of his Comedy Central show, which often gives them enough cable to hang themselves,” says the LATimes in an article that looks at The Colbert Report’s “Better Know a District” segment.
Another excuse to point, again, to Georgia’s own:
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.), discovered the pitfalls when Colbert asked him about a bill he co-sponsored requiring that the Ten Commandments be displayed in the U.S. Capitol.
“What are the Ten Commandments?” Colbert asked matter-of-factly.
“What are all of them?” Westmoreland said, taken aback. “You want me to name them all?”
The June segment showed Westmoreland struggling to name just three. Westmoreland actually named seven, said his press secretary, Brian Robinson. And the remaining ones, he added, were somewhat obscure.
A Bible Belt conservative, the embarrassed Westmoreland has been trying to live down his Commandments performance. No Republican has appeared since.
What really got the attention of House members was the experience of Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.). Colbert told him he was free to make even the most outrageous statements because he was running for reelection unopposed. Then Colbert coaxed Wexler into a spoof declaration that he enjoyed cocaine and prostitutes because “it’s a fun thing to do.”
Several media outlets trumpeted Wexler’s comments without making it clear that he was only answering Colbert’s fill-in-the-blank questions.
The media negligence on that one occasioned one of the best Colbert segments ever. Before bluntly endorsing Wexler - “my friend” - he went after the network news folks with a comic ferocity that was finely targeted and absolutely 100% effective.
The python that ate the electric blanket, tanorexia, uncomfortable shoes, fake flood shots, getting peed on causes stress, the chimp playing Texas Holdum… all stories he excerpted from those real news shows to illustrate the point.
The end of music as we know it
In a post about fans shooting video of concerts and posting it to YouTube, Fred Wilson has this interesting observation on concert recordings:
Earlier this year I asked a friend of mine in the music business about a business plan I had gotten. I don’t want to go into the details of that plan here (confidential is confidential), but my friend in the music business said to me “artists will never allow recordings of their live shows to be released without their permission and they aren’t going to allow much of it to get out with their permission because they won’t like the way they looked or the way the sounded that night”.
And that is why so little of the live music that is played every night ever gets released. And it seems the best “live albums” are really studio engineered versions of live recordings. Jackson tells me the only thing live on Thin Lizzy “Live and Dangerous” is the drums.
I’m reminded of Alex Ross’s excellent New Yorker article from last year, The Record Effect: How technology has transformed the sound of music. In it Ross describes how music was once appreciated for the unique variations that came from witnessing the live performers’ impromptu performance.
Now, with recordings heard over and over, what we want and reward in a live setting is the precise technical replication of the studio-produced recording. The reluctance of modern musicians to have their concerts released and the harsh self-criticism Fred describes (not to mention the occasional lip-syncing fiasco) are a product of those artificial expectations.
In my younger years I was more a fan of the Jefferson Airplane than the Grateful Dead, but both were best known for their live performances. The Dead took that as a starting point. It cultivated and embraced “Dead Head” fans and became known for welcoming the audience to record their concerts and share those tapes.
Fred knows well that timing is everything. I’m wondering if perhaps that business plan’s time will yet come; if what were seeing now is another transformation of the sound of music, a transformation that will lead us back to the idiosyncrasy and inflection of the artist as expressed in the performance rather than the recording. A model foretold by The Grateful Dead.
RELATED: Last year Jerry Garcia’s wife forced Archive.org to take down over 1000 soundboard recordings of the Grateful Dead. Anyone know what’s happened since?
Dead drummer Mickey Hart was on a panel with SNOCAP’s Jeffrey Mallett at last year’s Web 2.0 conference. Worth a listen not least for Hart’s comments on how their embrace of fan recordings came about.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
YouTube’s a fake!
Agog over YouTube, I totally missed it. Larry Lessig explains:
So there’s an important distinction developing among “user generated content” sites — the distinction between sites that permit “true sharing” and those that permit only what I’ll call “fake sharing.”
A “true sharing” site doesn’t try to exercise ultimate control over the content it serves. It permits, in other words, content to move as users choose.
A “fake sharing” site, by contrast, gives you tools to make seem as if there’s sharing, but in fact, all the tools drive traffic and control back to a single site.
In this sense, YouTube is a fake sharing site, while Flickr, (parts of) Google, blip.tv, Revver and EyeSpot are true sharing sites.
Fake Sharing Sites
YouTube gives users very cool code to either “embed” content on other sites, or to effectively send links of content to other sites. But never does the system give users an easy way to actually get the content someone else has uploaded. Of course, many have begun building hacks to suck content off of the YouTube site. (On the Mac, I’ve used TubeSock to do that). But this functionality Ã¯Â¿Â½” critical to true sharing — is not built into the YouTube system.
True Sharing Sites
By contrast, ever other major Web 2.0 company does expressly enable true sharing.
- Flickr, for example, makes it simple to download Flickr images. (See, e.g., here.)
- blip.tv explicitly offers links to download various formats of the videos it shares. (See, e.g., here.)
- EyeSpot (a fantastic new site to enable web based remixing of video and audio) permits the download of the source and product files. (See, e.g., here.)
- Revver (the site that enables an ad-bug to be added to a video so the creator gets paid when each video is played) builds its whole business model on the idea that content can flow freely on the Net. (See, e.g., here.)
- And even Google increasingly enables access to the content it creates and collects. Its fantastic Book Search project enables people to download (funnily formatted) PDFs of public domain books.
More from Joi Ito’s Web.
From today’s WaPo profile:
Should the Democrats win in November, Pelosi said, their new majority will push for the immediate start of a phased withdrawal of troops, to be completed by the end of 2007.
At the same time, she said, the new majority would quickly move to raise the minimum wage, allow the government to negotiate directly with drug companies for lower prices for seniors, repeal corporate incentives to take jobs overseas, make college tuition tax-deductible, and implement all the recommendations of the commission that investigated the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, securing nuclear material from former Soviet states to keep it from terrorists.
Sounds reasonable to me. And, after years of enforcing Democratic discipline - “the most unified voting record in 50 years” - she says she’d reach out to Republicans and be more inclusive.
In a pot-calls-kettle moment, Georgia’s own blame-the-Democrats-for-Foley star says he doesn’t believe it:
“That would not happen,” said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga). “I have never seen Nancy Pelosi reach out to a Republican.”
Me, I’m one of those Democrats who dare to believe.
Colbert & Hall sing Dance With Me
Watch NY Democratic Congressional candidate and former frontman for the music group Orleans play the “smear your opponent” pick-a-card game with Stephen Colbert. Colbert pulled that game right from the Republican playbook. More on the playbook in a later post.
Hall’s got a nine point lead over incumbent challenger Sue Kelly whose five years as chairwoman of the Congressional Pages puts her in a problematic position to say the least. Wanna watch Sue Kelly run from reporters?
LATER: Edited to remove a pushers joke link that I just couldn’t make work.
Agree to disagree with Gilchrist
Jim Gilchrist went on the Colbert Report and said that he supports building a wall along the Mexican border. Not real interesting.
I was one of the first reporters to interview Gilchrist. When I talked to him last February, I expected a frothy jerk. Now, Gilchrist did say some far out stuff. He thinks, for instance, that this country will devolve into warring tribes in about 20 years. And that Mexican immigrants can’t assimilate. Ever.
What a dope!
But, at the same time, I thought Gilchrist was one of the nicest people I’ve ever interviewed. He graciously answered all of my questions and when it was published he called and said it was tough but fair. Gilchrist, whose a Purple Heart veteran, even defended me when conservatives attacked my article. That was going beyond the call of duty.
The piece is a must listen; a model for all of us on the Left and Right - bloggers take heed - on how to agree to disagree and, most importantly, respect the people with whom we disagree, no matter how vehemently.
Arellano tells us that Gilchrist likes fajitas, has a son-in-law who is Mexican American and was opposed by Republicans when he ran for congress because of his views on U.S. corporate “capitalist pigs” he calls “professional slave traders” and blames for illegal immigration.
Now that’s interesting.
I guess that makes me a pusher
Most disturbing was the discovery that some people hid their Internet surfing, or went online to cure foul moods in ways that mirrored alcoholics using booze… the typical Internet addict was a single, college-educated, white male in his 30s, who spends approximately 30 hours a week on non-essential computer use.
Ze points out that we watch more television, and for the same purposes.
So how much do we watch? “The average person watches four hours, 35 minutes of television each day, a new high.”
Don’t bogart that remote, my friend, pass it over to me!
LATER: I’m told that most of you will not catch that the reference is to the Grateful Dead song, Don’t Bogart That Joint.
On small town gossip
Nicholas DiFonzo is one of the world’s leading experts on gossip. Well, at a meta-level. The Rochester Institute of Technology psychologist studies how gossip and rumors spread and the difference between the two. According to his bio, he’s also been an expert witness in lawsuits surrounding the (false) rumors that Procter & Gamble was somehow involved in satanism. In a new academic book, titled Rumor Psychology, Difonzo and management professor Prashant Borida, present their findings on rumor propagation, the psychology of why people believe them, and how to manage the rumor mill in a company setting. According to their research, “most workplace rumors are 95 percent accurate.”
Maybe so. But most small town rumors are false. Heard the one about the new Home Depot coming out by the Wal-Mart? If we wait long enough, it just might.
I’m thinking small town rumors are more akin to gossip. From the press release for the book:
“A rumor is what you do when you try to figure out the truth with other people,” DiFonzo says. “It’s collective sense making. The classic example is ‘I heard thatÃ¢â‚¬Â¦’”
Gossip, on the other hand, is sharing information with an agenda, he says. It could be for entertainment or to bond with another person or to reinforce a social norm. Gossip, which may be true, tends to have an edge.
“Gossip is more to do with social networks,” DiFonzo says. “A strong motivation we have as humans is to connect with a group.”
Two factors hinder accuracy and tip small town rumor toward gossip; 1.) the primacy of enforcing the social norm, 2.) the small town’s smaller pool of people limits the diversity of viewpoints and exacerbates the human tendency to herd.
SEE ALSO: Human beings are not ants.
Friday, October 20, 2006
L.A. Boy Scouts copyright merit
The Los Angeles Council of the Boy Scouts of America will offer rewards to Scouts who absorb a brainwashing regime written by the MPAA. The merit
badgepatch in “respecting copyright” will almost certainly not include any training on fair use, anything about the fact that the film industry is located in Hollywood because that was a safe-enough distance from Tom Edison that the its founders could infringe his patents with impunity; that record players, radios and VCRs were considered pirate technology until the law changed to accommodate them; or that the entertainment industry enriches itself without regard for creators, who are routinely sodomized through non-negotiable contracts and abusive royalty practices. I’m sure it won’t mention the anti-competitive censorship masquerading as the Hollywood “rating” system, or the way that the studio cartel’s copyright term extensions have doomed the majority of creative works to orphaned oblivion, since they remain in copyright, but have no visible owner and can’t be brought back into circulation.
A later update explains it’s called a “merit patch” instead of a “merit badge” because it’s a local initiative by one group.
They eat their own
I knew about the Republican pols circling the wagons and shooting at each other, but liberal bias at Fox???
Accuracy in Media editor Cliff Kincaid plans to attend the annual stockholders’ meeting of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation today in New York City to seek answers to a list of 27 questions posted at AIM’s website. Eight of the questions touch upon Murdoch’s relationship with the Clintons and how that may have affected Fox News coverage.
“The New York Times reported that your son James is ‘steadfastly liberal’ and that he ‘has supported Bill Clinton and Al Gore whose daughter he befriended at Harvard,’” Kincaid inquires of Murdoch. “How liberal is James Murdoch and what plans does he have for taking the company in a more leftward direction?”
The Carpetbagger has a roundup of sorts on the expected defeats that will have many fathers.
Why ‘sucks’ doesn’t. Anymore.
Around here, cursing is frowned upon. In New York I cussed with the best of them. Even there I wondered why and thought that, for my own personal esthetic, I’d rather not. Here I hardly do.
So “sucks” presents me with something of a challenge. How benign is it? Back in August, Seth Stevenson argued:
Sucks is here to stay. And what’s more, it deserves its place in our lexicon, for a couple of reasons. First, it’s impossible to intelligently maintain that sucks is still offensive. The word is now completely divorced from any past reference it may have made to a certain sex act. When I tell you that the new M. Night Shyamalan movie sucks (and man, does it suck), my mind in no way conjures up an image of a film reel somehow fellating an unnamed beneficiary.
Nor should this image pop up in your brain when you hear that the movie sucks. That is, unless you are obsessing over the word’s origins and thus have fellatio in mind each time you encounter it. But such obsessing is silly. When someone says Bill Gates is a geek, do you picture him as a circus performer biting the head off a live chicken? Of course not. The word’s root meaning has been replaced with a new connotation. Similarly, when I call Paris Hilton a moron, I don’t mean she’s mentally retarded, and when I call bungee jumping lame I don’t mean it’s disabled. What once was offensive is now simply abrasive. Language moves on, and the sucks-haters are living in the past.
Besides, it’s not even clear that sucks has naughty origins. We might trace its roots to the phrase sucks hind teat, meaning inferior. Or there’s sucks to you, a nonsexual taunt apparently favored by British schoolchildren of yore. Of course, when a 9-year-old girl walks up to you tomorrow and tells you that ”Blue’s Clues sucks,” she won’t be aware of these past usages. But neither will she have in mind (or understand) the much dirtier alternative. The point is that sucks has become untethered from its past and carries no tawdry implications for those who use it.
Well alright then, I guess that settles it.
Why your broadband sucks. Still.
Larry Lessig in the Financial Times, keep broadband competition alive:
In the US...broadband competition is dying. There are fewer competitors offering consumers broadband connectivity today than there were just six years ago. The median consumer has a choice between just two broadband providers. Four companies account for a majority of all consumer broadband; 10 account for 83 per cent of the market. [...]
The US is facing a competitive crisis in broadband deployment. Yet as it continues to fall behind its competitors, the Federal Communications Commission continues to live in denial. The more it has “deregulated” telecommunications, the worse (comparatively) broadband competition and service have become. When it was 10th in the world George W.Ã¢â‚¬â€°Bush, US president, said that “10th is 10 spots too low”. The nation is now 16th. Broadband in the US is 12 times the price in Japan and six times the price in France.
REMEMBER: Lessig in March 2005, when the US was 13th in broadband deployment, in a Wired magazine column titled Why Your Broadband Sucks.