Archived entries for Current Events

2014 EPIC – The Future of Online [Media]

Go watch this flash movie right now. (Or the first time you have 8 free, it doesn’t have a pause button.).

It’s the history of the media wars, with a dateline of 2014. What happens with Google, Amazon, Blogger, Microsoft, Friendster and TiVo play together? What happens when search, news, shopping, social networks, blogging, camera phones, recommendations, filtering, archiving, the long tail, and everything else that’s ALREADY in motion congeals?

Remember that feeling you got when you “got it” in the first Matrix movie? I got that feeling watching this. Remember that feeling you got when you actually realized that scale of the Internet, and what it will eventually enable?

Go watch it.

It’s not clear how you’re supposed to feel when it’s over. Sounds pretty cool. Sounds pretty scary. Come back here and leave some comments after you’ve watched it. Technorati lets you monitor it as it spreads across the Web.

(I guess this was on metafilter in mid November, but it’s new to me today.)

Republicans Are Criminals. House Lowering Ethical Standards.

Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives “are considering a change in House ethics rules that could make it harder to discipline lawmakers”.

This according to the Associated Press, Washington Post, CNN, and others.

I believe that our elected representatives should be held to the highest ethical standard, not the lowest. Criminal and unethical behavior in the line of duty should be incomprehensible. It is shameful and ugly to squirm for some fuzzy gray area. I refuse to be represented by anyone of questionable character.

“It would lower the standard of official conduct, and if that’s the case, it would be the first time that it has been done since 1968, and it would be done on a completely partisan basis,” said Jennifer Crider, spokeswoman for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (search | wiki).

“If House Republican leaders are allowed to prevail, they will have gutted the single most important ethics standard in the House and turned House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s multiple ethics transgressions into acceptable conduct for all House members,”

If my open community-edited Wikipedia encyclopedia entry ever has a section devoted to proven ethical shortcomings, I’ll be forced to consider Seppuku. He has no such shame. The House Ethics Committee has found him guilty. Judicial Watch, a right-leaning watch group, has called for him to resign from his Majority Leader post. He is the focus of a current grand jury probe into his campaign finance practice: Here, here, here, and here.

“We think this sends a message that there are no consequences for unethical behavior,”

said Mary Boyle, a spokeswoman for Common Cause, part of a coalition fighting the proposals.

I refuse to send that message. Write your personal elected Representative and choose to refuse.

Responsible Fish, Responsible Shopping

Even though the Monterey bay Aquarium is within driving distance of my Bay Area home, their wonderful Seafood Watch cards are known across the country. One of my friends just got back from a few months in Florida, and she had acquired one of the handy cards down there. The convenient wallet-size cards tell you which fish and seafood is caught and farmed in ways that are healthy for you and for the environment.

Staying with the theme of “Information is Power” comes the Blue Christmas campaign. Did you know that the Hyatt hotel chain game 87% of it’s political donations to Democrats, while Marriott gave 76% of theirs to Republicans? Jet Blue Airlines gives to Democrats; Southwest gives to Republicans? Nordstroms gives to Democrats; Mays gives to Republicans. Bed Bath & Beyond gives to Democrats; Bath & Body Works gives to Republicans.

Educate yourself. Understand the effects of your actions. Be mindful. Make informed decisions.

Event – Film Screening: See The Elephant!

SEE THE ELEPHANT! – A Political Video Installation about the 2004 Republican National Convention
Created by Ryan Junell – Music by Lesser

About the movie:

“See the Elephant!” is an immerse four-screen video installation with surround sound audio that features convergent viewpoints during the 2004 Republican National Convention. The four video trajectories take place inside the RNC, outside the venue with the authorities, in the streets with the demonstrators, and at arms-length with mass media. Content for the projected piece includes natural sound, impromptu interviews, and overlapping content.

After touring with the video through the swing states in the weeks before the recent election, creator Ryan Junell brings this hour long political experience to his homebase of San Francisco. Proceeds from the screenings go directly to the creation of the interactive dvd of the installation. “See the Elephant!” dvds will be available for pre-order. See for more details about the installation.


Friday, November 26th
Saturday, November 27th

Seatings at 8pm and 9:30pm
$5 or $10 w/drink or $20 w/dvd
(tho the broke are warmly welcomed)

Studio 1-2-3
401 Alabama Street (@ 17th)
San Francisco

If you’d like to attend any of these showings, please RSVP in the comments sections below.

In ryan’s email to me, he included the following quote

I know revisiting political stuff right now is kinda sensitive… but f%#k it. We witnessed so much crazy stuff that the mass media just didn’t want to describe. Half a million people showed up in the streets of NYC to protest the policies of the president and his administration. The Republican machine used their power of authority to suppress political dissent by arresting thousands of demonstrators. Meanwhile, oil men, fundamentalists, and actors took the stage inside Madison Square Garden to rally the conservative base on a platform of fear and war. This event is worth remembering.

ryan junell

Poo Sticks

San Francisco is a city of neighborhoods. The Haight, The Mission, North Beach, Bernal Heights, SoMa (South of Market).

SoMa’s great, I lived and worked there for the first couple San Francisco years. It’s where all the internet companies are (were?), a landscape of warehouses and lofts, machine shops and furniture stores, artist studios and galleries, and diverse overall.

But a thing about SoMa is that there’s an amazing amount of feces laying around. While some people may think that any amount amazing — and I’d be one of these people — there really is a substantial quantity laying around.

Human feces mostly, but that presence seems to encourage dog owners to be slightly more lackadaisical with their collection duties.

I’m not exactly sure why that is. There are lots of homeless people in SoMa, so that obviously contributes. (It’s a flat neighborhood, and probably gets more sun – less fog – than any other area of The City.). In addition to the homeless population, there’s also a lot of drug users and druggie services like rehab clinics and probation offices. I’m not sure if folks that do hard drugs at the end of back alleys also like to shit on the sidewalk, but I wouldn’t put it past ‘em.

Well, at least it’s being put to good use now:

My friend Brian from 1000 Journals sent me this link. Thanks Brian!

Standing in line

There are lots of reasons to be confident — cell phone voters trending for Kerry; early voters trending for Kerry; actual polls trending for Kerry; the suggestion that die-hard right-wingers are more organized, and therefore have been registered to vote for quite a few years, which would slant the huge number of newly registered votes to Kerry — but this line of thinking from a Slate piece this morning in both new to me and perfectly reasonable sounding:

The voters who are waiting in line for 2 1/2 hours to vote … aren’t doing that to register their support for “more of the same”

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