April 21, 2008

page 13: “Ready or not, technology is here.”

page 13: “We are living in a time in which not even glaciers are moving at a glacial rate of change…”

page 15: The five most powerful tools of the new era of politics: cell phones, YouTube, social-networking sites, blogs, and online fundraising

page 34: “One might have considered the Democrats’ efforts during the 1990s as a form of benign neglect, except there was little benign about the neglect. Beyond the walls of politics, the world was changing faster than it ever had before, and increasingly politics wasn’t keeping pace and didn’t seem relevant or able to address what was happening.”

page 39: “Whereas a generation before, such a title (In an Uncertain World by Robert Rubin) might have come from the defense secretary or the secretary of state, by the end of the 1990s the uncertain world- the national unease- existed not in the stage of world diplomacy or national defense but in the economy… Even before 9/11 robbed Americans of their innocence, too many Americans seemed to have lost the sense of economic security that is critical for a successful middle class.”

page 45: “The power of a single individual to drive the national debate got its first real test in January 1998 when a gossip website called the Drudge Report first broke allegations of President Clinton’s affair with Monica Lewinsky.”

page 48: “Lynn Reed sent a plea for the FEC to change its policy. By the time the FEC issued its verdict, Bradley had already raised $169,000 online. Gore, whose campaign didn’t accept online credit card donations but instead asked donors to print out a form and mail it in, had raised only $17,000.

page 53: The site’s (eBay) first item in 1995, posted by founder Pierre Omidyar, was a broken laser pointed that he had meant just to post as a test item, but to his astonishment it actually sold for $14.83. When Omidyar contacted the winning bidder to clarify that the laser pointer was broken, the buyer simply explained, “I’m a collector of broken laser pointers.”

page 55: Out of all the mainstream press in attendance, only ABC News’s Marc Ambinder noted what came next: Lott said, apparently in reference to supporting Thurmond’s 1948 segregationist presidential bid, “I want to say this about my statE: When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn’t have had all these problems over all these years, either.” The press might not have noticed but bloggers certainly did… The New York post called Lott “the internet’s first scalp.” It surely wouldn’t be the last.


Last Class

April 16, 2008

I don’t know what we’re all doing by blogging our opinions or discussing whether or not opinionators are worth their salt for merely blogging in the air conditioning and drenched in filthy sweat in combat boots. I just know that one way or another the war affects every American. Hopefully the affected understand this and face it, and qualify it, and process it.

My brother just returned from being a deck officer (Lt JG) on the Vicksburg in the Persian Gulf. My half brother is a LT who is always on submarines. My grandfather was a captain in the Navy. He worked at the Pentagon in his final days before dying of a heart attack at 48. My mother was teaching in France when this happened. She was my age.

I am so unbelievably proud of my brother and my family that I don’t know how to express it sometimes. I am not a neocon or even conservative. I’m not even sure what that means anymore anyway because everyone wants to expound on whether or not Bush is this or that. I don’t care (ok sounding apathetic in that regard). I just know that I can’t possibly do ANYTHING else except support my country and be a responsible consumer and citizen. I sent Robbie some care packages and indulged him in his phone calls at odd hours of the day for 6 months. I listened to the stories that haunt international waters. I listened to his voice and his maturity and his soberness. I know… I know…. I’m SO patriotic.

When Robbie returned to Fl his girlfriend broke up with him. She waited ’til he returned and I give her partial credit. Instead of my brother being devastated (he has a heavy heart), he flatly explained that: 1. he was gone for far too long to be completely heart broken and 2. he is back in the U.S. and that is a reunion that cannot be diminished by Jami’s infidelity.

I suppose (responsible) expression of opinions in support of the war resonates with people who have military family. I cannot speak for those who are in the military but I know that I have insurmountable respect and a deep love for people who support our country. And this is a good thing because love is a good thing to have.

Steve LeVine

April 16, 2008

Just met Steve LeVine in class tonight and got his card. He’s got such a chill presence. I really felt his neurons firing away on his recounts on things surrounding Danny’s murder.

Georgetown University has a class for graduate journalism students called The Pearl Project which is taught by Asra Nomani, a former colleague of Pearl’s at the Wall Street Journal. The class is to investigate the murder and kidnapping of Daniel Pearl.

Now let’s see if Wikiscanner can find me…

I looked up Barack Obama on Wikiscanner. According to Jim Wales, he thinks Wikiscanner adds to another layer of transparency on the web and on his site. In my opinion I agree with Wales that it’s a another light internet users can cast on even some of the most democratic UGC sites that flirt with the opportunity to provide misinformation. The web is a flattener that affords a checks and balances to an entity that grows too powerful. Each microcosmic example of how we can expose the truth on the web shows the power in numbers that web users have.

Steve Colbert’s quote (that I borrowed from Wikipedia and used to title this blog) should not be funny but rather obsolete to the most cutting edge of web users because the savvy ones know that no one conceals their identity anymore on the web. It’s simply too easy to find out who someone is now.

On Wikiscanner’s report of Barack Obama edits, one was “he has no chance.” Is there beauty in expressing an opinion that you know will reach millions of impressions or is this an ugly abuse of such a platform?

On Tue, Apr 8, 2008 at 11:22 AM, <> wrote:

Try to find a signature that you like and start signing all of your work. Remember to always make the signature the same. Some artist’s signatures are as impressive as the art itself.
Love you,
 Read this:

Editorial Reviews
Book Description
Signatures are unique and often reveal something of our individual personalities. In this intriguing book, John Wilmerding-an eminent historian of American art-explores the unconventional use of signatures in paintings. The author focuses on American artists who have not simply signed their works on a corner of the canvas but have intentionally placed their signatures within the pictorial space of the painting. A painter’s name or initials might, for instance, appear as an illusion on a wall or floor, on an object within an interior, or on some form in a landscape. Wilmerding examines such signatures in works by twenty-seven artists from the eighteenth through twentieth centuries, including John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, Jasper Johns, Andrew Wyeth, and Richard Estes. After providing an overview of signatures in European art, Wilmer-ding looks closely at American painting. He argues that by placing a signature within a painting the artist may be making an explicit association with the setting or situation depicted. He demonstrates that such signatures or inscriptions can be viewed as fragments of autobiography or as concentrated glimpses of self-representation. Beautifully designed and handsomely illustrated, this book brings into focus the myriad and complex meanings of artists’ signatures and is of interest to anyone who admires and studies American art and culture.

About the Author
John Wilmerding is Christopher Binyon Sarofim ’86 Professor of American Art in the Department of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University and visiting curator in the Department of American Art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. He is the author of many books and articles on American painting and was recently reappointed by President George W. Bush to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House.








Is this a book you already have?
ps–should i order one of these since i can’t buy yours

I’m not trying to be self important. I’m simply indulging myself in dumping things here that make the mundane seem… less mundane.

Raj – Jill told me that you are a big bad mountain biker from Canada and how you introduced her to Roam.  It is pretty amazing, isn’t it? I saw it on the big screen at the Banff Mountain Film Festival.   

My question for you is why didn’t you lend her The Collective too?  For shame, for shame!  😉

BTW – Those guys have a new film coming out later this month called Seasons.  And yes, I’m a mountain biking geek…


I dont know about big and bad.. I did introduce her to roam.. it is pretty amazing stuff. I just figured she should see the most recent stuff so gave her roam.. I will now lend her the collective as well because clearly I made a huge mistake!!  I have heard about seasons.. cant wait for it. The new world disorder movies are pretty good too.. 

Um.. its okay to be a geek about bikes.. its not books at least! 

Jill Phan to Raj, Jay
show details 9:58 AM (41 minutes ago)
Don’t let Raj fool you with her big bad mountain biking mystique. She’s quite the geek herself 🙂 although I don’t hold it against her because she’s an amazing breakfast maker.
Raj and I will swap Roam for the The Collective next time I see her. I actually invited her to come with Saturday morning but she’s making another AMAZING, GARGANTUOUS brunch at her trendy little apt. on Wisconsin Ave (See fbook photos of gourmet grub courtesy of Chez Raj)
She said she’ll raincheck with us though (and I bet you won’t punch her).
Yippee! Can’t wait for Sat morning. And can’t wait to acclimate myself with all you mountain biking geeks.

Chapter 8 of Nude Talk

April 2, 2008

It’s interesting to actually look at blogging in a case study format of cultures as we’re doing in Chapter 8. It makes sense that China doesn’t blog as openly as America and France. I mean, we all know that the French wear their emotions on their sleeves so blogging only makes sense for them… On a more serious note, I think I’m beginning to really understand and like this blogging stuff (although sometimes I just don’t feel inclined to blog myself and sometimes I get bitten with the bug to share on my blog all my thoughts– is this normal?).

I liked the quote of Le Meur defeding La Fraise and the t-shirt company to critics of the company by saying “… put the customer at the center of everything, rather than on the edge.” This is exactly why we are grasping on to blogs as a flattener of the uneven terrain marketers and advertisers used to create for consumers to navigate through. Although there is still quite a disparity in the old school and new school ways of doing things in business. I think all companies should have blogs, and rather than them being facades of pure PR fluff, they should be organic by the members of the company and receptive to consumers’ feedback.

We can learn so much about ourselves by studying other types of people and how they are innovative with the same technology.

Another more personal observation of mine is that I’ve quickly learned that a blog’s focal point can be anything on the long tail of topics, but these focal points revolve around human beings connecting to share with one another. The beauty of the blog is it’s a free way to share. This new wave of internet users is demanding things online be free. Free is what we will get because the competition will always lower the cost to nothing online.

Just today, I visited a local artist’s blog because it was mentioned in a Washington Post article fittingly about living on a budget. I was thinking about how, as I articulate subtler interests lately, I can stumble into a subcult of enthusiasts whose blogs are brimming with information. For example, I am getting ready to go mountain biking with a friend and I can just google the words mountain, biking, and blog to pull up a wealth of information. I am also interested in art because I’m a painter and as mentioned before, I can read blogs of local artists in D.C. so I know what’s showing where and what the artists are doing. Aside from the silly Julia Allison-type blogs of idle entertainment, I am beginning to embrace the long tail of my own interests by visiting the circles of people who are into similar things. It can really give you insight into what is going on around you and who you can meet. I especially like the aspect of openness and bloggers who are willing to email or comment back on the comments of others. I’ve heard Ted Leonsis will write back those who comment on his blog.

Overall, Scoble’s book is pretty neat and he really took his time dissecting the universe of blogging.


April 1, 2008

I’m becoming an electronica fan. Why now?

Jared Cohen

March 31, 2008