Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Some bloggers take their freedom on the internet, web, and blogosphere for granted. They assume their blog will roll right along, unhampered by obstructive forces.
How stupid they are to have faith in such a Blog Fantasy. The blogosphere is under attack.
There are many groups, from the United Nations to Islamo-fascism, who would love to censor, stifle, and regulate all digital communications.
One of these groups are the CEOs who have banded together to create paid service hiearchies on the internet.
Here's a letter I emailed to my U. S. House Representative.
Representative Melissa Bean
U. S. House of Representatives
512 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515-0001
Dear Representative Bean,
The Internet is a critical communications tool for me and millions of other consumers.
Please don't let corporate telecommunications giants block, slow or otherwise discriminate against information, services, applications offered on the Internet or charge new access fees to Internet-based companies that offer services that I want over the Internet.
The Web is digital democracy, the equal and level communications playing field that allows innovative, but obscure voices to be heard. To privilege any voice or organization, in any manner, in the free and open internet is a blow against democracy and innovation.
- Some phone companies have already blocked access to competitor telephone services offered over the Internet.
- Those that are planning to offer video over their high-speed lines want to speed access to their own video services over those of their rivals, eliminating competitive alternatives that could help lower my cable bill.
- And recently, two large communications companies said they plan on charging Internet companies for faster speeds to deliver services to their customers, even after they've already charged consumers for broadband service.
If they're allowed to do that, only the big Internet companies will be able to afford to pay and entrepreneurial start-ups that could offer consumers better, more innovative services will be shut out.
Those companies that can afford the fees will just pass them on to me; I'll end up paying more for broadband service that is already too expensive. Unfortunately, right now, nothing can stop these companies from doing any of this.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has done little to stop this. Though it issued a policy--known as network neutrality--against this type of discrimination on the Internet,it won't write the rules to prevent that behavior, nor will it enforce the policy.
Weak policies are not enough.
You need to step in to protect my Internet.
Congress is now considering the Communications Opportunity, Promotion, and Enhancement Act of 2006 (COPE Act) in the House of Representatives. That Act not only does nothing to protect the internet from discriminatory tactics of network owners, it actually reduces the FCC's ability to prevent discriminatory behavior.
Instead of the weak provisions in the COPE Act, Congress should enact strong and enforceable legislation that would ensure that the Internet remains open and unfettered by the companies that control high-speed Internet lines and which prevents telecommunications and cable companies from charging Internet-based companies fees just to reach me.
Please support legislation that would provide zero-tolerance for any network discrimination and prohibit the telephone and cable companies from charging fees to Internet companies.
Legislation should not include loopholes that allow companies to block or impair the flow of information over the Internet under the guise of network management.
Steven E. Streight
1508 W. Margaret Avenue
Peoria, Illinois 61604
I continue to be excited by The Dullest Blog in the World, which I periodically promote, having discovered it almost 2 years ago, in my early blogging days, as an example of jejune writing style, and ultra-realism sans emotion or personality.
To understand something bad, it's good to see the same thing, only worse. A blog needs a personality and a passion for something. But anything, including blogs, can also go nutty and be so eccentric, they're either genius or madness. Which is which?
Here, in The World's Dullest Blog, we have dead prose, scientifically precise and cold as a stethoscope, saying in three short sentences what most of us take countless paragraphs to proclaim. This extremity of brevity and machine-minded emptiness transfixes a star that boring people are already hitched to.
Hence, you can compare your writing for prolix excess and deficient passion, by comparing it unfavorably to this almost Anti-Blog writing style of The Dullest Blog in the World.
Is your writing this bland and blithe? Do you post what you ate for lunch today and how you feel about the reformation potentiality of approval addicts, as seen on Dr. Phil?
Does your life consist of far too many "normal" things, too much timid conservatism? If you're a business person, your success will depend on how quickly you shift into "weird mode", think creatively, be "different" at the drop of a competitor's hat.
By reading this unrefreshing blog, one may generate unexpected refreshment of one's own writing.
Thus, one may use this "dullest" (but most pithy) blog as a positive goalpost, a beneficent beacon illuminating, by stripping down to nothing, the error of corporate fluff text, the use of hyperbole to seem to say something simply by saying a lot (of nothing).
One of my favorite concision terses from Mr. Dull:
My knee had a slight itch. I reached out my hand and scratched the knee in question. The itch was relieved and I was able to continue with my activities. (dull, September 10)
| 10/09/2004 5:11 pm
It's a two-sworded edge, too sordid to hedge, what The World's Dullest Blogger is now doing to cartooning. He seems to be taking the dullest aspects of on/off line reality and rendering them in lines of drawn non-exuberance and dis-specialization.
Yet, in his dullness, there is the bright spot of what it fights against, and resolves in the conflict.
For example, notice the spirituality of the easy idea cartoon above. We wish we could click "Refresh" on the universe, or the world, or our personal life. If life could just be that stupid and simple. Buddha said the True Law that all things arise, suffer change, and pass away was the way the world "refreshes" itself.
Imagine what it might be like if nobody, from Adam or First Caveman, to you and I right now, had ever died, and never will die. Envision a world with all historical and obscure folks tromping around in your backyard, hitting you up for cash "loans", and bumming rides to non-existent job interviews.
What if Hitler, Mohammed, and Socrates lived a few blocks away? Elvis, Lennon, Hendrix? Sid and Kurt? Newton, Einstein, Nixon? Varese, Pasolini, Cocteau? Proust, Kafka, Joyce? Krishna, Buddha, Mahavira? Warhol, Picasso, Hemingway? Aesop, Horace, Cicero? Plato, Alexander the Great, Winston Churchill? Rimbaud, Mother Mary, Ussachevsky? Freud, Marx, Reagan?
Do you see what's wrong here, with everybody being alive and still here, nosing around and interfering with us younger crowdians?
Those old ideas would still be vocalized and repeated ad nauseum by all these fine fellows, no disrespect meant toward them, but their ideas would be hovering heavily in the intellectual atmosphere, totally physical clouds full of grouchy thunder and theatrical lightning shows.
Yes, my friend, there actually is a "Refresh" button for the universe. It's the True Law. The fact that all things, thoughts, theories, theologies, and technologies Arise, Change, Move On.
Yet the perennial philosophy of You Reap What You Sow and You Are What You Do, Think, and Dream...this remains in a pseudo-perpetuity we cannot fathom as finite losers, vaporous vainglorious temporalities.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
I have often thought that text messaging is a more successful, though less versatile, communication tool than blogs.
"Blog or die...or maybe text it instead"
by Paul Golding (UK)
January 26, 2005
Everyone who knows of Tom Peters usually knows a quote from his work. The killer quote for 2005 is probably going to be "Blog as if your life depended on it" to be found, where else, but on Tom's blog.
The buzz this week is the Blog Business Summit, in part because Tom's blog is giving it so much coverage.
Can us Mobilists get Tom's interest in text messaging perhaps?
In a recent discussion thread with Tomi Ahonen, my attempts to advocate widespread use of mobile email (with push) a la Blackberry were given a rude awakening by Tomi's insistence that mobile users prefer texting any day. His ever-so-heavy put down was:
Today Blackberry has 2 million users (vs over 900 million SMS text messaging users). Wow, big deal.OK, so we can argue about the implications of this statement, but Tomi's other statistic is perhaps more revealing:
Of the 7 trillion person-to-person (non-Spam) messages sent in 2003 e-mail covered 86% and SMS only 6% (most of the rest was IM). Yet SMS delivered 94% of the 50 billion dollar global revenues generated by messaging traffic.
The point is that if blogging is supposed to be an essential part of the business communications armoury, then texting deserves a consideration too. There are certainly many in the texting world who argue that marketing folks just don't yet get the importance of texting as a potential marketing tool. Surprising, because it's ability to enable news to spread is surely well known by now, such as during the SARS outbreak in China. Officials tried to deny it, but after 2 million messages had already been sent to the contrary.
Is text messaging a competing communication tool, a competitor of the blog platform?
Blogging vs. texting is a fertile dichotomy that can reveal much about both.
A blog post is written and "sent" (published to the web), with a mass audience and a specific readership in mind.
There is also self-fulfillment and satisfaction in creating a good blog, with consistently high quality design, functionality, writing, thinking, and interacting with comment posters.
The communication value is in the sender, how well it is written and how well it expresses the blogger's opinions, perceptions, feelings, attitudes, or environment, plus--how well the blog establishes an online community of shared interests (from a product and its benefits ... to a political agenda).
A text message is generally utilitarian. It is not valued in itself, but only in what it accomplishes for both parties. The communication value is in the receptor, how it is received and acted upon.
Monday, May 29, 2006
You a blogger? Then you're writing a book, though it remains for time to tell whether it's any good or not.
What's the difference between a blog and a book? Not much. The disciplines are similar.
I'm not saying you should convert your blog into a print version with hard covers and dust jackets. Some bloggers do.
I try to make each post I publish as perfect as possible. Then, if I someday turn Vaspers The Grate into a book, containing my best, most popular posts, there won't be a lot of editing or revising required.
Your daily posts are like journal entries, and each post could also be considered a chapter. In the spirit of postmodernity, that old fashioned fad that died in NYC in 1983, we can say that there is disorder rampant in the mess.
I mean: if you print out your entire blog, like I do (printing each post as I publish it), you might decide to staple the posts together in a different order than they were originally published.
Post Secret is perhaps the most famous example of a blog being a book, becoming a book, that blogged its way into becoming a print version sold in bookstores.
We must honor and study this marvel of blog work. The sheer genius, the unequaled zeal and ease of the project, the uncanny lack of, er, anything, beyond just setting up the blog, and laying out a few rules and legal notices, I suppose.
Here's a blog that had little to no writing by the blogger, and its one of the most successful blogs in history. You know next to nothing about the blogger.
This super successful blogger does NOT express himself.
He stands back and lets others express themselves.
He's gained fame by letting others be famous, though anonymous. Post Secret's blogger is not an author, nor a designer (since the contributors make their own art to accompany their secret written on a post card they send to the blogger of Post Secret).
Think of your blog not as [always functioning as] YOUR platform to express every niche and cranny of your private musing, your dreary surroundings, your uneventful mundane life. Unless you can, through hilarious or eccentric writing style, make even trivial, normal matters sound funny, like Seinfeld.
Rather, try to see your blog as YOUR READERS' platform to interact with, by posting comments at, your series of daily proclamations, whether personal or business oriented. See your posts as mere talking points, ice breakers, forks in the road.
Your life itself is like a book, with each day being a new chapter. Your thoughts, important as they are, are like footnotes. The real action is what you do, what others do for or against you, and how you react, retaliating or making amends.
Your blog is a textual/graphic mirror of you: your life, or your company, or your product, or your cause.
As such, your blog functions as an ongoing record of what transpires: in your private environment, in your industry, in your progress as a firm, in your advancement as a consultant, etc.
A coherent sequence of events, embodied in language, typed into the digital effluvium of the blogosphere, is, for all intents and purposes, a book. Even if you never print out your blog, even if you never publish any of it in a print version as a book, your blog is still very book-like.
You may have thought you could never in a million years "write a book". But look at you now. You write a chapter every day, in your perpetual work-in-progress, your blog. A blogger and an author share much in common: you both discipline yourselves to write something every day. You, for blog euphoria. The author, for publisher's deadline.
It probably wouldn't hurt to start thinking of your blog as a book. And who knows? maybe someday, you really will take some posts and re-organize, reformat, revise, expand upon them, or merge them, into a book that will be a best seller.
My main point is: your blog may come back to haunt you, in a good way!
What chapter are you adding to your blog/book today?
Will it merely record a random reverie, or will it contain real value (comedic, instructional, spiritual, economic, artistic) that can benefit or inspire your readers?
Saturday, May 27, 2006
Are you ready to blog? How you answer that question will determine if your blog succeeds in whatever metrics you set as its goal.
Here I provide a reliable list of some random qualities that I consider, from actual experience, and intense blogocombat, to be absolutely mandatory for a blogger. Before you even start a blog, you should settle on whether or not you've got what it takes. I'm not sure if I am cut out for it myself, but time will tell.
I think if you've been blogging pretty much daily for 5 solid years, then you're A Real Blogger. And not until then. I have only got 2 years in so far. I'm still an Infant Blogger, but the Blog Platform Itself is still just a lad, with a lot of growing up to do.
Are you cut out for the time-consuming discipline of frequent blogging?
Take this test and find out.
Blogging Skills Set
(or, What You Better Be if You Wanna Be a Real Blogger...)
NOTE: This list applies mainly to Business Bloggers, but can be creatively misapplied for Personal, Art, Hobby, or Musician Bloggers, too.
(1) Refined Writing Ability: As you write, so you think, and so you are.
(2) Deep, Original Thinking: A huge multitude of similar voices, what's so special about you? What makes you indispensable to your online audience?
(3) Inordinate Craving to Excel in All Things: Your blog evolves as your expertise increases.
(4) Over-achiever Workaholic Grandiosity: The harder you blogger, the smarter and more popular you become.
(5) Impeccable Moral Values: Keep it clean, polite, and humane, and the blogosphere will usher you into the kingdom you seek.
(6) Tolerance for Different Opinions and Passions: It's a global blog realm, with many languages, politics, faiths, and cultures. And best of all, different dinner recipes and folk musics.
(7) Curiosity about Others: Opinions, Beliefs, Methods, Faiths, Unfaiths, Political Agendas, Domination Systems, Powers That Pretend To Be, Fashions, Philosophies.
Why? ... because almost every blog veers off into tangents of this nature, no matter how "focused" your blog is on a specific topic or industry.
(8) Love of Ladylike/Gentlemanly Debate: Inviting every ideology to express its voice, encouraging and initiating lively Discussion and calm Explanation.
(9) Fortress-like Self Command: not easily angered, defeated, embittered, or offended.
(10) Passion: Genuine Enthusiasm for your product, company, industry, hobby, political agenda, religious cause, team project, or whatever it is you blog about.
(11) Interactive: Responding to and conversing with customers, the public, stakeholders, letting them honestly voice whatever they want to say, in comments at your blog.
(12) Fit: Physical and mental stamina to spend a minimum of 3 hours, an optimum of 8 hours, per day, on just writing blog posts, improving your own blog design and widgets, reading other blogs, commenting on other blogs, viewing stats and reports on blogs, inspecting lists of high traffic blogs, studying blogs that are more popular than yours, engaging in "slow chat room" live discussions with commenters.
(13) Ambitious: Willingness to excel technically. Eager to learn HTML, CSS, XML, Python, Ajax, Ruby on Rails, digital imaging, video uploading, and VoIP video chat/web conferencing skills to enhance and customize your blog.
(14) Secure: Understanding of comment spam and other malicious events, how to counteract and prevent them with character recognition, word verification, comment moderation, and even, in rare cases, site registration.
(15) Democratic/Responsive: Openness to criticism, suggestion, complaint, praise, warnings, exhortations, and questions from your blog readers...coupled with ability to respond to each comment within 24 hours maximum lag time.
(16) Writing Stamina: Ability to post a new entry to your blog every single day, or at least 3 times a week. Any less frequent posting converts a blog to a bulletin board that few will wish to interact with.
(17) Willingess to be the Writer/Blogger, Editor, Publisher, Reader Relations Department, Salesperson, Marketing Specialist, PR Strategist, and Webmaster...all rolled into one.
Friday, May 26, 2006
Ken Lay, the CEO (Chief Evil Officer) of Enron, is insane...and now on a fast track to hell.
I almost vomited when I saw this Corporate Hitler, who was dumping his own stocks while he lied to his employees and bullied them into buying more stocks in the company, on TV last night.
This scumbag maniacally began to invoke "the Lord", and stated that "God is in control" and this priceless gem, mis-quoted and mis-applied: "all things work together for good for those who follow the Lord".
The actual verse Mr. Numbnuts Ken Lay tries to recite, showing his craven ignorance, goes like this: "And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God [not filthy lucre, mammon, green grim reapers], to those who are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28).
Mr. Lay, you're not one who "loves God", nor are you "called according to His purpose," you freaking moron.
Ken Lay (Me Down To Sleep, I Pray the Lord My Soul to Keep):
...you're done, finished, through, and by invoking vainly and hypocritically the Name of The Lord, you're double done, perfectly finished, and thoroughly through.
You have brought down a powerful, inchoative curse upon yourself.
Next time, don't hide behind a Bible like it's the refuge of scallywags, perverts, and highwaymen. Don't run to "the Lord" like a lost potato of shit. He won't have you. Why? You refuse to repent.
One must needs
-- repent, regret, and reform --
-- make amends, "sell all that thou hast, and give to the poor", sacrifice your life, fortune, and sanity for your betrayed and butt-wrenched employees and creditors --
-- for Dr. Phil fans: acknowledge, apologize, accessorize with new attitude -- before "the Lord", or public sympathies, or the Justice Department, will even deign to look your way.
Incalcitrant, you doom yourself to massive incineration, burning and blurring like this planet, soul-bal warming disaster, your ineffable misfortunes have only just begun!
Unlimited sorrows for Enron execs!
~~ this is my birthday present to you, you lucky "dog con" (dot comming his way to infamy with this Ken Lay dork schmuck personal web page).
I use Skype to talk on my computer telephone to people, who can be anywhere in the world, for FREE, forever (so far)!
It's easy to download. All you need is an internet microphone (cheap as $10 or $20) and speakers for your computer.
Last few days, I've been getting toolbar popups alerting me to a new version of Skype that reduces security vulnerabilities. I click out the box, to deal with it later. But now I am ready to download the new upgrade. So I go to the Skype website. I see nothing about any new version to download.
I check "Announcements", "Knowledgebase", other pages in the site. Nothing. Mute.
I don't think the "new version" is a scam, like a phishing or spoofing. I think rather that Skype needs to address the upgrade on their website.
Hello. We’re Skype and we’ve got something we would like to share with you.
Skype is a simple bit of software we want to share with you.
It lets you make free calls to your Skype-using friends all over the world.
It also lets you make free calls within the US and Canada to mobiles and landlines till the end of the year. International calls to landlines and mobile phones can be made with SkypeOut (as long as you call from within the US and Canada).
International calls are not free, but they are pretty cheap.
Skype in a nutshell.
Our free software is quick and easy to get started with. Download, register, install, plug in your headset, speakers or USB phone and start calling your friends. The calls have excellent sound quality and are highly secure with end-to-end encryption. You don’t even need to configure your firewall or router or any other networking gear. It just, you know … works.
Bridging the gap.
Logos for the platforms Skype works on: Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and Pocket PC.Skype works on Windows, as well as on Mac OS X, Linux and PDAs using Pocket PC, with a native look and feel for each platform. Talking, sending instant messages or even large file transfers between different platforms work like a charm.
Calling regular phone numbers.
You can make free calls within the US and Canada to both landlines and mobile phones until the end of the year. It’s really easy; there are no contract fees, no line rentals. All you need is Skype and a phone number you want to call.
If that wasn’t enough, we have a little thing called SkypeOut which lets you make international calls to old-fashioned phone numbers. From landlines to mobile phones... it works with almost all of them. SkypeOut calls abroad are not free, but they’re pretty cheap, actually. Please read our Terms of Service regarding using this product.
You can also forward your Skype calls to a traditional phone or mobile phone. Again, if it’s within the US and Canada then it’s a free service. If a call is forwarded to international number then standard SkypeOut rates apply.
Make sure you’re on the same page.
An ongoing Skype file transfer.
You know how Skype-to-Skype calls are free and work right?
Well, we’ve taken the same recipe and applied it to file transfers. Since most things you want your friends to see tend to be rather large, we made our file transfer work with all the file sizes your operating system can handle. For most people, that’s between 2 or 4 gigabytes. And remember, it works from Windows to Mac to Linux and the other way around. No platform problems here.
All Skype calls are encrypted.
Nobody’s listening in.
When it comes to talking, instant messaging or transferring files, we’ve gone to great lengths to make it secure. Skype automatically encrypts everything before sending it through the internet. Likewise, on arrival everything is decrypted on-the-spot and presented as crystal clear voice, text or a file transfer nobody can intercept.
Skype calls are in excellent quality, better than regular phones.
Yes, you heard it right.
All the security in the world wouldn’t matter, though, if you couldn’t hear the other person. With Skype, you can.
We’re working with the very best in the industry to provide a sound quality far superior to what you’re used to from ordinary telephones.
If you will bear with us for a moment here we’d like to share some technical stuff with you: with normal telephones you can only hear sounds from 300 Hz to 3 kHz. Not so with Skype; we’re all over the spectrum, from the lowest hum to the highest screech. In other words: ‘F’ and ‘S’ will sound like the two different letters they were meant to, and in the end you will be able to have a much more natural conversation.
You and up to four other people can have a conference on Skype.Getting the words out.
That also goes for conferences too. It’s completely secure for you and up to four others to get together to coordinate tactics in a game, make one of those important business decisions or simply have a chat, even if you’re all on different continents.
Skype Global User Directory
Needle. Haystack. Solution.
Searching for those long-lost relatives or just somebody to have a quick chat with is also part of what Skype is all about. We have what we call a Global User Directory. It’s a giant phonebook of all the people who use Skype. You can use it to search for people you’d like to talk to, people who have the same birthday or people who just happen to live in the same street as you.
Is anybody out there?
When you find somebody you know or even someone you would like to know, you add them to your list of contacts. You can also write a little note to let them know who you are and why you want to add them to your list. Handy, if your separated-at-birth-twin finds you on Skype. When people are on your list, you can see if they are online, offline, busy... or perhaps out to lunch.
You can send instant messages with Skype.
When actual, spoken words fail you.
Did we mention that you can also send instant messages with Skype? Well, you can. That’s nice for when you’re talking about a website and you want to send that really long address or if you’re writing a song maybe. Either way, you can send one of those little smiley faces along with your message. Smile to the world and the world smiles back.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Man, I love it. Today the news is full of Justice and Truth winning the day, as they must.
The Enron crimnals, Lay and Skilling, are going to prison for 20 years. Now the monolithic Corporate Amerika is trembling, as they should. I hate those jurors who were "emotional" about the verdict, who were frigging weepy as the guilty verdicts were read. These bleeding heart jurors who were "pained" to deliver justice to the offenders, have they no tears to shed for the victims?
Crime must be punished swiftly and severely, or it spreads. But those who were pampered as children, those who were never spanked, never told "NO!", never given any rules or morals, these parasites weep for sadistic, life-wrecking criminals.
Now Congress is refusing to honor warrants, but lets the government invade the privacy of citizens. Both Republicrats and Demopublicans are whining about investigations into criminal acts of government jerks.
Even Instapundit , the conservative think tank blog, is sounding more anarchistic, in the refined sense of extreme cynicism toward all politicians.
Glenn Reynolds (the Instapundit blogger) seems to be withdrawing support from the Bush Administration and the Republican Party. He's proclaiming a dire need for a good alternative "third" party. But calling for a strong "third party" falls far short. I call for No Political Parties, in fact No Politics, period.
Congress is another Enron.
I think there may be a violent revolution in America. As a pacifist, I cannot participate in or advocate this bloody guillotine scene that I believe is coming. But I can cheer the ideals and goals of total transformation of the very fiber of America.
The people are quickly rising to the awareness that hugging a tree is better than lying to the American people about weapons of mass destruction, or blaming Mexicans for the fact that scumbag corporations hire illegal aliens, which motivates them to come over here illegally.
Burn, global warming baby, burn.
The fucking "Christian" TV network CBN (Pat "I refuse to wear a wedding ring" Robertson's hypocritical channel) made fun of Al Gore tonight, rather than discuss how spirituality means good stewardship of the environment, making the planet better for our children, and expressing love for all living things.
All institutions need to be destroyed...immediately.
All religions stink and their followers are evil.
Turn away from The Powers That Pretend To Be. Use blogs to attack hypocrisy. Use every means at your disposal to ethically, but aggressively, defeat wicked corporations.
I am attacking one corporation right now, and I'm going for the throat on this one.
This company may be totally destroyed by one severe measure I'm about to take. It's too early to tell today, but it looks like a certain corporation just a few blocks away from my house has been very, very naughty. And I am very, very angry about it. So I have launched a massive assault -- legal, ethical, and really nasty. But see, they deserve it.
All evil needs to succeed is for good people to do nothing.
I don't know how "good" I am, but I'm doing the best I can, in and out of the blogosphere, to fight mammonist Psycho-Capitalism and hideous Pseudo-Christianity. I have so many battles going on right now, it's quite exhilarating.
It's great to be alive and in combat for the integrity and justice of the world in which we live.
Oliver Wendell Holmes:
"Some persons may even at this late day take offense at a few opinions expressed in the following pages, but most of these passages will be read without loss of temper by those who disagree with them, and by-and-by they may be found too timid and conservative for intelligent readers, if they are still read by any."
-- The Professor at the Breakfast Table, Preface to the New Edition (1894)
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Okay, you've heard me use the term "pseudo blog" and "blogoid object" with terrific scientific precision.
Now I shall toss one of the slimey things at you and see if you're tough enough to catch it as it oozes its putrid rotting sewage into the blogosphere.
[EDIT UPDATE: I want you to also notice how there is no About/Profile/Bio, no Contact, and no statement of purpose in this Pseudo Blog. No info about who the hell this is, and yet it's got the sheer gall to have a Register and Login function in the freaking sidebar.]
Blog Curry: A Global Mix of News and Views - And Dip!
Yeah? Dip this, dipshit.
I caught this blog perversion as I checked my Technorati radar, one of my tracking tools that I use to monitor what companies and individuals say about me, Vaspers the Grate aka Steven Edward Streight. Blog Curry had linked to one of my VtG posts four days ago. I
So I visit the crap ball "blog" and what do I see? I see a multitude of fragment posts, that's what. I got tired of scrolling through the endless postings of day after day, and actually gave up looking for the link to my own blog.
The tedious nature of this blog bored me to de-motivation.
All those damned fragment posts!
What's that tell you, fragment posts?
It tells you it's a Pseudo Blog, that's what.
Both the excerpted nature of the deck (the wording a print magazine or newspaper introduces the article with, summing up, the gist) "posts", which are NOT posts, and the numerous posts on each given day. No human writes even brief posts 30 times a day. It's a blogbot app, not a person, who is the "blogger" here.
Then I want you to look at the sidebar of this "blog" that is False.
See the category Contributors?
What is listed under Contributors?
Google Blog Search: US politics, for one. Then there's: washington post [dot] com
This blog seems to be an RSS feed/Google Search results blog, thus no blog at all. It's simply a software program pretending to be journaling news on American puh-luh-ticks.
I suspect that this "James B. Allen" is name of an alleged, fictional person who "blogs", but only via automated programs, he set up some syndication feeds, like parasites or vampires, to suck content off other blogs and web sites.
Why would anyone do this?
Think. You figure it out. Surely it's not rocket science to see what's going on. Think: drive traffic to other sites. Think: blog ad revenue. Think: slimey business model of mediocre loser asshole.
So now Google this: James B. Allen.
See what you come up with. I visited the Wikipedia site, and found this:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
James Allen is the name of:
- James Allen (football player), American football linebacker
- James Allen (United States) (1912–1978), U.S. Senator from Alabama
- James Allen (New Zealand) (1855–1942), Cabinet Minister
- James Allen (Formula One commentator) (born 1966)
- James Allen (author) (1864–1912)
- James Allen (nurseryman), nurseryman of Shepton Mallet
- James Allen (artist), a Northern Irish artist
- James Allen (highwayman), a Massachusetts criminal and memoirist
Blogging is war against mind control, lethargy, selfishness.
Blogging is war against religions, governments, and corporations that try to force you to think and act according to their manipulations.
Blogs are individual war zones where you fight to express yourself, reveal truth, explain mysteries, share anecdotes, provide advice, proclaim warnings, give directions, offer instruction, present ideas, distribute inspiration, and display art.
You engage in combat via debates and discussions.
You grapple with tough issues.
You seek understanding and wisdom.
You suffer discomfort as you struggle to express your self, your dreams, your ideals.
You experience defeat, embarrassment, strategic blunders, shame, regret, triumph, satisfaction, frustration...all the normal ups and downs of any writer or champion.
A blogger is just another type of writer, a new form of communicator, an aggressive social networker.
A blog has very little in common with a print diary or paper journal. But few media and marketing people have figured out how a blog differs from a notebook of poems, prayers, and perfumery.
Blogging is war...for democracy, freedom of speech, religious tolerance, radical beliefs, poetic individuation.
You fight to find something brilliant or funny or enlightening to say. You fight to stay current with new technology. You fight your tendency to quit, give up, and abandon projects. You fight the darkness of laziness and apathy, replacing it with the radiant work of typing as best you can.
The Angry Samoans "Time Has Come"
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
(1) Master the core competency of the job fast. Get good numbers (sales, IPG, service problems solved, web site unique visitor count, etc.) entered to your credit, and print out reports to document your accomplishments. Worry about peripheral duties later. Figure out the real priority of your boss, and make that your priority, basing every statement and action on it.
(2) Be aloof from others, maintain a professional distance, polite, but unyeilding, revealing next to nothing about yourself.
(3) Learn all you can about your boss and the next few levels up, but be a dense mass of complex mystery to other employees.
(4) If you must engage in small talk or gossipy chatter, speak only of the weather, nearby restaurants for lunch, The Apprentice (latest episode), and your eagerness to use your expertise to help achieve corporate goals. Brag modestly about past achievements at other jobs or on the football field.
(5) Self-containment is vital for job security reasons: the more you reveal about your personal life, habits, marital status, children, friends, political beliefs, music tastes, etc., the more a corporate foe can twist and turn against you.
(6) Demand, photocopy, or snag extra copies you find lying around, of documentation of corporate policies and performance forms.
(7) Use corporate incompetence and mediocrity to your advantage. Do what the others should be doing, and set an outstanding example of obedience and competence. Do not allow the goofs and sandbags to corrupt you. All companies are rampant with lazy, disrespectful, insubordinate mediocres who bully the dickless patriarchal or raging bitch managers. This marvellous secret reality of business must be seen to be believed. Hang in there. You should see it within your first few days at the job.
(8) Carefully acquire and preserve all names, phone numbers, email addresses, etc. of persons who handle sexual harassment, employee theft, and policy violations. Often, these problems will be handled by separate functions, not necessarily Personnel or Human Resources departments.
(9) Be alert to sexual innuendos, bawdy jokes, inappropriate attire, lewd glances, or your boss singing loudly along with a dirty song on the radio, and making snide remarks to you, as you try to focus on your training and systems operations. Strike back at corporate unfairness, unlawful firing, territorial paranoia, mind games, negligence, and ineptness with your own finely honed office-politics weapons.
(10) Employment is war. It's you against mis-managing manager wussies, dopey mission statements, canned sales presentations, hysterical hype, customer dis-service, and shoddy products. You must protect the consumer from the evil intentions of the company...and you must try to protect the company from customer hatred and retaliation by being serious about product quality, increased sales transactions, and customer relations strategy.
(11) Be suspicious of all staff on your first day. Wonder who is working FOR the company and customer, and who is working AGAINST them by pursuing their selfish agendas. The people who smile and shake your hand are the same ones who will scheme against you and stab your back.
(12) The day you quit or are fired is a better day than the day you were hired. See each success and failure as part of your metaphysical training. The Control Panel of the Universe may have put you in a job for a brief period, merely to illuminate you for future great things. Firings, layoffs, coups, revolt, mutiny...what do you care? You can leave a company to rot in its own piss. You could start your own company or consultancy.
Sonic Youth "Little Trouble Girl"
White Stripes "Blue Orchid"
Monday, May 22, 2006
Blogging has, like all things, a down side.
Here are some of the pitfalls and disturbances, some of which you may not have been aware of, and some you will surely recognize instantly.
Blogging can cause:
(1) Bodily Harm
Damage to wrists, neck, eyes, and back may occur, due to repetitive motions and inordinately large amounts of time spent in a frozen position.
Lack of sunshine and fresh air makes you slowly transform into a freakish monstrosity.
(2) Psychological Problems
A. Emotional anguish due to hateful flames, IOFD (instantaneous online friendship dissolvement), blog audience depletion, negative posts by blog foes, unfair critique, or truth-telling comments.
B. Obsessive blogging behavior, brought on by lovelessness, parental conflict, work dysfunctions, and inordinate need to express and exhibit self.
(3) Social Dsyfunction
Disharmony with others, due to being more comfortable online, and preferring chat, texting, blogs, forums, and email to telephony or personally present conversations with flesh and blood human entities.
(4) Financial Disaster
You spend too much time in the blogosphere, working on your own blog, commenting on other blogs, that you neglect to seek a job, or you avoid desperately needed overtime and call-in days, due to strong desire to express and exhibit self via blogging activities.
(5) Sexual Anxiety
You, or a textual formulation of yourself, falls in love with another textual formulation, calling itself Johnny or Jane, and you are desperately hoping it's all true, they really look like the photo they post on their blog, fearfully dreading the realization that he is a she, or that the teen is an old predatory geezer, or that the single stud is an ugly married man.
(6) Political Remorse
You blurt out all your opinions about everything, then realize that you sound like a know-it-all piece of turkey jerky dipped in idiot sauce.
(7) Mental Illness
You can become so hooked on blogging, whether the social networking, dating hook-up, or professional type, that you think of little else.
You begin to withdraw from normal activities like going to restaurants, theatre, and baseball games. You dislike cluttering your head with news about anyone who's not in your friends list or blogroll. You expect everyone you know to follow your blog posts daily, without exception.
You begin to think the whole realm of nature and the entire empire of technology revolve around your crappy little blogoid object. You argue about how you think blogging is the most important thing in the world.
You hate spending time in bed or at the breakfast table. You avoid eating, dancing, and gossiping. You spend larger and larger amounts of time at the computer, snarling viciously at anyone who suggests you take a break or do something else.
You are no longer able to distinguish your blog from yourself.
You begin to enter your blog in a whole and perverse manner, becoming one with it in an unseemly display of a total loss of autonomy and discretion. Your mental blending in with the text and graphics of your blog causes you to feel negative comments as vividly as though they were glittering barbs of pain in motion.
You seem vacant and unpresent when absent from your blog or the blogosphere in general. Your mind is represented as a roll of posts, rambling on forever, with senseless inscription machines dancing all over it, scrolling on and on like a sea of sand, flowing sluggishly and reliably toward its forward pull.
spit on a stranger (PAVEMENT)
popsicle (STARLIGHT MINTS)
covered (PUBLIC IMAGE LTD.)
monk: I saw His hand yesterday.
leader: Really? What was it doing?
monk: Moving against enemies.
leader: How wonderful!
monk: Tidying a few things. A few unmaskings and devarnishings. And later, writing.
monk: Yes. Typing into the digital effluvium.
leader: Not...No, you don't mean...
leader: Through what blogger?
monk: Not a blogger, in a comment. But there are blog conduits that beam in the...
monk 2: Come now, Simeon! Time for contemplative gardening penance. The prayer bell rang over an hour ago. Did you not hear it? How is it you have forgotten your familiar obligations? What's all this babbling about now?
The New Pornographers "The Laws Have Changed"
Music vid uses Simon Stylites, the Pillar Dweller, as a theme, his temptation to indulge in worldly vanities and deceptive pleasures.
The New Pornographers "Twin Cinema" (live)
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Interact with your computer, your virtual world, via manually manipulating half-real objects, or representations, hovering on a plane of transformed air?
Heliodisplay video demonstration
From spherical computer monitors and all-limb multi-mouse selectors...to dream record and playback systems...and now: interaction with floating computer projections, hovering there, in the air just beyond your nose.
Think touch screen...without the screen.
You touch and swirl and mold...a electroplasm, I'm calling it, a substance projection, a movie that's installed in space itself, wafting in the air. In the air, a vision. With music, which is a special case of refined air?
Ladies and gentlemen, our computer interface is floating in space.
As the Machine World invades our Human Sphere, you may expect more and more confusions between the real and the virtual, the actual and the digital.
One day you'll wake up, and not be able to determine where you stop and the machines begin, where they end and you start. There will be no significant division. Our artificial appendages are now exercising their upper hand in a slight of hand manner. Cup your clothes, I say, to confuse our electronic masters.
Ectoplasmic TV, this is. The machine, the computer, projecting controls and intrusions into your livingspace, almost like an ethereal...Presence.
Online Presence begins to stretch out and enter your environment. It grows loathsomely into a piece of furniture, a plant, a thing in your room, your office, your home. Your privacy and seclusion are doomed, with the tentacles of octo-brain reaching out to you, to touch and be touched.
Some lonely, love-sick men may be quite surprised soon. Their porn babe may jump right out of the computer screen to arrive in their lap. Soon, like I just said.
"Making Something Out of Nothing"
By DAVID BERNSTEIN
December 18, 2003, Thursday
IMAGINE a touch screen on which the elements of the image displayed can be moved around with a fingertip. Now imagine the same scene without the screen: the image can still be moved with a fingertip, but it floats unsupported above a quietly whirring gray box that is connected to a laptop computer.
That describes what took place here when the prototype of a new device called the Heliodisplay was shown publicly for the first time.
The Heliodisplay is an interactive technology that projects into the air above the machine still or moving images that can be manipulated with a fingertip. The images are two-dimensional, and they are not holograms. The Heliodisplay's inventor, Chad Dyner, says the technology could one day replace conventional cathode-ray tubes, liquid crystal displays, and plasma screens.
IO2 Technology, a company he founded, has completed a working prototype of the device, named after Helios, the Greek god of the sun. Mr. Dyner said he was seeking patents for the technology behind it and would not say much about how it works.
A prototype shown to a reporter (and later to an audience attracted by a notice on IO2's Web site) looked like a bulky breadbox. It displayed images over a field measuring 15 inches diagonally, including streaming video scenes of brightly colored tropical fish and soaring jet planes. Other images, including illustrations of a strand of DNA and a human skeleton, could be moved from one part of the display to another using one's finger, while four colored circles expanded or contracted at a touch.
Mr. Dyner, a 29-year-old graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, did not attend the demonstration in Lake Forest on Dec. 5 and said he could reveal little about the device.
''All I can say is that it's a very simple system, using conventional air,'' he said by telephone from Cambridge, Mass. ''Essentially, the device converts the imaging properties of the air so that the air is taken in, converted instantaneously, and then re-ejected out. Then we're projecting onto that converted air.''
Pressed for more detail on the nature of the conversion, Mr. Dyner referred to it electronic and as thermodynamic. After air is drawn into the machine, he said, it ''moves through a dozen metal plates and then comes out again.'' No moving parts are involved, he added.
He said the device works by creating a cloud of microscopic particles that make the air ''image-friendly.'' The machine, he asserted, uses no harmful gases or liquids, but he would not say whether it uses water. ''The ambient air is bottom-projected and illuminated, generating the free-space image that floats in midair,'' he said. At the demonstration, there was no odor in the air, and the area onto which the images were projected seemed dry to the touch.
Not everyone is convinced that the Heliodisplay will do justice to its mythical namesake.
''Does it violate any principles of science? Absolutely not,'' said Selim Shahriar, a computer science professor at Northwestern University, after reading about the Heliodisplay at the IO2 Web site. ''But extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.''
Mr. Shahriar conceded that he had not seen a live demonstration of the device and thus could not offer a conclusive judgment.
Mr. Dyner, an architect by training who spent a year working for Frank O. Gehry & Associates, has no formal education in electrical engineering or computer science. He is a first-year master's candidate in the M.I.T. Media Laboratory's Tangible Media Group, whose students pursue multimedia projects. Mr. Dyner said his work on the display technology and at the university were separate.
Mr. Dyner built the first prototype, which had a five-inch diagonal display, in an apartment in Hermosa Beach, Calif. He founded IO2 in July 2002, and enlisted the help of two Chicago-area business consultants, Michael Morton and Bob Ely, in commercializing the technology.
''I've always been intrigued by electronics and fascinated about how things work,'' said Mr. Dyner, who was born in Venezuela and lived there through high school. He recalled learning about consumer electronics at his grandfather's electronics shop in Caracas. ''I've basically taken apart everything that I've ever owned, trying to learn how it works.''
The Heliodisplay is not the first device to project images into the air, but its interactive capability, which Mr. Dyner described as a ''virtual touch screen,'' sets it apart from a similar machine made by a Finnish company, FogScreen.
Viewers can use a finger or a hand-held object -- rather than a keyboard or mouse -- to manipulate images in the display.
Mr. Dyner said the Heliodisplay uses an optical laser-tracking system to follow the user's movements. ''It can be a surgical knife, a pen, a pencil, a hand, a finger,'' he said.
At the demonstration in Lake Forest, Michael Fox, a Los Angeles architectural and design consultant who built the prototype on display, showed how the interface technology worked.
Linked to an I.B.M. Think Pad, the Heliodisplay projected images of four colored circles onto a virtual screen in the air. Using his finger, Mr. Fox, 36, moved a floating cursor across the screen. When the cursor landed on a colored circle, it shrank. When he moved the cursor away, the circle returned to its original size. In another demonstration, Mr. Fox used his hand to move images of a skeleton and a strand of DNA around the screen.
The cursor appeared to be quite sensitive to both light and touch. When there was too much light or when Mr. Fox moved his finger too forcefully, the cursor froze, and the image could not be manipulated until Mr. Fox tinkered with some knobs on the machine.
Mr. Dyner envisions many uses for the Heliodisplay. He said it could be used for museum or trade-show displays or for advertisements, and would be ideal for collaborative work. ''I envision this in a conference-room setting, in the center of a large table,'' he said. ''Everybody can rotate it, move it around and update it in real time.''
Chuck McLaughlin, an independent consultant in Menlo Park, Calif., who specializes in display technologies, said the Heliodisplay sounded promising, but he questioned its commercial prospects. ''It's so far out of the ordinary,'' Mr. McLaughlin said. ''I don't see what the market for this is.''
He said very few new display technologies turn out to be feasible. ''I've seen a lot of these things come and go over the years, and a few of them have practical applications, but most of them don't,'' he said.
Mr. Ely, the consultant who is working for IO2 Technology, admitted that he was initially skeptical, too. He said he had heard about the Heliodisplay last year when a friend of Mr. Dyner's used the concept as the basis of an entry in an entrepreneurship competition sponsored by the University of Chicago. Mr. Ely was a contest jury member.
''The plan talked about this projector that projected into the air,'' Mr. Ely recalled. ''I said to myself, 'I don't know much about physics, but I know that's impossible.'''
Then Mr. Dyner demonstrated the five-inch prototype. ''It was a real showstopper,'' Mr. Ely recalled. ''There wasn't a sound in the room.''
Mr. Dyner is confident that naysayers will be impressed when they see the Heliodisplay. After issuing a news release about it in August, the company received dozens of inquiries, Mr. Ely and Mr. Morton said. The device has been shown to would-be partners and investors who have signed nondisclosure agreements, and Mr. Dyner said the United States military had expressed interest.
IO2 does not yet have a manufacturer for the Heliodisplay, but Mr. Dyner says he hopes production will begin in 2005. The company's Web site, www.io2technology.com, offers advance orders at a price of $22,500; but although several have been received, Mr. Ely said, none has been accepted.
In addition to finding a manufacturer, IO2 Technology faces another difficulty: competition from FogScreen (www.fogscreen.com), whose similar device projects images onto a cloud of water vapor. FogScreen says it has been monitoring developments related to IO2. ''They haven't published anything, so I cannot really tell anything,'' Ismo Rakkolainen, the company's research director, said by telephone from Finland.
Mr. Rakkolainen said that FogScreen uses a laminar airflow process to project images onto a thin screen made of water and ultrasonic waves. Current FogScreen prototypes lack the interactive capabilities of the Heliodisplay, although Mr. Rakkolainen said the next generation of the device would behave like a touch screen.
Mr. Dyner and his advisers acknowledge that the Heliodisplay technology is not yet ready for the marketplace. But they argue that the technology could one day revolutionize the way we look at air. As Mr. Ely put it: ''People looked at the first flight of the Wright brothers and said: 'Only 120 feet? I can walk 120 feet. What do we need this thing for?' Add 10 years and it's a totally different world.''
Please Do Touch:
on an Invisible Cloud
THE Heliodisplay projects two-dimensional full-color images with a resolution of 1,024 by 768 pixels on what its developer, IO2 Technology, describes as a cloud of microscopic particles.
The particles, whose size IO2 says is comparable to that of ink droplets from an inkjet printer, are created by using a proprietary thermodynamic process involving air.
The device's inventor, Chad Dyner, declined to describe the process further and refused to say whether it involved water. Images are visible from several angles over a total viewing area of 150 degrees, but they are best seen head-on.
The Heliodisplay has no physical screen. Instead, Mr. Dyner said, it generates a cloud of microscopic particles that serves as a controllable imaging region. This cloud stream can be penetrated, but too much air movement within the screen causes distortion that renders it temporarily unusable.
The current prototype uses an off-the-shelf projection unit, based on a Texas Instruments digital light processing chip, that Mr. Dyner says was optimized for the Heliodisplay.
The images created by the device can be moved or manipulated. An internal laser-tracking vision system finds and follows a user's finger or hand (or any other pointer), enabling it to move the floating image.
What I like about this terrifying development is that finally I may be able to do all my computer work lying flat on my back. To accomplish great digital things by simply swirling a finger in the air, well my friends, this is like hocus pocus.
You and I and all of us'll have to rethink what "computer", "world", "reality", "life", and "person" mean. Soon.
So many devices are invading, and re-inventing our human social interactions, as the devices themselves are impelled by The Technological Imperative, which states that whatever can be made must be made and must be automatically accepted and adopted by humanity.
Will you allow yourself to be absorbed? Will you let The Technological Imperative, the Relentless Soulless Forward Lunging into Anything Goes Science, be your master?
The future imagined by humans will nevertheless arrive as a non-human future.
[in "Is It Too Late To Dumb Down The Good Guys...?"]
how the term "net neutrality" is an unfortunate coinage for what amounts to advocating a Net Equality, a level communication field, non-hierarchy.
I don't quite know how to say it either. But Chartreuse is right. This important issue needs a better name, plus a good slogan, logo, and music video.
Music videos get the message out in a palatable manner. Make your message hip enough, in a genuine street savvy understanding of what's really cool, with pure unvarnished intent, and the rabbit will pop out of the magic hat or head.
What is meant is this: we want all players in the web to be equal, not privileged by entering a paid category for faster data transmission speeds and higher service priority.
I've been involved in this fight for net neutrality/equality for some months now, with the "Hands Off My Internet" Common Cause button in the advertising sector of my sidebar.
Chartreuse said, in the last half of his post:
If you are a normal person who doesn't own a blog and only use the net to email your mom and look at porn what site looks like it's speaking for you?
And who came up with the phrase 'net neutrality'?
What the fuck does it mean?
Why didn't all us smart folks come up with something simple and grassroots like, say, hands off!
You know why? Because most of us live in a bubble.
We try to talk to everyone else like we talk to each other.
Dude, that ain't gonna work.
The only way you can influence the hearts and minds of people is to explain your side in a way the people you are trying to influence will understand.
In a world where people are bombarded with advertisments and issues it might help to make your shit simple.
If we lose this it will be because we were too smart for our own fucking good.
Here's a tip for next time there's a big issue you need folks to rally behind.
It's always about families.
John Reuben (2004) "Do Not"
Cabaret Voltaire (1982) "Crackdown"
Friday, May 19, 2006
Chrome (1984) "New Age"
Soft Machine (1967) "I Should Have Known"
Brian Eno & David Byrne (1981) "Mea Culpa"
Blue Cheer (1967) "Summertime Blues"
Zoviet France "Shadow"
John Milton on censorship, excerpt from Areopagitica - Part 1.
I deny not, but that it is of greatest concernment in the Church and Commonwealth, to have a vigilant eye how Bookes demeane themselves as well as men; and thereafter to confine, imprison, and do sharpest justice on them as malefactors: For Books are not absolutely dead things, but doe contain a potencie of life in them to be as active as that soule was whose progeny they are; nay they do preserve as in a violl the purest efficacie and extraction of that living intellect that bred them.
I know they are as lively, and as vigorously productive, as those fabulous Dragons teeth; and being sown up and down, may chance to spring up armed men.
And yet on the other hand, unlesse warinesse be us'd, as good almost kill a Man as kill a good Book; who kills a Man kills a reasonable creature, Gods Image; but hee who destroyes a good Booke, kills reason it selfe, kills the Image of God, as it were in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the Earth; but a good Booke is the pretious life-blood of a master spirit, imbalm'd and treasur'd up on purpose to a life beyond life.
'Tis true, no age can restore a life, whereof perhaps there is no great losse; and revolutions of ages do not oft recover the losse of a rejected truth, for the want of which whole Nations fare the worse.
We should be wary therefore what persecution we raise against the living labours of publick men, how we spill that season'd life of man preserv'd and stor'd up in Books; since we see a kinde of homicide may be thus committed, sometimes a martyrdome, and if it extend to the whole impression, a kinde of massacre, whereof the execution ends not in the slaying of an elementall life, but strikes at that ethereall and fift essence, the breath of reason it selfe, slaies an immortality rather then a life.
But lest I should be condemn'd of introducing licence, while I oppose Licencing, I refuse not the paines to be so much Historicall, as will serve to shew what hath been done by ancient and famous Commonwealths, against this disorder, till the very time that this project of licencing crept out of the Inquisition, was catcht up by our Prelates, and hath caught some of our Presbyters. In Athens where Books and Wits were ever busier then in any other part of Greece, I finde but only two sorts of writings which the Magistrate car'd to take notice of; those either blasphemous and Atheisticall, or Libellous.
Thus the Books of Protagoras were by the Iudges of Areopagus commanded to be burnt, and himselfe banisht the territory for a discourse begun with his confessing not to know whether there were gods, or whether not: And against defaming, it was decreed that none should be traduc'd by name, as was the manner of Vetus Comœdia, whereby we may guesse how they censur'd libelling: And this course was quick enough, as Cicero writes, to quell both the desperate wits of other Atheists, and the open way of defaming, as the event shew'd. Of other sects and opinions, though tending to voluptuousnesse, and the denying of divine providence, they tooke no heed.
Therefore we do not read that either Epicurus, or that libertine school of Cyrene, or what the Cynick impudence utter'd, was ever question'd by the Laws.
Neither is it recorded that the writings of those old Comedians were suppresst, though the acting of them were forbid; and that Plato commended the reading of Aristophanes, the loosest of them all, to his royall scholler Dionysius, is commonly known, and may be excus'd, if holy Chrysostome, as is reported, nightly studied so much the same Author and had the art to cleanse a scurrilous vehemence into the stile of a rousing Sermon.
That other leading city of Greece, Lacedæmon, considering that Lycurgus their Law-giver was so addicted to elegant learning, as to have been the first that brought out of Ionia the scatter'd workes of Homer, and sent the poet Thales from Creet to prepare and mollifie the Spartan surlinesse with his smooth songs and odes, the better to plant among them law and civility, it is to be wonder'd how muselesse and unbookish they were, minding nought but the feats of Warre.
There needed no licencing of Books among them for they dislik'd all, but their owne Laconick Apothegms, and took a slight occasion to chase Archilochus out of their City, perhaps for composing in a higher straine then their own souldierly ballats and roundels could reach to: Or if it were for his broad verses, they were not therein so cautious, but they were as dissolute in their promiscuous conversing; whence Euripides affirmes in Andromache, that their women were all unchaste.
Thus much may give us light after what sort Bookes were prohibited among the Greeks.
The Romans also for many ages train'd up only to a military roughnes, resembling most the Lacedæmonian guise, knew of learning little but what their twelve Tables, and the Pontifick College with their Augurs and Flamins taught them in Religion and Law, so unacquainted with other learning, that when Carneades and Critolaus, with the Stoick Diogenes comming Embassadors to Rome, tooke thereby occasion to give the City a tast of their Philosophy, they were suspected for seducers by no lesse a man then Cato the Censor, who mov'd it in the Senat to dismisse them speedily, and to banish all such Attick bablers out of Italy.
But Scipio and others of the noblest Senators withstood him and his old Sabin austerity; honour'd and admir'd the men; and the Censor himself at last in his old age fell to the study of that whereof before hee was so scrupulous.
And yet at the same time Nævius and Plautus the first Latine comedians had fill'd the City with all the borrow'd Scenes of Menander and Philemon.
Then began to be consider'd there also what was to be don to libellous books and Authors; for Nævius was quickly cast into prison for his unbridl'd pen, and releas'd by the Tribunes upon his recantation: We read also that libels were burnt, and the makers punisht by Augustus. The like severity no doubt was us'd if ought were impiously writt'n against their esteemed gods.
Except in these two points, how the world went in Books, the Magistrat kept no reckning. And therefore Lucretius without impeachment versifies his Epicurism to Memmius, and had the honour to be set forth the second time by Cicero so great a father of the Commonwealth; although himselfe disputes against that opinion in his own writings.
Nor was the Satyricall sharpnesse, or naked plainnes of Lucilius, or Catullus, or Flaccus, by any order prohibited. And for matters of State, the story of Titus Livius, though it extoll'd that part which Pompey held, was not therefore suppresst by Octavius Cæsar of the other Faction.
But that Naso was by him banisht in his old age, for the wanton Poems of his youth, was but a meer covert of State over some secret cause: and besides, the Books were neither banisht nor call'd in.
From hence we shall meet with little else but tyranny in the Roman Empire, that we may not marvell, if not so often bad, as good Books were silenc't.
I shall therefore deem to have bin large anough in producing what among the ancients was punishable to write, save only which, all other arguments were free to treat on.
There is no such thing as "politically correct" anything, certainly not "politically correct speech", so I propose Semantically Correct (SC) speech.
[This is an exact replica, with different title, of a post I published recently at my Blog Core Values site.]
Political means unjust domination. To be political means to manipulate the masses to gain power over the masses and become financially secure, famous, important. Thus, anything that's political is always already corrupt.
Semantics is "meaning in language usage", or "the relations betweeen signs and the influence of these relations on human behavior".
In other words, good semantics is saying what you really mean, in a manner that will make sense to your intended audience, so they can autonomously adjust their actions if necessarry, for their own and others benefit.
Severed Heads "Pilots Hate You"
If I want a woman to help me or listen to me, I cannot call her "bitch", for example, or "chick", or "girl" or "you sexy witch".
If I want a native American to help me or listen to me, I cannot refer to him as "chief", "how", "Tonto", "injun", or "redskin".
To speak respectfully and optimistically seems to be the underlying basis of the Politically Correct speech movement. I think most of us can champion and applaud that. But to gloss over real phenomena, to downplay a heinous crime, to sugarcoat a grievous situation is a troubling, linguistically incorrect, mishandling of the original object of PC.
Here is my comment posted to "Politically Correct" post at Mr. Angry:
I champion the underlying issue of Political Correctness, the desire to include everyone and to not make fun of anyone.
When right wing evangelical whackos attack PC, they talk about how "innocent" it is to say "he spazzed out", "fat guy", "trailer trash", "colored guy", "those people", "tree-hugger", or "weaker sex".
All these things are said by Non PC twerps with prejudice and White Male Patriarchal Religious zeal, as if God was a White Male Republican, probably American too.
So even though I hate all politicians and politics, as an Ethical Anarchist, I still applaud the sane aspects of PC.
I hate the term "politically correct" which implies you belong to the Communist, Fascist, Demopublican, Labour, or whatever, party.
It's more *correctly* "Linguistically Correct" or "Nominationally Correct" or "Semiotically Precise"...??? Somebody help out here, not you, you white bread cracker.
King Crimson "Sleepless"
Semantically Correct speech is respectful and optimistic, but not deceptive in phobic glossings, criminal coddling, or political bias.
To call an illegal alien an "immigrant", gangsta rap "urban reality", a static corporate web site "online presence", or an occupying force "liberators" is Politically Correct and Semantically Deceptive.
Public Image Ltd. "Tie Me to the Length of That"
Thursday, May 18, 2006
"Grasping Vaspers" is the title of this post I magically transported from Paul Woodhouse's Tinbasher blog, and surgically let it invasively inhabit this otherwise blank post, for I (have nothing to) say: "Nothing!"
Gang of Four "To Hell With Poverty"
Yes, though, VtG is 2 years old this month.
I will celebrate my 24 month gruelling turmoil of enforced laborious blogging with a slew of music videos by some of the best bands that have ever existed, currently exist, or will ever in the future or in imagination exist.
The Fiery Furnaces "Tropical Iceland"
(w/Vaspers comment added)
Good old Vaspers has just hit his second birthday.
Now I think a blog is similar to a dog in that human years don’t necessarily count for the same when trying to age them.
May I suggest that one single, solitary year of blogging as measured by the Gregorian calendar equates to ten blog years?
You soon realise the original craft that is blogging soon makes way for the graft that is blogging until it becomes a discipline.
Back to Mr. Streight: Whilst I have quite a highly honed sense of blog morality, I have to say that I’m thoroughly indebted to Steven for keeping me on the streight (sorry) and narrow. The man has rarely ceased in his battle against the banal, the befuddled and the corporate clueless.
I regard him as something of a blog blood brother and something of a mentor.
In fact, I’m almost a little apprehensive of meeting or speaking to the fella in case it doesn’t somehow live up to the billing (although I’m quite sure it would).
So, in celebration of the fella’s hard work and unending gusto, I implore anybody who’s thinking of starting out in blogland and anybody who feels slightly lost in blogland to read his 20 insights from 2 years of blogging.
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1. May 19th, 2006 02:00
Aw shucks, you didn’t need to bolster me up that way up there above, greatly above, every other blogger who ever has or ever will live, until I am so exalted, worthily, contemptuously, above every other writer of any type of publication, above poets, above sacred scribes, above political speechifiers, above rap lyricists, above Aesop, above Allen Ginsberg, above Rimbaud and Dickens and Proust.
But thanks in case you’re right.
v[[-a,S;p/+E>r)S t;H'e %G,,r+aT^e
Suicide "Ghost Rider"
Mission of Burma "Dirt"
Spacemen 3 "Revolution"
I was, uh, talking with this lady, about blogging. She said she just started a MySpace "site" because her friend Don had one.
Immediately I understood the following considerations:
(1) She will refer to a published post as "blog", rather than, per blogospheric norm, using "blog" to refer to the site itself. To "create a blog" to a MySpacer means to publish a posted update. Confused?
(2) She will only use her blogging platform to "slow chat" with known friends [but will also link to friends of friends of friends, just be nosey about other people, which can lure her into dangerous shark infested waters] and to try to make her site cooler all the time.
(3) She will somehow be tangled up with local musicians.
I told her that you can do more and better with Blogger/Blogspot. I mentioned WordPress. I explained how I make my own digital artwork with Paint Shop Pro, and how I post an image, art or photograph, in nearly every post I publish. She thought that was nice.
She's excited about HTML and Copy/Paste operations. She enjoys Edit Layout and moving modules around (template tweaking).
We spoke of slide shows and sidebars, of Flogger and Frappr, and unwanted bulletins. One of her friends list friends is Mud Vayne, a local band (see, didn't I predict that?). In addition to this new MySpace site, she also has a personal web page at Geocitities.
She started a MySpace blog, not to express, promote, or employ herself, but because her friend Don has one. Do you see what's happening here? MySpace is a new way for friends and family to communicate. It's like an extension of email, only more of an audience, and a few other big differences.
I showed her print-outs of various POSTS (not "blogs") of Vaspers the Grate (BLOG).
Why are you laughing? What's so funny? Don't you all carry around print-outs of your blog posts with you wherever you go?
Sonic Youth "Diamond Sea"