Late Night: We Don’t Need Any More Shit!

By: Saturday October 26, 2013 8:00 pm

When I was growing up, if you bought the latest model it in most cases was an improvement over what came before it, always better picture and sound. Additional channels on TVs. Stereo sound instead of monaural. Transistor instead of vacuum tubes.

 

Don’t Shoot The Messenger: Russell Brand Shouts Out Occupy, Predicts Revolution in Epic BBC Interview

By: Friday October 25, 2013 2:00 pm

In an epic 10 minute interview on BBC’s Newsnight – Russell Brand calmly and meticulously addresses everything from income inequality to corruption to corporate interests to revolution while explaining how his opinions render it impossible for him to cast a ballot in good conscious.

The Narcissism of the Entitled Rich, Our Dickensian World

By: Sunday August 25, 2013 5:20 pm

And so another study shows that the more wealth one has, the more one feels entitled and becomes narcissistic.

Putting War Back in Children’s Culture

By: Friday August 16, 2013 5:45 am

Now that Darth Vader’s breathy techno-voice is a staple of our culture, it’s hard to remember how empty was the particular sector of space Star Wars blasted into. The very day the Paris Peace Accords were signed in 1973, Richard Nixon also signed a decree ending the draft. It was an admission of the obvious: war, American-style, had lost its hold on young minds. As an activity, it was now to be officially turned over to the poor and nonwhite.

Those in a position to produce movies, TV shows, comics, novels, or memoirs about Vietnam were convinced that Americans felt badly enough without such reminders. It was simpler to consider the war film and war toy casualties of Vietnam than to create cultural products with the wrong heroes, victims, and villains.

Late Night: When we still made stuff – Geek Edition

By: Saturday August 3, 2013 8:00 pm

A lot has been written about how the post-WWII boom in housing, military and automobile manufacturing brought us the prosperity of the 1950s and 1960s, but I thought I would go into some of what was also going on in the technology field of the times as well.

William deBuys, Goodbye to All That (Water)

By: Tuesday July 30, 2013 6:00 pm

Martha and the Vandellas would have loved it. Metaphorically speaking, the New York Times practically swooned over it. (“An unforgiving heat wave held much of the West in a sweltering embrace over the weekend, tying or breaking temperature records in several cities, grounding flights, sparking forest fires, and contributing to deaths.”) It was a “deadly” heat wave, a “record” one that, in headlines everywhere, left the West and later the rest of the country “sweltering,” and that was, again in multiple headlines, “scary.”

Internet Privacy or (In)Security..a lesson in paranoia

By: Sunday July 14, 2013 5:20 pm

Nobody can expect any privacy over the Internet any more.

Todd Miller, Surveillance Surge on the Border

By: Saturday July 13, 2013 12:50 pm

I mean, come on.  You knew it had to happen, didn’t you?  In a 2010 Department of Homeland Security report, wrested from the bowels of the secrecy/surveillance state (thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request by the Electronic Frontier Foundation), the Customs and Border Protection agency suggests arming their small fleet of surveillance drones.  The purpose: to “immobilize TOIs,” or targets of interest, along the U.S.-Mexican border. 

I Didn’t Mean To Write About Trayvon Martin

By: Friday July 12, 2013 9:15 am

America, it hurts my feelings
Each time it’s implied
That we can look the other way
Each time a black boy dies

FDL Book Salon Welcomes Nicco Mele, The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath

By: Sunday May 26, 2013 1:59 pm

Nicco Mele is a man who knows the internet. The webmaster for Howard Dean’s presidential campaign in 2004 and the founder of a leading internet strategy firm, his discussion moves between the effect of Twitter on news reporting, Hollywood’s relationship with Netflix and Al Qaeda’s use of YouTube. These are only three of the many examples which make this book so interesting. The big ideas are sustained by engaging anecdotes.

The theme of Mele’s book is the effect of “radical connectivity”, which he describes as “our breathtaking ability to send vast amounts of data instantly, constantly and globally”, thus transforming politics, business and culture.

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