The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Bob Stepno § The structure of journalism today / 2014-03-10 18:42:32

Walk of Electoral Shame
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In honor of the recently hott BizCazh.com, and in final comment on the Great ‘Lection of 2004, I submit “The Morning After”:

The Country is bound for one LONG walk of shame. America, the once beautiful, is slowly making its way back to its apartment, still wearing last night’s clothes. The country has sex hair, and can taste its own breath.

Parental advisory — exteme lyrics, visceral imagery, rank partisanship, &c.

One comment

Arrrr! There's a Bounty on This Software!
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Interesting:

Ransom is a software publishing model where the rights to the source code remain restricted until a set amount of money is collected or a set date passes, at which point the code is automatically freed under an OSI/FSF-approved license.

(Red Ferret for President.)

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Sad, Beautiful Map
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What Happens Now?
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Kevin Drum nailed it, I think. Scandal earns the day. History, the President’s first term, and the current political dynamic are brimming with evidence for this, as Drum points out:

Consider the highlight reel of reelected presidents over the past 50 years. Ike won a second term and watched in dismay as his chief of staff was forced to resign over a vicu

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Four More Years
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OK, it’s essentially official. Even if, by some miracle, legal battles in Ohio throw the outcome of the election into question, President Bush will remain President Bush until the year 2008. Half the networks have called Ohio for Bush, enshrining him as the victor in the sleepy minds of many. And as my one true love, the Supreme Court, informed us in 2000, we mustn’t disturb our fragile national psyche with silly questions of absentee whozits or civil rightamajiggies or provisional whatnots. If the people think Bush won, he won.

And they do, so he did.

I had expected this outcome long ago, but there’s one disappointment I wasn’t numb to. Justice Rehnquist. The evidence suggests his thyroid cancer is fatal. I can’t imagine he’ll be returning to the Court for any real tenure. Sure, he’d love to attend to his legacy, but you know, can’t cheat death and taxes ‘n’ all.

To me, the Supreme Court is a fragile miracle. It’s my favorite thing in our entire government. Even Scalia and Thomas, the big lugs. After all, lose them, and you lose the legitimacy of the Court in the eyes of much of America. And America, despite its lack of faith in all else, somehow continues to believe in the Court.

I don’t think the Court will turn drastically conservative or anything, but I think it could lose its progressive edge if the balance is tilted by a Bush nominee. And then it would become just another muddy, stale brick in the wall.

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Different Realities
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Last week’s PIPA survey has gotten quite a bit of play in the press. In short, red and blue America live in different worlds. Red America (that is, over three-fourths of President Bush’s supporters in this election) sees a world where Saddam Hussein was the shadowy figure behind al Qaeda and 9/11, where somewhere in the crannies of Tikrit there sits a yet-undiscovered stash of weapons of mass destruction, and where most of the world cheers our efforts in Iraq. Blue America believes the opposite on all counts.

When it comes to what people believe about their candidates, majorities of the President’s supporters misperceive his foreign policy positions, while majorities of Kerry’s supporters perceive his positions accurately, weeks before an election where foreign policy is supposedly the biggest issue on the table.

But the survey respondents who give me the most hope for democracy are the 18-Percenters. Eighteen percent of Bush supporters still believe Iraq had WMD or a major WMD program even though they know that the Duelfer report concluded otherwise.

Hans Blix. David Kay. The Senate Intelligence Committee. Charles Duelfer. Either invisible to faith-based America, or simply wrong.

So this is what it comes down to. We march to the polls a week from today armed with completely different truths, answering completely different realities. How are we supposed to build a democracy together? And what could possibly be done about this divide?

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Urb-topia
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I’ll join the chorus of handwringing on the Internet for the lack of an online version of David Owen’s article in last week’s New Yorker. I could write about it, but Tim’s already done that quite well enough for the both of us. So I’ll go the crowd one better, and reproduce a few paragraphs for your pleasure and edification:

Most Americans, including most New Yorkers, think of New York City as an ecological nightmare, a wasteland of concrete and garbage and diesel fumes and traffic jams, but in comparison with the rest of America it’s a model of environmental responsibility. By the most significant measures, New York is the greenest community in the United States, and one of the greenest cities in the world. The most devastating damage humans have done to the environment has arisen from the heedless burning of fossil fuels, a category in which New Yorkers are practically prehistoric. The average Manhattanite consumes gasoline at a rate that the country as a whole hasn’t matched since the mid-nineteen-twenties, when the most widely owned car in the United States was the Ford Model T. Eighty-two per cent of Manhattan residents travel to work by public transit, by bicycle, or on foot. That’s ten times the rate for Americans in general, and eight times the rate for residents of Los Angeles County. New York City is more populous than all but eleven states; if it were granted statehood, it would rank fifty-first in per-capita energy use.

“Anyplace that has such tall buildings and heavy traffic is obviously an environmental disaster

4 comments

He's Like the Gannett of Blogs
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Jaysus, what has Nick Denton been up to? I mean, we all knew about Gawker and Wonkette and Fleshbot and Gizmodo (and we maintained a dim awareness of Defamer, although clearly not a bookmark), but apparently someone fed the Denton media empire after midnight and dropped it in the swimming pool (*), because his blogs have been spawning while no one was paying attention.

Screenhead? Jalopnik? Kotaku?

I predict that Denton’s reputation as the savvy, overmarketed blog-trepreneur soon turns a corner and his little Web empire collapses, ooooor possibly you’ll find me outside the Gawker Building in Times Square begging for a correspondent’s gig. Only time will tell.

4 comments

While We're Talking About Cults …
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That November evening marked the beginning of what would become one of the most sensational child abuse cases the Bay Area has seen. In the investigation that followed, it was revealed that the four women — Carol Bremner, then 43; Deirdre Wilson, 37; Mary Campbell, 37; and Kali Polk-Matthews, 19 — were part of a mom-and-pop cult led by a dreadlocked, self-styled mystic named Winnfred Wright. Together, the women had borne him 13 children, who, investigators found, had been living in almost total seclusion in the family’s rented house in Marinwood, north of San Francisco. The children didn’t go to school, or to the doctor or dentist; they ate a strict, nearly vegan diet. Many of them were suffering from rickets, a disease caused by a vitamin D deficiency. A few of the children were in advanced stages of the illness and had noticeable bone deformities. …

Far from being monsters, Wright’s wives were actually smart, gutsy, warmhearted people. Bremner and Wilson had been popular student leaders at the center of their respective college-activist communities. They had been, those who knew them said over and over again, critical thinkers and independent women, the last people you’d imagine getting suckered into a cult. Campbell had been a vivacious Manhattan secretary; her family had always believed she would become a teacher because of her love for children. There was no sign she could become the kind of mother who’d let her baby die of malnutrition.

These people certainly weren’t part of the reality-based community.

4 comments

Debate Liveblogging, Round Fo–oh Wait.
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I caught the tail end of the debates last night on an airport TV screen, trying to discern the political orientations of those around me from their facial expressions. Everyone just looked mad.

From what I could tell, the big gaffe out of the debate was forecasted to be Bush’s “I never said I wasn’t worried about Osama” line, which pundits predicted would drench the airwaves tomorrow, juxtaposed with some video of that one time he said he wasn’t worried about Osama.

Wrong. The Fran-Drescher-esque drones of CNN Headline News today focused their incessant banter on a different “story” out of yesterday’s debate — Kerry had the utter gall to identify Dick Cheney’s daughter as a lesbian.

It’s not that Kerry just blurted this out of the blue; he’d been asked whether he thought homosexuality was a choice. This was his response:

We’re all God’s children, Bob. And I think if you were to talk to Dick Cheney’s daughter, who is a lesbian, she would tell you that she’s being who she was, she’s being who she was born as.

It’s not that Mary Cheney isn’t out and proud.

It’s not that Kerry’s answer contained even a tinge of disrespect for Mary Cheney.

It’s that a savvy Bush campaign adviser realized that the Osama thing was going to be all over the news today and selected his own brilliant little dodge. The entire Cheney family (except for Mary) was out in full force today, shocked, SHOCKED!! that Kerry could have mentioned their daughter to “score political points.”

Lynn Cheney:

I did have a chance to assess John Kerry once more. And the only thing I could conclude is this is not a good man. This is not a good man. And, of course, I am speaking as a mom and a pretty indignant mom. This is not a good man. What a cheap and tawdry political trick.

Father Cheney:

You saw a man who will say and do anything in order to get elected. And I am not speaking just as a father here, though I am a pretty angry father. But I’m also speaking as a citizen.

Even other-daughter Liz was trotted out on Paula Zahn to share her family’s suffering, poor wounded lamb.

Feel free to look at Kerry’s statement one more time.

The media bought this???! News directors/editors everywhere actually swallowed the notion that a campaign run by Karl “No Smear’s Too Queer” Rove was outraged that an opposing candidate had affirmingly mentioned the sexuality of a profoundly public lesbian?? We’ve lost our marbles.

The only logical way to interpret Kerry’s statement as any sort of a swipe at Mary Cheney is to grant that homosexuality is tainted. Andrew Sullivan can take it from there.

Color me disgusted. Not at the Bush/Cheney campaign — all’s fair in love and politics — but at the journalists who swallowed, digested, and shat this sham into our diet of news.

5 comments