It is spreading.

Ignorance, that is. First Ted and now this: Rick Santorum was on NPR this morning talking about why he voted against the Stem Cell Bill. Apparently it’s because he’s a scientist and knows that stem cells won’t provide the answers researchers are looking for and as soon as they discern that they will start aborting human babies- because they’re older than stem cells. Adding to his reasoning: Since they already do this with animals it’s the next logical step, obviously.

Digital Citizen Episode 3: Internet on the Last Frontier, Blogging

Listen here.

In this episode of Digital Citizen we wrap up the Governance Nuggets, David Totten reports on internet access to remote villages in Alaska, and we talk to Damien Pfister about blogging.

Music: The Digital Citizen by David Totten.

The Digital Citizen is a CC-derived and licensed composition. David’s thoughts on the music and on the Creative Commons can be found here.

DC News:

E-Voting: Diebold v Democracy

Piotr Konieczny on Tabbed Browsing

Wiki-Law Launches

Jonathan Lu on Blackberry Thumb

Gilmore v. Gonzoles

Censorship in China after Civil Unrest

Jonathan Lu on H.R.3997

Wikipedia Hoax

Thanks to Piotr for the links!

David Reports on Internet Access in Alaska

Damien Pfister talks about Blogs

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E-Rulemaking- Digital Citizen Episode 2

Listen here.

In episode two of Digital Citizen we feature more DC news as well as “Governance Nuggets”- news and commentary by students from the Digital Governance course at the University of Pittsburgh. Then we move on to Dr. Stuart Shulman and his recent trip to Kazakhstan and his E-Rulemaking Research.

DC News:

Massachusetts pulls back on Open Document:

Jason Cohen on Corbis

Sony Debacle Continues

Salvatore Moschella on Digital Dumping

SBC Punishes New Orleans over Municipal Wireless Internet Access

Eva Wright

E911 Off the Hook

Patty on Evangelical Blogging

More trouble for the Wikipedia

Joohyun on Podcasting and citizen media.

ICANN

Space Mountain Rants on Copyrighted Culture

Stuart Shulman

Shulman & E-Rulemaking

One story we didn’t get to mention this week was the use of Machinima to create political films- in this case a movie about the Paris Riots using a video game called “The Movies.” Check it out!

Episode 3 will be up next week.

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Monoculture

I was reading over some material this weekend regarding the steady dwindling of ownership of the various mass media outlets and a thought occurred to me. Time was, my standard example of the effect of consolidation in mass media was boy-band-ism, the development and marketing of absolute lowest-common denominator pop music. I think I’m going to start tossing off a new example:

Openly biased, political news media
It is no coincidence that even the mainstream media is reporting on corporations and news organizations taking on an openly political bias. As they have less and less to fear from consumers, and need to sate those regulators who would keep them in power, becoming more propagandistic is a given. I’m sure Noam Chomsky has said something similar.
My point being: Less competition, fewer voices, no one to make those voices stop. Of course, the whole system of FCC governed private tv ownership is pretty fucked up anyway…but that is for another post.
Continue reading Monoculture

Despair

I am trying very hard not to despair.
I am trying not to think the worst is coming, that the majority of americans actually wish discrimination upon their fellow countrymen.
I am trying not to think that we are going to openly declare our intent on Empire.
I am trying not to think that our environment is going to get worse and that our cost of living will go up.
I am trying not to think that the world, which held its breath until yesterday, is now ready to fight against our country.
I am trying not to think that a majority in our nation believe that there should be no separation of church and state, and all the discrimination and disparity that will entail.
I am trying not to think that we are steadily allowing superstition and fear to rule our lives.
I am trying not to think that the vote was stolen quietly by Diebold, Sequoia and Electronic Systems & Software. By their black boxes that don’t allow for a manual recount.
I am trying not to think about all the voters whose votes, regardless of the outcome, simply did not count. Because they sent in absentee ballots (fearful they would be turned away from the polls, or that electronic voting devices would not properly report their vote). Because 135000 people were challenged in Ohio and had to cast provisional ballots. Ballots that will not be counted.

These are things I’m trying not to think about.

Yet, I can not.

Police State

So who else thinks that these heavily armed cops, security guards, security cameras on every corner and constant inducements to fear are not going away for a long long time. And how long until one of them goes too far against a group of protesters.

Coinker

I am struggling not to sound to conspiracy-a-go-go (C.A.G.G), but its kind of funny to me today that all this 9/11 shit is going down, lots of news sites are talking about a smoking gun FBI translator who says the government knew of plans to hit US Cities with planes (even right-wing cowboy Drudge) and suddenly news of potential terror attacks this summer in the US is started to hit all of these sites as well. Coinker!

Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them

Reading (rather, listening) to this on my week off. Very funny, full of great anecdotes and of course works very hard to disprove the many many lies made by the right. I was talking about it with the peeps today and I realized that the biggest problem a book like this has is that anything that gets printed or eventually retracted or corrected or proven wrong by Al Franken has already fed itself into the mass mind. The damage is done and the virus has spread. The only way to stop these kinds of lies (it seems) is to stop them from appearing at all- by changing the entire business of journalism, or by having a seperate- but just as strong and just as ‘legitimate’ in the eyes of the public- voice to offer the truth with the exact speed and power the original source had. I guess this is why Franken and co. are coming up with Air America.

It was very scary to hear about the many lies that could quickly be disproved by doing simple google searches. Enjoying it regardless.

Updated Life at Low Resolution. Check it.

[Listening to: On Your Wings – Iron And Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days (0:-1)]

Dreamz

So last night I had yet another end-of-the-world dream. Dreams about said end of world have been plaguing me since I was in third grade at least.

Last night:

Lots of the bad weather and earthquakes that have been happening in reality seem to have seeped in, as it is explained that these phenomena were in fact leading to the complete destruction of humanity. This of course was apparently known by the Bush administration for some time, but kept from the public. As the world got worse, a select few were allowed to board escaping rockets to a settlement on mars that had been built in secret- shades of Lifter anyone? Anyway, the rockets were all a ruse, the purpose of which I’m not sure. As they launched, they all exploded and the people aboard them were killed. We watched in horror as our last chance for survival went out the window and we were left to die on a planet whose demise had long been known by powers higher than us that chose to do nothing. Shades of Firefly (Heart of Gold script), Battlestar Galactica mini-series, The Core (i guess) and probably many other disaster related media that I can’t think of at the moment.

Other fantastic dreams:

In DC at the steps of congress, watching GW give a speech about how everything is going wonderfully, we are winning the war on terror. In the distance, an explosion and mushroom cloud. The blast very slowly makes its way to the audience and completely destroys us all, the whole time GW is speechmaking.

In my youth:

Watching the steam rise out of the Susquahanna Nuclear Power plant while standing on a cliff, somewhere in Hazleton. Suddenly the steam is all sucked back into the steam towers and then immediately shoots straight up in a giant black column that eventually turns into a mushroom cloud and kills us all.

Watching the sky outside of my classroom of Arthur Street Elementary school as it turns a deep red. The “camera” then circles out from me to show that our school is perched on a cliff, and is some kind of highly modern structure. Zoom back to me as I watch a giant mushroom cloud explode beyond some mountains in the distance. Blast makes its way to us, circle out to the school building to watch it collapse off of the mountain, killing us all.

Two things tie this all together- nukes, and an overwhelming sense of dread that I do not feel every day, with one exception. That exception of course being the morning of September 11.

Maybe one day I’ll talk about some other dreams, including the famous (to me) ‘Kema turns into a yellow and blacked striped freakazoid by squeezing in between our oven and our counter’ and ‘God the giant golden surgeon of light urges me to leave life behind’ which took place in a drug induced stupor during one of my chemo sessions.