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Archive for the ‘media’ Category

In response to the pod Rent Free or Die:

Look, I’m down with those crazy Libertarians to a point, and i say that with all due reflection–crazy like Hunter Thompson. Just like them I believe that the government should always be viewed with skepticism and not blindly trusted to do good, and I damn sure don’t want the government legislating what I do personally if it doesn’t harm anyone else (and yes, I am mostly talking about weed, but also about morality legislation in general).

Where we part ways is in the idea that we can co-exist in a society without government. Watch the video for more on that.

As an addendum, I’d like to say that I now consider the Libertarian view to be the far left of the feasible political spectrum. George Bush and his cohorts in the GOP have branded the Republicans as the party of Big Government with the size of the budget, warrantless wiretapping, and total corruption of our Justice Department. That puts people like me back in the center, who want us to be free but understand the necessity and purpose of government.

So I’m while I’m glad to have this little experiment in NH, I’d like to see it replicated en masse by people simply taking back control of their local governments. We need to enact policies that demand all our politicians are constantly, openly, and directly confronted by their constituents. No more ‘guessing’ what the public sentiment is through polls that ask ridiculous questions by an out of touch media apparatus. We have the tools to repair our government, we only need the will.

BTW, GOBAMA!

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Some of the writers of the Show formerly known as Daily got together and produced this video from the front lines of the writer’s strike with a well made point:

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Protecting us all from 10 year old girls.

Can we please just pass some legislation to protect the American people from the burden of antiquainted intellectual property laws? If the vast majority of the American people want to ‘steal’ music and demand that it no longer be a prosecutable offense, then let’s defang the RIAA already.

I’m sure that everyone would just figure out another way to make money off of the business of music. It will sharpen the market if anything. The most successful model for a music label will involve being very localized and dedicated to a few artists’ online promotional and distributional needs. And it would uplift the quality of live performances if that’s where the money shifts to. Live performances put money directly into the hands of local economies. The whole paradigm of marketing and distribution has to change before we will be able to truly harness the full potential of the Internet to re-establish the importance of local economies.

It’s happening now with the music industry, and as you can see it’s not pretty when the dinosaurs of the old media paradigm start to fall. They’ll need to grill a few young girls about their download history before they’ll give up their stranglehold on OUR music.

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Okay, here’s a simple idea for what I believe could be a very grand protest. Get one million people to descend on Washington D.C., and ask that every single participant bring a digital video camera and at least 5 video tapes.

The cameras will serve both practical and symbolic purposes. Considering both the long historical record and recent revelations about surveillance and deceptive disruption of public protests by undercover government officials, if everyone’s armed with a camera then there’s no reason why anyone should be able to get away with starting anything and not be caught on tape for later investigations. On a more uplifting note, I can’t imagine the effect of having one MILLION people video blogging dozens of clips and posting them up on YouTube. And this would be a massive boon to the realm of amateur documentaries.

The symbolism is obvious: transparency. To remind both the government AND the establishment media that we are watching, recording and remembering. That we are no longer scared or intimidated by either because we now possess the tools necessary to hold all FOUR estates in check when they be come out of balance. And talk about a move that would surely emphasize the success we’ve had in ripping the wheels of the Bush administration since the US Attorney story broke.

Man, I hope someone steals this idea.

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In case there is any remaining doubt that Fox news is just ultra right-wing neoconservative propaganda, here is Roger Ailes (aka Fat Bastard). And you know what, if Al Gore and Michael Moore’s weight is fair game, then this tub of shit certainly should be as well. I think Jabba AND Pizza the Huts had better complexions and jowel configurations than Ailes.

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Watch this clip of John Lennon being chastised by some arrogant bitch from the establishment media and you’ll see with perfect clarity how not a goddamned thing has changed in this country. Power to the powerful has been the motto of this nation for a long time. God help you if you if you actually believe that the people who make up this country should be afforded a voice in our own destiny.

[UPDATE]: Apparently the snobbish interviewer in this clip is Gloria Emerson. A quick glance over her resume and I have to admit that she has an impressive body of work and I’m sure was a valuable asset to the antiwar community. Unfortunately, this clip of her demonstrates the dismissive, patronizing attitude that seems to infect most elite journalists, regardless of their ideological stripe. It’s the same shit today, just listen to Dick Gregory attacking the blogosphere:

The message I hear from both clips is “leave it to the professional, you have no place expressing your opinion on such big important topics you ignorant proles”.

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As someone who has worked in the interactive industry for nearly a decade, I can say without a doubt that abolishing protections that keep the Internet free from corporate interference in the flow of information would be a major step backwards and diminish the United States’ in the global technology market. I’m writing on the concept of Network Neutrality. If you haven’t heard of it, check out http://www.savetheinternet.com. You don’t have to look to far into this issue before you realize that this is an issue which could fundamentally alter the future of the Internet, and not in a good way.

Here’s how things work now, with net neutrality intact. Let’s say that I wanna start producing hilarious cartoons or videos and build a website around them. I pay a hosting fee that is determined by how much storage space my website requires and how much traffic I expect to receive. But no matter how small or large my hosting package is, my site will be delivered to anyone who views it just as fast as Amazons, Comedy Central, ESPN, etc. If my cartoons are really popular, I have to buy a larger hosting package to accommodate my traffic, but that is my decision as the content provider.

Now let’s take away net neutrality from this scenario. Now my website can be moved into a ‘slow lane’. For an additional fee on top of my hosting costs, I have to pay in order to get my site to go as fast as Amazon, Comedy Central, ESPN, etc. All who have way more money to outspend the average person, and thereby diminishing the quality of the internet for anyone who might not prefer to use the services of sites that can afford the ‘fast lane’.

The growth of YouTube and other broadband-intensive services is opening up vast new markets both in terms of economic expansion and personal expression. To abolish net neutrality would cease to give the consumers control of which services are successful, and place it in the hands of a few telecom companies that may not always have the consumers needs and interest ahead of short-term profits or stifling competition.

My entire career has been predicated on the technologies and trends that the openness of the Internet has fostered. The more control we give to private corporations over which trends and technologies will succeed, the less people like myself will be able to contribute to the market, ultimately stifling progress and possibly putting my economic stability at risk.

‘Nuff said, go sign the petition.

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