Dual Loyalty

As writers and bloggers are so fond of saying; you couldn't make it up. You don't cross the Iron Curtain and come out without scars ...
· Jozef Imrich, Survivor of the Iron Curtain Crossing

Thursday, June 30, 2005

The tale is like something out of Orwell. With the help of companies like Microsoft, Cisco, and Juniper, China continues to be quite successful in censoring access to the Internet within its borders. In the last couple weeks, we learned that Microsoft was helping China censor bloggers on MSN:Spaces. Because of this cooperation, China does not block access to MSN:Spaces. Interestingly, China blocks entire domains like Blogger and Typepad. Why? My guess is that Google (owner of Blogger) and Six Apart (owner of Typepad) refuse to provide censorship services. The Sandbox of Geo-Political-Corporate Censorship

The Blog, The Press, The Media: A Bitter Defeat for the Press
The tale is like something out of Kafka: In 2003, George W. Bush accused Saddam Hussein of trying to buy uranium in Africa. A former U.S. ambassador, Joseph Wilson, revealed that the claim was false.

The Supreme Court's refusal to hear the Cooper-Miller case will do more than hurt two reporters -- it will erode the press's ability to cover sensitive stories. In an obvious attempt to punish Wilson (Smith), one of Bush's aides then disclosed the identity of Wilson's wife, an undercover CIA operative named Valerie Plame, to the conservative columnist Robert Novak, who printed the name.

Divulge Sources, 4 More Reporters Told The Fourth Estate lost another high-profile legal battle
And Strikes a Blow at a Strong Press: Reinforcing the Medieval Flame [Legend has it when Henry David Thoreau went to jail to protest an unjust law, his friend, the philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, visited him and asked, "Henry, what are you doing in here?" The great nature writer replied, "What are you doing out there?" It's time for Novak to write the column he owes his readers ; Minor players in leak saga face prison, but that won't benefit public Twilight zone for reporters; There is so much more at Romenesko: Jailing of reporters seems medieval in this info age ; Complete Coverage: Monday's Supreme Court Decisions ; A Supreme Court Conversation ]
• · Note to technology developers who want to market products that will help people share copyrighted files: Whatever you do, don't end your brand name with "-ster"! Supreme Court's unsound decision ; The attorney who argued the landmark eminent domain case surveys the blight in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision Never Mind the Kelo, Here's Scott Bullock
• · · Here's another example of how grassroots are using the internet to fight back. Just a Minor Threat ; Millions of former newspaper readers now get their news from the Web, but the majority remain loyal to their favorite print news outlets Newspaper Readers Turning to Web ; Washington has a simple solution to most governments it doesn't like: isolate them, slap sanctions on them and wait for their downfall How To Change Ugly Regimes
• · · · Media studies courses have for years been cruelly mocked by the industry. Can they survive a renewed assault? Mouse trap; US public more critical of press Online readership countering print losses
• · · · · Lessig: Wow - I said that?.; NYT endorses Bugmenot
• · · · · · Journos have sunk so low that even bosses are kicking them ; I think there were like two blips in the 20th century - Ernie Pyle in World War II, and Watergate-- that gave journalists a reputation that they in no way deserved, and don't usually have P.J. O'Rourke has consistently remained one of the funniest writers in America ; Don't Be a Blogger Manqué, Norman Mailer ; via Tim Dunlop: There are those who write good news blogs and pretend they are providing balance, and there are those who actually work in Iraq

Less than seven years ago Alex and Bella babysitted this young lad at Darling Point, Bellevue Hill and even Helsinki, but, today he is independent as the next virtual Bill Gates. Robert Scoble et al may I introduce you to the extraordinary Antipodean-Finnish mover and risk taking skater Aleksi

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Inspiration bubbles over for winning wordsmith: Ismail Kadaré
There would be a grave risk of you thinking a writer who has travelled two thousand kilometres to be here a little simple-minded and banal if he were to begin his speech with a hymn declaring his faith in literature, and saying, more precisely, that literature is what made him a free man.

Believing in literature means believing in a reality above that which is. Believing in literature means saying that the ghastly regime holding sway over your country is altogether insipid, compared to literature in all its funereal majesty. Believing in that art means being convinced that the regime to which you are subjected, with its policemen who spy on you, its top leaders and its functionaries -- in sum, that the entire edifice of tyranny is but a passing nightmare, something dead in comparison to the Supreme order whose disciple you now are.

But the tacit suggestion that Mr. Kadare was a dissident, like Vaclav Havel or Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, is very misleading. Mr. Kadare could never have survived and published under the Hoxha regime without some degree of cooperation, the complete details of which are not yet entirely clear. Mr. Kadare himself only claims that his writing was ipso facto an act of defiance. "Every time I wrote a book," he has said, "I had the impression that I was thrusting a dagger into the dictatorship."
ODDEST YET: a miracle of Biblical proportions [Little-known author's win sparks battle to find books Booker Prize Winner Surprised at Award ; Booker Prize is satisfying to dissident Google on Mystery of Man: Just Who Is Ismail Kadare? ; Mr. Kadare is a grimly political writer The Palace of Dreams ]
• · THE Albanian dissident novelist and winner of the inaugural Man Booker International Prize has revealed how Scotland provided vital inspiration for him growing up under a repressive Communist regime Macbeth’s castle inspired a writer raised under communism ; Britain's literary scene is so parochial that there is virtually a conspiracy against readers experiencing the best of the world's literature. Worthy winner despite language restrictions UK readers deprived of world literature ; If you really want to be happy, throw away your television set. That's the bizarre finding of new economic research completely at odds with traditional assumptions Thief of time
• · · This is the story of a Maryland woman who is retiring after twenty years of driving a school bus. Driving into the future ; Necessity, or much ado about nothing? Ten Myths about the Ten Commandments
• · · · Is it possible at the dawn of the 21st century that an entire university could be driven into exile in Europe? From exile, a beacon of hope for Belarus ; Seachange cities’ to reinvent themselves over first three decades of 21st century
• · · · · Umberto Eco's new novel about memory really postmodern ... In Search of Lost Time ; There's good chick lit and bad chick lit, just as there's good literary fiction and bad literary fiction Literary bonbons
• · · · · · European Rivers are trecherous: William Mather-Brown, 41, died after diving into the Le Var River in the city of St Laurent du Val in the south of France when his daughter Olivia got into difficulties on Sunday afternoon Australian film director drowns in France ; Their first taste of freedom in almost four years was almost too much for the Rahmati family. Refugee family free at least

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Dramatic new developments in information technology are exposing undemocratic regimes worldwide. These rapidly growing communication networks are weakening government control on information and besieging them. The blog is the latest incarnation of the digital revolution. A web log, or log, for short, represents the crowning achievement of modern technology, by adding a personal touch to news and information Blogs for Everyone
In an opinion piece about opinion pieces and other matters of media diversity by the greatest fact czecher of them all - Tim Dunlop: If you're a hammer, everything looks like a nail and as Australian richest technorati blogger, John Quiggin notes: Freedom of the press is great if you own one

Robert Scoble, whose blog i read with interest, reads more than a 1000 blogs a day. I used to think that was excessive - Turns out, it's not excessive at all

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Corporations enter brave new world of blogs
When General Motors Corp. wanted to stop speculation this spring that it might eliminate its Pontiac and Buick brands, Vice Chairman Bob Lutz took his case directly to dealers and customers who were up in arms about the possibility. He wrote about it on the company’s blog.

“The media coverage on the auto industry of late has done much to paint an ugly portrait of General Motors,” began Lutz’s entry on GM’s FastLane Blog, which the company launched in January.
The March 30 entry went on to say that widely reported remarks he made to analysts the week before had been “taken out of context” and that the automaker would not shed the brands. A growing number of companies are stepping softly into the blogosphere, following a path blazed by Microsoft Corp., Sun Microsystems Inc. and others in the technology field. The Internet journal format, they find, lets businesses expand their reach, generate product buzz and encourage consumer loyalty — while bypassing traditional media.
“When we feel that we need to get a direct response out there, we’ve certainly got this bully pulpit to some extent,” said Michael Wiley, GM’s director of new media. “It’s a place where we can talk directly to people unfiltered.”

It's hard to quantify how many companies, executives and employees are blogging, but there are probably more than 100 official corporate blogs ... More companies finding blogs a good way to reach public
• The hallmark of companies that will find blogs useful is the company that cares about its perception ... and the integrity of its relationship with its customers Bad blogging can easily backfire [David Sifry, CEO of Technorati, is calling out Google and Yahoo to explain why their reported results are sometimes much larger than their viewable results Technorati, Google, Yahoo, Blogs and Accusations of Inflated Results ; Blog needs to be dedicated to a niche market -
"I'm beginning to see why one would want to write a blog." Make Money Blogging ; Concerns raised on disclosure For a fee, some blogs boost firms ; Journalists have a love-hate relationship with blogs - 51% of journalists read blogs on a regular basis Reporters Eye Blogs; Opinion is cheap. Facts rule, OK? ]
• · Rafael Behr: The press wants to get bloggers on its side, but a US experiment shows it may not be easy Internet's new wave proves hard to catch ; Many people have become obsessed with blogs The upsides and dangers of blogging; The doctor's blog: Examining rooms -- blogs are straight line into doc's heart
• · · At Glastonbury this year, one of the realities of weblogging became apparent: it's now easier to photo-blog than it is to post text Blogs from the field ; In a sure way to attract early adopters and specifically bloggers, Akimbo has given its users the ability to watch video blogs through their television Video blogs enter the home
• · · · So Steve Rubel gets up at Gnomedex and says something along the lines of, "Blogging is PR with candor." I wasn't there, but I've read the reports of people who were Another Call To Replace PR With Blogs ; Every day, stray thoughts, ideas and opinions pile up in Roger Baylor's head Bloggers let the world see their thoughts ; Blogs are no longer just outlets for cranky people but are increasingly being used by businesses to peddle products, communicate with employees, and project a corporate image to the world, Blogs Grow as Business Tools
• · · · · The seemingly boundless interest in blogging. . .the Horse's Ass blog. . .and why forced blogging doesn't work Blogging as a work duty rarely works ; Some civil libertarians fear blogophobic companies may adopt policies that stifle the free exchange that has made blogs so popular Expanding logosphere creates rift in workplace ; Once again, George Orwell must be smiling from his grave Journalists Go to Jail, Robert Novak Free: Why?
• · · · · · A brief case study of how BBC News Interactive approached the 2005 General Elections in the UK, from Pete Clifton, Editor, BBC News Interactive: Convergence and the Common Good Civic engagement and the BBC ; via Morph and Hugh Martin Mediablog: Full electoral speed ahead, but keep a light common touch

Sometimes the reason I pick up something is completely random. I take a lot of chances with things. Lately I've been listening to a lot of history. This week John Fund has his own story on why failing to teach history is bad for democracy, Everyone agrees we aren't teaching history well, but the direction of reform is controversial The Amerikan-Antipodean Story - Operation Respect: Don’t Laugh at Media Dragon

You’ve heard these clichés many times, on both TV and radio. But, chances are, you never stopped to think about what they mean. If you did, you may have smiled (or even laughed) each time some politician (from either side) nonchalantly pulled one out of his hat and incorporated it in his speech Lesson # 1: 20 Over-Used Political Cliches

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Clearing muddy waters: Here lies Peter Cundall
If, like me, you feel as though you'll be paddling blissfully in clear, deep Sydneyrella Harbour till the end of your days, you will fold this rope right into all the significant exiled others:

By giving them power. By giving them absolute power over people. I suppose I see, today, the biggest problem in society is what we call the "control freaks" But they're people without a gone conscience and without any pity, and there is not many of them. But when you and I are fast asleep at night, they're lying awake, scheming, and they're hard to compete with, and I'm not joking. You know - anybody that's worked in an office or anything, there is always someone that wants to take control, right. The supreme example, of course, is people like Stalin and Hitler. Hitler, don't forget, almost his last days, when he was in the bunker, he was saying at one time that, "The SS have betrayed me," because they retreated, and he had all his commanders executed. And almost his last words was, "The German people have betrayed me," you know. I mean - and this is an example of a supreme form of pathological narcissism and you do get it. You get it in politics. They're the people who can't admit that they have made a mistake.

Three cheers for Peter Yarrow who aims to combat bullying by emphasizing the moral lessons of folk music ‘My name is Margalo,’ said the bird, softly, in a musical voice. ‘I come from fields once tall with wheat, from pastures deep in fern and thistle; I come from vales of meadowsweet, and I love to whistle!’ My folkloric teacher, Marta Chamillova, used to say If you want to set something afire, you must burn yourself, Jozef
• Making Your Life Richer No Bull****: A Suprising Journey [Media companies don't respect consumers -
And it's not just big companies which will benefit from online distribution. Partying Together ; Like many other readers of the Sydney Morning Herald and the New Republic, I look at all the cartoons before reading the articles. Is there anything people won't do to avoid having an ordinary job? Or to avoid working at a job that requires them to think about something or someone other than themselves? The desire of a lot of "artists" nowadays to become rich and famous makes their art incidental to the pursuit of their very concrete and practical goals Stupid Human Tricks "I've been affected. And I'm better for it." Supersize you ;-)]
• · Good reel tidings from Prague: Some people go for the films, others go for the parties - A guide to crashing the other half of the festival. World-class film fest for true bohemians ; Finding the best flicks is in knowing where to look
Film categories ; Czech cinema is in desperate need of a new mise-en-scne. - Government must enact policies to keep Czech cinema competitive Producing trouble
• · · The late John Gregory Dunne -- novelist, essayist, screenwriter -- was my friend. For a year or two around 1990, though, he wouldn't have anything to do with me. I found this out the hard way by inviting him to dinner. He wouldn't come, he said, and when he asked if I wanted to know why, he told me flat out: I was a hypocrite The Other Guy's Sacrifice ; This weekend, the Third World comes to Prague Showing respect ; Matilda Weekend Round-Up #26 ; Josh Mettee's business grew volumes from a stock of 25 books to a warehouse of 3,000 titles Valley's Legends & Legacies
• · · · Can most popular female singer avoid her communist past? She owed her success to communist-era "mafiosi Helena Vondráková; When it seems self-evident that commemoration averts recurrence of that being commemorated, it takes a psychoanalyst to point out that making people remember assumes that their responses to their memories can be calculated. An obsession with memory blinds us to the abuses of memory and to the uses of forgetting The forgetting museum; The debate in Germany on National Socialism, initially imposed on a reluctant German public by the Allies, was brought by the radical '68 generation into the mainstream, where it became a national mission Is the tide of German memory turning?
• · · · · Some studies are destined to set off controversy: Robyn May, Iain Campbell and John Burgess argue that the Coalition government’s next round of industrial relations reform will create further opportunities for employers to ‘casualise’ jobs. Centre for Applied Social Research, RMIT University - The rise and rise of casual work in Australia: who benefits, who loses?; When, in Washington, is outrage truly outrage? H. G. Wells's 1898 novel, "The War of the Worlds," has had several incarnations: I'm Shocked and Outraged
• · · · · · An anthropological debunking of the housing bubble. Economists have an irrational enthusiasm for a rational model of human economic behavior, and therefore they can coolly confuse apples with prickly pears and conclude that all asset classes are the same Basic Instinct ; In his recent book "The Universe in a Nutshell," Dr. Stephen W. Hawking wrote, "Even if it turns out that time travel is impossible, it is important that we understand why it is impossible." Remembrance of Things Future: The Mystery of Time ; Pioneers Are Taking Black Chick Lit Into Middle Age: Terry McMillan, Connie Briscoe and Benilde Little taking a black chick lit into middle age Writers Coming of Middle Age

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

WELCOME NUDE & SEMI NUDE PAJAMAHADEENS OF TECHNORATI FAME who have stumbled across the Media Dragon via top 100 Naked Conversations

Michael might be moving a house, but still he manages to blog forward about a few websites of note: Rant or BIF?
Pay it forward is all about a notion of transformation and what drives us to cross to all kinds of wise and thoughtful blogs. It is also an opportunity for us to explore less known blogs or give an extra link to blogs that deserve wider attention ...
Czech out a creative Barista David Tiley
Get swept off your feet by a kind legal eagle David Starkoff
Invade Alan at Southerly Buster
... An answer came directed in a writing unexpected Perry Middlemiss
Ach, New Matilda.com is a place for you to speak out about the Australia you want New Walzing Matilda

CODA: Shel Israel and Robert Scoble have moved to Chapter 9 and kindly quote Media Dragon ... We, of course, believe your decision not to blog will hurt your company in the long run. “Sunlight is the best disinfectant -- all great CEOs encourage transparency and openness as long as sensitive data is not leaked,” Cold River author Jozef Imrich told us Naked Thorns in the Roses

I am over the huge moon as the greatest bloggers of all times Terry Teachout tickled my email today and deep inside Jay’s thoughtful story is some of Terry’s wisdom: News judgment used to be king. If the press ruled against you, you just weren't news. But if you weren't news how would anyone know enough about you to contest the ruling? Today, the World Wide Web is the sovereign force, and journalists live and work according to its rule Why are the Downing Street memos news?
Around the World in 80 blogs: After the Jump

The Blog, The Press, The Media: We don't want your money, we want your voice
Come and add your voice - there has been no better opportunity for bloggers to be heard

'm proud to announce the launch of Blog Central for the Live 8 concerts, at live8.technorati.com. We were asked by the Live 8 folks along with Joe Trippi and John Hinderaker to help achieve the vision of Live 8

Loud Live 8 [Happy-slap politics How journalism has triumphed over party politics ; A self-confessed spam king who faces the first court action taken under the Spam Act said it was "staggering" how many people responded to junk email Spam king says list was his right ; The digitisation of old music, manuscripts and newspapers is a national asset Australia's back catalogue has a revolution ]
• · Loic Le Meur’s wiki attempts unscientifically to estimate the size of the European blogosphere. Note that France with an estimated 3m bloggers has a big lead on the UK with an estimated 900,000. Poland with 1.1m and Russia with 800,000+ are countries to watch Size of European blogosphere ; "Tax and the Internet" (Title pinched from Peter Gerard Mitchell Title: "Look Ma, No Hands - Product Delivery Systems in the Information Economy"
• · · Your Democracy is committed to diversity Loosened cross-media ownership means more media bias – a tale from the 2004 election ; Mainstream media no longer produce news for the mainstream population-nor should we consider the media as plural. Instead it is more accurate to speak of big media in the US today as the corporate media and to use the term in the singular tense-as it refers to the singular monolithic top-down power structure of self-interested news giants Big Media Interlocks with Corporate America ; Trevor Cook a master of death sentences Tom Murphy of PR Opinions has taken the machete to Steve Rubel’s latest piece of fantasy : Blogs are the New Press Releases ; Sally Saville Hodge asks: Will Somebody Please Tell the Clients? The Press Release is Dead
• · · · Small online proprietors often spend lots of time and money trying to improve their search-engine rankings, getting only poor results for their effort Three Myths on Boosting Search-Engine Rankings ; Culture Vulture, a new Guardian blog ; Bayosphere of Media Dragon; Internet sales surge as teleshopping companies watch digital TV space Net profits
• · · · · Deep Blog IBM - Autonomic computing ; Googler insights into product and technology news and our culture - Google’s Blogger has announced that they are now offering users free image uploads Blogger Images ; How do I post pictures?
• · · · · · I believe any definition and general debate about media diversity in Australia [that] does not include an adequately funded ABC is either flawed or meaningless Probe into ABC money woes ; All to play for as Coonan puts reform cards on table ; AS we approach the time for reckoning the media's mid-year score card, it is apparent we have reached a State of Indecision. The nature and shape of media ownership reform remains undecided; the identity of the media's top regulator is undecided; and the future of digital radio isundecided Nervous nellies frustrate Coonan's reform proposals

Monday, June 27, 2005

Bleak City may not be so bleak after all, according to one industry insider who suggest Melbourne is the cultural capital of Australia The Arts: How our cities compare

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Married to a Genius
D.H. Lawrence said you must have “something vicious in you” to be a writer – perhaps a splinter of ice in your heart. Imagine marrying one...

Geniuses are traditionally difficult to live with. It is part of their mystique. Disregard for other people is vital for their art, or so they claim. Jeffrey Meyers’s sharp-witted book tests these beliefs by examining the marital relationships of nine writers — Leo Tolstoy, Joseph Conrad, George Bernard Shaw, James Joyce, D. H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf, Katherine Mansfield, Ernest Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald. Each study is brilliant and arresting, and they reflect fascinatingly on one another. Meyers has an intricate grasp of modern literature, and has already written full-scale biographies of five of his subjects. Above all, he reveals how subtly writers’ lives infiltrate their fiction — the hardest trick in literary biography

Dragging, literary style [Michel Houellebecq the only writer alive said to be a Stalinist, a Nazi, a sex maniac, and a drunk. This is the man who fell asleep during a TV interview You dine with Michel Houellebecq at your peril ; When Simone de Beauvoir died in April 1986, headlines announced, “Women, you owe her everything.” Now do you really?... ]
• · Teaching is an art form, one that needs a constant flow of new - and, yes, 'trendy' - ideas Be fascinating, or be toast ; Coffee is the drug that changed my life. Without its brain-perking effects, it's doubtful that I could have passed astronomy in college, read The Wealth of Nations cover to cover, or made a favorable first impression on my girlfriend's parents despite suffering from a colossal hangover Brain Brew
• · · Caffeine has long been a drug of choice for students, helping many of them through all-nighters, exam weeks, and just getting up every day Do You Really Need That Latte? ; Javanomics 101: Today's Coffee Is Tomorrow's Debt
• · · · The notion of American exceptionalism—that the United States alone has the right, whether by divine sanction or moral obligation, to bring civilization, or democracy, or liberty to the rest of the world, by violence if necessary—is not new The Power and the Glory; Seven deadly sins: A new look at society through an old lens
• · · · Three songs from the End of History ; Constants of the universe are a tantalizing mystery. Why do they exist at all? They pose physics’s grandest question Inconstant Constants
• · · · · There are two groups who seem to indulge in writing memoirs: people who are too young to have lived through very much, and those who have lived so long that they've forgotten much that happened. Jamie Reidy would seem to be from the first pack. He's only 35, and his story, "Hard Sell," chronicles his professional adventures from age 25 to 30 Slacker Viagra salesman tells all ; Flying snakes are a small group of species of tree snakes that live in South and Southeast Asia Flying Snakes
• · · · · · The Sydney writer talks about writing the screenplay for the film Peaches. Questions for Sue Smith ; A new study from the American Library Association which was conducted by researchers at Florida State University, found that 98.9 percent of libraries offer free public Internet access, up from 21 percent in 1994 and 95 percent in 2002. It also found that 18 percent of libraries have wireless Internet access and 21 percent plan to get it within the next year Almost All Libraries Offer Free Web Access

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Bill Moyers unashamed of his passion as a broadcast journalist and former host the PBS program NOW With Bill Moyers: The luckiest man in television

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Blog Day Proposed
Nir Ofir, Editor in Chief of Tapuz.co.il and founder of Isreal’s first commercial blog service has proposed a “Blog Day” which will be dedicated to spreading the blogging gospel and getting to know other bloggers from other countries or areas of interests.

The proposed date is August 31, based on the notion that the numbers 3108 look a little bit like the word blog (as per the logo to the right)
Ofir writes that the day would also be a way of spreading traffic to unknown bloggers who may otherwise remain unexposed to a large audience.

Have you ever noticed that the date 3108 [David Wilson lists the 10 silliest things we can do with technology Sorry, my mistake ; Public Television's Mystery Mann ; There will be a meeting tonight in Washington to celebrate the life of James Weinstein Ambiguous Legacy ]
• · So much of what we do on the internet depends on a search engine. It's how we find information, news and entertainment. It's how we sell things, meet people and find property Super sleuths ; Open Media 100 List
• · · The simmering feud between News Ltd and Fairfax over Iraq war coverage has burst into all-out combat, with News launching a concerted attack against Fairfax's top foreign correspondent Paul McGeough Incoming flak: McGeough cops a News Ltd assault ; Lie tests clear Allawi ; Sheik meets sucker
• · · · Lawyer to stars helps Wood control his tale ; His theorem was interpreted by the jazzier parts of the intellectual culture as saying, philosophically exactly the opposite of what he had been intending to say with it Gödel mistrusted our ability to communicate
• · · · · Chinese bloggers using a new Microsoft service to post messages titled "democracy," "capitalism," "liberty" or "human rights" are greeted with a bright yellow warning As China Censors the Internet, Money Talks ; Imagine the military uses of invisibility, levitation, walking through walls, and killing goats just by staring at them... The Pentagon's psychic friends network
• · · · · · Like many kinds of statistics, search engine popularity is very hard to measure reliably, and interpretations of available data vary Is Google God? ; Many marketers suspect there are probably some valuable insights contained in the Web logs produced by the estimated 12 million online diarists Companies charged $100k per year to monitor blogs

The stars and the moon looked closer this week. Are we all getting a step or two closer to heaven? The giant ball of yellow-white light made the Moon appear to linger for longer for the past few nights. Without any doubt the moon has appeared larger than many people have seen since they escaped from Iron Curtain of Czechoslovakia in 1980. Bigger Moon: Full moon's fever still lingers at lakes and rivers

With World War II fast passing from the land of living memory, perhaps we are at the beginning of the end of the Australian interest in our ancient wars. But don't bet on it. Interest in the national military achievement will strengthen for as long as Australians look to history for ideals to bind us together and to provide people to admire and values to respect. In fact, if anything, interest in matters military, from Anzac Day attendance to book sales, are on the up In the tracks of Kokoda

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Book on Line: Walkin', talkin' fiction
No time to read a good book? Why not listen to on

David Griggs has a good excuse to listen to his iPod: his doctor told him to. Well, not exactly, but he did say the 53-year-old had a high cholesterol level and was in desperate need of daily exercise.
So Griggs put his health and love of books together, added an iPod and began walking while listening to audio-books on the digital music player. He now walks six kilometres every morning and is mentally and physically better for it. "The books encouraged me to walk everyday," he says adding he will soon finish listening to Charles Dickens's Bleak House - a 25-hour epic.

“No one is a mere instrument, no one a serf,” said Friedrich Schiller. Freedom was his highest ideal, achieved not with violence, but with education
Listening to Cold River [I know you will not believe me, but I swear it's true: I'm not of this earth. I fled here years ago because my home planet was driving me crazy. Let me explain - many critics and enemies have questioned if my name is made up I am not of this earth ; Shattering many illusions ; Defined as distinctive and hence lend individuals an aura of superiority ... This painting was done by a chimpanzee ... yet an Oxford professor believes it is just as important a piece of art as the works of Michelangelo. Is he mad? ; The life of man has repeatedly proved that illusions are seductive. Mankind has constantly being swayed and crippled into idiocy, by waves of illusions, entertained as reality, by a cross section of her members Power and the illusions of omnipotence]
• · For years you've been able to buy their clothing lines, and perfume. Now you can buy a piece of their soul with celebrity CD compilations Their favourite things ; Ranking the 50 best magazines some of the best periodicals
• · · Anyone who becomes a war correspondent at 24 by simply marching off to Chechnya and living with guerrillas in the mountains is not like most people Woman in the wars ; Here are some lessons learned over a lunch buffet at the Heritage Free Markets and Free Sandwiches; The science behind female orgasm Female orgasm is hot these days
• · · · Jail is a savage place where rage and resentment fester. But there is more going on behind the high walls and razor wire. Prison unlocks a forgotten creative passion ; I don't like you, you don't like me, where is the problem? Hollywood fame and misfortune ; American consumers believe they are being spied on and manipulated, but they feel powerless to do anything about it. It's Suspiciously Cozy In the Cybermarket Windsor Boy: Have They Got a Deal For You
• · · · · Alex Scott was a little girl with big problems and big ideas A Short Life Inspires Many Others; Striking Back At The Empire Comedians throughout history have raged against the machine ; As a previous PhD student studying entrepreneurs (a person with a high need to achieve, demonstrates intermediate level risk taking, and can cope with failure), I realise most large organisations fail to benefit fully from these highly motivated risk takers. Organisations need individuals who challenge orthodoxy and the comfort zones of growing irrelevance, and thus release the creative forces that see organisations move to new levels. If we don’t move forward, we will descend into failure in the face of an ever-changing world. [Large organisations] face some grave risks to its future capability by developing a homogenised workforce which through selection processes places a higher value on written communication skills (answering selection criteria) than on intelligence and ability, whether technical or creative. Could our own society face its own demise through the domination of the legal fraternity arguing about words, rather than the creative and productive people deciding our fate? By AT Eccentrics and entrepreneurs
• · · · · · Mounted Police In UK Arrest Student For Calling Their Horse Gay ; Why bagels could hold the key to human behaviour A great example of how incentives can have unpredictable effects

Saturday, June 25, 2005

The hushed distillation of a Keaton silent draws you in in singular ways. I will never forget, after having seen each of his independent films over and over, the disconcerting thrill of hearing Buster talk. It was a 1937 short. He entered a room whistling; then he spoke. His voice scratched my ears. It was deeper, huskier—not at all the voice I had heard in my head, which, I realized, was modeled (in a cheerfully narcissistic way) after my own internal monologue. But that's the point, the solipsistic strength of silence—something takes place inside: we cast ourselves into the film, we make it ours. And as is often pointed out, that interior work is half the fun. Think of the 500 brides thundering after Keaton at the end of Seven Chances. As the poet Charles Simic put it, 'All of us who saw the movie can still hear the sound of their feet.'
-Edward McPherson, Buster Keaton: Tempest in a Flat Hat

When novels by 'Yasmina Khadra' first appeared, literary France thought it had at last found the authentic voice of the Arab woman. But then she turned out to be a man - and not just a man but a veteran Algerian army officer Reader, I'm a he

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: The best marketing comes from the heart
During the last couple of decades, the American economy has undergone a variety revolution

Instead of simply offering mass-market goods, businesses of all sorts increasingly compete to give consumers more personalized products, more varied experiences, and more choice. As the number of choices keeps growing, negative aspects of having a multitude of options begin to appear. As the number of choices grows further, the negatives escalate until we become overloaded. At this point, choice no longer liberates, but debilitates. It might even be said to tyrannize.

• Do We Have Too Much Choice? The road of excess [Psychologists find beauty is not solely determined by culture and the media. He's got the look ; There are many ways to assess students, and this week's allegations of HSC cheating have exposed flaws in the current system I didn't do it and that's the problem ]
• · Noontime links ; This is what happens when too many criminal minds get together
• · · Celebrity bios for authors Toronto authors festival showcases rising stars ; Bulletin showcases Antony Lowenstein: Losing race ; When it comes to philanthropy artist Margaret Olley is a shining light The philanthropic gold among the tin-rattlers
• · · · While there are a few literary fiction writers who are rewarded with huge book deals, most are lucky if they receive a small advance and are able supplement their income teaching Do Writing Workshops Kill Good Writing?; Scott Pack: Do Book Review Sections Still Matter? 'They should inspire reading. They should excite, stimulate, agitate and empower readers to discover new books.' But they're not Selling out ; Sin City was a stylish and violent comic-book series with a cult following. Now a film that copies it has become the most visually original Hollywood movie of the year More black than white
• · · · · Going back to the list of then things not to do, here's an example of doing it right.Book Touring by Kevin Smokler This Works ; It's do it yourself or face the uppity maid ; Who shares wins in the battle of the sexes
• · · · · · Google Watchers Get Library Contract ; They came to index but stayed in our souls A New Page in Google's Books Fight ; If you’re curious just what libraries have agreed to with their Google Print arrangements, here’s one contract [pdf] ; Snow shots Cold weather transforms parts of the state into a winter wonderland Snow Time in NSoW

Friday, June 24, 2005

Ach, it is Friday night and there are so many Ritzy stories to tell, but not yet ;-) Like politicians, partners in crime are never so human as when they're going through a huge sea change. So it was tonight. Ritz was awash with taxing stories, emotion, goodwill and goodbyes ;-)

‘You know you've made it when you are on the radar of’ Bespacific as they are just amazing virtual techo-political eavesdropping creatures Downing Street Memo Continues to Provoke Responses from Hill and Med

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Citizen Journalism: From Little Trickles Big Stream Flow
The patron of the fifth estate, Gandhi, observed that 'whatever you do will seem insignificant, but it is very important that you do it; everything we do is futile, but we must do it anyway.'

Many souls got to be a fifth estate pioneers when the world wide web was born. An early trickle became a tidal flood. Fifth estate philosophy tends to be along the lines of the long twisty tail: 'If I have one reader, just one single solitary reader in the entire world, then I am happy, I consider that *success* by my own definition.' Sometimes if one drops a pebble into the ocean of indifference some things just tend to happen. As Lao Tzu pointed out: 'How did the great rivers and seas gain dominion over the hundred lesser streams? By being lower than they.'

Our Citizen Journalism Pledge Gets Panned, Praised
A blogger does not operate in the realm of genuine power at all [I mean, 300 camcrews outside a courthouse to see what Kobe Bryant is wearing when the judge sets his hearing date, while false information used to send our country to war goes unchecked? Horror movie right there on my TV ; A big report on a popular problem — sleep disorders — was a big story across the media but most failed to mention who commissioned and paid for the research Media caught napping ; A party mix of amusements, from virtual art galleries to TV trivia to talk radio for your iPod, plus some of the best humor writing on the Web 50 Coolest Websites 2005 ]
• · Tim Dunlop Said the bishop to the blogger ... ; The most important day of the year in the Oz blogosphere or Ozplogistan as the Master, John Quiggin, has called it … ach and many happy tripple returns soon to Media Dragon too ;-) Blog birthday
• · · How not to do it ... If you follow media news at all closely, you've read about the Los Angeles Times editorial page's abortive experiment with creating wikitorials ‘Here is the Times' worst mistake and its most predictable:’ Wiki cooties and the death of editorials ; via About Last Night One million and counting; I'm 45. I remember a time when Playboy was the pornography of choice for young men everywhere. Now, sheesh Independent Film Making: prOn for the teenagers
• · · · 2005 TechnoLawyer @ Awards: Final Results ; via Barista How the Web changes your reading habits
• · · · · Fairfax demands $100m cut ;
• · · · · · I’m sorry I acted the way I did in the email. It was wrong of me and only hope you accept my apologies. Behaving the way I did shows me in a pretty bad light Not hate mail ; Overuse turning `The Long Tail' concept into a tall tale

Thursday, June 23, 2005

“Knowledge is of two kinds. We know a subject ourselves, or we know where we can find information upon it.”
— Samuel Johnson quoted in Boswell’s “Life of Johnson.

I worked on my book proposal for almost a year and a half, under the constant tutelage of my agent, David Miller. David isn't the gum-chewing money-grubber that the word "agent" may conjure up. He is my first reader David Weinberger's New Book via Naked Shel and Robert

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Life is a Random Draw: Dragon Tamers
Damian Kringas reads the riot act to the country's literary elite.

Recently I met an old woman in a bookshop. She was looking through the new release section. "Why is every book over $25?" she asked with a sad face. I don't work in a bookstore, but I instantly felt her pain. Books are far more expensive than they should be.
There is little monetary compassion in the literary world: you're either in the disposable income loop or not. I'm a small independent publisher, so out where I am, you can't even see the loop. Outsiders are regularly ignored, abandoned, laughed at, so I felt her pain. And I took the opportunity to explain why new, mainstream books often find themselves on the ugly side of $25.
One, it's not GST. Two, it's not the internet. Three, modern publishing is unlike most industries, in that products are manufactured solely on the Russian roulette principle. That is, for every six books published one will take off. And the one that works has to pay for all the ones that didn't. It's sort of like having a caravan-load of unemployed relatives over for dinner every night. Every book that sells has to pay for all the flops and slow-movers that end up on sale in the middle of a shopping centre walkway. Four, the consumer is the last in a line of hands which juggle a literary work from idea to shop shelf. First there's the author, then the literary agent, publisher, distributor, bookseller and finally the customer. Everyone before the eager reader takes their sizeable cut.

• Thinking inside the Book Book publishing needs updating [The first generation to watch television, anywhere, is always rocked and shocked by it. Its power, coming through a box in one’s own living room, telling you things you didn’t know with a calm, un-coercive authority never found in the home, the classroom or the street, is giddying. Thinking inside the box ; When it comes to dirty laundry, we've all got something to hide, and thus it ever was - If hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue, then the characters in Desperate Housewives are remarkably reverential. Desperate, moi?]
• · (Via Catherine the Great) - Michael Gorman, about to make a guest appearance at Umbrella 2005, tells Elspeth Hyams it is essential to assert the core values of librarianship Updating the eternal ; It had to happen - there's dark side to our search for Sydney's shortest street. An example: James Cartwright, of Wattle Grove, innocently suggests that "Marshall Street, Paddington (Column 8, yesterday) is a highway compared to Druery Lane at Hurstville, which connects Albert Street and Days Avenue. In the street directory it measures at less than 1mm 'long'. Now that's short …" But wait - what if we're all being had? Who can we trust? Is there to be fieldwork after all?
• · · Amish communities routinely practice the institution of rumspringa Thanks, But We’ll Do It Ourselves ; These days, I rarely get a chance to sneak out for a pint anywhere other than my own lounge, but one night last week I hopped on a bus to Islington in search of a place called the Prince Albert Bar room philosophy
• · · · Do you really want to spend your summer with Boris and Natasha? Reading Cold War and Hot Peace; UK village restaurant voted best in world
• · · · · Here is a list of questions that artists might like to answer for themselves Questions for artists ; “Get a mental lift by bending over backwards” 11 Steps to a Better Brain
• · · · · · Form is Emptiness, Emptiness is Also Form ; A 13-year-old girl whose fantasy novel became an international bestseller has triggered a boom in teenage publishing Schoolgirl's dragon breathes new life into teen publishing boom

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

It's one thing to react to the news of the day, but too often columnists forget they are also part of the media Inside the political spin machine [Tim Dunlop via Hugh Martin]

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Dotcom Bloom: Content is King
Passionate new media guru - Robin Good explains how passionate amateurs, empowered by technology and linked to one another, are reshaping business, politics, science, and culture Google Wallet Set To Become The New PayPal

As access to powerful and low-cost new media, electronics and digital technologies becomes easier and easier thanks to innovation and lower and lower prices, creating value, products and good content is not anymore the exclusive property of large corporations, or financially equipped teams of investors. Amateurs professionals are figuring out in more than one way, that they too can be effective and even sustainable products creators without needing to tap into large budgets, expensive machinery and highly paid professionals.

When search engines can change the lives of pastry chefs, a technology transformation clearly is under way. These online guides were once merely the means to a destination, the robots that could quickly fetch a site from the Web haystack.
Change Agents With The Balls: The Rise Of The Amateur Professionals, Prosumers, Pro-Ams [In the USA, the problem is that journalism enrollments are mushrooming and enrollment in science and engineering is dangerously low. Wake up, Prof. Philip Meyer -- You're Dreaming ; Weblog Watch started in response to criticisms of weblogs as vapid, self-obsessed hot air We stick together via Antony ]
• · The web seems poised to blossom with stand-alone news sites Dotcom Bloom; The Culture of Connectivity and Immediacy How "search" is redefining the Web — and our lives ; Major social culture changes are occurring as the impact of ubiquitous computing and connectivity become so everyday, so normal, as to be perceived as commonplace, standard, old hat History Repeats Itself (just a little faster each time)
• · · Bloggers have stormed the figurative media Bastille, critiquing existing news stories from a hundred thousand angles, fact-checking through Google from their home computers, even forging their own brand of coverage that is quickly gaining legitimacy Journalism as traditionally practiced has been a lecture, almost completely one-way, from journalists to readers ; Eleventh Annual Euro RSCG Magnet and Columbia University Survey of Media Finds More than Half of Journalists Use Blogs Despite Being Unconvinced of their Credibility
• · · · Chris Hanson has an interesting article in the print edition of today's Washington Post that examines the reasons for the recent Newsweek debacle. Newsweek's mistake is only the latest example of a deepening crisis in American journalism. Too often these days, reporters and editors seem unable or unwilling to perform a basic duty - sifting rumor from fact, salesmanship from independent analysis - and instead become conduits for falsehoods, half-truths, and propaganda Can Bloggers Scoop the MSM? ; Knowledge From the People, For the People; Hyundai Perks of the job: a half-price car
• · · · · What Do They Want? ; When a blogger does an original Q&A or piece of reporting on his or her blog they needed to be applauded ....read...and CLONED ; Dad Talk : A Dad Overcomes Male Post Partum Depression; Daddy Talk Down With Male PPD: Do You Know Me?
• · · · · · Dark Blogs Case Study 01 - A European Pharmaceutical Group ; Wonders of the Web – Blogging

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Perhaps no one at the Shire on any freezing day appreciates my daughters’ abilities to get up at 4 am in the morning to go swimming and their ability to laugh as they drink hot chocolate and put on their swimming gear on or to go for a run in the evening more than Media Dragon.

Not only do these kind of moments bring happy memories, they transport me to our teenagehood days of the High Tatra Mountains variety. The vivid deja vus are sweet because we (the royal we) recall those days running through the snow with Tono Zivcak and whoever else was brave enough to run to Kezmarok and Tvarozna and Poprad. The air was freezing, but we sweated like pigs. Strange how the freezing air can take you to skiing even though we have not seen the real snow in ages ;-) We had so much fun skiing all over, especially in the powder ... We didn’t really care about doing anything cool; we just wanted to have fun. We loved spreading eagles even though they were the hardest tricks especially if you do them right. We went as high as we could and spread our legs. Today we would break every bone in our bodies. I mean I have hardly ever been sick (When I left Parliament after 20 years I only took a few days off - Greg McGill the Financial Controller might be the only other guy who is rarely sick ) yet I fell of a bicycle in Brissie two years ago - surreally it happened at almost zero speed yet broke both arms and now I have a plate in a right arm. So security detectors have fun with Media Dragon wherever he goes ;-)
Maybe one of the reasons I never get sick (knock on J curve or Wood) is because I love what I do. I love research and sharing information and coming across new ideas, new ways of doing things, new ways of fighting curiosity... I can survive on five hours sleep or less. But I drink like a fish. Mostly water though with a twist of lime or lemon. A coffee a day in a company of colourful character(s) who know where most of the bodies of absurdity of life are buries - Whether one is at the snowy High Tatra Mountains or the beerholding Bondi Iceberg or the dry Thorpish Scarecrow Shire there is never a shortage of stories ...
From Cold Slavic Mountains with unashamed passion for entertaining stories

A few stray notes and savvy observations:
If you really love me, then let's make a vow....
Repeat after me: I'm gonna be free.

Unlike the American reviewer, the French critic counts himself a man with a mission to dispense justice; like God -- or Zeus, if he is an unbeliever -- he wants to humble the powerful and exalt the weak. First, there is the typical European phenomenon of a distrust of success. In addition, the foremost concern of the French critic to justify his function in his own eyes induces in him a strong desire to be useful. Sometimes he manages to be so.
- François Truffaut, What Do Critics Dream About?

A journalist spends too much time covering a story that gets too little space so it can be skimmed by a reader who has too little time. ...A journalist looks down on celebrities until the day he becomes one. ...Journalists are more curious than anybody, attacked by everybody, and lent money by nobody Real journos rarely advertise on escort websites

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: The Literary Fallout Continues
Arthur Miller had the curse of empathy, even for the enemy. Humans justify themselves, even bad humans, and he always wanted to know how and why

Arthur Miller died on Bertolt Brecht's birthday. There are two ways in which this means nothing at all: I'm sure Arthur didn't plan it, and the two playwrights, apart from being universally described, and self-identified, as "political writers," don't have all that much in common. But their difference is interesting. Arthur Miller's was a great voice, one of the principal voices, raised in opposition, calling for resistance, offering critical scrutiny and lamentation--in other words, he was politically progressive, as politically progressive is best defined in these dark times. He demanded that we must be able to answer, on behalf of our plays, our endeavors, our lives, a really tough question, one that Arthur wrote was the chief and, in a sense, only reason for writing and speaking: "What is its relevancy," he asks, "to the survival of the race? Not," he stipulates, "the American race, or the Jewish race, or the German race, but the human race." outcome. There is, in other words, reason to hope, and change is possible. Arthur was a grieving pessimist, but what truly progressive person isn't?

Kushner on Miller [Some art forgers try to enter the “soul and mind of the artist.” Succeed or not, they can become very rich Fakes, Frauds, and Fake Fakers ; Then the market demanded such a talent; now, the market is hostile To be a young Mozart today is nothing like the 18th-century ; The Happiest Sound... ...is a digital sound! ]
• · Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town Someone Comes To Second Life ; When Paulo Coelho was 17 his parents sent him to an asylum because they thought he was psychotic. Now he's the world's biggest-selling novelist - but, he says, some people still don't understand him A mystery even to himself ; Catholics are richer but less fruitful
• · · He delighted in the names of people and places, and in most cases I have kept the original Spanish names he used, for example, Río Frío instead of Cold River The Bandits from Río Frío ; Elizabeth Kostova is working on a new book and hopes it doesn't take 10 years to write as it took Cold River to write ;-) The author and the Impaler
• · · · E-publishing 'poster girl' and suspense / erotica / psychological drama writer M.J.Rose has been dodging labels like these since the release of her first novel Lip Service in 1998 Self Service: An Interview with M.J. Rose ; Bill Ives who has a multidimensional view on the art of life presents Exploring Food Blogs ; Housecleaning Blog
• · · · · Mark Bazer is mad as hell and he can't take it anymore. He's decided to go with the open letter option, bringing his gripes to the masses. Why? Because he wants a paperback copy of THE DA VINCI CODE, dammit: Some things can be carried a bit too far via Supertalented Sarah Weinman; Bombshell Blowback Miami Herald staffers explode over Bombshells book hype ; My world fell apart
• · · · · · The line between Internet-fame and real-world celebrity is blurring, and not everyone in the blogosphere is happy about it. Internet fame is suddenly more respectable, says columnist ; Dennis Hwang

Monday, June 20, 2005

When I remember bygone days I think how evening follows morn; So many I loved were not yet dead, So many I love were not yet born.
-Ogden Nash

Telling Others What to Think ... The phenomenon of blogging: why would anyone write a book on that?; and "are professors really that mercenary? Why Would Anyone Write a Book on That?
Why not Surreal Vienna? Blogger explains how "Cold River" probes the coldest resources of the human heart and soul. The river reflects our culture's dark side but also washes it away ... Another sad anniversary again, and I'm not dead yet, though I was having my doubts on Saturday night ... As a reader of Media Dragon, you can help to create a bohemian record by being that milestonish 50,000th visitor at Szirine on the 25th anniversary of the tragic Iron Curtain escape 7/7 2005 The most unlikely True Story you'll ever read

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Loose lips that launched the ship
[Wen Media Dragon was born,] journalism was not a popular profession. Bank managers seemed to have a better future and many business journalists saw newspapers as a quick stepping stone into stockbroking.

BHP and most leading companies looked down on reporters and would not talk to them. In the early 1960s, the Sydney press were not allowed into annual meetings, so I began turning up and requesting entry, threatening to return with a proxy. At one meeting, I was so irate at being rejected that I climbed into the roof of the stage and reported from there.

The past four decades have been a wonderful adventure. We have seen a series of brilliant entrepreneurs who inspired the business community: people like Rupert Murdoch, the Packers, Richard Pratt, Frank Lowy, retailer Gerry Harvey and transport magnate Lindsay Fox.
Robert Gottliebsen [via Hugh Martin Gotty says goodbye ; It is a little odd to see a man who is allergic to the press sitting on the board of one of the world's most prestigious media companies Dan Gillmor The Annals of Corporate Misbehavior ]
• · At the height of the 2004 presidential campaign, ABC’s “The Note” was the hot political Web site for the chattering class. The New Yorker anointed it as a “must read.” Best Political Blogs: DC Journalists Pick Their Favorites ;
Do You Know Your Rights? Think bigger than blogging, however. This is important for all people doing bottom-up media, of whatever sort For Freedom’s Sake ; The Dangers of Blogging
• · · Warren Bickford is an accredited business communicator based in Regina Canada: Perhaps it is time to shed some light into the darker corners of our profession. We have powerful tools in our hands and we know how to use them. As communicators, we make tough ethical decisions every day. Should we be burning our “spin” cards in the streets? The Dark Side: 10 list of trends and issues that communicators should be concerned about ; Las Vegas Review-Journal - Nor was it simply its status as an afternoon paper, the equivalent of the village blacksmith of daily journalism. The Sun faltered because it wasn't run well... It wasn't TV that drove the Las Vegas Sun out of business ; Let's hope the Los Angeles Times' interactive editorial leads directly to the interactive tax return
• · · · Henry Sidgwick spent his life on one of philosophy’s most difficult problems: how can we be happy and at the same time pursue fairness? Each [is] to count for one, and none for more than one ; Liberty and responsibility really do go together, says Virginia Postrel. The more freedom we have, the more virtue in learning to make responsible choices Consumer Vertigo ; The Web is learning new tricks every day ... Tracking useful sites By Sree Sreenivasan New to Media Dragon - DoubleTrust is based on the simple premise that trusting two authorities is better than one
• · · · · "Public Beta" is just a euphemism for: "We're just trying this out. Why RSS and Folksonomies Are Becoming So Big ; amNewYork editor out after using material from WP website Editor quits over story attributions
• · · · · · One of the benefits that ought to arise from the existence of the blogosphere is that of fact-checking. False claims can be refuted quickly, and, we might hope, not repeated thereafter. Sadly it doesn’t seem to work out that way, as the following examples show. Fact-czeching in the blogosphere ; Unlike when blogs first started, fact-checking is now receiving sustained attention in the mainstream press and at websites like factcheck.org
Some errors are innocent, uninnnnntentional while others ... How two incorrectly used punctuation marks can set off a firestorm of discussion and debate. Journalists versus bloggers: the difference is fact checking?; Don't worry, like cockroaches, one day bloggers will inherit the Earth Sincerely Flattered ; Fact-czeching verb and usage

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Every lazy Sunday lunch at nanny June's with Richard and Rosie hypnotizes Media Dragon as does the the trill of reading Sunday papers ;-)
The Sunday Terror reports that random drug testing of staff and sniffer dog patrols at Parliament House are being considered after traces of cocaine were detected outside the offices of senior Liberal and Labor MPs Sniffer Watchdog
On a totally different issue, David Draper, the food and beverage manager at Parliament House for the past 23 years, has been suspended on full pay pending the outcome of the investigation. His son, Justin, also was suspended reports Alex Mitchell inside the Naked Eye of the Sun Herald today. The Clerk of the peasant house, as Johno Johnson used to cheekily referred to the lower house chambers, Russell Grove and the Clerk of Parliament John Evans have hired a big legal gun to represent the Parliament in this dispute. David and his son were accused of bullying (as reported in the Daily Terror on 2 June 2005?) I have known David for many, many, years and he certainly struck me as one of those managers who always exceeded my expectations, especially in my role as the Clerk to the Public Accounts Committee. He was known as the can-do-manager. The drama around our first ever teleconference at the Strangers Dining Room (staged for the drawcard of our conference on infrastructure, Sir Alistair Morton, who spoke at London could fill a book or two ... Yet David accommodated us with a smile during the entire process). One can only go by ones own past experiences and mine were always pleasant whenever I dealt with characters like David Draper or Allan Beverstock or Stafford Bennett. As they say in the Czech lands, little fish gets always swallowed by a big fish...
Speaking of Czech Media Dragon dined in two places last night at the red light district. Ironically, both of the places run by Czechs are situated extremely close to the abodes of the former and the current Clerks of the Legislative Assembly. I gather that when Grahame Harris Cooksley is not based at Mcleay St then he is barring his soul at Newport ... while Russell David Grove is a stonethrow away from 29 Orwell Street bohemian beer cafe. Doma is a great place right on the corner of George Orwell and Homer Simpson Springfield Avenue. There is no absinth like Czech absinth they say: at Doma you will taste not only the best tatar but also Staroplzenecky Absinth (70%). Media Dragon spies report that Sydneysiders are partial to Czech feast and beer as well as other wicked liquids on tap.
Short walk from Orwell who started writing 1984 in 1942 is another world at 42 Kellet Street, here the classier restaurant offers a real Prague experience. People, places, party, faces this is the blood-life of Prague. So many great dishes and bread dumplings yet so little time ... rich pickings from duck pate Crepes Suzette Prague ;-) Fashion has become more and more entwined with celebrities and fashion reporters have become more and more entwined with stars, but the three savvy waiteresses had the nerve to be as tall as Media Dragon and dressed in that modern X factor fashion along with the drop dead smile ... Watch them pouring Green Fary Absinth that strange creation of the Bohemian dating back to 1538. You read it right - 1538! The idea of a funeral arrangements for Media Dragon after a few absinth start to sound frighteningly sensible ;-)
Ach, I have it on the highest authorities that Homer and Jerry pinched most of their lines from Good Soldier Svejk who was partial to beer and absinth

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Pitch Kings: A Long Way Up
Jaroslav Pelikan asks who owns the Good Book

Decades after his [Slavic-born] aunt stumped him with a casually posed question, Tall me, vot do you tink of Bible? Jaroslav Pelikan, PhD’46, has set out to answer his “dear Aunt Vanda.”
In Whose Bible Is It? A History of the Scriptures Through the Ages (Viking), Pelikan, Yale’s Sterling professor emeritus in history and a prolific author on historical Christianity, begins to address his title question by taking a look at the modern Bible. Its reader, whether Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, or otherwise, he writes, “has the right to expect ‘the Bible, the whole Bible, and nothing but the Bible.’” Yet, in addition to the proliferation of English translations, significant differences exist among sects and religions—Christians include the New Testament, for example, and Roman Catholics also add the Apocrypha.
John the Baptist, for example, exclaims, “Do not imagine you can say, ‘We have Abraham for our father.’ I tell you that God can make children for Abraham out of these stones” (Pelikan’s italics). “Interpreters of this passage,” he writes, “were often puzzled about what connection, if any, there is between ‘children’ and ‘stones.’” Retranslating the passage, however, reveals a play on words: in the original “children” is banim and “stones” ebanim.

Who can lay claim to the Bible? [Australian filmmakers tour the Danube to unlock the mysteries of one of the 20th century's most influential thinkers. By using the river as a theme, The Ister creates a visual palimpsest, a kind of cinematic hypertext to the questions raised by river, poem, and philosophers Time and the Cold River; At times I am sick of how tied to the bottom line my students are, how unimaginatively selfish they are, how often they ask that insulting question, "What's in it for me? So, What's in It for Media Dragon? ]
• · The season of clichés is upon us, with end-of-school speeches - perversely called Commencement: be alarmed ; That's what I felt as I walked the aisles of Book Expo America last weekend in New York City Paranoia and pity
• · · John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Reports Record Revenue, EPS and Cash Flow for Fiscal Year 2005 Wiley Rises ; There's old stereotypes, and then there's the newer old stereotypes: The hypnotic eye
• · · · Author and historian Rex Lipman reveals how one soldier hoodwinked the public over the role Britain played in the Battle of Waterloo 190 years ago. This has now been established because, many years after the publication of Siborne's history -- and his death -- his grandchildren, unaware that what they were doing would destroy their grandfather's credibility as a historian and expose his flagrant dishonesty, presented all his writings, notes and correspondence to what is now the British Library Wellington's win gets the boot ; New Dawn, a look at six great enigmas of ancient civilisations
• · · · · The topic Why Theatre? was apparently very good on 11 June at The Parade Theatre NIDA. While I was waiting for the end of the semester acting presentations today I was a fly on the steps at NIDA. Once a term parents are allowed to watch their teenage girls (mostly girls especially 14 - 15 vintage) Australia has many creative teachers! No teenage story has captured the imagination of actors than a fight with local government ;-) Addicted to theatre - A portrait of the artist as a young mess ; Paulo Coelho's admirers say he offers happiness to mankind, his critics that he writes New Age tosh
• · · · · · Who's Mentally Ill? Nick Pas? Scott? Watson? Deciding Is Often All in the Mind ; And you'd have to be crazy: Mental illness is the new normal You'd Have to Be Crazy