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

Saturday, December 31, 2005

Woke up this morning and I
Stared out the window and I
Searched for ugliness and I
Struggled for something to fotograf...
After all, Alexandra and Gabriella are
The Children of Love: Fathers and Daughters

The World Pyro Olympics, an annual competition for fireworks professionals, begins today at The Avenue Rose Bay where the center cannot hold ;-) Gunpowder, Jimi Hendrix and a big heart to usher in the New Year in Sydney. Seeing out the year (Peace and goodwill to all, except Foolish Dave) with Gabbie, Christopher, Lidia, Jacob and Alex feels like a box of chocolates I get to enjoy at just the right pace: one at a time, stretching the box out to last a whole Silvester evening, parcelling out the sweetness bite by bite World Pyro Olympics Elsewhere: No, not again: summer's great terror returns

How to Feel like Imrich: The usual mixed bag of existential klass, but mostly Lessons In Gratitude The secret to happiness is being grateful for everything

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: THE POTENTIAL POWER OF MANY: Most important books for understanding the future
Why books? Why not articles, or speeches, or university courses, or documentaries, or blogs, or iTalks …? The intent of the readings is to be as comprehensive as possible on each of the topics addressed, so book-length treatments seemed like the best approach.

The mission of the RAND Frederick S. Pardee Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition is ultimately to improve the human condition in the longer-range future. While there is no sure path to improving the future human condition, there is no shortage of books that address themselves to some aspect of improving that future.

After a particularly brilliant and spectacular speaking engagement in Canberra, Australia, in the summer of 1973, Professor Manning Clark, a distinguished Australian historian wrote to Chinua Achebe and pleaded: “I hope you come back and speak again here, because we need to lose the blinkers of our past. So come and help the young to grow up without the prejudices of their forefathers...”
50 Books for Thinking About the Future Human Condition [Two Christmass gifts for your non-Iranian friends ; Gooooood morning, Weblogistan! ]
• · Holidays are the days we recommit ourselves to our values Amitai Etzioni ; Speaking Personally ; Most in this depraved later Age think a woman learned and wise enough if she can distinguish her husband’s bed from another’s The forgotten literary canon ; Amid talk of "embezzlement" and "rape" they allege a "massive copyright infringement" of the type they say will do the authors of books irreparable harm, Google has done nothing like this to Cold River. Without Google Cold River would have drowned! On line and print make a marriage in heaven ... Google rocks, but only mainstream publishers! Hardly; A new chapter in the death of the book
• · · At a new theme park in El Alberto, Mexico (near Mexico City), wannabe migrants to the United States can test their survival skills at an obstacle course that Replicates the rigors migrants must endure while sneaking across the border ; Doing good at Fairfield Do you value people and appreciate their differences? Do YOU want to make a difference? ; Larger people are more cheerful than their thin peers CLICHES only turn into cliches because they're true
• · · · If 2005 tells us anything about the direction of culture in the Czech Republic, it's that inspiring art and performance have to be rooted in our own experience. Culture comes home in 2005 ; Time management is not the only issue here. There is often something sinister about the motives of those who press books onto others .... The urge to give "Elwood's Blues" to someone who already owns unread biographies of Franz Schubert and Miles Davis smacks of sadism Wish List: No More Books! ; I heard Lauren/ In a haunted doze/ Say: I know a secret dance/ Nobody knows.) Brokeback Mountain (some spoilers possible)
• · · · · The Gnostics were right, the world is made of shi. I made my life a work of art expressing this Judging the book by its BACK-cover ; As any good Jesuit could tell you, the power of myth can sometimes be more important, more materially helpful, than the cold, harsh glare of truth The Success Curse
• · · · · · Amazon Connect A Chance to Meet the Author Online ; A study finds fear of death may be a factor into who we vote for; The people who stand ready to trade their lives for ours are part of a tradition that goes back 400 years Firefighters ; Blogging's Naked Truth

Friday, December 30, 2005

Our teachers come to us in many guises. Mine came in Dr Russell Cope, Patricia Azarias, Dr James Cumes as well as Gabriella and Alexandra, my two amazing angels of the Velvet variety ... There might be many languages, but there is only one truth! These teachers teach us that there is never an ending without another beginning. Even death is a beginning of something new no matter what late Kerry Packer tried to tell us ... indeed, there is hell and there is heaven ;-)

Lets not raise our eyebrows at the challenges that face us.
Lets raise our spirit recognising that we will conquer every single one of them ...

Magic happens with an open heart just like the open love heart which will hover over the Sydney Harbour Bridge on Saturday night during the Silverster fever (New Year Eve Fever)
The greatest magic of all has been and always will be love, agape ...

Why do we write about the most painful experiences in our life? Are we wallowing in the misery? No. Writing helps expunge our grief and lets us heal. Our most powerful weapon is emotional honesty ...

All that mankind, poor or rich, famous or unknown, has done, thought or been: it is lying as in magic preservation in the pages of books. Antipodean indies, Readings, push boundaries of independent voices: “We hear a lot these days about publishing becoming more and more risk-averse, the bean-counters taking over, and so on .... This is of course a massive generalisation and there are some great things coming out both here and overseas on a regular basis - perhaps the larger problem is our excessively concentrated media world, which narrows our chances of learning about new and exciting work!”
As one of the 80,000 or so readers of ‘My Surreal Vienna’ kindly noted, ‘Jozef Imrich has written the War and Peace of escapes. It lends new meaning to the word 'harrowing' and one sometimes shudders to read it. But deep down, beneath all the layers and the masks, there lives something unconquerable in Jozef's hurt spirit... And the writing, the writing, the writing.’
All in all, Jozef has created fresh, bold and edgy read. The first of its kind, and rather masterful ;-)

CODA: Support Independent Bookstores:
You can buy many of the books mentioned on Double Dragon Publishing from Powell's, the online branch of one of the West Coast's finest indie bookstores. Or you could find a local bookseller through BookSense if you prefer.
Cold River, the only thing that flows faster than the bullets... Powell's Fluid Memoir

Thursday, December 29, 2005

We all try not to think about it. We try as hard as we can not to think about how we could better use those hundreds and hundreds of hours spent traveling to and from work every year, because it just leads to frustration Being without thinking is heavenly
According to Liz, there needs to be a reason to drink Luna Park or Wonderland Coffee ;-)

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Why are Media Dragons not sexy? Why? Why? The questions never end
2005's 10 Sexiest Geeks

Some people say the term "sexy geek" is an oxymoron. Here at Wired News, we say it's redundant. With so many accomplished and delectable nerd types to choose from, picking 10 of the sexiest geeks of 2005 was no easy task. But after much deliberation, here, in alphabetical order (don't even ask us to rank them!), are the musicians, bloggers and otherwise geek-o-licious Wired News sexiest geeks of 2005.

The "mosaic" of wonderful stories [Violet Blue, for writing her scrumptious blog tiny nibbles; for producing one of the most popular podcasts on iTunes I'm Violet Blue -- hardworking sex writer, editor, adult book and video reviewer and machine artist; A tomato is a botanical fruit, but scientifically it’s still a vegetable Jessa Crispin Explains What Your End-of-the-Year List Says About You ; The Winner of the Recruiting.com 2005 Best Blog Awards goes to the man with the talent, the man with the vision, the man who writes his Talentism And The Winner Is ... ]
• · Money talks. It writes, too. How embarrassing: opinions for sale, like cheeseburgers Pundit Payola ; Japan is a rich country, but at the moment it's not a country for human beings Is this a Human Country?
• · · Things get worse slowly. People adjust Why the Internet is Broken ; Librarians, lawyers, legislators and thinkers Discuss the rights and wrongs of Google; Celebrities, iPods and natural disasters topped online interest in the year-end summary of requests on search engine Google - What pushed our Dragon buttons Biggest news of the year: Jozef Imrich ;-)
• · · · What makes this medium so special? What keeps us coming back to it each day? Website publishers and editors respond. 'Why do I love online publishing?' ; Free cafeteria food, annual ski trips to the Sierra and free laundry are just some of the fringe benefits of working at Google. Getting hired is the trick How Google woos the best and brightest
• · · · · Mass production and modern communications bring out the collector in all of us - Interest in the rare and exotic survives To have and to hold ; “That’s how you become great, man. You hang your balls out there.” —Kinko's Guy, Jerry Maguire Best of Babelogs
• · · · · · In this hi-tech world of i-Pods and computers, the simple pencil refuses to be erased. Pencil pushers unite! ; Was great. He was an innovator. He was a trailblazer, and the way he showed social commentary in his humor opened up a universe for other comics to follow in his footsteps. Stargazing

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

We were digitally challenged at nanny June on Christmas Day, hopefully Rob will email us jpg files from Perth. However, at 9 pm Nikon captured the Christmas mood at Tamarama where 8 week old Molly Blue Terrier ruled the night ;-)
Blue, Azure, Sea DSCN1097
Black, Irish, Molly holly
Hope gives us the capacity to see beyond the mundane and the inconsequential. It motivates us to contemplate preferred realities, by never defining the future on the basis of present circumstances. Hope teaches us to not allow our past to destroy our future. It is audacious and bold. Our present realities should never define our consciousness. But the consciousness of hope should shape and define our ultimate realities. Christmas Story Brings Us Gift Of Hope

How old is my heart, how old, how old is my heart,
and did I ever go forth with song when the morn was new?
I seem to have trod on many ways: I seem to have left
I know not how many homes; and to leave each
was still to leave a portion of mine own heart,
of my old heart whose life I had spent to make that home
and all I had was regret, and a memory.
So I sit and muse in this wayside habour and wait
till I hear the gathering cry of the ancient winds and again
I must up and out and leave the embers of the hearth
to crumble silently into white ash and dust,
and see the road stretch bare and pale before me: again
my garment and my house shall be the enveloping winds
and my heart be fill'd wholly with their old pitiless cry.
-Christopher Brennan

Bondi Muse waves5
Tamarama Breeze waves4

Internet book sales are a threat, but also an opportunity. "People look up the books on the net and come into our shop and order it. People just love to come in and feel and smell the books: The things that happen to writers are either a stumbling block or a stepping stone. Turning over a new leaf

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Not Wrong Just Different: My Soul just returned unto Sydney
You Know You're From Sydney When...

You make over $100,000 AU and still can't afford a house. You never bother looking at the train timetable because you know the drivers have never seen it. You are genuinely surprised when you meet someone who was actually born in Sydney (but then, they are Swiss/Thai/Brazilian).

Man is the only animal with the unique ability to generate surplus. As Russell put it in The Impulse to Power: Between man and other animals... One of the chief emotional differences is that some human desires, unlike those of animals, are essentially boundless and incapable of complete satisfaction... The activities of animals, with few exceptions, are inspired by the primary needs of survival and reproduction, and do not exceed what these needs make imperative. With men, the matter is different
What a bunch of malarkey [A place where leaves crackle after dark and the faint sound of a banjo draws up your pucker strings Unwonderful People are Strange; When I first met Cold River (I gave him this nickname because he has a bert lahr/ned beatty skittishness) When a movie was discussed, he would holler, "the book was better." Yep, one of those... Cold River was a labeler. To him, everything had a term ; One needs to be higher on the ladder of evolution to develop the ability and the desire to dissemble, be ambitious (sometimes inordinately), over-reach (Icarus may be the archetype but he isn’t the only one), accumulate power and wealth, create Fabergé eggs and heavenly music, write, paint, sculpture, strive for self-recognition to the point of mortal combat (Hegel’s First Man), even seek immortality. The coloniser was the serpent who came and got them banished from Eden ]
• · The Reasons for Us Being HereSex sells, and with the write stuff, wins awards ; The Rogue likes to observe creative space which seems to fall into an area between rational thought and total immersion, a sort of lucid interactive place Kaboom!
• · · Psychologists at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne and the Open University found that professional artists and poets have about twice as many sexual partners as other people... The great objective is to establish an exotic mood :-P Creative people have more sex ; This is what you should try for. An attempt upon a crowned head or on a president is sensational enough in a way, but not so much as it used to be The Secret Agent; Topless sandals - also called "down unders"
• · · · Frank Gardiner was just a common thief. Ben Hall's career changed the nature of bushranging. He was the first to bail up a bank. The first to burn a storekeeper's ledgers (so debts of customers were wiped out). The first to burn a squatter's farm. He was the first to bail up two towns - Bathurst and Canowindra, where he held his famous party which Ned Kelly copied at Glenrowan the day he died. "They were the actions of a man trying to upset a system which had upset him. Ben wasn't a revolutionary. He was a criminal. But he wanted to change the balance of power in the area where he lived Hall lived up to his proud boast to police three years before: You'll never take me alive Getting away with Antipodean murder; The Cold River: Getting away with Californian murder
• · · · · Radio National books in Ramona ; All life is a competition. Hitting the line on the tennis court. Getting promoted in the office. Edging for position at the bus stop. Beating your daughter to the bathroom door!! L’Espresso magazine ; The cage shook: nothing is taboo in advertising
• · · · · · Songfacts is a searchable database of song information compiled by radio professionals, music enthusiasts, and visitors to this web site Songfacts ; Chronic shortage of donors puts IVF clinics in jeopardy

Monday, December 26, 2005

Remember me? Not only am I not dead yet, but I’m back in paperback :-) Needless to say, there's plenty more where that came from. See for yourself—buy a copy of Cold River and email me your response at jozefimrich@authorsden.com. One last thing: Not that I want to spark the green-eyed glance of envy, but sunny blue Tamarama and Bondi are the places to spend these holidays, in my personal, first-hand, and immediate experience ...

Book lovers may not be the most heroic members of the romantic world, but at least, we tell ourselves, we are deep, we are discerning. Well, I have news for you from publishing’s bottom line: we bespectacled creatures of the late-night night light are, frankly, a bit slutty ... Every movie needs buzz even though the world is getting smaller and smaller and much more than ever is left to the imagination ... This Cover Will Save Your Life: Cool Sexual Positions "They" Don't Want You to Know About?

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: You can tell a book by its cover
Apparently they do matter -- a lot. In The Times Helen Rumbelow finds You can tell a book by its cover:

The jacket of a new novel has just seconds to seduce us into a purchase. Ah, says our critic, so that’s why I see Corelli lookalikes all over the shop ... All the research shows that consumers are very, very influenced by the covers, not necessarily to buy a book, but to pick it up - Joanna Prior, publicity and marketing director at Penguin, says

• I know some people out there are thinking, Why is this boy selecting a book with underwater cover? Standing Out [Stephen King and the Continuation of the Indie Power Grab Bestselling authors who are choosing to publish with independent presses ; In from the Cold ; Swept out of the valley night by an inspire oneiric wind, I stood at the edge of a road under a clear pure-gold sky, in an extraordinary mountainous land Without looking ]
• · A work of art has to circulate through a sub-economy of exchange operated by a large and growing class of middlemen: publishers, curators, producers, publicists, philanthropists, foundation officers, critics, professors, and so on ... The Economy of Prestige: Prizes, Awards, and the Circulation of Cultural Value Literature’s global economy ; The magician Sure, it's simple, writing for kids. Just as simple as bringing them up
• · · The riches of Israeli literature ; You see, the real reason I became a communist was to impress girls. Back then, all the pretty ones were revolutionaries. One of the things that's gone wrong for the Left is that their girls just aren't cute any more. Let's put it this way. When I'm writing, I spend a lot of time thinking, 'My, doesn't the top of the fridge look dirty'. It takes for ever. People think writing is easy, but just ask them to sit down and write a thank you note to their aunt, or something, and they turn purple. I like thinking about writing. I like having written. But actually sitting down and doing it… P.J. O'Rourke tortured
• · · · You don't need to bring me anything this year--2005 has been good to me - thank you for that. This year, I am writing on behalf of some of my friends and students and any other excellent writers out there who are beginning to lose faith. I think many of them don't believe in you any more. Rejection after rejection can be a bitter pill to swallow. I know. I've been there. What I'm asking this year is that you give the gift of hope to those who are so deserving of it. A byline in a literary journal here. A bite from an agent there. An offer from a publisher for those wonderful books that haven't found homes yet. Even a detailed and encouraging rejection letter Three Writers Write to Book Biz Santa ; The Beatles Christmas Recordings ; Academics point to content errors in the ongoing Book program, but the search giant says fixes are coming Google's Great Works in Progress
• · · · · I am in Arizona this week, hanging out with my sister's baby and reading some Joseph Heller. If you're using blogs as an excuse not to talk to your family this week, I'm sorry you won't have more time to kill with Bookslut. Perhaps you could sneak out and go see a movie? The Book Standard reviews the Golden Globe nominees for Book-to-film adaptation ; She revealed: It sounds so pretentious but it's one of my favourite things. I've got this group of friends who are quite Bohemian and we get drunk, get the poetry books out and read Sienna Miller and the drunk poetry thing ; They're so much easier to give than they are to receive. They're so much more gratifying to gift givers than they are to recipients. Pleasing Giver and, at Times, Recipient, Too
• · · · · · Steamy? How Sexy Are You?; The New Single Woman Living single ; When Americans smile, we merely employ the zygomatic major, a facial muscle that stretches the corners of our lips up, showing our upper teeth. But when the English smile, he claims, they use both the zygomatic major and the risorius, a muscle that pulls the lips sideways, showing their lower teeth, too. Galvanic smile ; The Five Best First Sentences

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas
Happy New Year

Nothing hurts more than to give Mutually Inclusive PR crystal balls away for free The growing list of blogging predictions for 2006
Ponderings of the ins and outs of blog snobbery has been a focal point over the last few weeks for a number of Aussie bloggers. Mike Steketee or Ross Coulthart or Mark Riley ... vs Dunlop or Quiggin or Gianna Blog snobs vs journalism snobs

**Season's Greetings** Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee
Ss the size, scope and influence of weblogs continue to proliferate, business managers are faced with an increasingly important question: how to make your voice heard above the crowd?

One method being used to capitalize on the opportunity presented is through employee blogs.

The rise and rise of corporate blogs & News With Attitude [“Mr Harrison, I am going to sleep now and I don’t want you to be here when I wake up.” The evils of blawging ; In the “intellectual property” game, ultimately everyone’s a loser Copyfighting Crikey?; Do bloggers have any power? ; .com is no longer a dreamy stuff now, it is serious. The internet is now part of the 'life'. Earlier in the web 1.0 days internet was like a big library and the interactions were anonymous Rediff.com Rocks!!! ]
• · Do Travel Search Engines Deliver?; Tom Peters blogged about Coach Leach Goes Deep, Very Deep. Peters likens Leach's strategy to the thesis of Blue Ocean Strategy authors Chan Kim & Renée Mauborgne: Value innovation is about making the competition irrelevant by creating uncontested market space. We argue that beating the competition within the confines of the existing industry is not the way to create profitable growth. Going Deep ; On Opinion Page, a Lobby's Hand Is Often Unseen A stitch in time...
• · · Blogs ads work because blogs serve as watering holes for niche influencers and opinion-makers whose loyal and impassioned readers are also smart, savvy consumers Like everyone else, blog readers love exclusives ;
• · · · DIY-blog-advertising ; Blog Match ; Internet dating is dangerous If Oedipus Tried Online Dating...
• · · · · Word of mouth is the chief influencer when it comes to purchase decisions, no matter the age group, according to a new study The most influential media ; The Why is Not a River in China
• · · · · · K.Paul Mallasch has decided to drop the old J-Log blog and start a new one: JournalismHope.com. The premise: Journalism is worth saving. I should hope so. New journalism blog; Terry Heaton, over at TV News in a Postmodern World, has a great piece (2006: The Unbundled Awakening) on the promise of good things in 2006 The Unbundled Awakening ; Reasons for the Cronulla Beach riots on the weekend have fuelled pages of editorial in Australian and increasingly international newspapers, the blogosphere too Did the media inflame Aussie race riots

Saturday, December 24, 2005

To practice any art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow. So do it.
- Kurt Vonnegut, A Man Without a Country

To Those Who Appreciate the Art of Giving Cold River does not Mind Sand in the Spine
While much is left to the imagination, I console myself with knowing that everyone’s first book is autobiographical to some extent. The escape story across the Iron Curtain was a bit like constipation, it had to come out in the end ... When I'm crying, as much as when I'm laughing, I feel completely alive. It works for me. As a writer, the test of my best work is whether it does more than simply stimulate thought -- it must also provoke emotion. Memoirs can mine psychology in a way that films can not. Films are all about surface and speed. Books are all about depth and taking one's time swimming in the deep end of emotions. What other art form allows you to live inside another person's mind—a theater of other people's minds—for days or even weeks on end?
The experience of writing serious non-fiction is comparable to a shamanic journey. We must be willing to let go of our attachment to our everyday lives and concerns and make the solitary pilgrimage into the deepest reaches of our psyches to explore a strange and often frightening landscape. We return changed, blessed and burdened with our most profound wisdom and the need to communicate it. The attempt to shoehorn such an emotionally and spiritually engaging venture into a twenty-first century Western schedule can result in frustration, inhibition, and spectacular rejections ... Two zillion books a year are published, of which top one hundred are given the Big Rush, and all the rest tend to drown without a trace ... They say it's OK to charm, to cajole, to manipulate, to sell your soul if need be. But the most important thing is caring enough to get the story right and tell it well! Thank you for reading ...

Most of us don't like risk and uncertainty. That's too bad, because there's no shortage of either ... Next year will be bigger than ever. Take it easy, run a risk, have fun, go for it! 2005’s been a huge year for Cold River! Skipped the Coldest River the first time around? Here comes your second chance! If great escapes are all about redemption, isn't it kind of fitting this book gets a second chance? Here is a book peppered with gripping account of escape just out in paperback. A staggering achievement, especially considering this was a debut memoir. Cold River created a stark and painful record of what happens to families when death moves in. And showing that he's unafraid to tackle big themes and larger questions, Jozef links to links about writing for posterity. Remember: great books don't only get better with age. They get less expensive. So dive right in as every day in the deep end of life is a good day... The Cold River Comes in From the Cold: Dissent Protects Democracy

Cold River: Fluid Memoir

Gut-wrenching memoir never forgets that cold war was fought by human beings

Sink or Swim: If It Were All So Simple

Iron Curtain Brought to Book: This Book Will Save Your Life

Cold River: Telling tales against the tide

I think of you with every breath I take
And every breath becomes a sigh,
Not a sign of despair
But a sign that I care for you.
I hear your name with every breath I take,
On every breeze that wanders by,
And your name is a song
I'll remember the long years through.
Even though I walk alone you guide me.
In the darkness you light my way,
And all the while inside me
Love seems to say, someday, someday.
And when I sleep you keep my heart awake,
But when I wake from dreams divine,
Every breath that I take
Is a prayer that I'll make you mine.
Leo Robin,
I find it odd what a presence you've become in my life; I didn't think it was possible to care so much, to be so saddened by, to fear the loss of a person who caused you so much pain With Every Breath I Take (music by Ralph Rainger)

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Falling Down
Robert Scoble connection and Media Dragon go a long way back and I therefore I must agree with the sentiment that his wife is Indeed - the best blogger in the family

Seems like we fall so many times in our lives. I have fallen plenty of times, but I have always been able to dust myself off and walk away. Most of the time, there was a helping hand reaching out to me offering to help me up. Some believe we are here on earth because we fell from God’s grace; we might fall for the wrong person; we sometimes fall on the floor and hurt ourselves; other times things fall through; sometimes we fall apart and other times we fall in love.
I haven’t heard anything in the news about a suicide attempt near Bellevue, and I hope it was just our morbid imagination. I can’t get the stranded navy blue sweater by the sidewalk and the image of a man falling down to his death out of my mind though. Hope that through the holidays, if you are going to fall, you have some one near you to help pick you up, but if you get to choose, pick falling in love over falling apart.

This Blog Will Save Your Life [Dan Gillmor: Coming Soon: Center for Citizen Media ; Don't want to miss out on the latest buzz in politics? Start each day at wonk central: The Post Politics Hour Is WP staff regrouping after being hammered by bloggers? ]
• · Impeachment Talk at Georgetown Salon ; Blog Construction–What’s Your Function? ; Correcting for the distorted vision of the corporate media Guardians of Power
• · · McClellan has the right temperament to be a punching bag ; Here's looking forward to a great year in 2006. Happy reading! End of the Year Recap ; New Yorker International Fiction Issue
• · · · John Quiggin matters ; A dark matter of deficits; Cash for comment in the US
• · · · · Surfer Tim Dunlop ; Paddling
• · · · · · There was a void between the daily newspaper stories and the speed of the Internet Blogger in the Newsroom ; What they’re getting to now is a dissection of the most dangerous assumption being made — most surprisingly in the Washington Post newsroom — that if you criticize someone in power on one side, you must be on the other side, if the White House complains about you, then you must be liberal. Or to put it more simply: You’re either for them or against them Dan Froomkin on Attitude in White House Briefing; Washington Post chairman Don Graham: I have come to believe that we will be able to tell you about certain subjects better on the Internet than we will be able to in print Cultural differences between the two newsrooms ; Trust me, if Froomkin just called himself Dan Freakin' Froomkin and put his column right next to George Will's, everything would be okay Dissent Protects Democracy

CODA: Ross Dawson, CEO, Advanced Human Technologies featured in a recent issue of BRW on Blogging Power: People say ‘I haven’t got time to read blogs’, but it is the exact opposite of the truth. Blogs are a very efficient way of filtering information. They are not an additional source of information, they consolidate information.’

Friday, December 23, 2005

The highest wisdom is kindness.
-The Talmud

We all share in a shattering duality—and by this I don't mean that soggy, superficial split that one so often sees: the kind of thing, for example, where the gangster sobs uncontrollably at an old Shirley Temple movie. I mean the fundamental schism that Newman referred to when he spoke of man being forever involved in the consequences of some 'terrible, aboriginal calamity'; every day in every man there is this warfare of the parts. And while all this results in meanness and bitterness and savagery enough, God knows, and while only a fool can look around him and smile serenely in unwatered optimism, nevertheless the wonder of it all is to me the frequency with which kindness, the essential goodness of man does break through, and as one who has received his full measure of that goodness, I can say that for me, at least, it is in the long succession of these small, redemptive instants, just as much as in the magnificence of heroes, that the meaning and the glory of man is revealed....
- Edwin O'Connor, The Edge of Sadness

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Looking for a Cause: Liquid Marketing
The model used to be, you developed a product, froze it and shipped it and then immediately began work on the next product version. Today the model is, build it, ship it, improve it, ship it, Or better yet, build it, ship it and let your customers improve it on their own. The company that can learn to build, listen, learn, integrate the fastest will have a sustaining advantage over their competitors.

Another piece of insight that came out of the Doc Searls meeting last week was that “Nothing is ever finished”. Everything is a work in progress. The rule applies to software code, as described in the open source model. It applies to blogs, the conversation on the Internet never ends and it applies to product development. The model used to be, you developed a product, froze it and shipped it and then immediately began work on the next product version. Today the model is, build it, ship it, improve it, ship it, … Or better yet, build it, ship it and let your customers improve it on their own. The company that can learn to build, listen, learn, integrate the fastest will have a sustaining advantage over their competitors.

Marketers will come to understand that the story now needs to be liquid [Now that luxury has gone mass market, how are the super-rich to flaunt their wealth? Inconspicuous consumption ; An economist finds that going to church is more than its own reward Wealth from worship ]
• · Russian Dolls Sexist, Moi!; Men with the best dance moves have the most sex appeal It's true, dancing does lead to sex
• · · Devastating storms, a new pope, a White House scandal and the 2,000th U.S. death in Iraq. A look back in cartoons and quotes: Quotes Of The Year and lists for 2005 ; Ian Roberts: If you’re not happy with yourself, believe me, someone else can’t make you happy Marketing and creativity finally intersect
• · · · The year's films were exhilarating, distinctive and sometimes unsettling - and cinemas themselves were in the news The good, the bad and the ugly; Teach, Don't Preach, the Bible
• · · · · Many on the Left, including professed Marxists, believe literature and art are irrelevant to class struggle and the emancipation of the working clas Why Marx Matters To Artists ; Interview with Arthur Danto
• · · · · · If we could retire for good one old expression from the Culture Wars, I’d like to nominate “the literary canon.” Aiming the Can(n)on ; Why do humans prefer to have sex in privacy?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Be careful, it's my heart,
It's not my watch you're holding, it's my heart.
It's not the note I sent you that you quickly burned,
It's not the book I lent you that you never returned.
Remember, it's my heart,
The heart with which so willingly I part.
It's yours to take, to keep or break,
But please, before you start,
Be careful, it's my heart.
-Irving Berlin, “Be Careful, It’s My Heart” (music by Berlin, courtesy of Marc Myers)
Maybe we are crazy. Maybe we will change the world: You are different. So is Cold River
Sink or Swim: If It Were All So Simple

Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas . . . perhaps . . . means a little bit more

Helen at Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony owes her ‘all consuming hobby’ - blogging - largely to Margo Kingston of Webdiary

Christmas is anti-war. It is anti-slavery and anti-exploitation. Christmas I dare to bubble is at root against domination, against class, against patriarchy and against prejudice. It is an ancient struggle against poverty and disease; against women dying in childbirth and against people losing their loved ones to tragedy. It is, in ritual, a universal cry for the finest features of the human spirit; for our wildest hopes and dreams; the deepest aspirations of life. It is for democracy and liberty, for universal health care and education, for old forests and clean waterways, for romance and music, for beaches, good company and cold beer. Solstice for all: A Conspiracy of Love

The Blog, The Press, The Media: What Are the Blogs Saying About Me?
Thanks to blog search engines like Technorati, IceRocket and Feedster, writers have easy access to bloggers' reactions

Almost every author I know with a new book does it - the embarrassing, nearly irresistible, ritualistic dip into Internet-assisted narcissism. I know I do. Prodded by a combination of curiosity and dread, I'll scour the Web not just to ascertain sales (impossible) or check out the press coverage, but to get a sense of what ordinary readers are saying about my book when they think I'm not listening.

Blogs are like reports from a far-flung world [Through his webcam, a boy joins a sordid online world Fascination with cyberspace ]
• · The ink isn't dry yet on tomorrow's NY Times, but billionaire blogger Mark Cuban has already posted a reponse on his weblog to a piece critical (or, at least, dubious) of him in the business section of the Times Learning from Mark Cuban ; What’s good for General Motors... was a phrase once used to vilify G.M.’s head. Now Google’s founders buy a big jet and it’s “good for the world.” Oh, is it? Breaking Up With Google
• · · Unanchored What does America want from its TV journalists?
• · · · One of the really cool things about blogs is that very smart, knowledgeable people can offer up their opinions on topics of the moment. In this case, it's Orin Kerr and Daniel Solove offering up extended legal analyses of the wiretaps. Beyond His Power
• · · · · Virtual Quixotes: as people spend more time immersed in the worlds of video games, they may lose touch with reality... Worlds without end

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A boy washed his hands and face
every day with pleasure and grin
until his ears grew very big
and his skin became very thin.
- Do you believe me?
His mother shouted: "That's enough!"
But, he had extremely strong will;
He washed his face every day
until he suddenly became ill.
- Do you believe me?
An old, strict doctore came
and said:
- It's not a game--
he and water have to sever.
I forbid him to wash his face ever!
- Do you believe me?
Duan Radovi

We brushed hands in the British Library, then again in the London Review Bookshop, reaching for Cold River . . . DO YOU BELIEVE ME

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: You Were My Death
A moment ago sometime in October dusk began to spread its grammar across the Sydney Harbour. It embraces the region of the existential WHY? Why do loyalty and love turn into a diminished bubble? Crowds of people, like a rivers, flowing in Sydney Harbour Bridge ...

If I would fly to New York, I wouldn't do it by my own Learjet, but probably by some chartered flight (payable by six post-dated Zagrebacka banka checks), a ten days round trip. Ten days is enough time for an agile man to find some vantage points in an alien town. The first thing to do is try to sell the return ticket, paint the town red, and after that, make sure that you are left with at least a quarter. Why? To enter a phone booth and call Mile Rupcic in New York. Our man would surely find me a job to start.
In two or three months, I would earn some dough, quit the job, and be ready to start looking for a chick... Man has one mind, not two – well, one for home, and another for the market.

• Our honeymoon is over soon. We still get along reasonably well. I read, but I don't study. In fact, I write a novel about New York... With Changing Key [Region where my auntie Zofka married and gave birth to four Slav French offsprings Champagne: It's the bubbles, baby ; Anthony Powell showed us a social system that was cruel, but could also create elaborate patterns of beauty, charm, and power. His was a poetry of life itself... Anthony Powell's Century ]
• · 'It no longer feels a great injustice that I have to die' ; I have always dreamt of a white wedding ... Plural marriage is waiting in the wings Here Come the Brides ; No Strings Attached I’m here for a shag, of course! Women discover lesbian pleasures but say no to relationships
• · · Selfhood, of course, is the oxygen of autobiography, never more so than in its depictions of childhood Sexual glutton and a slut for selfhood; Lonely-hearts ads in the London Review of Books have a cult following. So when the journal advertised its singles night, the author felt compelled to attend Off the shelf
• · · · It may seem like an innocuous wardrobe staple, but the humble T-shirt has a very dodgy history. Time to get shirty Down to a T ; There are oases of comedy, Woody Allen tells Emma Brockes, but when it's all over, the news is bad Emma Brockes interview with Woody Allen
• · · · · From sperm to zygote to fetus to baby, isn't it time we brought some precision to the language of the reproductive rights debate? The Pro-Life Continuum; Case for storytelling,
• · · · · · Mass culture is dead. Dazed by cable, bled dry by the web, eaten by iPods. Culture, you see, is being boutiqued... Mass media's last blast ; The university was transformed by the sexual revolution of the 1960s. It gave us casual, pleasure-seeking sex, free of family, even free of affection. It’s Charlotte Simmons Love in the Age of Neuroscience

Monday, December 19, 2005

In our swimming pool at dawn / I counted eight dead cockroaches / The man from the village who cleans it / Said he couldn’t come until eleven / And I felt quite sick
– Lady Vittoria de Selby, Rhapsody in Rosé (Faber): has anyone ever captured the fragile condition of the human spirit at the start of our dark new century quite so movingly as this?

Most of us don't like risk and uncertainty. That's too bad, because there's no shortage of either. The most significant thing about The Cold River is the fact that it could be written at all ... So dive right in Paperback Edition ~ 1554043115 ~ Cold River: Fluid Memoir

I will go further to say that individuals ought to enjoy as much freedom as possible and government as little power as possible Cold River: Telling tales against the tide

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: The Book Review: Who Critiques Whom - and Why?
The internet seem like every drunken conversation come to life ... Readers - and authors - deserve a process that is as fair as possible in both reality and perception. What's fair, however, is particularly challenging in the world of the book section ...

When The New York Times Book Review published its list of "100 Notable Books of the Year" earlier this month, calculations from several readers and bloggers soon turned up in my in-box. Of the 61 nonfiction books on the list, they noted, six were by Times staffers - enough to pique my interest in the overall book-review process at the paper. The Cold War Comes in From the Cold

• Some writers feel they never authored a book if The Times doesn't review the book If The Times doesn't review the book [Blogs are like reports from a far-flung world - You might hear some good things about yourself, but you may also hear something devastating: Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth Jozef Imrich must die ; In appearance he was spruce and distinguished, with hard, light eyes like fissures in a block of ice - achieving more fame by what we refrain from doing than by what he do The fine art of Obituary; For some years now, Nicholas A. Basbanes has been chronicling the consuming passions of bibliophiles. An ardent bibliophile himself, Basbanes knows firsthand the lengths to which book lovers will go to track down a rare edition, a specially bound volume or, in some cases, entire libraries. An avid bibliophile pages his way through history ; I had no memory, no consciousness, no sight, no hearing, no touch, without the pure simplicity and utter intricacy of the fabric woven of my life and the lives of my family. My book is |consubstantial with its authors The Hottest Water in Chicago ; 100 ways to make money in 2006 Want to get really rich? Publish Cold River ;-)]
• · The Underrated Writers ; Harold Bloom, despairing of contemporary America, turns to his bookshelves to understand the trajectory of his country Reflections in the Evening Land ; What happened on Cronulla Beach warns us that our self-inflicted wounds are festering Australia's Dangerous Fantasy
• · · A Fugitive Phenomenon Kerryn Goldsworthy ; When does one really enter the community of scholars and become a “real” professor? When you finish your Ph.D.? Longing for the Chili Pepper
• · · · Why human beings in the 21st century must relearn how to live with water Living on water: welcome to a shedboatshed world ; The Mises Institute, Llewellyn Rockwell I can present my own perspective on this up front: all reform in all areas of politics, economics, and society should be in one direction: toward more freedom for individuals and less power for government Why society needs no managers
• · · · · Throughout the Old Testament, more powerful men are more polygynous men. They have sex with more wives and concubines; they have sex with more slaves; they have more sex with other men's women; and they father many children Politics as Sex: The Old Testament Case ; Do you love the thrill of the chase? ; Peter Sagal has dinner with porn stars--and his wife; Ready to have a baby? You'll earn 10 percent more if you wait a year. The Price of Motherhood
• · · · · · Why We Love Einstein ; EINSTEIN WRONG ABOUT BEING WRONG Biggest blunder not really a mistake at all; I was at this party last night and I was drinkin' sparklin' perry The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Oh Joy!

Life trumps blogging. At least it does for most sane, balanced people.
- Walt Crawford

Family trumps blogging. Health trumps blogging. Work trumps blogging (unless blogging is your life or work, ...).
As a tool, blogging isn't something "everyone" needs to do, and it isn't something that you need to keep doing even when it no longer meets your needs. Look: I'm not telling you what we should do. I'm not going to supply the answers. I think the most important thing is that we must never be told we're not allowed to ask a question. That's when we get into a very dangerous area ... Does Life Trumps Blogging?

Oh Joy! It's the name of a hip blog and is exactly how I felt when I logged onto it Oh Joy!

Why the world needs Media Dragons Does Your Company Belong in the Blogosphere?
Bloggers have damaged a number of companies, but it's time to think of the blog as your friend. Skillful blogging can boost your company's credibility and help it connect with customers.

When Bob Lutz, the vice chairman of product development at General Motors, wants to get quick feedback from consumers on the company's latest product launch, new strategy, or something as specific as the quality of the sheet-metal fits on the latest Chevrolet, he knows where to go: his corporate blog, http://fastlane.gmblogs.com

Skillful blogging [Word of mouth ; HarperCollins Will Create a Searchable Digital Library ]
• · I'm snuggled under the covers with Jon Stewart and the remote Fast Company, here's why making things simple is the new competitive advantage ; Getting the most out of knowledge workers: Here are Google's Ten Golden Rules.
• · · TV Turning to Blogs for Advertising ; My Due Diligence on the Liberal Ad Network; RealMoney's Blog Watch
• · · · "[T]he best bloggers will always make more money and have more freedom staying indy than any media outlet could every pay them Daily Kos refutes Blogspotting prediction ; Bloggers unite for aggregation site
• · · · · Internet: Blogging power: BRW 15 December 2005 by Kath Walters - Australian companies have been slow to take advantage of online diaries and their exchanges of ideas and information. (ironically not available to bloggers ;-) Finding a needle in a haystack of data ; Running Scared ain't: We've been dropped by some blogs on their blogrolls because they got mad at what we wrote Ideology Over Reason: Dropping A Blog From A Blogroll
• · · · · · Here's a defense of "lad mags" and of Those Media Dragons who read them ; God on the Internet

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Where there is great love there are always miracles
~Willa Cather

May those who visit your home feel the love residing there
Hope your new place becomes a home.
Congratulations - the move is over!
You made it!
May happiness & love move in with you
May you create countless memories in your new home
Saint Mikulas - Patron of Icebergs DSCN0515
Sunrise warming our day DSCN0521
I am an optimist by nature. An indefatigable, idealist and die-hard believer that good can prevail no matter the ocean size all around cynicism All you need is love: it's one of those days
Thong-Ling in the shadow of Crikey ;-) DSCN0497
Addictive Smiles DSCN0492

Housewarming: On One Summer Day in December Ice-breaker: Welcome to BONDI Neighborhood
Moving into a new home ranks among the more exciting events in life. It's definitely time to break out the bubbly and celebrate.

The tradition of housewarming parties probably began with cavemen bringing embers from their fire to their friends new cave to "warm" the hearth. The traditional gifts of bread and salt probably date back to the Middle Ages when newlyweds were given the basic staples of life to start their new household. Sugar also came to signify best wishes for a sweet and happy life...and in that regard you could never go wrong with a gift of wine. The tradition is still alive. A housewarming brings good wishes and friendship to warm the new house or apartment and thoughtful gifts to fill the rooms

• When we come from a place of looking for the lovely, then we experience miracles and life opens for you. Love attracts love. When you extend love you will always be receiving love Housewarming Potluck [Planets love their star. Star clusters love their galaxies. Bees love their flowers and flowers love their bees ; Love tends to awaken connection rather than separation ]
In the parliamentary past and inside a soulful friendship DSCN0450
Kiama Konnection Rossssiter DSCN0461
Godmother and good karma DSCN0453
Neighbours ... Neighbours DSCN0462
Neighbours ... DSCN0495
• · The bedrock of mutual respect is comfort and admiration for each other's opinions. If that isn't present, contempt is just around the corner You Just Don't Get It ;-); We separate ourselves from others, telling ourselves that we're superior or inferior -- it doesn't matter which because it's just an excuse anyway. It's an excuse for avoiding the whole problem of love, as though love could just go away without taking some of our humanity with Love can't be faked
Sweet McSweeney Inc ;-) DSCN0489
Golden Golemish Moon Rise over Bondi DSCN0512
Godfather after the Mexican moon rise ;-) DSCN0513

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The local rag, Wentworth Courier, has a strangest ad of all on page 142 of the 14 December 2005 edition: Please note I Wainam Kaack and my daughter Sally Kaack are no longer Anglicans. Thankyou.

When Muriel Rukeyser famously asserted, “The universe is made up of stories, not atoms,” it was likely she was thinking about the kind of stories that never die ... the way we make sense of our lives is by telling stories about them stories which may or may not be true but making sense and telling the truth isn’t exactly the same thing ... Prizes and top 10 lists are cheap forms of mass therapy, reducing the stress of having to choose, says Peder Zane. Consider them cultural Prozac... I never knew what prize or time it was

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Picture Imperfect: There was a time when words were like magic
You must be out of your mind—you can’t change that! Anxiety is a first principle of our social life. Capital foments an insecurity that impels people to submit to its demands...

Jacoby argues, in the Kabbala and in Jewish tradition generally, the Torah achieves full meaning only through the oral law: “The ear trumps the eye. Alone, the written word may mislead: it is too graphic.” Similarly, the future of the iconoclasts is “heard and longed for” rather than seen. Here, Jacoby’s analysis intersects with a fear he has long shared with his Frankfurt School mentors—that a mass culture obsessed with images flattens the imagination and perhaps destroys it altogether. From this perspective, the iconoclasts’ elision of the image is itself radically countercultural.

Ghosts, Fantasies, and Hope [Readers of the world unite ; P. L. Travers, Walt Disney, and the making of a myth. Becoming Mary Poppin]
• · An American expat finds the dark notes in a creepy Kafka opera Veteran voice: In the Penal Colony ; Is It Just Me or Is Everything Shit? Gore Vidal once observed that there are more prizes than writers in the United States. Shit sells. Put something scatological in the title of your book and the bestseller lists beckon. The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less What every budding author should know: crap books make lots of money
• · · My Tato, father, Jozef who had beehives everywhere of course knew all that without the PHD ;-) He was never, ever, bitten by his bees living in our huge mortuary garden Bees recognize human faces ; Books of The Times | 'The Edifice Complex': The pyramids, Versailles, the Taj Mahal, the Kremlin, the World Trade Center: it's hardly news that the rich and powerful have used architecture to try to achieve immortality, impress their contemporaries, stroke their own egos and make political and religious statements Leaders Who Build to Stroke Their Egos: My Sexual Organ
• · · · The Poisonwood Bible; Susan Sontag called for an erotics of art. Forty years on, all we’ve got in the English department is a neurotics of art: endless politics, victimology, meaning mongerin Literary Aesthetics: the Very Idea
• · · · · Psychiatry Ponders Whether Extreme Bias Can Be an Illness ; The Shift Away From Print
• · · · · · A study finds students who attend Catholic universities are More likely to lose their faith than retain or enrich it ; We teach schoolchildren about sex and supply free condoms. So why don't we take the same approach to smoking?

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Cold River, a kind of story for readers who thirst after exciting foreign non-fiction - a fluid memoir You are different. So is Cold River

If all of this sounds like a substantial re-thinking of the economics of American newspapers, that's what it is. And it's time Prof dreams of newspapering freed from the profit motive

The Blog, The Press, The Media: Lesson One: you need a lot of money.
Since the late 1990s policymakers in most OECD countries have been looking for ways to maintain the employment that underpins the wealth of their countries’ citizens.

The story of Silicon Valley shows that successfully linking science and industry may not be as easy as just adopting a winning formula. That doesn’t mean we can’t learn from the Silicon Valley experience. Lesson One: you need a lot of money. The 21st century ‘knowledge era’ promises that science will kick start new industries and refashion older ones. In this vision of the future, economies will no longer rely on steel and ‘rust belt’ industry. IT and biotechnology are keystones of the ‘new’ industrial order, the ‘clean’ and ‘knowledge-based’ engines that will drive both economies and societies.

• Jane Marceau Why Can’t We All Have a Silicon Valley? [ Newspaper websites shouldn't try to out-Google Google ; PR: retrain its work force, recognize the influence and credibility of blogs and experiment Now it's time to go the distance ; Hurricane Katrina made clear blogs are a useful, if not mission-critical, form of communication. They've earned their keep over the past week, even in an area where communications and Internet connections are compromised. Bloggers aren't exactly free spirits, but be prepared for the unexpected and disruptive. Bloggers love to disrupt the status quo by one-upping reporters or waving attractive "add-water-and-stir" content-management tricks -- better, faster, and cheaper -- in front of wounded, frustrated Webmasters Ten Simple Rules for Dating a Blogger ]
• · The Voice of the Blog: The Attitudes and Experiences of Small Business Bloggers Using Blogs as a Marketing and Communications Tool ; The Language of Weblogs: A study of genre and individual differences
• · · My thoughts on this matter are no different than sex, drugs and rock and roll. Have an open dialog with your kids about what are the do's and don'ts of online behavior Monitoring your children online? ; j quiggin Contests and departures ; We start work when most people are quitting for the day, and we develop the kind of gallows humor that comes from regularly ingesting stories of humanity at its worst -Newspaper copy desks attract a quirky bunch of people Keep the Internet. Just give me Jeff Balsai's brain
• · · · j quiggin Miles of comments ; The Year in Review
• · · · · Mike Wallace: Between you and me ; Film: Good Night, And Good Luck ; How to Make Up Stories for the Tabloids, Fox News, etc. ; The White House's Media Takedow
• · · · · · Blogs are an interesting phenomenon to look at, but I don't think to date that they're as compelling as some people think. There's an insider quality to blogs -- people who look at blogs tend to be political junkies or more cultural junkies Expert weighs in on the future of journalism ; Ex-Chicago Trib staffer launches Chicago Daily News online ; They have to figure out a way to honor the very best journalism … and not merely protect the newspaper industry Online journalists feel slighted by the Pulitzer Prize board

Monday, December 12, 2005

Blogs, podcasts & e-newsletters make it easy for anyone to be a journalist ... But just as the debut of desktop publishing led to some very ugly documents, these newer tools are spawning some very sloppy journalism, which does no good for the reputation of participatory media 10 Journalism Tips For Bloggers, Podcasters & Other E-Writers

The Blog, The Press, The Media: By-the-book New York Times blog
A top editor at the New York Times gives that newspaper's take on blogs, as reported in L.A. Observed:

Yesterday we launched a genuine, authentic, by-the-book New York Times blog. It’s Carpetbagger, by David Carr. It’s part of a new movie-awards-season web site called Red Carpet, which includes a bunch of things you won’t see in the newspaper, like weekly columns by Joyce Wadler and Caryn James. You’ll see a refer on today’s front page, which I boldly, if ignorantly, declare to be our first-ever page-1 refer to a web-only feature. At the very least, it’s our first-ever page 1 refer to a blog.

We’re blogospheric. [ TV Scoop, blog on UK television ; What I Wish I had Known]
• · Bog use has exploded in the last year, with an unpredictable and dramatic rise in both new users and new services. Jeffrey Henning describes this leap in his new study The Blogging Geyser, surveying the field as it stands now and predicting a total of 53.4 million blogs by year's end.

Read the earlier study, The Blogging Iceberg, to learn why the common conception of blogs--imagining them to be regularly updated, op-ed style columns written by a public figures and read by thousands--is only accurate on the surface.Keep up with the continuing dialogue about these studies, and other analyses of the blogosphere, by reading Blog Survey; Yahoo has added the popular del.icio.us social bookmarking, recommendation website to its growing stable of community-driven internet properties Yahoo gobbles up del.icio.us ; How alternative media have transformed politics on the left and the right ; The Media Dragon Loves us
• · · WSJ ; The Many Blogospheres – A Few Niche Blogs
• · · · If I Didn't Build it, They Wouldn't Come: Citizen Journalism is Discovered (Alive) in Watertown, MA ; Fortune Magazine's Innovation Weblog
• · · · · Investor relations and blogging ; Need to find an expert? This list has over 100 blogs listed Weblogs published by industry analysts
• · · · · · DIY $100 Laptop ; Ad dollars threaten bloggers' rebel reputations

Sunday, December 11, 2005

... Sometimes your crazy impulses, your irrational impulses, are the right ones. To have the courage to follow them can lead to a sort of bigger understanding of what life is like....

No matter what form the dragon may take, it is the mysterious passage past him, or into his jaws, that stories of any depth will be concerned to tell.
- Flannery O'Connor

I am in the jaws of the dragon as Flannery would say. As the movie rolls forward on the screen, this is where the obstacles, tests, ogres, and the ordeal begins. Mr. Campbell's trial and initiation. (Aside: That's good news my teacher says last night. Yep, being in the lion's mouth is how Ramana Maharshi put it. There's no way out. The lion will take care of the rest. It's inevitable.) This is a phase of doubt. And oft times miracles. The knight is now firmly committed to quest for the Holy Grail. The unknown lays between the them. Of Journals, Journeys, Julie and Julia

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Secrets of the Fathers
I dreamed and fantasised about what my biological father would be like... You look at people’s faces, you always wonder...
Their quest constantly ran up against a wall of secrecy that has surrounded sperm donation for decades. But gradually, they discovered clues: his education, his field of work, even a description of his teeth...

The right to know versus the right to privacy... as donor-conceived children battle a secret system in the search for their biological fathers

Gift of Life: Good Night, and Good Luck [The Los Angeles Times, columnist Meghan Daum has an op-ed that begins, For pro-choicers like myself, Supreme Court nominee Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s position regarding spousal consent for abortion seems like one more loose rock in the ongoing erosion of Roe vs. Wade Shouldn't men have 'choice' too? ; ‘Soft pawn’ row as chess world discovers sex]
• · Telling tales against the tide ; George Clooney doesn't mind swimming against the political tide Rebel with a cause
• · · If we think poets and painters have better sex lives, it may be that they are good at persuading us - Sex and art ... It’s a great chat-up line. But why would Pablo Picasso think anything else?... Sex and art are really the same thing ; Man is a social animal – utterly dependent on forming and maintaining relationships with other people FREEDOM: The Ties That Do Not Bind: The Decline of Marriage and Loyalty
Beauty is the battlefield where God and the devil war for the soul of man Art in Crisis
• · · · Journeys involve both highs and lows ; “Puritan roots run deep,” says Hugh Hefner, whose parents would not show affection: “no hugging and kissing.” He is making up for it The oldest swinger in town
• · · · · Procrastination cure: you put on workshops for sufferers. Trouble is, some who sign up miss the first session, or don’t show at all... Procrastination cure; Mary McCarthy mistook snobbery for morality, just as Edmund Wilson mistook life for literature. Theirs was the union of a true bitch with a genuine bully... Forgetting Edmund Wilson
• · · · · · Chinese Etiquette Lessons for Germany ; Rebels Without a Clue - Communism tried to transform capitalism. It ended in tragedy. The counterculture tried the same. It ended in farce

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Cold River, a kind of story for readers who thirst after exciting foreign non-fiction - a fluid memoir You are different. So is Cold River

I blog to remember who I am ... The sky’s the limit when it comes to what bloggers can do to make a difference in someone else’s life. Books and blogs - They’re the New Black!
Television can make you famous, but it can’t keep you famous. It’s more like an opiate—as soon as you stop taking your daily fix, you get all pale and clammy, and before long you vanish in a puff of near-transparent mist over a Cold River ...

This was the story of a twelve-year-old girl who had nowhere to go. Humbert had tried to turn her into his fantasy, into his dead love, and he had destroyed her. The desperate truth of Lolita's story is not the rape of a twelve-year-old by a dirty old man but the confiscation of one individual's life by another. We don't know what Lolita would have become if Humbert had not engulfed her. Yet the novel, the finished work, is hopeful, beautiful even, a defense not just of beauty but of life ... Warming up and suddenly inspired, I added that in fact Nabokov had taken revenge on our own solipsizers; he had taken revenge on the Ayatollah Khomeini ... As Christopher Hitchens reminds us, Lolita Haze would be 70 this year

Art of Living & Literature Across Frontiers: Gods and Generals
Death may be immortality’s opposite, but it confers a similar invulnerability. Death dealing and bent on dying, Achilles has achieved absolute freedom

It makes me very aware of my wasted life as an artist; I should have chucked security and settled for Bohemianism in which my talents might have flowered more originally. Perhaps wife and child and the desire for roots have been a mistake. I should have given an adventurous Lear by now and invented a clown. Ah well. What I have is a dear good wife, a dear good son and a house with views of rolling downs, trees, grass, and open skies. And a pretty good collection of books. -Alec Guinness (diary entry, Jan. 1, 1981)

Heroes are not necessarily amiable [They're supposed to be hellish wastelands: Chill out in the outer reaches, admiring the view and reciting poetry with Homer and Virgil. As night falls, drop down a few circles to where the real party is: among all those gamblers and fornicators. The 10 Best Dystopias ; The typical American female TV criminal is nasty, cutthroat, cunning, duplicitous and sexy to boot Bad Girls ]
• · Jim Collins's best seller is that rare business book that finds an audience beyond corporations. Now he's got a sequel for organizations not ruled by the bottom line ...There will be no glitzy media tour to sell it--if people want it, he figures, they'll know where to find it. Good to Self-Publish: A 'Good to Great' Second Act ; Walden Plans Book Line In 'Narnia,' Tycoon Seeks Blockbuster With a Message
• · · Cookies at Christmas ; Now, I know why some animals eat their young. Christmas Letters: Gag Me With A Spoon
• · · · Knowing your heart is the best treat life has to offer magic follows Publish or Perish: It’s Not Only for Academia ; Men are often accused by women of, to put it bluntly, having their brains in their balls. A joke, of course. But perhaps not as much of one as people might like to think Bigger testes mean smaller brains
• · · · · For starters, being polyamorous doesn't mean you're shagging a bunch of people. It may mean that you only have one other partner Social animals - Intimacy adds to the quality of your life ; Your how-to guide in loving more than one Polyamory? ; Testosterone and Trust
• · · · · · For an Englishman in New York, happiness is never having to say you're sorry Against Politeness ; Premarital sex is now just a part of the process of getting acquainted Who’s a virgin these days? ; A generation after Mao suits, China is coping with an epidemic of free love Sex, Please--We're Young and Chinese