Anyone who writes articles on the web knows the maxim: "Don’t read the comments." Fortunately for Yoni Appelbaum, a recent Ph.D. in history from Brandeis University, the well-known writer Ta-Nehisi Coates routinely ignores that rule.How a history Ph.D. who was on the tenure-track market ended up in with a pretty good gig in journalism, primarily because of the quality of his comments.
When President Obama appointed Tom Wheeler (a former top telecom lobbyist) as chairman of the FCC, he got a lot of grief for selling out his '07 pledge to protect Net Neutrality -- the founding principle long prized by open web activists that ISPs cannot privilege certain data over others, without which dire visions of a tiered and pay-for-play internet loomed. Earlier, weaker attempts at net neutrality had failed in court, and the new chairman looked set to fold. But after an unprecedented outcry following last year's trial balloon for ISP "fast lanes" -- including a viral appeal by John Oliver, a public urging by the president, and perhaps Wheeler's own history with the pre-web NABU Network -- the FCC yesterday voted along party lines to enact the toughest net neutrality rules in history, classifying ISPs as common carriers and clearing the way for municipal broadband. ISPs reacted with (Morse) venom, while congressional Republicans are divided over what they called "Obamacare for the internet."
The Republican Party began selling new web domains ending in .gop today at www.join.gop. Public interest has definitely been sparked, but perhaps not for the reasons Republicans have hoped. [more inside]
Why it is important to register your domain name. New York State Assemblywoman Jane Corwin apparently neglected to register her name as a dot org. So somebody else did.
"When masses of people who own the means of production work toward a common goal and share their products in common, when they contribute labor without wages and enjoy the fruits free of charge, it's not unreasonable to call that socialism."The New Socialism: Global Collectivist Society Is Coming Online, a provocative article in the new Wired magazine, examines the effects of the growing influence of online collectivism. I thought this might make for an interesting read and discussion by members of an online community.
Despite his carefully cultivated “maverick” image, McCain is playing it traditional and conservative by using HTML 4.01, the W3C spec from 1999.
It's a year since the untimely death of Chris Lightfoot. He had a remarkable combination of political commitment and technical expertise that led him to develop sites such as WriteToThem and Pledgebank for the splendid political and social software group, MySociety. His political writing brings a sharp and sarcastic wit to bear on such subjects as the Iraq war, and ID cards. There are also some good rants. A sad loss to British society.
The Brain Trust Project “is a non-partisan organization dedicated to developing smarter public policy by supporting the role of academics in creating solutions for the political problems facing us today.” The website is the work of USC undergraduates Mathew Morgan and Colin Koproske.
Is the web fuelling a crisis in politics? Matthew Taylor, Blair's chief strategy advisor has commented "as a citizen" that the "net-head" culture of political criticism is fuelling a crisis in politics where the populace is "increasingly unwilling to be governed but not yet capable of self-government." One of his chief targets is the blogosphere, because he says bloggers are like teenagers - demanding, but "conflicted" about what they actually want.
Webcameron. David Cameron, leader of the Conservative party in the UK, reaches out to the Youtube generation.
A Message from Iran was distributed on August 6 by the editors of MAHA, the clandestine gay ‘zine in Iran. MAHA means “we” or “us” in Persian. Originally begun in 2004 as a newspaper after a crackdown on Iranian gay Web sites by the Tehran regime, MAHA is now distributed in PDF format to its subscribers. Iran has been censoring the Internet in earnest since 2003, and homosexuals are only a small part of that story. Likewise, Internet censorship is merely an element of the systematic persecution of gay men and boys in Iran. [more inside]
truthdig --drilling beneath the headlines. A new webmagazine, offering expert in-depth coverage of current affairs as well as a variety of thoughtful, provocative content assembled from a progressive point of view. The site is built around major “digs,” led by authorities in their fields, who will drill down into contemporary topics and assemble packages of content... Robert Scheer is editor in chief (you may know him from the SF Chronicle). The current featured "dig" is on religion and homosexuality.
UK politician chooses his blog over his party: Paul Leake, a Liberal Democrat councillor in Durham, was asked by his local party to remove any "controversial" posts from his weblog and to give them the right to vet future posts. Denis Jackson, another Liberal Democrat on Durham City Council, said that the Labour councillors were using the blog to find "lurid headlines". Leake refused, and stepped down from the party. He'll now serve his constituents as an independent. [Via The Political Weblog Project]
Internets: Serious Business! These last few months have seen an increase in the attacks on the participatory culture of the web. The mainstream establishments, both political and corporate, have been looking with a cautious eye towards this new developing place. So far we've established that blogs can get you fired, keep you from getting a job, give pedophiles a place to ruminate on snatching your children, threaten journalistic integrity *snicker*, endanger the marketing , product planning, and product life cycles for automobile manufacturers, can infect your computer with virii, and have all sorts of negative consequences. The internets (both of them) can cause your children to be charmed, seduced, and addicted by readily available porn, and can also provide access to extremist radical and fundamentalist groups, prompting Congress to discuss more restrictive legislation (NSFW), but only for the porn. It has even been claimed that the web has given "Al Qaeda wings". P2P is blamed as causing record loses by the music industry, despite their investments in
local station marketing payola. The FEC has held public hearings attended by both hemispheres of the blogosphere (amazingly in near-agreement) discussing the regulation of political speech online. The figureheads of a certain political party fear that their affiliated slice of the blogosphere may be too far-left. Newspapers and TV are leading the charge, with the internet standing in for pharmaceutical scares, yo-yo diets, and missing white women.
The question is, how will the libertarian-minded digerati respond to this very real attack on the essence of web culture?
Carbon Planet - aims to reduce Climate Change by empowering individuals to erase their CO2 footprint by purchasing carbon credits. The site enables users to subscribe based on the greenhouse gas usage in their country, with the subscription buying carbon credits in a forestry scheme in Australia. Would you consider subscribing?
The Green Party of Canada's living platform is their party platform... in Wiki form! It seems that only party members are able to participate in the Wiki, but the rest of us are still able to rank a plank and vote for their platform's priorities in the next election. Once the election date is set, party administrators will form the input into some sort of rough fixed platform, but until then, it's "what real democracy looks like".
Are national governments about to take over the Internet? Has ICANN done such a terrible job that they should be permitted to?
S2K: So the election is over and you're sad. Right? Right? Er, well, anyway, check out this hilarious (and as-yet-unfinished) online comic featuring the guy we all secretly wanted to vote for. If we didn't already. (Features naughty words at times.)
Journalism profs are soliciting Internet users' opinions on how "politically interested Web surfers are using the Internet in the 2000 U.S. presidential elections."