Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Dave, like Doc Searls, is a mentor to me about how to use this new medium to effectively contribute opinion. Like me they're both technologists with a wider interest in the world at large and not just the technology facet. They both often opine on matters of a political nature. You can see their influence on my blog, which I hope of course represents my own unique perspective which is influenced by but not equivalent to Dave's and Doc's.
So not surprisingly, lately Dave's been blogging about Sarah Palin. The first one I read had (what was to me) a novel take on the implication of the Palin selection. The basic theses (in typical blogging fashion, these are quotes Dave pulled from other sites), which is that Palin is congruent with working class values (note: not issues) in key states OH and PA; that she represents the next iteration of Reagan's "Morning in America" and "small-town values"; and finally that the Palin selection is intended to be the vanguard of an full-press attempt to swift-boat Obama as a true agent of change, rather than Washingtonian-by-way-of-Daley's-Chicago business-as-usual.
Not all of these opinions (or opinionators) represent Dave's (and my) own pro-Obama point of view, unless he's also a glass-half-empty sort like I am and is really worried about the course this election might take.
Dave's very next Palin post in contrast was almost entirely his own words. It's about the media reaction to Palin and (in Dave's words) the media suddenly growing "a backbone" and challenging the received McCain narrative of the Palin selection. Interesting, and (if Winer is correct) a bit scary since one of his ideas about why this might be the case is that they weren't included in the vetting process through leaks and the resulting complex of psychosocial and psychopolitical feedback loops in the sense of the 21st century electronic media milieu where the media oligarchs play a critical gatekeeper role.
I'll close with a Palin bonus link (thanks to Doc Searls for this stylistic tool!).
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
"The market is the best mechanism ever invented for efficiently allocating resources to maximize production,” Obama told [David Leonhardt, NYT]. “And I also think that there is a connection between the freedom of the marketplace and freedom more generally.” But, he continued, “there are certain things the market doesn’t automatically do."
"I think I can tell a pretty simple story. Ronald Reagan ushered in an era that reasserted the marketplace and freedom. He made people aware of the cost involved of government regulation or at least a command-and-control-style regulation regime. Bill Clinton to some extent continued that pattern, although he may have smoothed out the edges of it. And George Bush took Ronald Reagan’s insight and ran it over a cliff. And so I think the simple way of telling the story is that when Bill Clinton said the era of big government is over, he wasn’t arguing for an era of no government. So what we need to bring about is the end of the era of unresponsive and inefficient government and short-term thinking in government, so that the government is laying the groundwork, the framework, the foundation for the market to operate effectively and for every single individual to be able to be connected with that market and to succeed in that market. And it’s now a global marketplace."
Saturday, August 2, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
We urgently have to purge these incompetent, corrupt, dangerous ideologues from the body politic with extreme prejudice. McCain - though better than these clowns - just ain't enough of a purge for this non-party-affiliated independent. We can worry about the consequences of any Obama shortcomings in competence, ethics and ideology later. Even if they are worse than I suspect (i.e. as bad as the McCain campaign or the Wall Street Journal implies they are), they probably cut in a completely different direction and even that would be progress.
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
A jaundiced view from Dave Winer that I don’t necessarily disagree with. Even as I laud iPhone as the game-changer it is (I don’t own one and won’t as long as ATT is my only supported carrier choice).
And even as I let everyone I can know that my move to Mac from Windows is one of the best moves I’ve made in personal technology in a long, long time. But for me the ideal PC would have:
- The Mac’s sense of seamless design aesthetics and “it just works” for non-geek users
- The Windows MSFT Office stack (sorry, not the OpenOffice one, and not the Mac version of Office either)
- The Linux robustness, hardware openness and openness to development innovation
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
…from 2003! Here's a great pull quote (but please read the whole thing, Shirky is a true scholar of this stuff):
"Writing social software is hard. And, as I said, the act of writing social software is more like the work of an economist or a political scientist. And the act of hosting social software, the relationship of someone who hosts it is more like a relationship of landlords to tenants than owners to boxes in a warehouse.
The people using your software, even if you own it and pay for it, have rights and will behave as if they have rights. And if you abrogate those rights, you'll hear about it very quickly.
That's part of the problem that the John Hegel theory of community -- community leads to content, which leads to commerce -- never worked. Because lo and behold, no matter who came onto the Clairol chat boards, they sometimes wanted to talk about things that weren't Clairol products. "But we paid for this! This is the Clairol site!" Doesn't matter. The users are there for one another. They may be there on hardware and software paid for by you, but the users are there for one another."
Of course I have to thank Doc Searls for this link. Doc continues to find and say (same thing, no?) things about communities and advertising business models that resonate well with me and (more to the point) illuminate the hazards of blindly marching down that path without a plan for success. Here’s a great example:
"Facebook also has no conversation density for me because keeping up with it takes too much work. This might be my fault, for somehow allowing myself to have 396 "friends", when the number of my actual friends is far lower than that - and most of them aren't on Facebook. Add "2 friend suggestions, 187 friend requests, 2 event invitations, 1 u-netted nations invitation, 1 blog ownership request, 180 other requests" and "23 new notifications" ...plus more "pokes" than I'll bother to count, and Facebook compounds what it already is: a gridlock of obligations architected, blatantly, to drag my eyeballs across advertising, most of which is irrelevant beyond the verge of absurdity. (On my entry page is an ad for dresses by American Apparel. It replaces one for singles. I'm male and married. You'd think Facebook could at least get *that* much right.)"
However, rebutting Doc, my Facebook profile page has an ad that says "53 yr male. Overweight?". I just turned 53 this past Monday.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I hope the increasing untenability (due to the cheap energy foundation) of the suburban lifestyle as well as industrial agriculture will combine to lead family farmers to start growing food (instead of industrial commodities) on what were once the nicely tended lawns of suburbia. Or at least those pie slices of suburbia located far away from mass transit lanes). I'm thinking a modified McMansion would make a suitable structure for staging the produced food and sheltering the supplies and equipment. Redirect the central air into a cold storage "great room". Thanks to the multiple levels of government involved, there are already good roads for bringing the food to market.
Also important: using digital mapping and routing to reduce the energy (and cost) needed to move the food from the myriad of producers to the urban consuming public. Yes, there's still a role for truck transport to play, but we will need to transition long hauls (decreasingly fresh foodstuffs) to rail in our emerging energy future.
I discovered MapMaker in a James Fee RSS post last night. Fee's post included worthwhile and insightful links from the open source map content community, some more "maturely presented" than others (the latter link may not be suitable for corporate network browsing), but all reinforcing the point that the "open community" isn't particularly disposed to give away value to entities like Google or Microsoft or TomTom/TeleAtlas or Nokia/NAVTEQ without some form of "open goodness" given back in return. Of course, I'm not sure if this means "free" (as in beer) map content or not, but it certainly means a whole lot less encumbered with contractual verbotens than these entities are accustomed to insisting on.
It’s all fine and dandy to say that these OpenStreetMap folks have no business model in sight, but the fact remains that the “open” meme and the associated communities that rally behind that flag are very influential and have succeeded in the past in turning a significant volume of services, software and content into commodities (notably “digital” ones that are difficult-to-impossible to lock down behind a tollgate). The global economic/societal upside of this trend is that it allows new forms of businesses and applications to flourish on top of these more accessible and open (and yes, lower cost) commodity building blocks (many, many enterprises are taking advantage of the Linux stack for example), but the downside is that local business/corporate dislocations can and do occur. Some die. Some adapt (for example the IBM of today little resembles the IBM of 15 years ago).
I think it was the economist Joseph Schumpeter who deemed this process "creative destruction", which I'd further note most often tends to be associated with the dynamics of capitalism...
Thursday, May 15, 2008
But I'm not posting this to talk about why I'm for Barack. That's water under the bridge since he's the likely nominee now. It seems that I now have to ponder the idea of an Obama/Clinton ticket. Because this scenario seems very plausible to me.
I have to say that my initial gut reaction is positive, despite all the misgivings I have about Clintonian motivations, governance style and integrity. Throughout the campaign I've been impressed by Hillary's resilience and grasp of policy (when it emerges out from her pandering). And from the perspective of bringing home the victory over McCain (which I think will be a tough challenge since the tried-and-true Republican elitist smear will stick to Obama) the Barack/Hillary unity ticket sounds more effective to me than any other veep idea I've heard. Such as Jim Webb to guarantee Virginia in the (D) column come November. Or the smarmy John Edwards to capture the elusive blue-collar white male. Or Bill Richardson to get the Hispanic vote (well maybe that last one isn't too dumb considering McCain's relatively moderate stand on immigration and Obama's seeming weakness among those voters).
But a VP Hillary can certainly go a long way to salve the wounds caused by Limbaugh's "Project Chaos". And despite some alignment on my part with this critique of a recent Tom Friedman post about the need for a tough posture with Iran, I agree with Friedman's implication that a carrot-and-stick posture with Iran and other irritants is what's needed. I trust Obama to provide the carrot, but with the stick, not so much. This is another reason to like the idea of Vice President Hillary Clinton in my opinion...
Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Actually I added TwitterFeed as an experiment with my new Yahoo OpenID (since TwitterFeed supports OpenID), but it does have the following benefits:
- I have an alternative to GTalk and SMS to post tweets.
- My Paulytron blog content is tweeted.
But it would seem to have one not insignificant drawback:
- My Paulytron blog content is tweeted.
But anyone who knows me knows how long-winded I can be. And some blog entries are appropriately "macro" anyway. Maybe there's a way to control which blogs get posted as Twitter tweets...