On Thursday evening I attended a philosophical discussion group at my local library. The topic for debate was why we censor violence more than we censor sex in America? It resulted in a number of interesting discussions but concluded with an interesting opposition between meliorists and deteriorists, those who think humans can become better than they are and those who think we will always remain animalistic. One of the debaters, and a regular attender at the cafe, made an argument for the cyclic nature of human history.
An article at the New York Times on text mining led to these other resources.
Matt Haughey wrote an essay on Google Adsense and the success he’s had with his PVRblog. Blogging for Dollars.
The whole sounds worth considering but the trouble is finding the obsession that will prove interesting enough to other people to attract an audience to make the whole thing worthwhile.
Tom Coates of plasticbag has a new weblog called “Everything in Moderation.” Its opening manifesto begins: Online community development is one of my passions, and I have designed and/or managed social software “solutions” for organisations like UpMyStreet, EMAP and the BBC (often alongside Cal Henderson and/or Denise Wilton. Moderation systems are a particular subpassion of mine. In the abstract, people can think they sound bland, technical or intimidating, but fundamentally moderation is really about all those parts of an online community that stop it just being a place where people stand and shout randomly at each other.
Found a few interesting political columns yesterday:
Bill McClellan, If Bill Clinton were an addict, here’s how Rush might spin it
James P. Pinkerton, Bush & Co. Use the Orwell Sales Strategy
From Danny O’Brien I find a link to a new weblog by Jonathan Moore which contained this jem on the amount of work it takes to find new communities on the internet. The Fans and Fetishists problem is the desire to create partitions of the social network so that diversity can exist. Take for example two groups of Britney Spears devotees: fans and fetishists. The fans are mostly young people who actually enjoy the singer’s music.
I’m so far from actually being invited to the Friends of O’Reilly camp that occurred over the weekend that the discussion it engenders seems to be miles removed, but out of it comes a very perceptive comment from Danny O’Brien about the different registers in which online discussion takes place. The problem here is one (ironically) of register. In the real world, we have conversations in public, in private, and in secret.
Mark Lynas is working on a new book about global warming, after touring the world for three years to find stories. A preview article in the Guardian mentions rising oceans in Tuvalu, retreating glaciers in Peru, warming summers in Alaska and a host of other real examples of changing climate. So I knew there would be change, and that the glaciers in my father’s pictures would almost certainly be smaller.
As someone who occasionally tries to take the long view of time but seems caught in a cycle of temporary obsessions the news of Matt Haughey’s Ten Years of My Life photo project looks very interesting. Inspiration The initial inspiration for this site also came from a few similar projects. Diego Golberg’s Arrows of Time captures his family on the same day, every year, for 25 years. The 12hr ISBN jpeg project has been running for nearly ten years already.