Welcome to the new CJR.
CJR redesigns. Looks good, first impression.
Pondering the confluence of ‘the dress’ and Scott Walker.
Both subjects of no real value, overdramatized. We live in a meta-world where a name mention — whether positive or negative — increases saturation for that subject, ultimately proving a boon. Instead of feeling the need to express an opinion, there’s significantly more value in just ignoring such things.
And if you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about, I stand up and applaud in your general direction.
Channel4.com: Islamic State fighters smash historic statues in Iraq.
“According to Eleanor Robson, chair of the British Institute for the Study of Iraq, the majority of original statues have been taken to the Baghdad Museum for safe-keeping. [snip] Nonetheless, the stone winged bull you can see being destroyed is an original, probably one at the gates to Nineveh, dating back to the seventh century.” My italic emphasis.
Public Policy Polling: Americans divided on Williams return.
Guardian.UK: Stop calling for a Muslim Enlightenment.
Marked for later reading.
Pacific Standard: Who’s Really to Blame for the Black Death?
I get tired of every friggin’ event getting viewed (or bodily into) a climate-change lens. You know I believe in climate change; it’s just that it’s become the go-to culprit for every historical crisis now, to the exclusion of all other influences.
SF New Mexican: Allow buns on campus, advocates say, to deter rape.
BEST TITLE EVAH. Click it before it’s gone.
Vox: Steven Brill on Obamacare, how to write a book, and the future of media.
NPR: Getting Caught Up In Telling Stories.
“I have a slightly different hypothesis: Brian Williams is a storyteller and storytellers can’t resist a good story.” We all gild the lily at times. However, I can easily see where telling a story gets the attention of a higher-up; what do you do, come clean, or hope the story just gets broadcast the once and forgotten about? A character-building moment, that. Worse if you decide you like the attention, and gilding becomes a habit. That doesn’t seem to be the case here.
Mashable: How Jon Stewart lifted America out of the gutter
No, it points out the tragedy of American news ... that citizens flock to a comedy show to learn how to feel about major events. “Don’t make me think.” Don’t get me wrong, I like Jon Stewart. But the number of people aping his exact pronouncements, without a shred of independent thought, makes me queasy. It’s become left-wing gospel, his monologues. Similar to the blind devotion to Michael Moore; I critique his poor filmmaking skills (I consider him sloppy), and some distant left-wing friends then characterize me as an evangelical gun-toting Republican [I am Democrat, for those who don’t know]. Forget playing devil’s advocate - only my readers here seem to understand that subtlety anymore.
Later: As I’ve mentioned previously, he was a decent bartender at City Gardens, a venue I used to frequent in my wild-and-crazy youth.
New Yorker: Bob Dylan, Extending the Line.
You know, I can’t help but contrast Dylan’s resentments with Brian William’s embellishments, and it softens my feeling about Mr Williams.
The Awl: The Next Internet Is TV.
NY Times: Artists Find Audience for Painstaking Letterpress Printing [Craig of Booknotes, famous!]
Stripes: NBC’s Brian Williams recants Iraq story after soldiers protest.
If he’d done this with a WWII story, anyone from the “Greatest Generation” would have eaten him alive. Now, I understand there probably was a lot of pressure to send ‘close call’s stories to the news bureau, but please.
Bump, the ‘Bilbo Baggins’ factor, and Mr Sullivan.
Bump pegged it years ago; when a blogger leaves the system, there’s a certain amount of drama. He expressed that we bloggers have a tendency to act like Bilbo at his Birthday dinner ... “I’m leaving ... NOW!!” Bang-swoosh. All in order to get some attention. We so want everyone to care, to not go gently into that good night unappreciated. We want to have had some effect on the metacosm.
When Mr Sullivan put up his final post, I thought to myself, “Well, not bad, but chewing through all the past events, that rates about a 5 on the Baggins scale.” But the follow-up posts ... “A Blogger Breaks Free” ... over multiple days, reposting comments from readers ... takes the Baggins factor to 11. It’s like someone’s zombie posting eulogies as they arrive in the cemetery’s mailbox. “I was great. See? Everyone loved me. [Mostly.]” The independent media eulogies are not enough, one must be properly appreciated by posting selected eulogia as a final blogging act?
I suppose I just find it undignified. The sign-off was enough, to me. Better to just step back and let your record stand, than personally post dozens of laymen opinions on one’s worth. Makes one’s history look more like cult of personality than actual influential blog.
[Then, of course, after a few months, as Bump also noticed, the departed weblogger often has a change of heart ... returning in glorious angelic trumpet-calls, tossing blessings to their peons, reposting encomiums, hoping the sign-off attention will increase audience share ... and when it doesn’t, prompting another Baggins event ...]
Later: Really, CJR? The title of your piece should be: “7 ways Andrew Sullivan changed blogging for this writer.” An example: “... he was one of the first to understand that ‘merely’ pointing to something interesting written by someone else was a service to readers, not an admission of inadequacy. And he was among the first to follow (or create) proper ‘netiquette’ of giving attribution.” OK, that makes my cranium explode. “Admission of inadequacy.” I ask you; complete tripe. On January 9, 2000, I attributed a Jakob Nielsen article to Dave Winer ... not with a mere hat-tip, but a whole sentence. [It was late July of 2000 when I started attributing sources in the source:title manner you see today. In December of 2000, you see “via’s” start popping up. I was not the originator, just modifying what others were doing for my own style of concision. I just point out if I was doing it, it was becoming common practice. My earliest reference to Mr Sullivan, according to my in-blog search, is 2005. He was not an archetype.] Weblogging matured amazingly between January and December of 2000. A great deal of the procedures we take for granted were a product of that fertile period. I’ll reemphasize, we who participated in the early metacosm need to write that history of weblogging, sooner than later.
Even later: Some say ‘single-handedly created the political blogosphere’. Jeez, talk about a big grab. I got deeply involved in discussing the Clinton impeachment proceedings (and why they would fail) in the Userland forums in ‘98/‘99 (can’t remember exactly, but it was before I purchased Frontier). In fact, to discuss politics may be what actually put Dave, Userland and ‘content management’ in my radar. Political discussion just moved from forums to blog discussion groups after individual blogs hit the big time. Noone ‘single handedly’ created the genre. The ‘warbloggers’ expanded it hugely, in a conservative vein, after 9/11 and in the leadup to the Iraq War. That’s when the political ‘one-note Charlies’ showed up, beating dead horses to paste on a minute-by-minute basis. Sullivan was, again, not a leader in that warblog movement.
Enough. I remember the old country | They call the emerald land | And I remember my home town | Before the wars began ... I hope we live to see those days again.
GlobalPost: Here’s what moviegoers in Baghdad think of ‘American Sniper’.
“F*ck, shoot him! He has an IED, don’t wait for permission!!” One moviegoer. I deign to wonder how representative that actually is.
... the excitement over Super Bowl *advertisements* ...
NY Mag: Not a Very P.C. Thing to Say.
Playing Devil’s Advocate seems to fly over more and more peoples’ heads these days. And that’s almost the whole fun of conversation/civil argument.
KRQE: Santa Fe diner named one of the best in the nation.
SciAm: What Do Farmers Think about Climate Change?
Given the stats, that looks to me like roughly 68% would be open to attenuation and preparedness measures. That’s a pretty good ratio.
ReadWrite: Why We Need A New Word For Drones.
I was all over this what, nine months, a year ago? Catch up, media. Or not. “Drone” sells ad impressions.
NY Times: A Twist in the Murder of a 97-Year-Old Man: He Was Knifed 5 Decades Ago.
Now there’s a story. Now I know Mercury is retrograde.
Mashable: The beloved Modern Farmer magazine is shutting down.
“The magazine parted ways in December with its founder and editor in chief Ann Marie Gardner, who reportedly had disagreements with the magazine’s lead investor Frank Giustra, a Canadian mining mogul.” Alas. Seems every time I find a good, new RSS feed ... someone shuts down the operation. I miss The Airship, too.
NPR: What If Heaven Is Not For Real?
“... even though none of us existed 1,000 years ago, you don’t find many people worrying about their nonexistence during the Dark Ages. Our not-being in the past doesn’t worry us. So, why does our not-being in the future freak us out so much?”