Thursday, July 10, 2008
Obama's "Message" Hasn't Changed? Indeed!
RealClear Politics headlines a story (by a lefty) about Obama's recent tacking to the right as, "Obama's Message Hasn't Changed." That's funny, since the message consists of nothing more than a promise of near-universal "change" -- except for the Earth's thermostat, of course. And the curious consistency.
Yesterday evening, my mind randomly tossed out the observation that the Democrats on the campaign trail sound an awful lot like the homeless/zombies in South Park's "Night of the Living Homeless".
Someone else, however, beat me to the punch long ago as the above YouTube video shows. But I'd have spared you that frontal view of Michael Moore at the beginning....
Social Networking as CB Radio
I ran into this Robert X. Cringely article on social networking awhile back that I noticed among some links of things I'd thought about blogging, but never quite got around to. Since a comment yesterday made the article interesting to me, I'll link to it now.
Z thinks that social networking could be used to support rebuilding the World Trade Center the right way. Sounds good to me, but I have to admit that I don't do social networking. Myrhaf thinks it's a waste of time and Cringely sees much of it as part passing fad, part bad business model.
Social networking has a lot of problems as both a business and a cultural phenomenon. To start with there is generally no true business model. This can vary a bit from application to application but most are vying simply for eyeballs and hoping for Google ads to pay the bills until Time Warner or News Corp make them an acquisition offer they can't refuse. That might be okay for Facebook or MySpace and maybe Linked-In, but there are more than 350 general-purpose social networks out there and I will guarantee you that no more than 5 percent of those will be still operating two years from today.I'm too swamped to add something (on top of blogging) to (a) work, (b) getting ready to move across the country, and (c) finding a job. I have no plans to get involved in that time sink, but I am curious. If there are any social networkers out there, what say you? Is Cringely right? Is Myrhaf missing the big picture after having tried MySpace for awhile?
It's not that I don't see value to social networks, it's that I generally don't see ENOUGH value. Yes, keeping my address book synchronized with reality is nice, but isn't that likely to be shortly absorbed into the operating system or perhaps into networked applications like Gmail and Yahoo Mail? [bold added]
Whatever you say, if you comment at all, I think Z's idea has merit. So if you're a social networker, follow his advice and stand up for building a taller and better WTC!
Racism at Three!
Even though I attended a racially mixed grade school in Mississippi, I don't think I was really even aware of the existence of different races until about third grade. I suspect that my experience is typical, know that this would be easy to study, and can't imagine any child reaching a sufficient stage of cognitive development to even be a racist until at least second or third grade. (Not that racism has any intellectual merit, but you do first need to (a) be aware of racial classifications and (b) associate them with specific attitudes and behaviors.) In any event, the notion that someone could be a racist at age three is preposterous.
And yet, ...
The National Children's Bureau, which receives £12 million a year, mainly from Government funded organisations, has issued guidance to play leaders and nursery teachers advising them to be alert for racist incidents among youngsters in their care.Andrew Dalton surmises, rightly, that, "There must be a special version of Poe's Law that applies to multiculturalists."
This could include a child of as young as three who says "yuk" in response to being served unfamiliar foreign food.
This post was composed in advance and scheduled for publication at 5:00 A.M. on July 10, 2008.
Updates: Added a missing hyperlink.