Today’s Times Book Review section has a nicely written, humorous article on Ben Franklin and his Almanac: Ben Franklin is a Big Fat Idiot. The title makes it mandatory reading given
Lost of folks are sending email with wordy, legalistic disclaimers about privacy and liability. Usually, the emails are from people in corporate offices, but some people at school have them too due to FERPA. These signature files crack me up. The signatures are often difficult to understand, and they sound full of it. The people who have these signatures attached to their emails often have no say in whether or not they send the files. If someone gets personal information by accident, no one is going to forget it. It’s like a judge telling a jury to ignore what they heard from a lawyer. Not
While playing on Facebook Facecrack tonight, I noticed all the groups, pages, and causes on my page. The accumulated weight of mouse clicks shocked me, not only because of these groups’ sheer purposelessness (i.e., the various Farmville hate groups), but also because joining typically leads to nothing fruitful even when the groups are actually meaningful (i.e., Southern Poverty Law Center). Now, we could rationalize this by saying that Facebook allows us to construct ourselves in a very strange hybrid space of reality and virtual reality. So I want all these groups/pages/causes in my profile. They are little hyperlinks to represent me, and all my connections
Huffington Post has lost it. The site contains story after story about Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sarah Palin. Sometimes other people are added to the mix — all the usual suspects. To be fair, they add balance with Jon Stewart, Michael Moore, and Arianna herself. On the whole, though, that site is obsessed with right wing bloviation. This obsessive coverage just gives the blowhards more limelight, attention, and power. It’s like feeding trolls. Sarah Palin is now promoting her book, which means she’s making the media circuit. Ultimately this translates to more Palin for us to look forward to on HuffPo. They will document
Googlism is a fun site that tells you what Google “thinks” about you by posting short excerpts of Google search results on your name (or whatever). The site is fun, flattering, and insulting. Google squelched Googlism’s capabilities by preventing the application from gathering fresh data. It limits the results to before 2004. Googlism seems fairly harmless, so the limitation seems silly. Below are some of the Googlism’s for “Laura.” I left out the ones that referred to s*perm, c*cks, and other pr0n references (aww, darn!) as well as some that were pointless. laura is new laura is a racist and a total phony laura is
Confused about the difference between news feed and live feed on Facebook? Me too. The whole new, new Facebook annoyed and confused me until I finally Googled it to see wtf was going on. Once I did, it was worse than I thought The biggest change on Facebook are the Live and News Feeds. Everyone figured out how to drag the status feed to the top of the links menu on the left. That was supposed to restore the old Facebook, but it didn’t because the feeds are now split into the various status, links, pages, etc., plus the new Live and News Feeds. Confusing?!
Google doesn’t allow abortion providers to advertise. Fair or not, that’s beside the point. The result, unfortunately, is that the google metrics or whatever it’s called elevates Christian pro-life clinics. Today, I was looking up examples of arguments for pro-choice and pro-life positions to bring to class. I Googled “pro-choice+arguments” and got an astounding number of hits that were Christian, anti-choice sites providing counter-arguments. Then I Googled “pro-life+arguments,” and I got the same thing. There were some pro-choice sites, but overall the hits favored the pro-life position. Certainly, the recursivity of Google’s search engine, combined with their choice about advertising, has caused this depressing result.
* I can’t remember the last time I heard a busy signal. Busy signals disappeared due to voice mail and call waiting, a phenomenon that happened in the 90s. This is an early step in the direction of 24/7 accessibility and connection via new communication technologies. Although, looking backward, we can say the same thing for the invention of the telephone, telegraph, printing press, and even writing itself. Still, the loss of the busy signal bespeaks a “jacked-in-ness” unmatched in older information technologies. * The Guiding Light has gone off the air after 72 years. I watched that show with my grandmother when I was
Google was supposed to be called Googol, meaning 10100, the number represented by a 1 followed by one hundred zeros. Apparently, the founders were poor spellers. They trademarked Google and bought the web domain before realizing they misspelled it!
To revamp this site, I read a lot about blogging, and learned there are now rules about how to do it. Apparently, I violate many blogging conventions. These rules are funny considering I didn’t even know what a blog was when I started. It just seemed like something enjoyable to do. Of course, as a rhetorician, I know the most important rule is audience-centeredness, but I just defined my audience as myself, the occasional friend or student, and perhaps whoever else stumbled onto my site. The internet was generally empty at the time, and I decided early on that my blog would avoid a heavy