Christian Coalition of America President, Roberta Combs said, "Christian Coalition will support any effort -- even by Hollywood -- if that effort results in eliminating child pornography and other types of pornography that are on the Internet today. We hope the Supreme Court rules for morality in America and against these file-sharing companies which contribute to the smut flooding America today."
We blogged Ed Felten's comments on a closely related point a few days ago.
Laying the Newspaper Gently Down to Die argues that those print periodicals are on the way out - not because new technologies are driving them to death from outside, but because the newspapers are deciding to respond by harvesting profits now, before (and without preparing to avoid) extinction.
No R & D rush. No large investment in the future. No siren call to find the new model. And yet the Project for Excellence in Journalism report says that in 2004, daily newspapers (the ones still making money) employed fewer reporters and editors. They also squeezed in more ads per page, and less news. Not only are we not seeing the big investment in an online alternative, there are signs of a withdrawal before the great divide.
I wonder how and why this differs from print newspapers' response to earlier media competitors: radio, tv.
Dan Gillmor's response is well worth reading. He sees the harvesting cycle to be quick and ugly, while the craft of journalism transforms into something else, probably a combination of media.
The Book of Waste is the latest interactive story in multimedia from Dreaming Methods. It's a brooding hypertext, with pieces of stories distributed into short stories, then into sequences within them. Stories range from rural horror (maybe) to urban isolation and teen anxiety. There's some cross-hatching by theme and tone, along with some game hints (a code number).
As usual with Dreaming Methods, the multimedia presentation is excellent. The sound is especially effective, persistent and rich. Each story appears with a different hypertext mapping scheme, sometimes hooked into the text. Stories appear as text layered on top of images, each lexia combined with one or two images, which can move uneasily. Media appear as narrative structures, such as the story using video as a metaphor, or the tale nearly hidden within an audio tape. The whole thing is presented as beta, with two stories posing as incomplete, but it's hard to say if this is really a work in process or just the expression of all of these fictions' cumulative suffering and failure.
Ed Felten notes a rhetorical trope, whereby defenders of strong copyright link filesharing to pornography consumption and production. This would be a piece of the classic mechanism of using a medium to project one's fears, and ties into the classic American obsession with sex as ultimate evil.
With his customary humor, Ed adds:
For example, Hollywood argues that filesharing will lead to a shortage of movies, because nobody will make movies they can't sell. But when the topic switches to pornographic movies, suddenly they start arguing that filesharing increases the creation and availability of content.
Doc Searls posts a nice metaphor about publishing, collaboration, and blogging this morning:
I've been pushing large rocks for short distances up a lot of hills, for a long time. Now, with blogging, I get to roll snowballs down hills. Some don't go very far. But some get pretty big once they start rolling.
This describes my very happy experience with the polar music meme I pushed off nearly a month ago. It affords a nice example of Web-based collaboration. We began with a blog post, where I floated an idea, with an image and a couple of links added. Comments began to appear, adding more information. I received still more suggestions via IM, email, and phone. All of these led me to a followup post, then another. One fine participant queried one of his networks, to which I did not have access, and harvested more goodies. To hold this sprawling stuff, I quickly opened a wiki page, which grew.
Blog post, blog comment, IM, email, email list, phone, wiki: all mobilized by interest and an ad hoc social network to create useful knowledge. That snowball went downhill indeed, and I'm grateful.
More weird goodness from Livejournal: riffing on a mysterious fashion picture.
...Zack: His only friends would be a maniac blimp pilot who lives to inject almost random chemicals into his veins and a Babbage machine the size of a house that talks to him through a huge green scale computer screen. It would be called The Dauphin and it would give him his missions. They would be randomly generated and completely pointless....
"Deliver 73 bars of iron to the motel on 18th street and then cut the hand off senator Barnley."
Dr. Thorpe: "Yellowjacket, you must perform unnecessary surgery on the Count, before it is too late!"
At the risk of self-referentiality, I noted a story over in Smartmobs, concerning an urban legend about cell phones. It's the one about mobile phones triggering gas station explosions. Which is fun enough, but could also be more evidence for the haunted internet meme persisting in the mobile world. As the story's expert broods:
For Dr Burgess, such concerns are part of a broader pattern of unease about mobile phones.