October 2007 Archives

October 30, 2007

defective yeti: Running Down The Hill

defective yeti: Running Down The Hill

It’s not that I don’t like Clinton—I do. Honestly, I think she’s the most presidential person in the race, for either party. Some people say she’s unelectable, but I don’t believe that for a moment. And hopefully Kerry taught us the peril of nominating someone based on their supposed “electability.”

But holy smokes, I am so sick of this dynasty crap. Bush? Then Clinton? Then Bush? Then Clinton? If Hillary wins she will likely be re-elected as well; when she leaves office, this nation will have been ruled exclusively by two families for 28 straight years—an entire generation! In 2020, no one under the age of 30 will remember a time when neither a Bush or Clinton was running the joint. And you know Jeb will be waiting in the wings. What’s the point of having a democracy if we only use to to elect monarchs?

Hmm. Never thought of it that way. Maybe I’ll need to use this strategy to dissuade Democrats this year (I used, “Wait for Hillary in ‘08” during the ‘04 election season).

October 29, 2007

Foreign Policy: The List: World’s Healthiest Countries

Foreign Policy: The List: World’s Healthiest Countries

Health headlines are more likely to focus on countries that have worsening HIV epidemics or that play host to the latest disease outbreak. But in a select few places, longevity and fitness trump viruses and early deaths. In this week’s List, FP examines five countries that boast the cleanest bills of health.

October 18, 2007

How Creativity Is Killing the Culture

mnartists.org | How Creativity Is Killing the Culture

Over and over, today's culture not only reinforces that everyone is creative, but also that we have to be creative in order to be fully realized and fulfilled beings. We are told we need to have creative work, and that our creativity is the key to innovation at our work. This is true even as the number of cubicle-bound paper-pushing jobs ever seems to multiply, and as fewer and fewer jobs really require much creativity. We are told, and have bought the notion, that creativity is now the solution to every problem, and that without creativity we are destined for failure. And having bought into how essential is creativity, we end up constantly seeking validation--from the culture at large or from anyone who will give it--for what we want to hear: that we are creative, essential, important people who are valid and crucial to the working of modern civilization.

An intellectual, articulate (wait, is he black?) perspective of much the same concept I noted earlier from Gym Jones. Hmm; is there a new revolution coming from the American heartland?

'Totally Wired' Chinese Youth

Ypulse: 'Totally Wired' Chinese Youth

China has 320 million young people between the ages of 16 and 30. Rising incomes, growing urbanization and an economy that has grown 10% annual from 1979 to 2006, have resulted in a consumer boom in China. Young people are the largest group of Internet users with people ages 25 or younger representing 50% of the 162 million Internet users in China. Pearl Research estimates this demographic have $135 billion in spending power...

Koreans, Hispanics Work for Harmony

Koreans, Hispanics Work for Harmony - washingtonpost.com

Korean businesses, which tend to be labor intensive and have low margins, will continue to need Hispanic immigrants to grow, said Dae Young Kim, a professor of sociology at the University of Maryland at College Park. He added that Korean business owners often feel that Hispanics "also have a sort of immigrant drive that would make them hard workers."

Thomas Yoon said that H Mart came to similar realizations. "We woke up and realized we couldn't run our stores without them. We had to start treating them for what they were -- important employees," Yoon said.

Sigh. So much to say there, so sad. Sometimes I wonder if even generational spans can traverse the space between Koreans and globalized reality. Sigh.


, originally uploaded by Eddie Law.

October 15, 2007

Blog Action Day

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

Today was Blog Action Day, the day where thousands of blogs around the world post about one particular theme. And on this day, the theme is the environment. But what can I say about the environment that you haven't already heard?

Be deliberate. Stop doing things because other people tell you. Stop worrying about the environment because thousands of bloggers are telling you to. Don't you care about the environment? For what reasons? If they are not strong enough to convince you, then nothing I or any other blogger will say can help you make long-lasting decisions in support of environmental preservation or restoration.

Be thorough. If you're going to champion a cause, do it. 2nd place is not a champion, and, even counting something other than Nobel Prize winner Al Gore as first, you are far from second. Do you think you've done enough because you understood An Inconvenient Truth? If you are committed to protecting rainforests you will stop your paper statements, print to PDF unless necessary. If your thing is global warming, don't be surprised if I ask when you are selling your car, planning to move off the grid or what your walk score is. If you don't like cruelty to animals but are not vegetarian... you see my point?

This world is in a very sad state. We suffocate on our excesses while the world crumbles and innocent, unfortunate and powerless people suffer. YOU are to blame (I'm just as bad, as I'm writing this post on one of four computers in a two-bedroom, three-person apartment). Until we can face that reality, none of this will really change.

I hope this will encourage you to think seriously about our environment and what you can do to help.

October 10, 2007

Eliminating Digital Divides

Thomas Scovell’s Blog » Blog Archive » Digital Divide

Biting on web 2.0 as the province of nothing but self-obsessed “white 20-something males” is… probably totally fair. In some senses. At least they’re (we’re?) the ones hyping it for the sake of it.

But for all their “I don’t buy CDs, I heart itunes music store” rhetoric I find most of this community are only barely “new media” in their day-to-day lives.

Coming back to some ideas I drew out in a recent presentation… its younger people, and often those in lower socio-economic communities that are really acting-out new media wise. Which is great. Because we hear so much about the “digital divide” and how the priveleged are the ones with the access to and knowledge about technology.

I like what he's saying here, for a couple of reasons.

First I think that it takes clarifications like this to see the real picture and, hopefully, devise a real solution. There are people who are already doing technologically savvy things with low tech; what happens when they manipulate the things which we now consider new or exciting? It generally seems that in their hands technology takes a more practical bent. I'm thinking of the adoption of text messaging long before it caught on in more developed parts, as well as Jan Chipchase's research on "Sente" in Uganda.

If anything, I think that internet 2.0 is about unwalled gardens; an environment where people groups cultivate and create but where linking one group to another becomes easy and even expected for collective progress. People stepping up to the plate with the same tools as everyone else--and seeing what direction they'll run with it.

Which brings an important concept to the surface: should we be bringing them to speed or starting them out hard and fast? I think this is where the digital divide persists and perhaps thrives. Noting it a while back, when will technology meet a culture where it is to develop without a primer, a starter course, a "first computer"--if we see potential, why not immerse them in the areas that need new thought rather than providing them well-traveled methods?

As noted in the link above, I think this is the only caveat--though a big one--I have with the OLPC concept. The digital divide will never disappear if we insist on hammering out deep roads to information.

Would it have not been better if we asked every proposed area what they would need and design it for their own people and situation? If the OLPC looked completely different in every region because of local application? I'm channeling AfH here, wondering what Cameron's take on the project would be.

October 9, 2007

Iceberg Meets Korean Gangsters

The Iceberg » Blog Archive » Iceberg Tales - Iceberg Meets Korean Gangsters

From seemingly out of nowhere there appeared no less than six gangsters who lined up behind my friend. Oblivious to their presence, my friend tightened his grip around the bbi kki'€™s collar and continued his interrogation. "Oh shit," I thought, "this is going to get ugly."€ I walked up to within a couple of feet of the gangsters, preparing to do what little I could to help out my friend should they decide to jump him.

This story has been making its way through the Korean blog circuit; worth posting for the sheer surreality of this Korean reality. If you've lived there, you know it's true. :)

Greeks Didn't Need Math to Innovate

DIY Creations: Ancient Greeks Didn't Need Math to Innovate New Tools - Lifehacker

Once again, history proves that you don't need a degree in physics or electrical engineering to be a brilliant innovator.