Links for 3/19/2002

Targeted Serendipity Weblogs aren’t just glorified pages of links and rambling personal sites; they are an antidote to mass media. According to the author of “The Weblog Handbook,” Rebecca Blood, they are also bringing creative expression to everyday people when they need it most.

And have I linked to Microcontent News yet? I’m gonna add a perma-link too.

At Airport Gate, a Cyborg Unplugged Steve Mann, an engineering professor at the University of Toronto, has lived as a cyborg for more than 20 years, wearing a web of wires, computers and electronic sensors that are designed to augment his memory, enhance his vision and keep tabs on his vital signs. Although his wearable computer system sometimes elicited stares, he never encountered any problems going through the security gates at airports.

The Incredible Rubberband Machine Gun! It’s the only fully automatic machine gun that’s legal in all 50 states! This beauty is a fully functional machine gun with TWELVE rotating barrels and a live action trigger. Loads 12 bands per barrel for a whopping 144 rubber bands that shoot off as fast as you can turn the handle! Great fun for kids of all ages. MORE than just an amazing machine, this is a true work of art.

The year 2000 saw the rebirth of a very old web idea, repackaged in some new technology, and unleashed as the weblog (or “blog” for short). The recipe for a weblog is simple: make a web page, a single page, and put microcontent (short blurbs and blips) on it. Then update it again and again, all day, every day, with the newest stuff always at the top.

Weblogs as community

Bloggers vs. Journalists

Now I’m not one to normally do this (“this” being posting this on my blog though I generally will talk about things a lot, just part of my problem where I can say something and have it make sense but when I sit to write it, blargh) but…

It is funny that I give much more credence to journalists over bloggers. I am not a journalist and I have always been highly skeptical of what I read in the newspaper. But I do believe they subscribe to a “search for truth” ethic well above the average person. 
– Mike Sanders

Eh, I have to disagree here. To a certain extent.

As Mike stated in his post on Keep Trying, “The increase in blogging makes available many more points of view. But the quick nature of blogging tends to make those opinions less thought out. So there is an increase of quantity with a decrease of quality, compared to say, journalism.” But this statement can be made about the web in general with the plethora of news sites out there who are still fighting to be considered legitimate news sources.

But whether the quality of a blogger’s work is comparable to that of a journalist all depends on what the blogger is trying to do. Are they attempting to report like any other journalist? Most blogs are there for opinions and journals, they’re more like the OpEd page of the newspaper. It’s a great way to see the point of view of folks on the inside of the situations you read about in the news. Whether it’s a Palenstinian talking about the events in the Middle East of a New Yorker right after the events of September 11th, you should expect an upclose and more personal view of these events, not what is news.

What journalists have to strive for is to sit outside and above it all and simply report the facts of the matter. This is the ideal, but that doesn’t really happen.

All journalists write for a paper (or station, or website, or magazine…) whos purpose is ultimately to make money. So these papers must strive to delight their market. If their market is mostly Arab-Americans, for example, then the paper would be stupid to publish articles that may possibly slant in favor of Israel, no matter what the facts are.

Does this present a better picture of events than a blog attempting to report these events would? Possibly, but that’s probably because it has more resources than anything else. The article will still be slanted because of the writer’s opinions and the editor’s opinions and the publisher’s opinion. When the article finally sees print, it has everyones’ fingerprints on it and may distort or leave out facts based on it’s own beliefs and agenda. Your news blogger will make the same mistakes only using the limited resources they have at hand (whether that be their own first hand experience, those of people around them or just what they dig up off of other sites). The agenda of your everyday blogger is simply to convey their emotions and thoughts at that particular moment. And while the facts may not be accurate, the emotions are as real as anything happening out there.

All in all, it just depends on what you want to read.

Bin Laden’s Social Network [[DEADLINK]] This is an excellently done site and thorough as hell.

Greetings, America. My Name is Osama bin Laden Editor’s note: What follows is an article on Osama bin Laden that was published in the February 1999 issue of Esquire. It has not been updated. We have posted it here simply because it contains some unique background information on the lead suspect in the attack on America.

Afghanistan – Darunta Camp Complex The Al-Badr I base in Jalalabad [34°25’00″N 70°27’00″E] is about 100 kilometers east of Kabul.

Something to keep you up at night… Think about this. Pakistan’s going to be helping the United States in the fight against Afganastan (sp?). Now, groups inside of Pakistan, including the Taliban, have already said they will turn on the government if they back the US. So, we have civil war in Pakistan. Here’s the kicker:

Pakistan is a NUCLEAR STATE.

And, if I recall correctly, this will be the first military civil war in a nuclear state. Ever. Not counting military coups (the Soviet Union’s and the one a few months ago in Pakistan among others). So, civil war in a nuclear state in a volitile region.

But wait! There’s more! So, India’s no friend of Pakistan. They’ve been fighting over Kashmir for eternity. Here’s their prime opportunity and cover to move MASSIVE amounts of troops into the region. So, the Pakistan has to respond to this threat. Then there’s the possibility that Afganastan might try to hit Pakistan a wee bit with a couple missiles here and there just to piss them off. So, Pakistan’s in a THREE front war with a nuke in the middle.

Oh, India has the capability to use nuclear weapons too.

Think about that for a bit.

They DIDN’T!!!! They did. “Television evangelists Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson, two of the most prominent voices of the religious right, said liberal civil liberties groups, feminists, homosexuals and abortion rights supporters bear partial responsibility for Tuesday’s terrorist attacks because their actions have turned God’s anger against America. “God continues to lift the curtain and allow the enemies of America to give us probably what we deserve,” said Falwell…” Nevermind the fact that this mindset was shared by the terrorists, simply to a different God with different scape goats. Okay, fuck them, tell them what you really think here! [[DEADLINK]] I did.

More Insanity!

Why is this Happening to America? Anne Graham Lotz Answers [[DEADLINK]]

Pat Robertson Prays on Air for America

America’s Call to Repentance