Uh-oh it looks like the government can shut down the internets whenever it wants without the Pippa Middleton act or whatever . . . Hm I wonder what this says about the actual power of the state vs the import of any specific and formal piece of legislation.
Friday, January 20, 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Wednesday, January 18, 2012
So apparently the Congresscritters are trying to pass some kind of MPAA-Murdoch-COC-backed acronym, which has annoyed the internet. I admit I am sort of enjoying it as the old media and the well-capitalized but fundamentally fuddyduddy Chamber discover that oh shit Google is a thing now, but I've got to cop to having no real rooting interest in this payperview cagematch between a bunch of corporate behemoths . . . I guess if you are some kind of liberalprogressive or something you think that Rupert Murdoch is the most evil man in history; meanwhile the Googbook goes right on downloading your brain into its world-devouring personality emulator; copyright does suck, but Total Information is pretty fucking terrifying, and I say this as a person who willfully passes a fair amount of time on the internet.
But look. I am all for the idea that information wants to be free, but youknowmaybe that doesn't just mean free of charge. To consign oneself to a world in which movie downloads are available from eurotorrents while one's entire brain is turned into a proprietary algorithm is a little, um, disheartening. Lemme axe you, which do you think is a bigger infringement on your human liberty, Universal's copyrights, or Google's patents?
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Leonhardt was never my favorite, but he was a titan and did as much as any single person to revive the Baroque and begin to retrieve classical music from its bloat and gigantism.
The first requisite of any work of art — theater, opera, a novel — is that it create a universe that is complete and consistent unto and within itself. -Ben BrantleyWhat does this mean?
I propose to you that it does not, in fact, mean anything at all.
Monday, January 16, 2012
Yves Smith at Naked Capitalism find the Times doing product placement for the finance "industry" and lobs most of the appropriate hand grenades, although she misses the irony of author Adam Davidson claiming that "Wall Street" created credit cards when, in fact, they were imagined in the 1880s by socialist utopian goofball Edward Bellamy for his novel Looking Backwards--to be fair, he imagined something a lot closer to a pre-paid debit card, but still. As Yves ruefully points out, all of the "innovations" Davidson discovers are antique, if not ancient. Wall Street invented mortgages? Well it must've also invented time machines, because mortgages existed in England all the way back in the Plantagenet days.
What is interesting is that Davidson, like most reporters on the money beat--hell, like most reporters on most beats--has but the barest grasp of what the thing he reports on actually is; his Wall Street is just a sort of vague metonym for all things having to do with money; imagine a sports reporter conflating the Nordic combined with the NFL with the NCAA Men's Basketball tournament with Formula One and you get some sense of how these pieces read to a person even marginally interested in the subject; backcheckers are confused with shortstops, and Vince Lombardi bombs down the track with the Jamaican bobsled team, quoting Yogi Berra the whole way.