whose agenda? (pdf)
a long peace?
arts and letters
hit and run
¦etcetera - miscellaneous and irregular¦The lowdown on... Kafka.be
Iraqi blogger, Zeyad has been following a story where four American soldiers appear to have killed his cousins (with Instapundit spreading the word).
"At last, the four soldiers that forced my late cousin into the Tigris at Samarra have been 'REPRIMANDED'," he writes. "They still insist that no one had died even though Zaydun's DEAD body had been retrieved from the river. Also makes me wonder, if no one died, why did they offer a handsome sum of money to the family in return for their silence? And why did the mentioned Commander (the one who was also 'reprimanded') impede the investigation and LIE to the Army investigators? The stench of cover up is overwhelming. This won't go unpunished."
Breedster... "Breedster is an online community website designed for friends... While standard social software often leads the usual in-crowd of friends you already know, Breedster has natural rules to prevent inbreeding. Just walk though our virtual space called the Grid� and you will meet new people in your digital neighbourhood.
Breedster organizes all your acquintances in the cutting edge Copulogram�. It doesn't just show your personal network, it gives an accurate depiction of all your relations."
Basically, you have to breed to be able to invite newcomers into the community - but now there's a disease in the community:
"I'm just going to report that a friend of mine has just contracted a disease in the game - they've released an infestation that can affect your bug's digestive tract and make it harder for you to build up enough strength to fornicate. Watch out everyone, there's infected poop about. This is a disease of the colon that could (and please forgive me for this) run and run!"
In-room social chat. "Most social software is designed as a replacement for face-to-face meetings, but the spread of permanet (connectivity like air) provides opportunities for social software to be used by groups who are already gathered in the same location," writes Clay Shirky on his experiences using in-room social chat.
And this is good on the outboard brain...
China... A weblog exploring "the intersection of information technology and China's social transition" from the University of California: from Xiao Qiang's China's Digital Future.
Some highlights... China celebrates ten years connected to the internet and a review of the unprecendented popularity of China's 300,000 weblogs ("In terms of politics, the function of blogging as independent media is slowly emerging in China... I worry, as soon as a small force of power (impact) comes into shape, it will become the target of regulations and repression," says one blogger.
44 words. "An 8 year old boy was run over and killed this morning on the road out of Mtubatuba," Mark Weston writes. "His brother, who was kneeling by the body, said his mother is bedridden with AIDS. He buried his father, who died of the disease, on Sunday."
SmartMobs vs Amway... Brad deGraf believes US Republicans have adopted a "command structure that naturally compares to the pyramid marketing schemes of companies like Amway and Tupperware." Democrats will "simply be the lucky beneficiary of numerous and diverse groups (MoveOn, True Majority, Americans Coming Together, Votewatch.org, NOW, the unions, most of Hollywood, numerous voter registration efforts, environmental groups, etc.) whose organizational model is as different from the Republicans as the Minutemen were from the Redcoats."
The integration principle... "For a community to be healthy and productive - for it to have "staying" power - its members must integrate their online lives with their in-person lives," from John Suler's The Psychology of Cyberspace.
Book networks. Valid Krebs has traced three network maps of political books (1, 2, 3).
Also... an interesting white paper on the connected organisation.
Vizster. "Vizster is an interactive visualization tool for online social networks, allowing exploration of the community structure of social networking services such as friendster.com, tribe.net, and orkut."
And Rebbecca Blood is on top form advising where orkut has gone wrong...
Puma/Cameroon take on FIFA...
Friction: "Action in war is like movement in a resistant element. Just as the simplest and most natural of movements, walking, cannot easily be performed in water; so in war, it is difficult for normal efforts to achieve even moderate results."
The net in democracy... hopeful signs in Iran, but the New Republic is not impressed.
"Using rules and competition to add a game-like flavour to social software." More.
Iraqi graffiti: "WE SWEAR WE WILL MAKE MASS GRAVES FROM IRAQ'S LAND FOR ALL THE TRAITORS AND ALL THE AGENTS OF THE AMERICANS AND THE ZIONISTS�Army of Mohammed
And underneath is written:
WE ALREADY KNOW MASS GRAVES ARE YOUR SPECIALTY; GOD IS OUR WITNESS ON THAT"
And there's more...
Obesity too widespread to go without attention - nice headline.
"At times, I pinch myself to check that Zadie is not talking about herself. 'This culture is so in overdrive about any kind of youthful fiction,' she fulminates... 'The hype is an enormous psychological pressure on a writer. Not that anyone should weep for a writer who has earned loads of money. But the bottom line is, this is not a healthy thing to have in your head at eight in the morning when you�re trying to write something. It�s just very messy. Even in America you have a better chance of having a basically healthy literary career, at least in the beginning, than you do in England. We�re driven by the celebrity mania that this whole country is sunk in.'"
My article on British novelist, Zadie Smith, is now on Bookslut...
The explosion of baseball blogs...