i apologize for any stupid shit i've said in the past or will say in the future.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
-Theodore Roosevelt 

i'm back baby!

all right all right. after about 4 years, i've come full circle. i started this blog ten (!) years ago as a place to post ideas and stuff. then i stopped posting stuff as i spent most of my time on other social media sites.

i've now realized my preferred approach is to post all of my thoughts in one place and then to crosspost to other social media as i see fit.


"I'm feeling bad. I'm thinking about where to sleep."

-- Rubina Ali, the 9-year-old girl who starred in the film "Slumdog Millionaire" as she tried to salvage twisted metal and splintered wood -- all that remained of her bubble-gum pink home after Indian authorities demolished part of a city slum where she lived. Months after their movie swept the Oscars, Ali and Azharuddin Mohammed Ismail, 10, are both sleeping on hard dirt, wondering when they too might go from slumdog to millionaire, the Associated Press reported. Azharuddin's home was demolished last week. The demolitions took place because the slum houses were in the way of a planned pedestrian overpass, said a railway official who refused to be named. Such demolitions are common in India's chaotic cities. "It's best that I move," said Rubina's father, carpenter Rafiq Qureshi, who built the home seven years ago with USD 2,000, adding that the filmmakers are helping find the family a new home. "They are doing what they promised," he said. Destroyed shanties often resurface and temporary homes had already sprung up around Azhar's house, AP said, where his family tied blankets and blue and yellow tarpaulins to a wooden frame for shelter. Some neighbors had taken out fresh loans from local moneylenders to rebuild, at 20 percent interest a month.



so much social media, so little time

unfortunately my posting frequency on [supposedly] has declined significantly (not that it was ever in competition with the 24 hr news cycle).

it's interesting to see how much things have changed in the six years since [supposedly] was created. i'm trying to discern the best way to deal with the numerous publication outlets now available and what content to put where. facebook, twitter, and even my gchat status all give me easy access to others. i'm not quite sure how [supposedly] fits into that ecosystem.

part of me wonders if eventually all the dynamism (love that word) will settle down and i'll just be back on here posting on a semi-frequent basis.

i have to admit that having more than 140 characters to say something is quite refreshing.


The Emergence of Obama

Sitting outside the poll yesterday, I listened to Steven Johnson discuss emergence on both a Radiolab podcast and TED Talk. I didn't quite make the direct connection at the time, but later in the day I began to recognize Obama's political success in our country as an example of emergence. In the same way that Alan Watts speaks of a tree appling and a planet peopling, the United States just obama'ed. We are witnessing the emergence of a new politics and a new sensibility in this country. Recent research at the NDN indicates that a new generation of voters is fundamentally transforming politics in this country and consequently, the types of people who rise to positions of power. Obama is right when he acknowledges the essential role his supporters have played in his meteoric rise. He knows, in much the same way Howard Dean got an inkling of in 2004 (and Joe Trippi wrote about), that his electoral success is a self fulfilling prophecy of the American political system.


Social Media Classroom

Howard Rheingold just announced the launch of the Social Media Classroom.

In an educational setting, the social media classroom is designed to augment or—when physical co-presence is not possible—to replace face-to-face interaction. The power derived from using social media in group learning processes comes not from a more efficient computerized extension of older communication forms—the classroom discussion, texts to be read, essays and theses to be written. The power of social media in education and elsewhere derives from their affordances for forms of communication and social behavior that were previously prohibitively difficult or expensive for more than a tiny elite to benefit. Forums afford many-to-many, multimedia, asynchronous discussions among small or large groups, regardless of distance, over extended periods; blogging affords the expression of individual voice, the emergence of a market for intelligent information-filtering and knowledge-dissemination, and public interactions in the form of comments; wikis enable collaborative document and knowledge creation as well as web-building as a learning method; social bookmarking makes possible simple, bottom-up, collective knowledge-gathering; microblogging and chat add synchronous online text channels that can be tuned and cultivated for specific purposes.

Pretty cool.


Palin a closet social liberal?

I was surprised to hear today that Sarah Palin told Fox News that she reads The Economist. I suppose Sarah knew she was taking flak for not being able to name a single news outlet when she was recently asked where she got her news. Surely The Economist is a reputable, serious source of information. Honestly, I couldn't agree more.

But hearing this from Palin reminded me of a letter from the editor of The Economist sent to Savage Love a couple years back. For those of you who are unfamiliar, Savage Love is a sex advice column that's syndicated across the country. Dan Savage is a strong advocate for sensible government policy on social issues and equal rights.

In one letter to the column, a reader commented that they assumed they are one of the few people who read both Savage Love and The Economist. The following week, the Economist's editor submitted the following letter:

Dear Dan Savage: I was flattered to hear that you and your readers had picked up our reference to santorum in The Economist, but I just wanted to disagree with—or hope to disagree with—your reader who ventured that they were unusual in reading both Savage Love and The Economist. I hope very much they are not. Although nonreaders often think of us as a conservative magazine, we've actually always been socially highly liberal, whether on immigration, gay rights, or many other things, including favouring the legalization of drugs. The Economist was among the first mainstream publications, on either side of the Atlantic, to advocate legal recognition of gay partnerships when I ran a cover on the subject in 1996 and then another in 2004.

Our readership is younger than that of other current-affairs or business publications, and I like to think that, like us writers, they are thoughtful, intelligent folk. But you were right: It is not only gay activists who use the term santorum in that way. Maybe being edited in London explains why we got that wrong.
Bill Emmott, Editor
The Economist, London

Maybe Governor Palin is more thoughtful and open-minded than I give her credit for.