Happy second birthday (for yesterday) to creatures in my head.
Eliot Gelwan is right on the money again, this time about the anti-SSRI backlash. If you have reason to know what SSRI stands for (and even if you don’t), you should be reading Eliot regularly.
Mark Liberman plays interesting sociolinguistic search engine games (see also this earlier post) at Language Log. Personally, I dislike the use of “refute” to mean “deny”, and I strongly dislike the “”refute/refutes/refuted that” construct, but (as Mark points out) those are side issues. (Don’t take me for one of those barbaric descriptivists though!) What’s really interesting is the kind of analyses that a huge body of searchable text makes possible.
Filtering is a life-raft on the sea of information, and taste tribes are emerging as one of the best filtering mechanisms available (link-fu props to Jerry Kindall). I’m a bit surprised that Joshua Ellis didn’t mention tribe.net by name (and that he did mention the dismal Blogshares) but it’s a good essay. As I’ve mentioned before, I think that trackback and syndication and metablogging tools are turning blogs into a conversational medium of sorts, out of which it is easy to build your own taste tribes. I note that Ellis’ sense of the term seems to be more interactive than mine — superspecialrock versus Bloglines — so maybe I need a different term for solitary geeks assembling a virtual panel of cultural taste-testers. Whichever way you look at it, I think it’s safe to ignore Xeni’s so-hip-it-hurts whining about “that post-Friendster/Tribe/LinkedIn/SixDegrees oh-god-not-again feeling” on the otherwise excellent Boing Boing. Taste tribes, and applications that pander to them, are here to stay.
Skippy at The American Street points out that CBS, which wouldn’t take MoveOn.org‘s “Bush in 30 seconds” ad because they don’t run “issue-oriented” ads, is planning to run anti-Mary Jane ads during the Superbowl. He has some addresses if you want to let the rat bastards know that their hypocrisy has not gone unnoticed.
Speaking of rat bastard hypocrites, I am all tingly with Schadenfreude as I note that the American Family Association has had to abandon its “gay marriage” poll because the position they liked lost out by nearly two-to-one. Hat tip to Atrios, whose “go torture X” memelet probably helped. “Pro-family” my arse.
(via Doc Searls) First the Great Old Ones, now pathogenic microorganisms. When they made a plush Cthulhu, I did not speak up because I was not an Elder God of unspeakable evil…
Via Body and Soul, Obsidian Wings has truly outstanding coverage of the Maher Arar travesty. Arar is a Canadian citizen whom the US gummint deported to Syria so that they could have him tortured. I kid you not. Go read about it; this shit could happen to you next.
If you’re part of the choir and you like being preached to (I am and I do), go read this from Rep. Bernie Sanders (I, VT) (via Dave):
The middle class is collapsing, and we need a fundamental alternative to trickle down economics and unfettered free trade.
We’ve got to raise the minimum wage to a living wage.
We’ve got to renegotiate our disastrous trade policies that have cost us millions of decent paying jobs.
We’ve got to change labor law so that workers can join unions when they want to.
We’ve got to protect the overtime pay that workers have earned.
We’ve got to put people to work building affordable housing, schools, mass transportation, and a sustainable energy system.
Our health care system is disintegrating… we can guarantee health care to all Americans through a single-payer national health care system. […]
Our national priorities are backwards. Instead of giving huge tax breaks to the rich and large corporations, we should provide for the middle class and working families of this country. […]
Environmental degradation is threatening the wellbeing of our planet. We must move to sustainable and nonpolluting forms of energy as well as energy conservation. […]
We must work for world peace, and not U.S. imperial power. […]
This, via Boing Boing and Atrios, is no surprise to me, but I hope it gets tremendous coverage:
Republican staff members of the US Senate Judiciary Commitee infiltrated opposition computer files for a year, monitoring secret strategy memos and periodically passing on copies to the media…
It’s not clear that the thieving bastards in question can be prosecuted, but then the law is an ass.
“You just wrong, and I be tryin’ to right you.” Via pretty much everyone, Margaret Cho is a class act, yo.