It's like a linkup, but more pessimistic.
- RECAP is a Firefox extension that sends public documents behind a
for-pay firewall to the Internet Archive as users browse the original
Morozov has more. Effectively, they're crowdsourcing the process of
creating a site mirror. It may have implications for getting around
censorship, but it's more interesting to me in the way that it creates
something valuable by piggybacking on the user's actions, much the same
way that ReCAPTCHA leverages site verification to improve OCR for
- At Arthur Magazine, Douglas
Rushkoff argues that "movements" are dead, because they now play a
role that's more social than actively political. I disagree, personally:
I would say that he's picked some stunningly poor movements, then. The
goal of the New Dissent, just as with traditional social and protest
movements, is to put feet on the ground, albeit in a new way. A movement
that doesn't put feet on the ground is a failure, no matter whether it's
Rushkoff's strawman of "a top-down, passionately executed, and highly
branded movement" or a decentralized, flash mob of demonstrators.
Ironically, the very health protest astroturf that's made Rushkoff so
dejected is a prime example of this kind of action. It's not necessarily
seeing results--but that's because it's badly run. People show up, and
then act like either loons or idiots, which convinces no-one. But that
doesn't mean the organizing principles are unsound.
- In this
Google video, Nils Gilman of the Global Business Network discusses
"the global illicit economy"--basically the globalized black market in
guns, drugs, sex, and malware. Some interesting observations inside: for
example, says Gilman, attempting to control drug trade via border
control is counterproductive because it raises the profit margins for
- It turns out that people
will pay for explainers, but won't pay for your vague trend piece.
Surprise! It's almost like good journalism could be profitable in this
country, if it weren't being killed by all those pesky blogs and
Internets. Nieman Journalism
Lab has a lot of great interviews like this, by the way, including
Bill Wasik on the Politico and David Simon on charging for web content.
Fairey interviews Banksy. In other news from the four elements of
hip-hop, More Than A Stance has a neat "breakumentary" on b-boy
history shot at Street Science in Rotterdam.
- As someone who's done his share of public speaking and video
editing, even to a teetotaler this
Johnnie Walker ad is unbelievable. It's a single, six-minute
steadicam shot of Robert Carlyle walking through Scotland, telling the
brand's history as he walks by carefully-placed props or visual aids.
Apparently it took 40 takes. I find it fascinating for two reasons:
first, because the craftsmanship of it is striking. But second, because
it breaks the commonly-accepted rule of thumb for video
journalism--"keep it short," because people won't watch long-form web
video. As I've said before, I think that's a fallacy. People will
certainly watch long-form productions, if it's interesting. What they
won't watch is a lengthy imitation of "local news"-style coverage.
- Hall and Oates, Carlos Santana, U2: what do these artists have in
common, besides a soporific effect rivalling prescription drugs? Satan.