Friday, April 15, 2011

The Apocalypse Now Times: Handwritten Newspapers From Ravaged Japan

Proof that newspapers will survive, even during apocalypses. Newseum has this story about reporters in Tsunami-hit Japan creating handwritten newspapers for 6 days, while the power was gone:
For six consecutive days after the twin disasters, reporters used flashlights and marker pens to write their stories on poster-size paper and posted the "newspapers" at the entrances of relief centers around the city. Six staff members collected stories, while three spent an hour and a half each day writing the newspapers by hand.
You used to find hand-drawn newspapers, created by poor kids, pasted on the pillars of Inner Circle in Connaught Place.

Getting students to create 4 - page handwritten newspapers, and spreading them with photocopies, can be an excellent way to teach news writing.

There will be no mobile towers in an apocalypse.


Another Reason Why Huff Post is Not the Kind of News Provider we Want

That Huff Post is a mega-blog masquerading as an aggregator is well known. That it is glorified PR company pushing itself as a provider of 'original' news is another fact that Techmeme/Mediagzer-type bloggers routinely gloss over, using fancy analogies and cute terms.

Diana Ravitch recently wrote in the Washington Post about Michelle Rhee, who champions business interests in the education sector. Michelle Rhee also has a page on Huff Post, using which she pushes her agenda.

From Ravitch's story:
The most chilling episode in Richard Whitmire’s biography of Michelle Rhee occurs near the end, when Rhee says to a PBS camera crew, “I’m going to fire somebody in a little while. Do you want to see that?” Of course they did, and they taped the chancellor of the District of Columbia public schools firing a principal.
Think about it: Would the New York Times put out pages for every major personality, from Gaddafi to Kim Kardashain, all pushing their personal agendas?

What sort of News is this? This is almost like paid news in disguise.
You want conversation, go to Twitter.or, integrate Twitter, Facebook, or Disqus.

Ravitch story via Undernews

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

What are the changes you made in your life and never look back?

From a great conversation on Hacker News about 'What are the changes you made in your life and never look back?": (headings in bold are mine)

Social Status:
Husband => No husband
Affluenza => Spartanism
Car => No car
Self Improvement:
Whining ---------------------------> Fixing
Asking for permission -------------> Asking for Forgiveness (Professionally)
Gaming as a hobby -----------------> Learning as a hobby
Working hard ----------------------> Working smart
Speculation -----------------------> Communication
Competition -----------------------> Cooperation


Dorothy Parker Quote of the Day

“I prefer the company of younger men. Their stories are shorter.”


The Ethics of Voting: Vote only for things you justifiably believe would promote the common good

In his book "The Ethics of Voting", Jason Brennan says, "There is no duty to vote.". He explains:
There's no duty to vote, but if you do vote, you have a duty to vote "only for things [you] justifiably believe would promote the common good."  
As a citizen, you do not owe it to others to provide them with the best possible governance.  But if you take on the office of voter, you acquire additional moral responsibilities, just as you would were you to become the Federal Reserve chairperson, a physician, or a congressperson.  The electorate decides who governs.  Sometimes they decide policy directly.  They owe it to the governed to provide what they justifiably believe or ought to believe is the best governance, just as others with political power owe it to the governed to do the same.
Read this in conjuntion with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi's 'vote or face action' law. Modi says similar laws are being implemented in 32 countries.

Book summary via Bryan Caplan

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Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Judge the judges

Flickr users critique a photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson:
so small
so blurry
to better show a sense of movement SOMETHING has to be in sharp focus
A Yahoo Answers user posts the first page of Late David Foster Wallace's doorstopper "Infinite Jest". The work of one of the seminal writers of recent times doesn't impress any user. 
No discernible voice/tone in this writing. Rambling descriptions. I, frankly, do not care where each and every person is seated. I don't care what shoe you're wearing. If you take out all the unnecessary details, you'd be left with about seven words.
Idea: Put up first pages of 100 most influential books online and see what users say.

Thanks to Jason Kottke 

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