Beyond Broadcast and other items

posted by Mike on February 25th, 2007

Aside from seeing a One Laptop Per Child computer, this year’s Beyond Broadcast conference (at MIT) was underwhelming. But then I had a similar impression after last year’s. It took months for the ideas to start bearing fruit. The session on the future of public access TV, for example, just sort of drifted around, but I think it will catalyze discussions about this topic at my local public access station. And those discussions could have a real impact.

OLPC, with metal hand sign for scale

Dave Winer:

I have no idea what they’re talking about. They use terms that I don’t have a sense of what they mean in real terms. When they talk about the “grass roots” I guess those are the people you see on BART or the Red Line. How do these people meet them? When these guys go to work, what do they do every day?

The term “grassroots” doesn’t bother me, but this discussion weirded me out, too. On the electronic forum during the panel, somebody asked how these grassroots projects are supposed to be funded. Answer: with your day job. If the core of the funding isn’t people’s personal money, and the core of the work isn’t being done by non-professionals, I don’t see how it’s grassroots.

After the conference, I had dinner with family. My cousin (an MIT grad) works for a firm that does architectural law, and she told me that the aesthetic criminals behind the Stata Center have not, to her knowledge, been brought to justice.

Mark E. Smith + Lil’ John = Snow Ghost: A nice review of Bruce’s song about Elizabeth Báthory.

Photo: Bay Windows ran my crummy photo of Larry Cirignano in their print edition this week (with my permission). I hadn’t realized until looking at their website that last week they followed-up on a tip from Indymedia about videos of the Cirignano incident, and credited Indymedia appropriately. Way to tap into the amateur journalism scene.

Chinese New Year: Worcester’s Catholic Free Press looks at how it is celebrated by local Vietnamese Catholics.

Lent: Absurd article in the T&G comparing Lenten resolutions to New Year’s ones. His source: some author in Kansas. My experience: I’ve kept probably 90% of my Lenten resolutions down through the years, and about 0% of my New Year’s ones. Lent is a shorter, more focused period of time, and we are constantly reminded of our Lenten resolutions (or at least on Fridays and Sundays). The whole New Year’s Resolution thing seems phony to me, while Lenten resolutions are close to my heart. No comparison at all.

William T. Cavanaugh:

One of the things that I really like about Pope Benedict is his emphasis on peace. This was true of him even before he became pope. He was very vocal in his opposition to the Iraq war. At one point he was asked in an interview if there could be such a thing as a just war these days, and he said no. One of the reasons he chose the name Benedict was to honor Benedict XV who was the peace pope in the early 20th century. He’s styled himself to be a peace pope. This is something I deeply appreciate with him.

Josh Marshall:

It’s hard to imagine that there’s anyone in this country not under active federal surveillance who has done more to advance the al Qaeda agenda than Dick Cheney.

I know that seems like hyperbole or a throwaway line. But it’s actually very true.

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