posted by Mike on July 10th, 2006

Greetings from West Virginia, home of beautiful mountains and dial-up Internet access.

Mr. Hetero: The T&G had an update last week:

WORCESTER— Pastor Thomas Crouse of Holland, who brought his controversial Mr. Heterosexual contest to Worcester, is suing the city for expenses surrounding a police detail he says he was forced to endure. The city claims it never charged Mr. Crouse for the detail.

Lots of he-said-she-said. Note that “forced to endure” seems a bit strong, considering that Mr. Crouse revelled in the police detail at the time.

Google: worcester library homeless, someone googled, and got the IMC article just ahead of a copy of the T&G article (as well they should), with P&C in third place for local reports. Why is the now-free-to-the-general-public T&G website itself not on the first page of the rankings?

Eggs: Adam Durand, who was jailed for rescuing dying hens from a factory farm, was released pending appeal after being in jail for a month. If you haven’t already, check out the movie he made about conditions at the Wegmans egg farm.

Grease: The InCity Times had a couple articles last month about running diesel cars on recycled vegetable oil. There’s now a Worcester co-op dedicated to grease cars; and they have a Google group.

Wholphin: Watched the latest Wholphin DVD on my friends’ super-huge TV. Such a treat. The first part of “The Power of Nightmares” was a particular mind blower, and makes me want to do some real reading into the histories of neo-conservatism and radical Islam.

Benkler: Speaking of “real reading,” I’m working my way through Mr. Benkler’s The Wealth of Networks. I’ve long bought into the idea that “sharing is good, especially the sharing of information.” But reading a detailed argument supporting this idea is new to me. Sample Benkler goodness:

A common critique of claims that the Internet improves democracy and autonomy is centered on information overload and fragmentation. What we have seen emerging in the networked environment is a combination of self-conscious peer-production efforts and emergent properties of large systems of human beings that have avoided this unhappy fate. We have seen the adoption of a number of practices that have made for a reasonably navigable and coherent information environment without re-creating the mass-media model. There are organized nonmarket projects for producing filtering and accreditation, ranging from the Open Directory Project to mailing lists to like-minded people, like There is a widespread cultural practice of mutual pointing and linking; a culture of “Here, see for yourself, I think this is interesting.” The basic model of observing the judgments of others as to what is interesting and valuable, coupled with exercising one’s own judgment about who shares one’s interests and whose judgment seems to be sound has created a pattern of linking and usage of the Web and the Internet that is substantially more ordered than a cacophonous free-for-all, and less hierarchically organized and controlled by few than was the mass-media environment. It turns out that we are not intellectual lemmings. Given freedom to participate in making our own information environment, we neither descend into Babel, nor do we replicate the hierarchies of the mass-mediated public spheres to avoid it.

Published in: Items | on July 10th, 2006 | Permanent Link to “Items” | 3 Comments »

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  1. On July 10, 2006 at 14:14 Kevin said:

    When I googled “worcester library homeless” just now, T&G didn’t make the first page list, and even more perplexing is the, w/ just a few paragraphs out of Brattleboro gets #1 listing.

  2. On July 11, 2006 at 14:22 Kevin said:

    July 11th – googled “worcester library homeless”, 1st-Globe, 2nd-WBZ, 3rd-WoIndy, 4th Houston Chronicle, 5th-Eagle Tribune(Andover), 6th-T&G, 7th – Pie& Coffee. You’d think the hometown rag would beat out the AP snipits in the Andover & Houston papers.

  3. On July 13, 2006 at 11:05 Mike said:

    Checked again today: the actual T&G page is now #10! Both WoIndy and P&C are still ahead of it.

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