Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘newspapers

Friday!

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* John Maynard Keynes, dirty hippie. Via MeFi.

Finally, Keynes’s essay challenges us to imagine what life after capitalism might look like (for an economic system in which capital no longer accumulates is not capitalism, whatever one might call it). Keynes thought that the motivational basis of capitalism was “an intense appeal to the money-making and money-loving instincts of individuals.” He thought that with the coming of plenty, this motivational drive would lose its social approbation; that is, that capitalism would abolish itself when its work was done. But so accustomed have we become to regarding scarcity as the norm that few of us think about what motives and principles of conduct would, or should, prevail in a world of plenty.

* The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel as a case study for local journalism today: I’ve been told by people in a position to know that the paper has decided that covering all the news is beyond their scope now, with its shadow staff and limited resources. So, they have decided to go all-in on what some at the paper call “Pulitzer Pursuit.” That’s where their best reporters are tasked and that’s where their resources go.

* “Weird” is perhaps the mildest way to describe the growing number of threats and acts of intimidation that climate scientists face. A climate modeler at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory answered a late-night knock to find a dead rat on his doorstep and a yellow Hummer speeding away. An MIT hurricane researcher found his inbox flooded daily for two weeks last January with hate mail and threats directed at him and his wife. And in Australia last year, officials relocated several climatologists to a secure facility after climate-change skeptics unleashed a barrage of vandalism, noose brandishing and threats of sexual attacks on the scientists’ children.

* The Scam Wall Street Learned From the Mafia.

* And science fiction, infinite science fiction, but not for us: scientists have discovered two exoplanets a scant million miles apart.

Thursday Night

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* Every blog on the Internet is required to link to this Shakespearification of the entire script of The Big Lebowski.

BLANCHE
Whither the money, Lebowski? Faith, we are servants of Bonnie; promised by the lady good that thou in turn were good for’t.
WOO
Bound in honour, we must have our bond; cursed be our tribe if we forgive thee.
BLANCHE
Let us soak him in the commode, so as to turn his head.
WOO
Aye, and see what vapourises; then he will see what is foul.
[They insert his head into the commode]
BLANCHE
What dreadful noise of waters in thine ears! Thou hast cooled thine head; think now upon drier matters.
WOO
Speak now on ducats else again we’ll thee duckest; whither the money, Lebowski?
THE KNAVE
Faith, it awaits down there someplace; prithee let me glimpse again.
WOO
What, thou rash egg! Thus will we drown thine exclamations.
[They again insert his head into the commode]

* Sad news: New Jersey did not listen to Bruce. More here and here.

More on the heretofore unknown ancient civilization being uncovered by deforestation in the Amazon in the New Yorker.

* More zombie television: MTV has licensed Dawn of the Dead.

* Look At This Fucking Idea For A Blog-To-Book Deal.

* John McWhorter on the death of languages. Via io9.

* ‘Final Edition: Twilight of the American Newspaper.’

We will end up with one and a half cities in America—Washington, D.C., and American Idol. We will all live in Washington, D.C., where the conversation is a droning, never advancing, debate between “conservatives” and “liberals.” We will not read about newlyweds. We will not read about the death of salesmen. We will not read about prize Holsteins or new novels. We are a nation dismantling the structures of intellectual property and all critical apparatus. We are without professional book reviewers and art critics and essays about what it might mean that our local newspaper has died. We are a nation of Amazon reader responses (Moby Dick is “not a really good piece of fiction”—Feb. 14, 2009, by Donald J. Bingle, Saint Charles, Ill.—two stars out of five). We are without obituaries, but the famous will achieve immortality by a Wikipedia entry.

Via Kottke.

* And, for the first time ever, Fox News has been caught doing something dishonest.

David Simon Is Not Making Sense

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David Simon has written an article for Columbia Journalism Review that is absolutely, completely wrongheaded, arguing that The New York Times and The Washington Post should simultaneously erect paywalls for their online content. Contrary to Simon’s assumptions, this would only destroy newspapers faster; paywalls have never, ever worked.

What newspapers actually need to do is find successful funding models for the digital age, up to and including reestablishing themselves as nonprofit organizations if necessary. More conversation at MeFi.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 25, 2009 at 2:20 pm

Monday Night Bloggity Blogs

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Monday night bloggity blogs.

* Samuel Delany’s “The Star Pit” as a radio show. Really good.

* More on the surprise Dollhouse renewal, including word that “Epitaph One” will likely be aired after all and an interview with Joss. Too bad about Terminator; Bill Simmon links to a Fox executive explaining the one had nothing to do with the other, except insofar as it did.

“[Sarah Connor] has completed its run,” Fox entertainment president Kevin Reilly confirmed at a press conference this morning. “I think it had a nice little run. It was a good show. It was not an either or [with Dollhouse]. We did see it tailing off a bit [in the ratings]. It had a nice creative core, but, ultimately, we made the bet on Dollhouse, so that’s it for [Sarah Connor]… We make no apologies. We gave it a lot of support and some consistent scheduling. We tried and thought it was time to move on.”

* Benen and Yglesias explain how the right’s schoolyard strategy on Pelosi and torture may be making a truth commission much more likely.

* Rick Perry has abandoned neosecessionism. Score one for the Northern aggressors.

* I was so outraged by the very idea of this I completely forgot to blog it: someone’s written a Catcher in the Rye sequel and their name isn’t J.D.

“Just like the first novel, he leaves, but this time he’s not at a prep school, he’s at a retirement home in upstate New York,” said California. “It’s pretty much like the first book in that he roams around the city, inside himself and his past. He’s still Holden Caulfield, and has a particular view on things. He can be tired, and he’s disappointed in the goddamn world. He’s older and wiser in a sense, but in another sense he doesn’t have all the answers.”

Bunch of phonies.

* Maureen Dowd plagiarizes Josh Marshall and everyone has a really good time with it.

* The New Yorker covers the sixth mass extinction event. Print edition only, because analysis of an ongoing mass extinction event isn’t something you just give away for free. A few more links at Kottke.

* Kos and Yglesias on epically bad ideas to save newspapers.

How the Media Works

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The Washington Independent has a great piece on how poorly sourced half-truths and outright lies are laundered through the British press before appearing on Drudge and right-wing cable news programs. Via Attackerman.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 30, 2009 at 4:42 pm

Quoted for Truth (The Status Is Not Quo)

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Three top blogsClimate Progress, Glenn Greenwald, and Duke’s own American Stranger—separately highlight some inadvertently telling passages in the Newsweek profile on Paul Krugman.

By definition, establishments believe in propping up the existing order. Members of the ruling class have a vested interest in keeping things pretty much the way they are. Safeguarding the status quo, protecting traditional institutions, can be healthy and useful, stabilizing and reassuring. But sometimes, beneath the pleasant murmur and tinkle of cocktails, the old guard cannot hear the sound of ice cracking.

In American politics the establishment press is the problem, not the solution, which should mitigate all the late gnashing of teeth over “the death of newspapers.” For a lot of reasons, blogs are not the ideal format for public discourse, but they’ll have to do; the establishment press has blown the mission beyond all repair. Blogs are all we have left.

Thoughts on the Newspaper Apocalypse

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Thoughts on the newspaper apocalypse from Wire creator David Simon.

“Oh, to be a state or local official in America over the next 10 to 15 years, before somebody figures out the business model,” says Simon, a former crime reporter for the Baltimore Sun. “To gambol freely across the wastelands of an American city, as a local politician! It’s got to be one of the great dreams in the history of American corruption.”

Like it or not—and Simon doesn’t just dislike it, he thinks it can’t work—this is what blogs are for now.

Written by gerrycanavan

March 27, 2009 at 11:42 pm