Emptyage: Generation X Doesn’t Want to Hear It
Earlier generations have weathered recessions, of course; this stall we’re in has the look of something nastier. Social Security and Medicare are going to be diminished, at best. Hours worked are up even as hiring staggers along: Blood from a stone looks to be the normal order of things “going…
Worldview: Our fascination with risk is a worldwide phenomenon
People are always looking for formulas to make viral videos. Their need to make them viral is driven by financial gain and ego, among other things.
And there is no formula, as proven by the wide-ranging themes of viral videos in the Internet, everything from “Charlie bit my finger,” to “Kony…
: The Manuscript of Beowulf (1000 AD) Can Now Be Viewed Online for the First Time
Made around the year 1000, most likely during the reign of King Æthelred the Unready (978-1016), this manuscript committed to parchment a tale that (in some modern scholars’ opinions) had been passed down for centuries, between generations of storytellers.
In its present state, the poem,…
What can’t you do online?
Lessig Blog, v2: A time for silence
A week ago today, Aaron gave up. And since I received the call late Friday night telling me that, like so many others who were close to him, I have not rested. Not slept, really. Not connected with my kids, at all. Not held my wife except to comfort her tears, or for her to comfort mine.
I have been thinking about these words all weekend. They do more than encourage me. They convict me for the same optimistic rationalism that will inevitably lead to less freedom and the silencing of voices like Aaron Swartz. I cannot look my two sons and daughter in their eyes and continue to think this way.
Aaron Swartz hacked our culture, and you should be grateful
In the link you’ll find a generalized write-up about the Internet activist Aaron Swartz. What you won’t find is what I’ll say here.
Swartz was more than an activist and brilliant programmer. He was someone who acted on what he felt was important rather than simply blogging about the importance of it.
In some ways, the fact that he sneaked a computer into MIT to get at documents he considered in the public domain was as Robin Hood as you can get. While the rest of us lament our losses of freedom by complaining to the Twitterverse or the blogosphere, Swartz used his incredible intellect and mad programming skills to ensure Americans could access that which they have the right to access.
He wasn’t merely an advocate or a voice, he was an activist in the true sense of the words. He put himself at considerable risk to fight something that is as purely righteous as you can get in the sense that he freed that which should never have been behind a paywall in the first place and made available that which our Constitution already guarantees us the right to.
I think the thing that impressed me most about his life was his conviction and how much it reveals about my propensity to play it safe.
More than desiring to have my life written up as Swartz’ has been today, I want to emulate his action in providing access to information.
There are few heroes around today. Swartz was one.
Sherman Alexie’s The Facebook Sonnet –
I have loved Sherman Alexie’s writings for as long as I’ve lived among American’s first peoples. His Facebook Sonnet is different from the awareness he brings about life and culture among the tribes of this country, but it’s informative in its own way, and as a student of humanity, Alexie brings a levelheadedness that can only truly be told in a sonnet.
Whoa Tender: 18th Street Brewery: Gary, IN
It was a dream that began in Chicago, in honor of 18th Street. Drew and his wife fell in love with Pilsen. Having been raised in Humboldt Park, Drew felt right at home among the incredible diversity there. Plans to open a craft beer bar were formed—those plans went by the wayside. New…