Tag Archives: NaBloPoMo

A view of the patriarchy through social anthropology

Last night on Twitter, Justin Kownacki said: “God’s rightful role for families is a patriarchy in which women submit to men? Thank god; I’m a shitty listener.” Now, I follow a number of people with whom I disagree, and I have said things that I’m sure are grating to them, so I tend to let things slide unless I have something greater to say. It was a short discussion, as the medium tends to promote, so now I’m blogging about it. Continue reading A view of the patriarchy through social anthropology

Veteran’s Day thoughts

This is the day in which we celebrate those who have served and live among us. All I can say is “thank you,” to everyone who has served in the military. I do not know of anyone who doesn’t know a serviceman, and I hope you have spent a few seconds to thank this person for their service. This collection of videos of soldiers coming home to their dogs made me cry. And while I’m sure our servicemen would rather we don’t thank them vocally every darn day we see them, @cshaero strikes a great note with this:

Hope everyone's not just honoring Veterans today. Let's honor Veterans EVEN MORE TODAY than we do EVERY OTHER DAY OF THE YEAR.

While @JonHenke takes a turn for the disappointing:

If you're thanking veterans on Twitter, you're just doing it so people can see you.

How dare he deign to ascribe one intention on all of us? There were kids like these in high school, who’d speak “on behalf of the room” after being reprimanded by their teacher. Jim Treacher (@JTlol) perhaps issued the best response:

If you're calling out people for thanking veterans on Twitter, you're just doing it so people can see you.

This is one of those patriotic holidays where even Google makes a custom logo, despite their ignoring Memorial Day, of all days. It’s the kind of day that only the most hardened of anti-American Americans don’t honor. Sourpussery, while certainly within one’s right to exercise, is within my right to ridicule.

Jeff at onQSM has similar thoughts.

Juxtaposing Naomi Natale’s and Sonja Sohn’s speeches at TEDx MidAtlantic

Notes from the first session of TEDx Midatlantic Notes from Sonja Sohns talk at TEDx Midatlantic

When I went to TEDx MidAtlantic last Thursday, I knew that I would have to keep an open mind to views that are different from my own. In the days that followed the conference, I have been vocal about my experience on Twitter as well as here. I have always said that I liked “almost all of them,” even the ones that I disagree with. Here and now, I share the speech that made me the most uncomfortable, and I set at alongside one of my favorites.

Naomi Natale was introduced as an installation artist and TED fellow. Since I tend to stick to the Classics, I have never heard of her before. As she walked unto the stage, without skipping a beat she started introduced her Cradle Project, which calls attention to the lost potential of millions of orphans in sub-Saharan Africa. It was at this point that I started rolling my eyes at the presentation. Continue reading Juxtaposing Naomi Natale’s and Sonja Sohn’s speeches at TEDx MidAtlantic

Experiencing TEDx MidAtlantic: an event review

Yesterday’s TEDx was my first event of the genre. I have looked at the TED site itself before to get an idea of what kind of people attend these events, and moreso, who speaks at them. This Conservative bomb-thrower didn’t feel all that hot about the fact that the actual TED event has been “graced” by such “luminaries” as Bill Clinton, Al Gore, and U2’s Bono. I thought to myself, am I about to walk into a Liberal snakepit?

There’s no denying that the Baltimore-Annapolis-Washington triangle is a hotbed for Progressivism, but I also keep an open mind and engage my Progressive friends on the merits of their arguments and try not to make it personal. (Of course if all I get is “your belief in this makes you a bad person,” I just agree to disagree and just keep at being the Spawn Of Satan they so fear me to be.) So I decided to go through the application process and see if there’s anything I can take away from the talks. Besides, the organizers have made it a point to avoid pushing a specific religious or political agenda. Continue reading Experiencing TEDx MidAtlantic: an event review

A long day at TEDx MidAtlantic

Generally referred to as a conference for ideas worth spreading, TEDx MidAtlantic was a day-long event featuring speakers of different backgrounds. The videos of today’s talks were streamed live and remain available as of press time.

I left the laptop at home despite the fact that I had the privelege of being able to liveblog the event. I took plenty of notes. I hung out with people I knew. I met people I know online for the first time. I made new friends. We were well-fed in mind and body. In the days to come, I will be posting commentary on most of the talks themselves, along with scans from my Moleskine.

On Twitter lists and spheres of influence

Justin Kownacki has some choice commentary on a schoolyard fight between Robert Scoble and Chris Brogan over Twitter’s newest feature: Lists. In the few days since it’s been out, I’ve seen people use lists to bolster others’ egos. Others use them as weapons of mass agitation (@technosailor blocked someone who listed him under “Granny Bangers,” for example). Justin makes a great point in that these “thought leaders” miss the mark about social media itself.

I’ve been blogging since 2002, although my archives only stretch to 2003. In that time I have seen blogs rise and fall. I’ve seen companies spun out of cloth and burn in the light of the day. I am here because I choose it. I am in a unique situation in that I have nothing to gain nor lose from blogging per se. This has been my online identity, and I have built a reputation for web design work, Conservative opinion, and photography, but my professional and financial future do not hinge on this.

Looking from the perspective of a relative elder in a room full of kids, today’s thought leaders serve very, very little beyond platitudes and recycled sports metaphors. Chris Brogan’s rant against lists is nothing more than a dopey way of standing in front of his congregation and saying “you are all beloved. People who categorize others are nasty.” Scoble makes a great point in that people will need to classify information. In the world of Twitter, people are information.

It doesn’t matter what medium you’re writing about. In any one of them where participation is democratized, the distribution of power always follows a long-tail curve. A lot of people dislike the idea that power consolidates upon itself, but that’s what always happens. There is always a center. Justin concludes:

We may not all be equal, but we’re all individuals. And that realization will carry us much farther as a whole than any insistence that we all be invited to the same party.

There are leaders, and there are followers, but leaders do not make more of themselves. It’s when a person decides he won’t be lost in the crowd anymore, that he won’t wait to be recognized by the man in the center of an ever-expanding, increasingly crowded sphere, that he grows into a new leader, too. Fishbowls get crowded, but there’s not just one. The ones who can’t bear to be in one decide to make their own. It’s been the story of this medium, and will be so for a long, long time.

NY23: the first test of post-Bush Conservatism

If I recapped everything to know here, I’d fill up volumes. Google for Doug Hoffman, Dede Scozzafava, or Bill Owens. Here’s a primer on Wikipedia.

Saturday morning, to great fanfare among Conservatives, DeDe Scozzafava withdrew her campaign for NY23 following a huge drop in poll standings, lack of campaign funding, and little support among Conservatives, not just in NY but nationwide. She was truly was a DIABLO: Democrat In All But Label Only, she had amassed a voting record that was more Liberal than some Democrats in the Assembly, and Hoffman hammered relentlessly on that fact.

Sunday she endorsed Bill Owens, the Democrat, in the election. The NRSC has spent almost a million dollars on this woman. This is how she has responded in kind. In a way, it takes brass balls to come out swinging against your own party after they’ve spent that much money on getting you elected. Some think that she betrayed the GOP, but the truth is the GOP leadership, in supporting her, betrayed the GOP’s basic principles as the national Conservative party. In the end, Scozzafava’s endorsement of Owens is proof that her election would have been a loss for the GOP and Conservatism once she’s been sworn in.

If Hoffman wins tomorrow’s election—today’s poll numbers are promising—then the Conservative Movement that the MSM berates as “teabaggers” would have won a decisive victory. It’s one seat in a Liberal state, but it’s a seat won through a grassroots movement organized against the GOP leadership structure. For far too long the GOP establishment has been telling us to “listen to your elders,” as if they were the only ones who knew how to win elections. NY23 will remind them that we are their employers, and that finally, the boss is back on vacation.

Apparently I’m participating in NaBloPoMo

Expanded, it means “National Blog Posting Month,” and the only ticket to entry is to post something every day of the month. I came across a few difficulties with my thrice-a-week posting schedule. Work commitments got in the way. However, with the power of post scheduling, a massive library of photos that I have yet to share, and a few more curmudgeonly comments about all matters design and politics, I might just be able to pull it off. In my usual practice of Photography Sundays, here’s two from my jaunt in Camp Merrylande:

Beer pongs cups Pingpong ball

Dixie cups and a pingpong ball. Imagine what shenanigans went on that night.