Archive for the 'Politics' Category

The Man who wrote 200,000 books!

Hey Guys, This is a really cool article from NYT. Phillip M. Parker uses a team of computers to compile public information from the net. He then frames all the pertinent stuff into books for consumers. This seems to be one of the more important changes to the way that we link to together information and is certainly a function of the “wealth of networks.”

“Comparing himself to a distant disciple of Henry Ford, he said he was ‘deconstructing the process of getting books into people’s hands; every single step we could think of, we automated’.”

copyright &Internets &Media politics &Politics Ernest Russell 14 Apr 2008 1 Comment

A Critique of American News Media

In one of their best (in my opinion) segments to date, The Daily Show w/Jon Stewart looks at Al-Jazeera English and tries to give them a helping hand by “americanizing” the broadcast by adding graphics, banter and new music.

Video Link

Media politics &Politics &Videos Ross Bell 07 Apr 2008 1 Comment

Copyright Ruling

A Federal court in Boston just ruled that it is not a violation of copyright law to make available copyrighted works.


copyright &Politics Ross Bell 07 Apr 2008 No Comments

Government Search Engine Blocks the Term “Abortion”

Hi everyone,

Here’s a article that I think has some relevance in relation to Benkler’s work and larger issues running through the course. A health service search engine (known as Popline) run by USAID, the office of the federal government in charge of health care aid for developing nations, brings up no results after a search for “abortion” – despite the fact that the database contains several journal articles and health literature with the word “abortion” right in the title. Popline is hosted at Johns Hopkins University, and a representative there reported that because the project is federally funded, “abortion” is one of the so-called “stop words.”

Even setting aside the undoubtedly contentious issue of abortion, this seems to raise several questions. The search engine’s policy of disabling searches for “abortion” does not simply block articles touting the beneficial if ethically controversial effects of increased access to abortion in developing nations; it blocks any and all information on abortion, period. This attitude toward encouraging a specific platform of the Bush administration seems quite similar to the attitude of Hollywood and the music industry with regard to content ownership and copyright. It’s a blanket restriction of information, regardless of the actual effects of that information. Some of the literature in the database might show the detrimental effects of abortion in the same developing nations. In any case, the underlying assumption on the part of the top-down industrial-information model at work here seems to be that information about abortion, just like information about birth control (which the engine does allow searching for) will lead to only one result: the unacceptable (according to social conservatives) increase in abortions and sex before marriage.

Do you guys know of any other examples of government-imposed censorship on the internet?

Politics Derek Long 04 Apr 2008 No Comments

I May Not Be a Fan

but I do enjoy it when politicians join in on the fun. The delivery isn’t especially good, but you don’t picture our current president doing this…

Politics &Videos Ross Bell 02 Apr 2008 No Comments

Full Metal Pantsuit!

This is uber-funny. Full Metal Pantsuit


JM adds: I was going to post this too – here’s the direct video…

Politics &Remix culture &Remix Video Ernest Russell 29 Mar 2008 No Comments

A good Sciam Article about the media

check it here. It outlines certain methods used for spreading disinformation by the media as well as everyones favorite villain, W. Enjoy your beaks!


Politics Ernest Russell 28 Mar 2008 No Comments

Diebold Leaks ’08 Results

It doesn’t strictly relate to new media, but I think there’s a connection between suspicion of computer voting and anxiety over internet communication\media. Plus, its hilarious.

Diebold Accidentally Leaks Results Of 2008 Election Early

Politics &Taste of the Internet &Videos Ross Bell 17 Mar 2008 No Comments

Robyn Brian Remix

Here is our video. Who do YOU want to answering the phone at 3am?

Original commercial can be found at

and Pulp Fiction

Robyn and Brian

Politics &Remix Video &Videos Brian Sommers 17 Mar 2008 No Comments

Political Comedy

Its astonishing the role comedy has played in this election cycle. Barack shows up on SNL for halloween, McCain announces his candidacy on Letterman; Thompson on Leno; Edwards on The Daily Show in ’04 (this time too?).

Now, I know he doesn’t believe in evolution, but Huckabee’s appearance on SNL last night is pretty funny:

Politics &Taste of the Internet &Videos Ross Bell 24 Feb 2008 2 Comments

Presidential Platforms

This New York Times Article compares Obama to Hillary using a Mac vs. PC analogy. It also mentions Obama’ s use of blogs and social networking sites. Apparently Obama is also proposing to “make all public government data available to everybody to use as they wish.”

What do you guys think?

Politics Ernest Russell 14 Feb 2008 1 Comment

Kyle’s Images of Media Response

Giving that we are currently witnessing perhaps one the most thrilling and important presidential races in our lifetime (and that’s coming from a guy who until now has never voted or really followed politics), the Macro-level medium questions that Meyrowitz addresses seem very relevant and timely. No more so than the question he raises on p. 63 of how different medium environments might “affect the criteria that are used to evaluate political leaders?” As an Obama supporter, I couldn’t help but notice how a lot of the pundits (both left and right) and so called “objective journalists” deem Obama’s physical presence as his greatest strength. So if he loses this primary or this election, would it really be a stretch to claim that the average american’s reliance on non face-to-face mediums for information about the candidates cost him the presidency? Who knows. I don’t deny that there is some validity in claiming that a speaker’s physical presence not an important quality for a president to have. But perhaps it doesn’t matter what you or I think because it looks like the succesful politician of tomorrow will be someone who is camera friendly and has a well funded blogging unit.

Politics &Reading Responses Kyle Howard 13 Feb 2008 1 Comment

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