Let Them Eat Tweets - The Medium Blog - NYTimes.com
Let Them Eat TweetsBy Virginia HeffernanPhotograph by Kevin Van Aelst
Twitter — the microblogging service that lets you post and read fragmentary communications at high speed — is fun, but it’s embarrassing. You subscribe to the yawps of a bunch of people; they subscribe to your yawps; and you produce and consume yawps for the rest of your days. The me-me-me clamor brings to mind Emily Dickinson’s poem about the disgrace of fame, “I’m Nobody! Who are you?”: “How public — like a Frog — / To tell one’s name — the livelong June — / To an admiring Bog!”
Now that I inhabit the Twitter bog, though, I don’t complain. Twitter can be entertaining, and useful — and, really, who doesn’t like the illusion, from time to time, of lots of company? I have only lately begun to wonder whether I’d use Twitter if I were fully at liberty to do what I liked. In other words, I’m not sure I’d use Twitter if I were rich. Swampy, boggy, inescapable connectivity: it seems my middle-class existence has stuck me here.
These worries started to surface for me last month, when Bruce Sterling, the cyberpunk writer, proposed at the South by Southwest tech conference in Austin that the clearest symbol of poverty is dependence on “connections” like the Internet, Skype and texting. “Poor folk love their cellphones!” he said.
In his speech, Sterling seemed to affect Nietzschean disdain for regular people. If the goal was to provoke, it worked. To a crowd that typically prefers onward-and-upward news about technology, Sterling’s was a sadistically successful rhetorical strategy. “Poor folk love their cellphones!” had the ring of one of those haughty but unforgettable expressions of condescension, like the Middle Eastern gem “The dogs bark, but the caravan moves on.”
“Connectivity is poverty” was how a friend of mine summarized Sterling’s bold theme. Only the poor — defined broadly as those without better options — are obsessed with their connections. Anyone with a strong soul or a fat wallet turns his ringer off for good and cultivates private gardens that keep the hectic Web far away. The man of leisure, Sterling suggested, savors solitude, or intimacy with friends, presumably surrounded by books and film and paintings and wine and vinyl — original things that stay where they are and cannot be copied and corrupted and shot around the globe with a few clicks of a keyboard.
Nice, right? The implications of Sterling’s idea are painful for Twitter types. The connections that feel like wealth to many of us — call us the impoverished, we who treasure our smartphones and tally our Facebook friends — are in fact meager, more meager even than inflated dollars. What’s worse, these connections are liabilities that we pretend are assets. We live on the Web in these hideous conditions of overcrowding only because — it suddenly seems so obvious — we can’t afford privacy. And then, lest we confront our horror, we call this cramped ghetto our happy home!
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July 17, 2009
July 17, 2009, 11:45 pm
Explaining ‘The Way It Was’ to the YouTube Generation
By Brian Stelter
Sean McManus, the president of CBS News, learned of Walter Cronkite’s death while he was at the dinner table on Friday evening, sharing a meal with his two children, ages 8 and 10.
After taking the phone call, he tried to explain to his children — who have grown up bombarded with news and information — the value of Mr. Cronkite’s once-a-day news updates.
“There probably will never be anybody who has the presence and the stature and the importance that Walter Cronkite had in this country,” Mr. McManus said in a telephone interview, recalling what he told his children.
“I tried to explain to them that most people in America expected to get both good and bad news from one man, and that was Walter Cronkite,” he said. “That will never be duplicated again,” because of the fragmentation of the media.
Mr. McManus sensed that his children had a hard time comprehending what he meant.
“It’s really hard,” he acknowledged, “to remember just how influential and important he was.” He cited Mr. Cronkite’s famous declaration that the Vietnam war would end in a stalemate.
Viewers and Web readers now, he said, “are so used to being assaulted by so many streams of media that it’s hard for them to imagine that there were only three or four ways to get news and information on TV.”
On an evening when Mr. Cronkite was on the minds of the television industry, Mr. McManus sounded a sad note about the splintered media environment. TV executives are always looking for the next Cronkite, he said, “but I don’t think anybody will be in that position of prominence again.”
CBS News still operates out of the same building on West 57th Street in Manhattan where Mr. Cronkite anchored the “CBS Evening News.”
While he had not visited recently, Mr. McManus said, “his presence really is palpable in the halls of CBS News.” On Friday evening, the news division felt numb, even though Mr. Cronkite was known to be in ill health for some time.
A little more than a year ago, Mr. Cronkite paid a surprise visit to the news headquarters. Even the interns who weren’t yet born when Mr. Cronkite was anchor were “literally looking up to him,” Mr. McManus said.
“When he walked in the newsroom, it was like Thomas Jefferson walking into a history class at a university,” he said.
Three Classic Cronkite Broadcasts - Post Mortem - Obituaries from The Washington Post - i was gonna do the long version but went short
Video: Three Classic Cronkite Broadcasts - Post Mortem - Obituaries from The Washington Post
Video: Three Classic Cronkite Broadcasts
On the Assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.:By Mike McPhate | July 17, 2009; 9:07 PM ET | Category: Nostalgia
On the Assassination of John F. Kennedy:
On the First Manned Mission to the Moon:
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Rare time/date alignment could mean opportunities - USATODAY.comTime and date will align early Wednesday in an order that may indicate it's a good day to make money and spend it wisely.
About an hour and 45 minutes before sunrise, the time and date will be 4 a.m. and 5 minutes and 6 seconds on July 8, 2009.
In other words, or numbers, it will be 04:05:06 07/08/09.
Although the alignment may not mean anything specific, it could be a good day to do something for yourself and others, said Betsy Carlson, a Palm Springs tarot card reader and numerology expert.
"It's a good day to make money and have good health," she said.
The sum of the time's digits equals six, if all numbers are added until there's a single figure left (4+5+6=15; 1+5=6).
Also, the numbers within the date add up to eight.
According to numerology, No. 6 represents providing a good service to humanity, while No. 8 represents making money and being healthy, Carlson said.
Joy Meredith, owner of Crystal Fantasy in Palm Springs, Calif., noticed the alignment, but she's more focused on this morning's lunar eclipse, she said.
Nonetheless, she's a fan of numerology and sometimes tries to determine if numbers have meaning.
"I feel they could be significant, so I'm looking for that," she said. "If they're not, they're not. But I am looking to see if there is any significance."
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Woman says she feared Alamo would hurt her sister
Woman says she feared Alamo would hurt her sister
By Evan Lewis (AP)
Published: 2009-07-17 17:30:05
Location: TEXARKANA, Ark.
A woman who said evangelist Tony Alamo had sexually abused her since she was 8 acknowledged to jurors Friday that she hates him, but said the reason she agreed to testify was because she is afraid he will molest her little sister.
Under cross-examination in Alamo's sex-crimes trial, the 18-year-old woman also said that FBI agents had given her some gifts and paid her cell phone bill before she appeared in court as a witness.
The woman, who testified that Alamo "married" her when she was 8 and that he started having sex with her a year later, acknowledged Friday that she hated Alamo and wanted him convicted.
"You want your revenge, don't you?" asked defense lawyer Phillip Kuhn.
"No, I just don't want him to hurt anybody else," the woman said, beginning to cry. "I don't want him to touch my little sister. She's only 12."
She said she contacted the FBI after hearing from others that her younger sister's voice might be on an audiotape distributed to Alamo's followers.
"He hurt me a lot and I would hate to see my sister or anybody else go through that again," she said.
Alamo, 74, is accused of taking underage girls across state lines for sex. Prosecutors are expected to present their final witnesses Monday and turn the trial over to the evangelist's defense team.
The evangelist has pleaded not guilty and his lawyers claim the government has targeted him because of his religious beliefs. Alamo, who has said the Vatican is behind his troubles, could spend the rest of his life in prison if convicted.
A series of women have testified that Alamo "married" them while they were underage and that he either raped them or sexually assaulted them. The Associated Press generally does not identify those who say they were victims of sex crimes.
On Friday, a 17-year-old girl told jurors Alamo invited her and her sister to his home at the Arkansas compound when she was as young as 8. By 9, she said she visited regularly. By 11, she said Alamo "married" her in his bedroom and immediately began sexually assaulting her.
"He said things like I looked very innocent to him," the girl said, her face and voice betraying no emotion. "And he said I had the body of a 6-year-old and he was attracted to" that.
The 17-year-old girl said she traveled with Alamo and a group of others to the ministry's compound near Los Angeles. She described him taking her into his back bedroom on his tour bus, locking the door and having sex with her as the sounds of the road and others on the bus masked the noise.
She left the ministry once with her mother, but returned at Alamo's urging to his California compound. The sex continued, but the girl said she began looking for ways to avoid him.
"I was terrified of Tony," she said. "I didn't want to spend time with him."
Alamo fell asleep twice during the girl's testimony. Kuhn prodded Alamo awake the second time.
The defense team has largely avoid direct confrontations with the witnesses, choosing instead to question their memories and whether their stories were rehearsed.
While cross-examining the woman who had been the 8-year-old "bride," Kuhn asked why, if Alamo had taken explicit photos of the girl around the time of their marriage _ as she testified a day earlier _ no child pornography was found during last year's raid on Alamo's compound.
The woman said Alamo was "paranoid" and often sliced up such pictures into tiny pieces.
"We had to vacuum the floor for all the little pieces he missed," she said.
She also said that FBI agents and prosecutors had given her gifts since she stepped forward: an $80 Wal-Mart gift card, balloons and flowers on her birthday and a Valentine's Day-themed blanket when she was having a rough time. The FBI also provided her with a cell phone so they could keep in touch with her.
She also acknowledged that she was in a counseling center that caters to former cult members at the same time as two other prosecution witnesses. She also said the group had dinner with FBI agents recently but were told not to discuss their stories.
If convicted, Alamo faces 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the 10 counts against him. He is being held without bond.
Confed Cup 2009 Finale - like a lot of things i'm obsessed with, this one has to do with a beautiful SA woman
Vinod Mahanta at Ellis Park in Joburg watching Kaka and Co drowned out by the Vuvuzelas
Walter Cronkite Obit/Speech (all other names removed, and for dramatic effect, each new sentence becomes a rhetorical question) for WFMU BOTB and NYT
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If you were Michael Jackson and died today you would have outlived Michael Jackson by 22 days. - Michael Jackson
If you make it 715 more days, MICHAEL JACKSON, you will outlive Grace Kelly.
|Age at Death||Days Alive||Days|
|ALIVE MICHAEL JACKSON||18585||0||You are here|
|DEAD MICHAEL JACKSON|
|46||16978||-1607||John F. Kennedy|
You've outlived Elvis Presley by 1324 days. If you make it 94 more days, you will outlive John F. Kennedy - Outlived Results
If you make it 94 more days, you will outlive John F. Kennedy.
|Age at Death||Days Alive||Days|
|46||16978||93||John F. Kennedy|
|-||16885||0||You are here|
In the list below choose whether the people are alive or dead
In the list below choose whether the people are alive or dead