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24 years

clean and sober 24 years. a personal best. a day at a time.

The virtues of being an old fart

One of the virtues of being an old fart on the web is being able to watch folks scramble to proclaim that they have discovered the latest communication medium that will transform the world into the Technicolor world of kittens, butterflies and rainbows. Envision Whirled Peas and all that.
Same Old, Shiny New Wrapper. NOW WITH AJAX!!

For example, Dick and Jane Twitteriffic will have you believe that all problems can be solved in 140 characters. “I cum therefore I sleep”, ” i has can writers block” “i has to pee, BRB” while significant, declaratory, perhaps even sanitary in nature, is more suited to the advertising and PR industries whose worlds are crumpled around their knees, while the waters of user generated content are rising above their chins. There are a lot of things that can be said in 140 characters, but most of them have lifetimes just a little bit shorter than your laboratory bred elements.

With the invention of ‘Social Media’, which as far as I can see, merely means having a sort of conversation in your browser, with weblogs, posting and commenting, relieving some folks of the burden of remembering that email serves the same purpose.

The Social Media crowd which consists of Ad Men, PR Flacks, and Internet Consultants, want you to join in the conversation. However, they would like to be able to generate some fees before you open up that blog. (Just because millions of folks have blogs, doesn’t mean that you know what to do with one, and need professional help)

Hell, everybody who knows anything, knows that PR is the most important career in the universe. Just ask Steve Rubel, or his boss, Big Dick Edelman. And just so you don’t think that BIG PR is the only solution, stop by Brian Solis,(the new energizer bunny of PR 2.0 Social Media) or Todd Defren, (the birthmother of the Social Media Press Release)

The politicians have grasped the bit of the Interweb jackass of danger and are moving swiftly to shut off those troubling tubes of child pornography, (once again disguising ‘motion as activity’ in going after the symptom rather than the disease), while grasping for every bit of loose change they can get funneled through their websites. Too bad they staff out those sites.

The expository bulimics like Nick Carr and Andrew Keen would have you believe that anything shorter than say 5000 words means that your are a shallow, ignorant child of the 3 minute media fix, and cannot grapple with anything more complex than a simple bass line. As an added bonus they use the very medium aka, the Internet to put forth their arguments that the Internet is the demonic lovechild of MTV and the cathode ray tube, while providing Amazon links to their latest books. And of course Google is the root of all evil.

Some of the folks who actually get the circle of ends nature of the net, are getting sidetracked into Vendor Relationship Management, which is an upscale version of Money for Stuff. That you are allowing yourself to be tracked, categorized, packaged, and sold to the next advertiser with a checkbook, is a personal problem, and does not scale. Until you cut off their access to yourself, expect more money saving coupons to show up in your browser.

I could go on, but I must take my Economic Stimulus Check over to my local Regional Lifestyle Center,(aka The Mall) and buy more cheap shiny shit, to let all my peeps know that I am supporting a lifestyle and culture that is bankrupt, and just doesn’t have the sense to lie down and die.

Rage Boy is Right…

Conspiracy theory, my ass. Schools and teachers, the motor vehicle bureau, the IRS, the military, the line at the bank, the television set, the newspapers at the checkout stand, the news on your radio, the billboards along the highway, and now a hundred thousand cold-comfort Web sites. All are tuned to your brain at the deepest level and you have lined up for the coolest, latest-model implant. The carrier wave has been tuned at huge cost to deliver a single message: you are not free, you desire nothing but the products we produce, you have no world but the world we give you.

If you’re OK with this, then eat it up. There’s a bulimic’s dream-feast of killer kontent on the way. But if it already makes you want to puke, get angry. Write it, code it, paint it, play it – rattle the cage however you can. Stay hungry. Stay free. And believe it: win, lose, or draw, we’re here to stay. Armed only with imagination, we’re gonna rip the fucking lid off.

There’s your market.

WordPress 2.5 is really and truly f*cked.

One of the most important things that a blogging tool can do is to give you the option of uploading images and including them in posts. Prior to WP 2.5, the ability to upload and include images in posts was one click.

Right below the post window were your images.

WP2.5 did away with that. Zeldman’s idea of usability with the new dashboard, is so far down the technorati tagging rathole as to be an unusable mess  except for those folks who  think that writing is the only communication medium.

I suspect that somebody got scared by photos as a child.

wordPress 2.5

Saving posts strips out the formatting. Whose fucked up idea was that? Learn that shit from TypePad?

Television is not dead…sort of..

Multi Media does not mean that the only media is available by internet connection. I have a 42” 1080p TV and a digital cable connection. I have something like 200 channels. I have always watched TV, as it is not entirely a dead media.

Digital TV means that commercials are crisper in sight, but just as annoying in content as they have always been. Out of my 200 channels, there are a dozen home shopping channels, 40 sports channels, 25 Spanish channels, and 70 music channels in a wide variety of types including uncensored, none of which I watch or listen to. Like I really need to listen to some assholes demonstrate how many times they can say ‘bitches’ or rhyme ‘fuck’.

There are a few gems in the digital cable wasteland. Sundance, which has Terminal City , which is a show about a woman with breast cancer who has a TV show that shows all, as she goes the discovery, surgery and aftermath. It is a 10 episode show that I am sure will show up on DVD soon. The plot seems simple, the writing and acting is crisp, and the acid wit poking fun at television production is worth the time.
An interesting film that I saw was Garbage Warrior, which is the story of Mike Reynolds, an architect who built housing out of beer cans, bottles, and used tires. Building thermal mass and energy grid independent housing outside of Taos, New Mexico. Starting 30 Years Ago.

On Network Television is FOX’s Canterbury’s Law , starring Julianna Margulies, which is a great show and will probably be cancelled because of the complex characters, sharp writing and adult themes. Yeah I know nobody ever promised me that Americans can handle adult themes, especially with American Idol and other reality shows whose reality resides only in the minds of the producers.

Last but not least is Battlestar Galactica , which enters it’s final season. I am waiting for new episodes of Bones, House, and NCIS. Yes. I like episodic television. Out of 4800 hours of TV, of which I have no interest in 3528, leaving me 1272 hours to choose from, finding a few hours makes the cable bill worth it. almost.

Notes and Quotes

In my universe a couple of notes:

Ken Camp is getting married. Congratulations!!

Shelley Powers has a New Book coming out .

The Quote of the Week

"It was just tools talking to each other, and I was nothing more than a discrete bit of data and a way for people to fluff up their contact list with a minimum of effort."
Shelley Powers on Context

Word Press 2.5

upgraded and am less than thrilled with the new dashboard.

still having problems with the missing categories, but nobody seems to give much of a shit if you are hosted on windows.

the forums at wordpress is time spent that i will never get back.

Mythbusting Canadian Health Care and Internet Shopping to fill hospital beds

Mythbusting Canadian Health Care
Across the browser over the weekend came these two gems:
Mythbusting Canadian Health Care — Part I | OurFuture.org
Mythbusting Canadian Healthcare, Part II: Debunking the Free Marketeers | OurFuture.org
Hattip to Shelley Powers

One of the tactics used by Health Insurance Companies and their Sock Puppets in fighting Universal Health Care is that having a single payer system will drive us into the arms of the dreaded scourge of ‘socialism’. ‘Socialism’ is of course being a system that is applicable to everyone, which is a strange argument to be making in the 21st century, especially in a Democracy, where Equality for everyone is the bedrock principle. So naturally they use Canada as the evil argument against Universal Health Care.
95% of the current Debate surrounding Privacy of Personal Health Records is directly related to Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt over getting and affording coverage.

Shopping While Hospitalized
This morning, this nugget showed up on my radar:
Even if You’re Ill, You Can Still Stay Connected |NY Times
Here is one pithy nugget;

“Just like they would with a hotel, patients expect a degree of connectedness when they’re in the hospital,” said Timothy Zoph, chief information officer at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. “And for ones that do it well, like we think we do, it’s a differentiating experience.”

Northwestern Memorial last year spent an undisclosed amount to install 42-inch flat-screen televisions and Internet connections near each of the 200 beds in its new women’s hospital building. The screens are big enough, and close enough, for patients to read the text on Web pages, which patients click through with a remote-control keyboard and mouse. They may also zoom in on certain parts of a page.
Link

That’s Right Kids! While you are in the hospital, you have the ability to shop your ass off, while the hospital is filing a medical lien against your assets for payment, the insurance company is figuring out how to deny your claim, shift the cost, and beat the hospital out of reasonable and customary payment for services rendered.

Welcome to Health Care Bankruptcy! In with a life, out with a cardboard box.

Health Net Arizona -Insurance co. bails on cancer patient — in the middle of chemo

Health Net is back in the news, this time here in Arizona.
From Laurie Roberts comes this
Here are some of the juicy bits:

Not only did Health Net of Arizona cancel Iorio’s insurance, court records indicate it took back every cent it had already paid her doctors.

And suing Health Net “What they’re doing,” said her attorney, John Doyle, “is using the rescission process as a profit making center.”

Rieger says it’s not about profit but about exposing fraud to save their nearly 200,000 Arizona policy holders money. “Our job,” she said, “is to root out health care fraud so we can continue to keep our heath care affordable.”

No doubt it keeps their execs comfortable as well. According to the Securities and Exchange Commission, Health Net’s president and CEO, Jay Gellert, scooped up $5.23 million in salary and stock options the year Iorio was kicked to the curb. Last year, the company made $200 million in profits and this year, executives will see double their normal bonuses if they hit revenue projections, according to SEC records.

Source: azcentral.com blogs | LaurieRoberts

Fraud? If there is any talk about fraud, it should be toward the health insurance companies.
The concept starts simple: Pay premiums, get sick and the insurance company pays the bills, spreading the risk among all the insured.
The reality is Pay Premiums, Get sick, Get Fucked!

Health Care can be made Universal. It can also be made painless. But not in the hands of for profit companies.

RIAA’s ‘making available’ theory falls – The INQUIRER

In a fit of reason over rhetoric Judge Janet Bond Arterton tossed the ”making available” theory out the window. She correctly notes that unless there is actual transfer, the infringement through distribution is nonsense.
RIAA’s ‘making available’ theory falls – The INQUIRER

A .pdf of the decision is here.