Archive for November 7th, 2004

Time for Something Completely Different


a sun-bleached-blond write-in candidate is on the verge of winning the
mayoralty of San Diego, the nation’s seventh largest city. Thisis
the kind of candidate we need to start thinking about – completely
outside of
the parameters we have been conditioned to, and able to mobilize voters.

Donna Frye, a surfer who sports long blond hair and
who refuses to get a driver’s
license, is riding a wave
of write-in votes for mayor that could sweep aside two 60-something
Republicans and carry her into City Hall.

The surf-shop owner has capitalized on a confluence of circumstances,
including a pension scandal that has shaken the city financially.

The votes have not been completely tallied, but so far, the write-in
ballots lead with 35 percent of the vote; Mayor Dick Murphy has 34 percent.

She has weathered skin, speaks in surfer lingo, and
wears colorful suits; Murphy and fellow candidate Ron Roberts, a San
Diego County supervisor, lean toward dark suits and have worked in government
for years. Frye, the wife of legendary surfer Skip Frye, was elected
to the City Council three years ago.

She differed with her opponents on hot-button social questions. Murphy
and Roberts backed keeping a Boy Scout camp in a city park; Frye supported
those who say the group discriminates against gays and atheists.

from the Boston Globe

What Exactly is a Blog Posting?


Last week at the Thursday Night Berkman
Blogger’s group
, we were privileged to witness a series of three
presentations, betas of soon-to-be-delivered papers from a conference
on Personal Knowledge Management, which seems to be one step up from
Information Management and one step down from a pet project of our own,
Personal Wisdom Management.

Although we are sworn to secrecy on the content of these
talks, at least until the date of their presentation, on the theory that
if we spill the beans on how boring they are nobody will bother to come
(no, just joking), there was one slide that piqued our interest and
started us thinking. It was
different formats of blog postings.  Of course, we immediately thought
of a few additions and modifications, so we would like to propose our

Taxonomy of Blog Postings

(These 11 categories refer to form, not content of postings)

1) Title and link only – title can be URL or a few words,
just enough to attach the link to

2) Short excerpt, with a link to the original article
or posting (a few words to a few paragraphs)

3) Short excerpt, with commentary by the host and a
link to the original – probably the most common format

4) A longer excerpt or entire article by another author,
interspersed with multiple commentary by host – different authors can be
denoted by indentation, italics, quotation marks, etc.

5) Original short posting (with or without links)

6) Longer original pieces, columns, articles, stories,

7) Roundup review of an ongoing discussion or topic
with multiple links to all or selected participants

8) Photo or graphic image only

9) Photo with commentary or caption and link

10) Audio post – mp3, .aiff, .wav

11) Video post – Shockwave, .avi., QT

So readers, anything occur to you that we have left
out? Any categories here which could be combined? Of course, aggregators
can aggregate more kinds of information, such as newspaper articles,
bit torrent files, and automatically generated weather reports, but we
will leave it to someone else to come up with a taxonomy of aggreble
objects We are just trying to come up with a list into which all known
blog posting can be fit.

The Battle for Fallujah


10,000 U.S. Marines and soldiers are massed on the outskirts of Fallujah
awaiting the go-ahead from Allawi for a ground assault
aimed at ridding
the city 35 miles west of Baghdad of Iraqi and foreign insurgents,
who are estimated to number at least a few thousand."

How is it possible that EVERYONE is buying into
the obvious illusion that it is really the Iraqi Interim Government
that is running this
show, and
that 10,000 of America’s top fighting men and women are waiting in disciplined,
ready-to-make-the-ultimate-sacrifice ranks for the "go-ahead" from some toady
Iraqi hack with no formal military training or experience, who lives in
fear of his own people and is continually surrounded by crack US special
forces "bodyguards" and advisors?

Is it not clear to everyone that this regime was installed
by, "governs" under the aegis of, and is banking on the continued support
of the US
to "win" the "elections" programmed for January? Prime Minister Ayad Allawi
is at
the beck and call of every whim of every US official from Gen. Ricardo
Sanchez on up?

And most importantly, what happened to the repeated declaration by both
candidates in the recently concluded electoral farce in the US that "Under
my command, US forces will NEVER be ordered into battle by a foreign leader"?
Of course, they were referring to the the United Nations not one of our
own cleverly crafted hand puppets, but why isn’t the principle the same?

Meanwhile, the upcoming battle for Fallujah is shaping
up as the most intense in Bush’s war up to this point, with booby traps,
land mines, improvised
explosive devices, blind alley deathtraps, provocative incidents designed
to draw American troops into massacres, capture, death, mutilation and
public display of American boys and girls’ dead bodies, hidden urban ambushes, random
suicide bombers and sophisticated rocket attacks.

And that is just what THEY will be doing to US. In
return you can bet your bottom greenback (better do so quick while they’re
something) that the US forces will strike back with every diabolical high-tech
conventional weapon within the US arsenal, including aerial bombing, cluster
bombs, bunker-busing bombs, laser guided bombs, air to ground rockets,
fragmentation grenades, concussion grenades, tanks, armored personnel carriers,
and a few new toys so secret that if we knew their details we would be required
by the Homeland Security Act to kill ourself.

US Forces are currently softening up the battleground
by flattening much of the city, creating a nice drivable tarmac for our
and landing pads for our helicopters, while the media is softening up the
public by repeatedly reporting that "the majority of the civilian population
have fled the city".  That still leaves upward of 100,000 women,
children and old people hunkered down in the ruins, making free military
movement and robust action problematic and collateral damage inevitable. How’s
that for a euphemistic appraisal. Undoubtedly, in some dim, electronics-encrusted
room in the bowels of the Pentagon, faceless men in suits and uniforms
are earnestly considering the
nuclear option.

Millions in America wait breathless, glued to the
latest updates on Fox an CNN, knowing a crucial battle is about to begin.
Thousands in
and around Fallujah
wait, full of dread, knowing that many of them are about to die.

article from the Washington Post