The Longest Now


Chinese Internet discovered to be full of memes: Top 10 Edition
Sunday December 09th 2012, 3:57 am
Filed under: %a la mod,chain-gang,Glory, glory, glory,international,meta,zyzzlvaria

via Global Voices, the Top 10 Chinese Internet Memes of 2012.



A Free Market Fix for the Copyright Racket – Virginia Postrel
Thursday December 06th 2012, 1:02 am
Filed under: chain-gang,wikipedia

A crisp, thorough summary of recent proposals to fix copyright, from across the political and economic spectrum. Postrel makes some effort to put them in historical context, and links to other even more detailed overviews of past and present trends.



Thoughtbot writes letters sharing their dreams with the world – fresh from the Bot Cave
Thursday November 29th 2012, 1:50 pm
Filed under: chain-gang,fly-by-wire

Volume 1: November. You can subscribe for updates.



John Taylor Gatto’s Seven-Lesson Schoolteacher Manifesto: Read it!
Wednesday November 14th 2012, 10:24 pm
Filed under: chain-gang,international,meta,Not so popular

The 7-lesson schoolteacher.

"I teach school -- and I win awards doing it.  These are the things I teach, these are the things you pay me to teach.  Make of them what you will:"

So begins one of the great essays on the modern school system.

Via Doc Searls.



“Rolling Jubilee”: Occupy Wall Street buys debt to set people free
Friday November 09th 2012, 3:42 am
Filed under: chain-gang,Glory, glory, glory

The announcement | The event page



Recursive β-Metafunctions In the Case of Polypolice
Friday November 02nd 2012, 7:32 pm
Filed under: Blogroll,chain-gang,citation needed,wikipedia

I just finished reading about how bogus transmogrification conversion on an oscillating harmonic field of glass bells, with green gig and kerosene lamps for diversion, can be solved by beastly incarceration-concatenation. I was reminded of how much the great scienxplorers such as Watterson and others owe to this cloud of novel scientific inquiry from the ’60s and ’70s.

It makes me simultaneously want to immortalize Lem and Kandel in an eternally entangled quantum fringe, and to fire up a Trurlapaucius abstract-generator based on snarXiv code.



It Gets Better … Anatole Broyard’s daughter puts Roth in his place
Friday September 21st 2012, 7:19 am
Filed under: Blogroll,chain-gang,poetic justice,wikipedia

Via the New York Observer and Salon.   Zounds.



Prepare for the end, apocalyptically, of… the calendar year
Tuesday September 18th 2012, 5:13 pm
Filed under: chain-gang,Uncategorized

On December 21 this year we should all make text posts that sound really apocalyptic but aren’t, like

OH GOD EVERYTHING IS BURNING
because I turned up the heater

or

ALL I HEAR IS SCREAMING
from my tv

or even

THIS IS GOODBYE BECAUSE WE’RE EVACUATING
the dancefloor

or

I’M UNDER THE BED IN THE DARK I CAN HEAR THEM COMING FOR ME
I might lose this game of hide-and-seek

via unwinona



Gyrovague muses on fast-food franchises in…
Tuesday September 18th 2012, 1:52 pm
Filed under: chain-gang,citation needed,meta,Uncategorized

the age of lawsuits.

you thought this would involve SPACE, didn’t you?



XOXO Rocked! Honoring togetherness as it transforms the world
Monday September 17th 2012, 3:49 pm
Filed under: %a la mod,Blogroll,chain-gang,Glory, glory, glory,popular demand
This sounded amazing when the idea was floated months ago.  And by all accounts that sound catalyzed all who felt similarly to come make the sort of ambiently generative meeting that every physical gathering aspires to be.  A few recaps:


Brookline Graffiti vs. Michael Dukakis: Who would win? (part 2)
Tuesday August 21st 2012, 12:52 am
Filed under: chain-gang,Glory, glory, glory,indescribable,Too weird for fiction

Thoroughly awesome.



Translator’s Joys: Global Voices amplify the Declaration of Internet Freedom
Saturday August 18th 2012, 6:37 pm
Filed under: Blogroll,chain-gang

Global Voices translators speak out about why they do what they do.



Peter Sunde Pleas: ‘Pardon the Swedish people from court corruption’
Tuesday July 10th 2012, 12:40 am
Filed under: chain-gang,fly-by-wire,international,Not so popular

Peter Sunde, public face of The Pirate Bay during its publicity and trial over the past six years, recently published a long personal essay about the experience.

It is a hair-raising story of judicial manipulation, international arm-twisting, and companies offering jobs to prosecutors in cases affecting them… breaking the design of the legal system in a few places. The result, for Sunde, has been a ridiculously punitive and overwhelming sentence and fine with, in his case, only circumstantial evidence. (he is asked to pay more in fines than he is likely to make in a lifetime.)

Thanks to Rick Falkvinge for translating the essay; and to Sunde for sharing it. Please read it.



Higgs boson confirmed! World’s media mass At CERN in celebration.

Today CERN and FERMILAB announced 5σ confirmation of the existence of the Higgs boson [1], inspiring a burst of heady live coverage from the Guardian. (CERN had leaked a video about the discovery the day before, so everyone knew what was coming, and turned up for today’s Higgs seminar. All of the scientists who had worked on early versions of the theory that pointed towards such a boson also flew in the the seminar, which continues tomorrow.)

CERN has posted and archived beautiful 360-degree photos of the day, a video of the press conference (rather dull), and will soon post a recording of the day’s seminar (which was live-streamed and amazing; come back for it tomorrow).

The media as usual tries valiantly to explain things in a down-to-earth way that is both simplistic and true, but is generally failing. As with a few other recent scientific breakthroughs, I am grateful that Wikipedia offers solid explanations of the topics at hand, and through the magic of hyperlinks (which news agencies are still struggling with 🙂 allows exploration of the topics in as much depth as you like.

Related reading: supersymmetry, scalar field theory, htlhcdtwy.

[1] Note the careful, conservative trend in particle physics: the labs making the discovery are all quick to say they’ve discovered the existence of at least one new particle, which matches the profile of the Higgs boson; it could be one or more of its sibling bosons that have been discovered – supersymmetry suggests there could be 5 of them.



Re: Sudo make me an Internet
Wednesday July 04th 2012, 12:36 pm
Filed under: chain-gang,poetic justice,popular demand,Rogue content editor,Uncategorized

Happy Independence Day!

A few good pieces on the Declaration of Internet Freedom:
* Christian Science Monitor: The Internet needs its own ‘declaration of independence’
* Forbes: Freshly-Minted Declaration of Internet Freedom Demands ‘Free and Open Internet’
* ABC News: For July 4, a Declaration of Internet Freedom
* And an excellent, long piece by The Verge: How the net’s minutemen plan to protect the future

And ACTA was just rejected by the EU Parliament:
* Controversial anti-piracy agreement rejected by EU

Kudos to everyone involved in that turnaround.



General knowledge is social infrastructure, not commodity
Monday June 25th 2012, 10:54 pm
Filed under: %a la mod,chain-gang,international,meta,Uncategorized,wikipedia

For ages, learning was assumed to be social, interactive, oral. Written knowledge, where available and somewhat portable, was a specialized complement that few scholars, recordkeepers, explorers and other specialists used or needed.

As long as you needed a tutor or guide to learn, whether or not good static (lifeless) written material was available was a lesser concern.

In the last three millennia, it gradually became cheaper to produce text, commonplace for scholars to learn to write concisely and convey ideas so that others could learn them on their own. In every field, books eventually replaced ritual and oral record as the standard for precipitating knowledge into a lasting, canonical form, and passing it on. This was driven forward by personal memorials and finance and law – pillars of clan- and city-building.

Certain forms of knowledge were considered a shared good of society – from how to find resources to social and practical norms. And some were actively disseminated as necessary, such as legal and religious dictates. Other knowledge was something that could be sought out, or bought and sold. During the time when knowledge about the world was a scarce resource, yet easy enough to write down and transmit, even basic information about the shape of the planet was bartered and sold like any other good.

Today we both have bounteous knowledge, and pressing problems that better global education can address. The opportunities that could result from a more broadly educated world society are far greater than the short-term opportunities of a commodity market for practical texts.

And we will get more thorough, more accurate, and better texts of all sorts – once we think of general knowledge as a part of culture and civic infrastructure, not as something that can be owned and hoarded. We made this transition with scientific discoveries centuries ago, with mathematics before that, and today we reap tremendous benefits from that. It is time for all knowledge to join their ranks as a cornerstone of our civilization.

How can we help this come about? Take a piece of awesome, inspiring, practical knowledge that you currently buy or rent as a commodity, and make a free version of it. Publish it to a shared commons that makes it easy to maintain and update over time. Tell others who get it from the same source you did. Stop using general knowledge that you can’t repurpose, and your use of the alternative will make it the best in the world in its niche.



Adapt Now Or Be Disintermediated, says @FakeElsevier

Reed Elsevier’s received a scathing critique by The Street’s Jared Woodward this week, who bets heavily against its stock [RUK] :

We regard the common stock as an implicit naked short put option because, while the upside potential from the publishing division is limited, the downside risk from any revolt by its customers (libraries), laborers (academics), or funders (governments) is not.

Woodward incisively covers everything from the academic-run The Cost of Knowledge campaign countering the Elsevier-backed Research Works Act, the Federal Research Public Access Act proposal to enshrine Open Access as a requirement of all government funders, a similar EU mandate, the UK recruiting Jimbo to help draft a similar policy for all UK-funded research by 2014, Harvard’s faculty memo on deep and broad Open Access support, the stunning successes of PLoS One and Rockefeller University Press, and @FakeElsevier‘s tweets and blog.

@FakeElsevier is a pseudonymous academic who has been sharing satirical posts and tweets about Elsevier since February. The subject above is from one of the more popular blog posts: “Dear Elsevier Employees, With Love, From @FakeElsevier.

Take a look at Woodward’s report: It’s an exhausting and exhilirating read.

Federal Research Public Access Act




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