Sunday, May 08, 2005

Our back yard is pretty shady, so long after most of the neighborhood azaleas are gone we have some in full flower...


...although maybe they just wait to keep the rhododendrons company.


5:24:31 PM   permalink   comment []

A last thought on Southwest, which delivered me to RDU safely and just ahead of schedule: the difference with other airlines is that the SW people seem happy. That matters more than you might think.

4:12:40 PM   permalink   comment []

BlogNashville wrap: Maybe we should have reconvened the faith-blogging session at the Respectful Disagreement session...alas, I had departed for home by then, but if I'd been in the room, maybe I could have asked Stan, wow, you find Dave's comment that the economy is bad to be so wrong that you are laughing at it -- could this be a moment to step back from your strong views and Dave's strong views to look for things on this very specific subject on which we can all agree? What are some numbers that back up your claim that the economy is doing great, Stan? Can Dave agree on those numbers? On what those numbers mean? But that's not the way it went, and that's a shame.

Upstairs in the Vince Gill room for faith blogging, there was a lot of respect. LaShawn Barber did a nice job of keeping it open, even though she entered with some apprehension. It was clear from the start that faith didn't just mean evangelical Christian faith -- among those who piped up were a self-described pantheist, a self-identified liberal Christian, Catholics from what seemed to be varied viewpoints, and of course me, a more-spiritual-than-religious Quaker-educated Jew with Buddhist tendencies who opined that supporting gay rights and having family values are not mutually exclusive.

Lots of folks took the floor -- when politics arose, one guy noted that Jesus entered Jerusalem on a donkey, which was immediately countered by the observation that God spoke to Moses through a bush...all greeted by laughter. I mentioned the NC church where Democrats had been thrown out, and the formidable Donald Sensing said the tax-exemption should be yanked. Terry Heaton spoke about working for Pat Robertson, being a believer, and reading

It was a coming together, and it really worked. At every one of these conferences I seem to find a session or two that become my surprise faves -- the education panel and Eugene Volokh's legal issues colloquium at the very first BloggerCon, for example, or the culture and community conversation in Greensboro...well, this was my favorite in Nashville.

More herehere, and here.

But there was a lot of good stuff going on elsewhere, too -- I tried to sample everything that wasn't happening at the same time as my own 9 AM gig -- and I thought as I stood in the packed Gillmor session about citizen's media, listening to a great story, oh yeah, that's why I come to these things, I like what we're doing, I like meeting the people and moving it all ahead an inch or two...

I do think the basic one-size-fits-all bloggerjam is showing some signs of age...regional and specialized cons may be the coming thing...and I hope I'll have some news to share along those lines before too long.

4:10:24 PM   permalink   comment []

NYT's Adam Zeller profiles Nick Denton and Gawker Media: "But like it or not in the overheated atmosphere of blog-o-mania, Mr. Denton, 38, remains one of the most watched entrepreneurs in the business."

Denton: "The hype comes from unemployed or partially employed marketing professionals and people who never made it as journalists wanting to believe...They want to believe there's going to be this new revolution and their lives are going to be changed."

Getting paid 30K a year to be a writer in NY or LA, working for a glamorous publisher...sounds like the same old same old to me.

11:50:56 AM   permalink   comment []

Adam Cohen in the NYT: "The thing about influence is that, as bloggers well know, it is only a matter of time before people start trying to hold you accountable...Bloggers may need to institutionalize ethics policies to avoid charges of hypocrisy. But the real reason for an ethical upgrade is that it is the right way to do journalism, online or offline. As blogs grow in readers and influence, bloggers should realize that if they want to reform the American media, that is going to have to include reforming themselves."

Beyond the legal penalties for libel that apply to all publishers, the ethics of blogging have to be self-enforced. There is no mechanism for enforcement, other than shunning by the tribe, and there are many tribes online.

Tim Worstall has more.

UPDATE: More from the Free Range Librarian: "I realize Cohen's column is just commentary on the opinion page of the national newspaper of record, but where are the facts grounding this piece?"

11:42:16 AM   permalink   comment []

Interesting article on NC's concealed-carry handgun law by the N&R's Eric Townsend.

9:55:05 AM   permalink   comment []

Allen Johnson: "The City Council tries so hard at times to be agreeable that it can sink into the soothing but dangerous fog of group-think. The quest for a united appearance, as they tried to muster with the Truth and Reconciliation vote, can cloud principle and judgment...

"The result: Project Homestead, the Greensboro Generals and St. James Homes II, three cases in which lax oversight and an absence of tough questions led to wasted taxpayer money.

"Even after all that, they've remained at least publicly united. And blamed the newspaper."

Is it just me, or have Allen's columns gotten sharper since he started his blog?

9:53:28 AM   permalink   comment []

Great opening lines: "My fellow job seekers...," began Carly Fiorina in her first public speech since getting axed at HP, delivered yesterday at A&T commencement (N&R, unposted).

9:47:56 AM   permalink   comment []

NYT: "(I)t is indisputable that many of the engineers and programmers who contributed to the birth of personal computing were fans of LSD, draft resisters, commune sympathizers and, to put it bluntly, long-haired hippie freaks." A positive review of John Markoff's new book, What the Dormouse Said: How the 60s Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer.

8:57:03 AM   permalink   comment []

"Mother's Day, that bastard child of Hallmark and Freud, is the made-up holiday we would not ignore even if we dared."

My newspaper column is called "Your Mama, but I mean that in a nice way." It's kind of about Mother's Day.

Read the whole thing.

8:51:34 AM   permalink   comment []