A friend, the multitalented Erin Brubacher, now has a web site. Her photography, dramatic productions, and cross-media work can be found there.
Mrs. Brubacher and I collaborated on the design (I on CSS and HTML, her on colour choice, spacing and font styles), which is strongly reminiscent of John Powers' site (for whom I have been doing some fun work in the forthcoming essays section -- a preview).
I've been doing a lot of trades for design work and hosting lately, which is a lot of fun. So far, I've got two photographs that I'm rather fond of. Next up: trades for food and fundraising expertise. And I've got my eye on more art.
The Fair Trade Media site isn't fully updated yet, but we're open for business in the barter economy. So if you need web design/hosting or print design and want to propose a trade, send us a note.
For months, I've been deprived of the blog stylings of the (apparently) lively, inquisitive and scrunchy-faced Eabha, and her parents Emily and John David. This was mostly due to hearing the name of the blog, but not knowing how to spell 'Eabha', and then forgetting to ask.
But no longer! I have much catching up to do at Eabha The Kiwi. Many, many baby pictures to be perused.
No doubt if you know E & JD, you already know about the site, but you never know if there are other stragglers out there who need a helping url.
I've recently finished a website for my friend John Powers, who makes some pretty amazing art. Take a look.
My good friend Matt Brennan is doing a PhD about music criticism and various other interdisciplinary ways of understanding music in its social contexts.
Apparently, doing a PhD literally means you spend a full year reading a lot of books about things you're interested in. Matt tells me that he keeps asking whether he should be writing essays or something, but his advisors just tell him to go read more books.
So I thought that a good Christmas present for someone who reads books for a living would be a website, so that he might share the love and wisdom that he derives from his metier, the lucky bastard. (Though: from what I hear from other people who have completed or quit PhDs midway, this may not be the case after the year is done.)
In any case, Matt's musings (and possibly music -- he's also a musician) can be found at MattBrennan.ca.
Launched on the day Paul Martin becomes Prime Minister, PaulMartinTime.ca aims to be a "comprehensive, independent source of news, analysis, and discussion about our new Prime Minister."
I'm particularly a fan of the Martintrospection Blog, where people can write as Martin in the first person, and attempt to understand why he makes the policy that he does.
(Disclosure: I've done a lot of work on this site.)
As folks have probably noticed, I haven't been updating this site too often, though you never know when I'll go on a posting spree.
In any case, I do update the Dominion Weblog every day (or close to it).
Updates will continue to be slow; most of my blogging is happening at the (still-in-beta) Dominion Weblog, and I've been spending all my time trying to get the first issue together.
My last encounter with J. Kelly Nestruck involved him, grinning a little too widely and inspired by more than a few beers, dropping my hat into a toilet. For no apparent reason. But that was at the CUP conference in Ottawa a year and some ago, where alcohol and strangeness were (and are, and will be) the norm. More recently, I've discovered his weblog, which is fun.
Some good links from Heli's Heaven and Hell Radio:
L’utilisation que font les médias de ce qui s’est passé n’a rien à voir avec l’événement lui-même. On est coincé : impossible de l’ignorer, mais impossible aussi de se joindre à sa ritualisation. On déshumanise le 11 septembre pour qu’il devienne exploitable, mais dans un sens qui conforte la situation qui avait justement rendu ces attaques possibles.
Iran is Suing the U.S. For Its Support of Saddam Hussein in the 80's (over 1 million people died in the Iran/Iraq war, which the US funded on both sides.)
Some guy in Germany bought coalition-of-the-willing.org just to post my summary of polls in European countries that are standing with the US.
Daniel Ellsberg (he of the Pentagon Papers) has an excellent collection of interviews and writings which give an extremely well informed and intelligent take on US agression in Iraq from the perspective of someone who worked in the Defense Department for years. Full of great information and sensible reasoning.
The senior Bush administration has prepared us to the idea of responding to chemical or biological weapons with nuclear weapons. That turns out to have been the function of this new category, which at first puzzled me, of "weapons of mass destruction." I've been in the arms control field for nearly forty years now, and I'd never heard of this "weapons of mass destruction" category, which lumps together biological, chemical, and nuclear. Between chemical and nuclear there's an enormous difference of destructiveness, by a factor of at least a thousand. So what's the purpose of lumping them together in this new category, "WMD"?
It came in about 1990. I now realize that they already had Iraq in mind with that, and the purpose of that is to say that, if we use nuclear weapons in response to chemical weapons, that would not be first use, we would not be initiating nuclear war. Rather, we would be retaliating to a weapon of mass destruction with a weapon of mass destruction, which happens to be about a thousand times more destructive.
After Iraq, we are not going to be able to get any degree of cooperation from governments with large Muslim populations. Al Qaeda can grow and do what they want—they're safe, essentially. That doesn't mean they're going to beat the U.S., and it doesn't mean they're going to drive us out of the Middle East. But it does mean they're going to be able to kill a huge number of American civilians, much more than if we had the police and intelligence cooperation of Arab and Muslim states, which the Iraq war will destroy.
I would be happy to see Saddam yield to inducements from his Arab neighbors and others to seek asylum somewhere, with assurance against war crimes prosecution if necessary. It would mean a success for threats of US aggression, but it would be a much better prospect for all than a war. France's warning that it might veto a UN-authorized attack for at least the next several months, while the inspections proceed, is both appropriate and could be effective; it should be joined by Russia and China (it would be too much to expect of Blair), while other members of the Security Council, starting with Germany, should warn in advance of a "no" vote in the absence of obstruction of inspection by Sadddam or positive findings of forbidden weapons (not empty casings) by the inspectors.
Even one to three vetoes would not guarantee that the US would not attack on the basis of a claimed "provocation"—a Tonkin Gulf incident, manufactured or simply claimed—but it might actually slow down the US attack by months, long enough for the illegality and recklessness of the whole project to become a matter of consensus, even in the US. The chance of this is small, but not zero: definitely worth pursuing.
Very good stuff.
Powell speech is around 6pm in Baghdad, the whole family is getting together for tea and dates-pastry to watch the (Powell Rocks the UN) show. Not on Iraqi TV of course, we have decided to put up the satellite dish to watch it, yes we will put it away afterwards until the next event. I don’t exactly like the thought of two months in prison just to have 24 hour BBC (no free CNN on ArabSat which is the only sat we get with our tiny dish).
Raed has a great Huntington quote, which I feel compelled to include here.
the West won the world not by the superiority of its ideas or values or religion but rather by its superiority in applying organized violence. Westerners often forget this fact, non-Westerners never do."
--Samuel P. Huntington
Another worthwhile weblog: Social Design Notes: Design + Activism
Dave Grenier has been back on the web for a while, and is posting scads of good political links.
Uzbekistan Diary: "A year in the life of a North American journalist working to promote an independent press in Uzbekistan."
yet another interesting weblog I shouldn't be reading since my Cultural Studies paper is already a day late: blab-o-rama
Some weblogs that I've recently discovered or rediscovered:
Jeremy Bushnell's raccoon
Steven Johnson's weblog
Invisible City, which somehow evapourated from my link list during one move or another.
Eclipse: the anti-war review
Alexander's Gas & Oil Connections could be a useful site for understanding things from the point of view of the oil industry in the future.
TheNewForum.ca is a column-turned-weblog by Montreal journalist J. Milloy which contains a few good, informed rants about Canadian media.
Despite their marketing claims to the contrary, The National Post is not a national newspaper. The Globe and Mail is not a national newspaper. Until Canada has a newspaper published, in some strange way, in both national languages, as available in Montreal as it is in Toronto -- you try finding a Post or a Globe (or a Gaz) outside the usual anglo main drags -- we do not have a national newspaper. I'm not a big fan of the hoary theory of Canada as a partnership of two languages, "two nations warring in a single breast," yadda yadda, but in this, at least, it's clear: We've only got one national media institution.
Since I remain under the influence of Stephen Henighan, I might add something about a "national newspaper" that isn't utterly Toronto-centric in its coverage and opinions.
In other news, canada.indymedia.org is nowhere near ready for prime time, but there are a lot of interesting ways that it could expand by linking to other sources of independent media (community radio stations, student newspapers, independent weeklies...). The local features newswire on the right is already an interesting cross-section of local indymedia coverage.
I missed Howard Zinn's talk in Halifax this morning, but he has an interestingweb site, and a new book out.
Anil Dash is writing some longer pieces and calling it magazine.
Chuck Shotton's Logic Faults. The Webstar (mac web server software from way back) guy has a weblog.
Federation of American Scientists: Arms sales and transfers for the "War on Terrorism"
A long summary of who the US gets to sell arms to (often paid for by US taxpayers) now that we're "combatting terrorism", and who the US used to sell or give arms to. Part of the Arms Sales Monitoring Project.
My parents' web site, The Lateral Line, is finally up and running. It features a photos of their art work (mostly sculpture), and a few of my dad's essays.
Andrija Ilic took a lot of dramatic and sometimes really quite graphic photographs in the former Yugoslavia. An interesting mix of politics, bombing and its aftermath, and landscapes.
MediaLens.org looks like a decent (lefty) media analysis site.
Air Hitch provides cheap fares (USD$150-300) to Europe, provided you're willing to fly on short notice, and not have much control over where you leave from or land in.
ABE Books lets you search the catalogues of thousands of used booksellers worldwide, which is great for finding old or rare stuff for a better price than Amazon will give you.
To keep all 20 readers of misnomer occupied while I'm away from computers (yay!) for a week, here are a few weblogs that I have noticed or remembered in the last fifteen minutes...
The Bitter Shack of Resentment. No matter how cynical you become...
TalkLeft: The politics of crime looks like an interesting weblog.
This is funny if you know who Russell Smith is...
Do you know of a weblog/site that I should be reading regularly, and isn't on the list on the right column of this page? Post a link below, so that the rest of us can enjoy it too.
WhitePrivilege.com has a new design, and more frequent updates.
NetFuture is an email newsletter about "Technology and Human Responsibility" which has been around since 1995.
This is a Magazine has one of the better uses of flash that I've seen (hint: no stupid little animations or buttons).
An assessment of Iraq’s capabilities says that the US is unlikely to knock out many, if any, of President Saddam Hussein’s mobile missile-launchers in a first wave of airstrikes. It raises the possibility of Baghdad hitting an Israeli city with a missile carrying biological agents, saying that Saddam is likely to use chemical and biological weapons.
Israel’s likely reaction would be nuclear ground bursts against every Iraqi city not already occupied by US-led coalition forces. Senators were told that, unlike the 1991 Gulf War, when Washington urged Israel not to retaliate against Iraqi missile strikes, Israeli leaders have decided that their credibility would be hurt if they failed to react this time.
It's Googlezon!. A much faster way to look up things and browse at Amazon.com... without going to Amazon.com.
CBC's Ideas has a truckload of very interesting interviews. It's easily one of the best radio programs that I've heard. What's even better is that they have a huge set of past episodes available for online listening.
I recently listened to the John Ralston Saul lecture, which is quite good. I subsequently started reading his Voltaire's Bastards, which I had lying around for a long time, and which is also quite interesting. Though this review begs to differ.
One of my goals for the summer - besides working enough to survive stress-free and learning Python - is to get paid to write something, so I'm starting to write query letters.
Small Stories, another decent independent online comic strip, which I found out about in Comics you can make love to, which is (I think) a regular column in Hard Boiled, an Asian culture/politics zine from Berkeley, which I found out about from David Grenier.
Dack.com's "perpetual warlog" is really pretty good. Predicting America's next target in the war on terror and Am I a Terrorist or a Member of Al-Qaeda or a Taliban Fighter or Not? are some good examples of what can be done with a strict "show, don't tell" ethic. All the images and news reports come from yahoo.
Wired News: AOL posts $54 Billion loss. Too bad they didn't actually lose $54 billion in cash, or I would miss all that entertaining content that they serve up.
Drunken Boat, a journal of the arts [online]. Always good to see a new zine. I haven't got around to reading any of the articles, but a friend recommended it. The web art section is promising, but mostly unengaging. Web art that I've seen tries too hard to be non-linear and somehow cutting edge, and tends to substitute ambiguity for substance. Maybe I just don't get it, and maybe that's a problem. Maybe not.
The Drunken Boat, by Arthur Rimbaud. Good poem.
Drunken Boat, a song by the Pogues (sans Shane MacGowan), inspired by Rimbaud.
... in the Weberian sense, anyway.
The Government Accountability Project. Neal Stephenson sez, "give these guys money".
More on micropayments:
(Or was that "moron micropayments"?)
Scott McCloud hints at interesting thoughts to come on having artists get payed for their work online.
Evan's Pricing Matters makes an obvious (though it apparently isn't to a lot of people) but important point.
the book I linked to above, Information Rules, is also available from Amazon as a Microsoft Reader e-book. The price? $23.96 -- exactly the same as the hardcover version. This will never work. Sure, it'd be nice to download the book immediately instead of waiting and paying for shipping, as well as to have an electronic copy. But for most readers, the advantages of having the book printed and bound will far outweigh the benefits of speed and searchability... The sad -- and all-too-common -- thing is, when it's demonstrated that these sales have flopped, the publisher will probably conclude that no one will buy e-books, period, when perhaps many people would have at a more reasonable (still highly profitable) price.Remember kids, bad implementation of payment for content failing doesn't mean that payment for content fails universally. That, and why the hell should the price for something distributed online as it is for the physical version, which has all kinds of material costs (production, shipping, etc.).
Some choice quotes from my Logic textbook (Contemplative Logic, by Cyril Welch, who also teaches the course):
"it seems that doctrines most easily supplant the priorities they name, and that one must constantly overcome them in order to actualize them."
"...theories intend not to erect a picture replacing our attention to reality, but rather to occasion a focus directly on reality."