Margarita & the Blog Band.

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ICYMI

In case you missed it:

It being the other, the otherness, an unbearable lightness, a thing, a sum of atoms, an object to grasp, or idea or process to understand and keep, 

In case you passed by it, or it passed by you, 

In case the space-time that encompasses you is not all-encompassing,

In case you impose yourself uniquely onto a space-time filled with countless other objects traveling on their own unknown trajectories, and no one can say what you may miss,

In case you are not an omniscient spiritual being, capable of recalling from an eternally expanding memory,

If, when reading the Epic of Gilgamesh, historians cannot find your signature on it,

If, when visiting for a routine cleaning, your dentist has not heard of it,

In case you missed all that has come before you and all that is to come,

In case you missed the first four paragraphs of this article, though I suspect others have not —

Though I cannot calculate their omniscient capacities,

Though I cannot objectively ascertain the value of this idea or object or process,

Though I cannot predict with any reasonable ability the likelihood you may come across it at a grocery store or on the bus,

I now will act to ricochet it across your path, what has shot across the galaxy and crashed into my own space-time, in case you missed it:

[link]

Daily Dot Looks Behind the Mask

From Daily Dot CEO Nicholas White

This week, a 25-year-old publicist named Ryan Holiday published Trust Me, I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator. The Daily Dot, along with many other publications, ran an interview with him and covered the release. We also ran an excerpt from the book.

What he claims is that blogs have changed the nature of truth in our society. Holiday describes buying ads for a movie, then vandalizing those same ads, taking pictures of his own vandalism, and sending them to blogs under fake names to make them believe that there’s a groundswell of protest against the movie.

Blogs, with little staff and no time, accept the story without question and post it. Enough of them do it, and everyone begins to believe that where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Soon, the New York Times is running the story. And often, by the time the NYT gets to it, it’s no longer a bullshit stunt. It’s true. The controversy is now real.

The thing is, Holiday’s indictment is not just an indictment of the media. It’s an indictment of all of us. It’s an indictment of the Internet.

Read the rest: http://www.dailydot.com/society/dot-dot-dot-internet-media/

REUTERS HULK IS BACK!

I just got off the phone with Reuters Hulk, and you can follow him again on Twitter. 

It turns out his mysterious disappearance was just a vacation for him. (Either that or Twitter turned the account back on without telling me; I’m not sure which to believe.) 

Hulk’s been chillin’ out, maxin’, relaxin’ all cool in southern California but after he caused a small explosion last night, Hulk was exiled by furious San Diegoites.

More updates to come. 

Malcolm Gladwell’s “Small Change” is Small Change

It seems as if some change is too small for Mr. Gladwell in his essay for the New Yorker on social media and activism. He mocks a few of the more famous anecdotes of successful social media as being exaggerated, misunderstood, and superficial. I agree with Mr. Gladwell’s analysis, and not one word of his criticism of Silicon Valley pats-on-the-back is unfounded.  I myself found “Here Comes Everybody” far-fetched and obnoxious. 

 

Mr. Gladwell’s analysis of the theory and use of social media, however, is akin to hating a great painting because he doesn’t like the paint. If the (patent) owners of the social media movement (AKA the manufacturers, like Shirky) exaggerate their own effectiveness, Mr. Gladwell should criticize their vanity. If he has a fight with those who think Facebook updates are more important than world hunger, Mr. Gladwell should use his voice via the New Yorker to say so. He shrugs at this sense of clarity, and instead leads the hunting dogs to the “favorite child” of consumers, social media.

 

Mr. Gladwell should not criticize those seeking to speak with a new medium. He has thus criticized those who would be artists for the paint they might use: individuals, who might recognize social media as a new tool to engage society in activism and, in so doing, attempt to paint a great painting with that new brush, that new paint, that new media.  Many artists have been criticized for using new technology, so the argument itself is nothing shocking. However, it astounds me that a successful writer like Mr. Gladwell could overlook the value of new tools for creative expression. If a few have painted poorly, do we throw out the world’s canvas?

 

After becoming famous writing cutesy, anecdotal stories himself, I wonder whether the author has forgotten his own ability to inspire change. Mr. Gladwell isn’t exactly using his opportunity writing for the New Yorker to challenge the status quo (unless it is in that stuffy, social-media-is-passe kind of way, which makes the critique disturbing rather than ill-conceived). Mr. Gladwell, in theory, finds no value for his own words if someone shared them with others on the internet. If this sounds like a silly way to be a writer, it is.

 

"Small Change" is humbly overshadowed by the proven history of the creative spirit, which finds a good use for anything in challenging times. I kindly request Mr. Gladwell to leave the artists their new paint, and to be a little more patient for the next Picasso.