I have been sidelined from blogging by a variety of managerial hooha. Too bad! In the meanwhile these Salon blogs will keep you quite satisfied, and lead you to many others:
She’s Actual Size.
Radio Free Blogistan.
Toby’s Political Diary.
Archives for September 2002
I, along with many others in the blogosphere, picked up on what seemed like a key quote in the New York Times’ story on the new Bush administration strategy document: “The president has no intention of allowing any foreign power to catch up with the huge lead the United States has opened since the fall of the Soviet Union more than a decade ago.” This statement was presented in quotes in the Times’ story as if it were part of that document itself.
But as several readers wrote in to point out, it’s not. The Times corrected itself a day later: “The comment… was the writer’s summation of interviews with senior administration officials.” I e-mailed the story’s author, David Sanger, whom I knew a couple of decades ago when we worked together on a student newspaper, to ask what happened, and he said it was a copy editing error — which, from my years in a daily newsroom, I can entirely believe. (Before you copy editors start e-mailing, I assure you that some of my best friends are — or were — copy editors.)
None of this makes the Bush administration’s strategy document any less of an aggressive attempt to rationalize a new American claim to the right of “preemptive” intervention. And key passages in it support Sanger’s interpretive generalization, most notably this one: “Our forces will be strong enough to dissuade potential adversaries from pursuing a military build-up in hopes of surpassing, or equaling, the power of the United States.” But it’s only fair to set the record straight here.
David Weinberger tries to explain why engineers seem to be so cynical — and why that’s not such a bad thing, for them and us: “Cynics believe there is an ideal that humans choose not to live up to. For engineers, the ideals often are those of rationality: they like their work relationships characterized by the interchange of objective information unsullied by subjective, selfish motivations.” It’s a short piece, worth reading in full.
Brad DeLong takes Slate’s Eric Umansky to task for criticizing an apparent omission in the New York Times’ coverage of income inequality without bothering to check Google first (and learn that the Times wasn’t hiding anything). “FOR GOD’S SAKE, PEOPLE, USE GOOGLE!!!” Indeed.
Google news is hot right now. (See CNet’s story.) Not sure how I feel, as an editor and all, about a “front page” that declares, “This page was generated entirely by computer algorithms without human editors. No humans were harmed or even used in the creation of this page.” (Google’s sense of humor remains intact.) For the moment it’s an interesting experiment. Useful, challenging our expectations, but not any kind of replacement for the human-edited front page. Google’s engineers are smart, though; this is a beta. Who knows how far they can take it? Nick Denton’s critique is worth pondering: he observes that Google’s algorithm fails to give “exclusives” their due.
On Christian’s Blogistan, a rough transcript of, or notes on, the Weblogs panel at UC Berkeley from last week.
I can barely keep up with the stuff Marc Canter is blogging about broadband these days — he’s an idea spitfire. This post is a good starting point.
Thoughtful exchange between The Raven and Rob Salkowitz on art and terrorism: Damien Hirst’s thoughtless comments about 9/11 being “visually stunning” and Eric Fischl’s controversial sculpture “Woman Tumbling.” Also good reading: Salkowitz’s further thoughts in this article — ostensibly a review of a stage show (!) based on Greil Marcus’ “Lipstick Traces”. Choice quote: “The tragedy of 9/11 is that it took airplanes flying into buildings to blast away the accumulated layers of phoniness, commercialism and propaganda that cloud our vision. And even that didn’t last.”
Rayne Today says, more personally, what I’ve been saying about how journalists fail to fathom the wide variety of purposes motivating bloggers: “No, hell no, bloggers are not ALL frustrated journalists. I’m certainly not. I’m just a collection of day-to-day issues in need of some airing. While some bloggers might feel otherwise, I’m not really worried about driving up my readership. Personally, my concern is finding a place to set free this stuff in my head so it’s not stagnant, not locked on paper or a hard drive.”
Foodies, get thee hence to the Julie/Julia Project, which is continuing voluminous chronicles of “extreme cooking”: “How in God’s name do people do multicourse meals? This is French Cooking for the servantless American cook, remember?!”