COVID, or Covfefe?

Covfefe is the sound of an old man choking on his attempt to say "COVID" While forced isolation has us looking for ways to pass the time at home, I look for something meaningful to read and settle on Poe. The meandering path of my literary pursuit began this morning with Book Fight!, a Podcast … Continue reading COVID, or Covfefe?

Facebook vs Google in the Bubble

The Google self and the Facebook self, in other words, are pretty different people. There’s a big difference between “you are what you click” and “you are what you share.” The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser (2009) looks at how personalization on the Internet transforms the Internet itself, creating a different user experience for everyone. Through … Continue reading Facebook vs Google in the Bubble

Blogging in the Filter Bubble

The new Internet doesn’t just know you’re a dog; it knows your breed and wants to sell you a bowl of premium kibble. Eli Pariser’s 2009 The Filter Bubble is a call to self-reflection on how we represent ourselves—consciously and unconsciously—in the digital age. “You click on a link, which signals an interest in something, … Continue reading Blogging in the Filter Bubble

Government Abuse of the Filter Bubble

The FBI needs a warrant from a judge to search your laptop. But if you use Yahoo or Gmail or Hotmail for your e-mail, you ‘lose your constitutional protections immediately…’ Ideas worth re-visiting from Eli Pariser’s 2009 The Filter Bubble. This third installment looks at how governments might abuse Internet personalization. “The FBI needs a … Continue reading Government Abuse of the Filter Bubble

Life in the Filter Bubble

"The dynamics of personalization shift power into the hands of a few major company actors." The best lines from Eli Pariser’s 2009 The Filter Bubble in ten parts. This is Part II: How do corporations abuse Internet personalization? “If you’re not paying for something, you’re not the customer; you’re the product being sold.” –Andrew Lewis as … Continue reading Life in the Filter Bubble

The Filter Bubble

You Are What You Click “Personalized filters play to the most compulsive parts of you, creating 'compulsive media' to get you to click things more.” Quotes from Eli Pariser's—The Filter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web Is Changing What We Read and How We Think Perhaps the scariest thing about Pariser’s book is the fact … Continue reading The Filter Bubble

Cube Farm

BOGIE, or Why I Wrote Patchworks My second novel addresses gun violence in America. It didn’t start out that way. Patchworks' protagonist, a millennial grad student interning for peanuts within a government bureaucracy, didn’t appear until several months into writing. And, angry as I felt to see America shredded over and over again by episodes of massive … Continue reading Cube Farm

War Novels and the War on Terror

More than 16 years ago, standing beneath a massive banner, George W. Bush declared an end to major combat operations in Iraq: “Mission Accomplished.” What followed this publicity stunt—he arrived on an aircraft carrier off California's coast riding in a Navy jet—were years of insurgency and bloodshed in pursuit of a Dick Cheney figment: Saddam … Continue reading War Novels and the War on Terror

Sold Out at In-N-Out

Must applaud the good fortune visited upon author Ted Gup this week in the form of free advertising for his former best-seller The Book of Honor: The Secret Lives and Deaths of CIA Operatives. Published almost two decades ago, Gup's book found renewed celebrity when it appeared on the front page of New York's gift to … Continue reading Sold Out at In-N-Out

Jon Voight’s IOU

Well, gee, is anyone surprised by Jon Voight's absurd words of support addressed to the people of the Republican Party? Is anyone surprised to see the actor who portrayed Milo Minderbinder, Joseph Heller's brilliant rendering of a profiteering con artist in Catch-22, praise the most notorious and corrupt corporate scoundrel America has ever produced? Sure, … Continue reading Jon Voight’s IOU