The United States Department of State

Referred to as the State Department, State, and DOS, the U.S. Department of State was yesterday slandered with a dangerous new label. I don’t care about the insult. Hearing “deep state department” from those lips glances off as a meaningless jab. I’ve long inured myself against the public bluster. What concerns me more is the … Continue reading The United States Department of State

Phenomenal Women

On International Women’s Day, I’m thinking about all the phenomenal women I admire around the world, including the nameless, faceless, toiling women who sow and reap the corn they’ll dry and grind into the flour they’ll pound and cook to feed their families in between their hours at the river beating clothes against the stones … Continue reading Phenomenal Women

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

Poetic Feminist Rant

I talked with a group of poets yesterday. Poetry operates at a level beyond my ordinary grasp; often it reads like an excuse for lazy incoherence rather than stabs at truth. In yesterday’s case, the writers had forged their art around efforts to ensure equal rights and legal protections for women. The event rose above … Continue reading Poetic Feminist Rant

Thoreau’s First New Yorker Cartoon

The wordless cartoons of Nurit Karlin. The sketched illustrations of R.O. Blechman. Turns out these staples from The New Yorker have an antecedent in Henry David Thoreau. Had The New Yorker been around, how might Thoreau have captioned this sketch from Journal XVII, kept February 1854 to September 1854? Certainly not as follows: At the steam-mill sand-bank was … Continue reading Thoreau’s First New Yorker Cartoon