Links of the Week


The Forbes Anti-Blog Screed: By now you probably know that Forbes’ latest cover story was an inflammatory assault (“blogs are the prized platform of an online lynch mob spouting liberty but spewing lies, libel and invective”) that smears all bloggers as malicious liars and libelers. I was tempted to disregard it as cheap sensationalism to sell magazines, but it’s been supported by a lot of  “let’s ban everything we can’t control” right wingers. Its message is dangerous: If we bloggers fail to take responsibility to identify and rein in criminals and character assassins on the blogosphere (as if we could do that), we should expect lawmakers to come in and curb the blogosphere’s anarchy. This specious argument is the same one that law and order types have used during anti-globalization protests, saying that if we protesters fail to identify and control violent types in our midst, we should all expect (deserve?) to be maced. The argument is as ludicrous as reading the National Enquirer and then writing a letter to the newspaper suggesting that (by insinuation, most or all) magazines invent their stories and try to ruin celebrities’ lives. Very troubling, since it indicates Forbes hasn’t a clue about how the Internet really works and why it’s so important, and perhaps the preface to another attack on online freedoms (they also impugn the reputation of the EFF). The article is here; Doc Searls’ bend-over-backwards response is here.

Two Outstanding Innovation Blogs: Non-stop leading-edge thinking on business from Umair Haque and Paul Schumann. Essential reading for picking up weak signals of what is to come in business.

Real-Time Broadcast Video from Your PC: A new ‘swarmcasting’ software called Alluvium developed by U of Texas Austin uses BitTorrent-type peer-to-peer technology to allow anyone with a PC and a camera to broadcast live video of events over the Internet.

Peer-to-Peer Consumer Reports: Insider Pages allows anyone to provide an online review of any business in the US. Businesses can pay to be listed at the top of the rankings, but we’re assured that doesn’t have any impact on the rating, which is based strictly on consensus of independent reviewers. Rankings are viewable by city or zip code. Worth keeping an eye on.

The Myth of Sustainable Cities: An interesting article by William Rees in the Georgia Straight on the ecological footprint of Vancouver, deemed by many as the world’s most livable city, explains that its eco-footprint is 48 times the area of the city, and concludes that people in cities may not be significantly ecologically less destructive than those living in suburban sprawl. Thanks to Jeff Gold of the Green Party for the link.

Some Wonderful Poetry: I’m reading more poetry and (slightly) less non-fiction these days, and finding I’m getting more insight about things that are important as a result. Two of my favourite Toronto-area poets are Aleah Sato and Joan Vinall-Cox.

Image is a small slice of an extraordinary downloadable 360 degree panorama of Paris at Night by Alec Loudenback. If you could scroll it it would make a hell of a screensaver.

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2 Responses to Links of the Week

  1. Josia says:

    It’s pretty ironic that you put such a calm (and stunning!) image of Paris in this post – right when they are in the middle of a street war over there. Coincidence?

  2. Dave Pollard says:

    I’d love to say that I put the night picture up with a deliberate sense of irony, but I just liked the picture. Terrible what’s happening there, and how a herd mentality with the appropriate media attention to amplify it can lead to so much destruction.

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