Thinking blogger award meme

Posted by jerry on April 29th, 2007 — Posted in Journal, New media, Technology, Theory

Many thanks to Linn Skinner of The Embroidress fame for tagging me with a ‘thinking blogger’ award 🙂

thinking blogger award

Here’s what she said:

Another blog that takes me to realms not always familiar to me is Jerry Everard’s Mindsigh Jerry has a way of making rather lofty academic approaches to philosophic thought within my grasp without “dumbing down” the concepts. It is his clarity of expression that does the trick.

So what’s this all about? The meme originated with The Thinking Blog and the idea is simple – you tag five blogs that make you think. The rules are:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the ‘Thinking Blogger Award’ with a link to the post that you wrote (there is an alternative silver version if gold doesn’t fit your blog).

This is a great way to find out about other blogs that make you think – by getting others who people tag as ‘thinking’ to give their selections – making it a form of social bookmarking.

A meme is “n. A unit of cultural information, such as a cultural practice or idea, that is transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another (analogous to the transmission of biological information in a gene).” a term coined by British biologist Richard Dawkins. So the thinking blogger meme is a way of tagging someone and saying: “You’re it – pass it on”.

And so to my selections. The first goes to Sharonb – my inspiriation – what more can I say? for her blog Mindtracks which discusses new media and visual culture.

The second is Angela Thomas’ blog which explores issues of identity – particularly with respect to SecondLife, and the question of the new literacies required in the digital age.

The third is Colin Lankshear and Michele Knobel’s blog Everyday Literacies which is also a new media blog by a couple of wonderful educators on the subject.

The fourth is Writer Response Theory where there is always some innovative discussion on aspects of textual arts.

And the fifth… Makezine! These folks adapt/re-cut/re-mix technology to make it do stuff the designers never thought of – and the results are amazing. Build your own cloud chamber or turn your laser pointer into an optical communications device – you name it and it’s been done on Makezine.

The meme is out there – pass it on….


Bandwidth theft and constructed identity

Posted by jerry on April 27th, 2007 — Posted in Journal, New media

I was doing that rare thing this morning – checking my Technorati ranking when I noticed that some of the blogs that linked to me had links that just said [IMG] – so I clicked through and found images from my blog with neither attribution nor a link back to my blog – just when you load the image it is loading from my site – and using my bandwidth for no gain through attribution or link for people to click through!

I chose two strategies. The first was to go in and change the name of the image on m blog and then I edited the link in the post so that the bandwidth pirate’s blog simply shows no image, while mine remains unaffected. The second strategy, where the person is clearly and actively disregarding any netiquette through profligate bandwidth theft – is to out them.

I found a whole blog category devoted to purported travels of Christopher Clark – but not a single image was his – every one of them came from a different source – each drawing a little bandwidth from the other blogs or websites. The thing is, the photos were used and written up as though they were his! Was this a case of constructed identity? If so it seems a relatively rare occurrence. But for someone who purports to be something of an artist, he seems to have scant regard for intellectual property. Perhaps he – if it is a he – is simply a fraud. There is no email link from his blog so I couldn’t just write to him. So in my small way I’d like to draw attention to a bandwidth thief – one who parasitically draws on the resources of countless servers like a spammer.

Of course the proper way would be to seek permission to use the image and/or to upload a copy of the image on his own server and place a link with acknowledgment back to the source site. That way when his page loads it is only drawing on the resources of his own server/provider, while acknowledging that the intellectual property belongs elsewhere.

Did he really think that no-one would notice that he had linked to their images? Or that the little bit of bandwidth wouldn’t be missed? The thing is, if it were just one image, perhaps it wouldn’t matter too much. But imagine if his site were really popular – then every time his page loads, there is a download of the image too – each time gradually eroding the remaining bandwidth and forcing up the costs for the original host. A hundred images being hit a hundred times a day is a lot of hits for no gain for the original host. It is almost as bad as a spam attack.

So I have a little plea – by all means use my images – but if you do, please acknowledge and put a link back to my site – not just an [img] embed.

So endeth the rant


The Zimmers – what generation gap?

Posted by jerry on April 17th, 2007 — Posted in Journal, Music, New media

Thanks to Angela I came across this amazing vid

It seems that the lead singer is 90 years old and there he is singing “I hope I die before I get old…” I like their attitude – and I like their visual take on the Beatles Abbey Road cover image too!

Here’s what the YouTube notes say about this group:

Lead singer Alf is 90 – and he’s not the oldest – there are 99 and 100-year-olds in the band!
The Zimmers will feature in a BBC TV documentary being aired in May 2007. Documentary-maker Tim Samuels has been all over Britain recruiting isolated and lonely old people – those who can’t leave their flats or who are stuck in rubbish care homes.
The finale of the show is this group of lonely old people coming together to stick it back to the society that’s cast them aside – by forming a rock troupe and trying to storm into the pop charts.

There are all sorts of things one could sy about society’s marginalisation of the senior population – but above all this is just great fun and they obviously loved doing it 🙂


Museum of Lost Interactions

Posted by jerry on March 20th, 2007 — Posted in History, Journal, New media, Technology

What a gem! Sharon came across a wonderfully quirky site dealing with pre-digital technologies that addressed the communicative and interactive needs of today. So they were technologies ‘before their time’.


The Museum of Lost Interactions showcases real devices from times past – up to 1970 – that gave people portable wireless communication with a telegraphic PDA using Morse code through to portable video players that filled a need currently occupied by the new iPods and 3G phones. The multi-track recording device for studio remixing – onto wax cylinders was quite a highlight!. It’s a fascinating site that in some cases reinforces the notion that it can take time for society to catch up with an emerging technology and find uses in daily life – or perhaps it’s the other way around? Equally, sometimes the social need is there, but the technology needed to make it a social phenomenon has yet to be developed. So this museum showcases some interesting dead-ends in the tree of technology innovation.


The medium is not the message

Posted by jerry on March 15th, 2007 — Posted in Journal, New media

In a classic error of form being conflated with content, it seems there is a proposal in the UK to ban phone masts from church rooftops – because new generation phones can access the internet and the internet might transmit pornographic images!

Church phone masts - the Telegraph

Of course this was relayed in a news medium that references some rather early electronic telecommunication systems – the Telegraph…

I wonder how long it will take the Anglican Church to realise that neither service providers, nor basic infrastructure providers are responsible for content on the internet. It also ignores the valuable service provided by mobile phones – in an era when public phone booths (landline) are fast disappearing from our streets. How then would an emergency phone call be made?

It also ignores the 2006 content analysis that showed that pornography is only a very small part of the web content – about 1%, which is about the same as the amount of Government information online. And do people really search that much for adult content? Actually only about 6% of searches. So the web is quite staid really. The study was conducted by Philip Stark – Professor of Statistics at University of California at Berkeley.