Monthly Archives: February 2014


Inter arma enim…

Inter arma enim silent leges

“In times of war, the law falls silent.”


Honor among meme’s…

media monopoly

This simple photo recently crossed my Facebook feed. At first blush it wasn’t hard to believe, and it instantly created a visceral disgust for media companies. I assume this was its intended purpose. But then, in the spirit of respecting not only the message, but my own independence of thought, I decided to do some research on this and get “the straight facts” as best I could.

The first thing I did was an internet search for anything I could find on this meme (see my earlier post on mimetics) and found an article by Ashley Lutz here on which states that meme’s like this are “missing some key transactions. GE does not own NBC (or Comcast or any media) anymore. So that 6th company is now Comcast. And Time Warner doesn’t own AOL, so Huffington Post isn’t affiliated with them.”

Far from going any deeper on this meme, or its corresponding article, I wanted to discuss the inaccuracy in a lot of social media that we often take for granted as soon as we see it. I assume (dangerous I know) that most people saw the initial meme and grunted an expletive about “big brother” and moved on, the impression of it stuck in a small corner of their heads.

Im no apologist for corporate media, and personally choose to get most of my information from multiple independent sources, but this is troubling. Much like much of the mainstream news these days, it seems that its become simply slamming ones opponent and promoting ones own ideas, rather than sitting down and finding middle ground on anything.

This meme was at best factually incorrect, and at worst an exaggerated lie seeking to validate someones point. My argument is that perhaps its time to spend less time yelling at our neighbors to think the way we do, and more time listening to other points of view, lest we learn something new.

Vino Veritas

I’ve always heard the Latin phrase In vino veritas meaning “In wine (there is) truth. Being a bit of an aficionado of the pub, I have seen my share of inebriated people. This forces me to wonder, as a communications student, are drunken people acting and communicating a message that is not them? Or are they simply at a stage where their boundaries are so low that they say what they are actually thinking anyway?

Any who have been reading this blog, know that one of the cores of my message is the second R, respect. Respect means that sometimes you don’t like the message or you don’t agree with it, but you listen to it anyway and honor the fact that the other party too the time to think of it, encode it, and transmit it in the first place.

The true power in this theory arises in the fact that the Roman historian Tacitus once described how the Germanic tribes would often drink heavily wile holding tribal councils. This was done under the belief that a person was physically incapable of lying while intoxicated.

So here we have two cultures as well as Chinese, Russian, Persian, and even the Babylonian Talmud who hold that a persons truest means of communication is through the lens of alcohol. So the question stands, is the message transmitted while inebriated the purest of messages? Is it often traumatic for that very purpose?

Evolution vs. Creationism



This post is only related to the actuality of this argument as it relates to something I find wonderful. when I watched this initially i was struck more by the fact that this was a respectful if passionate debate. To me this is the core of what R3 (Receive, Respect, Respond) is to me. 

While these two men, who are experts and highly educated in their own rights will likely never agree, what they did agree on was coming together to sure their relative viewpoints. Throughout this video, by using the debate model, they display their views and listen respectfully to the views of their opponents, before responding.

Regardless of where you stand on this issue, I ask that you watch this with an eye towards how they’re speaking, rather than what they’re saying.


“Though my soul…

“Though my soul may set in darkness, it will rise in perfect light; I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.”

Sarah Williams

I recently read this article, by James Curran, and what I found was that the most difficult thing was picking just one aspect to post about for fear of getting lost in the deluge of information, and assumption of what the internet was supposed to do or us.

Economically speaking, the quote from 1999’s issue of Wired Magazine, “The Roaring Zeros: The good news is, you’ll be a millionaire soon. The bad news is, so will everybody else” is as good a place to start as any. We were never going to all be millionaires because of one simple principal, escalation. Generally speaking this means that if everyone in the neighborhood drives an 88 Honda  and one person gets a Lexus  then everyone wants to get a Lexus  soon the neighborhood is overflowing with them. Now whats our original Lexus owner god o if he/she wants to feel special? Answer? Buy a Bentley. and the cycle repeats.

Much in this same way, I would argue that the internet was never going to make us all financially wealthy (although we make more than we used to), but it was going to make is more informationally wealthy. Here in 2014, we have the sum total of all of humanities knowledge available to us 24/7, along with global connectivity (excepting certain nations who have restricted access to those things). but with all of us being “informationally wealthy” what does the original information broker do to stay on top?

Heres a hint….they wire tap, steal identities, and troll your emails.

Just my humble interpretation though….

After watching the TED talk by Rebecca McKinnon entitled Lets Take back The Internet !, I personally felt that this was a magnificent talk and a powerful question to consider. I believe that MacKinnon was absolutely right that in order to maintain or create an internet that is citizen-centric, it will require some measure of oversight, but at the same time isn’t oversight what were railing against right now? Admittedly were imposing too much oversight and of the wrong kind, such as in the case of China and certain Arab nations, but lest we allow this to descend into anarchy as opposed to the utopia we all wish it to be some regulation must be applied.

I wonder if the real question isn’t whether or not to oversee this domain, but how to do it effectively while at the same time defending civil liberties and individual rights. I won’t claim to have the answer to this or to even know where to find one, but I do believe that involving those peoples to be overseen is vital.

It can also be argued (without much disagreement) that corporations have entirely too much power (see my post last week on the net neutrality ruling). As for me personally, the thought that there is a “corporate barrier” between me and my “democratically elected representatives”, many of whom are supported and financed by those self same corporations is more than a little frightening. Perhaps its time to scale back the mega corporations and return to a more locally sourced economic base? If this could be accomplished, then the power that those companies wield over the internet would be reduced.

Just my opinion.

Who are the journalists now?

After delving into an article by Jay Rosen entitled The Journalists Formerly Known as the Media: My Advice to the Next Generation, I found myself straining not to go down the rabbit hole of who is media. but after some deep thought on the subject, it occurred to me that the title itself isn’t the argument.

The concept of “I’m there, your not, let me tell you about it.” is a very prescient tool. This tells me that we are all journalists. Ever since one cave man poked another and pointed at the previously unseen mastodon herd, there have been “on the scene reporters” and this being said, the town crier of medieval Europe was a journalist.

when boiled down and concentrated, the phrase “we are legion”, is perfectly valid. There was a time when we looked to “professional journalists” and were content to let them bring us the news. But today most of us are unshackled from desks, and desktop computers. our phones carry more processing power than the entire apollo program and are no longer rotary and attached to the wall. I would argue that the term journalist, no longer implies a specific and rarified skill, but rather it is simply a descriptor for a degree title, because you have to call it something. The true sharing of information and reporting on current events is done by “we the people”.