Saturday, February 03, 2007

A Few Things

  • Reason Magazine interview with South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Excerpt: As most of you know, South Park, now finishing its first decade at Comedy Central, follows the misadventures of four grade-school boys in the mythical town of South Park, Colorado, a Brigadoon of small-town depravity, degradation, and good old American values. I suspect that South Park will prove every bit as long-lived in the American subconscious as Mark Twain’s Hannibal, Missouri, or Laura Ingalls Wilder’s prairie.
  • Interesting theory on ATHF scare -- Excerpts: The devices were installed in public places where people should be on the alert for suspicious activities including the subway, bus stations, and under bridges. I found myself wondering whether any of those who sounded the alarm were veterans of the Iraq war. I just don't see why the average person would be alarmed by these gadgets, but it wouldn't surprise me if someone who had spent months dodging IEDs of all shapes and sizes might be a hyper-sensitive to anything that looked as if it might explode. One of the symptoms of PTSD is overreaction to harmless stimuli that trigger memories of traumatic events... ...On the other hand, maybe the Boston authorities just screwed up.
  • Interview with LibraryThing's Tim Spalding. Excerpt: Tags, one of the hallmarks of today’s social software, play a particularly large role in LibraryThing’s makeup. Tagging and folksonomy, the emergent, organic language that develops from multiuser tagging, face criticism from the library and taxonomy communities for the lack of standardization, authority control, and even correct grammar. LibraryThing, which also uses LC subject headings (LCSH) to enhance records, shows that folksonomy and taxonomy can exist side by side to the benefit of its users.
  • I can't wait to see the upcoming Julien Temple documentary on Joe Strummer. Excerpt: “Right at the beginning, in 1976, I was trying to do this film about the Clash, then jumped ship to the Sex Pistols and cut off all communications for something like 20 years, even though I had a deep love for the band and what they stood for,” says Temple. “Back then I couldn’t get too close to Joe. So it was quite a surprise, ten years ago, when he turned up at my garden gate. He was looking for somewhere to live in Somerset and I was genuinely shocked to meet him again - we had a great night lighting fires and trying to raise this hot air balloon I was building. From that moment on there was a closeness that lasted until his death.”

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