Author Archive

Blogging killed God, the Bible and single sources

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

I hadn’t meant this post to go out Christmas day but it seems apt now. This is kind of a forked commentary from a blog post on how people mass-manipulate others. I’m in that webified generation that does not trust one source, that reads a story in a newspaper and figures out how this story would be presented without the bias of the paper etc., the generation that doesn’t necessarily fact-check but multi-sources facts. They are not the same thing. Many think they are.

I’m backing my 10,000 amateurs over your €10,000 a day expert
People give out about so many relying on the untrustworthy Wikipedia but I think my peers always seek out multiple sources of information on any and every topic. We’re the folks that don’t exactly trust a blogger that never links when giving opinions and our mistrust is shifting into the rest of the world too. I guess we’re all starting to second guess “experts”. I actually don’t know is mistrust a good word for this but it is a good thing. Is there anything really a 1 or a 0 in this life? Most things seems to be fuzzy. Always more than one side to a story and as we’ve become more cynical we are finding that we’re right. Newspapers damn the Internet for being amateur yet armies of amateurs are better than *most* journalists as they have the time and resources to work as a massive group to check everything out. While people have mentioned that only a tiny percentage do all the lifting on Wikipedia it doesn’t make it any less open since anyone can make a change to an article and point out to the group new facts to make their change stick. All the changes and “unchanges” are also logged and can be viewed too. As well as the IPs.

Citation Needed

And then it goes too far
The trouble is people are now using lack of links as a club to win an argument. I’m getting rather sick of link elitism going on on discussion forums and on blogs, where you are not allowed disagree or enter a comment unless you have sources for every one of your opinions. That’s total information facism and is going a step too far I think. I also see links used to make someone look wrong. “This link shows you are wrong”. Not got time to elaborate WHY, tabloid stuff really with people selectively quoting from a long articles and really it’s trying to win an argument by snowing someone under and expecting them to disprove your argument while you don’t have them expect the same. It’s the Microsoft 100 lawyers killing your case even when you are in the right technique.

Or maybe they make faith stronger
So is the new religion actually a cult of scepticism and is faith in something or someone being eroded? If we always question single sources, doesn’t that mean the Bible and God herself are going to be cynically looked at? Are they dead if they cannot be trusted? But is this not good? We should not pivot anything on one thing, should we? Perhaps but also perhaps if known “experts” actually put themselves out there not as experts but as collators of information and they are open to changing the way they present ALL data when new data comes along(after careful consideration), then really they’re not a single source but a router of information, an open knowledge resource. I think that’s what Wikipedia is. I think people should be like that too, open to amend their knowledge and ideas when presented with new information.

When I think of people that do that, I see some bloggers yes but I also see Rabbis, I don’t see priests though, not the Catholic ones this Irish boy is used to anyway. There are theolgians in the Catholic church sure but they are not accessible to the public and they are not there on a Sunday guiding the community. What we do have is guardians of knowledge, gatekeepers, obfuscators, condemners. Dictators really. Google Knol is that to me. The chosen few by Google are going to be hyped as the experts and you’ll be encouraged to trust them more than Wikipedia even though they and Google are there to make money from your clicks. With that attitude a lot of experts in their fields will be ignored simply because they don’t fit into the Google luvvie brigade. I wonder will Google Knol articles get amended as quickly by the Google priests?

When I started this post a few days ago I really didn’t think it would turn into some religious sermon on a Christmas day. How very odd. So maybe blogging is in fact a rebirth for expertise and for knowledge sharing and is getting us away from a single and sometimes very biased source for something. Happy Christmas!

Bonus link: Zack Exley’s new project.

I want this on my next business card, I want this on posters, I want…

Tuesday, December 25th, 2007

Via XKCD

dignified

Google’s Department of Misinformation

Monday, December 24th, 2007

So you know the way Google announces something, even teeny tiny things and the world (including me) goes woo and aww and all that and many wonder what this means and what great plan this project is part of? I do wonder does Google and the other giant techcos have a misinformation department like the Allied Forces had during World War II where they had fake towns, inflatible tanks and planes and the like? I even wonder do they team up and create a fake project and then Yahoo! would create a fake counter-project just to feck with the heads of us fanboys. It reminds me of the Gary Larson cartoon where a surgeon discovers if he presses one part of a patient’s brain their leg jumps up.

Anyway, Google are asking people to stick up their Christmas photos on a world map of theirs and share em with the world. This got me to think that some Google initiatives are just for fun and nothing to do with business. Back to the Google photo map, so far no photos are up from Ireland. G’wan, stick em up.

Damn, Sabrina is all go

Monday, December 24th, 2007

I already linked to her recently but check out Sabrina Dent’s blog again. She must be on the crack cocaine at the moment with all the blog posts and wonderful graphics for each post. I’m well impressed. I think I’m going to rope her into doing something for me, for free. Cos, you know, I’m cheap.

No it isn’t

Monday, December 24th, 2007

Christmas pressie woes – Jan 5th on Radio 1

Monday, December 24th, 2007

On January 5th I’ll be on the Marian Finucane Show trying to solve issues people have with their gadgets and toys they got for Christmas and how to sort them out in regards to refunds or exchanges or where to go if they can’t get them to work. Hopefully we won’t have any Microsoft ruins Christmas stories in the batch.

If you have issues with toys and gadgets and find fixes for them, let me know.

Fluffy Links – Christmas eve babe 2007

Monday, December 24th, 2007

Twas the fluffy before Christmas and all through the site, the blog owner was linkless, so he bought badges saying 07 was shite.
He arsenal was dry, he barely had one link, and then came a rhyme and he began to think,
So he composed something with his mind not that great, but he got inspiration from a poem by Yeats.
Could he point out an awe inspiring speech Or maybe designer water well out of his reach?
He realised this rhyming took effort, he yearned for his bed, then decided to highlight a fun video with the VC named Fred.
Then he decided to wrap up before people got bored while pointing out 28th position was a success for a song about whores,
And at last his parting gift to his blog readers was A dali watch, combined with a perverted music video about things from a crotch.

As much as I try not to, I love this

Sunday, December 23rd, 2007

Probably because it appeals to the cynic in me but Piaras mentioned that Lindsay Lohan might be getting a bit of cash to endorse a nicotine chewing gum and being one of the most photographed people on earth at the moment, it’s a nice way of building awareness of a brand. It appeals to me because I have to see multiple motivations for every action and event.

I’m reminded of the strong rumours that Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner were paid to frequent Starbucks. Being the most photographed couple last year or the year before, most rags had daily pics of them with Starbucks cups. It would make sense and a great way of plugging something. Both Starbucks and the couple denied it though.

Yet Starbucks got pants-down caught with rigging some fake Christmas cheer this year with their “cheer chain” idea which is where the person ahead of you in line is all nice and pays for your coffees too and you feel so gosh-darn special you do the same. In Ireland I’d think we’d start a fight and ask the person what the hell they’re up to.

This isn’t new at all though. I remember years back watching a TV show about Aristotle Onassis and how he got some female superstar in Argentina to smoke his pink cigarettes which made him his first fortune. Shame the only source for this damned information seems to be a summary of the TV show. From the NYTimes review of a TV movie on Aristotle Onassis:

First he seduces a diva (no, it’s not Maria Callas; she arrives later), and then he persuades her to smoke a pink cigarette in a ballroom. Everyone in the ballroom gasps; the men may be shocked, but the women tingle with emancipation. They cadge cigarettes from the men and light up, too. Pink cigarettes immediately sweep Argentina. Young Onassis, who imports them, becomes a rich man.

I’m reading a book at the moment called “Trust us we’re experts” and it really shouldn’t make me smile but it is. Some of the scams PR and Communication firms are pulling are fantastically evil. Shame this isn’t fiction.

Here’s an extract:

In 1993, a group called Mothers Opposing Pollution (MOP) appeared, calling itself “the largest women’s environmental group in Australia, with thousands of supporters across the country.” Their cause: A campaign against plastic milk bottles. It turned out that the group’s spokesperson, Alana Maloney, was in truth a woman named Janet Rundle, the business partner of a man who did P.R. for the Association of Liquidpaperboard Carton Manufacturers-the makers of paper milk cartons.

Fluffy Links – Weekend edition December 22nd 2007

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

The Manky Toy Show is on tomorrow night. Log in and see and take part!

News is out that Harry’s moving to the Times. Well done Harry.

Fun postcard prank.

Another summary of Paddy’s Valley.

PC World.ie did not pay their bill:
PC World broke

Kevin Myers, in one complete angry book. I’ll buy it.

I love, love, love the way RTE uses the word muppet in a report.

Former lobbyist Frank Dunlop has testified that politicians believed the Planning and Payments Tribunal in its early stages was a joke populated by muppets

One of the new D&G ads:

Green Party HQ Leaving agressive and fake comments on blogs?

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

This is who they are now.

Nobody picked up on my sarcastic blog post a while back about the fact the Green Party are more obsessed about their press and what is said about them online then most other parties. Good that they are progressive about the web, bad at the attitude and sneakiness about it. You cannot should not be a Green Party member or employee and defend them without disclosing who you are both to the blog owner but also to their readers. It’s deceptive, it’s dishonest and it’s worrying. First there was this blog post with a very aggressive comment from a person in Green Party HQ and then another is left on Keith’s blog followed by one from a “Dave” from the same IP address. No comments left on Shane’s blog.

I’m sure there’ll come a reply that other parties do the same but they do it less so. This is now the standard mantra of the party and their hired guns. “best result achievable”. Is astrturfing the “best result achievable” when it comes to interacting with people online? Is u-turning again and again? I don’t care what the other damned parties do. The Greens only jumped over half a cliff wheras in 1982 Labour jumped off 3/4 of a cliff. Whoop de doo.

Judging by the frequent visits here, I wonder could the answers to the below questions get answered on the Green Party Blog, which doesn’t appear to allow comments. Goose and gander.

Is it party policy to leave comments on blogs and NOT disclose your bias/employer?
Is it party policy to “engage” in a deceptive manner with those making comments about the party?
How do the Greens monitor the blogging community and why do they?
Is it part of the job of salaried employees of the Green Party to defend the party on blogs?

This is dedicated to the Green Party: