i love the internet with all my heart

in part because i was there when it began.

not began began, that was in the 60s in military bases and universities (one being UCSB) but i mean when it started to hit ACTUAL PEOPLE

for some reason God had put me in San Francisco and i knew people like MC Marc Brown who had some good computers and a decent modem and he showed me some of the first web pages. the year was 1994.

we were amazed. back then there were more Newsgroups than web pages, but they did the trick. we got news readers. we got as fast of internet connections as we could. we subscribed to Wired. we learned HTML.

here it is now nearly 25 years later and i still love the web as much as ever, in part because despite all the technological improvements, at it’s heart the web is still: pictures, text, and honest communication.

and if you cant be honest, be funny.

it’s good to know that you don’t need to learn Flash or CSS or 3D rendering or be the most beautiful girl in your town to reach a large amount of people.

and it has been a blessing to be able to get paid all these years while representing some of the coolest companies online.

however, my favorite place in the world is still this humble blog because here i can experiment with this and that and use what i learn in this tiny petrie dish and apply it in the places where i spend my 9 to 5. and for that i will always be grateful of this url.

my struggle comes in discussing my findings with others. mostly because i believe in science and others believe in things other than science. it’s algebra, actually. if the goal is to get X and you know you have to use A, then A + B = X

it’s sooooo simple. but the real world doesn’t work that way. regardless if you’re talking to girlfriends or parents or neighbors, often they don’t want to include B to A to produce X, they want to use C.

if you’re lucky C might magically work, but odds are it won’t, otherwise it wouldnt be called C, it would be called B.

B is the answer. i know it’s the answer. and part of me knows that they know B is the answer. but B makes people feel weird for some reason.

and here’s the part that makes me be sad:

i am often B.

i had such a good day today

after i published my Star Wars feature for Star Wars Day, the subject, the man behind so many of the best special effects in so many of my favorite films wrote me and said i “nailed it”

got a former Newsweek Editor who is also the former Executive Editor of Random House to make a funny video for me on the spot

got to ask a famous talk show host about this weed vape pen and he said basically meh LOL

spoke for about 5 minutes straight with the former CIA director and asked him what its like to tell the president to his face something that he probably wont like (he said it is uncomfortable, but it’s your duty)

drank two glasses of delicious wine

chatted with my buddy Matt for a little while so said it was me who introduced the nexus to the wonderfuls which created tsar and many of our lifelong friendships

he also said that during the battle of the bad, his band the long haired leaping gnomes were playing and in front of the stage two people who he had never seen before were wrestling in the dirt and those people it turned out where dan and coulter from the wonderfuls

ate a half of a delicious donut

drove home with all the windows rolled down because summer has finally arrived

thank you lord!

for everything!

interesting findings delivered by the Science Blog regarding bisexual women

and whether or not being a bi woman is a “transitional” stage of life.

The study of 79 non-heterosexual women over 10 years found that bisexual women maintained a stable pattern of attraction to both sexes. In addition, the research appears to have debunked the stereotype that bisexual women are uninterested in or unable to commit to long-term monogamous relationships.

“This research provides the first empirical examination of competing assumptions about the nature of bisexuality, both as a sexual identity label and as a pattern of nonexclusive sexual attraction and behavior,” wrote University of Utah psychologist Lisa M. Diamond, PhD, who conducted the study. “The findings demonstrate considerable fluidity in bisexual, unlabeled and lesbian women’s attractions, behaviors and identities and contribute to researchers’ understanding of the complexity of sexual-minority development over the life span.”

Among Diamond’s findings:

* Bisexual and unlabeled women were more likely than lesbians to change their identity over the course of the study, but they tended to switch between bisexual and unlabeled rather than to settle on lesbian or heterosexual as their identities.

* Seventeen percent of respondents switched from a bisexual or unlabeled identity to heterosexual during the study — but more than half of these women switched back to bisexual or unlabeled by the end.

* Women’s definitions of lesbianism appeared to permit more flexibility in behavior than their definitions of heterosexuality. For example, of the women who identified as lesbian in the last round of interviews, 15 percent reported having sexual contact with a man during the prior two years. In contrast, none of the women who settled on a heterosexual label at that point reported having sexual contact with a woman within the previous two years.

read the whole thing on the Science Blog, edited by our friend Ben Sullivan who has been very quietly running the fine blog for 5-6 years.

dropping science like galileo dropped the orange

aka How Open Source Media Got Its Name

almost exactly a year ago today the Defense Science Board recommended that the Department of Defense start infiltrating, among other things… blogs.

Because the US Military cannot legally spread propaganda within America the Science Board suggested that it get into paying off international tv, creating video games… and even sneaking into chat rooms to spread the good news of the US forces.

The Science Board stated:

Subcontracting to the commercial and academic sectors for a range of products and programs that communicate strategic themes and messages to appropriate target audiences. Broad themes and messages would include respect for human dignity and individual rights; for individual education and economic opportunity; and for personal freedom, safety, and mobility. Examples of products would be a children’s TV series (Arabic Sesame Street); video and interactive games; support for the distribution and production of selected foreign films; and Web communications including blogs, chat rooms, and electronic journals. (pg 67-68)

the Science Board suggested that DoD set up a Center for Strategic Communication at the price of $250 million a year …

The Center should receive core funding that supports steady state operations through a Congressional line item in the Department of State’s annual appropriation. Funds appropriated to the Center should be placed in a revolving fund in the U.S. Treasury without fiscal year limitation.

The Center’s core funding would support basic operations (staff and administration), information and analysis (polling, media research, cultural studies), maintenance of databases and skills inventories, and self-initiated projects and programs. The Task Force estimates that at least $100 million would be necessary to sustain the Center’s core mission and operations. An additional $150 million is recommended for projects and programs the Center would develop through contracts with the commercial and academic sectors as directed NSC’s Deputy Advisor for Strategic Communication. Additional funding for projects and programs would be provided through contracts and task orders from the Strategic Communication Committee’s departments and agencies. (p. 68)

This is a report that likens CNN with Al Jazeera as they attempt to persuade the DoD that the same digital technology that bit them in the ass at Abu Grhaib can be their tool if they only used it and bypassed traditional news channels…

Al Jazeera, CNN, and other television networks dominate discussion of the information and media environment. But a host of information technologies — in addition to satellite TV — are creating greater global transparency: cell phones, wireless handhelds, videophones, camcorders, digital cameras, miniaturized fly away units used by TV crews in remote locations, high resolution commercial space imaging, blogs, and email. Many are cheap; costs are declining.

These technologies have consequences for all three stakeholders in strategic communication: governments, media, and publics. Policymakers, diplomats, and military leaders face more breaking news from more places in a reactive mode.

Journalists rely less on “institutionally based news” (i.e., official sources, press conferences). Publics (i.e., NGOs, image activists, soldiers with digital cameras) can drive perceptions and policies with pictures and stories.

Transparency creates threats and opportunities – and changes in the strategy/tactics dynamic. Tactical events can instantly become strategic problems (digital cameras in Abu Ghraib). (p.19)

and the more the Science Board recommends, the more they suggest they increase the budgets regarding “public diplomacy”…

The Department’s current funding for public diplomacy (approximately $600 million), is substantially less in real terms than public diplomacy budgets during the Cold War.

When combined with the BBG’s international broadcasting budget (also approximately $600 million) the public diplomacy budget totals $1.2 billion. The Task Force recommends the Department’s public diplomacy funding be increased to $1.8 billion resulting in a total public diplomacy budget of $2.4 billion.

In addition the BBG has requested increases in funding. The Task Force also supports increased BBG funding for web based broadcasting services and those radio and television services where research and program reviews demonstrates significant audiences for news and public affairs programming.

So what does this have to do with the the web based broadcasting services of Pajamas Media? They’re an American company, and the law says you can’t spread propaganda in America.

Well, havent you ever wondered why exactly PM has “Fresh Baked Daily” from France, or articles about China being written by the PM “staff” in Barcelona? Or the Venezuelan elections being covered by the PM “staff” in Sydney? One might assume that once those offices are properly staffed – enough, say, to actually give these staffers real bylines with trivial things like their name – instead of pretending something other than what is probably the case which is it’s one dude in Barcelona or one chickie in Sydney – they would be able to deliver their propaganda while not physically being located in the USA where it’d be illegal.

Also when you consider the $100 million given to Lincoln Group to do exactly what the Science Board recommended above, the $3.5 million of investment to the Pajamas is a drop in the bucket compared to how much the Board told the DoD to spend.

But what’s truly bizarre is the Science Board planted the seed as to what Pajamas Media should call themselves

Regional web sites aimed at providing open source information supporting the U.S. Government and Coalition policies have been proposed by U.S. European Command (eucom) and U.S. Central Command (centcom). (p. 79)

that Open Source information, however, needs to be from reliable sources, not just one web site, but several, the report said on page 27: “The U.S. needs trusted, reliable web sites conducive to dialogue on political, intellectual, and cultural levels.”

Less than a year later, a collective of trusted, reliable websites conducive to dialogue on political, intellectual and cultural levels was born, and they called themselves Open Source Media.

absolutely and purely coincidentally.

noded + the keeze + the void + odub + science blog