Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Future of the Future

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  • Sacha,

    It started off as something that BP made available to the authorities, but then it became just that, another window you could open onto real-time 24 hour news. But for what purpose? Does being able to tune into that particular channel increase the amount and quality of information available to us?

    BP were *forced* to make that footage public - so I guess watching it is part of a bigger action about bearing witness.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16759 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Time-shifting means I would never hear the collective gasp and roar that is shared when people watch things at the same time.

    That's already a factor with online dicussion about tv shows and movies that are released here late - or never in some cases, as Russell mentioned.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16759 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This is an important issue for many conservatives in the US - they object to the bundling of various cable channels, as this means they can't get the wholesome channels they want without also paying for filth.

    The irony there, of course, is that it has long been said that conservative Republicans are secretly keener consumers of porn than their dirty liberal foes.

    And there's some modest evidence for the belief:

    If you insist on drawing political conclusions from the study, note this: Eight of the top 10 porn-consuming states gave John McCain a victory in last November's election, while six of the least porn-rich states went for Barack Obama.

    Edelman writes that he tried to find a correlation between voting in the 2004 presidential election and the geographic pattern of porn subscription, but he came up empty. Another study, however, found that "adult escort sites are more popular in 'blue' states that voted for Kerry in 2004, while visitors from the 'red' states that voted for Bush in 2004 are more likely to visit wife-swapping sites, adult webcams, and sites about voyeurism." Go figure.

    And there does seem to be something to the idea that states with dense populations of social conservatives are also heavy porn-using states. In the 27 states that have laws banning gay marriage, there were 11 percent more porn buyers than in states without such a ban, the study found. And in states where most residents agreed in a separate study that "I have old-fashioned values about family and marriage," people bought considerably more subscriptions per capita than in states where most people disagreed with that statement.

    Although the study's major conclusion was that porn is popular all over.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18964 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    BP were *forced* to make that footage public - so I guess watching it is part of a bigger action about bearing witness.

    They were forced to release it to the authorities, not to the public. And I still think it turns the spill into something of a spectator sport, seeing as arguably it is not information + context (= knowledge), but rather pure information.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Emma Hart,

    The irony there, of course, is that it has long been said that conservative Republicans are secretly keener consumers of porn than their dirty liberal foes.

    There was a quite amusing study a couple of years ago of pay-per-view porn usage in airport hotels in different states. You know, the kind of places used by local business people because they have a 5am interstate flight the next morning and don't want to have to drive for an hour or two beforehand and then pay for parking.

    By far the state with the highest usage of porn in those circumstances was Utah.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4369 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    By far the state with the highest usage of porn in those circumstances was Utah.

    Yes, it seems Utah invariably tops this particular sort of league table.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18964 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    not information + context (= knowledge)

    I think there's enough other coverage to provide context, surely

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16759 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I think there's enough other coverage to provide context, surely

    Perhaps. Or perhaps what the webcam does is replace context, reflection and action with spectacle.

    This is not a dig at the iPhone specifically, but... what's the communicative or social function of the iPhone oil spill app? Who needs to look at the oil spill while on the move? What does it say about the meshing of information with entertainment?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I suspect you could say that of a thousand other iphone apps Giovanni, and umpteen other things. Personally I've never understood apps that tell you what the weather is where you currently are. For people without windows apparently.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Oliver Sealy,

    Auckland • Since Oct 2009 • 3 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I suspect you could say that of a thousand other iphone apps Giovanni

    I plan to.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Personally I've never understood apps that tell you what the weather is where you currently are. For people without windows apparently.

    http://greylynnweather.net

    It even tweets me. And it allowed me to tell everyone I met on Tuesday that we'd just had 2% of the rainfall for the year to date in 10 minutes.

    How could you not love that?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18964 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    http://greylynnweather.net

    It even tweets me. And it allowed me to tell everyone I met on Tuesday that we'd just had 2% of the rainfall for the year to date in 10 minutes.

    Russell, you have family and friends that love you and can help you with these issues. You need to admit that you have a problem as the first step.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6205 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    How could you not love that?

    Not if you were standing in it ;-)

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2317 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I suspect you could say that of a thousand other iphone apps Giovanni

    I plan to.

    Y'all are just iParty iPoopers.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3661 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Not if you were standing in it

    Oh, he's just aspirationally adjacent :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16759 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    This is not a dig at the iPhone specifically, but... what's the communicative or social function of the iPhone oil spill app? Who needs to look at the oil spill while on the move? What does it say about the meshing of information with entertainment?

    I really don't get your objection. It's just data. It's there anyway. No one is being exploited or humiliated, it is not doing any bad thing that I can think of.

    Indeed, two of the apps (for iPhone and Blackberry) have been specifically designed to allow users to report oil sightings as the slick spreads. Maybe someone who doesn't live in the area will download them for fun -- but what possible harm is there in that?

    And why should people not use the other class of apps, which report news about the spill? The supposed moral failure embodied in these small, free applications completely eludes me.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18964 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    I really don't get your objection. It's just data. It's there anyway. No one is being exploited or humiliated, it is not doing any bad thing that I can think of.

    Of course it's just data, and of course you can not watch it. But isn't inordinate data consumption part of the problem? None of these small free applications are a problem in themselves, what I'm trying to say is that collectively they are an extension of the 24 hour television infotainment cycle. The oil spill cam effectively adds another television channel dedicated to just watching the oil flow. More information, yay. But information isn't knowledge, and the problem is still how to create a media ecology where we can acquire and exchange and create more knowledge. It seems to me that in the future of television, that is the present of the Internet, we aren't there yet.

    (On a not totally unrelated note: did anybody else notice how the - what's a nicer word for tossers? - who run the Air New Zealand Best Blog awards define blogs as being "primarily dedicated to reporting news or views on news"? What does that say about how we understand the Internet as a medium, and blogs as a form?)

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    On a not totally unrelated note: did anybody else notice how the - what's a nicer word for tossers?

    Go with tossers. Some of the behaviour this week has been unbelievable.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18964 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Of course it's just data, and of course you can not watch it. But isn't inordinate data consumption part of the problem?

    I'll have to respectfully disagree there.

    I'm with Tom Coates when he says "you can never have too much sweet, sweet data," even though that's not very good grammar.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18964 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Manuel Castells agrees with you and Tom Coates. And I know the contrary case is hard to make - but I'll keep chipping at it. And by the way I think apps that tell you stuff about the local weather are great.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Graeme Edgeler,

    Go with tossers. Some of the behaviour this week has been unbelievable.

    And yet the Union represents us, and every other blogger in New Zealand :-)

    Wellington, New Zealand • Since Nov 2006 • 3009 posts Report Reply

  • Jeremy Andrew,

    Loving the one hour timeslot - the interviews aren't feeling rushed or cut off just as they're getting going.

    Hamiltron - City of the F… • Since Nov 2006 • 841 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    Can we go back in time and force Nigel at gunpoint to take off the stupid hat?

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7386 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    define blogs as being "primarily dedicated to reporting news or views on news"

    They were echoing the criteria that the Qantas awards were purportedly following

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16759 posts Report Reply

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