Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Holiday Musings

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  • Sue,

    i think mike king is fantastic.

    What amazes me is how he holds it together each week helping people and also steering those most in need in the best direction for more help.

    There is equal parts care, compassion and fun in the show.

    Sometimes it's a little overwhelming for me to listen, but i'm a fan.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 495 posts Report Reply

  • James Harton,

    I enjoyed "I'm on a Mac". Make sure you and Leo watch the Nerdcore Rising doco (http://www.nerdcorerisingmovie.com/) - you should probably buy it but you can always nab it from your favourite tracker.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2007 • 51 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Palmer,

    I can't say that I share your sympathy with Edroso's point. Other people may have discovered warblogging, swift boats, tea bagging and so on - I discovered Salam Pax, Talking Points Memo and Digby. People aren't stupid and ignorant and hate-filled because blogs told them so, it's because that's what they were already. Edroso comes across as a journo with professional jealousy issues - that at least is understandable in human terms but is hardly cause for a recommendation.

    Since Nov 2006 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I'm afraid I've been getting most of my Holly-Jolly-Day Goodness from Boing Boing:

    Why a picture captioned UNDERWEAR WITH EXPLOSIVE PACKET is much less fun that you'd expect

    What happens when Demi Moore sets loose the dogs of law -- spectacularly missing the point, basically.

    And, my personal favourite:

    Avatar gets a visit from a very smart script doctor. Seriously, if Rob Beschizza had done a pass on the script I might not have ended up having a rather scary internal dialogue that came this close to becoming an internal knife fight.

    Oh, and I may be an evil thief but I watch The End of Time, Part One on You Tube. One line review: Haters can suck my man-parts. It rocked, though I do hope it's not going to fall prey to the Doctor Who curse of the anti-climactic second part,

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    i think mike king is fantastic.

    You can see him in conversation with the Dalai Lama on MTS, Thursday at 10pm (straight after Media 7). Looks like time to free up some space on MySky.

    Thanks for starting this thread, Russell.

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2329 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    I am not entirely without sympathy for his argument.

    His post is fairly American centric though,which I guess is understandable. In Indonesia I watched fascinated as Facebook gave real voice to the hitherto completely voiceless 220 odd million who are not part of the political elite and made not one but two radical realignments in the way the political processes happen. The first was the nation rushing to the defense of a woman who was being squashed under a defamation case by a hospital because they had fucked up her treatment. She was convicted by clearly corrupt court proceedings and fined $20,000. The Facebook flurry not only raised the money but also caused the courts to back track and overturn the verdict.

    The second was the attempt by the police and the attorney generals to bring down the anti corruption body by framing it's leaders. The furor driven via Facebook primarily, and Twitter, not only killed the charges but forced the hand of the stunned President.

    It's little commented in the broadband available first world but one of the most defining things of the 2000s for me is the way silly-cheap 3G and social networking (read: Facebook), accessed on Blackberry clones mostly, has swept through and given voice to parts of the world that have not only had no internet before but often had no phones, and perhaps only a single generator in the village (that's about 50% of Indonesia for a start, and large parts of Africa). You want a revolution? This is it and it hasn't even begun to play out.

    And Iran, well it may still be a dictatorship but twitter played it's part in completely smothering any claim the 'elected' government may have to legitimacy and being a democracy, far more than innumerable rants in the Murdoch media could have. It opened a lot of eyes. It was never going to change regime..please...

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Edroso comes across as a journo with professional jealousy issues - that at least is understandable in human terms but is hardly cause for a recommendation.

    I should probably have noted that Edroso has a good sense of humour, but it didn't seem necessary at the time. I think there's a little devil's advocacy going there.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    And right on time

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I think there's a little devil's advocacy going there.

    Sure, but back in the day there were plenty of proto-pundits opining that 'The high speed printing press and Mass Literacy are going to lead to the bloody fall of civilization into the paws of the mob", yet here are... :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Sure, but back in the day there were plenty of proto-pundits opining...

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • wendyf,

    @ Simon Grigg re Facebook.

    I'm gobsmacked. Thank you for that link.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Simon, Craig, Phil ... having spent most of the year wittering on about the marvelousness of social media, I just quite enjoyed getting the contrary case.

    Edroso does, it should be noted, cover quite a beat for the Voice and on his own blog: the wingnut blogosphere. Perhaps I'm just used to his sense of humour.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 19019 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Russell, thank you.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • Robert Urquhart,

    @ Simon Grigg re Facebook.

    Wow. Link propagated :)

    Christchurch • Since Mar 2009 • 142 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Grigg,

    Robert, Wendy and Russell,

    As much as anything musings like that expressed by Edroso irk me because their horizon seems so limited. As that link is evidence, there is is a big wide world out there that exists beyond the boundaries of the DC Beltway and the East Village, and I'm continually frustrated by the inability of first world observers to recognise this.

    I wonder what the half a billion online Chinese think about the fact that some guy in NYC has, even tongue in cheek, opined that their empowering social media has ruined the internet. Or the thousands of bands from Turkey, South Africa and Thailand that've embraced MySpace as a way of bypassing the traditional media machines that have always passed them by, to get fanbase traction..and on and on...

    I just quite enjoyed getting the contrary case.

    Heh, I knew that, but surely you don't mind if someone bites back :)

    Just another klong... • Since Nov 2006 • 3209 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    Why a picture captioned UNDERWEAR WITH EXPLOSIVE PACKET is much less fun that you'd expect

    Our old friends @ the London Sun have done the dirty work for us. :/

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 4403 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Litterick,

    Suicide Bummer was a headline waiting for a story; at last it can be told.

    Methinks the problem with the social media is that something which was the preserve of a few smarts is now open to everybody, leaving People Like Us with nothing to feel more clever than the rabble.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1000 posts Report Reply

  • pollywog,

    And right on time

    ...that sort of stick gives hope to a personal revolution i'm planning for 2012 :)

    somewhere else • Since Dec 2009 • 152 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    I turned off Matinee Idle (maybe forever) a couple of days ago when they were discussing their new Twitter feed, which largely consisted of Simon Morris adopting a faux-luddite stance ("What is Twitter? What would you want it for??"). As far as I am concerned MI can crawl back into their c18th cave. Gone off to Concert FM for a while (how I pine for Bfm)

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2329 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    (how I pine for Bfm)

    Try 95bfm.com Live streaming
    95BFM
    studio@95bfm.com email address

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6341 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Ashby,

    Russ, don't make the mistake of thinking that 'everyone' is into social media. I have no Facebook, Bebo or any similar account, I have never tweeted or read a tweet (that hadn't been reposted to a blog or news story). I use an RSS reader, but only because having a page open in Safari for too long slowed the whole computer down.

    The internet is just as useful to me as it ever was*, as an information conduit. I was arguing with far flung folks on usenet for years before I made the jump to the web (I still miss threaded discussions). I was an email subscriber to Hard News for years before the jump to Public Address made commenting possible. The mode changed, my consumption only slightly as I gave up usenet and soc.culture.nz for here and Mr Litterick's musings (which again, I used to consume via email).

    I bother to watch about 3 video clips a week, almost all embedded and only go to YouTube itself when I need a blast of The Clean (must buy a CD, must buy a CD).

    *GoogleEarth has increased the utility of the internet for me enormously. For eg, all the pavements around here are covered in tramped snow that has frozen solid since before xmas. Which means going for a run has been problematic. Seeking runable terrain i drove across the Tay to Tentsmuir forest on the Southern tip of the mouth of the Tay Estuary and ran around the beach while the tide was out. GoogleEarth allowed me to plan the route and find the 3 and 6 mile points on my run enabling me to work out my splits. The introduction of StreetView has enabled me to check if rural roads without pavements are wide enough to make running along them safe enough without having to drive out there. I can similarly use it to help our youngest plan runs in Auckland or Tauranga from a computer in Dundee. The feature I want next is live update on conditions, so I can see exactly how far out the tide is NOW! and would have warned me that the access path at the Tayport end of Tentsmuir was similarly a strip of solid ice (I hopped from frozen salt marsh tuft to tuft alongside) and I would have gone to the southern car park instead.

    So the net is only disappointing if you bought into the hype that blogging would save the world. Anyway I disagree that the taking down of icons was only negative. If it makes the MSM more careful with their facts since they know they will be found it, it will be a good thing. However I fear they don't care about facts, assuming any mistakes will be caught by others and so are becoming shameless instead.

    Dundee, Scotland • Since May 2007 • 425 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Simon, Craig, Phil ... having spent most of the year wittering on about the marvelousness of social media, I just quite enjoyed getting the contrary case.

    I wouldn't argue with you there, but surely there's a more useful middle ground between the Scylla of the Apocalyptic Luddite and the Charybdis of the equally mindless evangelist. You can find plenty of nuts, sluts and sewer rats in social media. But find me any media you can't do that with, and you've disproved my theory that the problem with technology lies in the intractable reality that it's created and used by people.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • Danielle,

    I might not have ended up having a rather scary internal dialogue that came this close to becoming an internal knife fight.

    And just because I can't remember where the original Avatar thread was, and I saw it yesterday, let me note here that I don't think a good film should contain more than one scene where I cover my face with my hands in embarrassment and gently whisper 'oh no oh no oh no'. That man shouldn't be allowed to write things. Things like dialogue, and plots.

    It was really cool-looking, though. Which I suppose is the point.

    Charo World. Cuchi-cuchi!… • Since Nov 2006 • 3663 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    That man shouldn't be allowed to write things. Things like dialogue, and plots.

    It was really cool-looking, though. Which I suppose is the point.

    In a funny way, I think the best thing that could happen to James Cameron would be a massive flop that turned him into box office poison. No, follow me here. I love Terry Gilliam, he's an astounding visual stylist. But let him loose on a script and it turns into a radioacative hot mess. Don't think it's any coincidence that The Fisher King and Twelve Monkeys are his most satisfying films; being a hired gun, and having to work with an existing script, disciplined the often frustrating WTF-ness that creeps into his other works.)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12052 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Simon, Craig, Phil ... having spent most of the year wittering on about the marvelousness of social media, I just quite enjoyed getting the contrary case.

    Of course it was just humor. Some grains of truth. There's a lot of crap on the net. There's also a hell of a lot of crap off the net. I try to find the good things on and off it, and I think there's more of those than there ever was.

    The fact remains that finding the good stuff requires work. Any beliefs to the contrary are insanely optimistic. And beliefs that things are just getting more sucky are insanely pessimistic.

    Without the internet I'd never have heard of any of you, never known what you think, you'd never have known what I think. And no one else who enjoys just reading what we think would have been able to either.

    Without the internet I would not have the job I do, working almost entirely for people in other countries, on a fantastically flexible timetable, with good pay. Admittedly, my job is blocking spam, one of the annoying things the internet has brought, but does anyone really feel bowed down by the weight of the spam? Or are you just enjoying the fruits of the labor of people like me who are blocking 99% of it, without really knowing, or needing to know, or caring?

    Without the internet, there would be no Wikipedia.

    Definitely there are big challenges involved in what the internet has brought us, the amount of information is daunting. The selection of what to enjoy seems to have become more important, precisely because there is so much to select from. In many ways it is depressing - life is so much simpler when there are no choices. But is/was it better? I don't think so.

    I find very little to rail against in the noughties myself. I was married and had 2 beautiful children. I bought a house. I met a lot of great people, firstly offline, then online. I learned 2 martial arts. I enjoyed 4 MR2s, 3 of which had forced induction, and did my first 0-100 in under 5 seconds. I saw Bangkok, Ayuthaya, Noumea, Barcelona, Amsterdam, The Hague, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Frankfurt, Mainz, Hanover, Berlin, Dresden, Munich, Rarotonga. I purchased my first electric vehicle (and my second and third). I skied, sailed, fished, hiked, snowboarded, kayaked, rowed, swam, cycled, motorbiked, windsurfed, skateboarded, water-skied. I learned to garden. I wrote 2573 posts on Public Address, and probably a comparable number in other places. I composed music and wrote the first 10,000 words of my novel. I read hundreds of books, watched hundreds of movies, hundreds of video clips, listened to thousands of music tracks, read thousands of news articles and tens of thousands of commentary posts. I mastered 2 computer games. I learned 5 programming languages, 3 new operating systems, wrote about 50,000 lines of code, invented one completely new technology, blocked billions of spams, smoked 4 CPUs and 3 hard drives. I gained about 3 square metres of usable screen, and my data storage increased tenfold. I took a lot of new recreational drugs. I drank about 6000 cups of coffee. I fixed my long standing back problem by learning the Alexander Technique. I learned a lot about occupational therapy for children. I was schooled hundreds of times for uninformed comment, took it on board, changed my style and moved to a lot more ups. I helped secure a lifetime ACC claim for my son. I lost 10kg, whilst ironically learning how to barbecue. I shook the hand of Russell Brown and 3410 and over a dozen other brilliant commentators, and lovely people too.

    It was not a wasted decade at all.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 8659 posts Report Reply

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