"Some days it seemed like all there was was gray". With those words, Aaron Swartz started off a blog post about his relationship with Quinn Norton. This morning, I started off my blog post about driving to a funeral with, "It was a grey January morning as I climbed into my black 1997 Nissan Altima and headed north".
It seems appropriate that my RSS feed is full of posts about Aaron Swartz who help with the creation of RSS. The posts are by some of the bloggers I respect most, David Weinberger, Ethan Zuckerman, and Larry Lessig to name a few.
I don't have stories of meeting Aaron when he was 14 or of him staying at my house at some point. I'm not sure if I ever met him, but given our mutual friends and mutual interests, I suspect we probably met somewhere along the way.
Yet Aaron's death hits me hard. Perhaps it is because of the recent death of my mother and of my cousin. Perhaps it is because now, more than ever, we need people like Aaron fighting for open access to information on the internet, in the courts and in our government.
There is not much more to say than I am so sad.
Recently, there have been several articles about a suit brought by Capitol Records against Vimeo. Billboard’s article, Big Record Labels Push Copyright Claims Against Vimeo talks about a recent decision in the Second Circuit
that an ISP had to have actual knowledge of specific infringements through takedown notices or something else before being required to remove copyright material expeditiously
MediaPost’s article, Vimeo Argues Safe Harbor Protection In Copyright Case goes to talk about whether the alleged infringements are in fact infringements or are “fair use”.
I think this brings up an important point. How does an ISP have “actual knowledge of specific infringements”? Is an allegation of infringement by copyright holder in a takedown notice sufficient? Should the creator of the derivative work be afforded due process in determining whether or not their work is in fact an infringement or is fair use?
I commented on the MediaPost article,
I applaud Vimeo for supporting due process and I hope an important precedent can be established in this case. As I understand the safe harbor law, when a company knows about an infringement, they need to take down the offending content. Unfortunately, many companies take down content, not when they know that it is infringing, but simply when someone alleges that it is infringing. By respecting due process, web platforms should wait to take down alleged infringing content until after it has been determined in the courts to in fact be infringing. Whether or not lip dubbing is fair use, Vimeo cannot know that the alleged infringing content is in fact infringing content until a judge rules on it. If all web platforms would be so responsible and wait until infringements are ruled upon in the courts, it would significantly deter the reckless allegations of many copyright holders.
After college, I moved into an old cinnamon factory with a bunch of aspiring artists in New York City to be a writer. I was most interested in writing poems and short stories. I also had dreams of writing a great novel, but end up writing mostly computer programs.
Fast forward three decades, and I'm sitting in a nice house in suburbia writing blog posts on a laptop computer; a writing implement and genre that didn't exist back in the spice factory days. My online writing style continues to evolve. There have been times that I've written daily, sometimes, not very eloquently, in an effort to hone my craft. Other times, I've just been too busy to write regularly.
I'm starting off 2013 with a good string of blog post, but I've got a busy week ahead. I have to get non-blog writing done for other projects as well.
I'm also spending time trying to find things to inspire me and stimulate my creativity. Yesterday, I ended up on Sarah Kay's Ted talk, If I should have a daughter …
It got me thinking. Should I start hitting some of the poetry open mics? Should I start writing some more poetic blog posts to be read allowed, and then make a video of me reading them which I could share on YouTube? NPR has been doing an interesting series of having poets visit their news room and write poems about the experience and the day's news. Could I do a spoken word poetic news recap, perhaps drawing from other experiments in creative news, from the Daily Show to Autotune the news?
For politics, could I, a former, and perhaps future, political candidate, deliver spoken word poetic stump speeches?
I hope to give some of this a shot, perhaps even today, Epiphany, if I get the time.
There is an old saying that you are what you eat. Normally, it is used to talk about food. Eat healthy food and you'll be healthy. Eat crap and, well, you'll be full of shit. I've been thinking about this recently in terms of our media diets. What sort of media are you consuming? When you play video games, are they making you healthier or less healthy? I've been touching on this in a couple recent blog posts about videos games. What about the shows on television?
I find that I watch very little television these days. Most of them have too much violence for me. Even shows that would otherwise be interesting, like some good science fiction, still has too much violence for me. It is a cheap way of getting audiences emotionally involved. It made me think of what television critic Eric Deggans calls the Persistent Disbelief Syndrome, another cheap trick to get viewers involved. Yes, it is challenging to create a show that is compelling and full of intrigue without resorting to violence or other cheap tricks, but perhaps we need to move away from shows that fail to meet that.
For me, I've shifted much of my media consumption online. I'm following over 3000 people on Twitter and have over 2,500 friends on Facebook. I read a lot of blogs, mostly via blog readers these days, and get a lot of information from other online sources as well.
For quite a while, I was finding blog posts to read through sites which would share who visited your blog. MyBlogLog, BlogLog, BlogFrog and others. These seem to have faded away, but I liked them. I liked the reciprocity of visiting the blogs of people who have visited you. It often made for better conversations.
Then, there were the sites like EntreCard, Adgitize, and CMF Forums. These were bloggers' ad exchanges. They still had some of the feel of reciprocity that the sites like MyBlogLog had. Most of them are gone now as well.
About the only sites that I'm really using much these days to connect with other bloggers is Empire Avenue and Triberr. Triberr leads to some good blog posts and helps drive a little traffic, but it's not especially compelling and Empire Avenue is more about sites like Facebook and Twitter than it is about blogs.
So, I'm looking for ways to find more compelling content. At the same time, I'm looking much more seriously at what I'm reading via Facebook and Twitter. Is the content I'm finding compelling? Is it building mental, emotional or social resilience, to go back to my discussions about SuperBetter? The same can be said about YouTube. Are you watching Angry Orange or TED talks?
One of the great things about online media is that it is a conversation, not necessarily just a broadcast. Each of us has the opportunity to create our own content. What is our content doing for society? Is it echoing anger filled talking points from one side of the political spectrum or the other? Is it divisive and hyperpartisan, or is it hearing what others have to say and working towards common goals?
Thinking back about the CT Health Foundation's Health Leaders Fellowship Program, I come back to key works about intent; what is your intent in what you are posting? And impact, what sort of impact are you actually having? Let's work together towards a more intentional online social media production and consumption, and let's see what sort of impact we're really having.
Below is a blog post that I have submitted to the Bethwood Patch. I've also modified it slightly as a post to the Orange Patch. In true political style, I'm claiming victory in the first debate on Patch and I look forward to many more.
When I accepted the Democratic Nomination for State Representative in the 114th Assembly District here I Connecticut, I talked about how I'm not running against the Republican incumbent. I'm running against apathy. I'm running to get people more involved in their communities, both politically, and in terms of community service. I'm running against an intellectual apathy where people don't know who their State Representative is or what is happening up in Hartford.
When I was asked to start blogging on the Bethwood Patch, I hesitated. I've been maintaining my personal blog for eight years. I'm writing on a health care blog for my work. I didn't need another outlet for my writings.
On the other hand, I recognized the benefit that blogging might bring to me as a State Representative candidate seeking to get more people involved. The Bethwood Patch could be a great platform to stimulate debate.
Well, this week, my opponent has started to blog on the Bethwood Patch. I'm very excited and view it is a small victory for my campaign. I am managing to get others more involved and more informed, if simply by getting my opponent to post here.
I look forward to her sharing posts where she talks about her views on the issues and what she has done for the people of Woodbridge, Orange and Derby. I look forward to her allowing comments on the posts so that we can have an open, honest, and friendly discussion about the issues that should matter to all of us in this district.
It would be great of the 114th Assembly District could set an example for other districts where there would be an ongoing friendly discussion about the issues between the candidates for office.
Let's start off with a friendly welcome to my opponent for State Representative.