Archive for January 2004

Apple gets it

MacMinute reports that Apple has added an iTunes Music Store RSS Generator. This is really, really cool. You can tell them what genres you are interested in, and it will create an RSS feed te inform you of new releases.

I’ve already written on how important my aggregator is in my daily blogging life. This highlights to me that the potential for an RSS type system are much better than just blogging.

New Blog Showcase

I’m voting for democrats give conservatives indigestion: Why Special Forces Weren’t Used Prior to 9/11 because he ain’t got no votes yet and I think that is un-Showcase like.

Another Election Map

John Edwards’ site has an Interactive Electoral Map up (thanks Jeff Jarvis) and it contains one of the most insulting, chickenshit cheap shots I have seen in this election cycle so far.

Go to the map, and then click on 2000. There is no way in hell I will entertain the idea of voting for someone who has that liitle respect for the constutution.

Pseudonymity

Roger L. Simon and Blackfive (PoL) and Anticipatory Retaliation have all weighed in on the subject of anonymity and psuedonymity. I blog under a pseudonym. (I used to call it a Nom de Plume, but I hate anything overtly French now.) I have a couple of good reasons to do so, and I have a couple of good reasons why one could or should do so.

First of all, I don’t think it is possible to maintain a blog from a position of anonymity. You can publish a blog under a pseudonym, but so much of blogging is based on reputation that you cannot bounce around. You must establish an identity. That identity may or may not be based on your government name, but it is certainly based on you. “On the internet, no one knows you are a dog.” They do know, however, what your ideas are. The internet is the ultimate meritocracy, because all we are (once you get past celebrity from other media) is the sum of our ideas.

Pseudonyms have a long and prestigious history in American politics. The Federalist Papers were published under the pseudonym “Publius”. The men who wrote it — Hamilton, Jay and Madison — certainly could have gotten more attention for it had they used their names. That is the very reason that they didn’t. The point of the papers wasn’t, “think this way because Madison thinks this way.” There certainly would have been plenty of partisans who did so. The point of the papers were, “think this way because this way is right.” To put these prestigious names on them would have tainted the message by giving it authority outside the words on the paper.

The Anti-Federalist papers were published much the same way. Some of them were published under proper names, some were published under pseudonyms, and some were published in pure anonymity. None of that detracts from the arguments presented.

I have another good reason to publish under a pseudonym. I work in one of the largest law offices in Texas. Anything that I published under my given name would not only reflect (fairly or unfairly) on the firm, but would also come under the entangling ethics laws of the Texas Bar — and I’m not even an attorney. Once my name is linked to the firm, I have a (just) duty to allow the firm to vet anything I publish as long as I am associated with them.

I also have to keep the clients that my firm serves in mind. You think Dick Cheney has some entangling alliances? Take a look at any big Texas law firm’s client list. I want to criticize an environmental group? “You’re in bed with Big Oil.” I want to complain about a new banking law? “You’ve got that giant bank paying you off.” I already avoid talking about groups that we have been involved in (one way or the other) in actual suits — if I had to worry about the extended web, I wouldn’t be able to talk about anything.

I am Phelps. I’ve been Phelps since 1997. I have never written anything on the internet since 1997 under any other name but Phelps. If I wanted to publish something anonymously at this point, the easiest way for me to do it would be to use my given name.

Ripping off bits

Hey, Russ, it looks like some Canadians ripped off your Gary’s Laahver bit:

The Canadian Broadcast Standards Council (CBSC) said Friday that CJAY-FM’s Forbes and Friends breached an industry code of ethics last February by airing sexually explicit content. As a rule, mere sexual innuendo, while not in good taste, is acceptable on Canadian airwaves, but “unduly sexually explicit material is unacceptable radio fare,” the council said.

It agreed with an offended listener that the song “My Ex-boyfriend,” sung by a man to his ex-lover, which included references to “salami hider, vaseline slider, butt cheek divider, bone smuggler” was beyond the pale.

Damned Canadians. It’s just like them to ruin a good bit.

An Amazing Site

This is a really amazing site: Dave Leip’s Atlas of US Presidential Elections. It is very enlightening to me to go through the years on the county view. There is a pattern, and you can make some educated guesses about the upcoming election. Particularly telling for me was the 1984 election between Reagan and Mondale (following the 1980 election.) I also appreciated, like Matthew, that the right people are the Reds on these maps.

Joe Bob says check it out.

(Via Matthew Yglesias)

Side Benefits

I usually ignore Precision Guided Humor Assignments, because I am far too busy and important to deal with them, but this one caught my eye. A few things come to mind:

  1. New and exciting uses for duct tape
  2. More opportunities for old favorite uses of duct tape
  3. More Riflemen for the nation
  4. It is a good litmus test for detecting moonbats
  5. What would Frank J’s World be without Buck the Marine?
  6. More blogs.
  7. Helps the chain link industry.
  8. We got to see Peter Arnette’s true colors and deal with them
  9. C’mon. Who doesn’t love Comical Ali?
  10. Allahu Akbar!