If you've ever been in my company for more than a few minutes you know I have a laugh that is... well... er... let's just say it is memorable. It's big. It takes no prisoneers. Last Halloween, TDavid grabbed my laugh off of a podcast, mixed it in with a few other geeks he follows and created a spooky halloween laugh track. Pretty funny, and it might even give you a shiver or two.
A funny headline and a fun article in Good Morning Silicon Valley. The headline? This Post Brought To By Reynolds Wrap, Makers of Fine Tin-Foil Hats Everywhere. Apparently folks are upset that Google may be working with the spooks to spy on us. Give me a break. Google does a better job than the Feds could ever do of collecting info on us, and will one day buy out the Federal Gov't and streamline the whole spying business. And most likely turn a profit. Can't you just see it. Top Secret files with Adsense ads on them.
Ok the title was a play on the stage genre, Theatre of the Absurd, and it doesn't quite work. But then again. Folks in the blogosphere are sure wringing their hands and gnashing their teeth over the PayPerPost thing and the little war between Pete Wright and Jason Calacanis keeps getting testier and testier. Michael Arrington says PayPerPost is now officially absurd. I still don't get it.
I'm not a fan of PayPerPost, but hey, blog fortunes rise and fall on advertising, some of it is plainly disclosed and some isn't. Those who think PayPerPost spoils some sort of blogosphere purity are preaching from some pretty shaky pulpits in my opinion. And besides, it was going to happen anyway. It is just a part of human nature to come up with a way to spoil something by monetizing it. I think some call it evolution. Some may even call it Intelligent Design. I just call it humans trying to make a buck. But PayPerPost certainly leapt into the realm of Ionesco with their newest salvo. They've launched a new initiative called DisclosurePolicy.org to discuss the "delicate balance between content creator freedoms and audience transparency expectations."
So, let's take a look at how close the Blogosphere of the Absurd lines up with the Theatre of the Absurd. One of the traits of the Theatre of the Absurd is that its themes swirled around the impermanence of values (hmmm? permanence in teh blogosphere?) challenged the validity of conventions (hmm?) and dwelled on just how precarious human life was and at times how meaningless. I guess they do line up. After all life in the blogosphere is measured in page rank and there's nothing more stable than that.
In any event it is fun watching. I'm just not sure how the players line up. Let's see is Arrington Camus or Genet? Is Calacanis Beckett? And Pete Wright? I'm thinking at the moment he's more like Antonin Artaud and his Theatre of Cruelty for all the attacks he's taking, but he seems to like the fight. Again, Artaud.
For even more of the absurd, listen to the recent Gillmor Gang podcasts. I'd link to them but the host doesn't like that. Absurd? Surreal? You decide.
I'll say. We've seen a huge increase here. For the life of me, I don't get what the spammers think they are accomplishing, other than beng just plain malicious. I know some idiots might fall prey to their game, but come on, don't you have something better to do with your time?
Sacha Cohen's Borat phenomenon is amazing. So many think it is sick, others are bidding for the rights to his next project. Here's a funny for you. Fox, thinking the political correctness would lead to a backlash and low numbers, pulled the number of theatres the film was to debut in from 2,000 to 7,000. Ah, comedy. You never know where it will take you. More on this in another post later today.
Jason Calacanis wants to extend his philanthropic efforts to Wikipedia. I say, good idea.
The issue of potential bad things happening with digital voting machines has been news (although not well covered news) for awhile. Now the US is investigating another firm from Venezuela, that last year took over a US firm. Oh, yeah, the firm is linked to the next generation's bad guy, Hugo Chavez.
Lots of flak about the Rush Limbaugh/Michael J. Fox brouhaha this week. Limbaugh is a clown and a damn good entertainer. He's also a pretty slick criminal and drug addict. So nothing he says really bothers me. Some do listen to him, thus his popularity, and thus the brouhaha. But it is being used to once again examine how nasty politics and political advertising is. I hate that. Politics and nasty campaiging has existed forever. The folks who pretend to be outraged need the stuff to be outraged about, otherwise the game stops. What's more upsetting is that how many would rather pay attention to this and other sideshows than real issues. Including those who cover it. We deserve what we get with our leaders. Crap.
The saga continues, just like you knew it would. Comedy Central has asked YouTube to pull down all of the videos on that site, under a DMCA request. Everyone is sniffing money now and I'm sure more pull down requests will come. The shakeout continues.
I've been meaning to post this for a few days now. Ed Holloway links to a report that the factory that makes those lovely plastic flamingos will be closing its doors on November 1. Another cultural icon lost.
I blogged the other day about Google Bombs, the attempt by political bloggers to game Google search so that bad stories about opponents rise to the top during the runup to the election. More is bouncing about the Internet and the main stream media about this. (See this article in The New York Times.) I'm guessing here very shortly this will be used as a club to wail on bloggers again. Can't say they don't deserve it. But I'm sill a little surprised that we don't see more than we do about this in the blogosphere.
Of course the fun about this is that anything that shows up in a search that is negative is already written. So this going to be about the search gaming and the medium, not the candidates. Great misdirection play.