Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

April 23, 2008

There was an OpEd in the Boston Globe yesterday by H.D.S. Greenway titled Dreary verses of the Bush-Cheney years. He repeats what many have said about the Bush Cheney policy in Iraq and refers to Robert Merry‘s 2005 book Sands of Empire to reinforce his points. What struck me most about this OpEd was not the litany of failures we’ve all seen before, but the snippet of a sonnet by Percy Bysshe Shelley written in 1818 that Greenway quotes from the intro of Merry’s book.

Read and keep in mind Bush, Cheney and Iraq…

Ozymandias

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: “Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!’
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.

Percy Bysshe Shelley

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The Future of Reputation by Daniel Solove

April 23, 2008

There’s a great secondhand bookstore in my neighborhood that I can not get out of without buying a book. I rationalize my weakness by blaming their random one of a kind selection and half off or better prices. Over the weekend I bought one that addresses one of my concerns about Web 2.0 – The Future of Reputation: Gossip, Rumor and Privacy on the Internet by Daniel J. Solove who teaches at GW Law.

He talks about areas of the law that should be updated to reflect the realities of life on the Internet: privacy, confidentiality, control and freedom of the press. Below is lecture he gave on February 11, 2008 as part of the Authors@Google series. Solove blogs at Concurring Opinions and you can read the book online which is an even bigger bargain than my neighborhood dealer.

From his lecture:

“Reputation, Reputation, Reputation!

O, I have lost my reputation!

I have lost the immortal part of my self

and what remains is bestial.”

Cassio in Shakespeare’s Othello

Clay Shirky

April 22, 2008

Clay speaking about his new book “Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations” at Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law on February 28, 2008. Looks interesting, bought the book last weekend.

Hi Def Video and MP3 download here

GG in Austin, TX

April 22, 2008

Garrett speaking about The First Campaign at LBJ School of Public Affairs Center for Politics and Governance, University of Texas at Austin on February 5, 2008 – Super Tuesday. Many now familiar themes, he closes with our “GU 12 weeks summarized in 1 minute”. 65 minutes, lecture for first 30 followed by Q&A.

Global Voices: Djibouti

April 21, 2008

The Republic of Djibouti and negative response to US Military presence

I found a country in the D section of Global Voices that I have heard of, but know nothing about – the Republic of Djibouti – located on the coast just below the Red Sea on the Gulf of Aden, and surrounded by Eritrea, Ethiopia and Somalia and across the gulf from Yemen.

Map of Djibouti

According to the CIA World Fact book – Djibouti at 23,000 sq km is approximately the size of Massachusetts with a population of 506,221 (July 2008 est.) which is about 50 thousand fewer than the residents of DC. It is 94% Muslim and 6% Christian and the average life expectancy is 43.25 years. By comparison the US average life expectancy is 78.14 years with a breakdown of 75.29 for men and 81.13 for women. The CIA site also states that it is primarily wasteland but that it is a “strategic location near world’s busiest shipping lanes and close to Arabian oilfields; terminus of rail traffic into Ethiopia”, which is relevant information given the posting I read.

Global Voices has only one posting for Djibouti – The groundswell of opposition to AFRICOM from African bloggers – by John Liebhardt who lives on the opposite side of the continent in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, a landlocked country north of the Ivory Coast and Ghana. This means that technically I did not find a single blogger on Global Voices from Djibouti, but rather those not please with the US Military presence there. I would guess there is not much time or money for computers and blogging since according to the CIA data the country has 59% unemployment in urban areas, 83% in rural areas and 42% of the population lives below the poverty line.

In 2002 the US Navy started operations in Djibouti Camp LeMonier, a location deemed strategic for the US War on Terror, under the auspices of The United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) which was created in 2001 to coordinate US military operations in Africa. George W. Bush went on a 5 nation tour of Africa, this trip and the US Military interest in Africa is the impetus for the postings in this blog.

Liebhardt’s posting, and those that he links to, expresses concern among many African nations with the intense interest of the US, and China, in establishing a greater presence in Djibouti and other nations. Specifically they think US interest is primarily in securing claims to oil, and the spreading of US hegemony.

Doc Searls on The Cluetrain Manifesto

April 21, 2008

Doc Searls on the 10 years since book come out and what was happening online then and now. Good quality and you can see the Powerpoint he’s using. I particularly like the email he said he got from Chris Lock that was the impetus for the collaboration:

we are not seats or eyeballs or end users or consumers.

we are human beings and our reach exceeds your grasp.

deal with it.

Origin of the title:

Cluetrain – they had a joke that there was an internet company in Sillicon Valley where the “Clue Train” stopped four times a day… but they never took delivery.

Manifesto – it worked for Carl Marx

96 thesis – it worked for Martin Luther

Video Link Here

Twitter and 6 Word Stories

April 21, 2008

My friends and I played with Twitter but didn’t find it all that useful, interesting, and/or relevant depending on who you ask. Then I saw a book advertised – Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure, and I have had a change of heart about Twitter. The book is a collaborative project and all the entries were submitted through the Smith Mag or Twitter web sites. I bought the book and have given it to friends, we’ve also written a few of our own 6-word stories. Smith Mag is working on a second edition, so maybe you’ll see me there…

Check out promo video with several stories here.

Iraq

April 20, 2008

I am grateful and have enormous respect for all who serve in the US military.

I have no respect for Bush & Cheney who squander this most precious resource.

October 11, 2006 – John’s Hopkins study estimates 600,000+ Iraqi dead in Iraq War

February 23, 2008 – Joseph Stiglitz new book projects 3+ trillion cost of Iraq war

April 10-13, 2008 – ABC/WaPo: 65% disapprove of Bush handling Iraq war

April 20, 2008 – MSNBC reports 4,039 US Military dead in Iraq war

March 19, 2008 – Dick Cheney “So?”

Obama interview at Google HQ

April 20, 2008

Barak speaks at Google headquarters about his vision and plans for technology in his administration. An enthusiastic crowd applauded the promise of full Net Neutrality, the appointment of a national chief technology officer, and permanent R&D tax credits among other topics. The video is a little more than an hour with the first 18 minuets of his speech then Q&A. Of all the 2008 campaigns for President, Barak Obama has built on the lessons learned from the Dean campaign. His bottom-up network has shattered the traditional formula for fundraising and outreach.

Second Life Jumping The Shark

April 20, 2008

The House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet held a simulcast hearing in a virtual Rayburn House Office Building on Second Life on April 1, 2008. When I first heard this, given the date, I thought it was a joke. Even though I have verified this did in deed take place, I’m still not sure. Jon Stewart did a segment on April 7, 2008 – Avatar Heroes – it’s pretty funny.