Open thread

Saturday Morning Open Thread: Convergence & Coalescence, xkcd Edition

Mac/PC
Click to enlarge. Attribution: xkcd.1

To quote Henry Jenkins, Director of the Comparative Media Studies Program as well as a full Professor of Literature at MIT, on the topic of media convergence:

We are living in an age when changes in communications, storytelling and information technologies are reshaping almost every aspect of contemporary life -- including how we create, consume, learn, and interact with each other. A whole range of new technologies enable consumers to archive, annotate, appropriate, and recirculate media content and in the process, these technologies have altered the ways that consumers interact with core institutions of government, education, and commerce.

That's a lot of "stuff" all coalescing into new, hopefully synergetic ways of disseminating and assimilating information. We've seen examples of it most recently with regard to the activities of loosely organized anonymous hacking groups as well as with the recent internationally reported riots - the riots in Egypt and London, for example (but by no means the only ones).

Even citizen journalism has taken on new power and meaning as various technologies merge, enabling citizens to report local news and events to the masses like never before.

It's a brave new world of information exchange, security and cyber-warfare - and it's permeating the very fabric of the cultures in many first-world nations.

How do you see this playing out now, in your life? Where do you think it's going to lead us, and what are some of the possible as-yet unforeseen consequences that may arise?

Comments are open - remember, this is an Open Thread.

Namaste.

 

Only footnote references - and comments - appear over-the-fold.

 

U.S. Fiscal Policies, Economic Drivers and Energy Reform: Will we get what we need, or more of the same?

(Hint: "More of the same" is killing our nation)

The following is my opinion, and is not to be taken as synonymous with or supported by the staff, writers and editors of ePluribus Media. It is my own take on my personal observations. - GreyHawk, August 2011

Over the past decade, the GOP gutted the US infrastructure as well as the social safety net while simultaneously killing revenues from corporations and the "elite" - in addition to starting two wars, the second of which was started based on carefully manufactured lies and which was used to justify multiple constitutional violations as well as the implementation of and reliance upon crimes against humanity. The second war was kept "off books" for the most part, was highly mis-managed and lost TRILLIONS of dollars.

To fix this mess, another stimulus - this time grounded in a strong infrastructure program and new energy policy - is needed along with single-payer health care, Wall Street & banking reform, closing of loopholes and tax revenues from the expiration of the Bush tax cuts.

Getting even 1 of those things will be a miracle with the current Congress.

The US people need to vote out the GOP and Tea Party from all levels of government - local, state & federal (and yank what they can from the judiciary - which is nigh impossible) - in order to foment effective change and positive growth.

 

 Use this as an Open Thread, and add your comments below. Thank you.

 

Open Thread: Debt Ceiling or Credit Limit and Other Nonsense

I got a letter from my credit card company the other day ... it said:

Congratulations! We have increased your credit limit to $XX!  

Apparently they thought increasing my spending limit was a good thing -- the CONGRATULATIONS! part was heavily emphasized (see below).

CONGRATULATIONS!

They didn't tell me that I could only spend the increase on DingDongs and that I had to curtial my spending at Old Navy. No, the letter simply said I could now spend more money.

Saturday Morning Open Thread, Meta-Deficit Debt Ceiling Edition

The ongoing game of charade in DC is continuing apace, with what appears to be the umpteenth act in a never-ending saga of "kabuki theater in a Potemkin village" over raising the debt ceiling.

The GOP has decided to use this as a tri-blade tool to finish the job of gutting the economy in their efforts to blame the collapse upon the Obama Administration, in spite of the facts & evidence that this whole fiasco began (and accelerated) under the previous Administration with the help of a GOP majority in both houses of Congress.

Unfortunately for them, the video of their efforts to avoid precisely what they're doing now exists - Think Progress posted about it.

Now we just need people to share it widely, and shout down those who are arguing about "compromise" - there needs to be a clean bill, no strings, and not for the short term.

Then the other hypocrisies can be dealt with.

Let's take our nation back and return control of it to the masses.

 

Sunday suggested reading and open thread

Hope everyone is enjoying a pleasant and long 4th of July weekend.

A suggested article from the Sunday edition of the New York Times, We Knew They Got Raises. But This?". The Times is updating an earlier study on executive compensation in the U.S. to reflect companies that had not previously disclosed pay packages on April 1, 2011.

The final figures show that the median pay for top executives at 200 big companies last year was $10.8 million. That works out to a 23 percent gain from 2009. The earlier study had put the median pay at a none-too-shabby $9.6 million, up 12 percent.

Total C.E.O. pay hasn’t quite returned to its heady, prerecession levels — but it certainly seems headed there. Despite the soft economy, weak home prices and persistently high unemployment, some top executives are already making more than they were before the economy soured.

Read and weep.

Most ordinary Americans aren’t getting raises anywhere close to those of these chief executives. Many aren’t getting raises at all — or even regular paychecks. Unemployment is still stuck at more than 9 percent.

In some ways, chief executives seem to live in a world apart when it comes to pay. As long as shareholders think that the top brass is doing a good job, executives tend to be well paid, whatever the state of the broader economy. And some corporate boards were probably particularly generous in 2010 after a few relatively lean years for their top executives. In other words, some of this was makeup pay.

No doubt those executives have little to weep about, outside of the off chance they might see a tax loophole closed.

 

Thursday Open Thread: The Taxman Cometh - 2011 Tax Season for Individuals, Extended Filing Time Edition

The Taxman Cometh may be a pseudo-popular phrase based partly on the Eugene O'Neill play The Iceman Cometh, but it's a phrase that we hear pretty often around this time of year. For those currently crunching numbers and chasing down receipts, or digging through files for that lost or forgotten receipt in order to get their taxes together before midnight on Friday, there's a slight bit of good news: the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has extended the filing deadline to the 18th; check to see if your state has followed suit. You may be pleasantly surprised. (My state, MA, has extended the filing deadline for personal income tax to the 19th because the 18th is a holiday.)

Of course, none of that changes the fact that you do still need to file, and pay, on time.

Today is Thursday, 14 April 2011 - and this? This is an Open Thread.

 

From the Mailbag: Who Reads What

The following came in via email ... thought you might all enjoy.

Who Reads What

1. The Wall Street Journal is read by the people who run the country.

2. The Washington Post is read by people who think they run the country.

3. The New York Times is read by people who think they should run the
country and who are very good at crossword puzzles.