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25 January 2011

Happy birthday from doppelgangers, but not R. Kelly

Yesterday was my birthday. It was festive, and included well wishes from doppelganger Alec Bemis. However, I am sad to say that the wall post from R. Kelly never materialized, despite my pleading. Maybe next year?

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10 February 2010

Nanoculture aka “Douglas Coupland has no Facebook or MySpace page.” (But he does have a Twitter.)

Excerpt from one of Deborah Solomon’s infamously condensed interviews in The New York Times Magazine. (I like them.) With Douglas Coupland, famous Canadian, infamous coiner of the term Gen X. The quote in the subject line of this post is drawn directly from his website. Funny, that.

    New York Times: Americans think of the Canadian center as socialism.
    Douglas Coupland: Pretty much. To have a healthy culture you have to have stable health care financing and stable arts financing and stable sports financing, and if you don’t have that, your culture becomes a parking lot.
    NYT: How would you define the current cultural moment?
    DC: I’m starting to wonder if pop culture is in its dying days, because everyone is able to customize their own lives with the images they want to see and the words they want to read and the music they listen to. You don’t have the broader trends like you used to.
    NYT: Sure you do. What about Harry Potter and Taylor Swift and “Avatar,” to name a few random phenomena?
    DC: They’re not great cultural megatrends like disco, which involved absolutely everyone in the culture. Now, everyone basically is their own microculture, their own nanoculture, their own generation.

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8 January 2010

Fun with problems

The urge is to disclose all my problems.
The problem is that I don’t realize they’re obvious.

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22 October 2009

Doppelganger Alec Bemis

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21 June 2009

Feeling green (for Iran)


So, lots of people are turning their Twitter & Facebook icons hexadecimal color #009900. (Take that Pantone corporation!) Through some lazyGoogling I discovered the significance of this.

    The color in this form is the shade of green used in the Flag of the Organization of the Islamic Conference.

    Islam used/uses this shade of green symbolically because the tribe of the prophet Muhammad had a green banner and because to them green represented paradise (the Persian word for garden) to desert-dwelling Bedouin tribes when they gathered at an oasis.

    Islam venerates the color, and it expects paradise to be full of lush greenery.

    Many flags of the Islamic world are green, as the color is considered sacred in Islam.

Through some additional lazyGoogling I read a bit about the social networking campaign. I’m definitely suspect about whether a million hexadecimal avatars will change a damn thing. This discussion that appears on The Washington Post strikes a dubious note as to Twitter’s utility as a political tool; this piece on Slate is downright cynical.

My guess is that the most disturbing aspect of the Iranian protests to those in power is that people are taking to the streets not that they’re Twittering. It’s certainly a good marketing move for the activists and for Twitter itself, though.

If Twitter feeds are ineffective then arty YouTube videos about this situation are almost certainly useless in changing the world.

I like arty videos, though, and this one made me stop to think for a second. Thought is indeed capable of changing things, when transmuted into action.

Use this site by Arik Fraimovich if your avatar is green with Iranian activist envy.

UPDATED JUNE 22, 2009: A version of the same video as seen above without soundtrack after the jump.

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