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f/k/a archives . . . real opinions & real haiku

November 8, 2004

how far we’ve come since PhoneCon I

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 10:59 am

Talk about being out of the loop: I missed PhoneCon 1876 [scroll to March 8 post].  I guess Jeneane’s invitation fell off

the Pony Express horse.  (Sure hope her servicemark had lapsed, when I touted PhonerCon1903,

back last November.)  Ms. Sessum focused on the “the emerging power of the Telephone as a 

tool to shape democracy, our flour and cotton mills, and our understanding of Rhode Islanders.”


                                                                                                                                                                               “phonecon la”


Jeneane could not have possibly foreseen the usefulness and revolutionary serendipity of the

telephone — celebrated here by haiku poets, each of whom is indeed, a proud telephone user:




a balloon hangs

from the telephone line

their missing son


                           Victor P. Gendrano 

                                    (homepage; wha bio)





her little feet

on the telephone book

piano practice


                            arkady elterman





a gray cubicle –
cicada songs
through a speaker phone


                        H. Curtis Dunlap

phone old


everywhere now
the sound of one
phone ringing

                  Ross Clark  from tinywords


fall migration

the phone lines busy

gathering birds

                           Kirsty Karkow,

                                   The Heron’s Nest V:1 (Jan 2003)



cell phone beeps

she takes off her shoes

at the airport checkpoint


                                Deborah P. Kolodji

                                          simply haiku 



by dagosan:

in his cave –

dial-up modem

blocks all calls


                                    [Nov 8, 2004] 


one-breath pundit  

  • When someone calls something a “no-brainer,” is it because they don’t want to think about

    it any more, or because they don’t want you to think about it?  Torque to me, baby!

  • If I were a praying man Dept.: oymore webloggers angsting over page hits and Da Impact

    of Da Blog!  (didn’t we start about here?) (loy calls it a snit)

  • It’s nice to see someone other than I poking fun at Florida’s “organized” bar. See

    RiskProf., who educates FATL on good price fixing and bad price fixing (and snits).

  • D&E is down on the parsing of “upon” by a California court.

  • We voiced some doubt the other day about TaxProf Blog‘s “visitor” totals.  But,

    we have no doubt that there is a lot of interesting stuff on that weblog.  E.g., see

    “OECD Releases New Data on Taxes as Percentage of GDP” and

    Red States Feed at Federal Trough, Blue States Supply the Feed”


    • Evan’s Commentor, the dual-Weblogger Sarni, wants to see more stuff about

      weblogging as a social trend.  It really does take all kinds. Maybe we can help.

    • Sarni might also want to check out this BloggerCon 3 list of things webloggers value:

      Things we value:
      Democracy, Non-exclusivity, Attribution.Transparency – disclosure, Innovation
      Personalization, Accessibility, Honesty, Creativity, Knowing who people are
      Editorial Independence, Connectedness, Anonymity

      Things we devalue
      Power law economics, Lack of Attribution, Anonymity, Wuffie-hoarding
      Links for money

[thanks to seth finkelstein, who left a pithy comment pointing to PhoneCon;                                                   phone ringing

see the original PhoneCon logo, here (designed by rageboy]

did shakespeare want to kill all the journalists? bloggers?

Filed under: pre-06-2006 — David Giacalone @ 1:24 am

Did Shakespeare have anything to say about journalists? What would the Bard think of webloggers who really really really need to be called “journalists”? Or of journalists who are repulsed at the very thought that a mere weblog might be deemed to be journalism? Until I locate Shakespeare folios on the topic, I shall gladly settle for Ernest Miller’s insights. After suffering through a BloggerCon panel discussion Saturday — the Important Mr. Miller had a few wise words on Journalists, Publishers and Blogging. For example:

I would think that, by now, we would have realized the journalism is a particular set of practices. Publishing is another set of practices. The two are obviously related, but they are orthogonal.”

It seems, despite my attempts to stem the tide last November — with Does the Blogosphere Exist? — that many denizens of Weblog World are still (1) taking themselves much too seriously, and/or (2) confusing their enthusiasm for an (almost-)new publishing platform and technology with some quantuum leap in human intelligence, diligence and virtue. At the ever-present risk of being pedantic, I’m going to repeat part of ethicalEsq’s post (penned shortly after the release of the Perseus White Paper, The Blogging Iceberg, by Jeffrey Henning):

phone old As with other breakthroughs in communications technology — such as the printing press and telephone — the substance of the communications could not have been predicted early in their evolution, nor could their social effects. Frankly, however, you wouldn’t have to be a curmudgeon to conclude that the lowest common denominator seems to dominate virtually all forms of communication.

It would have been premature for idealists to hold PrinterCon1503 or PhonerCon1903 in order to trumpet a new age of raised consciousness based on easier communication. Similarly, there seems to be no reason to assume — unless good people wishing it so is enough — that web log technology will somehow on its own elevate communications and relations within or across societies. If history is a guide, the forces of trivialization will dominate the use of the new technology. Technology doesn’t change human nature as much as it heightens it. As the weblog becomes a tool in political campaigns, for example, it seems more likely that what is bad about politics will infect weblogging than that weblogging will somehow raise the level of political discourse or behavior.

monkey cellphone small

The relatively small band who make up the elite of the blogosphere cannot afford to assume that their own enthusiasm, intelligence and good intentions are representative of the masses of “bloggers.” Even with the best intentions, human nature will surely have more of an effect on weblogging than weblogging on human nature. Expecting a significantly larger share of the population to “get serious” merely because weblogging now exists, requies a leap of faith that few can make. There is no certainty about the effects of weblogging on the global society — and no clear roadmap for getting the planet to a better place.


“First snowfall, blah-blah”
people in the world


small talk
in the cellar
spring rain

haiku by Issa, translated by D.G.Lanoue

followsup: (Nov. 8, 200) how far we’ve come since PhoneCon I

(Nov. 9, 2004) Lessig on the exit polling problems: “If blogs are going to be something more than the CB radios of journalism, we need an ethic to treat this sort of question ethically.”
(Nov. 11, 2004) If you came here via RiskProf to read about Shakespeare and lawyers see oh, that Shakespeare, he just slays me!.

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