Salsa Scoop> tag: ”blog:history“

Guess What McCain's Running On.

Like most of the blogoverse, I've consented to the unsatisfying and barely compensated practice of selling myself to Google Adsense on my hobby blog, which I should add is pointedly non-partisan. I hardly monitor religiously the stuff Google pitches my paltry readership, but you get the occasional one that makes you scratch your head and flip back to the entry to figure out how it made the match. Other times, there's less mystery than an episode of Columbo. Like when you post about an execution in Iran, and you get ...

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The Folly of Attacking Iran

No need to wait for the war to brush up on the background of American-Iranian relations. DIA users Just Foreign Policy is on a nationwide tour complete with this spanking-new high-quality YouTube documentary: They're out on the west coast as I write this -- catch them near you sometime soon ... and/or Donate to Just Foreign Policy or write your rep in support of diplomatic, not military, engagement with Iran.

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It's the Use, Not the Tech

Our resident programming recluse emerged yesterday to pronounce upon the peculiarities of elevating a format into a standard. Seems it's another one of those problems which upon scrutiny dissolve from the technical to the social. The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our code. Tangentially, Chris' ruminations reminded me of a book review in the month's backlog of New Yorkers awaiting my return from vacation last week. Subtitled "How uses, not innovations, drive human technology", it surveys the "use history" of technology -- the relationships people form with tools, and perseverance of old technologies amid new, the ultimate centrality of human experience and society vis-a-vis gizmos and "futurism".
no one is very good at predicting technological futures; new and old technologies coexist; and technological significance and technological novelty are rarely the same ... Above all, [David] Edgerton says that we are wrong to associate technology solely with invention, and that we should think of it, rather, as evolving through use. A "history of technology-in-use," he writes, yields "a radically different picture of technology, and indeed of invention and innovation."
I hadn't seen it remarked upon in my scan through the nptech chatter of recent weeks, but that sounds like a description anyone who's worked at a nonprofit -- or taken a support call from one -- can readily identify with.

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Know Your Place (1997 Edition)

Atrios uncovers a decade-old column by that scold of Washington conventionality dating to the adolescence of the Internet as a tool of mass communication. Cokie's thrust is summed up by a respondent's sarcastic letter to the editor, "The Internet is nothing but a cyber-sewer, full of smut, cults, and now an even greater danger: easy access to government officials." The horror!
They also get in touch with each other on public policy issues. According to Love, it's like an electronic town meeting. That analogy makes our blood run cold.

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Pinochet Cheats the Hangman

General Augusto Pinochet paid much-belated homage to International Human Rights Day by following into the clay the lately deceased consiglieres of reaction, Milton Friedman and Jeane Kirkpatrick, who preached the catechisms on whose behalf the General wielded the terrible temporal authority. Three such dead within a month will test Ammit's digestion, but it is also the same month the pink tide swept Ecuador and restored their old adversary Ortega in Nicaragua. They escaped justice in this world. Let Chavez write their epitaph.

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Fred Turner on the Rise of Digital Utopianism

Resuming for a moment my professionally ironic role of nptech skeptic, I can't recommend highly enough this video (or this audio) of Stanford prof Fred Turner discussing his new book.

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