Monthly Archives: March 2003

pro-troops != pro-war

Today, i received my first FAIR Media Action Item, asking me to write to the AP and express my anger over their conflation of pro-troops and pro-war issues. I have to say that i’m excited to write these letters, mostly because i feel like i’m back in school writing me 3 paragraph reflection on something that i’ve recently read. I get to try to be articulate and succinct and voice my opinion. And just like in school, no one will ever read anything that i’ve written.

Anyhow, after the whole freeping situation with the Dixie Chicks, i’m glad to be doing my part to voice my opinion against our dictator and the media that supports him. I also think that move-on’s media initiative is *fabulous* and everyone should sign up.

Oh, and if you’re really bored, i’ve included my never to be read email inside.

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neopets are as addictive as hell

On the spur of a moment, i wandered into a new media conference that was addressing youth culture and their relationship with technology as a result of growing up digital. My motivation in attending was primarily to hear John Seely Brown speak and i was quite glad that i did. He did a great job of taking his philosophy and making it real through stories and a fabulous presentation. Although the content was not necessarily that novel to me, i was easily reminded of why i love attending talks: they make me think and generate new ideas.

I very much enjoyed many of the talks. An ethnographer from Japan spoke about SMS culture in youth there while a professor discussed the racist and gender issues embedded in Diablo. Others talked about blogs, the value of music, the role of games, paper journalism directed at youth (it was run by the Journalism department).

Yet, the most problematic speech for me was the one by a woman who worked at NeoPets. While i had heard the name before, i knew nothing about the system. The images were so compelling and her speech pattern made it easy to fall in love with the game. The problematic component of her presentation was not actually during it, but the addictive habit that formed a few hours following the conference. Needless to say, i went home and created Zazuzen, my pet Nimmo and then proceeded to lose track of time such that at 5AM i was still playing multiplication games to earn more points so that Nimmo could get food and books about yoga and meditation. Frankly, it’s quite an adorable online site (although i was under the impression that there would be a lot less advertising than there was).

wartime thought

There is only one thing that i like about wartime: it makes people think. Intellectuals are focused on developing theories to explain contemporary situations, how people react, how science operates, etc. Engaged individuals are reading vociforously, trying to redevelop their shattered notion of the meaning of life. And thanks to technology, everyone is trying to inform one another.

On today’s reading list:

America, Europe and their relationship to power is the topic of a fascinating article about the emerging cultural gap due to a divergent view of power and control in post nuclear modernity

When Democracy Failed: The Warnings of History – a great detailed comparison of the US and Germany through the lens of Hitler’s actions. My favorite is the definition of fascism:

“fas-cism (fbsh’iz’em) n. A system of government that exercises a dictatorship of the extreme right, typically through the merging of state and business leadership, together with belligerent nationalism.”

When can we declare ourselves a fascist nation? Or must we rely on outside forces to do it for us?

japan’s mobile culture

My non-cellphone friends always ask me what the point is in having one. I usually recount what it took for me to convince a friend to get one: it means that you can procrastinate making plans even more!

But seriously, i’ve envisioned and wanted to live in a mobile culture for a long time. I love the fact that no one knows where i’m at or from (particularly since i live in California and have a Rhode Island phone number). I love that i can choose when and where i will answer my phone (and i’ve definitely developed a strict set of personal social norms that i believe everyone should follow… kinda like my road rules). That said, the US is still sooooo far behind in mobile culture (compared to, say, Japan). SMS, mobile web access and moblogging has not permeated US culture because of our corporate pricing structures. Cell phone are still predominantly post-18 year olds (the result of early credit card requirements). It pains me to realize that we continue to get further and further behind in mobile culture…

Apparently, i should’ve known about for quite some time (as it’s basically friendster with the focus being on finding business connections). Of course, the thing is that this reverts to my typical problem: i am *not* a business girl… really, i just wish someone would know what to do with my skills and put me to work. I’d be good at that.