Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Culture: Sports: World Cup sees Beckham put England in quarterfinals, Dutch denied critical win by Portugal

A spritely report from Associated Press impressed me with its spotliting David Beckham's dramatic free kick that put England into the World Cup's next round.

Tho the pace of the games has gone breathlessly to the next level, a few days have been left unscheduled so that the players can rest before the QuarterFinals' actual launch. Meantime, here's AP's daily featuring Beckham, which I found via's Sports hubpage, with a mini-index for World Cup Soccer ... that is, "football."

Stuttgart, Germany - David Beckham bent the ball over the wall and squeezed England into the World Cup quarterfinals.

Beckham curled a trademark 25-yard free kick just inside the post in the 60th minute, the lone highlight in England's otherwise ugly 1-0 victory over Ecuador yesterday.

For an hour, the English aimlessly passed the ball in the 90-degree heat, surrendering chances to Ecuador and missing a few of their own.

The game turned when Edwin Tenorio fouled Frank Lampard outside the penalty area, giving England the free kick.

Then the England captain snatched the ball from the referee, lined up and sent it spinning and twisting toward the goal.

It hooked ever so carefully over a defensive wall of four Ecuadoreans in bright yellow shirts and dipped toward the corner. Goalkeeper Cristian Mora dived to his right and caught a piece of the ball with his fingertips, but couldn't stop it.

Shortly after the goal, Beckham vomited on the field - an apparent symptom of the dehydration that made him feel ill before the match kicked off. He came out of the game in the 87th minute.

"We've got to overcome this [heat] because there will be other days like this," he said.

Seeking its first World Cup title since 1966, England next plays Saturday against Portugal.

Nuremberg, Germany: Portugal 1, Netherlands 0 - The World Cup turned ugly as Portugal, down to nine men in a game of brutal fouls, held off the Netherlands and staggered into the quarterfinals.

Both sides were guilty. Pushing, shoving and theatrics led to a record-tying 16 yellow cards - and desperate attacking by the Dutch, also down to nine men, in the final moments.

The Portuguese survived, but when they play England on Saturday in Gelsenkirchen, they will be missing Deco and Costinha, two of their most important players, who were ejected against the Netherlands. They also saw Cristiano Ronaldo, a creative attacker, lost to a leg injury.

Portugal's coach, Luiz Felipe Scolari, extended his World Cup mark to 11 straight victories.

Maniche scored the only goal. A quick threat on the edge of the area in the 23d minute ended with Pauleta touching the ball to Maniche, who skipped inside a defender and shot right-footed past goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar from 16 yards.

Seeing Red: More red cards have been shown in this World Cup than at any other, with 12 games remaining.

Yesterday's match between Portugal and the Netherlands, in which 16 yellow cards and four reds were shown, brought the total of red cards in Germany 2006 to 23 in 52 matches.

The previous record was 22 red cards in all 64 matches in the 1998 World Cup in France.

A total of 291 yellow cards have been shown in Germany, more than the previous record of 272 for the entire competition in Japan and South Korea four years ago.

Cyber outrage: FIFA blocked incoming e-mail from South Korea to its Web site because of a flood of angry messages from fans after the 2002 semifinalists went out in the first round of the World Cup.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Summer Fun: Movies: 'Superman' is definitely a summer kind of flick, but is protagonist a Christ figure, NY Jew, yuppie, nerd?

In Leaf-Chronicle out of Clarksville, Kentucky, columnist George Pogue is prepping for the arrival of Superman Returns – a film thematic which, after no vistations over the last 19 years, will suddenly glam-land in movie theatres today. Pogue notes how "Superman has assumed many guises over years" (Jun25,2k6). His point is well-taken, but frayed at the edges. I liked his lead vignette, but found it crudely put, with no ins+t to the literary-critical concept of a Christ-figure in Western lit (he should read Northrop Frye and a host of others). But:

Superman as Christ: "Superman Returns" is said to be a Christian allegory. Time critic Richard Corliss writes that the movie "emphasizes his divinity. He is not a super man; he is a god (Kal-El), sent by his heavenly father (Jor-El) to protect Earth. This is a mission that takes more than muscle; it requires sacrifice, perhaps of his own life. So he is no simple comic-book hunk. He is Earth's savior: Jesus Christ Superman."
Thanks, Mr Corliss. Pogue goes on to discuss next "Superman as Jewish," utterly ignoring that a Christ figure is a Jewish figure of kinsman-redeemer r+t out of the Hebrew Bible; the Tenach teaches that God sent his Son to save the world. But, we can't fawlt Pogue for trying to lay out Rabbi Simcha Weinstein's fawlty hypothesis that that the comic-book character is "a nebbish Jews" from New York. I agree with Pogue here that really it's Spiderman who better fits this characterization. Then, suddenly the columnist lands us in a rich payload of pop culture:
Fewer have noted the irony of Jews creating a character embodying the Nietzchean idea of a superman — a concept taken to heart by Adolf Hitler. I think Siegel and Shuster enjoyed standing this concept on its head and feeding it back to the people who turned "superman" into code for racial superiority. In a 1940 story, Superman grabs Hitler by the throat and declares: "I'd like to land a strictly non-Aryan sock on your jaw!"
From there Pogue whirls on a too-quick tour of Superman as Yuppie, as Social Reformer, as Boyscout, as Defender of the Status Quo; and the of Superman as the Revenge of the Nerds. His column's worth reading.

Superman Returns movie

Examining the semiotics of this Associated Press photo, we note a variation on classical Greek statuary in nearly the same stance, and of Michaelangelo's David, all three being statements of an ideal male human presence (visual excellence of the form of a man); whereas, reverting to the earlier theme, Scripture says that the Saviour is without form and void; that is, he was without "comeliness" that we would desire him - which I don't take as directly an erotic or anti-erotic issue. Again, Superman is presented as a Christ figure who is not Christ precisely because he is stanced as an idealization and otherwise presented as an emobdiemnt of visual excellence of the male form, in accord with Classical Greek heritage of sculpture which Christians too inherited. Once more, if you haven't got it yet: a literary or movie Christ figure = Christ. A Christ figure is a character-as-metaphor; a fictional character who may have similarities to, but also differences from who/what is metaphorized.

Some days back in FoxNews 411 email newsletter (Jun23,2k6), Roger Friedman brawt the several elements of Superman discernment home to me:

Bryan Singer's Superman Returns got its big press airing last night in multiple screenings. Even though Warner Bros. has been keen to flack positive reviews from the trades and the newsweeklies, there’s a lot more to say about this $300 million epic that opens next Wednesday [today].

For one thing, I don't know why in the world this edition of Superman was adopted by the gay community. Director Singer is gay, and his point of view comes across fairly often, but neither Superman the character nor his new portrayer, Brandon Routh, seem especially sexual in any direction. Singer seems more interested in creating a Christ-like icon out of Superman, which is certainly unique.
Summertime Movies, by Anaximaximum:
But Superman, aka Clark Kent in Superman Returns is just as much of a dork as he was in the first two films that starred Christopher Reeve and were directed by Richard Donner.

The early revelation that Lois Lane has a child the same age as the amount of time he’s been away makes absolutely no visible impact on Clark. If he ever slept with Lois in Superman II, he seems either to have forgotten or not realized the consequences.

The one thing Routh has going for him is that he looks a lot like Chris Reeve. Other than that, his acting hasn’t changed much since his short, cardboard-like stint on One Life to Live.

Singer is content with using him as sort of a prop, and moving everyone else around him. It’s not that Routh is bad or embarrasses himself. He does neither. But dynamic is not a word that comes to mind, either.
Fox411 movie nwslttr logo

Apparently jumping the guns a wee bit, showings in theatres seemed to have started in the late evening Tuesday, so a later dispatch from Friedman (Jun27,2k6) is already busy measuring box-office impact, and the competition.

Superman Debut: Will $300 Million Epic Fly?

Superman Returns debuts tonight around the country with special 10 p.m. and midnight shows at all its theaters.

Warner Bros., which has high hopes for the $300 million epic, will be able to tell in just a few hours how things will fare for the "Man of Steel" in his latest go-round, thanks to director Bryan Singer.

And while the juries are still technically out, here are some things to chew on: As of last night, Moviefone, which measures interest in all current releases, listed Superman Returns second to Adam Sandler’s Click.

The Sandler film grossed a huge amount over the weekend, $40 million, so its listing could be a carryover from that enthusiasm. Still, Warner Bros. would have hoped for SR to be listed at No. 1 by Moviefone fans.

Also, according to, none of the “early” shows tonight have sold out. And none of the regular shows scheduled for Wednesday, the real opening day, have sold out either. By now, a real phenomenon of a film would likely have at least one or two shows crossed off on Moviefone, indicating an impending monsoon of fans.

Of course, that’s New York. In Hollywood, two shows are sold out for tonight — one at Mann’s Chinese Theater and the other at The Grove.

Now the real measure of the success of Superman Returns won’t come until Friday night, when the July 4 weekend begins. Even if it has a rocky opening from tonight through Thursday, the weekend is clear for what should be a $25 million per day stand.

Superman Returns has competition only from Click and the Meryl Streep chick-flick comedy, The Devil Wears Prada. With all the other summer blockbusters old news by now, SR has every chance to leap tall buildings at a single bound.

And a good time was had by all.

Further Resources:

Warner Bros.'Superman Returns' adsite photos/downloads
Adam Sandler's 'Click' reviewed in WaPo

Culture: Arts / Sports: Stunning architecture of a hotel in Dubai, with celebs playing tennis on the helipad

Burj al Arab Hotel - Helipad - Tennis 1

Tennis anyone?
How can they concentrate on their game???
That's Andre Agassi and Roger Federer playing on a tennis
court at a hotel in Dubai over by Saudi Arabia -
These pictures are amazing.
My guess is that they don't chase the balls. - says George Woolston

Architecture / Sports:

Burj al Arab Hotel - Helipad - Tennis 2

That's the tennis court on top of the hotel!

Burj al Arab Hotel, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, decked out its helipad as a tennis court for the Helipad Open Tournament, where Andre Agassi and Federer gamed about. BBC offers a total of 6 shots of the atheletes trying out the court, with further views of the hotel. There are more elsewhere, somewhere on the Net. Try Google Images Search - Anaximander

More Views:

Scroll down for 2 frontal views of hotel

Players, and aerial view with city below

Technics: Internet: New ways copyr+t needed for digital-info age (Part 2)

In a May 22,2k6 blog-entry, Dr Michael Geist's thawt on creativity in the cybernetic context of the web was discussed around several points he made regarding blogs and blogging. I promised then that I'd return to his seminal discourse, not a scholarly work for a law journal but a public lecture at Hart House, University of Toronto on Mar30,2k6 (Geist is Professor of Internet and E-Commerce Law, University of Ottawa). So, without ado, here's Part 2.

Conventional Businesses

Geist specifies seven kinds of businesses important to his theme. Here's his list of
kinds of businesses:

1.) Print Media
2.) Book Publishers
3.) Television
4.) Radio

Entertainment industries (those most relevant to copyr+t issues)
5.) Video Games
6.) Motion Pictures
7.) Music

"...[T]here are good news stories emanating from each of these industries as well."

1.) Print Media

Geist notes that "Print readership is flat in Canada and on the decline in the United States, forcing newspapers to identify new ways to attract readership. In the U.S., several leading newspapers, including the New York Times, have online readerships that exceed their print circulation. Trend lines suggest that most papers will follow suit in the next year or two. ¶ ...[N]o one can predict which print media business model is the best fit for the Internet...." Comparing four early-on print news source which had anticipated early-on that the Internate required change in their "business model" (Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, Fortune, Forbes), Geist says, "the Forbes experience is clear – the Internet has the potential to become an important revenue source for those that embrace its unique culture and adopt an open approach." Forbes alone made its online offerings complete, open to the extent that you can enter their archives to search without paying a fee. I agree that this fact is h+ly significant, and thank Geist for making it so clear. But as a daily-life consumer of a myriad of newspapers and magazines gone online, I must h+lite the damnable practice of these outfits requiring info on gender, income status, and a host of other personal facts--plus a username and a password that has to be stored somewhere on my computer and accessed everytime I want to read public info the lack of knowlege of which conceivably could hurt me. There's a very negative side to not being able to check out info sources, news hoarders, with out providing personal info, credit card numbers, and money. Geist doesn't touch on this.

2.) Book Publishers

Says professor Geist, "Book publishers are also struggling to come to grips with the impact of the Internet. Book sales in Canada have remained stable with Statistics Canada reporting sales of 2.554 million in 2000, rising to 2.740 million in 2004. Despite the limited increase, there is reason for optimism in this sector as well."
On the other hand, I've read only one complete book since I got my first computer six years ago.

"...[I]nnovative publishers are embracing alternative models to distribute and promote books. For example, in September 2005 I edited a collection of 19 essays on Canadian copyright reform called In the Public Interest: The Future of Canadian Copyright Law. Irwin Law, the Canadian publisher, agreed to make the entire book available under a Creative Commons license. The book is available in print form for $50, but each chapter can also be freely downloaded at no cost from the publisher’s website.
I had the pleasant experience of receiving an email from a Dutch professor who had translated his Dutch book of two years ago in English. He included the Table of Contents and the Introduction as an Attachment. I opened and read the material. Replied and requested the offered text of several hundred Adobe Acrobat Reader pages. Soon I received them and read physicist-philosopher M. D. Stafleu's Protestant Ethics: Relations and characters in Protestant philosophy the last third of which is an outline for a Protestant Christian ethics in experimental physics, quite differnet from those circulated in other Christian thawt-communities. All for free. Book publishing has changed, and it can occur on the micro-level thanks to the Internet and digital-publishing technology. I've finished the first half of the Stafleu title already, but will read the entire book with much pleasure as time permits.

TechNotes, by Owlie Scowlie:

3.) Television

Geist: Despite the challenges, the Internet again provides opportunities. Websites such as, which enables users to post video content, has blossomed almost overnight as one of the Internet’s most trafficked websites. Although the site carries considerable original content, there is no shortage of clips from conventional television shows. Some television networks have demanded that the site remove the clips for copyright reasons, however, others are content to generate “buzz” about their shows in the hope that it will translate into more viewers. ¶ If the experience with iTunes in the United States is any indication, television downloads does have a positive correlation with viewership.
This section of Geist's catalogue I found most unsatisfactory. As a consumer of news, I can't get anything but leftwing liberal news programs on my cable connection. For the longest time, the Canadian radio and TV regulators actually suppressed the broadcasting of American conservative news channels like Now, I can pay extra to get Fox on cable, but only as a package of more news shows, among which Fox was technically the poorest in reception. In other words, copyr+t stirctly conceived is not the only problem with access to TV; the CRTC has a monopoly of copyr+t one mite say, and the cable companies have monopolies in their geographic coverage zones. I am looking forward to breaking thru these barriers, but to do so via the Internet requires both the shows orginators to offer freely, and the money and technical expertise to get the show into one's computer and onto its screen or onto the TV screen. This can be accomplished to some extent. But actually is not feasible for people of limited expertise and financial resources. So, I'm condemned to the leftwing propaganda box for the time being.

4.) Radio

While radio as such "has also suffered declining ratings, particularly among younger demographics (no surprise to anyone who walks around a university campus only to find everyone plugged into their own iPods)." One wonders why this has not benefitted seniors, and niche listening communities. On the other hand, as Geist notes, webcasting and podcasting have skyrocketed "with more than one-third of the population listening to a webcast on a regular basis."

5.) Video Games

Geist: "One of the overlooked success stories in recent years has been the phenomenal growth of the video game market. ... Not only has the video game market developed into an important economic engine, but Canada is now home to dozens of video game developers. Foreign video game makers are increasingly establishing development divisions in Canada, demonstrating that well-trained talent, not tougher copyright laws, serve as a primary attraction to would-be investors."

6.) Motion Pictures

Geist notes that "DVDs have become a huge revenue source with consumers snapping up millions of copies of popular movies in DVD format. Moreover, the popularity of DVDs has allowed the industry to mine its back catalogues, generating new revenues from older movies that were gone but apparently not forgotten. ... The industry has also begun to utilize the Internet as a distribution channel. For example, CineClix is a Canadian-based movie download site specializing in independent films. Without waiting for new copyright laws, the service offers dozens of indie films not readily available elsewhere for instant download." Another factor missing from Geist's analysis thru-out is the social dimension; more and more people don't want to go out, especially at nite, to a movie theatre, especially middle-aged people and seniors. More than that, even among young, movie clubs are forming that meet in homes of people with large screens, where h+ definition technics and DVDs and large living rooms are combined with pot-luck snack and lap-dinners provided by the guests.

7.) Music

For me, this next section of Geist's remarks is the meat of the matter:
More than any other industry, the music industry has become synonymous with the risks and rewards of the Internet. The Canadian Recording Industry Association has emerged as the leading proponent of copyright reform, claiming that peer-to-peer file sharing has led to billions in lost sales in Canada.

The actual financial impact of music downloading has long been difficult to ascertain. In August 2003, CRIA issued a press release claiming $250 million in losses over the previous three years. Three months later, another press release claimed $425 million in losses. By 2004, CRIA General Counsel Richard Pfohl told a university audience that the figure was actually $450 million per year since 1999, totaling roughly $2 billion over the prior five years.

In fact, the guesswork surrounding record sales is unnecessary since CRIA posts its members’ monthly record sales data directly on its website. ... [T]he percentage decline is a relatively modest 8.6 percent. While a $431.7 million decline over a six-year period may still hurt, the source of that decline must also be examined.
The next of Geist's thawts is most important, is not original to him, but his citation of the idea deserves full appreciation - in bold - "The uncertainty associated with the financial impact of file sharing comes about since the losses tied to file sharing are only those that displace a potential sale, not all downloads.As a matter of fact, most downloads of music are probably never even listened to. Just as many inveterate book buyers bawt far more volumes than they could ever read, to the regret of many trees. A surplus of downloads merely puts a future choice on the spur of the moment or a whim within the listening possiblities of the particular downloader, filesharer, music lover. And again, relatively speaking a form of conservation is involved.
Moreover, those losses must be offset against downloads of music that (i) involve sampling before purchasing, (ii) that are no longer for sale, (iii) that are in the public domain or available with the express permission of the copyright holder, and (iv) that are compensated in Canada through the private copying levy.
Geist concludes this section summatively: " internal music label study found that between 2/3 and 3/4 of recent sales declines had nothing to do with Internet music downloads."

Principium Consumers Hub:

I can only add in closing that the copyr+t laws are obsolescent in the face of technical change in all the kinds of businesses outlined by professor Geist. Most importantly, the copyr+t laws are obsolescent to an extent that is hurtful to consumers, but less so in Canada than in the USA. Professor Geist address has more to say, and perhaps that consideration deserves a Part 3 at some future time of blog-entry posting. - Owlie Scowlie.

Futher Resources:

Boycott RIAA, a lot of Hippie-Age Baggage but ...
Digital Copyright Canada

Tags: Resistance to Pluthero's bad blogging practices

Technics: Apple: David Chartier of tuaw defends against Apple-flaws critic

Today's TechNote quotes a regular contributor of posts on the site. That's David Chartier on The Unofficial Apple Weblog, which blog doesn't seem to have a a homepage or frontpage but instead offers a list of 9 mainstay Bloggers (regular free-range columnists, I guess) and 20 Contributors (occasionals, it appears). Chartier explains, in answer to another Apple-product analyst, the presumed spate of flaws witnessed over the years (and in some notable cases, quite recently) in "1st generation product launches" from the redoubtable Apple, refWrite's computer technology of choice, mostly.* Here, in the blockquotes below, is what Daniel has to say on the matter, a serious tech-answer by way of explanation (no cover-up, no boosterism) to a serious tech-question about a serious tech line of products from a serious tech-company Apple – which nevertheless bears watching alertly and sometimes requires direct consumer response from all us Appligos.**

Principium Consumers Hub [computer hardware & software] :

Gundeep Hora at CoolTechZone [site's frontpage - OS] has taken a critical eye to what some consider are Apple's recent and rocky 1st generation product launches. The article utilizes two examples - the iPod nano scratch issue and MacBook heat complaints - to illustrate what Gundeep argues is Apple's faulty process of releasing products and then reacting to serious flaws when the public outcry spreads across enough blogs and petition sites [my underscore - OS].
TechNotes, by Owlie Scowlie, quoting David Chartier [tuaw]
Whether you're already hastily typing a comment to flame Gundeep or you have one of those aforementioned petitions already open in a separate tab, Gundeep has written an interesting piece that I think could strike a deeper chord if he used a find/replace command to swap the word 'Apple' with 'the computing industry as a whole'. Similar criticism of Apple's 1st generation production quality crops up on the web every couple of months like clockwork, and I think it's because there is an unusually high level of expectation surrounding their products. I'm not saying Gundeep's criticism is misplaced; quite the contrary: my first Mac[intosh computer] ever was the 1st generation of 12" PowerBooks (867 MHz baby!) and I had to go through four of them to get one that didn't overheat or have a hard drive that choked itself to death within hours of bringing it home. To make matters worse, the Apple Store, including its snotty manager, treated me only slightly better than that sticky stuff you try to scrape off the bottom of your shoe. My next Mac experience was the 1st gen 15" Aluminum PowerBook that was a part of the 'white spots' debacle - case in point: I feel Gundeep's pain, but Apple isn't the only computer and electronics company to exhibit these kinds of mass production complications. Other computer makers have had to recall batteries and entire batches of one computer model or another. Dell recently had to replace some faulty displays, and I can't remember which mobile phone company's batteries are exploding this week.
Readers will notice that Gundeep cites consumers' issues, but only those involving computer hardware flaws. On the other hand, my uncle Owlb, editor of refWrite, started with a clunky way-back-when Mac he got from uncle Platypus. When at 60, Unc Owlb was given an iMac (Summer of 2000 model), I inherited my own first Mac, used, that ancient clunker. Later on, I started movin' on up, while Unc Owlb slowly upgraded his Operating System to where he's usin' OS X.3.9 nowadays. He always waits until a new Mac OS is no longer new, but has gone on developmentally thru several fix-ups, before making an operating-system upgrade.

Apple's Mac software has its 1st generation flaws, just like Apple's Mac hardware. Uncle Owlb's main complaint these days is that he's still limited to a 350 MegaHerz speed and a 6 Gigabytes memory capacity (so he's constantly looking around for online web-based storage sites for his overload of folders and files ... an occupational hazard of editing refWrite, now a blog of 3-going-on-4 pages). Moving to third-party related hardware, he says he has no complaints about his LaCie peripheral-storage unit that runs from the limited number of USB portals on his iMac; but he does have major complaints about the software interface app SilverKeeper (a LaCie product) that governs the datafeed to the LaCie peripheral storage that runs off his iMac USB.

So, here we have an example of an Apple hardware consumer who just can't keep up financially with the new products available - a fact that leads dialecticaly, in his case, to a contented stasis with the hardware he's got, no major flaws, lots of time-tested maintenance apps like third-party UNIX-tech open-source Applejack, and thus no complaints or petitions to write. But, in contrast to hardware, Apple software is a very different story for him. And also he does complain about Apple's web-based features like Dot.Mac to which he subscribes devotedly year by year at a hefty charge, also Homepage the Dot.Mac website system which is woefully restrictive like the free Blog.Mac host which operates out of Homepage with some very nice feature-details, but accompanied by a huge number of restrictions compared to, say, blogs hosted by Google Blogger's free BlogSpot. Dot.Mac also now offers membership groups, accessible only by registered members and called Dot.Mac Groups for which Unc says the pages and internal features are quite clunky, thereby discouraging his use of them. So, regarding software, he could sign some petitions, he says. But where would he find them? And to what end? The neglected software development aspect of Apple is so glaring that one can only wait for possible improvements in, say, five years time. Meanwhile, he's hoping for an iPod for his sixty-sixty birthday. Phat chance!

To wrap this all up: Apple sets the bar high with their unique design and flashy marketing, and because of that, I think their customers and the media at large simply hop on board for the honeymoon each and every time the company whips out a shiny new toy. Criticism like Gundeep's seems to appear when the fantasy inevitably hits speed-bumps that are simple facts of life and mass production. In the end Apple is a company, like any other, that is susceptible to hardware defects, firmware botches and software hiccups [my italics - OS]. Then the conversation turns to products, quality and accountability of the industry as a whole - but I think that discussion might be better suited for a different post. Granted, none of these issues are any fun when you're the one stuck with the bad apple (yes, a pun), but sensationalizing the situation isn't going to solve anything. Keeping a level head, however, and understanding that 1st gen hardware can sometimes be a gamble - no matter who it's from - just might save a few headaches, and perhaps then you won't need to sign that petition after all.
A great stoic summary about mass-produced consumer-computer goods and services, I say. Now, dear readers, we come to my notes on asterisks I inserted above:

* I explained how Unc Owlb and I came by our Apple-prone predilection (and never did like what we understood of "the Others" among computer hardware producers for individual and family consumers); other refWrite staff members also use Apple computers only, as does our publisher, Albert Gedraitis, much like Unc Owlb.

** "Appligos" is a coined term by Anaximaximum that characterizes Apple-users who are less than fantatics, still are wary of MicroSoft software products and MS's encroachments on ISPs like, and maintain a supportively critical stance to their computer brand of choice, a relaxed loyality to their cybernetic preference. The term "Appligos" is also a pun on the brand of choice of another reformational Christian computer user, Dr. Andrew Basden, who has a fierce loyality to the Amiga computer brand. Basden is Professor of Human Factors and Philosophy in Information Systems at University of Salford [UK]'s Information Systems Institute, from which he has been seconded annually to University of Lulea, Sweden, part of each year. He also works closely with Prof Sytse Strijbos, Philosophy of Informatics, Free University, Amsterdam [VU]. Andrew - was he joking? - has said he prefers the obscure Amiga brand of computer because it is more normative ... it treats the textate word as the whole point of computing and disdains all the graphic, visual, and audio/visual "doodads" that characterize especially the entirety of the Apple (maybe I'm conflating his two issues here, better check out Amiga to see if it's constrained to the semiotics of the textated word only). In comparison to the good professor's amigo Amigo, an Appligo is someone who warmly appreciates all the multi-layered semiotic-enrichment of the products of the Apple brand - making it the preferred brand of workers in graphics, photography, and videography - and now with the iPod developments, also in sound and music (iTunes, iTunes Music Store, and GarageBand. On all these semiotic levels and in the integration of these diverse semiotic-technical sources, Apple products often lead the way and are copied profusely by the competitors. Finally here, after reading Prof M.D. Stafleu's new English version of his book, Protestant Ethics: Relations and Characters, the word at hand - "Appligos" - has become an organizational name, as well, for a league of reformational Christian personal-computer users, consumers of the Apple brand products who are not employed by the company and have no ownership of the company's stocks. Appligos has become an association of reformationally-committed Christians who use Apple-products in the ways and spirit outlined above in the entirety of this blog-entry, and who are interested in the reformational philosophy of technics, computers for general consumers (PCs), and the work of Andrew Basden, Syste Strijbos, M.D Stafleu, and Egbert Schuurman - interested as well, outside the foregoing religio-intellectual community, in the fine Apple-product critics like Gundeep Hora and David Chartier with whose ideas we began this blog-entry. - Owlie Scowlie

Further Resources:
Dr Andrew Basden [Google Search results page]
Page mentioning works by all three reformational philosophers
Dr Sytse Strijbos [GS results page]
Dr Strijbos, VU Amersterdam visits Umea University, Sweden
Dr M. D. Stafleu, physics - scanty reference to his ethics thawt [GS search results]
Egbert Schuurman [Wikipedia article]
Gundeep Hora
David Chartier [Blogdigger search results]

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Aesthetics: Music: Pop music with new tech assimilates and advances musics of the religions

The music recording industry is fast falling behind the nutech-supported emergence of the musics of the religions from their cultural ghettoes (in regard to religion-specific nu music). I venture this thawt when the phenom is measured by the outburst of creativity of those hitherto industry-restricted sources.

In googling for the search terms "Christian Music iTunes," I learned about a still-blatantly Christian podcaster called Build the Church, not necessarily what I had in mind. I clicked up the Google reference and arrived at a BthC press release. Here's its Jun10,2k6 celebratory statement:

Christian Music Podcast Reaches 100 Episode Milestone
Build the Church is one of the internet's leading Independent Christian Music Podcasts and the first to reach the one hundred episode milestone.

(PRWEB) June 10, 2006 -- the Church ( became one of only a handful of podcasts to reach the 100th episode milestone with Build the Church #100 played on Friday, June 9th. The podcast featured various highlights and songs played from the first 99 shows.

"We are delighted to be one of very few music podcasts to reach the one hundred podcast milestone and look forward to our next one hundred shows!" says creator Mark Linder. "Build the Church has grown since the first show as has the variety of music played on the podcast. We can only thank the listeners for being faithful and suggesting us to their friends."

Build the Church is an Independent Christian Music podcast that features today's best up and coming Christian artists. Build the Church broadcasts near daily and plays a large variety of podsafe Independent Christian Music.

Build the Church can be found at or in MySpace at Subscribe to their RSS feed at their Web site or by going to Build the Church is located in over a hundred internet directories including iTunes, Odeo, Yahoo Podcasts and the Podsafe Music Network.
Pleased to see some info tidbits on how iTunes Music Store relates to some of the range of Christian music phenom today, I found out further how closely Apple's iPod product interfaces with the accessiblity of music with some definite Christian factor in its creative product.

Of course, just what any "definite Christian factor" in music may be, is an issue of definition for worldview-conscious music aestheticians–what's the definition of "Christian music" and how does it relate to the industrial genre/s of "Christian Music" and the entrepreneurial enablers of the latter which can be denominated the "Christian Music industry"–some of which is still very much stuck to the old business model of the (music) Recording Industry Association of America. That is, not interested in wide accessiblity, not interested in generating product that is free of DRMs (Digital Recording Management) embeds in the records, cassettes, and digital downloads. But professional podcasting can avoid these issues.

Certain assumptions of the new developments are evidenced in BthC's press release: the whole phenom is youth-oriented, and consequently it is nutech-oriented (podcasting in this case), and it has no barriers to new musical genres and styles (like hiphop and rap).

Another take on the matter comes to us from a major article by Beau Black, "New media introduce Christian music to new markets," a Religion News Service story that I found in the Baptist Standard from Dallas, and which I located from the same Google Search for 'Christian Music iTunes.'

"Technology, once decried as the music business’s executioner, now is seen by many as its salvation," says Black. The article particularly concentrates on "Singer-songwriter Derek Webb, formerly with the [well-known Christian] band Caedmon’s Call."

This wave of “new media” technology, including Apple’s iTunes Music Store and the website MySpace, enables artists to find fans and connect with them immediately. It’s also creating opportunities for Christian record companies – [which have been] particularly battered by the downturn in the music industry — to target consumers.

Musician Derek Webb

Musicwhirld, by Audiovisiotor
And for Christian artists who make music for the masses and want to find a broader audience, the technological revolution is freeing their music from what some call the Christian music ghetto.

As Christian artists employ new media like iTunes and MySpace, they’re finding fans and connecting with them in immediate and lasting ways.
What we note in the combined pieces above is the emergence of a nexus where iTunes Music Store, iPod, and My Space afford independent artists to cast their nets out into the deep of music listeners' ears attuned to the web, create for that milieu, and perhaps reach and form a new audience for their workk. This combo does not at all settle the issues around DRMs sponsored by the older music industry represented by RIAA, but it is a least creating approach to launching a music-making vocation without the help of the music recording industry and its old-capitalism corporations, as such.

This blog-entry is still in development.
aesthetics, arts, music, musiconline, podcasting, musicpodcasting

Further Resources:

You may want to pick your way thru my Google Search, but there's a lot of static results

Same article featuring Derek Webb but photo is attributed to RNS

Tags: Resistance to Pluthero's bad blogging practices

Technics: Blogging: Fred Pluthero devotes entire Blogger blogsite to impersonation and ID theft

The famous Letter has been moved. The Letter to Hospital for Sick Children presenting the ongoing dossier on DrFraud Pluthero who used the Hospital computers to misrepresent and commit identity-theft over several months against Albert Gedraitis, has now been moved to a special section reserved for the likes and to tracking the cases of abuse of bloggers in totalitarian countries today. Read up on a real live blog-abuser.

Tags: Resistance to Pluthero's bad blogging practices

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Technics: Blogging abuse: Pluthero's impersonation & IDtheft shown again in his ongoing attack against refWrite

Hat Tip to Technorati for this further evidence of Dr Fraud (real name: Fred Pluthero) impersonating and stealing ID on his attack-blog using my name, Albert Gedraitis, which is aimed at smearing me. [The rest of this blog-entry has been moved refWrite refBloggers Insert which is devoted to unmasking blog abusers and tracking abuse of bloggers by totalitarian states.

Tags: Resistance to Pluthero's bad blogging practices

Blogging: Process: We're almost moved from ' 3' to 'refWrite backpage' - blog moving

Third Update: refWrite is busy developing this new page, a page 4, as refWrite backpage. For now all the themes and columns appearing on occasion in the past on refWrite page 3, will at least temporarly appear on our new backpage.

Earlier in an update to this blog-entry which we've been moving up the daily archive list to keep it current, we noted that in this process from page 3 > page 4, we've discovered five unposted blog-entries in our archive. That five had been composed earlier and filed as drafts; so, their links may not all be uptodate. In any case, the material quoted (sometimes at length) and the writing of our columnists will be fresh on the refWrite blog as a whole and on its new Backpage.

Today, we proceed completed the transfer of the May blong-entries. Three or four June entires on page 3 still have to be moved. But today puts the first phase, the moving phase, into its endgame, is that the lingo?

The second phase will take longer, as we rake thru the entries moved for various editorial purposes, fix-ups, and analysis of the patterns we want to preserve, and those we want to change or jettison. An editorial review of our work covering all the blog entries that have now come to constitute refWrite Backpage.

Newer material has already appeared on the page. We will continue with new posts. Until the move from Page 3 to Page 4, we will be interspersing the older blog entries from page 3, as they arrive, with uptodate brand-new fresh blogs for your delectation.

As mentioned earlier, we will also be looking at what has turned out to be a list of columns and columnists, so we're thinking of putting a directory, perhaps handmade, in the Sidebar consisting of the name of each column, with the columnist's moniker, and the titles and dates of each of the blog-entries belonging to a given column/columnist.

- Owlb, editor

Further Resources:

Moving blogs
One guy goes thru the blog-entries moving process
Moving blogs–Google Search results

blogs blogsmoving blogentriesmovingsameblog blogcontentsmovingnewblog

Tags: Blogging process - moving blog entires & blogs

Commerce: Advertizing online: Dang! The ad execs,the flash-movies placed btwn 1 look-the-other- way journalist & the next ...

Originally published on May31, on refWrite page 3.
At the risk of repeating myself, I shall repeat myself. I had a horrible experience in the search for info germane to current issues in Canadian government and politics. Heck ... not only shall I repeat myself, I shall quote myself:

A few further details are available in a Canadian Press article I found unfortunately in Maclean's (coming via Norman's Spectator, an article by Joan Bryden. (If you can get to her piece with the foregoing URL, you'll be doing much better than I in my first effort to get to her info. I had to bypass a direct approach from Norman's site where I initially found a linked path that ended in futliity (thanks, Norman for the warning! on your link to the awful bad ad - I say with irony!), and then exhausted I had to go to Google where I was able to get another URL and thus another path for the same Bryden article ... in the meantime, before I came up with the bypass strategy, I had to sit thru an interminable obscene-capitalist flash-movie ad for an obscene gas-guzzling automobile ... the "skip" button on the ad page was a complete fraud that refused to respond to the dozen or so clicks I made attempting to use that button, so the ad neatly skipped its cue to "skip" (thanks ever so much, Norman, for the warning!) ... which lowered my diminishing respect for the mag even further, but thanks ever so much and a Hat Tip to you, Norman).
Principium Consumers Hub

Perhaps I'll get more of my thawts posted here later today. But, first, I must get some sleep, including that which was robbed from by the badjournalism, badadvertizing, and bad commerce practices of the combine, but most of all due to the ad exec who determined that the skip button should not work, so that readers in transit from Norman Spector's picks to the CP-via-Maclean's article by Bryden would get cawt in the adtrap set for Infiniti (by the way, that's the title of song from a decade ago by an aging Italian popstar with southern nasal twang to the language). Buy a Ramazotti record, not an Infiniti auto - if you're in that tiny demographic then pay for your ads, don't allow the adexecs and sleazy operators like Maclean's trap the rest of us in their need to phish you out the mass who just aren't interested in your toys.

While I'm at it, I have the sneaking suspicion that the ad exec devised his adtrap stunt with fake "skip" button after smoking and listening to the lyrics of said Eros Ramazotti on the stereo while driving at 150 miles an hour:

Io vorrei che migliaia di farfalle
colorassero l'aria intorno a me
poi vorrei vederle tutte quante
come un vestito posarsi su di te
cosi, vorrei cosi
cosi, sognarti cosi
quando la festa commincera'
tu sarai regina
tutta la gente
si fermera'
a guardati stupita
per i miei occhi tu splenderai
bella come il sole
infiniti pori del cuore
infinita felicitá

quando penso che tu sei
per me
per sempre

ohh yeah
poi come fa il vento con le rose
vorrei spogliarti soffiando su di te
vorrei cosi
amarti cosi
quando la festa poi finirá
torneremo a terra
tutta la gente si riccordera'
d'aver visto una stella
per i mie occhi tu splenderai
bella come il sole
infiniti fuori del cuore
infinita felicitá

quando penso che tu sei
per me per sempre
per sempre
per sempre

Norman-Infnti-Maclean's-Bryden Combo
Infiniti Luxury Car
Eros Ramazotti "Infiniti" lyrics©

economics, commerce, onlineads, moviesflashads, skipbuttons, badjournalism, badadpractice, autosluxury, demographics, timewaste

Summer Fun: Urban Beaches: Coney Island, the peoples' fun spot at the end of the line in NYC

Originally published on May29,2k6 on refWrite page 3.
As all the beaches in all the world are tooling up for the heat of summer and the crowds that the heat of the summer will bring to spend their money, none is so etched in urban folklore and conveyed in movies and poetry as is New York City's famous and long-forlorn Coney Island. But there are stirrings afoot. Nothing less than renovation, at least that's what Associated Press's Larry McShane tells us in "Renovation to take Coney Island on a wild ride to relevance" (May29,2k6).

A soft ocean breeze rolls off the Atlantic -- but by next summer, the winds of change will blow hard through the venerable Brooklyn beachfront, where millions of Americans have frolicked and where both the hot dog and the roller coaster debuted.
After a half-century of neglect, Coney Island is targeted for a $1 billion renovation aimed at creating a year-round attraction to compete against the theme parks that nearly obliterated the neighborhood. The work is at least a year off, but it's already the buzz of the beach.
Summer Fun, by Anaximaximum:

"Coney Island seemed like it was in a time warp and would never change," said Dick Zigun, operator of the local Sideshows By the Seashore attraction. "Why not have a bigger, better, more exciting Coney Island?"
Fortunately, for those of us who retain sosme fragments of memory and some literary/movie lore, it's a comfort that the Cyclone, the Wonder Wheel, and the Parachute Jump will be retained, while run-down and vacant lots will attract new attractions, investment, even a luxury hotel (presumably in a shape suggestive of a roller coaster ... wonder who the architect will be for that one?).
Coney Island once was something special, the most popular resort destination in the country. But "America's Playground" suffered a long post-World War II decline.

When the Cyclone opened in 1927, Coney Island already was the apex of American entertainment. Charles Lindbergh came to ride the great roller coaster. Sigmund Freud stopped by the Dreamland amusement park.

However, a 1944 fire destroyed one of the great amusement areas, Luna Park. Developer Robert Moses, no fan of Coney Island, designed highways that made it easy to bypass the city beach.

City housing sprang up in the 1960s and '70s -- towering "vertical slums," as the locals called them. Crack arrived in the '80s.

City officials also are betting on a revamped Coney Island. A new $240 million subway station was opened at Stillwell Avenue, once one of the dingiest stops in the transit system.

And $83 million -- including $73 million from the city -- has been pledged to create better parking, new streets and open space. A new cultural center is expected to open by 2009.
The grand idea seems to be one of diversification, multiuse, and year-round use. One of the chief agents in the capital planning is a wily native of Brooklyn who still does his daily run on the boardwalk of boardwalks ... at Coney Island. - Anaximander

Coney Island: Lost and Found, by Charles Denson
A Coney Island of the Mind, poems by Lawrence Ferlingetti

Calendar: Memorial Day Concert: White House and Congress join in American festivities

Originally published May27,2k6 on refWrite page 3.

National Memorial Day


at the White House
for members of Congress
and broadcast live nationally

in the international area of Buffalo USA / southern Ontario Canada
on WNED TV / PBS • Sunday, May 29, 8:30 pm EDT

Arts: Sculpture: A visual art in the round, is put in the ring to go a round

Originally published on May25,2k6 on refWrite page 3.
Billions of dollars are being made, and paid, for artworks and artifacts (much of it in the sculpture category) that slosh and slush from the dark corners of what we call "Antiquities."
R+t now, Iraq is one of the main centers of this avaracious trade, and US Marine Reserve Officer, Colonel Bogdanos (no first name given for this lawyer) is the guy who led the search for the looted arts of the ancient cities of otherwise longlost civilizations. 5,500 have been recovered; another 7,000 are still missing. Probably not much of what's missing is in private collections yet, but wharehoused by the thieves.

To move "a stolen antiquity from an archaeological site in the middle of the night to a Manhattan townhouse - there is some serious organization here, and it's pretty eye-opening," he says.

The level of pillaging that is taking place frustrates archaeologists. "We have aerial photographs and satellite photographs - it's just absolutely horrendous what has happened," says Piotr Michalowski, a professor in the Near Eastern Studies department at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. "Whole cities are being dug up and disappearing off the face of the earth."

The number of archaeological sites being excavated in Iraq has risen in the past decade. Today, some 2,600 guards from Iraq's security forces are charged with protecting about 10,000 sites.
So reports Kate Moser, reporting in Hunt conitnues for illegal antiquities, Christian Science Monitor (May4, 2k6).

Gloria Goodale tells us quite a diffrent story in her piece on the Getty Museum's two locations in California, one at Brentwood and the other at Malibu, At Getty's two campuses, strinkingly different gardens, CSM (May,2k6)
Gardens at the two Getty Museum campuses could not be more different. California artist Robert Irwin's central garden at the Brentwood Center is a constantly changing, off-balance geometric splash of color and texture. It's a stark contrast to the beige classicism of the towering, marble buildings above it. Conversely, the elegant Mediterranean-style landscaping of the newly reopened Getty Villa in nearby Malibu is an understated partner to the estate it surrounds.

Nonetheless, the two gardens share a dramatic spirit: One is a work of living sculpture, the other a piece of horticultural theater.
It's the metaphor in the one case of "a work of living sculpture" that drew me to Goodale's article on "scardens." I strongly recommend her piece. The next item I can't recommend for the inherent pleasurablity of its contents. Quite the opposite.

This one's out of Egypt where the chief religious officer of the society's Sunni Islam has barked a resounding No at sculpture, including the great legacy of Egypt's ancient treasures from the Pharoahs. Egypt's grand mufti issues fatwa: no sculpture, by CSM's Ursula Lindsey (Apr18,2k6).

In his fatwa - or religious ruling - issued earlier this month, Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa quoted a saying of the prophet Muhammad that sculptors will be among those receiving the harshest punishment on Judgment Day.

Artists and intellectuals here say the edict, whose ban on producing and displaying sculptures overturns a century-old fatwa, runs counter to Islam. They also worry that extremists may use the ruling as a pretense for destroying Egypt's ancient relics, which form a pillar of the country's multibillion-dollar tourist industry.

"I was shocked," says art critic Ashraf Ibrahim. "Islam is not against art."

Though Mr. Ibrahim acknowledges that in the early days of Islam, the prophet Muhammad destroyed statues and criticized sculptors in a bid to end idolatry, he says that's no longer necessary.

"No one for sure is going to worship a statue now," says Ibrahim. "The reason to forbid statues is finished."
The concept of sculpture mentioned in one of the quoted remarks focusses on three-dimensionality, but this does not in itself rule out bas-relief either, where you can't walk around the artwork and view it from every angle of a circle of 380 degrees. - Anaximaximium.

Further resources:

Environmental Sculpture
Pithy statement of sculpture's variety today

aesthetics, arts, sculpture, sculpturetoday, sculptureancient, archeology, sculpturenvironmental, sculptureegyptfatwa, antiquitieslooted

Technics: Internet: New ways copyr+t needed for digital-info age (Part 1)

Originally published May22,2k6 on refWrite page 3.
Michael Geist is Professor of Internet and E-Commerce Law, University of Ottawa. He presented the 2006 Hart House Lecture at the University of Toronto (Mar30,2k6). It was posted to the Internet as a special feature at P2P.Net (see Sidebar) on May13,2k6. Dr Geist's title: Our Own Creative Land: Cultural Monopoly and the Trouble With Copyright. In entitling his address on the problem - or as he says, "the Trouble" - with copyr+t, the law professor brings into focus copyr+t's relation, certainly nowadays, to cultural monopoly. Copyr+t has always been troublesome, and in the USA it has increasingly become so. In Canada, a certain balance had been achieved which retained some of its postive implications for the future, as society moved from print technics for mass-reproduced copies and copyr+ts, to the newer reproduction technics and distribution factors of digital computing.

TechNotes, by Owlie Scowlie

Geist makes a play on a phrase in the English-version of the Candian national anthem - to wit, "our home and native land" - which grists his title-opener, "Our Own Creative Land." Its use betrays a streak of Canadian nationalism, but only, I think, to an appropriate degree. It reveals, perhaps boasts, that on this matter Canada has not so far followed the way of USA copyr+t law, as virtually dictated by behemoth cultural industries in "the home of the free and the land of the brave" - on this matter, not so free, nor the lawmakers so brave as to stand up to the giants' self-serving interests in a certain kind of hastily emerging copyr+it legal structure, especially in regard to noncommercial file-sharing of movies and music recordings.

A good part of the good Professor's speech at the University of Toronto's student center, Hart House, devotes itself to the specificities of a Liberal Party lackey in the House of Commons who made herself busy in the service of the h+ powered interests who want to keep low-end users and ordinary consumers from being permitted to register their interests in a truly civic discussion of copyr+t.

[Member of Parliament Sarmite "Sam"] Bulte was closely aligned with cultural issues throughout her term in office, including chairing the Standing Committee [of the House of Commons,] on Canadian Heritage in 2004. That committee produced a report that came to be known as the Bulte Report which included a lengthy list of copyright reform proposals that attracted the ire of both the user and education communities, while eliciting much praise from the copyright lobby and copyright collectives. The government responded to the Bulte Report in March 2005 by outlining its plans for digital copyright reform. Those plans were ultimately incorporated several months later into Bill C-60, the first major piece of copyright reform introduced in Canada in eight years.
Fortunately, the legislation withered away with the fall of the Lib govt, and Sam lost her seat in the January 2006 election. It turned out, during the campaign, that Sam was blatantly soliciting and was being royally rewarded in fund-raisers to be returned to office, hopefully to shepherd her legislation on copyr+t thru a Commons vote on behalf of her well-heeled cronies with their special interests, while the low-end users of copiable materials and main consumers of freer parameters for noncommercial copying (including teachers) were being systematically shutout of the process.

The furore against Sam rose on its own wings, with a little help from Geist. Sam was defeated. For other reasons, the Libs were booted from govt. The Conservs took office, and a new set of interests came into play. Geist tells us that his posts to the Internet fueled this turn of events. And more.

Moreover, my postings were not limited to Ms. Bulte. In fact, the funding history of Bev Oda, the Conservative Canadian Heritage critic [in opposition to the Lib govt], who would later be named Minister of Canadian Heritage, was also discussed given the significant support she received from the broadcasting community.
Now, I doubt that here the prof is referring to the state broadcasters like the CBC, Radio Canada (French), and TVO (Ontario, English and French). He's probably referring to the corporate TV networks in Canada like Global and CTV, and independent stations, plus the cable carriers. But he sticks to Oda, who is herself a CBC veteran, without presenting any evidence that she has or will author legislation contrary to low-end users and consumers of the retail products the broadcasting independents have to offer; altho I suspect she may take a whack at the privileged position of state broadcasters and the monooploy of liberal leftwing viewpoint for which CBC sets the crossw-country tone, the hegemonic tone even on the independent networks - Kevin Newman of Global Network being the most glaring example of me-tooism in following the state-broadcaster's party line (the owning family is a Lib, and it shows).

So, I suspect that Geist is trimming his critique here, but Oda too needs someone to dwell on her case. Let her and Geist slug it out, one pro-corporate (maybe), the other pro-state (maybe) - since Geist is silent on the state as primary broadcaster and opinion-maker in Canada. That's what Oda has to face. Again, can the low-end user and the ordinary consumer of radio and TV broadcasting and of cable TV, can we effectively get in on the discussion in regard to the overly -restrictive copyr+t laws that the various govts, left or r+t, probably have in store for us?

We could go from there to the telephone system, where Bell has a monopoly except for the rising competition from maverick mobiles and over-the-Internet-phone companies (that topic would take Geist's topic deep into the territory of another telcom issue called "Network Neutrality," in the name of which critics of Internet regulation often don't bother to unravel the complexity of consequences of what they advocate; so we must avoid here anything beyond this mere mention).

After the learnèd prof's intro around Bulte and Oda, he gets into the meat of his presentation, specifying four significant topics:

1.) Blogs as a premier instance of technics where low-end users and ordinary consumers have already proven capable of shining - and disseminating info without concern for copying when it takes place on a noncommercial and properly attributed basis. Bloggissimo (May13,2k6) carries Geist's Blog section as a quote, and is planning a detailed discussion of it (soon, I'm told) in G's larger context of thawt

2.) Creative content - Geist cites GarageBand, an Apple new-music distribution site, mostly free it seems. Then Geist mentions glowlingly MySpace, a hosting site/newtwork where young musicians have sometimes launched themselves into fame and contracts with big music-recording companies, on the basis of the freebies they offered for download to music-starved youngsters - but now the sex predators have massively infiltrated MySpace, giving it an altogether-different rep. Next, he points us to PostSecrets - here I break my run-on-format to supply a Geist quote:

PostSecrets, one of the Internet's most popular blogs, provides an excellent example of artistic content creation. The site encourages visitors to post personal secrets by creating a single original postcard. The results are at once funny and heartbreaking as thousands submit secrets, creatively revealing envy, happiness, and loneliness. New work is posted weekly and the collection of the best from the site's first year has become a best-selling book.
Continuing with the theme of "creative content," let's cite with Geist, an example of sites where you can publish your own episode of your favourite TV program or a version of a movie you want to improve on, where others with similar interests can read up, juries can be formed, and artistic awards can be made at regular intervals. Next and finally under this heading:
Just as fan fiction builds on the imagination of others, public broadcasters are increasingly offering their content to users to remix. Leading the way is the British Broadcasting Corporation, which has launched the Creative Archive as a mechanism to allow its users to download, use, and reuse original BBC content. The initiative is still in its early stages, but with hundreds of hours of content, it promises to connect a new generation to historical archives that were previously all but unavailable to the general public.
I did wonder if this was a subtle plug for state-owned broadcasting, but I defer complicating the discussion that does need to addressed regarding binomial distinctions between state-owned vs. corporate-owned broadcasting (I'm thinking of the Dutch example discussed in Canadian Dr John Hiemstra's book on the subject).

3.) Content sharing - Of course, this categirt includes music and movies, but also photos, non-music audio, video, and combos. Flickr is an instance of a Canadian e-commerce success story, but much of its offerings are free; and it offers varieties of the new Creative Commons licensing [Canada], which apparently is now recognized in Canadian law. [CC USA and Yahoo has most recetly launched a CC Search engine beta] There are different licenses, but the main idea is that you can copy if you don't do so for a profit, and you properly attribute, and you carry the logo for the kind of licence your're using, live-linking the logo so that it hooks up with the actual terms of that particular license.

4.) Geist's 4th category in this synoptic address is Knowldge sharing Here he cites instances like Wikipedia, one of several online encyclopedias written by walk-on and often-self-accredited amateur experts on various subjects. Geist skims the surface and skimps on critique, especially in reard to Wikpedia's zealous over-compensation in its ideology of Neutral Point of View (POV) which actually is a cover-up of its dogmatic espousal of what philosopher Roy Clouser calls The Myth of Religious Neutrality. Thus, Wikipedia is not only a philosophical backwater, but is also in denial about it's own uncritical corporate core belief. Still, the results of its claudications are not to be sneezed at. Geist goes on to name also the Public Library of Science and the Gutenberg Project, the latter being "a grassroots initiative comprised strictly of volunteers, [whch] has digitized more than 17,000 books that have entered the public domain. Those books are freely available to users to download and share."

We will finish our first installment of this interaction with Dr Geist's address by noting his slide into his own uncritical boosterism, in which the double-edgedness of the new phenomena doesn't emerge to view. - Owlie Scowlie, with no help from my Unc.

Further resources:

Michael Geist on Net Neutrality
Internet Archive, thousands of videos, cited by Geist
Google Book Search, cited by Geist

technics, internet, blogs, contentcreative, creativecommons, licensecreattivecommons, filesharing, knowledgesharing, wikipedia, postsecret, geistmichael

Movies: Religion movies: Davinchflick considered mostly a bummer by movie critics and movie-goers in first round of review

Originally published on May21,2k6 on refWrite page 3.
Shaun Groves, a musician and speaker on culture & Gospel, runs Shlog blog, where he just carried an early roundup of reviews and posts on the Davinchflick. Perhaps the title he gave his anthology of quotes, summarizes his own (re)view: Why Da Vinci Code crapfest may come out smelling like a rose. A warm Hat Tip to Celal Berker who blogs Icarus Redeemed - for putting his readers (me included!) onto Shaun's great roundup of Davinchflick reviews. If you're interested in other aspects of Davinchflick and its mother-book by Dan Brown, you may want to read my own earlier posts on refWrite page 2. For live links to these, please see More sources at the bottom of this blog entry. - Anaximaximum

Here's Shaun:

Grove, Shaun musician

And here're his multi-quotes:

The reviews are in for The Da Vinci Code:

"A jumbled, joyless affair that neither entertains nor enlightens." -- Shawn Adler, IGN Filmforce

"The problem is the pace, which suffers when demands of explication force Howard to pull his foot off the gas." -- Greg Burk, LA Weekly

"As for the film's entertainment virtues, forget it. This is one of the most talky and pretentious major films in memory." -- Steve Crum,

"The movie is woefully plotted and just flat-out, eye-crossingly dull." -- Phoebe Flowers, South Florida Sun-Ssentinel

"...overblown so-so suspense flick..." -- JoBlo, Joblo's Movie Emporium

"Ron Howard [director] plays it too safe keeping fans of the book in line, objectors at bay and alienates anyone coming into the hype with thoughts of 'that's what everyone is up in arms about?'" -- Erik Childress,

"... it's not very good -- long (2hr.32min.) and mostly inert." -- Richard Corliss, Time magazine

"The film is faithful enough [to Dan Brown's book], but it's hard to imagine it making many converts [from Christian faith]." -- Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

"A jumble of historical myth, religious symbology and international thriller-action makes for an unwieldy, bloated melodrama." -- Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter

"The truth is that The Da Vinci Code is a pretty-good-but-who-cares effort, a moderately interesting diversion that will hold audiences in the moment but leave them unmoved and unchanged." -- Mick LaSalle, San Fransisco Chronicle

"These offerings by Howard and Goldsman are not enough to turn a page-turner into something that survives and transcends a media phenomenon, in the way of such bad novels as The Godfather and Jaws." -- Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press

From the sight of things over at (16% approval rating for DVC at the moment) I'm wondering if Mark Lee is right: [Boycotts and "othercotts"] feed the story. They prolong the hype...because of all the hoopla [The Da Vinci Code] has gotten, a whole lot of people are still going to see it.
If The Da Vinci Code is on top of the box office for longer than opening weekend do we Christians who blogged (are blogging) about it, boycotted it and othercotted it deserve some credit for it's success?

posted by Shaun Groves @ 5/18/2006 13 comments




Brody Harper said...

Did you say "crapfest"?


~Davidge said...

I almost wish it had been a good movie (yes said as in I've seen it. I'm a computer guy, knw piracy is wrong, don't get me started etcetera), for my own personal reasons, as in, the book was a good story, etcetera, but it kinda sucked. the reviews I totally agree with. the Christians it DOES pul off thee path have to stay awake first.


Amy said...

oh, I'm disappointed that it wasn't a better movie, but a lot of people didn't think it was a good book to begin with, so perhaps it's keeping with that.
I quite enjoyed the book.

anonwriter said...

I have not seen a lot of pop culture media make a big deal out of the boycotting. There was some coverage when an archbishop I believe it was used Easter Sunday to speak about the movie, but other than that I don't think the boycotting has made an impact for the movie or against the movie. Hollywood has been hurting itself lately with all of its excessively excessive hype. Tom Cruise in MI3, Poseidon, and now the Da Vinci Code - Hollywood is running these movies into the ground months before they ever come out.

The Cachinnator said...


Rachel said...

I'm a bit disappointed. I thought the box office would redeem itself with DVC, and the the controversy would actually work on its behalf. I still plan to see it, but now going in with the negative spin in mind from many of my fellow media-ites.

I think this whole situation was unfortunate, actually. It seems the members of the church that make the biggest stink about things like this are the ones who are misguided and not representative of "the rest of us." It irks me to no end. And now that the film is getting harsh reviews from critics, it makes the outspoken church members look a bit like we were making a huge deal of virtually nothing (which is true in many senses.)

But I am grateful that the issues surrounding DVC spurred on some relevant, fascinating discussions both here on SHLOG and elsewhere. Though the topic may have been beat to death in Christian circles, it was a good thing to address and I hope that many came out of it with a better knowledge of church history. Perhaps it forced some of us to come to grips with why we believe what we believe.

Now all there is to do is wait and see how long DVC holds out til it gets sent to the dollar theatre!


MikeknaJ said...

Isn't that a pretty big no-win? You don't say anything and you're guilty of sticking your head in the sand or being uninformed. You talk about it and you're guilty of feeding the frenzy. No win.

Simply discussing the film intelligently and rationally shouldn't be criticized. Going into a frenzy over it or calling for boycotts, well that's something different all together. I respect Christians who approach issues and the arts in a balanced manner, though.


stephen said...

We won't have to worry about patting ourselves on the back. X3 opens next weekend and will be the #1 movie.

Shaun Groves said...

Heck yes.

Sonflower said...

I'm not for boycotts but I am for discerning what is allowed in my mind...but the discussion has actually caused many to discuss what they believe and why...and many did not know what a Gnostic scripture was until recently and why it's not credible. Some will be swayed by these arguements but is that really new? The parable about the seeds scattered...some were eaten by the birds, some were choked by the weeds and some fell on furtile grounds...

CB said...

I don't understand the big deal. Why not use the Da Vinci code to witness for Christ? It will have people talking about spiritual matters for weeks to come. (and how strange tom hanks hair looks)

It's like the world is offering us a tailor made in!

miss munky said...

I think that Tom Hanks strange hair is the only pull the movie has in this house.
Never heard of X3.

Brody Harper said...

I saw it last night. I didn't "othercott", boycott, "over the hedgecott", or any other "cott". I paid my eight dollars and sent my "message" to Hollywood. Is it for everyone? Probably not, but I do understand more now, the fuss that has been raised. It makes sense that people (the Christian/Catholic Church) would freak out. It will do well, and then go away. I think Christianity is safe, and may have longer staying power.

All in all, Shaun's given us a good cross-section of movie-goers and of professional move critics from whom to take a hint as to what the film does as a film, and some on what we can derive as advice on whether to shell out the price of admission to go see it. Among the aspects of the film, in any case, are its leading pisteutic aspect that tries to reconstruct Jesus in certain ways, ways that were explored over the ages not so much be etherealizing Gnostics, as by carnalizing Libertines anxious to get for themselves a non-celibate Jesus. I have explored the literary, theological, philosophical factors as they arise over the course of time in ealier posts on refWrite page 2. You may want to take a look.

Background Resources:

Deist misses historical flaw of Davinchflick in targetting Catholics, not Orthodox (May20,2k6 post)

Principium Consumers Hub: new DVD refuting Davinchflick falsification of history

First viewers of Davinchflick at Cannes give two-thumbs down (May18,2k6 post)

Backgrounder philosophizes Davinchflick prior to world premier at Cannes (May15,2k6)

A Gospel-compatible historical reconstruction of the celibate life of Jesus (cited refWrite May,2k6; original 2003©xnmp

Elaine Pagels, Dan Brown, Michael Baigent and DaVinciCodists build on pseudo-scholarship (May5; updated May7; 2nd update May8,2k6

Watch here for Owlie Scowlie's TechNote on Prof Michael Geist's address on Creativity & Politics of Copyr+t in Canada

Originally published on May13,2k6 on refWrite page 3.
My nephew Owlie Scowlie will be commenting on refWrite page 3 soon regarding the major address by University of Toronto professor Michael Geist, "This Our Creative Land," which develops a thesis about the special stance possible yet in Canada in the field of Internet and copyr+t matters. The prof's complete text can be found as a special feature on Person to Person.Net. - Owlb

Geist, Prof Michael, UofT copyr+t
Prof Michael Geist


Blogline's Bloggissimo mentions Dr Geist's address

p2pnet's frontpage

technics, internet, blogs, creativity, copyr+t, geistdrmichael

TV: Personal Computer: Tivo Desktop 1.9.3 for Mac released, full feature for DVR still restricted to MicroSoft Windows

Originally published on May9,2k6 on refWrite page 3.
Startling! to those of us who knew that TV had a special strength in the app Tivo made for MicroSoft's Windows. That one has been so powerful, you could run your personal computer videos to your DVR (Digitial Video Recording machine, plugged into to a TV monitor). The web is full of interesting short videos - being produced by Tom, Dick, and Mary.

TechNotes, by Owlie Scowlie

Reformationally-minded digital communicators here and there have already produced some interesting videos reflective of our communal concerns, relevant to who knows what spheres of of life.Tivo button
But who's hubbing these developing phenomenon online? Who of our refdigicoms is in contact with whom? Where are the videos? - 30 seconds, a minute, 3 minutes? longer yet? egads! - what's the technics by which they've been made, are being made - and what're the technical requirements to view them once you get ahold of them?

Well, now Mac pc users among us have a h+ chance to share reformational Christian videoworks, among a vast array of others, by getting the new Tivo Desktop for Mac v 1.9.3 (a free download, and following a few hack guidelines by Mac-technics Tivo-afficianado Dennis Wilkinson (a bow to you, sir!) who has posted his ingenius workaround on Tivo Community Forum (scroll down the page to his May5,2k6 post with the detailed code instructions. Hat Tip to Mac OSX Fanatics' newsletter Sven at Lockergnome. - Owlie Scowlie

You may be aware that Alexa's coverage of the Tivo Community Forum website will take you directly to's review page for TCF. That Amazon had such pages was a surprise to me! Amazon's classifcation of the page is: Computers/Hardware/Systems/Set-Top Boxes. But that obtains for the Tivo MicroSoft Windows tie-in to a Digital Video Recording machine. The new Mac-functional Tivo Desktop for Mac version 1.9.3 is not tied to a DVR functionality. - OS

Homepage for Tivo. If you want web-based video/movies on your TV, there's an online demo of the hardware Tivo Series2 Dual Tuner DVR

tv, tvondesktop, computers, tivomacdesktophack, hacks, tivodvrwindow

Semiotics: Beginners: Want an excellent orientation to the field of semiotics?

Originally published on May6,2k6 on refWrite page 3.
If you are mystified by the term "semiotics" and want to know more about the science of signs - which embraces subfields like that which studies symbols (not the same thing, mind you), or like gestures, or broader "body language" phenom such as facial expressions, or footprints left in the sand as signs of a previous preence of a certain kind, or alphabets (eg, English script) vs hieroglyphics (ancient Egyptian writing system) vs ideographs (classical Chinese characters) - if any of that, then you will enjoy taking a look at Semiotics for Beginners.

Semiote Analytics, by Anaximaximum

Or: the various punctuation marks in this text - hyphen used as dash, capital letters and periods, colon, parentheses. And then there's that little dot in the upper lefthand corner which I've invented to space the body of text at a better distance from the headline of each of my blog-entries.

So you see, there are numerous levels of signifying realities, and the whole process of signification envelops human life and culture.

Semiotes are units of signification, whether you focus on a single character in a word; for instance, the "x" in "index" when pluralized transforming into the "c" in "indeces;" or a complete massive novel like Tolstoy's War and Peace. Under the moniker Owlhoot, a character / colleague / familiar has published a website needing a thoro update, but still may be of interest, called Writtles. There, the intent was/is to lay the groundwork for a recption of a multivalent semiotics within reformational Christian phliosophy, in the tradition of Herman Dooyeweerd and DHTh Vollenhoven. But the current citation may be just your cup of tea (metaphor). Now, metaphor is topic to be addressed in its own write, or should / could / would that be "wr+t" or "r+t" or "wright? - Anaximaximum

semiotics, semiotician, semiotes, writtles, punctuation, languagebody