Finally, others seem to be catching on that selling – actually, donating – your soul to an intrusive entity like Facebook is downright creepy. I do keep a profile there, but I use it more for anthropological excursions into the dark heart of the corporate internet than for anything else. Here’s a quote from the New York Times article today-
Leif Harmsen, once a Facebook user, now crusades against it. Having dismissed his mother’s snap judgment of the site (“Facebook is the devil”), Harmsen now passionately agrees. He says, not entirely in jest, that he considers it a repressive regime akin to North Korea, and sells T-shirts with the words “Shut Your Facebook.” What especially galls him is the commercialization and corporate regulation of personal and social life. As Facebook endeavors to be the Web’s headquarters — to compete with Google, in other words, and to make money from the information it gathers — it’s inevitable that some people would come to view it as Big Brother.
“The more dependent we allow ourselves to become to something like Facebook — and Facebook does everything in its power to make you more dependent — the more Facebook can and does abuse us,” Harmsen explained by indignant e-mail. “It is not ‘your’ Facebook profile. It is Facebook’s profile about you.”
I’ve been struck by the sheer inanity of many cable news shows recently – I find that I can stomach few of them for more than a few minutes. So I couldn’t pass up this charming pastiche of Glenn Beck moments. Yes, they are out of context… but, trust me, the context only makes them seem crazier.
As the academic year approaches, re-reading Bertrand Russell – this from the last chapter of The Problems of Philosophy (1912) – helps to get me pumped up-
“Philosophy, though unable to tell us with certainty what is the true answer to the doubts which it raises, is able to suggest many possibilities which enlarge our thoughts and free them from the tyranny of custom. Thus, while diminishing our feeling of certainty as to what things are, it greatly increases our knowledge as to what they may be; it removes the somewhat arrogant dogmatism of those who have never travelled into the region of liberating doubt, and it keeps alive our sense of wonder by showing familiar things in an unfamiliar aspect.”
Les Paul, “the wizard of Waukesha” who invented the solid body electric guitar and multi-track recording, died today at the age of 94. Here’s a piece from the t.v. show he had with his wife, vocalist Mary Ford.
A couple of years ago, PBS’s “American Masters” did a great documentary on Paul called “Chasing Sound”. No doubt they’ll be running it again soon, so be on the lookout. Even if you don’t care a whit about electric guitars, this portrait of an indefatigable man who found his calling is thoroughly entertaining.