Thorstein Veblen, Prescient on Today's Media

Dan Gillmor is a BoingBoing guest-blogger. Via Joe Costello, a friend and former colleague: While Keynes is all the rage these days, as the way things actually "work" in our society are laid bare for a short period, Veblen keeps popping up in my head. On Stewart v Cramer, I found this from The Theory of […]

Weekend Reading

Dan Gillmor is a BoingBoing guest-blogger. Some books and longer articles I've recently been reading or re-reading: The Man in the High Castle, Philip K. Dick's masterpiece (IMO). Chilling alternate history, set in an America that lost World War II to Germany and Japan. The Snowball, by Alice Schroeder, a warts-and-all biography of investor Warren Buffett. […]

Basket Case Insurer Gets $170 Billion from Taxpayers, Still Pays Huge Bonuses

Dan Gillmor is a BoingBoing guest-blogger. In the get-out-the-torches-and-pitchforks category comes this news: Despite receiving $170 billion in federal aid and recording a staggering loss for the last quarter, insurance giant American International Group is doling out tens of million of dollars in bonuses this week to senior employees. While AIG agreed to pay the bonuses […]

Bad Times Spur Entrepreneurship, But There's a Catch

Dan Gillmor is a BoingBoing guest-blogger. The recession is leading lots of out-of-work folks to try new things, reports the Times: Economists say that when the economy takes a dive, it is common for people to turn to their inner entrepreneur to try to make their own work. But they say that it takes months for […]

When Do We Start Calling Years 'Twenty-Somethings'?

Dan Gillmor is a BoingBoing guest-blogger. On an NPR newscast the other day, a reporter pronounced the year 2012 as "two-thousand-twelve" while someone he interviewed called it "twenty-twelve." I'd have gone for the latter, but the different choices made me wonder when we're going to give up what we've been doing this entire decade, clumsily calling […]

Space Junk's Threat

Dan Gillmor is a BoingBoing guest-blogger. We're heading into scary territory with space garbage. The AP reports on Space station's close call with junk: More to come: The near-hit of space junk Thursday was a warning shot fired across the bow of the international space station, experts said. There's likely more to come in the future. […]

Tabloid TV Goes After Bailout Babies

Dan Gillmor is a BoingBoing guest-blogger. Tabloid journalism is often worse than none at all. But now, the NY Times reports, the media business' bottom feeders are going after the corporate sleazeballs who blew up the economy. The tabloid media, of course, have always peered into the excesses of the rich and famous with a mix […]

Amazon Misusing DMCA to Block Non-Amazon Book Buying for Kindle?

Dan Gillmor is a BoingBoing guest-blogger. In the this-sucks-if-true category, we hear from mobileread: As some of you may already know, this week we received a DMCA take-down notice from Amazon requesting the removal of the tool kindlepid.py and instructions associated with it. Although we never hosted this tool (contrary to their claim), nor believe that […]

Newspapers' Depressing Internal Lingo

Dan Gillmor is a BoingBoing guest-blogger. BoingBoing reader Marissa Frayer writes: Perhaps print journalism foreshadowed its fledgling future long ago with its morbid jargon. Morgue. Gutter. Beat. Deadline. Dummy. Kill. Widow. Orphan. Are journalists all being strung along like dummies, beaten and downtrodden by deadlines, desperately clutching our clips and killed ideas, en route to a […]

Madoff to Jail; Hope He's First of Many

Dan Gillmor is a BoingBoing guest-blogger. So Bernard Madoff is heading to prison, most likely for the rest of his life. Will it be hard time or a low-security lockup for rich felons? (Photo thumbnail via the Times of London) Whatever. A bad guy, but only of the many we should hope will end up in […]

Legalizing Drugs: The Least Bad Answer

Dan Gillmor is a BoingBoing guest-blogger. The Obama administration has named the latest of America's "drug czars" — the person who heads the War on (Some) Drugs, a futile, expensive and supremely hypocritical campaign that has caused vastly more damage, in America and around the globe, than the problems it aims to fix. No one denies […]

Searching for an Honest Bank

Dan Gillmor is a BoingBoing guest-blogger. Late last year, just before Bank of America closed a deal to buy a failing Merrill Lynch, the BoA's executives signed off on $4 billion in bonus payments to Merrill Lynch executives and senior employees. This, after we taxpayers had poured more than $45 billion into saving these incompetent and/or […]

Media Cloud: Watching Media Flow

Dan Gillmor is a BoingBoing guest-blogger. The Harvard Berkman Center for Internet & Society's new Media Cloud is a system that lets you see the flow of the media. The Internet is fundamentally altering the way that news is produced and distributed, but there are few comprehensive approaches to understanding the nature of these changes. Media […]

NBC Stars Whimper About Jon Stewart's Skewering of CNBC

Dan Gillmor is a BoingBoing guest-blogger. The poor widdle babies at NBC are soooo unhappy with Jon Stewart's skewering of CNBC's stock-market boosterism and stupid behavior. If you haven't seen it watch this first and then come back: The Daily Show With Jon StewartM – Th 11p / 10c CNBC Gives Financial Advice Daily Show Full […]

New Primer to Help Businesses Build in Customer Privacy Protection

Dan Gillmor is a BoingBoing guest-blogger. The ACLU of Northern California has put out a primer, Privacy and Free Speech: It's Good for Business, (1.5 MB pdf) to "help companies avoid privacy and free speech mistakes that can lead to negative press, government investigations and fines, costly lawsuits, and loss of customers and business partners." Among […]

NY Times and 'Serious' Journalism

Dan Gillmor is a BoingBoing guest-blogger. I pick on the New York Times a lot for its flubs, not because I hate the paper or because I own some nearly worthless shares in the company. I do it because the journalism done there still matters. Over the weekend and yesterday we saw examples of the […]

When It All Falls Apart

Dan Gillmor is a BoingBoing guest-blogger. Like lots of folks these days I find myself speculating about whether we're heading into something worse than a bad recession, such as the kind of calamity that tests civilization. I've suspected this before. Back in my younger days I played music for a living. We were based in Vermont, […]

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