Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Long Tail -- Politics

I'm only going to post one link, here. You can find all the links you need from that story.
What it's all about this morning is the "debate" last night. All I have to say is this. The Long Tail is catching up to Politics as we know it. Candidates have never been fond of addressing the issues that matter to the people in a direct manner. That's old news. To a politician, addressing an issue frankly would mean that they may not get everyone in the country to vote for them. Sometimes I think that is exactly what they believe: That if they somehow said or didn't say the right thing, that everyone would come out of their fog and vote for a single party -- a single candidate.
But, as we've seen over the past few years the people are starting to get pissed. And they finally have a voice. As I mentioned in an earlier post everyone has a voice on the internet, and more and more people are using it. They are using it to say that they are tired of politics as usual. There are growing numbers of people who simply don't want to see or hear a bobble head presidential candidate. The general populace's eyes have been opened to the political games that are really being played, and they are growing sick of it.
So, The Long Tail of politics comes into play, and the net effect is the reaction to last night's debate. Political mud-slinging is having less and less of a long term effect. Avoiding the issues is having more and more of a long term effect. The Long Tail of 'playing politics' is that after such a long battle to get to this point, none of the candidates have said a single damn thing that has had any real impact. Yes, Yes, everyone knows that both of the Dems want to pull out of Iraq, and that McCain wants to keep pushing forward for some time. The same blah blah goes for the environment, taxes, health care... We've heard the three of them time and time again on these same stinking issues, and we, collectively, are sick of it.
No matter what issue has come up, the three candidates have said crap, and have refused to raise issues of their own. How about the case that the supreme court is currently overseeing that involves a gun ban in D.C.? What if it passes or is overturned? How about the current crisis that is building over the cost and use of corn to fuel cars? How can the playing field be leveled to ensure that our cars aren't literally eating our lunch? How about Nuclear power? Will someone please address the facts and fiction that has been spread about the safety and efficiency of reactors and waste? The list goes on and on and on.
So. The reality of the Long Tail is that the traditional cat and mouse game that these three Senators have been playing with the issues is no longer effective in garnering votes. Few swing voters, and a growing number of party established voters are going to be satisfied with Politics-as-Usual. It's a mindset that have been growing for some time, and it is now starting to manifest itself in greater numbers of jaded voters, pissed off bloggers, and disaffected party members. If the GOP and Dems aren't more careful in the future, one of those *crazy* Independents may pull the carpet out from under them. I for one would love to see it happen.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Teens like to see other teens naked (GASP)

It's all over the news today this week. It's a story that I'm not at all surprised to see. It would appear that teenagers are sending pictures of themselves to each other using their cellphones, and most likely IM applications. The issue that has raised the ire of -- well, almost everyone, is that these are NAKED pictures -- and videos. I'd imagine, as the article here suggests, that a pictures or video is quickly sent around a group of friends and will eventually make it out into the wild. It may have already happened, and there may be places on the Internet to find these explicit videos. I certainly hope there isn't.
There is one thing that I find ridiculous though. The story I linked to states that the principal of one school where the students are participating in this trend doesn't get it. "They don't see any thing wrong with it, it leaves me speechless."
It should be a bit of a surprise, but to be left speechless, to be utterly dumbfounded by this turn of events only shows how out of touch adults are with the lives and times of the teenagers of this Internet age. It's simply preposterous to think that teenagers will have at their disposal the tools that allow them to communicate with voice, images and video and not use it to transfer sexually explicit content. Using themselves as the subject is simply a natural progression. A teenager in the world today is bombarded with sex, and is caught up in his or her own sexual awakening. To them it's natural, and in someways may be healthy. The danger of course, I alluded to earlier. These images and videos will find their way onto the internet at large, and their explicit nature will begin a political king-of-the-hill battle to see who can pass the most laws the fastest. It has already begun with the bullying and beating of teenagers videos that have made their way onto YouTube. It's simply a retelling of the bum fight videos and every other type of offensive content to be discovered on the internet. It's a good thing that these media types seem to never have heard of 'tubgirl' or the other rick-rolling images and videos that seem to pop up every few weeks... We might not have an Internet at all if they did.
I'm going to read more about this story, and see which way the winds are blowing but I predict that any historical evidence of this happening with traditional media (magazines, video tapes, etc) will be ignored or glossed over and the 'absolute insanity' 'danger to the health and well-being' of our teenagers will be glossed over because this 'Has Never Happened Before And The Scale And Ability To Access This Type Of Thing Has Been Expanded Into Infinity Thanks To Devices Like Cell Phones And The Internet!' So, the answer you and I will be hearing over the next week or so will be that children need more protection from the government, and the way to do that is to 1)Ban all cellphones in schools 2)force YouTube to filter content and remove/punish anyone who posts anything 3)Tack on some arbitrary official-looking data from some researcher that positively proves that anyone under the age of 18 who ever sees a nipple will be scarred for life and become a sex-pervert, run away from home and pick up where Jack-The-Ripper left off.
Update: In this article a member of the FBI Cyber Crime in Ohio seems to think that the teens doing this sort of thing are laboring under a belief that
"You name it, they will do it at their home under this perceived anonymity."
If I may use the internet meme -- LOL! I'd like to interview a few of the guys and girls doing this and ask them how far they think, or hope, that these pics and vids will go. I'd bet that most of them have no reservations that their recordings will make the rounds in their school, and perhaps, even to the internet at large. (if they're not posting directly to the internet themselves that is.)

About Faking Normality

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Faking Normality. The one place we don't do it. All is not well. The world is not coming to an end. Don't fake normality, achieve it.