Saturday, June 19, 2004
Company leads beleagered corps into the breach
Symbiot takes offensive against hackers, but quagmire of possible effects looms
11:57 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Creationist team seeks "missionary lizards" in ND dig
Lecturing to a rapt audience of 20 like-minded Christians after a hard day in the field, Russ McGlenn, a self-styled amateur archaeologist and palaeontologist and head of Adventure Safaris, said: "Heavenly Father, we thank You for the evidence of a catastrophic flood event. We thank You for the time to study Your creation. Heavenly Father, we thank You for the evidence of a catastrophic flood event."
Mr McGlenn was admittedly preaching to the converted but his success at strengthening their beliefs and faith was undeniable.
"It's just dumb to believe that everything came from one kind of bang or fish or something," said Katy Carlson, 13, one of the youngest on the dig.
4:05 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
A British soap opera nearly half a century old is all the rave in the Land of the Maple Leaf
For 31-year-old Toronto musician Andrew Downing, the show has become a cozy, Sunday-morning ritual he shares with his partner. "We drink coffee and watch this semi-mindless soap opera."
That Corrie attracts many twenty- and thirty-something fans, he says, is no surprise. "The people I know who watch the show are sort of creative types who like old movies and weird recordings -- stuff that's kind of outside of the mainstream."
And while the hippies had Woodstock, Corrie fans have pings or pingfests -- regionally-based events that revolve around drinks and all-things Coronation Street. The term "ping" was first coined by a Canadian in a Corrie Internet chat room in the early 1990s, according to 58-year-old Nova Scotia fan Mike Shacklock. Fans of the show traditionally sent each other "cyber pints" as signs of affection, and one day a spelling miscue gave birth to a new tradition.
But many Canadian fans remain disgruntled with one aspect of CBC's scheduling. Events such as the Olympics have consistently interrupted the soap's broadcasting schedule, and the CBC has fallen more than six months behind Britain's Corrie episodes.
3:52 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
I watched the NBA for a while when Jordan was still around with the Bulls, but haven't since; yet it pleases me that we may have seen the end of the Laker dynasty with the surprise upset tonight
I always liked Phil Jackson, but the Lakers could obviously just buy whomever they wanted, and that's says a lot about pro sports in general.
2:26 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
What'll they try to do next file:
Vatican tries to whitewash the Inquisition
Registration might be required, and I'm not posting my email, so here'e the short article:
Inquisition wasn't quite as bad as people think, says Pope
By Bruce Johnston in Rome
The Vatican sought to play down the terrors of the Inquisition yesterday, claiming that far fewer people were tortured and executed for heresy than was popularly believed.
The reassessment by Church historians was seized on by the Pope to qualify the apology he made for the Inquisition during the Church's millennium celebrations.
The research emerged from a conference of scholars convened in 1998 to help the Pope assess the impact of the Inquisition, which often used brutal methods to suppress alleged witchcraft and doctrinal unorthodoxy.
Church officials said that statistics and other data demolished myths about the Inquisition, including that torture and executions were commonly used.
"For the first time we studied the Inquisition in its entirety, from its beginnings to the 19th century," said Agostino Borromeo, a professor of history of Catholic and other Christian confessions at Rome's Sapienza University. Prof Borromeo said that while there were some 125,000 trials of suspected heretics in Spain, research found that about one per cent of the defendants were executed, far fewer than commonly believed. Many of the burnings at the stake were carried out by civil rather than religious tribunals.
Yesterday, the Pope reiterated his mea culpa but stressed that actions which had "disfigured the face of the Church" had to be viewed in their historical context.
2:22 AM - [Link] - Comments ()
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
Also from MeFi, the book call center serfs (as I once was) have been waiting for: Willing Slaves: How the Overwork Culture Is Ruining Our Lives
Empathy has become big business, according to consultancy Harding & Yorke, which claims to be able to measure every aspect of the emotional interaction between customer and company. If a company wants its employees to sound warmer or more natural, it turns to the likes of Bob Hughes at Harding & Yorke. Delight your customers and they'll be back, is his watchword: empathy makes money. Defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "the power of identifying oneself mentally with (and so fully comprehending) a person", empathy has become an important skill in the labour market. This intrigues social theorist André Gorz, who argues that while the assembly line represented "the total and entirely repressive domination of the worker's personality", what is now required is the "total mobilisation of that personality". Not listed on amazon US yet (it's an English book), you can pre-order it from amazon canada.
The demand for emotional labour is driven firstly by the growth of the service economy. Companies are increasingly competing to provide a certain type of emotional experience along with their product, be it a mobile phone or an insurance policy. Where once muscle power was crucial to employment for millions of manual workers, its modern-day equivalent is emotional empathy and the ability to strike up a rapport with another human being quickly.
Another kind of emotional labour is increasingly in demand in response to the changing structure of organisations. Clearly defined hierarchical bureaucracies have given way to much flatter, more fluid organisations. And as the lines of authority become less clear, much more falls to the individual employee to negotiate, influence and persuade. This is often called the "relationship economy", and what makes it particularly hard work is that it requires skills of empathy, intuition, persuasion, even manipulation, for which there is little preparation in an educational system focused on analytical skills.
7:14 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
I don't find many graphic novels etc. that I like, but the ones that I do (anything by R. Crumb, Chris Ware and Daniel Clowes for instance) I like a lot; now McSweeney's Quarterly has published a Chris Ware-edited comics issue that looks wonderful
6:52 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
One of many interesting cultural posts from Metafilter lately: The Webcomics Examiner, a new review journal
6:28 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Catholic churches in the US, Canada & Europe are outsourcing prayers to Indian congregations
About 2 percent of India's more than 1 billion people are Christians, most of them Catholics.
In Kerala, a state on the southwestern coast with one of the largest concentrations of Christians in India, churches often receive intentions from overseas. The Masses are conducted in Malayalam, the native language.
While most requests are made via mail or personally through traveling clergymen, a significant number arrive via e-mail.
In Kerala's churches, memorial and thanksgiving prayers conducted for local residents are said for a donation of 40 rupees (90 cents), whereas a prayer request from the United States typically comes with $5, the Indian priests say.
Bishop Sebastian Adayanthrath, the auxiliary bishop of the Ernakulam-Angamaly diocese in Cochin, a port town in Kerala, said his diocese received an average of 350 Mass intentions a month from overseas. Most were passed to needy priests.
In Kerala, where priests earn $45 a month, the money is a welcome supplement, Adayanthrath said.
6:25 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Monday, June 14, 2004
A short interview with DJ Spooky, as he pushes his new "mediawork" Rhythm Science, and gets ready for the premiere of his Rebirth of a Nation at Lincoln Center next month
Longer interview here and disinfo's page here.
It's not so much about the future, as about now being so weird. A phrase I always bring up here is William Gibson's "the future is already here, it's just unevenly distributed..." That's what 9/11 was about: we are faced with a world arrayed against the values that have been fostered as THE future. There are so many futures, and we need to think about that. The way to heal from 9/11, to me, is to think of America's place in the world and really create some kind of bridge between how we live and how the rest of the world lives. Hip hop at this point is the global medium, and so is house music, techno, jazz. These are all African American based musics that have evolved to become like universal languages. Pop culture is a mirror, and I'm just part of the reflection process.
I have to confess I don't listen to his work much, but he's a vital figure.
11:40 PM - [Link] - Comments ()
Sunday, June 13, 2004
Dangerous Art file:
Judy Chicago "too graphic" for AZ; private donor steps in to skirt public funds issue
Exhibit in North Adams MA targeting biotech agriculture gets shut down by FBI, artist may be accused of being terrorist
4:18 PM - [Link] - Comments ()