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This Day in History
Today represents no particular day of note: except, oh yes! it is April Fool’s Day in much of the realm, and in ancient Roman traditions was Veneralia, in honor of Venus, and in Iran is now Islamic Republic Day;in the last attempt to reunite the entire historical Roman Empire fourteen hundred eighty-nine years back, Justinian—the nephew of Emperor Justin—became a ‘co-emperor’ and successor who devoted his three-and-a-half decades of rule to bringing the Western and Eastern and provincial elements of Rome into a unified force once more; purportedly, a single year onward in time, in 528, thousands of miles East in China the first female monarch in the Sino imperial world took the reigns of power very briefly; seven hundred twenty-three years before the here-and-now, in what served as a precursor of conflicts to come between the English crown and the Roman Church, Robert Winchelsey headed to Rome to receive the scepter of the Archbishop of Canterbury, from which post he proved a ‘thorn in the side’ of two King Edwards; two hundred fifty-two years subsequently, in 1545, Spanish conquerors founded the silver-mining city of Potosi, thus fueling the rise of capital through conquest, plunder, forced labor, coca, and precious metals; twenty-seven years hence, in 1572, in a related development, the Dutch Republic first formed as free and independent of Spanish rule; six years more down the pike, in 1578, the baby boy was born who would grow up as influential medical scholar and physician William Harvey; another forty-seven years on, seven decades after Potosi’s incorporation, in 1625, a combined fleet of Portuguese and Spanish vessels managed to drive the Dutch from Bahia in Brazil; two hundred twenty-seven years ago, in Manhattan, the U.S. House of Representatives installed its first quorum and elected an initial Speaker of the House; a few years shy of four decades thereafter, in 1826, Richard Morey received a patent for the first internal combustion engine, which employed steam to run paddle wheels on boats; seven years subsequently, in 1833, Anglo settlers in Mexican Texas, at what is now Austin, first met as a group to petition official Mexico for greater autonomy and recognition of their capacity to ‘develop’ Texas; twenty-one years lateracross the Atlantic, in 1854, Charles Dickens began serializing Hard Timesin his publication, Household Words; thirteen years onward in space-time, in 1867, Singapore became a Crown Colony of England, halfway round the world; sixteen years past that point, in 1883, a male infant uttered a first cry on his way to a life as actor and screenwriter Lon Chaney; a short decade and a half further on, in 1898, the United Mineworkers first won an eight hour day for its members; ten additional years onward, in 1908, an American boy child came along who would go on to a life as hierarchy-of-needs theorist, Abraham Maslow; five years after that conjunction, in 1913, thousands of textile machine workers in Hopedale Massachusetts went on strike against an obdurate owner; four years down the pike, in 1917, a baby boy was born who would grow
up as the creator of the vastly popular Dr. Who series; seven hundred thirty days past that exact point-in-time, the Staatiches Bauhaus formed in Germany; a year nearer to now, in 1920, T-Bone Slim wrote and produced the song, “The Popular Wobbly;” two years beyond that day, in 1922, across the Atlantic, a boy baby took his first breath on his way to many decades of acclaim as popular historian William Manchester, and in Northern Ireland, police shot and beat six civilian men to death in their reactions against any expression of Irish nationalism, and the ingenious therapist Hermann Rorschach breathed his last; seven hundred thirty-one days yet more proximate to now, back across the Atlantic in Germany in 1924, Adolf Hitler received a five year prison sentence for his role in the so-called Beer Hall Putsch, an attempt at a coup in Germany; two years yet later on, in 1926, a baby girl came along across the English Channel in Ireland who would become the popular and powerful writer Anne McCaffrey; a few hundred miles away in Czechoslovakia a thousand ninety-six days hence, in 1929, another child came into the world who would become a Central European magical realist writer in the form of Milan Kundera, and across the Atlantic, a strike that would involve tens of thousands of North Carolina textile workers began in Gastonia, a battle in which dozens of workers died or suffered grievous injury; three years thereafter, in 1932, more than 500 young Chicago pupils marched on City Hall to demand food at their schools; back in Germany a single year beyond that point in 1933, the recently elected Nazis under Julius Streicher organized a daylong boycott of Jewish businesses; four years farther down time’s path, in 1937, German Nazi dive bombers attacked Jaen, Spain for fascist Nationalist forces in the Spanish Civil War; two years thereafter, in 1939, Generalissimo Francisco Franco declared that war’s end as the final Republican holdouts surrendered; another year on the road to now, in 1940, five thousand miles South in Kenya, an erstwhile ‘inferior’ baby girl came among us who would grow up as the powerful environmental and social leader and Nobel Prize recipient, Wangari Maathai; one more year closer still to today, in 1941, a prominent Iraqi family’s eldest son led a momentarily successful coup in Baghdad against British rule and in favor of an alliance with Nazi Germany; one year henceforth, in 1942, seven thousand miles away in the United States, a male child gave his first shout on his path to living as populist economist and social scientist Richard Wolff; four years still closer to the current context, in 1946, just slightly fewer than half a million coal miners went on strike, which caused Harry Truman to order U.S. forces to seize the mines; just three hundred sixty-five days subsequent to that juncture, in 1947,a baby girl was born who would mature as popular U.S. writer, Francine Prose; on the other side of the world two years afterward, in 1949, Nationalist and Communist negotiators in China failed to reach an accord that might have left a Sino-imperialist cabal in control, the counties of Ireland formed the Irish Free State, and back in the U.S. a boy drew an initial breath on the road to life as radical songwriter and silver-tongued crooner, Gil Scott Heron; two years past that precise instant, in 1951, over forty thousand Southern textile workers struck against their employers;three additional years down the pike, in 1954, in a significant branching of the military-industrial-complex, President Dwight Eisenhower signed the U.S. Air Force Academy into existence; three years farther on the temporal arc, in 1957, the British Broadcasting Corporation orchestrated the largest hoax on its audience in history, with a feature about Swiss Spaghetti-Tree farmers; another three years closer to now, in 1960, in another wrinkle of militarism’s unintended social benefits, the inaugural Television Infrared Observational Satellite entered a low-Earth orbit and began transmitting TV signals back home for weather forecasting purposes;three years even more proximate to the present pass, in 1963, the nation’s longest newspaper strike, nearly four months long, ended in New York City; four years henceforth, in 1967, the U.S. Department of Transportation came into existence in the midst of an Interstate Highway building boom that was primarily a ‘defense’-related concept; three years more proximate to the present from that juncture, in 1970, the U.S. Surgeon General first began to place warnings about cancer and heart disease on tobacco products; on the other side of the globe a year later, in 1971, Pakistani military units participated in the slaughter of a thousand or more Bangladesh residents during the Bangladesh Civil War; two years down the pike from that, in 1973, a baby girl entered our midst who would flower into activist, journalist, thinker, and media darling Rachel Maddow; three years even a bit closer to this moment, in 1976, scientists announced the Jovian-Plutonian Gravitational Effect, an April Fools gag, and, no fooling, Apple Computer incorporated in California; three years subsequently, in 1979, ninety-nine percent of Iranians voted to form an Islamic Republic in Persia to overturn definitively the rule of mass-murderer Shah Reza Pahlavi; another three hundred sixty-five days onward, in 1980, five thousand miles Northwest, plus or minus 34,000 New York transit workers walked from their jobs to demand higher pay, shorter hours, and safer conditions; four years additionally closer to now, in 1984, fiery singer Marvin Gaye died in a tragic killing at the hands of his father; six years afterward, in 1990, the United Mineworkers opened the Mining and Labor Museum at the childhood home of former union President John L. Lewis; fourteen years past that exact moment, in 2004, Aaron Bank, the founder of the Special Forces died, after more than a century of highly adventurous life, and the Google Corporation announced the initiation of G-mail; five years closer to this point, in 2009, the U.S. laid more groundwork for European war with the granting of North Atlantic Treaty Organization membership to Albania and Croatia, directly abrogating promises about NATO’s not “advancing one inch Eastward” after the dissolution of the Soviet Union.
A Thought for the Day
For the first installment of every month, a sober reflection on the current pass might repeatedly yield Ten New Commandments for us to ponder, perhaps to follow:
1. The Golden Rule Reigns Supreme.
2. All Children Receive Priority.
3. All Who Work Are Welcome.
4. All Who Work Are Equal.
5. All Who Work Have Responsibilities & Rights.
6. All Who Work Receive Benefits & Provide Support for Others.
7. All Who Work Own Everything That Labor Transforms.
8. All Who Work Are Family.
9. All Beliefs, Congruent with the Golden Rule, Are Welcome.
10. All Other Matters Are Negotiable.
Indeed, as (the instructor) eagerly sparkled at them from the cellarage before mentioned, he seemed a kind of cannon loaded to the muzzle with facts, and prepared to blow them clean out of the regions of childhood at one discharge. He seemed a galvanizing apparatus, too, charged with a grim mechanical substitute for the tender young imaginations that were to be stormed away.
In such terms Mr. Gradgrind always mentally introduced himself, whether to his private circle of acquaintance, or to the public in general. In such terms, no doubt, substituting the words ‘boys and girls,’ for ‘sir,’ Thomas Gradgrind now presented Thomas Gradgrind to the little pitchers before him, who were to be filled so full of facts.” Charles Dickens–Hard Times
writers OR reporters OR storytellers OR poets remuneration OR "monetary support" OR wages OR income society OR commons OR socialism OR "state support" OR "government support" analysis OR background OR history importance OR utility OR adaptive OR useful = 85,600,000 Citations
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KNOWLEDGE, COPYRIGHT, SOCIAL IMPACT: JOURNALISTIC CONUNDRUMS
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20080306/003240458/if-intellectual-property-is-neither-intellectual-property-what-is-it.shtml – In an environment of profound crisis that conjoins with unforeseen opportunities, which is to say the arena of media and especially journalism today, a handful of links to puzzle and ponder for scrappy scribes and stalwart citizens, starting out with an item from TechDirt that makes the basic case for skepticism in regard to SOP thinking about copyright and so-called ‘intellectual property,’ which the title incisively skewers with the notation, “Intellectual Property Is Neither Intellectual, Nor Property, So What Is It?”–a comment-rich briefing that dovetails marvelously with a recent Shareable ramble through the current plans of Creative Commons; that also fits precisely with the outcome of the Kazakhstani student’s decision a week or so ago to make a million and a half publicly produced research articles freely available, thereby threatening the monopoly ‘rents’ that academic publishers extract with their ‘journals,’ the upshot of which radicalism is, as reflected in a Scholarly Kitchen posting, that Elsevier had come to terms with the student to buy her off and then ‘give away’ the portal to the safekeeping of a non-profit that will not threaten the profiteering of Elsevier and its ilk; that also correlates perfectly with a recent Bloomberg media business update, which indicates that frenzied consolidation is still very frenetic as the sense of crisis-in-media has not let up, all of which works to highlight present moment assessments of what journalism does that is brilliant and necessary, such as a pair of narratives from Poynter.org, one that presents thoughts from John Lewis about the necessity for reporters “to get in the way of injustice,” a second that contends that longform, depth-reporting installments in the digital sphere are vastly more engaging than the clickbait model, and such as an item from the Netherlands that looks into constructive journalism as a model to pursue in the maelstrom of the moment: “The main reason why I have trouble with the ‘property’ part isn’t just the fact that it leads people to try to pretend it’s just like tangible property, but because it automatically biases how people think about the concept. As I’ve written before, the very purpose of ‘property’ and ‘property rights’ was to better manage allocation of scarce resources. If there’s no scarce resource at all, then the whole concept of property no longer makes sense. If a resource is infinite, it no longer matters who owns it, because anyone can own it and it doesn’t diminish the ownership of anyone else. So, the entire rationale for ‘property rights’ disappears.
Even if you buy into the concept of property rights for intellectual output, a look at the history of property rights suggests that the laws are eventually forced to reflect the realities of the market. Our own Tim Lee just wrote up a masterful comparison of property rights in the early United States to copyright laws, noting how property rights in the US needed to change based on usage, rather than forcing everyone to follow the in-place rules. It’s not difficult to see how the same may happen when it comes to ‘intellectual property’ as well, if various companies who rely on those laws don’t recognize the realities they face.
In the end, I don’t think that there’s really a good answer. I think it makes sense for it to be context specific. Using ‘intellectual property’ too freely is definitely a problem, as it creates a mindset and a framework that isn’t accurate for the type of rights provided by patents, copyrights and trademarks. Yet, all of the other options have their own problems as well. I tend to think that whenever possible, it’s best to use the specific type being discussed (i.e., patents, copyrights, trademarks, etc.). In general, because of common usage, I don’t think it’s bad to use the phrase ‘intellectual property’ just so that people know what you’re talking about — but we should be careful to not use it in a way that reinforces the concept that it’s property just like other kinds of property.”—TechDirt
“In the digital commons, two or more people can use the same thing, and no one loses anything by it. This could apply to a photo, a song, a design file, code, an article, or any other digital product. ‘Lawyers call that nonrival,’ (Digital Commons CEO Ryan) Merkley says. ‘I lose nothing by you also having it, as opposed to my car, which I lose if you have my car, because I don’t have my car. That’s just not the truth in digital reality. Two of us, frankly, all of us, can have a thing at the same time and benefit from it. Once people start to get that, they start to see that there is really unlimited potential there, if we can create the cultures that support that.’
Gratitude plays a central role in the creation of this vibrant commons because, as Merkley says, it causes the flywheel to keep spinning. If someone contributes to the commons once, they may be driven by values, but to engage them as an active member of the commons requires something more. ‘You’ve got to feel connected,’ he says, “or you’ve got to see the benefit. You just won’t keep it up if there isn’t a little bit of joy there, and a little bit of reward. Not because it’s selfish, just because you get that essential component of feeling like what you did was worth something.’
From a photo or a song, to open scientific research, CC gives people a way to tap into the immense power of global creation and collaboration. And at the heart of the movement is the simple act of sharing. ‘Let’s create a true sharing culture with more access, and equity and innovation for everybody,’ says Merkley. ‘Let’s light up the commons that we have built together. Let’s set this thing on fire and do some really great stuff with it.'”—Shareable
“But one journalist, perhaps more than any other honored Thursdaynight, embodied Lewis’ edict of getting in the way. L. Alex Wilson was one of many journalists who had come to Arkansas to cover the integration of Little Rock Central High School, where nine African American students — known as the Little Rock Nine — had been blocked by the Arkansas National Guard on the order of Gov. Orval Faubus.
Unlike his White counterparts in the press, Wilson was berated, pushed and slapped. Then the taunts turned to blows. First came one kick, to the base of his spine. Then another to his stomach. One strike knocked his hat to the ground. He carefully, almost casually, bent to pick it up.
He slowly ran his hand along the crease as the mob threw punches and kicks. Another hard kick to the center of his chest was followed by one last, powerful blow to the head. Some witnesses later said it was a brick this time.
He kept walking. He did not run. As the mob beat him, the nine students slipped into the school uninhibited. L. Alex Wilson got in the way.”—Poynter
“Newspapers have settled on a strategy to stop withering away: feast on each other for survival. …Last year, the industry saw the most deals for the largest amount of money since the 2008 financial crisis, with 70 daily newspapers being sold for a combined $827 million, according to mergers-and-acquisitions adviser Dirks, Van Essen & Murray. Gannett Co. bought 15 dailies, including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel; Tribune snapped up theSan Diego Union-Tribune; and Warren Buffett’s newspaper chain acquired the Free Lance–Star in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
(With more likely mergers ‘on the way’ and only the powerhouse operations able to imagine staying solo), ‘(t)he case for consolidation has gotten stronger than ever,’ said Rick Edmonds, a media business analyst for the Poynter Institute, a nonprofit journalism school. ‘It is one of the ways that newspapers are repositioning themselves against the digital competition.’
(Despite ‘bright spots’ of miraculous monetization here and there), (f)or many of those ideas to be fruitful, they need investment and time — two things in short supply at many newspapers as the once-lucrative print audience disappears. Advertising revenue at U.S. newspapers has plunged to $12 billion this year from $50 billion in 2000, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. Print circulation has dropped by half on average since 2005, according to industry analyst Alan Mutter. While online readers are growing, most digital advertising is going to Google, Facebook and other popular websites that don’t produce local news. Newspapers are ‘way behind’ the overall growth rate of digital advertising and their share of it is decreasing, said industry analyst Ken Doctor.
(Save for those properties, such as The Washington Post, that attract a “willing billionaire” to foot the bill, the reality on the ground is one of attrition, of slash and burn. One such) company’s strategy is to squeeze out profits by attracting local advertising while scaling back on local news reporting, (Ken) Doctor said. Digital First Media didn’t return a request for comment. ‘They’re milking these properties,’ Doctor said. ‘As print advertising goes down, they’ll cut more staff. This is the unmistakable path at this point.'”—Bloomberg
TODAY’S HEART, SOUL, & AWARENESS VIDEO
JOURNALISM & INTELLIGENCE: SPIES, NOT SMARTS
Applications for 2016 are due April 18. Winners will be announced in May.
Radiotopia is two years old, which makes it at least a growing adolescent in podcast network years. With a slate of 13 shows — ranging from Criminal to 99% Invisible to Song Exploder — PRX’s podcast network will be putting out an open call in April for fresh show ideas and will choose three podcasters with whom Radiotopia will work intimately to produce pilot episodes. Ultimately, one show will join the collective.
The Vilcek Foundation is now accepting applications for the 2017 Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise in Fine Arts. Three foreign-born artists will be selected to receive the prizes, each comprising an unrestricted cash award of $50,000.
The Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise honor young immigrant artists who have demonstrated exceptional creative achievements early in their careers.
We are looking for curator-editors who are obsessed with great writing, possessed of excellent judgment, and savvy about translating both instinct and data into insight and action. The ideal candidate is a news hound and gifted writer who loves the Internet, but other things, too.
compensation: depends on experience
employment type: full-time
compensation: Hourly based on experience
employment type: part-time
An Open Democracy look at the widespread adoption of terrible drone warfare, by a writer who sees the far-reaching consequences of such imperial choices: “In the long-running ‘war on terror’, remote warfare is the growing and dominant method of choice. Both armed and reconnaissance drones have been used by the US to target terrorists in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and Iraq for over a decade. Moreover, the start of the millennium has seen a sharp increase in the use of special forces. In 2015, US special operations forces were deployed to 135 countries, a large amount in counter-terrorism missions across the Middle East, north and west Africa. Added to the mix are private military and security companies (PMSCs), which are playing an increasingly important role in both Afghanistan and Iraq, with over 5,000 contractors employed in Iraq in 2014.”
A Corey Robin look at the particular dimensions of the generation that could still very likely get America its first self-styled socialist president: “Strangely, this is the generation that is now making the Bernie Sanders moment. Which, whatever else it may be, is a bid on the promise that the future can be better. Radically better. For the millennials, this is not a promise born from any economic experience. It is a purely political promise, distilled from the last decade and a half of failed protest against neoliberalism and austerity, and some strange phantom of socialism conjured from who knows where. Progress is an idea that has died a thousand deaths, none more permanent, it seemed, than the one it suffered at the hands of There Is No Alternative. Yet here it is, brought back to life by a generation that has the least reason to believe in it.”
A more or less SOP but insightful piece from Spartacus that looks at some of the factors making the Bernie campaign, regardless of its outcome, into such a successful enterprise: “It has been claimed that Sanders’ campaign managers have closely studied the Tea Party’s rise in 2009 and 2010, when the far right challenged the Republican Party leadership. Sam Frizell, writing in Time Magazine, has pointed out: “In some ways, Sanders voters are like a fun-house mirror image of the Tea Party. At rally after rally, in Iowa, New Hampshire, Maine and Nevada, Sanders backers were blue collar and struggling, truckers, exterminators, furniture sellers and community-college students. They often said they were angry about Wall Street bailouts, disappointed in President Obama and wary of trusting Clinton.” “
An Alter Net look by a very astute commentator on the education scene of what the true costs of privatization are, and the big effort expended to make sure its expansion, through charter schools, continues unabated: “Philanthropy of this sort has an endgame—the privatization of America’s public schools—and media manipulation is an essential part of a winning strategy. Brown, leveraging her longstanding image as a truth-seeking newsperson in service of her new brand as an earnest education reformer, has been indispensable to this effort. As the head of the Seventy Four, under the guise of providing hard-hitting education news, she leads one of the key media efforts to push the anti-union, pro-privatization message of the charterization movement, all while keeping its billionaire backers out of the picture and off the front page.”
A Portside portal to a site organized by folks encouraging the notion of BDS, and fighting efforts that wish to suppress the effective strategy: “From bills that bar state contracts with companies that support BDS, to state-sanctioned blacklists of nonprofits which boycott Israeli goods, to bills that deny funding to academic institutions that pass BDS resolutions, these bills are popping up in nearly every state in a coordinated push to try to stop the momentum of the BDS movement. “
A Poynter post that looks at a simple rubric that can help a reader or writer get more from a media experience: “Media messages can be understood by using four process skills: access, analyze, evaluate and create.”
A Chief ORganizer glimpse at what would be the future of radio: “So what does this have to do with radio not being a horse-and-buggy technology but, just maybe, a hot ticket to the future? Well, accessing radio is still a million times easier to do from your car or old-fashioned radio set, than from your mobile phone or other devices. On the other hand with the Echo, all you have to say is, “Alexa, play KABF,” and, bam, there it is streaming in your house from a million miles away.”
A Counterpunch piece that sadly seems to demonstrate that not even so-called ‘alternative media’ is free from dark agendas, propaganda, and censorship, were it not for the surprise twist at the end: “The “editorial committee” clearly wanted me to water down my argument that Clinton represented a proven extreme danger to the world. Like all censorship, this was unacceptable. Maya Schenwar, who runs Truthout, wrote to me that my unwillingness to submit my work to a “process of revision” meant she had to take it off her “publication docket”. Such is the gatekeeper’s way with words.”
A Rolling Stone article that looks at the documenting of the first historic visit to the long-resistant island nation shrouded in mystery: “The Rolling Stones played a historic free show in Havana, Cuba on Friday night at the city’s Cuidad Deportiva. A clip of the band’s experience in the country was unveiled Monday by JA Digital, who also filmed the packed concert in full.”
A Common Dreams look at the stance that two celebrities have taken in backing Sanders who, if he is not in fact the one who would solve all the world’s problems, is at least someone who is speaking truth: “When Hayes lobbed the accusation that rejecting Clinton in a Trump v. Clinton general election might be “dangerous,” Sarandon argued that a vote for Clinton is a vote for the status quo—which is itself a dangerous decision. “If you think that it’s pragmatic to shore up the status quo right now,” Sarandon said, “then you’re not in touch with the status quo. The status quo is not working.””