Listening to This American Life host Ira Glass talking about, what makes an interesting story makes me regret, we didn’t talk much more about this in journalism school:
Making stories that are constantly saying: look how different this is, than you would think, look how interesting this is, look how much more interesting, this is than you would think it, constantly searching for stories where there would be little surprises all the way through, all along, what that’s doing is reasserting that the world, it is reasserting the world to its proper size, you know, reasserting that the world is a place where surprise and pleasure and joy and humour exists, it makes things hopeful, you know. This is my problem with most radio and television news, it is that they make the world seem less interesting than they are.
If you for some weird reason haven’t listened to every single episode of This American Life and Radiolab – I sincerely envy you and promise you, you’re in for a treat!
As part of my master’s degree in Digital Culture and Society I wrote an essay in January about “how the use of media technologies can help strengthen the feeling of community of the Icelandic People in the process of crowdsourcing their constitution”.
Though I don’t believe the (flawless) solution to modern democratic governing is involving the public in every process, in my opinion the risk of peer pressure is overwhelming, I do admire how well thought through and thorough the Icelandic crowdsourcing project was.
Therefor I was sad to read how the Icelandic government this week overturned the publics desire for change and thereby risk to damage the public believe in democracy for many decades to come.
If you want to read more, you can find my essay here: Crowdsourcing the constitution to unify Iceland
A bit of background
Post the financial collapse in 2008 the Icelandic people went to the streets banging on pots and pans demanding government to step down and a new constitution to be written, securing transparency in both government and the financial system, declaring non-privately owned national resources as national property as well as modernising the voting system.
As a result the government willingly stepped down and subsequently, to re-establish trust in the democratic system post the collapse, they chose to crowdsource the new constitution.
Much have been written about the process, most significantly the reports written by Professor of Economics Thorvaldur Gylfason available here:
Constitutions: Financial Crisis Can Lead to Change
From Collapse to Constitution: The Case of Iceland
Following the Icelandic people backed the proposal (66% voted for the new constitution, turnout was 49% of Iceland’s 235,000 eligible voters). But apparently this didn’t proof anything for parliament, as they this Wednesday decided to postpone the decision of a new constitution and complicate the process of the decision further by raising the number of votes needed to confirm it by referendum.
The more I follow Moby (with follow I’m thinking of twitter, facebook and his architecture blog not… as in stalking) the more I like him, he just seem like someone it would be fun hanging out with. This interview confirms that notion. And this blogpost Urban Luxuries. As you were.
Since 2008 I’ve been working on a documentary together with my friend Anders Birch. In august we finally finished it, got accepted at CPH:dox and this sunday we got nominated for a Robert award for best short documentary. We are of course both happy and proud (and a wee bit surprised).
Unfortunately there isn’t planned any viewings at the moment, but we’re crossing our fingers that telly *looking at you DR* will show it – as we (stating the obvious here) think the story is important. The documentary is called ”A leaf falls to the sky” (Et blad falder til himlen) and has the writer Knud Romer as main character in a story about life and death, growing up – and most importantly about how we in our society treat the elderly like they don’t belong, like it’s okay to store them in facilities – “care” homes, like caged animals.
De seneste dage, er jeg faldet over tre forskellige indlæg om had på internettet, primært rettet mod kvinder. Dette svenske initiativ er et af de stærkeste, jeg er stødt på, det viser kvinder, der læser kommentarer, de har modtaget højt (via @thornkvist )
Et andet vigtigt indlæg i debatten kommer fra Sarah Parmenter, der beskriver, hvorfor hun og andre kvinder risikerer at blive skræmt væk fra at tale på teknologi-konferencer – men der kan sagtens drages paralleller til andre fag:
Ligeledes er det værd at læse dette interview med Mary Beard, professor i klassisk filologi:
Guardian: Mary Beard: I almost didn’t feel such generic violent misogyny was about me
Det er trist, at nogen vil synke så dybt, at kritik retter sig mod udseende, seksualitet, at diskussion bliver til trolling, til hate speech eller (trusler) om overgreb. Der er ingen let løsning,men det er vigtigt at sprede budskabet, det her er ikke en gang tilnærmelsesvis okay. Som en bekendt så fint formulerede det: Fy fan!
Beth Noveck former deputy chief technology officer for US open government and author of the book Wiki Government, teaches a course at NYCWagner in Open Government. They’ve just posted the syllabus, and there’s lots of great inspiration, for those of us who can’t be in NYC this term: Government 3.0: Rethinking Governance and Re-imagining Democracy for the 21st Century
As part of my MA studies I’ve been
forced encouraged to read a lot about/of McLuhan and technological determinism. Some of it good, some great, some “in the future you should cut down on the LSD”. I’d never really had a reason to study his writings and to spare others from reading the real sh**e once I’ve collected some of the videos and writings I found most interesting:
Easy to read Playboy interview with McLuhan from 1969
“Marshall McLuhan the man and his message” – one hour documentary, introduced by Tom Wolfe from 1984:
Marshall McLuhan – the man and his message
Marshall McLuhan – full lecture: The medium is the message – 1977:
Marshall McLuhan – the global village – a short introduction – quite impressive for someone who didn’t live to see the internet take off and worth watching if you’re interested in Yochai Benkler and his theory of Social Production.
Also worth reading/watching is Tom Pettitt explaining the Gutenberg theory – a theory which states that digitalization is causing a return to the oral era – or the culture of the oral era – which makes the printing press and Gutenberg a mere parenthetical sentence (this was food for thought for me!)
Tom Wolfe’s article about McLuhan “suppose he is what he sounds like, the most important thinker since Newton, Darwin, Freud, Einstein and Pavlov, what if he is right?”
Det er nu gratis at downloade Dorte Tofts bog om kvinders fravalg af ingeniør-, it- og matematikuddannelser – og konsekvenser heraf: Lykkelig i Nørdland – vigtig læsning med gode interview og masser af fakta. Hermed anbefalet! Download via Gyldendal.dk
When it comes to I am Kloot I’m a lovesick teenager, I absolutely adore their records. Just got the new one by mail this morning – and… made my weekend (hell it made my month). You can stream if from the The Guardian (the first fix is free!): Let it all in