Monthly Archives: August 2009

Questions regarding Inquirer and Daily News plans to charge readers of their websites

I was contacted by someone who teaches journalism for my thoughts on Daily News and Inquirer plans to charge readers – how they might affect local bloggers who often link, comment, or refer to the news from those online publications. He asked three difficult questions.

  • Q: Do you plan to pay for your local Philadelphia online news?
    A: It counts upon how much it costs and what if offers. I hope they pursue a NPR-like membership model instead of putting up a paywall. In the end, it counts upon the value offered.
  • Q: Will you link to articles that your readers will have to pay to read?
    A: Not if behind a paywall. I will find free alternatives to link to (KYW1060, TV station websites,
    national news sources, and especially local independent sources).
  • Q: Any general reactions to how you think this will affect what you do and what other local bloggers do?
    A: Local blogging will not be effected all that much believe it or not. There are many free alternatives. What is of concern is that we are becoming less and less informed as a people. At a time when we need *more* exposure to the work of the the Inquirer and Daily News, there will be less. That’s tragic.

I have to add that my hopes are that the papers remain local and that the bankruptcy proceedings are favorable to the local ownership. While I may disagree on paywalls, I feel that the news organizations within the papers stand the best chance at survival that way.

Thank you Les Paul (and Les Paul’s mom)

Les Paul passed away last week, and I just wanted to post this little piece of thanks and to share something about his story that I had heard before, but seems extra relevant to my personal exploration into education and how we learn – his childhood music teacher told his mom, “Your boy, Lester, will never learn music.” (NYTimes).

Yep. You read that right.

It sounds like his mom enabled him to keep at it. Read the entire NYTimes story. Not only did she enable him to continue to pursue music, it sounds like she empowered him to look at his entire house as a creative pallet. And he did. Minnesota Public Radio’s blog, “Trial Balloon” went so far as to say that “Les Paul’s Mom Invented Rock & Roll”. It’s hard to argue that.

Beyond empowering him, enabling him to continue when some indicated he had no talent was huge. Perseverance clearly became a core part of his story going forward, dealing with a car crash that would have eliminated his capability to play (he had his arm fused in position to be able to still do so), dealing with painful arthritis in his hands (he adjusted his playing style). He would cope with a myriad of life’s ups and downs and in doing so left so many gifts for the world.

Think about it. And think about how the world was changed because Les Paul believed in trying and trying again.

Psychology Today, “Les Paul, Skills, and Abilities”.

NPR: Guitar Legend And Innovator Les Paul Dies

NYTimes: “Les Paul, Guitar Innovator, Dies at 94″

The Wrap: Obit: Guitar Hero Les Paul.

Gibson: The World Has Lost a Remarkable Innovator and Musician: Les Paul Passes Away at 94

Reading List: Getting Started with Alfresco SURF

Goal for today is to absorb the following:

AlfrescoWiki: Surf Platform

AlfrescoWiki: Deployment Configurations

benh: SURF Part 1 – Getting Started

benh: SURF Part 2 – Pages and Navigation

benh: SURF Part 3: Alfresco WCM Content

Back in February, there was a Code Camp run focussing on SURF that Jeff Potts has details of. Once you get the backing information, and can successfully build Alfresco from SVN, you follow along with exercises participants worked on.

Making a good case, or how to disagree

Paul Graham created a “disagreement hierarchy” that is an outline of arguing technique, from most base, to most complete. I’m hesitant to say “most effective” because as we’ve seen online – he or she with the most links can win an argument, no matter how ‘right’ or how ‘wrong’ – especially when the most fact filled refutation is considered opinion. Like Paul Graham, I’d love to see people consider it, because as he says, moving up the hierarchy makes people ‘less mean’. That’s because you move from making an argument about the person making the counter argument, to making your assertion stand on the weight of the facts you are presenting.

Sadly, anyone in any debate better be familiar with, and capable of using the first three rings of the ladder here, because an adversary most certainly will.

  1. DH0. Name-calling
  2. DH1. Ad Hominem
  3. DH3. Contradiction
  4. DH4. Counterargument.
  5. DH5. Refutation.
  6. DH6. Refuting the Central Point.

Read the whole thing: How to Disagree

The CreateDebateBlog drew up what amounts to a ‘reverse Maslow‘:

Quotable – out of context – but worth it – on maybe why Bill O’Reilly is more popular than Bill Moyers?

Alan Kay on comp.lang.smalltalk.squeak.beginners: Re: Smalltalk Data Structures and Algorithms:

What is wrong? Why is mere opinion so dominating discussions held on the easiest medium there has ever been that can provide substantiations with just a little curiosity and work? Is the world completely reverting to an oral culture of assertions held around an electronic campfire?

That quote is going to be passed around a lot.

It’s a one paragraph penetrating question into why the Bill O’Reilly’s of the world have so much more popularity then those who pursue the fact based journalism that a Bill Moyers pursues.

BTW – Howard Rheingold’s recent post at SFGate, “Crap Detection 101″ is highly recommended (via Rebecca Blood).