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Heard the Word of Blog?

Friday, August 27, 2004

A mixed bag is being opened for this post.

1.) Looks like Grand Ayatollah Al'Sistani has told Al'Sadr to back off. I suspect his instructions are under penalty of excommunication if not followed. The rapidity of Al'Sadr backing down and sending his private militia home without their weapons suggests that this was done under very grave penalties. The image of the Sorcerer dressing down his apprentice after cleaning up the mess the apprentice made in that segment of "Fantasia" comes to mind.

Would you blame Al'Sistani for being pissed off? I wouldn't. Imagine if the current troubles in the Episcopal/Anglican Church escalated to a shooting war. Imagine if a group of traditionalists against the ordination of gays as bishops occupied Westminster Abbey, complete with guns and rocket launchers, and used it as a base to lauch attacks against their progressive foes. Imagine if a similarly armed group of progressives laid siege to Westminster Abbey to try to dislodge them from the holy place. Then the Archbishop of Canterbury finally intervenes. The progressives and traditionalists cease fire as the leader of their denomination enters the building. The Archbishop of Canterbury informs the traditionalist leader (perhaps that bishop in Uganda, maybe) that unless they lay down their weapons and come out of the sacred building peaceably they are going to be excommunicated from the Anglican Church. These traditionalists don't feel like they are under the authority of the American Episcopal Church, but they certainly consider themselves Anglican. You bet they'd back off.

2.) MIT has picked a woman to be its next President. The woman really seems like the perfect candidate, regardless of her gender. Her credentials are sterling.

Predictably, the Slashdot story about her selection has descended into simian feces-throwing over the issue/non-issue of "Affirmative Action." The Slashdot writeup is partially to blame for this, but still and all this is yet another reason why I tried setting up a female-friendly geek news site a few years ago. Slashdot is a hostile environment for techie women wanting to discuss tech issues as they relate to them uniquely as women. I still visit and I still enter the fray, but I am sure a lot of women give up on the site. I think I'm going to submit this story to Plastic and see what happens there.

3.) A Congressional staffer, identified only as The Integral, apparently enjoys playing with Sony's (formerly Sonic Foundry's) ACID or Apple's GarageBand, because he's put out a freely-available album full of remixed campaign ads on the Archive.Org site. Regardless of what you think of his politics (and actually if one didn't know that Integral is on Team GOP you'd not be able to pick his biases out by virtue of his remixes alone) the mashups are pretty damn cool and are issued under Creative Commons terms.

It would have been even cooler if he had released his remixes as .ACD-ZIP files (with encapsulated loops) or as whatever Apple's GarageBand native file format is to allow others to remix his remixes, since the CC licence he's chosen allows for derivative works. Imagine a debate about politics, framed as a battle of DJs! That would be so cool.

BTW on further examination of these remixes it seems this guy has Paleo-Conservative/"libertarian" leanings politically. I can live with people like that.