Category Archives: Internet

Can You Buy Wisdom For $400 (Or More)?

“One bit of truth I do hold self-evident for myself, however, is that the chance of finding Wisdom 1.0 or 2.0 while wearing a nametag at an indoor conference on a beautiful day is close to nil.” [Strickland/Civic Center]

In a graceful skewering of the Wisdom 2.0 Conference, which is intended to address “the great challenge of our age: to not only live connected to one another through technology, but to do so in ways that are beneficial to our own well-being, effective in our work, and useful to the world” (why not? I guess), Michael Strickland ponders the likelihood that one will actually find wisdom at a conference.

Tickets to Wisdom 2.0 ran from $400-$1500 (plus a $7.95 fee). The wisdom seeking activities Strickland proposes, “Swimming naked in the ocean, walking in a redwood forest, talking with a sympathetic friend, playing a game at a municipal golf course, or concentrating on a book,” are all pretty close to free.


Social Media Isn’t Making You Miserable, Your Crappy Choices Are

“Whenever someone writes one of these screeds, they have to ignore that Twitter is entirely self-selecting. You chose who to follow. You chose to behave like a jerk, or a needy child, or a boor. Twitter didn’t make you an ass. Twitter gave you an opportunity to exhibit your lack of impulse control.” [Sicha/Awl]

As almost always (as much as I might like it, I cannot see into his soul, hence the “almost” qualifier) Choire Sicha nails it as he gently chides those who sob that social media is full of meanies.

I’ve been in an email conversation with an ex for a few days now about Facebook. He’s not on it at all, I am mostly because it’s kind of expected of someone in my line of “work.” I was telling him that he might like Twitter, because I like Twitter and I assume that someone I banged in the 80s and I are still on the same page about everything.
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Yes, You Need To Watch A Big Trouble In Little China/Gangnam Style Parody Right Now

Until now, I’ve been relatively unmoved by the Gangnam Style craze, in large part because it is no Rhythm is a Dancer, am I right, fellow folks who remember their 90s gay bar experiences?

But I am totally in the tank for this parody, which actually contains an appearance by James Hong, who not only played the baddie in John Carpenter’s San Francisco set classic Big Trouble in Little China, but was the host in the infamous Chinese Restaurant episode of Seinfeld. Did I mention he is 83 years old? James Hong rules!

Tonight’s debate memes, before they happen (By pixplz)

WHO WILL WIN tonight’s important debate between that one dude and that other dude? I can’t predict! However, with help from The Winnower’s resident political soothsayers, I’ve been working hard at seeing into the future of hashtags. First there was this, and then there was this. What will there be next? My vision is still a little murky, but here’s some of what I’ve prognosticated so far:

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Does Your Favorite Website Show A “constant, quiet contempt” For You? Probably!

“Splitting articles and photo galleries into multiple pages is evil. It should stop.” Farhad Manjoo says for over 1000 words. It is quite a fun read for those of us who enjoy thinking about such things.

Manjoo notes that the pressure to paginate likely comes from ad sales departments (more people clicking through multiple page slideshows or whatever means more ads served, which can mean more $ for the site), but he doesn’t mention what I always think when I see a site suddenly start to paginate — that they must be in desperate trouble, and that paginating is a shamelessly last-ditch move to bump up pageviews. Sort of the “Why Lie? I Want Beer” sign of the internet.

When Mod Met Mead

Junior High Pee-Chee - Back

“In case you grew up outside of Pee-Chee territory, the folder was, as you might guess, peachy-yellow in color, with vertical side pockets on the interior rather than the more common horizontal pocket at the base. The inside contained multiplication tables and other practical reference charts for students. The outside was adorned with line drawings of young people playing sports. The illustrations are iconic (to those in the know), yet pretty boring.” [Rich/Smithsonian]

“My jr. high Pee-Chee folder is featured in a post on the Smithsonian blog,” Winnower contrib Rain Jokinen emailed me.

And so it was, in a post on Frances Golden, the man who “the man who, 48 years ago, doodled the coed athletes on top of which millions of students would doodle inappropriate appendages, death metal band names, and screeds against substitute teachers.”

And what was the thinking behind Rain’s doodles, which you can see above and below? According to her, the backstory to her Pee-Chee art was an aspirational one: “I wanted to be a mod when I was in junior high, so most of the stuff is related to that…”

Rain, any time you want to come over and ride my Vespa, just say the word.

Junior High Pee-Chee - Front