For most users of all ages – but especially teens – the Internet today is about socializing with people you already know. But I used to love the randomness of the Internet. I can’t tell you how formative it was for me to grow up talking to all sorts of random people online. So I feel pretty depressed every time I watch people flip out about the dangers of talking to strangers. Strangers helped me become who I was. Strangers taught me about a different world than what I knew in my small town. Strangers allowed me to see from a different perspective. Strangers introduced me to academia, gender theory, Ivy League colleges, the politics of war, etc.
I completely agree, ChatRoulette feels like my first experiences meeting random people in AOL chat rooms. But I can also understand why many people would find it too creepy to try out.
There’s an iPhone app called PhotoSwap that operates on a similar principle. It’s also fun, but it’s too bogged down by those who tag their suggestive, but PG-rated, images “NR” for no reporting to the system administrators.
Gareth Long’s giant lenticular prints based on the iconic-yet-anachronous 1991 cover designs for JD Salinger’s books are freaking me out right now … Something an aesthete in an early Star Trek movie might have had hanging on his wall.
A “real-time historical fiction” web comic about contemporary life in Iran. The NY Times writes:
The Web comic, which will be published in book form next year, is written by Amir, a human rights activist, and illustrated by Khalil. First Second Books is keeping their last names confidential to protect their safety. The comic will be updated Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and will be published simultaneously in English, Farsi, Arabic, French, Italian, Spanish and Dutch.
In cases like this, attacks on music blogs seem to be the latest example of the widening disconnect between the goals of the music industry’s promotional wing and its enforcement wing. Smart musicians and promoters understand that the Net is a powerful promotional tool, and know that sharing an artist’s music is the best way to earn new fans. The IFPI, on the other hand, writes clearly in its takedown notices that “Our top priority is to prevent the continued availability of the IFPI Represented Companies’ content on the internet.”
I’m kind of annoyed I missed the sold out Will Wright lecture last night. I had tickets and just totally forgot about it. But there’s a lot happening this weekend in my little sphere of interest, so maybe it’s good that I conserved some “going out energy.”
And of course there are a few workshops with space left at Trade School including “Caviar: Demystified,” “Collecting amidst disaster” and “Accidental Pornographies: Developing Underground Health Magazines and Stealth Distribution Models.”