Monthly Archives: January 2010

My Gift For Tom Paine’s Birthday

In the 19th-century, free thinkers and radicals of every persuasion held Tom Paine birthday dinners on January 29 to celebrate the freedom of thought and expression championed so articulately by the political pamphleteer. Today we would know him as a … Continue reading

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Re-Branding the Cult with a Quotron Symbol

Steve Jobs must be wondering if Gutenberg faced this kind of brand irreverence when he invented moveable type. A day after Apple’s iPad hype, the wags at Mad TV talked on NPR about creating this viral video sensation after the gadget’s top-secret name was leaked on Twitter. Continue reading

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The Most Over-Hyped Tablet Since Moses Came Down From The Mountain

As one who has lost the ability to read printed books, I’m always searching for that richer context when the text itself is inaccessible to me. I thrive in the proliferation of book excerpts and videos, reviews and interviews available now on the Internet. I have more ways to learn about books than ever before. In the end, though, what I want is the book itself in an accessible format. Given Apple’s penchant for imperialistic control of devices and DRMs, I doubt that the latest tablet handed down from the mountain will reach me as a reader. Continue reading

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Praying With John Coltrane at Antibes 1965

When I listened again to John Coltrane’s Alabama, I was moved by its prayerful tone. I heard the seeds of A Love Supreme in Coltrane’s soaring solo as well as Elvin Jones’ crashing cymbals. I hear the same life force in this live version of Naima, which the quartet performed on July 27, 1965 at the Antibes Jazz Festival. Miraculously, a fragment of A Love Supreme survives from the same gig. It makes me wonder if there are any complete live performances out there somewhere in the universe. Continue reading

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Internet Freedom From John Perry Barlow to Hilary Clinton

On a day when U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton gave a major policy speech about Internet Freedom,, it’s worth revisiting A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, a libertarian rant delivered at the 1996 World Economic Forum in Davos by John Perry Barlow. When I went looking for the full text, I came across this 2005 video mashup. The stereotypical computer voice is a little hokey, but I like what it adds to the artifact effect. I’d love to hear Barlow ranting it, if anyone knows of an open-source recording. Continue reading

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