I Atticus Finch – Too Long for YouTube, again – Putting down a diseased arguement humanely


 [CCSA3.0 Atani Studios]

Operation Frantic: blood on the boarder lands                                     [CCSA3.0 Atani Studios]

Every once in a while I come across something said on the internet that is so egregiously backwards that it requires a reply so equal in incisiveness that it bursts the bounds of the host site’s normal reply mechanism and the social requirement for the polite give and take of civilized netiquette.  So, today you seem to be victim of another Too Long for YouTube breakdown because of some YouTube commenter who’s replies are so rabid in the defense of the Nazi cause I have momentarily let slip good taste – though hopefully not common sense.

At these moments I feel prompted to act in a way like Atticus Finch, in Harprer Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” when the gentleman lawyer is compelled to shoot dead with one well-aimed shot, a hydrophobic dog wandering the streets of his town before it can cause harm any innocent bystander – or itself continue to suffer with its fatal affliction.

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Giving and Volunteerism, Charity or an Expensive form of Entertainment? – Law of Reciprocity in action in the Blogosphere


Maimonides  -public domain

Maimonides                                                                                                   -public domain

One of the joys of blogging, a rare joy around here, is receiving the accolades of ‘likes’ and ‘follows’ from your readers, the problem comes when a ‘like’ or a ‘follow’ seems to come from someone who might be either a sincere and interested reader or someone phishing for recruits into a multi-level marketing scheme – hard to tell which sometimes – we seem to have had both types today.  In particular we had that situation come up this morning over at the other blog.

It is considered good blog etiquette to stop by and visit the blog of someone new who has decided to undertake the formality of voluntarily subscribing to be pestered electronically by your blog – the Law of Reciprocity in practice.  There’s a URL for that now, who knew?   I followed the follower’s profile back to the KarenEllisBlog to see who my visitor was, find out what they are up to and see if they have anything interesting to say.  When I got there I found a great deal of information hidden by hind menu tabs about:  how to “Explode your blog with income”, her business, and all about her.  Fine, but I’m not interested in signing up for any newsletters.  I also found her, then, most recent blog article: Tipping Servers $200, Wouldn’t that feel great to do?.  Sounds interesting.

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Stoat – Tutelary Beast on the Loose Again-Wikipedia and humanity’s next great leap-What’s up with that?


Stoat_and_chipmunks

A stoat surplus killing a family of chipmunks                                                      – Ernest T. Seton 1909

Anthony Watts over at WUWT.com, his community-service-as-science-blog, has a recent post up on the reinstatement of William Connolley to Wikipedia after having been banned as an editor back in: Wikipedia Climate Fiddler William Connolley in the News Again.  Since its very short I’ll reblog the article in its entirety:

Apparently Mr. Connolley has edited 5428 Wikipedia articles, most about climate. Die Kalte Sonne:

Unbelievable but true: The Wikipedia umpire on Climate Change was a member of the UK Green Party and openly sympathized with the views of the controversial IPCC. So it was not a referee, but the 12th Man of the IPCC team.

[http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.kaltesonne.de%2F%3Fp%3D7858]

I’m not sure how accurate the translation is, but it suggests he was somehow part of the IPCC “short list” team. See it here at Die Kalte Sonne via this Google Translate link:

With over 5000 articles he’s edited, it makes you wonder if Mr. Connolley was employed by someone or some organization specifically for the task.

The main thrust of most subsequent commenters was to harp on the wiki-depridations of Connolley specifically and Wikipedia’s problem with out-of-control editors, and the unreliability of Wikipedia generally.  Wikipedia, naturally, has a page even on this subject: Criticism of Wikipedia.

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A Sunday Morning Quickie – FaceBook what’s that all about? and how do you decide what to respond to?


Sunrise, Chanupa Sapa Tiyospaye (Blackpipe Community, Norris, SD), Aug. 2001
                                                                                                                       [Sunrise ©Atani Studios-2012]

I was hoping that this would be a Sunday morning quickie, but such was not to be the case.

This morning’s FaceBook experience was derailed by a FB acquaintance’s urgent plea.  I stopped by briefly to see what the problem was, and wound up having to say a lot more than I originally planned in order to say what I felt was the minimum needed to be said.

It went like this:

Don’t like this ~ Help stop it! Help save a man like your father, brother, uncle , grandfather from expenses he doesn’t need and jail time that is being handed down for doing what is in our nature! Please we can all give this enough exposure so it wont happen at all ~ so it wont happen to friends who worked hard to build a home for their family and now the government wants to own our water too!

http://cnsnews.com/news/article/oregon-man-sentenced-30-days-jail-collecting-rainwater-his-property 

After reading the linked article I came to the conclusion that I really wasn’t sure that I had enough reliable information to form any type of an opinion on the matter, but wrote a length response on some of the more general implications of the situation a la Meme Merchants.

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Stop Knolling!! – too long for U Tube, an open letter to Tom Sachs on the fetishism of arranging objects


Donald Judd’s perfectly Knolled studio in NYC. Looks pretty cool doesn’t it? But what else is enCoded in the pattern?
[Donald Judd GNU FDL v1.2]

I was visiting a reader’s blog yesterday who tipped me off to a video, 10 Bullets, by sculptor Tom Sachs.  The video is apparently part employee training film for Tom’s studio assistants and part manifesto on the ethos of a working studio, and maybe organizing your life in general.  The video takes the form of elaborating upon The Code that all Tom Sachs Studios employees are expected to work to.

I invite you to take the twenty or so minutes it takes to watch the video before I deconstruct it. [art/design pun intended]

You’re back.  Good.

The video itself is cleverly well done and rather humorous, not your typical HR Department training film [though it does lean a little heavily on the kitty litter].  If your life or organization is surrounded by chaos, Sachs’ 10 Bullets may be just the ticket to help you keep entropy at bay.  The video has received generally very favorable comments from viewers, about a 37:1 thumbs up to thumbs down ratio.  My reaction seems to be among the minority view who’s reactions was something like, “Yes, yes, yes, but….”  I just couldn’t follow The Code to its natural conclusions without an increasingly insistent voice inside saying to me that somewhere along the line a significant and serious boundary had been crossed.

The rest of this post will take the form of an open letter to Tom Sachs.  To be fair, Tom of course is invited to respond in comments or in his own post at this blog.

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The Durability of Links – the impact of the massively colaborative


Jimmy Wales in 2008 by Manuel Archain via Wikimedia Foundation

Jimmy Wales is staring at me again – he’s hard to get away from sometimes, he can be quite relentless – it must be that time of year again –  you know Wikipedia‘s annual fundraising drive.  Eventually I will rummage around under sofa cushions, raid the change dish, generally do what ever it takes to round up my piddling $25 annual contribution and send it off hoping I can buy him off for another 11 months.  It’s not that I mind making the contribution it’s that I’m easily disturbed by confrontational stares.

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Phism of the Day


There is a feature to this blog which you may have been overlooked until now because of its location at the top of the sidebar which is:

The Phism of the Day

That it is meant to be a daily feature obviously, but what exactly is a ‘Phism’ and why should anyone care?

Our buddy Phi, who you have not been subjected to yet on this blog, a rather mercurial and elusive creature who fancies himself a bit of a poet, has taken over the function of editing William’s collection of aphorisms.  It’s a long story and you needn’t worry about it until Phi Press gets closer to publishing the miniature book of a collection of said aphorisms.

Phi, wise in his own self-serving little way, suggested that the upcoming book be called Phi’s Little Book of Words because no one would ever read [much less purchase] a book called William’s Little Book of Words [ what William proposed].  In this case everyone was forced to agreed that Phi had it right and was perceiving reality more clearly than anyone – even William.  Phi, sly creature that he is, then suggested a combining the two ideas together, Phi + Aphorism = Phism a much catchier tag.  Since we are also all about linguistic boundary dissolution around here we all had to agree it was much the catchier name as well.

And why should anyone care?  We haven’t worked that out yet, but maybe you have some ideas yourself that you can suggest in the Comments.

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And What Kind of Troll are You?


Eventually someone will comment on one of our blog posts – it is possible – certainly it can’t yet be excluded from the realm of possibilities at least while the issue of having people actually reading the blog is still such an unsettled issue.  Never the less, the editorial staff of the Meme Merchants have been carefully examining the issue we have come to a few initial conclusions as to what may be going on.  The first most obvious issue is that at the current hit rate the blog has achieved up till now has not allowed the vapor pressure of the blog to reach the point necessary for spontaneous commenting to occur.  Another factor could be an insufficient number of nucleation sites available in the currently available raves to catalyze auto-comment formation, this could be do to inadequacies in editorial practice, or people are just hanging back while we get the administrative preliminaries of the blog out of the way – in other words people are waiting for the first REAL post to jump in and comment.  In the interest of exhaustive thoroughness the possibility of reader apathy was discussed, but tabled as unlikely.  A third and more disturbing possibility is that because Meme Merchants has not yet announced its Moderation Policy the few readers that we do have are hesitant to jump in and post a comment for fear or uncertainty over what may happen if they do.

Not to worry, there is no Moderation Policy here, or rather to say that our policy is no moderation.

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Question of the Day – Well, Which One is it?


Many blogs and website include pages for FAQs, Frequently Asked Questions, which we think is a fine ideas; however, here at Meme Merchants we noticed that most of these supposed FAQs appear to be an invention of the site’s administrators in an attempt to preempt site users from actually asking any questions so the Admin will not then have to take time out of their busy schedule to answer them.  You can tell this is probably the case because there never seems to be a FAQ for any question YOU have about the site, how it functions or it policies – in other words anything you actually care about.  While this situation is not altogether wrong, it does seem to smack ever so sightly of intellectual dishonesty.

Think about it for a moment, if a FAQ page is actually doing its job successfully, none of the questions should ever rise to the level of being asked frequently, doubly true if the site Admins are doing their jobs properly in responding to queries, correcting problems, and have clear, well stated and easy to find policies.  It seems more correct then to call these type of pages something else like, “Things You Need to Know – TYNKs” or “Needful Facts – NFAC,” anything other than FAQ.  Thus the notion of a FAQ seems to be infact some kind of a fairy tale.

Here at Meme Merchants we do not have a FAQ page, because no one has asked us any questions yet, and the Editors would not presume to know what questions are burning in your mind.  We make up A LOT of things around here, our imaginations overflow, but we would not dare to make up what you think [that seems somehow very basic].  You have to set a limit somewhere, and that’s were we set ours.  We have included a contact form on our Contact page which you are encouraged to use to have answered any questions about Meme Merchants related topics or concerns.

We do have an idea to do a feature periodically called:

Question of the Day

Assuming someone ever asks a question – – we will then post it up and rave about it for a while – basically until we are sick of it – and you can then comment.  Eventually those questions and answers will be turned into a FAQ page or filed appropriately someplace else.

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First Post – Pt II – A New Kind of Blog


In Part One of this introductory missive there was a point I had intended to make that was completely swept away by the rather longish aside that actually got written.  I can feel the weight of another one bearing down on me, but I will push it off for now, or the main point of this whole introductory post may never get written, which is the answer to this question:

And exactly what kind of blog is this supposed to be anyway?

[And that other aside that I was warning you about?  Anticipate it very briefly here.]

But really, the world is filled with blogs – why one more?

Well, that is a very, very good question.

There are two types of people, the type of person who divides people into types – and the type who does not.  Being the type dividing type myself, I could further subdivide people into two other distinct types:  the ‘It’s all good’ type, and the ‘But some things are better than others’ type.   The ‘It’s All Good’ type might feel very little inhibition about just plunging recklessly ahead and starting yet another WordPress blog, while the ‘But somethings are better than others’ type might feel a stronger sense of inhibition about adding yet another potentially hazy, unfocussed patch of real estate to the digital domain of the nooshpere.

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Oh dear, yet another hazy, unfocused WordPress blog by the semi-literate – – or another precious moment of your life scuppered


Yes, I know what you are thinking already,  ” And with a blog post heading like that you are not helping your cause any.  In post-post-modern blogospheric representation a heading like that it will definitely cost you points.”

Yes, yes, yes, – of course – we know – but, the REASON for the extended headings occasionally to be found here is that it is in itself an obscure literary reference, and bridgehead into a possible new conversation;  which, cognoscenti maybe to be able to pick up on from a couple of different angles, [and you are allowed to congratulate yourself if you succeed] or maybe you will simply enjoy the display of linguistic eccentricity.

There WILL be a cost no doubt, it will probably cost us points with some readers, web aggregators, and search engine indexers – what will Google think?

So, to begin.

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Warning!!


The material on this weblog will not leave your belief system unchanged!  Any damage to your false-self’s esteem is completely a fiction of your ego.  Any emotional trauma that you believe that has been caused by revealing the provisional nature of your reality is all in your mind.  So, if you feel bad or feel mad…  Change Your Mind!