Tag Archives: New York Times paywall

Star Trek and the NSA and paywalls

picard finger

I think it is totally messed up that the NSA spy dude General Keith Alexander built a replica Start Trek: Enterprise bridge.  HEY REAL WORLD SURVEILLANCE WARMONGERS: leave my fiction alone.  Cory Doctorow at Boing Boing explains using a quote from a Foreign Affairs article:*

When he was running the Army’s Intelligence and Security Command, Alexander brought many of his future allies down to Fort Belvoir for a tour of his base of operations, a facility known as the Information Dominance Center. It had been designed by a Hollywood set designer to mimic the bridge of the starship Enterprise from Star Trek, complete with chrome panels, computer stations, a huge TV monitor on the forward wall, and doors that made a “whoosh” sound when they slid open and closed. Lawmakers and other important officials took turns sitting in a leather “captain’s chair” in the center of the room and watched as Alexander, a lover of science-fiction movies, showed off his data tools on the big screen.

via Replica Enterprise bridge used to sell surveillance to Congress – Boing Boing.

*I couldn’t read the actual article because Foreign Affairs paywall was so dominating.  I guess I’ll have to read it via the school library server.  You know, paywall-mass-media-publication people: most of the nerdy people would read FOREIGN AFFAIRS probably can get a copy through their library.

It is convenient that I can follow the link from the Boing Boing article to the essay in question.  But if I open another tab, log into my school account, finding the article is a matter of a few more links.  So be honest, paywall-media-people, what you are selling is convenience.

Charge me convenience prices.  I just want to read one story.  Let me  drop ten cents (or a quarter!) of hard-earned digital cash for a nice story.  I don’t want to sign up, I want to pay for something the way you used to be able to buy a newspaper and not have to give your vital information.  Please mass media sources, get with the 2000s and make portions of your insightful work available to the public at reasonable prices.

And kick some of that digital cash to support investigative journalism.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under human rights, media, propaganda, representation, Surveillance

Martin Luther King improvising

I heard a nice tribute to Martin Luther King Junior and his speech at the March on Washington on the radio this morning.  Another version of this showed up in my RSS feed thanks to the fantastic “Daily Feminist Cheat Sheet” on Feministing.

Apparently, the essential chorus of “I have a dream” was a semi-improvisation for King.  It was a response to Mahalia Jackson.

As King neared the end, he came to a sentence that wasn’t quite right. He had planned to introduce his conclusion with a call to “go back to our communities as members of the international association for the advancement of creative dissatisfaction.” He skipped that, read a few more lines, and then improvised: “Go back to Mississippi; go back to Alabama; go back to South Carolina; go back to Georgia; go back to Louisiana; go back to the slums and ghettos of our Northern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.”

Nearby, off to one side, Mahalia Jackson shouted: “Tell them about the dream, Martin!” King looked out over the crowd. As he later explained in an interview, “all of a sudden this thing came to me that I have used — I’d used many times before, that thing about ‘I have a dream’ — and I just felt that I wanted to use it here.” He said, “I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream.” And he was off, delivering some of the most beloved lines in American history, a speech that he never intended to give and that some of the other civil rights leaders believed no one but the marchers would ever remember.

via Mahalia Jackson, and King’s Improvisation – NYTimes.com.

Don’t sleep on the impact of the solid gospel choices of Mahalia Jackson in motivating a political crowd.  Remember that music is key for every liberation movement I can think of.

She sang two spirituals, “I Been ’Buked and I Been Scorned” and “How I Got Over.” King was seated nearby, clapping his hands on his knees and calling out to her as she sang. Roger Mudd, covering the event for CBS News, said after the first song: “Mahalia Jackson. And all the speeches in the world couldn’t have brought the response that just came from the hymns she sang. Miss Mahalia Jackson.”

***

I hope you have some remaining monthly New York Times tokens!  Or else you won’t be able to follow the link I’ve recommended to read the whole article.  Pretty short-sighted New York Times.  #newyorktimeshatesfreeinformation

Leave a comment

Filed under art, communication, memorial, music, protest, race, vulnerability

Screw you New York Times for restricting access

When you read the New York Times online you are limited to ten articles per month.  I believe this is a terrible practice in a shortsighted desire for profit.  It hurts the business, and is terrible for informed citizenry.

This morning I was going to quote an article from the New York Times that was about a specific article (American soldiers, military drugging and the relationship with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.)  I thought it would be interesting to join in the conversation about this topic by re-blogging a key argument from the article.

But the realization that anyone who clicked the link would be swept into the New York Times crappy paywall made me say “forget it.”

Screw you New York Times!

This is the internet era where advertisers ask about things like “reblogging” and “brand loyalty” right?  How is this possibly good for their business?

More importantly, how terrible is limiting access to information?  It’s bad for readers, reporters, other news agencies, and of course limits the participation in important conversations.   The paywall is bad for citizens, bad for communities, bad for working people and of course, bad for the New York Times!

Leave a comment

Filed under capitalism, communication, media