Sunday, April 13, 2008

New Media Turns Old School Politics Upside Down

A Revolution of One is host of Carnival of the Liberals #62, posted yesterday, without my contribution, which is a little late, but better late than never. For readers unfamiliar with it, CotL is a by-weekly carnival of liberal bloggers. Every issue the host blog selects and features the ten best posts from all posts submitted. Their badge is in the lower part of the right-hand column of this blog. There's info on who is hosting future carnivals and the designated theme, if the host decides to have a one.

The theme for CotL #62 is New Media. We asked all participants to post on the topic of, or to include, some type of new media. The video above is of a presentation by Lawrence Lessig, Sanford Law professor and CEO of the Creative Commons given at the University of Pennsylvania. Lessig, through Creative Commons is the champion of changes in copyright law that make it easier for new media to be created without breaking the law, topic of the video below. In the first video Lessig gives his reasons for supporting Barack Obama, beyond the fact that they were colleagues at the University of Chicago.

Beyond being an example of how new media is a major factor in this Presidential primary, and the future general election race, it is about the candidate that is entirely, IMAO, a phenomenon of new media. Without it I doubt that this most unlikely candidate for president would be the almost certain nominee of the party. All of the candidates understand and use new media in their campaigns. They all have web sites and blogs and Youtube videos of their speeches, campaign ads, and the ability to contribute to their campaigns online.

But for the Obama campaign a new media political strategy has been key. Before the existence of new media it would have been nearly impossible for someone like Obama to overcome the war chest and old guard party organization of a candidate like Hillary Clinton. But for the other campaigns, their use of new media seems more an adjunct, or add on to the old strategies, more than the essence of their strategy. An article in Rolling Stone in late March describes how the Obama campaign combined techniques of new media, social networking using technology from sites like Facebook, with old school community organizing to outflank the traditional top-down approach of the Clinton campaign.
"They have taken the bottom-up campaign and absolutely perfected it," says Joe Trippi, who masterminded Dean's Internet campaign in 2004. "It's light-years ahead of where we were four years ago. They'll have 100,000 people in a state who have signed up on their Web site and put in their zip code. Now, paid organizers can get in touch with people at the precinct level and help them build the organization bottom up. That's never happened before. It never was possible before...."

"....We're seeing the last time a top-down campaign has a chance to win it," says Trippi. "There won't be another campaign that makes the same mistake the Clintons made of being dependent on big donors and insiders. It's not going to work ever again."
A regular part of Obama's stump speech is to say that change happens from the bottom up and not the top down. New media, created and controlled by the average citizen is inherently grass roots. What the Obama campaign has built is unprecedented. An entirely new type of campaign which will shape every political campaign for the foreseeable future.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Carnival of the Liberals at A Revolution of One

Welcome to A Revolution of One and the April 11, 2008 edition of Carnival of the Liberals. First I'd like to thank everyone for great submissions. Thanks for making it difficult to pick 10 out of a group of great posts, and for participating in our theme which is New Media. If you haven't hosted yet, eliminating posts is harder than you may think. In some cases it just came down to being on topic, because it was the only way to judge. I'm posting the submissions now, but I haven't quite finished my own post, which will follow shortly.

Also I'm going to submit this post on and I'd like to ask you all to digg it to help bring more readers and bloggers to CotL. I apologize to those of you who I didn't get back to about your submission. For some reason I didn't get all the submissions in email. I replied to every one I received, but when I picked them up from the CotL site I found I had twice as many as I got in email. Which was a pleasant surprise.

One quick plug for this site, I am in the middle of an extreme makeover the blog, so please come back in a few days and check it out. Something I probably should not have tried to roll out at the same time as the carnival. But enough of the preliminaries, the posts chosen for this edition are:

In Current Events:

Allen in Fort Worth
presents Hillary Clinton, Bosnia, Serbia, Sniper Fire, My Friend Igor, Taking Your Daughter To War Zones, and other stuff like that posted at The Whited Sepulchre, saying, "Youtube videos and blogs are making Hillary Clinton's claims of combat zone experience look ridiculous."Shan Siddiqi presents Perceptions, misconceptions posted at The Optimist's World, saying, "Misconceptions cause wars. To fight war, we must fight these misconceptions and the false perceptions that they create."

presents Oh Bless Us, Everyone! posted at Home of the Brave, saying, "Journalism, campaign reporting and campaign messaging trainwreck. Meanwhile the gist - preventable deaths continue unabated, under-resourced health facilities struggle, and everyone loses."

On Liberalism:
presents The Keyhole posted at Daylight Atheism, saying, "The explosion of new media has given us access to a vast wealth of information, but sorting through it has for the reliable sources has become ever more difficult."

greensmile presents Re-electing war 2008: tragedy vs pathos posted at The Executioners Thong, saying, "Are you really liberal? That would, I believe, mean you could put aside your ire at obtuse war supporters to understand where they are coming from...and thereby start to rescue them."

In Opinion:

Carole G. McKay
presents Hilary, Bill and Noah Webster posted at McKay Today, saying, "Can we take a candid look at how lying to ourselves and others costs us a price we cannot afford?"

presents Blaming Muslims for Terrorism: Blood Sport for the Cheesecake Crowd posted at thinkbridge.

Mike Haubrich
presents Early Morning April 4 posted at Tangled Up in Blue Guy, saying, "Forty years after the murder of MLK, the US still has to push for equality."

reallywrong presents Crashing the Gate posted at keep it really wrong.

In Politics:
DWSUWF presents Lets Play Oddball! Televison personality shoots self in head. Reloads. Shoots Obama Campaign. Reloads. Shoots self in head again. posted at Divided We Stand United We Fall, saying, "What do I know? I am just a pissant blogger and Keith Olbermann is a cable news giant. Let me be clear so there is no confusion about the point of this post. Keith Olbermann is not an Obama cheerleader and a sexist pig. He just talks like one."

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of carnival of the liberals using our carnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.


, .

I enjoyed every single post and look forward to hosting again sometime in the future. Check back for my post on New Media. Thanks again and....

-Fight the Powers.

Monday, April 07, 2008

China's Rep Being Torched in Olympic Flames

I'm glad to see the Olympic games become a lesson in human rights and their reputation in the world for China. The Bush administration could use the same lesson in foreign policy, but their time is up soon. But I'd like to see more in the headlines about Darfur as well. It seems that the Tibetan monks controversy, which is no less relevant and deserving of headlines than Darfur, is getting all the attention. I hate to see this opportunity to send a message to China about their influence with the Sudanese government and the Darfur crisis pass all the attention going to Tibet and little to Darfur.

The video below is a wide ranging religious one that starts with the Dalai Lama, goes through the spread of Buddhism and Islam, and ends with Barack Obama's church Black
Liberation Theology on Morning Joe. I don't watch Joe in the morning, but if this kind of discussion happens often I may start. What's not surprising to me is Tucker Carslon's admission that he can't wrap his mind around the mix of his own religion and Buddhism.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

MLK Disappointed with Civil Rights Bill

In this clip Dr. King expresses his dissatisfaction with the Civil Rights Act of 1960 in an interview with Meet the Press on NBC. Check out the chick in the hat and rhinestone specks, Ms. May Craig. She's questioning the tactic of civil disobedience, equating it with randomly deciding which laws to follow and which to break. In doing so she's arguing against breaking laws that are unjust, when the goal of society should be justice. Not blind obedience to any law, just or unjust.

What is actually being said is don't push it. Wait. Justice will come. Don't fight. Don't break laws to get there. The law will get around to you eventually. Your chance at equality will come. But it never comes. You have to push it. British Prime Minister William E. Gladstone said, "Justice delayed is justice denied."

What's ironic is the fact that she was a female journalist, a member of the
National American Woman Suffrage Association, and must have been the victim of the same kinds of efforts to slow her progress into the male dominated world of journalism. In fact some of the same protest methods were used in the Women's Suffrage Movement. It's an irony that stands out as starkly as the hat on her head.

The Colbert Report: Let the Games Begin

Again Stephen Colbert displays his mastery of the magnification of the absurd. What would be reductio ad absurdum except that he is mocking the absurd. This time he skewers both the idea of a boycott of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing China this summer and it's critics. A boycott is not likely, but the leaders of several nations are skipping the opening ceremonies or not attending at all and I think it's a good way to send a message to China. Not only about their civil rights abuses of monks in Tibet, but of their support for the Sudanese government responsible for the genocide in Darfur.

Yes They Can

What's amazing to me is how many hours of cable news coverage of the election you can watch and not hear as much intelligent and thoughtful analysis of what this election means as you did in just a few minutes with these kids. Their opinions of media and what their angle is are already forming. Witnessed in statements like, "the media is trying to take this race thing and turn it to something else." You see they have the impression that the media is focusing on race in a way the candidate is not.

I think it's been a long time since there's been a politician anywhere that has been this inspiring to young people. The other important thing about the video is that it isn't anything any of the campaigns could stage. It is not one of those scripted moments we see constantly. It is real people expressing real feelings because they felt inspired to, not because it's what someone asked them to say. I could say that I hate to repeat a campaign slogan, but I don't when it's real. That's what's meant when Barack says that real change comes from the bottom up. It's true whether the candidate believes it or not. Whether or not it is a slogan.

That's the part of this that the other campaigns don't get. They go on and on about experience and their years in Washington. They try to instill fear that the country might not be safe with someone who isn't the same as what we've always had. Americans have seen the results of what years of experience in the White House brings. It's what they have now and they are tired of it. They want something different. That's why people are registering to vote and contributing to the Obama campaign in unprecedented numbers. Even if the highly unlikely happens and Obama is not the
nominee and not our next president, this is a phenomenon like we have never seen before on the political landscape. And the Clinton campaign and a couple Saturday Night Live skits have practically brow beaten the press out of saying so. That doesn't matter because the people know it. Even the children know it. No matter what the press says.

Friday, April 04, 2008

The Politicians of Comedy Tour

I have to give John McCain credit. Comically he comes across better than Hillary Clinton. That's not saying much. For all the actual time spent on issues in these campaigns we could crap can the entire election process and send them on a national comedy tour. Funniest candidate wins.

Or we could go the reality show route, the Political World — Washington DC. Find out what happens when people stop being real,
and start acting political. There's Big Brother, no wait, the Bush administration's already has that one. We could do Dancing with the Pols. Barack may have a slight advantage there. Very slight. There's American Political Idol. And finally there's Bowling for Leader of the Free World!

Hillary at the Improv

I hate to admit it, but I find Hillary Clinton so much more human and engaging when she's joking about how big a liar she is. I find it so disarming. Who is advising this campaign, John Lovitz? "Senator, we can neutralize this whole sniper fire controversy very easily. You'll go on Leno and first thing you'll make a joke about it."

It's Hillary Clinton at the Improv. "You know a funny thing happened to me on the way to the Democratic Convention. I lost all my integrity. Isn't that funny?" It's to the point where I'm starting to feel sorry for Clinton supporters. They must spend a lot of time and energy in daily rationalization. It must be exhausting bridging the cognitive dissonance every single day. I'm posting this before I've even watched all of it. I'm finding it hard to even look at her and listen to her.

How Far We've Come: MLK on Speaks on Non-Violent Reistance

Sometimes you when you're in the middle of the crapstorm of all the stuff that is happening today, it is very easy to forget just how far we've come. Sometimes it takes sitting down and taking a good look at what happened then just to appreciate it. I think in truth it gives you both perspectives. It also shows you how far we haven't come, and that's not in any way to minimize the gains we have made, but to remind us we still have far to go. When you see that many of the situations we are dealing with today are, if not the same in actual substance, are similar in the way we deal with them.

There are still those who will use every rationalization and every other means possible to prevent change and hinder progress. They use the same methods they did then. Focusing on the divisions between peoples of different races, ethnic origins, religions, or economic status and using them to divide us. The struggle is the same, but it has moved to different fronts, which proves there has been progress. Much still needs to be done. On this the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Dr.
Martin Luther King, is a good time to remember both.

has posted a number of these historical clips on their site and I'll try to post a few more today and over the next couple days.


From the start of the Iraq war whenever I got into a discussion, I won't call them arguments, with a war supporter we obviously never agreed. But the talk would always end with, "but you do support the troops don't you?" They'd tell me, "It's important to support the troops even if you don't support the war." They were parroting politicians, but I always had my suspicions that when Republican chickenhawks used the phrase it was code for, "don't criticize the war for the sake of the troops."

It was their way of blunting criticism with guilt. If you criticize what we're doing the troops will feel bad about their mission and you will be the cause of their failure. Now in retrospect, maybe it was me that undermined the entire war effort. Seriously, I never bought the argument, but I always felt that they meant what they said about supporting the troops. That any obvious lack of support for the needs of the people who put themselves in harms way to protect us would be seen as such hypocrisy it would beggar belief to the point it would undermine all the rest of their arguments.

That was before we found no weapons of mass destruction and no link between Iraq and Al Qaeda. It was also before we found out that many troops didn't have body armor, or armored vehicles, and people were buying their own body armor and sending it to Iraq for family members serving there. Before Rumsfeld made the callous statement that we go to war with the army we have. And I could fill 100 blog posts with the billions in profits made by Halliburton and other contractors, friends of Dick Cheney's who failed to serve the needs of those who serve us. And then there are the stories of vets having to pay for their own phone calls from veterans hospitals that Barack Obama related in one of the Democratic debates. And stories of horrible conditions in veterans hospitals, and of homeless vets and the list goes on and on.

And now this, that John McCain, veteran and former POW, who claims to hate war, while he sounds the drumbeat for war with Iran, has not signed on to this bill that would correct some of the past lack of support for our troops and take care of them into the future. While he makes a case for war with Iran that is flawed and so full of holes you could fly a C-130 airplane through it. The biggest flaw in his argument is lack of understanding, or purposeful confusion, of the difference between Sunni and Shia. That Shia Iran and Sunni Al Qaeda, who hate each other and want to destroy each other, are working together in Iraq against the US. There is simply zero evidence to support that proposition, and zero evidence for the argument that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. Either McCain knows this and is doing the same thing the Bush administration did in the lead up to
the war in Iraq, or he doesn't know it. Either situation is equally, as put by Pepe Escobar of The Real News in the video below, scary. And together with his lack of support so far for this new GI Bill, is the ultimate in McHypocrisy.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Randi Rhodes On Geraldine Ferraro and Hillary Clinton

Warning: Language
Well I mean, at least she didn't call her a monster. Randi's been suspended by Air America. Their site says this:
New York - Air America has suspended on-air host Randi Rhodes for making inappropriate statements about prominent figures, including Senator Hillary Clinton, at a recent public appearance on behalf of Air America in San Francisco which was sponsored by an Air America affiliate station.

"Air America encourages strong opinions about public affairs but does not condone such abusive, ad hominem language by our Hosts," said chair Charlie Kireker.
Personally, I would have given her a raise. Somebody might actually start listening to Air America again. I will when Randi comes off suspension. Well, if she does. I hope they don't fire her. The comments are over the top, granted. But the right gets away with so much more than the left is allowed to. We are such wimps and we're supposed to be the radicals. Back in the olden days, the 60's and 70's, when I was a youngster, being a radical meant you could say radical things.

Ok, maybe I'm romanticizing it. Hell, she'd probably have been fired back then too. Still I think the Rush Limbaughs, BillO's and Coultergeists get away with a lot more than the left does without their bosses freaking out. Not so long ago O'Reilly said something about going on a "lynching party" against Michelle Obama and not a peep out of his bosses at Faux. No suspension. Nothing. Maher gets away with quite a bit on HBO, but I don't know if he'd get away with something like this. It was pretty harsh.

But I understand Randi's frustration. Clinton's been running a nasty campaign that is fracturing the party at a time when Democrats should be a shoe in for the White House. Nobody would really be against Hillary Clinton staying in the race to this point and beyond if it hadn't been for the negativity, dirty tactics, race baiting, and intimating that John McCain might make a better president than Barack Obama. In fact, several months ago I thought it might be a good thing for them both to run until the convention. But the Clintons' win at all costs tactics are making me wish she'd go away. And making me feel about her pretty much the way Randi expressed. And Bill too. Nobody wants to say things like this. But when you play dirty, that's the way people start to feel. Nobody wants to say it and nobody should. And then again I thank god there's someone with the guts to say it.

In My Language: An Alternative View of Autism

This is an amazing video. Made by a woman with severe autism, it questions the very foundations of the understanding of this "disease." In fact she questions whether it should be considered a disease at all. She is part of a group of autistic persons who question the standard diagnosis. They are aided by new communication technologies, new media and the internet, and it is doubtful whether, before these innovations were available, anyone would have had any clue that they were able to communicate intelligently (that is intelligently according to our interpretation) at all. Amanda would probably say, and I hesitate to put words in her mouth because she's fully capable of saying what she means, no one would have known she could communicate in our language or mode of communication.

She is at the center of a controversy over how intelligence should be measured in autistic persons, and in that way, possibly just what it means to be intelligent. An article in Wired magazine discusses the competing methodologies and theories for measuring intelligence in people with autism. I find two aspects of Amanda's story intriguing. First as mentioned briefly above, that this technology has made it possible for her to express something people like her have been unable to express. And as importantly that new media has become the vehicle for a nascent liberation movement among people like Amanda. A way for them to express the idea that their way of communicating and interacting with the world is as legitimate as ours and not an aberration to be cured.

Also I find intriguing an aspect that I have not yet seen discussed in relation to her in my half an hours worth of googling the topic, that is whether it has significance in regard to other modes of human perception. Whether you want to refer to those modes as mystic, altered states of consciousness, or alternative means of perception. Could it have any relationship to states of consciousness reported in mystics, medicine men, and shaman around the world? Could it have any significance in regard to psychedelic drug states? It is certainly another way of seeing the world. Autism may not have any relation to those states at all, and I may be talking out my keister here. But I think at least the question is a valid one and something to be explored. Perhaps. Maybe.

Anyway, Amanda has a "non-site" here, expressing her frustration with the number and types of inquiries she's been getting since she became famous. And she became famous via Youtube. She was also interviewed by Dr. Sanjay Gupta on CNN.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

It Ain't Easy Being Green

But it's easier than explaining the green collar economy when your interviewer is Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report. Van Jones tries to tell America how green collar jobs can save both the economy and the environment while Colbert points out that he's got a dome that's a solar cell for a love machine.

Black Men Can't Bowl - White Men Can't Dance

Jon Stewart reinforces some of America's most ingrained stereotypes in this episode of The Daily Show with help from presidential candidate Barack Obama and current president George W. Bush. And it's all because your president can't dance but your candidate Barack and rolls. Ok, I'm sorry for that. Only people my age or older will get that anyway. A testament to the strength of stereotypes that even in someone so far from stereotypical, Barack Obama, we will strive to find at least one or two. Can play basketball, can't bowl.

But people, it's my job to shatter those stereotypes. I give you the example of my uncle Lorenzo, who is an excellent bowler. When I was a kid he had literally a hundred plus bowling trophies. I can't prove that. I don't have any video, but I'm sure there's a photo. Somewhere. But it's true. He lives in Chicago and he could give Barack a lesson or two. That was really sad.

Flying Penguins?

Ok, it's the evening of April 2, and I swear this is the last April Fools hoax I will post. But this is a really good one from the BBC. Your first clue that it's a hoax, the narrator is Terry Jones from Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Wal-Mart Relents in Law Suit Against Disabled Worker

This is a follow-up to this post. I'd like to give Wal-Mart credit. They deserve at least some. They didn't have to do this. But there's some things you shouldn't have to be forced to do. And when you are forced to do them, you could admit to being just a little bit of a jerk. In their case, a corporate bureaucracy of jerks. Not everyone in the company, but the ones making the important decisions. Nobody's perfect. Least of all me. I am, have been, and probably at some point in the future will be a jerk. I admit it. They should too.

Bush Library Looses Domain Name on the Internets

You'd think a guy who regularly uses the google on the internets would be savvy enough to secure and renew his domain names. On the other hand, I wouldn't want to be the squatter sitting on their domain name. I can see an IRS audit possibly, an NSA phone tap, and maybe a free trip to Gitmo with waterboarding included in their future.

Gmail Custom Time

Gmail's April Fools joke was pretty good. Didn't see it before I posted yesterday. In fact not until I was on Miller Time and too chill to post it. Also saw some on CNN from the BBC which were good. Flying penguins and a couple others. The Brit press has a tradition of printing hoaxes on April Fools day and they have some great ones. The spaghetti tree is a classic.

Bad! Bad! Big Oil!

It's an election year and it's time once again for the congressional Big Oil Executives show. Congress hauls a group of big oil executives in front of them, yells at them, makes faces and wags their fingers at them. The executives leave and laugh all the way to the bank. The last show was two years ago, ironically also an election year. They were called before congress due to record prices and oil company mergers and what happened afterward? Two years later they are being called in again because of record profits and because they got 18 billion in tax breaks given to them by a Republican congress and they are giving the consumer no kind of break at all.

It puts me in mind of how, when cops are on the take from drug dealers, they have to occasionally bust somebody or it looks suspicious. So they bust a small fry, or do a big publicity raid and it looks like they're doing their jobs and trying to control drugs. It's all done with a wink and a nod and made into a big production for the media and the TV cameras, but in the end there are just as many drugs on the streets as before.

And this is what will continue to happen as oil companies make obscene profits as the rest of the country faces recession. While we're in a war as the Bush administration and Republicans like to remind us when they want us to make sacrifices, but not when it comes to making their fat cat buddies in the oil industry make equal sacrifices. It's really funny how the conservative mythology revolves around the self-sufficient, pull yourself up by your bootstraps philosophy when it comes to poor people, but the rich are gladly given tax breaks and bailouts.

John McCain is talking tough about what we shouldn't do for "bad actors" (is he talking about She Who Must Not Be Named?) in the current home mortgage crisis which is due to plunge us into the worst recession ever, if not depression. So while Bear Stearns and the rest of the banking industry gets bailed out, the people with the least to start with, and with families to support, get thrown out of their homes and onto the streets. How is that for Republican family values? He's still in favor of those tax breaks for the rich.

And even when these guys have something bad to say about a rich corporate abuser of the public trust, their major focus, their ire and their scorn is always reserved for the little guy who they see as the cause of all our ills. The people who got duped by subprime mortgage lenders, the undocumented worker, the victims of hurricane Katrina who had to find food and clothing the government didn't provide in a time of disaster and were then called looters. They have a blind spot when it comes people like the group of oil executives before congress now.

The last thing I have to say on the subject is amen, right on and you go boooyeee to the truckers who are protesting these obscene prices. The thing is, they really have no choice. As the gentleman said, they will be out of business in a few months if things continue to go they way they are. My cousin is a trucker and we talked just a couple weeks ago about everything I am seeing on the news now. How the gas prices are literally killing these guys. The rates they get paid don't go up as the price of fuel eats into the profits of independent truck drivers.

He's just gotten into the position where he is buying his own truck and working for himself. The real pull yourself up by your bootstraps story. That's what all these independent truckers are. So while congress plays wink and nod with fat cat oil
executives and does absolutely nothing, these guys go out of business. What they should do is all get together by the thousands and blockade Washington DC. Just make a big ring around it so nothing goes in or out. The million trucker blockade of Washington. Then something might happen.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Michael Mukasey's Bull Pucky

Did Rachel Maddow say bull pucky on air? Twice? I mean I know it's got to make your blood boil to hear the Bush administration blatantly use 9/11 to justify "shredding the constitution" with rationalizations that are either the most palpable lies imaginable, or a stupefying admission of guilt in the lead up to that tragedy. But to have to listen to language like this in explaining it. Rachel, clean it up.

When I Am King of the Fantasy Blogosphere

First there was fantasy football, and now there's, fantasy investing. The site launched in September last year. It gives anyone who wants to join one million dollars in fantasy cash and allows them to play the stock market online, measuring their success against the S&P 500. Anyone out performing the S&P can earn real cash. The idea puts me in mind of what Jerry Seinfeld said when he heard Kramer was attending a fantasy camp. Remarking that Kramer's whole life is a fantasy camp, he said, "People should plunk down two thousand dollars to live like him for a week: Do nothing, fall ass-backwards into money, mooch food off your neighbors, and have sex without dating! That's a fantasy camp!"

The stock market is in essence business gaming. Gaming is what we used to call gambling. The term gaming can also refer to computer gaming, which means playing actual computer games. And now you can play the real stock market online with fake money and win real money. Which in essence is computer gaming. Hope that wasn't too convoluted. The genius of the site is that it will make real money by harnessing the power of potentially millions of minds to create unbeatable investment advice. Glenn Reynold's Army of Davids applied to the financial world. The theory is, a million heads are better than any one expert's. They share part of the money they make as incentive for people to participate.

In sports progress has taken us from actually physically playing games, to watching other people playing games from the stands, to watching other people watch people playing games on our TV screens, to group fantasizing about playing games on computers. Makes you wonder if one day in the future will we'll evolve into disembodied brains in glass enclosures as depicted in futuristic science fiction movies.

If the trend continues, and it no doubt will, I can't wait for the day I won't actually have to write this blog, because I can make money creating a fantasy blog.
I'll create a massively viral concept like Virtual People Love Us, or Stuff Imaginary People Like, and I'll rise to the top rank in a fantasy I'll get a virtual book deal and I'll retire rich. Yes, one day all my dreams will come true. In a fantasy world.

April Fools!

Instead of using April Fool's Day as an excuse to play juvenile tricks on you, I'm going to instead give you the complete history of the day. The result of my exhaustive research into the topic. In other words googling, watching some Youtube videos, and reading a Wikipedia article. Ok, I couldn't think of anything really good in time. Here's a couple excerpts from Wikipedia, which also includes a list of pranks daunting to the most dedicated of time wasters. It would be like work to read the whole list, which pretty much defeats the purpose of wasting time.

It does have one of my favorite public hoaxes, the Taco Liberty Bell. It also includes a couple of my favorite nerdy hoaxes including one that Alabama changed the value of Pi, and that a company called Signetics developed Write Only Memory. If you're not a nerd you may not get that last one. From Wikipedia.
Europe may have derived its April-fooling from the French. French and Dutch references from 1508 and 1539 respectively describe April Fools' Day jokes and the custom of making them on the first of April. France was one of the first nations to make January 1 officially New Year's Day (which was already celebrated by many), by decree of Charles IX. This was in 1564, even before the 1582 adoption of the Gregorian calendar (See Julian start of the year). Thus the New Year's gifts and visits of felicitation which had been the feature of 1 April became associated with the first day of January, and those who disliked or did not hear about the change were fair game for those wits who amused themselves by sending mock presents and paying calls of pretended ceremony on 1 April. In France the person fooled is known as poisson d'avril (April fish). This has been explained as arising from the fact that in April the sun quits the zodiacal sign of the fish. The French traditionally celebrated this holiday by placing dead fish on the backs of friends. Today, real fish have been replaced with sticky, fish-shaped paper cut-outs that children try to sneak onto the back of their friends' shirts. Candy shops and bakeries also offer fish-shaped sweets for the holiday.
Favorite hoaxes from Wikipedia:
Taco Liberty Bell: In 1996, Taco Bell took out a full-page advertisement in The New York Times announcing that they had purchased the Liberty Bell to "reduce the country's debt" and renamed it the "Taco Liberty Bell." When asked about the sale, White House press secretary Mike McCurry replied tongue-in-cheek that the Lincoln Memorial had also been sold and would henceforth be known as the Ford Lincoln Mercury Memorial.

Alabama Changes the Value of Pi: The April 1998 newsletter of New Mexicans for Science and Reason contained an article written by physicist Mark Boslough claiming that the Alabama Legislature had voted to change the value of the mathematical constant pi to the "Biblical value" of 3.0. This claim originally appeared as a news story in the 1961 science fiction novel Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein.

Write Only Memory: Signetics advertised Write Only Memory IC databooks in 1972 through the late 1970s.