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Misc Political Rant

April 23, 2008

I promise I really did support the idea of Hillary as President of the United States… until the past few months.  If I can’t trust you personally, professionally or politically I can’t support you.  You can’t be my friend, my boss or my candidate.

I can’t figure out if Hillary’s campaign tactics are Hillary’s alone or a model of her revolving door of strategists.  Either way, I don’t trust her.  And I realize that you can be a total flake and run the country but I truly believe that Hillary’s tactics are harmful to both Barack’s campaign and democratic party.  I’m so over her.

Message to Hil: consider your moral claimants.  If you’re having trouble with that, Georgetown has a course that can help.

[/rant]

 

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It’s the end of the World (of Warcraft)

April 23, 2008

South Park did an episode about MMOGs and it was hilarious.  I found it funny even though I didn’t realize they were talking about a real game: World of Warcraft.  It’s easy to write gamers off as the nerdy minority but they really aren’t.  Seven million people are onto something.  

While I haven’t figured it all out, what I do know is:

  • My cube neighbor was one of the Reuters Second Life Reporters
  • The S.O. has filched my bluetooth ear piece to communicate with his COD4 teammates
  • I’m addicted to Guitar Hero

Finally, I now realize that MMOGs are money makers and message vehicles.  I believe that I might become obsolete as a public relations professional if I continue to ignore everything that is more technically-challenging than MarioKart on Super Nintendo.  

RIP Frogger

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Another random blog

April 23, 2008

I’ve talked about the power of strong drinks before.  This time I want to say how one happy hour and some margaritas helped me gain a greater appreciation for my classmates.

I never disliked anyone.  [Actually, that’s a lie.]  Anyway, I just didn’t feel any connections.  We all just hid behind our laptops (I gave up lugging my work laptop after the second week) and never really got to know each other.  There were a few “Oh I read your blog, it’s [insert superlative here]” and some “Did you manage to finish the book?”  Nothing serious.

Some warm weather and some (not so strong) margaritas changed my perceptions and I’m happy for it.  The MPS students are smart AND fun to be around.  

  • A is getting married to a hottie
  • J’s (also engaged) brutally honesty is f*ing hilarious 
  • G and I are practically neighbors (and soon to be hanging partners)
  • R swims on her back and will be offering me some emotional support during the next few months
  • D will talk to anyone (and I do mean anyone!) and has an infectious vibe

I really look forward to our next social gathering and taking more classes with these peeps.

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Why I (mostly) trust Wikipedia

April 23, 2008

I’ve been trying to figure out how I can contribute to Wikipedia to fulfill our class assignment.  I finally decided on clearing up my high school’s entry, which is flagged as being written like an advertisement.  While that flag seems innocent, I really appreciate the warning.  It doesn’t mean the information in there is inaccurate, it just means that it’s not coming from a neutral point of view.  Wouldn’t it be nice to see the same warning whenever you receive information?  

Imagine you’re talking to someone who’s speaking on a subject that you know nothing about it.  How helpful would it be to have a flag that says “Warning, these statements are unsubstantiated.  Believe them at your own risk.”  Okay, that scenario is kinda silly but imagine any situation where the information presented to you is through is coming through a particular filter.  Wouldn’t it be nice to know what that filter is?

A good example is the journalistic filter.  How about a flag that says “Warning, this reporter is overworked, underpaid and lacks proper fact checking time/resources.”  Or how about an innocent flag that says, “This journalist has donated to Hillary Clinton’s campaign.”  

The flags I’ve proposed probably do more harm than good because they presuppose that the understaffed newsroom and its reporters aren’t capable of producing quality work.  Or that a reporter is unable to push aside their personal opinions to produce a neutral story.  Even if my ‘life’ flags are useless filler for this blog, the Wikipedia flags work and are critical to site’s reputation.  And the people who edit these entry are serious about what they do.  

Not so funny story: while editing the Duke Ellington School of the Arts entry, I stumbled about some interesting past revisions.  One contributor jumped out at me — it was my boyfriend’s oft-used username!  Turns out, about a year and a half ago, he added my name to the list of ‘Famous Alum’ from Ellington School of the Arts.  

Me famous?  Word?  That’s news to me.  Apparently it was news to some other people too.  Four minutes after B added me as a famous alum, someone removed me citing, “nothing shows up via Google showing that this person is ‘famous'”.  

Fabulous.  I rest easy knowing that even though none of the dozen or so contributers was capable of editing the ‘advertising elements’ out the entry, at least one person had the wit (and ingenuity?) to use the all-knowing Google to swiftly out me as a nobody.

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The First Campaign

April 23, 2008

GG writes in his book The First Campaign about what he calls Issue #2: Educating and recruiting twenty-first-century workers.  In that chapter he identifies India’s national institutes of technology as “a shining example of an incorruptible national institution.” (page 175)

That got me to thinking: Does the United States have a shining example of an incorruptible (or uncorrupted) institution?

Thinking.

Thinking.

Thinking.

Giving up.

His final point in that chapter reminds me of what Barack Obama said about small town folks.  BO may have mangled his words a bit but his message was clear to me.  Sometimes people are not open to change.  GG writes:

“While tolerance for immigrants, racial minorities, and gays doesn’t seem like it should foster innovation itself, it actually proves to be a great proxy for innovation.  Communities that are tolerant and diverse almost inevitably end up doing well in the new economy.” [page 185]

Sounds like there’s beginning to be some consequences for clinging to your ignorance.

I can’t wait to get my book autographed.  Note to Professor: Your book is being mooched.

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Ask and you shall receive

April 22, 2008

What intrigues me the most about this campaign is the fundraising on the web.  As an Obama supporter, I receive his email updates and requests for further donations.  The funny thing is that the notes about donating more are always attached to some sort of event.

  • We lost, donate!
  • We won, donate!
  • Hillary went negative (again), donate!
  • We’ve raised record amounts of money, donate!

So I think Hillary has gotten in on the game, except she’s less transparent about it.  She donated her campaign some money, release rumors about her staff working for free and –poof!– the money pours in.  Why not just say outright, “hey I’m freaking broke, please donate”.  

I confess to having donated half a dozen times to Obama’s campaign.  Maybe you should too: Obama for America.

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Power of blogging

April 21, 2008

I’ve been cheating on this blog with another and I feel terrible about it.  I’ve been training for a triathlon.  My first ever.  I’m a woman who hasn’t run more than a mile in almost 15 years, so this is a big deal.  Such a big deal that I’ve felt compelled to blog about it.  That blog is where the whole SuperSnail alter-ego came from.

SuperSnail (and the blog itself) has set me free.  I’ve acknowledged my ‘slowness’ and writing about it is so therapeutic.  I couldn’t imagine not having the blog now.  I couldn’t imagine not being about to make fun of myself, admit my fears and share that with all 5 of my readers.

Blogging about the triathlon training has made me more accountable too.  It’s helped me really see myself and all of my excuses.  I also see all of my accomplishments.  It’s a (virtual) look at yourself, if you’re honest about it.

Though I created the blog before I started this class, I didn’t realize its potential until this class.  Even my significant other has gotten into blogging.  The difference is that he actually excels at what he’s blogging about.  Freaking overachiever.

Sadly, I will retire this blog and transfer the domain over to my training blog.  Hope all 19 of you continue to follow me and my slowness over there.

xoxo

-SuperSnail