No doubt, Piper and others who would take advantage of this tragedy to tout a god many no longer believe in do indeed have something wrong with their heart. But he is more in line with the original authors of Job than we might like to think. There is serious doubt as to the originality of the prologue and the epilogue, as such genres as the protestations of the innocent are found in other literary groups of the time but absent the narrative structures. So, what if these are not original? What we have is a righteous man who suffers at the hands of an absent, angry god. If you strip away Jewish and Christian interpretations along with the non-original narrative features of the Book of Job you are left with a story of a man who is struck with complete misery for no reason, afraid to cry out to his god because the same God may inflict more harm. What is more abusive than a God who only shows up to inflict more harm? To be blunt, it’s his followers as they are the ones who stand around to either gloat over the destruction of the perceived unrighteous or worse, pretend to have the power to call down the destruction themselves. With broadcasts, books, tweets, or other avenues of social media travelled, these pseudo-prophets of today pretend to have a different theology than Westboro Baptist Church and glory in what they understand to be their answer for God to strike down the sinners, to finally show himself to a world they believe are anti-God. Joel L. Watts: Abusive Theology, Oklahoma and Us ☀
Although Mr Obama will not have gone nearly far enough to satisfy his critics on the left, the speech was attracting criticism from congressional Republicans almost before he had sat down. As ever with this cautious, reflective president, he was striving for balance. For the most part he succeeded: the drone campaign, already less intensive, should start to operate within a clearer legal context. Another effort will be made to scrub the stain of Guantánamo, although for that he will need more congressional help than he is likely to get. Finally, the commitment to strengthening civil liberties that have been eroded—including a promise to “pass a media law” to shield journalists from over-zealous government investigations into leaks—was welcome, if a little late. The Economist ☀
Ordinary people, or more precisely people with only ordinary computers, are the sole providers of the information that makes the big computers so powerful and valuable. And ordinary people do get a certain flavor of benefit for providing that value. They get the benefits of an informal economy usually associated with the developing world. The formal benefits concentrate around the biggest computers. More and more ordinary people are thrust into a winner-take-all economy. It is a 21st century reprise of the Horatio Alger stories from the 19th century. A token few will find success on Kickstarter or YouTube, while overall wealth is ever more concentrated and social mobility rots. Social media sharers can make all the noise they want, but they forfeit the real wealth and clout needed to be politically powerful. Real wealth and clout instead concentrate ever more on the shrinking island occupied by elites who run the most powerful computers. Free information, as great as it sounds, will enslave us all ☀
The economy is rebounding. The stock market is skyrocketing. We’re out of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan is winding down. Immigration reform is on the way. Gay rights and women’s rights have been advanced as never before. The health care system is slowly being reformed and millions of previously uninsured Americans have been or are about to be covered. Our first African-American president has battled the most virulently obstructionist congress ever in modern times. Liberal and conservative Americans who predicted doom, again and again, from early in the Obama presidency to the present have been proved wrong– again and again. President Obama Listened to a Heckler With Humility His Critics Are (Ususally) Wrong ☀
Tumblr took the best of what Projectionist and anarchaia had to offer and combined it in one platform: anarchaia’s simplicity met Projectionist’s design appeal.
But what Tumblr did most importantly was bring the tumblelog to the masses. Karp, who at the time was sharing an office space on New York’s Park Avenue provided by studio owner Fred Seibert, allowed users to register their own Tumblr URL, customize their blog, and easily share videos, text, and GIFs. Tumblr marketed itself as a home for artists and paid homage to Projectionist on its FAQ page.
Anarchaia (though the creator now is active at another tumblelog site — Trivium) and Projectionist were the impetus behind me eagerly jumping aboard Tumblr back in 2007 (I believe I am Tumblr user #752).
There also was a link blog (cannot recall precisely but think that the blogger moved on to work with Al Franken or some other liberal webzine in the pre HuffPost era) that inspired, though it was entirely textual as opposed to the multi-variate post types supported by Tumblr.
And now after ingesting this Tumblr trivia moment I shall return you to the normal stream of numinous posts…
It is peculiar to me that nobody mentions LiveJournal & MySpace when they talk about the emergence of tumblr. Both were massively popular and played in the “Blogs for the masses” space. They commanded massive user bases. If they had not been so badly mismanaged they might be ubiquitous today, maybe instead of tumblr.
MySpace’s interface sucked in ways we all remember well. Murdoch spent billions to acquire it, and then did.. nothing. LiveJournal elected to impose selective censorship and badly thought out use terms on its users (like Instagram writ much larger) and never recovered from the exodus.
LiveJournal needed serious work on theming and the public appearance of blogs, and it never got it. On the other hand the “inter-user” experience was in many ways superior to tumblr’s, and that’s true even today. Commenting, threaded reblogging, displaying groups of friends posts on your dashboard, etc etc.
LIveJournal and MySpace were nifty blogging advancements (well, maybe not MySpace ;)) but I don’t think they fit within the tumblelog paradigm. Go look at Anarachaia and Projectionist layout again and note the differing post formats — at the minimum: links, quotes, images and text posts. Yes, you can use any blog platform to post varied content, but the “baking in” of multivariate post handling and formatting is the essence of a tumblelog:
Blogging has mutated into simpler forms (specifically, link- and mob- and aud- and vid- variant), but I don’t think I’ve seen a blog like Chris Neukirchen’s Anarchaia, which fudges together a bunch of disparate forms of citation (links, quotes, flickrings) into a very long and narrow and distracted tumblelog.
President Obama’s speech today was the most important statement on counterterrorism policy since the 2001 attacks, a momentous turning point in post-9/11 America. For the first time, a president stated clearly and unequivocally that the state of perpetual warfare that began nearly 12 years ago is unsustainable for a democracy and must come to an end in the not-too-distant future. NYTimes.com ☀
Socialists must urgently show progressives how alien the technocratic liberal worldview is to the goals of welfare-state liberalism—goals held by the rank and file of the liberal movement. The ground can be softened at the intellectual and cultural levels, but a schism will have to be forced through actual struggle. Broad anti-austerity coalitions, particularly those centered at the state and municipal levels like last year’s Chicago Teachers Union strike, point the way toward new coalitions between leftists and liberals committed to defending social goods, especially if that means standing up against pro-corporate members of the Democratic Party like Rahm Emanuel. Letter to ‘The Nation’ From a Young Radical ☀
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