June 18, 2009

Report: 90% Of Waking Hours Spent Staring At Glowing Rectangles

PALO ALTO, CA—A new report published this week by researchers at Stanford University suggests that Americans spend the vast majority of each day staring at, interacting with, and deriving satisfaction from glowing rectangles.

"From the moment they wake up in the morning, to the moment they lose consciousness at night, Americans are in near-constant visual contact with bright, pulsating rectangles," said Dr. Richard Menken, lead author of the report, looking up briefly from the gleaming quadrangle that sits on his desk. "In fact, it's hard to find a single minute during which the American public is not completely captivated by these shining…these dazzling…."

"I'm sorry," Menken continued. "What were we discussing again?"

The Onion

June 16, 2009

Pay Taxes Willingly...

More Old School Tax Images at www.taxhistory.org

Future Happiness For Americans

"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them

Thomas Jefferson

Future of Open Source: Collaborative Culture

On the cover of indie-rock band Bon Iver's recent Top 20 record Blood Bank is a striking photograph of a snow-encrusted, rusted car door. The record label didn't commission the image, or find it an art gallery or stock photography bank; instead, it licensed the shot from amateur photographer Lauren Hudgins, who had posted it to her Flickr feed last year when she was teaching English in Japan.

She hadn't expected anything much to come of the photo. "I was hoping for Flickr recognition — people viewing it, faving it, making comments about it,” she says.

Hudgins' picture is a success story of the new open source culture, in which anyone with an internet connection can make their creations available to the public, unmediated by the old gatekeepers of mass media. The result has been an unprecedented outpouring of creative works. As of early June, for instance, more than3.6 billion photographs had been uploaded to Flickr alone. As the best of those works are now making their way into the broader cultural landscape, they're breaking mass media's stranglehold on the ownership of meaningful content.