I know tabloid newspapers are purveyors of fear just by nature, but the three large-type headlines on the front and back of today's New York Daily News struck me as especially sensational in combination. I don't think we'd have seen quite this tone without the fear culture born on 9/11/01. The fact that I can paste small images below and still make my point should be some indication of the problem: ... jeez, the more I look at these, the more alarming critiques occur to me ... blur between Hollywood and journalism, umbrella and basketball breaking the picture frame the same way the whipped-up fear tries to "leap" off the page, curiosity about how often we see blacks who are not entertainers, sports figures, criminal defendants (or, in a tabloid fantasy, all three!) on newspaper covers, and finally, more trivially, the fact that when you flatten the cover pages, it…

In late winter 2000 I was just barely hip enough to get to go to a Silicon Alley 2000 after-work bash. I think a colleague had extra passes. The booze flowed, the music boomed, and my dot-com counterparts all seemed slightly younger, significantly richer, and like folks who ought to have known by then that, to paraphrase, "the content was on the wall" for the Internet boom. But they didn't, quite. And I didn't, entirely. And my strongest impression of that careening scene was of its now-ness. It was, without question, the place to be, circa winter 2000, NYC, U.S.A. Like Wall Street, 1987. Or Seattle, 1992. You could feel that the crowd could feel it. That is how it felt at MoveOn.org's Bush in 30 Seconds event last night. The crowd hummed and rattled its rusty left-wing saber. As people filed in to the Hammerstein Ballroom on West 34th…

Tonight I'm going to MoveOn.org's awards for the winning ad in their Bush in 30 Seconds contest, which sought the ad that "best tells the truth about President Bush's failed policies." The web site for the contest also has a simple, effective list of concerns about the president and the administration. In another sign that e-advocacy has arrived on the map, coverage of this contest is highlighting the way MoveOn is "ceding control over much of the content to motivated online participants, producing interactivity that adds grass-roots credibility." Technology has given rise what Steven Johnson recently called a "curatorial culture", in which thousands of individual selections yield results that are stronger for the hive-like collaboration that created them. Sites like Slashdot, epinions and Kuro5hin showed what's possible when all participants became co-curators of information. But since the Dean campaign revitalized interest in the Internet, the idea of peer-to-peer politics has…

You have got to be kidding me. According to columnist James Brovard in this SF Chronicle opinion piece, protesters at presidential appearances are being cordoned off in "free speech zones" or "protest zones," sometimes well away from the actual spot where George W. Bush will be. Meanwhile, people with messages of support are "permitted to line the president's path." When Bush went to the Pittsburgh area on Labor Day 2002, 65-year-old retired steel worker Bill Neel was there to greet him with a sign proclaiming, "The Bush family must surely love the poor, they made so many of us." The local police, at the Secret Service's behest, set up a "designated free-speech zone" on a baseball field surrounded by a chain-link fence a third of a mile from the location of Bush's speech. ... Neel refused to go to the designated area and was arrested for disorderly conduct; the police…

The architect who won the highly-publicized contest to design a rebuilt World Trade Center and the architect hired by the site's developer have apparently agreed on a plan for the site's 1,776 foot tower.

The "Freedom Tower" plan by Daniel Libeskind was chosen by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation as "the design concept" for the site, while David M. Childs heads the team retained by developer Larry Silverstein, who took over the commercial space on the WTC property the summer before the 9/11 attacks.

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