David Carr's Amazing Letter of Intent

>> Saturday, February 28, 2015

Beyond my professional and educational experience, I’d like to suggest that my steady history of outperforming expectations in every job I have had makes me worthy of consideration. I’m a thinker, a journalist and a writer but I am also a worker, an earner, and a good colleague. I am reflexively loyal and ferociously represent the interests of the people and institutions with whom I affiliate.

While my teaching experience has been episodic, I have consistently given freely of what has been given to me by others who have shown me the way. I was taught that truth matters, fairness matters, excellence matters. Those values are relevant even as the skills required to prosecute journalism morph to meet a changing media landscape. . .

My intent is to establish a line of academic inquiry in class that is both participatory and observational. Whenever I spend time with students, I emphasize that they have to make things. The employment marketplace is far less interested in a prospect’s grade point average than what he or she has created, which historically been a clip from the college newspaper, but now takes many other forms. Since the students and I would be spending three hours together each week, I’d like to establish a parallel track of media creation and distribution. Apart from providing object lessons in using tools at hand to make things, the production and execution would give me criteria to evaluate and grade students’ understanding of the subject matter. . . .

In spite of my lack of a steady teaching position, I believe I have some relevant skills from my time as an editor and reporter. I took the liberty of attaching some letters of recommendation that I solicited and am proud of the fact that many mention a consistent history of finding and mentoring exceptional young minds.

Should you and the committee decide that I meet the expectations for the position, please know that I would work with the students, faculty and leadership to ensure that the college’s reputation for academic rigor and practical excellence only grows during what I hope would be a long and fruitful association. . .
~David Carr, July 31, 2013

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Why Germany Kant Kompete

>> Friday, February 27, 2015

A while back various versions of a fake European Commission document began circulating via e-mail. The memorandum argued that once a common European currency had been established, the obvious next step would be adoption of a common language. Practical considerations dictated that this language be English, with a few improvements. Thus, the memorandum suggested that the superfluous hard "c" be replaced with "k," eliminating one source of konflikt; that in order konfusion to avoid writers the verbs at the end of the sentence put should; and by the end of memorandum English had been transformed into German.

What gave the joke its edge was, of course, the presumption that the new Europe would be dominated by Germany. Not only is Germany the most populous nation of the European Union, but it has also traditionally had its most powerful economy. Indeed, since the early 1980s, Germany has effectively exercised monetary hegemony over its neighbors; the job of the Dutch, Belgian, even French central bankers was simply to follow the Bundesbank's lead.
~Paul Krugman, "Why Germany Kant Kompete," Fortune magazine, July 19, 1999 [reprinted in The Great Unraveling]

The quote is from an essay that is more than 15 years old. The main gist of that essay was Germany's then economic downturn, which is hard to imagine these days, but considering that Germany is basically the force behind Greece's likely exit from the Euro, it's still relevant reading. After Germany pushes out Greece, it'll be interesting to see if it tries to push out Spain and Portugal too.

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A Vine of Lies

>> Thursday, February 26, 2015

It's just been one of those weeks. It just has. I know it's not even me. A configuration of forces going around just making everything annoying.

But ever since I moved to my new area--about 6 weeks ago--I have had to listen to idiots in the waiting room either listening to Fox News or having dumb shit spew out of their mouths. This week, I have heard:

And on and on and on. It's all stupid, dumbass shit. And unfortunately some of the people spouting this shit only believe it because there is a "news" channel that puts it out there, i.e. Fox News.

Fox News is full of lies, lies, and more lies. I'm just glad certain outlets still exist to call them on their bullshit without holding back because I'm still going to be stuck listening to idiots in the waiting room next week.

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Citizenfour

>> Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Finally got to see this last night on HBO. Didn't have time Monday night, plus I didn't want to be watching it when everyone else was in case the servers had problems. (Yeah, I know it's not Game of Thrones, but you never know.)

Watching it completely brought me back to the point in time when all of this happened. I started reading Glenn Greenwald back when he was at Salon. I stumbled across his first blog right before he started at Salon. I followed him over to The Guardian where I was able to still read him every day (mostly). I can still vaguely remember the Glenn's first post about this and kind of having my jaw drop. I say "kind of" because after reading GG for years, it wasn't a complete surprise that some of this was going on. His next posts were--I thought--more shocking. After reading the second or third article, I was pretty much convinced that the NSA can watch us through our webcams whenever they want, and after having watched the film that is probably correct.

I can still remember when Laura Poitras' interview videos were published, and Jeremy Scahill's "holy shit" reaction. Seeing Snowden before the interview--not in the grey dress shirt--and after when he gets prepared to depart the hotel room was quite interesting. I really got the sense that there was tension and worry in the room since they had to worry about electronic surveillance. And hearing that VoIP phones could be turned on as mics as listening devices...wow. It really does make you worry about anything being used to follow you at any time. My previous experience of VoIP phones were at work when we transitioned from regular phones to VoIP. They were annoying to use in case of power outages because I still remember a guy on my vanpool having to use his cell phone to call somewhere to tell them that his building was without power. Couldn't use the VoIP phone because it wouldn't work without power.

The ending in Russia does make me curious who GG's current source is. It sounds like it's someone high up in the Obama Administration. Who knows if we'll ever know who it is? And, of course, more articles are still being published such as one today on Canada's surveillance state.

I do find the Jyotish commentary that I've seen on Snowden--by James Kelleher and Edith Hathaway--to be quite interesting. Based on what they've had to say, I think it's safe to say that he will be a public figure regarding privacy and the internet for quite some time. We definitely haven't seen the last of him yet, even though he's still in Russia.

On an entirely different note, GG has such cute dogs!

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