Rent my background

David Weinberger, that Pygmalian of weblogging, points to an in-depth investigative report that follows on the now famous Incredible JoBlo conference held at Harvard last week.

In the report, the hard hitting news hounds at Better Bad News leave no stone unturned in their relentless search for the truth.

Do webloggers have an obligation to report who does or does not pay them? Are webloggers bound by the same ethics ignored by most major journalists? Are we webloggers credible or incredible as some people think? Are we for sale, and if so, are we cheap?

Are we boring and self-indulgently offensive as some northern reporters with frozen nuts desperately seeking stories that don’t require them to go outside assume? Are the vast majority of us worthless, as some journalist/editors from small and inconsequential technology news publications think? Or are they just jealous because we have higher pagerank, more Google hits, cuter cats, and can work in our nighties?

And just who is David Weinberger? Is he really a mild mannered philosopher with a thing for taxonomies, discussions about post-modernism, and who has seen 243 countries, all from their airports? Or is he Lenny Bruce reïncarnated, hugely cleaned up so even your Mama will think he’s a sweet boy, as has been claimed? And was that a correct use of the umlaut?

Stay tuned, for other late breaking news as it arises…

RDF Semantics

The DoD taxonomy gallery

I am writing a follow-up post to Cheap Eats at the Semantic Web Café, covering taxonomies as compared to folksonomies, when in my researched I stumbled on to the DoD Taxonomy Gallery.

Unfortunately, registration requires sponsorhip by someone with a .gov or .mil email address. I assume the data isn’t restricted; I imagine registration is to keep access to people who are working with DoD systems. Sure would love to have a peek, though.


A view of Galactica

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I agree with Dave Roger’s about the character of Starbuck on SciFi’s new Battlestar Galactica. I’m still somewhat reserved on the show, though it is a cut above many such on nowadays. But I have no reservations in how women are presented in this show, and I’m a pretty picky science fiction fan.

The character of Starbuck, though, is probably the first time I’ve seen a strong female character who can hold her own, but also screw up badly. She is neither Barbie nor Mother Theresa. And she’s not wearing the skin tight outfits that signaled the degredation of Star Trek, nor is every alien male falling in love with her as happens with Samantha in Stargate.

The other female characters are equally as strong, though not as rich as Starbuck. Even Number Six, supposedly every man’s dream, shows herself to be a creature of artifice and deceit, and I love the twisty irony of her character.

As for the guys, I also like Adama very much, and agree that Apollo is a weak character. However, I think that this is deliberate, as a counter to all the strong personas he finds himself surrounded by. He’s already had a confrontation with Starbuck that demonstrates this. In some ways, he represents that liberal, peaceful element among us that sometimes has a hard time committing to a course of action.

The story lines are realistic in that Bad Things Happen. In addition, the introduction of religion was actually pretty gutsy, as most sci-fi TV shows usually bypass religion altogether.

If I have problems with the show, it’s that it focuses on sex too much at times, as if it’s trying to demonstrate how ‘adult’ it is. I don’t think it should avoid sex, but I don’t think the show needs to focus on the boy-girl thing so much. I like the harsh, grainy light much of it is filmed in, but wish it wouldn’t quite flip around as much.

All in all, though, it is nicely different. More importantly, Battlestar Galactica is probably the first science fiction television series to provide effective role models of women. I just hope for Dave’s sake, this doesn’t end up being the kiss of death for the show.