Copynight Philadelphia

Copynight logoI’m hosting the first Philadelphia Copynight with Steve McLaughlin from Penn Free Culture (University of Pennsylvania). If you haven’t heard of Copynight, it’s basically a Meetup for people who are interested in free culture / copyright issues. If you’re in the Philly area, please consider joining us tomorrow (Tuesday) at 8pm, at the White Dog Cafe.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

* Fourth Tuesday of each month, 8 PM
* White Dog Cafe, 3420 Sansom Street (map)
* Hosted by Nelson Pavlosky and Steve McLaughlin, Philadelphia (at) copynight.org
* Join the Philadelphia mailing list

Strange superpowers

A couple of nights ago I dreamed about a superhero named “Vox Pop” who had the uncanny ability to speak with the voice of the people, i.e. he always said things which the general populace agreed with and they in turn supported all of his activities (regardless of their legality or relation to traditional morality). There was some debate as to whether this meant he was superhumanly good at surveys and statistics, whether he was reading the collective mind somehow, or his thoughts and speeches were superhumanly effective at swaying popular opinion. In other words, was he really good at understanding what the people wanted, or did his desires somehow cause the people to share his desires? Did he represent or did he lead, and was this a matter of his capabilities or his inclinations? Either way, he was a potent force, and a somewhat creepy guy.

In the dream, some other superhero was trying to convince Vox Pop to take a stand on some vital issue, and Vox Pop was being evasive and quiet. Of course, since they were underwear perverts, Vox Pop was being quietly evasive while the other guy was angrily trying to beat him senseless, and destroying lots of scenery. *sigh* Boys will be boys. Or perhaps action-addicted superheroes will be action-addicted superheroes.

I also dreamed that I had the ability to see monsters that may or may not be there. That is, I had hallucinations that sometimes turned out to be real, but this “second sight” was inconsistent in its accuracy. This was problematic because there were in fact invisible monsters running around eating people, but I was getting lots of “false positives” and developing a bit of a Cassandra or “boy who cried wolf” syndrome. Anybody have any plausible explanations for a such an affliction? (For the purpose of, say, writing a short story about it?) This was a bit too silly to be a nightmare, but the monsters were pretty disturbing and I’m glad that they’re not real. Or are they?

CD duplication

War News Radio is looking into getting a CD duplicator for mailing copies of our shows to people (and helping the rest of the college with its CD duplication needs). Do any of you know anything about CD duplication? What should we buy?

Do we want one that does printing as well as duplication? If so, Primera’s Bravo II CD/DVD Duplicator looks like a good choice. It does both printing and duplication for up to 50 CDs/DVDs in one batch, and comes with software for both Mac and Windows (but sadly not Linux).

Do we want one that stands alone and doesn’t need to be hooked up to a computer? If so, this Alera Technologies 1:11 DVD/CD Super Copy Tower 16x DVD/CD Duplicator Copier looks like it might be pretty good… I’m not sure what to look for in a CD duplicator.

I’m going to recommend the Bravo II for now, but if anyone has a better suggestion, let me know.

Nahh, no streaming

I was going to try to use Nicecast to stream audio from the conference, but (1) it’s proprietary and I haven’t paid for an uncrippled version, and (2) I haven’t figured out how it works yet. So no dice.

I finally met Jimbo Wales in person and got to talk to him personally. We discussed trying to do a tour of FreeCulture.org’s chapters for him next school year (he’s still interested), and also open access textbooks / wikibooks. Interesting part of the conversation: Jimbo notes that while in some ways a student is not qualified for writing the textbook for their class, obviously since they’re taking it they have something to learn, but in other ways they *are* qualified. I forget exactly what Jimbo said about why they’re qualified, but they’re engaged in the material and teaching others is a great way to learn.

Biella accuses me of being a “flosstitute” and a “flip-flosser”, apparently insults that originated with Mako Hill.

I also talked to Pat Aufderheide (sp?) and Peter Jaczi about their fair use in documentaries documentary, I think we should do screenings of it at our chapters… they said they could give us DVDs. All in all, a relatively productive conference, I think.

Hyperlink conference at UPenn tomorrow

I’ll be attending The Hyperlinked Society: Questioning Connections in the Digital Age tomorrow at UPenn’s Annenberg School. Among the speakers are Jimbo Wales, founder of Wikipedia, and David Weinberger. I will try to get an audio stream up online from my laptop if they don’t already have one… check back here for more details tomorrow.

War News Radio's logo

Also, If I haven’t already mentioned, I am working at War News Radio full time this summer (where I’ve gotten permission to take a day off to attend the conference), so I will be around Swarthmore / Philadelphia for a while… I’m going to try to blog about my time at WNR a bit at Inside War News Radio, the unofficial blog I’ve just started. I think this is going to be a good summer ^_^

On being PC in a contrarian fashion

I propose that rather than calling all women Ms. (Miz) and losing the information about their marital status, we should instead also begin to use different titles for men that indicate their marital status as well.

Master is a term “used as a courtesy title before the given or full name of a boy not considered old enough to be addressed as Mister”, (Three quarks for Master Mark!) so I suggest that we use that to refer to young unmarried males, perhaps abbreviated as Mas. if there’s no established way to abbreviate it. I’m not sure what we should call married men, but the first term that comes to mind is Old Man, which could be abbreviated as Old.