Tag Archives: Web Design

No More Anonymous Comments. Long Live Anonymous Comments!

Mathew Ingram of GigaOm takes issue with the Huffington Post which starting next month will no longer allow anonymous comments.

Do we encourage trolls and offensive behavior when we allow people to contribute anonymously? Perhaps. But free speech comes with a price, and I think we lose something significant when we start requiring people to verify their identities before we listen to what they have to say. If that’s what is required for a “grown-up internet” then I would like to stick with the one we have.

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Navigating Homosex

“Even if the internet helps men find sex with men outside the gay identity, they’re still not safe from the heterosexual regime,” writes Huw Lemmey in The New Inquiry.

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Epistemology Of Lists

Adam Rothstein has a beautiful exploration of lists, stemming from his childhood love with library card catalogs.

The random idiosyncrasy that such an expansive list allows may have no more critical depth than scanning newspaper headlines, looking for secret messages. But this sort of list is precisely like the written content of the internet. The internet is a series of lists, connected by cross-referenced hyperlinks. Whether one is taking a stroll through Wikipedia, or reading the most compelling links from one’s social media timeline, one is browsing a series of lists. Particular line items expand into full essays, and long reads collapse back into tweets. From the most thoughtful syllabus to the most obnoxious listicle to the strangest permutations of weird twitter, we are browsing a vast meta-card catalog—a veritable list of lists. The nodes of the network jump into line, and we follow it until the tracks fade to scratch marks, which fade to natural erosion, dust swept by the twisting path of the wind. And then we pick up another trail, or we create one ourselves.

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The Rise Of Walled Gardens And The Future Of The Web

“In many ways, Google’s shutdown of its RSS reader is just a small part of a larger move away from open web standards and towards closed, proprietary platforms that are easier to control and monetize,” observes Mathew Ingram of GigaOm.

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Why Are Congressional Websites So Bad?

Joe Brockmeier at ReadWriteWeb points out the glaring faults of the digital political world:

What you won’t find is any information about many things you might actually want to know, such as the aforementioned voting records. Also uniformly absent is a list of committees that the congressperson serves on, how bills actually become law, the lobbyists that they’ve met with, campaign donors, or anything that poses a danger of arming citizens with any real information that might lead to more intelligent voting. It’s as if our elected officials don’t want us to know what they’re doing in office. 

An easy way to become nauseated is to take a quick glance at Senate.gov and read the HOW TO guide on congressional votes

Looking at votes through THOMAS is easy if you know the date the vote occurred or you know the vote or bill number, but there is no subject access to votes and the description of each vote is very brief. House vote charts are broken out by yeas, nays, and not voting, and include overall vote tallies and party breakdowns. The Senate vote charts are grouped by three categories: yeas, nays, and not voting; alphabetically by name; and by state. The Senate charts also provide overall tallies, but not party breakdowns.  

Basically, there exists no readily available list of votes sorted by THE ACTUAL REPRESENTATIVES. To have these stats listed prominently on the websites of individual Representatives and Senators would be asking too much.

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