Life:

Writes Article

See all Life
12 May, 2014

‘The Tech Sector Needs More Women’

In an article in Forbes, de Baubigny discusses the challenges faced by working women, especially those who would like to maintain a career while starting a  family. She notes the “Scissor effect:” a graph where the percentage of male tech workers at a particular job level increases, while the percentage of female workers falls. She offers advice, and urges women to break past the gap:

I tell the young women in my life, for example, that if you are thinking through the questions about income, day-care costs and whether you can be a mother and a career star, just try to make it work for a couple of months. You’ve come this far. And we need you. Chances are you’ll be able to be both a great mom and a great career woman. The rewards are immense, and not just in terms of professional success.

6 May, 2014

Vanity Fair article

monica-lewinsky-vanity-fairLewinsky writes an essay for Vanity Fair, detailing her personal feelings about her affair with former president Bill Clinton. This is the first time Lewinsky has addressed the affair in detail in a public forum. Lewinsky claims the broken silence is a form of “taking back my narrative” to “give a purpose to my past.” The piece describes the way the Clinton administration branded Lewinsky as a perpetrator, claiming she “was made a scapegoat in order to protect his [Clinton’s] powerful position.” 

That was one of the worst days of my life. I was a virgin to humiliation of that level until that day. To be in the vortex of this media maelstrom was quite alarming, and frightening and confusing. I think a lot, too, had to do with the fact that I was a woman. To be called stupid, and a slut, and a bimbo, and ditzy, and to be taken out of context…it was excruciating.

She details the difficulty she had in finding employment, as well as the moral conflict she felt over lucrative offers to share her story with the media. Her goal moving forward, she writes, is to help victims of online harassment, claiming that she was “possibly the first person whose global humiliation was driven by the Internet.”

19 Feb, 2014

Beyond Affirmative Action

In an article for Townhall.com, Carson says he believes that affirmative action helped provide him with opportunities he otherwise would miss.

I believe that I benefited from affirmative action. When I applied to Yale University, I thought my chances of being accepted were favorable only because I was somewhat naive about admissions requirements for a high-powered Ivy League institution. In my mind, I was pretty hot stuff. Only after I got to Yale and became cognizant of my classmates’ many accomplishments did I realize that the admissions committee had taken a substantial risk on me and that I had been extended special consideration. My early academic experiences were traumatic, and but for the grace of God, I would have flunked out.

And calls for “compassionate action” to account for difficulties that college applicants have faced in their upbringing:

Such a strategy demonstrates sensitivity and compassion, as well as recognition of substantial achievement in the face of difficult obstacles. The groups who benefit from compassionate action will probably change over time, depending on which ones have the greatest number of obstacles to overcome. The point is, it’s time to be more concerned about the content of character than the color of skin when extending extra consideration.

31 Jan, 2014

‘Most companies’ talk about transparency is BS’

moz_logo-1Feld, who is on the board of Moz, a Seattle-based provider of search-engine and social-media optimization software, writes about the company’s commitment to openness:

Lots of people talk about being transparent. Lots of companies espouse principles of transparency. Lots of statements start out with “I like to be transparent” or “I’m being transparent when I say …” And several years ago the notion of transparency became the new in thing, especially around the VC and startup worlds. Most of it is bullshit.

Feld points to Moz’s Moz’s 2013 Year in Review, which gives insider-level numbers of the company’s operations, despite the company managment’s disappointment with their results.

…when you talk about being transparent, it’s often useful to have a standard of ‘real transparency’ to compare yourself too. I’d put Moz at the top of that list in my book.

30 Jan, 2014

WSJ defends “Perkinsnacht’

Describing Perkins’ statements as “unfortunate, albeit provocative”.  The Wall Street Journal says:

While claiming to be outraged at the Nazi reference, the critics seem more incensed that Mr. Perkins dared to question the politics of economic class warfare.  Maybe the critics are afraid that Mr. Perkins is onto something about the left’s political method. Consider the recent record of liberals in power. They’re the ones obsessed with the Koch brothers and other billionaires contributing to conservative causes, siccing journalists to trash them and federal agencies to shut them down.

Citing Andrew Cuomo and Bill de Blasio’s comments that extreme conservatives have “no place in the state of New York”  they add:

The liberals aren’t encouraging violence, but they are promoting personal vilification and the abuse of government power to punish political opponents.

2 Jan, 2014

‘Betrayed and gravely mismanaged’

Gaga writes a message on her site, apologizing for the delayed Do What U Want video, saying she has been betrayed by management.

It is late because, just like with the Applause video unfortunately, I was given a week to plan and execute it. It is very devastating for someone like me, I devote every moment of my life to creating fantasies for you. All my my most successful videos were planned over a period of time when I was rested and my creativity was honored. Those who have betrayed me gravely mismanaged my time and health and left me on my own to damage control any problems that ensued as a result. Millions of dollars are not enough for some people. They want billions. Then they need trillions. I was not enough for some people. They wanted more.

Please forgive me that I did not foresee this coming, I never thought after all the years of hard work that those I called friends and partners would ever care so little at a time I needed them the most. Give me a chance to show you the meaning of seeing art all around you. There are always ups and downs. my heart breaks from the people i have trusted and loved who i’ve worked so closely with, who have used me, lied to me, worked me into the ground for the personal gain. When i woke up in the hospital after my surgery there were many people that were not there. my health did not matter. I did not matter unless i could perform. This is a very hard lesson. I have lost love ones to the greed of money. It is not Interscope. They in fact love me very much and will see ARTPOP to the end.

Dec 2013

Vanity Fair article

michael-arrington-vanity-fairThe magazine profiles Arrington including a Berkeley talk where he discusses women in tech, how TechCrunch has a female CEO and almost half its employees are female, how the blog started, and Allen’s sexual assault allegations against him. Arrington:

Women in my world are respected as much as men.

3 Aug, 2013

I Am TOM. I Like to TYPE. Hear That?

Hanks writes an Op-Ed in the New York Times about his love for typewriters, and the sounds they make:

In 1978, the proprietor of a Cleveland business machine shop refused to service my mostly plastic typewriter. “A worthless toy!” the man yelled. Yes, yelled. He pointed to shelves full of his refurbished typewriters — already decades old yet all in perfect working order. A typewriter was a machine, he yelled, which could be dropped from an airplane and still work! He gave me a deal on a Hermes 2000 (“The Cadillac of typewriters!”)

I confess that when real work has to be done — documents with requirements equal to a college term paper — I use a computer. The start and stop of writing begs for the fluidity of modern technology, and who doesn’t love choosing a new font like Franklin Gothic Medium, Bernard MT Condensed or Plantagenet Cherokee?

The sound of typing is one reason to own a vintage manual typewriter — alas, there are only three reasons, and none of them are ease or speed. In addition to sound, there is the sheer physical pleasure of typing; it feels just as good as it sounds, the muscles in your hands control the volume and cadence of the aural assault so that the room echoes with the staccato beat of your synapses.

20 Aug, 2011

Why Software Is Eating the World

Andreessen publishes an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal titled “Why Software Is Eating the World”:

More and more major businesses and industries are being run on software and delivered as online services—from movies to agriculture to national defense. Many of the winners are Silicon Valley-style entrepreneurial technology companies that are invading and overturning established industry structures. Over the next 10 years, I expect many more industries to be disrupted by software, with new world-beating Silicon Valley companies doing the disruption in more cases than not.

1 Jul, 2008

Publishes ‘Guerilla Open Access Manifesto’

Swartz, while in Eremo, Italy, releases a “Guerrilla Open Access Manifesto,” calling for activists to “fight back” against the sequestering of scholarly papers and information behind pay walls.

It’s time to come into the light and, in the grand tradition of civil disobedience, declare our opposition to this private theft of public culture. We need to download scientific journals and upload them to file-sharing networks.

12 May, 2008

TIME 100

michael-arrington-time-100Huffington profiles Arrington for the magazine:

[He] is the quintessential blogger: intense, passionate, consumed with his subject, opinionated, sleep-deprived, forward-thinking, easy to irritate and apt to air his grudges in public.

4 Sep, 2006

‘Who Writes Wikipedia’

Swartz writes an article examining the contributions to Wikipedia articles written during his candidacy for the Wikimedia Foundation board election in 2006. In the article Swartz disproves JimmyWales notion that the encyclopedia was created by 500-1000 core writers, and shows it was mainly created by occasional writers, many of whom did not register. He says this knowledge should inform Wikipedia policy:

If Wikipedia is written by occasional contributors, then growing it requires making it easier and more rewarding to contribute occasionally. Instead of trying to squeeze more work out of those who spend their life on Wikipedia, we need to broaden the base of those who contribute just a little bit. Unfortunately, precisely because such people are only occasional contributors, their opinions aren’t heard by the current Wikipedia process. They don’t get involved in policy debates, they don’t go to meetups, and they don’t hang out with Jimbo Wales. And so things that might help them get pushed on the backburner, assuming they’re even proposed. Out of sight is out of mind, so it’s a short hop to thinking these invisible people aren’t particularly important. Thus Wales’s belief that 500 people wrote half an encyclopedia. Thus his assumption that outsiders contribute mostly vandalism and nonsense. And thus the comments you sometimes hear that making it hard to edit the site might be a good thing.

20 Aug, 2003

The Pop of King

King begins writing a pop culture column in Entertainment Weekly called The Pop of King, a play on words of the famous Micheal Jackson title, King of Pop. In his column, King lists the top 10 Best Reads for summer, must-watch movies, and advice for young writers.

4 Sep, 2002

Iraq op-ed

Webb’s op-ed piece entitled Heading for Trouble: Do We Really Want to Occupy Iraq for the Next 30 Years? runs in The Washington Post.

The issue before us is not simply whether the United States should end the regime of Saddam Hussein, but whether we as a nation are prepared to physically occupy territory in the Middle East for the next 30 to 50 years. Those who are pushing for a unilateral war in Iraq know full well that there is no exit strategy if we invade and stay…In Japan, American occupation forces quickly became 50,000 friends. In Iraq, they would quickly become 50,000 terrorist targets.

6 Sep, 1975

Why I Quit Genesis

Gabriel writes why he left the band in Melody Maker:

I had a dream, eye’s dream. Then I had another dream with the body and soul of a rock star. When it didn’t feel good I packed it in. Looking back for the musical and non-musical reasons, this is what I came up with:

OUT, ANGELS OUT – an investigation.

The vehicle we had built as a co-op to serve our songwriting became our master and had cooped us up inside the success we had wanted. It affected the attitudes and the spirit of the whole band. the music had not dried up and I still respect the other musicians, but our roles had set in hard. To get an idea through “Genesis the Big” meant shifting a lot more concrete than before. For any band, transferring the heart from idealistic enthusiasm to professionalism is a difficult operation.

I believe the use of sound and visual images can be developed to do much more than we have done. But on a large scale t needs one clear and coherent direction, which our pseudo-democratic committee system could not provide.

As an artist, I need to absorb a wide variety of experiences. It is difficult to respond to intuition and impulse within the long-term planning that the band needed. I felt I should look at/learn about/develop myself, my creative bits and pieces and pick up on a lot of work going on outside music. Even the hidden delights of vegetable growing and community living are beginning to reveal their secrets. I could not expect the band to tie in their schedules with my bondage to cabbages. The increase in money and power, if I had stayed, would have anchored me to the spotlights. It was important to me to give space to my family, which I wanted to hold together, and to liberate the daddy in me.

Although I have seen and learnt a great deal in the last seven years, I found I had begun to look at things as the famous Gabriel, despite hiding my occupation whenever possible, hitching lifts, etc. I had begun to think in business terms; very useful for an often bitten once shy musician, but treating records and audiences as money was taking me away from them. When performing, there were less shivers up and down the spine.

I believe the world has soon to go through a difficult period of changes. I’m excited by some of the areas coming through to the surface which seem to have been hidden away in people’s minds. I want to explore and be prepared to be open and flexible enough to respond, not tied in to the old hierarchy.

Much of my psyche’s ambitions as “Gabriel archetypal rock star” have been fulfilled – a lot of the ego-gratification and the need to attract young ladies, perhaps the result of frequent rejection as “Gabriel acne-struck public school boy”. However, I can still get off playing the star game once in a while.

My future within music, if it exists, will be in as many situations as possible. It’s good to see a growing number of artists breaking down the pigeonholes. This is the difference between the profitable, compartmentalized, battery chicken and the free-range. Why did the chicken cross the road anyway?

There is no animosity between myself and the band or management. The decision had been made some time ago and we have talked about our new direction. The reason why my leaving was not announced earlier was because I had been asked to delay until they had found a replacement to plug up the hole. It is not impossible that some of them might work with me on other projects.

The following guesswork has little in common with truth: Gabriel left Genesis  1) To work in theatre 2) To make more money as a solo artist 3) To do a “Bowie” 4) To do a “Ferry” 5) To do a “Furry Boa round my neck and hang myself with it” 6) To go see an institution 7) To go senile in the sticks.