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Social Infrastructure/Brand Infrastructure - and what's that got to do with sex

February 22, 2006 Try clicking here It's an article about online dating in this month's Atlantic. And it's very good. Warning! You may need an online subscription to read it. Okay, so if you can't get in, go buy it. It's a great issue. Besides a compelling piece about America's new romance brands, there are compelling articles about domestic politics, an essay on markets, and a searing examination of Israeli soldiers and Palestinians living under the claustrophobic shadows of "the wall," Israel's security fence. Written by Ted Conover, it's one of the few pieces I've read that captures the relentless... Read more →

A Ramble - with a few points along the way

As a Jew, I initially dismissed the rage of Muslims directed at the Danish newspaper's publishing of cartoons depicting Prophet Muhammad. My first instinct was to see it as the obscene product of demagogues exploiting their own alienated populations. When it comes to imagery of Jews, the viciousness of Arab media never inspired any sustained concern among the larger community of Middle-Eastern thought leaders who weighed in on this issue. Regardless, this week's CBS 60 Minutes examined the controversy, proving again the power of television footage. Because seeing the faces of Danish Muslims, well, they struck me as far from... Read more →


After the last post, I realized we just offered the audience a lot of praise for July '64, but it's not something they can now go watch. Given the digital distribution nature of today's world, the inability to see this terrific film is... well, ridiculous. On every level. First, because it offers no value sitting on a shelf somewhere. Second, because it's so much better than 99% offered on our 500 channel universe. Third because the documentary, itself, is the best of an emerging digital genre that combines cinematic simplicity (the story is generated less by images than the voices... Read more →

Money and Meaning

If you can, catch PBS's recently broadcast July '64. It's a terrific documentary that starts with the reading of Langston Hugh's poem, "A Dream Deferred," a pungent portrait of the connection between value and identity, and the violence that can erupt when such ties are ignored. A film about the 1964 Rochester race riots that sparked the first National Guard intervention in a northern city, the documentary's elegant simplicity inspires thought about race, class, cultural assimilation (or its opposite), and even film making or media. But ultimately it had me mulling over the powerful human relationship to money that is... Read more →

New Business Models in Loans

Link: It's Like Lending to a Friend, Except You'll Get Interest - New York Times. As described in today's Bob Tedeschi New York Times' column, takes elements of web-based social networks and banks to lend people money. It does this by acting as a middle-man between those who need money and the funding source, in this case individuals who want a place to put their money that gets a better return than offered by traditional banks... and don't like the risk of the stock market. Blending eBay, Friendster, and also a bit of Paypal, it lets people looking to... Read more →