Archive for the 'USA' Category

Mapping the criminal justice reform field in the U.S.

Tuesday, June 11th, 2013

Over the past couple of years, I’ve become increasingly interested in issues relating to the U.S. criminal justice system and the urgent need for reform.

I recently started to compile a list of U.S. organizations working in this area, and I was quite surprised to discover how much activity there is already. The resulting spreadsheet is open for anyone to edit.

There are a number of useful things that could be done with such a directory. Hope to spend a little more time on this over the summer. Stay tuned.

Happy Birthday, America!

Sunday, July 4th, 2010

Looks like it’s been a while since I last said happy birthday, so here goes…

America The Beautiful

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!

America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

Here’s a playlist I started today with a few more classics (and more to be added, I’m sure).

The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

Came across this movie tonight somewhat by accident. Very cool!

The Social Life of Small Urban Spaces

This witty and original film is about the open spaces of cities and why some of them work for people while others don’t. Beginning at New York’s Seagram Plaza, one of the most used open areas in the city, the film proceeds to analyze why this space is so popular and how other urban oases, both in New York and elsewhere, measure up. Based on direct observation of what people actually do, the film presents a remarkably engaging and informative tour of the urban landscape and looks at how it can be made more hospitable to those who live in it.

You can buy it here for $95 or watch it in full on Youtube (part one through six):

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2GfOhFZkY8
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aioLKJfxQV4
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-_nw8HJ2yAE
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFT_DakPk1Y
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIOteCQHJmk
  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iA0Vqr770Zs

Here’s part one:

Memorable railroad moments: The Pacific Surfliner

Thursday, September 24th, 2009

Yesterday, I had the chance to further explore the US railroad network by taking the train from San Diego, CA to Anaheim, CA. It’s a two-hour ride along the beautiful Pacific Coast. Here’s a short video I took near San Clemente, CA. Enjoy!

Pacific Surfliner from Tim Bonnemann on Vimeo.

DLD Internet Politics Study

Monday, January 26th, 2009

For those interested in internet politics and online campaigning in Germany, the recently released “DLD Internet Politics Study” (article, PDF download) may be of interest.

I left the following comment to point out a slight error (re-posting it here while it’s awaiting approval):

DLD_Internet_Politics_20_01_09.pdf (page 18)

The study may contain a slight oversight.

On page 18 (PDF), the title suggests that the site “Can We Ask” somehow encouraged video dialogue with candidate Obama as part of the Obama campaign’s official toolkit (along with Flickr, Eventful and the other tools listed on the previous pages).

However, “Can We Ask” was a negative campaigning micro-site paid for by the Republican National Committee (RNC). According to Republican internet strategist David All, it was “an extremely clever deployment of YouTube to effectively hammer Barrack Obama by blending the RNC’s opposition research team with real questions submitted by real citizens.” (Source: http://bit.ly/3dcl)

The site is still live: http://net.gop.com/canweask/

The screenshot used in the study (see image above) does not show the disclaimer or footer information. But if you look closely the main link below the video include says “A Questionable Candidate” (in German: “ein zweifelhafter Kandidat”) which pretty much gives it away that this is not in support of Obama.

Nice to see that the presentation contains a few screenshots from the Flickr pool I created a few weeks ago.

My most favorite use of Twitter this past year

Wednesday, January 21st, 2009

Jay Rosen, professor of journalism at NYU and avid Twitterer (btw, must-follow for anyone interested in the future of media and journalism), was preparing an essay recently on “why I use Twitter”: Help Me Explain Twitter to Eggheads

He asked his readers for contributions on one particular item:

9. And then, the thing I need your help with: what do I actually use Twitter for?.

I have a number of answers to that, which I will lay out in the piece, but I would like to feature some others. The intent of my question is to put the accent on “useful.” What do you use Twitter for? I’m especially interested if you’re an academic—student, teacher, PhD—but my interest is not limited to those groups.

Here’s my answer (sent via Twitter, natch):

@jayrosen_nyu To follow people outside my liberal, Bay Area echo chamber. Hard to bear at times, but can be great sanity check. ;-)

Following last year’s trip to DC (Politics Online conference, eDemocracyCamp) and Austin (SXSW), I made a deliberate attempt to follow more people who are not like me (in terms of where we fall on the political spectrum — we all have in common that we are hooked on Twitter, apparently): Republicans, conservatives, evangelicals etc.

This has proven to be my most valuable use of Twitter by far. It has provided me with a glimpse into the other half of this nation’s soul, which has been so deeply divided over the last eight years (and still is, though I’m hopeful that now is a good time for new beginnings, and maybe we will see some of this division disappear).

It’s been fascinating to read up on some of the articles, stories and other resources that are being passed on by conservatives, to listen to their instant feedback to news of the day, and to follow the discussions around the need for change in their own party.

It is easier today than ever to blend out any news source we don’t agree with and only engage with people who will confirm our views. It is important, in my view, that we resist this temptation, and Twitter seems to be a good antenna into anywhere outside the bubbles of our own limited world views.

Ameritocracy: new social fact-checking platform

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

I just signed up for Ameritocracy, a new social web app (currently in beta) for collaborative fact-checking.

Ameritocracy_1213890447317

From their blog:

About Ameritocracy

Ameritocracy is a user generated content site that allows people to rate the credibility of statements made by our leaders and information gatekeepers such as media outlets and businesses. Our reputation system helps to make the information you read more credible, and the succinct nature of the content will help anyone keep up with social and political news.

From the about page:

What is Ameritocracy?

The internet today is pretty neat. It’s given us access to more information than any previous publishing medium, and gives everyone with a connection the tools to broadcast their views to the masses. With so many opinions, we can learn about all sides of any issue, but it still takes a lot of time to do the research. Ameritocracy was born out of this frustration of not knowing who to trust and not having the time to try to figure it out.

Our goal is to help people cut through the noise and gain quick access to the whole picture. We want to encourage a healthy skepticism of all claims, and offer a meaningful way to participate in the dialogue between the people who consume information and the people who own it. We want to give the public a chance to say, “We’re listening”, and demand that we be listened to as well.

How does it work?

The core features of Ameritocracy are adding statements (made by a person or organization) and assessing statements. For example, if you hear Jane Doe say something on tv that you find questionable, you can submit that statement to the site to see what the community has to say about it, or you can add your own assessment. Members can then rate Jane Doe’s statement for credibility and relevancy, add their own assessments, or post a comment.

From this, Jane Doe will develop a reputation based on the community ratings, and you and your sources will develop a positive reputation so long as no one identifies your submission as a misquote or deliberately inaccurate information. The goal is to get a few different perspectives for each statement, so anyone looking to know more about a statement can get a broader picture and make their own assessment.

There will be some really exciting trends to watch during this process, such as what the public feels about certain topics, how public opinion changes over time, and how the government, media and business react to the views of the Ameritocracy community.

Over on the IPDI blog, Julie Germany has an interview with Porter Bayne, one of the co-founders (she’s also giving out invite codes so check it out): Building Ameritocracy one quote at a time

At first glance, this looks very similar to Munich, Germany-based Trupoli (which I looked at briefly back in December).

Tim Russert

Friday, June 13th, 2008

Journalism here in the US suffered a big loss today: NBC’s Tim Russert dead at 58

Of his background as a Democratic political operative, Russert said, “My views are not important.”

“Lawrence Spivak, who founded ‘Meet the Press,’ told me before he died that the job of the host is to learn as much as you can about your guest’s positions and take the other side,” he said in a 2007 interview with Time magazine. “And to do that in a persistent and civil way. And that’s what I try to do every Sunday.”

You did a good job, Tim!

Old politics

Friday, April 18th, 2008

Former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich explains his upcoming endorsement for Senator Obama and hits the nail on the spothead:

“I saw the ads” — the negative man-on-street commercials that the Clinton campaign put up in Pennsylvania in the wake of Obama’s bitter/cling comments a week ago — “and I was appalled, frankly. I thought it represented the nadir of mean-spirited, negative politics. And also of the politics of distraction, of gotcha politics. It’s the worst of all worlds. We have three terrible traditions that we’ve developed in American campaigns. One is outright meanness and negativity. The second is taking out of context something your opponent said, maybe inartfully, and blowing it up into something your opponent doesn’t possibly believe and doesn’t possibly represent. And third is a kind of tradition of distraction, of getting off the big subject with sideshows that have nothing to do with what matters. And these three aspects of the old politics I’ve seen growing in Hillary’s campaign. And I’ve come to the point, after seeing those ads, where I can’t in good conscience not say out loud what I believe about who should be president. Those ads are nothing but Republicanism. They’re lending legitimacy to a Republican message that’s wrong to begin with, and they harken back to the past 20 years of demagoguery on guns and religion. It’s old politics at its worst — and old Republican politics, not even old Democratic politics. It’s just so deeply cynical.”

For more commentary on this election cycle, check out his blog. download dell laptop bluetooth software Cheap soft shop

Talking about guns…

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

When the topic of guns came up at the debate tonight, actually what I wanted to do is twitter the number of annual firearm-related deaths in the US. Instead, I came across these four rules for gun safety, originally proposed by some Colonel Jeff Cooper back in the day.

  1. All guns are always loaded. Even if they are not, treat them as if they are.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. (For those who insist that this particular gun is unloaded, see Rule 1.)
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger till your sights are on the target. This is the Golden Rule. Its violation is directly responsible for about 60 percent of inadvertent discharges.
  4. Identify your target, and what is behind it. Never shoot at anything that you have not positively identified.

You know, just in case. Might come in handy next time you find yourself in a situation. prices drywall sheets test