"The Internet is the greatest generation gap since rock and roll." Yes and no. People who have grown up knowing the Internet certainly view it differently than the generations previous. But the uptake has been far more progressive than, say, getting Grandpa to like Led Zeppelin. The Internet is certainly the greatest *cultural shift* since rock and roll, and that creates interesting conversations and complications between those who live online and those who simply peer in.
Rafe's post could have been written by me. "I’ve been online in some fashion for over two decades, and I’m a fairly private person to start with, so I am very careful about not saying things that are going to turn up later." Indeed
No more I Want Sandy! Too bad, it was a fun tool (also, congrats to Rael)
I am pleased to announce the launch of a new blog, Timely Demise. It’s a side project of mine that I’ve been exploring for some time now, and I’m excited to share it with a broader audience.
Timely Demise is focused solely on how the economic crisis is changing the retail environment. What retailers are managing to expand? Who’s consolidating or closing outlets? Eliminating brands? Liquidating assets? Anything with Main Street consumer-level impact will be covered by the blog.
This comes completely out of my own worldview. As a consumer, I take a broader, market-level perspective to my own shopping. I see Banana Republic pants as a product of the upscale marque of the Gap Inc. company; I look at the new Dunkin’ Donuts on 94th and Amsterdam and consider the implications it has for the independent coffee shop on the corner. Linens ‘n Things goes bankrupt and I wonder what they’ll do to clear out inventory. It’s how my mind works, and it’s having a field day processing the current economy. So I thought I’d create a place for me to track such things.
I should expound here on my disclaimer, which is that I am an employee of an agency that works with retailers not unlike some of the companies covered in Timely Demise, and that my opinions are not at all of the expectation or hope of negative news. Quite the contrary–as an Internet strategist, I hope to be part of the short- and long-term solution for clients as they navigate a unique and difficult market. And I certainly hope that anything I cover regarding my employer’s clients will be objective–and only good news.
Please visit, bookmark, add to your feeds, etc.:
Timely Demise RSS Feed
Timely Demise Atom Feed
Part of me thinks, ooh! Buy Berkshire Hathaway in the downturn! But then I think, is ANY stock safe these days? Also interesting: BRK has not particularly outperformed the stock market since the end of the dotcom bubble, although I suspect that has a lot to do with the speculative nature of the market and not the underperformance of BRK's holdings
Fun list from waxy (of course). Rush remains my favorite
"My ’76 Honda Civic CVCC was peppy even at highway speeds, often got over 50mpg, and met all emissions standards for the time without a catalytic converter." Whenever I read about fuel economy I keep thinking about the exact same thing. Honda had a Civic HF in the 1980s that got 47 mpg city. Why can't the automakers dumb down their engines a bit, find efficiency instead of power, and sell 50mpg cars? I like speed as much as anyone, but does every car on the market need to go 0-60 in under 6 seconds?
I heart Improv Everywhere
Great, great, great album review, and by "album" I mean "15-year explosion of finality"
Love (related: Simon Owens talks to Anil Dash about the program)
I will miss the quarterly pub–the Times's sports journalism is underrated. (Note that David Foster Wallace's piece on Roger Federer, considered one of the great sports journalism articles, was published by Play.)
my oh my
Washington Post: 5 Myths About an Election of Mythic Proportions. “Exit polling suggests that there was no statistically significant increase in voting among [black or young voters],” and other debunking. Worth remembering that Obama’s victory, as noted here previously, is far from the national mandate given to, say, Ronald Reagan.
Related: I watched and enjoyed Obama’s “60 Minutes” interview last night. Barack is an intellectual man who is not afraid of the truth; he and Michelle are balanced, quick to smile, and down-to-earth. (Although there was some bemused discussion in my home as to how extensively the “mom in chief” runs the Obama family, and what that suggests about the president-elect.)
Love the information correlation in these maps
Makes me want to go abroad next summer, simply so I can take no-cost flights
Interesting, sensible (and foreboding) post by Nick Denton on how media firms like his should weather the ad slowdown. Also noted: his site has a new Gawker-esque design that pulls his posts from across his web properties. Reminds me that I need to get my Action Streams up and running
Obama is actually a sci-fi nerd. Somewhere a million D&D fans are smiling
Part of me thinks, quelle horror! Double secret authority for military action! But part of me also thinks, well, there's been next to no anti-US terrorism in all this time, so maybe that's not such a bad thing
Apparently DST increases, not decreases, energy consumption. C'mon, Congress, scale it back! Please!
The broadcast debut of Marc Meyers' festival-prizewinning film. And to think I get to say I gave him his start as a writer! Marc, I'm proud and excited–publicly wishing you continued success
(Compiled from several previous auto-feed posts.)
Some more items on the election’s impact:
George Will on the Republican election loss, mirroring my blog post from yesterday: “more dispiriting than numerically stunning.”
Experts call it, among other things, “a normal win.” Which sounds about right.
While America celebrates Barack Obama’s victory–particularly for what it represents–Americans would be wise to remember that his win, while strong, was far from a landslide.
The media in 2008 like to speak of mandates and sea changes, but in fact, Obama’s victory is far less decisive than some other recent elections, and McCain’s showing was not half bad.
Via Wikipedia, I compiled a list of victory margins by electoral votes for all the presidential elections since the electoral college expanded to 538 votes in the 1960s. Obama’s win is mid-pack:
Year Elected Won Lost 1984 Reagan 525 13 1972 Nixon 520 17 1980 Reagan 489 49 1964 Johnson 486 52 1988 George H. W. Bush 426 111 1996 Clinton 379 159 1992 Clinton 370 168 > 2008 Obama 349 163 < 1968 Richard Nixon 301 191 1976 Carter 297 240 2004 George W. Bush 286 251 2000 George W. Bush 271 266
(Note: two states are still being decided; this post will be updated when the final votes are tallied and declared.)
Obama’s victory in terms of the popular vote tells a better story but also comes with a caveat. First, a tip of the cap: his 64,908,616 votes as of this writing are the greatest number of votes ever recorded by a presidential candidate. That is a figure to celebrate.
However, John McCain received more than 57 million votes of his own. Obama’s margin of victory by popular vote is 6.3% (which is to say, if the U.S. had a straight democratic vote instead of an electoral college, he’d have won, 53 to 47 percent).
This is a sound victory. But it still leaves 9 out of every 20 people in the other camp. Four elections in the 538-electorate era have had a greater vote margin between winner and loser. Richard Nixon beat George McGovern by 18 million votes out of 77 million; Obama beat McCain by 7.5 million out of 120 million. Yesterday’s win was solid but not overwhelming.
Still, this is an academic exercise–Obama earned a far stronger win than either of George W. Bush’s campaigns, and his victory forever alters the political landscape in terms of campaigns, backgrounds and style.
As much as anything I am astounded by the emotional reaction Obama supporters, including me, are having to the election result.
Hundreds of thousands of people are in the streets, celebrating, as though our nation has won its independence. People are elated! Full of pride, hope and excitement, invigorated in a way this country has not been in years, if not decades.
Today marks a seismic shift in how America views itself, and how the world views America. We can elect a minority candidate to lead our nation. We can back and accept an intellectual who does not hide his intelligence or pander to the ignorant (to which I refer Clinton as well as Bush). We crave pragmatism, we crave leadership, we crave class. We are ready to grow beyond the baby-boomer ideals and standards that have defined us for decades. We are not afraid of change.
The United States is no longer a country defined by narrowmindedness or simplicity. Our president-elect is wordly, clever, and cool. The nation is excited to follow his lead. Remarkable.
Tonight I am, for the first time in a long while, proud to be an American.