Kurt Vonnegut dies at 84

11 04 2007
Kurt VonnegutKurt Vonnegut died yesterday (read his obit here), reminding me mightily of my college years.  The obit says that he was “a literary idol, particularly to students in the 1960s and 1970s” and it’s hard to disagree with that.  His short, punchy style, with his wry observations, and strong sense of cynicism, was totally appealing to me and my roommates.  He definitely seemed to have the best sense of what was wrong with the way the country was going, a cynical sense that has proven to be completely correct.  His book, SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE, was made into one of the best filmed adaptations of any book.  And his other books, a combination of journalism and science fiction (a term he always abhorred being used to describe his works — even though it fit them), mixed with a healthy and rare dose of comedy, propelled him into my pantheon.
I’ll miss him, even those his best work was years behind him.

Justin TV

10 04 2007
There’s a certain kind of ballsy self-assurance to justin.tv.This is a guy who has strapped a camera to his and wears it 24/7. Everywhere. As he puts it:

Justin wears the camera 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even in the bathroom. Even on a date.

You follow him everywhere. (He just finished a long date, for instance, as I type this, and is walking home.)

It’s oddly fascinating — it makes you hunger for an editor, on one hand, but also appreciate the reality of it all. Give it a shot.

Doing My Part to Save The World

9 04 2007
Today in my spam email account (translation – “Yahoo Mail”) sent me a Viagra ad. Its subject line alone was worth the look:Help for every person all over the whole world

Not bad, eh?

Maybe I’ll pass.

Twitter Captures Me

7 04 2007

It’s impossible to explain, even to myself. But I’ve been captured by this insane little program on my Treo called Twitter, one of the few Web 2.0 sites that don’t leave out the “e” at the end of their name.

Let’s see if I can explain it. Basically, after signing up, you can post 140 character text messages from your phone or the web. Anyone who is “following” you can see them, either on their phones or the web. What this means, is that you’re IM’ing across a growing social network.

People are starting to do all kinds of interesting things, and it’s a way that I’ve met some interesting people. Well, not met exactly. More like “stalked.” But I suspect that, unless everyone gets tired by the whole concept, this can explode into a giant social network.

At SxSW people used it to find each other. Other people document their day. I haven’t found the best uses for it yet, but I am somewhat captivated.