Blogging 3.0

Quo Vadis again again

Blogging 1.0 often replaced the plethora of special purpose forums that were apparently everywhere.

Blogging 2.0 consisted of some special-purpose sites, but the real blogosphere was comprised of many sites very much like The Agonist: covering a wide range of topics, multiple viewpoints, meaningful (and sometimes heated) discussion, generally outside of and frequently in opposition to the MSM.

It seems to me it’s time to ask, “What will Blogging 3.0 bring?” As has been noted elsewhere, the drop-off in activity is not limited to The Agonist but blogs with a specialized focus are still healthy. Generalized blogs are either attached to some other money-making entity, independently funded or dependent on reader contributions.
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Que Sera, Sera

Greece is rebelling in the streets and the halls of government.
Spaniards are following suit in the streets – government’s not onboard but it may not matter.
The Euro is tottering and NATO is a lot shakier than it wants to admit (it’s in denial).
Sanctions are failing. Banksters fear jailing – or poverty or the guillotine.
Control is slipping here at home – it’s desperation that’s making the PTB escalate repression.

Times, they are a-changin’

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Agonist 2015

   As you have undoubtedly observed, The Agonist’s new look has arrived.

   One of the features of this theme is that an author’s profile is displayed on a post. If you have no content in your profile (as is the usual case), nothing displays. I added to my profile as an experiment. If you have info you want to display with your ‘byline’, just edit your profile ‘Biographical Info’ section.

   You will also notice Social Media buttons to the left of posts. This will make it easier for me to post Status on our Agonist Facebook Page and allow anyone to notify any of several Social Media sites. If you see a post you like, be sociable.

The More Things Change…

   Just to keep everyone in the loop, I wanted to let you all know that Agonist.org has a new owner.

   There will be some technical improvements coming soon, primarily to make the site more responsive and mobile-friendly, since web access is increasingly being done via mobile devices.

   The editorial policy will not change. We will still be free to post & comment as we always have.

   In preparation, I will soon be simplifying the existing site, removing unnecessary clutter.

   We would like to solicit feedback from bloggers and readers and a feedback form will be made available for that purpose.

   Once the site is repackaged for better service and functionality, we will explore ways to attract more bloggers and blogging.

      Stay tuned.

Estonia : E-Residency

Interesting news tidbit: Estonia Offers E-Residency.

   This could be the toe-in-the-water, a tentative exploration of what is possible today and might become increasingly useful in the future.

   Think of it as facilitating access to the day-to-day needs of living and doing business, as opposed to the purely government-related matters. After all, 99% of what we do – online and offline – has nothing to do with being citizens of a country and more with being residents of a country.
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Christmas in Lebanon

doesn’t look very cheerful this year.

Blue and white Christmas lights twinkle over the shops near my apartment in Beirut’s Christian quarter; pricy boutiques display elaborate nativity scenes. But people are having trouble getting into the festive mood. ‘Do you think the war will come here?’ asks my landlady nervously, not for the first time. There is no rush to battle, no electric charge in the air, just a rather depressed feeling among Lebanese that their country can no longer escape the violence over the border in Syria. The black flag of the so-called Islamic State has appeared after Friday prayers in some mosques in the north. The assumption is that Lebanon will be the next place the jihadis target. Still, there are reasons to hope.

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Cops and Protests and People, Oh My.

   When I was growing up, we didn’t necessarily expect law enforcement to be happy with all the hell we raised. Technically, TPing someone’s house or tipping over their outhouse was vandalism but no one would have expected or condoned an officer pulling his gun under such circumstances. Putting a condom on the tailpipe of the cop’s car or plugging it with a potato were frowned upon by the victims, laughed at by the kids and smiled tolerantly at by most grownups, including the cops (once their blood pressure got back to normal).

   It was common for us kids to stay out well after dark, often ‘camping out’ on someone’s lawn for all-night bull-sessions. We sometimes raided a garden – our own or others’ – for spuds and veggies to roast in a campfire. One gent in the neighborhood tried to grow corn: at 7700+ elevation & a 3-month growing season it got about 31/2 feet tall and the cob about 3 inches. Nevertheless, he was extremely proud and possessive of it. When a couple of us grabbed a few of the mini-cobs, he discovered us and let loose with a shotgun. Fortunately, we were too far away for buckshot to be very effective. But we were justifiably offended at his over-reaction.

   Word got out (it’s hard to explain away gunshots in a small town) and the sheriff rounded us up next day and scolded us. We both realized he was obligated to do so, but neither he nor we took it too seriously. However, he also paid the gardener a visit and told him that if he ever shot at kids again, he’d be locked up.

   Today the gardener would have an AR15 and someone might be dead – and he would be applauded for ‘standing his ground’. Today’s cop would deal with us heavy-handedly – maybe tasers for white kids and 9mm for the hispanics.
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