David Fahrenthold of the Washington Post won a Pulitzer for his Trump coverage, but he couldn’t have done it without help from his readers. In the first episode of our new podcast, Pull up a Chair, David talks with NYU’s Jay Rosen about the power of putting readers at the heart of journalism.
An awesome little start of a podcast. I’d definitely come back to this.
Durrus is a village at the head of Dunmanus bay, south of the Sheep’s Head peninsula in the southwest of Ireland. Durrus is also the name of an award-winning, semi-soft cheese, while Dunmanus is a harder cheese, aged a lot longer. Both were created by Jeffa Gill and are hand made by Jeffa and her small team up above the village and the bay.
Jeffa is one of the pioneers who turned West Cork into a heaven and a haven for cheese-lovers. One of the special characteristics of Durrus and many West Cork farmhouse cheeses is that they are washed rind cheeses. The young cheese is inoculated with specific bacteria (some cheeses pick their surface moulds up from the atmosphere) and is then frequently washed or moistened with a brine solution, which gives those bacteria a boost and keeps other micro-organisms at bay. The result is what many people call a stinky cheese, although the actual flavour of these cheeses is often mild, sweet and creamy.
The really remarkable thing about West Cork is how an entire food ecosystem has grown up there in the past 50 years or so, each part depending on and encouraging the others. The fact that there are so many outstanding farmhouse cheesemakers is no accident; they all gathered originally and shared their ups and downs, from which each developed their own unique cheeses. They were supported by local shops and restaurants, who created demand not just for fine cheeses but for so many other foods too. Surely someone must have documented it; so where is it?
Remember Farm Aid, which launched in 1985? A lot of people do, and they tend to date the farm crisis in America to the 1980s, triggered by Earl Butz and his crazy love for fencerow to fencerow, get big or get out, industrial agriculture. And of course, land consolidation is inevitable, because if you’re going to invest in all that capital equipment to make your farm more efficient, you’re bound to buy up the smaller farmers who weren’t so savvy. Those “facts,” however, are anything but. They’re myths, on which much of the current criticism of American farm policy is built. There are others, too, and they’re all skillfully eviscerated by Nate Rosenberg and Bryce Wilson Stucki in a recent paper.
One villain or two?
And here’s another thing. That first Farm Aid concert apparently raised $9 million. You could presumably help a lot of poor old dirt farmers with that kind of cash. But Farm Aid wasn’t actually about poor old dirt farmers, it was about people like Willie Nelson. He lost $800,000 the year before Farm Aid. Nine million dollars doesn’t go too far when individual people are losing that kind of money.
An interesting often untold story of agriculture, race, and economics in the United States.
Syndicated copies to:
A microcast about microcasts in under an hour
I’ve wanted to create a podcast for a long time, but the effort involved just seemed like too much. So using my own website, I thought I’d see what I could come up with in under an hour in terms of creation and posting. Here’s the first “episode” of my microcast which I’ve conceived of, created, and posted in under an hour with equipment I happen to have on hand:
Pixel Buds are getting bad reviews. Blasting Facebook and Google. Amazon pays $250 Million for Lord of the Rings TV rights. Alibaba's $25 billion Singles' Day. Self-driving trucks and flying cars. Hacking the Boeing 757. Xerox Alto turns 40.
DOJ suggests that phone encryption kills people. Facebook wants to see you naked. Apple gets ready for its best holiday ever. Twitter gets 50 character names to go with its 280 character tweets. XBox One X is the best game system out there. Bill Gates will build his own city. Car ownership will be a thing of the past in 5 years. Intel and AMD team up. Alibaba sells $25 billion worth of stuff in one day while America's retail sector is tanking.
Manton discusses hosting (and attending) his first ever IndieWebCamp.
I’m excited to hear there will be at least one more IndieWebCamp before the end of the year.
Manton, I too once hosted an IndieWebCamp without ever having attended one myself. My advice is don’t sweat it too much. If you’ve got a location, some reasonable wifi, and even a bit of food, you’ll be okay. The interesting people/community that gather around it and their enthusiasm will be what really make it an unforgettable experience.
Incidentally it was also simultaneously the first ever Bar Camp I had attended and one of the originators of the concept attended! I remember thinking “No pressure here.” It was a blast for me, and I’m sure will be great for you as well.
A wave of technopanic is sweeping the world. Or is it intelligent concern over the power wielded by internet giants like Facebook and Google? Plus,Uber's flying cars, Trump's DOJ tells Time-Warner to sell CNN, Marissa Mayer apologizes to Congress, and Facebook wants your nude pictures (for security's sake).
How a plan to kill the fax machine with policy went awry.
This is a painfully sad and frustrating story. It also seems like something that business/capitalism isn’t going to solve on its own, but something which is crying out for an open spec to help things along. (And after that, if a business can come up with a better/faster solution, then more power to them.)
I can only think of the painful inefficiencies that are lurking in our healthcare system. And we wonder why things are so stupidly expensive?
This is a great example where applying César A. Hidalgo’s theory from Why Information Grows to decrease the friction for creating links can eliminate inefficiencies and create larger value. I still want to refine his statement into something simple and usable for both business and governmental use as well as to come up with some reasonably understandable math to provide a “proof” of the value.
The iPhone X is the best phone a huge pile of money can buy. Jeff Bezos, the richest man in the world, cashes out $1 billion in Amazon stock. Congress has some words with Facebook, Twitter, and Google. Can Facebook be fixed? Can Twitter? Animoji, poop emoji, and burger emoji continue to be news.
Google, Facebook, and Twitter testify before Congress about Russian interference, bad ideas on how to 'fix' Facebook, Google's CEO promises to fix the hamburger emoji, Google locks users out of Docs, California wildfires burned irreplaceable documents of Silicon Valley history, and a heated argument about how Queso should be.
In 1981, Calvin Trillin proposed a campaign: He was trying to change the national Thanksgiving dish from turkey to spaghetti carbonara.
From "Third Helpings," by Calvin Trillin. (These passages are quoted from Trillin, C., The Tummy Trilogy, Farrar, Strauss and Giroux: New York, 1994, pp. 259-67.):
I have been campaigning to have the national Thanksgiving dish changed from turkey to spaghetti carbonara.
It does not take much historical research to uncover the fact that nobody knows if the Pilgrims really ate turkey at the first Thanksgiving dinner. The only thing we know for sure about what the Pilgrims ate is that it couldn't have tasted very good. Even today, well brought-up English girls are taught by their mothers to boil all veggies for at least a month and a half, just in case one of the dinner guests turns up without his teeth... (It is certainly unfair to say that the English lack both a cuisine and a sense of humor: their cooking is a joke in itself.)
It would also not require much digging to discover that Christopher Columbus, the man who may have brought linguine with clam sauce to this continent, was from Genoa, and obviously would have sooner acknowledged that the world was shaped like an isosceles triangle than to have eaten the sort of things that the English Puritans ate. Righting an ancient wrong against Columbus, a great man who certainly did not come all this way only to have a city in Ohio named after him, would be a serious historical contribution. Also, I happen to love spaghetti carbonara.
[In our family]...Thanksgiving has often been celebrated away from home. It was at other people's Thanksgiving tables that I first began to articulate my spaghetti carbonara campaign—although, since we were usually served turkey, I naturally did not mention that the campaign had been inspired partly by my belief that turkey is basically something college dormitories use to punish students for hanging around on Sunday... I reminded everyone how refreshing it would be to hear sports announcers call some annual tussle the Spaghetti Carbonara Day Classic.
I even had a ready answer to the occasional turkey fancier at those meals who insist that spaghetti carbonara was almost certainly not what our forebears ate at the first Thanksgiving dinner. As it happens, one of the things I give thanks for every year is that those people in the Plymouth Colony were not my forebears. Who wants forebears who put people in the stocks for playing the harpsichord on the Sabbath or having an innocent little game of pinch and giggle?
Finally there came a year when nobody invited us to Thanksgiving dinner. Alice's theory was that the word had got around town that I always made a pest out of myself berating the hostess for serving turkey instead of spaghetti carbonara...
However it came about, I was delighted at the opportunity we had been given to practice what I had been preaching—to sit down to a Thanksgiving dinner of spaghetti carbonara.
Naturally, the entire family went over to Rafetto's pasta store on Houston Street to see the spaghetti cut. I got the cheese at Joe's dairy, on Sullivan, a place that would have made Columbus feel right at home—there are plenty of Genoese on Sullivan; no Pilgrims—and then headed for the pork store on Carmine Street for the bacon and ham. Alice made the spaghetti carbonara. It was perfection. I love spaghetti carbonara. Then I began to tell the children the story of the first Thanksgiving:
In England, along time ago, there were people called Pilgrims who were very strict about making everyone observe the Sabbath and cooked food without any flavor and that sort of thing, and they decided to go to America, where they could enjoy Freedom to Nag. The other people in England said, "Glad to see the back of them." In America, the Pilgrims tried farming, but they couldn't get much done because they were always putting their best farmers in the stocks for crimes like Suspicion of Cheerfulness. The Indians took pity on the Pilgrims and helped them with their farming, even though the Indians thought that the Pilgrims were about as much fun as teenage circumcision. The Pilgrims were so grateful that at the end of their first year in America they invited the Indians over for a Thanksgiving meal. The Indians, having had some experience with Pilgrim cuisine during the year, took the precaution of taking along one dish of their own. They brought a dish that their ancestors had learned from none other than Christopher Columbus, who was known to the Indians as "the big Italian fellow." The dish was spaghetti carbonara—made with pancetta bacon and fontina and the best imported prosciutto. The Pilgrims hated it. They said it was "heretically tasty" and "the work of the devil" and "the sort of thing foreigners eat." The Indians were so disgusted that on the way back to their village after dinner one of them made a remark about the Pilgrims that was repeated down through the years and unfortunately caused confusion among historians about the first Thanksgiving meal. He said,
Ordering the iPhone X. The Essential phone and its lack of press coverage. Who owns your face, malicious face recognition and the lack of face case law. The splintered internet explained. The iPhone calculator flaw. Burn-in problems reported for the Pixel 2. AI dominating companies and the Frightful 5 identified. Amazon, Alphabet and Microsoft earnings beat expectations. The consequence of monopolies. The General Data Protection Regulation and its implication for your personal data. Amazon delivering inside your house now. Roger Stone has been banned from Twitter. Facebook might start charging publishers to promote their stories in the main news feed and of course the controversy surrounding the cheeseburger emoji.
Welcome to the second episode of NaNoWriMo Superheroes and Superheroines on Medium. Throughout the month of November we’ll interview people with different backgrounds, day jobs, and involvement with this annual writing event. All of our superheroes and superheroines have one thing in common — they accepted the challenge to write a 50,000 word novel first draft in the month of November.
Ben Werdmuller, gets the #NaNoWriMo quote of the month as he talks about the user interface in common text editors:
Every single one of those buttons is a distraction button.