Category Archives: Culture

In case you’ve run out of things to read

One of my favorite sites is The Moderate Voice, and they’re on a bit of a roll this afternoon. Shaun Mullen’s (my new favorite blogger) weekly wrap is great stuff, and multiple folks seem to concur with us that Gonzo is now neck-deep in alligators.

I don’t pimp other places often (although I almost certainly would if they’d pay me), but do give Joe Gandelman and his crew a few minutes of your time.


It was eight years ago today

Posted: April 20, 2007: 11:19 am MDT
Denver CO

In 1999 I was the Electronic Communications Manager for US West’s internal comm group, and my team rode herd on several channels used to communicate with 44,000 employees in 14 states and DC. Mornings were usually really busy – we posted things when they happened, but we did a big daily update by noon every day. Sometime around lunch Joe Lopez, who handled a variety of things for us, said, “hey, Sammy, there’s been a school shooting in Littleton.” Continue reading It was eight years ago today

Could more lives have been saved at Virginia Tech?

I’m going to try and do this without looking like a vulture – I hate those who profiteer off the misfortunes of others and don’t want to be guilty of that crime myself – so let me begin with full disclosure. I’m a principal in a mobility consulting firm that offers the kinds of services I’m going to describe below. This makes me an informed observer, but it also makes me someone who might benefit financially from what I’m proposing. Take this for what it’s worth.

First, when things began unfolding in Blacksburg yesterday morning, the university notified its students via e-mail. There are a lot of problems with the response, starting with this: college students don’t use e-mail, at least not any more than they have to. Continue reading Could more lives have been saved at Virginia Tech?

The WTC Memorial Debate and the End of the Age of the Big Target

(Warning: Reality is never as neat and clean as theory, I’m afraid, but humans are inherently theoretical animals. So bear with me. The following may be a tad obscure in places, but it’s going somewhere worthwhile.)

University of Texas-Dallas Professor Frederick Turner has penned an interesting take on the current WTC memorial debate, and makes some very well-considered arguments about how the whole process is off the mark. In short, he believes the current proposals “express, as clearly as if it had been written all over them, that America was defeated by the terrorists,” and asserts that we should take this opportunity to erect something “more splendid, more beautiful and more truly symbolic of New York and of America than its predecessor.”

To his credit, he offers his own proposal for the memorial, complete with a nice set of sketches illustrating how it would look from various vantage points around the city. I have to say I’m impressed with the power of his vision, especially as it addresses the basic tenets of his larger argument. Continue reading The WTC Memorial Debate and the End of the Age of the Big Target

The Long View: Enlightenment Ideologies of Science and Technology and the Internet Debate

Remarks presented to the 1st International Summit on Electronic Communication & Culture

Popular Culture Association National Conference
Electronic Communication Area
San Antonio, Texas
March 26-29, 1997

Samuel R. Smith
Center for Mass Media Research
School of Journalism & Mass Communication
University of Colorado

Over the past few years the Internet has become one of the most talked-about innovations in our lifetimes, leading one prominent commentator to assert that “we are in the middle of the most transforming technological event since the capture of fire” (Harper’s 1995). The Net’s growth has been dramatic, to be sure, and is arguably surpassed only by the magnitude of the hype surrounding it. To give you an idea of just how much the online world has been discussed, a Lexis/Nexis search for the word “Internet” in the 1990 database reveals a total of 1624 stories. Two years later that number had more than doubled – in 1992, a search for “Internet” yields 3806 hits. Continue reading The Long View: Enlightenment Ideologies of Science and Technology and the Internet Debate