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This Venezuela proverb came to mind many months ago, while we were living in a far and inhospitable country of the far south of Latin America and it was time to write it down here.
In my homeland, we use to say this proverb, “no one can say you didn’t dance” when we have to deal with other people underestimating us or showing us contempt, usually at a professional level. These negative attitudes toward us may be motivated because they don’t know anything about us (nor they want to), because of jealousy, selfpreservation instinct or even envy of our features. What “you danced” refers to all experiences and knowledge that we have gathered along the way, no matter if they are empirical or formal. For example, if anyone underestimates our expertice (which we have) at the moment of applying for a job and the result is that we are discarded for a mere whim instead of an objective assessment, we should not despair, because we know that we know, we know that we are capable and we can prove it, because no one can say you didn’t dance!
Original: “Nadie te quita lo bailao”
English equivalent: “No one can say you didn’t dance”
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The new Boeing 787 Dreamliner can carry about 250 passengers. This blog was viewed about 1,200 times in 2012. If it were a Dreamliner, it would take about 5 trips to carry that many people.
This Venezuelan proverb, one of my absolute favorites, is for those cases when someone is pointing out a defect you both have, or he/she is telling you something they have no business or moral authority for saying it. It is a wonder that an equivalent to this proverb do exist in English, so I will put the original in Spanish (involving two animals with shells), its translation, and the English language equivalent.
Original: “Cachicamo diciéndole a morrocoy conchúo”
Translation: “The armadillo calling the red-footed tortoise shelled”
English equivalence: “The pot calling the kettle black”
Superman: Earth One (2010) represents a re-imagination of Superman’s origin story. Written by the author of Babylon 5, J. Michael Straczynski, it is set in the time when Kal-El leaves Smallville to go to Metropolis. I find some elements of his take more believable (yes, I know the idea of a Superman is not so believable). For example, when Kal-El’s ship crashes, the Kents of course find it, but there is a shady organization looking for the object that crashed, which they retrieve and keep looking for its occupant. This graphic novel has some of the qualities I expected from Straczynski, as with Babylon 5, he delivers an engaging, interconnected and entertaining story. Although I expected more. Perhaps Superman fans would enjoy it more than I did, as I’m a Batman guy. But enough background. In order for this to fit in this section of the blog, I wanted to point out some things related to libraries and information present on this piece of media, in this case: its portrayal of some issues around the Daily Planet (Metropolis’ newspaper), which is journalism. Ah, journalism.
It’s funny to note that although Perry White (editor of the Daily Planet) advices Lois Lane to “write about what you are writing about, not about you writing about what you are writing about”, what we see in her enclosed pages of the Daily Planet is the latter. I think this was either a bit silly, or very faithful to her character, as she often gets away with being a smart-ass. Lois displays some soul on her writing, but White also advices to use soul on news writing, so I don’t find this very congruent within all his recommendations. Because, is it ‘writing about you writing about what you are writing about’, putting some soul into your writing? (See the last part of this post, where I write about this issue further).
Jimmy Olsen seems to be taking at least 12 megapixel pictures, hence, ‘chocking the server with the files’. Shouldn’t a newspaper have a better server? If the server chocks with a picture, what would happen with regular, worldwide traffic? Perhaps a 20 Mb picture is not good for a printed black and white newspaper, but we see in the enclosed Daily Planet pages that you ‘may find more about on dailyplanet.com’. It would have been very clever for White to point out that these pictures are good for the website version of the paper, but advice him to crop them for the print version, put them on a grayscale, or something. This might be extreme librarian nitpicking, but ‘the devil’s on the details’.
Now the most serious stuff, and I must cite White more extensively as he states “Thanks to the Internet, every yahoo with a keyboard thinks that just because he can type, he can write, as for you [referring to Clark] look, I read your articles, and they are fine, but nothing special. A good writer writes from his soul. You write like you’re holding something back.” I find his two statements about Internet journalism and writing from his soul, not too congruent between them. Furthermore, they are not congruent with the guidelines given to Ms. Lane. Firstly, his position towards Internet journalism is very understandable, coming from an editor for a ‘Big and Old Media’ device. Although showing perhaps too much contempt for an alternative journalism that is becoming more and more valid everyday, this adds to his character. But it’s a worn out and expected discourse from an old business model perspective. We see traditional media, or as I like to call ‘Big and Old Media (BOOM)’ as failing to inform, to entertain, and let alone: educate. Fox News anyone? We see a highly sensationalist BOOM, one that miserably copies models from new media in order to keep being pertinent (SMS, social media integration or attempts to do so). And we see BOOM giving wrong publicity through their misguided scandals regarding videogames (for example the case of Rapelay, or P2P technology). These scandals create the wrong effect, instead of raising conscience or awareness towards and issue, they promote it through scandal and sensationalism. Thus turning low profile and extinct topics into high profile, blown out of proportion problems. So, perhaps BOOM exhibits too much soul, or no soul at all by doing these things. Apart from this, BOOM is against soul, against personal perspectives, or it displays too much of it, it’s not a consistent criteria, being in news or scholarly/scientific communications. New media on the other side, has a personal commitment and often a disregard for corporate or financial interest within its content. Moreover, it has crowds approving or disapproving, and adding value to the information. Is this not better? Who knows…
I have been taking some time to sign up and try things in Pinterest, you should take it out! It’s a social network based on the posting of images, some are saying that it could drive visits to your blog. So I am trying to do two things with this tool.
1. Post images from the featured sections of the blog, to see if I can get a bit more visits, the sections are: Micro Reviews (yes, they’ll be back!), Internet Classics, Libraries & Information in Media, and Venezuelan Proverbs.
2. I believe that you are what you enjoy and love, so I started posting about the anime, movies, albums, and books that I love, check it out! Do you find your favorites?
On this edition of Internet Classics, I take the post from Kotaku about this hilarious song about The Legend of Zelda. As a curiosity, many people think this song was written by System of a Down, because of the similar voice of the singer, and even because many of you naughty boys and girls who have this song can see that it was tagged as written and performed by this group. Instead, this song was written and performed by one Joe Pleiman for the album Rabbit Joint.
For a bit more of history behind it, I copy part of the post in Kotaku:
“So how’d this modern internet fallacy come to be? Over ten years ago, the song was uploaded to Napster, in the wild days before the service was shut down and went straight. And it was uploaded simply as “SOAD – The Legend of Zelda”, or “SOAD – Zelda”. Given this was the early 2000′s, many people assumed this meant it was performed by System of a Down, particularly given the similarities between Pleiman’s vocals and those of System’s Serj Tankian.
The track, which is damn catchy, thus snowballed, and for millions of people System of a Down were given credit for a song they had no part in. Poor Joe. At least he can see the funny side of it, writing on his own website that the 1998 album featured ‘the song Zelda as unintentionally made famous by System of a Down’”.
This month’s Venezuelan proverb, related to fame and the appreciation of you others might have. There might be nothing wrong with you but: “You are not a gold coin [to be liked by everyone]” = “No eres monedita de oro [para gustarle a todos]“…
Another new section on the blog! This is Internet Classics, where I remember, take a look and comment about online content that for one reason or another I consider a classic of the Internet. On this first edition I am cheating a bit, as this classic was not created for the Internet. However, I first saw this hilarious advertisement around 2005-2006 in this little and new site called Youtube, this is why it is noteworthy for me as an Internet classic. It was the first LOL and ROTFL I had with Youtube, and it is one of the extremely few TV ads I can stand, and actually I don’t get tired of watching it. From the little information I could find on the commercial itself, I can say that it was transmitted on Ivory Coast around 1986. However, the style seems older than such date, perhaps 10 years earlier (hear the song, sounds more 70s than 80s). It’s also supposed to be very popular in France, and it has also been remixed. I give you the advertisement for Super Timor, an Internet classic!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
This is a new experiment on this blog. Libraries & Information in Media explores and analyzes portrayals in different media of libraries, librarians and the role of information in general. Within this new section, I am going to write a short post about how libraries and information are portrayed in books, movies, series, comics and videogames. I hope you find it interesting.
In this first post, I take a look to Memory Alpha, as it appears in the episode “The Lights of Zetar” (1969) of Star Trek the Original Series (TOS for geeks). Memory Alpha is a planetoid which houses a huge library complex set up for academic purposes. This library contains the total cultural and scientific knowledge of all the planets that are members of the United Federation of Planets. Memory Alpha is also the very apt name chosen for one of Star Trek’s wikis on the Internet.
In this episode, the action takes place in the planetoid. However, not much is said about the library itself nor it is an important plot device on itself. According to the Memory Alpha wiki, “as of 2269, the library complex was an array consisting of five large and seven smaller domes on the surface of the planetoid. Aside from the technicians, the occupants of Memory Alpha varied with the number of scholars, researchers, and scientists from variousFederation planets who were using the computer complex at any given time.” The most relevant element that I can bring to this post for discussion is that there is an attack on Memory Alpha and then Mr. Spock comments regarding the nature of the library that because they considered that the knowledge stored there is to be accessible to everybody, they did not put a force field to defend the planet. A force field in Star Trek is an energy field put into place around ships or places as a line of defense and it prevents life forms to “beam” or being teleported to a place without permission.
This is a very interesting point, if we think about the history of libraries, the first libraries were reserved to the elites, usually knowledge was only accessible for members of the royalty or religious people, and not the general public, which is all the purpose of libraries of the current age. It is a shame that because of enforcing to the limit a free access to knowledge, this library was vulnerable and attacked. There is no easy answer on how to provide universal access and at the same time protect the place where information is stored. Even so, this is the most interesting portrayal of libraries in Star Trek TOS. I see that Open Access is a common trait on the handling of knowledge and information policies in the Star Trek universe (at least by planets of the Federation). I can guess that in posterior series computers get a major upgrade in storing space as we can see for example Captain Picard (The Next Generation) browsing through music or also Captain Janeway (Voyager) using the Federation digital library to bargain for a transportation device. An interesting topic to debate from Star Trek mythos is Copyright an Open Access. However, that is a topic for another instance of Libraries & Information in Media.