Sunday, April 28, 2002
2) I'm not thrilled with "Blog Nation" for a title, either. So I'm certainly open to a different name. Suggestions?
3) Some authors have thanked me for the nominations, but, again, I'm just the messenger. Thank your readers.
And now, some nominations. Again, still not a complete list, I'm just trying to put them out there at least as fast as they're coming in.
Josh Trevino, and on September 13.
Andrew Sullivan (in the Sunday Times, though), and the "Moral Equivalence Again" entry.
Cathy Seipp, who is an honorary blogger, I suppose.
An omnibus of Glenn Reynolds' works:
Tom Clancy was right, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, September 14, September 17, September 20, September 23, September 28, October 3, October 5, October 8, and October 17.
Matt Welch: September 17, September 20, September 25, September 29, September 30.
Ken Layne: October 11 and December 9.
Shiloh Bucher: November 18, November 20, December 5.
A bunch of people have nominated Oriana Fallaci's work, which has been admirable, but not actually from a weblog. Plus, her lawyers haven't been happy about having the translations blogged.
Tuesday, April 23, 2002
Sunday, April 21, 2002
A request, though: please include the entire link in your e-mail.
Keep in mind that we don't have clearances or permissions from all of these people. The fact that a post has been nominated does not mean that the author of the post has agreed to be in the book, or has endorsed the project in any way.
A lot of people have suggested Jason Kottke's September 11 post. This will come in handy as source material (though a lot of links are dead, or link to copyrighted material by professional organizations), and I certainly remember reading that page on September 11 as I searched for information on the Web.
Jeff Jarvis; and here; and here; and here (scroll down).
Tama Starr and Virginia Postrel on September 12 and September 13.
Lileks, September 13.
Andrew Sullivan, September 16.
Selections from Lane McFadden and his defense of the flag.
Bjørn Stærk; also this.
In a perfect world, where we could do a CD and costlessly get all the photographers of the world to donate their work, I'd love to use Tony Pierce's Dear Kids of Afghanistan and Dear Terrorists. The real problem is going to be getting the legal rights to use all of those photos--the Rev. Pierce is unique among bloggers the way he does photo-essays, and too much is lost without them. We'll probably have to let it go. A shame, because it would be such a clear refutation of the faux controversy around the selection process.
Rand Simberg's "Media Casualties Mount".
A non-blog piece by Glenn Reynolds.
Steven Den Beste.
Moira Breen's "A High Wind In The Isles".
Me, I'm off to find a route downtown that isn't blocked by anti-WTO protestors. Have a good weekend, everyone.
Saturday, April 20, 2002
- Nice to see so much interest in the 9/11 blog book. Interesting that some people are so quick, perhaps even eager, to find themselves excluded, since we seek to exclude no one.
Virtually all blogs are a hybrid of concerns and styles - as are the individuals who write them. I have found that if "traffic" is your goal, then "predictability," perhaps "reliability" makes that goal more readily achievable. As in anything, if people can categorize you and anticipate you, then they are more comfortable with you. That's where labels come from.
The beauty of the relationship between bloggers and 9/11 is that it was all spontaneous: regardless of your specific interests or areas of expertise, people jumped into the fray because it was necessary, because the horror focused our attention.
Of course some bloggers remained more interested in the aftermath of the attacks - which shortly turned into "war" - than others, who returned to their pre-9/11 concerns, and those who stayed interested became the "warbloggers." Perhaps some who feel left out feel some guilt over not pursuing the aftermath with a vigor that EVERYONE displayed regarding the event itself. Who knows?
But I can assure anyone who cares, this book is about ALL bloggers and 9/11. Nothing more and nothing less.
Friday, April 19, 2002
- But despite these new bumps and surges of convergence, we can't seem to get away from either/or and us/them. The truth is Jason wrote some very worthy things related to 9-11, whether anyone describes him as a "warblog" or not.
And on the other side of the coin, there are indeed people who may not have been First Wavers like Jason but were veteran bloggers long before 9-11, who consider themselves generally left of center, yet fully support the war on terrorism.
And don't care if they are published in a book or not.
So build me my own cubbyhole. No label, please.
All I have ever stumbled across speak of whatever is on their minds at whatever time - we're talking about degrees here, not absolutes. Even the most misty, starry-eyed sensualist, or the most hardened digitalist has made some sort of commentary on 9/11 and its labyrinthine postscript. Maybe this is about jockeying for position, maybe it's rope-a-dope, maybe Colin Powell will sweep in and cuff our ears, but in the meantime just participate in the process.
Nick has some good points to make for both sides, finding a Clintonian third way:
- For a long while, there was a curious arrangement between the two groups, in which each ignored the other's politics: the warbloggers grateful that someone had made web publishing so easy; the web kids pleased to see their creation spread.
And then James Wolcott writes a piece in Business 2.0 that pretty much ignores weblogs before the warbloggers; and the warbloggers get together to write a book, tentatively called Blog Nation. Jason Kottke, veteran web kid, seems to feel weblogs have been hijacked, which they have. The warbloggers respond, politely: write your own damned book. The revolution is eating its children. On balance, I think Jason has a point, and at least he's making it; most of the SF web people are scared of argument. Sure, a book needs to have a voice. But, get real, “Blog Nation” is not a monolithic work, it's a *compilation*. Compilations are meant to be diverse; at least in so far as that makes them interesting. So, warblogger buddies, just make nice with Kottke; apart from anything else, he's actually an excellent writer.
I restate again, here, now, that our intention is to put out the best-written and most thought-provoking book we can. That’s all. There is no political agenda beyond HATING TERRORISM in its many forms. This is not a “warblogger” vs. “whateverthehellblogger” situation; this is not Bay Area vs. Everywhere Else; this is a book to represent the contributions of bloggers everywhere to the minds, hearts and souls of mankind in reaction to a stunning tragedy.
Two of my most fervent nominations - if I can only pick two, I pick these two - are about as far from “warblogging” as possible: Tony Pierce’s riveting, brilliant, funny, wrenching photo essay "Dear Kids From Afghanistan," and David Rees’s scathing, scabrous, hysterical, vicious satire "Get Your War On" (part 6 is my favorite). That’s about as far from “eradicate the assholes and the camels they rode in on, NOW,” and dissertations on ballistics as you can get.
Now I have question: Where did Nick get the “Blog Nation” title? I haven’t seen or heard a title discussed anywhere and I am confused. Not that it’s a bad title, but Nick, who I also have not heard from, seems to know something I don’t.
Keep those cards and letters coming.
Thursday, April 18, 2002
September 11, of course, means a particular day, an unforgettable day, a day when people woke up with one expectation of the world and went to sleep with another. There was a lot of panic, a lot of uncertainty, and a relatively small and insular community of webloggers used that medium to communicate with each other about what news they had heard. Matthew Caughey complains that reprinting a Metafilter thread would capture reactions adequately, and we're not being "balanced" because that's not the approach we're using. I think that's unrealistic:
Somebody with access to a TV please post details!! There's no getting into any of the news sites ----This is perhaps historically interesting to see people relaying to the Internet what they're hearing on TV (and this is not an atypical sample of the thread Caughey cites) for the benefit of the fraction of a percent of the population that had Internet access but no radio or television. But it's not the book that we're putting together.
A plane impacted the top of one of the WTC towers at about 10 minutes to nine this morning. While everybody was still trying to figure out was was going on, a second plane flew in a straight line into the second tower and impacted it at a height a little lower than the first collision. Both building are clearly on fire. The government has apparently received no warning or claims of an attack. The president will address the nation shortly.
posted by iceberg273 at 6:28 AM PST on September 11
the phonelines here are going crazy, ours just died. i can here ambulances heading downtown. the TV just said that FBI is already investigating. they're talking about a possible hijacking. bush is also supposedly going to talk soon. Tv just said that US officially declared this to be an act of terrorism.
posted by karen at 6:28 AM PST on September 11
I'm very glad to hear your father's okay Adam.
posted by cCranium at 6:29 AM PST on September 11
Holy fuck. It was a commercial jetliner according to MSNBC
posted by owillis at 6:31 AM PST on September 11
second plane looks like a boeing 737
posted by mich9139 at 6:31 AM PST on September 11
The second plane is an American Airlines 767 that took off from Boston, CNN is reporting.
posted by rcade at 6:32 AM PST on September 11
NY1 reports that the airports, tunnels and incoming traffic into Manhattan has been shutdown.
posted by riffola at 6:32 AM PST on September 11
"September 11" also means a concept, the day that America realized that it was in a battle for its existence. It was a catalyzing factor (often together with the example of Glenn Reynolds) that encouraged people of all political persuasions, people without extensive computer backgrounds, people who had never heard of the little-girl-on-a-bicycle-story to start their own weblogs to share their exasperation with the traditional media outlets' faux "objectivity." It strikes me that a lot of the backbiting is really a complaint from long-time bloggers that the center of the weblog universe isn't where it used to be, but it's this political movement of the last seven-plus months that the book is largely about.
Is this a "narrow" view? Not to those of us who've read these weblogs: they include Nader voters, Gore voters, Bush voters, whatever-libertarian-finished-in-fifth-place voters, non-voters, and for all I know even someone who accidentally voted for Buchanan; they include Jews, Muslims, Christians, and the secular; Israelis, Australians, Canadians, Persians. A Chomskyite might think this is only the gamut from "A to B", as one e-mail accused me of attempting, but, again, all we've stated is that we're against terrorism, and that leaves plenty of room for debate. It's no less unbalanced than the hypothetical core-sample-of-weblogs-on-one-day-only book (as opposed to my example below of a core-sample-of-the-Web-as-a-whole), which would be biased towards voices in the computer professions.
Wednesday, April 17, 2002
But I have to admit that one thing did scare me about the project and that fright is coming to life, as witnessed in the posts that lead to the two good responses below: What I feared was editing by democracy or by the mob. Kottke complains about what is and isn't in the book. Others complain about balance. If you listen to that, posts will have to be weighed by their balance of opinions: one on this side, one on that side, one on this side, one on that side. And before long you will have...
A VERY BORING BOOK.
Matt Welch started this when he complained that the "other side" had their book.
Now this side can have its book. Whatever the hell this side is. That will come out in the wash of what goes into it. That will be a rich ragout of opinions and perspectives and opinions.
But what this book must have is a voice. Generally, that is what an author or an editor -- rather than a democratic mob -- gives it. It must not be so scared of offending or omitting anyone that it becomes one big tapioca mush.
So don't try to impose some PC quota system on who's here or what's said. And don't presume you know what label to put on those of us who are here. Being against terrorism does not make me anything but right. Not right-wing. Just right.
I couldn't have said it better than Eric did below.
I find this particular discussion both strange and funny, because I consider myself to be a "liberal," but I'm a liberal in the same way Charles Johnson, Matt Welch, and Ken Layne are: love everybody, be inclined to help them and think the best of them, but if they crash airplanes into your buildings, or blow themselves up at your wedding, then track the bastards down and exterminate them like the vermin they are. Have a nice day.
So, what are the choices here? Either a) everyone with a weblog is a hawkish right-wing Westerner; b) only those webloggers who are hawkish right-wing Westerners can submit something for consideration; or c) I'm not getting a joke here. What seems like an opportunity to take a balanced, accurate snapshot of what people all across the Web were writing online at the time of the events of 9/11 has somehow turned into us vs them. Isn't there enough us vs them going around these days? How about letting everyone play...or at least make folks who may not be right-wing or pro-West feel welcome to contribute?I think Eric was being a bit tongue-in-cheek. We're certainly not limiting contributions to those from the right wing. Christopher Hitchens, hardly a right-winger, had some of the best September 11 commentary around. My personal favorite non-Lileks 9/11 post was from a leftist punk rocker on Dr. Frank's site for whom the attacks hit personally.
At the same time, and perhaps I'm wrong, there's very little interest in printing Chomsky-style prattle. A "balanced, accurate snapshot" of the Web would include the white supremacists who cheered the collapse of the towers on September 11, Jorn Barger's conspiracy theories implying Israel was behind the attacks, Saudi newspapers telling tales of Jews baking Gentile blood into pastries, Counterpunch's and Robert Fisk's excuses for the terrorists, and Arab newspapers on alternate days applauding Osama Bin Laden for his bold strike and denying that he had anything to do with it. It would include masses of frankly unreadable attempts at writing from people of all viewpoints. Such a "core sample" may be the source of an interesting sociological analysis, but it's not the goal of this compilation. I don't believe in the definition of "objectivity" that says you don't call a terrorist a terrorist because someone might disagree with that assessment, or that the talking head condemning suicide-bombing pizzerias has to be "balanced" by a supporter of the practice. There's going to be biases in the finished work, biases towards good writing, biases towards tolerance and pluralism, and biases towards the belief that crashing fuel-and passenger-laden jumbo jets into skyscrapers is not a laudable act and that there's something wrong with those that suggest otherwise.
If that's not the book you want written, we're fortunate enough to live in a free society that permits you to write a different one.
MEMORY HOLE UPDATE: Because the author is an idiot, the original version of this post misidentified Mr. Kottke as "Brett"
Tuesday, April 16, 2002
Monday, April 15, 2002
I agree that the best approach would be for bloggers to send in their favorite 9/11-related (or aftermath, any connection is fine) essays/blogs and then we'll just peer review them. I think Glenn should get the final say, since everyone knows and respects him, and he gets a shitload of traffic. We'd love for Andrew to write an intro/outro/prologue/conlogue/whatever.
Max has nominated a charity, but we are still open to suggestion as to where the vast dinero will flow. We will dictate global policy based upon our largesse! Please tell your bloggy friends. Let the candidate essay/blogs flow!
Would there also be a CD-ROM with electronic copies of the essays included with the book, to provide a permanent digicopy? Stuff falls off the net fast. Even though the links within the pieces will become exponentially more useless each month, it would be nice to include what the author originally intended.
I had thought about just asking bloggers to nominate their own work, but Matt Welch suggests that it would be more interesting to get people to nominate others' work. Well, we're certainly not going to turn down nominations: people are sending them in, and I hope we get more before we start spamming bloggers. My only concern is the chance we end up with 40 pieces by Lileks and ten by everyone else, but I'm quickly learning how deep the blogging talent pool is beyond the dozen I regularly read and the several dozen I check in on once in a while.
Sunday, April 14, 2002
If you'd like to be part of this, please send me an e-mail to safblog at yahoo dot com, and I'll get you a password to the site so that you can post entries also. Please also send nominations for the book to the same address.