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31 July 2006

I owe my sanity to alternative media

I saw an interesting case study in information theory this morning.
It was interesting enough, in a human interest sense, to justify
attention from the media. For this particular informational
phenomenon the most imaginable of outlets for such information would
be the bottom feeders of the communicating arts' intelligence as well
as SNR scales... the local TV news crew.

Basically, a gas station we passed in the course of certain routine
errands read 2.989, but (as synchronicity or station policy or
whatever) the `2' was half blown away in the morning wind, and there
was clearly visible a (as of yet `unblown') 1 over which the 2 had
obviously been pinned up.

Fortunately[?], the only TV station number I happened to have on speed
dial was WHPR, channel 33 (and FM 88.1) in Highland Park, MI. Not
that they wouldn't necessarily take an interest in such information,
but their focus is talk TV, talk radio and TV-radio simulcasting, not
brain=dead quasi-journalism embedded in large amounts of (increasingly
blaring to easily 30+dB over `signal') noise. Nevertheless, I had no
other apropos phone numbers handy, so I decided to give them a shout.

I had no idea what I might say to whoever might answer the phone at
WHPR. As I struggled with the bizzy signals I was rehearsing and
scripting an improv. It went something like this:

I understand you most likely don't have truckfuls of news crews and
their gear zooming around the metro area as do your main$tream
colleagues, but you're the only TV station I happened to have on speed
dial and I don't have a phone book on me at the moment and I'm to
cheap (ie poor) to call directory assistance, and I just couldn't
bring myself not to tell someone, and you're the only seemingly
apropos someone I've got, so here it is: At 13-Ryan is (or was,
anyway) a typical graphical error containing a humorous mensaje about
humyn nature, as well as about the energy situation. To my continuing
disappointment with myself, I went out without a camera again. Since
you're in the TV biz, I figured you might have one.

As it turns out, my call was answered not by a `person' (which in
general and also in this instance bothers me not in the least) but by
(apparently) the call-queueing system for a call-in talk show. I
don't know whether the number I dialed in on was for call-in or just
listening, but I elected to do the latter for a minute or two, even
though I didn't even begin to have a script handy for an impromptu
talk radio (but on-air nevertheless) appearance.

After listening for about 10 seconds, I certainly resolved that if
someone did say `caller you're on,' I wouldn't talk about anything
nearly so trivial as the price of gas, let alone humorous anecdotes
about the same.

The subjects under discussion during the (maybe not even) all of two
minutes that I heard were numerous, as the discussion was very
fast-paced and about subjects that interest me a great deal. In spite
of this shared interest (or perhaps because of it), I virtually
cradled my $ell phone and resolved instead to blog an entry about this
anecdote at such a time as I might get a round tuit. As can hopefully
be seen, that time has arrived and is now here, and I am now here at a
computer. Perhaps as soon as Friday (or as not-so-soon as a couple or
three months from now), you (whoever you might be) will be reading the
present text. Perhaps not.

There was something said about `politricks,' specifically the brand of
politricks centered around conspicuous hiring, or what I call
`publicity hires.' I can't be sure, but I imagined it was a reference
to one of Governor Granholm's recent spammercials in which she is
pictured with what seems like a few hundred new hires with the highway
department. From what I was able to gather based on `news' coverage
of the `event,' I was actually (mostly pleasantly, suggesting possible
red-over-black prioritization?) surprised that the jobs, while not on
the state payroll, were mostly nevertheless in the public sector at
the county or local levels. I'm actually largely undecided on
questions involving government de/centralization. In -general-, I
like to think of myself as a radical decentralist along the lines of
Paul Goodman (as well as of course Emma Goldman). In general, I like
to think of myself as someone who regards debates over centralization
versus decentralization of the public sector as akin to debates over
optimal rearrangement of deck chairs on doomed vessels. BTW, the
front page of today's had some stark numeric data (in many
point type) regarding the only-so-recent tragedy aboard Ethan Allen on
Lake George.

At any rate, I just wanted to shout out to cypherspace (whether it
matters or not) that I appreciate to a considerable degree the hard
work of people in alternative media. It's some of the most thankless
work imaginable, due I think mostly to the tradeoff-oriented nature of
the humyn condition. The media industry in general seems to have a
higher SQ (salescrittership quotient) than most industries, which is
kind of [sic] ironic given the media's reputations for flagrant
liberalism as well as the $ale$ community's reputation for nearly the
opposite. Add to that the fact that the pressure to wax salesy is
invariably more burdensome (which is nevertheless seen as good news by
some) to small as contrasted with large places of business. Yet so
many toil so patiently in the world of micromedia.

Perhaps another world really is possible.

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