A fascinating story in Vanity Fair on Julian Assange and Wikileaks and the Guardian and ethics in journalism. Here’s the gist:
Assange’s position was rife with ironies. An unwavering advocate of full, unfettered disclosure of primary-source material, Assange was now seeking to keep highly sensitive information from reaching a broader audience. He had become the victim of his own methods: someone at WikiLeaks, where there was no shortage of disgruntled volunteers, had leaked the last big segment of the documents, and they ended up at The Guardian in such a way that the paper was released from its previous agreement with Assange—that The Guardian would publish its stories only when Assange gave his permission. Enraged that he had lost control, Assange unleashed his threat, arguing that he owned the information and had a financial interest in how and when it was released.
Assignment: groundbreaking for new NSA facility.
Assignment: guy in a bike shop.
No run ins with any GAMs today. All good. I started to read a book. It’s not out yet. It’s good. I’ll tell you more about it later. I guess that’s all I’ve got to say.
I’ve spent most of the day editing photos. Flood, football, rodeo, more football. Lots of catching up to do so I can put everything from 2010 together for contests.
Today’s media: No time really. A little bit of Crackdown 2. And I almost started The Ricky Gervais Show. Karl Pilkington: amazing.
And you know what? I’m not linking to the stuff I talk about on here anymore. If you see something interesting (and it all is), you can Google it yourself.
I’ve got this site for photojournalists in Utah. It’s a place photographers can post photographs and share ideas.
When I designed the site I wanted a way for people to rate each other’s posts and photographs, but in a positive way. I made it so viewers could leave coins on posts they liked. They way I saw it there was no way to leave a negative vote, since no matter how many coins you left it would only drove a post’s score higher.
But it didn’t take long for readers to figure out a way to mark a post as awful:
The 1 coin vote.
Since my system displays the average number of coins, a 1 coin vote often shows up on a post like an egg splattered across your windshield.
I’m toying with the idea of removing the average coin display.
Lately I had some issues with an acquaintance of mine. And now I’ve found out that he’s been leaving 1 coin votes on my posts as a way of vexing me. I know, right? It seems so immature that I didn’t believe it either. And this person is a grown, adult man (GAM).
I found out what was going on after posting an innocuous item asking people to list their Twitter feeds. After an hour or so I was surprised to see that the post had received three 1 coin votes, an unheard-of number. Who hates Twitter? I wondered. So I looked.
The coin system keeps a log of all votes. I rarely look at it, but a quick scan showed that this GAM had left the 1 coin votes. And from the time stamp I saw that he did this right after we had a disagreement. I looked further and saw he had gone through several of my posts in a matter of minutes handing out 1 coin votes to all of them, including one he had previously given a 14 coin vote. This GAM was clearly acting like a dick.
1 coin votes?
It’s absolutely ridiculous.
Time to cast a spell on all GAMs…
Let your coins flow freely. Life is too short to be bitter. Leave me alone as I leave you alone. The End.
Assignment – shooting.
According to the cops, they’re chasing a guy who drives into a ditch, runs, and pulls a gun. They shoot and kill him. It’s the first time I’ve taken a photograph in Hooper, Utah.
Assignment – barn fire.
Finished the film A Single Man. Great.
Started watching Jersey Shore Season 2.
Yes. Jersey Shore. Let’s see if I can keep this post from going off the rails.
Laura lasted less than ten seconds before she stopped watching. I kept going. I need to find out if Ronnie and Sammi’s on and off-again relationship will ever last longer than twenty
You know what’s great about shows like Jersey Shore? I think I figured it out…
When I was young it was easy to laugh at people. I didn’t know any better. Now I’m older and life has humbled me. I try to laugh with people, not at them.
But when watching Jersey Shore I can laugh at people and there is absolutely no guilt; the losers I’m laughing at are very well paid.
Sign of the times: Object of Ridicule is now a paid position.
Morning came way too early today. I was exhausted getting everyone off to school. Maybe exhaustion is the perfect mental state for editing photos, because you don’t have any patience for the mediocre images that crowd your archive. When you’re exhausted you just want one thing: Sleep. Can’t.
Soon everyone has left except me and the dog, who vomits on the rug.
I’m watching a special on photojournalist Reza. I see he’s shooting with a Leica 21mm lens and I remember that I sold mine in 2004 and spent the money on a Canon DSLR. I feel like vomiting on the rug.
Please Kill Me.
I put the rug outside on a picnic table and rub snow on it, leaving it in the sun to melt. When I check later the rug has frozen to the table and I am unable to move it.
Watched Salt. Three stars.
Sorting through files on my computer, I find this quote:
The reason everyone is so bitchy in academia is because the stakes are so low.
Please substitute journalism for academia.
I had a dream. I was photographing in a deserted industrial town. Think Detroit, or Magna. Everyone had vanished and I was in an abandoned prison photographing three murderous inmates. No guards anywhere. One of the killers realized the door was unlocked and walked out to freedom and mayhem. I was thinking, Do I keep shooting or run for safety? But they left me unharmed when I suggested that they hold a pagan mass and invite the Christian townspeople, who they hated.
I walked through the woods and found a suitable location for the mass, a spot where we could build a large bonfire. I walked to my tent and saw it had been soaked by rain.
The day ends like it began. Sleep. Can’t.
I don’t feel like editing photos.
And the rug is still outside, frozen to the backyard.
We were trying to think of a way to deface the church program. I said, “We could draw that famous photo of Bigfoot in the background.”
“What famous photo of Bigfoot?” my son asked.
“You know, the one that turned out to be a fake,” I said.
“Of course it’s a fake,” he said.
It hit me like a slap in the face… Science has gotten to my kids. They don’t believe in Bigfoot.
I’m just sitting here looking at the dashboard of a website that is supposed to be finished in a matter of hours. It’s basically done but I’m not sure. It’s going to be used by journalists all over the state and some will be computer illiterate. That’s the challenge. And like many projects I seem to take on, I’m not completely sure how it will end up. But I always make sure that it does “end up.”
I’ve also compiled a list of the places I post, as I continue to figure out what to do with all of that. Am I really posting on nine blogs, and managing another dozen? That’s something I’ve got to change immediately. I’m diluting the audience.
I was really excited last year to set up this now mostly dead site, which was intended to pop culture posts. I invited three friends from high school to write with me. Back in the mid-80s we put out a zine together. Now we all live in different places and don’t keep in touch so the site would have been the perfect place for us to share music, films, books, etc., that we are into. It never took off. Only two of us posted on a regular basis. I stopped after a while, and now only the occasional post comes up from Jef. Every time he posts now it’s like the last bubbles of air coming to the surface of the lake. I can just sense the man drowning below. It’s too bad. We are all creative, funny, and unique. It should have been fun. Thanks Jef, for trying.
Art By Wesley Willis
From the Intuit Art Gallery.
If you are not familiar with Wesley Willis, Google him. To be short, he was a Chicago street musician who was eventually signed to Rick Rubin’s American label and Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles label.
Wesley was a paranoid schizophrenic that admitted to being addicted to crack at one time, yet still recorded thousands of songs before his death at age 40 from Leukemia.