So New: In Which I Interview the (Co) Founder of Twitter (10 of 90)

I left Wired in 2002.

There were jobs in between. A book. MIT. But I really built my career at Wired and I’m beginning to realize exactly how long ago 8  years is in modern time. Not to ruin the ending, but it’s a long time.

These days, I’m a professor at Ball State University, nestled in tiny Muncie, Indiana just about an hour northeast of Indianapolis. It’s a wonderful life. I love my students. I love my colleagues. I even love my administration.

But I do, on occasion, miss being in the middle of things. I miss chasing stories. I miss covering the world of emerging technologies as they smash into the culture. I miss being on the pulse of the Next New.

So I was thrilled on Friday to have the chance to interview Biz Stone (@biz), the epically cool co-founder of Twitter.

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The Appalachian Trail Project

There’s a website called Kickstarter that enables people who have an idea to solicit help in working on a project. If the project doesn’t “make” – that is, if there aren’t enough funds generated – nobody pays and the project goes away.

I’m a big believer in the micro-loan way, giving individuals the opportunity to do what they want to by developing a network willing to fund their work. It seems rational to me.

So when I came across this particular project, a young man who wants to hike the Appalachian Trail and write a book about his experiences in order to dispel the stereotypes of the region, I was hooked.

I’m definitely going to pony up cash for this project and I hope you do too.

Now, I don’t know Forrest and I haven’t talked to him about the project. I know nothing about him (although I’m going to send him a note for sure). So let the buyer beware.

For me, though, this seems like an amazing project. One I’m happy to support.

The Friendly Atheist: Life as Teacher and Atheist

This talk is from Skepchicamp, a skeptics group in Chicago where atheists and skeptics gather to discuss the issues facing rational thinkers in the public sphere.

This speaker runs The Friendly Atheist, one of my favorite sites, as he discusses his life as a public school teacher in Chicago and an atheist. This talk focuses on a religious group trying to get him fired because of his thinking. (You can see all the videos from this gathering here.)

Skepchicamp-Hemant Mehta from Bruce Critelli on Vimeo.

In Which I Interview George Carlin (Circa 2001)

I’ve been thinking about George Carlin lately. Particularly his use of words. When I was a child, his comedy routines taught me the power of choosing words precisely and with purpose. He also taught me timing.

Many years later, I had the opportunity to interview him when I was working for Wired News. Depressingly, this is less a conversation and more a straight (and bad) interview. Still, the time we spent — about 2 hours all told — were the best experience of my professional career.

Here is that interview. (With thanks to Jeremy Barna, who pulled this out of the hopper for me.)

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Another Example of Apple Thinking So You Don’t (This, By The Way, Is Bad)

“I understand that Americans are kowtowing to a religion overseas. I don’t understand why this is happening and it’s wrong.”

Apple has, by far, the most Draconian and frightening policies towards content creation, individual rights and copyright. This is nothing new for those of us who write about, follow and engage in these realms.

Unfortunately, not everyone does.

Thankfully we have the Internets.

Recently, Apple banned the iSlam Muhammad App – which pulled violent quotes from the Koran – and gave the developer no recourse. That this happened on Everybody Draw Mohammad Day was certainly no co-incidence.

The App developer recorded his call with Apple as they told him his software didn’t jibe with Apple’s view of the world.

This is just another example of the company’s Orwellian belief that it – better than you – knows what kind of content you should see. And lest you think this is limited to Apps, check out this piece on the news.

Tim Minchin: The Good Book

I had a discussion with someone about religion awhile back and the argument made was The Bible is truth because it is. It’s hard to argue logically with that idea.

Had I known about Tim Minchin, I would have played this in response. (On an un-related note, I will be purchasing all of Ricky Gervais and Minchin’s stand up this year.)

Social Media + Your Friendships

Finally, other material in the report indicates that texting is happening in addition to other forms of social interaction. Thus, another interpretation is that teens actually have more access and more informal, casual contact because of texting. This is because texting is woven into the flow of other activities. In essence their friends are always there and always available for a texting "chat."

From the Pew Internet + American Life Project report.

As it turns out, we are more involved with our friends today than weve ever been. We have more access to more information about the people in our lives. We stoke the embers of the fires of friendships using these medias.

Text on, people.

Indiana Public Relations Leadership Seminar Talk

I gave a talk to the Indiana Public Relations Leadership Seminar on Friday, April 16. But I also recorded a version of that talk for a Communication class at Ball State University. I’ll unlock the video in a few days. If you’d like to see it, please let me know and I’ll send you the password.

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