My blogwriting time today was taken up by the health care forum, part of which I was able to follow live through C-Span's Web site. This site also provides a link to a PDF document from the Kaiser Family Foundation, summarizing the difference between the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate versions of the current health care reform bills.
If your analysis of the health care financing mess (and what we need to do to fix it) differs from mine, nothing I could say at 1:30 a.m. is going to change your mind, so I won't tackle that subject. All I know is (and this was hinted at more than once) ... every participant in that conference had adequate health care coverage.
With that out of the way, here is this week's crop of righteous links:
My Web Will (www.mywebwill.com) is a soon-to-be-launched commercially packaged approach to organizing your digital life after death. Take a look at this interview with co-founder Lisa Granberg. Jennifer Farwell in a 2007 article, "Death and Digital Data," reviews some of the legal issues involved--issues that might be simplified by a service such as My Web Will. My question: if vast amounts of text (particularly correspondence) are inaccessible or simply disappear after we die, what will be left behind for future historians to study?
Books and Culture is going behind $ubscriber wall$--except for four articles of every issue. I'm in shock! The New York Times, I can almost understand, but ....
The problem isn't my willingness to pay, in theory--but, if the pay model catches on, how do I prioritize my few discretionary rubles? In my case, as with almost everyone I know who gets a lot of information through the Internet, the traditional subscription model just won't work--we simply rely on too many sources, and most of us will inevitably abandon those sources that charge us in favor of those who still keep their gates open. (I subscribe to several sites, however, that have a free basic level of access, and for-pay enhancements. Fair enough.) I've seen endless variations on this discussion--for example, here's one hosted by McKinsey.
I don't like arrangements where online access is linked to a print subscription. In almost all cases, even if I can afford the print version, I don't want it. Aside from other concerns, the mail to Russia can be slow. We are still getting Christmas cards in February.
The even bigger problem for me is sharing worthwhile articles. If I have a subscription but I want to make an article available more widely, I have to either copy and paste (which will probably be against the terms of agreement) or wait until another site has reposted the article and link to that second-hand site. There are places in this world where other forms of public information-sharing are subject to heavy censorship or self-censorship and the Internet represents a relatively free arena. I hope it stays "free."
Take a recent article by Katherine Jeffry, "'I Am Not Who You Think I Am': Situating The Shack in a Christian literary landscape." This is an example of the kind of Books and Culture article that I'd like to share freely, in this case with readers of William Paul Young's novel The Shack. I don't agree with the doctrinal correlations Jeffry makes with other works of Christian literature, according to which The Shack falls woefully short--I don't think she gives readers credit for sufficient intelligence to distinguish metaphor from heresy--but she provides a lot of food for thought.
"Which sources do we trust, and why?"--particularly when researching and advocating earth care policies.
Pew Forum researches "Religion among the Millennials." Among the summary observations: "In their social and political views, young adults are clearly more accepting than older Americans of homosexuality, more inclined to see evolution as the best explanation of human life and less prone to see Hollywood as threatening their moral values. At the same time, Millennials are no less convinced than their elders that there are absolute standards of right and wrong."
"Open source is a restaurant where everyone is a chef."
On the "silent justice" of the U.S. Supreme Court: "Does Thomas' Silence Thwart Advocacy?"
Skip James sings "Crow Jane," an old song sometimes attributed to him. (See the discussion here.)