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Last update: 2013-04-19

Paul Levinson reads from Unburning Alexandria

2013-04-19
Length: 23s

Welcome to Episode 88 of Llght On Light Through, a special video podcast:  I've just finished writing the concluding chapter of Unburning Alexandria - sequel to The Plot to Save Socrates - which will be published on Kindle, iTunes, etc as an ebook by JoSara MeDia in a few days. As a little appetizer, I thought you might enjoy this brief reading I did from Unburning Alexandria at Robin's Books (the famous book store which closed in 2012) in Philadelphia, as part of Oz Fontecchio's Philadelphia Fantastic series. The reading comes from the beginning of the novel, which was published in November 2008 in Analog Magazine as a novelette, and which is in the 2012 ebook of The Plot to Save Socrates. (The ebook of Unburning Alexandria picks up the narrative right after.) Following the reading, I talk to Oz Fontecchio about time travel, and take questions from audience, including one from Gerry Elman. Thanks to Larry Robin, Ray Garman, Oz Fontecchio, Gerry Elman, Trevor Quachri, and Chuck Sterin, who in one way or another helped with this video, and to David Hartwell and Stan Schmidt, who helped with the print publications of The Plot to Save Socrates and Unburning Alexandria. The Plot to Save Socrates on Kindle


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Occupy Wall Street Chronicles, Part 1

2011-11-24
Length: 53s

Welcome to Episode 87 of Light On Light Through, in which I offer ongoing commentary about Occupy Wall Street, September 27 through November 23, 2011.  The commentary first appeared in 15 blog posts - dates, titles, and links to the text of the blog posts are listed below.  Main themes include Occupy Wall Street as a resurgence of direct democracy, police violation of the First Amendment in their violence against protesters and the press, failure of the Obama administration to protect the rights of Occupy citizens attacked by munipalities, and much more.  This podcast is about 55 minutes in length.  It is intended as both analysis and eyewitness to one of the most important revolutions in human history.  Further chronicles will appear here in subsequent months.

Helpful links -

Sept 27, 2011 NYC Police Disgrace Themselves in Brutal Treatment of Wall Street Protesters Oct 6, 2011 Advice to President Obama: Join Occupy Wall Street Oct 16, 2011 Occupy Wall Street, Direct Democracy, Social Media: A Thumbnail History of Media and Politics Since Ancient Athens Oct 21, 2011 Obama Should Call in National Guard to Restrain NYPD in Occupy Wall Street Oct 26, 2011 No Expiration Date on First Amendment Oct 29, 2011 Into the Mind of a Conservative Bully
Nov 2, 2011 Bank of America Bends to Will of the People Nov 10, 2011 Open Letter to Governor Jerry Brown Nov 13, 2011 Lame CBS Broadcasts Only First Hour of Republican Foreign Policy Debate Nov 15, 2011 Mayor Bloomberg's Poor Understanding of the First Amendment Nov 16, 2011 Violation of First Amendment to Cover Up Violation of First Amendment Nov 20, 2011 What OWS Has Shown Us about Bloomberg, Jerry Brown, Obama Nov 20, 2011 Jay Carney (and Obama) Have It All Wrong about Police and OWS Nov 20, 2011 Failure of Budget Super-Committee Shows Further Decay of Representative Democracy Nov 23, 2011 First Amendment Trampling Bloomberg Caves: NYPD Ordered to Let Press Do Its Job

My television interviews about OWS ... with Chuck Scarborough on NY Nightly News ... on FOX 5 NY ...

Relevant movie ... Tiffany Shlain's Connected moive

my home page: http://paullevinson.info

more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

my latest media book:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit"-- in Curled Up With A Good Book -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

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Voice Mail from Marshall McLuhan, 1978

2011-11-07
Length: 8s

Welcome to Episode 86 of Light On Light Through, in which I share a recently recovered voicemail from Marshall McLuhan, from August 1978, about my doctoral dissertation, "Human Replay: A Theory of the Evolution of Media," which I had mailed up to him in Canada, a few weeks earlier, before I left with my wife Tina on our summer vacation ...

Helpful links -

my blog post: Levinson re: McLuhan 2011 list of conferences and interviews, 2011

my home page: http://paullevinson.info

more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

my latest media book:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit"-- in Curled Up With A Good Book -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-…

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Unconstitutional Wars

2011-04-27
Length: 8s

Welcome to Episode 85 of Light On Light Through, in which I discuss the inadvisability of unconstitutional wars - that is, wars not declared by both houses of Congress, as required by the U.S. Constitution - such as the one we're now waging in Lybia...

Helpful links -

my blog post: On the Road to Another Unconstitutional War?
my blog post: Wrong for NATO Strike to Kill Gaddafi Grandchildren

my home page: http://paullevinson.info

more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

my latest media book:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit"-- in Curled Up With A Good Book -=-=-=-=-=-=-=- …

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Time to Say Goodbye to Nuclear Energy

2011-04-17
Length: 7s

The title of Episode 84 of Light On Light Through says it all:  the continuing nuclear crisis in Japan shows why it's long since time to take our leave of nuclear power as a mainstream energy source on this planet.

Helpful links -

my blog post: Time to Say Goodbye to Nuclear Energy
help Japan! Songs of Love for Japan compilation - 100 tracks by Tori Amos, Sara Bareilles, Josh Ritter, 96 other artists & me ("Sunshine's Mine"), on sale April 18-20, 2011 listen to Sunshine's Mine and a few of my other songs

my home page: http://paullevinson.info

more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

my latest media book:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit"-- in Curled Up With A Good Book

       …

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China Goes Totalitarian about Time Travel

2011-04-13
Length: 9s

The Chinese ban of time travel movies is an unwelcome but timely reminder of the enduring differences between closed and open societies ... this is the subject of Light On Light Through, Episode 83.

Helpful links -

my blog post: China Goes Totalitarian about Time Travel The New Yorker and China Hush on the subject list of my books translated into Chinese my blog post: The Enoyable Trouble with Time Travel 2002 movie (YouTube): The Chronology Protection Case transcript and vid of my 2005 lecture: The Flouting of the First Amendment

my home page: http://paullevinson.info

more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

my latest media book:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit"-- in Curled Up With A Good Book

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Kojo Nnamdi's NPR Interview with Paul Levinson about New New Media

2010-11-21
Length: 51s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 82 - Kojo Nnamdi's complete National Public Radio (NPR) Septemeber 2009 interview with me about New New Media.  This is one of best interviews I've ever been treated to on the subject.  We cover all the usual bases, from Twitter to YouTube, but with historical context and live questions via email, Twitter, and phone.


Helpful links -

What's Newer than New New Media - everything that's happened since Sept 2009 Mark Molaro's video interview with me on The Alcove

my home page: http://paullevinson.info

more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

published on 3 September 2009:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit"-- in Curled Up With A Good Book

FREE audiobook of The Plot to Save Socrates from Audible special trial offer!

 

 

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MSNBC Wrong to Suspend Keith Olbermann

2010-11-07
Length: 15s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 81 - 15 minutes of clear, cogent analysis from me about why MSNBC was dead wrong to suspend Keith Olbermann.  Well, I'll leave it to you to judge whether my analysis is clear and cogent, but the long and the short of it is, although I've found fault with Olbermann's over-the-top denunciations of everyone from Hillary Clinton to Bill O'Reilly to Jack Bauer, his suspension from MSNBC is based on the dangerous and foolish myth that news commentators are supposed to be "objective," and not connected in any way to those they may interview.


Helpful links:

my short blog post on this matter: MSNBC Wrong and Self-Destructive to Suspend Keith Olbermann strong comments and debate on this issue on my Facebook wall Olbermann, Bauer, Coleridge - I critique Olbermann in this 2007 podcast

 

my home page: http://paullevinson.info

more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

published on 3 September 2009:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit"-- in Curled Up With A Good Book

FREE audiobook of The Plot to Save Socrates from Audible special trial offer!

 

 

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The Chronology Protection Case

2010-10-03
Length: 43s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 80, in which you will hear the complete, uncut radio play of "The Chronology Protection Case," recorded before a live audience at the Mark Goodson Theater in the Museum of Television and Radio in New York City in September 2002.    The radio play is based on my novelette, "The Chronology Protection Case," published in Analog Magazine 1995.   The novelette was nominated for the Nebula Award by the Science Fiction Writers of America, was reprinted six times, and led to two other novelettes with the lead character - Dr. Phil D'Amato - and three novels, including The Silk Code, which won the Locus Award for Best First Novel of 1999.   Jay Kensinger released a short film based on the novelette in 2002.

Mark Shanahan wrote the radio play, with Paul Levinson (me) and Jay Kensinger.   The script performed at the Museum of Television and Radio was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Radio Play by the Mystery Writers of America.  Mark later recorded a studio production of the play, which was released by Audible.com.

 

Links:

Jay Kensinger's 2002 movie of The Chronology Protection Case, in its entirety Studio production of The Chronology Protection Case radio play, from Audible.com "The Four Phils" - podcast about the creations of this character Phil D'Amato's Wikipedia article

 

~playbill~

The Chronology Protection Case

 

based on the story by Paul Levinson

radio adaption by Mark Shanahan, with Paul Levinson & Jay Kensinger

directed by Elysa Martin

music performed by Bob Feldman

host Joel Farrell

sound designer Chip Cristarella

 

Cast

Mark Shanahan as Dr. Phil D'Amato

Deborah Thomas as Lauren Goldring and Deborah

Ted Deasy as Jack Donovan and Richard Hays

Jeff Peters as Ed Monti, Sam Abrahmson, Nurse Johnson, and Officer

Gina Daniels as Maisie, Janny Murphy, and Julie Fenwich

 

A Stage Shadows Production

casting by Terry Ashe-Croft

 

performed at the Mark Goodson Theater at the Museum of Television and Radio, NYC

September 27, 2002

 

more by Paul Levinson


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Paul Levinson Talks about His Music

2010-09-25
Length: 1s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 79, in which you will hear the complete 65-minute interview Patrick Rands did with me about my music, in June 2006.   I drove up to WZBC Radio studios outside of Boston on a beautiful early summer afternoon for the interview by Partick Rands on his "Test Patterns" radio show on WZBC (Boston College) Radio.  With my 1972 LP, Twice Upon a Rhyme, re-issued in mini-CD by Big Pink/Beatball Records in December 2008, and to be re-issued in a vinyl re-pressing by Whiplash/Sound of Salvation Records in November 2010, I thought this interview, in which Patrick played 14 of my songs (many rarely heard before) to be especially significant.   A complete playlist and links to the music on the Web follow below ...

I had first come to know Patrick after his review of Rhino Handmade's Come to the Sunshine compilation CD in 2005 - the CD has my group The Other Voices (aka The New Outlook) singing "Hung Up On Love," a song I wrote with Mikie Harris, produced by Ellie Greenwich & Mike Rashkow, and released on Atlantic Records in 1968.

 

Patrick played "Hung Up On Love" and a dozen other recordings that I wrote, sang, produced (or all three) on our show in 2006.  As a special coda, I performed my new song, "Lime Streets," for the very first time at the end of the show.  I had written it just a month before the interview. Patrick was good enough to lend me his daughter's cool little keyboard for my rendition - it was my only instrumentation, so I was practically unplugged.

 

A complete list of the songs played on the show follows.  Patrick has a nice 'n' easy interview style, and I really had a good time.

 

Among the secrets revealed for the first time on the show:  how Ed Fox and I wrote "The Lama Will Be Late This Year" (and who, exactly, was 'Hawaiian Herb'?) . . . .the real reason that jazz-man Boris Midney left the Soviet Union  . . . what song got in the way of The Vogues releasing their recording of my song, "Unbelieavable (Inconceivable You)", on Reprise Records? . . . . and how old was Linda Kaplan when she wrote "Skyscraper" with me in the late 1960s? ( well, a lot younger than when she later wrote the famous "Toys 'R Jingle" . . . . "I don't wanna grow up . . . .")


And the playlight is as follows:

 

1. No Olympian Height(s) - recorded by The Other Voices (The New Outlook), Paul Levinson, Stu Nitekman, Ira Margolis (Stu singing lead), song written by Brute Force, produced by Ellie Greenwich & Mike Rashkow, 2nd single released on Atlantic, 1968

 

2. Hung Up On Love - recorded by The Other Voices (The New Outlook) - Paul Levinson, Stu Nitekman, Ira Margolis (but Mike Rashkow singing lead) - song written by Paul Levinson & Mikie Harris, produced by Ellie Greenwich & Mike Rashkow, B-side of both May My Heart Be Cast Into Stone, and No Olympian Heights, singles released on Atlantic, 1968 (included on Rhino's Come to the Sunshine CD, 2004)

 

3. Picture Postcard World - recorded by The Definitive Rock Chorale - studio group with Ellie Greenwich, Toni Wine, Ron Dante, etc - song written by Paul Levinson, produced by Ellie Greenwich & Mike Rashkow, released on Decca, 1968

 

4. Unbelievable (Inconceivable You) - recorded by The Vogues - song written by Paul Levinson, produced by Dick Glasser for Reprise, 1968, but never released

 

5. Sunshine Mind - recorded by Donna Marie (who sang in the Archies) - song written by Paul Levinson, produced by Jimmy "Wiz" Wisner, released on Columbia, 1968

 

6. Love Colored Glasses - studio demo recorded by Mikie Harris, written by Paul Levinson & Mikie Harris, 1968

 

7. Teacups and Tapestry - studio demo (artist unknown), written by Paul Levinson and Boris Midney, 1969

 

8. Skyscraper - studio demo by Linda Kaplan (later wrote "Toys 'R U" jingle), written by Paul Levinson & Linda Kaplan, 1968

 

9. Ring Around My Rosie - recorded by Protozoa - song written by David Fox, produced by Paul Levinson, Ed Fox, and Herb Abramson, Buddah Records, 1969

 

10. Merri- Goes-Round - recorded by Trousers (studio group; Bruce Scott singing lead) - written by Paul Levinson & Ed Fox, produced by Paul Levinson & Ed Fox, released on Wizdom Records, 1969

 

11. Not Yet Ready to Say Goodbye - recorded by Paul Levinson, with Ed Fox and Peter Rosenthal (Paul singing lead) - written by Paul Levinson & Linda Kaplan, produced by Paul Levinson & Ed Fox, released on Twice Upon A Rhyme LP, HappySad Records, 1972 (musicians on this album also include Don Frankel, Jay Sackett, Alan Fuhr, Boris Midney)

 

12. The Lama Will Be Late This Year - recorded by Paul Levinson, with Ed Fox and Peter Rosenthal (Ed singing lead) - written by Paul Levinson & Ed Fox, produced by Paul Levinson & Ed Fox, released on Twice Upon A Rhyme LP, HappySad Records, 1972 (musicians on this album also include Don Frankel, Jay Sackett, Alan Fuhr, Boris Midney)

 

13. Alpha Centauri - recorded by Peter Rosenthal (home demo) - written by Paul Levinson & Peter Rosenthal, 2000

 

14. Lime Streets - live performance by Paul Levinson, written by Paul Levinson, 2006

 

 And you'll also hear nice medley of New Outlook folk rock under some of the interview near the beginning...

 

Links to the music on the Web:

 

on iTunes ... Amazon ... eMusic my MySpace music page ... Facebook fan page ... Reverbnation complete lyrics to the songs on Twice Upon a Rhyme links to reviews and news about Twice Upon a Rhyme Shindig Magazine Jan-Feb 2011 review of Twice Upon a Rhyme

 

 ï»¿

 







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The Lincoln Penny and the VDB Litho: An Interview with Illustrator Joel Iskowitz

2010-08-07
Length: 34s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 78, in which you will hear a tale - all true - about time, space, the vision of an artist 100 years ago, the vision of another artist now ... a tale of two Presidents, of the power of the penny to bring us the past and make it come alive.   I interview Joel Iskowitz, whose depictions appear on the back of American coins and on UK stamps, on illustrations for NASA and the Boyscouts ... We talk about the capacity of a coin to capture the past and bring it to millions, how Victor David Brenner persuaded Theodore Roosevelt to commission a new Lincoln Penny back at the beginning of the 20th century, and how Joel envisioned this scene and rescued it from the oblivion of the past in a brand new lithograph.   This interview will be of special interest to historians, artists, coin collectors, and all students of communication and technology, and how this affects our psyches and our world...

 

Links:

Joel Iskowitz's web page and Wikipedia page. Meet Joel in person on 13 Aug 2010 at the World's Fair of Money in Boston! Joel's work at Signature Art Medals online. More from Joel online at The Mountain Studio. Lithograph by Iskowitz depicting Theodore Roosevelt sitting for Victor David Brenner for the Panama Canal Service Medal at Sagamore Hill. Courtesy Signature Art Medals.

 

my home page: http://paullevinson.info

more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

published on 3 September 2009:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit"-- in Curled Up With A Good Book

FREE audiobook of The Plot to Save Socrates from Audible special trial offer!

 

 

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Concerns about Kagan's First Amendment Position

2010-05-13
Length: 11s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 77, in which I discuss concerns that I and other civil libertarians have raised about U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan's views of the First Amendment, in particular her suggestion that objectional speech - such as hate speech and in pornography - can be restricted by government if it uses laws against physical abuse in hate crimes (which are indeed Constitutional and necessary for the government) to chill or limit the speakers.

Links:

my Infinite Regress blog piece:  Concern about Kagan's First Amendment positionmy Daily Kos blog piece, with extensive commentary:  Concern about Kagan's First Amendment positionJames Doty's defense of  Kagan in SalonJonathan Turley's critique of Kagan, with link to her article about combating hate speech and pornographyLight On Light Through podcast interview with the Doningers about Sotomayor's decision in their caseMy 2005 Fordham University Keynote Address:  The Flouting of the First AmendmentHuffington Post discussion of Obama's address at Hampton Universitymy 2009 book, New New Media

home page: http://paullevinson.info

more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

published on 3 September 2009:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit"-- in Curled Up With A Good Book

FREE audiobook of The Plot to Save Socrates from Audible special trial offer!

 


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Why the Arizona Immigration Law is Unconstitutional

2010-05-01
Length: 10s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 76, in which I discuss how the new Arizona Immigration  Law, even as amended, violates the 14th Amendment to our Constitution.

Links -
Why the Arizona Immigration Law Is Unconstitutional my Infinite Regress blog post, with extensive commentaryWhy the Arizona Immigration Law Is Unconstitutional my Daily Kos blog post, also with extensive commentaryWhy the Arizona Immigration Law Is Unconstitutional my Open Salon blog post, also with extensive commentary

home page: http://paullevinson.info

more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

published on 3 September 2009:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit"-- in Curled Up With A Good Book

FREE audiobook of The Plot to Save Socrates from Audible special trial offer!

 

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Astronauts Right to Criticize Obama on Space

2010-04-17
Length: 14s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 75, in which I explain why Neil Armstrong, James Lovell, and Eugene Cernan are right to criticize Obama's cutting of the humans to the Moon space programs.   The long and the short of it is we'll never know who were are, never understand what we are doing here in this Universe, from our vantage point here on Planet Earth, and humans on the Moon are a crucial step to getting off this Planet.

Links:

my recent blog posts on this subject at Infinite Regress, Open Salon, and the Daily Kos, and the spirited discussion in the comments Obama's 2011-2015 budget and mission plans for NASA full text of Armstrong, Lovell, and Cernan letter to Obama MPAndonee's comment in the Huffington Post discussion my 2003 book, RealSpace

 

home page: http://paullevinson.info

more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

published on 3 September 2009:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit"-- in Curled Up With A Good Book

FREE audiobook of The Plot to Save Socrates from Audible special trial offer!

 

 

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FlashForward Reviewed: First 10 Episodes

2010-03-18
Length: 1s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 74, in which I present my original reviews of the first 10 episodes of FlashForward, from the Fall 2009.    With Flashforward to resume tonight, I thought these reviews - from my Levinson news clips podcast - might be a good way of catching up.

 

Links:

New podcast reviews of new episodes of Flashforward (11 -) at Levinson news clips Blog post reviews of all Flasforward episodes at InfiniteRegress.tv My Light On Light Through September 2009 podcast interview with Rob Sawyer Come see my March 28, 2010 interview with Rob Sawyer at I-Con science fiction con

 

home page: http://paullevinson.info

more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

published on 3 September 2009:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit"-- in Curled Up With A Good Book

Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE

 

 

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My Prius Is Fine

2010-03-11
Length: 6s

 

A special Episode 73 of Light On Light Through  -- in which I discuss my current assessment of the Prius I've been driving since September 2006, and which was the subject of Episodes 1 and 32 of this very podcast.   Given the serious problems with accelerator and brake action reported for the Prius and other Toyotas, I though I'd chime in here with at least one data point:  which is, although I did have a little problem with a headlight, my Prius is driving just fine.

 

Links:

Light On Light Through Episode 1: Prius and BlueTooth Light On Light Through Episode 32:  My Sweet Prius, Part 2

 

home page: http://paullevinson.info

more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

published on 3 September 2009:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit"-- in Curled Up With A Good Book

Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE

 

 

 

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Memo to ABC-TV and Cablevision: Stop Extorting Your Viewers

2010-03-06
Length: 3s

A special Episode 72 of Light On Light Through  -- recorded an hour after ABC-TV pulled its station off Cablevision in the New York area.

 

Link to blog post:  Memo to Cablevision and ABC TV

 

home page: http://paullevinson.info

more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

published on 3 September 2009:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit"-- in Curled Up With A Good Book

Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE

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New New Media and Religion

2010-02-27
Length: 11s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 71: New New Media and Religion, in which I briefly discuss how blogging, Twitter, and "new new media" - which enable consumers of information to become producers - enable more human beings to consider and communicate about what it is that makes us human, what we're doing here in this universe, in other words, the essence of religion.

Links:

Free Twitter chapter from New New Media more about New New Media also Realspace: The Fate of Physical Presence in the Digital Age The New Landscape of Religion Blogosphere  with 9 commentators, including me.

 

home page: http://paullevinson.info

more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

published on 3 September 2009:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit"-- in Curled Up With A Good Book

Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE

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A January 2010 TV Review Sampler

2010-01-28
Length: 45s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 70:  A January 2010 TV Review Sampler.  I've been speaking and writing for several years - here on Light On Light Through, in my classes, on my blogs, in newspaper op-eds, and in my books - about the "new golden age of television" we are enjoying.   Indeed, I've been reviewing many of these great dramas - The Sopranos, Lost, Dexter - over on one of my other podcasts, Levinson News Clips.   These reviews are usually just 5-7 minutes, and I often post them within minutes of a show's broadcast.   This month of January 2010 has been an especially excellent month for television, so I decided to put together this special Light On Light Through sampler of my Levinson News Clips TV reviews of 24, Big Love, Bones, Damages, Fringe, Heroes, and House - all of which have come back on television with fine new episodes.   You'll find continuing reviews of every episode of these and other television shows on Levinson News Clips.

Links:

continuing podcast reviews of television on Levinson News Clips. continuing blog post reviews of television on InfiniteRegress.tv two of my book about television:  The Soft Edge & New New Media  my July 2006 Newsday article, The New Golden Age of Television

 

home page: http://paullevinson.info

more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

published on 3 September 2009:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates

"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book

Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE

 

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Leno, Conan, and New New Media

2010-01-23
Length: 54s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 69:  Leno, Conan, and New New Media .... in which I replay for you the entire 48-minute interview Fred W. Hofmann conducted with me on KCPS Radio, January 19, 2010, about the shake-up with Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien at NBC.  My thesis is that this has little to do with the talents of either late-night comedian, but rather is a result of the shift in audiences from network television to cable and the Internet.   I began to explore this shift in my 2009 book, New New Media, and I see the Leno-O'Brien events as just the latest rumblings in a television revolution which has just begun... Links:

more about New New Media Twitter chapter from New New Media - free! Fred W. Hofmann on KCPS Radio

 

home page: http://paullevinson.info

more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

published on 3 September 2009:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates "challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly "Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book

Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE

 

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Weep Not for Newspapers

2009-11-30
Length: 16s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 68:  Weep Not for Newspapers .... in which I explain why the decline of paper newspapers may be the best thing that ever happened to journalism and its goal of keeping citizens in a democracy well informed.   This is the latest installment in my continuing series, What's Newer than New New Media, which until now has consisted only of written blogs.

Links:

more about New New Media Twitter chapter from New New Media - free! my brief essay on this issue in The Chronicle of Higher Education

home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                          videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

published on 3 September 2009:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE


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How Does It Feel To Have A Book Published?

2009-10-30
Length: 53s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 67:  How Does It Feel To Have A Book Published? .... in which I chronicle the publication of my latest nonfiction book, New New Media, on September 3, 2009, with descriptions of events and expectations in August 2009, through the day of publication, and continuing with adventures in September and October 2009.   Highlights include mentions of the book in The New York Times and other newspapers prior to publication, interviews on radio shows, the book tour, the use of a blog in promoting the book, the first book review, the Kindle edition, and much more.   These reflections of an author - me, about New New Media - were first detailed in a series of eight short (5-minute) episodes in my Ask Lev podcast, where these writerly accounts will continue.

Links:

more about New New Media Twitter chapter from New New Media - free! my other books Ask Lev podcast - practical advice for writers my Four Rules for Writers

home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                          videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

published on 3 September 2009:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE


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Rob Sawyer Talks About FlashForward!

2009-09-18
Length: 45s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 66:  Robert J. Sawyer Talks About FlashForward .... With less than a week to go until the premiere of FlashForward on ABC Television on September 24, 2009, 8 pm Eastern time - based on Rob Sawyer's novel of the very same name - I was delighted to catch Rob on the phone in Toronto for this sage, penetrating interview in which Rob reveals what it feels like to be on the verge of having his novel seen on screens around the world in this ABC series.  Rob takes us through the steps of moving from novel to screen, his admiration for the stellar cast, his clear vision of possible future paths for his FlashForward novel universe, at a time when everyone will be coming to know the slightly different story in the television series, and much more.  Whether you're a writer with dreams of seeing of your words on the screen, or a fan of great science fiction is this new golden age of television, this is the interview you'll always remember.

Links:

more about Rob's novel, FlashForward
shortly after 9/24/09 9pm: my blog reviews begin of the TV series shortly after 9/24/09 9:30 pm: my podcast reviews begin my June 24, 2007 conversation with Rob Sawyer Oceanic Airlines as a Portal Between FlashForward and Lost Added March 18, 2010: Light On Light Through review of 1st 10 epispdes of FlashForward

 

home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://open.salon.com/blog/paul_levinson                      

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                        

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

published on 3 September 2009:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE



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An Introduction to New New Media

2009-08-08
Length: 34s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 65:  An Introduction to New New Media ... with the publication of my latest book, New New Media, just weeks away (Penguin Academics will be publishing the book on 4 September 2009),  I thought I would share with you the interview Dr. Howard Gluss did with me on his KFNX Radio show on June 12, 2009.  It provides a 20-minute introduction to the way that Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and what I call "new new media" are changing all of us from consumers into producers, and in the process revolutionizing all aspects of our lives, from the way we watch television to the way we elect Presidents...

Links:

more about New New Media
more about Dr. Howard Gluss radio show I'm interviewed about New New Media on Kojo Nnamdi show

home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://open.salon.com/blog/paul_levinson                      

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                   videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

coming in Summer 2009:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate ... heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell ... there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE

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Moon 40

2009-07-19
Length: 12s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 64:  Moon 40 ... in which I reflect on watching our species land on the Moon 40 years ago, regret that we have not gone much further, and offer some reasons why we must.  They are more than scientific and economic, though outer space will give us much data and access to vast resources of energy.  But the deepest reasons are closer to spiritual - we will never understand who we really are, what we are doing here in this cosmos, from down on here on Planet Earth.  The universe beyond is, after all, part of our larger home...

Links:

my blog post: Forty Years from the Moon, and Still Counting my book: Realspace

home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://open.salon.com/blog/paul_levinson                      

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                          videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

coming in Summer 2009:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE




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Sotomayor vs. First Amendment: An Interview with Avery and Lauren Doninger

2009-06-29
Length: 1s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 63:  Sonia Sotomayor vs. the First Amendment: An Interview with Avery and Lauren Doninger.  The First Amendment has almost never been under greater fire.   Broadcasters are being fined record amounts and the FCC and Congress are calling out for more.   Students are being taught the wrong lessons about freedom of expression in some of our schools, and courts are supporting these schools.  One of those cases - involving a 16-year old high school student, Avery Doninger - made its way to the Second Circuit Appeals Court, where Sonia Sotomayor and two colleague justices supported the school.   Judge Sotomayor now seems likely to be confirmed by the US Senate to serve a lifetime position on the United States Supreme Court.

In this special episode of Light On Light Through, I interview Avery Doninger and her mother, Lauren Doninger.  You can hear in their own voices what was at stake in Avery's case - what the case was all about - and their reaction to the adverse decision of the Sotomayor court.   The case may well reach the U.S. Supreme Court...


Helpful links and contacts:

my blog posts: Sotomayor's Anti-First Amendment Decision and Why One Strike Against 1st Amendment Should Rule You Out Andy Thibault blog and Aldon Hynes blog about Doninger case
Avery Doninger's Scales of Justice paper
Lauren Doninger's email:  LaurenDoninger@comcast.net Iolta Fund for Avery Doninger, c/o John Schoenhorn, 108 Oak Street, Hartford, CT 06106 First Amendment documentary on HBO June 2009; my review my 2005 Keynote Address at Fordham University:  "The Flouting of the First Amendment,"  transcript and video

home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://open.salon.com/blog/paul_levinson                      

more podcasts: http://Levinsonnewsclips.com                                           videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

                                                                          

coming in Summer 2009:  New New Media

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE




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Star Trek: Reborn, Reset, Resplendent

2009-05-08
Length: 16s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 62:  Star Trek: Reborn, Reset, Resplendent ... in which I explain how the new May 2009 Star Trek movie succeeded in delighting lifelong fans (including me) as well as reinventing the Star Trek universe from the beginning (which I also immensely enjoyed) ... hint: think time-travel ...

Helpful links:

complete blog post: Star Trek: Reborn, Reset, Resplendent historical context: How Star Trek Liberated Television blogs about time travel check out Night Guy - our latest promo-suite podcast partner

Enjoy...

home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                          

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE


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Author and Critic: Perilous Symbiosis

2009-04-12
Length: 23s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 61:  Author and Critic: Perilous Symbiosis ... in which I examine the love/hate mutually catalytic relationship of authors (or creators) and critics.   I look especially at the dangers and benefits to aspiring authors of writing critical reviews of works by other authors...

Helpful links:

My Advice to Writers - including my Ask Lev podcast List of my books - for you to read and criticize

Enjoy...

home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                          

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE


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Asimov's Foundation and Herbert's Dune Trilogies as Sources of Philosophy

2009-03-12
Length: 22s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 60:  Isaac Asimov's Foundation and Frank Herbert's Dune Trilogies as Sources of Philosophy ... in which I discuss how the fate of Hari Seldon's "psychohistorical" equations in the Foundation trilogy and Paul Muad'dib's ability to see the future in the Dune novels gives us vivid, compelling answers to the perennial philosophic problem of what can we know of the future ... (Plot points mentioned only for the first two books in each trilogy.) 

Helpful links:

Invigoration of a Philosophic Issue in Science Fiction -my essay Asimov's Foundation trilogy and Herbert's Dune trilogy A postcard from Isaac Asimov to me from 1979 about Foundation

Enjoy...

home page: http://paullevinson.info
another blog: http://InfiniteRegress.tv                          

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                          

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE


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The Future of Media

2009-02-01
Length: 28s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 59:  The Future of Media ... In the Fall of 2007, I sat down for an interview by Mark Molaro, for his popular Internet TV show, The Alcove.   His guests have included Arianna Huffington, Carl Bernstein, Campbell Brown, and other notables.  Mark and I talked for 20 minutes about the future of media, the impact of new media on everything from politics to television shows such as Mad Men, to my view that "information overload" is really "information underload," or lack of vital navigational information.   This interview was the first time I publicly started talking about New New Media, the subject of my forthcoming book (to be published by Pearson, Allyn & Bacon in the Summer 2009).  You can see the interview on television via the link or YouTube screen below.  Or, if more convenient, or you'd like to listen while running, walking, or driving, you an listen to the major excerpt presented in this podcast...

Helpful links:

Mark Molaro's interview with me on The Alcove - full video The complete Alcove series of interviews More details on New New Media   The Soft Edge ... Digital McLuhan ... Cellphone ... books mentioned in the interview

Enjoy...

home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                          

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE



The Alcove interview on YouTube

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Conversation with Greenburgh NY Town Supervisor Paul Feiner about Blogging, Obama, and Caroline Kennedy

2009-01-16
Length: 52s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 58:  A Conversation with Paul J. Feiner, Town Supervisor of Greenburgh, NY, about Blogging, Obama, and Caroline Kennedy.  Paul Feiner has been Town Supervisor - a two-year elected office - since 1991.  He has a weekly radio show, The Greenburgh Report, on WVOX Radio in New Rochelle, NY.  He also maintains a blog, and has trail blazed new media in our Westchester County town, including the introduction of competition in cable television providers.  I was a guest on his radio show on January 9, 2009, and this episode of Light On Light Through is excerpted from our conversation.  We talk about Paul Feiner's blog, Facebook, Twitter, the role of new media in Barack Obama's administration, and why Governor David Paterson should appoint Caroline Kennedy to the Senate...

Helpful links:

Paul Feiner's blog Paul Feiner's Wikipedia article I'm interviewed by Mark Molaro about New Media on The Alcove My New New Media book, to be published in Summer 2009 by Pearson, Allyn & Bacon Righting the Cosmos: Why Caroline Should Be Appointed my blog post

Enjoy...

home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                          

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE


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I'm A Progressive Libertarian

2009-01-02
Length: 13s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 57:  I'm A Progressive Libertarian ... in which I explain how one can insist that the government respect the Bill of Rights, and stay out of our business whenever possible, but also act to promote our welfare by supporting rights of women, gays, and minorities, and spend money to reduce poverty, provide health care, and explore space.  I'm in favor of no income tax for anyone earning under a million dollars a year, and raising taxes on millionaires and billionaires.  Regarding governmental intervention to help with the current economic crisis, I see that intervention as an antibiotic.  In general, we want our bodies to fight off infection on their own.  But if our lungs are filling with fluid from bacterial pneumonia, we better get some antibiotic intervention as soon as possible.

Plus flashes ... Contrary to critics such as Heather Havrilesky in Salon, I see the new golden age of television roaring back in 2009, with Lost, 24, Damages, Battlestar Galactica, Fringe, Life on Mars, Heroes, The Sarah Connor Chronicles, The L Word, Bones, The Unit, and more all coming back with continued or new seasons...

Helpful links:

I'm A Progressive Libertarian - my August 2008 blog on this matter, with 27 spirited comments and discussion The New Golden Age of Television Roars Back - my detailed blog post response to the Havrilesky Salon article Levinson news clips - weekly reviews of all the above television series, past, present, and future episodes Infinite Regress - blog post reviews of all the above television series, past, present, and future episodes

Enjoy...

home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                          

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE




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24 Season 6 Plus Redemption

2008-12-26
Length: 1s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 56:  24 Season 6 Plus Redemption...a special, super-jumbo compilation episode, in which you'll hear my reviews of every episode of 24 Season 6  ... including my impersonation of Secretary Heller, somewhere in the middle of the reviews ... originally presented on my Levinson news clips podcast a few minutes after each broadcast of 24 back in 2007 ... plus a brand new review of Redemption, the two-hour 24 movie broadcast on Fox in November 2008.  A great way to rev up for the return of 24, Season 7, on January 11, 2009.  Hey, if you're a student, and you want to surreptitiously listen to this podcast in the back of a boring class, I won't tell anyone... 

Helpful links:

5-min podcast review of just Redemption - look in right column
Levinson news clips - the original podcasts (scroll down); also - watch there for weekly podcast reviews of 24 Season 7, starting January 11, 2009 Infinite Regress - blog post reviews of all episodes of 24 Season 6, plus Redemption, and look there for reviews of each new episode of 24, Season 7, within 24 minutes after the end of each episode ...  Reviews of 24, Season 7 - Hrs 1, 2 ...

Enjoy...

home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                          

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE


The Plot to Save Socrates

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Cyberbullying and a Remedy: The Music of the Truth on Earth Band, and an Interview

2008-12-12
Length: 44s


Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 55, a very special episode about cyberbullying and a remedy - the music of the Truth on Earth band.   It's been in the news, especially recently - the 13-year old girl who took her life after being set up on MySpace by a 49-year woman, who pretended to be a boy in love with the girl and broke her heart.  The Truth on Earth band, consisting of three teenagers - Serena, Kiley, and Tess - decided to do something about this problem of people assuming false identities on social media and hurting other people.  The band wrote and recorded a song - "Shot With a Bulletless Gun".  It's receiving a lot of attention.  And with good reason - an example of the best of the Internet - 

providing an MP3 remedy of lyrics and music for one of its own, worst ills.   You'll hear the song, and more music from the talented band in this podcast.  And also a 20-minute interview with Serena, Kiley, and Tess.  This is a song, a band, and an interview anyone who spends any time on the Internet should listen to...

Helpful links:

Truth on Earth - Shot with a Bulletless Gun website - with lyrics and lots of helpful information about cyberbullying and links Cyberbullying Mom Got Just What She Deserved - my November 26, 2008 blog post about Lori Drew (the 49-year old woman) and Megan Meier (the 13-year old girl), and why I think the jury was right to find Lori Drew guilty

home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                          

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE


The Plot to Save Socrates

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Lost 4 and 13

2008-11-22
Length: 52s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 54 LOST 4 and 13 ...another special, jumbo compilation episode, in which you'll hear all of my reviews of the second part of Season 4 of Lost ... originally presented on my Levinson news clips podcast a few minutes or hours after each Thursday's broadcast of Lost ... reviews of the final five episodes of Season 4:  9-13.... These five episodes, in my opinion, were among the best ever on Lost ...

Helpful links:

Levinson news clips - the original podcasts Lost 4 and 8 - Light On Light Through Episode 53, with reviews of Lost Season 4, Episodes 1-8 Infinite Regress - blog post reviews of all episodes of the Lost this season (and many from last season) ... the first review from Season Four is here - Lost's Back Full Paradoxical Blast - and contains links to all the others Lost: Keys to What's Really Going On - my 2006 essay, continually updated...

Enjoy...

home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                          

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE


The Plot to Save Socrates

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Lost 4 and 8

2008-03-23
Length: 1s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 53 LOST 4 and 8 ...a special, jumbo compilation episode, in which you'll hear all of my reviews of the first part of Season 4 of Lost ... originally presented on my Levinson news clips podcast on the Friday after each Thursday's broadcast of Lost ... 9 reviews of the first 8 episodes (because I did two reviews of the first episode, I liked it so much), plus some special new commentary, presented here for the first time, with some additional thoughts I had about Episode 8, and the coming attractions at the end ... These eight episodes have been classic ... containing one of the best time travel stories ever on television, as well as some possible answers to the key mysteries of Lost ...

Helpful links:

Levinson news clips - the original podcasts, plus you'll find new, continuing podcast reviews of Lost there starting up again at the end of April Lost 4 and 13 - Light On Light Through Episode 54, with reviews of Lost Season 4, Episodes 9-13 Infinite Regress - blog post reviews of all episodes of the Lost this season (and many from last season) ... the first review from Season Four is here - Lost's Back Full Paradoxical Blast - and contains links to all the others Lost: Keys to What's Really Going On - my 2006 essay, continually updated...

Enjoy...

home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                          

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



more about The Plot to Save Socrates...






Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE!


The Plot to Save Socrates

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Science Fiction in the New Golden Age of Television

2008-02-16
Length: 23s


Welcome to Episode 52 of Light On Light Through ... "Science Fiction in the New Golden Age of Television" ... It started in the mid-late 1990s with HBO's original series, especially "The Sopranos" in 1999.  This revolution in television - frank, gritty, real, intellectually sophisticated - soon spread to other cable and old-fashioned network television.   In the past few years, science fiction has taken a leading role.   In this podcast - based on a lecture I gave to the Philadelphia Science Fiction Society on 25 January 2008 (at the invitation of Lee Stein and Suzanne Rosin) - I look at the contributions of five science fiction series to this new golden age of television ... Lost, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Journeyman, Battlestar Galactica, and Heroes...

Plus flashes ... mostly about the continuing Obama revolution, and a little about John "Palpatine" McCain...

Helpful links:

my blog reviews of Lost, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Journeyman, Battlestar Galactica, and Heroes... just about every episode ... all at http://InfiniteRegress.tv my infamous Only Idiots Don't Watch Television ... first published under the more innocuous title of "TV's New Golden Age" in Newsday in July 2006 my political commentary on Barack Obama and the Presidential campaigns ... also at http://InfiniteRegress.tv listen for a special audio clip of David S. Michaels - author of Red Moon my interview by Aaron Busch on the Primetime and Online webcast

home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                          

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



more about The Plot to Save Socrates...






Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE!


The Plot to Save Socrates

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Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton

2008-02-09
Length: 18s

Welcome to Light On Light Through Episode 51, "Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton," in which I examine the strengths and differences of these two extraordinary candidates ... Obama may be the greatest orator of our time ... his election as the first African-American President would make history, as would Hillary Clinton's as the first woman in the White House President ... how do Obama and Clinton compare to the Republican candidates ... plus ... a critique of MSNBC's shoddy treatment of Hillary Clinton...

Helpful blog links ... Obama Sweeps Three Primaries, Gives Magnificent Speech ... MSNBC Needs to Stop Sniping at Hillary ... I'm Voting for Barack Obama in New York Today

home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                          

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



more about The Plot to Save Socrates...






Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE!


The Plot to Save Socrates



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Interview with Analog Editor Stan Schmidt!

2007-12-01
Length: 29s

Welcome to Light On Light Through Episode 50 - my interview with Dr. Stanley Schmidt, long-time editor of Analog Magazine of Science Fiction and Fact, the leading science fiction magazine in the universe, as far as we know ... Stan talks candidly about what he looks for in a story submitted for publication ... how quickly he knows that a story works ... what he sees in the futures of science fiction, Analog, and his own work in the field ... Analog published 10 of my stories in the 1990s, and helped establish me as a science fiction writer.   This interview was not only a real pleasure for me to conduct, but I suspect will be a source for years to come of invaluable information and insight for anyone who aspires to being a published short-fiction science fiction writer ...

Plus flashes ... The Plot to Save Journeyman - that is, three chances to win free copies of The Plot to Save Socrates, just by watching the next episodes of NBC's Journeyman!   (Note added in 2008: The contest ended in 2007.)

Here's a list of all my science ficiton stories (and two fact articles) published in Analog to date (updated November 2011): 

"Ian, Isaac, and John" (novelette) November 2011 ...  "Ian's Ions and Eons" (novelette) April 2011 ... "Unburning Alexandria" (novelette) November 2008 ...  "The Man Who Brought Down The New York Times" (short short)  December 2000 ... "The Suspended Fourth" (short story) March 2000 ... "Late Lessons," (cover story, novelette) October 1999 ... "Little Differences" (novelette) June 1998 ... "The Book on the Book" (fact) June 1998 ... "The Orchard" (novelette)  February 1998 ...  "Advantage, Bellarmine," January 1998 ... "Loose Ends" (novella)  May 1997... "Learning Unbound: OnLine Education and the Mind's Academy" (fact) March 1997 ... "The Mendelian Lamp Case" (novelette) April 1997 ... "The Copyright Notice Case" (novelette) April 1996 ...  "The Chronology Protection Case" (novelette) September 1995 ... "The Way of Flesh" (short short) February 1995

Helpful links:

http://analogsf.com - everything you need to know about Analog The Coming Convergence - Stan's new nonfiction book more advice about how to get your stories published


home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv                        

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
links to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc:  http://about.me/paulevinson                                                                          

thoughts, questions, or comments about this interview?  try here

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book

Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE!


The Plot to Save Socrates

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Conversation with Ken Hudson/Kenny Hubble: Second Life!

2007-11-17
Length: 40s


Welcome to Episode 49 of Light On Light Through in which I converse with digital artist Ken Hudson aka Kenny Hubble of and about Second Life.  At ten million accounts and growing, the vibrant virtual community of Second Life is becoming a way of life for many.  Ken interviewed me in his Media Ecology Second Life series a few weeks ago, and I'm still enjoying it.  Ken and I talk about life in Second Life - how to do it, how to live it, and its relationship to real or "first" life in everything ranging from art and music to (of course) sex.  Whether you're an old hand at Second Life, a newbie, or just want to learn more about this fascinating place, you won't want to miss this special 40-minute interview (and, actually, there is no way that you can, because it will always be available here - and likely somewhere in Second Life, too).

Plus - my avatar reads from The Plot to Save Socrates in Second Life  in December 2007 - enjoy the videoclip....



"Athens, 2042... Sierra Waters had always done everything for the thrill..."

Helpful links:

Ken Hubble interviews me in Second Life, 5 November 2007 - enjoy a video of the animated 60-minute interview Ken Hudson site Kenny Hubble site Second Life




For more of my work on the relationship real life to cyberlife, see my Realspace: The Fate of Physical Presence in the Digital Age






home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                          

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



more about The Plot to Save Socrates...






Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE!


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Another Network Undercuts the Results of its Own Post-Debate Presidential Poll - This Time, MSNBC about Barack Obama

2007-11-01


The networks continue to denigrate the results of their own post-debate polls-

Last night, Chris Matthews mentioned on MSNBC's Hardball that Barack Obama won the poll that MSNBC conducted after the Democratic Presidential debate on Tuesday-

To which Chuck Todd, MSNBC's "official" pollster replied - that poll was done with cell phones, via which Obama's supporters could keep pounding the call keys...

To which Matthews responded - like in the 1936 Literary Digest poll...

To which I would respond:

No, Chris, not like that 1936 poll at all, which was supposed to be a poll of a randomly selected part of the voting population, but was skewed or biased because it was conducted from lists of automobile owners and people who had telephones in their homes, and only very rich people had those luxuries in those days, so the Literary Digest poll wrongly showed the Democrat FDR losing...

Which has nothing in common with MSNBC's post-election poll - except that it, too, was conducted by phone. But it was never designed as a randomly conducted poll.

What Chris should have said to Chuck Todd was:  wrong, callers can't cast votes more than once on the same phone...  Or, if by some bizarre chance they could, then simply install a program on your vote-reception software which would make it impossible for anyone to cast a vote more than once on the same cell phone.

Very easy, really - and certainly preferable to encouraging viewers to vote in your poll, and the undercutting the results.

Well, at least Ron Paul now has company - now Obama's supporters, like Ron Paul's, are discounted because they participate in a poll that a network conducts, and then expresses no confidence in because they don't like the results.

=============
My 50-minute lecture about network after-debate polls and the media's misreporting of Ron Paul, delivered to my class at Fordham University

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Interview with Rich Sommer - Mad Men's Harry Crane!

2007-10-27
Length: 29s


Welcome to Light On Light Through Episode 48, an Interview with Rich Sommer, who plays Harry Crane on AMC's Mad Men.  Among the highlights - the "joys" of wearing real 1960s clothing ... what are they really smoking on the show? ... what does Rich think happened with Harry between episodes 12 and 13 of the show? ... how does Rich explain Harry's uncanny resemblance to Isaac Asimov (see photos below) ... how does Rich account for the rare anachronism on the show ... and much more in this exclusive interview, conducted just two days ago ...  We had a grand time in this interview! If you love the show, you'll want to listen to every minute of this ... If you don't know the show, you'll want to watch every minute of it after listening to this interview...


Isaac Asimov (1965) and Harry Crane aka Rich Sommer (1960)


Plus flashes ...  David Wiltse's Sedition at Fordham University Monday night, 7:30pm, Pope Auditorium, 60th Street & Columbus, free admission  ... I'll be on the radio Tues, 7:30 pm, on Bob Mann's Let's Consider the Sources, channel xm133 on XM Radio...

Helpful links:

Bio brief on AMC website for Rich Sommer (also Christina Hendricks, discussed in our interview, and other cast members) Tony Reid's 9/24/07 interview w/Rich Sommer on TV Blend My weekly blog reviews of Mad Men at InfiniteRegress.tv My TV podcast reviews at Levinson news clips

For more on the origins of "the medium is the message," see the chapter in Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millennium


home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                          

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book


more about The Plot to Save Socrates...






Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE!

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Colmes Mends Ways About Misreporting Ron Paul; Hannity Recalcitrant

2007-10-22

 
The universe is finally behaving as it should be. You may recall that after the last Republican Presidential debate on Fox, Hannity & Colmes - who disagree about just about everything - were united in their certainty that Ron Paul's first place finish in Fox's after-debate phone-in text poll was some kind of fix - multiple dialing by the same people, to be exact, even though Fox had wisely made that option not possible.

Hannity was up to his same tricks tonight - braying that Ron Paul's first place finish was "stacked". Whereas Colmes, to his credit, calmly said he was reporting the results. As was the case last time, Hannity didn't bother to offer any evidence.

You can see this all in this YouTube clip. Also sweet is the way Hannity has the gall to complain to Ron Paul that Hannity gets booed by Ron Paul supporters when Hannity gives speeches.

Booed? Hannity should count his lucky stars that he continues to have a microphone. I certainly would never hire anyone with such a poor standard of truth and evidence to teach courses in a department in which I was Chair.

 

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First Year Anniversary Party!

2007-10-21
Length: 27s

Welcome to a very special Episode - #47 - of Light On Light Through ... our first year anniversary party!  Lots of surprises, special guests (see guest list, below), a contest in which you can win a copy of my novel, The Plot to Save Socrates ... never-before-revealed facts such as how I came up with the name Light On Light Through - what it means - and much more...

Plus flashes ...  Mad Men concludes a brilliant first year on AMC ... and maybe a tachyon telephone on NBC's Journeyman ...

Making rare guest appearances on this special anniversary podcast:

James Harris ... singing Looking for Sunsets Shaun Farrell ... from Adventures in SciFi Publishing Jason Rennie ... from the Sci Phi Show Jake Cordova ... from Just Not Right Dave Worley ... blog, soundcast, more Norman the Movie Guy ... from That Movie Critic Show Scott Sandridge ... from Everyday Fiction Michael Burstein ... award-winning short fiction Diana Liwen ... from Fire of Spring Mike James ... from MikeThinks Gabriel Llanas ... from the Punk Horror Podcast Nathan Rivera ... from Podcast Pendulum and Tina ... from our home!  :)

->And listen for debut play of promo for Diane Kreinbring's RonPaulFanCast podcast at end....

For more on the origins of Light On Light Through, see the chapter in Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millennium

home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                           

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News


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Question on My Midterm Exam About Ron Paul and Mass Media Mistreatment

2007-10-19

As you know, I devoted 50-minutes of my Intro to Communication and Media Studies class last month at Fordham University to a lecture about the mass media's mistreatment of Ron Paul. Although Ron Paul is now getting much more media attention, the mistreatment continues - as evidenced, to give just one example, of CNBC's taking down of a post-debate poll which Ron Paul won - and this means that people who value our democratic system need to continue to keep a wary eye on our media, and call them out when necessary.

You can see the video of my lecture here.

I thought you also might be interested in a question I gave my Intro to Comm and Media Studies class today, as part of their midterm exam:

1. Consider Ron Paul’s Presidential campaign the Source of communication. Using the Shannon-Weaver model, explain all the steps that the campaign must go through, in order to reach its Destination, the American people. Make sure you address each step in the process, as well as what can (and did) go wrong in the process, and possible remedies for addressing this. (Option: If you like to do this analysis for another Presidential candidate, that would be acceptable, but make sure you have specific examples to present.)


The exam was open book, and the students had a choice of questions. I don't know yet how many chose to answer this one.

The crux of the correct answer was that the media misreporting of Ron Paul constitutes noise in the Channel, and the best way of remedying that is providing feedback - meaning, let the media and the world know that such misreporting is unacceptable.

I'll keep you posted on how my students do on this question (without, of course, revealing any names.)…

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Help Me Celebrate First Anniversary of Light On Light Through

2007-10-15






To my friends out there across the universe ... Light On Light Through, this more or less weekly podcast on pop culture, politics, outer space, good food, shoes, the works, will be one year old on October 21.

I'll be putting out a special edition on that day. Help me celebrate - and promote whatever you're doing - by sending me a 10-second mp3 of congratulations. Feel free to mention & promote whatever is important to you. Mention how you know me (we're Twitter friends, whatever).

Send the mp3 to Paul@LightonLightThrough.com

You can put in music, just talk, whatever you like.

More details in my two recent episodes of Light On Light Through - A Modest Proposal and Celebrating Sputnik...

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Modest Political Proposal via Podcast: How About Working for the Best Candidates in =Both= Parties

2007-10-14
Length: 24s


Welcome to Episode 46 of Light On Light Through, in which I offer a modest proposal for greatly improving our political process:  why not work for the best candidates in each of the two parties, so as to give Americans the best possible choice in the general election.  I go over my choices - just Ron Paul for the Republican nomination - Gore, Obama, Edwards, Kucinich, Gravel for the Democratic nomination (a lot more to choose from there) - and give my reasons why.

Plus flashes ... Judy Woodruff reclaims the fine art of the civilized, informative interview in her PBS NewsHour interview with Ron Paul ... Michael Clayton is a fine, originally directed movie ... still time to send me your mp3 greetings for the next episode of Light On Light Through - our first anniversary show...

Helpful links:
Modest Political Proposal my blog post
Judy Woodruff interview with Ron Paul my blog post analysis
The Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free -  at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com or http://podiobooks.com http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the Light On Light Through - Blubrry id  The Plot to Save Socrates   (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com for details home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                           

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

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Modest Proposal: Why Not Support the Best Candidates in Each of the Two Parties?

2007-10-13


I wrote the following on another blog back in March.   In view of the growing number of Ron Paul supporters - people who believe we should take the Constitution and its restrictions on government seriously - and Al Gore's winning the Nobe Prize yesterday,  my modest proposal that we should work to support the best candidates in each of the two major parties seems more viable and relevant than ever...

The approach most people take to Presidential elections is, pick a candidate - if you can - one candidate, and support him or her to the hilt. If your candidate fails before getting the nomination, you may or may not switch to another, and go through the same process.

If your chosen candidate is a Democrat, you likely will have little real interest in the Republicans, except to hope that they choose the weakest person to run for office. And vice versa - if your favorite candidate is a Republican, all you likely will care about regarding the Democrats is what they can do, presumably unintentionally, to help your Republican candidate win.

But does this approach get the best out of our democracy?

I'm trying something a little different this time around. I am going to try to pick my favorites in both the Democratic and the Republican fields, and do whatever little I can to help them get nominated. If I'm lucky enough to see both nominated, I'll then decide whom to vote for in the general election.

So far, here are my favorites, and why:

Democratic Party:

Al Gore: pluses: his election would correct the deep injustice of the 2000 election, he was anti-Iraq-war from the beginning, he is genuinely interested in science to improve our human condition; minuses: I'm concerned that he may be in favor of Congress's crackdown on "indecency," given his wife Tipper's history on this issue

Barack Obama: pluses: he was anti-Iraq-war from the beginning, he would bring a Kennedy-esque youthful vitality to the White House, it would be healthy for America to have an African-American President; minuses: not enough experience, and untested on many issues

*John Edwards: see below for note added on April 21, in which I've including Edwards in my Democratic favorites

Republican Party:

Ron Paul: pluses: he was anti-Iraq-war from the beginning (and, better than Gore and Obama, was in office at the time, and voted against the war resolutions), he is a vigorous defender of the Constitution and the First Amendment, he is an opponent of government censorship, he's in favor of private enterprise in space (so is Gore); minuses: he's in favor of states (but not the Federal government) banning abortion (I'm in favor of a women's right to choose), an opponent of gun control (I agree that the Second Amendment is consistent with Paul's position - I'm in favor of amending it), urged US neutrality in Israeli-Hezbollah war.

***

So, there you have it. I currently consider myself a supporter of all three candidates. Regarding Gore and Obama, I would certainly be happy with a Democratic ticket that had them both (Gore for Pres, Obama for VP), and I would be happy with a ticket that had either for President. Regarding Ron Paul: at this point, there is no other Republican even remotely as good, in my view.

Regarding the minuses for all three candidates: I'll keep researching their positions and records, and of course be on the look-out for new developments. And I'll also be open to any new candidates, or to any dramatic shifts in all of the candidates currently in the field, but I'm not holding my breath for either.

***

*Added 21 April 2007 - John Edwards' Favorite Book is I. F. Stone's The Trial of Socrates. If find this so impressive - indicative of a love a freedom of expression, and a philosophic depth - that I now include Edwards along with Gore and Obama as Democratic candidates for President that I could enthusiastically support.
=================

25-minute podcast of this Modest Political Proposal

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McLuhan as Micro Blogger

2007-10-13




Marshall McLuhan died on the last day of 1980 - not only years before there was micro-blogging and blogging, but a few years before e-mail and commenting on Web pages.

In 1986, I wrote a piece for the IEEE Transactions of Professional Communications entitled Marshall  McLuhan and Computer Conferencing, in which I said that the pithy, aphoristic bursts which characterized his writing - his great works from the 1960s consisted of chapters often not more than a page or two in length - were actually a form of web writing ("computer conferencing") decades before the Web and online communication emerged.

Just the other day, I realized something more about McLuhan's writing. The memorable titles he gave to his short chapters - for example, "The Medium is the Message" in Understanding Media (1964) or "Nobody ever made a grammatical error in a non-literate society" in the Gutenberg Galaxy (1962) (which has 107 of these gems) - were actually micro-blogs.

Blogging in his page-or-two chapters, micro-blogging in the titles or "glosses" (his term) he gave them. All of this back in 1962 and 1964.

McLuhan was in touch with a mode of expression, a vehicle of the human intellect, which was clear and percolating in his mind, even though the technology of its delivery was still decades away from invention.

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Howard Stern on Sirius Radio

2007-10-13


One of the most serious issues of our time - pardon the pun - is the FCC's unconstitutional crackdown on broadcasting for allegedly "indecent" programming.  The heavy fines levied by the FCC made it impossible for Howard Stern to continue on traditional radio.   He had to watch everything he said.

Fortunately, Sirius Satellite Radio provided a great alternative, which has proven to be even better than the original.  Howard Stern has finally found his element on Sirius Radio - a free environment, in which his mind can work and express itself at full, incisive, hilarious speed.

Sirius also gives you exclusive coverage of the NFL, NBA, and NASCAR, more than 130 channels of programming, 69 music channels with no commercials, and Martha Stewart.

You do need a special radio to hear Sirius, and the Sirius Stiletto 10 Satellite Radio is one of many cool models available.  The Stiletto doesn't need to be docked in your car or at home - you can take it anywhere - and it gives you live portable reception of Sirius Radio shows, stores up to 10 hours of Sirius Satellite programming, and has lots of other useful features.

It's not just satellite radio - it's out of this world.

.

this is a sponsored post


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Open Letter to CNBC Managing Editor: Apologize to American People about Your Taking Down of Ron Paul Poll, or Resign

2007-10-12

To: Allen Wastler
Managing Editor, CNBC.com

From: Paul Levinson, PhD
Professor & Chair, Department of Communication and Media Studies
Fordham University, NYC

re: your An Open Letter to the Ron Paul Faithful of October 11, in which you explain why you took down your poll, conducted after the Michigan Republican Presidential debate, and featured on your web site

1. You invite comments and response to your Open Letter, and provide an e-mail address. Since your action is, in my view, a matter of great public concern, I am not only e-mailing this response to you, but publishing it in my InfiniteRegress.tv blog and here on LightonLightThrough.

2. I am not one of the "Ron Paul Faithful". Although I greatly admire many of his positions, especially his support of our Constitution, I have not yet endorsed any candidate, and am indeed on record as urging Americans to support the best candidate in each of our two main parties, so as to give us the best choice in the general election. You are welcome to see my How About We Look for the Best Candidate in =Both= Parties for details.

2a. I am writing to you, therefore, as a professor, scholar, and observer of media and politics, with a keen interest in seeing the press serve our democracy as Thomas Jefferson and our Founding Fathers intended - that is, by providing us with the truth wherever possible.

3. Let me now address the issues you raise in your Open Letter:

You write that "these Internet polls are admittedly unscientific and subject to hacking".

True, but the "scientific" polls - the ones that rely on random sampling - are subject to error, as well. See, for example, the famous poll that predicted that FDR would lose the 1936 Presidential election.

Also, while the Internet may indeed be subject to hacking, do you have any proof that hacking took place in this case? You further say that your "poll was either hacked or the target of a campaign". Again, your proof?

You further say that "[t]he next day, our email basked was flooded with Ron Paul support messages. And the computer logs showed the poll had been hit with traffic from Ron Paul chat sites. I learned other Internet polls that night had been hit in similar fashion."

None of the above actions are "hacking". You owe Ron Paul's supporters and the American people an apology.

Indeed, the fact that the polls reflected votes "from Ron Paul chat sites" does not even support your conclusion that your poll was "the target of a campaign" - conceivably some of the votes that came from the sites could have come from people who had come to the sites, impressed by what they saw of Ron Paul in the debate, and then went on to cast their votes in your poll. Does that sound to you like "a campaign"?

You further say that Ron Paul's supporters, presumably including anyone who voted for Ron Paul in your poll, "also ruined the purpose of the poll. It was no longer an honest 'show of hands' -- it suddenly was a platform for beating the Ron Paul drum."

What do you suppose influences public opinion in any election campaign? What is your definition of an "honest show of hands"? Is a potential voter who expresses support for a candidate, because that potential voter already liked that candidate prior to a given debate, somehow not "honest"? If what you wanted to measure in your poll was how previously undecided people felt about the performance of candidates in the debate, why did you not say so in your poll, and devise some way of measuring this? (For example, trying to identify a sample of undecided voters beforehand, and then asking them for their preferences after the debate?)

Instead, you conclude your Open Letter with the following: "When a well-organized and committed 'few' can throw the results of a system meant to reflect the sentiments of 'the many,' I get a little worried. I'd take it down again."

Again, you offer no evidence whatsoever that anything in the poll was "thrown," and you similarly offer no evidence about how "few" of the "many" were composed of Ron Paul supporters.

Indeed, you offer no evidence of anything, really - just supposition and innuendo - and that gets me more than a little worried, about your competence and capacity to be Managing Editor of CNBC.com's website.

If something needs to be "taken down," it may well be your position as Managing Editor. I call upon you to either apologize to the American people, or step down.

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Ron Paul Makes the Only Worthy Point in the CNBC Republican Debate

2007-10-09


Here are some of the highlights and lowlights in the Republican Presidential debate which concluded a fw hours ago in Michigan. It was on CNBC, and will repeated tonight at 9pm on MSNBC:

Fred Thompson: started out nearly comatose, and then settled in. But he's fuzzy on most of the issues, and looks like Dwight David Eisenhower on a bad day. His best moment was responding to a pretty good crack by Romney, about the Republican debates being like Law and Order - a big cast, and Fred Thompson comes in at the end. Thompson smiled and said, pretty good, and I thought I was going to be the best actor up here.

Mitt Romney: his response to whether the President needs to consult Congress before going to war - Romney said he'd leave that to the attorneys - was one of the lowest points, not only in this debate, but in American history, period. (See Ron Paul's response to this, below.)

Rudy Giuliani: his response about whether the Internet required FCC-like cultural policing was troubling, to say the last. He's not in favor of creating new government agencies, but he might look into it, if the problem doesn't subside. But, what's the problem? No one disputes the need of police to go after predators, on and off line. The question was about the "cultural" problems of the Internet (porn?) and what should be done about that. A better answer would have been: "The FCC is unconstitutional even as a regulator of broadcasters. The last thing I would do is extend its violation of the First Amendment to the Internet." Too bad Ron Paul didn't get a chance to answer that question. Fortunately, Ron Paul did get a chance to respond about the President going to war...

Ron Paul: his finest moment was his outrage over Romney's gibberish about consulting attorneys. Read the Constitution, Ron Paul said - it clearly says that Congress, not the President, has the power to declare war.

You don't need to be a lawyer to understand that. You need to be just minimally literate.

Also admirable was Ron Paul's unwillingness to blindly support whoever gets the Republican nomination - that nominee would need to stop following Bush's disastrous and unconstitutional foreign policy.

It's rare indeed to hear a political candidate in either party speak such plain truth to the American people, and to the world.

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Celebrating Sputnik

2007-10-06
Length: 19s


Welcome to Episode 45 of Light On Light Through in which we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Sputnik - the first artificial satellite to circle the Earth.  We look and the triumphs and the tragedies, and in particular, why we have moved so little and so slowly into space since then...



RealSpace: The Fate of Physical Presence in the Digital Age, On and Off Planet



Also in this podcast: an invitation to podcasters and anyone who can make an MP3 recording:  October 21, 2007 will be the first-year anniversary of
Light On Light Through - send me your 10-second greetings, and I'll play them all in a special anniversary episode.  Feel free to mention and plug your own podcast, and whatever else you're doing.

Plus flashes ... Heroes is back ... so is Dexter and Brotherhood ... and Journeyman - a great new time travel series - debuts ... all of this, and more... hear and read more of what I think about them in Levinson news clips and InfiniteRegress.tv ...

Helpful links:
Levinsonnewsclips.com
InfiniteRegress.tv
The Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free -  at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com or http://podiobooks.com http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the Light On Light Through - Blubrry id  The Plot to Save Socrates   (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com for detailsSputnik's 50th Anniversary - my blog post
home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                         

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                           

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News


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Complete Video of my Sept 28 Fordham University Lecture about Media Misreporting of Ron Paul

2007-10-04



This is the lecture I delivered to my "Introduction to Communication and Media Studies" class at Fordham University last Friday, September 28, 2007, about the media misreporting of Ron Paul.

The lecture, with student questions at the end, was about 50 minutes. It's divided into five parts on the YouTube video: 1. history of polling ... ABC May 2007 misreporting of Ron Paul ... 2. ABC continues misreporting Ron Paul (early August 2007).... 3. Mark Levin urges disinformation against Ron Paul on ABC radio ... Kucinich gets cropped ... the First Amendment ... 4. Hannity & Colmes misreport Ron Paul on Fox News ... reasons behind all of this ... 5. I answer student questions ...

Note that the above is, of course, current only as of September 28, 2007, and contains no mention of ABC affiliate WMUR TV in New Hampshire failing to cover the Ron Paul "Family Day" rally on September 30...

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Sputnik's 50 Years Old: And We're Still Toddlers in Space

2007-10-02


Sputnik celebrates its 50th anniversary this Thursday, October 4 - the first artificial satellite to circle the planet. It was soon followed by Sputnik 2 (dogs in space, 1958), first human in space (Yuri Gagarin, 1961), Telstar (first telecom satellite, 1962), and then we walked on the Moon (Armstrong and Aldrin, 1969).

Notice that I didn't say Soviet or US above, because it doesn't really matter. Humans in space is what counts. But everyone of course knows that Sputnik - Russian for "fellow traveler" - set off the space race which we in the US eventually "won" in 1969. Prior to then, Telstar was our only first accomplishment.

And what did that victory get us? A space shuttle, with brave astronauts, some of whom lost their lives. But no one has gotten too far beyond this planet. We've sent robots to Mars, and that's exciting, but robots neither laugh nor cry - they're not human.

And so, as the 50th anniversary of Sputnik arrives, I can only hope that we start doing a little better. Civilization is filled with examples of major inventions that stayed dormant for centuries - even millennia. The Chinese invention of the printing press in 700 or 800 AD, and its failure to be used for a mass print and popular culture, is one of the most vivid examples. (I wrote about this way back in 1977, in my essay, "Toy, Mirror, and Art: The Metamorphosis of Technological Culture" - it was reprinted in my 1995 Learning Cyberspace - and I'll try to post the essay here in the next few weeks.)

Let's not wait 700 more years to really get out into space. The Universe awaits us...

========================
See also Realspace: The Fate of Physical Presence in the Digital Age, On and Off Planet




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Latest ABC Mistreatment of Ron Paul: I Intend to Include This in the Next Edition of My Textbook

2007-10-01


The Free Market News Network reports that WMUR neglected to cover Ron Paul at his "Family Day" rally in Manchester, New Hampshire this past weekend. WMUR is a state-wide television operation, with headquarters in Manchester.

What struck me most about this was not the lack of coverage itself - infuriating and undemocratic, as it is - but the fact that WMUR is an ABC affiliate!

Just this past Friday, at the lecture I delivered to my "Intro to Communication and Media Studies" class at Fordham University (we'll have the video up on YouTube soon), I detailed a series of outrageous ABC misreportings of Ron Paul since May - ranging from leaving him out of poll results to publishing misleading photographs that made his supporters seem far fewer at a rally in Iowa than they actually were. But I concluded, in an effort to be fair, that ABC seems to have been improving in the accuracy of its reporting lately, with Fox guilty of the worst recent transgressions.

But here we are, once again, with a national ABC television affiliate apparently up to the same old business. If the Free Market News story is correct - and it's been up online more than a day with no opposing comments offered - then ABC is continuing to dig itself into a hole it may never get out of.

Because, whatever happens in this election, the shameful performance of ABC News at so many junctures - regarding mostly Ron Paul, but also, at least once, Dennis Kucinich - will not be forgotten. Indeed, I expect it will be a section in many textbooks about media and politics. I know I certainly will be putting something about this in my next edition of The Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of the Information Revolution.

See reviews of the most recent edition of The Soft Edge.

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Ron Paul at PBS Debate: I Am Against Federal Death Penalty

2007-09-28

I was delighted to hear Ron Paul say at the Republican Presidential debate on PBS that he is opposed to the Federal death penalty. He indicated that this was one of the few positions he changed his views about over the years - at one time, he supported the Federal death penalty - and his reason was that DNA evidence has shown too many innocent people found guilty.

My position has always been against death penalties on all levels. Even before DNA evidence, it seemed to me that juries are fallible, they are capable of error, and putting a person to death on the basis of a wrong jury decision was one of the very worst things a civilized society could ever do. Life in prison without parole was a strong enough punishment, and one which allowed reversal in the event that new evidence came to light or old evidence proved faulty.

As on so many other issues, the libertarian distrust that Ron Paul has of government, and his sheer logic, have led him to an enlightened, humanitarian position. My only disagreement with Ron Paul on this issue is that I would like to see capital punishment outlawed on a state level, too.

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Kucinich at Dem Debate: "I Would Give 16-Year Olds the Vote"

2007-09-27


You see the Democratic Presidential Debate at Dartmouth last night? You gotta love Mike Gravel. Asked by Tim Russert how he could run for President and be trusted with the nation's fiscal responsibility, when he ran up a big unpaid debt, Gravel proudly shot back - hey, look who I stuck with that debt, I stuck the credit card companies with a $90,000 debt, and they deserved it!

But probably the most important point from an underdog - maybe the most important point made by any candidate - came from Dennis Kucinich, who said he not only favored lowered the drinking age to 18, but the voting age to 16. I seriously support such a lowering of the voting age - I've been saying for years that it should be lowered to 14 - an age at which, according cognitive psychologist Jean Piaget, people have completely adult reasoning processes, and have had them for at least two years.

Among the top tier Democrats, I thought John Edwards did splendidly  last night. He comes across as the most human - the least political - and made some points against Hillary and Obama on stopping the business as usual in Washington. I especially liked Edwards' solution to the social security crisis: rather than raising the cap (it's currently $97,000+), create a window, in which income earners won't pay social security tax above the current cap, until they reach a much higher level of income.(I actually most favor Ron Paul's solution of letting people below a certain age opt of social security - but Edwards' is at least an innovative solution, which doesn't punish people in the upper middle class).

But, yeah, let's lower the voting age to 16.   Certainly we adults have not voted all that brilliantly in the past few elections...

 

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An Example of How Pro-War Republicans Are Trying to Mislead Us about MoveOn.org and General Petraeus

2007-09-23


I enjoy hearing from people who disagree with my blog posts, podcasts, radio and TV appearances. I've always agreed with Socrates that dialog is the best path to knowledge.

Here's an example of a little exchange that occurred this morning, shortly after my weekly radio interview by Bob Brill on KNX 1070 all-news radio, in which I was talking about the MoveOn.org - General Petraeus "Betray Us" controversy.

My position: Most people - just about everyone, I'd say - can understand the difference between a General giving advice to Congress, supporting a President in his harmful foreign policy, that betrays the best interests of our country. This is what the MoveOn.org ad was clearly saying. Not that the General was betraying us on the battlefield, or by working with the enemy - a clearly absurd point to make, and which no one, even the war's most bitter opponents, has ever suggested.

But the Republicans are clearly trying to pretend that the literal traitor point is what the MoveOn.org ad in the New York Times was saying.

Here is the e-mail I received, followed by my reply. (Out of courtesy to the writer of the e-mail, I'm not printing his name - even though as a recipient of an unsolicited e-mail, I'm under no legal or ethical obligation to not publish the name of the writer.)

I heard your comments this AM on the radio concerning the Moveon.org ad in the NY Times. I was stunned by your take on it, but I suppose I shouldn’t be. You were simply reflecting your liberal bias and confirmed exactly what most know about academics in the liberal arts. Your views are so tainted by your liberal leanings, it’s impossible for you to present an evenhanded report on anything.

I guess I live in an ivory tower (slightly to the right of yours,) as I have not heard one utterance which described the ad the way you did. Perhaps in the liberal bastions of Manhattan, that nexus of all learning and civilization, one could believe in one’s heart that the average American took the ad to mean something entirely different than the words as written, but my guess is that if you spent a bit of time out in good old “flyover? country you would find that most Americans knew exactly what the folks at Moveon.org meant. They were simply calling the general a traitor. The doublespeak you used to dance around the meaning was certainly the stuff of legend and on that I must commend.

It’s almost as classic as “we support the troops but don’t support the war? and the like.

Is the job of a journalist to report the facts without bias or comment or is it to advance a personal agenda? The answer you give to that question, the answer you give when you look yourself in the eye brushing your teeth in the morning, will tell us where you stand.


And my reply ...
You're the one who should have trouble looking at yourself in the mirror: you're obviously intelligent, and therefore must know that there's a big difference between saying someone's advice or assessment betrays the best interests of this country (which is what the MoveOn ad is saying about the General), and saying someone is betraying us on the battlefield or in dealings with foreign powers (which is what the Republicans are claiming).

But I'd guess you're probably very familiar with what the Republicans are up to - you write as if you're on their payroll. Are you? Did you actually hear me on the radio, or are you responding to a mass e-mail that some Republican factotum sent out to you?

As for me, I have no agenda, other than what I've been doing in my 30 years of publishing books and articles, and teaching about the media: which is, provide independent scholarly assessments. (And, by the way, I was interviewed as a commentator and a scholar - not a journalist. In other words, I was interviewed by KNX because they were interested in my opinions and assessments.)

If you'd like to learn more about my opinions, I hope you keep listening to KNX - I'm on every Sunday morning at 7:20am. You might also enjoy my book, The Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of the Information Revolution - where you'll see that I criticize Democrats as well as Republicans when they're dishonest with the American people, or pursuing an unconstitutional and therefore illegal war.

All best wishes,
PL


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Five Major News Networks Ranked in Their Fair/Unfair Treatment of Ron Paul

2007-09-21


With the Fall at our doorstep, and the lecture I'm giving to my class at Fordham University about the media mistreatment of Ron Paul just a week away, I thought I'd share with you a little list I put together, which ranks the five major TV news networks on their coverage of Ron Paul as well as other presidential candidates these past six months.

Since I'm not omniscient, I may have missed some network errors and abuses. All corrections and additions are welcome in the comment section.

1. CNN: in first place. They've done nothing wrong that I know of, and get kudos for the YouTube CNN debate a few months ago, in which questions came from people who submitted videos to YouTube, rather than so-called experts in the media. CNN decided which questions to air, but this is still a real breakthrough in the democratization of media.

2. MSNBC has in general done a fine job in its reporting of Ron Paul and the other campaigns. MSNBC commentators Tucker Carlson and Pat Buchanan have been public and explicit in their support of Ron Paul. But MSNBC got off to a bit off a rough start. Keith Olbermann and Chris Matthews, discussing the candidates' positions on the war after the debate of May 4, neglected to mention that Ron Paul has been systematically against the war. They both improved their reporting considerably, shortly thereafter.

3. CBS has done nothing wrong in its coverage of the current campaigns, either, as far as I know. But I put CBS in third place because of its continuing graceless treatment of Dan Rather, who was forced out of CBS after courageously reporting about George Bush's military past, in the election campaign of 2004.

4. Now we take a sharp turn downward with Fox News. Hannity and Colmes denigrated Ron Paul's first place finish in the Fox phone-in poll conducted after the last Republican Presidential debate on Fox - the two claimed that Ron Paul's supporters were multiple-dialing. Not only was there no evidence for this, it turns out a second call from the same phone resulted in a text reply that the vote wouldn't count. O'Reilly, to his credit, did have Ron Paul on his show. But to O'Reilly's discredit, he barely gave Ron Paul a chance to get a word in edgewise.

5. ABC is in the cellar. Worse than Fox, ABC failed to mention on at least one occasion that Ron Paul came in first in its post-debate poll. It removed comments from Ron Paul supporters on its online board, and then proceeded to shut it down. ABC also showed a lone Ron Paul supporter before the Iowa caucus, in contrast to big crowds for Romney, when in fact Ron Paul had big crowds of supporters, too. Then there was Mark Levin, in ABC's radio line-up, who called upon his listeners to call up Ron Paul headquarters with advice that Ron Paul couldn't win. And, just for good measure, ABC spread some its abuse around, and cropped Dennis Kucinich out of a photo Democratic contenders.

The good news for Fox and ABC is that the election campaigns are continuing, and they can change their ways. Actually, Fox has been worse than ABC in the past month, and that may be a sign that ABC is finally seeing the error of its ways.

I'd like to see all five major news networks report the election campaigns truthfully. The American people require no less.

I'll  keep you posted.





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What Passes for Humor on Fox News These Days

2007-09-20

"Anyone listening to John Kerry should be tasered" - that "joke" came from a former homicide detective, Rod Wheeler, who Fox News chose to have as a guest on Hannity and Colmes last night.







Wheeler said a lot more - that Andrew Meyer clearly deserved to be tasered, that he was clearly threatening the police who were escorting him away from the microphone - even though the videos of the event clearly show otherwise.

But Wheeler is entitled to his erroneous opinion of what happened.

And he's of course also entitled to his deeply misguided sense of humor. I guess we should at least be happy that someone with his values is a former rather than a current homicide detective.

But where was Sean Hannity's outrage or even disagreement with his guest for taking such a tasteless shot at John Kerry's supporters, at a time in which tasering and politics and freedom of speech have become sadly intertwined?

Now, more than ever, we need candidates like Ron Paul who respect both the First Amendment and the necessary limits of police authority.…

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Welcome Back, Keith

2007-09-20


I'm just watching Keith Olbermann, back on MSNBC's Countdown, after several days of being down and out with appendicitis ...  It's good to see him back on his show.

I by no means agree with all of Keith's positions and remarks. I especially didn't like his caustic attack on 24 last year, his shots at Bill O'Reilly sometimes are over the top. (But see my blog post about O'Reilly's site giving away "Please Don't Taze Me, Bro" bumper stickers - a new low, even for O'Reilly.)

But whatever Keith's flaws, he offers a unique and much-needed commentary. Not only because it generally comes from the left (which I don't always agree with, either), but because it is sharp, outrageous, fresh and funny.

Alison Stewart does a good job as Keith's regular substitute, but you can see Keith's special contribution right there. Alison's content is the same as Keith's, her delivery is fine, but I laugh, gasp, or get angry maybe one out every ten times I do when watching Keith Olbermann.

Welcome back, Keith, and keep up the good, infuriating work.

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Hats Off to Dan Rather

2007-09-19


Dan Rather is suing CBS for $70 million and he is 100% justified. Instead of standing by its reporter, after its own two-member panel could not say that the report Rather went on the air with was false, CBS hung Rather out to dry. In so doing, CBS damaged Rather's reputation and his potential for future employment.  And it damaged its own reputation and its legacy even more.  

CBS just celebrated its 80th anniversary the other day. William Paley must be turning over in his grave about CBS did to Dan Rather. His law suit is a small way of rectifying that.

Meanwhile, the CBS Evening News with Katie Couric draws fewer viewers than it did with Rather.

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The Media Exile of Useless Places

2007-09-19


I was in an elevator yesterday afternoon.  It almost got stuck.  You know what I mean?  It stopped for a split second in between floors, shuddered, and then resumed its upward journey.

But it got me to thinking (always a dangerous development).  How little portable media have made every place more useful than it used to be.  A stalled elevator, a car stuck in a traffic jam, a seat in a doctor’s office when you’re waiting endlessly for an appointment - a wireless device, whether cell phone, Blackberry, or iPhone,  makes all of those formerly useless places useful.

The result is that we are enjoying increasing discretion and control over our lives and our activities.  Increasingly, we do nothing when we want to do nothing, not when circumstances dictate that we do nothing.

That's a good step forward.



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Shoutout for YouTube for Keeping Us Posted on Police Misconduct

2007-09-18


Bravo to YouTube for making videos of police brutality, such as occurred with Andrew Meyer in Florida, more accessible than ever to the general public.

In 1991, video allowed the public to see the Rodney King beating - nothing the police said in its aftermath could contradict what the public was able to see with its own eyes. YouTube has taken this once step further - allowing us to see such videos without having to wait for television to show them to us. The iPhone is helping as well, by allowing people to see such videos when they are away from their desktops and laptops. All of this is by no means stopping police from trampling on First Amendment rights - but it is making it harder than ever for them to get away with it.

On the one side, we have retrograde forces like the commissioners of the FCC, and incompetent out-of-control police, who each in their ways imperil our freedom. On the other hand, we have miracles of technology, which speed us news of the FCC's misdoings, which provide immediate, irrefutable images of policy brutality and misconduct.

These technologies have made freedom-loving people more equal to the task of combating these threats to our democracy.   They are, in effect,  media-philosophic partners of Ron Paul's run for the White House, and the respect he urges for the First Amendment.




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Fox Broadcasting Should Be Boycotted

2007-09-17


I'm not talking about Fox News.  It is the Fox Broadcasting Company - the entertainment part of the company, which has far more viewers and rakes in far more advertising revenue than its little brother, Fox News - that might need some massive boycotting.

It was the Fox Broadcasting Company which censored Sally Field's anti-war statement in its broadcast of the Emmys last night.

Sally Field was on stage to accept her Emmy Award for best actress in a drama series - Brothers and Sisters.  She was talking about the pain of war, and said that, "if mothers ruled the world, maybe there would be no more godda-"

And Fox cut her off in mid-sentence. We're not allowed to hear the phrase "goddamned war," even though war is just that.

We, in our democracy, supposedly protected by a First Amendment that says Congress shall make law no abridging freedom of speech or press, are not allowed to hear a critique of war.

Fox was no doubt afraid of the Federal Communications Commission, and what it might do to a broadcast network that allowed the word "goddamned" to go out to the world.

This is what we've come to.  Fear of an unconstitutional agency leading a network to bleep a profound, heartfelt observation about war.

Here are some responses we might consider:

1. The Fox Broadcasting Company could lose more money if it loses viewers than it might have been fined by the FCC for broadcasting goddamned.  Maybe Americans who want to see this wrong war over should stop watching Fox for a couple of weeks.  A good time to start would be right now, when Fox is unveiling its Fall lineup.

2. The Academy of Television Arts and Sciences should think about moving the Emmys telecast to cable, currently not under the FCC's thumb.

3. We need to elect a President who understands the unconstitutionality of the FCC, and the damage it does.   Ron Paul of the Republicans already gets this, and perhaps a few of the Democrats, such as Obama or Edwards, could make this part of their platform.

On the May 8th page of the 2007 First Amendment Calendar, I'm quoted as saying  "What begins as a seemingly innocent campaign against indecency … always segues in short order into political censorship."

That's just what happened last night.




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Interview with Me in the Smoking Poet

2007-09-16


Hey, I don't smoke ... but my interview in the current issue of The Smoking Poet sure does ... here's a snapshot of the e-zine's front page ...




THE SMOKING POET: FALL 2007 – ONLINE NOW!

Life is growth. To stop growing is to stop living. The same principle applies to a literary ezine. It, too, is a living being, breathing new life with each and every submission that is chosen to appear in these pages. And surely this issue – our fourth – is breathing deeply! The voices here are many and diverse. Each one has given a breath of life to these pages, and we invite you to witness that life, allow it to move you, make you think and feel and perhaps do a bit of growing, too.

Author Interview with Paul Levinson

============================

Enjoy ... here's one of my favorite lines ... "I’d like to see the FCC abolished, and everyone in Congress who supports it voted out or thrown out of office"

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Dylan's God on Our Side: Should Be Ron Paul's Campaign Song

2007-09-15



Joan Baez's 1966 performance of Bob Dylan's "With God On Our Side"...

The voice of angel. Dylan's words are the most powerful refutation of war as a moral instrument ever written.

Dylan first performed the song at Town Hall in New York City, April 12, 1963. Joan Baez took him by the hand and out on the stage of the Newport Folk Festival for an extraordinary performance of the song on July 25, 1963. You can see a clip from it in Martin Scorsese's 2005 No Direction Home bio-documentary of Dylan.

Here in 2007, the hope expressed at the end of the song that, "If God is on our side, He'll stop the next war," remains unfulfilled.

Ron Paul could make that happen.  So could Dennis Kucinich, Mike Gravel, John Edwards, Bill Richardson - even Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and to a degree any of the other Democrats. They're all talking now about stopping this unconstitutional war, started in lies.

Ron Paul should use this song as a campaign song. So could Dennis Kucinich. I hope one of them does.

The lyrics are here.



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Found in Translation...

2007-09-15


Translations ... in some ways, they are the most exciting, profound thing that can happen to an author.   Your words translated into another language, read by people halfway or even completely around the world.

I've been pretty fortunate with translations of my books.  I was just looking them over.   Here are some stats and details [updated January 2013]:

. My work, at present, has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Farci (Persian), French, Italian, Portuguese, Czech, Polish, Romanian, Macedonian, Croatian, Russian, and Turkish.
. Chinese holds the record, at this point, with translations of seven of my books (all nonfiction):  Mind at Large: Knowing in the Technological Age, The Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of the Information Revolution, Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millennium, Realspace: The Fate of Physical Presence in the Digital Age, On and Off Planet,  Cellphone: The Story of the World's Most Mobile Medium, and How It Has Transformed Everything, New New Media, and The Essential Levinson.
.Polish is a close second, with five translations.  Three are of my nonfiction books, The Soft Edge, Cellphone, and New New Media, and two are of my science fiction novels, The Silk Code and The Consciousness Plague.
.Digital McLuhan has received the most translations - seven - Japanese, Chinese (twice - Taiwan and PRC), Korean, Croatian, Romanian, Macedonian (I love that - Alexander the Great!)
.The Soft Edge has received the second most translations - five - Chinese (twice), Portuguese, Polish, and Turkish.
.The most money I was ever paid as an advance for a translation was for the Japanese edition of Digital McLuhan.
.The most royalties I have received for any translation has been for the Korean translation of New New Media.
.The French, Italian, and Czech translations have been of my science fiction short stories.  The Farci (Persian) translation was of a scholarly article about social media in 2010.  All the other translations have been of my books.

You might wonder why there is much more translation from Eastern Europe than Western Europe.  There are at least two reasons.  One is that more people read English in Western Europe than in Eastern Europe, so translations are less necessary.  Another is that the end of the Cold War has led to a remarkable intellectual renaissance in the former Soviet block...

Of course, speaking of reading English, I'm not fluent in most of these languages - I can't really read even a single word in a few - so I have no way of knowing if I'd be happy with the fidelity of the translations...

But I have confidence in the cosmos.

A few covers follow ... I'll add more as I get a chance to scan them, or find them on the Web...


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More Dylan: Evolution of the Interview

2007-09-12


I'm still thinking about Scorsese's No Direction Home - likely because I watched another piece of it, again, last night ... the "Meet the Press" section...

Dylan was the quintessential anti-interview in the 1960s...

Q - How many protest singers are there?

A - Dylan -  About 136 ...

Q - About or exactly 136?

A - Dylan - 142...

He bristled and laughed at questions, and pretty much refused to answer them.   Most of this was well-deserved - the questions were vacuous, even ridiculous...

If ever there was an example of the merit of I. A. Richards' advice that the creator of a work is the last person you should ask about the meaning of a work, Dylan in the 1960s would be it.   This was the case with Dylan even when he wasn't being sarcastic. In an early radio interview, he tells Studs Terkel that "A Hard Rain" is not about atomic rain - it's just about something important about to come down.   I. A. Richards would say that shouldn't prevent anyone from hearing apocalypse in that song.

So how seriously should we take Dylan's commentary that is the backbone of Scorsese's movie?   Now in the 21st-century, Dylan seems to have little problem reflecting honestly on his work.  Actually, I first noticed this in the excellent interview Dylan gave to Ed Bradley on 60 Minutes a few years ago.

The reasons for the change in Dylan's interview performances are complex and multiple, like everything else about Dylan.  The questions today are not as stupid as those in the 1960s.  Dylan in the 1990s began to redefine his interviews as part of his serious creative work - rather than part of his spoofs - likely because he finally saw them as useful on the path to understanding himself and his impact, which has always been his goal.

All of which is good for us.







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Interview with Obama Girl Producer Ben Relles!

2007-09-12
Length: 29s


Welcome to Light On Light Through Episode 44, An Interview with Obama Girl Producer Ben Relles ... We cover everything in this powerful, revealing 20-minute interview ... how Ben and the team at BarelyPolitical.com came up with the idea for Obama Girl ... how Amber Lee Ettinger was chosen to be Obama Girl ... the role of songwriter singer Leah Kauffman ... Barack Obama and his campaign's reaction to the Obama Girl videos, and Ben's response to this reaction ... placement of BarelyPolitical.com in the history and future of political satirical television and video ... You won't want to miss a second of this candid, informative interview...

Plus flashes ... Ben Relles, Amber Lee Ettinger, and Leah Kauffman will be at my class at Fordham University, September 21 ... my thoughts about Dylan's "With God On Our Side" after seeing Scorsese's No Direction Home - does it remind you of Mike Huckabee's statement in the last Presidential debate about the role of "God" in our continuation of the war in Iraq (this in response to Ron Paul's critique of our war policy)...

The Barely Political Revolution my blog post
http://BarelyPolitical.com Obama Girl vids & new vid on 9/17

also -

Rosh Hashanah Girl video
Bob Dylan and Ron Paul
The Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free -  at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com or http://podiobooks.com http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the Light On Light Through - Blubrry id  The Plot to Save Socrates   (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com for details home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                         

 

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                           

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

Try GotoMyPC free for 30 days!  For this special offer, visit www.gotomypc.com/podcast


Ben Relles ... Amber Lee Ettinger ... Leah Kauffman




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Dylan

2007-09-11


I continue to be fascinated - haunted, even - by Martin Scorsese's 2005 film about Bob Dylan, No Direction Home.  I'd seen large pieces of it before, but saw the whole movie for the first time just a few nights ago.

Dylan's performance of "With God On Our Side" at the Newport Folk Festival with Joan Baez in the summer of 1963 is the high point of the movie.  His voice never sounded better - Joan Baez's voice has always sounded great.  She takes him by the hand out on stage, and the two waifs open up with what is probably the most powerful anti-war song ever written - we all go to war irrationally thinking and claiming God's on our side.  This is exactly what Mike Huckabee said in defense of staying the course in Iraq, when Ron Paul spoke out in last week's debate about the war being wrong, strategically, as well as unconstitutional.  Dylan's lyrics are, sadly, as searingly relevant today as in 1963.

But by 1964, Dylan was singing another kind of song at the Newport Festival - "Mr. Tambourine Man".  This was the pivotal transitional song. The lyrics are sublime, but they never had much relevance to any current event.  The Newport crowd applauded, willing to give Dylan the benefit of the doubt.  He was, after all, still acoustic, and still sincere.

But Dylan was singing "Like A Rolling Stone" in 1965 in Newport, with electric backing.  In just two years, he had morphed from the most powerful, splendid, social critic ever known in folk song to a caustic, psychedelic commentator on the human condition.  Someone who even, for the first time, it seemed, may even have been sarcastic and condescending to his audience. For all of that, he got booed...

I've always loved both of Dylan's phases.  But given the state of the world today, I miss the Dylan who sang up there with Joan Baez, and still wonder at the transformation.  The assassination of JFK, Dylan's wanting some of the fame enjoyed by the Beatles, just needing to move on to other things - these were no doubt  important factors.  But, somehow, insufficient, either singly or in concert, to explain just what happened to Dylan....



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Wild Things in the Neighborhood

2007-09-10

  

A six-foot boa-constrictor was just discovered in New York City's Central Park.   Officials say a pet owner likely left it there.

But I gotta say I've been seeing a lot more wildlife in the New York area the past few years.   No, not wild night life - wild life - as in skunks, raccoons, deer, and even a wild turkey from time to time.

I'm used to squirrels, and maybe an occasional rabbit or chipmunk.  Deer are nice - but I'd rather they not be eating up my vegetables in my back yard.   And skunks ... well, who's ever happy about seeing them?

I've also heard that coyotes have been spotted not too far away, and I've seen a fair share of fox, and heard a moose once, on Cape Cod...

Zipadeedoodah...



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The Cell Phone Will Always Be the iPhone's Brightest Part

2007-09-09


Is Steve Jobs Sick Of The Cell Phone Industry Already? Crunchgear's Seth Porges asked and and answered that yesterday: Yes.  The new iPod Touch steals some of the iPhone’s thunder. That's proof enough.  And then there’s Beck’s “Cellphone’s Dead,? the Touch’s demo song.  Observes Sascha Segan of PC Magazine, “The phone is the weakest part of the iPhone anyway.?

I think not.  First, Porges and Segan make the mistake that industry analysts - in contrast to media historians - often do.  They’re equating the industry, or social and economic structures surrounding a medium, with what the medium does or doesn’t do, itself.  Television national networks, for example, were spent by the late 1980s.  But television - the enjoyment of audio-visual stories, news, etc on a screen under one's control - was as powerfully appealing as ever.  The result was the not decline of television, but its migration to cable and BitTorrent.

The phone is not the weakest part of the iPhone - it’s actually the strongest part.  A device that gave us great connections to all of the Internet would be wonderful - but its magic is that it also lets us call someone we love, or a business partner, and receive calls from same.  A conversation with a real person - if she or he is the right person - usually trumps anything else we might be up to online.

AT&T and its antiquated system is the weakest part.  But AT&T was never in the vanguard of cell phone service in the first place.   Indeed, as the near-monopolistic giant in the first hundred years of the telephone, it impeded its dissemination to the point that it was not until the 1950s, some 75 years after the telephone's invention, that more than 50-percent of Americans had telephones in their homes.

The iPhone will continue and thrive with its cell phone service prominent and important - but with other carriers and other plans.…

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The Closest Thing to Time Travel...

2007-09-08



Seriously ... not science fiction  ... science fiction can be very serious, actually, but this is one-hundred percent real...

It's about that letter that I wrote and mailed back in 1972, which turned up a few days ago on eBay...  You can see it right here.

September 22, 1972 ... that was the day I wrote and presumably mailed that letter.  They had xeroxes back then, I suppose I might have xeroxed it, but I don't recall.  If I did, I know I haven't seen it since then, until it was on my screen two days ago...

I put the letter in a mailbox back then.  It was an age a lot like ours.  Television, radio, rock music, even ships in space.  But crucially different in one extraordinary respect: no Web.

I couldn't have imagined, even in the science fiction I was just beginning to write back then, that that letter would come back to me in this way.

Maybe if I had been rummaging around in my attic this week, looking at old files, and I had come up with a copy of that letter, it would have felt different.  More like a peek at the past.

But on my screen, the letter feels as if it's traveled right from the past, right from my hands when I dropped it into whatever mailbox back then, to my eyes, right now.

September 22, 1972 ... glimmering before me, now ... a message in a screen-bottle across time ... a communication from my earlier self, intended for someone else, not me, but now I realize that maybe this was meant to be ...

Maybe, in some cosmic recondite logic, I was intended to be the recipient of this letter, right now, right here, in this way, all along ...

It feels strange, but good, to be in touch with my 1972 self this way ... I think I've done ok ...  he would have been happy to know that this was the result, or at least one result, of the letter he put in the mail to me...



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YouTube Video of My Aug 28 Talk in New York: Ron Paul and the Mass Media

2007-09-08


In the back room of a spirited pub, over clinking glasses and happy, boisterous voices by the bar, I spoke to the NYC Ron Paul Meet-Up group last week, about the mass media's mistreatment of Ron Paul, its historical precedents and philosophic contexts, and what could be done about it.

We spoke of John Milton, Thomas Jefferson, our Founding Fathers, and the ideals they set for this country...

The complete 30+ minutes, with questions and answers, follows, in four YouTube video clips...



 

 



Books mentioned in the talk ...

The Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of the Information Revolution

The Plot to Save Socrates

also ... my other YouTube videos ... complete run of clips of me v. Bill O'Reilly, Jack Thompson, Pat Buchanan, etc...

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One Sharp Cookie

2007-09-08


I guess this comes under the category of you should be careful what you absurdly joke about, lest it become true...

Ever since I was a kid, if I saw a fly land in someone's soup, or on a friend or family member's sandwich, I'd say "hey, a little extra protein, no charge"...

I seldom got much appreciation for the comment.

But it seems I - and who knows how many others - may have been on to something. Take a look that video clip below - wasp cookies are getting buzz in Japan!

Apparently, wasp has been an ingredient in some kinds of rice preparations in Japan for a long time, so making cookies with the winged creatures didn't seem like that big a leap.

And - yes! - the wasp cookies are being touted for their protein content...

But my tongue is probably barbed enough ... I expect I'll be sticking to sushi for my exotic protein...

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Pounce Pots to Pownce

2007-09-06



I was just looking at the small collection of sanders my wife and I have acquired over the years...

No, it's not a collection of power tools - I don't really do too much woodwork.

The sander - also known as a pounce pot - was a crucial part of the quintessentially Victorian writing process.   You started, of course, with paper, pen, and ink.   But the ink back then was not quick-drying.

So you sprinkled some sand or pumice on to your paper, and gently blew it off.

And the pounce pot or sander held the sand.   The pots came in various styles and constructions.   My favorites are wood, porcelain, and enamel.

What always occurs to me, whenever I look at our pounce pots, is how utterly without practical use they are today.   The evolution of media passed them by, a long time ago...

The world of letters has gone from hand-written documents that needed drying via sand from a pounce pot to ... micro-blogging on Pownce...


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Redshift Rendezvous

2007-09-06


File this under a novel I'm almost positive you never heard of.  But I thought I'd mention it here because, who knows, maybe years from now, someone will read this and look further into one of the best unknown science fiction mystery novels I've ever read.

Redshift Rendezvous by John Stith was published in 1990.  It wasn't his first or his last novel.  But it's his best.    It tells the story of a murder and subsequent investigation on an interstellar space ship.

Nothing so extraordinary about that.  But the ship is traveling faster than the speed of light, and Stith posits that the speed of light inside the ship is therefore reduced to about ten meters per second, which would be about 30 million times slower than its usual speed - or the speed we're used to.

The murder investigation must take this incredibly slow-moving situation into account... Can eyewitness testimony be trusted?  What is evidence when light bouncing off objects moves so slowly...

Most science fiction/mystery hybrids take place in worlds with alien names, or space ships, in environments which are otherwise pretty much like ours.   Redshift Rendezvous makes the speed of light and its bending an indispensable part of the puzzle, and thus is one of the truest - and most satisfying - hybrids ever written.

If you like your science fiction rigorous, and your rigor mortis mysteries exotic, grab this novel if you can.


 …

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Copy of Letter I Wrote in 1972 about my Album, Twice Upon A Rhyme

2007-09-06





The following is a letter my wife Tina just saw on eBay - being sold along with a copy of my album, Twice Upon A Rhyme - I wrote the letter shortly after the release of the album, in September 1972 ... (Tina was my girlfriend, back then)...





See also The Lama Will Be Late This Year


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iPhones In My Classroom

2007-09-04


Fall 2007 classes begin today at Fordham University, where I teach.  I have a big Intro to Mass Media course, which I teach every term, and I’m looking forward to igniting at 1:30pm...

I have a policy - which I’m pretty relaxed about, as I am about most rules - about cell phones and laptops in my classroom.  In general, I discourage students from talking or texting on their cell phones during class.  Talking, of course, can distract the rare student who wants to hear my lecture.  But even texting has its problems - let's say I ask a question, and someone texts a student from last term for the answer?

But laptops are ok.  Yeah, I know students IM on them, but the laptops at least provide the possibility of looking something up - an encyclopedia or library on the go - and that’s fine with me, even during one of my lectures.

But ... what should I do about iPhones?  I have no idea how many students will have them today, but it’s a sure bet that more and more students will have iPhones in the future.  The iPhone, obviously, is a cell phone and web browser (and an iPod).

I’m going to err on the side of open systems.  I already encourage my students to read blogs, listen to podcasts, watch videos on YouTube - it's written into the Intro to Media curriculum.  If my students want to use their iPhones as cell phones, and have conversations with friends during the class, so be it.  But on the chance that they’ll be using the iPhone to locate some bit of fascinating, pertinent knowledge on the Web - hey, that’s all to the good.

Of course, I will draw the line during our open book exams…

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A Umami Tomato...

2007-09-03


Well, my wife and I just had our first tomatoes from that straggly plant that I told you about last week.  It's a "Better Boy" variety, and I have been hovering near it and taking care of it like a baby boy since we brought it home, or the verge of extinction at the end of August.  It's lost almost all of its original leaves, but has put out lots of new ones, along with a bunch of little yellow flowers, and (so far) one new tomato.

But we bought it - for just seven dollars, by the way - with a whole lot of tomatoes on the plant.  And today we ate the first three, beautifully ripened and ...

Delicious!  With that great umami taste!

Haven't heard about umami?  It was identified in Japan a decade or two ago as the fifth taste our tongues react to - along with sweet, sour, salty, and bitter.  The umami taste is rich, deep, musky - well, if you've ever had a good tomato, that's what you're tasting.  Some meat and fish have this taste, too...  (And it's also the taste that monosodium glutamate (MSG) brings to food.)

I'll keep you posted on how many more great tomatoes we get from this plant that I rescued from oblivion....

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Violence and Videogames: The Truth

2007-09-03
Length: 27s


Welcome to Light On Light Through podcast Episode 43, Violence and Videogames: The Truth, where I examine the two main types of "scientific evidence" that purport to show that violence in videogames leads to violence in the real world - and explain why they show nothing of the sort.  The experiments measure violence "profiles" based on results of tests, not violence in the real world.  The surveys show correlation not causation between violent videogames and violence in the real world - and I explain exactly what that means.

I've been studying and teaching about the statistical flaws and inadequacies in these studies for years as a Professor of Communication and Media Studies.  If you'd like to really understand what these studies are trying to demonstrate, but why they do not, invest 15 minutes of your time and listen to this podcast.

Plus flashes ... iTunes and NBC split - no big deal - bitTorent is the future, anyway ... now ABC is not only misreporting Ron Paul, but cropping Kucinich out of photos ... great summer television... 


Fallacies of Connections Between Violence and VideogamesVideogamers Beware: Hillary's Not On Your SideRon Paul Has Company: Now ABC Crops Out KucinichInfinite Regress  my weekly reviews of Mad Men, Weeds, CalifornicationThe Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free -  at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com or http://podiobooks.com http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the Light On Light Through - Blubrry id  The Plot to Save Socrates  published in trade paperback February 20 - this means you can get a new copy, if you like, for $10+ at Amazon and most places ... (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com for details home page: http://paullevinson.info
more blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                         

 

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                           

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

Try GotoMyPC free for 30 days!  For this special offer, visit www.gotomypc.com/podcast


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NBC and iTunes Stop Their Old-Fashioned Dance

2007-09-02


A lot of hand wringing, phosphor, and ink spilled over the news that NBC shows won't be for sale any more on iTunes. According to Apple, that's because it didn't want to go along with an NBC price hike that would have upped the per-episode download price from $1.99 to $4.99 for consumers...

But, you know what? They're both wrong. NBC, sure, for wanting to get more money for its downloaded shows, but iTunes and NBC were both wrong, in the first place, to charge even $1.95 per download.

Most people already know that that you can see episodes of most major shows for free, on the NBC or whatever network's web site - not to mention bittorent and all the rest.

The world of television consumption is changing, almost by the minute, and it's moving towards people watching whatever they want, when they want, and not paying for it. Actually, there's probably a shorter distance between this and traditional free television in your living room than download-and-pay.

NBC and Apple are usually ahead of the pack in understanding this new world. Maybe NBC does understand this, and wants to drive more viewers to its own site.

But whatever the reasoning, it's a safe bet that corporate, profit-per-item mentality is a stubborn old bird, and won't die easily, even in the digital age.…

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Sushi Manhattan

2007-09-02


Mmm.... Having sushi in Manhattan with the family tonight... my favorite.

Or tied for first place in my favorite cuisine with Italian food - vongole (clams) or calamari (squid) to be exact...

But sushi is a cold, sweet, salty protein rush.  Not everyone likes it - I once heard someone say if she wanted raw fish and seaweed in her mouth she could stretch out on a sea shore, face to the ocean, and open her mouth...

But, not really.  Because a significant joy of the sushi is the vinegared rice, and the mix of fish you're not likely to get on any single shore.

My wife introduced me to sushi back in the 1970s.  Her boss loved it.  Now I actually eat more more sushi than she does.

Ok ... here are some of favorites, with explanations:

White tuna:  I get it whenever I can.  It's much more vibrant than any regular tuna, including Yellow Tail, which is quite good.

Ebi:  This is sweet, raw shrimp (there's lots of sushi in which the shrimp is cooked - the white tuna above is raw) ... but sweet, raw shrimp is sweeter than sugar ...

Soft-shell crab: Served in any way is delicious.  I like mine in a "roll" - crab on the inside, seaweed wrapping, rice in the middle ... the soft-shell  crab is cooked ...

Well, that's more than enough dinner for me.  A good thing about sushi is the servings are small, and you can get as much as you like.  (Like Chinese dim sum and Spanish tapas.)  Green tea is great to drink with it.

If I have room for desert, I'll go with red-bean ice cream.



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Videogamers Beware: Hillary's Not On Your Side

2007-08-31



The U.K's Guardian just reminded me of something I already knew, which has crucial relevance both to video gamers and the current Presidential campaign:

Hillary Clinton is no friend of video gaming. In fact, along with Senators Lieberman, Johnson, and Bayh, she proudly introduced the Family Entertainment Protection Act in November, 2005. The Wikipedia entry explains that this law if enacted would have exacted "fines of $1000 dollars or 100 hours of community service for a first time offense of selling a 'Mature' or 'Adult-Only' rated video game to a minor, and $5000 or 500 hours for each subsequent offense."

Fortunately, it was not enacted - Congress had more sense than Hillary and her unconstitutionally minded colleagues. Indeed, similar acts in various states had already been struck down as unconstitutional.

Hillary, unfortunately, comes by her disregard for the First Amendment through her husband. Bill Clinton signed the Communications Decency Act into law in 1996. That affront to the freedom of communication carried as much as $2000 and a two-year-in-prison penalty. Fortunately, the U.S. Supreme Court struck that one down.

Bill claimed he figured that act was unconstitutional, too, and the Supreme Court would declare it to be. So ... why did he sign it into law?

Surely he was not unaware of the straightforward Presidential action of not signing a destructive act into law, in the first place?

Bill Clinton and his circumlocutions fortunately can no longer threaten the First Amendment.

But Hillary's now running for President, leading many of the Democratic polls, and unless she explicitly says otherwise, a wise assumption would be that her election as President would bring to our nation steep fines, forced community service, and even jail time for forms of communication clearly protected under the First Amendment.

We all want to protect our children. Trampling on the Constitution is not the way to do it. We can do better than run scared with the likes of Jack Thompson, and the flawed studies he cites. (See my "debate" with Thompson on CNBC last year.)

We have candidates who understand this. Republican candidate Ron Paul has the best record of respecting the Constitution. Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich is a close second.

I hope the rest of the candidates will follow their leads, and not Hillary's.



for more on Bill Clinton and the Communications Decency Act of 1996:  see The Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of the Information Revolution, pp. 154-160.

See also 15-minute podcast: Violence and Videogames - The Truth

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A. E. Housman on Diana Dying Young

2007-08-30

I was interviewed by Greg Morago in yestersday's Hartford Courant  about the 10th anniversary of Princess Diana's death...

... A.E. Housman's poem "To an Athlete Dying Young" couldn't have said it better: Dying in your prime is exceptionally stunning.

"There's something incredibly poignant about someone dying at the top of their game, at the peak of their success, whether it's an athlete or a movie star or a princess," said Paul Levinson, chairman of the department of communications and media studies at Fordham University. "As horrible as it sounds, there's something magical about it."

That magic could have something to do with the fact that a celebrity dying young means an adoring public will never have to see them crippled by time. "You will never see them getting older," Levinson said. "It's a way of keeping them young forever."

And free of scandal in an increasingly complicated world. "Once a person is dead, they're safe. They can't disappoint us by doing anything wrong," Levinson said....




And the key lines from A. E. Houseman ...

Eyes the shady night has shut
Cannot see the record cut...

See also Anna Nicole, Phil Ochs, and A. E. Housman




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Last Night at the Village Pourhouse in NYC

2007-08-29

I spoke to a group of Ron Paul supporters at the Village Pourhouse in New York City last night.   The NYC Ron Paul Meet-Up group had invited me to talk about the mainstream media's misreporting of Ron Paul's burgeoning campaign for the Presidency.

I was impressed.   It's always good meeting people with whom you have conversed online - in this case, Ryan and Avery and Kevin.  But there was something else in this group.

Here was a group of people, assembled in the back room of a noisy bar on a hot summer evening.  Men and women, different ages, different accents.  Brought together by a desire to truly improve this country by working to elect a candidate with an old-fashioned idea: follow the Constitution of the United States.  Don't go to war without a Declaration.  Don't muzzle the media in contradiction of the First Amendment.   Clear, straightforward points, really, that almost every other politician and public official seem to have forgotten.

I was impressed.   The questions I received were perceptive.  There was something in the air, and it was more than the fine spirits wafting in from the other room.

It was a different spirit.  Democracy.  I've seen it a few times in my life, first hand like this.  Eugene McCarthy challenging Lyndon Johnson to stop the Vietnam War in 1968.   Working in his campaign on the streets of New York.   Working for John Lindsay, running for a second term as Mayor in New York, a year later.

It's rare to see democracy so directly.  It was there in the Village Pourhouse last night.   Not like on the television screen.   Right there in the room.

It was good to see.

Stay tuned.

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More Darkside of Digg: Is There A Digg Blacklist?

2007-08-29


My colleague iPhonematters columnist Tanner Godarzi has posted a disturbing piece over on Tech Blot, inquiring if Digg has a "Secret, Highly Aggressive and Fatal Content Filter Machine".

Maybe not coincidentally: I noticed the post on Digg this morning.  I read it, found it plausible, even likely.  And now, back after an afternoon as Chair of the Department of Communication and Media Studies, I see that ... the post has been buried on Digg already.  Buried, even though it has over 70 Diggs!

Which makes me think Godarzi's hypothesis is even more likely true.

I've already written about the Digg bury brigades, who seem to get their kicks by making sure as many stories as they can get to don't make it to Popularity on Digg.  I've certainly seen many stories about Ron Paul - including a few (but not all) of my own - suffer this fate.  They get 20, 30, 40, 50 Diggs in a short period of time, only to be Buried.

Until now, I thought this was result of hyperactive buriers - anti-Ron Paul and other people who don't like open, democratic flows of information.

But Godarzi is suggesting something much more sinister and destructive.  He believes Digg  may have a blacklist of urls which are given very short leashes - just a few hours (unlike the 24 hours or more for other stories), after which they are automatically Buried, unless they have achieved Popularity.

Godarzi correctly points out that, until a few months ago, certain urls - such as those from MySpace - were banned outright, but now they can be entered on Digg.   He wonders:  did Digg replace this clumsy form of banning with a more insidious kind?   His post (now buried) provides the technical details of how Digg might do this ...

I'm wondering, now, too...

I hope Digg will shed some light on this blacklist.



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A Lesson from AT&T History

2007-08-28


It's always useful to look at history.

Since AT&T lawyers seem to be doing the most grumbling about opening the iPhone to other carriers, I thought it might be helpful to look at AT&T’s reign as a near monopoly in American telephone service, or at very least the predominating force, until the “divestiture? on January 1, 1984 gave regional service to the Baby Bells.

You needn't look very far to notice a very telling fact. 

Indeed, it is something which always struck me as the most telling about AT&T’s 100-year rule - something which says it all, I think, about the impact of near-monopolies on phone service:

The telephone was invented in 1876.  It wasn't until the 1950s that more than 50% of Americans enjoyed telephone service in their homes.

Yes, the pace of progress was a little different, then, but not that different.  Television was in more than 90% of American homes by end of the 1950s, a little more than ten years after it was introduced commercially.

AT&T held its service very close to its vest.  Customers in effect leased phones from AT&T.  You had no choice but to use its service.  Sound familiar?

Under this regime, it took more three quarters of a century for phone service to reach the homes of more than 50% of Americans.

Unfortunately, AT&T seems to have not learned very much from this experience.  It is trying its same old tricks with iPhone service.  Fortunately, it looks like we won't have to wait a hundred years to divest ourselves of these tricks.


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A Nice, Quiet Post About Tomatoes

2007-08-27

I picked up a tall, straggly tomato plant at the local nursery last week.  In its better days, the plant would have sold for $45 - the pot still had the sticker with that price.   That would have been at least a month or more ago.  As it was, the clerk let me have the plant for $7, plus a 20-percent discount.

The plant had about 8 tomatoes and half a dozen yellow flowers when we put it in the back seat of our car.  By the time I put it and gingerly staked it in our backyard, it had lost two of its tomatoes and half of its flowers.

The first few days are never kind to a transplant.   However good the new conditions, they represent a shock in comparison to where the plant has been situated.  About half the leaves turned yellow (not good) and brown.

But I went to water the plant today, I noticed three things:

there was some good new stem and leaf growththere were at least four new flowersone of the older flowers had turned in a little green tomato I'm happy.

Next step will be eating the tomatoes.   I'll be back to you with a full report, then - figure, in a couple of weeks.*

*Hey, I'm back sooner than that - check out A Umami Tomato...

early European depiction of the tomato, about 1600
courtesy foodmuseum.com/tomato.html

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iPhone and Intellectual Property in the Digital Age

2007-08-26


It was the summer of 1984 - the very dawn of the digital age.  Stewart Brand and I were having lunch with several other people near the Western Behavioral Sciences Institute in La Jolla, California, where we had just given lectures in the morning.   That was when I first heard Stewart say "information wants to be free."  He said it again over lunch.  And  I replied - well, maybe so, but creators of information still need to eat.   I was a staunch supporter of copyright and patent. 

I’m still a strong believer in copyright.  But, in the two and a half decades since then, the wretched excesses of the RIAA and like organizations have caused me to clarify to myself and others exactly what I mean.  And that would be:  If some person or organization wants to make money from my writing or other creative work, they need my permission and of course need to pay me. I'm not allergic to money. But if someone wants to take my book out of a library, read my blog, listen to my podcast, buy a second-hand copy of my book, that’s fine, even great.  I'm delighted, and I don’t expect to get paid.  Which means that, to be consistent, I should have no problem with someone acquiring a new copy of any of my books and not paying me - and, in fact, that’s fine, too. I have no problem at all with that.  

And that's why, as I wrote yesterday, I was so happy about George Hotz and his re-soldering the iPhone to work with a T-Mobile sim card.  Apple and AT&T were wrong to lock the iPhone in the first place.  What George did was not only legally permissible but ethical laudable.

In the digital age, you can best make money - as well as friends -
by including not excluding.

See also A Lesson from AT&T History.

For more on Stewart Brand and the history and future of intellectual property, feel free to beg, borrow, or buy my book, The Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of the Information Revolution...


 

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Dexter In September

2007-08-26



Big Love is ending tonight on HBO.  Mad Men is superb on AMC, as is Californication on Showtime.  I'm also enjoyingt the new season of Weeds over there - but I'm really looking forward to the return of Dexter on Showtime in September.

It was the best show on television last Fall, when it premiered. Michael C. Hall - of Six Feet Under fame - played the serial killer who takes out serial killers, and he played the part to chilling, sometimes even humorous, perfection. I've never quite seen anything like this on television (something which is also true of Big Love, Mad Men, Californication, and Weeds - part of the reason I keep saying we're in a new golden age of television).

But a serial killer with a social conscience... who has trouble relating to people - because he is so detached - but is nice to his girlfriend. That's fascinating. And the shows raises the important ethical issue of whether a serial killer of serial killers is ultimately a good or a bad human being....

See you in September with more...

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Bravo George Hotz!

2007-08-25

I just saw him on CNN, and I can't very well applaud through the screen, so I wanted to do it here:

Bravo for unlocking iPhone!

What does this mean?

The iPhone from Apple comes "locked" when purchased - meaning, it can only work with an AT&T sim card - you know, the card on which you have phone numbers from the phone you're currently using.

So, what's someone to do who buys an iPhone, but is currently using a phone with a sim from a different carrier?   In George Hotz's case, that carrier was T-Mobile.

So, the 17-year old took apart his iPhone, and after two months of tinkering and analyzing and soldering, he got his iPhone to work with his T-Mobile sim.

Which is the way it should have been, all along.

Apple and AT&T may not like it, but what George Hotz did is perfectly legal - owners of cell phones have the right to put in whatever sim card they choose.   Apple may have locked the iPhone, but George Hotz, having purchased the iPhone, had every right to unlock it, if he could.

Locks are not way to go in the digital age...

 

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complete run of my YouTube video clips

2007-08-25


Here is the complete, current run of my YouTube video clips ... 22 videos in all ... including 3 of Bill O'Reilly v. me ... Jack Thompson v. me ... Jesse Ventura interviews me ... clips from my appearances on the Discovery Channel (talking about cell phones) and the History Channel (talking about science fiction) ... more ... over 74,000 views as of today...

The player will be automatically updated when new video clips are added...

 

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My Four Rules: The Best You Can Do To Make It As A Writer

2007-08-25

What follows are my four cardinal rules for making it as a writer.  Never any guarantees - but if you follow these rules, you'll be giving yourself the best possible chance:

Don't think about an idea for a story or an article too long - just write it.  As far as the world is concerned, an unwritten idea doesn't exist, and might not have even been thought, in the first place. Finish what you start writing.  As far as the world is concerned, an unfinished piece of writing doesn't exist, and might not have even been written, in the first place. Email, mail, or otherwise send out to a potential publisher whatever you finish writing. Or publish it yourself. As far as the world is concerned, a piece of writing that only you and your friends and family but no one else knows about might not have even been written, in the first place. If the publisher or editor turns your story down, send it right out to another publisher or editor - there will always be another one. Or publish it yourself. As far as the world is concerned, an unpublished piece of writing might not have even been written-

Well, you get the picture.  I hope this helps...

PS - It has been pointed out that the above four rules bear a strong resemblance to Robert Heinlein's five rules - which they do.  My rules emphasize the new importance of self-publishing, which I think is becoming even more significant than traditional publishing in the 21st century. And my rules try to address the psychological situations of writers.  But, clearly, they are indebted to Helnlein's.

More of my advice to writers: Fiction Writers Group ... Pure Southern Genteel ... Pillow Talk interview .... Book Pleasures ... Smoking Poet ... emonome ...

Listen also to special podcast - Authors and Critics: Perilous Symbiosis





my Ask Lev podcast: 2-5 mins of advice about writing


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Thumbshots

2007-08-25

this is a sponsored post


The two most important assets of any Web site are content and speed.  You want to give your visitors exciting, fascinating, worthwhile things to see, read, or hear, and you want them to have access to these benefits as quickly as possible.   Content is king and time is money on the Internet.

Thumbshots.org provides Free Thumbshot thumbnails for your site.  You put a little code on your site.  And, then, like magic, your visitors can instantly see visualizations - thumbnail screens - of any pages connected via links to your site.  You just hover the cursor over the link, and the page it is linked to comes shimmering into view.

These thumbnails at once add valuable content to your site, by giving your visitors views of other pages, without having to leave your site.  And they save your visitors time, by giving them a preview of the page in the link, before and if they decide to visit that page.

Yahoo, the BBC, many other important sites use thumbshots.  You might give them a thumbs-up, too.

.

 

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The Call to Mental Telepathy

2007-08-24

Mental telepathy is still a long way off.  After all, communicating via voice and fingers, to people near and far, in response to every impulse, is not the same as communicating mind-to-mind.

But consider this:

The first electronic medium - the telegraph - required the user to travel to an office outside the home to send a message.  The telephone greatly improved this, by allowing sending and receiving of messages from within the home, and via voice. 

That still left you incommunicado when you were walking down the street, with no pay phones in sight.

But cell phones came to the rescue on that score - the cell phone in effect obsolesces the phone booth - and enables us to communicate to anyone, anywhere, wherever we or they may be happen to be. 

And now iPhones and Blackberries and similar media are widening the cell phone's flow, bringing written words, pictures, moving images, and even images with sounds into our immediate grasp.

All of this is physical, and therefore not yet mental telepathy.  And the process is far from complete - there are many kinds of communication, like the long-predicted videophone, which are not yet integrated into the ease of the iPhone.

But the distance between what our mind imagines and wants in the realm of communication has never been shorter.

And when Bluetooth is thoroughly integrated with all iPhone features, and the features increased, the distance will be further shortened.

And then ... well, we'll be knocking on mental telepathy’s door.  We may never have it, actually.  But we’ll be close.

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The Sloan Ranger Interviews Paul Levinson about Media Misreporting of Ron Paul

2007-08-23
Length: 29s

Welcome to Episode 42 of Light On Light Through in which I replay the Sloan Ranger's 20-minute interview with me on WGNU Radio this past Tuesday, about the media's misreporting of Ron Paul's 2008 election campaign.  I discussed four examples of ABC's misreporting (and worse) with Lloyd Sloan - aka the Sloan Ranger - and he had an example or two from other media.   We discussed the problem of media bias in general - easy to find, it's pervasive - and I even offered my view that the FCC, in daily violating the First Amendment to our Constitution, is treasonous.

A frank, colorful discussion which I very much enjoyed, and I hope you find useful.

Plus flashes ...  I'll be talking to the NYC Ron Paul Meet-Up group in Manhattan this Tues, August 28, 7:30pm, at the Village Pourhouse, 11th Street and 3rd Ave, admission is free ... space shuttle Endeavor comes home safely with teacher Barbara Morgan ... Californication is still hilarious ...

Helpful links:

details on my talk this Tues at the Village Pourhousethe meaning of Endeavor's safe returnsummer television reviews at InfiniteRegress.tv

home page: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                                            videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006


my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



more about The Plot to Save Socrates...






Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE!


 


If you're in Manhattan, come on by ... if not, look for the video to be posted in this blog, as soon as it's up on YouTube.

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Cellphone as Porlock: Coleridge in the Digital Age

2007-08-23

Who's Porlock? Just about every literate person will recognize "In Xanadu did Kubla Khan, A stately pleasure-dome decree..." and most have heard the story behind it.  Samuel Taylor Coleridge was in an opium trance.  He started writing that beautiful poem.  Fifty-two equally splendid lines followed- but Coleridge was interrupted by a knock on the door, from a "person on business from Porlock," according to Coleridge's notes...

And by the time he got back to his poem, he had lost it - leaving us just the fragment.

Some cynics claim that Coleridge made up the whole incident to explain his unfinished fragment - that there was no person from Porlock who interrupted him.  Others, seeking to claim some high moral ground from the story, accept it, and point to the pitfalls of drugs as its primary lesson.

I don’t know whether the story is true or false.  But it has always struck me with a completely different lesson: the vulnerability of the creative impulse, indeed our thoughts at any time, to interruption from the outside world.

With that mind, I’ve long held that this capacity to interrupt - to shatter our inner world  when a call comes in at an inopportune time - is the one real drawback of the cellphone.   The very strength that the cellphone gives to make a call, to express ourselves at the instant we wish, is turned against us when we receive a call we would rather not have - or, even if we receive a call that would otherwise be welcome, at a different time.

Of course, we can turn off our phone - but that incurs social penalties, such as having to explain to callers why our phone was off.

But, optimist that I am, I can see a route to hope:  had the iPhone or any cellphones with Internet connections existed back in the late 1790s, the person on business from Porlock might not have needed to pay a call on Coleridge in the first place.  He might have received what he needed on the Internet, the access to which is entering a whole new realm of ease via cellphones.  And maybe Coleridge, had he been writing “In Xanadu? on his iPhone or Blackberry, might have been able to retrieve more of his memory with the visceral stimulus of the device in hand.  And here's the really crucial point- hold it, there’s someone knocking at my door-


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Talking About Media Misreporting of Ron Paul this Tues Night in Manhattan

2007-08-22

Hey - a heads-up for everyone in the New York area, with an interest in the mainstream and Internet media coverage of the 2008 Presidential election, and its current percolating campaigns:

I've been invited to talk to the New York City Ron Paul Meet-Up group at 7:30pm this Tuesday - in particular, about the media's misreporting and in one case outright attack on Ron Paul, and what can be done about it.

I'll be talking at the Village Pourhouse on 11th Street and 3rd Avenue (southwest corner) for 30-45 minutes, followed by 15-30 mins for questions and answers.

The meeting room will be spacious.  The general public is welcome.  Admission will be free.

I think the media coverage of our election campaigns thus far should be of concern to anyone who values our democracy.

Ron Paul and his supporters, in particular, have received less than truthful treatment from a variety of media.  ABC News and its affiliates has had the greatest confluence of misreporting, and I'll be talking in particular about ABC's posting of misleading photos, reporting of Internet poll results which left out Ron Paul's standing, and, in the case of ABC radio talkshow host Mark Levin, about his urging listeners to call Ron Paul headquarters with hostile comments.

Full disclosure: I'd be outraged about such media malfeasance whomever I supported, but I do support Ron Paul for the Republican nomination for President.   That's easy for me to do, for two reasons. 1. I think our country's disregard of the Constitution - whether it's trampling on the First Amendment or going to war without the Declaration of War required - has gotten us into enormous difficulties.  Ron Paul is the only candidate in either party with a lifelong commitment to supporting the Constitution.  2. My second reason for supporting Ron Paul for the Republican nomination is that the other Republican candidates are simply impossible for me to support - three of them don't believe in evolution, and most support the Bush administration's continuation of the war in Iraq.

But there are Democrats I admire, too.  Indeed, any of them is easily better than any of the Republicans, with the exception of Ron Paul.  But the three leading Democratic contenders - Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Edwards (in that order for me) also have qualities that would make me consider their candidacies very seriously (not to mention Al Gore, who at this point is not in the running).

Accordingly, I'm urging everyone to work for the best candidate receiving the nomination in each party.  And in the happy event that this happens, we can then decide in the general election who is better - the Democrat or the Republican - to lead this country.  End of Disclosure.

But, whichever candidate you support, I hope you agree that our democracy is best served by truthful media coverage.  How can we make a rational decision when we're fed misleading and false information? It would be good to see you on Tuesday.  And I'll be posting a postscript here to my talk later Tuesday night or early Wednesday.

Further details on two of the above points:

ABC's Abuse of American Electorate to Be Included in my Curriculum This Fall

Something New: How About We Look for Best Candidates in =Both= Parties?

 

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iPhone Will Make Its First Appearance in Which TV Series?

2007-08-21

 

Last night's episode of Californication - the new, hilarious Showtime series -had a scene which really rang a bell with me.   Hank is writing a blog post, and his laptop freezes.  He throws it on the floor, then he goes out to a local Apple store - where he writes and posts his story.

 

 

 

 

This got me thinking: when will an iPhone make its first appearance on a television show - in which series?

Well, it won't likely be Battlestar Galactica, where digital media are banned, lest the humans be compromised by Cylons, and the phones are attached to walls with wires.  It won't be Lost, either, which is not quite yet in the present (though you never really know with that extraordinary show).

Otherwise ... certainly any of the Law and Orders, "ripped from the headlines," could sport an iPhone, and probably will, sooner or later.   When that happens, I predict it will mostly likely be in the hands, or at least the view, of John Munch (Richard Belzer's digitally savvy character).

But, ok, I'll stop making conditional predictions.  I have no inside information, but I predict the first iPhone we'll see will be in .... Heroes ... on NBC ... on a late-November episode.

Let's check back here in the November, and see if I'm right ...

 

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The Lama Will Be Late This Year

2007-08-20



listen ...
The Lama Will Be Late This Year
Paul Levinson & Ed Fox, 1969

 

I've getting a few requests for the above, so I thought I'd post it here.

First, the lyrics (which you can read while you're listening), then the story ...

written by Paul Levinson & Ed Fox, 1969

(a brief question-and-answer period)

(cameo appearance by the Hawaiian Herb Singers)

Children don't you know it's past your bedtime
You've been waiting all day for the sun
Didn't come so now it's eyes-are-red time
He's been holding out on everyone

People all been cold for such a long time
Never seen the likes of this before
He would always come and bring the warm time
Maybe he don't love us anymore

(chorus)
The Lama will be late this year
The Lama will be late this year
I fear he's been delayed
Heaven knows where he's strayed
We're gonna have wait this year
The Lama will be late this year
The Lama will be late this year
I fear we've been repaid
The mistakes we have made
We're gonna have to wait this year

It's time alright and yet it's not the right time
Maybe there's some things we gotta learn
We'll just keep on spinnin' through the nighttime
Till we light the way for his return

(chorus)

the story ...

Ed Fox and I wrote close to a hundred songs in the Fall 1968 - Winter 1969.  He usually wrote most of the music and I wrote most of the lyrics, but not always.

One night, in November, I dropped by Ed's brownstone apartment on East 85th Street after dinner.  Ed had a copy of some newspaper in his hand, and pointed to a headline - "The Lama Will Be Late This Year" - something about the Dalai Lama's trip to somewhere being delayed. 

"Good title for a song...," Ed said, and I agreed.


I wrote the lyric in about 10 minutes, and Ed wrote the music ...

We recorded and mixed it in a variety of studios in New York City from 1969-1971.   Ed's singing lead, and I'm doing the harmony (falsetto) with Ed.  Pete Rosenthal's playing at least 2-3 guitars, and electric harmonica.  I'm playing piano and tablas, and Jay Sackett's on bass.

We put "The Lama" on our 1972 album, Twice Upon a Rhyme ... over the years, it's been lauded in Japan and Scandanavia (by Patrick the Lama - understandably) ...

In a separate post, maybe, I'll someday tell you the secret of Hawaiian Herb...

More details about Twice Upon A Rhyme are my music page, and my MySpace music page.

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Paul J. Feiner for Greenburgh Town Supervisor

2007-08-20

The vast majority of you - my American and world-wide readers - will have never heard of Paul Feiner. Understandable - you don't live in the town of Greenburgh, a few miles north of New York City, where my wife and I and family have lived since the summer of 1992.

But if you want know a local champion, a tireless fighter for everything that's good in suburban/urban life, then you'd benefit from knowing Paul J. Feiner. He's been Town Superviser of Greenburgh, New York - a two-year, elected position - since 1991. He ran twice for Congress - as a Democrat in what was then a highly Republican district - and lost ...  Greenburgh and America's loss.

I've always voted for Paul Feiner, but got to know him really well last year. Verizon was offering fiber optic service in Greenburgh (I'm using it right now in this connection), and needed Town Council approval to offer television service through the fiber optics. Unsurprisingly, Cablevision, which had a monopoly on cable service in this area, opposed Verizon's request.

Feiner, with a mostly balky Town Council baying at his every point, stood up and courageously argued for freedom of choice in television providers in Greenburgh. This might not seem like such a controversial point, but if you've ever been to a local Town Council meeting you'll know that everyone on the council has an opinion, and it's usually not in favor of getting things done.

I was in favor of giving Greenburgh residents a real option in television, I wrote a few editorials arguing for that, but it was Paul Feiner's determination that got this to happen.

And he has been that way on every important local issue. Do you like being woken up all too early on weekend mornings by someone blowing leaves or mowing the lawn at decibel levels that could split your eardrums? Feiner doesn't like that either, and he's doing what he can to keep the noise down. He stays on top of utilities like Con Ed to make repairs today, not tomorrow, after storms. He's advocating wi-fi for a major street in Hartsdale - he wants it for the whole town, every inch of it, and the Hartsdale street would be the start. Paul J. Feiner is on the right side of every issue - meaning, he's positions are ones which I already have - be it nature or high-tech, communication to the world-at-large from your laptop or just dozing on your porch on a quiet Saturday morning.

So, yes, I'm voting for Paul J. Feiner for another term of Town Supervisor. I saw him in front of the A&P last week. And I told him, hey, I not only hope you win, but give that run for Congress another shot some day.

Read more about Paul J. Feiner on his Wikipedia entry.

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The Best Novel You Never Heard Of

2007-08-19

It's by Dave Michaels.
And you never heard of him, right?
He published a novel, in the year 2000, entitled Red Moon (not to be confused with Michael Cassutt's novel of same name published around the same time). Cassutt's novel is good.  Dave Michael's is among the best 3 or 4 novels I've ever read, period.
The background of the novel:  I've always been fascinated by the collapse of the Soviet space program in the 1960s.  The Soviets jump-started the space age with Sputnik in 1957.  They got the first animals and then the first people up into space.  They sent spacecraft - with no people - to the moon.  They were on the verge of getting people there.
They inspired John F. Kennedy - in the names of both wonder and security - to put the U.S. on a course to send a man to the moon and safely return him by the end of the decade.   Which we did.
But the Soviets never made it.  Their move into space hit a mysterious stone wall. And the lack of continuing competition between them and us was likely the most significant factor in the fizzling of our own efforts in space.  Forty years later, and we've yet to set foot on the moon again, or anywhere beyond our space station.
What happened to the Soviet space program?  The death of its mastermind, Sergei Korolev in 1966, no doubt was a grievous blow.  But ... I don't know ... there were a lot of other talented people working in the Soviet space program.  The death of one man, however important, should not have led to its demise...
Red Moon provides some breath-taking science fiction answers.
How I found out about the novel:  It was at a reading I was giving at a science fiction convention - Balticon (in Baltimore) in the Spring of 2001.  David S. Michaels came up to me after the reading, with a copy of my novel, The Silk Code, for me to autograph.  Then he pulled a 600-page book out of his backpack, and asked me to please accept it, as a present.
I wasn't sure what to say.  First, travelling back from Baltimore to New York by train (I love driving, but trains even more) is no fun with a heavy bag of books, which I already had.   Second, as a writer, I find I don't read as much fiction as I would like - if I'm writing a novel, which I usually am, reading someone else's can throw me off course.  But ...
There was something about Dave, and I was already keenly interested in the subject, so I thanked him for the present and added it to my bag (it was filled with non-fiction books, by the way, which I do read when I can).
It was well into June before I had a chance to open Red Moon.  And when I did - well, I couldn't put it down.  It might as well have been a new Foundation or Harry Potter novel.  The subject, the plot, the characters, the writing was brilliant. I contacted Dave right away, told him how much I enjoyed the novel.  It had been published by a very small press.  I told him I would try to get it to the attention of a bigger publisher.
Which I did...  But all of this was right before September 11, 2001, when lots of things changed in the publishing world (most of which is headquartered in New York City).  And in the aftermath, at least the publishers that I had been in contact with were doing other things, cutting back their acquisition lists.
And so, nothing more happened with Dave Michaels' Red Moon.  I  listed it as my #1 favorite first science fiction novel on a list I started on Amazon.  (It's a pretty exclusive list.  I'd highly recommend Bob Katz's Edward Maret, which is #2 on the list.   Wen Spencer's Alien Taste and Larry Ketchersid's Dusk Before Dawn are there, too.)
Amazon now has an "out of print" sign on Dave Michaels' Red Moon's page.  (I also have a reader review of the novel there.)
Now that I'm thinking about the book again, I'm gonna do what I can to help get it published - hopefully better - again.
In the meantime, if you're at all interested in the space race, what could have been, why what happened - and didn't happen - happened, the extraordinary human struggle to reach the cosmos, give yourself a  treat, and see if you can score a second-hand copy of this novel somewhere.  Trust me - you'll be caught up in an adventure, in an intrigue of alternate and real history, that you'll never forget.

 

 

 

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Best Advice to Writers: Take a Hike!

2007-08-18

The single most frequent question I get as a writer is not where I get my ideas or how does an author find a publisher - though those two questions are certainly high on the list.

But the most popular question is: what do I do, what kind of physical or mental activity do I recommend, to encourage or facilitate writing?

The preamble and proviso for my answer to this question is: Not all writers are the same.  Different writers like and rely upon a different things.

But here's my secret: walking.

A mile or two or three, around the long block near my house (3-4 times around the block is a mile).  I find there's nothing like it when I need to think through a story or a scene, decide where a character should go or be when I'm feeling stumped.

I like driving, too.  I guess there's something about motion that gets my creative energies flowing.

But I like walking even better - mainly because it not only gets my mind and imagination going, but makes me feel physically good, too.

So there you go.  Next time you're stuck in a story - take a hike!

 

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True Confession: Why I Would Never Write Under a Pseudonym

2007-08-18

As some of you know, I write both fiction and non-fiction.  I try to do as much damage as possible.

To some extent, I lead two separate lives as an author.  There are many people who know me only or primarily as a science fiction writer, and many who know me mostly as an author of books on the history, evolution, and social impact of communications media.

I'm sometimes asked why I don't write under two separate names.  The logic is that I might be taken more seriously in my non-fiction if I wasn't also known as a science fiction writer.

Actually, this may have once been a problem - long before I started writing.  Back in the 1950s, Isaac Asimov claimed he ran into difficulties with colleagues at Boston University - where he taught in the chemistry department - because of his science fiction.  But Asimov went on to have fabulous careers as both a science and a science fiction writer, both under the name of Isaac Asimov.  (He did publish a few novels under the pen name Paul French.)

Nowadays, I don't know who would really think that being a science fiction author could detract from how seriously readers take your non-fiction.   If anything, I think most of the world recognizes that science fiction, though fun, often deals with the most profound issues in the universe - our place in the cosmos, our capacity to create machines that think (which leads us to contemplate what we mean by intelligence, thought, consciousness), etc.  You know, those sorts of things...

So I would never write under a pseudonym for that reason - that it might hurt my nonfiction career to be known as a science fiction writer - even if I were so inclined, which I'm not.

Some writers, unhappily, have no choice but to write under a pseudonym - for economic reasons.   They have sold so poorly under their real name, that the only way bookstores will stock their books is if they are packaged under a new name.  Fortunately, and thank my lucky stars, that hasn't happened to me (yet).

But there is one transcendent reason which will keep me, I'm sure, from ever writing under a pseudonym.  It does not have to do with the profundity of science fiction, nor with my level of success as writer.

It has to do with the girl who sat next to me in social studies class in
7th grade.  (And there may have been one in 6th grade, and in 9th grade, too.)   She is the reason I would never ever write under a pseudonym, regardless of any good reasons.

She pretty much ignored me back then, and I want to maximize the chances that when she walks into a bookstore somewhere today or tomorrow, she will notice, out of the corner of her eye, my name on a book on a shelf.  And at that moment, she will realize all that she could have had back in our junior high school class....

  yeah, that's the reason...

 

 

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The Durability of Paper

2007-08-17

People have been complaining about the big stack of paper printouts they have received from AT&T for their iPhone service.   Some have been objecting almost as much to the paper delivery as to the bill, saying that if the iPhone were as a true harbinger of the future as its champions (including me) claim, its telephone carrier would have figured out a way to send the bill electronically. 

But I doubt that paper’s really the issue.  I've never seen anyone object to getting some paper cash in hand.

Paper, of course, has long been put forth as an early item to be replaced by the digital realm.  I remember lots of talk and writing back in the 1980s about the “paperless office?.  It didn’t happen.  

I’ll let Sierra Waters, heroine of my novel The Plot to Save Socrates, explain why.  Here’s what she’s thinking on the very first page of the novel:

 

...written on the only substance which could survive decades, maybe longer, without batteries, which required only the light of the sun to be read, or the moon on a good night, or a flickering flame when there was no moon.  Paper.  A marvelous invention.  Thin and durable...

 

 

And paper also has what I call “reliable locatability? - what’s written on one part of a piece of paper today will be in the same place tomorrow.

So, as much as I dislike bills, I actually prefer getting them on paper.

Meanwhile, if the history of phone and online service is any indication, iPhone AT&T service will sooner or later progress to very low, flat rates for huge amounts of data - which I doubt that anyone will be complaining about, whether on paper or screen.

See also The Secret Riches of the Panda

 

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Bob Shannon Back on WCBS-FM Radio in New York

2007-08-16

I was just listening to Bob Shannon on WCBS-FM "oldies" radio in New York.  It's good to have him back.

As some of you may know, Bob and the WCBS-FM dj staff were abruptly banished a few years ago, when WCBS-FM Radio became "Jack" radio.  I'll resist the four letter word that fits with "Jack" and rhymes with fit, but let's just say that "Jack" didn't fit New York City or oldies music, and this sarcastic, automated, sour format brought  down what good music the format managed to play.

"Jack" was brought in to increase the ratings and revenue of an oldies station that was already doing fine in both areas - "Jack" was inoculation against the graying oldies audience.

Well, every once in a while, commerciality comes through heroically, and, in Jack's case, it turned out that the ratings actually dwindled under his format.

And so Bob Shannon and some old  and new, fully human, disc jockeys were brought back along with the good name and sounds of WCBS-FM oldies radio in New York City last month.

You know, there's no substitute for a human, not-pre-recorded disc jockey.  Especially when he has the easy, encyclopedic knowledge of rock music, as Bob Shannon has, along with a great, sparkling sense of humor.

Welcome home, Bob!

See also: Poetic Justice: Oldies Return to WCBS-FM Radio!

 

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Practical Rhyme

2007-08-15

I was thinking about rhymes  - not poetry, necessarily, but just rhyming, and how it originated in our history, in our language.

Marshall McLuhan provides a clue, as he does for so much in communication: lots of things that we regard as art forms or sports, McLuhan says, started out as very practical technologies.   For example, horseback riding was once just a practical way to travel.   The automobile made horseback riding into a sport, even an art-form.

I first heard McLuhan say this back in the mid-1970s.  Since then, I've come with examples of my own.  For example - delicatessen.  Ham and corned beef started out as ways of preserving meats.  Once refrigeration came along, we no longer needed that spicing for preservation - but we liked the taste so much, we kept on eating and enjoying the delicatessen - it had become an art form.  Or take convertible cars: in the days before air conditioning, we rolled the roof down to keep cool.  Now we don't need to do that to be cool, physically - but we like our convertibles because we look cool, driving around in them.

And rhyme?   Well, think about it.  Before writing was invented, our ancestors had to rely completely upon their memories.   In these oral cultures, anything that enhanced the power of memory, helped it work better, was welcome.

Rhymes ... the Velcro of the mind...



 

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Prester John's Speculum Becomes Real

2007-08-14

People in the Middle Ages spoke of a Prester John - a prince of a far off kingdom in the East.  He was said to have magic powers and magical instruments.  Most magical of all was his "speculum," through which Prester John could see all the provinces in his kingdom.  A sort of television...

Scholars, inspired by this legend, began referring to their surveys and encyclopedias as "specula" - or speculum literature.  There was a speculum of history, of astronomy, of alchemy, of morals.  Someone even wrote a speculum on fools.

The speculum, in other words, had gone on in the popular and then scholarly imagination to encompass not only the physical world but the realm of ideas.   Maybe a little more like the Internet than television...

But it doesn't really matter what we call our wondrous devices today.  Whether television, or Internet, or iPhone, what counts is they are real.

For we have gone with our technology from the realm of myth to what we can keep on tables, or desks, in our very hands.

And that's progress - real, and maybe even more than what could have been imagined in the Middle Ages...

 

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Sedition! A Conversation with Mark Shanahan

2007-08-13
Length: 36s

Welcome to Episode 41 of Light On Light Through - a conversation with Mark Shanahan about Sedition - the new play by David Wiltse, in which Shanahan is currently performing ... We talk about the uniquely powerful medium of theater ... the importance of a play about freedom of speech in this day and age ... the response of the audiences to Sedition in its first week in Westport, CT ... the effect this play about a professor has had on me as a professor ... and much more ... a 25-minute interview ...

Plus flashes ...  more summer television - John from Cincinnati ends, a jewel within an enigma ... Californication debuts, hot  ... Mad Men on AMC, a safe-way to experience non-stop smoking ... and a special preview flash: Obama Girl producer Ben Relles is coming to Light On Light Through....

Helpful links:

my review of SeditionWestport Country PlayhouseThe Flouting of the First Amendment - my June 2005 Keynotesummer television reviews at InfiniteRegress.tvThe Barely Political Revolution - why Obama Girl is so important


Mark Shanahan is dead center background in this scene from Sedition...

home page: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                                            videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

Try GotoMyPC free for 30 days!  For this special offer, visit www.gotomypc.com/podcast

 

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John from Cincinnati Closes without Closure

2007-08-12

John from Cincinnati concluded on HBO tonight - you'll find my review, and links to my reviews of all the episodes, here - but in this post I wanted to reflect a little on the salient characteristic of the series: ambiguity, also known as lack of clarity.

I don't think I've ever seen a television show - including Twin Peaks - so brazenly unresolved.  The question, then: is that good?

People complained about the open, ambiguous ending of The Sopranos.  Well, John from Cincinnati was ambiguous at the beginning, the middle, or the end?

Good or bad?

The murkiness of the show will certainly make it memorable.  Is it always necessary to have clear-cut resolutions in our narratives?

I've been criticized for not tying up more loose ends at the of my time-travel novel, The Plot to Save Socrates - in particular, for one major character (no, not Socrates).  I don't know ... I ended my novel that way because it felt good, right.

After all, life is usually ambiguous in its endings, not resolved, so why do some of us insist upon resolution in our fiction?

I think John for Cincinnati was probably too unresolved throughout for my tastes in narrative.  I don't mind a murky jewel at all, but I like seeing a little more light through it, when I hold it up in my mind for scrutiny, at least some of the time.

But I suspect John from Cincinnati will be scrutinized for light and meaning for a long time to come.

 

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The Media Disenfranchising of Ron Paul

2007-08-11
Length: 18s

 

Welcome to Episode 40 of Light On Light Through in which we focus on a very unwelcome development: the media disenfranchising of Republican Presidential candidate Ron Paul.  I admire his unflinching support of the Constitution (including the First Amendment), do not agree with every one of his positions, but whether we agree with any candidate's positions or not, we should be alarmed when a major news network such as ABC forgets to mention that a candidate, in this case Ron Paul, came in first in its poll, gives the impression that Ron Paul had fewer supporters at a rally than he in fact had, etc.  I've written blog posts about this abuse of our democratic system, intend to teach my Intro to Communication and Media Studies class at Fordham University about this in Fall, and am hoping this podcast will help get more word of this out to the American people...

And this just in from Iowa - Ron Paul placed 5th in the Iowa Straw Poll.  Certainly not a win, but ahead of Tommy Thompson, and better than many expected.   Politics, as ever, is unpredictable, and this is why it is so important for media to report the news, and the results of their own polls, as accurately as possible.

Plus flashes ... David Wiltse's Sedition opens in Westport - the beginning of the 20th-century assault on the First Amendment ... The Bourne Ultimatum is outstanding - why? ... summer television - Meadowlands, Big Love, John from Cincinnati, Weeds ...

Helpful links:

more on ABC's Misreporting of Ron Paulmy review of Seditionmy review of The Bourne Ultimatumsummer television reviews at InfiniteRegress.tv

home page: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                                            videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

Try GotoMyPC free for 30 days!  For this special offer, visit www.gotomypc.com/podcast

 

 

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Personalized Address Labels for Sierra Waters

2007-08-10

this is a sponsored post


How would I customize an address label?

In this case, not for myself, but a friend, Sierra Waters ... who is a time-traveller...

First, whether for me, or as a gift for family or friends, I would use Vista Print online for my personalized address labels.  Vista Print lets you upload your own design, or choose from hundreds of templates.  You add your content, place your order, and your personalized return address label is good to go.

What would I get for Sierra?

Well, browsing through the many attractive styles, I think that two general categories would be most likely to appeal to Sierra - New Age, and Wild and Edgy.  And the more I look at the New Age designs, I'm thinking those would be most appreciated by Sierra.  There's a nebula swirl, a reddish sunset, a bright light coming out of a hand, and what almost looks like a cave-art human figure...

Hmmm ... I think I'll go with the bright light in the hand - there's something about that light that speaks time travel.

Next step:  Add the name and address - customize the label.  Ok.  Sierra Waters is the name.  And then I have three lines for the address.  Knowing Sierra, I think she'd prefer just two.  Make that: The Millennium Club on one line, New York City on the next.  Those in Sierra's world who need to send mail to Sierra will know exactly where that is. 

I can further edit the address - adjust the size and the font - and then I place the order, and I'm all set.

Next time a suitable occasion arises, I may surprise Sierra with a present...





 

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Michael Pellegrin Interviews Me for the White Plains Times

2007-08-10

I've been interviewed by many major media - you can see the details on my Wikipedia entry - but I've found, over the years, that local interviews are often the best.

I had lunch last Saturday with Michael Pellegrin of the White Plains Times.  We talked about everything from the New York Yankees to The Plot to Save Socrates to the First Amendment.  I found the interview one of the most engaging and enjoyable I've ever had.

Here are the results ...

From Socrates to Science Fiction

Prolific Local Writer, Professor Champions Everything From Quality Television to Croc Shoes

By: Michael Pellegrin

Published: August 10, 2007

Paul Levinson is used to getting strong responses to his work. His first novel, “The Silk Code,? won the Locus Award for Best First Novel in 1999. The first time he posted a blog about television, he got dozens of responses almost immediately, and his podcasts attract thousands of listeners. And as a professor at Fordham University in the Bronx and chair of the university’s department of communication and media studies, he’s used to challenging and getting strong responses from his students....

Actually, that's just the first paragraph.  You can find the whole interview on the White Plains Times web page, City People section - From Socrates to Science Fiction.

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My Hibiscus Claims Its Place

2007-08-10

 

My hibiscus tree is in full bloom.  I told you last week about my myrtle ... I guess every plant has a story ... or, at least, I have a story for just about everything I've ever planted...

We bought this hibiscus as a sickly sapling about 15 years ago.  It was on sale, and something about it looked promising, even though it looked as it had just been cured of some kind of insect attack.

I planted it on a low-maintenance side of our property (actually, our property could be described as all low-maintenance).  The hibiscus tree - with soft, crumply pink-lavender flowers - struggled for the first five-ten years.  But it always came back the next year, and managed to come through with some splendid blooms.

Last year, we had a decrepit white birch cut down - that's always the key.  A little bit more sun, maybe the hibiscus was ready, who knows.

But this year, for the first time, the hibiscus really looks like a tree.   It looks as if it more than doubled its size from last year.   All feels good in this tiny corner of the cosmic.  The hibiscus has claimed its proper place.

 

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The Bourne Ultimatum: The Hidden Dimension

2007-08-10

Just got back from The Bourne Ultimatum, and I agree with all the superlatives.  The movie had everything - fine, razor-keen acting, captivating plot, non-stop breathtaking action.   This third movie in the Bourne series is clearly the best of three - though the first, The Bourne Identity, was almost as good.  (I thought the second, The Bourne Supremacy, was not as good as the first and third.)

But I'm wondering why, given that the essential elements of the Bourne series plot are so familiar, these movies - and the first and last ones in particular - are so good.  We've seen many movies about spies and secret agents abused  by their employers.  Many movies about secret agent amnesia.  Many movies about spies on the run for their lives, helped by beautiful women, civilian or agent - some of whom survive, some not.

What makes the Bourne series different?

If I told you, my life would be forfeit...

No, only kidding - the truth is I don't know.  It's something I'll have to think about.

But I will, and when I come up with an answer, I'll get back you.  One of the nice things about blogs in contrast to, say, newspaper reviews, is that blog reviews can be easily updated...

 

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The Power of Meta-Fiction

2007-08-08

Sarah Beth Durst has written a delightful fantasy novel - Into the Wild - which details the adventures of fairytale characters ... who have escaped the fairytale.  I'll post a proper review, soon ... but, in the meantine, I wanted to say a little about "meta-fiction," in general...

What is "meta-fiction"?  Well, it's fiction in which the story is in some sense about the very telling of the story.  You could have characters escaping from one story into another - as in Durst's novel - or discovery of a novel within a novel that tells the story of the first novel ...

There's something intellectually delicious about this.  Indeed, any time there is any action around the boundaries of stories - whether from characters leaving stories (also seen  in Arnold Schwarzenegger's Last Action Hero), or between stories and external realities, you usually have something good and important on the pages or the screen.  In fact, in Schwarzenegger's case, this meta-energy may have spilled over into his successful political career...

I guess my own novel, The Plot to Save Socrates, is a little meta-valent ... Certainly since Sierra Waters sent me that letter...

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Resumed Journey

2007-08-08

6:36 this evening.  Endeavor lifts off from Cape Canaveral into space. On board is Barbara Morgan, age 55, who trained along with Christa McAuliffe, the teacher who died on the Challenger in 1986.

Gifted teachers, these two. Not just imparting wisdom to their students. Imparting wisdom to the whole human species, by flying as our emissaries out into space.

Emissaries of a species - as far as we know, unique on this planet, and likely unique in this solar system, and maybe beyond - who yearn to go beyond where we were born. A species that looks up to the sky, and wonders what is out there, beyond that, and what role we will play, just cosmic toddlers now, in that future. 

Teachers usually convey knowledge that others have discovered. Christa McAuliffe was set to discover and convey what she saw at the beginning of the vast world of space beyond our planet- when her journey was interrupted.

Barbara Morgan resumed that journey a few hours ago. We'll wait back here on Earth, eyes to the sky, to learn from her vision.



dedicated to the crews of Challenger and Columbia

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More on "Sedition" - The Play and the Professor, Then and Now

2007-08-07

I'm still thinking about David Wiltse's Sedition - the play I saw and wrote about, here and elsewhere, on Sunday - and I'm realizing the impact it has already had on my life and work.

I posted a note in my InfiniteRegress.tv blog yesterday, about ABC News' misreporting of the results of its own post-debate polls - in particular, ABC somehow forgetting to mention that Ron Paul came in first.

Now, I've written political posts before, and many critical of the media, but I have to say I had a special zest and focus when writing that post - and listing it on Digg, where it now has more than 800 Diggs.  Wiltse's Sedition stirred that part of me that knows that being a worthwhile professor is more than teaching your students in the classroom - it is taking a stand on important public issues, and using your voice to bring issues to the public's attention.

This, of course, is the lesson Professor Schrag taught us in Sedition.  I am grateful for having been reminded of it at Sunday's splendid performance in Westport.

Hannah Cabell as Harriet Schrag, Chris Sarandon as Andrew Schrag, and Mark Shanahan as Cassidy in Sedition

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Weeds Are Not All Spam

2007-08-06

I was thinking about the dandelions in my garden, and how I like them every bit as much as the flowers and bulbs I've deliberately planted.

I've never understood the general dislike of weeds that flower - ranging in some cases to a mania to want to pull them out.  If the color is nice, if the flower adds some sparkle to your lawn, why pick a fight with that?

I could understand if the unplanted flowers were so aggressive that they took over everything you carefully planted.  But dandelions, though a stubborn species, pose no threat to most planted flowers.   In fact, they do just fine with daisies, black-eyed susans, and violets (which I guess, in some quarters, are also considered weeds).

Bottom line (of plants) for me:  dandelions and violets are really no different than more exotic wildflowers.  It's good to see them - for when they pop up, you're seeing the result of a what some breeze blew over, and it's nice to see the cosmos at work in that...

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Immortality of the Twitter Mosaic

2007-08-06

I was honored and pleased to be informed, a few days ago, that I'm in the above Twitter Mosaic  - Bogey and Bergman in the Casablanca movie poster.

Now Casablanca is one of my favorite movies, and I'm a Bogey and Bergman fan - and I assume you've all heard of that great movie and actor and actress.

But what's a Twitter Mosaic?

First, Twitter.com is part of the new Web wave of social applications.  In Twitter's case, you can keep in instant touch with what your friends, family, business associates, whatever are doing.  You'll find a Twitter Box on the bottom left of this page.  By all means check out it, and, if you like it - how could you not - by all means "follow" me on Twitter, and I'll do the same for you.    I'm PaulLev over there.

Which  brings me to the Mosaic.  Twitter_mosaic over on Twitter.com creates mosaics from user pictures on the site.   And that's how I got into the Casablance mosaic!   My picture never had it so good - actually, it's my http://InfiniteRegress.tv  logo - except, of course, even smaller... 

 

The immortality of the timeless mosaic...

 

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Wiltse's "Sedition": Perfect Medium for 1917 First Amendment Story

2007-08-05

There's something about a play - seeing the action in person, rather than through or on a screen, can be uniquely moving.  And when the play is about a political issue, the intellectual and emotion combination can make a permanent impact for the better on your psyche.

We just got back from David Wiltse's Sedition, premiering this weekend at the Westpost Country Playhouse in Connecticut.  Mark Shanahan - known to readers and listeners of Light On Light Through as one of the Four Phils - plays Associate Professor Cassidy, in this powerful play about Wiltse's real grandfather, Andrew Schlag, Professor of German in Nebraska during World War I.

This is a story about the beginning of the erosion of the First Amendment in World War I - an erosion which has attained deluge proportions with the Patriot Act and the FCC's and Congress's attack on broadcasting.  Seeing this story in play format, about a time in which there was no television, radio was an infant, and even motion pictures were just a little beyond toddling, was especially appropriate and effective.   Like the garb for 1917, we in the 2007 audience became part of that 1917 world, by virtue of sitting in a live audience, the way people did back then.

A problem with the medium of the theater, of course, is that, if you don't live in the area, it's not easy for you to see the play.   But if you get a chance to see Sedition - if it by chance gets made into a movie, or turns up on television or YouTube - you'll be glad you saw it, if only through the more remote media of our day.

Meanwhile for the politics of the play, see my review: David Wiltse's "Sedition" Premiers in Westport: Powerful Championship of First Amendment.

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The Magic of Bluetooth

2007-08-04

this is a sponsored post


It was Arthur C. Clarke who sagely observed that advanced technologies often seem indistinguishable from magic - they both do things so powerfully, so easily, so seemingly without effort.  And some technologies are more powerful than others.  For me, that would be sailing through the toll lines on a crowded day at the bridge, using E-ZPass.   And logging on to the web from the beach with any little computer.  Or talking on a cell phone with Bluetooth.

The magic of Bluetooth is that you quickly feel as if you're not even talking on a cell phone, or via any device.  You're talking, and your voice is somehow magically transported.   Having a conversation via Bluetooth, I think, is the closest we have to mental telepathy.

I especially like it in my car.  My Prius is Bluetooth-enabled.  This means that as soon as I start the car, I can receive and make calls - through the car's dashboard.  True, I do have to have my cell phone in my pocket or otherwise in the car.  But, again, I'm often not even aware that there's a cell phone involved.  It feels to me, for all the world, as I'm talking to you or whomever, right through my car - even though, of course, you're nowhere near my car.

But, you know what?  You don't need a Prius or a car with built-in Bluetooth to enjoy this magic.   Your Bluetooth head-set can do the same trick - in or out of your car.  And you can get Bluetooth car installation kits.   Check out Buy.com and its comprehensive, well-organized site for all of your Bluetooth needs.  It's that easy to buy into this powerful magic.

 

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Shoutout for Starland Vocal Band

2007-08-04

I first fell for the Starland Vocal Band in the summer of 1976.  My wife and I were on our honeymoon in London, and the BBC was playing "Afternoon Delight" at least a couple of times an hour.

The record has everything - vibrant harmonies, catchy tune, and a clever and well crafted lyric.  I agree with every word of it.  Why wait until the cold dark night if you can have it right now, in the afternoon.   Plus, it's fun easily seeing the person you're making love to...

Bill Danoff wrote a classic song.

The Starland Vocal Band is often cited as a classic one-hit wonder.  Although Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert Danoff (half of the Starlight Vocal Band) had earlier written "Take Me Home, Country Roads" with John Denver, and often performed with him, nothing much happened with the Band after "Afternoon Delight".

Doesn't matter.  Bill and Taffy and Margot Chapman and Jon Carroll made a record which, although it's only one, can stand up to the best of the Mamas and Papas and the other great harmony groups.

Why I am a writing about them now?  I just came across their page of MySpace, and put in them in my Top Friends - which, in a way, they've been for years...

One other thing ... I just noticed - I may have already known but forgot - that the Starlight Vocal Band's second album is titled Rear View Mirror.

Like Light On Light Through, Rear View Mirror is a phrase that Marshall McLuhan loved to use...

 

 

at the 1977 Grammy Awards... (The Starlight Vocal Band won a Grammy for the Best New Artist of 1976) ...

 

 

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My Worst Novel

2007-08-04

I was not happy when I came across a critic's snooty review of Borrowed Tides a few years ago, which concluded that it was my worst novel.

I moaned about this to a friend, who helpfully remarked that, hey, some novel that you wrote has to be your worst - they can't all be your best - so why be concerned about it?

I understand the logic, but still...

Borrowed Tides is about the first starship to Alpha Centauri, that leaves our solar system in the 2020s - with only enough fuel for a one-way trip.  That's not so bad as a plot device, is it?  The captain is a philosopher, his second is an expert in Native American mythology (which plays a role in the story), there's a passionate woman with great taste in rock 'n' roll, and a Russian, and a Japanese gardener - what's wrong with that?

True, I do have the ship turning at pretty steep angles travelling at half speed of light - which violates what we know about bodies in motion here on Earth - but deep space and half-speed-of-light speed isn't exactly what we have here on Earth either, is it? 

And it does seem, as the ship rounds Alpha Centauri, that it's starting to roll backwards in time ...

So there you have it, Borrowed Tides, my worst novel...

I don't know ... I still like it...

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Mass Media Textbook - 21st Century Style

2007-08-03

I was on the phone yesterday with J. Charles Sterin, PhD - he was inviting me to be in a textbook he is writing.   Not asking me for permission to reprint an essay I had written.  But inviting me to be in his textbook - literally.

The name of textbook Sterin is writing is Mass Media for the Digital Millennium.  Allyn & Bacon, its publisher, say it "will be the first college textbook with an embedded and assignable media component built from the ground up".  Students will be able read about Marshall McLuhan, for example, maybe even what I say about McLuhan in my Digital McLuhan: A Guide to the Information Millennium, and then click on me talking about McLuhan, nearly ten years after my book was published.

I'm one of fifteen "experts" who are being so invited by Sterin into his book.  I'm not only honored, of course - but gratified to be part of the future that McLuhan, I, and so many other have been predicting - the integration of word, written and spoken, and the image.  As I've been saying for years - that's the way our brains operate, why not our media?

The taping will take place in mid-September.  I'll keep you posted. 




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Calling for Backup

2007-08-02

this is a sponsored post


The one advantage that old-fashioned paper has over our marvelous computers is that paper doesn't crash.  A sudden, unexpected failure of your computer, with a loss of your data, is the Achilles heel of the digital revolution.  That's why backup is so crucial.

And, of the all the kinds of backup you can use, I'd say online backup is the best - because it's totally independent of your own computer, home, or office.  With your data saved totally off the premises, you have the most amount of security.

IDrive-E offers encrypted, secure online backups for up to 2 GB of your data - for free!   You can't beat that price.  And, of course, if you need more storage, you can easily upgrade to unlimited storaged with a paid, pro account.

I learned the value of data storage online years ago.   I was writing one of my novels, Borrowed Tides, at our cottage on Cape Cod.  I made backups on two disks, and of course I had what I had written on my hard drive, too.   But by the time I got back home, the two disks had fallen into a puddle, and the computer had crashed.  Fortunately, I had uploaded my chapters to an online system...

    



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Letter from Sierra Waters

2007-08-02

Dear Readers - I received the following this morning in my e-mail, and, after much consideration, I've decided to post it on all of my blogs, in an effort to be of whatever assistance I can to Sierra ...

Dear Dr. Levinson - Pardon this unexpected e-mail, but since you have written about me, and my work, I thought you might be receptive. Truthfully, I'm can't be at all sure that this will even reach you. Setting e-mail to be delivered at a future date is one thing.  Setting e-mail to be delivered in the past is, of course, something quite else.

First, I do want to sincerely thank you for all the good things you have written about me, and for the good attention you have brought to me from others.  This means a lot to me, believe me.  I also appreciate the care you have taken in not revealing too much of my story, in too much detail - you seem to understand the dangers of too much leaked information in what I am doing.

So, with that in mind, I would ask you, and anyone who reads this, to convey whatever information you might have about the whereabouts and activities of the following people in 2008:  Alcibiades, Heron of Alexandria, and Thomas O'Leary.   The first two are of course historical figures, and may be and in fact are likely using different names in 2008.   Any information about their 2008 activities would be enormously helpful.   Thomas O'Leary is of course a much more common name.  I am interested in the Thomas O'Leary who is a member of the secretive Millennium Club in New York City, and, also, I believe, teaches as an "adjunct," likely in philosophy or history, in one or two universities in New York.

I've have taken the liberty of setting an account for myself on your system - I can be reached at Sierra@LightonLightThrough.com

Thank you, again, for everything.

Readers - please feel free to re-post and distribute this as far and as wide as you can.  PL

 

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The Lives and Times of Dr. Phil D'Amato

2007-08-02

Shaun Farrell recently completed his podiobook of my novel, The Silk Code.   Shaun was the 4th Dr. Phil D'Amato ... Who is Phil D'Amato? Well, this seems like a good time to lay out some of his key biographical details...

Dr. Phil D'Amato is a fictional forensic detective with the NYPD, who has a penchant for getting involved in strange cases...

Here is his story...

The First Phil: That would be me - Phil D'Amato's author, and creator. I started telling his story in the summer of 1993, when I came across Stephen Hawking's "Chronology Protection Conjecture". Even if time travel were mathematically possible, Hawking thought that the universe would not let it happen. Because time travel could unravel the whole cause-and-effect moorings of the universe .... Somehow, in my mind, that became a great set-up for a metaphysical murder mystery. Phil investigates the death of scientists whose only link was that they were working together on a time-travel project, now abandoned.

The short story - actually, a novelette, "The Chronology Protection Case," at over 7500 words - was published in the September 1995 issue of Analog Magazine. It became an immediate hit, getting nominations for the Nebula and Sturgeon Awards, and being reprinted in what by 2005 would be three books (Supernatural Sleuths, Nebula Awards 32, and The Best Time Travel Stories Of All Time), as well one online magazine. I went on to publish "The Copyright Notice Case" in 1996 (Nebula nominee, and winner of the Homer award) and "The Mendelian Lamp Case" in 1998 (reprinted in Best SF#3, Science Fiction Theater, and The Hard SF Renaissance) - both featuring Phil, both in Analog - and then I turned my attention to getting Phil into the covers of novels...

The Silk Code, published in 1999, was my first novel and my first Phil D'Amato novel. It went on to win the Locus Award for Best First Novel of 1999 (a rarity for me - I usually get no further than nominations). The Consciousness Plague followed in 2002 and The Pixel Eye in 2003. (The Silk Code and The Consciousness Plague have also been published in Polish editions. And "The Mendelian Lamp Case" has seen print in Czech.)

But, by then, Phil was already leading a second life...

The Second Phil: In February 2002, I returned from a science fiction convention in Boston ("Boskone") to find a letter from Jay Kensinger. Who was Jay? I had no idea. Turned out he was a filmmaker in San Francisco, who had made a low-budget movie of "The Chronology Protection Case". Jay wrote the screen play, directed, and acted in his movie - right, he played Phil. We worked out all the legal details ex post facto and pdq. The movie is a little more than 30 minutes, and it's been shown to rave audiences at science fiction conventions around the country (I was only stirring up the crowd, from the back of the room, at some of them.) Jay recently made a trailer for the movie (scroll down the right hand column to see the trailer). You might also want to see some of Jay's other work (search on his name on YouTube). I really like it - movies by the second Phil....

The Third Phil: walked into my office at Fordham University, about a month after I'd first heard from the second Phil. I had The Chronology Protection Case movie on a tv screen in my office (now you see how hard I work at that job...) (no, really, I'm Chair of the Department of Communication and Media Studies, I was doing research, Your Honor...) But little did I know that the person who walked in was none other than Mark Shanahan - a gifted actor and voice-over pro. Mark liked the movie, asked what I thought about his writing a radioplay of the story.... Of course I said yes...

Fast forward to June, 2003, New York City... Zoom in to a table ... at which are seated Mark, Jay, and me! We're all in tuxedos (another rarity). We're at the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award gala dinner. The radioplay for The Chronology Protection Case has been nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Mystery Stage Drama of 2002! (You can hear it by clicking on the Odeo player in the right-hand column.  It's pretty close to the top.  It's free.  Enjoy.) Of course, it didn't win ... like I told you above, about being nominated and winning? But it was a great evening, anyway!

Here's how we got there: Mark's radioplay of The Chronology Protection Case was performed live at the Museum of Television and Radio in New York City, September 2002. That was what received the nomination.

Mark, of course, not only wrote the radioplay, but, like Jay, plays Phil! (Something about that Phil - anyone who writes him wants to be him.) Mark also went on to co-produce a studio version of the radioplay, available from Audible.

But if you like free, that brings us, ever so smoothly, to ...

The Fourth Phil: Who would be Shaun Farrell, who, as I mentioned when I started telling you Phil's life story, just finished a podiobook of The Silk Code.  It was #1, by the way, for more than a month over on podiobooks.com - hey, not winning an award, but I and the other Phils will take it.... 

The Fifth Phil: Ooops - ok, I'm getting ahead of myself here. But the Fifth Phil will be whoever plays him in the first Phil D'Amato feature-length movie, or TV show, neither of which has happened yet....
=============

Meanwhile, here are some other important facts about the Phils that I didn't want to get lost in the above:

A - Two Phils (me and Shanahan) are irredeemable New Yorkers; the other two (Jay and Shaun) are Californians.

B - I'm writing a new Phil D'Amato novel - but first I have to finish the sequel to The Plot to Save Socrates.

C - I got the name Phil D'Amato as follows: I have an old friend on the NYPD whose first name is Phil. I tacked on D'Amato, because Al D'Amato was Senator from New York at the time, and I thought every time his name was mentioned, it would be good publicity for me and my stories. Al lost the very next election. (But someone did tell me that Phil D'Amato means love love - true!)

D- Mark Shanahan starred in the Westport (Connecticut) County Playhouse performance of Journey's End.  He's currently performing in David Wiltse's Sedition in that very same playhouse.  I'll be joining him this Sunday - August 5 - on a panel to discuss the play (about the beginning of the 20th century assault on the First Amendment, in World War I).  Two Phils on the same stage ...

Stay tuned for more...

 

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Coleridge's Tears

2007-08-02

Ever wonder why people cry their eyes out at a movie or a television show?   Not just children, but men and women, fully grown?  Not about a documentary about a slain president or a real-life princess who died too young, but about characters and plots that are purely fiction?

 

Hey, ever wonder why you have cried during such presentations, and I bet there is nearly no one on this planet who has not?

 

Samuel Taylor Coleridge had the answer – even though he was writing a good fifty years before the invention of motion pictures.

 

In his Biographia Literaria, published in 1817, the man who wrote the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner"? talks about "that willing suspension of disbelief, for the moment, which constitutes poetic faith"?.  (Interestingly, later in the same paragraph, Coleridge also disparagingly mentions "the film of familiarity and selfish solicitude"? which can get in the way of that willing suspension, but he of course is not talking about our kind of film.)

 

Let’s substitute "filmic"? for "poetic,"? and see how Coleridge’s observation explains our tears in front of screens.

 

First, Coleridge recognizes that we approach a movie or television show – as indeed we do a poem, a short story, or a novel – with a healthy degree of skepticism or "disbelief"?.  We do not believe for an instant that what is up there on the screen or down there on the page is really happening.

 

We have to be coaxed or persuaded to pretend that it’s real.  The disbelief, in other words, is not only suspended or put aside, but knowingly so.  We become, literally, double-minded, one part knowing that what we’re looking at is not really happening, the other part playing along with the illusion that it is.

 

This point is absolutely crucial, and by the way makes appreciation of fiction very different from propaganda, in which the goal of the communicator is to make us suspend our disbelief and forget that we ever had it in first place.

 

In contrast, we can cry our eyes out, get frightened at a horror movie, all from the safe vantage point of knowing, just a stone’s throw away in our mind, that there’s nothing really, truly to cry or get scared about.

 

Now, admittedly, there may be other things that go into this mix – willing suspension of disbelief need not operate in solitude.  We might cry at a movie or television show because it reminds us of something sad or tragic that happened in our lives, or our world, and there would be no disbelief making us cry in that.  We would be crying because our experience, sadly, made what we saw on the screen all too believable.

 

Or we might cry because we see something on the screen which relates not to a real experience, but evokes a similar emotion we felt about some other experience – grief, like all human emotions, is easily transferable.   If we cried in real life because we were jilted, we might well cry about some other kind of loss we see depicted on the screen.

 

Willing suspension of disbelief, then, is not only something which does not operate in isolation, it is usually part of complex continuum of experiences we had and did not have, all drawn into the emotional festivities by the poet or filmmaker.

 

And, if we with agree with Coleridge, it all lasts but a moment.   Pretty powerful, high-octane stuff.  The spice of life – and art.

 

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Sopranos Conference - May 23-26, 2008

2007-08-01

We'll be convening a conference, to take place at Fordham University in New York City,  May 23-25, 2008.

The Sopranos, A Wake

We expect about 100 papers to be presented, written not only by professors and graduate and undergraduate students, but by critics, writers, and indeed anyone with something interesting, sage, original, provocative to say about The Sopranos.

Here is our formal "call" for papers.

Admission will be open to the general public.

The guiding force behind this conference is David Lavery, Chair in Film and Television, Brunel University. I'm co-convener - I'm Chair of the Department of Communication and Media Studies -  along Douglas Howard (Suffolk Community College, New York) .

Some background: David Lavery edited This Thing of Ours, Investigating The Sopranos (Columbia University Press/Wallflower Press, 2002), which contains essays by Lavery, Howard, me, and other scholars and critics. In September 2002, to inaugurate the book's publication and a new season of The Sopranos, I organized a small vest-pocket conference at Fordham University, at which Lavery, I, and others presented papers.

Sopranos script supervisor Christine Gee Lowrey was our special guest.

We expect to have all sorts of exciting special guests at the 2008 conference.

Keep an eye on this blog for details, and/or send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com to be put on our mailing list.


More details on the conference here from David Lavery.

Feel free to re-post this preliminary announcement anywhere and everywhere...

Further reading:

The Sopranos and the Closure-Junkies

The Sopranos, or the Tiger?

The Sopranos and Hamlet  

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Lessons in Myrtle

2007-08-01

I was looking for a place to put in some late tomato plants around Chez Levinson today, and I noticed the Myrtle - no, not Moaning Myrtle, even though I’ve been posting a lot about Harry Potter.   This one's Trailing, and has its own story…

Yeah ... about seven or eight years ago, I took a sprig of Trailing Myrtle (known also as Vinca minor or Periwinkle - great names - looks a lot like the above) and planted it on the side of our house that receives almost no sun. It was so shady there that even the few deep-forest ferns I planted were struggling. You could almost hear them gasping for sunlight. There were so few roots around that every good rain or melting snow - or worse, a hard rain after a deep freeze - had a fair chance of flooding our crawl space.

I pretty much forgot about the ferns and Myrtle, both.

But some of our trees were trimmed last Fall, and I just noticed on the side of our house that the struggling plants are doing splendidly. The ferns are big and feathery. Trailing Myrtle covers almost a entire, formerly vacant area. Bright green leaves and little purple flowers are everywhere.

And it did rain cats and dogs last week, and, come to think of it, the crawl space got wet but not flooded.

Not to make too much of this, but I think there's a lesson here - sometimes it's good to just do one little thing, and then let it go, and see where the vagaries of nature and trimmed trees take it...

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Ben Relles - Obama Girl Video Producer - Interview In Next Few Weeks

2007-07-31

Look for a special podcast episode of Light On Light Through - my interview with Obama Girl producer Ben Relles of BarelyPolitical.com - in the next few weeks.

In the meantime, Ben came by my "Propaganda and Persuasion" class tonight - I teach one every summer at Fordham University, where I'm Professor and Chair of the Department of Communication and Media Studies - and revealed the following -

The original title of the "I've Got a Crush on Obama" was "I've Got a Crush on Jack Bauer" (no kidding)!The original lyrics, after the switch to Obama, were much hotter than in the video we know and love.Plans are in store for all kinds of exciting new political videos over at BarelyPolitical.com

More details on Ben Relles's talk tonight at Ben Relles - Obama Girl producer.

Ben may well be responsible for the election of the next President ... his videos will certainly have an impact on the election ... stay tuned...

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White Tea

2007-07-31

I used to drink coffee, a long time ago.  I still love the taste.  My favorite gelato is coffee.   But the brew itself developed the strange effect of turning me into a real grouch the next day. Some people said this was a complete reversal for me.

I can't recall just when I switched to tea.

Tea's a touchy thing. It's not that good in northern New Jersey, and I'd guess that's because of the water. It's almost always good in London, probably for the same reason. In New York City, and close by, tea can be good. A lot depends upon the tea, too, and how you prepare it.

White tea is a kind of green tea, best prepared not by boiling but steaming water. Best of all is water that just starts to steam. But if you get distracted and the water starts to boil, wait until it cools down just a bit.

I have seen white tea in bags, but do yourself a favor and get some sort of tea maker. You can use a tea-ball and chain, or they sell cool contraptions for $15 or so which make excellent tea from loose leaves.

I sometimes put white tea leaves in a cup, add water, and let the tea brew in the cup. Most of the leaves settle to the bottom, and they're fun to suck on.

White tea comes from the tips of green tea leaves. Which means they are the most tender part of the leaf. Unlike black tea leaves, green and white leaves are not aged.

White tea is said to have powerful anti-oxidizing qualities. That's good, but I'd drink it anyway, because I like it what it tastes like, and how it makes me feel.  Enough of an edge to keep me relatively sharp, but not enough to stop me from sleeping if that's what I want.

It comes in lots of varieties. I'd recommend Mutan - it's sweet and smooth. If you want a white tea with a little more tingle, try Silver Needle.

But much more important than the variety of the white tea – of any tea, really –is the age of the tea leaves.  How long they have been stored  is extremely important. We're not talking wine here. The fresher the tea the better. I bought some white tea in an old Chinese shop in London a few years ago. I had the idea that maybe I was getting a taste from some secret, delicious, ancient stash.

The tea itself was very old, that was certain. It tasted like it came from the Manchu dynasty - which means, it tasted awful. Old tea tastes like some kind of wood shavings, which, although I've never tasted, can't taste too good.

In contrast, the best cups of tea come from leaves that are so fresh, you can smell the moisture.   All good tea merchants will tell you what's freshest in their stock.   Follow their advice.

All right - you saw this coming. I've got some water on the boil that's starting to steam ...

I'd send a cup to you right through the Web now, if I could.   I’ve got some Silver Needle Imperial Tea that I bought a few weeks ago.   It’s the freshest tea I’ve ever had.   I’d send you a cup if  I could, but java script can't process tea - not even java - just information, like this...

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Twitter, Pownce, and iPhone: The Good Thing They Do

2007-07-30

Sounds like maybe a sequel to Eats, Shoots & Leaves (Lynne Truss's delightful, best-selling book about proper punctuation - check it out, there's a picture of a panda on the cover...), but I was thinking about how just about every new and hot application on the Web these days (Twitter and Pownce), not to mention breakthrough hardware (iPhone) are enabling us to act on our impulse to communicate.

Twitter and Pownce let us tell our friends exactly what we are doing, or what we will be doing, or have just done - and we can similarly follow what our friends (or followers, fans) are up to.  Anyone can get on Twitter.  You have to be invited to get on Pownce (I somehow made it on) - it's a very sleek, cool, useful system, created by some of the people who made Digg.

The iPhone, of course, lets you talk, write, and access anything on the Internet any time, anywhere you please.   I predicted as much in my doctoral dissertation back in 1979, but I still find this breathtaking.

Not everyone's a fan of this increasing immediacy.  Some people agree with Lewis Mumford, who back in 1934 (in Technics and Civilization - no panda on cover) complained that radio news, unlike newspapers, did not give us time to think and reflect.  He was not to happy with telephones back then, either.

Well, fortunately, things did not go the way Mumford would have liked.  We have many more outlets for immediate communication now than in 1934.

And I count that as a good thing.  In fact, I'd go so far as to say that one of the signal characteristics and accomplishments of our humanity is to communicate whenever we please, to anyone, anywhere - as I'm doing right now at almost 3 in the morning with this blog, which I hope you enjoy...

 

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The Secret Riches of the Panda

2007-07-30

Well, it’s back in the news – the Chiang Mai Zoo in China is making a handsome profile selling … panda droppings.  Not hot off the press – dried.

 

Now, we last heard about the doings of pandas and the good use they could be put to a few months ago, when reports came out that they could and were being made into paper…

 

Yes. Paper. A marvelous invention. You can fold up a sheet and easily take it with you. You can bind it in a book, which has the advantage of what I call "reliable locatability." Even perma-links don't have this. The web site can be down when you need to access the page. But the pages in books are never down - until or unless they're lost or destroyed. The natural state of paper is that what's on page 30 today will be on page 30 tomorrow - and, if not forever, for however long the book lasts.

 

You don't even need an energy source to read a book during the day - nice old sunlight works just fine. Even on cloudy days.

 

Paper was invented way back when - actually by Cai Lun in China in 105 AD - and was in use in the first golden ages of learning by the Chinese, Alexandrians, and Romans. It had its pros and cons in comparison to parchment, papyrus, and similar media. But flimsy paper outlived them all.

 

In our ecology-conscious age, people sometimes lash out at paper as destructive of the trees from which paper is made. We probably plant enough trees to make up for any damage, but, ok, I like trees, too.

 

But now China has live paper-making machines in pandas…

 

Crazy? Well, pandas eat lots of bamboo, so the Chinese figure the paper content that comes out of this process should be pretty good.

 

And there's plenty of raw material - pandas apparently produce about 20 kilograms of droppings a day...

 

Freud would have had a good time with this - he thought that writing was an anal process. And there's a poetic reunion possibility if you think of one of the other uses of paper.

 

Come to think of it, panda paper would be particularly fitting for ... publication of nasty reviews.

 

Hey, I've gotten them, all writers do, and I'm a great believer in the maxim that the worst publicity is no publicity - but if I received a lousy review, it would be especially appropriate, in the greater theme of things, if it was printed on panda paper.

 

Because then I could quote with enhanced effect what the composer Max Reger (1873-1916) communicated to critic Rudolf Lewis after receipt of a stinging review:

 

"I am sitting in the smallest room of my house. I have your review before me. In a moment it will be behind me."



more on the history and future of paper, with other fun facts, in The Soft Edge  -"remarkable in both scholarly sweep and rhetorical lyricism..." -Wired

See also The Durability of Paper

 

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Up on the Roof: The Power of Biology on Skyscrapers

2007-07-29

How about growing gardens on the tops of skyscrapers as a way of combating global warming?  A Columbia University professor has proposed it.

This kind of "skyfarming" is not at all pie-in-the-sky, and is precisely the kind of answer I always give to people who say, well, even if global warming were really happening, what could we possibly do to stop or even diminish it?

The answer is not just using energy more carefully, or in developing further cutting-edge green-friendly technologies. The power of biology itself can also help. Fighting nature - or what we've done to nature - with nature.

Science fiction - ranging from Damon Knight's "Natural State" in the 1950s to my own more recent novel, The Silk Code - has been speculating about the power of the natural world, harnessed to help us, for years. (The Amish seem to understand this better than we do.)

In a nutshell, DNA is more powerful than any computer programmed algorithm. Every living organism is an incredibly successful machine, with a design usually road tested millions or more years. That gives living things a level of reliability light years ahead of the oldest, hardest technologies.

Indeed, raising of crops was probably one of the signal events in our emergence as a civilized species. The change from gathering to growing gave us more power over our world, and, more important, ourselves.

It makes good sense to put that power "Up On the Roof" ... the Drifters knew what they were singing about...

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The Dark Side of Digg

2007-07-29

Continuing my adventures in un-gate-kept media - or Web sites, which unlike The New York Times, TV news, and in fact all traditional news media and networks, publish what users and participants, not editors, decree as important or newsworthy.

Wikipedia and Digg, as I've been writing and talking about for almost a year, are both shining examples of these new, participatory approaches.   But like all things human, neither operation is perfect.  Both are  beset by online vandals, who enter false or otherwise ridiculous information on Wikipedia, and similar kinds of stories on Digg.

The remedy for this comes from participants who call these stories out - making them candidates for removal on Wikipedia, or "burying" them on Digg.  Wikipedia, in fact, has self-appointed groups of "exclusionists," who look to prune unnecessary information, and in effect keep an eye on the "inclusionists," whose philosophy is that more good is usually done by being open to unnecessary information (I'm an inclusionist).  And Digg has unofficial "bury brigades".

But sometimes, as in the application of any medication, the cure or the antidote can be more damaging than the problem it seeks to redress.

Digg seems to have allergy to, among other things, articles about Ron Paul and articles about the iPhone.  The stated reasons given by those members of Digg who bury such stories is that the system already has too many of them, and/or they are doing well on the system - making Digg's front page - not so much because of genuine interest of readers, but due to hyping of the diggs by Ron Paul supporters and iPhone fanatics.

Such charges are all but impossible to conclusively prove or refute.  But let's assume, for a moment, that they are true.  Does this mean that stories about Ron Paul, and iPhone, and anything else with devoted adherents ought not make the front page of Digg?   Do devoted adherents negate the value of any story?  If anything, I would say they are evidence of the story's value.

I am sure these battles - between exclusionists and inclusionists, between burial squads and diggers - will continue.  It's all part of the opening of the gates.   And whatever their inevitable flaws, Wikipedia and Digg both beat "all the news that's fit to print" at The New York Times (meaning all the news that the NY Times deems fit to print) or "we report, you decide" at Fox.

Self-reflexive irony department:

Digg

 


The Soft Edge gives more details on gate-kept media...

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Hail the Mighty, Lowly Bacterium!

2007-07-28

This seems to be my week for reading articles that feature unusual feats of critters that figure in my science fiction.  Scientists at University of California-Davis now think bacteria may be useful in making buildings more resistant to earthquakes - by converting crumbly, sandy soil into rock. I'm glad to see the lowly bacterium get its due.

Ever since Louis Pasteur and The Microbe Hunters and all of that stuff, the bacterium has had a bad rep. Sure, they can make us sick, but good bacteria can also help us digest our food. They don't ask for much in return, just a nice warm place to live, in our gut.

Bacteria are a lot more sophisticated then we give them credit for. After I wrote in The Consciousness Plague - my third science fiction novel, in which people start losing their memories, because antibiotics start wiping out bacteria-like organisms living in our brains, which help us think - I discovered that some bacteria actually do communicate with each other. (Hey, honey, want to meet me at John's throat tonight for a drink?) Of course, the part about bacteria enabling us to think was science fiction - I made that part up - but who knows what we might discover some day.

As for antibiotics, they're a lot like unruly cops, called in to quell a problem, and they start clubbing everybody over the head. That's why when we take antibiotics to fight an infection, or whatever, we sometimes get upset stomachs. The antibiotic-cops are not only taking out the bad but the good bacteria who help with our digestion. Those helpful symbiotic bacteria were living up to their part of the bargain, and how do we repay their efforts? We wipe them out with some kind of cillin or mycin.

Fortunately, bacteria are very prolific, regenerate quickly, and don't seem to hold a grudge. So you can get some acidophilus and they're usually happy to get to work for us again, even if we wiped out their brothers in our stomachs.




Here's to Bacillus pasteurii, and its soil strengthening capacities. Next time you're in San Francisco, and you're near a building, make sure you sneeze near the foundation.

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That Special Bookstore

2007-07-28

I guess I do most of my book shopping online these days...

But I was thinking the other day about the best bookstore I have ever been in.... I was reading an old, weathered 1880s copy of Plato's
Republic - no, not just for enjoyment (though it is a fascinating book), but I needed it for a section I'm writing in the sequel to The Plot to Save Socrates (ok, that's fun, too). But leafing through that faded book got  me to thinking about where I'd acquired it. That shop was my favorite book store of all time...

Now, there are lots of contenders. Foyle's in London, science fiction and mystery bookstores up and down the Northeast corridor here in the U.S. where I'm most likely to be at large on a weekend ...

But my all-time favorite was a second-hand bookstore located just off the Bowdoin College campus in Maine. My wife and I happened upon it years ago. I have no idea if it's still in business. Probably not.

It wasn't much of a shop, physically. But it had a stock of old and second-hand philosophy and history books to rival the Harvard Library's. Except most of the volumes were not more than a dollar or two, and weren't in the greatest condition. Didn't matter. I don't collect books as art objects. I love them for their words.

We bought so many books in that store - nearly a hundred - that the two store owners started arguing with each other about whether they really wanted to sell us so much of their inventory. One was sure we were just buying up the books to start our own bookstore, even though I assured her (truthfully) that we were not. In the end, we did get the books, with a mix of embarassed smiles and grumbles thrown in at no extra charge.

I still have every one of those books on the shelves of my home library today. Many date from the 1920s and 30s. A few go back as far as the 1870s. Benjamin Jowett's
Works of Plato in four volumes were on my knee, or on the floor near my shoe, as I wrote large parts of The Plot to Save Socrates. (Plato's Republic is in those Jowettt volumes.) That was one of the reasons I included Jowett in the book as a character.

In this world, where so much of what we do and keep is digital, I like thinking every once in a while about the magic of that bookstore. I have a pizza place on Allerton Avenue, a deli on White Plains Road, and a shoe repair store on Burke Avenue - all near where I grew up, in the Bronx, all long gone now - that do that for me, too.

But, none, of course, do the same thing as the bookstore near Bowdoin, because I can still hold the books in my hand, smell them, read them, any time I like...

What are the chances that the proprietors of that book shop will be reading this blog post? Next to nil. But on that outside chance - I hope you'll be pleased to know your books are still being given the appreciation they deserve.

You know, my wife and I may indeed open a book store someday - but never to sell those books...

 

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A Voyage to Mars - in 1965...

2007-07-27

I mentioned in my Conversation with science fiction author Rob Saywer here a few weeks ago that we might have gotten to Mars in 1965.

Here are some further details, as Freeman Dyson laid them out at the Guggenheim in New York City a few months. He might have been on the mission. He helped design it. This isn't science fiction.

In the immediate aftermath of the Sputnik 1 in October 1957, the door was wide open in America for all kinds of projects that might give us a jump on the Soviets in space. No mean goal, since the Soviets obviously had a healthy head-start.

Project Orion was one of those projects. Use atom bombs not as weapons but fuel for a rocket to the solar system. The rocket would travel fast enough to get us to Mars in two swift months. With a cargo hold as big as an auditorium.

The project had drawbacks. People were concerned about political fallout that would result from nuclear fallout from the fuel. Of course, in those days - the 1950s and 1960s - nuclear testing was already dumping lots of dangerous radiation into the atmosphere. Orion's contribution to that would have been neglible. But it was too much, politically.

The project also died of competition from Apollo. Politicians had one-track minds in those days - commitment to one space project was more than enough. Orion got an initial green light in 1958, only to be killed by JFK in the early 1960s - the same JFK who set us on a trip to the Moon via Apollo.

Is it too late for Orion to be resuscitated? According to Dyson, its time has passed. Nuclear power is still too slow a propellant for trips to the stars. Laser sails are better for that. And although it still takes four times longer to get to Mars by chemically-launched vehicles today than it would have by the nuclear-powered ship Dyson and his colleagues were building, we've mastered the production of our current chemical ships to the point that it wouldn't pay to go back to Project Orion.

So it's history, now. A moment in time when Dyson apologized to his little boy George that there probably wouldn't be room on the ship for him - Freeman Dyson was that serious about making the trip himself.

A moment in time. A golden opportunity. Lost.

We need to make sure we don't let that happen again.

Useful links:

Project Orion: The True Story of the Atomic Spaceship George Dyson's account of his father's project

And on the need for us to get out into space, far more than we already have, you might also enjoy...

 



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Squirrels and Science Fiction

2007-07-27

A report in last Friday's Washington Post, by way of a BBC translation of an Iranian editorial entitled "Spying Squirrels," reveals the following -

A few weeks ago, 14 squirrels equipped with espionage systems of foreign intelligence services were captured by [Iranian] intelligence forces along the country's borders. These trained squirrels, each of which weighed just over 700 grams, were released on the borders of the country for intelligence and espionage purposes .... Fixing GPS devices, bugging instruments and advanced cameras in the bodies of trained animals like squirrels, mice, hamsters, etc, are among modern methods of collecting intelligence.


Holy cow! I'm not really surprised - in fact, flattered - because that's exactly the scenario of my 2003 science fiction novel, The Pixel Eye! (There are reviews etc here.)

Now, according to folks in the intelligence community (I never thought I'd be using that phrase... ), the Iranians frequently do this sort of thing - they make up preposterous cases of spying, to keep their people on edge, and to be able to claim victimhood in the world community.

I'm going to talk to my agent about whether I can get the Iranians to send me a royalty .... Now, if I hear that they think we're spying on them via chairs in dining clubs that time travel, I'll know they're really on to me...

 

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Vikings, On a Cloudy Day

2007-07-27

The Norse - or Vikings - were an amazing seafaring people. They got as far as North America, and played a role in Russia and the Byzantine.  They even used crystals - sunstones - to navigate on cloudy days.

For most of our recent history, until the 1970s, in fact, many historians doubted that the Vikings ever made it to North America. All we had of those trips were myths and legends, whispered in the Norse winds, as flimsy as chilly gusts of air. Then, finally in the 1970s, Norse remains were dug up in Newfoundland, and carbon-dated to 1,000 AD. The time of Leif Ericson's arrival.

Columbus had it much better. His son Diego published a pamphlet describing his father's voyage to the New World, and it became a best-seller in Europe in 1493. One of the first, in fact, right after the Bible. And printed not only in Latin, but in French, Spanish, and a dozen vernaculars of the day. As I say in my 1997 The Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of the Information Revolution, we have the printing press to thank for the Age of Discovery. Without it, Columbus' voyages might well have amounted to little more than Leif's in the wind...

And that concerns me, a little, like a chill down my back. You ever wonder about what happened in the ancient world, or even the Dark Ages, that we don't know about? In an age before mass media, lots of important events went unreported and unrecorded. Sometimes, even when they were recorded, they were lost. How many unique copies of scrolls and codices were lost in the burnings of the Library of Alexandria? Such questions make good material for historical fiction - I deal with some of them in the sequel to The Plot to Save Socrates (which I'm currently at work on). But I also worry about them in our real lives.

Well, maybe worry is too strong a word. I certainly think about them. What cures for our illnesses were discovered in ancient times and then forgotten? The Bible (Psalm 51) says, "cleanse me with hyssop, and I shall be clean" - hyssops has antibiotic qualities. But we did not discover antibiotics until Fleming was struck by what the mold on his bread did to bacteria in his petrie  dish, in the 20th century.

And trips across the Atlantic, around the world? Some people think the Phoenicians made it, long before the Vikings, maybe as long ago as 1500 BC. The Phoenicians certainly had the seamanship. They mined tin in England, and traveled down and up the African coast.

But until we dig up some evidence - hey, every excavation for a parking lot has that possibility - the answers will be blowing in some ancient pre-mass media winds...

 

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Sea Gulls and Hermit Crabs

2007-07-26

this a sponsored post


We just got back from Cape Cod a few weeks ago. We've been renting a little cottage - Sandpiper - for a few weeks, a month, a few times for a few months during the summer - from the owner since 1982. It's the easiest way to get a piece of paradise.

In our case, that's a quiet beach. You can walk on it for miles on some days, with mostly seagulls and hermit crabs for company.

How much would it cost to buy a place like that? A small fortune. Plus, you have to worry about locking it up for the winter, turning off the electricity and the water, and the possibility of a storm that could wipe it all away.

So, yes, we're believers in vacation rentals from the owner. It's the best combination of continuity, reliability, and minimum expense for the vistas. In our case, my wife's sister recommended this place to us, and she in turn had found out about it about from old friend.

But Vacation Rentals By Owners is a neat resource for getting a vacation rental anywhere in the country. Whether Cape Cod or California vacation rentals - anywhere in the country - you'll find your perfect vacation here.

I'm really tempted to go for another vacation, right now...

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: The View from New York

2007-07-25
Length: 15s

Welcome to this special Episode 39 of Light On Light Through - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: The View from New York ... from the moment I left the bookstore a few minutes after midnight on Saturday I knew this was something as special as everyone had anticipated ... kids were sitting in front of the bookstore, delving into their copies (tell that to the myopic New York Times and all the other self-appointed experts who think literacy is waning) ... In this podcast, I give my first reactions to this extraordinary finale to an extraordinary series ... and to sum up those reactions:  J. K. Rowling has given the world what the Beatles did in 1960s ... the unique British contribution to entertainment and popular culture ... among the highlights ... the interaction of magical beings in this finale novel ... the radio in the forest ... my favorite line ... and much more...

Plus flashes ... just one, devoted to the YouTube/CNN Presidential debate this past Monday, which I saw and reckon to be a major breakthrough for democracy and the media...

Helpful links: Read my complete written review of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - replete with links to my analyses of the main other issues surrounding this remarkable event in our popular culture.My analysis of the YouTube/CNN debate.The Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free -at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com  or  http://podiobooks.com http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the wonderful Light On Light Through - Blubrry id  The Plot to Save Socrates published in trade paperback February 20 - this means you can get a new copy, if you like, for $10+ at Amazon and most places ... (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy, at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com for details home page: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                                            videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                             

 

Levinson news clips podcast: http://Levinsonnews.podshow.com

Ask Lev 2-5 min pieces of advice on writing, succeeding, and tea

words and music by Paul Levinson readings, performances,
recordings, and interviews about my music and fiction

live on radio (Sundays, 7:20am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

my short stories:  at fictionwise

The Silk Code - Locus Award, Best 1st Science Fiction Novel, 1999  

 

 

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

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Digital Framez

2007-07-24

this is a sponsored post


André Bazin, the great French film critic, observed that a photograph rescues an image from its "proper corruption" in time.  And so it does, by taking the faces and places that are important to us, and making them last forever - not just in our dreams, but in their frames.

But where is best place to display such mirrors of our vision and memory?  If the photograph is digital, as just about all of them are now, do we confine it to our computer screen, or the tiny screen of our cell phone, or someone else's?

You'll find a far better solution at Digital Framez, where you can choose a digital photo frame.  This is an ideal way to display the images you've rescued from time.  The digital picture frames come in seven-inch and nine-inch sizes.  They can display a single prized photograph or a series - an album - and you set the time that you want each photograph to display, and the kind of transitions between images.

You can place these digital frames anywhere in your home - at the entrance, on the walls of your foyer and living room, on a coffee table or a side table, anywhere you like.

The digital revolution has made it easy to take great photographs just about any time, anywhere.   Digital Framez gives them and you the display they deserve.

 

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Harry Potter and the iPhone

2007-07-20
Length: 13s

Welcome to Harry Potter and the iPhone ... Light On Light Through, Episode 38 ... in which we consider the two biggest draws of the Summer of 2007 ... Harry Potter and the iPhone ... makes sense: what the iPhone does is magic ... and consistent with my anthropotropic theory of media evolution - as new technologies evolve, they become increasingly human, and do more things we imagine and yearn for ...

Plus flashes ... BarelyPolitical.com's Obama Girl vids are revolutionizing the political process - for the better ... Mad Men is a great new show on AMC TV - cigarette companies and Richard Nixon are clients of this 1950s ad exec ...

Helpful links: Read more about what I'm saying about the iPhone on iPhonematters.com, where I have a new post at 8:00am every Monday through Friday ... and on InfiniteRegress.tvAlso on InfiniteRegress - my Barely Political Revolution - Obama Girl says it's her favorite! - and my review of Mad MenThe Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free -at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com  or  http://podiobooks.com http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the wonderful Light On Light Through - Blubrry id  The Plot to Save Socrates published in trade paperback February 20 - this means you can get a new copy, if you like, for $10+ at Amazon and most places ... (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy, at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com for details home page: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                                            videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                             

 

 

Levinson news clips podcast: http://Levinsonnews.podshow.com

Ask Lev 2-5 min pieces of advice on writing, succeeding, and tea

words and music by Paul Levinson readings, performances,
recordings, and interviews about my music and fiction

live on radio (Sundays, 7:20am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

my short stories:  at fictionwise

The Silk Code - Locus Award, Best 1st Science Fiction Novel, 1999  

 

 

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

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Vegan Shoes and Bags

2007-07-19

this a sponsored post


It is very difficult in our society to live your principles in everything you do.

For example, if you're a vegan, and you refrain from eating any meat or meat-associated food, on moral grounds, what can you do about your accessories and shoes, which are often made from animal products?

Vegan Shoes and Bags offers the perfect answer: a wide selection of shoes and bags, for women and men, carefully checked to make sure they contain no products made from leather, fur, suede, wool, or silk.  The shoes range from casual and work to evening wear, and are all available on the http://www.vegetarianshoesandbags.com website. Earth shoes, dress shoes, belts, wallets, hand bags and evening bags - they're all there on the page, and easy to order. You can shop with no moral conflict.

I'm not vegan or vegetarian myself,  but if I were, I would definitely give this site a try.

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A Conversation with Robert J. Sawyer!

2007-06-24
Length: 28s

Welcome to Episode 37 of Light On Light Through ---> A Conversation with Robert J. Sawyer ... my good friend for more than a decade ... my predecessor as President of the Science Fiction Writers of America (and I served as his Vice President) ... Rob is winner of the Hugo Award for Best Novel, the Nebula Award for Best Novel, and more awards, almost as numerous as stars in the universe ... he's Canada's premier science fiction writer ... We talk not only about Rob's novels - including his latest, rollback - but about the true value of science fiction to humanity, a trip to Mars that almost happened in the 1960s, the Pope's Astronomer, and much more ... a no-holds-barred, unedited 20-minute connversation...

Plus flashes ... all Sopranos, baby ... I thought the ending was a masterpiece ... shades of The Lady or The Tiger and Hamlet ... advice to the closure-junkies ...

Helpful links: Rob Sawyer's new novel rollback and his home pageInfiniteRegress.tv  - my blog posts and podcasts about The Sopranos ... final nine episodes reviewed ... plus, The Sopranos or The Tiger, The Closure-Junkies, The Sopranos and Hamlet ... and my weekly reviews of Lost, 24, Heroes, The Tudors ... and now, John from Cincinnati, Meadowlands and Big Love... The Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free -at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com  or  http://podiobooks.com http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the wonderful Light On Light Through - Blubrry id  The Plot to Save Socrates published in trade paperback February 20 - this means you can get a new copy, if you like, for $10+ at Amazon and most places ... (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy, at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com for details home page: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme                                            videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                                    

 

Note added 19 September 2009:

Listen also to my new interview with Rob Sawyer about FlashForward!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

 

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Lost New Questions

2007-05-28
Length: 17s

Welcome to Episode 36 of Light On Light Through ... in which we consider five questions that arise from the breathtaking Season 3 finale of Lost ... 1. how far in the future was the action in Los Angeles? ... 2. who's in the coffin? ... 3. who's waiting for Kate? ... 4. who is Naomi's boss? ... 5. is Mikhail immortal? ...

Plus flashes ... more Lost ... still significant: inexplicable coincidences in the backstories ... Walt ... the paradox of the liar ... more Lost in Helpful links...

First, my blog posts on Lost New Questions and other Lost matters - How Far in the Future? ...  Who's In the Coffin? ... Who's Waiting for Kate? ... Who Is Naomi's Boss? ... Is Mikhail Immortal? and  Lost and Alias: Now Something Else in Common ... And some helpful links...Infinite Regress  my weekly reviews of Lost, 24, Heroes, The Sopranos, The Tudors ... and, coming soon, Meadowlands and Big Love...The Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free -  at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com or http://podiobooks.com http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the wonderful Light On Light Through - Blubrry id  The Plot to Save Socrates  published in trade paperback February 20 - this means you can get a new copy, if you like, for $10+ at Amazon and most places ... (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy for a Father's Day gift, at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com for details home page: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com                                            

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                           

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



more about The Plot to Save Socrates...






Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE!


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Exclusive TV Predictions - Finales for 24, Heroes, and Lost!

2007-05-19
Length: 20s

Welcome to Light On Light Through Episode 35 ... my exclusive predictions for the season finales this week of 24, Heroes, and Lost!  I'll say no more ... you've got to listen to the podcast (most of these predictions have not appeared on my blogs before).  Email yours to me at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com - if I receive them before the shows, and you're right, I'll mention your name on next week's Light On Light Through....

Plus flashes ... devoted completely to politics again, and mostly to the poor treatment Ron Paul is still receiving from mainstream media ... this time, why did Fox choose to conduct a poll via texting, and then denigrate the results because Ron Paul did so well? ... also, Democrats, next time take up Fox and every network on offers to host your Presidential debates ... you don't hurt Fox by refusing to debate on its network, you hurt yourselves and the American people...

 Helpful links: Advice to Networks about Post-Debate Polls my blog postInfinite Regress  my weekly reviews of 24, Heroes, and LostThe Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free - at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com or http://podiobooks.com The Future and You May 1 episode ... Stephen Euin Cobb continues his October 2006 interview with me http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the wonderful Light On Light Through - Blubrry id  The Plot to Save Socrates  published in trade paperback February 20 - this means you can get a new copy, if you like, for $10+ at Amazon and most places ... (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy for a Father's Day or graduation gift, at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com for details home page: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com                                             videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

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Harry Potter and the Refutation of Illiteracy

2007-05-12
Length: 22s

Welcome to Harry Potter and the Refutation of Illiteracy or Episode 34 of Light On Light Through in which we consider how the extraordinary success of J. K. Rowling's novels refutes the view of some academics and critics that television, the Internet, and even texting on cell phones are making the world illiterate...

Plus flashes ... devoted entirely to the shabby treatment the Ron Paul for President campaign has been receiving from ABC.com, Pajamas Media, and other media...

 Helpful links: Harry Potter and the Refutation of Illiteracy my blog post The Soft Edge: A Natural History and Future of the Information Revolution my 1998 book - for further details on literacy thrivingOpen Letter to ABC.com about Ron Paul and Second Open Letter to ABC.com and the Media about Ron Paul both from me  The Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free -  at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com or http://podiobooks.com The Future and You May 1 episode ... Stephen Euin Cobb continues his October 2006 interview with mehttp://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the wonderful Light On Light Through - Blubrry id  The Plot to Save Socrates  published in trade paperback February 20 - this means you can get a new copy, if you like, for $10+ at Amazon and most places ... (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy for a Father's Day or graduation gift, at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com for details home page: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com                                             videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

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Memo To Networks: Tell Us Which Candidates Are Raising Their Hands!

2007-05-05
Length: 19s

Welcome to Light On Light Through, Episode 33 - Memo To Networks: Tell Us Which Candidates Are Raising Their Hands! - in the Presidential debates that you're televising, that is ... when you ask a question that requires a show of hands - such as, do any of you not believe in evolution? - how about telling us who raised their hands?  (Brownback, Huckabee, and Tancredo did in Thursday's Republican debate) ...

Plus flashes ... Digg almost melts down after removing articles about some code ... shout-out to Heroes for its superb Five Years Gone time-travel episode ...

Try GoToMyPC free for 30 days!  For this special offer, visit www.gotomypc.com/podcast

 Helpful links: Memo to MSNBC: Tell Us Whose Hand Is Up my blog post Three Republicans Who Deny Evolution  and First Republican Televised Debate more blog posts from me Post-Mortem of Digg's Flirtation with Death my blog post ... other reader-directed systems: http://reddit.com and http://netscape.com and http://stumbleupon.com and http://fark.com Heroes Five Years Gone: Time-Travel Triumph my blog reviewThe Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free -  at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com or http://podiobooks.com http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the wonderful Light On Light Through - Blubrry id  The Plot to Save Socrates  published in trade paperback February 20 - this means you can get a new copy, if you like, for $10+ at Amazon and most places ... (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy for a Mother's Day, Father's Day, or graduation gift, at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com for details home page: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://paullevinson.net and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com                                             videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

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My Sweet Prius: Part II

2007-04-28
Length: 20s

With gas at the pump going for over $3.00 a gallon here in the New York City area, I thought it would be a good time to revisit me and my Prius, which was the subject of the very first episode of Light On Light Through back in October... Welcome to Episode 32 of Light On Light Through ... My Sweet Prius, Part II ... in a nutshell: I'm delighted with the mileage - about 40 mpg - even though it's less than the 60 mpg advertised, I'm really enjoying getting podcasts through my Bluetooth connection and listening with the windows rolled down, and it's nice driving through the countryside in quiet mode ... highly recommended!

Plus flashes ... with the May TV sweeps about to begin, a mini-TV-roundup of the best of the new golden age of television:  Lost, 24, Rome, The Tudors, Heroes, The Sopranos ...

Try GoToMyPC free for 30 days!  For this special offer, visit www.gotomypc.com/podcast

 Helpful links: Nine Reasons I Love My Prius my new blog postPrius and the Reunion of Talking and Walking very first episode of Light On Light ThroughPaul Levinson's Infinite Regress my weekly blog post reviews of the above TV showsLevinson news clips: TV reviews my weekly podcast reviews of the above TV showsThe Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free -  at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com or http://podiobooks.com http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the wonderful Light On Light Through - Blubrry id  The Plot to Save Socrates  published in trade paperback February 20 - this means you can get a new copy, if you like, for $10+ at Amazon and most places ... (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy, at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com home page: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv  and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com                                             videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

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John Edwards' Favorite Book: The Trial of Socrates

2007-04-21
Length: 17s

Welcome to Episode 31 of Light On Light Through ... in which we discuss what it means when a Presidential candidate's favorite book is I .F. Stone's The Trial of Socrates ... It means John Edwards loves history and philosophy, has intellectual daring, is concerned about what can go wrong in a democracy, is an opponent of censorship, and a friend of diversity and tolerance ... When was the last time we had a President with such qualities?  John F. Kennedy?

Plus flashes ... Jack Thompson at it again with his nonsense about videogames ... NBC was wrong to air the Virgina Tech killer's tape...

Try GoToMyPC free for 30 days!  For this special offer, visit www.gotomypc.com/podcast

 Helpful links: my blog post about Edwards and Socrates ... John Edwards' Favorite BookJohn Edwards' web siteI. F. Stone's The Trial of Socratesmy blog posts about Jack Thompson and about NBCI go head-to-head with Jack Thompson on CNBC last JuneThe Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free -  at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com or http://podiobooks.com http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the wonderful Light On Light Through - Blubrry id  The Plot to Save Socrates  published in trade paperback February 20 - this means you can get a new copy, if you like, for $10+ at Amazon and most places ... (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy, at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com home page: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://paullevinson.net and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com                                             videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

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Four Imus Fallacies

2007-04-14
Length: 24s

Four Imus Fallacies ... Welcome to Episode 30 of Light On Light Through in which we consider four fallacies that have been bandied about the media regarding the firing of Imus from his television and radio shows, which was well-deserved ... the language of rap ... the Duke lacrosse players ... Anne Coulter, Rosie O'Donnell, and other celebrities who traffic in insult ... the First Amendment ... I'll explain why none of those issues or people have relevance to Imus ...

Plus flashes ... freed British sailors have every right to sell their stories to the media ... O'Reilly and Rivera knew just what they were doing when they lost their tempers on television ...

And a special treat ... a new home demo from England's James Harris ... Walking On Air ...

Try GoToMyPC free for 30 days!  For this special offer, visit www.gotomypc.com/podcast

 Helpful links: my blog posts about Imus ... No Place for Imus in the Media, Memo to Michelle Malkin re: Don Imus and rap, The Day after Imus: What Doesn't Need to Be Done, Four Imus Fallaciesmy blog posts about British sailors and the media and O'Reilly v. Rivera (includes link to video clip)http://www.myspace.com/jamesharrisacoustic you'll love itThe Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free -  at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com or http://podiobooks.com http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the wonderful Light On Light Through - Blubrry id  The Plot to Save Socrates  published in trade paperback February 20 - this means you can get a new copy, if you like, for $10+ over on Amazon and most places ... (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy, at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com home page: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://paullevinson.net and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com                                             videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

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The Tudors and Rome: Golden Ages on Television

2007-04-07
Length: 25s

The Tudors and Rome: Golden Ages on Television ... Welcome to Light On Light Through Episode 29, in which we consider how the revolution in television which began with The Sopranos has given us captivating new windows onto history, first with HBO's Rome and now with Showtime's The Tudors ... afraid to portray neither complex ideas nor sex, these programs make enjoyabe contributions to our understanding of the past and the ways it has shaped us...

Plus flashes ... now the FCC's going after cell phones ... Josh Wolf free! ... the Supreme Court does the right thing about global warming ... which might be reduced, in part, up on the roof ...

Try GoToMyPC free for 30 days!  For this special offer, visit www.gotomypc.com/podcast

 Helpful links: my blog posts: The Tudors Commences - History So Colorful You Can Taste It and Rome Returns and Concludes on HBO my blog post:  Up on the Roof: The Power of Biology on the Tops of SkyscrapersThe Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free -  at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com or http://podiobooks.com http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the wonderful Light On Light Through - Blubrry id  The Plot to Save Socrates  published in trade paperback February 20 - this means you can get a new copy, if you like, for $10+ over on Amazon and most places ... (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy, at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com home page: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv  and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com                                             videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                                    

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

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Galactica Dylan

2007-03-31
Length: 19s

Welcome to Galactica Dylan ... Episode 28 of Light On Light Through ... Battlestar Galactica started brilliantly this season, faded in the middle, but concluded last Sunday with more than one astonishing twist ... including Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" ... but if BSG takes place in the past, how could this be ... and if takes place in the future, how did one of the most covered songs in rock 'n' roll history get out there?   This episode of Light On Light Through considers these questions and provides ... more questions, along with some brief musical treats...

Plus flashes ... HBO's Rome concludes, and it's better than Shakespeare ... Lost has a Canterbury Tales-like episode ... and panda paper out of China (you can't make this stuff up) ...

Try GoToMyPC free for 30 days!  For this special offer, visit www.gotomypc.com/podcast

 Helpful links:Galactica Dylan (my blog post) ... Bear McCreary's explanation of the Dylan song in BSG (he did the arrangement) ... How Star Trek Liberated Television  (trust me, you'll like it) ...my reviews of Rome and LostShaun Farrell's interview with me on his Adventures in Scifi Publishing podcastThe Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free -  at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com or http://podiobooks.com http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the wonderful Light On Light Through - Blubrry id  The Plot to Save Socrates  published in trade paperback February 20 - this means you can get a new copy, if you like, for $10+ over on Amazon and most places ... (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy, at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com home page: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv  and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com                                             videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
                                                                                    

 

 

 

 

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

 

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Cops Cracking Down On Journalists - Again!

2007-03-24
Length: 21s

Cops Cracking Down on Journalists ... Again! Welcome to Episode 27 of Light On Light Through ... While Josh Wolf sits in prison in California, New York City police are pursuing their own war against journalists ... arresting two Columbia University journalism students this past Thursday for videotaping police cars from a public sidewalk ... I call upon Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Kelly to see that justice is served ... bring these cops to justice!

Plus flashes ... media drop the ball on John Edwards reporting ... Al Gore never claimed he invented the Internet...

Helpful links:

Columbia Univ students thrown in jail for doing their assignment my blog post; Class Assignment Lands Two Students In Jail New York 1 News story; The War On Journalism website with details and videos of past police misconduct against video journalistsPreserving Freedom of Expression in America 60-minute video hosted by Howard Vicini about Josh Wolf (first broadcast March 16, 2007)Media Drop the Ball in Edwards Reporting and Politico-Edwards lesson: Blogs need even higher standards than mass media my blog posts; Republican pap about Al Gore and the Internet my blog postThe Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free -  at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com or http://podiobooks.com http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the wonderful Light On Light Through - Blubrry id The Plot to Save Socrates  published in trade paperback February 20 - this means you can get a new copy, if you like, for $10+ over on Amazon and most places ... (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy, at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com

Enjoy...

Paul

web: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://paullevinson.net and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
Light On Light Through podcast: http://paullev.libsyn.com

Levinson news clips podcast: http://Levinsonnews.podshow.com

Ask Lev 2-5 min pieces of advice on writing, succeeding, and tea

words and music by Paul Levinson readings, performances,
recordings, and interviews about my music and fiction

live on radio (Sundays, 7:20am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

my short stories:  at fictionwise

The Silk Code - Locus Award, Best 1st Science Fiction Novel, 1999

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

 

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The Four Phils

2007-03-17
Length: 27s

Welcome to The Four Phils... Episode 26 of Light On Light Through ... in which I interview actor and screenwriter Mark Shanahan about how he came to write and star in the Edgar-award nominated radioplay of The Chronology Protection Case based on my novelette of the same name ... my fictional NYPD forensic detective Dr. Phil D'Amato is the hero of this story ... and Mark and I talk about his and other renditions of Phil ... a rare, behind-the-scenes interview about the making of a radioplay...

Plus flashes ... update on Josh Wolf, the imprisoned journalist ... my modest proposal for this political season ... and "wiki" makes it into the OED - how about a Wiki-OED?...

Helpful links:

Details on Phil D'Amato - his appearances in short fiction, novels, movie, and radioplay ... The Lives and Times of Dr. Phil D'Amato Listen to The Chronology Protection Case - complete, live, radio recording - free Howard Vicini with updates on Josh Wolf Blog post by me: Supporting the Best Candidates in Both Parties More of me on politics at http://InfiniteRegress.tv  The Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free -  at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com or http://podiobooks.com http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the wonderful Light On Light Through - Blubrry id   The Plot to Save Socrates  published in trade paperback February 20 - this means you can get a new copy, if you like, for $10+ over on Amazon and most places ... (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy, at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com

 

Enjoy...

Paul

web: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv  and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
Light On Light Through podcast: http://paullev.libsyn.com

Levinson news clips podcast: http://Levinsonnews.podshow.com

Ask Lev 2-5 min pieces of advice on writing, succeeding, and tea

words and music by Paul Levinson readings, performances,
recordings, and interviews about my music and fiction

live on radio (Sundays, 7:20am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

my short stories:  at fictionwise

The Silk Code - Locus Award, Best 1st Science Fiction Novel, 1999

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

 

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Free Josh Wolf

2007-03-10
Length: 24s

Free Josh Wolf ... Episode 25 of Light On Light Through ... there's not much light in the California prison that holds Josh Wolf ... his crime?  refusing to turn over videotapes of a violent demonstration that he was using to make a documentary ... Josh Wolf, 24, another victim of Congress's refusal to enact a Federal shield law to protect journalists who do the people of America's work ... details in this special episode

Plus flashes ... Connecticut foolishly cracks down on MySpace ... Wikipedia violates its own ideals and cracks down on pretender professor ... and, yes, Daylight Savings Time is here and I love it!

Helpful links:

Complete details about Josh Wolf: http://www.joshwolf.net/Judith Miller quotes me in her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee (at the end): http://judiciary.senate.gov/testimony.cfm?id=1637&wit_id=4698
Blog posts by me: Yay! Daylight Savings Time - 03.10.07 Connecticut Going for the Easy, Ineffective, Unconstitutional Way to Protect Children on MySpace - 03.09.07  Free Josh Wolf - 03.08.07   Free Josh Wolf II: The Case for A Shield Law - 03.11.07  Should Liars Be Unwelcome on Wikipedia? - 03.08.07Come over to http://PaulLevinson.net - my new nightclub blog The Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free -  at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com or http://podiobooks.com http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the wonderful Light On Light Through - Blubrry id   The Plot to Save Socrates  published in trade paperback February 20 - this means you can get a new copy, if you like, for $10+ over on Amazon and most places ... (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy, at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com

 

Enjoy...

Paul

web: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://paullevinson.net and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
Light On Light Through podcast: http://paullev.libsyn.com

Levinson news clips podcast: http://Levinsonnews.podshow.com

Ask Lev 2-5 min pieces of advice on writing, succeeding, and tea

words and music by Paul Levinson readings, performances,
recordings, and interviews about my music and fiction

live on radio (Sundays, 7:20am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

my short stories:  at fictionwise

The Silk Code  - Locus Award, Best 1st Science Fiction Novel, 1999

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News  

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Gore Back On Center Stage

2007-03-03
Length: 23s

Welcome to Episode 24 of Light On Light Through ... Gore Back On Center Stage ... he won the popular vote for President of the United States in 2000 ... he was nominated last month for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in alerting the world to the dangers of global warming ... and his movie An Inconvenient Truth won the Oscar last week for best documentary ... we examine the contributions of Al Gore and look at what may be next for him...

Plus flashes ... the RIAA on the warpath again ... study finds college students are narcissistic - is that so bad?

Helpful links:

Two of my blog posts about Al Gore: Gore Nomination for Nobel Prize Poetic Justice and Gore and Obama The Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free -  at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com or http://podiobooks.com http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the wonderful Light On Light Through - Blubrry id   The Plot to Save Socrates  published in trade paperback February 20 - this means you can get a new copy, if you like, for $10+ over on Amazon and most places ... (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy, at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com

 

Enjoy...

Paul

web: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv  and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
Light On Light Through podcast: http://paullev.libsyn.com

Levinson news clips podcast: http://Levinsonnews.podshow.com

Ask Lev 2-5 min pieces of advice on writing, succeeding, and tea

words and music by Paul Levinson readings, performances,
recordings, and interviews about my music and fiction

live on radio (Sundays, 7:20am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

my short stories:  at fictionwise

The Silk Code - Locus Award, Best 1st Science Fiction Novel, 1999

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News  

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Dummy in the HOV Lane

2007-02-24
Length: 19s

Welcome to Dummy in the HOV Lane ... Episode 23 of Light On Light Through ... in which we semi-seriously consider the case of man who was pulled over on Long Island, NY for driving with a dummy passenger in the HOV lane ... why would a sleeping person, a quiet person, a dullard-type dummy be ok, but not this life-like dummy?  How about a dog, a chimp, or a snake plant?

Plus flashes ... lowly bacteria to the rescue again - they can make buildings more earthquake resistant ... Lost sinks further downhill ...Battlestar Galactica is diving ... and what's wrong with those Academy Award people - not letting Borat speak on Sunday night...

Helpful links:

Read the full blog post for this episode: Dummy in the HOV LaneMore about helpful bacteria: Hail the Mighty Lowly Bacterium ... Paul De Kruif's The Microbe Hunters ... and my novel, The Consciousness Plague...The Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free - is now up and running, with the first five chapters over at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com or http://podiobooks.com - get over there and subscribe, while the going is good... http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the wonderful Light On Light Through - Blubrry id  The Plot to Save Socrates just published in trade paperback last Tuesday, February 20 - this means you can get a new copy, if you like, for $10+ over on Amazon and most places ... (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy, at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com

 

Enjoy...

Paul

web: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://InfiniteRegress.tv and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
Light On Light Through podcast: http://paullev.libsyn.com

Levinson news clips podcast: http://Levinsonnews.podshow.com

Ask Lev 2-5 min pieces of advice on writing, succeeding, and tea

words and music by Paul Levinson readings, performances,
recordings, and interviews about my music and fiction

live on radio (Sundays, 7:20am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

my short stories:  at fictionwise

The Silk Code - Locus Award, Best 1st Science Fiction Novel, 1999

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News  

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Lost: Anatomy of a Loss

2007-02-17
Length: 25s

Welcome to Episode 22 of Light On Light Through ... Lost: Anatomy of a Loss ... in which we look at what went wrong with this tv series which galvanized audiences with its experimental story telling and viral marketing the first season, put people to sleep or got them frustrated in the second season, and now, despite a good resumption this February, is struggling to stay afloat...

Plus flashes ... actually, just one big, bad one this episode ... the FCC's at it again with a report circulating in Congress that calls for extension of government regulation of television programming ...

Helpful links:

Unveiling http://PaulLevinson.net - my new nightclub blog, over at Rudius Media, which has podcast players for all four of my shows - Light On Light Through, Ask Lev, Levinson news clips, and Words and Music by Paul Levinson - plus videos of many of my tv appearances, reviews of my books, a blog I write to usually a few times a day, a Message Board where you can talk to me, and a lot more... other Rudius bloggers include Tucker Max, Bob Greene, and Bill Dawes... come on over!The Silk Code podiobook - my award-winning novel, read by Shaun Farrell, available free - is now up and running, with the first five chapters over at http://thesilkcode.blogspot.com or http://podiobooks.com - get over there and subscribe, while the going is good...http://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the wonderful Light On Light Through - Blubrry idhttp://bigbrry.com Tom Marquette interviews me (part 2 - 45 mins) (part 1 from last week is also on the site)The Plot to Save Socrates will be published in trade paperback this Tuesday, February 20 - this means you can get a new copy, if you like, for $10+ over on Amazon and most places ... (click on the above title to get to Amazon) ... and if you'd like an autographed copy, at no extra charge to you, just send me an e-mail at PaulLevinson@LightonLightthrough.com

 

Enjoy...

Paul

web: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://paullevinson.net and http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
Light On Light Through podcast: http://paullev.libsyn.com

Levinson news clips podcast: http://Levinsonnews.podshow.com

Ask Lev 2-5 min pieces of advice on writing, succeeding, and tea

words and music by Paul Levinson readings, performances,
recordings, and interviews about my music and fiction

live on radio (Sundays, 7:20am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

The Silk Code - winner Locus Award, Best First Science Fiction, 1999

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News  

 

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How To Research Ancient History for Science Fiction

2007-02-10
Length: 29s

Welcome to Episode 21 of Light On Light Through - How To Research Ancient History for Science Fiction ... I gave a talk on this topic to the Science Fiction Society of Northern New Jersey at the Garden State Plaza Borders Bookstore this evening ... but for all the people in the world who couldn't attend, my two secret ingredients are old Encyclopedia Britannicas (1955 or earlier) and new sources on the Web (quadruple corroborated)...

Plus flashes ... Hank and Jack Bauer ... MSNBC Countdown Board goes ballistic over my critique of Keith Olbermann (because of his attack on 24) ... Lost's recovering ... and iTunes and the Beatles...

And the early-Beatle-like James Harris with a nice home-demo of his song Tonya McCreary...

Helpful links:

http://paullevinson.blogspot.com my blog posts on many of the flashesMSNBC Olbermann Countdown Board ... for some reason, most of the posters there don't like me...http://www.myspace.com/jamesharrisacoustic you'll love ithttp://artofgraciousliving.com Patsy Terrell's podcast - Patsy does the wonderful Light On Light Through - Blubrry idhttp://bigbrry.com Tom Marquette interviews me (part 1 - an hour) (part 2 next week)http://adventuresinscifipublishing.blogspot.com/ special preview of Shaun Farrell's podiobook of my novel The Silk Code - chapter one! - you can also hear it at http://odeo.com/audio/8529393/view

Enjoy...

Paul

web: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
Light On Light Through podcast: http://paullev.libsyn.com

Levinson news clips podcast: http://Levinsonnews.podshow.com

Ask Lev 2-5 min pieces of advice on writing, succeeding, and tea

words and music by Paul Levinson readings, performances,
recordings, and interviews about my music and fiction

live on radio (Sundays, 7:20am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

The Silk Code - winner Locus Award, Best First Science Fiction, 1999

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

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Blockbuster, Netflix, the Web: The Future of Watching Movies out of Theaters

2007-02-03
Length: 23s

Welcome to Episode 20 of Light Light Through - Blockbuster, Netflix, the Web: The Future of Watching Movies out of Theaters.  It all began with Edison's kinetoscope, which gave movie-viewers a one-on-one experience.  Now, after a century of theater going, more and more people are watching movies on their own devices.  But not all of them are equal.  Blockbuster, which has dominated this market, still makes you go out in the rain to return a movie.  Netflix is better, but still leaves you hostage to the mailman.  That leaves the Web - and nothing succeeds like delivery of movies at the speed of light...

And debuting in this Episode, a new LOLT feature: flashes ... in which I give quickie takes on media news.  This week:  the media are most to blame for the Boston cartoon terror scare ... Viacom the doomed dinosaur snarls at YouTube ... Yale prof disapproves of student sex in showers (well, ok, sometimes I'm make an exception and consider a story which isn't media news)...

Helpful links:

A Short History of the Movies by Mast and Kawin  best history of motion pix I know ofBrewster General Store if you'd like to get your hands on a real kinetoscopehttp://thesilkcode.blogspot.com/ where to subscribe to Shaun Farrell's forthcoming podiobook reading of my novel, The Silk Code (won the Locus Award for best first science fiction novel of 1999)http://patsyterrell.com  Patsy's the Blubrry voice on LOLThttp://podcastpendulum.podomatic.com  Podcast Pendulum!http://thesciphishow.com listen for Jason's interview with me - about The Chronology Protection Case - which should be live tomorrow (Sunday, 4 February 2007)look at the second podiobook in the column to your right: it's The Chronology Protection Case, yours, free, enjoy!  And enjoy the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates, too, while you're at it... podiobook reading of that is right above The Chronology Protection Case...

Enjoy...

Paul

web: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
Light On Light Through podcast: http://paullev.libsyn.com

Levinson news clips podcast: http://Levinsonnews.podshow.com

Ask Lev 2-5 min pieces of advice on writing, succeeding, and tea

words and music by Paul Levinson readings, performances,
recordings, and interviews about my music and fiction

live on radio (Sundays, 7:20am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News  

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How Goes the Ship of Free Speech?

2007-01-27
Length: 22s

Welcome to Episode 19 of Light On Light Through in which we consider How Goes the Ship of Free Speech? The ancient Greeks called it parrhesia, and loved it so much they named ships after it.  How is the ship of free expression faring in our world today?  Well, here in the U.S.A., as we near the anniversary of Janet Jackson's "wardrobe malfunction" during Superbowl halftime several years ago, the answer is: not so good.  The FCC has levied record fines against broadcasters deemed to have presented objectionable material.  Both parties in Congress have cried out for larger fines, and extension of FCC control to cable.  All of this in the face of our First Amendment, which clearly says "Congress shall make no law ... abridging freedom of speech..."  The one bit of good news?  We have podcasting, which so far has been beyond anyone's ability to control...

And speaking of podcasting, and looking at the bright side, I talk about various projects I'm happy to be involved in with Shaun Farrell, and Tee Morris, at the end of this episode...

Helpful links:

I debate Brent Bozell about free speech.  He was head of the Parents Television Council - which, according to Todd Shield's article in the December 04 Mediaweek, was responsible for 50% of the complaints received by the FCC about the Janet Jackson "costume reveal". http://www.teemorris.com and Shaun Farrell's http://adventuresinscifipublishing.blogspot.com/Athenian triremes named after abstract concepts (such as free speech)

Enjoy...

Paul

web: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
Light On Light Through podcast: http://paullev.libsyn.com

Levinson news clips podcast: http://Levinsonnews.podshow.com

Ask Lev 2-5 min pieces of advice on writing, succeeding, and tea

words and music by Paul Levinson readings, performances,
recordings, and interviews about my music and fiction

live on radio (Sundays, 7:20am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News  

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Keith Olbermann, Jack Bauer, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge

2007-01-20
Length: 26s

Welcome to Episode 18 of Light On Light Through - Keith Olbermann, Jack Bauer, and Samuel Taylor Coleridge ... What do these three have in common? Well, last Tuesday evening, Olbermann delivered a diatribe about 24 and Jack Bauer, as perhaps deliberate tools of the Bush administration to frighten the American people about terrorism, and thereby shore up support for its policies.  I say Olbermann misunderstands how people enjoy fiction, and recommend to him and his producers an acquaintance with Coleridge's "willing suspension of disbelief".  I also recommend Thomas Jefferson, for his confidence in human rationality and his distrust of anything that smacks of calling for censorship...

Helpful links:

Olbermann's attack on 24 - don't know how long the link will be upColeridge's Biographia Literaria - where he discusses "willing suspension of disbelief"24 Season Premier (first 4 hours) - object of Olbermann's irehttp://paullevinson.blogspot.com - more from me on this topic

Enjoy...

Paul

web: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
Light On Light Through podcast: http://paullev.libsyn.com

Levinson news clips podcast: http://Levinsonnews.podshow.com

Ask Lev 2-5 min pieces of advice on writing, succeeding, and tea

words and music by Paul Levinson readings, performances,
recordings, and interviews about my music and fiction

live on radio (Sundays, 7:15am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller - New York Daily News  

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What on Earth Are They Doing to Poor Pluto?

2007-01-13
Length: 29s

Hello Solar System - What on Earth Are They Doing to Poor Pluto? - and welcome to Episode 17 of Light On Light Through, where we consider the semantic fate of Pluto, standing vigil at the edge of our solar system, recently demoted to dwarf-planet status by the International Astronomical Union... Who should decide the status of Pluto: scientists in disagreement among themselves, or humanity?

Michael Burstein joins me for an interview.  He is an award-winning short story science fiction writer, a former secondary school science teacher, and head of the Pluto Is A Planet organization.

You'll also hear a few bars of Alpha Centauri, a song written in March 2000 by Pete Rosenthal and me.

Helpful links:

http://www.plutoisaplanet.org/ and http://mabfan.livejournal.com/ (Michael Burstein's journal)http://www.claycenter.org/astro February 4th live debate about Pluto at the Clay Center in BostonIs Pluto a Planet? Historical Journey Through the Solar System - good background reading by David WeintraubNeil deGrasse Tyson's 1999 plea for "demoting" Plutohttp://odeo.com/audio/5617383/view listen to Alpha Centauri (with notes and lyrics) - or look for the player to your right, about half way down this page ->

Enjoy...

Paul

web: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
Light On Light Through podcast: http://paullev.libsyn.com

Levinson news clips podcast: http://Levinsonnews.podshow.com

Ask Lev 2-5 min pieces of advice on writing, succeeding, and tea

words and music by Paul Levinson readings, performances,
recordings, and interviews about my music and fiction

live on radio (Sundays, 7:15am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller - New York Daily News  

 

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diGGin' Round: Further Adventures in Gate Opening

2007-01-06
Length: 19s

Welcome to Episode 16 of Light On Light Through: diGGin' Round: Further Adventures in Gate-Opening, in which I take a look at Digg, the fabulously popular online news system, in which readers not editors choose what is on the front page.  Like Wikipedia, Digg (for the most part) is run by its users.  Like Wiki, Digg suffers from vandals on the one hand and zealots who bury stories too quickly on the other.  But at least Digg and Wikipedia are honest and open about how their articles are chosen - unlike the New York Times, for example, which says it publishes "all the news that's fit to print," when in fact it's publishing all the news that a small group of editors deem fit to print.  The Beatles were turned down by 26 record companies before someone had the sense to sign them.  So much for experts and editors.  Good for Digg for trying something different... (See also Digg and Wikipedia: Further Adventures in Gate-Opening.)

In addition to looking around Digg, I also had the pleasure of making guest appearances on a few podcasts this week, including Jake's Just Not Right and George's One Minute How-To - check 'em out ... And if you like brief pieces of advice on podcasts, give a listen to my latest podcast, Ask Lev over on 10minutelessons.com...

Enjoy...

Paul

web: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
Light On Light Through podcast: http://paullev.libsyn.com

Levinson news clips podcast: http://Levinsonnews.podshow.com

Ask Lev 2-5 min pieces of advice on writing, succeeding, and tea

words and music by Paul Levinson readings, performances,
recordings, and interviews about my music and fiction

live on radio (Sundays, 7:15am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



more about The Plot to Save Socrates...






Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE!


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The Stuff of the Cosmos

2006-12-30
Length: 21s

Happy New Year!  And welcome to Episode 15 of Light On Light Through:  The Stuff of the Cosmos ... Carl Sagan, who died ten years ago at the end of December, said that, because we come from the cosmos, when we look out at the cosmos with our telescopes, we are but the stuff of the cosmos looking back at itself ... in this New Year's podcast we explore the meaning and impact of Carl Sagan's thought, including his dual pursuit of knowledge and fame ... and we look at the need of our species to get beyond this planet and out into the cosmos, our truest home...

Also in this episode: a medley of our music from our podcasts since October (which was the beginning of Light On Light Through), including samples from Idris Elba, Ebony Moore, Jeffrey Foucault, and B J Cunningham - look at the show notes for previous episodes, for details about where to find and hear more of their music.

I'll be back again next week, in 2007.  In the meantime, enjoy...

Paul

web: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
Light On Light Through podcast: http://paullev.libsyn.com

Levinson news clips podcast: http://Levinsonnews.podshow.com

Ask Lev 2-5 min pieces of advice on writing, succeeding, and tea

words and music by Paul Levinson readings, performances,
recordings, and interviews about my music and fiction

live on radio (Sundays, 7:15am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller - New York Daily News  

 

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Trader Joe's and Mo'

2006-12-23
Length: 26s

Happy holidays! Episode 14 of Light On Light Through is mostly about food ... in particular the revolution in convenience and delicious eating being brought about by places like Trader Joe's ... I talk not only about the great food you can get there, but about hearing Wolfman Jack on the radio while I was shopping at Trader Joe's ...

Also in this episode ... the Mo' or more is about YouTube again ... Time Magazine picked everyone as its "person of the year," in large part because YouTube has made video producers of us all ... just as I was talking about in Episode 10, Every Eye's A Camera, Every Ear's A Mike here a few weeks ago ... you can still catch that episode of you like ... and in just the past week, YouTube has demonstrated a different kind of value to the world:

It made almost immediately available the uncensored rendition of Saturday Night Live's hilarious Special Treat in a Box skit by Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake from last week. NBC, as per usual, was too afraid of the FCC to play it unbleeped on the air, but once YouTube led the way, nbc.com followed by putting both the bleeped and non-bleeped versions on its web page.  Can YouTube be the antidote to the FCC's trampling of the First Amendment? Maybe ... we'll have to see ... let's hope so...

And I'm very pleased to also have in this episode BJ Cunningham's acoustic Still Here With You, as well as his acoustic-guitar rendition of Over the Rainbow...  You can get his Frontiers and Acoustic albums on iTunes.  His details and other helpful links follow:

http://cunninghamsongs.com and http://www.myspace.com/bjcunninghamhttp://www.nbc.com/Saturday_Night_Live/uncensored.shtmlhttp://www.traderjoesfan.com/ and Trader Joe's at www.tribe.netEducated Tastes - my blog about food, drink, restaurants, groceries
and two old-fashioned print-on-paper references about the importance of food in life and society: Objective Knowledge (p. 37)  by Karl R. Popper; Mechanization Takes Command by Siegfried Giedion

Wonderful holidays to everyone!

Paul

web: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
Light On Light Through podcast: http://paullev.libsyn.com

Levinson news clips podcast: http://Levinsonnews.podshow.com

Ask Lev 2-5 min pieces of advice on writing, succeeding, and tea

words and music by Paul Levinson readings, performances,
recordings, and interviews about my music and fiction

live on radio (Sundays, 7:15am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller - New York Daily News  

 

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The Goldplated Globes: What They Missed On Television

2006-12-16
Length: 21s

I'm talking about the Golden Globe Awards, of course, and I call them "The Gold Plated Globes" in this Episode - lucky #13 - of Light On Light Through because of what they missed on television in their nominations for 2006, announced a few days ago.  These would be, most outrageously, Kidnapped, Battlestar Galactica, and The Wire.  They did get a few things right - that's why I call them goldplated, rather than silverplated, or no-plated - and among the accomplisments well recognized are Michael C. Hall's performance in Dexter, Michael Ealy in Sleeper Cell, Bill Paxton in Big Love - which also received a nom as best show - and of course 24 and Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer.  A complete list of the Golden Globe nominations for 2006 - including not only television but movies - can be seen at the Hollywood Foreign Press Association website - they're the folks who bestow these awards.

Other sites I mention on the show - not about the Gold-plateds but science fiction - include:

the sciphi show - I'm interviewed in the current episodeAdventures in SciFi Publishing - Shaun Farrell's podcastPaul Levinson's blog - nice quiet place, where you can listen to Chapter One of The Plot to Save Socrates (bottom of the page)

Enjoy...

Paul

web: http://paullevinson.info
blogs: http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme and http://paullevinson.blogspot.com

videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
Light On Light Through podcast: http://paullev.libsyn.com

Levinson news clips podcast: http://Levinsonnews.podshow.com

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller - New York Daily News  

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The Wire Season 4 in 20 with Driis Speaking On Stringer

2006-12-09
Length: 26s

Just in time for the Season 4 finale of The Wire, Episode 12 of Light On Light Through has Idris Elba aka Stringer Bell speaking on Stringer, in his new rap record - Driis Speaks on Stringer - in which he tells us what he thinks of Stringer's role in The Wire, and what Idris sees as his future in acting and  music.  I give my analysis of this season of The Wire, and respond to Idris.  We got some great response to Episode 5 of Light On Light Through - "The Wire Without Stringer" - it's been far and away our most popular show - and I'm really pleased to present and discuss Idris' penetrating analysis here in his 2-minute rap record.  I'd like to hear your views on this, too - send e-mail to PaulLevinson@lightonlightthrough.com or leave voice-mail at 206-203-2615 - and I'll read or play it on the show.

Also in this episode - voice-mail from Ebony Moore, and e-mail from John DeNardo of www.sfsignal.com

Here are some places on the Web you might want to visit after - or during - the podcast:

www.myspace.com/Idrismusic - hear more of Idris' musicwww.myspace.com/thewireonHBO - the best page I've seen for pictures of The Wire cast, and comments from many of themwww.hbo.com/thewire/community/ - this has the best discussion, the most astute analysis, of The Wire - my favorite are the unofficial fan threadswww.myspace.com/ebonydmoore - more of Ebony's music

Enjoy...

Paul

web: www.sff.net/people/paullevinson
blog: www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme
videoclips: www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
podcast: paullev.libsyn.com
live on radio (Sundays, 7:15am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller - New York Daily News 

 

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Almost Walkin On Sunshine

2006-12-01
Length: 27s

Oh yeah ... almost walkin' on sunshine, in my Crocs ... and talkin' all about it in Episode 11 of Light On Light Through ... from Thom McCan to Clark's Wallabees to Rockport to Crocs ... a manifesto for shoe liberation and maybe comfort and energy over style...

Also in Almost Walkin -

Email from Larry Ketchersid, author of Dusk Before Dawn, about the inevitable development of devices that seek out all videos of us on the Web, and take them out ... a rebound for privacy, in the aftermath of what I was saying in my last podcast, Every Eye's A Camera, Every Ear's a Mike...Voicemail from Mike of the MikeThinks.com podcast about time travel and HeroesContinuing the MP3 giveaway of The Chronology Protection Case radio play - see LOLT Episode 8, Time Travel in Fiction and FactJay Kensinger's killer trailer for his 2002 The Chronology Protection Case movie debuts on this LightonLightthrough.com web page - look down the column to your rightI'm reading the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates at Emon Hassan's http://thesoundpalette.com - just as I do in my readings in bookstores and conventions, except I'm in my living room, and you can listen in.  And you can find my exclusive essay on "How I Came to Write The Plot to Save Socrates," as well as the first chapter, at Emon's http://wordspalette.comGreat record by Jeffrey Foucault - Mesa Arizona -  from his Ghost Repeater album.  The New Yorker said the album is "full of gravelly, gorgeously rolling poems about weather, trains, and love... exceptional."   More of his folk rock country at the Podsafe Music Network http://www.podshow.com/music/?keywords=Foucault  See also http://www.jeffreyfoucault.com/news.html for lyrics.

Enjoy...

Paul

web: www.sff.net/people/paullevinson
blog: www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme
videoclips: www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
podcast: paullev.libsyn.com
live on radio (Sundays, 7:15am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller - New York Daily News 

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Every Eye's A Camera, Every Ear's A Mike

2006-11-25
Length: 17s

Welcome to the 10th Episode of Light On Light Through ... Every Eye's A Camera, Every Ear's A Mike ... or, How the Cell Phone On YouTube Has Made Movie Stars of Us All, For Better or Worse...

It's good for outing racist cops and comedians, but that same cellphone-YouTube hookup, now in almost everyone's hands, means that any and all of us can wind up on YouTube at the drop of a hat, or the flip of a silent cell phone in the corner.  Some of us - including me - love almost any kind of publicity.  But what about those of us who do not?

# # #

Also on Episode 10 - and looking at the bright side of microphones - introducing Ebony Moore ... singer, songwriter, musician, actress ... you'll hear a minute of her record, Make It Count ... It's irresistible! I'm singing it under my breath even as I'm writing this ... Hear the complete song and more of her fine music at  www.isound.com/ebony_nc

Enjoy!

Paul

web: www.sff.net/people/paullevinson
blog: www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme
videoclips: www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
podcast: paullev.libsyn.com
live on radio (Sundays, 7:15am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller - New York Daily News 

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The New James Bond - or, The Man Without the Golden Pun

2006-11-19
Length: 6s

Whoa ... a special Sunday bonus Episode of Light On Light Through... a brief review of the new James Bond movie, Casino Royale... or, as I like to call it, The Man Without the Golden Pun...

The gist is, I loved the movie, but...

Enjoy...

Paul

Added December 1, 2008

See also: It's Not HBO - It's A Quantum of Solace

web: www.sff.net/people/paullevinson
blog: www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme
videoclips: www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
podcast: paullev.libsyn.com
live on radio (Sundays, 7:15am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller - New York Daily News 

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Time Travel in Fiction and Fact

2006-11-17
Length: 29s

Time for something a bit different ...Episode 8 of Light On Light Through -- Time Travel in Fiction and Fact ...  a jam-packed 30-minute show ... with

a special clip from my Edgar-nominated radioplay, The Chronology Protection Casea special give-away to the first 25 people who send e-mail or voice-mail  - I'll reply with an MP3 of the full 38-minute radioplay of The Chronology Protection Case, performed by Mark Shanahan and a professional cast (but you have to answer a question I ask on the podcast)e-mail about time travel from Sylvia Engdahl, who wrote Enchantress from the Stars and other great novelsShaun Farrell makes the call on Daylight Savings Timea tribute to Jack Williamson, 1908-2006other goodies, profundities, absurdities

and much more...

Enjoy!

Paul

web: www.sff.net/people/paullevinson
blog: www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme
videoclips: www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
podcast: paullev.libsyn.com
live on radio (Sundays, 7:15am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



more about The Plot to Save Socrates...






Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE!


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TV Roundup - The Field in Mid-November

2006-11-09
Length: 23s

a jumbo episode of =Light On Light Through=   --thumbail discussions of Battlestar Galactica, Dexter, Heroes, Kidnapped, Lost, The Nine, Six Degrees, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, The Wire ... the winners and losers and hangers-on ...  all of that packed into 23 minutes... (no spoilers from this year) ...

also including e-mail from Idris Elba (aka Stringer Bell), science fiction critic Gary Wolfe reveals the truth about podcasting, voice-mail from MikeThinks, and more...

Enjoy!

Paul

web: www.sff.net/people/paullevinson
blog: www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme
videoclips: www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
podcast: paullev.libsyn.com
live on radio (Sundays, 7:15am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller - New York Daily News 

 

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Elective Media

2006-11-06
Length: 12s

A special Election-Day Episode of Light On Light Through - Episode 6 - Elective Media, in which I discuss the shift in the way we get our news and election coverage - from network news which attracted 50 million Americans in the 1980s and is lucky to reach 25 million now, to cable news which is growing but still attracts only 5 million Americans, to ... well, you're no doubt part of this revolution, which includes YouTube, blogs, and podcasts...

Find out why I think these developments in media are making for good days in democracy, whatever the results of today's election...

Enjoy!

Paul

web: www.sff.net/people/paullevinson
blog: www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme
videoclips: www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
podcast: paullev.libsyn.com
live on radio (Sundays, 7:15am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

The Plot to Save Socrates - my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller - New York Daily News 

 

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The Wire Without Stringer

2006-11-04
Length: 13s

I say it's the best show about the real world on television - but is The Wire as good as it was without Stringer Bell?  In Episode 5 of Light On Light Through I probe the powerful appeal of bad guys with redeeming qualities, and look at the contribution of Idris Elba aka Stringer Bell to The Wire.  "The Wire Without Stringer" is a little longer than most episodes of this podcast, because it has a special treat near the end....

.... a minute or so of Idris' great new hip-hop soul recording, Johnny Was... move over, Bob Marley

Enjoy!

Paul

web: www.sff.net/people/paullevinson
blog: www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme
videoclips: www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
podcast: paullev.libsyn.com
live on radio (Sundays, 7:15am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



more about The Plot to Save Socrates...






Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE!


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A Cranky Look at Eastern Standard Time

2006-10-29
Length: 5s

a special bonus episode of Light On Light Through - which I guess would make this Episode 4 - in which I lament the loss of sunlight at the end of the day under the cruel Standard Time regime that has just befallen us....

hey, when you're driving home in the dark tomorrow, maybe listening to this will put a little smile on your face...

enjoy....

paul

 

web: www.sff.net/people/paullevinson
blog: www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme
videoclips: www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
podcast: paullev.libsyn.com
live on radio (Sundays, 7:15am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

The Plot to Save Socrates,  my latest novel
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller - New York Daily News 


 

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Wikipedia: The Open Gates of Knowledge

2006-10-27
Length: 8s

For centuries, the public has relied upon encyclopedias - written by carefully chosen experts, vetted by a few venerable editors....

For the past few years, Wikipedia has tried something a little different - an encyclopedia written by ... everyone ... the human species ... in principle, everyone on this planet who can read and write...

I'm betting it will take its place among the Encyclopedia Britannica and the Encyclopedia Galactica...

various details about me and what I do are on the following pages:

web: www.sff.net/people/paullevinson
blog: www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme
videoclips: www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
podcast: http://paullev.libsyn.com
live on radio (Sundays, 7:15am, Pacific time): www.knx1070.com

and my novel...

The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller - New York Daily News

see also my two blog posts on this topic: The Wiki Way and The Forces of Light vs. Darkness on Wikipedia

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Kidnapped & Battlestar Galactica - Leading the TV pack at quartertime

2006-10-23
Length: 7s

... well, certainly not in the ratings - at least as far as Kidnapped goes - but these two shows have brought the intelligence and intensity and courage of dramas on television to new heights...

in Kidnapped & Battlestar Galactica - Leading the TV pack at quartertime, I explain ... and why these and other shows may be ushering in the first platinum age of television....

this is the second episode of my podcast, Light On Light Through - a more-or-less weekly, five-minute-or-so commentary on some technological, media, popular culture, science fiction issue that strikes my interest (and I hope yours too) ...

various details about me and what I do are on the following web pages:

web: http://www.sff.net/people/paullevinson
blog: http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme
videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
live on radio (Sundays, 7:15am, Pacific time): http://www.knx1070.com

and my latest novel --

=The Plot to Save Socrates= "challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly

Enjoy...

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Prius and the Reunion of Talking and Walking

2006-10-21
Length: 4s

on the road to teleportation ... once upon a time, to talk to a person - to communicate - meant you had to be in that person's physical presence ... writing and subsequent media changed all of that...

Prius and the Reunion of Talking and Walking explores how new cars with Bluetooth technology are enabling us to move fast again and communicate anyplace at the same time...

this is the premier episode of my podcast, Light On Light Through - a weekly, five-minute-or-so commentary on some technological, media, popular culture, science fiction issue that strikes my interest (and I hope yours too) ... ranging from Wikipedia to Battlestar Galactica to the First Amendment...

various details about me and what I do are on the following web pages:

web: http://www.sff.net/people/paullevinson
blog: http://www.myspace.com/twiceuponarhyme
videoclips: http://www.youtube.com/user/PLev20062006
live on radio (Sundays, 7:15am, Pacific time): http://www.knx1070.com

my latest novel: The Plot to Save Socrates
"challenging fun" - Entertainment Weekly
"Da Vinci-esque thriller" - New York Daily News

and Brian Charles Clarke says The Plot to Save Socrates "resonates with the current political climate . . . heroine Sierra Waters is sexy as hell . . . there's a bite to Levinson's wit" -- in Curled Up With A Good Book



more about The Plot to Save Socrates...






Read the first chapter of The Plot to Save Socrates .... FREE!


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Light On Light Through

Paul Levinson talks about social media, politics, TV, outer space, good food, science fiction

Light On Light Through


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