Friday Nov 10, 2006

On Weblogs and Fair Disclosure

Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox seems to have responded to Jonathan Schwartz's questions regarding the use of blogs for fair disclosure, Siobhan Hughes of Dow Jones Newswire reports. This is a historical dialog worth noting by those interested in how technology can effectively be used to meet various regulatory requirements.

A Persian Blogger Comes of Age

 The Power of the Press

If you know Persian, occasional viewing of Hossein Derakhshan's Persian weblog might benefit you. He also has an English weblog and a photoblog worth a visit for a cultural study if nothing else. The Washington Post carries another regular blog of his.

Derakhshan's recent piece analyzing current politics of Iran might be a good lesson for those Persian speakers who have a tendency to provide knee-jerk analysis of the Iranian history of the last 30 years. The title is a bit odd but clear "چرا با براندازی حتی نرم هم مخالفم" ("Why I'm opposed to regime change of even the soft variety"). I've not included the link to this particular entry of his but you can search for it on his Persian blog if you're interested. If you don't know Persian, you can turn to his Washinton Post blog, mentioned above, for a taste of his writings.

Athough Derakhshan takes the job of the journalist somewhat seriously and does quite a bit to expose double-standards everywhere he can see it, his failing (if any) seems to be related to an exaggerated view of the role of the journalist in modern society up to a purist theoretical limit beyond any dreamed up by common Western journalists in Europe or North America. One may also detect an exaggeration with respect to the actual (as opposed to either the theoretical or the subservient) capability of a journalist to transform society, which in practice tends to remain limited because of subtle realities of human life that stand beyond and above opinions of one sort or another. To his advantage and credit, Derakhshan insists on remaining at least self-consistent unlike some of his peers who go as far as advocating false concepts such as judicious double-standards.

In his "History of American Journalism classes," professor Thomas C. Leonard of UC Berkeley used to ask whether journalists, under the Fourth Estate, had perhaps evolved into a new type of priesthood (The Power of the Press: The Birth of American Political Reporting), and Kierkegaard would have hated that very aspect of modern times, The Present Age, and Ayn Rand tried to capture it all in her Fountainhead. This perspective, focusing on the leveling effect of the journalistic approach to understanding our moral place in the world, while full of modern rings, goes back all the way to Socrates and his dislike of the rhetoricians of the courts who could make anything sound right or good. Hence, his repose into dialogs

Who is right? The confusion continues, and perhaps, the disintegration of authentic communities of moral practice tend to give rise to priestly elites who busy themselves with "useful" justifications (of torture under "rules," e.g., by Alan Dershowitz: here, here, here; here and here) instead of advocating well-established and crystal-clear moral concepts having to do with human beings and their due integrity and honor, and also, to journalists who play the missing priests--to use professor Leonard's reluctantly-drawn  but apt analogy.

Give Me Sun Ray

Good, timeless ideas keep reincarnating in better ways. 

We talk a lot about mobility and about devices. I have been mobile--moving around quite a lot recently among various Sun campuses and spaces in the San Francisco Bay Area, roaming through offices and conference rooms.

I now have a new office in Sun's Menlo Park campus and what I want more than the laptop that may be on its way (my laptop had a hardware failure some time ago), is a Sun Ray, even in my office. With a Sun Ray, my session is always there, and a card-key away, and because I do not have to carry anything but my cell phone and my corporate card-key, it makes me even more mobile--every pound counts. (The wear and tear on Sun Ray keyborads tell me I'm not alone.)

So, when do I use the laptop? When I go on trips where there is no Sunray, when I'm lying down on a bed or a sofa to work or when I'm trying to build,  test or demo a piece of software in the absense of a Sun Ray. Sun Ray is by far the best equipment for the corporate worker who is not doing any of these latter tasks in environments where Sun Rays are missing--and let's remember that few corporate workers are engaged in these sorts of tasks on a regular basis.

I can even leave this entry as it is, run to my next meeting and if my party is late, insert my card key in a Sun Ray and do a final edit at this very point, where I am. That typo is now gone .... next one for the next stop ....

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