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links for 2009-01-30

30 Jan
  • Every day since 1990 she competed with my work. When I picked up a pen, or lately a stylus, she would come running, yelling in cat language that I should pick her up and give her my full attention. She was my forced work break, and there were many. She was my only company for most of my day. Cartooning is a lonely art, but I was never alone.
    Recently her tiny body started to shut down. But it never stopped her enthusiasm in seeing me. She dragged her arthritic body over to me every time I entered the room, even if I had only been gone for a second. She never failed to purr. I loved her intensely…
    But today I am happy, even more than usual. I think about how much Sarah enriched my life and I am grateful. I think about how much I learned from my relationship with her, and even from her passing, and I am thankful for it all. Today everyone in my life seems more precious. I'll always carry Sarah with me, and I know I am better for it.
  • the point is this. Flickr should NOT be permanently deleting anyone’s account. Especially a paid account. And especially without warning. In the event that Flickr really feels that they need to delete an account, I think that they owe it to their customers to first engage in a dialog about the images.
  • 6 Learn to fail with pride — and do so fast and cleanly. Maximise trial and error — by mastering the error part…
    10 Answer e-mails from junior people before more senior ones. Junior people have further to go and tend to remember who slighted them.
  • Meanwhile, what has NDTV achieved? In attempting to silence the libelous post, they have succeeded in proliferating it across several blogs and websites, thus making their problem worse many, many times over. It has resulted in severe damage to the NDTV brand and to Barkha Dutt's own image as a crusader for the freedom of the press. Their attempt to muzzle negative commentary has now portrayed them as hypocrites, in addition to the wholly accurate popular belief that Dutt is shrill, opinionated, excessively aggressive and self-absorbed in her journalistic style.
  • if bloggers can sit alone at their keyboards, type out their honest opinions, and network with each other on noble causes, they can also fight back against such strong-arm tactics. In this, they’re far more courageous than the media, which infamously crawled when asked to bend. I’m sorry, but Barkha Dutt and her NDTV team cannot gag my right to free speech on the pretext of protecting her right to free speech. If I don’t like a newspaper, I won’t buy it and I’ll say why I don’t like it. The newspaper cannot sue me for that. While we’re on the subject, since NDTV is listed on the Stock Exchange, how about selling its shares if you have bought any?
    What’s next, Barkha Dutt and NDTV, are you going to sue the entire Indian blogsphere, and Facebook?
  • How does Barkha Dutt reconcile her stated respect for criticism and her intention to learn from it with the suggestion that those who don’t like what she does and the way she does it can say it with the remote? What the latter statement reveals is the hypocrisy inherent in the former—no more, no less.
    A Barkha Dutt who grandly titles her show ‘We the People’ [That title, factually rendered, should read ‘We the minuscule minority with access to cable TV who haven’t yet dissed you with our remotes], and who sheltering under that inclusive flag assumes the right to criticize the conduct of every politician, businessman, movie star and public figure in this country, needed to have shown more grace in accepting criticism directed her way.
    So we will now add this lack of grace, this intolerance for criticism, this tendency to the notion that you are immune to the searching examination you subject others to, to the already long list of reasons to reach for that remote.
  • Their mindless sensationalism has reached monstrous proportions where they have started seeing themselves as a political force more and a responsible journalistic entity less. This is a dangerous trend and will end in 'rogue journalism and reporting' too soon. Their intolerance to criticism is the same as that of the politicians they criticize day in and day out.
    If anyone is still reading this blog – do me a favour – write more about this incident and spread awareness. Lets see if NDTV's lawyers want my apology too.
  • In her columns, Barka Dutt frequently laments the demise of ”liberalism” in India–while painting her self as its protector. From this episode at least, it is clear that for Barkha Dutt and NDTV freedom of speech does not extend to alternate voices but only to the self-described ”enlightened self”.
    The reason is clear: the mainstream media’s intellectual hegemony is finally being challenged. And the self-proclaimed liberal mascots are showing their true colors.
  • This behavior is part of the larger malaise of Indian mainstream media who has inculcated the worst from their Western counterparts. Apart from the easily-fudged and legally-suspect sting operations, investigative journalism is virtually dead. I ask Barkha Dutt and her team at NDTV to pay close attention to their primary responsibility of news reporting toward the Indian people instead of going after poor bloggers who are merely quoting what they read and expressing their opinions. If they want in the opinion business, better stay away from reporter tag; you cannot have it both ways.
    From a business perspective, you don’t go after your consumers and from a democratic perspective, you don’t turn against the people whose interests you claim to safeguard from the mai-baap government. When the reporter becomes the reported, it is usually time to take a closer look at your life and wonder what happened. I hope you understand and not sue me instead.
  • Your opinion is yours, my opinion is mine
    If you don't like what I'm sayin'? Fine
    But don't close it, always keep an open mind
    A man who fails to listen is blind
    We only got one right left in the world today
    Let me have it or throw The Constitution away
  • What’s appalling is the very bodies who owe their survival to free speech, the very organizations that used free speech to report on the Mumbai attacks, and defended their content as necessary for information dissemination are now against a blogger’s right to free speech.
  • “What? A news channel made someone apologize for voicing his opinion?”
    “Yes.”
    “And they made him delete.. isn’t that like suppression of free speech?”
    “Well, they didn’t like the criticism. They probably thought it was libelous.”
    “Mom, tell me, is all criticism libelous? When news channels criticize politicians, is that also libelous? What about news analysis, which is opinion mixed with fact – is that libelous too?”
    “No, it is just freedom of speech. ”
    “But Mom, individuals also have freedom of speech! Does a free press mean the press should not be criticized?”
  • The 1997-2002 period was a difficult time in India. Thousands of Indian companies did not make it through that period. The survivors emerged stronger, and flourished in the 2002-2007 period. In similar fashion, 2009 and 2010 are going to be difficult. The better firms will pull in adequate external financing, not just for themselves but for their entire ecosystem; the better firms will have flexibility on all prices and think from scratch about business strategy at the prices prevailing today; the better firms will step up R&D expenses, for survival in bad times requires more innovations on cost cutting and product development. Finally, the better firms will cold bloodedly assess the chances of their business partners and of themselves.
  • So what’s the big deal about these lyrics? Right, let’s analyse. I am not much of a Hindi widhwan but I will give it a shot…
    Gulzar is the master of the Hindi metaphor – No high sounding Urdu or big words – simple common street language but used as metaphors for describing a world beyond. And this song is an excellent example of his craft. My favourite is of course the main two lines with the zinda shamiana and zariwale neele asmaan.
    The Oscar might well be his. And deservedly so.
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Posted by on January 30, 2009 in Links

 

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