Women as Narrators: Bad Logic in Documentary-Land

I just added this to my del.icio.us page of recommended reading, but it’s worth a special mention in CONTENTIOUS too.

Check out this Feb. 24 article in Kottke.org: The History Channel: no women allowed? Here, Jason Kottke laments the lack of female voices in documentary narration. At first he thought this might be a unique hangup of The History Channel, but as it turns out the problem is far more pervasive…

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Burns: Touchy, Touchy! (Online Vermin, Part 7)

(NOTE: This is the final installment in my “Handling Online Vermin� series about addressing people with poor online communication habits. Series intro and index.)

At last we arrive to the end of my seemingly interminable discussion of online vermin:

Burns: These people routinely overreact and take nearly everything personally, in a negative way. They are as socially or emotionally sensitive as burn victims: any contact is risky. Even the slightest touch of communication, the slightest possible hint of an insinuation, can cause them to react with pain: anger, shame, self-doubt, guilt, despair, regret, self-pity, etc. And you’ll hear about it – loudly.

I debated with myself long and hard before deciding to add burns to my vermin menagerie. Since everyone has his or her own unique set of sensitivities, can there truly be such a thing as “oversensitive?”

Well, yes, I think so…

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Amy\’s in Atlanta Next Week

Some of you may have noticed I haven’t been posting much over the last few days. Well, I just found out I’ll be taking a trip to Atlanta from Feb. 28 to Mar. 6, and I’m trying to get as much of my current projects done as possible before then. So expect CONTENTIOUS to be light this week.

I’m traveling to care for my brother, who’s getting foot surgery. It’s not life-threatening, just a major hassle for him, and I’m happy to help. He’s a very cool guy!

I know there are many CONTENTIOUS readers in Atlanta, and I’d like to schedule a get-together while I’m in town…

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Hello, Del.icio.us!

(UPDATE, Apr. 20, 2005: Furl and Del.icio.us: Almost Perfect Together)

I’ve reluctantly come to the conclusion that my current approach to providing lists of interesting links (via “grab bag” articles) is not sustainable. I’m forever behind. I’m serious. In archive, my CONTENTIOUS-to-do category was up to nearly 225 items!

Also, while it helped simplify presentation to group items into topical lists, that approach also has disadvantages – namely, I could only assign categories to the list as a whole, not to specific items in the list.

My goal with my grab bags has always been to enable my clients and readers to learn from my never-ending learning process. However, it simply takes too much time to write a blurb on every item I discover that’s worth sharing. If I fall too far behind in noting useful items, some of them lose the value of timeliness.

So here’s my solution: del.icio.us – an amazingly useful online tool I’ve long overlooked…

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Leeches: Just Say No (Online Vermin, Part 6)

(NOTE: This is an installment in my “Handling Online Vermin” series about addressing people with poor online communication habits. Series intro and index.)

By nature, I enjoy being helpful. I get jazzed whenever I can share knowledge, skills, or insight, or help someone with a difficult task or decision. I don’t always want to recognize that I am human and have limits of time, energy, and attention. Yet, if I don’t recognize and honor my own limits, I end up getting burned out.

Therefore, out of a sense of sheer self-preservation I’ve learned to recognize online leeches and scrape them off promptly…

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Quantitative Woes, Continued (Today\’s Comment)

Here’s another installment on my Comment Week theme. This morning, I saw a trackback from the weblog Scale | Free to my posting Regarding the Quest for Communication Statistics.

In a response post, Research and Stats: practically useless? Anu Gupta wrote:

“We’re not the only community that needs to value the intangible – economists do it when valuing goodwill, marketeers do it when valuing brands. In most cases, these numbers just serve as a starting point for an argument, but at least there’s a point of reference.”

That’s a good point. I replied in a comment to Anu’s posting. Here’s what I said…

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