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Tidbits :: Monday June 28, 2010

Justin E.H. Smith in 3quarksdaily writing on nationalism, Of National Character: “And this brings me to my second main concern here, beyond the jockeying by superpowers for hegemonic clout in the world, namely, the differential ways different nations relate to air-conditioning… In some parts of Nigeria, mobile phone technology seems to be largely important as a new means of transmitting hexes. In the Balkans, as in ‘Central Europe’, something they call air-conditioning certainly exists, but not in the same way it does in the finely chilled banks and supermarkets of my Central Californian youth.”
Adam Greenfield on What Apple needs to do now: “The iPhone and iPad, as I argued on the launch of the original in 2007, are history’s first full-fledged everyware devices — post-PC interface devices of enormous power and grace — and here somebody in Apple’s UX shop has saddled them with the most awful and mawkish and flat-out tacky visual cues. You can credibly accuse Cupertino of any number of sins over the course of the last thirty years, but tackiness has not ordinarily numbered among them.”
The Knotty Yarn on Commodification, Branding and the Overall Fuckery of Blogging: “I’ve been uncomfortable with personal branding (as it relates to blogging) from the get go. I was invited to moderate a panel at BlogHer last year; there was a pre-conference meeting for moderators and presenters. Everyone was asked to stand up one by one, introduce themselves, and tell everyone about their blog. Most people stood up and, without hesitation, declared their place in the world of blogging. “I’m a life blogger.” “I’m a mommy blogger.” “I’m a political blogger.” By the time it got around to me I had no idea what I was supposed to say. “Hi, I’m Danielle and, I don’t know, I seem to write about my vagina a LOT.” ”