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Expounding a New View of Accidents

Accidents happen. In fact, they have always happened, from the asteroid that presumably wiped out the dinosaurs to the great fire that razed central London in 1666. But there are accidents and there are accidents. A good many, like earthquakes and tornadoes, are unavoidable acts of nature. But many more are human accidents provoked by the very technology that we celebrate: they represent the dark face of progress.

Paul Virilio, 70, a French urbanist, philosopher and prolific writer, began developing this thesis after the Three Mile Island nuclear accident in the United States in 1979. Now, he believes, we are more accident-prone or rather, technology and communications have made accidents more global in their impact. In his view, if an accident was long defined as chance, today only its timing and consequences are hard to predict; the accident itself is already bound to occur.

To underline the importance of this unwelcome variable to modern society, Mr. Virilio is promoting the creation of a Museum of Accidents. NY Times

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Vlogging,

i.e. video weblogging: “Welcome to a new age of blogging: video blogging. I’ve created two video weblogs — one about the new World Trade Center designs and one about my Christmas tree — because (a) there’s new software that makes it easy [more on that below] and (b) I’m becoming convinced that video is the next frontier for blogging. It’s a simple equation: We bloggers do not compete with newspapers, because we do not have news operations. Instead, bloggers compete with pundits because what we do have is opinions. And where do you find the most pundits? On TV.” BuzzMachine by Jeff Jarvis I don’t think I’d have the stomach for video content as insipid as some of what is to be seen in the weblogging world. I mean, come on, his Christmas tree??? I’m reminded of the quip about how opinions are like a certain part of your anatomy, you know the one, everybody’s got at least one of them. I don’t think “vlogging” will catch on, at least not with me. Unlike text weblogs, I wouldn’t have the patience to waste as much time as it would take to sift through content without quality control in a realtime streaming medium. A wannabe talking head could be painful to watch in a way a would-be commentator can never be, no matter how badly they write, in a text medium. Just take a look at Jarvis’ posed profundity if you need convincing. He is clearly a man who wants to be a seminal trendsetter. After all, he created “THE Vlog”. I should know; I write THE FmH. [Hmmm, maybe I’m just jealous…}

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The World at Your Fingertips:

Kroger Lets Shoppers Pay Via Fingerprint: “Suppose you endured the checkout line at the grocery store only to find that you were short on cash, or you’d forgotten your wallet. What if you could settle the bill with just the touch of your finger?

Kroger Co., the largest U.S. supermarket chain, is offering some customers just that opportunity, testing finger imaging as a method of payment in three of its Texas stores.” Reuters Technology