Sunday, July 31, 2011

Interview with Langdon Winner on Techno-Politics

Listen to internet radio with StevenStreight on Blog Talk Radio

Langdon Winner is a political theorist who focuses upon social and political issues that surround modern technological change. His blog is Technopolis.

Professor Winner is the author of Autonomous Technology, a study of the idea of "technology-out-of-control" in modern social thought, The Whale and The Reactor: A Search for Limits in an Age of High Technology, and editor of Democracy in a Technological Society.

Praised by The Wall Street Journal as "The leading academic on the politics of technology", Mr. Winner was born and raised in San Luis Obispo, California.

He received his B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of California at Berkeley.

He is Professor of Political Science in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Best of GooglePlus Shared Images

GooglePlus (Google+) is a terrific social media networking experience, and the images people are sharing are really funny, sometimes brilliant.

Here are some of my favorites.  Some were uploaded by others, several were contributed by me.

Shown above is my official Google+ fingerbox which came in the mail a few days ago, for elite early adaptors only.

So they're going to (1) clone us (2) reformat our minds
(3) then kill us?

I call the picture above "Craving as Buddha Explained It".

Monday, July 25, 2011

Interview with Ken Freedman of WFMU Freeform Radio

Listen to internet radio with StevenStreight on Blog Talk Radio

Ken Freedman is the Station Manager of WFMU (, the longest running and most renowned freeform radio station in the United States. Under his guidance, WFMU became independent of Upsala College, WFMU's original owner.

Freedman also developed WFMU's internet presence, making it one of the most popular and forward looking internet radio stations in the United States.

He recently founded the Free Music Archive (, an online music library and social site based on curated music licensed under alternative copyrights such as creative commons licenses. Freedman has served on the board of public science and technology companies and is a technology advisor to the National Federation of Community (NFCB) broadcasters.

He has spoken and presented at conferences sponsored by The Future of Music Coalition, National Public Radio, the Integrated Media Association, and the National Federation of Community Broadcasters.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Death Supports Everyones Troops

War is big business. There are huge profits to be made. Peace is bad for business.

Yet the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Libya are costing the USA about $4 trillion


War profiteering is one of the main pillars that support war. The military-industrial complex has a long record of pushing for the development of a war industry and of battlefields to test its products. War profiteering has many forms and a wide range of impacts. The most notorious forms of war profiteering are the arms industry and the arms trade, but there are also many other forms, such as companies involved in war “reconstruction”, companies to which military functions are outsourced, financial institutions backing warfare, companies profiting from the extraction of resources in conflict areas and many more.

-- War Resisters League "War Profiteers"


Seems like the Eternal War doctrine is in full swing. Fight wars endlessly, who cares about winning, just keep buying arms and sacrificing lives, in the name of democracy, or freedom, or justice. A military myth is "we have to fight wars every generation, to get the combat experience and stay in shape." A lot of good it's doing.


“One can say without exaggeration that inflation is an indispensable means of militarism,” Ludwig von Mises wrote. “Without it, the repercussions of war on welfare become obvious much more quickly and penetratingly; war weariness would set in much earlier.”

This explains why American politicians have always resorted to the legalized counterfeiting of central banking to finance wars, the most expensive of all government programs. If citizens had a clearer picture of the true costs, they would be more inclined to oppose non-defensive intervention and to force all wars to hastier conclusions. 

Government can finance war (and everything else) by only three methods: taxes, debt, and the printing of money. Taxes are the most visible and painful, followed by debt finance, which crowds out private borrowing, drives up interest rates, and imposes the double burden of principal and interest. 

Money creation, on the other hand, makes war seem costless to the average citizen. But of course there is no such thing as a free lunch. 

As a general rule, the longer a war lasts, the more centrally planned and government-controlled the entire economy becomes. And it remains so to some degree after the war has ended. War is the health of the state, as Randolph Bourne famously declared, and the growth of the state means a decline in liberty and prosperity. 

-- The American Conservative "Inflating War"


When will we stop wasting money and lives on wars we cannot, or choose not to, win? We cannot afford these military adventures. They're draining us financially and in terms of human lives. Innocent civilians are killed.

Robots are violating Asimov's 3 Laws of Robotics:

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey any orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

We have robots killing humans now. They're called drones and other devices. Let's hope these killer robots don't turn against the entire human race, with a lust for blood similar to human violence-lovers.


As Christians we believe in the infinite value of every human life. As Kant said, we should treat each person as an end in himself, not as a means to an end. We thus oppose any kind of revolutionary tactic which sacrifices persons for the sake of goals.

Rather, from our Christian perspective we believe that deterioration occurs when people follow a course of violence as an answer to the world’s ills. Believing in the sanctity of human life, we cannot be involved in anything, whether it is social injustice, violence, war or poverty, which interrupts a person’s opportunities for a full life.

-- Intervarsity Christian Fellowship "Christian Pacifism"


USA is involved in warfare in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, and Somalia, last time I checked. We're not winning any of them. We have no specific goals or exit strategies. We have no real justification. Keeping our nation free? How free are we?

We now wage undeclared wars, acts of national sovereignty violation, acts of lethal combat, and kinetic military actions, against the will of the majority of The People of the United States, without moral or logistical justification, and without approval of Congress. 

We cannot afford all this military prancing around in the clown costumes called "uniforms".

The demons of hate and destruction are having a good old time.

Protest. Dissent. Stop these stupid wars.


War is a Crime "Link Between War and Big Finance"

Veterans for Peace

The Christian Pacifist "Ideology"

War Crimes Times

Lew Rockwell "Wall Street, Banks and American Foreign Policy"

Plow Creek Mennonite "Christian Pacifism is the Scriptural Position"

David A. Hoekema "A Practical Christian Pacifism"

Click on image below for larger view.

QR code promo 1 for Naturally Yours Grocery

The poster above, containing a QR (quick response) code, is the first QR code in-store promotion designed for my client Naturally Yours Grocery. The customer just scans the QR code image with the bar code scanner of their mobile device or smart phone, which will then display a discount coupon.

I will change the poster each week, on Saturdays, with a different QR code, which will link to a different discount coupon.

The poster is printed out, then laminated to make it stiff, and displayed prominently in the store. I think I'll place it near the cash registers at the front of the store.

The purpose of this is to (1) save the customer money (2) demonstrate that the store is using new technology (3) acknowledge the increasing usage of mobile computing devices and smart phones (4) make shopping a little more fun.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Brands Want to Invade GooglePlus

Google+ (GooglePlus) is rapidly growing, to put it mildly. I'm honored to be included in the early adaptor beta testing program for GooglePlus. I call it the Disney Land of social media, because there's so much to do and see there.

But wait. There's more. An group of entities called "brands" is desperately trying to break into the new online community. These companies and businesses have even tried to sneak in or bully their way in, and have been slapped down, thank goodness.

Google wants to keep its GooglePlus data "clean", i.e. free from commmercial pollutants. Google is tracking what we say, what we link to, what we do on Google+ to improve search engine performance.

But the brands want in. They demand the right to join our party. Brands can't wait to start slinging their spammy sales hype at everybody. Brands think consumers like to interact with brands. Brands are greedy and opportunistic. They suck.

I say it everywhere I go on the internet, and I'll say it again. Nobody joins a social network to receive sales messages. People are on social media to meet others with shared interests, to interact with other people, to ask questions, and to engage in human communication that is mutually satisfying.

If we like a company, we appreciate having updates on new products and upgrades and contests, but we don't want to be flooded with one-way broadcast sales messaging, as though social media was just another advertising platform to exploit.

A business that gets on a social media platform should provide expertise, share interesting information that doesn't always necessarily lead to increased sales. I call this corporate altruism "non-commercial interaction". Social media and blogs are a way for companies to overcome the common perception that they're cold, aloof, uncaring, non-sharing, greedy, deceptive, arrogant, and exploitive.

[Click GIF image below to see it animated.]

When I stated this fact on Google+ as a comment to a thread, I received this rebuke from Jonathan Torres


+Steven Streight As someone who makes a living representing brands, I find your comment to be somewhat ignorant and myopic. Through your interaction and by providing your "expertise" are you not promoting or "selling" yourself? As with Facebook, if not for the brands and businesses spending time and money to distribute their their sales hype, these companies could not generate revenue to remain in operation. One can only go to the VC well so many times to stay afloat. Besides all of that, joining a page or following a brand is voluntary. If you don't like it, don't like it or follow it. It's that simple.


I've seen many brands exploit Twitter and Facebook, and mismanage their corporate blog, by using them as one-way broadcast platforms, instead of human interaction zones.

Here's my reply to Jonathan Torres, plus some reactions.


Steven Streight's profile photoSteven Streight+Jonathan Torres I also make a living representing brands on social media. I try to do it in an altruistic manner, interacting with people in the name of the company, and I'm up front about who I am and what I'm doing for the brands I represent and speak on behalf of. But I assure you, nobody joins a social network to receive spammy sales messages. Many brands do not behave like human beings on social media, they merely crank out sales hype. They don't interact. They don't answer questions, They don't say what they did for Memorial Day. They are vending machines, thus missing the opportunity to negate the impression that businesses are greedy, selfish, arrogant, and uncaring.

Jonathan Torres's profile photoJonathan Torres - +Steven Streight In that, I agree. Unfortunately, many of these brands are applauded for their efforts regardless simply because they have large fan bases and big budgets.

Steven Streight's profile photoSteven Streight - Who REALLY wants to interact with a brand on social media? Not me, unless they answer questions, provide good customer service and discounts, share their expertise in a non-commercial manner, etc. Apart from that altruism, brands suck on social media.
Erin Kinikin's profile photo
Erin Kinikin - Nice comment, +Steven Streight Reads like a requirements list for Google+ business pages!


When a business gets on social media, of course there will be sales messages, discounts, deals, product news, and other self-serving information to distribute to those who might be interested. There's no denying that brands can successfully use social media to attract new customers and engage loyal fans.

Google+ has announced that there will be a way for business to join the online community, but it is not ready yet. Did the brands respect that reality, or did some of them act pig-headed, stubborn, demanding, and try to force their way in?

There was a bit of a rough road in this process and some pundits are criticizing Google+ for not letting the brands in right along with the human beta testers and early adaptors.

TechCrunch did an article on this subject entitled "Vic Gundrotra on How Google+ Handled Brands: It Was Probably a Mistake".

Here's the first comment posted under the TechCrunch post.


Jason Stapels · Apalachin, New York

1) Google releases Google+ for personal profiles to a private invite-only beta.
2) Google+ becomes a much bigger success than expected.
3) Brands immediately want in on the action.
4) Google says Google+ isn't ready for brands yet.
5) Brands don't care and do it anyways.
6) Google pulls brands pages because, as it said, they're not ready yet.
7) Brands get pissed at Google... because they're private beta is ready for brands yet?

What's the lesson to be learned here? Don't let your product become popular until it's ready? I understand it can be frustrating for a brand to not get free advertising, but I don't think Google is to blame here.


Yes, there will be Google+ Business pages coming soon. And yes, I'll offer to represent my clients on this commercial platform or at least help them get started and navigate the waters.

But capitalism has created its own negative publicity through its grasping and lustful behavior when it comes to our wallets. This whole Brands vs. Google+ fiasco reminds me of how telemarketers demand the right to spam us during our dinner. They want to use the telephone, our communication tool, to flood us with unsolicited sales hype. And they never offer to put any of it in writing.

Let the frenzied brands cool down and be rational for once. It might do them some good. In the meantime, you and I can enjoy great interactions, with human people, and not automated hype machines or callous snake oil salesmen and carnival barkers. Nice.

Here's the obituary on how BoingBoing tried to sneak into Google+ with what I believe was a Fake Intern account or something. It's so weird and convoluted.


º º º º º º KILL JILL º º º º º º

Did she died? Yes. +Jackhammer Jill ("Jackhammer Jill" on Google+) is no more.

I've been talking with BB friends here on Google+, and I've been talking with the Google+ team at Google, and today we decided to let our "Boing Boing intern" die. Just seems kind of pointless, given that they're pushing so hard to do biz/org/brand support right as soon as possible, and seems silly to continue this workaround in light of the past 24 hours of internet-handwringing around the 'net. To be clear, nobody "told us to," and we don't regret experimenting eagerly, and early. Just seems time to kill an intern, and publish a "Sad Guy" GIF.

I have much more to say, and will do so separately—I'm fascinated by all of the discussions and new ideas Google+ has sparked in lo these last... two weeks? But for now, a moment of silence, and a single tear.


P.S. There is also a backlash going on against Google+ introducing Farmville and Mafia Wars type games to the social media platform. Check out Chris Brogan's thread on Google+ games.

[Click GIF image below to see it animated.]

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Matthew David on HTML5

Listen to internet radio with StevenStreight on Blog Talk Radio

Listen to my Blog Talk Radio interview with Matthew David, author of HTML5: Designing Rich Internet Applications, a book I purchased recently and find it to be very informative and well written.

We discuss the new HTML5 that offers web designers the ability to encode meaning into web content via block elements, thus creating what is called the Semantic Web. HTML5 also include CSS3, web browser data storage, and better ways to embed video and audio.

I pose some questions that Matthew David handles quite well. You'll learn a lot about the new web programming standard that is expected to replace HTML4 and XHTML and remain, with some evolution, the standard for decades to come.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Interview with Shel Israel

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Shel Israel consults, writes and speaks about social media. His blog is Global Neighborhoods.

He has advised companies of all sizes on how to use social media to achieve pragmatic business goals. His clients have ranged from Fortune 50 companies to two-guys-meeting-in-a-Starbucks.

Israel is co-author [with Robert Scoble] of Naked Conversations considered by many to be the seminal book in popularizing social media in traditional businesses. I (Steven Streight) helped them with the title of the book. They originally wanted to call it Blog or Die. I told them in some countries, it's Blog and Die. They took that to heart and rejected Blog or Die as the title.

Shel mentions how I was also the most prolific contributor to The Red Couch blog, which formed the basis of the Naked Conversations book. At the time, it was the one of the most important places to be for business bloggers and blog pundits.

Shel is also author of Twitterville and The Conversational Corporation, a Dow Jones, e-book.

He is currently working on a new book, The Disruptors—Fire Starters of the Conversational Age. As he has successfully done with previous books, Israel is posting interview notes and chapter drafts on his blog, Global Neighbourhoods where he invites reader feedback.

A former journalist, he has contributed to BusinessWeek, Fast Company, Forbes, Business Intelligence and other publications. He left writing to start and run his own PR agency for many years, before selling it to employees and spending his fulltime energies in social media-related activities.

An accomplished public speaker, Israel has keynoted in 10 countries and has spoken — always on social media-related issues — more than 75 times.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Robert Scoble: Google Plus for Beginners

I rarely do this, re-post somebody else's post, but this is pretty good for those new to Google+ (GooglePlus).

Robert Scoble posted these tips for beginners.


Oh, Google+ has a problem. If you start a full-on blog post from a Share of someone else's post, it isn't collapsable or sharable. Sorry about that.

So, here's my tips for Google+ new users:

My tips for newer users of Google+:

1. Learn what circles are and how to put people into them. When I first started out I went crazy with circles, opening up something like 20 of them. That wasn't very smart, it turned out. Now I'm back to seven. Simple ones like "friends, family, coworkers, geeks, VCs, tech press." Etc.

2. Learn how to distribute content to circles, or public, or certain people. When you post here you don't need to send it to everyone. You can send it just to people you've put in a specific circle, like "friends" or you can send it to a specific person, like me.

2b: Learn not to use your home feed as your main place to visit. Start a circle called "my home circle." Now when you add people you can add them to multiple circles, but if you don't want to see someone everyday you can keep them out of your home circle (unfortunately if you follow people they will always be on your actual main feed).

3. Find a few "seed followers" that you like to follow. Then look at who they are following. You'll find lots more people to follow that way. For instance, I'm following 3,200 geeks, including most of the execs, tech press, VCs, etc. If those kinds of people float your boat, look through my list and pick and choose who you also want to follow.

4. Remember, posts with photos or video do better than just text posts, so see if you can figure out how to get other media in here.

5. If someone gets too noisy, let's cover how to handle that.

A. Too many posts. Sometimes you'll follow someone like +Chris Pirillo who posts a lot. What I've done with those folks, is put them into a "Noisy buttheads" circle. That way they don't pollute all your other circles, although they still will show up on your home feed. Feel free to put me in that circle for now.

B. Too many comments on some posts. Some posts will go viral here. It won't just happen to me. For instance, it might happen to you now that I've pushed you into 33,000 people's view by resharing your post (more on that in a second). If this happens to just one post, you can click the drop-down-menu over to the right of a post and choose "mute." You'll never see that post again. This is a good way to get rid of some things that are cluttering up your feed.

C. Consistently high engagement noise (there are already about 50 people who are consistently getting high engagement, folks like me, Trey Ratcliff, Leo Laporte, etc etc) and for us you just need to segregate us into our own circle. Or just put up with that kind of noise (I enjoy engaging in a lot of rapid-fire comments).

6. Turn off email notifications, or learn to filter them with Gmail's filters. I have turned them off. Too much email, too fast, especially if you get hit by one of the whales here (sorry for hitting you on the first day).

7. Setup your profile and make sure it's hyper complete. Look at mine at and then go set yours up at (I've spent a lot of time on mine).

8. Try to talk about something other than Google+. Try to say what you'll be doing with this. Post something original. Or, start a good debate about something that you care about. Etc. I'm really trying to do this because I'm getting bored with talking about Google+, but I see a lot of new people coming in here, so wanted to write down my thoughts based on my first 13 days.

9. Try using keyboard. J moves down. K moves up. I'm sure there's others coming.

10. If you use Google Chrome as your browser, there are a bunch of extensions you should try:

11. Learn how resharing works. For instance, I took your original post and reshared it with my audience. Right now that causes some duplication noise (folks following both of us will see your post twice, once from you, once reshared from me) and there will be separate comments under both. Fragmentation is gonna be a problem until Google fixes that here. But resharing is how things are getting very viral. For instance, I just reshared your item with 33,000 people. Now, what if 10% of those reshared it with THEIR audiences? This is why things get crazy very quickly.

Anyway, that's some things. I'm sure you'll hear lots of other advice today. Have fun and looking forward to seeing what you post here.


Saturday, July 9, 2011

GooglePlus is the Facebook Killer

Google+ (Twitter hash tag is #GooglePlus) is the new social media platform from Google. It has many of the features and tools that users have been screaming for on Twitter and Facebook, but those platforms ignore user needs.

I've been on Google+ for a while now, and I like what I see.

Google+ will kill Facebook and I can't wait until it's entirely dead and gone.

Facebook needs to die, wither away, and be eternally forgotten. Facebook is the worst thing that ever happened to the web. It's a mine field of spammy game invites, malicious rogue apps, and personal data quicksand sucking the life and identity out of users.

Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has famously stated that people are stupid to share all their personal information and preferences on Facebook, as this data is feed to advertisers who use it to target ads at potential customers. All you can do on Facebook is reveal more and more about yourself by clicking Like and Share buttons. It's all rather pointless and futile.

In managing Facebook accounts for clients, I notice that most people only publish one wall post per day, and it's generally frivolous remarks about trendy news events or personal items concerning family, sports, politics, or other private feelings. The goofiest or most inflammatory posts get some comment feedback, but generally nobody interacts with anybody else.

Inspirational quotes pollute the platform as unimaginative consultants hope to make people like them by rehashing the statements of others, rather than share their own expertise in their own words. Companies generally grind out product announcements and sales messages, with very little human warmth or desire to interact with customers.

The dysfunctionality of Facebook is legendary. Your "news feed" contains updates from only a tiny percentage of your friends and it's hard to tell what filters are eliminating the wall posts you thought you'd be seeing. That's okay actually, since Facebook contains mostly trivial banter, silly comments, and sales hype.

I tried using Facebook a couple of times, but finally deleted my account permanently. There is no value to be gained by being on Facebook, unless you have a retail business and want to use it to send messages to customers about new products and discount coupons.

Basically, I consider Facebook to be "Blogging for Dummies" and that's all it will ever be. You can't tweak your page or personalize it easily. It's just a big stupid billboard full of nonsense, spam, and phishing exploits.

Google+ on the other hand is sophisticated platform that empowers users. You can assign people to circles categorizing them as friends, family, acquaintances, or just someone you're following. You have a lot of control over your content, and who gets to see it.

The biggest problem that I've seen in Google+ is the domineering attitude of popular "A Lister" tech pundits who are flooding the platform with relentless links, photos, animated GIFs, and blabbering. They seem to treat Google+ as an alternative Twitter, a frenzied chat room, and get tons of boring comments on every post they publish.

That nonsense will die down as the platform matures and the frenzy abates.

What's nice is that Google+ is intentionally, or by default, poised to be the Facebook Killer, and many smart users are already dancing on the rotting corpse that is Facebook. Die monster die. It's time for users to mutiny and move on to a social media platform that respects user privacy and user-centric features.

Let's just hope the API, when opened to developers, doesn't result in floods of spammy game invites.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Headless Heroes radio theater PODCAST

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I participated in the Army's TUWIT (Totally Unthinkable Warfare and Information Tactics) program and become a Headless Hero. My head was  amputated and the organs of seeing, hearing, kissing, thinking, etc. were relocated.

We really freaked out the enemy. They scrambled like hell when headless soldiers ran toward them. It was fun. I was a big hit with the ladies, too.

But at a certain point, I got bored. I wanted them to re-install my head so I could leave the Army and start a normal, headed life.

That's when the story gets really sad.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Book Coupon for Naturally Yours Grocery

Every home should have a few good health reference books. Here are two that are very helpful, popular, and authoritative. Now you can save money when you buy them at Naturally Yours Grocery.

HOW TO PRINT THE COUPON: Click on the coupon image above, to see the coupon all by itself in your web browser. Then print it,  and bring it with you the next time you're in Naturally Yours Grocery in  Peoria or Bloomington-Normal.

Print it as many times as you want. One coupon per customer per day. Cannot be combined with other offers.

MOBILE USERS: You may also show us the coupon on your cell phone or mobile computing device when you're at the check out counter.