Watch Jonathan Zittrain on Colbert Report

Jonathan Zittrain is the author of The Future of the Internet and How to Stop It, a book on my “to buy” list. He is also a cofounder of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard, which is pretty freakin’ awesome. He appeared on the Colbert Report last night to talk about his book and why he thinks Web 2.0 and the Internet are headed in the wrong direction.

The Colbert video can be found on the front page of the Future of the Internet website (stupid Comedy Central video embedding isn’t working). If you’re so excited by Zittrain’s ideas, you can watch a presentation he gave at the Berkman Center about his book via YouTube (video below).


Between fits of crying over finals, I found another reason to cry

Although I realize this admission solidifies me as an uber-dork, my favorite television show for a few years in my early to mid-20s was Jeopardy. Even though I don’t watch it so much any more (especially since I tried-out and got rejected…which was probably a good thing, since I tried out for the same season that Ken Jennings dominated), news like this still upsets me.

I have two comments to make on this particular version of the story:

1) Why the hell does Yahoo! have an entertainment section called OMG? I’m sorry Yahoo!, but you’re just not that cool.

2) The picture of Trebek they’re using makes him look like he does some serious fake-and-bake-ing. What’s up with that? I mean, fake tans are acceptable up into your late-20s if you’re a normal person and mid-40s if you’re a celebrity, but Trebek is a dinosaur. I mean, he was hosting Jeopardy back in the 1880s if I remember correctly.

All kidding aside, I hope the man is ok, as I can’t imagine anyone else hosting Jeopardy. Hopefully, a heart attack isn’t much to deal with when you’ve walked away from a serious car accident.

I know people eat a lot on Turkey Day, but this is just ridiculous

As I procrastinate in getting ready to drive to my parents’ house, I’m sorry to admit I have on MTV’s True Life competitive eating episode. I’ve been fascinated/disgusted by competitive eating for years. I remember watching Fox’s Glutton Bowl in abject horror back in 2002. After about five minutes, I grabbed a pad of paper and started taking notes because I was so enraged by Fox. I then published this opinion article in my school’s newspaper, and to my amazement, even got a letter to the editor from a world doughnut eating champion.

Well, if you’ve just been aching to watch overindulgence taken to the extreme, fear not my friends, because another producer of quality programming, Spike TV, will be airing the Turkey Bowl tonight. This is no flag football game, but in the words of the website, it will be a food eating competition where “gastronomic gladiators will pound down food as fast as possible.”

God help us all. After collapsing on the couch in a tryptophan-induced food coma, the last thing I want to do is watch grown men eat more in 10 minutes than my entire family ate for dinner. Can we please just stop with this debacle?

Is nothing sacred anymore?

If you are a Gen Xer (or an early Gen Yer, as I know I straddle the line), don’t read this unless you want to tear up a little.

Apparently, the current sex-drugs-violence milieu we are force-fed daily by the media pales in comparison to early episodes of Sesame Street. To think, this children’s show has probably scarred us for life. Well thank god they’ve managed to save the next generation from such debauchery!

NBC uses writers’ strike as excuse for picking up bad shows

I recently read on several blogs about MySpace’s launch of a web-only series titled, “quarterlife,” so I decided to check it out this week solely because it is a new project from the creators of 30something and one of my favorite shows from my teenage years, “My So-Called Life.” MySpace had aired four super-short (we’re talking 5-8 minute) episodes already, so I watched them all back to back. The show is very weak in my opinion, with the main character an idiot who thinks she can video blog about all her friends and no one will find out. Of course they do find out and get all pissy, but oh no, that doesn’t stop her. Apparently, she’s on a mission to see how quickly she can lose all her friends. I’d like to think that people gain a little more wisdom by the time they reach their “quarterlife,” an age range I currently reside within.

Then I read today that NBC is picking up the show for prime time. Apparently, the network is feeling the pressure of the writers’ strike and is looking for shows with pre-written episodes ready to go, in case this strike continues on for some time. I know you’re hurting NBC, and you’ve been hurting for a couple years, but honestly, do you think this show has a future? The opening dialog consists of Dylan (the main character referenced above) trying to blog and asking herself in her video blog, “What is a blog? Why do we blog? We blog to exist, therefore…therefore, we are idiots.” No honey, we are not idiots. That honor goes just to you at this moment.

It’s good to know that we blog to exist though. I mean, I could be dead right now if I didn’t have my blog. I’d be wandering through the streets of Washington aimlessly, looking for the direction that only an internet diary can provide me with. Jesus Christ people, I’m nearly drowning in to melodramatism.

Instead of picking up lame shows NBC, why don’t you focus on maintaining profits by not picking fights with Apple over iTunes prices? Or how about keeping solid writers employed, instead of leaving one of your oldest programs with a skeleton staff? I know you have some good shows, even if I don’t watch any of them. Rumors suggest you might even have been the best network at some point in the distant past. I don’t know if I believe it anymore. Even Jay Leno picks on his own network nightly during his opening monologue.

Buck up NBC. At least you have one thing going for you: you’re not this network.