Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Archive for February, 2005

A VC: Podcasting

Posted by shannonclark on February 28, 2005

A VC: Podcasting

I left a long comment with some specific feeds which I subscribe to. Some other great feeds and comments – worth a glance and pass along the feeds you like (with music).

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Philip Greenspun’s Weblog:

Posted by shannonclark on February 28, 2005

Philip Greenspun’s Weblog:

I left a lengthy reply to Philip Greenspun’s post about films vs. books.

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Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism, Etc.: Help Wanted to Expand Free Speech Globally

Posted by shannonclark on February 27, 2005

From Dan Gilmor:

Dan Gillmor on Grassroots Journalism, Etc.: Help Wanted to Expand Free Speech Globally: “Help Wanted to Expand Free Speech Globally
A group that wants to assist free speech in authoritarian nations is looking for a technically savvy person — a CTO or lead engineer type — who can do a short term study, possibly leading to a longer-term job. This is a paying gig for the right person.
The project is intended, in its intitial form, to make possible blogging that is impossible (or at least extremely difficult) to trace. One of the people involved calls it an ‘anonymous, anti-tyranny blogging service.’

Definitely a worthwhile, if technically challenging project.
If you’re interested, please send e-mail to Jim Hake at —
Note to other bloggers: Please post your own notice about this. It’s a good cause.”

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Jewish Rapper

Posted by shannonclark on February 26, 2005

Jewish Rapper on Jimmy Kimbal live – Matisyahu is a Hasidic Jew from White Plains NY who is also a reggae artist/rapper, and very good.

This reminds me of when I was in Israel, the advice someone gave me when seeking an English speaker while traveling was to look for the nearest Hassidum, chances were they were from NYC. It also reminds me that while the image of the Hassidum might be very religious and slightly odd, the reality is that they are very religious to be sure, but they are also very much of the world.

I am tempted to pick up his album. Not too many Jewish rappers out there…

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The New York Review of Books: America’s Senior Moment

Posted by shannonclark on February 26, 2005

In the March 10th issue of the The New York Review, Paul Krugman has an article on Social Security reform. (The New York Review of Books: America’s Senior Moment) It is well worth reading no matter your political leanings or your personal feelings about “private savings accounts” as a reform of Social Security.

I think he may be underestimating the demographic impact of the baby boomers as they retire, though potentially changes in immigration as well as work flow patterns may help address the labor shortage in the US. Though work that shifts to other countries (as I predict will continue to increase over time) removes those worker’s salaries except in the rare case of ex-pats from the social security roles. Corporate tax reform might help address the general revenue losses (by increasing the actual corporate tax rate and/or minimizing the tax shelters most large corporations use to significently minimize their tax burdens) however this doesn’t address the Social Security revenue shortfall that probably will occur.

I also think that the current everyone pays in everyone gets model for Social Security may need to be rethought, and definitely the age of retirement should be changed to reflect changing society and personal health. It is one thing for a social insurance policy to insure people in the last decade of their lives but a very different thing altogether to pay out for three decades or longer.

As life expectancy rises likely past 80 and into the 90’s (and may already be getting near there for people who are already in their 60’s and 50’s) we are in a very different world than when Social Security was established. At that time few people lived to 70, so retirement at 65 meant a few years at most.

At the same time many people who get the highest social security payouts possible (those who paid in the most over their lives) are the very people who, in retirement, truly do not need the funds. I know of a few who donate their entire social security checks to charity each year – noble, but funds going to people who do not need them (these aren’t people who have just okay savings, I’m thinking of people who have millions in the bank, holdings of millions more, and retirement earnings in the many 100k/year from dividends and bond payments as well as real estate holdings – i.e. people who don’t need the money)

In my own thinking about the fairly distant future when I “retire” (I’m 30 now, so by current standards at least another 35 years) I don’t factor in Social Security at all. As well, I plan to be still working, probably teaching, and expect that my income plus personal savings will support me.

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it’s an iPod world…

Posted by shannonclark on February 26, 2005

Andrew Sullivan posted his February 20th article for the Sunday Times – iPod World: The End of Society.

This got me thinking about something interesting that might be possible two generations of iPods from now (or already with some cell phones and perhaps other mp3 players). The next generation of iPods which were announced a few days ago are not yet with built in Bluetooth – but when it is built in as seems to be the rumor…

What if you have a mode where ANYONE with bluetooth headset, whether you know them or not, can listen to your iPod (or other device).

Perhaps with a “channel surf” mode where you can switch from one ipod (or other device) to another.

My thought being that this might change the dynamics that Andrew observes – namely going from people being in their own private spaces, to suddenly small pockets of common, shared (yet private to a degree) experiences….

Possibly combined with bluetooth messaging of some form – so everyone (perhaps) who is listening to the same “channel” could also share comments (and for example phone numbers – though perhaps this is best via some form of pm)

Until then, anyone recommend a good bluetooth headset for Skype? (and perhaps any mp3 players that also have good bluetooth already today?)

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The Gates @ Central Park: An Amazing Experience

Posted by shannonclark on February 22, 2005

With my permission, my experience with the gates was posted to the groupblog about the gates, I had first posted it to

My photos from seeing the Christo Gates in Central Park, are in part, posted to Flickr (ShannonClark).

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First Look: Ubergroups: Corante > Get Real >

Posted by shannonclark on February 11, 2005

First Look: Ubergroups: Corante > Get Real >

Looks like an application worthy of serious attention and consideration. I’ve also started looking at Grouper but that is more personal, less business team orientated.

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Going to be launching a podcast of sorts

Posted by shannonclark on February 6, 2005

So it looks like it will happen, though the details are still being worked out. Sometime later this month I will launch a podcast, probably distributed via ITConversations.

Most likely though I may be on some of the podcasts, my role will be more of a producer than the actual “on air” talent.

Instead, working with a wide network of people, I hope to bring together well informed and interesting interviews and discussions with people who are working on shaping the new political agenda for the 21st century. With my own personal leanings being what they are, this will definitely be from a generally centrist point of view – but I hope to include and hear from people on the left and the right (and who don’t easily fit either label).

Much of this will probably be informed by Hope Street Group however it may be done in partnership with some other organizations as well.

My personal goals for this are multifold – in large part it is to hear these conversations, to learn from the leaders and thinkers who will, I hope, be shaping the political future of the country (and thus to a degree the world) in the near future. As well, I hope that by making long form interviews with them available, but in chunks that are digestible, easy to listen to and “useful” to listen to, that we will also help attract new people to great ideas and movements.

This is not the business world where sharing an idea may risk it – indeed, in this world, I hope the most successful ideas can and are those which get widely shared, which become a framing part of the conversation – the common way people think about and choose around a specific issue.

The “right” in this country has for the past decade or so especially had relatively clear and well defined framing ideas. Though the Republican party itself is, perhaps, divided into separate camps (roughly those who have economic loyalty to the Republicans and those who have social agenda loyalty) in contrast the Democrats have frequently be defined by the negative “we’re not them” and a wide range of specific issues, less overall framing ideas and visions. The center (where I put myself) gets pulled by both parties, but also hold fundemental disagreements with each – for myself on social issues (and increasingly some financial ones) with Republicans, some international relations, trade, and generally labor issues with the Democrats.

So in the podcast, which will need a “catchy” name, I hope to bring together voices that at present may only be known by a small set of “insiders” and expose them – give them a forum to present their views and policies but also constrain them, this is not to be a sound bite, 30 seconds or less, but neither is it to be a lecture. Rather it is to be less than 30 minutes perhaps even as short as 15 minutes. If the ideas and issues are truly complex and rich (and interesting) then I may look at breaking up an interview into multiple parts. The main framing “idea” is to provide digestible feeds of voices around the framing of public policy in new and innovative ways – but in ways that can (and we hope will) be heard and listended to.

Supporting the podcast will, I hope, be papers, policy positions, blog(s), discussions, and many other things – all leading from conversation to ideas to discussion to we hope implementation.

If you read this and have suggestions for me (really us), please comment here or share them with me privately.

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Introducing Y!Q BETA

Posted by shannonclark on February 3, 2005

Introducing Y!Q BETA

New search tool from Yahoo! I’m going to try playing with it in the next few weeks, basically it allows very rich contextual search – very cool and a significent step forward in useability and utility of search.

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