Hyperempowerment? Really?

In a recent issue of the Edge newsletter, I came across the transcript of a speech delivered by “digital ethnologist” Mark Pesce at the 2008 Personal Democracy Forum, titled “Hyperpolitics (American style)” that presented some interesting ideas on how the current explosion of connectivity (or hyperconnectivity, as Pesce emphasizes) is impacting politics in general, and liberalism and democracy in particular.

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Hillside 2008 roundup

Went to Hillside last weekend for an awesome-as-always time, with great bands, delicious food, environmental awareness, and friends.

Among my favourite acts were:

  • The Burning Hell
    They’re from Peterborough and have a bunch of people from the Silverhearts! How could I not like them? Plus they’ve got weird lyrics about the moon being painted on, and dinosaurs.
  • Akron/Family
    These guys put on an amazing live show — definitely one of the best live performances I’ve seen in a long time, though I think I suffered some permanent ear drum damage standing next to the amps. Can’t get into their recorded music as much, though.
  • Jason Collet
    Also an amazing live act, with four or five guys on guitar rocking out some truly excellent jams
  • The Magic
    Some Guelph natives, these guys were one of my favourite discoveries, and I bought their EP (releasing an LP in the fall). Some great retro keyboards and songs slightly reminiscent of the New Deal, before I stopped liking them (see below).
  • Old Man Luedecke
    Got the CD of this Nova Scotia native a while ago, and was eager to hear him live, but only caught the end of his act (see below).
  • Ron Sexsmith
    Not on the list of performers, Sexsmith, who is one of my faves, was a special guest of Stuart McLean. I wanted more Ron and less Stewie.

The world’s dirtiest cities

There’s an interesting photo gallery at Popsci.com giving a brief overview of the 10 dirtiest cities on earth. While there are some no-brainers like Mexico City and Linfen, China, there are some surprise candidates too, like Milan and Pittsburgh, PA too.

I wonder if Peterborough, ON would make the top 10 list for Canada. Apparently our the air quality in my hometown is regularly worse than in Toronto, and I know for a fact that Little Lake, which sits in the heart of Peterborough, is at least one if not two orders of magnitude more PCB-contaminated than Lake Ontario.