Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Off the beaten path of politics

By Carol Gee

Today's post meanders along the path of the unusual, steering away from serious politics. From the ridiculous to the sublime, and points in between, it peers into the murky forest.

"Digital Drugs: New Worry For Parents?* Reports of Sounds With Drug-Like Effects Have Some Parents Spooked" -- OPINION by KIM KOMANDO -- Aug. 9, 2008. Take the time to read some of the comments following this story. They range from utter derision to reports of positive personal experiences by users. This is from ABC News. To quote:

. . . can music create the same effects as illegal drugs?

Some say that certain sounds, when played on headphones, can have a drug-like effect.
(Photodisc)This seems like a ridiculous question. But websites are targeting your children with so-called digital drugs. These are audio files designed to induce drug-like effects. All your child needs is a music player and headphones.

Understanding Binaural Beats -- There are different slang terms for digital drugs. They're often called "idozers" or "idosers." All rely on the concept of binaural beats. It is incorrect to call binaural beats music. They're really ambient sounds designed to affect your brain waves.

. . . Dr. Nicholas Theodore, a brain surgeon at Barrow Neurological Institute in Phoenix, said there is no real evidence that idosers work. But he noted that musical preference is indicative of emotional vulnerability. Trying idosers could indicate a willingness to experiment with drugs and other dangerous behavior.

Theodore added that idosers are another reason to monitor kids' Internet usage. And, he said, kids need frank talks with their parents about correct choices.

"I suspect this 'Pied Piper' phenomenon will pass rapidly and quietly," he said.

These tiny morsels need very little explanation:

  • "Teach Your Children Well." Blog friend "betmo" who asks, "weeping jesus is nothing sacred?" It's from Media Needle. To quote:
    Parker Brothers replaces Monopoly money with Visa brand Debit card systems.

  • Top 9 best new drugs*: One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small. Take one, take them all!" By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist, Friday, August 8, 2008

  • This link is from my friend Jon: "This video made me laugh -- you should watch it: Funny or Die about "a new ad for the Republican party."
  • The dilemma for the Internet is how to make money, so ISP companies decided to advertise. And then they decided to get together. The idea of media consolidation must extend to the digital world, if it is to be realistic. And consolidation is not usually good news for consumers. It often limits access to information, drives up prices and can threaten privacy. The perfect example follows -: Google, Yahoo partially disclose terms of ad pact"* from The Raw Story/Reuters, Saturday August 9, 2008. To quote:

    Google Inc and Yahoo Inc released on Friday excerpts of a pact covering their search advertising partnership that keeps secret financial terms and the extent of other ties between the two.

    . . . Critics say the deal threatens competition for advertising that runs alongside Web searches. Congressional leaders have conducted hearings to investigate what impact the partnership could have on the Internet market. The agreement covers the United States and Canada, but not other international markets.

    . . . But the contract is heavily redacted in an area that covers "other business opportunities" and is silent about how the sharing of user data between the partners could affect the privacy of Yahoo users.

    HT to betmo for all of the *links.

    (Cross-posted at South by Southwest.)

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