Video: “Plane crashed a few blocks from my house. I filmed it.” – Boing Boing

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In our classroom talks about producer/consumer relationships, top down/bottom up media, and unedited releases, there are lots of issues with that lack of editing. For example, here, on one of my favorite blogs, boingboing, there is was a video posted of the Buffalo plane crash to YouTube. There is something to be said for the timestamp of the upload, which is approximately the same time that the major networks broke the news, which brings into question the power of the networks to report any faster than, well, you. However, the other thing that rises very quickly to the forefront is whether an editor (a traditional editor who is afraid of lawsuits, loss of readership, etc.) would post the same video. There are some critiques of this blog for doing just that in the discussion after the video, which is no longer available, because youtube removed it.

Isn’t boingboing supposed to the directory of wonderful things? What’s so wonderful about posting videos of plane crashes? And I’m not even going into the ethics/motivation of doing this either. After all, there is nothing to be learned/understood by watching or posting this video. Just some shaky footage.

via Video: “Plane crashed a few blocks from my house. I filmed it.” – Boing Boing.

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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Seal of the United States Equal Employment Opp...
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Dr. Ebo asked us to give two specific examples of discriminatory practice related to the following types, using the EEOC web site as a guide.

Age: An employer who chooses one employee over another equally qualified employee for a job based on their age would be in violation of discrimination laws. If an employee decided to reduce benefits to an employee based on the idea that advanced age was causing more frequent insurance claims, they would be in violation of discrimination laws.

Disability: An employer who decided to fire a secretary who was recently diagnosed with legal blindness, but who was still able to perform basic job duties would be in violation. An employer who refused to install a ramp for an employee who became wheelchair ridden in a car accident would likely be in violation, if the install of the ramp was an affordable expense to the business and would not bring undue hardship. Disability Discrimination

Equal Compensation: Two persons doing the same job who are of equal skills, effort, and responsibility, etc. but who were given different pay or benefits would put the employer in violation. If an older construction worker and a younger construction worker both do a similar job, but the employer sees the older employee as an insurance risk for that reason alone, they can not simply reduce benefits based upon that belief. Equal Pay and Compensation Discrimination

National Origin: If an employer hires one person over another because both they and the new employee were both of German descent, the employer would be in violation. If an employer set an employee of a particular national origin to a task that they felt matched some national association with that task (a Chinese American to do an accountancy task, for example, playing on the stereotype) they would be in violation. National Origin Discrimination

Pregnancy: An employer who discovers that a suitable candidate for employment is pregnant can not dismiss her from consideration based on the fact that she’s pregnant. If an employer typically allows an employee to enjoy a benefit whle on leave, they must provide the same benefit to an employee who is away because of a pregnancy.   Pregnancy Discrimination

Race: An employer must not give preferential treatment or a difference of responsibility, etc., based on racial differences. If a boss were to choose a caucasian worker over a hispanic worker to manage a project because they believe that caucasians are more responsible than other races, they would be in violation.  Race-Based Discrimination

Religion: If a employer were to choose a Christian over an atheist for a job because they felt the job required a moral compass and the atheist would be less likely to be morally complete, they would be in violation. If a Christian employer were to only ever promote people who noticeably prayed they would be in violation. Religious Discrimination

Retaliation: An employer who demotes an employee as retaliation for reporting a discrimination violation is in violation for this alone. Threatening an employee who reports a violation of discrimination laws is also prohibited. Retaliation

Sex: An employer who insists upon sexual favors from an employee is in violation. An employer who maintains a hostile work environment due to sexual overtones in the workplace is in violation.  Sex-Based Discrimination

Sexual Harassment: A worker who is subjected to overtly sexual conversations of co-workers because of the allowances of the employer puts the employer in violation of sexual harassment rules. A co worker who commits sexual advances, asks for sexual favors, or promotes a sexually based hostile work environment for others is in violation.  Sexual Harassment

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Once Again, The AP Tries To Redefine Fair Use; Goes After Shepard Fairey For Obama Poster


One of the things about convergence and the ability for unedited, unfiltered (by traditional means) creativity, is that the long standing power bases, editors and filters will feel threatened, and indeed may be threatened by the new found power of the new bottom up creators. Case in point is the Associated Press’ attack on Shepard Fairey’s iconic image based on an AP image of Barack Obama, and the idea that due to transformation, the new image may be considered original, and the originator of the AP image may just have to realize that good starts are just that, and that collective intelligence applies to images too.

The Associated Press is on the wrong of a fair use argument again. It is actually going after artist Shepard Fairey for his iconic Obama poster, which it recently discovered was based on an AP news photograph by Mannie Garcia. The poster is clearly based on that photograph (see comparison at left), but this is exactly the kind of use of copyrighted works that is meant to be protected.

The poster is art. The image it is based on has been sufficiently transformed that even the AP did not know it owned the copyright to the underlying work until a few weeks ago. And Fairey says he hasn’t made any money from the poster, although others have. You can buy the image on posters, stickers, coffee mugs and T-Shirts, and copies of the poster signed by Fairey sell for thousands of dollars. Still, the AP is wants money from Fairey.

via Once Again, The AP Tries To Redefine Fair Use; Goes After Shepard Fairey For Obama Poster.

ABC News: Obama Admits Embarrassing Day for Administration


One of the great things about this administration, so far, is the transparency, willingness to admit when something’s wrong, and the effort to communicate, then move to correct. It shows an element of leadership that is often overlooked, and seldom practiced: humility. It is also a macro example of how we can act in our own lives.

“Anytime one of your nominees pulls out, that’s an issue and, you know, as I’ve said publicly, you know, ultimately, I take responsibility for the situation that we’re in,” Obama said in an interview today in the Oval Office with ABC News’ Charles Gibson, referring to Tom Daschle. “I think that all of these were honest mistakes, but ultimately, there’s no excuse for them.”

via ABC News: Obama Admits Embarrassing Day for Administration.

Presentation: The Interpretive Model


Google Docs presentation on the Interpretive Model, by John LeMasney

Journal Entry: Mediation Chapter 7


This chapter reminds us that mediation is more than simply staying out of court. It talks about the ways in which we individually and collectively and societally perceive conflict. We can see it as a form of war, in which there are winners, losers, and prisoners, or we can see it as opportunity, or as noted in the text, as a dance.

Notably, the concepts presented in Chapter 4 of New Directions on the Interpretive model are introduced here as well. The interpretive model shows three ways in which reality might be perceived in relation to conflict: Moral reality, in which our sense of right and wrong determine the more correct solution, Conflict Reality, in which we determine what conflict is and how it should be handled (e.g. war or dance) and Justice Reality, in which we determine what is the most just outcome, such as Solomon’s division of the baby might suggest.

Personal experiential influence:

Finally, there is a suggestion in an exercise to develop our own metaphor for mediation, which I personally found to be a very useful exercise. My metaphor was mediation as steam engine.

Pressure is building due to the combustion of conflicting sides, and without the strong structure of mediation holding the path of the energy, the engine itself could burst. The productive outcome is the work being done by the engine, though the engine itself could be used to do many different kinds of work: solving property disputes, improving work relations, devising innovative outcomes, etc. The fuel for the engine is the willingness and trust of the participants. The steam that is building could be released and scald someone, or it could continue through the strong guide of the engine and be productive. The edges of the engine are not fire, not steam, not fuel, not the work itself, but are essential for those other elements to work together to be productive.

Domenici, K., Domenici-Littlejohn, & Littlejohn, S. W. (2001). Mediation: Empowerment in Conflict Management, Second Edition (2nd ed., p. 198). Waveland Press.

Journal Entry: New Directions Chapter 4


This chapter talks about the realities that mediators and disputants bring with them into mediation, and how those realities, if not noted, can create misunderstandings in the way that the mediation progress, or lack thereof, is interpreted.

The bulk of the chapter is devoted to explaining the Interpretive Model, in which Littlejohn, Shailor, and Pearce found in their research that one’s sense of reality as it relates to conflict can be classified in many ways, but can be generally classified starting with three main groups of differences:

Moral reality, in which one’s general sense of right and wrong are defined. This can be further classified into groups such as authoritarian, republican, utilitarian and expressivist. These are more or less individualist vs. relational views, and rely more or less on liberty and freedom vs. predetermined rules and ‘scripture’.

Conflict Reality, or the ways in which one reacts and works with (or avoids) conflict. One may be more likely to see conflict as either opportunity or war, and will react to that feeling appropriately. People may also feel more or less comfortable with dealing with conflict themselves vs. having the conflict resolved for them. We can see how mediation favors and benefits those who see conflict as opportunity and resist adjudicated solutions, preferring a more relational approach.

Justice Reality, in which one’s understanding of the ways in which balance is achieved between conflicted parties. One may see justice as being served more by punishment, while another may see justice being served more by distribution of benefits, while someone else may see justice best served when ‘the whole’ is most rewarded.

The benefits of these analysis models are that we can either predict or review problems in mediation processes where unexpected results are encountered. If two disputants seem poised to find resolution, but suddenly drop backwards in progress over key statements, those statements could be investigated as different representations of reality, which could then possibly be brought more into alignment by way of reframing, restating, or other exercises in bringing about commonality between parties’ realities.

Littlejohn, S. W., Shailor, J., & Pearce, W. B. (1994). The Deep Structure of Reality in Mediation. In J. P. Folger & T. S. Jones (Eds.), New Directions in Mediation: Communication Research and Perspectives (pp. 67-83). Sage Publications, Inc.

Personal experiential influence:

I chose to focus on the Interpretive Model for my discussion presentation because it seemed interesting to me that we could specify some key ways in which we differ that might affect our handling of conflict. I think I have felt that conflict is generally inevitable and that if we care about something that we are in conflict about we have to work through the conflict in order to achieve our goals. When something is less important, we simply keep our mouths closed in order to avoid the conflict. That in fact, is my conflict reality pretty well defined. I have a personal conflict engagement continuum where I assess the level of importance of the goal, and assign to it my own level of willingness to participate in conflict about it. I had no idea anyone ever considered conflict any differently. I think myself I tend towards a conflict management perspective, in general, and would like to think that I prefer the consensus sub model, in which conflict exists as “a difference of opinion on alternate solutions, which is settled by discussion and creative problem solving” (Littlejohn, Shailor, and Pearce, 1994, p. 71). The issue that I encountered here explains quite a bit – when I ran into a conflict with someone and the outcome was very important to me, I ran towards it, and though i perceived the issue to be of great importance to the other party, they sometimes decided to simply let things be rather than to engage in the conflict in order to come to a better solution that just the status quo. The Interpretive Model explains that in our Conflict Reality, as well as possibly with other realities, we were mismatched as disputants. Perhaps they preferred a libertarian or conflict avoidance Conflict reality, and we would have to work on the conditions of the stage of the conflict before we would be able to engage it, if at all.