That’s what frustrates me so much about “Last Week Tonight”: its lack of follow-through. Oliver’s video essays are made with so much sustained wit, verve and insight that they almost incite viewers to action…almost. Instead, in just about every case, these impassioned arguments stop short of providing a productive outlet for the justifiable outrage that viewers are made to feel.
-Khoi Vinh, “What to Do After You’ve Watched John Oliver”, Subtraction.com
I feel the exact same way as Khoi on this subject. I wanted to link to his article specifically because it was so poignantly relevant to me; after watching the NCAA coverage on Last Week Tonight, I seriously thought about not watching the NCAA basketball games that would complete the tournament. I ended up watching those games, but the fact that I felt moved to do something by Oliver’s coverage but had no idea what to do seemed… wrong.
Cue the Edward Snowden interview and I am left wanting yet again for an outlet to channel my sudden angst. Thankfully, and unlike many of Oliver’s shows, the Snowden interview had such a large impact on the public perception that a number of websites and blogs have covered what to do next, which is exactly the types of information I want to be known for sharing on this site.
Daring Fireball’s John Gruber linked to this site to help fight section 215 of the Patriot Act from being renewed and a number of people have linked to this site, eloquently entitled “Can They See My Dick?”, which links to a number of resources to help people understand why the government has direct access to their personal sexting images. From that site:
As John Oliver so eloquently explained to Edward Snowden during his interview of him for his Last Week Tonight episode on Government Surveillance, the ability of the government to see people’s dick pictures is the most visible line in the sand for people when it comes to surveillance overreach.
The fact that “dick pictures” are the thing with which people take the most issue is disconcerting and unfortunate, but it still gets the point across. The government currently has carte blanche to dig into our personal information with very little oversight or explanation. We should all be working to curb that enthusiasm.
Did the Internet community peak at bookmarks? Asked in a different and perhaps more complete way: just as technologies like RSS and email in their purest forms are hard to beat even as technology marches forward, what better technology exists to keep track of information on the ever-expanding Internet than bookmarks? Taken a step further, what better way to share the bookmarked information than a site of your own? As such, I‘ve been reading, which is why I write now.
Working in and having a passion for libraries, I am struck by the fact that the way bookmarks work in the physical world is not directly analogous to bookmarks in the digital world. Bookmarks in the digital world are instead like dog-eared pages or highlighted passages; if you think of the Internet as a single tome, that is. In any case, anything that moves you to deface a book should probably be shared or become immortalized in some other way than just a reference for a future version of yourself.