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Andrew Tyndall Interview Now Posted


The Echo Chamber Project interview with Andrew Tyndall is now posted here.


If there is anyone who can comprehensively characterize the television news leading up to the war, then it's Andrew Tyndall.

Echo Chamber Documentary Interviews

Tyndall has been monitoring the three major nightly newscasts for over 17 years for his organziation called Tyndall Report. And his observations are definitely worth paying attention to.

I can't say whether or not the data support 100% of his conclusions, but I can say that he has made the most accurate characterizations than anyone else that I interviewed -- just from comparing my own analysis and conclusions from this pre-war time period.

I have a feeling that there will be a lot of excerpts from this interview in the final film.

Here is one of the many interesting and unique points that Tyndall makes:

There's two ways to look at how the military correspondents -- the Pentagon correspondents covered the war. One is to say that they weren't treating the debate over going to war seriously -- in other words, they were treating the war as an inevitability. Second way to look at is they were accurately treating the war as an inevitability, in that they'd talked to people in the Pentagon, and they knew that knew the diplomacy was irrelevant, and that the war was going to happen whatever happened at the United Nations. So they were either incredibly honest with us, telling us, "There's no point in worrying about the diplomacy. The only thing that matters is the military." Or they were incredibly dismissive of us, in that they said, "What you think or say or do doesn't make any difference at all, because the decision's been made for you on your behalf."

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Jonthan Landay Interview Now Posted

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The Echo Chamber Project interview with Jonathan Landay is now posted here.

Jonathan Landay

The Knight Ridder team of Landay, Warren Strobel and John Walcott have continued to scoop major news organizations in investigating the intelligence surrounding the war in Iraq.

Here's a compilation of their stories. And this blog post provides a timeline on the pre-war reporting on the doubts surrounding whether the Aluminum Tubes could be used for uranium enrichment (i.e. nuclear weapons development).

Jim Lobe, the Washington Bureau chief for Inter Press Service, describes how the mainstream media could have performed during the build-up to the war in Iraq:

The media had a lot of options as to how it was going to cover the run-up to what was almost certainly going to be a war. And they could have done as Knight Ridder did, which was really putting a lot of investigative resources and good people into finding out what was going on behind the scenes -- Why were we going to war? What was the root of all of this? What was going on in the Pentagon in terms of doing the strangest things with intelligence? What was outside of kind of accepted rules of institutional behavior that made this so extraordinary? Or they could decide, as most of the media did, that they would really get involved in kind of the mechanics of war preparation -- Embedding their journalists into parts of the Army that would then be involved in the invasion. And obviously the latter was the easier course.

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BBC Article Has a Picture of Me on OurMedia

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There is an article on the BBC website today called, "Citizens do media for themselves" that features a screenshot of with my picture on it.

BBC OurMedia Screenshot

The article doesn't explictly mention me or The Echo Chamber Project -- it was written before my first vlog episode was featured on the front page.

The caption reads, "Ourmedia members are encouraged to be creative"

I discovered this from vlogging pioneer Steve Garfield who wrote to me saying, "the picture in this story makes you look creative."


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Progress on Phase 01

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Part of my Phase 01 vision for this project was to have a way to collect feedback from volunteers on the different interview sound bites.

I've been able to successfully upload all of the sound bites from the Bill Plante interview into Drupal.
You can check it out here:

At the moment, only I'm able to add folksonomy tags to these sound bites, but I'm looking at ways for volunteers to tag these sound bites as well. Currently, there isn't an existing solution, and I'm asking around it anyone has some good ideas.

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ECP Featured on OurMedia's Front Page!

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I just discovered that the first Echo Chamber vlog made it up onto the front page of! This is great news, and will provide some great exposure for the project. Front Page!

This is great timing as I just start to promote the project beyond the New Media blogosphere.

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10 Interviews at Conference on Consciousness


I've been back from a Conference on Consciousness and Healing put on by the Institute of Noetic Sciences for a few days now, but my Internet has been down again preventing me from making too many updates.

My wife and I attended the conference for our personal and professional interests, and I was able to conduct 10 brief stand-up interviews with consciousness researchers, quantum physicists, human rights advocates, Worldview & Values researchers, and leaders from the Complementary & Alternative Medicine movement.

What insights did I gain?

Well, there are actually a lot of parallels between the conflicts between Objective Mainstream Media vs. Subjective Blogs / New Media Technologies and between Objective Mainstream Medicine vs. Subjective Mind-Body Healing techniques.

The conference participants provided a lot of insight for the importance of holistic thinking, being inclusive of many different perspectives, how subjectivity and worldviews filter perception, and the importance of how community and collaboration can be facilitated through relationships and conversation.

I got a lot of great sound bites to flesh some of these ideas out, and I plan on introducing some of the concepts in my videoblog in order to start spreading some of these ideas to a wider audience. I intend for this to help build community and momentum around this project to develop the tools for collaborative citizen videojournalism that makes it both viable and scalable.

Below is a list of the people that I interviewed at the Consciousness & Healing Conference

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Tag Cloud Development Update

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I'm happy to report that my tag cloud font distribution algorithms were able to catch the eye of Bèr Kessels -- the author of the tagadelic module -- he passed word to Steven Wittens who is helping implement logarithmic thresholding into the tagadelic module.

I chatted with Kessels and Wittens on the #drupal IRC channel this afternoon, and found out that personalized tag clouds are also on Kessels' development track. I'm still pushing group tag clouds created from different user profile identities (i.e. creating tag clouds for the tags from anti-war and pro-war identified users). More details in the 2nd & 3rd flowcharts here.

Wittens also reported that he's implementing a one-line tag cloud query in MySQL:

SELECT COUNT(*) AS count, d.tid, FROM term_data d INNER JOIN term_node n ON d.tid = n.tid WHERE d.vid = 1 GROUP BY d.tid, ORDER BY count DESC LIMIT 60

I don't even know the syntax of MySQL yet or fully understand this. But I thought I'd share it here in case any one else might be interested.

UPDATE: Wittens responded below that he just committed the latest tagadelic version here. Here's ECP's tagadelic tagcloud

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New Computer Arrived


My new Macintosh was delivered today!

As I mentioned yesterday:

I had to purchase a faster Macintosh with more RAM and a better video card, and it should be arriving tomorrow. The straw that broke the camel's back was that my current machine doesn't have enough hardware to run Final Cut Pro 5.0. And even if I just upgraded that hardware, my computer doesn't have a fast enough processor to run Motion 2.0 -- which can create a lot more dynamic and animated graphics.

So I'm excited to get my new hardware up and running so that I can start figuring the details for interfacing Final Cut Pro's XML capabilities with Drupal for collaborative editing.

I'm also excited to start getting some audio and video out there.

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Echo Chamber Project Vlog & Podcast Coming Soon

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Videoblogging pioneer Chuck Olsen announces (via The Last Minute) that the new iTunes 4.9 features the capability to watch videoblogs (vlogcasts) along well as podcasts. What does this mean? Olsen says, "it could change everything and introduce videoblogs to the masses."

The word on the street seems to be that this iTunes feature doesn't have nearly as much functionality as the FireANT software where users can subscribe to vlog RSS feeds and have it automatically download videos.

But this latest development fits with the proliferation of personalized video and audio online that was identified by many of the New Media leaders that I interviewed at the Personal Democracy Forum. Vlogs and podcasts are going to be a lot more prevalent over the next 5-10 years, and culture is no longer going to come strictly from the centralized mass media.

So it's time to jump on the bandwagon and start using vlogs and podcasts to collaboratively produce my documentary on the failures of the mainstream media. I might as well be one of the early adopters of these new media technologies.

I had to purchase a faster Macintosh with more RAM and a better video card, and it should be arriving tomorrow. The straw that broke the camel's back was that my current machine doesn't have enough hardware to run Final Cut Pro 5.0. And even if I just upgraded that hardware, my computer doesn't have a fast enough processor to run Motion 2.0 -- which can create a lot more dynamic and animated graphics.

So I after I get more of my Phase01 development mapped out, then expect to see some Echo Chamber Project podcasts and vlogcasts coming within the next month or so.

UPDATE: Testing out my Vlog Feedburner Feed:

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Internet Troubles

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I've been having all sorts of things go wrong with the Internet and this website this week.

My DSL connection has also been going off and all week, and I have a pending trouble ticket with my service provider.

And if you've tried to visit this site within the last day and couldn't, it's because there was something that went wrong with my Drupal settings after my system administrator upgraded the server with new software. I'm not sure what exactly went wrong since everything that happened to get it fixed was behind the scenes between my system administrator and my Drupal-guru Moshe Weitzman.

Many thanks goes out to Weitzman who helped get this site back online by installing the latest version of Drupal HEAD and fixing a bug.

This Drupal upgrade means that I now have some of the latest and greatest features like AJAX support for free-tagging (i.e. drop down menus containing a list of similar folksonomy tags already used). However, being on the cutting edge also means that there is less stability in other features.

We'll see how it goes.

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