March 7th, 2007


But I Am Loved in China

The Chinese government began blocking access to the popular blogging site LiveJournal on Friday, cutting off its citizens from the roughly 1.8 million blogs the service hosts.

SixApart, the company behind LiveJournal, says there are 8,692 self-reported Chinese bloggers on the site, a number that's likely low since it's based on information volunteered in user profiles.

LiveJournal announced the block Monday. Ginger Tulley, director of worldwide strategy and analysis for Six Apart, says the company isn't certain when the censorship began. But the site, which tests connectivity to popular websites from within China, first spotted the block Friday.

I really have to start reading that livejournal support blog again.

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Jean Baudrillard

This, however, is quite sad to read:

French philosopher Jean Baudrillard, a social theorist known for his provocative commentaries on consumerism, excess and what he said was the disappearance of reality, died Tuesday, his publishing house said. He was 77.

Baudrillard died at his home in Paris, said Michel Delorme of the Galilee publishing house. He died after a "long illness," Delorme said, a term that in France most often means cancer.


Baudrillard, a sociologist by training, is perhaps best known for his concepts of "hyperreality" and "simulation."

"We lose a great creator," Education Minister Gilles de Robien said. "Jean Baudrillard was one of the great figures of French sociological thought."

I always liked Baudrillard. After reading Simulacra and Simulation I became very annoying for about a week. Like the best French theorists, he was wild in thought, and frustrating for the sake of clarity at times, and though I'd fallen off reading his stuff in the last four or five years--he never related to the work I was doing--I've always meant to go back and read what I missed.

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Black Sheep, Update.

Sean Wallace (oldcharliebrown) said to me, "We're done. To the printer!"

Well, okay, maybe he didn't say the final bit, al la Adam West's Batman, but the point remains: I went through the proof yesterday, admired the work of copy editors, made a few notes, and with the miracle of time differences, learnt that everything was ready by the time I'd woken up. So, yes, Black Sheep will be appearing soon, and yes, I do apologise for the whole delay and delay thing, especially if you pre-ordered it.

If you want to get any interviews or anything for the book, please contact me at the benpeek at If you want a review copy and you're not on Wallace's regular list, hassle him.
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