NPR logo The Countdown: Days 27 + 26 : Information Overload

From Farai

The Countdown: Days 27 + 26 : Information Overload

My e-mail box is more popular than a celebrity-owned nightclub. Everyone and their grandmother is hitting me up with articles and exhortations about the election.

Information forwarded by e-mail cannot be tracked in the same way an online article can. You can use counters to say how many people have gone to look at a certain article online, and how long they stayed. But when people cut and paste information into e-mails, it's hard to know how many people have seen what and what was forwarded to whom and how many people cut and pasted the whole thing or just snippets. Whew.

An Emmy-award-winning techie friend of mine, Richard Cardran, introduced me to the concept of a folksonomy. A taxonomy is a clearly regulated and delineated system of hierarchical organization, like genus and species. A folksonomy is when individuals use metatags or other ways of marking Web pages and other content online, and then people follow those trails. (Read more here.) I'm interested in how email trails fit into folksonomy.

Anyway, here, in no particular order, are stories that have been e-mailed to me by news organizations, friends, etc.

(I am making this count for two days because I was information overloaded, of course.)

Biden Calls Latest Attacks On Obama Dangerous


At an event yesterday in Bethlehem, Pa., McCain's remarks about Obama were peppered with shouts of "socialist"; "terrorist"; and "liar."

"We've all heard what he's said," McCain said of Obama. "But it's less clear what he's done, or what he will do."

"No-bama! No-bama!" the crowd chanted in reply.

We had Earl Ofarai Hutchinson on today to talk about his column, "Why Eight Million (or More) African-Americans Are Unregistered":

According to Census figures there were 28 million African-American adults aged 18 or over in 2006. In the 2004 presidential election they made up 12 percent of the voters, or about 13 million voters. That means an estimated 15 million voting age blacks did not vote. The ban on ex felon voting in 15 states further ramps up the number of ineligible blacks. 40 percent of ex-felons banned from the polls are black males. They make up another three million potential black voters. That means an estimated 12 million African-American adults who are either officially barred from voting or decline to vote.

The reason that so many blacks don't vote is chalked up to apathy, laziness, ignorance and cynicism toward politicians. By not voting, the critics say, they betray the struggle and sacrifice of those who fought and in some cases died for the right of blacks to vote. This guilt laden reprimand is much too simplistic.

And from the "is is sourced enough?" column: the liberal superblog Daily Kos is reverbing a story, which says beggar-bankers Wachovia are hurting for cash, yet lending it to the National Republican Committee.

Wachovia Corp., a once-thriving financial giant now teetering on the brink of collapse, confirmed today that it was extending an $8 million loan to the cash-strapped National Republican Congressional Committee for last-minute activites to support GOP House candidates.

Wachovia's decision to lend money to the NRCC — itself reeling from a damaging financial scandal earlier this year — is sure to draw charges of favoritism, as Wachovia denies credit and freezes assets for thousands of other customers.

Allegations of favoritism are especially delicate for Wachovia, given the company's disproportionate support of Republican campaigns and organizations.

We'll see if this one gets more investigation and confirmation.