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Wrapping Up My 2019 New York Gallivant
NYC photos
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Here I sit about to check out of the hotel, thus ending my 2019 gallivant to New York.

Link to Google Photo Gallery

Nothing too exciting happened on this run. As seems to always be the case, my pleasure seems to come mostly from time spent in the very fabric of this cosmopolitan place. I'm pretty much unworthy of 'cosmopolitan' status myself but I still like floating among people who are. Maybe I live vicariously by placing myself in such a direct position.

The gallery link above is a slight pictorial (I needed to take more pictures, but didn't) with captions for each pic.

Is the De-Monetization of Breaking News At Hand?
openness groundnews livestreaming
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I'm jaunting around New York this weekend which gives me the opportunity to try out the Citizen App. It's an app that facilitates the ability of everyday people to transmit news of accidents, fires, and, more to the talent of Citizen App, the more granular things such as 'guy passed out on sidewalk'.

People could already do this on Facebook or Twitter, as examples, but the Citizen App brings all the tools into a focused single stream of people who both care as individuals around such events, and who also have the impulse to act as informing broadcaster. It's like Next Door but much more fluid and designed to be 'ready at the hand'.

The app allows you to broadcast immediately from the scene of an event, as does Periscope or Facebook or Instagram Live generally, which seems to challenge the monetization process typically associated to the acquisition and distribution of exclusive breaking news type events.

If everyone is broadcasting what would otherwise have taken a for-profit news team or an independent, paid, stringer might have, then what is the value of a for-profit news team or the would-be 'night crawlers' who make a living selling footage to TV stations and the like?

In the video I am posting here you can hear that the Citizen App broadcaster is approached by someone who mildly castigates him for broadcasting without the intent to make money. The male voice apparently gives the broadcaster his contact card and reminds the broadcaster that he isn't making any money using Citizen App.

The Ugly Truth About Blogging Today
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People have long stopped writing about what blogging or personal web pages should exist as in the age of social media today. But that doesn't stop my incessant contemplation or regurgitation on the topic, particularly since I wasn't as attuned as professional bloggers were during the transition period for me to be making running commentary. Mostly, if you were to be checking in on my blog or social media content during the implosion of the craft you saw a lot of pouting and angst -- but not much real analysis.

Today though I find myself asking whether or not I would coach someone to blog or to stick to missives and one-shot picture blasts on Instagram, should they have an impulse to share online at all (I say that because of my suspicion that the rise of the quieter and more private interpersonal web is now at hand -- social media is now about to go away, too).

The problem is that the default blogging concept -- or at least the one circa circa 2000 -- of logging regular updates about yourself and your life has ceded to social media techniques where the ever gratifying exposure and 'reaction action' is. It is easier and more efficient to post bits and pieces of yourself to a news feed that coalesces with the bits and pieces of others doing the same thing than it is to maintain the overhead of a blog. Unless you have a spectacular perspective or skill, nobody is going to take the effort to click out of a news feed to find and engage your random thoughts.

I know that the form itself is superior as topic matter becomes more exclusive and richer. But most people, it turns out, are basically living lives at an uninteresting baseline that doesn't justify blogging at a cadence greater than tweeting. It might 'work' for people who do not require the fuel of exposure or the engagement of audience and who may even thrive off the public solitude. But for the most part if you're still posting things to Facebook, you're for all intent and purposes blogging already, and likely quite happily.

Wilkes-Barre is Player in Hyperloop Study
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It looks like Wilkes-Barre and Scranton are areas of focus for a proposed state hyperloop system.

In the years since Wilkes-Bare Rail began publishing I have since folded into the scope of possible outcomes for Luzerne County the concept of a hyperloop.

A hyperloop system is a thus far hypothetical transportation system that imagines people pushed through tunnels engineered to take advantage of an artificially created space vacuum and a magnetized lift to host what is sometimes portrayed as pods, platoons of pods, or full train car networks.

These network tunnels, at today's experimental pace, have been depicted as above-ground or below-ground subway tubes.

I'm still doing the Google to see just how far this technology has evolved, but so far as I know at present it is all pretty speculative as a transportation mode. There are plenty of folks who believe hyperloop systems distract from actually feasible projects such as high speed rail or optimized conventional rail. This video bundles a pessimistic future for both the logistical and economic future of hyperloops.

Even so, it is promising enough that the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission is putting $2 million to the question. And again, that is a figure that explicitly includes Wilkes-Barre verbiage.

From the linked article, the study will be conducted by AECOM Technical Services Inc., which built Elon Musk’s hyperloop test track in 2016.

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