“Grief in the Age of Facebook,” a Fascinating Article

A friend of mine passed along this article to me as my local church community recently experienced the death of a friend and some of our grieving was expressed via Facebook. Our friend did not have a Facebook profile himself, as the very popular girl in the article did, so we did not have that dynamic with which to interact. Also, even though I waited for a good while before breaking the news on Facebook, there were some people who did hear the news via Facebook or email. I am afraid that though that is unfortunate, as the medium does not feel weighty enough to bear or perhaps even deserve the carrying of such news, this is likely an unavoidable reality of our times, just like letters or newspapers or telegraphs or or telephones or radio or television were bearers of such news in other times.

If you notice the progression of media in the last sentence of the previous paragraph (save for newspapers), the technology allows broadcast to more and more people over time. Now the interesting thing with the Internet in general, and social networking media in particular, is that 1) not only the very famous now can have news of their death broadcast to many people (even though newspaper obits did this to some degree), but 2) that many of the people to whom it is broadcast can respond and their responses become part of the broadcast itself. Of course this dynamic is at the center of social media itself and, in and of itself, is not necessarily a bad thing. And yet with such personal thoughts broadcast so widely, it should give us such pause with how such communication shapes us and our collective life, yes even our way of being human in some ways.

This line of thinking is similar to an article I just wrote, but is more focused. Now, I am not a Luddite or tremendously old, but still I bring to electronic communication conventions and courtesies learned before its advent. I am very curious to know how new conventions and courtesies are developing amongst those who have always, so to speak, swum in this media. I certainly hope such courtesies do develop, and yet I suspect that any given persons development of these will be, as always, dependent on what they learned in that other little social network, their family, and yet even that network itself cannot help but be influenced by these new media and networks.

At any rate, before I philosophically wandered off, I was commending this article to you. It is a good one.

Back to Sadish…Correction, Mistylook!

Chaotic Soul provided nice contrast for the pictures, but this is much easier on the eyes (especially for reading text), serves the pictures well enough, and I believe is better for contests.

Spring/Summer haiku contest coming soon!! Start writing!

From Sadish to Chaotic Soul: A Change of Theme

Blogs are interesting entities. If one blogs often and puts some effort into it (whatever the content) they can seem quite substantial and slick, thanks to the efforts of folks who create these nifty themes. And, yet, they are still so ephemeral, as every blog entry, indeed every blog, is only a little mouse and keyword work away from emendation or complete deletion.

And, so, this post is to mark the first switch of theme since I came over to WordPress (though my first banner change went by unmarked), even if these transitions are largely important only to me.

However, I am quite excited about this transition, and, believe it or not, have been contemplating it for some time. If you are reading this on Facebook, come on over and check it out. The images are always sharper on the blog in any case.

The irony is that my first theme, Sadish (which was not actually “sad-ish” as I originally assumed but named after an Indian or Indian-American gentleman named “Sadish”) was rather white and bright and used during a time when I was probably anything but; not that I can do anything about being more or less white ;)

And now I am using the theme Chaotic Soul, which is dark and dim, when actually I am feeling relatively more positive about life just now and less low. My soul, though, as I guess is true for most, continues to be chaotic on a regular basis :) Ah, such metaphorical/symbolic analysis! We humans are such meaning constructing/seeking beasties, or at least this one is.

Nonetheless, the thing that I am most excited about with this change is that this theme does set off the photos so nicely. In a sense, with this dark, grey theme, I am copying brother Virgil who is a baby blogger; but only chronologically speaking, technologically and aesthetically he is doing fantastic work. Check out his work.

At any rate, if you care to, give a shout out and let me now what you think of The Dassler Effect with a Chaotic Soul.

Off the Beaten Pixel: Brother Virgil’s Got a Blog

Well, the pictures above and below are a Das originals, but not from this Das. My brother Virgil has recently begun posting in earnest and he has some lovely images. Check it out, and if you like what you see, give him a shout to keep up the good work.

Multiple Personalities No More, The Dassler Effects Unify

Well, having explored the issue for a friend about how to transfer blog entries from Moveable Type to WordPress about three weeks ago, I finally decided to transfer all of the entries from my old blog to this one. And as that blog had transferred all the entries from the previous Dassler Effect (this is all beginning to sound a little like “I am not the real Dread Pirate Roberts”), I believe I have represented here a complete record of my entire blogging life dating back to 2004. Yikes!

If you notice these things, as a consequence of this merger, the number of categories for my blog posts have more than trebled, I think. And there are some interesting ones, some unique to the older blog incarnations, some which I have carried over. It is all a bit untidy, but I don’t really have any immediate plans to do any housekeeping (perhaps in the Spring!).

The final result is that now the blog more accurately reflects my blog history, and my real life which it mirrors, even in the fact that the newer posts are, for better or worse, more personally reserved and professional.

And, finally, on a technical note, in many of the old blog entries things like apostrophe marks have been replaced with symbols. It is a bit annoying, but one can still read the content.

Housekeeping: Photo Contest Winding Down; New Haiku Contest

The Crim-Dassler “My Best Friend” photo contest is almost at its conclusion. Please visit the site, view the pictures, and vote if you have not already done so. The results come out this Thursday at midnight. So, make sure to revisit the blog then, though Friday morning will do just fine too :) Pencil it in. We have a breakfast date.

Also, the annual Dassler Effect “Autumn, Then Winter” haiku contest is now officially receiving entries, on, this, the first day of Autumn. Please read the contest rules and enter. Deadline: October 23rd. Results: November 6th. $80 in prize money). So, start writing.

Fighting Dasslers, R.I.P.

adidas puma

If you search the term “dassler” alone on Google, currently this blog does not show up until page 3. Primarily what you will get are sites having to do with the Dassler brothers of Germany, Adolph and Rudolph, who were the founders of Adidas and Puma, respectively.

What is most intriguing about their story, though, is that they started out together and then feuded, seemingly over politics, and went their separate ways. Not only that, though, but the entire little Bavarian town in which their companies were based took sides, to the point where people did not talk to one another and went to separate bars, etc. The capacity for human hearts to take offense and separate is amazing, though I need look no further than my own heart for evidence for that.

Now, though sadly the brothers died still feuding, the companies and the town are to be officially reconciled, as a part of Peace One Day. The day will culminate, most fittingly, with a game of soccer.

It’s My Birthday…Well Almost

And the “my” to which the title refers is not me, but rather The Dassler Effect itself.

Tomorrow, this iteration of The Dassler Effect will be exactly one year old. And I am very pleased to note that it has had a good run. Thank you, readers/viewers, so much.

The statistic that sticks out to me the most is the number of tags I have created. Perhaps that has something to do with being a librarian and wanting to classify things or from having been a “word” centered protestant thus far in life or simply because I just like words so much.

Whatever the reason, I am hoping that this blog will present more of my own words in the coming year as I would like to get back to writing a bit more. If you are here mostly for the photos, though, do not be dismayed. They will be here, too, along with contests (haiku and photo and who knows what else) which may feature your work as well!

blog 1

Oh, in truth, I, too, have a rather significant birthday coming up (groan!) but that will have to wait for another post.