Web links related to the Back of the Book program of July 30, 2007
A mid-Summer late night's radio program!
Did you know that I've got a brief synopsis of some of the WBAI LSB meetings? Well, I do. And I've updated them recently.
The July 14th, 2007, WBAI LSB meeting failed to achieve a quorum. But the didn't stop the faction currently in charge from making all sorts of motions and doing a lot of posturing.
The next LSB meeting will be on Monday, August 6, 2007, at 7:00 PM at 1199's Bread and Roses Art Gallery, Martin Luther King Jr. Labor Center, 310 West 43rd Street between 8th & 9th Avenues, in Manhattan. Trains: A, C, E to 42nd Street/Port Authority; 2, 3 to 42nd Street/Times Square and walk one block west to 8th Avenue. Location is wheelchair-accessible. Public participation is welcome.
WBAI has a program schedule up on its Web site. The site has gotten many of the individual program pages together to provide links and such, so check it out.
WBAI has an official Web stream of what's on the air at any time! You can go here and pick which type of stream you want! If this stream isn't working let me know. It was working all right at 9:27 PM (ET) last night.
The Pacifica Foundation, which owns WBAI, has something called the Pacifica Lounge where you can post messages about Pacifica, WBAI and other Pacifica radio stations. This may be a good thing, and of course there are other, long term fora in which to participate.
WBAI also has a forum on its Web site now. You have to register to post messages, but anyone may read the messages.
WBAI is archiving the programs! Just go here and you'll be able to listen to the program any time for the next couple of weeks. Unfortunately, Back of the Book is not one of the programs that you can download, you can only listen to it on line. But maybe someone will change that at some point. NOTE: The archives have not always been behaving properly of late. They have been fixed, but we can't guarantee their condition. If Back of the Book isn't archived this time I'll post an archive myself. Also note that they have been calling the Back of the Book archive the Carrier Wave archive. You should go by the date of the program until this gets rectified, or just listen to both programs in this time slot!
Okay, so we didn't end up getting through the backlog of mail on this program. Next time for sure!.
Pickles will be doing a number of science stories tonight, and I'll chime in too.
We read a story about how the game of checkers has been essentially solved by computer scientists. They've got a checkers playing program named Chinook that simply cannot be beat.
I recall people bragging some years ago about how checkers was more complex than chess because the then chess World Champion Garry kasparov had been defeated in a match by a computer. Well, he was actually defeated by a computer and a bunch of other high level players, but that's a whole disputed area. Suffice it to say that even the very best chess players have a very hard time winning against some of the best chess computers.
But the situation with checkers is not quite as some checkers partisans would have us think. When their checkers World Champion had last played the Chinook computer it had ben a draw, and then the man had had to withdraw from the match due to serious health problems, he died months later.
With this checkers program the computer scientists at the University of Alberta have shown that no human can beat Chinook. The best anyone can hope for is a draw. And while chess may end up in the same situation some day, at least it's an interesting game.
If you'd like to give Chinook a run for its money you can go here and try it out. Only 24 people can play it at one time though so if you can't get in right away you could try again at a later time.
There are a lot of issues that are considered hazardous to talk about on the air at WBAI, even now that the gag rule has been lifted. However, there is the Internet! There are mailing lists which you can subscribe to and Web based message boards devoted to WBAI and Pacifica issues. Many controversial WBAI/Pacifica issues are discussed on these lists.
Probably the most popular list that's sprung up is the “NewPacifica” mailing list. This one is very lively and currently includes over 400 subscribers coast to coast.
Being lively, of course, it sometimes also gets a bit nasty. All sorts of things are happening on this list and official announcements are frequently posted there.
You can look at the NewPacifica list here, and you can join the list from that Web page too. If you subscribe to the “NewPacifica” mailing list you will receive, via E-mail, all of the messages which are sent to that list.
There is the option to receive a “digest” version of the list, which means that a bunch of messages are bundled into one E-mail and sent to you at regular intervals, this cuts down on the number of E-mails you get from the list. You will also be able to send messages to the list.
This list also has a Web based interface where you can read messages and from which you can post your own messages.
There is also the more WBAI specific “Goodlight” Web based message board. It is sometimes referred to on Back of the Book as “the bleepin' blue board,” owing to the blue background used on its Web pages. This one has many people posting anonymously and there's also an ancillary “WBAI people” board that's just totally out of hand.
When the computer in Master Control is working we sometimes have live interaction with people posting on the “Goodlight Board” during the program.
And then there is the historic “Free Pacifica!” list, which has been used to help organize resistance to Pacifica Management hijackers since the mid-90s. It's become a low volume mailing list because it's been eclipsed by some of the newer, more technologically advanced, lists. Just click on this link and follow the instructions, and you'll be subscribed. This is a mailing list only, it doesn't have a digest option nor does it have a web interface.
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