Filter Bubble?

Filter Bubble Linnea + Ca$h 2012
Filter Bubble

A filter bubble is a result state in which a website algorithm selectively guesses what information a user would like to see based on information about the user (such as location, past click behaviour and search history) and, as a result, users become separated from information that disagrees with their viewpoints, effectively isolating them in their own cultural or ideological bubbles. Prime examples are Google’s personalised search results and Facebook’s personalised news stream. The term was coined by internet activist Eli Pariser in his book by the same name; according to Pariser, users get less exposure to conflicting viewpoints and are isolated intellectually in their own informational bubble. Pariser related an example in which one user searched Google for “BP” and got investment news about British Petroleum while another searcher got information about the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and that the two search results pages were “strikingly different.” The bubble effect may have negative implications for civic discourse, according to Pariser, but there are contrasting views suggesting the effect is minimal[4] and addressable.

How to Burst the “Filter Bubble” that Protects Us from Opposing Views

Computer scientists have discovered a way to number-crunch an individual’s own preferences to recommend content from others with opposing views. The goal? To burst the “filter bubble” that surrounds us with people we like and content that we agree with.

Escape your Search Engine’s filter bubble
An illustrated guide by DuckDuckGo

A Modern Mystic ~ Contemporary Guru

Vaddy Ratner Site
Don Miguel Ruiz Site
Marianne Williamson!
Neale Donald Walsch Site
The Secret
Neale Donald Walsch (Google Search)
Don Miguel Ruiz (Google Search)
Dr Micheal Lennox Dreaming Interpretation

“Are you a mystic? You’ve probably never thought of yourself as one. You’ll rarely find a mystic calling herself a mystic, though anyone who seeks to experience the Divine on a personal and intimate level could be on the mystic’s path. The path of a mystic is one of the heart; it’s for those who have fallen in love with the Creator or creation itself.”

Susan Beilby Magee (Google Search)

Carlos Castaneda (Google Search)

Contemporary usage of the term ‘New Age’

Red Wheel ? Weiser Online Bookstore | Hampton Roads Publishing

Shambhala – Welcome Shambhala Publications

New Leaf Distributing Company

Mandate from Heaven


40 Great Content Tools

I was stunned to click the link to 40+ Tools & Tips to Execute a Winning Content Strategy by Chuck Price and to find so much great information and links to so many awesome tools.  Some of the tools I have used and use currently, but to have them all in one place on one web page is pretty awesome.  I will return to give deeper edits to this page, or even delete it entirely, but I found it useful, inspirational and too damn good to not to want to have it as a reference. I have put a huge no index, no follow on this post, in order to not have this appear as total duplicate content.

There really is no excuse for poor content in 2014. Content marketing and content strategy is an important piece of any digital marketing campaign. Doing it properly requires a disciplined approach, some great tools, and a meaningful investment.

Moderated by Lee Odden (@leeodden), CEO, TopRank Online Marketing, here’s a recap of the Creative Content Marketing: From Strategy to Execution session at ClickZ Live New York 2014.

There’s No Excuse for Bad Content

The rapid-fire session began with Michael King (@ipullrank), executive director, owned media, Acronym, who brought up the universally acknowledged “content is king” mantra and the frequent disappointment that occurs when fresh content fades into obscurity. King asserts that the number one reason for this is the quality of the content being pushed out. He drives the point home with an infographic bordering on pornographic that begs the question – WTF?

Excessive Heat Infographic

King said “there’s no excuse for bad content in 2014″ when there is so much data available. The winners are those who can distinguish between content marketing and content strategy.

A strategy answers the age old questions:

  • Who
  • What
  • Where
  • When
  • Why
  • How

When developing a content strategy, diversification is key. He mentions 24 different types of content in his slide deck. This is a bottom line affair and not an artistic endeavor, so keeping the focus on ROI is critical. This is accomplished by associating KPI’s with consumer actions at varying stages of the decision process.

Tools to Create a Winning Content Strategy

Having the right tools makes any job easier. King identified the tools that he uses when creating a winning content strategy:

  • Murally: An online whiteboard designed to visually organize ideas and collaborate.
  • Storyboard That: An online storyboard creator.
  • Balsamiq: A rapid wireframing tool akin to sketching on a whiteboard.
  • Gliffy: Works in your browser to create flowcharts, org charts, diagrams, wireframes, and more.
  • Trello: A personal favorite of mine for highly intuitive and effective project management.

Pro Tip: “Great content has great structure.” Use images, bullets, and formatting as attention grabbers.

Finding Good Ideas

Building audience and buyer personas at scale. This is what Google is doing with Affinity Segments as explained in this YouTube Video. The icing on the cake is that affinity segments and demographic data is available in Google Analytics.

The User Journey

The path a user must take in order to fulfill a given need or meet a given goal can be as broad or as granular as you wish. Just bear in mind that each step must be actionable and be mapped to content.

Tools used to map the journey:

Data Collection

The following tools for the purpose of data:

Creating the Content

King suggested the following resources if outsourcing the job:

  • 99Designs: The world’s largest online graphic design marketplace
  • Dribbble: A “show and tell” for designers, developers and other creatives
  • Contently: a platform to craft, maintain, and optimize a high quality content strategy
  • Skyword: A content production platform
  • Newscred: A content marketing and syndication platform
  • Copypress: Content creators
  • Plag Tracker: Plagiarism checker
  • Grammarly: Grammar Checker

And he suggests this toolset for the Do-it-Yourselfers

  • A platform for easily creating info-graphics
  • Piktochart: An easy infographic design app
  • Google Fusion Tables: An experimental data visualization web application to gather, visualize, and share larger data table
  • Infographics Toolbox: I’m substituting this as a replacement for King’s choice, Icharts, which appears to be offline. Illustrate your data with custom graphs, charts, maps and more
  • Dipity: Create an interactive, visually engaging timeline in minutes
  • Storybird: Create, read and share visual stories
  • Kuler: Try out, create and save various color schemes
  • Adobe Edgefonts: A vast free web font library

King emphasized that when communicating with creatives, it is important to do so in very specific terms. Failure to do so can lead to both frustration and disappointment on both sides. He strongly recommends using a Data Viz Brief, leaving nothing to chance or subjective interpretation.

Of course the final step is promotion. King highly recommended the Buzzstream Guide to content promotion as a playbook for content promotion.

Content Goals

King’s final takeaway was goal determination:

  • Goal Leads + Qualified lead rate = Download Goal
  • Download Goal ÷ Conversion Rate = Visitor Goal

And spend per channel requirement:

  • Views ÷ Spend = Views per Dollar
  • Views per dollar x Conversion rate = Conversion per dollar

Outreach goal requirement:

  • Goal Links ÷ Response (or link) Rate = Outreach Target
  • Outreach target ÷ 20% = Initial List Length

Content Marketing & Rocket Science

Clayburn Griffin (@Clayburn), Senior SEO Content Strategist, 360i, took to the podium next and got right to the point, likening Content Marketing to Rocket science. Like rocket science, good content creation follows a specific blueprint and process. Griffin laid out his process as follows:

  • Strategy
  • Brainstorm
  • Schedule
  • Create
  • Distribute
  • Measure
  • Repeat

He too emphasized the need to specifically and accurately communicate the creative vision. One man’s boat is another man’s yacht and placed in the wrong context, just doesn’t work. Clayburn’s solution is one of the aforementioned tools, Balsamiq, to produce a mockup, leaving nothing to chance.

His approach to brainstorming for good ideas included:

  • Personas
  • Mind Maps
  • Affinity Diagrams
  • Competitor Research
  • Keyword Research

And the tools that he uses include:

Pro Tip: Yahoo Answers. Use the Google advanced search query [how does + keyword] to discover topics of interest:

How does blogging

Creating Content on a Budget

Next, Griffin offered his thoughts on creating content on a tight budget, and listed the following possibilities:

  • Content Vendors – Fiverr for Video, animation, illustration, book covers, voice overs and more
  • Repurpose Existing Content
  • User Generated Content
  • Creative Commons
  • Internal Influencers – initiate a conversation on Quora

You manage what you measure. Look beyond traffic and conversions. Measure engagement:

  • Time on site
  • Pages per visit
  • Social Shares
  • Comments

Autocomplete can be a brainstorming gold mine filled with content ideas:

Google Suggest is conan...

Long-tail phrases like this can rank with little, if any, effort. Leverage trends and current events in the same way.

Be a social butterfly. Respond to user questions on social platforms like Reddit or forums if your answer leads to a good user experience. Don’t cross the line and spam any social websites. This will have the opposite effect of what you are looking to achieve.

40+ Tools & Tips to Execute a Winning Content Strategy
Chuck Price, April 7, 2014

How to remain private on today’s Web ~ Gah!

Tin Foil Hat People

When author Julia Angwin has to post a photo of herself online, she now prefers to use a stencil image of her face in order to avoid detection by facial recognition software.
Julia Angwin
Welcome to her paranoid world of trying to frustrate increasingly sophisticated snoops.

Reflecting on her experiment, Angwin writes, “I wasn’t happy with the toll that my countersurveillance techniques had taken on my psyche.” She continues, “The more I learned about who was watching me, the more paranoid I became. By the end… I was refusing to have digital conversations with my close friends without encryption. I began using my fake name for increasingly trivial transactions.”


Reset The Net ~ “Don’t ask for your privacy. Take it back. Today we #ResetTheNet to stop mass spying. Encrypt everything! Learn how:

How to mitigate tracking risks: wrap your phone in tinfoil, quit Google
In new book, Julia Angwin wants to live a modern life while frustrating the NSA.

Eye Looking Over Person On Computer

Europe won’t save you: Why e-mail is probably safer in the US
German firms aren’t allowed to say anything if they have to hand data over.

HTTPS Everywhere is a Firefox, Chrome, and Opera extension that encrypts your communications with many major websites, making your browsing more secure. Encrypt the web: Install HTTPS Everywhere today.

Private: some search engines make money by not tracking users
DuckDuckGo and Ixquick take a tiny bite out of Google.

The WhiteHat Aviator™ Web Browser

Ixquick does not collect or share any personal information!
Read more on our privacy position or go directly to Ixquick’s Privacy Policy.

Google Opt Out Feature Lets Users Protect Privacy By Moving To Remote Village,14358/

Search Engine Marketing Data Research Q2 2014 Part 2

Woman with White Horns
As part of the ongoing quest to get more TV dollars to Web video, buyers and sellers are suddenly in love with old school metrics like ratings and GRPs. Over the past year few months, many brands and agencies have been insisting on making guaranteed buys using Nielsen’s online campaign ratings (OCR) or to a lesser extent, comScore’s validated Campaign Essentials (VCE).

Our clients are hiring us to be able to anticipate these shifts in trends. However, that being said, the cost of engagement relative to overall consulting and campaign research and discovery has risen, as we are needing to bring onboard higher costs creatives and well as new A/B testing

Up is down, black is white. SEO/SEM has become way more complex over the last couple of years. UX+UI isssues, creative, adaptation to changing enviornments as well as the shift of cultures within the diverse social media channels, as well as the new complexities of Web browsers across various platforms (Mobile, Desktop, Tablets) has made even the use of the term ‘moving target’ almost irrelevant. We are doing the best we can with the resources available, but the bottom line IS the bottom line.

The answer for this question is both a moving target as well as crazy complex.

Our clients can reach as many people or more people as radio or TV, and in whatever country.
Facebook Ads have sophisticated targeting like AdWords, albeit on different criteria
Lowest cost per 1,000 impressions ad in history. They average around $0.25 per 1,000, which is only 1% of the cost of TV.

Google keeps changing the goals posts, on many different levels. As a Google centric shop, we find some of this very disturbing, but we are powerless to be able to do much of anything to effect this changing reality.

Mobile: The Good and Bad

The Good:

Mobile Facebook makes it a lot easier to target someone with an ad directly.

For the mobile Facebook ad, the click-through ratios are higher, the ads bring in higher engagement numbers, they cost less, and users take more actions and are more easily guided with these types of ads.

The Bad:

When you’re using mobile Facebook to market, you’re reaching a market that’s more person-based instead of people-based. You’re reaching out only to mobile users and not the Facebook population in general.

The sheer number of mobile devices you may need to format material for can create a lot more work for something that may not pay off as much as desktop. Not only do Smartphones differ in terms of OS, but you have to contend with other mobile devices as well.

Mobile Facebook makes it a lot easier to target someone with an ad directly.

For the mobile Facebook ad, the click-through ratios are higher, the ads bring in higher engagement numbers, they cost less, and users take more actions and are more easily guided with these types of ads.

When you’re using mobile Facebook to market, you’re reaching a market that’s more person-based instead of people-based. You’re reaching out only to mobile users and not the Facebook population in general.

The sheer number of mobile devices you may need to format material for can create a lot more work for something that may not pay off as much as desktop. Not only do Smartphones differ in terms of OS, but you have to contend with other mobile devices as well.

Paid Search Engine Ads Offer No Benefit, eBay Study Finds

CPM basis for Facebook MOBILE ads $ 2014

Mobile Advertising: New-Age Money Minter?

The Mobile Advertising Ecosystem Beyond Facebook

Understanding Facebook’s FBX — Social Media’s First Ad Exchange

The Pros and Cons of Facebook Mobile vs. Desktop

Facebook’s mobile platform is fast-growing and offers unique opportunities, and many marketers are learning to capitalize on this dramatic change in use. Using paid tools or the Facebook Power Editor Chrome Extension, you’re able to specifically target mobile users with ads. This article, written by Stanna Johnson from Qwaya, explains some of the key points to consider when considering the mobile aspects of this widely-used PR tool.

Since the overall engagement on mobile ads is higher – people tend to like, comment and share more on their phones – this is something to have in mind when creating the ads. We try to make posts that are likable and sharable as they are and tie sponsored stories to them.

In general, we see mobile advertising as an opportunity to strengthen our client’s brands and spread the word.

What Are Average CPM Rates in 2014?
January 27, 2014 By Michael Johnston 0 Comments

Anyone monetizing a website through display ads wonders at some point how their earnings compare to their peers. Display ad earnings can be standardized through the CPM metric–or, more appropriately, revenue per thousand impressions (RPM). This figure refers to the cost to advertisers (which equates to revenue for publishers) for 1,000 ad impressions. So it makes it possible to compare the earnings rates for sites regardless of audience sizes.

Facebook ads: cost per impression up 186%, cost per click up 35%, revenue per click up 83%

The Biggest Quarter Ever for Paid Facebook Advertising

The final quarter of 2013 was the largest spending period in Facebook advertising history, according to the latest data from Nanigans’ clients. Fueled by a record December for online shopping as well as an influx of new mobile device owners, advertisers found their Facebook marketing delivered more revenue-per-click quarter over quarter (QOQ) and year-over-year (YOY) on desktop and mobile despite higher costs.

Mobile advertising now ‘twice as effective’ as desktop: Reaction from Ebuzzing, Quisma, TubeMogul, Criteo and Forward3D

A report out this week from BBC World News claimed that mobile advertising was at least twice as effective on consumers as desktop advertising, with mobile ads up to four times as effective on affluent consumers. The study surveyed 6,000 smartphone owners in Australia, Germany, Sweden, India, Hong Kong and the US, and compared the habits of affluent consumers – the highest 20 per cent income earners in each country – to those of the general population. Among its findings was the belief by a third of affluent consumers that brands need to be on mobile if they wish to be considered modern and dynamic.

Facebook DESKTOP news feed ads pros and cons

CPM basis for Facebook MOBILE ads $  2014

Image ©Shutterstock

The Ghosts of Winter – Endless Cold 4/6/2014

The Ghosts of Winter

It is still cold!
The ghosts of winter still racing, still bold.
I hear them through the walls
Rushing, charging, swirling about.

The trees bow and spread
doing the best they can to keep heads down
Winter is still here, still wants to stay
but as spring creeps up the valleys
to the hills and mountains to attack -
the Ghosts of Winter keep fighting back,
Even though they are dead, dying
Relentless, the spirits keep trying

They have won tonight,
the trees remain bowed under
the icy winds terrible might,
but soon enough Spring
will win the high ground
with the warmth of the sun.

It will be as if winter’s battle
had never been won.

I tire of Winter’s bite,
but am powerless in the turning of the earth,
the length of the light.

As I hope for spring,
I accept the fate
That of warm spring and summer
I will have to wait.

Rushing, charging, swirling about
The ghosts of winter hold on tight
squeezing the last breath of cold, to shout:
“I am still here! I will not die!”
across the night

Kit Latham 4/5/2014

Search Engine Marketing Data Research Q2 2014

Search Engine Optimization Rules

Well, ideally it would be a multitude of human zombie bots controlled by my personal minions at the behest of my client’s fears and desires. Of course, if I were that level of omnipotence, I would be vying for the role of Planet Emperor.  In that case why would I even be wasting my precious time running an online SEO/SEM agency? I would probably be tearing up the skies in my private jumbo jet being served narcotics and food from the hands of my sky vixens.

Realistically and all snarkiness aside: news feed is by far the most valuable real estate you can get on Facebook

Facebook Mobile App Install Ads: Optimize Beyond Clicks to Drive Higher ROI

where you are seeing success via Direct response on Facebook? 2014 (Google Search)

online direct response media (Google Search)

ShadowBox DIRECT

Koeppel Direct

Over the following time periods how has pricing for mobile app installs changed? facebook (Google Search)

IgnitionOne is a global leader in cloud-based digital marketing solutions providing world-class proprietary technology and expert services to improve digital marketing performance.

IgnitionOne (Google Search)

How have CPCs (cost per click) trends year-over-year (March 2014 vs. March 2013)? (Google Search)

web beacon technology (Google Search)

Online Advertising: 25 Stats and Facts that Break it all Down

Mobile Ad Spending Grows 105% in 2013

2nd quarter online ad spending stats 2014 facebook

Track On: Conversion Measurement Rolls Out For All Facebook Advertisers

Doing Direct Response On Facebook: Using Facebook Pixels

Understanding Facebook’s FBX — Social Media’s First Ad Exchange

Programmatic Buying The programmatic interrogation

Google and Nielsen Partner on Online Campaign Ratings [Updated] Buyers are starting to test buys negotiated on OCR

You Can Buy Nielsen Ratings on YouTube Starting Next Month
OCR product ready to roll with pre-roll ads on Google’s ubiquitous video service

If you would define the ideal advertising product from Facebook, what would it be?

7 Ways to Use Facebook for Marketing

Facebook Ad Exchange (Google Search)

vendors are you using for programmatic buying (Google Search)

Report: US Search Ad Spend Rises 12 Percent YoY In Q4 2013; Smartphone CPCs Drop

Paid Search Spend Rises 8 Percent In Q1, Mobile Shows Signs Of Maturing [Report]

Google working with Nielsen OCR ratings

Lite Coin Research 2-28-14

Lite Coin 2-1

Images of a recent Litecoin Mining rig

Lite Coin Further research 2-18-14.txt

Get some bitcoins without having to pay anything. Seriously. It’s at

GIGABYTE Radeon R7 260X GV-R726XWF2-2GD Video Card r7 265

3 Gigabyte R9 270s

The Homebrew Litecoin Mining Project

bitcoins trading for lite coins Google Search Results

PNY XLR8 GeForce GTX 660 Graphics card – 2 GB – GDDR5 SDRAM

nvidia geforce 7800 GT

Bitcoin Research 1-28-14


Bitcoin Dazzle

Bitcoin Dazzle

Marc Andreessen’s article is detailed and from my perspective and current research absolutely spot on. I have been hovering on the fence with my gut and intellectual insight and his piece has pretty much sealed the deal for me.  Now I have to figure out how I can get the money together to buy my first ‘bitcoin miner’ and pay for the initial production costs, including hiring a programmer and paying for the start-up production overhead.

A freind of mine I pinged last week in an email with links and details outlining the current challenges of bitcoin mining wrote back:

“…between $770 & $1100 each???????”

My reply:

“That is the figure, seems to be stabilizing a little at this point, not something I follow obsessively, that road leads to madness.

Long term, I am guessing that bitcoins value will continue to increase over time, as the difficulty curve on ‘mining’ the bitcoin is and will continue to increase exponentially.  I foresee that bitcoin, as the grandaddy of the future cryptocurrencies will continue to gain value over time, and will become an excellent hedge.

That being said, jumping into a tank of water filled with sharks while bleeding from a fresh wound has never been an act of common sense, but when I say I am a brilliant researcher I am not engaging in hyperbole.

All my bells are going off on this, and I know that down the road I am going to regret not having done what I can to get into the bitcoin game, the window is still open, but starting to close fast. ~ lol” ~ Tarky7

Marc Andreessen 1-21-14:

“The practical consequence of solving this problem is that Bitcoin gives us, for the first time, a way for one Internet user to transfer a unique piece of digital property to another Internet user, such that the transfer is guaranteed to be safe and secure, everyone knows that the transfer has taken place, and nobody can challenge the legitimacy of the transfer. The consequences of this breakthrough are hard to overstate.”

“Bitcoin is a digital bearer instrument. It is a way to exchange money or assets between parties with no pre-existing trust: A string of numbers is sent over email or text message in the simplest case. The sender doesn’t need to know or trust the receiver or vice versa. Related, there are no chargebacks – this is the part that is literally like cash – if you have the money or the asset, you can pay with it; if you don’t, you can’t. This is brand new. This has never existed in digital form before.” ~Marc Andreessen

Why Bitcoin Matters NYTimes by Marc Andreessen 1-21-14

“How should we think about a currency like Bitcoin? The first thing to remember is this: Money is a sort of collective fiction. What money we choose to trust says much about how we see the world.” ~ Quentin Hardy

Bits | Bitcoin and the Fictions of Money 1-27-14

So far almost all of the Bitcoin discussion has been positive economics — can this actually work? And I have to say that I’m still deeply unconvinced. To be successful, money must be both a medium of exchange and a reasonably stable store of value. And it remains completely unclear why BitCoin should be a stable store of value.” ~ Paul Krugman

Bitcoin Is Evil ~ Paul Krugman December 28, 2013, 2:35 pm

Want to make money mining bitcoins? Criminals have you beat By David Gewirtz
ZDNet Government | January 21, 2014

Bitcoin mining profitability calculator

MANIC MINERS: Ten Bitcoin generating machines
Crank out those coins: A selection of tools for the new Gold Rush
By Simon Rockman, 17th January 2014

A Group Of Miners Has Exposed One Of Bitcoin’s Fatal Flaws
Rob Wile Jan. 10, 2014, 9:11

The existential threat to bitcoin its boosters said was impossible is now at hand
By Christopher Mims @mims January 9, 2014

Bitcoin’s so over. We’re mining Primeco… Oh SNAP, my box is a ZOMBIE! 1-17-14

The Bitcoin-Mining Arms Race Heats Up
By Ashlee Vance and Brad Stone January 09, 2014

Interactive Demonstration: This Is How You Mine Some Bitcoin 1-13-14

Topic: KnC Miner list of orders – Neptune

Bitcoin Mining Reaches New Level With $2,000-a-Day Neptune Rig [VIDEO]

Hands On With The KnCMiner Jupiter, The Massive BTC Mining Rig That Can Move Markets Dec 12, 2013 by John Biggs

Will the 3TH KNC Neptune Miner still be profitable in 2014?

Bitcoin’s Fatal Flaw
Published Wed, Jan 15th, 2014   Louis Basenese, Chief Investment Strategist

“btc guild” Reddit Search
(Related to ‘A Group Of Miners Has Exposed One Of Bitcoin’s Fatal Flaws)

Bitcoin is an innovative payment network and a new kind of money.

We’ve got a Butterfly Labs Bitcoin miner, and it’s pretty darn fast – ars Technica May 8 2013

Bitcoincharts provides financial and technical data related to the Bitcoin network.

Bitcoin network graphs – Total network hashing rate

Trade with confidence on the world’s largest Bitcoin exchange!

The Bitcoin Boom April 2, 2013

Butterfly Labs ships 45,000 bitcoin orders
Published On :Wed, Jan 15,2014

BFL Competence Reaches a New High

bitcoin miners pcs new chips (Google Shopping)

International Holocaust Remembrance Day 2014

©Caitlin McGinn-1st place winner Yad Vashem International Poster Competition  2013

©Caitlin McGinn-1st place winner Yad Vashem International Poster Competition 2013

Steven Spielberg: We must act on what was learned from the Holocaust

Oscar-winning film director, writer and producer Steven Spielberg stressed on Monday the importance of gathering testimony to horrors such as the Holocaust in order to create awareness and preventative measures for the future.

“Mass graves don’t have to open up before we act,” Spielberg said in the keynotes address of a special UN General Assembly session marking the International Holocaust Remembrance Day. “It is a great accomplishment of our species that the testimonies [of survivors] can be heard in the high chambers of society.”

The director of the epic Holocaust-era film Schindler’s List said the memory of the Holocaust remained with us today and the victims of past genocide had now become “teachers to victims of recent genocide.”

“Genocide is an evil. But, the greatest evil is when people who have been spared the horrors commit themselves to despair,” Spielberg said. “We know despair and remembering are a choice. But we need to confront and act on what we learned,” he added.

Touching on his preparations for Schindler’s List, Spielberg said directing the film and interviewing survivors were part of his approach to offering a platform for what he said was an often-encountered hope of survivors to be “heard, believed and understood”.

“It took me years of directing sharks, aliens, and dinosaurs before I felt ready to tackle the Holocaust,” he admitted. Spielberg said although he had no personal journey through the Holocaust, his “Holocaust journey is a journey toward understanding.”

Spielberg said history and the memory of the Holocaust must be engaged with fully to progress justice. This year will mark the 20th anniversary of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute, which was founded by Spielberg following the filming of Schindler’s List. The USC Shoah Foundation Institute is a long-standing partner of the Holocaust and the United Nations Outreach Program.

“State of Israel is the only guarantee to ensure the future of the Jewish people,” says Israeli Ambassador to UN Prosor during special ceremony in New York commemorating Int’l Holocaust Remembrance day.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor speaks at a special General Assembly session marking International Holocaust Day, January 27, 2014. Photo: screenshot Meanwhile, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN Ron Prosor stressed that remembering the Holocaust was not enough to guarantee the future for the Jewish people. “The State of Israel is the only guarantee that the future and fate of the Jewish people will be held in our own hand,” Prosor said Monday at the UN memorial. “The Holocaust has taught us that remembrance without resolve is meaningless,” Prosor said. “Awareness must be matched with action.” “Almost 70 years after the Holocaust, the world is still plagued with anti-Semitism,” Prosor noted. “Men and women are still persecuted for what they look like, how they worship, and who they love.”

The UN, that was born from the bloodshed and brutality of World War II, has a responsibility to educate the future generation to acceptance, compassion and tolerance, Prosor said.

Quoting Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel who said “To remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all,” Prosor said it is our responsibility to never again allow silence to prevail and indifference to reign. The special UN ceremony was held at the UN headquarters in New York, centered around the theme “Journeys through the Holocaust.”

UN Samantha Power also addressed the special session, as well as the General Assembly President John W. Ashe and Holocaust survivor Rena Finder.

The event also featured a video message from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. Ban recently released the video, reflecting on his visit to the Auschwitz concentration camp in Poland late last year. “I will never forget my visit. I saw the horrific remnants of the machinery of genocide… The United Nations was founded to prevent any such horrors from happening ever again,” Ban Ki-Moon stated. “We will continue to shine a light on these unspeakable crimes so that they may never be repeated,” he added.

Emphasizing the importance of formal instruction on this subject, the secretary-general has also said that education and public awareness are the first defense against prejudice, ethnic hatred and intolerance.

European Union foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton also related to International Holocaust day Monday, emphasizing the importance of fighting racism. “On Holocaust Remembrance Day, we must keep alive the memory of this tragedy. It is an occasion to remind us all of the need to continue fighting prejudice and racism in our own time. We must remain vigilant against the dangers of hate speech and redouble our commitment to prevent any form of intolerance. The respect of human rights and diversity lies at the heart of what the European Union stands for,” Ashton stated.

The International Holocaust Remembrance Day is marked every year on January 27. It was designated by UN General Assembly resolution 60/7 on November 1, 2005, after a special session held on January 25 that year that marked the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps.

The largest Nazi death camp, Auschwitz-Birkenau, was liberated by Soviet troops on January 27, 1945.

March of The Living 2014

March of The Living 2014

The March of the Living is a two week educational experience that takes place in Poland and Israel. Hundreds of Canadian students each year mark two of the most important dates in Jewish History.

Exhibition SHOAH in Block 27 at Auschwitz-Birkenau Curated by Yad Vashem

Exhibition SHOAH in Block 27 at Auschwitz-Birkenau
Curated by Yad Vashem

SHOAH: The New Permanent Exhibition at the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum, Block 27 | Yad Vashem


Joods Monument

Digital Monument to the Jewish Community in the Netherlands

David G. Hartwell ’63 Science Fiction Symposium 10/23/2013

David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium Poster 10.23.2013

David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium Poster 10.23.2013
Photo (CC) Kit Latham

Williams College hosted a marvelous science fiction symposium October 22, 23, and 24. The David G. Hartwell ’63 Science Fiction Symposium featured public readings and panel discussions with leading writers and thinkers, including Samuel R. Delany, Kim Stanley Robinson, and prominent science fiction editor and Williams alumnus David Hartwell, for whom the event is named.

David G. Hartwell ’63 Science Fiction Symposium 10/23/2013

David Hartwell (Moderator), Paolo Bacigalupi, Elizabeth Kolbert, and Kim Stanley Robinson discuss climate change at The David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium 10.23.2013
Photo (CC) Kit Latham

The symposium brought together the best of the science fiction community in a setting similar to a science fiction convention. “Science fiction writers can appeal to a wider range of people than often attend a convention,” says Paul Park, lecturer in English and organizer of the event. “There is something magical that happens when a number of these writers get together, an aggregate consciousness that expands each other’s work. This symposium gives the community an opportunity to discover that.”

John Crowley at David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium 10.23.2013

John Crowley at David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium 10.23.2013
Photo (CC) Kit Latham

John Crowley, a recipient of the American Academy and Institute of Letters Award for Literature and the World Fantasy Lifetime Achievement Award. His critically acclaimed works include Little, Big; The Translator; Lord Byron’s Novel: The Evening Land; Four Freedoms; and the Ægypt novels. He teaches fiction writing and screenwriting at Yale.

Kim Stanley Robinson at David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium 10.23.2013

Kim Stanley Robinson at David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium Poster 10.23.2013
Photo (CC) Kit Latham

Kim Stanley Robinson, author of the Mars Trilogy. One of Time Magazine’s “heroes of the environment,” he has won numerous literary prizes, including this year’s Nebula Award for his novel 2312. He is on the board of the Sierra Nevada Research Institute and was one of the artistic fellows sent to Antarctica by the National Science Foundation. His new novel, Shaman, has just been published.

 Paolo Bacigalupi at David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium 10.23.2013

Paolo Bacigalupi at David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium 10.23.2013
Photo (CC) Kit Latham

Paolo Bacigalupi, whose first novel, The Windup Girl, won the Hugo, Nebula, and John W. Campbell awards in 2010. His 2010 novel, Ship Breaker, was a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. Much of his work is set in an uncertain near-future when fossil fuels have run out. His third novel, The Drowned Cities, appeared in 2012.

Kelly Link at David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium 10.23.2013

Kelly Link at David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium 10.23.2013
Photo (CC) Kit Latham

Kelly Link, author of Pretty Monsters and Her Magic for Beginners, has received three Nebula Awards, a Hugo Award, and a World Fantasy Award. Her works combine science fiction, fantasy, horror, mystery, and realism. Link and her husband manage Small Beer Press in Northampton, Mass.

David Hartwell at David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium 10.23.2013

David G. Hartwell at David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium Poster 10.23.2013
Photo (CC) Kit Latham

David Hartwell, Williams class of 1963, senior editor at Tor Books, publisher of the New York Review of Science Fiction, and anthologist of Year’s Best SF and Year’s Best Fantasy. Hartwell has won dozens of genre awards in many categories, including best editor, best anthology, and best magazine. He holds a Ph.D. from Columbia in Comparative Medieval Literature
Flickr Set by David G. Hartwell – SF Seminar 10/22-24 2013

Terry Bisson at David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium Poster 10.23.2013

Terry Bisson at David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium Poster 10.23.2013

Terry Bisson, author of the novels Talking Man, Voyage to the Red Planet, and Pirates of the Universe, and Nebula Award-winning short stories “Bears Discover Fire” and “macs.” “They’re Made Out of Meat” has been adapted for film, and other stories have been adapted for the stage. He has written screenplays, comic books, and graphic novels, as well as biographies of Nat Turner and Mumia Abu-Jamal.

Paul Park at David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium Poster 10.23.2013

Paul Park at David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium Poster 10.23.2013

Paul Park, author of The Starbridge Chronicles trilogy, Coelestis, Three Marys, The Gospel of Corax, A Princess of Roumania and its sequels, The Tourmaline, The White Tyger and The Hidden World. “The Persistence of Memory, or This Space for Sale” was nominated for a World Fantasy Award in 2010, the same year his novella “Ghosts Doing the Orange Dance” was nominated for a Nebula Award. He teaches writing at Williams.

Samuel Delany Houari B Flickr Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium Poster 10.23.2013

Samuel Delany Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium Poster 10.23.2013
(CC) Houari B Flickr

Samuel R. Delany, author of Babel-17, The Einstein Intersection, Nova, the best-selling Dhalgren, and the Nevèrÿon tetralogy. He is a professor of English and creative writing at Temple University. The recipient of four Nebula and two Hugo awards, in 2002 he was inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame.

Kit Reed | David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium 10.23.2013Photo ©Gloria VillegasKit Reed by Gloria Villegas-RT-1000

Kit Reed | David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium 10.23.2013
Photo ©Gloria Villegas

Kit Reed, author of the novel Son of Destruction and collection The Story Until Now, which appeared earlier this year. What Wolves Know and Other Stories was a Shirley Jackson Award nominee in 2012, and two earlier collections were short-listed for the Tiptree Prize. A Guggenheim fellow and first American recipient of a literary grant from the Abraham Woursell Foundation, she is Resident Writer at Wesleyan University.
Kit Reed’s Website

Elizabeth Kolbert at David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium Poster 10.23.2013Elizabeth Kolbert

Elizabeth Kolbert at David G. Hartwell 63 Science Fiction Symposium Poster 10.23.2013

Elizabeth Kolbert, staff writer at The New Yorker and the author of Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change. She is a two-time National Magazine Award winner, recipient of the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s magazine writing award, and a Heinz Award winner.

Williams College Official Press release:

The symposium was sponsored by the departments of English and theatre, Africana studies, American studies, environmental studies, the Class of 1960 Scholars Fund, comparative literature, the Lecture Committee, and the Oakley Center for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

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