Chaos theoria adhiberetur: Vehuntur Ursus

“Primus homo per parietem semper est cruentatus … semper”

The above is a rough translation of the subject header on a congratulatory email I received on December 19, 2012 from a successful, highly respected trial lawyer. I think most everyone reading this recalls the events of that day. For the lawyer that wrote me, making US legal history prevailing in the first decision of its kind in the Nation was meaningful. The decision under the US Speech Act even made the news on several new media outlets in two countries along with a Canadian newspaper but nary was heard any word from the local main stream media.

But this trial lawyer was talking about more than just my court victory because the guy is a consummate thinker/technology visionary. By harnessing the power of this medium called the internet I’ve lost track of how many high achieving high quality individuals I’ve met, first on the Yahoo Fiance Boards and later through my 5 years plus doing Slabbed.  Occasionally, we’re even blessed such people stop in with us and comment, sharing their rich life experiences with the community.  There is a magic here that is undeniable, in large part due to a diverse community of sincere commenters that are mostly what Sly termed “everyday people” back in the day.  Somehow, in today’s day and age when media outlets are branded as conservative or liberal, Slabbed manages to attract (and occasionally piss off) both demographics but since we’re equal opportunity muckrakers no one seems to hold it against us for long.

I mention all this because my post yesterday discussing attribution got a response from Gordon Russell.  We agreed that it was worth sharing since some of ya’ll may make like The boy named Sue and come away with a different point of view since we were hard on NOLA Media Group yesterday.  It also gives me a chance to remind everyone commenting here that people are paying attention and by people I mean the high end demographic that forms the majority of the readership, along with various and sundry Goatherders.  As I told Nowdy back in 2007 the key to difference making wasn’t the quantity of readers, rather their quality. Yesterday’s email chat with Gordon, in light of a few links that were left on the post I did make it a good time to tackle the general subject of the secular change occurring in the media industry, which has been an occasional topic here since since the advent of the “Sometimes Picayune”.

Yesterday Steve and Whitmergate nailed it in comments and understood the connection I was making involving what most people would consider obscure applied mathematics. Let’s start with ‘Gate:

Power, sex, politics, money, corruption, death … fractals all– complex, universal and chaotic

And what do fractals have to do with Chaos Theory? The link ‘Gate left explains it far better than Wiki:

Chaos is the science of surprises, of the nonlinear and the unpredictable. It teaches us to expect the unexpected. While most traditional science deals with supposedly predictable phenomena like gravity, electricity, or chemical reactions, Chaos Theory deals with nonlinear things that are effectively impossible to predict or control, like turbulence, weather, the stock market, our brain states, and so on. These phenomena are often described by fractal mathematics, which captures the infinite complexity of nature. Many natural objects exhibit fractal properties, including landscapes, clouds, trees, organs, rivers etc, and many of the systems in which we live exhibit complex, chaotic behavior. Recognizing the chaotic, fractal nature of our world can give us new insight, power, and wisdom. For example, by understanding the complex, chaotic dynamics of the atmosphere, a balloon pilot can “steer” a balloon to a desired location. By understanding that our ecosystems, our social systems, and our economic systems are interconnected, we can hope to avoid actions which may end up being detrimental to our long-term well-being.

Do these concepts apply to Slabbed? How about other blogs and forums? Do they apply to the media as a whole? Absolutely. In fact during our days covering the post Katrina wind-water insurance litigation we applied those and other concepts to organizations like insurance companies, which in turn attracted a group of high quality nationally known trial lawyers along with the creme of the local bar both here on the coast and Louisiana to this blog. There is a method to the madness publishing Slabbed. So with all this in mind here is the story behind the story: Continue reading “Chaos theoria adhiberetur: Vehuntur Ursus”

And he smelled lawnmower fumes when the oil was washing ashore back in 2010….

Folks, what can I say except that I was inspired by the Dean of all Mississippi Journalists today, Bill Minor and his column Bryant misstates state of the state’s economy. Here is a snippet:

Bryant enthusiastically told lawmakers that 2,700 new jobs had been “announced” in 2012, conveying the impression Mississippi’s employment rolls had increased that much. Trouble is, just the opposite had happened. According to state Department of Employment Security figures, Mississippi lost 1800 payroll jobs in 2012 since the previous year.

Even worse, said a year-end report by the College Board’s Economic Research Center, is that payroll employment in Mississippi is at its lowest level since 1996 and while most of the other states are recovering from the Great Recession that began in September 2008, Mississippi is still lagging behind.

One industry Mississippi (and our neighbors in Louisiana) do not lag is the New Media with websites like Yall Politics, Slabbed, Magnolia Report, American Zombie, the Lens, Library Chronicles, Moosedenied etc etc etc. Heck I think we may well be leading the nation in the voodoo we do.

So I said to myself, what can Slabbed do to help poor Gov Phil from losing more jobs? Then it hit me given the large number of people from across the country and world that read this little project courtesy of NOLA Born and Steed chatting away about King Cakes. Beyond hosting the Super Bowl it is also Mardi Gras time down here in Soggy Bottom.

There are some that are partial to Haydel’s King Cakes and Margaret Orr swears by the Voodoo Kingcake from Robert Fresh Market but for my money no one makes the “Catholic Cake” any better Continue reading “And he smelled lawnmower fumes when the oil was washing ashore back in 2010….”

For those of you that can’t get enough of the meltdown at the house Eliza Jane built

Jason over at American Zombie has a lengthy piece out on the topic that is very good on the state of the media in NOLA.

Meantime Slabbed is taking up now donations to purchase a bushel of prunes to send over to the Windsor Court.

Update: Jeffrey over at Yellow Blog has some great analysis of Jason’s analysis.


File this one under she’ll remain clueless until the bitter end…..

I’d issue Ms. Freret an invitation to dance with Sop in the avant garde but I do not think she can find me here on the other side of Pine Hill.  That said I may even read my assistant’s paper for once to see who shows up in pictures. But if you want to know what is going on in town you pal up with someone that goes to the Glamorama on a regular basis.

Good luck, godspeed and with best wishes from the avant garde sign me.


Yes I can verify…..

A picture is indeed worth a thousand words.  Unfortunately for the Slabbed Nation, Anthony Weiner’s cock shot has been removed from Yfrog so the link on yesterday’s Weinergate post no longer works. ‘Nuff said about that folks.

There indeed may be nothing new under the sun but the new media certainly trail blazes old paths. I mention this because of today’s editorial in the Sun Herald about certain thin-skinned local politicians that did not like their pics appearing in the paper next to critical letters to the editor concerning them.

I laughed and thought of former partner in blog Nowdy and a December 2007 meet and greet we had at the Hattiesburg Cracker Barrel. While we visited I shared my two rules for blogging with her. The Sheriff and Tax Collector violated the first rule big time, thus making this post possible. Now back to that trail blazing thing because things could be far-far worse for ol’ Mel and Joe.

Mike Chaney and Jim Donelon as the Head up Yer Ass Man and Bozo the Clown are examples of what I speak about here. Them and my current favorite Miss Piggy as stand in for Mary Landrieu and that one fits on several levels folks. But my all time favorite is Laurel and Hardy for Oxford based State Farm lawyers Scot Spragins and his sidekick Lucky Tucker, two ethically challenged guys that never met a corner they failed to cut in the wind-water litigation down here.

So count yer blessings guys and quit yer bitchin’.  😉