Sunday, November 8, 2009

MercatorNet Needs Your Help Getting the Word Out

Defending human dignity on the internet. We stand for reframing ethical and policy debates in terms of human dignity, not dollars and cents or political calculation.
From the Editor

November 8, 2009

Hi there,

We've just finished the annual New Media Foundation conference (our first, actually) in Sydney. Our deputy editor, Carolyn Moynihan, flew across the Tasman from New Zealand, and I came up from Melbourne. NMF, the publisher of MercatorNet, among other projects, is a far-flung, virtual organisation, held together by proverbial bits of string and the internet, so there were apologies from our web support in Mumbai and from Associate Editor Brian Lilley in Ottawa. But most of us were there to discuss Future Directions.

As a subscriber, you are a MercatorNet stakeholder, so I thought that you might be interested in this.

In the editorial department, we feel that our articles are hitting the mark. (Do you?) However, we need more of them, and fresh perspectives on our central theme of human dignity. We welcome suggestions for issues and contributors.

We're a bit weaker in the marketing department. Over the past couple of years, we have raised our profile on the internet substantially. But we need many more subscribers and hits to lift us to a new level. Like the flu, the best method is viral, by word of mouth. So make sure that your friends have signed up!. But we also need advice in search engine optimisation, so if you are an expert, please get in touch.

We had other ideas, of course, and we hope to roll them out over the next few months. Lots of them involve volunteers, so stay tuned.

We wound up the week with some fine articles on death and dying. Carolyn Moynihan complains that too many of us are afraid of people dying slowly in nursing homes and funerals and Walter Pless reviews a beautiful Oscar-winning Japanese film about an undertaker. And Kevin Ryan, an education expert from Boston, rejoices at the demolition of Baby Einstein DVDs. The folly of teaching babies by plonking them in front of a television has finally been confirmed, he says.

Happy reading!
Michael Cook

Recent articles


Walter Pless | 5 November 2009

It's hard to infuse death with luminous beauty, but Japanese director Yojiro Takita succeeds magnificently in this year's best foreign film.Read more... | Read as text format | send me this article as an email

Toddlers and TV sets don't mix

Kevin Ryan | 5 November 2009

The folly of trying to teach babies by plonking them in front of a television has finally been confirmed. Read more... | Read as text format | send me this article as an email

On burying the dead

Carolyn Moynihan | 5 November 2009

The last of the corporal works of mercy seems to be in terminal decline.Read more... | Read as text format | send me this article as an email

Best of our blogs

While Republicans' attention is distracted

Sheila Liaugminas | 5 November 2009

The Democrats have quietly slipped a lot of changes into law.Read more... | Read as text format

Anyone in the House listening?

Sheila Liaugminas | 4 November 2009

Every chance he gets, Michigan Democrat Bart Stupak is making a reasoned argument for his amendment to ensure health care legislation won't require citizens to pay for abortion.Read more... | Read as text format

What makes people take a pride in their work?

Carolyn Moynihan | 4 November 2009

If there is one thing the financial crisis has taught us it is the need society has for people who take a (well-founded) pride in their work.Read more... | Read as text format

What was rejected and what was affirmed

Sheila Liaugminas | 4 November 2009

The citizens of Maine want laws to protect traditional marriage.Read more... | Read as text format
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Media Watch
Gorbachev did not tear down that wall Gorbachev opened the window, the human spirit broke free | National Post

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E. D. Hirsch's Curriculum for Democracy A content-rich pedagogy makes better citizens and smarter kids. | City Journal

Make life the only choice The cultural wind is in euthanasia's sails and the most unlikely people are heeding its siren call. | National Post

Cellphones, Texts and Lovers In today's world, the choice of a Prius can be a more sanctified act than the choice of an erotic partner. | New York Times

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Aborted foetus cells used to make beauty cream

My genes made me do it, says Italian murderer

Genetic tests used to prove nationality in UK

British IVF clinic makes worst mistake possible, says industry watchdog

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