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Sound Bites of the 1908 Presidential Candidates 410

Posted by kdawson
from the hundred-years-of-blah-blah-blah dept.
roncosmos writes "Science News has up a feature on the first use of sound recording in a presidential campaign. In 1908, for the first time, presidential candidates recorded their voices on wax cylinders. Their voices could be brought into the home for 35 cents, equivalent to about $8 now. In that pre-radio era, this was the only way, short of hearing a speech at a whistle stop, that you could hear the candidates. The story includes audio recordings from the 1908 candidates, William Jennings Bryan and William Howard Taft. Bryan's speech, on bank failures, seems sadly prescient now. Taft's, on the progress of the Negro, sounds condescending to modern ears but was progressive at the time. There are great images from the campaign; lots of fun."
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Sound Bites of the 1908 Presidential Candidates

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 03, 2008 @12:24PM (#25247477)

    sounds condescending to modern ears but was progressive at the time

    As opposed to the non-condescending progressives of today.

    • by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday October 03, 2008 @02:40PM (#25249275) Homepage Journal
      Today's conservatives conserve the values of yesterday's revolutionaries. Today's progressives fight for what tomorrow's conservatives will fight to conserve.
  • by smooth wombat (796938) on Friday October 03, 2008 @12:25PM (#25247501) Homepage Journal
    Had they put up some mp3, FLAC, WMA or similar files, it would be easy to listen to. However, they chose to use that insecure, and wholly inappropriate, Flash to distribute an audio file.

    It's a shame too, because I'm sure the recordings would be interesting to hear.

    It just goes to show why Flash must die [slashdot.org].
    • by Kratisto (1080113) on Friday October 03, 2008 @12:28PM (#25247549)
      Spoiled kids today. In MY day, we had to listen to presidential debates on wax cylinders! And it cost us the equivalent of eight dollars, too!
      • by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday October 03, 2008 @02:20PM (#25249017) Homepage Journal

        What are you talking 'bout, you young whippersnapper? Tarnation, in MY day we didn't have no dad blamed newfangled wax cylinders. We had to trudge hundreds of miles through the snow, uphill (both ways) to find a whistle stop where we could hear the varmints. Before shootin' at 'em, of course. Gotta make sure ya ain't shootin' at the wrong one. Then we'd tar and feather 'em and run 'em outta town on a rail.

        I'd tell ya to git offen my lawn, but we didn't even have no durned lawns back then.

      • by Hatta (162192) on Friday October 03, 2008 @12:44PM (#25247749) Journal

        That's nice, but why the hell couldn't they just link to them directly? Why do they go out of their way to make their site completely unusable to those of us who don't use flash? It's so easy to do it right, why do so many places get it wrong?

        • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 03, 2008 @12:50PM (#25247835)

          Yes, and some day my "why can't all sites work the same without javascript" campaign will catch on, too.
           
            Why can't all sites work the same without javascript! I shouldn't have to use that trash!

          • by mcgrew (92797) * on Friday October 03, 2008 @02:32PM (#25249191) Homepage Journal

            why can't all sites work the same without javascript

            Because people don't know how to code. Some javascript is needed and useful, but 99% of it isn't. My old Quake site used javascript, but if you didn't have javascript it degraded gracefully. The Stroggs still danced, but mousing over the one on the right didn't have Sonic the Hedgehog running past and getting squished. With javascript the nav buttons were animated when you moused over them, without they just sat there with the arrow cursor turning into a hand pointer.

            "Dopey Smurf" was a medical student who had a rat he was dissecting wake up and bite him once. When he decided to close his site, I "sent him a box of invisible rats". Actually we set it up with a news item on his site that I'd sent a box of invisible rats, so whatever you do FOR GOD'S SAKE DON'T CLICK THIS LINK!!! or the invisible rats would escape and eat his site. If you clicked the link, invisible rats actually did come out and eat his site; there was a GIF animation of teeth marks, yellow rat shapes covering the page, which left it just like Joost Shuur's Slipgate Central after it closed. We didn't use a single line of javascript, just an HTML link and an animated GIF.

            You young folks missed it, the internet was lots of fun back then. Now it's all javascript, flash, and advertising.

    • but...

      When i was waiting for my train, three people were coming down the escalator. I heard one kinda laughingly tell the other two, "Palin said, 'John McCain already *tapped me*'." There there was more laughter. I couldn't *help* but wonder what kind of "tapping" McCain did....

      • by zulux (112259)

        >>I heard one kinda laughingly tell the other two, "Palin said, 'John McCain already *tapped me*'."

        That certainly says more about the mind of the person who insinuated such garbage than and it does about Palin.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by spun (1352)

          Palin does a fine job of making herself look stupid, she doesn't need our help. Though surprisingly she did manage to use complete English sentences in the debate.

          I mean, those interviews were more than embarrassing, they were frightening. Doesn't read, or can't name specific publications. Can't name a single supreme court decision besides Roe v. Wade. Says McCain is for regulation, but can't name one specific instance. Thinks sharing a maritime border with the most desolate, uninhabited part of Russia give

          • by zulux (112259)

            Biden does a fine job of making himself look stupid, he doesn't need our help. Though surprisingly he did manage to cry in the debate.

            I mean, those gaffs were more than embarrassing, they were frightening. Dosen't kown who the president was in the Great Depression, or know what decade TV was invented. Dosn't know what Article Two of the constitution - and he claims to be a lawyer. Says his ticket is for the Iraq war before he was against it. Thinks being wealthy and never donating to charity in the last ten

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by kencurry (471519)

              Biden does a fine job of making himself look stupid, he doesn't need our help. Though surprisingly he did manage to cry in the debate...

              He was speaking of his wife and daughter who were killed as I understand it.

              What sort of heartless fuck are you? Will you laugh when your family is killed, or will you just not care?"

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by outZider (165286)

      Really? Flash is pretty easy to use, too. You just install the plugin, and bam, it works. Amazingly enough, this is relevant to Linux, Windows, and Mac OS X. Wow. Technology.

      It's amazing. A few years ago, people would whine about using RealAudio to distribute. Then they'd whine about WMA, because it wasn't cross platform. Then they'd whine about MP3 because of licensing. Now, sites are using a cross platform, semi open distribution method that is nearly ubiquitous, and now people want to make things up to w

      • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Friday October 03, 2008 @01:14PM (#25248175)

        Really? Flash is pretty easy to use, too.

        How easy? Can you use it with your eyes closed? For sake of argument, I'll allow you to have a braille display.

        • Hell if I know. :)

          Flash allows you to have text alternates to every element on the page, and screen readers can hook into them just like any other web plugin. As I am not blind, I do not have a screen reader, so I can't answer your question. I can tell you quite confidently that the OP did not have this as his argument.

          • by lbgator (1208974)

            My neighbor is blind. He is quite fluent with IT, but he frequently has to ask for help with flash as his screen reader only says something generic for flash elements. I don't know if this is oversight on the implementer's part or a problem with flash in general, but it can really hamstring blind people who are otherwise computer savvy.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by outZider (165286)

              It's ignorance on the part of flash developers, just like HTML designers who don't use ALT tags on images. Adobe provides the technology, developers just don't care.

  • banking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thermian (1267986) on Friday October 03, 2008 @12:29PM (#25247553)

    Isn't the whole reason you got the greenback dollar because Lincoln didn't want to get the US govt into hock with the banks?

    I was under the impression that there was always a significant distrust of banks in the US, until recently that is. I am astonished that a country which refuses to pay for a national 'free at point of provision' health service, supported by taxes, yet they happily hand over the entire country's income tax to the banking system, and now 700 billion because they stayed greedy for a bit too long.

    That also puzzles me. Why not, just to throw a wild idea out, take a portion of the bad dept on for the people who are getting kicked out. I mean like buy 1/2 or 2/3 of the dept from the citizens affected, so they aren't evicted.

    Surely that would work just as well.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Knara (9377)

      I was under the impression that there was always a significant distrust of banks in the US, until recently that is. I am astonished that a country which refuses to pay for a national 'free at point of provision' health service, supported by taxes, yet they happily hand over the entire country's income tax to the banking system, and now 700 billion because they stayed greedy for a bit too long.

      This is highly related to Cold War politics, namely a deep fear of anything that isn't straight-up laissez faire capitalism (even though we don't even have that). Conservative politicians routinely deem anything that isn't private industry-based to be "socialism", which to many Americans (who are, let's be honest, stupid, stupid people) is the same as Soviet-style communism and a harbinger of not only the fall of American democracy but most likely the End Times(tm)

      It doesn't help that many devotees of the

      • Re:banking (Score:5, Insightful)

        by philspear (1142299) on Friday October 03, 2008 @12:47PM (#25247795)

        which to many Americans (who are, let's be honest, people and therefore stupid)

        Fixed that minor point for you. It's not like the good people of the rest of the world are magically resistant to propaghanda or sufficiently knowledgeable about economic systems.

        • by Knara (9377)

          You're absolutely correct, however, we weren't talking about "other people in the world".

          • by mooingyak (720677)

            ... and Americans (and let's be honest here, they almost universally have two legs) ...

            If it's true everywhere, why point it out as a characteristic of a single group?

        • While every country has plenty of stupid people, I am starting to believe that my beloved America has more than most. I don't think it was always this way but I think our education system has declined to the point that we're left with a bunch of thoughtless ADD'ers who can't think of anything but themselves. Just ask some younger people anything about history, geography, and forget math... you might be surprised how little they know. Our schools don't teach kids how to think, at least not critically and

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by BobMcD (601576)

        This overlooks the recent enemy shift, and while may have likely formed the personalities of the Americans making their decisions today, isn't the root of it anymore.

        If you're talking pre-fall-of-the-USSR, then 'Communism' is in fact the '-ism' that drives decisions.

        Today, however, one should only fear the Terrorist. Occasionally Communists are Terrorists as well, but often times they are not. All non-Terrorists are presently 'cool' with the United States...

        In short: 'sed -e "s/Communism/Terrorism/g"'

        So,

        • by BobMcD (601576)

          Oh, and I forgot to mention this one too:

          s/democracy/freedom/g

          Forgetting that tidbit opens the door to the 'Hamas was democratically elected' argument...

        • by Knara (9377)

          I understand what you're saying, however the majority of senior politicians are still of the Cold War vintage, and as such, political paradigms are still frequently framed (and marketed) with a "we don't want to be socialist" approach.

          Most people don't spend very much time worrying about the national debt. They do, however, seem to respond negatively to anything that even hints at a reduction in what they perceive as the the absolute level of personal freedom Americans have (regardless of whether or not t

        • by zulux (112259)

          >>the reason most Americans chafe at socialist programs today is primarily because they are EXPENSIVE

          Some of us recognize that the short-term material gains of socializing things may not outweigh the long term decrease of our freedom.

          Socializing roads makes sense - we trade only a small amount of freedom for a lot of practical benefit. We have a few road-rules to obey and a small amout of taxes to pay to be able to travel quickly just about anywhere.

          Socializing health care makes no sense as a trade of

          • by spun (1352)

            Hmm, then how come countries with socialized medicine (ALL the rest of the first world, mind you) have longer life expectancies, lower infant death rates, and are simply better by any reasonable measure of health care bang for the buck? If you think you have any sort of meaningful freedom as it relates to health care now, you are delusional. The HMOs and insurance companies make the rules, and unless you are willing to spend a king's ransom on a decent plan, or and emperor's ransom to pay for it all yoursel

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by LunaticTippy (872397)

            Socializing health care makes no sense as a trade off - we allow the government make life and death choices over us for a marginal increase of benefit to our pocket books.

            Right now we allow private companies to make those same life-and-death choices, and they have upside-down incentives.

            Once you start collecting health problems you no longer have any choices for private insurance. If your insurance decides not to cover some necessary care there is no recourse. There is no way to shop for insurance since

    • Re:banking (Score:5, Interesting)

      by rhsanborn (773855) on Friday October 03, 2008 @12:45PM (#25247763)
      It's been mentioned that for about 75 Billion the US Gov could give 100k to each of the households currently in foreclosure, which should stop that process. Unfortunately, the issue isn't necessarily the houses that ARE in foreclosure, as only between 1-2% (from figures I've heard) are in foreclosure. The issue, is that no one wants to buy the securities based on the possibility that more will go into foreclosure. The US Gov is offering to buy all the securities based on the sub-prime mortgages which would remove the concern about buying a mortgage backed security that might be poisoned with possible, future foreclosures.

      Unfortunately, either option seems silly. First, we're rewarding foolishness on the part of both the buyer and seller, which only encourages further such action in the future. Second, unemployment is still at reasonable levels, there may not be as much credit on the market, but the market is definitely not dry, and won't be as long as the fed keeps money available which it's done all along.

      It looks like fear mongering on behalf of wall street is about to put 700 billion dollars into the pockets of the upper 90% via stock increases as banks unload these securities which they should have never created in the first place.
      • It is completely misleading and dishonest of you to compare the purchase of $700B of yielding assets to the grating of $700B cash. They are just not the same thing.

        • by rhsanborn (773855)
          Not entirely, because these assets will be purchased at greatly inflated values. This won't be a purchase of assets at market rates. The government will be putting a heavy markup on these things paying far more than they'd be worth if sold on the open market. This ends up as a net positive into the pockets of Wall Street and their holders.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by T.E.D. (34228)

        If everyone involved was being "foolish" on a massive scale, perhaps we should look at the possibility that the rules (or lack therof) of the game they were playing was encouraging foolish behavior, no?

        The real root cause of all this was the blind rush to deregulation that congress has engaged in over the last 30 years. A game with no rules isn't any fun for anyone.

    • by Orne (144925) on Friday October 03, 2008 @12:51PM (#25247853) Homepage

      The problem is that the people who were supposed to oversee Fannie Mae are the same people that are now supporting a certain Democrat candidate for president, and it would not be beneficial for the media to expose those relationships to the public-at-large until after the election.

      I don't understand how the Enron Trial is on the tip of everyone's tongue, but the media isn't calling to put these banking executive in jail for a fraud that is 10x worse!

      • by OSU ChemE (974181)
        Actually, it's not just Democrats [slate.com] that are/were in on it. It was a bi-partisan screw up.
      • by mathmathrevolution (813581) on Friday October 03, 2008 @01:28PM (#25248363)

        You're so full of misinformation. Barney Frank was the one who passed regulations on Freddie & Fannie. In July 2007 Frank became chairman and he and the Democrats passed regulations within two months. These regulations had been blocked by the house Republicans since 1994.

        It's incredible that the Republicans claim the big mean Democrats prevented them from instituting a proper regulatory framework despite over a decade of Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Solandri (704621)

          You're so full of misinformation. Barney Frank was the one who passed regulations on Freddie & Fannie. In July 2007 Frank became chairman and he and the Democrats passed regulations within two months. These regulations had been blocked by the house Republicans since 1994.

          It's incredible that the Republicans claim the big mean Democrats prevented them from instituting a proper regulatory framework despite over a decade of Republican majorities in the House and Senate.

          You mean this Barney Frank? [nytimes.com]

          ''Thes

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by jcnnghm (538570)

          Democrats blocked regulation in 2004, attacking the regulator, and defeated the Federal Housing Enterprise Regulatory Reform Act of 2005, cosponsored by John McCain. Barney Frank is in this neck deep, don't kid yourself. Democrats like Frank cried racism whenever the republicans suggested regulating Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and had control of the house financial services committee which oversees the GSEs.

          "I worry, frankly, that there's a tension here. The more people, in my judgment, exaggerate a
          threat

    • by jcr (53032)

      Isn't the whole reason you got the greenback dollar because Lincoln didn't want to get the US govt into hock with the banks?

      More like, he had a war to fund, and he couldn't be bothered to let something like the constitution stand in his way.

      -jcr

    • Re:banking (Score:5, Insightful)

      by superdave80 (1226592) on Friday October 03, 2008 @12:55PM (#25247933)

      Why not, just to throw a wild idea out, take a portion of the bad dept on for the people who are getting kicked out. I mean like buy 1/2 or 2/3 of the dept from the citizens affected, so they aren't evicted.

      So, my taxes, that came out of my pocket, should pay off the loan of another person? Why stop there? Use my money to pay people's rent, utilities, etc.

      People seem to think that a person losing their home is the end of the world. Rent an apartment (people do it all the time), and make sure you save wisely enough to be able to pay for your house next time.

      • Instead your money, that came out of your pocket, should be spent buying securities from banks because noone else will?

        It sounds like keeping people in their homes and getting to essentially the same place would be preferable to the alternative.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by robertjw (728654)

      That also puzzles me. Why not, just to throw a wild idea out, take a portion of the bad dept on for the people who are getting kicked out. I mean like buy 1/2 or 2/3 of the dept from the citizens affected, so they aren't evicted.

      Surely that would work just as well.

      The best reason not to do that is because it would REALLY piss off those of us who are responsible and pay their mortgage. I'm not exactly getting rich here, but I didn't get an interest only loan with an adjustable rate, and I'm paying my mortgage every month. Why should we bail out a bunch of people who bought houses they shouldn't have, gambling on the idea that real estate would increase in value at a linear rate forever, and now can't pay for them.

      I have great compassion for people who have had ci

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by dbIII (701233)
        Apparently because the system could get into such a screwed up state that the bank that holds your mortgage has a chance of going under too. It looks like the proposed solution however is to go for a fast "shotgun' approach after a decade of ignoring the looming problem. This has bizzare effects such as an Australian Bank that is actually doing quite well now is likely to get some of your money due to a minor amount of dabbling in the dodgier bits of the US financial sector. I'm expecting to see a lot of
  • Surprised, Am I (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Friday October 03, 2008 @12:31PM (#25247587)

    35 cents, equivalent to about $8

    I'm surprised that the inflation rate is so low for what had to be cutting edge technology of the era. Considering that a modern music CD that costs literal pennies to press sells (or attempts to sell, considering recent sales figures) for up to twice that price I wonder what figure was used for the amount of inflation over the last century.

    • by dcollins (135727)

      That was in the pre-media monopoly era, so that makes a difference.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Hatta (162192)

      I'd be willing to bet that 35 cents was pretty close to cost for these things. After all, it's an ad, they want you to listen.

    • Everyone has or can get a CD player nowadays, but I wonder what the market penetration of the players was like back then. Could have marketed these things at cost or even at a loss, knowing that they wouldn't actually sell all that many?
    • by HTH NE1 (675604)

      Well, consider the duration or these recordings. Could you fit a whole CD's worth of audio on one wax tube?

  • He's the new 'third choice'!
  • Panic of 1873 (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MrMunkey (1039894) on Friday October 03, 2008 @12:36PM (#25247655) Homepage
    I just got done reading an article about the Economic Panic of 1873 and how that depression more closely resembles what's currently happening. This might explain why Bryan was talking about bank failures. It was still fresh in their minds.

    http://chronicle.com/temp/reprint.php?id=477k3d8mh2wmtpc4b6h07p4hy9z83x18 [chronicle.com]
  • by [cx] (181186) on Friday October 03, 2008 @12:37PM (#25247667)

    McCain must be excited to hear his old wax cylinder recordings again.

  • I'm more interested in the sound bites from the future [gotfuturama.com]:

    John Jackson: "It's time someone had the courage to stand up and say: I'm against those things that everybody hates."
    Jack Johnson: "Now, I respect my opponent. I think he's a good man. But quite frankly, I agree with everything he just said."
    John Jackson: "I say your three cent titanium tax goes too far."
    Jack Johnson: "And I say your three cent titanium tax doesn't go too far enough."

  • Prescient? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MikeRT (947531)

    The reason that a lot of the problems we're facing now happened is because of government regulation that coerced banks into giving loans to people who couldn't get them in a less regulated market. There's this asinine argument that goes like this: if the government doesn't make banks loan to minorities and the poor, then those racist bastards won't give anyone who isn't a good looking WASP male a mortgage.

    Was Wall Street to blame on its own end? Absolutely. However, the usual suspects in political activism

    • Re:Prescient? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by WamBam (1275048) on Friday October 03, 2008 @01:02PM (#25248035)

      Your argument seems to be that the government forced companies to take on loans from 'minorities and the poor'. You didn't quite work yourself into a froth about liberalism, affirmative action or whatever else you think is wrong with left but it seems like you were heading in that direction.

      If you look at the people who are defaulting on mortgages it's not really minorities and the poor (I guess in your mind minority = poor?) but mostly middle class Americans who took out loans that they couldn't afford to pay back. Just look at where these defaulters live and you'll see that suburban middle class (white, black, hispanic, etc.) enclaves are most effected.

      I won't disagree with you that some of this crisis has it's roots during the Clinton era or that the government is partially to blame. I'd blame the government for not regulating the lending industry enough rather then accusing them of forcing risky loans on companies. These companies, as well as the housing industry, wanted to take on these loans because they saw green and more importantly, other institutions wanted the securities these loans were wrapped up in because they thought it would make them money.

      Please don't use this crisis as some sort of attack against the poor and/or minorities. It just makes you sound ignorant.

      • Not nearly as ignorant as you would believe. Ever heard of the Community Reinvestment Act and its amendments [wikipedia.org]? It played an important role in dropping the standards on accounting to make this problem possible. I admit that I came across as blaming only the poor and minorities in that first paragraph (such is the result of fast posting). The middle class certainly has its large share of the blame too for overspending on housing. However, let's not kid ourselves into thinking that this environment would have h
        • by Qzukk (229616) on Friday October 03, 2008 @02:22PM (#25249033) Journal

          The CRA only applies to banks.

          Despite the fact that CRA appears to have increased bank and thrift lending in low- and moderate-income communities, such institutions are not the only ones operating in these areas. In fact, with new and lower-cost sources of funding available from the secondary market through securitization, and with advances in financial technology, subprime lending exploded in the late 1990s, reaching over $600 billion and 20% of all originations by 2005. More than half of subprime loans were made by independent mortgage companies not subject to comprehensive federal supervision

          http://www.house.gov/apps/list/hearing/financialsvcs_dem/barr021308.pdf

          The CRA is only at worst 50% responsible (an additional 30% of the subprime loans were made by "affiliates" of banks, and therefore partially covered by CRA, the remaining 20% of all loans were made directly by banks... and the worst case scenario is that the regulators were there twisting the banks' arms for every single loan). The other 50% of the mortgages were irrefutably made of the originators' free will.

          Secondly, the CRA doesn't call for Option ARMs or interest-only loans or giving people money with zero down or piggybacking another mortgage for the down payment or liar loans... those are entirely the invention of the banks and mortgage companies that offered them.

      • Nothing you've said is quite false, but none of it counters the GP's point, either. The policy of encouraging/forcing sub-prime loans was put into place because at the time certain politicians were able to argue that refusing these loans was indistinguishable from discrimination due to similarities in the demographics. That may no longer be the case, but it was the original reason for the sub-prime lending.

        Note that the borrowers also have some culpability here; when one takes out a loan one has an obligati

    • http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/03/business/03sec.html [nytimes.com]

      the issue is basically that there was too much regulation in 2004, and the banks were chomping at the bit to deregulate even more, to free them from rules about having enough assets on hand. by freeing them from this government regulation, this decision in 2004 paved the way for all the recent failures

      i don't understand your thinking, where excesses obviously related to free market ebullience has led us into the debacle we're at today. in the 1800s, with

    • Re:Prescient? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Herkum01 (592704) on Friday October 03, 2008 @01:39PM (#25248495)

      The government may have adjusted the rules to try and give people loans to poorer people, but you cannot say the bank was forced to give them loans. There is a lot of process that goes into getting a loan which includes checks and balances on whom is supposed to get approved. The fact of the matter is that too many people had in an interest in pushing loans, good or bad, because they got an immediate payoff and they could pass a bad loan to someone else. Think of all the people who get a cut when you sell a house,

      • Real Estate Agent
      • Property Assessor
      • Mortgage Broker
      • the Seller
      • Rating's Agencies
      • and the BANK!

      That's right, the bank got an immediate payoff for making the loan! Why? Because they turned around and sold the loan. Basically everyone could pass the buck onto someone else. Unless your were the final sucker who got caught holding the loan which ends up worthless. It was a game of hot-potato being played by financial experts who convinced themselves they knew better than someone else.

      As for politcal activism, that is a load of crap. It came down to businesses wanted to do business anyway they like without any oversight, it was only a matter of time before someone came up with this Ponzi scheme. If people had to actually hold onto the loans that they made none of this stuff would have happened. But you would have had rich financial analyst's screaming "this not a free market!"

  • by MosesJones (55544) on Friday October 03, 2008 @12:49PM (#25247815) Homepage

    Of course what they don't tell you is that most people just ripped the wax cylinders into an oral history form and passed it on that way via a peer to peer approach.

    People complained that the problem with the P2P network was that you couldn't tell what was the original and what was either a bad copy or just some virus put in there by someone else to mislead people, but people in South Texas claimed it was the only way they could do it as the Wax cylinders were not available in their area due to them melting.

  • by jfruhlinger (470035) on Friday October 03, 2008 @01:09PM (#25248109) Homepage

    Bryan was supposed to be the premier orator of his era -- his "Cross of Gold" speech brought the house down at the Democratic convention in 1896. But that recording is just a snoozefest -- admittedly, it's about banking, which is important but boring (which is no doubt one of the reasons we're in trouble today), but the rhythm is just stately and bland and blah. Maybe the experience of being in a studio rather than in front of a live, reacting crowd was so foreign that it didn't occur to him that he should be using the same oratorical techniques, and instead was just reading prepared remarks.

    • by zulux (112259)

      If I remember correctly, you had to pretty much yell at the early wax recorders to get them to register. We're probably hearing someone pretty much doing his best to yell and sound reasonable at the same time.

  • "Mister Taft, what is your position on young whippersnappers using Edison's sound capturing device to obtain songs of popular performers and listening to it later, not paying music admission prices? Is this the end of Music Hall?"
  • The historical context of these two men is important. In 1908 the Democratic party wanted to teach christian principles in school (instead of evolution), and the Republican party wanted to work to ensure equal rights and opportunities for all.
  • by Black-Man (198831) on Friday October 03, 2008 @01:23PM (#25248297)

    William Jenning Bryan... a Democrat. Strong supporter of prohibition, fought darwinism and was a racist.

    Taft... a Republican. And the Republican Party of 1906 REMEMBERED ITS ROOTS! The party of the Abolitionists.

    I wish the Republican's would acknowledge their heritage. The heritage of abolition and the abolishment of slavery. They should be proud of Lincoln!

  • What we really need is the wax cylinder that holds the speeches from John McCain's first congressional campaign. What? Oops, I guess that would be the scrolls that held the speeches. Huh? OK, the clay tablets... Really? Cave walls?

Your program is sick! Shoot it and put it out of its memory.

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