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by Jen Scoville

"Global Community" is a term owing its birth to the Internet, a simple compound phrase which sums up one of the biggest areas of potential for the medium -- the almost instantaneous means to get in touch with people and places all over the world. In fact, the Internet sprang from a desire and need for global communication, virtual roundtables and conferences among the first experiments in cyberspace. Calling themselves "the social Web pioneer" Electric Minds (http://www.minds.com) has established a site where folks can trade philosophies and viewpoints in a sort of unstructured structure designed to get people talking. The intellectual home of author/futurist Howard Rheingold and former
Yahoo! vice president of sales and marketing, Randy Haykin, Electric Minds functions as a virtual community center that not only hosts its own topics of discourse, but sends interested parties on to local and even more specialized discussions elsewhere on the Web. And with moderators such as Internet wunderkind Justin Hall and Austin's own technoculture guru Jon Lebkowsky, cyber-celebs in their own right, participants can be sure they'll be entertained, enlightened, or incited to debate by original thoughts from those traveling the information highway on a daily basis. First check out the helpful links to cyberspace etiquette and online lingo, and then proceed to any number of ongoing conversations. The World Wide Jams sessions are divided by locales -- Paris, Frankfurt, London, Tokyo, San Francisco, NYC, Sydney, and of course

Austin -- and each locale is filled with topics laid out graphically so you can see how popular the conversation is before you decide to enter. Last time I visited our hometown post, there were subjects ranging from food to the Austin Film Society; from robot culture and cyber-rights issues to history. Among the comments under the heading of "Cinematic Events Happening Around Town" someone said they spotted Sissy Spacek in La Zona Rosa. Of course there are heavier back-and-forths too, including dialogue on every aspect of the future and media with leading thinkers in technology companies. Now that oughta provide your brain a jolt...

The 10th Annual Dallas Video Festival takes place Jan. 9-12, and, as I mentioned a couple weeks back, it features quite a few works by Austin artists. The festival will be held at the Dallas Museum of Art (1717 N. Harwood) 7-11pm, Thu and Fri; noon -11pm, Sat; and noon-10pm on Sunday. An all-Festival pass is $25, day passes $8-10 depending on the date. Call 214/651-8600 for a full schedule...

After a short holiday break, Gangsters and Outlaws, the ongoing bad-guy series sponsored by the Austin Film Society will start up again on Wednesday, January 8 (7:30pm at the Dobie) with a new 35mm print of Delmer Daves' 3:10 to Yuma (1957), a Western doubling as a suspense thriller based on a story by Elmore Leonard. Attendees of the last Wednesday night screening, Wild Boys of the Road, may not have noticed the wild boy in the audience. Matthew McConaughey was present to do a little research for his upcoming lead role in Richard Linklater's nouveau Western, The Newton Boys.

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Marc Savlov, Sept. 17, 2004

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Marc Savlov, Sept. 3, 2004

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