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Sound Bites of the 1908 Presidential Candidates

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the hundred-years-of-blah-blah-blah dept.

The Media 410

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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Sounds condescending to modern ears (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25247477)

sounds condescending to modern ears but was progressive at the time

As opposed to the non-condescending progressives of today.

Re:Sounds condescending to modern ears (0, Flamebait)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248483)

Care to share some examples of condescending progressives? I always thought the neo-cons were the most condescending. They only talk in sound bites, about pre-approved talking points. It is as if they think the American public are too stupid to understand real discussion about real issues.

Politics is not a teeter-totter (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25248551)

When I diss progressives, I'm not lifting up neocons.

As a matter of fact, I see progressives and neocons as almost equally condesending, intrusive, hyprocritical, and full of bad ideas.

I see politics more like a feces covered merry-go-round. They all stink of the same shit and go in the same circles.

Re:Sounds condescending to modern ears (2, Insightful)

afabbro (33948) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248637)

Condescending progressives? Is there any other kind? If you'd like something topical, though, how about this gem from Senator Diane Feinstein [youtube.com] explaining that while 93% of those contacting her office oppose the $700B bailout, she's voting for it because they just "don't understand it".

Re:Sounds condescending to modern ears (2, Insightful)

moderatorrater (1095745) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248663)

How can you forget Obama's famous quote about people clinging to guns and xenophobia out of bitterness over lost jobs? What about the post on Slashdot that Palin should stop using the word "betcha"? Have you seen the furor over Palin's belief in creationism? What about people who oppose all religion? All of these things show that they think they know better than the people that they're talking about.

People think that conservatives are anti-intellectual, which isn't necessarily the case. It's that they're anti-elitism. The school district where I grew up put in a math program that was utterly and completely worthless. Math scores tanked, parents complained, and it was hard to believe that even 30% of the parents supported the new math program. However, the district stuck to their guns because some college professors thought it was the best thing in the world. Everyone who had children in the math program knew it was absolute shit, but some people with doctorates who'd never used it in the real world thought they knew better. That's not anti-intellectual, that's justified anger.

When it comes down to it, there are people in this country and in the world who think that if you hold a certain belief, you are instantly a moron and someone who isn't to be given respect. That's the very definition of condescension, and you can see it every day in Richard Dawkins, Slashdot, or almost any tech site.

Can't listen, Flash only (3, Interesting)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247501)

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] .

Re:Can't listen, Flash only (5, Funny)

Kratisto (1080113) | more than 5 years ago | (#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!

Re:Can't listen, Flash only (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25247559)

get a life, just use flash you software nazi

Re:Can't listen, Flash only (5, Informative)

Munk (59689) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247601)

Re:Can't listen, Flash only (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247749)

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?

Re:Can't listen, Flash only (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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!

Re:Can't listen, Flash only (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25248433)

But what about all of us who don't use mp3 players?
What about all those security updates for Winamp, Windows Media Player, and pretty much any other audio player?
If you don't trust a flash applet, why would you trust an mp3 file that can possibly be malicious?

Re:Can't listen, Flash only (1)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247793)

Re:Can't listen, Flash only (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25247913)

Error 403

ZUGRIFF NICHT ERLAUBT
Die angeforderte Seite darf nicht angezeigt werden.

Re:Can't listen, Flash only (1)

pat sajak (1368465) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248197)

Thanks for these. For some reason I wasn't getting any sound with the Flash. I don't understand how they got MP3's on to wax cylinders but I'm glad they did!

Re:Can't listen, Flash only (1)

Facegarden (967477) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248521)

Thanks for these. For some reason I wasn't getting any sound with the Flash. I don't understand how they got MP3's on to wax cylinders but I'm glad they did!

No, no, they got flash onto the wax cylinders, then they converted the flash audio to MP3 later. Obviously in 1908 they didn't have the tech to convert MP3's directly to wax cylinders, sheesh!
-Taylor

Re:Can't listen, Flash only I didn't listen to it, (2, Funny)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247825)

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....

Re:Can't listen, Flash only I didn't listen to it, (1)

zulux (112259) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248217)

>>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:Can't listen, Flash only I didn't listen to it, (2, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248553)

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 gives her foreign affairs experience.

Re:Can't listen, Flash only I didn't listen to it, (1)

zulux (112259) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248673)

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 years (well $300) makes him part of the common people.

Re:Can't listen, Flash only (2, Insightful)

outZider (165286) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248045)

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 whine about. Just install Flash.

You must be able to see to hear this Flash audio (5, Insightful)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:You must be able to see to hear this Flash audi (1)

outZider (165286) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248447)

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.

Re:You must be able to see to hear this Flash audi (1)

lbgator (1208974) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248579)

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.

Flash must die! (1)

BillGod (639198) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248531)

from smooth wambats link."Flash is the new blink tag and must be treated as such" HA that made me laugh

Give Teddy four more years! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25247531)

Four more years!

Tag failures (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25247551)

Why is every article tagged "story?" Defeats the purpose of having tags.

Re:Tag failures (1)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247735)

The beginning of tagging trolls?

Re:Tag failures (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247755)

On the Firehose, the "story" tag separates stories from submissions and comments. The "story" tags are just leaking to the front page.

Re:Tag failures (3, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247799)

There's a purpose to having tags?

banking (4, Insightful)

thermian (1267986) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:banking (2, Insightful)

Knara (9377) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247683)

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 two major political parties will stick to their party no matter what. This is most apparent in the Republican party, where "smaller government, lower taxes, stronger America" has been the refrain for 3 decades, while the politicians elected in said party have routinely governed towards larger government, same or higher taxes, and a dubiously stronger US (by virtue of overextended military capacity and very high national debt). Alas.

Re:banking (5, Insightful)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:banking (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247957)

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

Re:banking (1)

mooingyak (720677) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248287)

... 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?

Re:banking (0)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248387)

People are Stupid Panicky Animals.

The phrase "Something has to be done. We're doing something. Therefore it has to be done!" is very appropriate.

The fact is, this problem was caused by both (D) and (R) people pushing for regulations and controls on the marketplace. None of the CONTROLS and OVERSIGHT mattered when people were making lots and lots of $$$$. But now that the pyramid scheme has collapsed (as it will always do), people want MORE of the SAME.

I have one rule, that will fix all the stupid short sighted problems of the "free" market, and won't need any government regulation or oversight.

Pay all boards and CEO types a salary of $1. Give them stock, of which they can only SELL 1% the year that they get it, the other 99% of the stock is locked away for 20 years, and is untouchable.

There isn't anyone worth $35 million (or whatever it was) for 19 days of work. I'm not even sure there is anyone really worth $35 million a year, but that is my opinion.

Re:banking (1)

spun (1352) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248659)

How is your proposal not government oversight and regulation of the most serious sort? The fact is, this crisis was caused by lack of oversight and regulation, and by greedy sociopaths, and voodoo economics. When you apply economic stimulus from the bottom, the rich know what to invest in. When you apply it to the top, they will NOT use their money to create more jobs, that's risky! They will create a house of cards gambling system where they are the house and they will get their cut. That is what happened, the rich created a housing bubble, profited from it, and now they are trying to stick us with the bad debt they created.

Here's an idea, how about we disband corporations that break the law and sell off all their assets? Corporate death penalty.

Re:banking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25248453)

Knara is just a douchebag and a snob.

Re:banking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25247895)

Actually, the Democrats most prove your point and it is born out through statistics.

The Republican base is fickle and changes over time. Witness 2006 when we finally threw the liars out. Now Democratic support is absolutely pegged to population size and it does not change. A Democrat is a Democrat for life.

A Republican is much more likely, at least a portion of the base, to vote Democrat from time to time or a third party. (Ross Perot anyone?)

"(who are, let's be honest, stupid, stupid people)"
That has to be one of the most offensive and bigoted quotes I've seen here for some time. Congrats your condescending ass.

Re:banking (2, Interesting)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247983)

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, the reason most Americans chafe at socialist programs today is primarily because they are EXPENSIVE, and we need that money to occupy Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.

Re:banking (1)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248011)

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...

Re:banking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25248189)

The reason why Americans distrust socialist programs is that they require mounds and mounds of bills and paperwork to be created by people who aren't nearly as well informed about the issues at hand than businessmen. Congressmen may be better informed than the little people, but they should be facilitating the creation of society, not creating regulation after regulation.

Re:banking (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248207)

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 that perception is accurate). As a result, any movement towards universal healthcare just needs to be relabeled as "socialized" (aka "socialist") healthcare, and you get propoganda implying that basically people are going to get the medical care equivalent of soviet bread lines, and they balk at programs that would IN FACT HELP THEM LIVE BETTER LIVES.

Re:banking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25248221)

s/Eurasia/Eastasia/g ?

Re:banking (1)

zulux (112259) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248337)

>>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 off - we allow the government make life and death choices over us for a marginal increase of benefit to our pocket books.

I'm not greedy enough to trade a smaller health-care bill for the freedom to do with my very health and life as I see fit? Are you?

Re:banking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25248471)

Have fun dying of cancer when you decide not to get that lump checked out because it's "probably nothing, so why waste the money?".

Re:banking (0, Flamebait)

zulux (112259) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248507)

>>Have fun dying of cancer when you decide not to get that lump checked out because it's "probably nothing, so why waste the money?".

Scare tactics!?!?

You can get a lot of people do all sorts of things if you scare them and give them enough fear.

Sadly for you, there are some people who are immune to your childish play on emotions.

Re:banking (4, Interesting)

rhsanborn (773855) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:banking (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25247975)

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.

Bzzzt. Your grasp of reality ended with that statement. The BANKS determine the actual credit that's being lent, the Fed coalition can only suggest the rate and offer 'injections' of capital at times of severe crisis. Unless the banks start building liquidity (read: improving, not deteriorating as they currently are) we are headed for a real problem. Continuing on the course of 'stay out of the failing banks way' will result in severe unemployment, sooner rather than later.

Re:banking (1)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248213)

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.

You got it! Were you ready too? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25248381)

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.

Absolutely correct. So when you actually read the Bills before congress, and you realize they are authorizing a 11 Trillion dollar handout rather than a 700 Billion dollar purchase, you understand everything.

This is just last minute profit-taking by the Bush crony system. They presented a guaranteed-to-fail bill (which ironically almost passed due to our economically inept representation) to blow the stock market through the basement. If you check it out, you'll see that plenty of Texans and their buddies were well prepared for this crash.

If the Bush Bailout goes through, it's not quite as good for them economically because of the necessary devaluation of the dollar that will entail. That's even after the handout gets pushed into Switzerland and the Caymans. But it's great politically, because then either Obama or McCain gets to be the next Hoover, which either way is a win for the team.

Since I figured it out in advance, I get to make lots of money too. See ya in the poorhouse suckers!!

Re:banking (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247843)

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.

You mean the hundred-years-of-blah-blah-blah dept.? When did that go bad?

(The word you want is "debt" with a silent B.)

Banking and Democrat Change (5, Informative)

Orne (144925) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247853)

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!

Re:Banking and Democrat Change (2)

OSU ChemE (974181) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248215)

Actually, it's not just Democrats [slate.com] that are/were in on it. It was a bi-partisan screw up.

Re:Banking and Democrat Change (5, Informative)

mathmathrevolution (813581) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Banking and Democrat Change (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25248661)

I don't know man... He's got links.

Re:banking (1)

jcr (53032) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247923)

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 (4, Insightful)

superdave80 (1226592) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:banking (2, Insightful)

robertjw (728654) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248225)

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 circumstances (lost jobs, personal loss, etc...) who are losing their homes. If there was a reliable way to identify these people (and if would trust our government) I think that would be a great thing to do. I have no compassion for someone who didn't do their due diligence prior to signing the papers.

FWIW I don't think we should be bailing out banks that took on too much risk with sub-prime mortgage funds either, but not bailing them out will impact the economy and all of us regardless of our personal decisions. From that standpoint it makes sense to prop up the economy.

Surprised, Am I (4, Insightful)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:Surprised, Am I (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247827)

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

Re:Surprised, Am I (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247879)

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.

Re:Surprised, Am I (1)

Rob T Firefly (844560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247951)

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?

Re:Surprised, Am I (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247995)

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

Heard of YouTube? (1)

BenSchuarmer (922752) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248211)

This is more like 60 second political ads on YouTube (which are free) than 40+ minute long CDs.

Taft in 08! (1)

AioKits (1235070) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247635)

He's the new 'third choice'!

Panic of 1873 (3, Interesting)

MrMunkey (1039894) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247655)

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]

Re:Panic of 1873 (1)

ch-chuck (9622) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247845)

38 years after is 'still fresh in their minds'??

Re:Panic of 1873 (5, Funny)

goatpunch (668594) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248305)

People didn't have the same concept of time in the olden days, two events in the same century seemed practically simultaneous to them. They also walked very quickly, talked in funny voices, and could only see in black and white.

Re:Panic of 1873 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25248309)

38 years after is 'still fresh in their minds'??

It's all relative in politics... US politicians are still talking about Vietnam (~40 years) and it doesn't look like that obsession is going to end in the next decade or so...

(Hell, every tin-pot dictator who pops up anywhere in the world gets compared to Hitler(!)... How long will that comparison still resonate?)

Todays Presidental Race (5, Funny)

[cx] (181186) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247667)

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

There are great images (0)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247717)

There are great images from the campaign; lots of fun.

I'm sure there are, but these are audio recordings.

Re:There are great images (1)

Dekortage (697532) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247759)

Um... did you click on the link? The recordings are accompanied by a slideshow of historical images.

Re:There are great images (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247943)

Then it should have included the word "also", or a deep link to the slideshow. On its face, it was either a bizarre grammatical error or a non sequitur.

The fuuuuutuuuuuure! (1)

halcyon1234 (834388) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247727)

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? (2, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247741)

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 and Congress are getting away with this. People like Congressman Barney Frank, who helped force the lowered standards, are getting to stand in front of the media and blame Bush for something that started in the early 1990s! As much as I hate Bush, his economic policies are largely just a continuation of Clinton's.

And here's the irony about bank deposit insurance: by law the FDIC can never carry enough money to really bail out your bank account. It can only hold $50B in cash reserves at any one point in time. That means that they can prattle on and on about raising the limits from $100,000 to $250,000 but it's not even remotely economically feasible.

Re:Prescient? (5, Insightful)

WamBam (1275048) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

What about the Community Reinvestment Act? (2, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248609)

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 happened the way it did if banks didn't face the threat of legal action under the CRA if they denied someone a mortgage when that person could, *ahem*, theoretically make the payments on their current income.

Re:Prescient? (1)

JesseMcDonald (536341) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248693)

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 obligation to pay it back. It is at least as much the borrower's responsibility to determine that he or she is not taking on an obligation in excess of his or her means as it is the lender's responsibility to determine that borrower can reasonably afford to repay the loan.

Later on we get to Mortgage-Backed Securities, where the risks of these sub-prime loans were incorrectly discounted. Before the loans were risky, but at least the risk was somewhat accounted for. Now we have securities that everyone thinks are backed up by stable loans, but in reality the backing isn't so stable after all. The situation thus goes from bad to worse.

There are other contributing factors; an error this large cannot be the result of any one (or two) cause(s). FactCheck.org has a decent evaluation [factcheck.org] of the issues; there is a partial list of contributors near the end.

wrong source of the mess (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248477)

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 far less government regulation, there were regular painful and crippling booms and busts related to little oversight and regulation

its kind of a weird, wishful desperate magical thinking on your part: that, in this moment that most disproves the stupidity of free market fundamentalism, free market fundamentalists blame the government and regulation for the failures of the free market

free market fundamentalists: the free market is best when it is in a sandbox. meaning, within certain parameters, the market should allowed to do their thing. however, when it ranges too far out of the sandbox, into regions of manic greed bubbles and crippling fearful busts, the government should step in and either slow things down, or keep things on life support

you can't have a healthy economy without regulation and governemtn invovlement. i'll repeat, as the howls of libertarian fools and blind market fundamentalists is too loud: you can't have a healthy economy without regulation and government invovlement

the mess we are in today is strictly and 100% explainable in terms of natural human failures in terms of greed and poor foresight. nothing the government or regulation rules are responsible for

the error in the thinking of free market fundamentalists is that everything is self-correcting. no, a free market can boom and bust itself right of existence if it is not regulated. just study the financial history of the 1800s if you don't believe me. regulation simply smooths out the hard corners, and it is absolutely necessary for a healthy economy: save us from the scarier regions of the nadir and pinnacle of natural boom and bust cycles due to simple human failures that cascade and build on each other were the market completely free

free market fundamentalism is just as stupid as communism, for equal although inverse reasons: sometimes, you need to save people from themselves, or their excesses destroy way more than their own set of mistakes. in other words, those who choose wrongly in a free market can make mistakes which hurt way more than just themselves. meaning, the free market must be protected, via government involvement, from extreme conditions that damage way more than just those who make the bad decisions

if people made decisions in free markets which alwas and exclusively hurt only themselves, free markets shouls proceed unfettered by government oversight. but they don't. so government oversight is necessary for a healthy economy

free market fundamentalists and libertarians: september 2008 is your comeuppance. the excesses we see crashing today is NOT the faul tof the government, in spite of the magical thinking of the post i am replying to. take a hard gulp, and revisit your ideology. it is flawed, your thinking and your assumptions are wrong

Re:Prescient? (5, Interesting)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 5 years ago | (#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!"

interesting (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247753)

You can also find early recordings by people such as Theodore Roosevelet on Youtube, if you're bored...

Bit-torrenting like its 1908 (4, Funny)

MosesJones (55544) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247815)

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.

The Negro has progressed (0, Flamebait)

zymano (581466) | more than 5 years ago | (#25247935)

To a point that they now have collapsed all our banks with stupid demands for easy loans with the black nominee for president implicated in the scandal.

Flamebait =censorship (-1, Troll)

zymano (581466) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248001)

Admit it.

Was McCain there? (1)

cavis (1283146) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248079)

Wasn't McCain a delegate to the national convention that year? I think this technological feat may have helped inspire him to create the Blackberry.

Bryan's not exactly electifying, is he? (2, Interesting)

jfruhlinger (470035) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248109)

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.

Re:Bryan's not exactly electifying, is he? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25248415)

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 remark

Or maybe a generation of people who grew up watching movies on TV doesn't have the same type of attention span. Now, I'm not one of the people who dislike TV (in fact, I'm a huge fan), but I think the tendency of politicians to try to be flashy so they look good on camera is a problem, not an improvement.

In the recordings, each candidate spoke about a particular problem and their stance. I thoroughly enjoyed them and wished our candidates today had that oratorical style

Re:Bryan's not exactly electifying, is he? (1)

jfruhlinger (470035) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248563)

It's not the content that put me to sleep, it was the delivery style. The exact same sentences, maybe with minor modification, could have been delivered like someone talking, not someone reading off of a page. There was just a certain unpunctuated "dot-de-dot-de-dot-de-daaaah, dot-de-dot-de-dot-de-DAAAHHH" quality to it that actually made it harder for me to focus.

It is of course just possible that people's expectations of public oration have changed so radically that what would have seemed electrifying then seems bland to me. That's one of the interesting things about these early sound recordings, I guess.

Re:Bryan's not exactly electifying, is he? (1)

zulux (112259) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248435)

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.

Some things never change! (2, Funny)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248153)

"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 days of the old parties... (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248295)

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.

My... How Times Change (2, Informative)

Black-Man (198831) | more than 5 years ago | (#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!

The more things change... (1)

Dorkmaster Flek (1013045) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248481)

Doesn't that just go to show that both parties are essentially the same wolf in sheeps clothing?

Bryan was also a creationist... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25248431)

Before everybody starts talking about how wonderful William Jennings Bryan was, remember that he was a reactionary whose other positions included banning the teaching of evolution and opposition to civil rights.

Nor was he a great economist; he was the voice of the silver mining interests. To the extent that they succeeded in influencing policy, they made economic conditions worse rather than better.

Re:Bryan was also a creationist... (1)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248523)

Yes the Democrats of 1908 were the Republicans of their time ;)

acetate pressings? (1)

Jrod5000 at RPI (229934) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248519)

We'll start off your workout with vigorous calisthenics executed in rhythmic time with acetate pressings of the new musical craze called "jazz"

Steak and eggs and eggs and steak...

So? (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 5 years ago | (#25248643)

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?

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