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The chief of AOL's Seed is trying to get his former New York Times colleagues to join his computer-statistics-driven freelancer army. In the email below, Timesmen are urged to defect and "reinvent the field" of journalism, since "jobs are scarce."

he latter quote is, at least, a frank explanation of why someone would leave the prestigious but layoff-prone, scarily indebted Times to help AOL assign news stories based on search engine trends. All you need, writes Times reporter-turned-Seed programming director Saul Hansell, is "high editorial standards" that don't preclude assigning stories based on the searches of some of the stupidest users on the internet. Hey, even dumb numbers can lead to poetry. Literally. Email:

(Top pic: by Will Perkins)