Archive for the 'Unpopular ideas' Category


SoundExchange and the Copywrong crowd open Pandora’s box and kill the goose laying golden eggs…

So, as a geek, I’m almost ashamed to admit that I just discovered Pandora.  I’m picky about music.  I rarely buy albums,  I just don’t like much music.  Lyrics have to have a story, the politics have to resonate, the music has to be simple and elegant but catchy. Or it has to be fun and silly. Mostly I’d rather listen to NPR, or a book I don’t have time to read. Before Pandora I probably bought on album in the last four years.  It was “A Date with John Waters.”  In the same period my wife bought the Juno soundtrack. Because my 2 year old heard the theme on NPR and said “Again mommy!”

We don’t buy music.  We don’t steal it either.  I really don’t even understand who has the spare time for that.

But, (are you listening Recording Barons?)  I’ve purchased 5 albums in the a month and a half of listening to Pandora.  Are you listening recording artists?  Pandora did what web tech does best. It linked me up with shit I like.

Wake up recording industry.  You couldn’t pay for the kind of advertising Pandora paid you for.

Wake up recording artists.  SoundExchange and the copyright board are not your side.  They are parasites.  They are interested in their profits, not yours.  They are interested in their power, not your careers.

Morons.  The lot of you.

Go ahead kill the goose.


Does Islam need a thirty-years war?

Would the world be better off if the US ‘lost,’ whatever that means, the war in Iraq?  The real question, it seems to me, is whether world would be better of with a huge regional war in the middle east?  The simple economic answer is obviously not.  But are there other answers?  Christian learned freedom of conscience, however roughly, in thirty years of war between Catholics and Protestants.  Thirty years before Christians figured out that killing each other over denominational differences was effing stupid.  Now as I look at denominational strife in Iraq, I wonder if religious tolerance, like democracy, is something that can’t be handed over but something that must be learned as hard fought truth.  Does Islam need its own 30 years war?  Would some ‘good’ come out of ‘losing’ this war?


Geeks beware…Homeland insecurity is terrified of LED’s

Geeks beware!  Don’t wear LED’s to Boston. Police there are ready to use deadly force to prevent ugly ass art.  File this under absurd overreactions, paranoid stupidity, and moral cowardice.  Are we really prepared to gun down coeds based on the fear of something (terrorism) statistically less perilous than automobiles?

 I’m just glad Star wasn’t harmed. One more reason to not fear terrorism.  The consequences of fear seem far worse to me than the consequences of terroism.


Wedding Singer is a mediocre play.

We went to see The Wedding Singer and part of our Broadway across America series at the Hippodrome theatre.   I was not incredibly keen on this show, but I did like the movie so I was anticipating an amusing evening.  Sadly the things that made the movie fun, nostalgic 80’s music, Adam Sandler’s comedic gold, and a sympathetic cute female lead are all absent from the stage production.

The lead played Adam Sandler’s part like a cold fish for the first quarter of the play.  Eli’s rule one for line delivery: don’t sound like your delivering a line.  Put that fellow in a paper bag and maybe he can act his way out of it by the second act.
Further, somewhat more forgivably, the opening night tech on this show was awful.  I hope the sound crew is thoroughly flogged for this, but microphones were often turned on late or not at all, and sound levels made huge parts of the sappy pop music (not even sappy eighties pop parody music) drown out what might have been witty or fun lyrics.

Also, sadly, this show brought out the nekulturny in droves.  Four ringing cellphones a horde of college aged Will and Grace pairs who pushed past us to try and steal better seats as the curtain rose (only to be turned back by angry ushers and made to wander aimlessly through the theatre to find a seat) and a standing ovation for a show that barely merited applause.

On the bright side, while the idiots were standing and cheering and drooling we managed to sneak to the parking lot and beat the traffic.

:End annoyingly snobbish elitist rant:


Morality: Objective? Convergently subjective? Emergent?

The link may not be worth reading all of.  This fellow thinks morality is objective.  Out there in the world independent of culture.   I don’t buy that rationally although I like it viscerally.  I really am not comfortable, viscerally, with the idea of subjective morality.  Subjective morality is effectively meaningless.  I have mine you, have yours, none to judge but god if s(he) exists… Hobbes would be pleased.  What does that leave us with for a framework?  I don’t think this area of philosophy is very RW useful.  But thinking that morality is objective, immutable, independent and intelligible is either equally useless or worse.

The idea of an emergent morality, the way intelligence is emergent, or crowd behavior is emergent  has been tickling my mind.  But what would it mean. What would it look like?