Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Benjamin Franklin Quote of The Day

"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

Saturday, October 18, 2008

750,000 Jobs? Music and Piracy.

Just came across this this morning. I'm in the music business, and I'm constantly irritated by the endless crap debates about piracy, and the toll it brings on "the industry." Truth be told, it DOES take a toll, and there ARE real issues presented by the fact that many people now expect to get music for free or next to free. But what really grates my cheese is the constant focus by industry execs on how to get people to stop consuming music in the way that they (the people) want to do it, and consume in the limited ways the industry execs would like them too. Lessig's famous view is that what people are going to do (at least in regards to technology) is mostly dependent on what the technology permits them to do, not what the laws are. Sadly, I doubt most music industry execs have ever cracked a Lessig book...

The bottom line is that a lot of people bitch about piracy and decling revenue trends instead of getting off their fat butts and coming up with new business ideas. (I'm proud that my own indie music company is always focused first and foremost on new and proactive approaches to music monetization). I have a lot more radical copyright ideas that probably don't jive with the majority of the music business...and I'm not going to get into that here....on to the point of the post!

In the "war on piracy" a central weapon is sympathy the entertainment industry can drum up not only for the poor starving artists and songwriters but also for the workers who in the entertainment industry who are being hurt financially as music industry revenues decline. In lobbying efforts, two numbers are frequently tossed around: that music piracy cost the US some 750,000 jobs and took some $200-250 billion out of the US economy. Those are not small numbers at all.

Ars Technica investigated, trying to trace the sources of both of those numbers. As one might expect (yes, I'm going to spoil a bit of the article) neither of them have solid basis. In particular, the 750,000 number, as best anyone can tell, seems to have come from a 1986 statement by the then Commerce Secretary. It has since persisted, zombie-like, to this day, with politicians, pundits, and industry types all using each other as sources in a ridiculous circular argument on how internet downloading of music is destroying the American way of life.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not defending piracy, but we all need to address that and other issues with clear headed, rational arguments, open minds, and creativity, NOT with Eisenhower-era relics frantically clutching on to cushy jobs, inflated egos, and absolute control over the music enviornment....all of which are slipping away, although the latter may be one of the most under-explored elements in the entire anti-major label arguments.

Ok, that's enough from me...

Here's the Ars Technica article. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

It's A Hard Working Life

Just slaving away on a Thursday afternoon...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Monday, October 13, 2008

H. Jon Benjamin is amazing

Howto: Palin-ing!

Interview Palin!

Handy website.

Great PAC

O's for Obama!

Lessig in WSJ

Lessig in the Wall Street Journal. Adapted from his new book Remix. The article title was not his idea apparently. Good reading though.

good quotes:

"In 1906, for example, perhaps America's then most famous musician, John Phillip Sousa, warned Congress about the inevitable loss that the spread of these "infernal machines" -- the record player -- would cause. As he described it:

"When I was a front of every house in the summer evenings you would find young people together singing the songs of the day or the old songs. Today you hear these infernal machines going night and day. We will not have a vocal chord left. The vocal chords will be eliminated by a process of evolution, as was the tail of man when he came from the ape."

A professional fearful that new technology would destroy the amateur. "The tide of amateurism cannot but recede," he predicted. A recession that he believed would only weaken culture."

"We need to restore a copyright law that leaves "amateur creativity" free from regulation. Before the 20th century, this culture flourished. The 21st century could see its return. Digital technologies have democratized the ability to create and re-create the culture around us. Where the creativity is an amateur remix, the law should leave it alone. It should deregulate amateur remix."

Monday, October 06, 2008

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Vonnegut quote of the day

"This, too, was the title of a book by Trout, The Gutless Wonder. It was about a robot who had bad breath, who became popular after his halitosis was cured. But what made the story remarkable, since it was written in 1932, was that it predicted the widespread use of burning jellied gasoline on human beings. It was dropped on them from airplanes. Robots did the dropping. They had no conscience, and no circuits which would allow them to imagine what happens to people on the ground. Trout's leading robot looked like a human being, and could talk and dance and so on, and go out with girls. And nobody held it against him that he dropped jellied gasoline on people. But they found his halitosis unforgivable. But then he cleared that up, and he was welcomed to the human race."
(Slaughterhouse Five)

Dunning-Kruger effect

"The Dunning-Kruger effect is an example of cognitive bias in which people who are worst at a task show the most illusory superiority, rating their own ability as above average."

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin

For the VP debate parody.
Key quote: "I believe marriage is meant to be a sacred institution between two unwilling teenagers."

Friday, October 03, 2008

New Preview Album Up!

New preview album up here It'll go on the SLM page when I get a chance. It's not strictly a preview of the upcoming new studio tracks - different songs for one thing - but it's the first new set of songness that has come out of my corner of the internet in several months. Start the ticker tape parade!

Thursday, October 02, 2008

And Arrested Development Quote of The Day

From Lucille regarding to her Mexican housekeeper:

"Oh, please, they didn't sneak into this country to be your friends!!"

New Tracks On The Way

Soon soon has been consuming us...but soon!

Craigslist needs a new job listing category

"Criminal accomplices"