In Rainbows, Radiohead, and Copyright

This is an aspect of Radiohead’s In Rainbows release I was not familiar with before reading this otherwise uninteresting (to me) article. In retrospect it makes sense that there was a mini-nightmare with respect to releasing this way and that copyright was a barrier. As the U.S. is finally entering discussions to amend copyright law for the 21st century we’re simultaneously being inundated with things like TPP which seemingly prevent us from making those improvements. Now would be a good time to reach out to you representatives. You can do that here.

[Radiohead] had to ensure no one outside the band contributed any work that might need a writing credit, to contain the rights issues as much as possible. In what was unchartered territory, they had to take the performing rights for In Rainbow away from the Performing Rights Society (PRS), which traditionally owns and administers those rights on behalf of artists – but in a way that did not alert anyone to the plans for In Rainbows’ release. “For online licensing, PRS has rules and rates that you have to abide by,” explains Dyball. “That would have prevented the band from doing their pay-what-you-like model, even though the band wanted to allow for publishing royalties to be paid.”

Dyball went to the society’s board with her pitch, asking that the rights for this one album be taken out of PRS. Although the songs were all written by the band, it was not a guarantee that the PRS board would agree to the band withdrawing their rights. It made it easier that the request came from Radiohead, whose stature was enormous. Consequently, In Rainbows was released as intended.

Source: No surprises: how unexpected album drops became the norm | Music | The Guardian

Nrrtve strctre

Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.

And ever since that day…

http://www.aerogrammestudio.com/2013/03/22/the-story-spine-pixars-4th-rule-of-storytelling

Narrative structure is interesting. I truly enjoy this boiled down version that strips much of the nonsense out.

A CEO’s Guide to Emacs | Fugue

For those who haven’t used Emacs, it’s something you’ll likely hate, but may love. It’s sort of a Rube Goldberg machine the size of a house that, at first glance, performs all the functions of a toaster.

https://blog.fugue.co/2015-11-11-guide-to-emacs.html

Having switched to Dvorak after first learning rudimentary emacs I’m a little scared to return. All things in good time I suppose. The above quote seems fair to me. It’s the most complicated text-editor in the world… And why would that matter? (Unless, of course, it does.)

My top 5 ‘new’ Python modules of 2015 « Robin’s Blog

top-5-new-python-modules-of-2015

I suspect that tools like this will make things more enjoyable. At any rate, I’m just starting to mentally sync with what could be done with these tools. It’s not that I can’t imagine applications, but I’m just starting to have the right types of problems (and questions) that make the tools useful enough for me to apply time and thought to learning them. Time will tell how far I get.

Chopin

Years ago I funded a wonderful project. We raised money to pay musicians to play classical music scores so that we could record them and release them immediately into the public domain. That effort was a success.

Now, I’m finally able to share the fruits of the second project to do the same with the complete works of Frédéric Chopin. This is a wonderful collection. Please listen here. Please download. Please share.

I’ll talk about this more later. For now, enjoy.

art-cycle

I took what was weird
repackaged it whole
sealed it in plastic
up-charged for in stores

and for a small fee
— I loan my IP —
you can license
repackaged-sealed-weird
just like me
(but not for free)

Why Flunking Exams Is Actually a Good Thing – NYTimes.com

Very interesting quotes on the proper balance of study and practice. The article relates the idea that pre-testing (i.e. failing) primes the brain for future success by opening different neural pathways than studying a single question:answer relationship.

The quickest way to master that Shakespearean sonnet, in other words, is to spend the first third of your time memorizing it and the remaining two-thirds of the time trying to recite it from memory.

Further, it expands on the processes of remembering, studying, and guessing. Of the three, guessing is the most likely scenario to result in failure, and this failure once again inspires a fuller listing of associations to spur memory.

Retrieval — i.e. remembering — is a different mental act than straight studying; the brain is digging out a fact, together with a network of associations, which alters and enriches how that network is subsequently re-stored. But guessing is distinct from both study and retrieval. It too will reshape our mental networks by embedding unfamiliar concepts (the lend-lease program, the confirmation bias, the superego) into questions we at least partly comprehend (“Name one psychological phenomenon that skews our evaluation of evidence”). Even if the question is not entirely clear and its solution unknown, a guess will in itself begin to link the questions to possible answers. And those networks light up like Christmas lights when we hear the concepts again.

It seems clear that this linking of failure, guessing, and higher test scores — derived from more complex mental associations — may contribute more directly to creativity.

via Why Flunking Exams Is Actually a Good Thing – NYTimes.com.

Non-Ambiguous Tasks

The dishes clearly need to be washed. There’s no ambiguity about whether it’s a necessary task and when you’re washing the dishes, it only takes a tiny portion of your attention — a tiny portion of your mind — and so the rest of your mind just wanders around drifting and stumbling across all sorts of interesting shit. And then when you’re done, it’s clearly done. You say: Yep, moving on to my next task. And honestly, I don’t exactly know how to phrase it, but that was the most pleasant aspect of the whole thing. My day was a series of discrete things that I knew that I wanted to do, and I knew when they were done and none of them were lingering. At night, I had achieved them and they were done and it was all off my plate and there was nothing hanging there for later. It made me nostalgic for manual labor.

via 5 Things You Learn When You Take a Yearlong Break From Facebook, Twitter, and Work (nymag.com).

The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection – Boing Boing

I’m relieved to learn that someone has taken the time to codify terms and phrases related to pre- and post-web. There are currently—and increasingly will be—reasons to mourn what we have already lost. We should also celebrate the many advantages.

Straddle Generation

Neither Digital Natives nor wholly Digital Immigrants; they were born in the 1980s and will be the last people to remember life without the Internet. After she got text-dumped, Stacey was determined to only date Straddle Gen guys. “They’re so Romantic!”

via The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection – Boing Boing.

My Clown Backstory

  • I was born between the first & second World Wars.
  • I sold newspapers for my family but was fired when I created too many paper hats.
  • My soul occasionally rises and falls with the sounds of the ocean which carried my grandfather to this country from Bologna.
  • I don’t touch knives on account of the missing pinky finger on my left hand.
  • I didn’t lose the finger because of a knife… though that seems like the most likely scenario.
  • Fictionally, I lost my pinky finger while chasing a balloon across a farm field. Damn Windmill!
  • I stopped believing in the truth when my father gave up clowning and became a tax collector.
  • When I sit on the curb my large legs press my knees up next to my chin. From this position they more easily create a tunnel into which the water from passing cars can more efficiently be directed into my face.
  • When Nixon was elected I sat on the floor and didn’t get up until I was arrested for blocking the overpass of the freeway.
  • When Lincoln was shot and killed I wasn’t alive… but I laughed heartily at the illustrations.

[Troy, I found this and had to share it here. This is a great memory.]