I’ve been increasingly involved in meetings. Often these are productive and necessary fare, but sometimes they reach Dilbert-like levels of banality and un-productivity. As I was reading Winnie the Pooh to my kids tonight I was reminded of such a meeting in CHAPTER VII: IN WHICH KANGA AND BABY ROO COME TO THE FOREST, AND PIGLET HAS A BATH, where Rabbit has a meandering and hilarious PLAN TO CAPTURE BABY ROO.
Armed with a pencil sharper than his wits, Rabbit goes through eleven semi-connected points that are broken into an itemized list without respect for conventions of rational thought (and include frequent asides). His counterparts, Pooh and Piglet, stare blankly. Pooh doesn’t understand what was said at all, and Piglet meekly points out that the plan doesn’t have a conclusion by asking
It’s lovely. Please read it here. I share this because while I was reading Rabbit’s list I started laughing out loud―it reminded me of some of the worst qualities of bad meetings: a collection of loosely organized thoughts without an endpoint presented as a tightly-connected plan tied by a beautiful bow and impenetrable to question due to a lack of rational thought by its creator.
I doubt I’m the first to notice a similarity between the three of these―meetings, Dilbert, and Pooh―but it was too amusing to keep to myself.
(Side note: I’m saddened that Pooh is apparently “new” enough ― Happy *90th Birthday*, Pooh! ― to remain under 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
Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
…And ever since that day…
Narrative structure is interesting. I truly enjoy this boiled down version that strips much of the nonsense out.
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.
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.)
I’d be interested to hear the counterargument in favor of credit cards.
Credit cards were an amazing invention—in the 1950s. But today they are an outdated technology that cost us serious money.
Source: How Credit Cards Tax America
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.
learning python resources
This looks like a natural extension of resources as I continue to work my way through python. At some point I’ll hit a wall and need additional insights to resolve my query.
Build a web browser with 20 lines of Python https://www.linuxvoice.com/build-a-web-browser-with-20-lines-of-python/
This looks interesting in light of my recent delving into python. Self-reminder to take a look. May report back later.
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.
Or: What is it that [“original” artist] doesn’t have that s/he would have if [other artist] had never appropriated the[ir work]?
What is it that Heath doesn’t have, that he would have if Lichtenstein had never appropriated the panel?
via On Lichtenstein and “theft” | parker higgins dot net.
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
just like me
(but not for free)
What a terrifying—and true—statement about our times:
algorithms are values.
via Twitter Respected Our Choices Until It Didn’t – My Linux Rig.
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.
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).
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.
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.
Every craft requires attention to detail. … Unless you are obsessed by what you’re doing, you will not be doing it well enough.
via Being obsessive about detail is being normal | Spiekerblog.