Liked Study something you love in depth! by Austin Kleon (Austin Kleon)

What’s the best way to work your way through the back catalog of an artist you love?

I see at least two options for such time-traveling:

  1. Chronological or reverse-chronological. Starting at the beginning and moving forward, or starting with the artist’s most recent work and moving backwards.

  2. Zigging and zagging. Starting with your favorite “hot spot” and working outwards, leaping and jumping or skipping to what seems interesting.

Replied to The geography lottery (Daily-Ink by David Truss)

Sometimes it’s worth pausing for a moment to appreciate that through sheer luck of birth, we have been given opportunities others will never get. We won a lottery that others dream of winning. Be grateful. Be thankful. Be generous. Be kind in thoughts, words, and deeds… Especially to those that have not been as lucky.

An important reminder David. I too wonder how my life lottery might have been different if my grandfather had not escaped from Prague. Had he not come to Australia?
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I’m glad I am not the only one Oliver. I have built some many workflows, whether it be custom HTML buttons and my use of Quotebacks. Yes, I could do this with blocks, but I don’t need to.
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I’m a yes to more blogs. I always value your thoughts and perspective in or out of the classroom.
Liked Speeding up a Chromebook by allocating zram by Doug BelshawDoug Belshaw (Doug Belshaw’s Thought Shrapnel)

I’ll post the main details below, which are instructions for making Chromebooks run faster by allocating compressed cache. Note that on my Google Pixelbook (2017) I used ‘4000’ instead of the ‘2000’ recommended and it’s really made a difference

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Good luck for the future Deb. I will always treasure our experiences with the Melton Network and the ATC21s project.
Watched Suits from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

Suits is an American legal drama television series created and written by Aaron Korsh. It premiered on USA Network on June 23, 2011, produced by Universal Cable Productions. It concluded on September 25, 2019.

Set at a fictional New York City law firm, it follows Mike Ross (Patrick J. Adams), who uses his eidetic memory to talk his way into a job as an associate working for successful closer Harvey Specter (Gabriel Macht), despite being a college dropout who never attended law school. [1] It focuses on Harvey and Mike winning lawsuits and closing cases, while hiding Mike’s secret.[2] It also features Rick Hoffman as neurotic financial lawyer Louis Litt, Meghan Markle as ambitious paralegal Rachel Zane, Sarah Rafferty as Harvey’s legal secretary and confidante Donna Paulsen, and Gina Torres as the firm’s managing partner, Jessica Pearson.

On January 30, 2018, the series was renewed for an eighth season although Torres, Adams and Markle all left the show,[3] with Katherine Heigl joining the cast as Samantha Wheeler. Recurring characters Alex Williams (Dulé Hill) and Katrina Bennett (Amanda Schull) were promoted to series regulars.[4] The show was renewed for a 10-episode ninth and final season on January 23, 2019, which premiered on July 17, 2019.[5][6]

The more Suits went on, the more I was engrossed in the storyline. There is something about the mix of characters. Sometimes you want to hate Harvey’s arrogance, while other times one can not help cringe at Louis’ antics, but at the end of the day there is always a sense of forgiveness.
Liked The ethical dilemmas of GoFundMe (ABC Religion & Ethics)

GoFundMe CEO Tim Cadogan has made clear that they won’t necessarily de-platform any campaigns associated with the far-right or alt-right, but will intervene when certain lines are crossed — such as the promotion of white supremacist views. Of course, the problem is that such worldviews are not easily disentangled. They may even be inseparable. Moreover, in unfolding protests one permissible form of expression can quickly evolve into something that is in gross violation of GoFundMe’s policies.

Bookmarked How to explain an idea: a mega post (markpollard.net)

Words often get in the way of creativity so it’s no surprise that the word “idea” often gets in the way of ideas.

1. We use the word “idea” to describe thoughts and suggestions. “I know this is heteronormative of me but I have an idea: let’s eat kimchi soondubu at Food Gallery 32 in Koreatown for lunch.”

2. We use the word “idea” to describe new concepts. “I have an idea  —  it’s a business where we turn memes into bath products  –  Dank Tank.”

3. We use the word “idea” when someone says something stupid. “You have no idea.” That’s a mean use of the word. Don’t be mean. The world doesn’t need it.

If we focus on the first two examples, the word “idea” telegraphs that something new is coming. And if you can pause on your Internet memes about whether anything is ever new (I’ll raise you post-modernism and ask if anything is ever real), what we now want to do is distinguish between the way we use “idea” as industry jargon and the way we use “idea” where we’re in casual mode.

Ideas are thoughts but not all thoughts are “ideas.” Here’s an example of the use of the word “idea” in an agency setting: “I have an idea — let’s do something with augmented reality or Blockchain or make a special lens.” This isn’t wrong; it’s sloppy.

,What’s an idea? What sorts of ideas are there? And how to explain them once you have them?

Mark Pollard unpacks the idea of an idea by demonstrating how to unpack an idea. This reminds me of Ewan McIntosh’s book, How To Come Up With Great Ideas and Actually Make Them Happen.
Bookmarked Lessons in Self-Hosting Your Own Personal Cloud (Tedium: The Dull Side of the Internet.)

What I learned about trying to run my own cloud from a few weeks of trying to run the whole dang thing myself. (Hint: I found myself trying multiple solutions.)

Ernie Smith discusses the challenges associated with hosting your own cloud. He provides a summary of his findings.

So, armed with the knowledge that Syncthing is awesome but didn’t cover every one of my bases, I went with a hybrid approach. Rather than attempting to embrace one solution for everything, I decided a mix of solutions was the way to go, each optimized for specific needs.

  1. NextCloud for standard document editing and office-style applications, which can be useful in cases when I’m not near my machine or I want to make a quick edit to a file on mobile. This sync runs on just one machine, my Xeon—the same Xeon that hosts the server on Docker—and only stores essentials like text files and images at this juncture. (Essentially, I took away NextCloud’s need to sync most of my files.)
  2. Syncthing for file sync across a variety of machines. This runs on every machine I rely on, including iOS and Android.
  3. Backblaze B2 for long-term cloud file storage, which I manually handle once a week through the command-line tool Rclone. (Info here; I could easily automate this.)

This is an interesting piece in regards to discussions of quitting platforms such as Google and Spotify.

Replied to Why Can’t We Agree On What’s True? | Dr. Ian O’Byrne (Dr. Ian O’Byrne | Literacy, technology, and education)

Blaming social media or the Internet for what people choose to say is not looking at the root of the problem. It’s like blaming soapboxes for the people standing on them.

In my opinion, this is one of the biggest threats to humanity. With fewer and fewer people getting educated, these mass misinformation and disinformation campaigns easily influence a growing population.

Education is no longer important for individual success, education is critical for the success of society and humanity as a whole.

This is an intriguing piece Ian. Personally, I am reminded of my own education, and Stanley Fish’s idea of interpretative communities. Although we may use the same words, the meaning is something different.
Bookmarked AFLW’s Kirsten McLeod wants to raise awareness about the ongoing symptoms of concussion by Kate O’Halloran (ABC News)

AFLW premiership player Kirsten McLeod faces 12 months on the sideline due to the ongoing effects of concussion. Emerging evidence suggests that women’s experience of concussion differs from men’s, with the reason lying at the intersection of the biological and political.

Kate O’Halloran reports on Kirsten McLeod’s challenges with concussion. Whether it be balancing two jobs or the short length of the season, she explains how it serves as yet another point of inequity associated with AFLW.

Women are more likely to report concussions than men. But in a sporting environment where you have a short season — so NRLW is six weeks and AFLW isn’t significantly longer — women may not wish to report their symptoms.

Beyond the differences, this situation poses many questions that it does not feel have clear answers, especially in regards to the long term ramifications of head knocks.

Replied to A Vibe Shift Is Coming by Allison P. Davis (The Cut)

He thinks the new vibe shift could be the return of early-aughts indie sleaze. “American Apparel, flash photography at parties, and messy hair and messy makeup,” he riffs, plus a return to a more fragmented culture. “People going off in a lot of different directions because it doesn’t feel like there’s a coherent, singular vision for music or fashion.” He sees Substacks and podcasts as the new blogs and a move away from Silicon Valley’s interest in optimizing workflow, “which is just so anti-decadence.” Most promisingly, he predicts a return of irony.

I suggest that the death drive has something to do with it. With the pandemic and climate change, our aesthetic and behavior are certainly shaped by a sense of doom. There’s a nihilism to the way people dress and party; our heels get higher the closer we inch to death. It’s why people are smoking again, so says the New York Times. “Oh, sure,” Monahan agrees, but not fully. “I think the interest in opulence and the interest in transgression are in some ways just pent-up frustrations from the pandemic where people are like, I want to have fun. Also, the 2010s were such a politicized decade that I think the desire people have to be less constrained by political considerations makes a lot of sense.” I can tell he’s theorizing on the fly when he points to the fact that there’s now a bouncer at Bemelmans Bar as evidence of the new embrace of old opulence.

The discussion of a ‘vibe shift‘ made me wonder if I was ever a part of the vibe at all? As Twinkle Digitz touches on in his song Here’s Cheers to the End of the World, I think that the current crisis has enforced reflection and a clearer picture of where we are or are not:

We’ve got the facts, but everybody’s guessing

We’re being schooled, I think this pandemic is trying to teach us all a lesson

Who knows, it could be a mixed blessing

Ladies and gents, stop your engines

“Ian O’Byrne” in Vibe Shift Coming – Digitally Literate ()

Bookmarked In Praising of “Listening Through” (Every Album By Your Favorite Artist) – Kevin Smokler (Kevin Smokler)

Before I start in on an album, I will usually read its wikipedia entry as well as the review in AllMusic. I am curious about different performers, producers, engineers on different records and a little why the band might be trying something different this time around. I’m not musically smart enough to know what chromatic scales are or which studio results in this or that sound. But I like to have a sense of who had a hand in the choices that went into a record and who showed up on the day it became real. The answers are always more interesting than believing it all happened by magic.

I will usually listen to one album every two or three days in the afternoons during the scutt-and-boring-tasks portion of the workday. I’ll jot initial notes after the first listen then 2-3 days later revisit those notes and be rigorously honest if I was being unfair, impatient, etc. If I was doing any of those things, I listen again. If not, I scrawl a quick review to a group of friends with two goals in mind:  1. To have it be fun to read even if whomever is reading it doesn’t like the band/hasn’t heard of them. 2. To be clear in such a way that whomever is reading can hear the music even if they haven’t heard it before. My opinion is a distant third priority.

Kevin Smokler discusses his process for returning to a favourite artists full catalogue like returning to a long lost friend. Rob Walker builds upon this by building a playlist of missed/hidden gems that are often lost in time.

“Austin Kleon” in Are you helping? – Austin Kleon ()

Bookmarked How To Enjoy Your Own Digital Music by Wouter GroeneveldWouter Groeneveld (brainbaking.com)

Mike Harley recently wrote about making collecting an MP3 library popular again. It seems to be a hot topic in the circles I sometimes find myself in, and I’ve read a couple of interesting thoughts following Mike’s post on Mastodon.
As for myself, I slowly but surely came to the same conclusion …

Wouter Groeneveld reflects on the move away from Spotify and owning your music once again. He touches on such options as Navidrome and Music Player Daemon. I think the biggest challenge is convenience.

I have read about people setting up their own personal music servers. I imagine I could probably do this with Reclaim Cloud. The other alternative is to go complete old school and scrap streaming altogether and just load purchases to my devices as I used to do. To be honest, it just isn’t a priority for me right now. I guess I have become far too wedded to the cloud, even with all the hidden costs.

Watched American documentary film about Quincy Jones, co-directed by Rashida Jones and Alan Hicks from Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.

The film epilogue details his career as follows: “Over 2,900 songs recorded; over 300 albums recorded; 51 film and television scores; over 1,000 original compositions; 79 Grammy nominations; 27 Grammy awards; 1 of 18 EGOT winners (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony); ‘Thriller’ the best selling album of all time; ‘We Are the World’ the best selling single of all time; $63 million raised for famine relief in Africa; and 7 children.”

Inspired by The Weeknd, I watched the Quincy documentary. It is amazing how many years his career has spanned and so many genres. I always wondered how How Nadia Boulanger fitted in, but this was because I had a particular perspective of him.

One interesting observation was that Michael Jackson’s thriller started by selecting from 600 songs. I wonder if any of those tracks were picked up by other artists?

I also liked Jones’ reflection:

To know where you came from makes it easier to know where you are going.

Watched How Nadia Boulanger Raised a Generation of Composers by Inside the Score from youtu.be

The Life and Teachings of Nadia Boulanger – the great music teacher who influenced composers including Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, Philip Glass, Quincy Jones, and many more!

Train Your Sight-Reading, Ear Training, and Writing Skills: https://www.insidethescore.com/musicality

A Composer’s Journey Podcast: https://www.insidethescore.com/podcasts/a-composer-s-journey-learn-the-art-of-composing

(This podcast can also be found on Apple Music, Google Podcasts, and Spotify)

Don’t forget to join the list, for once-per-week bonus content for composers: https://www.insidethescore.com/composers

0:00 – Introduction
2:10 – Her Life and Music
11:35 – Her School and Teachings

Music Heard:
Adams – Short Ride in a Fast Machine
N. Boulanger – Trois Piece pour Violoncelle
Dukas – The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
N. Boulanger – Extase
Faure – Pie Jesu, from Requiem
N. Boulanger – Ecoutez la Chanson Bien Douce
Saint-Saens – The Swan
N. Boulanger – Heures Ternes
N. Boulanger – Lux Aeterna
N. Boulanger – J’ai Frappé
Gershwin – An American in Paris
Bach – Prelude in E minor, from WTC I
Bach – Wachet Auf – Movement I
Monteverdi – Lauda Jerusalem, from Vespers
Stravinsky – Dumbarton Oaks
Faure – Agnus Dei, from Requiem

This video from Inside the Score unpacks the life and teachers of Nadia Boulanger. I first stumbled upon Boulanger while reading Phillip Glass’ autobiography. One of things that I found interesting from the video was her dedication to touching on the ‘structure of the piece’:

Her approaches towards analyzing and performing music were the same her main goal in either case was to project the structure of the piece

Watched The Vietnam War from sbs.com.au

Directed by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, ‘The Vietnam War’ tells the epic story of the Vietnam War as it has never before been told on film.

There is something uncanny about history. On the one hand something like Vietnam War feels knowable through popular culture and having actual been to Vietnam. However, after watching Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s documentary, I feel that there is so much about Vietnam War that I neither knew or had not considered. It was all just so sad from so many perspectives, whether it be the seemingly endless deaths, the political lies and the legacy. This is captured in the following quote:

If you can’t count what is important, then you focus on what you can count.

I liked Vincent Okamoto’s point:

The real heroes are the ones that died.

It was also interesting to consider the comment about propping up the South Vietnamese Army in light of the collapse of Afghanistan.

Mistake was making an army in its own image.

On a side note, the choice of music throughout was great in setting the tone.

Bookmarked Resonate – the ethical music streaming co-op (Resonate)

Resonate is a streaming music service cooperative owned by the people that use it – musicians, indie labels, fans + developers. Stream it until you own it.

Resonate, a music co-op, offers another option to streaming music.

“Neil Mather” in Resonate ()