Replied to Why Public Transportation Works Better Outside the U.S. (CityLab)
The widespread failure of American mass transit is usually blamed on cheap gas and suburban sprawl. But the full story of why other countries succeed is more complicated.
Reading your discussion of public transport, it is interesting to think about Australia and in particular Melbourne. It feels like we sit somewhere between America and Europe. Although the network is integrated with a tap on and off system in place, there is still the lack of regularity in some places.

Living in a new suburb amoungst the sprawl, we have one bus route which runs every hour, which is pretty useless and another which runs every twenty minutes. I usually end up driving to the station, where the trains run close to every six minutes during peak. However, there are only a limited number of parks.

There is the promise of new infrastructure, new tunnels and ring around the city. However, this will still take time and there is no political guarantee, especially when many of the ideas were first mooted in the 60’s.


Marginalia

Instead of building highways first, which tends to make neighborhoods auto-centric and de-prioritizes transit, European cities tended to put transit first when they built new neighborhoods.

Why do we only run decent service on expensive subways that were built from scratch?

Germany, for example, high-speed Autobahnen go just about everywhere. The land of BMW and Mercedes-Benz boasts a strong car culture, and its plans for a national network of expressways were first formed in the 1920s; indeed, these highways helped inspire America’s interstate build-out. But Germany never stopped building rail systems

Fares need to be low enough that people can afford to take transit. New York City will soon join other cities like Tucson and Ann Arbor in having discounted fares for low-income people. That is important to make transit accessible to everyone. But fair fares isn’t just about keeping fares low. It’s also about eliminating arbitrary inequities. People shouldn’t have to pay a transfer penalty or a double fare just because they switch from bus to rail, transfer between agencies, or travel across the city limits. A transfer is an inconvenience—you shouldn’t have to pay extra for it

Nearly every Torontonian is within a 15-minute walk of a 24-hour bus route. Virtually every one of the major roads on the city’s grid has a bus route that comes at least every 10 minutes, all day long. People making long trips across town usually transfer to the subway for a quicker ride, but it is also convenient to make cross-suburban journeys by transferring between buses—they come frequently enough that there is little risk of standing for an hour at a forlorn suburban bus stop waiting for the connection

Replied to Heather Havrilesky: There Are Too Many Gurus in America (Literary Hub)
More than anything else, the modern guru denies the existence of external obstacles. Racism, systemic bias, income inequality—to acknowledge these would be to deny the power of the self. They are sidestepped in favor of handy modern conveniences, or the importance of casting off draining relationships, or the constant quest to say no to the countless opportunities rolling your way. What an indulgence it must be, to have your greatest obstacles be “sugar” or “anger” or “toxins.” In many ways, the artist might be seen as the polar opposite of the guru.
I agree with your comments John. There is a level of belief and entitlement within this work that has always left me feeling uneasy. After listening to a few episodes, I removed the podcast from my feed.

I feel that people like Austin Kleon, although also a part of the self-help genre, add a sense of fragility to their work.

Bookmarked How Robyn transformed pop by Laura Snapes (the Guardian)
Next to cartoonish Katy Perry, absurdist Lady Gaga and melodramatic Florence + the Machine, Robyn seemed more like Prince or David Bowie, a pioneer defying gender stereotypes.
This was a fascinating read about Robyn, but also the music industry as a whole. There is also an audio version of this longread:
Replied to Some IndieWeb WordPress tuning by Clint Lalonde (EdTech Factotum)
I have added in the Indieweb WordPress plugin which adds some Indieweb features to the site that will, hopefully, help me better control the flow of data from the blog
Great to see you tinkering Clint. Pretty sure the bridge to Facebook died with Cambridge Analytica. If you are looking for any ideas and inspiration, I highly recommend diving into Chris Aldrich’s research. There is always something there I feel I have overlooked.
Liked Why do people say things online they would never say face-to-face? (W. Ian O'Byrne)
I’m left wondering why someone would choose to share content like this openly online. I’m wondering why an individual would chose to share this type of content about a friend or family member. I’m wondering if the person thought that others would see it…or if we would see it. I wonder what the intended reaction to this comment should have been.
Bookmarked Some values-based career advice (Open Educational Thinkering)
Responding to a request for advice via blog post, instead of email.
Doug Belshaw provides some thinking and practice associated with getting the most out of your career. Although I have a few questions about opportunity and family, it is definitely a post worth reading and reflecting upon.

Marginalia

Your reactions tell people more about your character than your actions

When all is said and done, the person who holds you back the most in your life and career is… you

Once you’ve got that PhD or have worked for Google, people aren’t asking for ‘three years project management experience’, and the like.

Perhaps I’m becoming middle-aged, but it seems that a lot of the problems with today’s society is that people don’t stand for anything other than individualism and whatever late-stage capitalism can offer them.

There’s a reason I travel so much. It’s to meet new people, be exposed to ideas that might not always be shared online, and to experience places that open my mind. These days, we gain a competitive advantage by connecting the dots in new and novel ways. That depends, of course, on knowing where the dots are.

Replied to What would go into your Room 101? - Issue 101 - by Tom Barrett (Dialogic Learning Weekly)
My second contender is Effect Size. Unfortunately, this term suffers from the ignominy of Nominal Fallacy. We think we know what this means but it is much more complex. I have long been trying to wrap my head around the use of this statistical calculation in education. It seems to have taken root in our edu-speak, however, it looks like we are using it incorrectly.
I am pretty sure I misuse ‘effect size’.

Personally, I prefer ‘warm data’ that is embedded in context. I recommend the most recent episode of Team Human.

In regards to jargon, you might enjoy Diane Kashin’s discussion of ‘cute’.

Bookmarked Chilly Gonzales breaks down the essence of music by Cian Traynor (Huck Magazine)
Wearing a pale blue short-sleeved shirt, dark pants and white trainers, he immediately introduces himself as Jason. It feels like a subtle way of drawing a line between the persona of Chilly Gonzales – a wild-eyed ‘musical genius’ who wears a robe and slippers on stage, like a Bond villain enjoying some downtime – and Jason Beck, a mild-mannered music nerd born in Montreal back in 1972.
Whether it be his version of Daft Punk’s Too Long or contribution to Jamie Lidell’s work, I have always been fascinated with the work of Chilly Gonzales, long before I even knew who Chilly Gonzales was. This article from Cian Traynor provides an insight into the thoughts and actions behind the man. If you have not experienced the ‘genius’ before, I highlight recommend his masterclasses:

via Austin Kleon

Marginalia

Maybe changing attention spans are leading to new ways of listening but there are always going to be interesting artists who are able to see opportunities within that.

I sort of feel like, ‘Well, 10 million autotune fans can’t be wrong. Let me see if I can understand what’s happening here, what the aesthetics are.’ And if I spend enough time on it, I generally find some musical value
The fundamentals of musical storytelling are always going to be there: tension and release, fantasy and reality, sparseness versus denseness. These are the things that music has always been about, whichever culture or era you’re in. They’re still there. Everything gets flattened or compressed more, but that was already happening from the romantic era to the impressionist era

If you can steal without getting caught, then you’ve pulled off the perfect crime – which is what an artist is supposed to do. You’re not meant to come up with new things as an artist; no artist would say that’s what they do. It’s all about taking your influences and hopefully filtering them through a personal viewpoint

I’m all about letting the listener decide who fucked up and who was able to steal with finesse, you know? I mean maybe it’s different if you’re a struggling musician working your crappy day-job and you feel like some giant artist is profiting off something you did; I can imagine there’s a lot of emotional frustration there