The vinyl mandate is the product of a Baby Boomer elite (and, to a lesser extent, the Generation X that followed it and absorbed some of its superstitions and prejudices), having aged into seniority and cultural power, staring into the abyss of its own mortality, feeling the chill of rapid change having made its own formative experiences obsolete, recoiling before the sublime terror of one’s insignificance in the face of the march of time and desperately clutching for the conditions of its own long-gone youth and virility; since these involved listening to rock’n’roll from vinyl records, it is decreed that the way that they consumed music (record player, reverent contemplation, possible recreational substance use; definitely not with a pair of white earbuds at one’s desk or in the gym, and absolutely not sacrilegiously shuffled with the rest of one’s collection of music) is the one true, Authentic way of truly connecting and engaging with the music. Granted, many of the artists and label owners who enforce this mandate are too young to have invested in this myth first-hand; perhaps they are motivated by a Couplandian displaced nostalgia for the golden age of authenticity they weren’t born in, or perhaps such is the power of cultural transmission that values get propagated beyond the rationale from which they sprang. In any case, the myth persists for now, and we’re stuck with piles of vinyl records which will never be played, all for want of a download code.
(via Diagram of conjugate prior relationships)
(via Bleeps in Windows | Wooster Collective)
(via GigaPica : Inside the Costa Concordia after 2 years)
Bethesda in the state of Maryland is the kind of safe, upscale Washington DC suburb that well-educated, high-earning professionals retreat to when it’s time to raise a family. Some 80 per cent of the city’s adult residents have college degrees. […]. And yet, on 11 March 2011, a young woman was brutally murdered by a fellow employee at a local Lululemon store (where yoga pants retail for about $100 each). Two employees of the Apple store next door heard the murder as it occurred, debated, and ultimately decided not to call the police.
If the attack had occurred in poor, crowded, crime-ridden Rio de Janeiro, the outcome might have been different: in one series of experiments, researchers found bystanders in the Brazilian city to be extraordinarily helpful, stepping in to offer a hand to a blind person and aiding a stranger who dropped a pen nearly 100 per cent of the time.[..,]
The conventional wisdom is “Don’t publish anything on social media that you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the newspaper.” But this is an absurd and impossible standard. The same tools are being used for person-to-person conversations and for making grand pronouncements to the world, often by the same person at different times. Would we say “Don’t write anything in a sealed letter that you don’t want to see on the front page of the newspaper” simply because the technology exists to read that letter without opening it?
And as with all social construction-style arguments, remember that by [“]constructed[“] we don’t mean fake or the opposite of real, but rather contingent, potentially malleable, “could have been different”. That is, we are looking at the conditions under which something is real, why it is the reality that it is and not something else.
(via #tbt: the dirty secret of analyzing survey data « scatterplot)
I’m disrupting the economy with my big ideas. I’m going to deliver a cold wonton to the wrong office at 12:46 and you can track me on the app. John Galt is preparing your pizza. John Galt is baking your pizza. John Galt is ideating your pizza. John Galt is reifying your pizza. John Galt is taking your pizza and chucking it in the fucking garbage, because you don’t deserve his pizzas. I’m gentrifying the neighborhood. I’m adding special bus service for my employees. I’ve figured out a way for white people to make money from taxi cabs again. I’m replacing your favorite restaurant with a reptile park. I’m driving Filipino fusion food trucks on your kid’s basketball court. I got next and I’m taking all the vowels out of this shithole.
All that money spent on market research, on product development, on vice-presidents of this and that, and what you have, especially in the culture industry, is a giant apparatus that is less accurate than random chance in creating the entertainment or products that consumers can quite clearly describe their desire for. So clearly that the consumers are giving money to people they like who have no intention of or ability to make what the donors say they want. Because, rather like the lottery, at least you can imagine the chance of the thing you want coming into being. Waiting around for Sony or EA or Microsoft or Ubisoft to make it feels like an even bigger longshot. Which also says something about money and its circulation. The crisis of accumulation isn’t just visible in the irrepressible return of subprime loans, or in the constant quest of financiers to find more ways to make money by speculating on the making of money by people who are making money. It’s even visible in more middle-class precincts. Who wants to invest a bit of spare cash in the long-term deal or the soberly considered opportunity now? It’s like waiting in line to deposit a small check while the bank gets robbed repeatedly.
Eisenhower, Kennedy, Nixon, Carter – all tried (to various degrees – Eisenhower comes off worst as fundamentally weak man) to get sort of grip on the nuclear colossus and all essentially capitulated to a military more interested in ensuring their weapons would work when needed than they were safe when not.
Sasha gained worldwide fame as the […] “Godfather of ecstasy”, following publication of a 1978 text that he co-authored with David E Nichols, wherein they described the unique psychopharmacological effects of MDMA. Sasha developed a new synthesis for the drug, which had originally been made by Merck in 1912 but was never pharmacologically tested by them. In 1977, the year prior to publishing the description of MDMA’s effects, Sasha had introduced the psychologist Leo Zeff to the compound, Zeff, who became a pioneer of the underground psychedelic therapy movement, was so impressed with MDMA’s potential psychotherapeutic value that he postponed his planned retirement in order to introduce other therapists and clients to the substance. […] however, within a few years, MDMA became widely popular amongst recreational drug users[…]
From the obituary of Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, the pop-culture icon who died last month and no-one told me.
He is survived by his wife, and sundry biological children. He was pre-deceased by the rave subculture and David Nutt’s career but many other unruly descendants remain, such as EDM, Trance, and reactionary anti-counterculture legislation.
Memorial service 2nd August in Berkeley.
(via The elegant art of not giving a shit)
Using fossil pollen records as an index of vegetation change, they demonstrated the (somewhat intuitive) main result that the time to recovery following a disturbance generally decreases as the past disturbance frequency increased. This appears to be a vindication of the idea that a system’s adaptive strategies evolve as a product of the local disturbance regime. More importantly, they found that recovery was faster following ‘large infrequent events’, which are natural perturbations such as cyclones and major fires. While most past disturbances were caused by humans clearing forest, the fact that tropical forest systems were most resilient to ‘natural’ events means that if we can’t stop human disturbances, at least we can attempt to emulate natural processes to maximise the rebound potential.
Tony Blair is old, older than time itself. Beyond left and right, beyond right and wrong, beyond age and death. When the first cave-dwellers made the first image of their god, Tony Blair was there with his shiny spiv’s suit to suggest that it might require a blood sacrifice. When the first half-fish heaved itself out from the boiling sea to flap around in the sodden tidal slime, Tony Blair was there with his cold intense stare to offer it words of vague encouragement and then crush its head under his heel. When the first drifting clouds of interstellar dust began to coalesce into what would one day become our little speckled world, the bodiless malice of Tony Blair was there to help them set the stage for our future suffering.