Guest Post: Lennon or McCartney? Watch 550 artists answer the question
JRoth writes: Good concept, well executed, interesting results. Most interesting to me, through the first 3 minutes, is Bo Diddley saying, "I don't understand what they're doin'. Never have."
Speaking for myself, I'd say McCartney, but I can't tell if that's real affinity or just a kneejerk rejection of Lennon hagiography. I never liked the idea that, between these massive and coequal talents, one was obviously a heroic genius and the other a sentimental hack.
Heebie's take: I have no idea which Beatles songs were written by which Beatle. But McCartney wins on longevity, whereas Lennon wins on lankiness.
They Still Don't, I Guess
The title of this article is kind of nonsensical, but the article itself is interesting - I hadn't realized how much effort people put into suppressing MJ's 1995 song "They Don't Care About Us". (All I remembered was the Jew me/Kike me line being controversial.)
Apparently radio stations were reluctant to play it and one of two videos - a prison video made by Spike Lee and Michael Jackson - was banned from TV. The article implies that all this was in response to the black anger message of the song, rather than the Jew me/Kike me line. The prison video is at the link.
Meet up - Pittsburgh!
Heebster, we will be in Pittsburgh at Rft's mom's for Christmas. Can you put up a post to see if there's interest in a meetup on Tuesday 12/23 or maybe Friday 12/26? There's a nice bar, 1947 Tavern, within walking distance of where we'll be staying, but we could potentially also do it at the Squirrel Cage for comedy value/Moby's convenience.
So says Snarkout.
Confidential to Snarkini: Yes I can!
Guest Post - Uber Economy
Dairy Queen writes: Sadly, I believe this article is on to something.
There are only two requirements for an on-demand service economy to work, and neither is an iPhone. First, the market being addressed needs to be big enough to scale--food, laundry, taxi rides. Without that, it's just a concierge service for the rich rather than a disruptive paradigm shift, as a venture capitalist might say. Second, and perhaps more importantly, there needs to be a large enough labor class willing to work at wages that customers consider affordable and that the middlemen consider worthwhile for their profit margins.
Uber was founded in 2009, in the immediate aftermath of the worst financial crisis in a generation. As the ride-sharing app has risen, so too have income disparity and wealth inequality in the United States as a whole and in San Francisco in particular. Recent research by the Brookings Institution found that of any US city, San Francisco had the largest increase in inequality between 2007 and 2012. The disparity in San Francisco as of 2012, as measured (pdf) by a city agency, was in fact more pronounced than inequality in Mumbai (pdf).
(note there are links in that quote that I couldn't for the life of me reproduce)
One (among many) question suggested by the article is whether the technological middle man of uber and its ilk is key to preventing collective action by labor, or the kind of "learning the trade, moving up the ladder" dynamic claimed to exist in Mumbai (does it really?) or whether it is a question of deeper social structures.
Read a combative Welshman
I confess that "If the APR of loan sharks is so excessively high then why don't they own the whole world?" is not a question that it would ever occur to me to ask, or, having read it, find particularly puzzling.
I've had my iPhone 6 (the smaller of the bigger ones) for about a month now, long past the time that I would have grown accustomed to it and decided that Apple knew better than I what I would enjoy, so I can now state definitively that this phone is too damn big, a pain to hold, and not nearly as enjoyable to use as the 5/5s. Bring back the smaller ones, damn it; I kind of hate this thing.
There's a lot more to say, but I think Josh gets the nut of it. I'm flabbergasted that the movie was pulled. Have people sign a waiver with their tickets. The publicity would be fantastic.
And soothing. But not the type of thing that will generate much of a discussion, I suspect.
This guitarist is the worst. I like her because she made me laugh, but you might like her for her sheer shirt and lack of pants.
Unrelated, the 20 most popular websites by year, since 1996.
Guest Post - Prison Guards
J, Robot writes: The NYT's recent coverage of problems at Rikers has been both fascinating and upsetting (though it matches what Law & Order had led me to suspect). The union head appears to be popular with his members, but I wonder how well he is serving them in terms of their day-to-day safety.
Schemes and such
David Mumford and John Tate were asked to write an obituary for Alexander Grothendieck for Nature magazine. Then they were rejected for writing too mathy an obituary, which you may read here. Mumford is upset over the lack of mathematical literacy. I don't think the editors picked the best examples to convey to him why it will be incomprehensible - and I don't think the column was unsalvageable - but I think Mumford is out of touch with the mainstream Nature reader.
Congressman Blake "Ducky Pajamas" Farenthold, who represents an area of Texas that runs from Bastrop to Corpus Christi, is the proud owner of Blow-Me.org, his spokesperson confirmed to Buzzfeed.
Festival of Lights
It's that time of year where I wish I did something to balance all the secular Christianity that my kids are swamped with. Enjoy!
Via E. Messily
One of our commenters sent in a perfectly good guest post and then asked me to paraphrase it. Okay. Their friend Shmax wrote a website post. He was adopted, and did the 23andMe test mostly to find out about anything health-related. It turned up his biological mother, who turns out to be a journalist/poet/scholar/interesting person/Irish. He's still looking for his biological father now, so heads up to our Irish commenters. Make this anonymous. Don't print the above, maybe just paraphrase.
(Now in my own family, my mom also sent off for 23andMe, because we're all abuzz about my grandfather's identity swap, but we haven't gotten the results yet. In addition, my parents are visiting my grandmother, and went through some of her old files and found a bunch of love letters indicating that she did indeed know about the first marriage, because she was the other woman.)
Here is some quality music
I claim that this is basically fantastic and extremely well done.
Shit My Reviewers Say is funny. Sometimes you side with the author:
"I also would add that while I don't have anything serious to complain about, I also see this work as being pretty straightforward - there is no "big idea" that I see as especially imaginative or creative. Again, it is extremely solid, just not necessarily sexy."
Sometimes you side with the reviewer:
"The writing and data presentation are so bad that I had to leave work and go home early and then spend time to wonder what life is about."
Sometimes you know nosflow wrote the paper:
"The author's spelling of coordinate, while technically correct, is arcane and annoying."
ATM: help with a holiday gift
Dairy Queen writes: Help requested from the hive mind!
Heebie's take: Significant other, you must not peek below the fold, should you stop by. Strictest orders.
Background: A huge, wonderful amount of recorded music goes through our house each year, and while I enjoy the vast majority of it, I am extremely bad at remembering names. Also, it was bad enough to keep track of everything when there were just lps and cds, but now we have an ever growing collection on a server in the basement organized according to what seems to me a somewhat whimsical logic. Lastly, a LOT of music only makes a brief stop here before it is resold. So every year at this time I get a bit panicked trying to find a recording my better half will at least find intriguing BUT he hasn't heard of. The self-created pressure is intense, because I've had some real successes in the past, and the duds have been at least noble attempts. But I'm ailing this year, and some of my sources of inspiration are just not working.
This is where all of you come in. I asked him for a list of his favorite "new to us" recorded music of the last year, across genres (see below). I'm tossing it out in the hopes that it may spark recommendations, and then I'll have to try and figure out whether we already have it, but that's a problem I have anyways.
Would be fun if the thread was an opportunity for others to ask for gift recommendations by the same method - list of books read with pleasure, wines drunk with delight, perfumes sniffed in rapture, etc.! And of course you all get to mock our musical tastes.
Here is the list from my better half:
Shostakovich quartets, Pacifica Quartet, especially 4, 8 and 10 (this collection was my gift to him last year, it was a huge hit)
Count Basie at the Sands (he added a parenthetical "(before Frank)" - I have no idea what this means)
Vessel, Punish Honey
Amarcord Wien and Elisabeth Kulman live record, Wer magt mich zu hohnen (get anything by Elisabeth Kulman, she is tremendous!!)
Mahler Lieder, Bernarda Fink
Davidge, Slo Light
Academia del Piacere, Rediscovering Spain
Eleni Karaindrou, Medea (another one to keep an eye out for, you won't be disappointed)
Maurice Emmanuel, Sonatinas and Songs
Renaud Garcia-Fons, Solo at Marcevol
Many thanks to all in advance, dairy
What Binds Us Together
Nice little interview on the "new" psychological theories of procrastination, which see it as a problem of mood and emotion, more than one of poor time management. Worth reading. Some of it sure does ring true for me, and with the stuff about self-forgiveness, it seems they're getting closer to the "root causes" of procrastination, although it seems a bit preliminary yet.
Guest Post - the clothes
LW writes: The Sartorialist photographer is in India. Check out the cunning retro brake levers on this bike!!! I didn't find any single query that returns all his photos there-- he's been to Delhi, Varanasi, Mumbai.
Exploitation? Appreciation? Both?
Yurko Dyachyshyn's photos of a Lvov homeless guy who dresses to impress have apparently become widely famous, and the subject has now disappeared. I forget if this has come up here or not.
Heebie's take: FAQ on Slavik, the well-dressed homeless Lvov.