The Internet … it’s not another place // @reckless

The internet isn’t an adjunct to real life; it’s not another place. You don’t do things “on the internet,” you just do things. The network is interwoven into every moment of our lives, and we should treat it that way.

via The internet is fucked | The Verge @reckless

Wait… haven’t I been saying that for years? The internet hasn’t been a place to go to for a long time, yet it’s still treated like something we don’t know what to with. I’m sure there’s a great paper topic in there about media power discourse and the great duping of the public (because, believe me, broadband providers are certainly duping the public in many ways), but this article from Nilay Patel is important. It’s important because it’s completely correct and we can bypass my wont of sourcing an academic paper on all this and get to the truth of the matter in one well-written article.

That much concentrated power (think about Comcast… they own the pipes, they own the delivery, they own the studio, they own the production) can’t be a good thing. Ever.

Electric guitar surrounded by CDs

On Mixtapes [and Their Progeny]

Mixtapes are hard. Putting on my old man hat, I remember sitting in my bedroom in junior high with a dual cassette deck recording mixes of songs for long trips. Those tapes lasted, maybe, 90 minutes and my music tastes were atrocious; such terrible taste didn’t belong on any sort of tape or played on any sort of stereo.

In late high school and into college as my music was transcoded to bits and bytes and I had tools like Winamp to organize songs, I would create elaborate mixes for myself, mainly. I listened to amazing music, then, and spent hours crafting playlists applicable to everything from seasonal whims to “Songs that Affect Me”. Eventually, though, my music collection bordered on 30,000 tracks and I couldn’t keep up. I began dumping albums into playlists and hitting ‘shuffle’ to sort of fit a mood.

Today, I have access to so many more songs than that, and it’s even harder. I don’t get how friends of mine have created so many Rdio or Spotify playlists. It takes forever to create just one. For me this is especially true as I’m crafting a playlist that’s currently 5 hours and 18 minutes long (and growing), trying to capture my early college listening habits. It’s hard. It’s time-consuming. I still love it.
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Texas State Capitol Dome

On Believing Political Rhetoric

Last night there was another State of the Union address — this president’s 5th — and of course that means reading everyone’s comments and critique. Many of my friends and acquaintances either identify as democrats or are leftist/liberal/progressive/whatever. And a lot of my family and friends from growing up identify as republicans or are rightist/conservative/whatever. If there is anything I learned working on my master’s it is that I prefer to be independent/moderate/whatever, even if I tend to lean more conservative on some issues.

One of the consequences of reading and studying so much in media bias and messaging, semiotics and encoding, is a keen awareness of the tricks used during televised speeches. It is so ingrained in American political history, ever since the famous John Kennedy-Richard Nixon debate, that I think most Americans tend to only listen to what’s being said doing nothing to weigh it with reality.
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Stress Management

I’ve got a problem managing my stress levels. This is especially the case when I have a lot of projects going on all at once, and my body starts to tell me it hates what’s going on. Normally when I’m stressed I am in a lot of pain. It’s in my shoulders, my neck, but especially my lower back. It’s uncomfortable to sit, lay down, stand… just about everything.

The biggest issue is that I haven’t found a way to deal with it properly. I used to handle it well but that hasn’t been the case in a long time. One of the reasons I left my job at Greenville College in 2010 was that I was doing the job of four people and it was seriously affecting my health. (more…)

Our record player and records.

Favourite Records of 2013

Happy end-of-2013! There was a lot of good music released this year and while I sometimes find it hard to listen to new music (I just love so much not new music, it’s hard to put it away in favour of the freshly pressed stuff), I managed to hear a good portion of it. Normally my year-end list doesn’t even make it to 20 records, but this year I’ve managed to rank 50. Not sure how I did it, but I did. The end of the year is notoriously busy for me, and though I like creating lists and ranking music I often times find it pretty hard to fit it into my schedule and end up stopping at a top 5 list. This year, though, I want to look at my favourite 15 records from 2013 because there were just that many good collections to listen to.

Here’s a quick playlist of a track from each record (in reverse order):

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Saw this shared by Paper Route last week on Facebook. Apparently they won a contest with it — but that doesn’t matter. It’s just a really great cover. JT’s still got some of the best vocals out there.

Paper Route Covers “Royals” by Lorde

@woodwardjd on my design process