Tea Time With Jesse

Six of One, Half Dozen the Other

Archive for May, 2013

Music Fridays – Happy Mothers Day

Posted by middlerage on May 10, 2013

Now, is it Mother’s Day, or Mothers Day, or Mothers’ Day? I dunno. What I do know is that I’ve been sitting on a couple (*not really. Keep readin) of cool songs, for months, for just this occasion. It’s how I roll. All in honor of delivering the best high end product for my readers.

Okay I have to be honest here and confess that the Donald Byrd piece below is to cover up an embarrassing mistake. Months ago I heard a cool song and wrote down the title as “Theme for Ma.” Poifect sez I, I’ll keeps it for my Muddahs Day special. However, it seems like – as best as sundry internet searches can tell – Donald Byrd wrote a song called “Theme for Malcolm,” not “Theme for Ma.” Oops. But I did, last minute, find a different Donald Byrd song about mother – brooding, epic, sorta-spaghetti-western sounding. It’s probably an homage to Mother Africa. Anyway, I like it, and the stomping Milburn piece I have first.

But let’s face it, Danzig’s “Mother” (below) is not an ode but a warning. The Cult song, previous,  is environmental, and Amos Milburn is tattle-telling. Nothing here is overly warm and apple pie.

It wasn’t my intent to be anti-mother, and truly I love mothers. So enjoy these songs for what they are, but get your mom something more loving. Like tickets to the Vagina Monologues or Carol Burnett.

Posted in Thinking 'bout music | Leave a Comment »

Technology Leads to… Inequality? Computers Are Exploiting Our FREE Labor.

Posted by middlerage on May 10, 2013

So just like my worries about sharing music, I also stumble on orators who have illuminated an issue in a (to me) awesome way, but perhaps you will be ‘meh’. I hope not with this case, and you’ll be as stunned as me.

For whatever reason (and wealth inequality being a pretty good reason) the recent interview with Jaron Lanier on the Diane Rehm show stopped me in my tracks. I am blown away, and finding myself saying a lot of “Yeah! What he said!” I hope you will too. I strongly hope you will read the transcription (linked at bottom), and here is a (heavily edited) teaser to whet your appetite:

 … when my colleagues and I worked on getting digital networking to be operational, we always anticipated that when it was introduced, we’d see a wave of fresh prosperity. We’d see a wave of well-being. We’d see people doing better in their lives. […] And the reason we believed that is that’s what technologists always want to see. We always — that is what we saw with the advent of plumbing or vaccinations or the freeways or electricity and, you know, not always perfectly, but generally one would see that. […]
I mean, why else do these things? What’s the purpose otherwise? And once networking became available, I was shocked and disappointed to see its effect on the world. And I know there are some triumphs that are often talked about. Maybe it played a role in the Arab Spring. I actually have my doubts about that, but let’s say it did. In the developed world, what we’ve seen is an increase in income concentration. We’ve seen austerity. We’ve seen jobless recoveries. We’ve seen a loss of social mobility. […] We’ve seen a hollowing-out of the labor market where middle class jobs are harder to come by and more people end up either on top or on the bottom, not too many on top. And I started to worry, like, why are we not seeing the benefits? And when I looked at it, I realized that we hadn’t really thought through what we were doing well enough. […] Even if people are created equal, computers are not and some of those people are going to have bigger computers than the others. And those that have the biggest computers have this extraordinary advantage, even if they didn’t realize they were going to get it in advance. [emphasis mine]
Here’s the link. Enjoy. While you’re not tearing your hair out and planning the revolution. http://thedianerehmshow.org/shows/2013-05-09/jaron-lanier-who-owns-future/transcript

Posted in observations, Where are the Robots?, wtf | Leave a Comment »

The New (unresolved) Paradigm

Posted by middlerage on May 3, 2013

Hmmm… I’m supposed to be writing something about a MoJo article that caught my fancy, but haven’t yet got off the dime. Anyway, I just wanted to say I am inordinately proud of myself for having gone to a local bookseller this past weekend to buy a book. I’d been wanting to read to my kids one of my favorite childhood books – The Phantom Tollbooth – but my copy was long lost in the sands (yard sales) of time. I figured I would stop by the nearby strip mall for a rendezvous with Barnes and Noble, but then >snap< I thought, I should take the kids downtown and visit an independent bookshop. So I did, we did, and now we have. Downtown is very picturesque anyway, so a good time.

I say I am inordinately proud of this because I’m not sure it is justified. There’s a lot of rah-rah good feeling to be had from supporting the little guy, but there’s no such thing as a free lunch. “Downtown” is actually farther away from me than the strip mall. Plus there is a lot to be said (what, I’m not sure, but a lot) for Amazon. I could buy the book and a car and have them delivered to my doorstep. The mailman is driving around anyway, and this would save all those emissions I made driving to downtown. I must admit I like the twenty-first-centuriness of ecommerce.

It’s all in flux, maaan. I wonder where we are going to end up. Amazon or brick and mortar? Not everything is hunky dory with Amazon, either. They rely on giant, midwest warehouses, where poorly-paid minions suffer work-related stress injuries hustling for bins all day, and get yelled at by poorly paid managers.

Likewise the local newspaper, versus internet. Mah man muddled has made cogent arguments against newspapers. I worry, though, about who is going to sit in on city council meetings. My local newspaper recently had an astonishingly good in-depth series on non-profit hospitals and all of the profit they are wracking up (all while siccing bill collectors on the indigent). And this was a couple of months before the Time Magazine article on the same subject that everyone is falling over themselves to praise.

I used to be an avid newspaper subscriber, but then I found two things trending in my life – I was ignoring my kids in favor of reading the paper, and I was ignoring the regular news in favor of immediately flipping to the opinion pages and pulling my hair out over how gawd-awful stupid other people are.  All the newspaper was doing was giving me a heart attack, so I dropped it and have been getting news for free ever since. But I feel bad about it. No, really I do. Maybe I should purchase a subscription and have it sent to the schools. ‘Cause newspapers really do need our support.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

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