1. A couple of articles that follow-up on the filter bubble phenomenon we posted on last week, both from The NY Times. The first is an editorial by Eli Pariser, “When The Internet Thinks It Knows You” and the second a slightly broader look at the issue, “The Trouble With The Echo Chamber Online.” While the issue is clearly an important one, the solutions being proposed – i.e. programmed diversity – strikes me as a tad shallow. That is, there’s clearly a resistance to the idea that we might actually be culpable in our selective listening/browsing in a way that…
Another Week Ends: Online Echo Chambers, Deathbed Regrets, Dylan at the Cross, MJ’s Bad, Singing Spiderman, Penmanship Psychology & Seinfeld
It seems that Dylan might have written Russ’s entry! As the list gets longer (“Ho ho ho”, beard that’s white, cherry nose, reindeer sleigh, and so on, and so on), the pace gets quicker, and the party gets rowdier. Watch as the classic mood goes from jovial festivity–arm-swinging good times–to a violent barrage of shattering nog glasses and chandelier swinging. I love the shrug at the end. What are you gonna do? What can be done?
It seems that Christmas brings out the best in us.
Today two new talks have been published on “PZ’s Podcast” (Subscribe free on iTunes.)
The first is entitled The Browning Version and concerns a 1951 movie starring Michael Redgrave and written by Terence Rattigan, which is based on Rattigan’s 1948 play.
It is about a man who must lose his life in order to gain it. The material connects directly with the 25th Chorus of “Mexico City Blues”:
Is my own, is your own,
Is not Owned by Self-Owner
but found by Self-Loser –
Old Ancient Teaching
This podcast is dedicated to David Browder.
The second cast for this week is called “‘Man Gave Names…
Mockingbird friend Mark Miller has just released an amazing record called “Ain’t It Grand: The Gospel Songs of Blind Willie McTell.” It’s really quite astonishing – gospel blues of the highest order with some jaw-dropping slide guitar. Get your copy today, and then tell everyone you know! We need to support this very worthy project. The music speaks for itself, as do Mark’s powerful liner notes:
My fascination with the music and life of Blind Willie McTell began on a seemingly mundane Tuesday morning in September 2009. I was searching through my iTunes for songs when a title that both intrigued…
In 1994, Chuck Klosterman wrote an insightful and very funny piece for Spin entitled “Give Me Centrism of Give Me Death!” where he argued:
If you are the kind of person who talks about music too much, there are two words that undoubtedly play an integral role in your workaday lexicon: “overrated” and “underrated.” This is because those two sentiments pop up in 90 percent of all musical discussions…
I am not interested in overrated and underrated bands.
It’s too easy, and all it means is that somebody else was wrong. I’m obsessed with bands that are rated as accurately as…
If you’re not a Rod Stewart fan, that’s understandable. Lord knows the man has given even his most faithful followers plenty of reasons to jump ship over the years, the least of which being his recent reinvention as Tony Bennett, Mach II. Greil Marcus once proclaimed, perhaps a little unfairly, that “no one in the history of popular music has more comprehensively betrayed their talent than Rod Stewart.” Indeed, it is increasingly difficult to believe that there was period of time between 1968 and 1975 when Rod made some of the most glorious music the idiom has ever produced. His…
From an interview he did with the North American Street Newspaper Association last week in support of Christmas In The Heart. The entire interview is very much worth reading, but for our purposes, the clear highlight is:
Interviewer: You really give a heroic performance of O’ LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM. The way you do it reminds me a little of an Irish rebel song. There’s something almost defiant in the way you sing, “The hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.” I don’t want to put you on the spot, but you sure deliver that…
Pretty heavy on the classic rock this time. Happy belated Thanksgiving:
1. Heroes And Villains – The Beach Boys
2. Just Another Whistle Stop – The Band
3. Caribbean Wind – Bob Dylan
4. The Cross – Prince
5. Space Age Mom – Damien Jurado
6. Apple Of My Eye – Badfinger
7. Everytime I Itch I Wind Up Scratching You – Glen Campbell
8. Better Things – The Kinks
9. September Gurls – Big Star
10. Love Is The Law – The Seahorses
11. I Want Love – Elton John
12. Glorious Day – Embrace
13. Rue The Day – The Walkmen
14. God’s Comic – Elvis Costello
15. The Mercy Seat – Johnny…
1. A very interesting blog post over at the NY Times entitled, “Kierkegaard, Despair and Depression”, the final paragraph of which is really something (ht Jeff Dean):
Each of us is subject to the weather of our own moods. Clearly, Kierkegaard thought that the darkling sky of his inner life was very much due to his father’s morbidity. But the issue of spiritual health looms up with regard to the way that we relate to our emotional lives. Again, for Kierkegaard, despair is not a feeling, but an attitude, a posture towards ourselves. The man who did not become Caesar, the…
1. I was reminded over the weekend of the brilliance of Deep Thoughts by Jack Handey, a SNL treasure from the 90s if ever there was one. Some favorites, including a few with thematic relevance:
I think a good product would be “Baby Duck Hat”. It’s a fake baby duck, which you strap on top of your head. Then you go swimming underwater until you find a mommy duck and her babies, and you join them. Then, all of a sudden, you stand up out of the water and roar like Godzilla. Man, those ducks really take off! Also, Baby Duck…
1. Bob Dylan has just announced his first ever Christmas album! The full tracklisting has yet to be revealed, but it has already been reported that “Christmas In The Heart” will feature at least one sacred tune, his version of Phillip Brooks’ “O Little Town Of Bethlehem”. It hits stores on October 13th and will benefit the charitable organization Feeding America.
2. Our very own Justin Holcomb posted an inspiring little anecdote of grace over at Common Grounds Online entitled “The Inverted World Of Grace”. I like to think of it as his tribute to the best show on TV right…
No, no, not love. A lil’ mustard seed all Americans are born with called ‘grit,’ and are called on to grow and tone, and blossom in success. I got an email with a link to this article, “The Truth About Grit,” that introduces the importance of hard work with Isaac Newton’s story; he didn’t just discover gravity because of his intelligence. It took decades of work to map out his new theory scientifically and explain it to the people. A new school of scientists are attempting to track the traits of intelligence, talent and grit, and their relation to…