Int – Professor Xavier’s School for the Gifted and Talented
Professor Xavier: Yes, so what is your name?
Student: Sensei Tekken
Student bows to Professor Xavier and other members of the X-Men judges
Xavier: And what is your special power?
Student 1: I’m really good at Karate and other martial arts.
Wolverine: So? All of us are.
Student 1: Yeah, but I mean really good. I have been practicing martial arts since I was 4 years old. You only get that kind of skill with the dedication I have put into it.
Storm: Is that right?
Student 1: I think so.
Storm: My name is Storm. My special power is that I can change the weather at will. Also, I am insanely good at Karate.
Wolverine: I am Wolverine. I have an adamantium skeleton that is indestructible. I can heal myself whenever I am wounded. Also, I am really good at Karate.
Xavier: As a matter of fact, everyone here is really, really good at karate.
Student 1: I have my own dojo and am internationally recognized for my martial arts abilities.
Xavier: Yeah, well…pffft.
Student 1: How did you all get really good at Karate?
Storm: I…I don’t know.
Wolverine: Me neither. Really, the whole adamantium thing is enough. I don’t even really need to be good at Karate. I can stab people so easily with my claws the Karate thing is really a formality.
Student 1 (to Xavier): Did you teach them?
Xavier: No, you may not have noticed, but I am in a wheel chair. But I can read minds and one time I read the mind of a black belt. I thought I would learn Karate, but instead I learned a really good chili recipe.
Wolverine: …all of us are also really good at making chili.
student 1 leaves as student 2 walks on stage wearing an apron
Xavier: And what is your mutant power?
Student 2 (nervously): I…I am really good at making chili.
In New Podcasting:
And for the first time since Podcasts got included in iTunes something big is happening. Has happened. Of course, I’m talking about Serial, the documentary series produced by the “This American Life” team. Serial has become a phenomenon. It’s literally pop culture. Sesame Street, Saturday Night Life, The Colbert Report. Like always metrics are hard, but it certainly increased the audience of podcast listeners manifold just by itself.
So more people are listening to a radio show on the Internet. What’s the big deal? I think Serial is redefining what Podcast means to people…
I’m not so sure. Serial is like podcasting’s Harry Potter. Over ten years ago, Harry Potter books were so big that people assumed that they were going to carry readers from Harry Potter to other stories? Did they?
On trying to adopt the new collaboration tools:
Other employers rout out time-wasting email and meetings by training and requiring employees to use project-management applications, which typically store project files in one place online where all employees involved can see, update and comment on them as needed. This reduces the need for email or meetings.
In trying Basecamp,1 I have found that it can be difficult to get people to switch from tools they know to tools that are better that they don’t know. What often happens is teammates will be resistant and start jamming inboxes again and segments all the productive work between email and the new tool.
I often think that it’s an “old dogs can’t learn new tricks” mentality, but maybe it was my fault in assuming that they didn’t need to be trained.
Also, Back To Work recently talked about endless CC’ing, like this:
Those annoying CCs—which often trigger a tsunami of “reply all” responses—are major time-wasters. Senders should avoid use of mass-distribution lists if possible. Seagate coaches employees to omit recipients who don’t need to see an email. “There’s no need for spectators,” Ms. Motsinger says.
I don’t remember a good way to curb that behavior other than not repyling.
I’ve never watched this show, and that’s why I don’t get the current music culture.
…The Voice isn’t actually designed to discover a new pop star. The show, which pulls in close to 14 million viewers each week and is currently the most watched reality-TV program, works best as a vehicle for the judges’ careers.
…Maybe that’s why shows like Idol and The Voice do so well: People feel like they’re discovering new artists even though they’re listening to the same old tunes.
I did, or at least am trying to. You have to get over some weird bugs (like seemingly random per-user notifications), but afterwards you may come to like it.
I’ve been a Twitterrific user for years on Mac and iOS, but the writing is on the wall. All the newest features like multiple photos, cards, photo tagging, archive search, and per-user notifications are all only on Twitter’s apps.
You know exactly what’s going on: they want to shut down all traditional apps that aren’t their own. Rather than reeling them in they’re going to restrict new features on their own apps until everybody switches.
And frankly, I feel like using Twitter’s own apps reveals the true Twitter, whatever that is. It’s like surfing the web without ad-blocker. It’s the true web, even if it is ad-ridden (although, I haven’t found the ads to be that bad).
There are only a couple of features I miss from Twitterrific: dark/night mode and timeline syncing between devices. Third party apps don’t give you animated gifs (which are actually video files on twitter’s servers), they don’t give you activities…they can’t. There’s no public API for it. But once new features outweigh what you like in your current client, you may never open a third-party client again.
Further reading: Twitter California Knife
In Defense of Dictatorship:
Imagine a country in crisis. One where major strategic decisions that will cause essential change in direction are needed. A strong, decisive leader who does not allow dissent is needed. Right?
Russia during Boris Yeltsin was in that situation. The country was falling apart. The Soviet Union was disappearing. That enabled Nazarbayev to define the borders that became today’s modern Kazakhstan (the ninth largest land size nation in the world). Russia was in such disarray that no one could stem the different parts of the union from falling away.
The messy situation called for a dictator who could install order, starting with withdrawing from Afghanistan, solving the Chechnya uprising and somehow putting an end to the frenzy of how companies were being “privatized.” Putin was the answer.
Sometimes someone just needs to make decisions:
I would say that the price of democracy in the Middle East is the absence of, and inability to secure, peace. Both Israel and the Palestinians need a dictator.
Democracy is not a panacea for all problems. In this case of the Middle East I believe it is the problem.
A Facebook engineer on why Facebook doesn’t have a dislike button:
Actions on Facebook tend to focus on positive social interactions. Like is the lightest-weight way to express positive sentiment. I don’t think adding a light-weight way to express negative sentiment would be that valuable. I know there are times when it’d make sense, like when a friend is having a rough day, or got into a car accident like my sister yesterday (she’s okay!). For these times, a nice comment from a friend goes a long way.
When Liberals Use ‘Science’ To Attack Conservatives, They Demean Science
For progressivism, ‘science’ has become a safety blanket in which its adherents can swaddle themselves to avoid confronting alternative beliefs.
Whatever your politics, be wary of this tactic of trying to shut down discussion.
“Science” is an ever-changing body based on what we know or what we think we know. The Earth used to be flat. The Earth used to be the center of the universe. Pluto used to be a planet.
That’s not to say that evidence should be ignored, but I often wonder when you hear something like “95% of scientists agree that X” what it is that the other 5% disagree with. Consensus does not equal truth.
Reading this I’m beginning to believe things could be getting better in the recorded music industry.
This past weekend I started playing with Beats Music again and have begun questioning the care and meticulousness of my own iTunes collection. I can’t think of a better example then last weekend when I was updating Elton John metadata, hunting for the right year, trying to get high-quality artwork. Then it dawned on me. “Wait a second, I don’t even really like Elton John that much!”
In a single $10 a month payment nearly all my music collection is available, as are all the new releases I’d be paying $10 each for anyway. Sure, if I stop paying it all goes away, but has there ever been a month where I haven’t paid at least $10 in iTunes downloads? No.
So after years of using iTunes, updating ratings, organizing smart playlists to help me wade through tens of thousands of songs, I’m coming around on the idea that I don’t need to own and organize this stuff anymore. I probably haven’t listened to most of my collection in years. These digital music files may as well be like the boxes of CDs I have in a storage room. Except they show up in smart playlists and are often skipped over.
…I still wish I could just login to my Beats Music account using iTunes on my Mac.1
I’m also liking the idea that a new band can get the ears of millions of people in as little as two days.2
Maybe this right now is the golden age of music.
I know that goes against other things I’ve written here, about how the streaming model is unsustainable…but that was before reading Albini’s address and his deconstruction of “We need to figure out how to make this digital distribution work for everyone.”