What’s very damning are the sites people go to for free stuff that benefit by selling advertising space.
A report by the Digital Citizens Alliance released earlier this year found that pirate sites took in nearly a quarter of a billion dollars in revenues in 2013, with the largest 30 sites averaging $4.4 million in ad revenues and even the smallest sites pulling in $100,000 annually, all on the backs of uncompensated artists. As these sites need not bother with licensing fees, their profit margins are estimated to range between 80 and 94 per cent.
It’s more lucrative to leach than it is to create.
On Stan Bush’s “The Touch” in Boogie Nights:
I had no idea that Dirk Diggler and Reed Rothchild (Mark Wahlberg and John C. Reilly) were even doing a cover; I thought that Anderson simply wrote exactly the kind of song these two dummies would if they existed in the real world.
The sound track to Transformers: The Movie is on Spotify – featuring “The Touch”
Every super hero with a super ability is welcomed into society. Mankind sees Superman’s abilities as a force for good in the world. Batman was a little scary before the people of Gotham understood him, but he is the protector of the city.
But, in the X-Men world, mutants are treated as second-class citizens, despite their super abilities.
Is it because X-Men have free will? Superman often saves Metropolis because it’s his duty. Batman protects Gotham because he wants to save it from the kinds of criminals that murdered his parents.
Do X-Men have any duty?
X-Men are often compared to minority groups as though X-Men are outcast because they’re minorities. The bigotry held against them is what unites them. But X-Men have clearly superior abilities compared to normal humans – abilities that could be used for good.
The conflict between mutants and normal humans is often compared to real-world conflicts experienced by minority groups in America such as African Americans, Jews, atheists, Communists, the LGBT community, etc. It has been remarked that attitudes towards mutants do not make sense in the context of the Marvel Universe, since non-mutants with similar powers are rarely regarded with fear.1
Are we really to believe that X-Men are not accepted by humanity simply because they’re mutants? Humanity wouldn’t put aside any bigotry once it saw the benefit of mutant powers, similar to the way they highly regard Superman and Batman’s powers?
Which world is more realistic, the world of Batman and Superman, or the world of X-Men?
It used to be that if our best and brightest had any affinity for music at all, they would go to great ends to enter the business, with a long-term vision in mind. Not so today, as music careers are getting trounced by the tech industry when it comes to job choice and availability, and there’s no end to this movement in sight.
Where music was once seen by many as one of the highest callings possible, that perception seemed to die with the 90’s even as the music business hit its peak. It’s been all downhill since as the brain drain and lack of incoming talent has only helped to accelerate the industry’s fall to where it is today at about half its all-time high revenue.
Reading this I feel like I was caught in the middle of a transition. I was too late on the music as a career option, but too early to get in on the App gold rush (which has already peaked).
NYMag states that Gillette’s new ProGlide Flex Ball razor is “everything wrong with American Innovation.”
A new razor is now a testament to the state of American manufacturing and business. The article leads you to believe that people are going to be willfully swindled into buying it – that we solved the shaving problem decades ago.
I’m not so sure. Between electric razors, r/wicked_edge,1 and razors with balls, there are still people out there doing everything “right” and dealing with irritation from shaving.
Sure, Gillette is cashing in on a market still looking for a solution to their problems short of laser hair removal, but I thought that’s what the point of innovation was anyway. People are asking where the flying cars are – like it’s going to be less expensive and get us where we need to go any faster.
If you’ve listened to any podcasts recently you may have heard the appeal from Adam Carolla asking for donations to defend against patent trolls. Ars Technica reports that Personal Audio, the company with the patents, has been trying to get out of the lawsuit:
According to Personal Audio, they’ve lost interest in suing podcasters because the podcasters—even one of Adam Carolla’s size—just don’t make enough money for it to care.
“[Personal Audio] was under the impression that Carolla, the self-proclaimed largest podcaster in the world, as well as certain other podcasters, were making significant money from infringing Personal Audio’s patents,” stated the company. “After the parties completed discovery, however, it became clear this was not the case.”
The patent company is charging ahead with its patent case against the big three television networks, CBS, NBC, and ABC. Personal Audio is trying to wring a royalty from those companies for releasing video “episodic content” over the Internet.
Don’t worry, little guys. They only want money – and you don’t have any. Doesn’t that make you feel better?
Ikea is raising its minimum wage for workers to $10.76 an hour.
“By taking better care of our coworkers,” says Rob Olson, the acting president of Ikea U.S., “they will take better care of our customers, who will take better care of Ikea. We see it as a win-win-win opportunity.”
In other words: Ikea Won’t Employ Anybody Worth Less Than $10.76 an Hour.
…Carl Stempel, for example, writing in the International Review for the Sociology of Sport, argues that upper middle class Americans avoid “excessive displays of strength,” viewing the bodybuilder look as vulgar overcompensation for wounded manhood. The so-called dominant classes, Stempel writes—especially those like my friends and myself, richer in fancy degrees than in actual dollars—tend to express dominance through strenuous aerobic sports that display moral character, self-control, and self-development, rather than physical dominance. By chasing pure strength, in other words, packing on all that muscle, I had violated the unspoken prejudices—and dearly held self-definitions—of my social group.
I question the overcompensation angle, but then I thought of Planet Fitness’s “Lunk Alarm.” I wouldn’t be surprised if the upper class rejection of strength training is part overcompensation and part fear.
A profile on the guy who showed Richard D. James how to use Photoshop to make those freaky album covers.
He retired from music:
“For me, in terms of working in design, there’s almost nothing to do in the music industry. I mean, what would you really be doing? Design is of far less importance than ever. I think video still has a certain degree of importance, but what are covers now? They’re little thumbnails that pop up in Spotify. You can have a little visual language around that that matters, but not so much now. I mean, can you imagine Richard doing his portrait thing now, how striking that would be now? Where would you see it – as a thumbnail on iTunes or something?”
Check out Bret Easton Ellis podcast.
I listened to the latest episode of this with Michael Tolkin – near the end there’s a good conversation about cinema in modern day life.
BBE: That idea with the relationship you have with the content now, with the active control of the content, rather than being the person who lets it flow over you. Some people think something is lost with that. I know that my boyfriend who’s in his twenties and others at that age who tell me that they can’t go to a movie theatre to sit and watch a movie for two hours and ten minutes because they get itchy.
MT: Yeah, I think there’s something on the way that is gonna be like a melt of one of those glaciers in Antartica. Something is going to happen very quickly that’s going to swamp Hollywood. I have a twenty-two year old and a twenty-seven year old and I talk to them and their friends – they HATE the movies. They LOATHE the movies. They loathe what the movies are about. They don’t care about the movie stars.
Everybody talks about binging on Netflix. I don’t even have the patience for hour-long episodes unless something is REALLLLLLLLYYY GOOD.1
…the truth is people are overwhelmed with grazing, there’s so much information, that they can only go deep in a few areas, and those in the arts just cannot fathom this.
The governor came up to the area to promote the outdoors and how great it is up here.
But that last line puts it into perspective:
Outside Indian Lake Central School, the staging area for the day’s events, Bruce Mitchell, a local resident tasked with shuttling dignitaries to and from the rapids, remained skeptical on the effects of such a star-powered event in this small community, the second in as many years.
“We still don’t have a grocery store,” he shrugged.
The New Yorker has radically changed their website and will lift paywalls this summer before trying a metered paywall this fall.
That they thought this line was funny tells you everything you need to know about The New Yorker.
For months, our editorial and tech teams have been sardined into a boiler room, subsisting only on stale cheese sandwiches and a rationed supply of tap water, working without complaint on intricate questions of design, functionality, access, and what is so clinically called “the user experience.”
Food writers Jane Black and Brent Cunningham went to Huntington Alabama, the town where Jamie Oliver went to film his food-reality show and tried to change the lunch program and get people to eat better food. This feature, Servings of Small Change, discusses some of the things they faced while embedded in town and working on their book.
You’re sitting with people, and they’re really poor, and their lives, because they are poor, are very chaotic. Somebody’s brother is in jail, somebody is on drugs, somebody is working the night shift at the gas station, the kid has ADHD. And you’re sitting there going, “Have you thought about whole grains?” It sounds, to them, like somebody saying, “Oh, my private jet broke down.”
There’s always been an element of food snobbery mixed in with what should be about health. This discussion of food has been drifting from nutrition and towards supporting local farmers and artisinal crafts that charge a premium. Foodies have been unable to talk about this stuff without appearing self-righteous.