— Danielle Nierenberg (@DaniNierenberg) May 26, 2016
An excellent 12 minutes about the social construction of race and how knowing this idea can help to have conversations about race.
Funny and approachable.
The noted video blogger opens up about what got him interested in talking about race.
Bernie Sanders went to Liberty University. Hoo-ray for discourse. Students there asked him, after he had said he and they would disagree on abortion, why he is concerned about the lives of the poor but not the lives of the unborn. (NPR has the story here).
His (wholly unshocking) Democratic answer was that he doesn’t believe the government should interfere in a women’s private medical decisions.
This doesn’t answer the students’ question. The question neither side will agree to talk about directly is when does life start? As a die-hard abortion-is-allowed person, if you tell me a mother killed her 8 month old in-the-womb child, I’d be horrified and call it ending a life. If a mother aborts a 12 week old fetus, it is a medical procedure.
What does this sound like to a pro-lifer? I can imagine it sounds like “A pregnant woman can decide to kill a baby when she wants to.” So Sanders answer is bewildering if not horrific.
For pro-lifers, I guess, life starts at conception. For pro-choicers, it is somewhere else. But there is a line over which once you cross, a fetus is a life.
As I understand it, Roe v. Wade was ALWAYS a compromise about this question. And, as a society, we have to find a workable compromise.
Sanders and other pro-choicers might undercut some of the fervor of “they are killing unborn babies” if they would just shoot straight. “It’s not a baby yet. We need a set of rules for society and law about when it is a baby. If your religion has a different set of rules, fine. Freedom of religion. But where we disagree is not about protecting the unborn baby, which we ALL support, but about WHO gets to decide what is an unborn baby. You want it to be decided by religion. But that is not workable in our democracy. If you are going to live in this democracy, you have to come to terms with a legal basis for this decision and not try to use religion to force your definition on all of us.”
Would this convince pro-lifers? Probably not. But at the very least, it is more honest and doesn’t leave pro-choicers in the weird position of seeming like we are saying that baby-killing is a medical decision.
At best, reasonable pro-lifers could maybe be brought into a conversation about when we are going to say personhood begins. And if they want to talk about this, maybe we can also talk about where it should not go (corporations as political citizens).
Dunkin’ Donuts starts selling Chips Ahoy doughnuts filled with cookie dough-flavored buttercream today, targeting afternoon snackers.
From NY Times.
This may be a sign of the endtimes.
Or a fatalyst for obesity.
I love music.
I probably listen to music 4-6 hours a day, much of it while I am working.
And I am not an expert on music, digital business models, digital technology, or the music business. I am simply a humble, passionate user.
I am worried that the “market” for music is going to evolve away from what I want. Is downloaded music over? Is streaming dead? Or doomed to being a loss-leader for larger behemoths like cell phone carriers or Amazon?
Ever since digital music and downloading emerged, I have been happy to pay for music. Most of my iTunes library was built from ripping my CDs. And as the RIAA and its business allies screamed and shouted and whinged about illegal downloads in the era of Napster, I seethed that all those freeloaders were making life difficult for me by provoking various forms of DRM (digital rights management). For example, I couldn’t copy music from a first generation iPod from the iPod to a second computer. I paid for the music, and now this wall of property rights was inserted in MY TECHNOLOGY.
Models evolved. Pandora came along and at first I loved it. But then, I realized, I wanted to be able to play the song I wanted when I wanted. Too many hours were spent trying to “trick” Pandora into the perfect mix of alternative, folk, americana, jazz, and bluegrass.
I tied to get off iTunes with a Songbird experiment. But something happened and it mixed up meta data and then I had songs with the wrong titles. I am still looking for an iTunes alternative, preferably one that folds lyrics in.
RDIO came along, and I happily signed up. $10 a month for unlimited PC streaming of anything I wanted? Yes, please.
I learned about emusic. Which has been around for awhile, in turns out. I can often get songs for $0.49 or $0.79! The model also constrains my spending to $15 a month on new music. I listen to music on RDIO. When I hear something I like, I pop over to emusic.com and buy it. If I want to make a mix cd for a friend, I go into iTunes. It all works just fine.
But emusic changed its catalog to focus only on “indie artists and labels.” Fine. But, really, no Indigo Girls? So, am I back to buying from Amazon or iTunes? Are the artists even seeing anything fair in these purchases? Spotify et al have big revenue streams, but most of that goes to the labels, not the creators of the music.
Rdio won’t make the details of its revenue public, but Spotify took in more than half a billion dollars last year. Nevertheless, its losses grew from from $60 million to $78 million. Spotify executives say 70 percent of its revenue went to paying licensing fees. (From NPR).
eMusic, through its editorial, magazine-like portal, Wondering Sound, is trying to make music discovery and curating a service you want. That is fine, as far as it goes, but the link from listening to buying then becomes too convoluted. I hear a song I like on Rdio, or through its pretty good social media features, and then I have to hunt for it on eMusic.com, and if not there, maybe Amazon? Maybe iTunes? But pay more? And also feel like I am no longer supporting emusic’s love-of-music ethos? It is like buying music from Wal-Mart instead of a record store. I _LIKE_ hanging out in the record store.
Meanwhile, vinyl is making its little comeback, even in our house, led by my music-phile son, Elijah. Music I love, like The National, or San Fermin, or Sharon Von Etten, I’d be willing to buy and own as vinyl for the audio quality.
Why are labels so powerful still? Because they control the back catalogs?
Why can’t there be a stream-and-purchase model? Emusic.com has a stream part, but you are capped at like ten hours a month. Why wouldn’t musicians seek out a label-free distribution platform so they can record music and have it available to stream, download or hard copy purchase without going through a label? A platform that also catalyzes concert-going and other revenue streams for them?
UPDATE: Pandora seems to have some ideas along these lines, as here Fortune describes Customer Relationship Management for artists…
Someone asked me why a particular committee had not done a task that impeded the progress of a mutual friend.
“Because powerful committees grow thick skins.”
An anthropology colleague asked me to do a brief explanation of network analysis and theory for a field research class (Thanks Ned Searles!).
One part of teaching I love is when the process of vocalizing ideas leads me to say something I never heard but sounds good.
Today, in discussing the options for types of data, and thinking about survey versus participant observation, I said:
“Data that is easy to collect is not always the data most worth collecting.”
I was thinking about how much of the research grind, especially in an ever bigger and more status-conscious world of publishing we live in, is driven not by good questions, but by available data.