Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tumblelogging and Social Connectivity

Sorry but this thought is going to be rambly and incomplete.

Do you really need to follow everything I'm not doing? The soda I didn't drink, the girl I didn't kiss, the jerk I didn't punch in the groin? It amazes me sometimes how much of ourselves we're willing to put on the Internet for free without consideration as to who may be watching or reading.

There are some persuasive and legitimate uses for free content online: short stories, articles, photography, work portfolios and the like. Posting such items online can improve someone's presence and further their artistic and business goals. But content that enters the social realm tends to reveal too much.

To me there's too much of life that veers toward the mundane that doesn't need to be shared with others. If there were insights to accompany it or some unexpected angle to these entries, then I would find it interesting and useful. But I don't need to follow every detail and object a person encounter in your life and online. Our thalamus edits the information that comes from our sensory organs for a reason.

Thankfully, people are using tumblelogging for artistic purposes or to maintain contact with like-minded friends and colleagues. It does seem to reveal the inner workings of people's minds, especially writers and those who work in mixed media.

But. The greater and greater convergence of the personal and public spheres online remains a nagging concern in my mind, like that buzzing feeling along my spine when something feels amiss. My main concern is that this information is gathered as a means for focused marketing (edit: it's behavorial targeting). For every great artistic and social experiment, there follows advertising and business. So far, business analysts have not seen much money to be made from sites like Tumblr or Twitter. But the adoption of these methods is still relatively young and few.


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Saturday, April 19, 2008

Microwaves and Food

I'm a little behind in catching up on reading my NYT subscription, but here are some interesting articles that revisit the culinary uses for our friend, the microwave:

You Use It Every Day. But Can You Make It Cook? (from Mark Bittman's The Minimalist column)

On Food and Zapping (from Harold McGee's The Curious Cook column)

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Sunday, April 13, 2008


I accidentally erased most of my mp3 music recently. I was in the process of cleaning out my hard drive and didn't realize what had happened until it was too late.

There's not much I can do at this point. Granted, a portion of song titles and artists are saved on my iTunes, but I didn't import all of them and it'll take forever to hunt for them online. (Many of the songs were mp3-only or never saw official release such as the Hunter Sykes Duo.) Well, this is a good opportunity to review my music tastes and see if what I heard 10 years ago still lingers in my mind today.

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Friday, April 4, 2008

Moby's "Last Night"

Been watching the first music video and a few tracks. Haven't heard the whole album yet. Can't see the music working without the video. Reminds me of late night television during the dead hours of the week, those times when you can catch someone local broadcasting whatever they wanted without scrutiny. Obscure cultural ephemera revived only to live within the gaps of a television transmission. Reminds me of a catalogue I received when I was 8 or 9 that promised esoteric skills and newly recovered secrets for the right price. The artwork was similar to the video: the results of drugs, long odd hours, and physiologically altering music distilled into a compact cultural object that you could hold in your hands.

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008