The Culture-Changing Rollable TV
Chances are you heard about the 2019 International CES debut of this revolutionary television:
As the host notes, these will be super-expensive at first, no doubt. But flat-screen TVs were expensive as well, and now almost everyone has one. Likewise, I think this ‘rollable’ TV (and the inevitable competing versions) will catch on in a big way. What interests me is how our culture is affected when the TV is no longer the centerpiece of our living rooms. A TV that’s made to be hidden— replaced by a painting or whatever is behind its previously allotted space — proposes a mindset that’s foreign to almost every generation. Can you imagine a house where a big screen isn’t the focus of the primary social room’s furniture and all the attention?
Immune to Misinformation
I’m happy that John Green is doing this Crash Course series on Navigating Digital Information. This is important and I look forward to all the episodes.
John recently gave up all social media for a year. Here’s his first-day video and here’s his one-month follow-up. In the
It’s Hierarchy in Disguise
Via The New Yorker, last night I read this thought-provoking profile of Elizabeth Anderson, a philosopher of growing renown in that male-dominated field. She’s working to disconnect the inverse relationship between freedom and equality. That is, the idea that freedom is expanded at the expense of equality and vice versa. I never thought about the ‘left vs. right’ debate boiling down to that underlying assumption. From the article:
If individuals exercise freedoms, conservatives like to say, some inequalities will naturally result. Those on the left basically agree—and thus allow constraints on personal freedom in order to reduce inequality. The philosopher Isaiah Berlin called the opposition between equality and freedom an “intrinsic, irremovable element in human life.” It is our fate as a society, he believed, to haggle toward a balance between them. […]
The trouble was that many people, picking up on libertarian misconceptions, thought of freedom only in the frame of their own actions. If one person’s supposed freedom results in someone else’s subjugation, that is not actually a free society in action. It’s hierarchy in disguise.
The piece is a long one (Pocket estimates 38 minutes), but it’s worth the read, sometimes heady but entertaining throughout: The Philosopher Redefining Equality
On a side note, mid-way through the article there’s a New Yorker cartoon that’s the most bizarre one I’ve ever seen.
The Album Long Game or the Wrong Game
Vulture explores today’s topsy-turvy state of the album release strategy in an article that asks Does the Surprise Album Release Still Work? My answer: it can if the strategy fits your brand and fan expectations … and, as the article points
This quote from Beggars Group’s Matt Harmon in the article is important:
“Streaming means that we’re not getting the sales that we used to get the week of release or the first three or six months of release, but that those sales or streams or equivalent units are stretched over the first two, three, four, five years …”
Longterm thinking is increasingly vital and that’s a good thing. The first-week album splash might still work for the music industry’s 1%, but anyone else not actively promoting an album — and a body of work — continually for the entirety of his or her recording career is playing the wrong game. Streaming rewards maintaining interest in a back catalog. Take advantage of this and stop looking at a release date as the crest of your promotional efforts.