[…] the full gamut of a true sharing economy[—]from the controversial Lyfts and Airbnbs to the individuals who run home businesses knitting scarves and baking pies without traditional employment safety nets or the corporate muscle of Big Sharing. While the former wields the power to get its way, defining “the sharing economy” at the expense of workers and consumers, sole proprietors and nonprofit collectives are often the ones facing real legal problems that they can’t afford to solve. The benefits big disruptive “sharing economy” players might be making for themselves are not exactly trickling down.
Jared Keller: A Mysterious Sound Is Driving People Insane — And Nobody Knows What's Causing It (Mic.com)
"The Hum" refers to a mysterious sound heard in places around the world by a small fraction of a local population. It's characterized by a persistent and invasive low-frequency rumbling or droning noise often accompanied by vibrations.
Adrienne LaFrance: The Library of Congress Wants to Destroy Your Old CDs (for Science) (The Atlantic)
But this kind of obsolescence has a way of creeping up on you. Even the researchers involved with CD preservation efforts at the Library of Congress say that academics started thinking about this kind of work later than they should have. "We really haven't focused as much on 20th-century media because you just think there are multiple copies of things. People just assumed it's more widely distributed."
Start with the understanding that contracts benefit both parties. Generally people go into a business arrangement with the best of intentions and a lot of assumptions. A contract makes those assumptions explicit by documenting the terms of engagement clearly.
Instead of years of local/subcultural prep work resulting in a sudden mainstream (or midcult) explosion, we see the sauce simmering, and see all the ingredients that go into it. And as a result, we don’t call it sauce. We just see the ingredients, and don’t think they need to be reclassified. Indie rock changed enough between 1994 and 2014 (waaaaaaaay fewer guitars) that you’d think it’d be called something different, but we still call it “indie rock,” because we didn’t get to see a big, dramatic moment with a big, dramatic break. If everything’s always connected, it becomes much harder to see meaningful divisions.
The brogrammer becomes the flat, oppressive ideal, and the fact that "bro" was originally a term of complex, critical affection within a community is lost, replaced by a distorting mirror in which people see themselves reflected as comic Hollywood caricatures, while disavowing their own, very real participation in what remain very real cultural issues.
Ta-Nehisi Coates: The Champion Barack Obama (The Atlantic)
The president is correct that there is a long history of black leaders addressing "personal responsibility." But as a diagnosis for what has historically gone wrong in black communities, the tradition is erroneous.
David Meir Grossman: Folks have been debating lately on how, and if, they should incorporate musical theory into writing about music.
I don’t know anything about music theory, not what an E or an A means in terms of sound. But through the crucial context Ross gives, and his descriptions, I don’t need to. My Lai to Manson, this is not going to be a happy work. The E “longs for resolution”, signifying tension. It does what all great music writing should do, make you desperate to hear the music being described.
Geoff Manaugh: Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II Turns 20 (Gizmodo)
Bay Area sound critic Marc Weidenbaum—acoustic historian, noise futurist, music instructor, and writer of a brand new book about Aphex Twin—has been blogging about music, electronics, and everyday sounds at his blog Disquiet here at Gizmodo for the last few months.
Lindsay Zoladz: The #Art of the Hashtag (Pitchfork)
Thanks to Twitter, the hashtag has become an important linguistic shortcut. But while everyone from Robin Thicke to Beyoncé has used the symbol as part of their art, only a few have truly taken advantage of its culture-jamming possibilities.