i think vocal processing is really cool and i recognize that there are a lot of really interesting things being done with it and that in general it is kind of a new sound that identifies a piece of music as being a new vital thing that is happening right this second but i also know that i messed up by trying to use it as a veil to hide my singing and my lyrics behind because i was afraid of what people would think if confronted with them directly. that was a weak impulse and it ended up putting a wall between the content of the music and people who were trying to connect with it. i wouldn’t want that to happen to anyone else.
Ann Robson: Progressive jpegs: a new best practice (Performance Calendar)
And even though not all current browsers make use of progressive jpeg’s progressive rendering, the ones that do really benefit, and we get file size savings across the board. It’s our best option today and we should use it. Progressive jpegs are the future, not the past.
Katherine Flynn: Reclaiming a Bright Eyes song after a bad breakup (Consequence of Sound)
The problem was, I saw a little too much of myself in these intensely serious, deeply focused young troubadours with their eyes cast downward and their faces bathed in the murky light from their bedroom windows. The revelation was a slow one, but once I saw the pages upon pages of videos of guitar-clutching Oberst disciples, the message was loud and clear: much like these high school-aged shut-ins, you need to lighten up a little. Sidewalks and pigeons and being your own best friend? Moonlight? Having a conversation with your own goddamned window reflection? It was all starting to seem a little overwrought, a little too drenched in false significance and melancholy. I didn’t want to share my personal meaning for the song with hundreds of other sad people, but it looked like I didn’t have much choice in the matter.
Will Oremus: Instagram privacy uproar: Why it's absurd, in three nearly identical sentences. (Slate)
On the bright side, by interpreting the confusing policy in the most alarming possible light, the tech press has forced Instagram to toe the line more carefully than it otherwise might have. That's a win for users
The new focus is to create a distributed network of wifi locations, each running an instance of the forum software, each serving those in its immediate vicinity. The content from one location’s forum can also migrate to other locations through a syncing mechanism that takes advantage of users moving from node to node. The long term goal is to deploy a broad network of wifi hardware running the Occupy.here software. In the short term the focus is limited to deploying the network throughout New York City in a number of locations to be determined.
I don't think the issue is irony. I think that the issue is the cult of the trivial. And it only matters insofar as it makes people feel better or worse. I have observed that many people spend an inordinate amount of their lives devoting obsessive attention to subjects while simultaneously working to demonstrate that they don't take those subjects at all seriously. Not just that they don't take them seriously but that they couldn't possibly. This tends to be expressed in a tone that we typically identify as ironic, but I doesn't have to be, and the focus on irony misses the essential point. I think that people need a sense of narrative in their life, they need self-belief, they need to feel like their life stands for something. And I genuinely believe that the way a lot of people spend the majority of their time-- electronically mediated, participating in a constant digital conversation about whatever has captured the mass attention, and making fun of absolutely everything about it-- is just deadening of any sense of purpose or deeper meaning.
Damon Krukowski of Galaxie 500 and Damon & Naomi breaks down the meager royalties currently being paid out to bands by streaming services and explains what the music business' headlong quest for capital means for artists today.
Lindsay Zoladz: Hey, Internet Girl: Everyone had something to say this summer about NPR intern Emily White and her generation's attitude toward music—everyone, except Emily White (Washington City Paper)
On the NPR intern Emily White and Amanda Palmer and their internet infamy this summer.
This is a depressing read. One girl’s account of being sexually harassed after a Das Racist show and the Tumblr followups reveal more of the same. Both times DR played in Hawaii, they were wasted before the first song. What a bunch of assholes.
Whitney Phillips: What an Academic Who Wrote Her Dissertation on Trolls Thinks of Violentacrez (The Atlantic)
I would challenge the idea that trolls, and trolls alone, are why we can't have nice things online. There is no doubt that trolls are disruptive, and there is no doubt that trolls can make life very difficult. That said, trolling behaviors signify much more than individual pathology. They are directly reflective of the culture out of which they emerge, immediately complicating knee-jerk condemnations of the entire behavioral category. Until the conversation is directed towards the institutional incubators out of which trolling emerges -- as opposed to just the trolls themselves -- no ground will be gained, and no solutions reached.
Tom Philpott: How Not to "Feed the World" (Mother Jones)
The solution to the growing global food crisis will not be technical; it will be social and political. The Oxfam report offers a good start: The World Bank, which operates under the leadership of a president chosen by the US, should stop financing dodgy land deals in the global south—as it has been doing—and start advising the governments of low-income, food-insecure countries to set up strict protections for smallholder farmers. Further, Oxfam advises, the World Bank should cajole low-income nations to insist that any land deals be structured to ensure that local food security is enhanced by them.
Patrick Stokes: No, you're not entitled to your opinion
I’m sure you’ve heard the expression ‘everyone is entitled to their opinion.’ Perhaps you’ve even said it yourself, maybe to head off an argument or bring one to a close. Well, as soon as you walk into this room, it’s no longer true. You are not entitled to your opinion. You are only entitled to what you can argue for.
Carles: How Indie Finally OFFICIALLY Died: The Broken Indie Machine. (Hipster Runoff)
Maybe the indie experiment only existed to create Grimes, the ultimate internet content producer who makes content directly aimed at internet viewers. She is the best example of ‘not being a band/musician’, but instead a ‘playing by the rules’ content generation machine that resonates with humans wasting time on the internet.
Steven Hyden: Lena Dunham, Lana Del Rey, LCD Soundsystem, and the end of indie exceptionalism. (Grantland)
…the notion of indie exceptionalism (and its white, urban, and upper-class trappings) was repeatedly questioned this year, almost always by the very people who benefit from it. Indie-ness in 2012's pop culture has been depicted as an outmoded cliché, an indulgence for the rich and deluded, a jokey lyrical reference, a house of cards, and/or a pile of cool clothes for pop stars and corporations to try on and discard.
Recently I was approached by a newspaper reporter (who shall remain nameless) about a possible article on trolling. I agreed under the condition that I could talk about the importance of defining one’s terms. I was also asked to put the reporter in touch with a troll. I asked “Brian Macnamara,” who sometimes trolls under the name Paulie Socash (further info on Paulie here). In the end, the paper wasn’t able to run the piece (perhaps unsurprisingly, given Brian’s responses), but I asked for permission to post both sets of answers.
Jessica Olien: “Louie’s” women problem (Salon.com)
We’ve all been on nightmarish dates. The problem is that there is a flatness to “Louie’s” women that suggests their creator is woefully out of touch. Maybe in some roundabout way that is what he wants. When a character played by Chloe Sevigny works herself to orgasm at a coffee shop in a recent episode, Louie looks at the barista and kind of shrugs helplessly as if to say, Poor me, I had no part in this.
Which is frustrating, as he’s the one writing the script.