Blog page: 4

music unplayed: talking with Peter Jenner about bands that die before their time

On March 5th 2 Comments covering , ,

I was fortunate to talk with Peter Jenner a few weeks ago. The former manager of Pink Floyd, the Clash and others as well as current manager for Billy Bragg, Jenner is vitally engaged in issues of digital music policy and payment systems.

Photo stolen from

But since I don’t know anything about all that, I got to ask him something I’d been wondering about for a long time.

When a revered band breaks up, the fans mourn and protest, and hopes for reunion dog the band members until enough of them die off.
But maybe the band has run its course and it’s time to end before it becomes its own tribute act. There are times when it is better to declare victory and go home, put out the box set, shed a tear and go on to new projects. It can be liberating and dignified. Read more »

Map of Madoff-inflicted pain

On March 3rd covering ,

This zoomable map shows the extent and distribution of the victims of Madoff’s Ponzi scheme. Ghastly viewing, especially when you consider how many lives are touched by each dot.

My field, the study of why smart people do irrational things, should be booming about now.

all culture is hacker culture

On February 27th 6 Comments covering , ,

At a tech-business event where I was talking with people about the dynamics of creative groups, a fellow offered that we are becoming a hacker culture, meaning that young people are prone to alter or repurpose software and devices to their liking, to evade DRM and copy protection and generally make things work the way they like.

He’s right– but this isn’t new at all. Sociologist Claude Levi-Strauss spoke about the concept of bricolage, which is usually translated as tinkering or using what’s available to create a new thing. Hacking, in other words. Levi-Strauss posed this as a basic process in the creation of culture. Read more »

musicians should read these 13 bits of wisdom about startups

On February 26th covering , , , ,

Bands and startups have a lot in common. I have been exploring this idea for a couple of years. I’ve been spending time talking to musicians and tech entrepreneurs.

I’ve been gestating a blog post on this idea — but it’s out of hand and it wants to be a book. I will try to be a good little blogger and offer my thoughts in little bites. This goes against my nature, but it’s a good discipline.

So for now: all you musicians, go read this post by the always-pithy startup guru, Paul Graham. He begins with one of his favorite ideas: Read more »

I am a terrible blogger

On February 26th covering ,

Because I have to think about things for a few weeks. For example, I have some choice thoughts about the TED talk by Liz Gilbert on Genius. But so does everyone else. And by the time I have my thoughts worked out, it will be as quaint and distant as Jimmy Carter’s cardigan. The internet will give a collective “meh“.