Thursday, January 29, 2015
A dream, but a nice one.  Via the Blue:

"J: OK boys, it's like this: From now on there will be no more stadium size venues or greatest hits nights.

W: Chicks?

J: Shut up. Yes, of course there'll be chicks. We're not inhuman. But the point is, you are a club band now. 300-800, max 1000 people. The shacks will be filled up with your most loyal fans in the US and Europe, and you will play a fair mix of everything you did at your own discretion. Like, one set of hits, deep cuts and rarities alike from the '70s, and then one set of '90s and 21st century stuff and solo material.

D: Clubs? Sounds like we're going to get pretty close to the warm, uncontrollable juggernautic mass out there, waiting to eat us alive?

J: Sure. It'll be a bit of exposure therapy for you. You'll learn to love it. Oh, and also you'll do quite a lot of pure 2vN and EMG album nights, ok? I guess that's good news, or what?

W: Donald just fainted, but as his attorney I will ask in my client's absence; cash?

J: Not more than will cover expenses and then some for the after party. But frankly, this isn't really an issue, is it? And should the arrangement actually lead to starvation after all, remember; nothing keeps one young and vital like a little struggling for one's life, does it! Did I say there will be occasional jam sessions after gigs? This band you have ... they ... you know ... they need to stretch out a little. You travel with some of the finest cats around. And many of your songs have a great groove and are undisputable jam candidates. Whaddaya say?

D:(back from la-la-land) But ...

J: No 'but.' I know you're afraid to sit eye to eye with an audience that are so into your work as they will be this time around, and then feel outplayed by your own hired musicians in a situation you can't control 100%. But relax, the hard core fans we're talking about values your style and touch more than anything, and they know that even if your band are able to make gold from a stone, much of the reason you guys sound so unique is your compositions. You start with pure gold, and THEN the magic comes in."
Tuesday, January 27, 2015
"One way to probabilistically select sales message receptions for purchase verification is to use a probabilistic payment method called expected value (EV) payment."

Relevant to my interests.  In particular:

"The only time an advertiser can pay a person a significant amount of money to visit a web site, view a commercial, or call is when the person is an imminent buyer of the advertiser's type of product or service. Only at this time is reaching the searcher worth much money, because only at this time is the probability of a sale high.

The fact is, you are almost always worthless (or close to worthless) to advertisers.

For instance, a local pool builder will almost never be willing to pay you much, if anything, to talk to him on the phone.

But there is one time when you are worth a lot: when you are really in the market for a pool. Then, at that rare time, a local pool builder may well be willing to pay you $100.00 to talk to him on the phone.

Commentators who have suggested that advertisers should pay people directly for attention to sales messages have missed the central fact that people are almost always worth near zero to advertisers. That's why the amount of money that can be spent per sales message delivered to an audience member is generally small (e.g., from .5 cent to 2.0 cents per viewer of a commercial)."
"I thought you might be interested in the following transcription of a transmission fragment received on Saturday from a source originating near Sardis, British Columbia..."
Sunday, January 25, 2015
Measuring the Moat: Assessing the Magnitude and Sustainability of Value Creation

Saturday, January 24, 2015

"[P]roduction in social media is often sold to users of these platforms as self-expressive creativity, as self-discovery, as an elaboration of the self even, but it is really a narrowing of the self to the reductive, defensive aim of getting recognition, reassurance of one’s own existence, that one belongs. That kind of 'creativity' may crowd out the more antisocial kind that may entail reclusion, social disappearance, indifference to reputation and social capital, to being someone in particular in a network. Self-invention in social media that is perpetually in search of 'feedback' is really just the production of communication, which gives value not to the self but to the network that gets to carry more data (and store it, and sell it)."
Friday, January 23, 2015

"They were confused by the difficulties of our business, which God knows are confusing and difficult, but that’s external reality."
Tuesday, January 20, 2015
Bill Gross via Barron's Roundtable:

"Human organisms want to grow. The nature of things is to grow. It is interesting to ask, why don’t economies grow? Why don’t people get hired? Why don’t corporations expand? Why don’t governments produce real growth? Typically, in the past 30 or 40 years, the answer has always been that inflation got a little too high, central banks raised interest rates to restrict credit, and recessions were produced. Today, it is different because we have no inflation. So why don’t we grow?
It is because we are at the end of a debt supercycle. In the past 20 to 30 years, credit has grown to such an extreme globally that debt levels and the ability to service that debt are at risk, relative to the private investment world. Why doesn’t the debt supercycle keep expanding? Because there are limits. Interest rates have reached zero, and governments still don’t want to borrow for infrastructure investment. Companies still don’t want to borrow for private investment. They simply want to buy their own stock at a 15 times earnings because investing in the real economy is too risky. Interest rates are so low and the amount of debt is so high that there are limits to the ability of monetary policy to influence what it has influenced for the past 30 years.

What are the implications of the end of this supercycle?
Gross: The implications are much lower growth, less inflation, lower interest rates, and less profit growth. Barter economies couldn’t grow rapidly, but once someone decided to save and invest and extend credit, growth became possible. Well, we overdid it. Now there is a limit not only to lenders’ willingness to extend credit, but their willingness to do so at an unacceptably low rate of interest.
I have called this slow-growth, low-inflation environment the new normal. Larry Summers [the Harvard economist and former Treasury Secretary] calls it secular stagnation. It is tied to high debt levels, low population growth almost everywhere in the world, and technology that promotes job destruction. We applaud U.S. growth of 3%, but it is an aberration. Structural growth in the U.S. is really just 1.5% to 2%, and in Euroland and Japan it is zero to 1%. We brought consumption forward and issued one giant credit card for the past 30 years. Now the bill is coming due. Investors need to get used to low returns, and low growth, inflation, and interest rates for a long time."
Sunday, January 18, 2015

Here's another photographer's solution.  This is Anne Rowland's Pearblossom Highway, 2013.

Rowland:  "This piece is made from screenshots from Google Street View from the same intersection from which Hockney made his. The vantage point varies: this amalgam includes views made from one ‘place’, then several yards forward, and then several yards forward from THAT, etc. And from 40+ degrees to the left and right, etc. One of the really swell things about the Google Street View camera is that it is mounted quite high up above the Google car and so it can include a lot of surface information from the street and from the land."

So two geographically removed photographers have been tinkering with similar methods of photocollage for at least a couple of years!  Rowland's piece is equally faithful to the place I've visited over a dozen times now, and to Hockney's own work.  I especially like how she's integrated the Google overlays as a compositional element, a marker of the screen's surface, vis-a-vis the deep space of the camera's looking.

Rowland's entire site is worth browsing through; many of her other works are created with the same robotic camera mount I used several years ago to make War Game Tree.  Studying her exemplary work & the careful thought behind it makes me feel much less isolated.

Approximately "life scale."  Panel 1 of God only knows how many.
Friday, January 16, 2015


Tuesday, January 06, 2015

E.B. White, via L.:

"A farm is a peculiar problem for a man who likes animals, because the fate of most livestock is that they are murdered by their benefactors. The creatures may live serenely but they end violently, and the odor of doom hangs about them always. I have kept several pigs, starting them in spring as weanlings and carrying trays to them all through summer and fall. The relationship bothered me. Day by day I became better acquainted with my pig, and he with me, and the fact that the whole adventure pointed toward an eventual piece of double-dealing on my part lent an eerie quality to the thing. I do not like to betray a person or a creature, and I tend to agree with Mr. E.M. Forster that in these times the duty of a man, above all else, is to be reliable. It used to be clear to me, slopping a pig, that as far as the pig was concerned I could not be counted on, and this, as I say, troubled me. Anyway, the theme of "Charlotte's Web" is that a pig shall be saved, and I have an idea that somewhere deep inside me there was a wish to that effect."
Thursday, January 01, 2015
Early afternoon, 2015. Bright white winter sunlight.  Standing in the community garden, raising a new camera to my eyes.

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