Outside of electronic music, I’m not one who is terribly keen on artists remixing their work, but I’m really glad Rush remixed Vapor Trails now that I’ve had a chance to listen to it a few times. While it is still not a favorite of mine, there are some choice moments for me, much more so with the new mix. It is a much more reasoned album, and I am glad to have this on my iPhone in its entirety again. Well done, guys.
Imagine you hired a detective to eavesdrop on someone. He might plant a bug in their office. He might tap their phone. He might open their mail. The result would be the details of that person’s communications. That’s the “data.”
Now imagine you hired that same detective to surveil that person. The result would be details of what he did: where he went, who he talked to, what he looked at, what he purchased — how he spent his day. That’s all metadata.
This is not to say that what the NSA does is right or wrong, but this does set forth a clear definition of what actually is the content under contention. The above is the bulk of the article, the analogy is really spot on as what consists of metadata, but the rest is worth reading since the implications of this categorization are made inarguably clear. For those who wish to dive deeper, Mr. Schneier linked to a lengthy but fascinating article on how metadata can actually be used.
As states and districts continue to slash education budgets, as more kids play on traveling teams outside of school, and as the globalized economy demands that children learn higher-order skills so they can compete down the line, it’s worth reevaluating the American sporting tradition. If sports were not central to the mission of American high schools, then what would be?
The Atlantic: The Case Against High School Sports
That should be neither a rhetorical question nor one difficult to answer for anyone even with only half a brain.
After I finish school, I want to start a band. Particularly a jazz band that specializes in TV show themes, focusing on game shows, but other big band-sh theme. The Price Is Right theme is the first thing that made me think of this, but also the closing credits to Emergency is a catchy tune. But only until after I finish school. So, don’t. Tell. Anybody.
The Taedonggang, named after Pyongyang’s river, is one of the city’s most notable nightlife stops, producing seven types of beer. Although these are named with typical Soviet flair — Beer Number 1, Beer Number 2, Beer Number 3 and so forth — the equipment used in their brewing actually comes from a well-regarded, though now defunct, British brewery. “When I was visiting North Korea, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of their Taedonggang beer, of which we drank quite a lot,” recalls Alistair Humphrey – or “Humph” – whose father was chief brewer for the British ale makers Usher’s of Trowbridge, before he died and the brewery was sold. “When we got back to Beijing, I went out with Nick [Bonner] and Simon [Cockerell] of Koryo to the Great Leap Brewery, and the subject of Usher’s came up. They asked if I knew what happened to the brewery, exchanging conspiratorial looks. ‘It folded. I think it’s now a supermarket,’ I said. ‘No!’ said Nick, gleefully. ‘It was sold to the North Koreans – they’ve been using it to brew the beer you were drinking last week!’ So the equipment my father bought to brew English ales lives on in Pyongyang.”
The Atlantic: Getting Drunk in North Korea
The TI-83 Plus had helped me cultivate many of the overt and discrete habits of mind necessary for autonomous, self-directed learning. And even more, it did this without resorting to grades, rewards, or other extrinsic motivators that schools often use to coerce student engagement.
The Atlantic: Go Ahead, Mess With Texas Instruments
Articles like this make me wish I had glommed onto programming much earlier than I did.
The stack rank was a zero-sum game—one person could only excel by the amount that others were penalized. And it was applied at every level of the organization. Even if you were in a group of three high performers, it was very likely that one of you would be graded Above Average, one Average, and one Below Average. Unless your manager was a prick or an idiot or both, the ordering would reflect your relative skills, but that never came as too much comfort to the hard-working schlub who just wasn’t as good as the other two. . . This was my problem. I had three reports, A, B, and C, and they neatly fit into three categories: C was good, B was great, and A was fantastic.
Slate.com: Tales of an Ex–Microsoft Manager
I can see why, at least on paper, stack ranking has appeal if only because because the process creates an easy visual with which to gauge performance and relatively distribute rewards. In practice, however, stack ranking is invariably demoralizing by turning hard work into a pointless exercise, and should be abandoned immediately by everyone.
So (and all great sagas should begin with “so”), I can’t stand poetry except in very rare instances. I like song lyrics but not poetry. A bit weird of me, I know, but that’s the way things worked out, and certainly not for a lack of trying. When I saw Seamus Heaney’s photos all over my favorite news sites, I didn’t know who he was so I paid little (actually, no) attention. I finally relented in reading the umpteenth article about him and his significance.
Heaney’s interpretation of Beowulf was my first and is still my favorite, particularly when I feel like getting my Scandinavian on. His starting the poem with “So.” made me laugh out loud which led (again in my own weird way) to the parenthetical I used to start off this post to also start off the sometimes super-long emails I find myself stuck writing.
Does this mean that I will grab a copy of some of his poetry and read it? Probably not, but I will always enjoy reading Beowulf. RIP, Mr. Heaney.