As a student of psychology, I’ve always been fascinated and disturbed by the concept of failure to thrive. It is distressing to learn all the ways our most closely related animal cousins have been treated in order to test out theories about this phenomenon. However, I never would have thought to link failure to thrive to remote learning.
We labor under the myth of being an “information-based” society. We imagine that we are deeply informed, have ready access to massive amounts of information on the basis of which we are able to make free and well-considered decisions. This over-simplification of our human experience is deeply flawed. Among the things we’ve learned in the past year-and-a-half is that “distance education” doesn’t work very well. There’s a good reason for that: education is not merely about the acquisition of information. Interaction with a computer screen in insufficient. We are social beings and require the presence and direct interaction with others in order to learn well and fully. Our mistake about all of this could be compared to imagining that infants merely need milk and not touch, cuddling, cooing, and the human face. We know the result of such mistaken notions: babies die, suffering from “failure to thrive.”
This new video by Hatchie is wrapped in a real 120 Minutes vibe. Noisy, shoegaze guitars, images on walls of TV’s, band members in silhouette. Then, as the chorus approaches it switches to focus on her singing and jumps right into a mix of contemporary pop and 90’s indie dance as she walks down the street wearing angel wings. There’s a charm to this song and just the right amount of noise amidst pop hooks. If you can get Siri to understand “This Enchanted” instead of “Disenchanted,” you win the prize of getting to listen to it.
My name is Robert, and I have a knowledge management problem. As I mention in my bio, I'm a prolific notetaker. I would consider myself a digital pack rat, if not hoarder. Very few articles make it through my reading cycle without some highlighting and marginalia. Not a whole lot of meetings go undocumented. I collect, I share.
Finished reading: Place Called Freedom by Ken Follett 📚. This might be my favorite book by Follett (and that’s saying a lot). I loved following these characters from Scotland, to London, to Fredricksburg, VA.
Last year, as music venues shut their doors, the hype began to quickly build around streaming concerts online. Several players entered the field, including Bandcamp. Twitch rapidly expanded their music team. However, live streaming events didn’t take off as expected. Even as so many artists are still cancelling tours, the industry doesn’t seem to be picking up and filling the void.
Only 5% of the U.S. general population has attended a virtual concert or livestreamed performance in the past year, and only 5% of the U.S. general population plans to attend a virtual concert or livestreamed performance in the upcoming year.
— MRC Data’s 2021 U.S. Music 360 report
I read the different reactions to Season 2 of Ted Lasso and realize that your experience of it may be dependent on the type of escapism you need in your life right at the moment. I came across a tweet thread from Mike Cosper where he reflected on his level of enjoyment of the various episodes.
Season 2 almost lost me in the first few episodes. It was too cheery, and I just kept holding on hoping it would turn around. But nothing was at stake. It was just 30 mins of everybody liking each other.
Cosper didn’t think a show with less conflict and dramatic tension was worth watching.1 I enjoyed the escape from a high-stakes life where we constantly hear that hospitals are overflowing and climate change is about to set us all ablaze to a world where a soccer team could lose their match and it wasn’t the be all end all.
To be clear, there was some drama and tension. Keely and Roy, Rebecca’s mother’s divorce, Jamie returning to the team, Nate’s issues, etc.
The news about Facebook hiding research that could proved detrimental to their business model is not surprising. Even if the findings are less-than-shocking. I wonder if Zuckerberg could be charged with perjury for failing to disclose information that he was specifically asked about?
When Rep. Rodgers and other Republicans followed up with Facebook and asked about the company’s internal research on the effects of its products on mental health, the company did not share the Instagram research results, according to Bloomberg, nor did it share them with Sen. Ed Markey when his office also asked Facebook to provide any internal research on the matter in April, according to letters provided by Markey’s office to Recode.
This was a pleasant surprise in my Apple New Music Mix last week. I haven't heard any Black Marble in a while (I enjoyed some tracks on 2016's It's Immaterial). "Somewhere" starts off with some pretty standard synth swells, and proceeds along like a synthstramental for about a minute and half before kicking into an upbeat new wave/post-punk bopper. The video is fun, with a kid getting to hang and dance with the cool adults.
In a recent post, Chad Ragsdale regrets the decline of morality in western civilization. He argues against the laying down of arms in the culture war, and starts his argument with a trip to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (which he says is all-but-required when you visit Cleveland).
As you walk into one of the exhibits, you are greeted by a bank of televisions broadcasting in mostly black and white. Each television is playing looping videos of angry preachers with bad haircuts and cheap suits decrying the great moral evils of rock and roll music. It is a not-so-subtle lampoon. The silly, morally panicked preachers are displayed as trophies, heads mounted on the walls of this temple to rock music. The theologian/preacher in me stood for a moment and payed homage to these preachers, listening to their messages. Despite being a bit over-the-top, I had to admit that they weren’t completely wrong. Listening to the filth that has become commonplace in the music landscape, it’s hard to make the case that music hasn’t encouraged moral degradation in our culture and especially in our youth. If you think I sound old fashioned or alarmist just remember that a song about female genitalia spent four weeks at the top of the charts in 2020.
There’s no shortage of think pieces with the intent to persuade us of the futility in engaging with cultural protest. Ragsdale takes the opposite side, draws his sword, and wades into the thick of the fight. He does, however, think we need to pick our battles.
Some battles are mere distractions. Some battles are futile. Some battles are just foolish. For instance, in 1997 did we really need to lose our minds over the Harry Potter series? Was this a battle worth fighting? In my opinion, no, it was foolishness born out of paranoia and ignorance. We expended resources and energy on a futile and foolish battle.
He uses an interesting example, because someone recently mentioned to me that the priest in the church he grew up going to frequently railed against Harry Potter. What are the hills on which we are prepared to die?
Readwise is coming out with a read-it-later service for hardcore notetaking nerds like myself. You can now sign up for the beta.
Twenty years ago was my first day working in computers at Best Buy. I really didn’t understand what was happening, so I was surprised when I greeted my very first customer with a “how are you doing?” and he responded with “okay, considering what is going on.”
Duett channels the sounds of the 1980's on their pastel-infused album Leisure.
Duett has been around for a while, but just came to my attention via Bandcamp's Instagram account last week. I was drawn in by the stylized artwork and colorful pastels on the album cover of their newest offering, Leisure. The contents of the album sound exactly like you would expect from looking at the cover. Over-the-top synths bathe the listener in the color palette of the 1980's. The aesthetic is so completely intact, that the opening track, "Gallery," sounds like it was pulled from an 80's film about Wall Street.
Jason Morehead asks if Facebook deliberately deplatformed his church. Like others who have had this happen, he tried to work through the labyrinthine Facebook system to straighten things out, but eventually succumbed to frustration.
At this point, I just gave up. (Though I did take some solace in the fact that I’m not the only one who’s been confused and frustrated by this situation.) I checked the page several more times to see if somehow, miraculously, Facebook had reversed their decision but to no avail. Then I stopped checking altogether until late last month, when I found that Facebook had finally done the inevitable: they had deleted the page.
Our church had also been relying on Facebook for live streaming our services, since the pandemic began. Thankfully, we now have our own app, running on the Subsplash platform, and parishioners can stream the services there.
The Holy Post: It’s funny that Phil Vischer has a podcast that tackles some pretty heavy theological and moral issues, but still has a goofy Veggie Tales-style theme song at the beginning.
My son just stared going to high school after doing the virtual thing his freshman year. How could I not worry about him?
Some are pointing to the hubris of yet another foreign power trying to graft its value system onto Afghanistan as being a key point of American failure in the country. This video is a perfect example of why that argument has legitimacy.