Every time I’m building a grant, fighting with proprietary stuff, filling in forms that no one will every read, I want to do this.
As Fred Wertheimer, … put it, “it is clear that a number of groups have improperly claimed tax-exempt status as section 501(c)(4) ‘social welfare’ organizations in order to hide the donors who financed their campaign activities in the 2010 and 2012 federal elections.”
But let’s be clear on the real scandal here. The columnist Michael Kinsley has often observed that the scandal isn’t what’s illegal—it’s what’s legal . It’s what society chooses not to punish that tells us most about the prevailing ethical standards of the time. Campaign finance operates by shaky, or even nonexistent, rules, and powerful players game the system with impunity. A handful of I.R.S. employees saw this and tried, in a small way, to impose some small sense of order. For that, they’ll likely be ushered into bureaucratic oblivion.
Today is my brother’s birthday. That makes me happy.
Sitting outside on my uncle’s balcony. Sun setting in my face. Still struck by the green. I think two thoughts after typing a long diatribe on Twitter about why I bought my new computer.
First is that I need to finish my piece on Miles Davis and places. That is, essentially, perhaps, why I’ve never felt at home in Edinburgh. I need days like I’ve had this afternoon. To mentally untangle myself. All the threads we call keep in our lives tend to get tangled and we have to find those places and spaces, whatever they are for each of us, to untangle all that mess. At least a knot or two of the mess as it is unlike that we will ever untangle the whole thing. For me, that is what my Miles Davis, Kind of Blue, nights represent.
Second, I really love music. And I really love good music criticism. Just finished Sound Opinions and I must say it is one of the few highlights, weekly treats, that I give to myself. It is one of my rituals. The thing about pull consumption of popular art and culture, when it is always available. We miss some of the rituals, the every night at 6pm news and at 8pm on Thursday night we are all going to watch Cosby’s together. Collectively as a family, and as a community.. But, what it also enables is us to still have a portion of the collectivism. Of course, the family can watch this week’s version of X or listen to this week’s version of Y, so the family level collectivism ritual remains. Indeed, both of those are empowered by pull consumption.
And the community collectivism is there — and this is what we, as an internet generation are starting to figure out — it is just a bit more complicated. It does not depend as tightly on time and space. Those things still matter, they just don’t matter nearly as much. Friends on facebook can have intelligent criticism of the new Mad Men episode. Informed by blogs and TV/Cultural/Historic/Economic experts who produce prolifically and are given the freedom to express different ideas and opinions. Music discussions happen across media spaces. So it is there, and even you don’t have to look that hard anymore. That allows more people to get in there and use the tools that many of us have used for longer.
Relatedly, one of the many fantastic things about the internet is that it empowers the long tail, the slightly rare, to feel more connected to each other. Push culture is one of the major components of this. This is where I agree with this article almost completely and I hope that browser makers take the idea seriously.
OK, now back to the music.
Arrived home last night. Today the sun is shining. The birds are singing. Green and spring are all around. Am in a coffeeshop with good coffee, nice old jazz, and friendly people.
Then I read about Somaliland deporting a doctor on zero evidence for “anti-islamic activities”.
These are the days that make me question my decisions.
- Innocent people die needlessly due to evil of not innocent people all the time.
- Innocent people die needlessly all the time.
- Innocent people die all the time.
- People die all the time.
- People die.
Be sad. Move on. Nothing else to do.
Thoughts with Boston.