“Influential British 1960s band Cream reunited for a concert on Monday – 36 years after the group split.
Guitarist Eric Clapton joined drummer Ginger Baker and bass player Jack Bruce for a series of performances at London’s Royal Albert Hall.” (BBC)
I would love a bittorrent of this concert; let me know if you come across one, please.
Day: May 7, 2005
Even fewer have lived to tell their stories, but two women in the UK who recovered after weeks in a coma give a rare insight.” (BBC)
Wave that Flag
The court ruled, as petitioners argued, that the FCC lacks the authority to regulate what happens inside your TV or computer once it has received a broadcast signal. The broadcast flag rule would have required all signal demodulators to ‘recognize and give effect to’ a broadcast flag, forcing them not to record or output an unencrypted high-def digital signal if the flag were set. This technology mandate, set to take effect July 1, would have stopped the manufacture of open hardware that has enabled us to build our own digital television recorders.” (Electronic Frontier Foundation)
The Caesar’s Bath meme
Lots of people are paying attention to this meme, of which I learned from walker and which is doing the weblogging rounds:
Behold, the Caesar’s Bath meme! List five things that people in your circle of friends or peer group are wild about, but you can’t really understand the fuss over. To use the words of Caesar (from History of the World Part I), “Nice. Nice. Not thrilling . . . but nice.”
Poking into what people put on their lists is revealing. Although some people ignore the premise and simply list things they love to hate (for example, President Bush), it is more interesting if, as intended, you are attentive to what your social circle or peer group loves but you cannot get into (I feel really sorry for the Bush-hater who finds h’self embedded in a peer-group of Bush supporters!). Certainly, it is partly a question of how you define your peer group; most of the lists say much more about that than they do about your tastes and those of your social circle per se.. There are certain circles in which I hang out in which a list of five items wouldn’t begin to scratch the surface of our divergences (although I wouldn’t call them my close friends), and others in which I would be hardpressed to come up with five of any significance. How trivial or profound a difference of taste from your peers does your list embody? I mean, I hope you are going to differ from your peers with respect to some rock band or other, some TV show or other, and hopefully even on some of the books you have loved.
There are a number of entries that commonly appear — reality TV, drinking, spectator sports, NASCAR, Jim Carey, Seinfeld — or maybe I just notice them because they would all be on my list. If you can’t think of many items for yourself, I wonder — does it mean you are fortunate to share most of your preferences with your friends? unfortunate in that your circle of friends have very little stimulating diversity? or could it be you just don’t know your friends very well?
The game might be easier for someone — probably generally someone much younger — whose peer group have much more conformist needs. While this is abit stereotypical, the tastes of those of us who are older are probably generally less congruent with those of people we nevertheless call our close friends, perhaps because friendships are built more and more on shared history rather than shared preferences; people may remain friends even with drastic divergence of their cultural styles over decades. It may also be that people define who they are more securely and less on the basis of what they like, so even new friendships may be with more culturally dissimilar people. BTW, an interesting variant on this meme, for us older more settled folks, might be to “list five things that your spouse or life partner is wild about, but you can’t really understand the fuss over.”
And finally, it occurs to me that, because of the selection bias in this being a weblogging meme, there is one item that probably would appear on some lists which will not: weblogging.
The Time Traveler Convention – May 7, 2005
They got their New York Times puff piece:
What’s more, it is possible to travel back in time, to any place, any era. Where would people go? Would they zoom to a 2005 Saturday night for chips and burgers in a college courtyard, eager to schmooze with computer science majors possessing way too many brain cells?
Why not, say some students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, who have organized what they call the first convention for time travelers.
Actually, they contend that theirs is the only time traveler convention the world needs, because people from the future can travel to it anytime they want.
‘I would hope they would come with the idea of showing us that time travel is possible,’ said Amal Dorai, 22, the graduate student who thought up the convention, which is to be this Saturday on the M.I.T. campus. ‘Maybe they could leave something with us. It is possible they might look slightly different, the shape of the head, the body proportions.’
The event is potluck and alcohol-free – present-day humans are bringing things like brownies. But Mr. Dorai’s Web site asks that future-folk bring something to prove they are really ahead of our time: ‘Things like a cure for AIDS or cancer, a solution for global poverty or a cold fusion reactor would be particularly convincing as well as greatly appreciated.’
He would also welcome people from only a few days in the future, far enough to, say, give him a few stock market tips.”
Fear: a cultural history
By Joanna Bourke; book review: “The puff adder rears, and we remember what it means to be alive.” (The Age)
When the President Talks to God
|Kudos to NBC for allowing Bright Eyes’ Conor Oberst to perform this song on Jay Leno’s show. It is worth it to see how flustered Leno is when he comes out to thank Oberst afterward (mentally running through his viewership numbers in the red states). The song, however, doesn’t impress me anything like the protest songs of the antiwar era it seems meant to evoke. If you like it anyway, you can have a free download from the iTunes store. [thanks, Joel]|