The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

Records made of whale blubber

I love this bit of de-naturalization from Brian Eno:

On the end of an era: “I think records were just a little bubble through time and those who made a living from them for a while were lucky. There is no reason why anyone should have made so much money from selling records except that everything was right for this period of time. I always knew it would run out sooner or later. It couldn’t last, and now it’s running out. I don’t particularly care that it is and like the way things are going. The record age was just a blip. It was a bit like if you had a source of whale blubber in the 1840s and it could be used as fuel. Before gas came along, if you traded in whale blubber, you were the richest man on Earth. Then gas came along and you’d be stuck with your whale blubber. Sorry mate – history’s moving along. Recorded music equals whale blubber. Eventually, something else will replace it.”

(“De-naturalization” is my favorite new term of art; I’ve heard it from several historians lately. If it’s not obvious, it means taking things that seem natural, inevitable, or just like part of the firmament and revealing them for the wacky, lucky historical accidents that they are. Because everything is.)

Via @ballardian.


Whatever you think of his musical legacy (I treasure it) Brian Eno is a much-underappreciated thinker.

I recommend the one-year diary he kept and published: A Year With Swollen Appedices; nice review here quite congruent with my impressions:

There’s a priceless moment when his young daughter, perhaps five or six, announces to the family, “I am no longer known as Darla. I am known as Flower Heart.” (This from memory, but it’s close).

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