Friday, February 06, 2015

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

4 years people have been judging other people 4 what they like or do not like and I think that it is childish 4 people that have a lot of power and act like they are two years old. I think that since they are acting like they are two, then why should we give them all that power? They just use it on things that are childish. People have been judging people before they know all about them. I think you should know something about someone before you start judging. It takes real leadership to pick something you know about, have read about and know all about them, but anybody can just pick something that they are clueless about. I'm not just doing this because Lady Gaga does it - I thought this before I ever saw this video. For this to make such a big impact on the votes, and we should keep on trying to make it more and more steps closer to when people can get married in all states in every city. GAY RIGHTS IS GREAT. GAY IS OK!
6 of my fav!!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Is society getting more vain, or just more lazy?

You have got to be kidding me.
According to the NY Times, a researcher has posited that music lyrics prove people are more vain today than in years past. How did Nathan DeWall come to this conclusion? By listening to the Billboard 100 from each year? Reading songs and noting changes in the voice and tone of today's lyricists? Asking artists about the intent of their music, and how society has played a part?
Not even close.
According to the Times article, DeWall and associates completed "A computer analysis of three decades of hit songs" showing "the words 'I' and 'me' appear more frequently along with anger-related words, while there’s been a corresponding decline in 'we' and 'us' and the expression of positive emotions."
In other words, they Googled a bunch of songs and called it a day.
DeWall extrapolated that lyrics using "I" more often than "we" are narcissistic? This is not academic research. This is a dorm-room game. The only educational use I could imagine for this paper is a Highlights Magazine introduction to logic: "Say kids, how many fallacies can you find in this article?"
The idea that a sentence in the first person is about the speaker is so facile that it makes me wonder if DeWall has ever read anything outside of PsycNET (where his paper is on sale for $12). Why does DeWall assume that anyone singing the word "I" is talking about himself? In the 1975 song "Isis" (a "Me Decade" lyric Dewall's computer search conveniently avoids by beginning with songs from 1980), Bob Dylan sings about trekking to ice-covered pyramids and plundering graves. Is this proof that a segment of our society was made up of intrepid robbers? What percentage of the overall population is represented by this use of the "I" pronoun?
Of course, in the context of the song any listener knows the lyric is a story, a myth, a tall tale in the way Jimi Hendrix spoke of chopping down a mountain with his bare hands, or the Beastie Boys described the illict uses of a whiffle ball bat. By hypothesizing that the meaning of a word is the same in any context, DeWall proves that he is a researcher of the laziest order.
There are dozens of statistical points to be made as well:
  • the 1991 dawning of Soundscan, which tracks sales of music at purchase instead of the unreliable methods of marking sales that came before, neatly cleaves DeWall's data pool,
  • the shrinking sales of music means that a 2007 #1 sold far fewer copies than a #1 from the CD era.
  • a song's chart position does not always signify it's import to society - is "Ebony and Ivory" more indicative of American race relations than, say, Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" just because sold more copies?
  • the relatively small sample that is contained in a list of hit songs from 27 years would indicate a single song would stand for a large segment of the population. Does "My Heart Will Go On (Theme From Titanic)" really represent a lion's share of the population's self-worth in 1997? Would society be less vain (or whatever that song seems to represent to DeWall) if it had been on the charts for another week, displacing whatever came on after it?
DeWall owes an apology to his colleagues for tarnishing the image of psychology with this psudo-science. Might I suggest a few verses from the Beck songbook: "I'm a loser."

Thursday, March 17, 2011 - Final

I finally got my Jimi Hendrix box yesterday. It was shipped from Nashville and arrived in great shape. Just a few songs from disc one helped me fall in love with this set - the chance to hear Hendrix playing a yeoman role is so invigorating for an amateur musician.
Anyway, I'd say that, from my experience with

  • Packages from Daily Deals items arrive about two weeks after ordering.
  • Make a screen-shot, or print, the screen detailing your order confirmation. Even though users establish an "account" to access the site, order information can not be accessed on the website via your account information alone (as you might with the "your orders" button on, for example).
  • Items are shipped in amazon-like cardboard wrappers that keep the items well through shipping. Items arrive in new and pristine condition.

I would order again from the site just because I love music in physical formats (both because the sound of CDs/vinyl is above mp3s, and the booklets that go with physical packages often add context to the music) but also because the prices can't be beat. I would not use the service if I needed something quickly (i.e. for a gift) but for my personal uses, I'll be trying again, I'm sure.