Damon Krukowski: “Bandcamp may be a small fraction of the music industry as a whole – digital downloads currently account for only 3% of recorded music revenues, according to the RIAA – but for independent artists like us and those we share bills with on tour, Bandcamp is not only a meaningful source of income, but one of the last online channels we have to communicate directly with our audience. Unmediated by algorithms, unencumbered by ads, untainted by data mining, the site is a throwback to an earlier paradigm.”
I wrote (several years ago, but just now posted) about the wayfaring mind.
Rita Blanca National Grasslands in the Texas panhandle; photo by Sean Fitzgerald. Larger photo here.
George Saunders, Texan
Mithraeum of Santa Maria Capua Vetere in Caserta
BRB, I gotta take all these unused minutes to the
My old friend Noah Millman with a moving meditation on his own first name – and on “the crooked timber of humanity.”
In which I am ambivalent about Nicola Griffith’s warning to writers.
FWIW, one of my favorite things I’ve published in recent years is this reflection on the big Blake exhibition at the Tate Gallery.
The pumpkin artist
would it kill you to allow the occasional German word
I’ve made a case for reading the news less often.
I’m really worried about Bandcamp, which is a unique and probably irreplaceable service. At this point, there’s one thing we all ought to have learned: when the founders of a service or app we love sell it, that means it’s time for us to get out. It will not last in the form we love. Key quote from the piece:
Cultural theorist Cory Doctorow coined the term ‘enshittification’ to describe the agonizing process by which online platforms shift their focus from end users to maximizing value for their shareholders. It’s a crudely effective concept capable of capturing everything from the declining quality of Google’s search results to the way your Instagram feed is full of Reels you never asked to see. (Let’s not even get started on the rot at the heart of whatever Twitter is now.) When Bandcamp’s founders sold the company to Epic, that should have been the first sign that the platform belonged to someone other than its users. Songtradr’s layoffs and promises of synergy with its music licensing business are the next indicator that the ugly specter of enshittification may be nigh. The saddest thing is, aside from a benevolent billionaire sweeping in and buying up the site, or building out an alternative, there are no easy answers here. It’s another reminder that the independent music ecosystem is far more fragile than anyone would like to admit.
A fascinating account of the endlessly variable and thus confusing history of the word “Palestine.”
Anthony Lane on the science of happiness:
Whether there is still a place for the steady intellectual grind is open to question. Readers and publishers alike are worried by all that worrying. Understandably, their quest is for books that promise results, primed to beef up one’s eudaemonia levels like a shot of Vitamin B12. Hence the speed with which the mood of Brooks’s book, grammatical and tonal, is set within the title: not “How to Build” but “Build.” Thereafter, the imperative reigns supreme. “Start by working on your toughness.” No sweat. “Take your grand vision of improvement and humble ambition to be part of it in a specific way and execute accordingly.” Check. “Rebel against your shame.” Done. “Widen your conflict-resolution repertoire.” Ka-pow! “Treat your walks, prayer time, and gym sessions as if they were meetings with the president.” Which President? “Journal your experiences and feelings over the course of the day.” Since when did “journal” turn into a transitive verb? “Dig into the extensive and growing technology and literature on mindfulness.” Sorry, I was miles away, what? Above all, “Remember: You are your own CEO.” Holy moly. Do I have to wear a suit to brush my teeth? Is my dog a shareholder? Were last year’s migraines tax-deductible? Can I be fired by me?
Clocks, cathedrals, and one of my favorite poems.
Ib Antoni Jensen
Available in May 2024.
I wrong a longish and complicatedish post on conceptual screens and diseases of the intellect.
Hi, we’d like to join your LinkedIn network
My old internet friend Erin Kissane on Meta in Myanmar: “My aim with this series is to give mostly-western makers and users of social technology a sense of one US-based technology company’s role in what happened to just one group of people in just one place over a very limited time range.” An extraordinary series of posts, an analysis worthy of being published in a major newspaper or journal … but it’s just out there on the open web for everyone to see.