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This weekend was the first 48 hour Memphis Music Launch, presented by the Memphis Music Foundation, EmergeMemphis and the Launchpad – basically a whole bunch of nonprofits dedicated to improving Memphis.

The concept was that people could pitch any kind of music or business music idea to the other participants. Then, 8 pitches would be picked to have groups work on that idea for 48 hours, presenting at the end of the weekend. From there only four groups would move forward to a showcase show at the New Daisy in July, with the winner getting a record deal and other awesome prizes.

Laurel did a lot of the collateral design work for the project at Archer, and thought that it might be something fun for us to do. You know, do some design work, maybe build a website for a band that needed work.

Like all of our Bad Ideas, this ballooned into something much bigger than we expected.

We ended up working with a group of 8 musicians who were strangers on Friday, and by Sunday were making music that I really feel represents the modern diversity of Memphis and America as a whole. We named them The Delta Collective, and ended up taking over all of their marketing/legal/business research while they got to the business of writing and recording.

And my God did they knock that part of it out of the park.

At then end of the weekend, we presented the band, their music and all of the planning we’d done. I took over the business end of the presentation, and from the audience feedback, we were the best of the bunch.

I’ll never forget when the judges came back after their deliberations.

“Now, here are the winners in no particular order…
The Delta Collective…”

So, they’re moving on to the showcase in July, with L and I acting as publicists/shepherds/managers/enablers.

You can check out the final product at the website we built:
http://thedeltacollective.com/

That’ll also lead you all of our social media stuff, too.

We’ve got 90 days to do as much as we can with these guys, who were, just 48 hours ago, total strangers.

No idea what’ll happen in that or beyond that, but at least for the weekend, those six people and the two of us had our lives changed for the better.

I just wish I could have a weekend after that weekend. Our yard needs to be cut badly, ha.

Today marks the completion of one month’s worth of Fast Fictions over at www.MemphisFastFiction.com.

The project’s been more or less what I’ve expected, so far. I can feel the edges of my brain starting to fray, but I don’t feel completely overwhelmed, which was a real concern of mine. I think I’ll actually be able to pull this off.

I was originally writing in chunks, where I’d sit down for four or five hours and bang out a half dozen pieces. I’d leave the final review for the day they were supposed to go up, so I felt like I was sticking to the “One-Story-A-Day” bit. But now I am doing the one-a-day from scratch method. Which is a lot riskier, but I feel more rewarding. This is all about me becoming a better writer, and cramming it all into one day then faffing about for the rest of the week wasn’t doing me any good.

So, what’ve I written about?

Well, there’s a good bit of historical stuff in there. Specific period references to people and places. The rest is stuff that takes places in the present, usually referencing things that I’ve experienced, or know about. Bizarrely for me, though, I’ve only written one piece set in the future. I have had a giant robot stomping on downtown, though.

I did get a letter from my Grandmother last week. She wanted to let me know that she was following the project, and that the stories overall were fairly dark. “You and you friends must not all be made out of rainbows and puppy dog tails,” she said.

I’ve tried to lighten things up since then.

The Map of Metal

Click. Go. Now.

This is fan-fucking-tastic.

Yep, thats Q from Star Trek: The Next Generation reading E.A. Poe’s “The Raven”. And if that’s not about the most awesome thing you’ll see today, I don’t know what to say to you.

Probably that you should stop mainlining a cocktail of DMT and peyote, but, hey, who am I to judge?

A few weeks back I got hit with some weird widget hack that added porn spam all down my side bar.

And unfortunately, Google cached that iteration of the page. So, now all of the search results for the site are…uh…off.

Unless you came here looking for Thai ladyboi on Uyghur bbw porn.

Which if you did, I say WELCOME BROTHER!

Anyway, does anyone know how to do anything about that? Or do I have to wait for Google to re-index the site?

Oh, and here’s a funny picture from a real movie:

If you can’t make it out tonight to see me try to maintain sobriety before going on stage to give my talk, you can stream the whole thing here:

http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ignite-memphis

*Hstk.Click.*

*Hstk.Click.*

“Do we know what happened to them?”

“No idea. They were making all sorts of racket for about a century then they went dead quiet all of a sudden.”

*Hstk.Click.*

“Bad choice of words, man.”

“What? I didn’t mean…goddammit.”

*Hstk.Click.*

“So, if it wasn’t nuclear war, or a plague or a something big – what the hell happened to them all? What kills a planet full of over-evolved apes?”

“Ahhh….sir? I…I think I found it.”

“What’ve you got?”

“An Internet, sir. Looks like it spread into everything. Entertainment, vehicles, appliances, communication, medicine, military, it integrated itself into all of it.”

“Those poor bastards. They never stood a chance.”

*Hstk.Click.*

*Hstk.Click.*

Here’s the skinny.

I’m the closer at the first Ignite Memphis this Tuesday, Oct 12th.

What’s Ignite, you’re asking? Honestly, I haven’t the foggiest. But here’s what the Ignite Memphis people are saying on their website.

Ignite is a fast-paced geek event started by Brady Forrest, Technology Evangelist for O’Reilly Media, and Bre Pettis of Makerbot.com, formerly of MAKE Magazine. Speakers are given 20 slides, each shown for 15 seconds, giving each speaker 5 minutes of fame. The event has become an international phenomenon, with gatherings in Helsinki, Finland; Paris, France; New York, New York; and many other locations.

Yeah, I don’t know who or what any of those people are, either. I’m sure they are all very important and very skilled at making The Good.

What I do know is that some cool people here in Memphis have decided to do this cool thing, and they’ve foolishly generously decided to let me be apart of it.

My talk is going to be called “The Technological Singularity – Nerd Rapture”. And I’m basically going to take up 5 minutes of your life talking about what Nerd Rapture is, why people think it is going to happen, and then tell you why it probably isn’t but this is a good thing to think about.

I promise to do the whole thing with a twinkle in my eye, and mischief in my heart. (But still tell you what I aim to.)

The full list of people is as follows:

Ignite Speakers

1) Kerry Crawford — Mix Tape
2) Tyler White — Is Google Making Us Stupid
3) Gwyn Fisher — My Big Fat Failure
4) Cardell Orrin — Confessions of a Reformed Non-Voter
5) Michael Synk — The Three Most Important Pages in Business Literature from the Past 20 Years.
6) Brad Silver — Biomarkers and the Personalized Medicine Frontier
7) Dave Barger — Tribes
8) Mark Hakett — Crisis in Our Water

Intermission

9) Matt Beickert — Can we talk?  The history of media and why it’s still so damn hard to communicate.
10) Joe Leibovich — Improv Comedy is Serious Business
11) Brian Stephens — Data on Consolidation in Other Cities
12) Rhonda Perciavalle — How your lifestyle can change your genetics.
13) Eric Robertson
14) Josh Bell
15) Jim Pohlman
16) Zachary Whitten- The Technology Singularity AKA The Nerd Rapture

I love how they put me last and Kerry first. It’s like they know everyone is going to come see her, and they’re crossing their fingers that everyone is gone before I get up there and start yelling about AI, nanotech and mutable future.

Anyway, time for full details.

Ignite Memphis
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
7pm – 9:30pm
at
Playhouse on the Square
Tickets are $15 and available online here, or at the door.

Or…here’s the thing…I can get you the hook up.

Leave me a comment on this post (using a valid email) saying that you’ll be at Ignite, and I’ll send you a coupon code for half off.

Even if you don’t give a shit about me or think that the Singularity is just another Internet craze (more or less correct), the rest of the presenters will rock out, too. Kerry, Joe and Dave are all awesome at what they do. I don’t know the rest, but I’m sure they are equally kick ass.

Hope to see you there.

I…I don’t even know what to say to this.

What you need to know: Anderson Cooper is interviewing a Michigan assistant Attorney General about his blog where he rails against the gay head president of the University of Michigan student assembly. And by rails I mean says some really over the top and offensive shit.

Hit play and give it a few minutes. When you’re sufficiently creeped out by the guy’s eyes, I’ll be waiting down here for you.

Yeah. Look at them twitch. Beady little things. Bouncing all over the screen, avoiding reality.

Done? Ok.

The best part of this video? The subtext that Anderson Cooper is in all probability gay, interviewing a guy who is probably in the closet, about a guy who is out and the guy who’s in the closet probably not even realizing that his interviewer has been on the cover of The Advocate.

The guy’s a troll that’s getting trolled by Anderson Cooper.

How awesome is that?

Pat pointed this out today on Twitter.

@Patorma Hey the assistant AG from my home state is fucking insane (and probably gay) : http://bit.ly/btw4yy

This morning, like every morning at work, I ran my mouse over the icons in my dock, click the six that always get turned on every morning. Thunderbird, Chrome, Cyberduck, iTunes, Adium, and lastly, Twitterriffic.

Except this morning something went pear-shaped with Twitterriffic. It spit out some yellow 404 error message that I’d never seen before. I shrugged, shut it down and then opened it back up. Same yellow error message. I shrugged again and then downloaded the most recent version of the Twitterriffic client (I was 3 or 4 out of date). This time I didn’t even get the yellow error message. It would pop up, ask for my password, think for about 5 minutes then give me the finger and shit all over itself.

Which, I think you’ll agree, was a bit rude.

Fine, I thought, I’ll do this the hard way. Off to the website I go.

And this is what greeted me there:

Oh.

Fuckity.

Glad to know you rolled out that feature without, you know, telling anyone you were doing it.

But, who am I kidding? Twitter isn’t a business. It’s a grift that exists to con venture capitalists out of their money. We’re a few years into the thing, and they still don’t have a business plan or a network that’s more stable than a used Kleenex.

Ah well.

At least I can take solace in the fact that a recent market survey only showed that 2% of the current user base would pay for the service.

The first and most significant change is that in the near future, anyone posting or replying to a post on official Blizzard forums will be doing so using their Real ID — that is, their real-life first and last name — with the option to also display the name of their primary in-game character alongside it. These changes will go into effect on all StarCraft II forums with the launch of the new community site prior to the July 27 release of the game, with the World of Warcraft site and forums following suit near the launch of Cataclysm. Certain classic forums, including the classic Battle.net forums, will remain unchanged.

That is part of a bit published on Blizzard’s official Battle.net forums, the Blizzard discussion run hub for all of their video game properties. For those not familiar, Blizzard makes World of Warcraft, a persistent world MMO with a sustained player population somewhere north of several European nations. Oh, and then they make Starcraft, a video game with a professional gaming league in South Korea and where a two cable networks broadcast footage of the decade old game 24/7. Last but not least is Diablo, which is really just a giant time sink based around the cover of late 80s metal albums. That didn’t keep it from selling a bajillion copies, though. All three of these games are having either expansion or new versions releasing in the next two years. Which mean Blizzard’s forum traffic is going to go through the damn roof.

Probably why they want to get a handle on the incessant flaming and troll wars that are common place.

They’ve gotten their share of flack for this, though. Several different groups have suggested that this policy would lead to game conflicts spilling over into real life conflicts. That the lack of anonymity could in fact be dangerous to the player base.

I have absolutely no idea why people would think something as trivial as video games would inspire people commit acts of violence. I mean it’s not like there’s a history of that happening all over the world. And every video game player I know is a even-tempered, emotional mature adult. There is absolutely no way anything bad could happen from this.

Oh, wait? What’s that, young lady? You’ve got something to say?

….fuck.

This is a terrible idea, but it is going to be a blast to watch.

My schadenfreude organ is turgid at the clusterfuck that’s going to follow in the wake of Blizzard’s decision.

Via Topless Robot

King of Kings, aka Touchdown Jesus set alight by lightning strike.

Surely this is a sign of [insert religious, anti-religious thing here]

THE SORE LOSERS – “Beyond Repair”

Peter sent me this video this morning, first thing in the morning, actually, before I’d had a chance to glue my head bits together, so I couldn’t tell if this song was any good or not.

And in watching it now, I still can’t make up my mind. The visual completely overtakes any brain cells I should be devoting to the song, which makes me think that it isn’t that good, but I’d like a second, or third, opinion.

Finally, a music video that goes so far that it actually makes you forget there is a song playing.

Ah, progress.

The revolution will not be televised.

There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.
There will be no pictures of pigs shooting down
brothers in the instant replay.

-Gil Scott Heron, 1971

One of the most repeated phrases in modern counter-culture wasn’t entirely true event when it was first written.

The Democratic Convention of 1968 in Chicago, when the police took to beating anyone they could swing a club at while people chanted “The whole world is watching.” was broadcast live. And that happened three years before the poem.

Since then, technology has stripped away any truth from that idea.

When I was younger, I watched the Berlin Wall come down, I watched tanks shelling the Russian Parliament building. Both on CNN. And maybe you can say I wasn’t seeing the whole of those respective revolutions. Instead, I was seeing the nice parts, the photo-op bits, cleaned up for mass market consumption. You could rightly make a case that the dirt and grit and people dead in the street was kept quietly out of view.

But that’s not true any more.

Thanks to the ubiquity of video capture devices on mobile phones, and the ubiquity of mobile phones, and the ubiquity of the Internet, anyone anywhere is an eyepiece for the world.

Last summer the world watched Iran shudder as civil unrest took hold in their major urban centers. I watched police storm into buildings, drag people out and beat them, seemingly without purpose. But the image I’ll never forget are two dead eyes, black and round, staring up at nothing, one socket filling with blood. That was Neda Agha-Soltan. A beautiful young woman that would become the face, name and martyr for the Iranian Green Movement.

And now events are repeating a year later, but in another part of the world. Thailand is moments away from complete civil war as the landed power elite are challenged by a populist uprising. And just like last summer in Iran, they now have their own martyr. Another young girl shot in the head by a sniper’s bullet, her blood spilling out into the street. We don’t know her name yet, but I won’t imagine it will be long until we do.

I won’t be linking you to those videos, because I think that seeing a person’s real, violent death is something that you should have to choose to see, not inadvertently click on.

But the Revolution is in fact being televised. And while there aren’t pictures of pigs shooting down brothers.

There are videos of governments shooting young girls.

The hollow pock, pock, pock of impossibly large penises being slammed into distended, leathery vaginas. This is the sound of modern porn. about 1 hour ago

-Me

That’s the Chinese Military Shovel WJQ-308. And that is why they will win.

No really, I know the video starts off cheesy with the psuedo-Copeland score, but give it a minute. They’ve crammed every possible function into this little thing.

That’s a robotic mouth attempting to pronounce vowels. And scaring the crap out of everyone in the process.

I won’t deny the usefulness of Facebook. It connects people from all over the world and gives them a heretofore unimagined level of inter-connectivity. Something that I am not entirely against. After all, the blurring of the edges of a person through constant group connection is one of the road signs on the way to the Singularity. And I, for one, welcome our gray goo future.

Ahem. Back to the point.

Facebook became a problem for me in that their service ceased to be a service and started to be a responsibility. I liked it unto the tax of the social networking. Ostensibly, taxes and Facebook are good things. You feed a bit into a system, and in return you’re given this bevy of stuff back. But, at some point a disconnect happens. Things start to complicate the simplicity of the process, and the obvious benefit gets lost. An evolution of perspective happens, and the thing becomes a chore.

That’s what happened with me.

As Facebook grew, both in number of users and visibility to the world, it grayed at an alarming rate. Not that is a bad thing. Everyone grows older, but not always up, you know? The problem was that Facebook became a constant chaperone. My family, co-workers, clients, everyone, really, was friending me. And to anyone who says you can just ignore them, I say this: you are out of your mind. Sure, tertiary people that you barely know are easy to leave in limbo. But try doing that with your mother. It. Isn’t. Fucking. Possible.

So I have to vet all the content that’s posted about me every day. I even added filtering to prevent people from seeing certain things, but I swear the filters were designed in such a way to make you so frustrated that you wouldn’t ever use them.

Ultimately, it just wasn’t worth the headache any more. There were too many eyes that I didn’t want peering at me, so I cut the whole thing off.

But, just in case those eyes find their way here – there wasn’t one single event that did it. It was just the culmination of many things and the growing ubiquity of it all.

I’m out, all of my content is gone, and it feels wonderfully freeing.

And no, I won’t be back.

Story goes that Martin decided to learn how to play guitar one day.

And that’s how he decided the instrument would be played.

Good luck finding anything by him, though. He does a lot with minimalist composers, but very little of his own solo work. Supposedly there is an album partially finished somewhere, but God only knows if it’ll ever see the light of day.



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