Social Listening & Vinyl Media

23 08 2010

These days people who listen to vinyl records (and subsequently, hunt them down) are often placed into two categories of people: “Old people”, who enjoy the nostalgic pops and creaks associated with vinyl media – and the memories associated with them; and “hipsters”, those who listen to appear ironically cool. I guess I’d fall into the second general category as I was born in the late 80’s (after the invention of CD), but I think there’s more to vinyl than looking ‘hip’. Vinyl was one of the later eras of social music. When a record originally came out, people had listening parties. It was a big deal – and an event – to go to a friend’s and listen to a new album. Outside of money limitation, there was a great deal of space needed (you needed enough, level, space to hold a record player). Nowadays, music can be found everywhere – on mp3 players and phones. In fact the last ‘audio format’ to be introduced was slotSD – you may have seen a display here or there (I’ve seen em’ in Best Buy) where you can by a microSD card which is loaded with a whole album.

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A Few Notes from a New World

10 08 2010

As all of my co-authors know, I’m an engineer. For those of you that don’t know me, personally, it’s beneficial to the content below to know that at times I can be a generic-cliche-antisocial engineer. After graduating last May (no, not this *past* May, the one before that…), I’ve found the job market to be unpleasant. I’ve scanned every version of ’employment pages’ and ran an exhaustive networking scheme. After all that, I didn’t get one truly positive lead. Sure, a couple interviews that went nowhere, but nothing worthwhile.  In this “transition period”, I’ve looked into other jobs – specifically those that wouldn’t require much effort – in terms of learning new skill sets, or general emotional investment in my progress. Due to physical limitations (a decrepit back/spine), my temporary careers have been limited to certain jobs. This spanned from desk jobs to… well, other desk jobs. After a year I found it was more important for me to get any sort of income, so I opened myself to jobs that would probably force me to be on my feet all day and to learn plenty of completely useless information.

My plan of action was obvious: I’d begin my post-engineering-college life with a job in the service sector.

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Book Review: I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell

4 08 2010

I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell, Tucker Max

“My name is Tucker Max, and I am an asshole. I get excessively drunk at inappropriate times, disregard social norms, indulge every whim, ignore the consequences of my actions, mock idiots and posers, sleep with more women than is safe or reasonable, and just generally act like a raging dickhead. But, I do contribute to humanity in one very important way: I share my adventures with the world.”

– From the back cover of the paperback edition of I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell

Tucker Max, Esquire, is perhaps one of the worst human beings on the planet. We’re talking about total scum of the Earth guy. He foul, rude, manipulative, sexist, selfish, and over all, someone you do not want to associate with.

He is also kind of a hero to me. If I were to see this man, I would approach him, shake his hand, and buy him a beer. I would then proceed to tell him that he represents the worst of humanity, short of someone who commits genocide, and expect him to kick my ass or verbally abuse me, preferably the latter. I would then have a story to proudly tell my grandchildren. Read the rest of this entry »