Thursday, January 5

Death of The Gudgeon

On a New Year whim, because it just feels like the right thing to do, I have decided to kill this blog and start a new one, over here.

Monday, December 19

Web 2.0 Software

Dion Hinchcliffe offers us an intriguing roundup of the year's Best Web 2.0 Software.

I like the look of the online to-do list software, Voo2do.

He also considers the best online start pages. I've yet to be convinced that any of these will catch on but continue to watch the area develop.

The online file storage and word processing applications he talks about look useful too. Is the definition of Web 2.0 open enough to include these?

Saturday, December 17

Steane's twelve

Serena Fenwick at Musical Pointers comments on John Steane's choice of the twelve leaving voices on record, which appeared in the 1000th issue of The Gramophone.

Monday, December 5


President Nixon, for example, once belittled the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in words that capture the common mistake: “What use are they? They’ve got over 40,000 people over there reading newspapers.”

A CIA analyst argues that Nixon was mistaken to think that secret sources always beat open sources of intelligence (OSINT).


When the above article was linked to by Arts & Letters Daily a couple of weeks back, I expected to see a lot of commentary on blogs about it, since the idea that open source intelligence is often better than covert spying is one that lends itself very strongly to the internet and the information that can be gleaned from it.

Oddly enough, in the course of my normal blog-reading, I didn't see anyone else link to the article, so I thought I'd better so I can return to it again some other time.


And as if to underline my take on the article, the internet has just become that little bit more powerful, thanks to Google's Web Comments tool. I've just installed that, and right away I used it to discover that contrary to what I thought, there were plenty of blogs that linked to the OSINT article.

Tuesday, November 22

"I was looking for my own sound"

"I was looking for something that Chet Atkins wasn't doing, that all the jazz kings wasn't doing, that all the country pickers wasn't doing. I was looking for my own sound"
-- Link Wray, 1929 - 2005

Monday, August 15

Harvard's musical orgies and more

Pliable at On An Overgrown Path has been digging out some amazing streamed music links, including a Harvard classical station which puts on mammoth musical "orgies" several times a year. These are binges on anything from Bartók to Lennie Tristano to Unsane (a band whose first Peel Session is up there with the best ever recorded).

Pliable also had an earlier post with lots of other links, although perhaps Alex Ross beat him to the Arnold Schoenberg Jukebox.

The Home Office "needs" Omar Bakri

Jon Ronson quips that the Home Office and Omar Bakri Mohammed are "a grouchy old divorcing couple who know they need each other really but are both too petulant to admit it". Hmm. Bit like the way the bad old neocons need Al'Qaeda? We've heard that one before.

Perhaps Ronson does not understand that Omar Bakri's absurdity does not make him any less dangerous. It was absurd of Richard Reid to think he could explode an aeroplane with his shoe, but he nearly succeeded.

Jon Ronson is an entertainer out of his depth and his latest thoughts are not funny.

Friday, August 12

A city in decline, a country on the brink

I enjoyed the comments on this post at 2 Blowhards more than the article they were attached to. A lengthy submission by Benjamin Hemric outlines his memory of the decline of New York from the mid-sixties into the seventies "Taxi Driver" period. I hadn't thought or read much about how that had happened before.

Michael Blowhard himself then chips in with the following:

I moved to Manhattan in 1978. In my first couple of years here, I was mugged twice, pickpocketed twice, and attacked once. The whole place felt like "Blade Runner" -- like it was falling apart, but (from the point of view of an arty kid anyway) still had a few last grimy drops of glamor and juice to be enjoyed. Money and working people were fleeing the place. The punk scene, which I dabbled on the sidelights of, was all about dancing on the abyss, enjoying the moments before the Final Collapse.

The contemporary punk scene in the UK could surely be described in the same way. And of course, punk in the UK was initially modelled on the Ramones, Television, Patti Smyth, CBGBs and so on - a city in decline inspiring a country on the brink.