Tag Archives: Music

Friday music

TwShiloh commandment #36…I hereby decree that this is the only version of ‘Call me maybe’ authorized to be played in this part of the solar system.

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Kvick Tänkare

While you may think that reading this blog gives you all the 18th century British grenadier goodness you can stand, you really need your very own grenadier.  Fortunately, the people over at Paper Replika have posted plans that let you create your very own.  Looks really cool.

My latest time sink has been Turntable.fm.  I am absolutely hooked.  My most frequent haunt is a ‘room’ which specializes in rock and heavy metal music.  One of my fellow metalheads recommended the movie Anvil! The Story of Anvil and I heartily pass along that recommendation.  Even if you aren’t a fan of heavy metal music (and Anvil isn’t my particular cup of tea) you should check this out.  It’s all about friends, family and following your dreams.  While it would have been quite easy to make a mocking, real-life Spinal Tap, the movie does a great job of showing the human faces of the band and their families.  Quite possibly the best documentary I’ve seen in a very long time. Really, don’t miss this.

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I’m a bit skeptical of the ‘Oh no! China will bury us!’ meme but there are real consequences at the prospect of tens (hundreds?) of millions of people moving from poverty into the middle class.  Some of those we can guess pretty easily like the increase in demand for consumer goods and energy which will make resources scarce and likely accelerate climate change.  Others you might not readily think of.  Take, for example, the boom in hunting mammoth tusks in Siberia to feed the ever increasing demand for ivory in China.

Nearly 90 percent of all mammoth tusks hauled out of Siberia—estimated at more than 60 tons a year, though the actual figure may be higher—end up in China, where legions of the newly rich are entranced by ivory. The spike in demand has worried some scientists, who lament the loss of valuable data; like the trunk of a tree, a tusk contains clues about diet, climate, and the environment. Even Yakutiyans wonder how quickly this nonrenewable resource will be depleted. Millions of mammoth tusks, perhaps more, are still locked in Siberia’s permafrost, but already they’re becoming harder to find.

Probably not a huge deal in the big picture but you never know what this might lead to.

The Swedes continue to astound the world.  Recent low water levels have revealed the wrecks of two 17th century Danish warships.  Pretty amazing when you consider it’s a capital city and the waterways are heavily developed and used.

So, the economy is changing fast…manufacturing jobs are going overseas, technology is making old jobs obsolete, you know the deal.  So, what happens to people lacking education, opportunity for reeducation or other reasons they can’t keep up?  Well, the U.S. government has (unintentionally) created a program to warehouse all these people in poverty.

It’s called disability insurance.  And in addition to poverty wages of about $1,000 a month you also get health insurance.  Since that’s a better deal than most low wage and/or part time jobs out there it basically incentivizes people to stay on the program until they are eligible for social security.  And since ‘disability’ is a subjective evaluation rather than a medical diagnosis, this is a problem that won’t get better on its own.

There’s a whole lot more you should know about our disability system may not do what it was intended to.  Check out this brilliant explainer from NPR.

The Washington Post apparently has an annual peep contest every year.  Check out one of this year’s finalist…Zero Peep Thirty.

Music and intelligence analysis

So, last time I talked about trying to incorporate different sensory inputs in order to improve analytical production.  Now I’m entering into speculative territory here but while I was primarily looking to different types of visual stimuli (the written word, graphics, images, etc.) I’ve been thinking about the possibility of using our sense of hearing to either improve the analytical or production process.

I therefore submit to you, then, this interesting project.  It takes a piece of classical music and, while you’re listening to it, describes it with accompanying text.  In doing so it conveys more information that either the musical piece or the text individually AND more then if you experienced both but separately.  The ‘extra’ value comes from getting the explanation at the same time the music is playing.  That not only reduces the chance of miscommunication (‘Is this supposed to be the teeth chattering or….this?’) but also helps improve the ‘stickiness’ of the information.  Associating the text with the music helps ‘anchor’ it in your mind.  The next time you listen to the music you’ll be more likely to remember the text.

Is there any value in incorporating music into the production process?  Might customers retain more with particular accompaniment?  Could music be used to emphasize particular pieces of information?  How about in terms of explaining probability, risk or threat?  Does the human mind respond consistently to certain types of music and sound or is the process so individualistic that the incorporation of sound is just as likely to hinder the transference of meaning as enhance it.

Up to now I’ve been talking about the production part of the intelligence cycle but music might have an easier fit in the analytical part of the cycle.  There’s evidence that distraction can assist in problem solving, particularly in helping identify weak connections between items or when thinking about difficult problems with multiple variables.  Sitting down and trying to force yourself to solve problems doesn’t work well when compared having your subconscious take a crack at it.

The goal is to get into the proper mental state:

It means not actively working on a problem but instead letting yourself happily mind-wander, freely associating and relaxing into a quiet mental state. It is like being okay to feel how you feel when you first wake up in the morning – relaxed, with diffuse, easy attention.

I’ve found that some of my best insights came about when I was most definitely not working on the problem that needed solving.  Running, reading, sleeping or…yes…listening to music.  I began wondering if there was any possibility tapping into that insight potential collaboratively after playing with my latest time sink, turntable.fm.  Is there any benefit to having analysts, working on the same problem, simultaneously sharing something like music playlists and listening to the same songs at the same time?  If you assume that a person’s choice in music is a reflection of their mental state and preferences, would sharing music give you a glimpse into how other analysts are thinking?  If so, would that help to look at problems through a slightly different perspective and, therefore, improve you problem solving skills?

Many questions for which I have no answers but interesting to think about.  Now, time to listen to some tunes….

Music Monday

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Every Trace by The Dreaming

Music Monday

Today a little ska music from a local band called the Waffle Stompers.  They’re having a kickstarter campaign to fix up their van so they can go on tour.  They get an official TwShiloh ‘thumbs up’ so, if you can, consider kicking a few bucks there way to support some struggling artists.

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Music Monday

From the most excellent remix of Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ by Party Ben in American Edit.

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Who are you and what have you done with Megadeth?

Oh, Dave, Dave, Dave…What have you done.

I haven’t been a rabid fan of Dave Mustaine and Megadeth but ever since the late 1980s they were in my collection.  Peace Sells…but Who’s Buying and So Far, So Good…So What! were really iconic albums at the early thrash movement.

And so it comes to all of us at TwShiloh World HQ as a sad bit of news to hear that dear ol’ Dave has officially gone bat shit crazy and embraced the tin foil hat wearing paranoid in him. Now, if that’s what he wants to do, that’s fine but dude, really?  You’re going to subject your concert ticket buying fans to this?

Dave Mustaine, lead singer of heavy metal band Megadeth, said that Barack Obama “staged” the recent shootings in Aurora and at a Sikh temple in Oak Creek, Wisc.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is why The Who spoke for all rock monsters (and got it right) when they said ‘Hope I die before I get old’ because more often then not this people who were idolized by millions can’t maintain their talent for decades and can’t fade gracefully into the background.  They have to hang on the fringes of our culture, getting increasing irrelevant and either doing ever more desperate things in order to regain that limelight or they go ga-ga where we all can see it, tainting the fond memories they bestowed upon us, lo these many years ago.

So, I beg you, ignore the Dave Mustaine of today.  Remember back to his glory days when he probably wasn’t any smarter but at least he knew enough to keep it a secret that he lived in crazytown.

Now let’s finish up with a little anarchy, shall we?  And try not to remember that the guy who sang this was endorsing Rick Santorum for president just a few short months ago.

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Please forgive me…I can’t help myself

Well, even though the music is by a Swedish artist, Mrs. TwShiloh has forbidden me from playing this with the sound on.  Still, I think it’s clear that after a decade of war in Afghanistan what we clearly need is a good techno beat as a soundtrack for the whole mess.

Bonus points for the smiling drone…

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Music Monday

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Tage wie diese – Die Toten Hosen


You know you want it (BOC)

It’s been too long since I’ve had some of the best rock and roll band ever occupy this space.  So, to make up for denying you the treat, here are some Blue Oyster Cult covers…

Don’t Fear the Reaper (amazing cover by Bobtown)

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Death Valley Nights (covered by Joe Bouchard – kinda cheating since he was in the band)

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I love the Night (covered by the Curtis High School Choir)

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Encore! Don’t Fear the Reaper (covered by Candlemass)

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