I suppose my fear of a Cloudburst is irrational.  You know — where the thunderstorm becomes a derecho that amps up to a perfect storm and then up one more notch to actually burst the Cloud, erasing all my iTunes and eBooks and cookies and bank balances and anything else not stored on an actual piece of paper or some other physical medium?  It’s irrational not so much because I’m certain it could never happen (what do I know from electromagnetic pulsation or black-hole computing?*), but because if it does happen, being able to prove my bank balance may not help much, and I may not be in the mood to read a book or listen to music, what with the ensuing chaos.

Irrational or not, I retain a preference for physical brokerage statements, actual books and . . . well, I continue to imagine that someday I will have a room filled with nothing but a record player and my hundreds of vinyl LPs. I dream of having the time to sit listening to the albums of my youth, sipping Spicebox whiskey and ginger. This is never going to happen, except possibly for the spiced whiskey and ginger, but the dream lives on.

And you?  You, who are too young ever to have owned an LP?  Or a tape cassette?  You, whose home may not have shelves filled with CDs?  For you it’s now plausible to imagine a life with no physical music media whatsoever, just your Internet connection to Pandora, Spotify, iHeart, or, coming soon, iTunes Radio — all free.

Click here for a helpful overview.  [And here for “More Free Music.”]


Tony Spina:  “Regarding this quote from your recent post . . .

There are two ideas of government. There are those who believe that, if you will only legislate to make the well-to-do prosperous, their prosperity will leak through on those below. The Democratic idea, however, has been that if you legislate to make the masses prosperous, their prosperity will find its way up through every class which rests upon them. ~William Jennings Bryan, 1896

. . . do you think that one proper role of government should be legislating to make one group of Americans prosperous?”

☞  No!  But note that both ideas of government — the “trickle down” idea and the “middle-out” idea, to put them in modern parlance — aim, or claim to aim, to make everyone better off.  The question is – which actually works?

I think if you contrast Clinton’s eight years with his successor’s eight, it’s hard to argue that slashing taxes for the rich helps the masses.

But leaving aside the the real-world proof we’ve lived through (and leaving aside the inherent condescension in the phrase, “the masses”**), there’s even just the theory of it.  In theory which should work better?  As argued by Nick Hanauer in his famous clip, and his argument for a $15 minimum wage, government should lean on the side of empowering the 99%.  When not taken to impractical excess, it just works better.  Even for the rich.

*I would trademark Black-Hole Computing™ — but:  (a) I’m only fairly certain it’s original with me; (b) I have no idea what it means, as black holes are, apparently, unlike anything else in the universe, not computers; (c) who would really want to cop to owning it?

**Right?  I mean, who are “the masses?”  A great mass of people who can be lumped together and “dealt with”?  Or individuals, however modest of means, each potentially as worthy of respect as any heir or heiress, time-share king or Queen of Versailles.



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