1-16-16 Hodgepodge

Saturday, January 16, 2016

David Bowie, RIP

Scott Holleran has written a good piece on David Bowie's passing.

The second week of the new year begins with shocking news that rock's renaissance man, David Bowie, died of cancer. Mr. Bowie was 69.

Whatever his artistic merits or legacy, and his music and movies are certainly indelible in my life, Mr. Bowie's body of work is astonishing for a few reasons. Though he reportedly struggled with addiction, mental illness and serious conflicts -- he apparently favored the work of his post-addiction Berlin period (Low, "Heroes", Lodger) -- David Bowie was singularly dedicated to making music.
Rock is not the first thing I seek out when I am in the mood to listen to music, so the enormity of Bowie's death to so many people was lost on me at first. But I soon after learned that he wrote his newly-released album knowing full well that he was dying, which I had to respect. And then, a tribute to Bowie on a jazz station helped me realize his great influence, in part by causing me to realize that several songs I vaguely remembered from various times of my life were his. The commentary on the music was top-notch, too, and allowed me to fully appreciate a couple for the first time.

Weekend Reading

"[D]on't pretend that refusing to dispose of things you don't need will somehow help somebody else." -- Michael Hurd, in "Post-Christmas Letdown?" at The Delaware Wave

"Perhaps you have watched what Uber has done to the taxi business?" -- Keith Weiner, in "Open Letter to the Banks" at SNB & CHF

"The best way to deal with a bully is to ignore him, thus giving him psychological invisibility and invalidation." -- Michael Hurd, in "Bullies in School and Around the World" at The Delaware Coast Press

"The truth is Apple is powered mostly by coal and other fossil fuels, but rather than tell Americans the truth -- that their amazing technological achievements are made possible by fossil fuels -- they are cooking their energy books in order to dupe us into believing that we can have innovators like Apple without the cheap, plentiful, reliable energy provided by the fossil fuel industry." -- Alex Epstein, in "The Truth About Apple's '100% Renewable' Energy Usage" at Forbes

"We need to give our politicians an ultimatum: seize America's energy opportunity -- or lose our vote." -- Alex Epstein, in "When Will the Presidential Candidates Debate America's Energy Opportunity?" at Forbes [link in original]

In More Detail

Alex Epstein's takedown of Apple -- a company whose politically correct snootiness has always annoyed me -- is both humorous and informative. I enjoyed the following analogy:
Think of it this way. Imagine you and 9 other people are traveling on a yacht that has both sails and a diesel engine. For the 10% of the time that the wind was blowing perfectly in the right direction, the yacht would use the sails. For the other 90% of the time, the diesel engine would do the heavy lifting. Now imagine that, after the trip, you want to claim that you traveled the entire distance by sail, so you pay every other passenger $10 for the right to claim that you used their 10% sail time. You get to claim that you sailed 100% of time, while the other passengers have to say they used the "dirty" diesel engine for their entire trip. That's basically what Apple is doing with their energy accounting sleight of hand. [link dropped]
Of course, the silver lining here is that, thanks to its decision to pander to leftists, customers who now know better will have a good "in" with fellow Mac enthusiasts to do a bit of debunkery.

Heh! Atlas Shivered

Stop by McSweeney's for a few more "Classic Book Titles Adjusted for Winter."

-- CAV


Today: Corrected spelling of "Holleran." 


Anonymous said...

OK Bowie was a hard working talented guy but what did he do to make the world more rational?


Gus Van Horn said...

Since when did anyone have a moral obligation to make the world more rational, as if that were even possible?

Scott Holleran said...

Thank you for the kind words. I appreciate it, especially the last line of your thoughts on my post.

Gus Van Horn said...

You're welcome. Thanks for helping me better appreciate the artist, even if belatedly.