Lost Networks

Somewhere, possibly in Cinnamon Streets, Bruno Schulz writes of the silvery imprint of the footsteps of angels. A couple of nights ago, I was sitting at home after a long dinner and nice wine, watching the lights on my wireless router flickering as people sent me things. The impersonality of the transport of stuff online still frustrates me as strongly as it did years ago. Indications of passage, but absence of presence. Of course there is now a much wider range of social media applications — Instant Messaging, the blogosphere — than when I was first writing about this, but …

Mayhew on London Markets

From Mayhew’s London Labour and the London Poor, on the subject of Borough Market (from the wonderful VictorianLondon.org): …still the costermongers are only a portion of the street-folk. Besides these, there are, as we have seen, many other large classes obtaining their livelihood in the streets. The street musicians, for instance, are said to number 1,000, and the old clothesmen the same. There are supposed to be at the least 500 sellers of water- cresses; 200 coffee-stalls; 300 cats-meat men; 250 balladsingers; 200 play-bill sellers; from 800 to 1,000 bone-grubbers and mud-larks; 1,000 crossing-sweepers; another thousand chimneysweeps, and the same …

Apple's Music Service

Apple is planning to move into online msuic distribution. I’m hoping their plans are something more exciting than another click-to-buy website with iTunes support. Radio-of-Me, possibly?

TV Sucks

From TV Sucks, by Michael Rosenblum: Television, up until now, has been a group activity. Why? Mostly because it has been so difficult and expensive to make. After all, if Picasso had to pay $1500 a day to hire a paintbrush, and then had to deal with union canvass setters, union paint mixers and union paintbrush dippers — and then had to be an employee of the Sherman Williams company to paint, he probably would have sold life insurance instead. (Not to mention having to focus group Guerinca. “No, put the eyes back in the heads. The audience finds this …


Lean-back media brings content to the user, rather than the user having to actively engange with complex systems and delayed gratification. Some thoughts on the experience of ‘traditional’ lean-back media, and how collaborative filtering and DRM could bring the power of p2p to that expereince in a way that the music industry could actually support and encourage.