Category Archives: Uncategorized

How to Pick Hits

Surprise: you can’t. Well, at least the computer can’t.

Even if you think most people are tasteless or ignorant, it’s natural to believe that successful songs, movies, books and artists are somehow “better,” at least in the democratic sense of a competitive market, than their unsuccessful counterparts, that Norah Jones and Madonna deserve to be as successful as they are if only because “that’s what the market wanted.” What our results suggest, however, is that because what people like depends on what they think other people like, what the market “wants” at any point in time can depend very sensitively on its own history: there is no sense in which it simply “reveals” what people wanted all along.

Charging for news is idiotic

Hey, you, guys who think you should charge for access to your newspaper: you’re insane. And all this reporting about how everything is going to be fee-based from now on is driving me crazy. Why does it seem everyone so easily forgets that “news” is mostly a commodity?

Here is what you are saying to your customers:

“Hey consumer, want to find out if Michael Jackson is dead? You have to pay.”

“Hey folks, want to find out who won that election last night? You have to pay.”

Who are these crazy people that seem to think we are all going to pay a bunch of sites something like $5/mo so that we can get a few pages of occasional “news”?

Hopefully, there will be an economic model for actual investigative reporting and value-added content. But it’s not the “news”. It’s something else entirely.

Michael Wolff says it well: “News has always been free.”

Coachella Prep #2

See my current list on the Coachooser


A Place to Bury Strangers
if you like The Cure, and I do

Dear and the Headlights
Fun energetic guitar-centric indie rock. With a giant disco ball.


White Lies – guitar rock
James Morrison – neo-soul
The Bloody Beetroots – electro in wrestling masks
Zane Lowe – DJ. trance. big beat breaks. If you like Fatboy Slim.
Christopher Lawrence. DJ. Trance.


Drop The Lime
Dr. Dog – a bit psychedlic. group singing. acoustic piano. Sgt Pepper’s?
Ida Maria – screechy girl
Turbonegro – metal
The Gaslight Anthem – punk