audio

Rachel Maddow: The Fresh Air Interview

Rachel Maddow: The Fresh Air Interview

Two of the best interviewers around: Terry Gross interviews Rachel Maddow. This is an incredible interview and no matter what your politics you should give it a listen. As many know, Maddow was a Rhodes Scholar, has a PhD in political science, and is a brilliant thinker and explainer, but the interview goes further in uncovering her thinking which is less partisan than many on the right think. Her discussion of getting Roger Ailes to comment on her new Book Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power is fascinating.

Real audiophiles don’t multitask while listening to music

Whatever Happened To The Audiophile

I have a dedicated two-channel listening room. My passion is for vacuum tubes and this set up consists of a KT88 based tube amp, tube preamp, tubed CD player, tubed digital-to-analog converter that is partnered with an iMac for digital files and wonderful pair of very efficient speakers. Power to the room is on dedicated lines.

Listening to music used to be a plop-down, stay-still event. Now it’s something people do while doing something else, like eating while driving or chatting on a phone while walking. The experience of listening to music these days, says Timothy Doyle of the Consumer Electronics Association, is “not unlike personal computing: It’s a 24/7 multilocation proposition; people are taking their music with them, and as a whole, the world has changed so that there are simply fewer and fewer ‘old school’ proponents of sitting down and listening to music.”

When sound equipment moved from tubes and records to iPods and mp3/AAC we not only lost fidelity, we lost the need to single task listening to music. Portability led to using music as background noise rather than foreground signal.

To this day I cannot hold a serious conversation over music, even in the lo-fi car. I have ADD but I think there’s something else going on here: I listen to music actively and when I’m listening I’m listening, not talking. I would never consider myself an audiophile but I am a single tasker in many domains.

Good Deeds in Hard Times

Good Deeds in Hard Times

OnPoint had a great story last Friday and I just re-listened to it. Great stuff.

Ted Gup found out, through a box of old letters, that during the depths of the depression his grandfather helped people he didn’t know with small amounts of money. He did this without identifying himself or taking credit for it during his lifetime. Listen to the story, it’s quite moving.

Cyber Harassment and the Law

On Point had a fascinating show today in its second hour: Cyber Harassment and the Law.

Cyber-bullying is too mild a term for some of what goes on in the rougher corners of the Internet.

When anonymous online attackers went after two young women at Yale Law School, it had the feel of a gang beating. Maybe worse. Brutal. Obscene. Relentless. And done, it seemed, for fun.

Now the women have pushed back in the courts. Defendants say it’s not their attacks but free speech that’s really under fire. The case may change what you can and cannot say online.

This is an upsetting yet fascinating topic.

This American Life: The Giant Pool of Money

The NPR radio show This American life had a special episode on the mortgage and credit crisis that I just listened to while mowing the lawn: The Giant Pool of Money.

Wow, that a great show and it told the entire story of how these sub-prime mortagates got invented and how people up and down the investment chain exploited them. In the end, everyone lost.

You’ll be able to find a free download of it in the iTunes Music Store starting on Monday, May 12th and continuing for the next week.

This is a fascinating show and it reminded me of two movies: Wall Street, and, Boiler Room except it is entirely true.