Friday: Ball and Chain

This end-of-the-work-week observation is a little different. I’ve posted some not-jazz jazz for your listening pleasure. This piece called Ball and Chain is performed by a loosely joined group of people who worked on development of a subgenre of jazz during the 1990s. It’s called M-base — short for “macro-basic array of structured extemporization” — which relies on improvisation along with non-European elements as jazz does. But its artists’ deliberation in composition combined with a more contemporary flare set this style of music apart from other jazz.

Sample a couple more pieces with a little extra estrogen — Cassandra Wilson’s vocals in You Don’t Know What Love Is, and Geri Allen’s keyboarding here with Esperanza Spalding and Terri Lyne Carrington performing Unconditional Love at a recent Jazz in Marciac festival. Wilson and Allen have both been members of the M-base collective, along with Steve Coleman, Robin Eubanks, Graham Haynes, and Greg Osby. I recommend searching out each of those folks in YouTube to explore their continuation of M-base in their work.

That’s enough to get you through your Friday evening nightcap. You’ll probably need one after this stuff.

Volkswagen’s Dieselgate

Living in a Digital World

  • Twitter says it wasn’t hacked after millions of users’ account data appears online (Bloomberg) — Hey, listen up, boneheads complaining about your Twitter account being locked: 1) Change your password periodically (like every 12 weeks) and 2) DON’T USE THE SAME PASSWORD ON MORE THAN ONE ACCOUNT. Looks like some folks haven’t learned that once one account is breached, more are at risk if they use the same password or a previous iteration from another account. ~smh~ It would take very little to create a database of breached addresses from multiple platforms and compare them for same passwords. If, for example, [123456PW] is used on two known accounts, why wouldn’t a hacker try that same password on other accounts attached to the same email address?
  • Oklahoma state police bought debit card scanning devices (KGOU) — They’re not merely reading account data if they pull you over and take your card to scan for information. They may confiscate any funds attached to the card, too, under civil forfeiture. This is ripe for abuse and overreach, given poor past legal precedent. Why is a magnetic strip any different than your wallet?

Economics of a different kind

  • Economics don’t match reality, and the root of the problem is academic (BloombergView) — Each of “coffee house macro,” finance macro, Fed macro, and academic macroeconomics are grossly out of sync with reality. But the root of this distortion is the one thing they all have in common: their origin in academic economics. Yeah — academia has become little more than an indoctrination factory for the same flawed concepts, while reducing any arguments against the current “free market uber alles” thought regime.
  • Adbusters isn’t waiting for academia; they’re ready to Battle for the Soul of Economics ( — Check it, social media warfare has begun.

That’s a wrap on this week. I’m fixing myself a stiff belt and shuffling off to bed. Catch you Monday, the Fates willing and the creek not rising due to climate change.

11 replies
  1. P J Evans says:

    The OK state police thing is a really fine way to do illegal confiscations. I’m surprised that Texas and Louisiana hadn’t already started that.
    And I’m really hoping that the DOJ notices and stops it now, because as you say, ripe for abuse.
    I’ve seen comments o this from people saying that they’ll be avoiding going through Oklahoma.

  2. wayoutwest says:

    Did you see the story on lead poisoning and the cover-up in Oregon schools? A very similar situation to the Flint crisis with one very strange twist, the cause was also a highly corrosive water source but the lack of treatment was apparently caused by the resistance of the local citizens, refusing to allow any chemical water treatment including voting to stop fluoride being added of their water.

    Tinfoil hat wearing locals poison their own children and their public servants attempt to keep them ignorant or more ignorant, what a country!

  3. Rayne says:

    P J Evans (1:16) — On the other hand, Oklahoma. Makes sense this bastion of small government hypocrisy would use expansion of government powers to rip off the most vulnerable. Just a matter of time before we find TX (where the card scanner company is located) and LA are using these devices.

    wayoutwest (1:25) — Yeah, unfortunately the local anti-science morons vote on water treatment doesn’t exempt them from federal Safe Drinking Water Act. They can choose no fluoridation, but not unsafe drinking water from a publicly-funded water system.

  4. bevin says:

    The VW story exemplifies the institutional corruption that is the European Union.
    The Commission is marinated in lobbying.
    The structure of the institution insulates the decision makers in Brussels from democratic pressures.
    It is a neo-liberal wet dream.
    In not unrelated news the Brexit camp, with almost no media support and in defiance of the Establishment and its conventional wisdom, albeit with the support of the UK’s paleo-Tories, has established, the polls are saying a 10% lead over the status quo “EU is great” crowd.

  5. John Casper says:

    Rayne, great catch on the Twitter hack.
    Twice in the last month twice, another Twitter user knew my first name. I’ve tweeted 139,000 times. I’ve never been hacked. Both users came from a hashtag–$vrx–about Valeant pharmaceuticals. Both were trying to intimidate me into stop tweeting “bear,” information about Valeant’s stock price. I changed my password both times. I contacted Twitter after the first time, then updated them after the second. They responded vaguely via email that they were unclear about the problem. Later, Twitter prompted me (twice?) to change my password. I assume, because of more attempts. I’ve had no problems since and no more prompts to change my password.
    My guess is both users, who tried to intimidate me, were paid by Bill Ackman and other, “activist,” hedge funds, who are desperate to offload their billions in losses onto, what they refer to as, “Joe-the-plumber,”–inexperienced– investors. They’re using Twitter’s $vrx hashtag as a free platform to claim that Valeant’s stock has value at current prices.
    Thank you.

  6. Rayne says:

    bevin (12:51) — The reason Brexit gets strong support now is the same reason Trump has support — white nationalism. Fuck that with a sharp stick, because white nationalism doesn’t pay the bills. Tories completely miscalculated when they toyed with Brexit as a threat to avoid comprehensive compliance with EU laws — like emissions controls. If Brexit passes, they’ll have to reinvent the wheel and do it all on their own, hope they have adequate clout by themselves when it comes to scofflaws like VW. Really, why should VW give a rat’s butt about the UK? Now scale that out to any other corporation based in EU but selling into UK.

    EU may be weak, but they aren’t any more corrupt than UK is — specifically neoliberal finance in London.

    John Casper (4:02) — Changing your password multiple times was exactly the right thing. I not only changed my password on LinkedIn but my email addy. Will be hard to link any old password from previous email to my current email, or to my LinkedIn, or to my Twitter account. Digital shell game.

    I also make it a habit to block any accounts which 1) follow me based on keywords or hashtags, 2) appear to focus on investments only. They want my advice for profit-making? They can do it the old-fashioned way: hire me as a consultant. And I am ruthless about blocking trolls and bots.

    • rugger9 says:

      On the Brexit, there is also the question of what Scotland will do, since the ruling party there (IIRC, please correct if not) is very pro-EU and campaigned on s split not long ago. See John Oliver’s segment on it, it was hilarious and features actual haggis.

      Scotland already has its own parliament, and it has the North Sea oil to finance itself. If the UK votes for Brexit, I see Scotland running another referendum in very short order to get out of the UK.

      • Rayne says:

        rugger9 (2:27) — Yeah, that’s been running through my mind. I don’t know what the limitations are on another IndyRef vote; it’s been two years, perhaps now the SNP will have a better handle on how to address the fears of the oldest voters. They were the key to IndyRef’s fail, most being concerned about their retirement funds; where would the money come from if Scotland was independent? (Also needed a more effective spokesperson than Alex Salmond, IMO, though I’m not certain Nicola Sturgeon the best.)

        Ah, here, an article on this topic featuring Salmond himself: Brexit would trigger second Scottish referendum within three years, Alex Salmond warns

  7. person1597 says:

    Here’s a new twist on economics… maximize waste!

    We are what we consume. And we consume a lot! Interdependence may be
    fragile, but it is a way to maximize waste heat… which downconverts to compost and renewal.

    “In conclusion, we have explicitly proposed a novel
    physical connection between adaptive behavior and entropy
    maximization, based on a causal generalization of
    entropic forces.”

    “In particular, physical agents driven by causal entropic
    forces might be viewed from a Darwinian perspective as
    competing to consume future histories, just as biological
    replicators compete to consume instantaneous material

  8. Larry says:

    Tne Kickitover site isn’t up yet, and Mozilla tries to block it also. Says it doesn’t have a valid certificate.

    • Rayne says:

      Larry (3:55) — Hmm. Chances are good they were hacked. Look up the same link in Internet Archive Wayback Machine, select the oldest archives first. Page had been up and no problem w/cert when I posted.

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