It's been an all old-Beatles day here in Seattle. The song I listen to over and over is Lady Madonna... "baby at your breast, wonders how you manage to feed the rest." It's the perfect transition song, midway between She Loves You and Octopus's Garden. They weren't quite tripping yet, I think, but they were on their way. It's not sad like Eleanor Rigby, not quite as deep as Yellow Submarine. Now what I want -- a $249 hard disk with every Beatles song ever recorded in MP3 format. Come on RIAA, cough it up. I want to pay! If you really want to break down the barriers, sell me a license for another $249 that lets me include the songs in my podcasts. I bet you make a $billion. Rockin out here in Seattle, love Dave.
I'll be in Vancouver, BC on Friday night for a blogger's dinner in my honor hosted by Roland Tanglao. All are welcome.
Heritage Foundation: Can the Blogosphere Transform Government?
Looks like Dave Slusher got a good response to the idea of an unofficial unconference in Myrtle Beach, SC. I'd probably go myself, looking for a new place to situate for the winter, I want some place where I can get programming and writing work done. Turns out Myrtle Beach is very cheap this time of year. I've never seen hotel prices like that, cheaper than my apartment in Seattle. Makes me wonder what other parts of the US are so off-season but still interesting in the winter.
I sparred with Joe Trippi on Saturday, in an effort to keep the room awake, and I think it worked. There was a kind of magic warmth in the room after the session. I thought people would be mad at me, but quite the opposite, they seemed pleased.
I've heard so many Trippi interviews, I could practically play the part myself, but there's one line he uses that's so right on, and I was glad to hear him use it toward the end of the show so I could agree, and then amplify.
He said that a campaign could raise a bunch of money, just for the feeling of power it gives the givers, and not even spend it (presumably on ads). Then I agreed, totally, but wouldn't it be even better if the campaign spent the money to make America better now, before the election, before we take office, as a gesture of good faith. If we can do something really imaginative and good with $40 million now, imagine what we can do with $1 trillion next year!
(An exaggeration, of course, most of the budget is pre-spent, on entitlements like social security and paying interest on the national debt. Defense eats up a huge chunk of the remainder. The discretionary budget is actually very small.)
Everyone agreed. So here's an idea. We're as far as we ever get from an election right now, it's two years until the mid-terms, four years to the next Presidential election. Let's start raising money for a truly open blogging network, out of which candidates for local office can emerge, and new journalists, and empowered voters, money-givers, an army of citizens ready to listen, to learn, and feed back to all of us what they learned.
Remember, the Internet has always been and will always be the ultimate research network. Well, now we need to do some research. What can we do better? How can we bring America together? We don't have to wait for the parties to do this, they won't, they're as obsolete as ABC, Viacom, the RIAA and the MPAA. As cloistered as CNN and the NY Times. As self-obsessed as Rush Limbaugh and Al Franken. To get to the next step we have to listen. It won't cost much money, certainly not much compared to what it costs to run for President or even the Senate or a governorship. We can invest in communication now, that's what we need a lot more of, and not the fake kind you get on TV, in the environment (see below).
I had an epiphany on Sunday, on returning to Seattle, in my car, listening to the radio, in the environment. I don't know exactly how I came to it, or if I can explain it, but I'll try.
It's my car, I think of it that way, but it really belongs to the RIAA. I'm sure they see it that way. They've been willing to compromise to give me some of the features I want, but they still have a chain of ownership maintained all the way back to their contracts with the artists who wrote and perform the music they let radio stations play in my car.
I'm pretty sure you can't be heard in my car over radio unless you have a deal with the RIAA.
Once you think in terms of the environment, you can see that the times you step outside the environment are few and far between. I stopped in Sam Goody's yesterday and bought a CD of 27 Beatles hits for $12.99. The environment. I was coming home from a movie at a downtown shopping mall, Pacific Place, every store part of the environment, and of course the movie, The Incredibles -- totally environmental.
When you view things this way, you see how totally extrordinary the plain old PC is. It broke the environment. Hollywood didn't get it. Even the Internet was allowed to blossom, outside the environment. And what we've been struggling with, ever since, is Hollywood wanting to get their hooks into this space too, so we can be in the environment, safe, warm, etc.
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