Moskau, Moskau!

Dschinghis Khan is a German (but really multi-national) disco band formed in Munich by prolific producer Ralph Siegel in 1979, competing in that year’s Eurovision song contest with an eponymous song that reached fourth place. So much, so amusing and irrelevant. Except then something else happened. Still in 1979, the band released Moskau. That was … Continue reading “Moskau, Moskau!”

Translation: Die große Müdigkeit

Some weeks ago the anonymous Austrian author who had written the fascinating article Volle Fahrt ins Nichts, which I had translated as Full Speed Into the Void, had published a follow-up essay elaborating on some points from the original article. I have once again translated that new essay, entitled in the original Die große Müdigkeit, … Continue reading “Translation: Die große Müdigkeit”

Translation: Volle Fahrt ins Nichts

Nearly two weeks ago an anonymous author – apparently an Austrian identitarian – published Volle Fahrt ins Nichts, a very interesting analysis of right-wing populist parties in the West, concluding they are unlikely to achieve their goals. This essay was shared by another (not quite anonymous) Austrian identitarian on Twitter who assured me he knows … Continue reading “Translation: Volle Fahrt ins Nichts”

Forgotten Baroque Music

Europe’s era of baroque music (ca. 1600–1750) comprises most of the oldest historical compositions still widely played today, with some notable exceptions such as medieval church chorals and renaissance lutists. Everyone at all interested in the subject knows the baroque grandmasters: Claudio Monteverdi (1567–1643), Heinrich Schütz (1585–1672), Arcangelo Corelli (1653–1713), Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741), Georg Philipp … Continue reading “Forgotten Baroque Music”

Newspapers Still Keep Shrinking

The recent massive layoffs at the New York Daily News prompted me to revisit the ongoing massacre at American newspapers and other news media. First, here are a couple of articles to quantify the damage. Bureau of Labor Statistics (1990–2016): newspaper employment shrank from 455,000 to 183,200 and books plus periodicals from 232,200 to 155,100, … Continue reading “Newspapers Still Keep Shrinking”

Skytrain to Nowhere

Brandon Adamson’s Skytrain to Nowhere is an 80-page book of what he calls “free-form poetry.” If that term usually causes you to run very fast in the opposite direction, don’t worry. To be sure the writing is carefully crafted in poetry style, but never overwrought or incomprehensible. Indeed most poems would pass as (very) short … Continue reading “Skytrain to Nowhere”

Digital Longevity

Digital storage is extremely compact and offers exact, rapid, and nearly cost-free replication through infinite iterations, whether to another digital storage medium or a playback device for human readers (watchers, listeners). This is obviously quite fantastic and caused a great deal of existing and new content to move to digital storage and onto the Internet. … Continue reading “Digital Longevity”

Stack Overflow: Quality by Quantity

Programmer Q&A site Stack Overflow has attracted legions of volunteer moderators (including privileged users possessing various editing capacities) with a “gamified” reputation system, but the quality of this moderation is increasingly coming under attack. A thread on Stack Overflow itself asked in April 2014, Why is Stack Overflow so negative of late? I’ve been using … Continue reading “Stack Overflow: Quality by Quantity”

Published Opinion Fractures

Le journalisme est un enfer, un abîme d’iniquités, de mensonges, de trahisons, que l’on ne peut traverser et d’où l’on ne peut sortir pur, que protégé comme Dante par le divin laurier de Virgile.– Honoré de Balzac, Illusions perdues (1843) Not only is journalism hell, it hardly pays anymore either. NiemanLab’s Ken Doctor recently published … Continue reading “Published Opinion Fractures”

Of Manuals & Magazines

Remember the massive printed multi-volume documentation sets for C++ compilers in the good old days? They are long gone, and Andrew Binstock bemoans the general decline of manuals for developer tools. After an abortive attempt to move traditional comprehensive manuals from print to digital formats, documentation has generally shrunk to brief online references – if … Continue reading “Of Manuals & Magazines”