Month: October 2020

Rediscovering the joys of the music album – ‘Slow Music’

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com

With the rise of digital and streaming audio, the concept of ‘music albums’ seems to have taken a bit of a back seat lately (at least in my opinion). When it is so easy to just listen to just your favourite song by an artiste, then why bother with listening to the whole album that includes that song?

I come from a generation that first started listening to music on cassettes (and vinyl records) and have lived through the birth of CDs and digital audio. I am a bit old-fashioned when it comes to technology. While I certainly appreciate the benefits of newer technologies, I prefer to be a late adopter of these, rather than the first-movers or trend seekers. This allows me to savour the older technology for longer, as there is a very good chance that there’s no going back.

So, for a long time, I continued to listen to music on cassettes. I purchased my first CD in late 1998. While I purchased an iPod in 2005 or so, I hardly ever listened to it, still preferring the CD format. Similarly, I only started listening to streaming audio in late 2016.

While music streaming helped expose me to genres of music that I might have not explored otherwise, over the past few months, I have been experiencing a feeling of not knowing what to listen. The Paradox or Tyranny of Choice.

There was a time when I would be listening to music at least a few hours a day. It started dropping to maybe a few hours a week, even though I still enjoy listening to music.

Then one day, recently, I decided to listen, not to radio stations or playlists, but to an entire album. I don’t recollect which album it was, but I enjoyed the (almost lost) experience of listening to a collection of songs from the same artist in the form that the artist wanted listeners to. I followed this with a few other albums and the pleasure was sustained.

There is a movement in eating called ‘slow food’. I would like to call the pleasure of listening to an album in its entirety ‘Slow Music‘. Something to sit back and reflect on in these crazy times…

Monday Reads – 05/10

Photo by Brandon Montrone on Pexels.com

So, we have entered the final quarter of 2020! And this week’s list includes topics such as Entropy Theory (as applicable to business), Barriers to Data Success, Dinner Table Syndrome and the Future of The American Ph.D. Happy reading!

Entropy Theory – Encyclopedia Britannica defines Entropy as ‘the measure of a system’s thermal energy per unit temperature that is unavailable for doing useful work.‘ Many of us might know it as the measure of randomness or chaos in a system. This excellent article applies this concept to the evolution of industry and businesses.

Why Culture Is the Greatest Barrier to Data Success – Many of us would have heard of the terms ‘Big Data’, ‘Machine Learning, etc. These terms have been around for a while now and most businesses would agree that they need to get better at understanding these and applicability to their specific use cases. However, many businesses are still struggling to adopt and adapt to a data oriented culture. This article lists some of the main reasons why businesses are finding it hard to inculcate a ‘Data Culture‘.

Why ‘Dinner Table Syndrome’ is getting worse for deaf people – There have been many articles written and discussions had on the ‘New Normal, ‘Working from Home’, the ‘Zoom Culture’, etc. But I must admit that, until I read this article, I had not thought of how challenging this could be for people who are hard of hearing and who might normally be relying more on visual cues to participate in a discussion.

What Is The Future Of The American Ph.D? – In this article, the author takes a deeper look at the state of Ph.D programmes in American universities and wonders if the impact the pandemic is having will be short-term or long-lasting.

Meet the couple who swapped city life to live on a remote Irish island with no electricity – I am sure many of us who live in cities would have occasionally wondered wistfully of chucking it all in to go live a simple life in the countryside. Recently, a couple living in Dublin, Ireland had this opportunity and this article talks about their experience.