Reading Notes for 2023-11-29

From: MacStories Weekly: Issue 395 – Club MacStories


John: In a small but handy update, Marcos Tanaka has added the ability to create an Apple Music or Spotify playlist off all new music releases you track in the app for any given month. With a little tweaking of the long list of artists I follow in MusicHarbor, the New Releases playlist has the potential to become a great source of music discovery.

Note: Nice to see one of my favorite apps getting an interesting update.

From: Marc Andreessen Is Right – Love Doesn’t Scale – Mark Hurst

The “online” we experience today is the outcome of the Silicon Valley worldview, what Maria Farrell calls a personality disorder : the internet is a surveilled, controlled, corporate space ruled by algorithms and the cancerous growth urge that fuels them. Scale is ascendant. Love is not.

From: 265 / Sedated by Consumerist Self-Care – Dense Discovery

The fact that our perception of health and wellness is so easily shaped by scammers, snake oil peddlers and influencers points to underlying needs that are real and urgent. Let’s acknowledge that we live in a time of polycrisis that haunts many of us with an omnipresent sense of precariousness – hardly ideal conditions in which to ‘flourish’, to borrow some health influencer lingo.

Once we move beyond the consumerist mindset to wellness, we may realise that wellbeing does not require an extensive menu of goods and services. “It means social support, medical care that is accessible and empathetic, decent working conditions and ready sources of affordable and nutritious foods.”

“The social determinants of health – factors like air quality, domestic safety, community support and education access – account for as much as 80% of health outcomes. But these realities are neatly erased from most wellness marketing. … Joining a union would arguably deliver greater benefit than downloading another meditation app, but the wellness market presents the latter as a logical solution to work-related stress and deteriorating mental health.

From: Productive Practicing – Leslie Dare

It’s a good idea to play banjo at least 10 or 15 minutes a day, just to keep your hands in shape, and to have a little fun of course! On days you can spare a half hour or more, you might want to just goof off part of the time, to enjoy your playing, but if you want to make true progress, spend at least 20 minutes on whatever you consider “meaningful goals”.

Once the arrangement comes together and you can play it correctly in time, try reviewing it and looking for places to refine. Are there places where you stumble a bit, not sure of what you’re trying to do? Or do you have to stop your roll to include melody notes? Work on those spots, experimenting until you hit something that flows better, and review it until it’s smooth and clear. For guidelines on troubleshooting and fixing problems, see my article The Loop Exercise Method.

Working out one new solo every week is a good goal to shoot for. If you focus on expanding your repertoire this way, using songs most likely to come up in jams you’re in, your practicing will yield very satisfying results.