Sunday, May 24, 2020

Why the "new normal" isn't.

Our COVID-19 pandemic introduced a vernacular that includes "PPE," "social distancing," and "new normal" among other phrases.

"New normal" may be the phrase I find most sadly infuriating.

There's nothing "normal" about our current state of affairs. There's absolutely no reason to believe any of these pandemic-induced behaviors need to become normalized.

Diane Vaughn, in her book The Challenger Decision, introduced the phrase "normalization of deviance" to describe becoming desensitized to abnormal behavior. While COVID-19 behaviors like social distancing aren't abnormal in a harmful way, they are atypical relative to previous human social behaviors. C-19 coping behaviors aren't bad, just irregular.

Economist Alan Beaulieu recently advised that we think of the COVID-19 as a natural disaster. In his context, the point was that in natural disasters - and the pandemic is one on steroids - the economy returns to the prevailing state prior to the event. Normal returns to normal.

In my context, no one during a natural disaster starts adopting new behavioral norms. During Hurricane Katrina, no roof-bound New Orleans resident was thinking that boating was the new normal. The Moore tornado in 2013 didn't result in a lot of underground construction.

Social distancing is an oxymoron that is counter to the most basic element of human relationships - the simple act of touch. There's nothing normal about banning handshakes and hugs.

Think about the most fundamental bits of C-19 advice: stay home if sick, cover your nose and mouth when sneezing, wash your hands. That's the "old normal" or "normal normal." If it isn't, a generation or two of parents should be ashamed (as well as their filthy, sputum spewing offspring).

C-19 is the temporary abnormal.


Saturday, May 16, 2020

The goal in life is to die young...

I recently watched Koyaanisqatsi for the first time. My interest in this 1982 film centered mostly on Phillip Glass' soundtrack. I was quite captivated by the entire film and the soundtrack was fantastic. Subtitled Life Out of Balance it seems a propos for where we are right now. Highly recommend.

I can't wait until The Modern re-opens so I can spend time with Mark Bradford: End Papers. "The grid did save my life."

The Smithsonian has made millions of 2D images and 3D models available for free through the Smithsonian Open Access portal. What can you find? Here are two examples.

H. Lyman Sa├┐en, Daughter in a Rocker, 1917-18.
3D scan of the crew hatch from the Apollo 11 command module.
Take a tour of Fascap's lean manufacturing setup. I don't know much (i.e. anything) about manufacturing but this place looks awesome.

If you'd rather not tour a factory, how about a virtual ride on "it's a small world"?

The next time you come visit the office we'll go together to the Best Maid Pickle Museum and Emporium.

Whomever photoshopped giant dildos over the guns carried by these stay-home protestors in Michigan is a genius. If you want to turn gun ownership into a fetish and a phallic display of manliness, this is what you get.
If you want to mix your own drone try Drown the Virus.

Ze Frank is on a roll. Here are some of his recent, hilarious videos.
Who does Nick Beggs cite as the most influential bass players of all time? I can't say there any surprises. #4 John Paul Jones


Michael (Corrine) West, White Heat Vibrations, 1982. A female painter who used a man's name professionally to find acceptance for her work.
I've purchased more music during #stayhome than the during the prior year. Offered for your consideration:
  • A VIP subscription to guitarist David Kollar gives you everything he releases. 
  • eisprung, a free compilation of music from Markus Reuter
  • Here's a video for Across the Azure Blue from the new album from Markus Reuter and Gary Husband, Music of our Times.
  • Peter Gabriel released Live in Verona, concert videos of him in performance.
  • Tony Levin performs On the Drums, a musical tribute to all the drummers he's played with.
  • The Met is streaming opera in the evenings. Tomorrow is Borodin's Prince Igor.
  • On YouTube you'll find Pink Floyd's 90 minute concert performance, PULSE.
  • Marco Minneman's album, My Sister
  • A blogger writes in detail about the Sylvian/Fripp live album, Damage. This album is one of my favorites but this guy REALLY loves it.
Jupiter as seen by NASA's Juno spacecraft. More here.
Do Zoom meetings suck the life out of you? Maybe because social cues are less clear among other things.

A list of C-19 stuff.
Paint a wall inside your house to look like Spaceship Earth.

If you have not seen a little kid performing her original song "I Wonder What's Inside Your Butthole" and its remixes, you're missing a lot.

I still haven't figured out Color Push. Maybe you'll have more luck.

Learn about what's happened while you've been alive with Life Stats.

...but to do so as late as possible. ~anonymous