The Lefsetz Letter and Nine Inch Nails

Lefsetz Letter

This guy writes a music industry analysis newsletter. Unfortunately, he writes like I would have when I was in high school. The dude looks to be about 50, so why is he writing about jocks and cheerleaders?

He is some of his penetrating analysis:

Should Jay-Z make another album? Not unless he’s into it for the music.

or from his “analysis” of the new NIN

Think of all the money Trent is leaving on the table. All those kids who’d like to play!

FUCK ‘EM! Who needs them as fans! The cheerleaders and football players more interested in their social status at the high school than with what goes on inside.

Jeezus, what a jackass. Trent Reznor hasn’t left a dime on the table. He ceased to be “underground” the minute his first video appeared on MTV in the early 90’s (or was it earlier). That doesn’t diminish the quality of his output, but the guy has been touring stadiums for over a decade, he’s no secret and he isn’t pretending to be. He’s a business man and his “viral” marketing campaign is just that, A MARKETING CAMPAIGN.

The evil imperial presidency part N of M


Two new articles came out recently that show that the administration is uncowed in their attempts to control the truth and eliminate the perception of dissent.

First of all is this article from the Seattle Times describing how the defense in a 1st ammendment case stemming from the 2005 ejection of a George Bush “town hall” meeting of two people for having a “liberal” bumper sticker on their car is legal because “the president’s staff can lawfully remove anyone who expresses points of view different from his.” (quote from the Times, not the lawyers)

Secondly is this opinion piece, from the New York Times, which makes a convincing argument that the lawyer firing case is really about the perception that the Bush administration was trying to plant that the Democrats have been tampering with elections (possibly to deflect the view that the Republicans have been tampering with elections).

The small record store perspective on how F’d up the industry is


Spinning Into Oblivion
Published: April 5, 2007

The major labels wanted to kill the single. Instead they killed the album. The Recording Industry Association of America wanted to kill Napster. Instead it killed the compact disc.

The article is from a couple of guys who owned a shop in Manhattan. They don’t bring much new to the discussion (the labels put out crappy music, charged too much for it, made it hard to just buy the one song you liked, sued their customers…) but it is good to get that re-confirmed by someone representing a different part of the industry.

If anyone thinks that all of Washington state is filled with ultra-lefties…

Periodically, those of us in Seattle get reminded of the fact that a big chunk of the state feels more in common with our ultra-red-state neighbors to the east than they do with us ultra-red-commies in Seattle.

Gay rights bill for couples passed

The bill passed easily on a 63-35 House vote despite condemnations from conservatives who said the bill was an affront to community values and religious freedom.

Oh yeah, and those conservative freaks on the Eastside trying to recreate Orange County in the forest (well, once forest, now parking lots and housing developments).

BTW, well done Washington State Legislature!

how * am i?

You are 82% Chicagoan!



Nice work. You know just about everything there is to know about Chicago. Stay out of the suburbs, friend!

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You are 95% Pittsburgh.



Great job! There’s nooooo doubt about it. You’re from Da Burgh. You deserve a reward, so go have an Ahrn City or two. And GO STILLERS!

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How San Franciscan Are You?

Your Result: You probably just moved here…



…and you’re probably scared of homeless people and riding MUNI. You probably live in a rathole in the Tenderloin because someone on Craigslist told you it was an “up and coming neighborhood…” You should know better! A lot more time in San Francisco will probably do you good.

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You are 99% Seattle!



Excellent work! You really know your stuff! You’ve either lived here a long time, know someone who does, or have studied up. In any case, you ROCK! You are officially “SEATTLE”!!

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Review of blend from an Interaction Designer –Engage!

After all this, I realized that MS made a really powerful tool for really expert users. It seems that after all is said and done that it is a tool not for interaction designers, but for interactive designers and thus its real promise is lost because interactive designers don’t design or engineer applications but rather sites, and experiences. Interaction designers do both, and quite honestly are more skilled and experienced in designing complex interactivity than those who come to all this from interactive design. I know I’m going to get burned from that statement, but while interactive designers are really great and knowledgeable, they don’t know a heck of a lot about UX, cog psy, HCI, usability, etc. It just isn’t part of what they do. They concentrate mostly on implementing the presentation layer without much attention to the context of use, without using user centered research models, etc.

First of all, I didn’t know there was a major difference between Interaction Designer and Interactive Designer, although I guess it makes sense that you would want to distinguish between the two different disciplines. I usually hear User Experience vs developer, or something like that.

That aside, it is a very interesting take. It actually makes blend a bit more appealing to me, because I’m more a programmer than designer, but the interface seems pretty screwy relative even to Flex, so I don’t know…

Average Seattle worker can’t afford to live here

Average Seattle worker cant afford to live here


Geez, how long have I been saying exactly this?

Tony To, a Seattle Planning Commission member and director of the housing agency HomeSight, said developers could take some steps without incentives. He lauded Belltowns moda condos, which got prices as low as $149,950 by cutting unit size to as little as 296 square feet.

While $149,950 is an amazing price by Seattle standards, 296 square feet is not adequate housing for many people. Those condos aren’t going to under under-privileged folk or newlyweds starting a new life. They are weekend homes for people from out of town. A normal person would have a hard time in a space that small. In New York, with its density’s that might be acceptable, but it’s a tough sell in Seattle.

I honestly wish I had a better solution than those proposed in the article. Honestly, I think that all of them suck. I do think that increasing density and improving the quality of life downtown might be a decent solution, but it isn’t an end-all-be-all. We can’t keep going the way we are though, sprawling out in all directions and still not making the area affordable.