Entries from May 2010 ↓

Record industry, Mick Jagger and technology

A great Mick Jagger interview. One answer in particular struck me:

“people only made money out of records for a very, very small time. When

The Rolling Stones started out, we didn’t make any money out of records
because record companies wouldn’t pay you! They didn’t pay anyone!
Then, there was a small period from 1970 to 1997, where people did get
paid, and they got paid very handsomely and everyone made money. But now
that period has gone.

So if you look at the history of recorded music from 1900 to now, there
was a 25 year period where artists did very well, but the rest of the
time they didn’t.”

The art of letter writing

I was saddened to read in this morning’s Guardian that one in five children have never received a letter. I tweeted a link and a comment that it was sad. When I was a kid, I used to love letters arriving in the post. I remember the local Conservative MP writing to me about the closure of the local swimming pool. It meant a lot to me, even though back in the 1970′s he was in favour of “spending taxpayers money wisely” by closing my beloved pool. He still wrote back. I’ve never forgotten that.

Those poor kids who’ve never had the joy of opening an evelope from grandma or a pen pal in Malawi or the secretary of the Dennis the Menace Fan Club. These things should matter.

Opinion on Twitter was more divided. Some thought I was taking an anachronistic view.

“Seems like empty nostalgia to me. Like lamenting about how few children have used a plough. Or developed rickets.”

“its only sad from a nostalgia point of view. I’ve never been in a horse and cart which people would once have thought sad”

Others thought it inevitable:

“It has been downhill since cuneiform.I do get your point though, I think it is just one of those things that will pass. Like TB.”

“that is very sad. The art of letter writing is a victim of technology.”

But more thought that the art of letter writing was worth fighting for. The idea of directing ink across paper, crafting letters to form words was something to be cherished:

“my mum is a primary school teacher, and sends her 8 year olds thank you letters and birthday cards at home. They love it!”

Another, quoted Auden:

“And none shall hear the postman’s knock

Without a quickening of the heart

For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?”

This statement impressed me: “I sometimes hand write letters to friends. Sick of how disconnected net made us even though we’re more “connected” than ever.”

My pal Dan said  ”I miss letters. Not bills, but handwritten letters from people you rate. #web0

So even the most digitally connected people love the idea of handwritten notes. I think we should create a kind of Secret Santa for handwritten letters. There must be some clever coders out there who could knock something up.

Liberal Democrats – Special Conference to include Digital Economy Act

I’ve been told that an amendment has been accepted on the Digital Economy Bill. It says:

“Conference urges Liberal Democrat MPs and members of the coalition Government to take all possible steps to ensure that the freedom bill includes the repeal of those sections of the Digital Economy Act 2010 which are inconsistent with policy motion Freedom,Creativity and the Internet as passed at Spring Conference 2010.”

That’s basically Clauses 11-18 of the Digital Economy Act on cutting access and web blocking.

Why Labour needs time to think before electing a leader

And why the candidates should be tested out at our Annual Conference.