My blog is on its ‘New Year’s Holiday’ today

My blog is on its ‘New Year’s Holiday’ today, while I devote more time to other writing commitments. To keep us amused, we have a great song from the 1960s, which might lead you down new musical paths to explore the musician featured. Regular transmission returns tomorrow. The photo is from the beach at Barwon Heads, Victoria, which is around where I was meant to be this week, prior to the border closures and flight cancellations last week due to the new Sydney virus outbreak. It is one of my favourite spots and I go there regularly.

A little Twitter comment

I am thinking of deleting my Twitter account. I only signed up because I used to get a lot of E-mails in the afternoons from people enquiring as to when I would be posting my daily blog update.

So I thought that if I conditioned readers to wait for my Twitter announcement that would reduce my (ridiculous) E-mail traffic and provide some consistency for those who were interested enough to read my work.

I think that is a good use of Twitter.

I think most of the way Twitter is used, however, more generally, is not useful.

There is a lot of character assassination practiced on a daily basis with misinformation and lies rampant.

So-called experts are out there every day, waxing lyrical about complex issues, that they have no real knowledge or limited personal experience of, and, have clearly have not taken the time to delve into the sometimes extensive work that those who do specialise in these issues have offered over many years of work.

Opinion is not knowledge.

Some views have to be privileged over other views if we are to respect knowledge. Otherwise, there is no progress on a rabble dominated by the loudest and aggressive voices.

I keep getting copied into interchanges like this and I hate the idea of ‘blocking people’.

I will never respond to personal attacks on me on Twitter, which seem to occur regularly. So save your time.

My position is laid out in my work over my career which spans multiple decades.

I have written millions of words in academic publications, my books, commissioned reports (many of which are publicly available), and, more recently my blog posts (which began in 2004).

I request that people read that literature before they pontificate as experts on what I think.

I always prioritise empirically-grounded knowledge over opinion.

Most of these Twitter-heroes would never say to a person’s face the things they so easily type into the Internet via Twitter. That tells you a lot about their character.

Music – Song for my Father

This is a song that I used to play a lot in one of my bands. Only four chords are involved but the secret is in the feel of the melody interacting with the rhythmic components.

The song – Song for My Father – was first recorded by US pianist – Horace Silver – and his quintet during their ‘hard bop’ years.

It appeared on their 1965 album – Song for My Father (Blue Note records) – which features:

1. Horace Silver – piano.
2. Carmell Jones – trumpet.
3. Joe Henderson – tenor saxophone.
4. Teddy Smith – bass.
5. Roger Humphries – drums.

It combines Brazilian rhythms with folk melodies from Cape Verde (where Horace Silver’s father was born).

The beauty of this song for an improvising musician is the scope to mix flattened third (minor scales) and modal forms on the Fm chord (key). That might not mean much but translates into considerable scope.

If you can find the version by the UK acid band – Heavy Shift – from their Conversation album, you will hear are very different interpretation of the song.

That is enough for today!

(c) Copyright 2021 William Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. “I am thinking of deleting my Twitter account.”

    Good idea. Got rid of mine a couple of years ago and never looked back. Like all shrinking pools it’s become toxic to most normal lifeforms. And that will continue until only the extremophiles remain.

    Regrettably that’s been my experience of many types of online forums over the last thirty-odd years.

  2. Good idea about Twitter. It is a cesspool. Haven’t touched it for years.

    On a different note, Gerry Marsden of Gerry and the Pacemakers died yesterday of ‘a short illness unrelated to covid’ said his family. Which doesn’t really say much. Sad, as he wasn’t very old. The band produced the best football anthem ever.

  3. All those Brazilian influences in the 60s have brought us such wonderful jazz music that have become timeless classics.

    Twitter is a sewer. I deleted my account in the year after the Brexit referendum when I suffered abuse daily by progressives mostly, being called fascist and what not. It seemed not possible to exchange ideas or opinions respectfully.

  4. Willem, I am sorry about what has happened to you but I am not surprised. Twitter initially thought that anonimity would allow people to comment without fear of reprisal. What they seemed to have gotten instead was an unleashing of many people’s Id (German for It.). Freud thought our Id was full of toxic and inflammable material only kept in control by the Ego and Superego. From Freud’s perspective, if you had a weak Superego, toxic stuff would leak into your speech and behavior, unless controlled by some outside agency like a social criminal justice system. Those with a strong Superego controlled themselves with only the smallest of nudges from external social influences, like the reactions of others. Freud’s perspective, of course, is not the only way of looking at what is taking place with Twitter.

    But sticking with Freud, the primary function of the Superego is regulation, which is what Twitter lacks. Since it seems to be unable to adequately regulate itself, this must come from societal agencies outside Twitter. So far, they seem to have been absent.

  5. I kept feeling that music was going to break into ‘Riki don’t lose that number’ by Steely Dan at any moment.

    Sorry you didn’t get to spend your day at a favorite beach.

  6. For the cogent reasons Bill provides, and also because I’m too damn old a dog to learn a new trick, I, too, have steered clear of Twitter, confining myself to commenting on a couple of blogs and hosting my own small, neglected one…all in my own name. Many years ago, when a civic organization I helped to found had its own “internet radio station” including a public forum, we learned the hard way about the insidious and escalating dangers of anonymous posting.

  7. Once upon a time in Usenet the group erupted in a furious fight about whether Steely Dan had “stolen” that bass riff from another tune. But I don’t recall that it was Horace Silver they thought it was stolen from. Somebody else, I can’t remember whom. People don’t need Twitter to pick fights.
    But then the tune took over and I could relax, and get caught by that major-in-minor wonder. I didn’t discover Joe Henderson until much later.

  8. I can understand why people show such an interest in Bill’s daily blogs, all of which show an extraordinary desire to enlighten. Let me nevertheless make a suggestion to those readers of an impatient disposition; go back through the archive, perhaps to the period from 2009, where the quality of Bill’s work (and comments) are particularly perceptive.

    That should fulfil any impatient desire for insight.

    And, as I linger on that view at Barwon Heads I envy those who can delight in its splendour while I pick my way through a frosty UK urban retreat, not yet awakened by the dawn. Yes Bill, I too had a paper round as a boy, and its mornings like these that shaped my adolescence.

  9. @larry

    Censorship on Twitter sounds like an awful idea. The first thing they will censor are good ideas, among those MMT.
    Twitter is important for journalists, I think, and for those without access to mainstream channels. But for the exchange of ideas it proved abysmal, at least to me.

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