Here’s the reason I quit buying music CDs

Music boss: we were wrong to go to war with consumers[*1]

The boss of Warner Music has made a rare public confession that the music industry has to take some of the blame for the rise of p2p file sharing.

Speaking at the GSMA Mobile Asia Congress in Macau, Edgar Bronfman told mobile operators that they must not make the same mistake that the music industry made.

“We used to fool ourselves,’ he said. “We used to think our content was perfect just exactly as it was. We expected our business would remain blissfully unaffected even as the world of interactivity, constant connection and file sharing was exploding. And of course we were wrong. How were we wrong? By standing still or moving at a glacial pace, we inadvertently went to war with consumers by denying them what they wanted and could otherwise find and as a result of course, consumers won.”

The thuggishness and disdain with which the music industry (and, frankly, most of the entertainment industry) treats their customers is breathtaking to behold.

Oh, on a tangentially related note, how is Lions for Lambs doing at the box office, anyway?

A new theory of everything

The Daily Telegraph[*1] :

Garrett Lisi, 39, has a doctorate but no university affiliation and spends most of the year surfing in Hawaii, where he has also been a hiking guide and bridge builder (when he slept in a jungle yurt).

In winter, he heads to the mountains near Lake Tahoe, Nevada, where he snowboards. “Being poor sucks,” Lisi says. “It’s hard to figure out the secrets of the universe when you’re trying to figure out where you and your girlfriend are going to sleep next month.”

Despite this unusual career path, his proposal is remarkable because, by the arcane standards of particle physics, it does not require highly complex mathematics.

Even better, it does not require more than one dimension of time and three of space, when some rival theories need ten or even more spatial dimensions and other bizarre concepts. And it may even be possible to test his theory, which predicts a host of new particles, perhaps even using the new Large Hadron Collider atom smasher that will go into action near Geneva next year.

Recall if you will that Einstein was working as a patent office clerk when he first thought through relativity.

I have no idea if Lisi’s theory is true or not, but the fact that it’s an actual, honest-to-Darwin, falsifiable scientific theory (unlike, say, string “theory”) intrigues me . . .

Here’s what I’m REALLY tired of

Political partisans taking something their opponents have said or written, willfully misunderstanding or misinterpreting it, then going off on a rant on how fundamentally evil the other side is.

I look forward to much more of that as the election comes nearer.

United and Delta looking at merger?

Kansas City Star[*1] :

There is a sense of urgency in the most recent talks, which have been going on for some time and continued as recently as a week or so ago, the official with knowledge of the talks said Wednesday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to speak publicly. The official stood by the assertions about the talks after learning of the statements by Delta Air Lines Inc. and United, a unit of UAL Corp.

“They want to get something done before a new administration gets in and so they get the clock ticking on” federal regulatory approval, the official said.

Financial details were not clear. But the talks involve United being the name of the combined airlines, the headquarters staying in Chicago and Delta’s Atlanta hub being an operational center for the two carriers, the official said.

Interesting . . .