saintly reputation

Until recently, Bill Gates has been viewed as the villain of the tech world, while his archrival, Steve Jobs, enjoys an almost saintly reputation.

Gates is the cutthroat capitalist. A genius maybe, but one more interested in maximizing profits than perfecting technology. He’s the ultimate vengeful nerd. Ostracized at school, he gets the last laugh by bleeding us all dry.

Cult of Mac on the other hand, Jobs has never seemed much concerned with business, though he’s been very successful at it of late. Instead, Jobs has been portrayed as a man of art and culture. He’s an aesthete, an artist; driven to make a dent in the universe.

But these perceptions are wrong. In fact, the reality is reversed. It’s Gates who’s making a dent in the universe, and Jobs who’s taking on the role of single-minded capitalist, seemingly oblivious to the broader needs of society.

Gates is giving away his fortune with the same gusto he spent acquiring it, throwing billions of dollars at solving global health problems. He has also spoken out on major policy issues, for example, by opposing proposals to cut back the inheritance tax.

In contrast, Jobs does not appear on any charitable contribution lists of note. And Jobs has said nary a word on behalf of important social issues, reserving his talents of persuasion for selling Apple products.

According to Forbes, Jobs was recently worth $3.3 billion which puts him among the 194th richest in the world, and makes him the 67th richest American. But the standings were shuffled on Tuesday with Disney’s $7.4 billion acquisition of Pixar Animation — a deal that makes Jobs’ Pixar holdings alone worth some $3.7 billion.

But great wealth does not make a great man.

Link

One of the beautiful things about buying Microsoft product’s is that a percentage of what you spend will end up fighting global health issues.

Now what about that latest iPod purchase you made?

Start, Pause

Today, I dug down into my entire CD collection with the intention of burning every last CD to disk. The job was a bit more tasking than I expected, augmented by the collection of CD’s I shipped back from San Francisco. I was figuring I’d have it all done in a few hours, but it turns out burning over 500 CDs can take, well, a lot of time. I’m about half way through. I started around 12 this afternoon, and it’s now 11pm. Over the next week after work I’ll dig back in and try to finish the other half. Overall, my music collection is pretty wide, I’ve been through quite a few phases over the years, from grunge, to classical, to dance, to trance, to hard rock, to classic rock, to country, and quite a few in-between albums that can’t possibly be classified. Over all, so far, the top albums I’ve listened too today, are, in no particular order:

Smashing Pumpkins – gish

Crystal Method – Vegas

Sasha and Digweed – Northern Exposure volumes 1, and 2

Elvis Costello and The Attractions – The Very Very Best of Elvis Costello and The Attractions

Mazzy Star – So Tonight That I Might See, She Hangs Brightly

Rebirth Of Cool (UK Imports) – Volumes 1, 2, 5 and 7 (disc 1 & 2)

Brenda Kahn – Epiphany in Brookland

Natalie Merchant – Ophelia, Tigerlilly, and Live in N.Y. City

Underworld – Dark and Long

Ween – The Pod

Grateful Dead – Birth Of The Dead

Spalding Gray – Terrors Of Pleasure (Macky Auditorium @ CU, Gang Of Seven spoken word series)

Janes Addiction – Ritual de lo Habitual

Sarah McLachlan – Solace, The Freendom Sessions, Touch

Toshack Highway-Sianspheric – Magnetic Morning

Urge Overkill – Saturation

More to come. I’ll try to get back to this and link.

Strange Mix

Just some random stuff I came across tonight in a strange twist of link clicks.

First off, the night life of the little town next door to my own – Fort Walton Beach circa 1975, thanks to Orangeblog. (How odd is it that I find images of 1970’s bands from the tiny little town I currently call home via a guy in Germany? You gotta love the Internet.)

Next up, the hub of the hippie scene here in Destin, al la Dred Clampitt. They’re not from California, but definitely inspired by that culture, with a heavy country twang mixed in.

Here’s a taste. Here’s their web site. They’ve been featured nationally a number of times, most notably on NPR. I’ve seen them live a few times, it’s always a great show.

Dred Clampitt is an amazing band to see live, preferably at the Funky Blues Shack in Destin, where you can be sure their dedicated followers will show every time.

Fun Twangy Tune-age

I usually let stuff build up in Amazon over a period of time until I get free super saving shipping, then I have the whole lot shipped off. One of the cool things about this is that I often have no idea why I ordered the stuff I end up receiving, so it’s kinda like my own personal Christmas Day. Today the mail chick dropped off a big box of CDs, books, and other misc. items, including, a really great album by Kasey Chambers my sister recommended a while back. From wikipedia:

Kasey Chambers (born: June 4, 1976) is Australia’s most popular country music performer with two successive albums reaching number one on the Australian album charts in 2002 and 2004. Each of her solo albums has achieved platinum status in Australia.

Shortly after her birth, her parents Bill Chambers and Diane Chambers took her and her older brother Nash Chambers to the Nullarbor Plain where they earned a living hunting foxes. In the heat of an outback summer, the Chambers family would stay in a small South Australian fishing village. While in the Nullarbor, the Chambers family sang country music songs each night around the campfire.

In 1986, the family formed the Dead Ringer Band with Bill and Diane as the initial members and Kasey and Nash joining the band a year later. By 1992, the band had become full time musicians with Bill Chambers writing many of the band’s songs. Bill Chambers wrote a song for Slim Dusty called “Things Just Aren’t the Same on the Land” in 1992 which won the “Song of the Year” in the Country Music Awards. Their first album “Red Desert Sky” was released in 1993 on the independent Import Records label.

..

Kasey Chambers recorded her solo album The Captain on Norfolk Island over a few weeks in late 1998 with Nash Chambers producing the album and Bill Chambers on guitar. US country musicians Buddy Miller and Julie Miller added guitars and vocals to four tracks. The Captain was released in 1999 in Australia and in 2000 in the US. Kasey Chambers won the 1999 ARIA Award for “Best Country Album” for The Captain and a year later she would win “Best Female Artist”. The strong word of mouth would eventually lead to The Captain going double platinum in Australia. The Captain would eventually reach the top 50 of the Billboard country albums in 2001 with Chambers touring the US as support act to Lucinda Williams. Subsequently, she supported Emmylou Harris on her Australian tour.

More info can be found here.

You don’t have to be a country music fan to enjoy “The Captain”. Check it out on Amazon. Twangy goodness through and through.

Ween

ween

Speaking of Ween, it’s been a while since I caught up with one of my favorite bands from the 90’s. I saw these guys live at Florida State, shortly after they released The Pod. They played on campus in this little lunch room converted over to a local venue for Friday nights. Back then, they didn’t have a full band, it was just two guys up on stage. Their backup was all on DAT. It worked. That show was probably the best live show I’ve ever been too. I remember somebody even brought soup for Boognish. At the end of the set, ‘Dean’ ripped the strings off his guitar, and kept playing for like 10 minutes by pulling the strings taught across the pickups.. and it sounded amazing, no drugs involved, honest. 🙂 These guys concerts are, well, Woodstock, except, it’s 35 years later, and things are a bit different now – the crowd is different, the sound system is better, and the drugs are stronger. But the mood, I think it’s similar, and totally kicks ass. Ween’s mellowed a bit but still touring, doing drugs, drinking alcohol, and generally getting into trouble with their labels. Good to see. If Ween comes to your town, and you consider yourself a throwback, I’d suggest you check them out.

http://www.ween.net/
http://www.liveween.com/ – check out the video of their concert in D.C. 2004