So we’ve reached full circularity in trademark law: fans adopt a symbol, their adoption reinforces the link between the symbol and the product, making the symbol a trademark which gives the owner enforceable rights, and the owner then proceeds to enforce them against the population that created the rights in the first place, it’s biggest fans.
[Copyright] law is built on the idea that copying is hard, distribution is hard, and creating derivative works is hard; none of that is true any more and never will be again.
My Top Music of 2012Not to say it’s the best music (for anyone, even me), but for what it’s worth and because it’s the data I have, I like to post the top 2012 tracks and albums from my iTunes library at the end of the year. The rank is done basically by play count adjusted with a feels-right formula to account for when in the year I acquired it (spreadsheet here):
- “Little Talks” by Of Monsters and Men from My Head Is An Animal (12 plays, 4/14)
- “Man On Fire” by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros from Here (11 plays, 5/29)
- “On My Way” by Passion Pit from Gossamer (9 plays, 7/31)
- “Run” by Daughter from Demos EP (10 plays, 1/21)
- “Nasty” by Nas from Life Is Good (8 plays, 7/22)
- “Lost” by Frank Ocean from channel ORANGE (8 plays, 7/13)
- “Zero Dark Thirty” by Aesop Rock from Skelethon (8 plays, 7/13)
- “Adam Wants Eve” by Thavius Beck from Symphony of Spheres (8 plays, 6/6)
- “Locked” by Four Tet from Pink (7 plays, 10/24)
- “Angels” by The xx from Coexist (7 plays, 9/18)
- Gossamer by Passion Pit (51 plays,1,586.88 pts)
- channel ORANGE by Frank Ocean (33 plays, 1,023.17 pts)
- My Head Is An Animal by Of Monsters and Men (23 plays, 725.01 pts)
- Babel by Mumford & Sons (17 plays, 581.34 pts)
- Shut Down the Streets by A.C. Newman (16 plays, 573.88 pts)
- Something by Chairlift (23 plays, 540.74 pts)
- Pink by Four Tet (12 plays, 446.94 pts)
- Life is Good by Nas (13 plays, 439.71 pts)
- Here by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros (11 plays, 386.45 pts)
- Halcyon by Ellie Goulding (11 plays, 383.62 pts)
The albums list is usually pretty repetitive, but it always surfaces something; here it’s Chairlift’s album, which has been a slow burn throughout the year, and AC Newman’s latest, which just came out but has a bunch of great work on it.
As for the content, I think it’s pretty clear I needed some softness this year, to get through the trial by fire of becoming a father twice over. A little uplifty singsonging goes a long way when you’ve only slept a couple of hours. The other thing I read in these lists is that I had very little rapping to be excited about. Two throwback bangers from Nas and one great single from Aesop Rock is better than nothing, but it’s a disappointing haul. I don’t yet love Kendrick Lamar’s album as much as everyone else seems to, and the JJ DOOM collaboration was underwhelming. I’m hoping next year I get some of my edge back and there’s some edgy things worth playing.
Below is a Grooveshark playlist with 9 of the top tracks (you can hear the Thavius Beck track and grab the whole mixtape here):
Indiana Jones Mystery Package
We don’t really even know how to start this post. Yesterday we received a package addressed to “Henry Walton Jones, Jr.”. We sort-of shrugged it off and put it in our bin of mail for student workers to sort and deliver to the right faculty member— we get the wrong mail a lot.
Little did we know what we were looking at. When our student mail worker snapped out of his finals-tired haze and realized who Dr. Jones was, we were sort of in luck: this package wasn’t meant for a random professor in the Stat department. It is addressed to “Indiana” Jones.
What we know: The package contained an incredibly detailed replica of “University of Chicago Professor” Abner Ravenwood’s journal from Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. It looks only sort of like this one, but almost exactly like this one, so much so that we thought it might have been the one that was for sale on Ebay had we not seen some telling inconsistencies in cover color and “Ex Libris” page (and distinct lack of sword). The book itself is a bit dusty, and the cover is teal fabric with a red velvet spine, with weathered inserts and many postcards/pictures of Marion Ravenwood (and some cool old replica money) included. It’s clear that it is mostly, but not completely handmade, as although the included paper is weathered all of the “handwriting” and calligraphy lacks the telltale pressure marks of actual handwriting.
What we don’t know: Why this came to us. The package does not actually have real stamps on it— the outside of the package was crinkly and dirty as if it came through the mail, but the stamps themselves are pasted on and look like they have been photocopied. There is no US postage on the package, but we did receive it in a bin of mail, and it is addressed to the physical address of our building, Rosenwald Hall, which has a distinctly different address from any other buildings where it might be appropriate to send it (Haskell Hall or the Oriental Institute Museum). However, although now home to the Econ department and College Admissions, Rosenwald Hall used to be the home to our departments of geology and geography.
If you’re an applicant and sent this to us: Why? How? Did you make it? Why so awesome? If you’re a member of the University community and this belongs to you or you’ve gotten one like it before, PLEASE tell us how you acquired it, and whether or not yours came with a description— or if we’re making a big deal out of the fact that you accidentally slipped a gift for a friend in to the inter-university mail system. If you are an Indiana Jones enthusiast and have any idea who may have sent this to us or who made it, let us know that, too.
We know this sounds like a joke/hoax… it’s not (at least, from our end). Any hints, ideas, thoughts, or explanations are appreciated. We’ve been completely baffled as to why this was sent to us, in mostly a good way, but it’s clear this is a neat thing that either belongs somewhere else— or belongs in the halls of UChicago admissions history.
Internet: help us out. If you’re on Reddit (we’re not) or any other nerdly social media sites where we might get information about this, feel free to post far and wide and e-mail any answers, clues, ideas, thoughts, or musings to email@example.com (yes, we did set up an email account just to deal with this thing).
Facebook is embraced by my extended family, just like they embraced AOL in the 90s It’s their everything. Facebook is what they think of as “The Internet” and stuff outside of Facebook barely exists.
When this is true, it makes me so sad.
I am so bored of nostalgia. Of letterpress and braces and elaborate facial hair. I appreciate these things, but I think there’s something wrong with a culture that fetishises them to the extent that we currently do. As if authenticity is only to be found in the past. I think we are frightened and I think we are distrustful and we are worried that things are slipping away.
The Two Faces of Nellie