Lydon online

In the middle-late 90s I would sometimes listen to a radio show called The Connection. At the time I remember thinking, this is too good.

The topics were thoughtful and provocative. The guests were world class. The callers, everyday people, were just as sharp and, in their own ways, just as world class as the guests.

More than anything else, host Christopher Lydon made The Connection extraordinary. It’s hard to put one’s finger on how exactly. But something Chris wrote in a recent weblog post helps to explain. He disclaims in this first weblog-themed interview, “I think of myself as a journalist and all-purpose searcher, not at all a techie.” It is probably that searcher characteristic that appealed to so many of us. We could hear the wonder and impatience in his voice. We participated in it. We sought and discovered and learned and made connections together.

The Connection’s pace was incredible at ten new episodes per week. I always felt little guilty that I didn’t have the time to take in every episode. This is too good to last.

It was too good to last, as it turned out. A few years ago The Connection’s creators had a falling out with management and parted ways.

The good news is that Chris Lydon & co. have continued to do what they do so well, with the results often appearing on line. Here are a few pointers to recent activity:

Weblog-hosted interviews:

The Whole Wide World:

Archived broadcasts from 2001:

AaronSw: TV searching

Aaron Swartz: “This reminds me of an idea I had the other day: TV searching. Google hooks up a bunch of their machines to video capture cards and begins recording all the TV channels. Then, they make a full-text available using the closed captioning information.”

Offline day

Things I did today offline:

  1. Took my daughter to the playground.
  2. Bought a new microwave oven.
  3. Saw some friends walking on the street as I drove past. Honked lightly to get their attention and waved when they looked.
  4. Ate lunch at home with my wife.
  5. Walked my daughter to another playground where they have a sandbox. This time in her wagon. Compared to a stroller: more fun her, more work for dad.
  6. Saw another friend while walking, who honked as she drove past and waved when I looked.
  7. Went out for dinner and ice cream.
  8. Put my daughter to bed.

Now I’m going back offline to watch a movie.

Tomorrow: bruch with friends, grocery shopping.

Cringely on online music

Robert X. Cringely: Son of Napster.

Cringely thinks laterally about online music. He says it would need $2million up front. I would happily donate $100 to help seed it.

Don’t get me wrong. It costs money to make music and somebody’s gotta pay. I know this from personal experience, having lived with a few struggling musicians while in grad school. But something is broken. There are too many lawsuits. Too much innovative technology under fire. Too much stop energy. There has to be a better way to ensure that musicians and songwriters can make a good living making the music we love. Maybe Cringely is on to something.