Spotify and other companies hot pursuit to figure you out

Monday morning meditations go something like this. Find the right music to set the mood for the day. This could come in the form of Brian Setzer, Philip Glass, or Kyuss. It’s hard to say what each particular monday will require in terms of listening, as mood is dictated by many factors or simply what one has eaten/drank the night before? The anxiety or general feeling of “here we go again” can be felt among all of those that pass you in the hallways, in traffic, or at a convenience store. While on the job, it’s of course hard to pass the hours with drink or anything else deemed mind altering, due to the always present paranoia that you’ll be found out to be under the influence.

Music becomes the most obvious choice of brain stimulant, in order that the ennui of the day does not dry out ones soul too thoroughly. Spotify affords this instantaneous sampling of music and at times can be overwhelming in it’s sheer breadth of choices. But it seems like going forward, we live in a world where music can be administered as an audio soma tablet. Similar to Aldous Huxley’s view of the many available stimulants available in his book “Brave New World”. Within Spotify there are songs to party to, workout to, focus with, have dinner to, travel with, enjoy holidays to, and everything in-between. Spotify has removed all of the guesswork and has simplified life in a way that your corresponding mood or life’s activity, can be accompanied by the “right” kind of music. But who are the curators that are compiling these playlists? Surely they’re biased and you’re trusting the Spotify brand to a certain extent. But no more digging through your record/cd collection and who has access to this when at work, on the road, or out in nature? This always on approach is here to stay. (no duh you’re probably saying, stating the obvious much) But this is a very recent change, this whole idea of streaming anywhere at anytime, anything. It’s comforting, but feels like listening to music is being forced more into the background of our everyday interfacing with computers. We’re not just hanging around a record player, exchanging glances with lovers and friends, listening to each lyric and guitar solo with bated breathe. Now it’s this accessory that we can wear like a belt or ski cap.

Add to this the exact pill for whatever ails you and our levels of comfort have never been more precise or cushy. Podcasts operate in a similar way, as we’re able to find comedians, philosophers, and musicians that mirror our own beliefs/likes/dislikes. The specificity of culture is really what the 21st century is presenting to us and will continue to present an even more exact model, as the economy becomes much more consumer friendly down to our own DNA and the marketing of products that will benefit us in the future rather than just the present. “Your DNA sequence, lineage, previous cultural influences say that this product will have great use to you in 2 years, so why not give us a down payment for it now…so when it comes out, you’ll be the first to receive it.” I suppose marketing and consumer based products have always revolved around the notion of providing you with something you had not previously realized you needed. (The TV show Shark Tank highlights this notion quite well) It also ties into the data mining that confronts us at every turn, as a definitive profile of our habits, wants, desires, etc. is cultivated as we go to CVS, stop and shop, or purchase something online. Marketing majors and Admen are working tirelessly in order to remove the guesswork from buying product A or B.

It’s more about presenting things to us in a manner that is super personalized, making us feel special and meant for a product. Rather than just said product existing and companies having some kind of blind faith that you’ll discover it on your own. It would seem more advantageous to bring said products to you, based of off what you’ve previously bought and continue to buy. It’s just about weaving these things into your daily digital existence in a subtle and unassuming way, so purchasing them doesn’t feel like a selfish thing but a necessary thing in order to supplement your evolving personality type.

Not fighting the vitamin and supplement addiction anymore.

I find that previously, I’ve fallen into traps where I’ll fall prey to quick fix diets, trains of thinking, and false idols to follow. My threshold for following these quick fix “whims” use to be much larger. Like when I was 18 at Salem State College and my roommate John was a vegan. I’d go to dinner with him each night and maybe it was to fit in or I was just a very impressionable person at the time, but I took on the lifestyle. Still eating dairy, but I was strictly non-meat for 8 months. Now at 30, I get urges to stop eating meat, carbs, sugars, caffeine, or anything else and it lasts no more than a full day. This could be from a huffingtonpost article or a conversation I hear on any number of podcasts. It’s like my body has made up its own mind as to its addictions/likes or what it feels like it must have and any kind of new outside condition I force upon on it, will be rhetorically scoffed at and I’ll binge eat the thing I’m trying to avoid the following day. I think when you’re 18, your mind/body is much more flexible with what it can endure and accept for longer periods of times. 18-25 truly is your experimental phase as a human. After 25, maybe metabolically, it’s harder to stray from the meat/potatoes/bread/beer program that is so comforting to your stomach and mind.

Matters of health and diet have always fascinated me. I’ve spent several hundred dollars on supplements over the years. These are a few just from memory: Omega 3 from fish, hemp, krill, and flax seed. 3 blend mushroom. St. John’s Wort. 5-htp. melatonin. sam-E. coQ10. coconut oil. green coffee bean extract. acai berry. alpha brain by onnit.

I’ve experimented with many things to get some upper edge mentally or just to have more physical energy. Or if I went through bouts of depression, I would scour supplement sites for just the thing that would pull me out of the funk I was in. Not realizing or being wise enough to know, that down moods are necessary for up moods, the rubber band kind of needs to stretch both ways in order for emotions to exist.

I’ve always felt “low energy” as a person, so I imagined there was some magical pandora’s box out there, that contained precisely the right elixir for my body’s makeup. It’s never really happened. Some have worked and by worked maybe I mean “I’ve convinced myself that they’ve done something.” (depending on the cost of said supplement) Most have acted as a placebo. I’ve run the gamut of taking a Centrum 1 a day vitamin, to ordering the most organic vitamins I can find online. (Currently I’m taking Synergy’s Whole Food vitamin) So for now, I’m down to this multi-vitamin and hemp seed oil capsules for my Omega 3’s. And on the note of omega 3s, I’ve been quite neurotic; Trying out fish capsules from wal-mart, to cod fish oil from norway, to krill oil at walgreens ($30 a bottle), and finally arriving at hemp seed oil. The fish oil I’ve taken has always left me feeling more aggressive, hostile, bitter, and just kind of stressed out in general. Of course it could just be how my body reacts to it, but considering how everyone is always giving it high praise, it’s never done much good for me. I don’t get this same reaction by just eating fish. So that’s where I’m at now. I think I’ve gotten the majority of my supplement experiments out of my system, for now. The internet is tricky in the way that a few testimonials or youtube videos, or mentions on a podcast, can get you thinking again, “Maybe I am missing out and this would benefit me..?”

After Tropical weather, it’s Winter again in the Northeast

I haven’t been here in quite some time. This little portal of a touch feely, blog space environment. This is off the cuff, most stuff I throw up on here has been floating around for a few days or weeks. But I realized the matrix I’m in right now. The matrix of getting home from work, then realizing you have 2 hours to do WHATEVER you want. 2 hours not under a boss, or two bosses, or two more bosses above those bosses. There’s this immediate freedom in your house, but you fail to think of anything “that” exciting – and it’s just another night. These nights clump together, so you introduce various stimulants to break up the clumps. Although some nights it is nice to avoid stimulants of any kind. I guess I don’t have much else to say. Just felt like I should drop by to write down something, anything.

And if you’re reading this, MJ, I still think it’s not cool that you totally ditched out on our plans. And I know you’re creative enough to at least come up with an excuse or bogus story. But you just willingly disappeared. (March 16th – tour of massachusetts type of deal) If anything it just told me a lot about your character and the flaky nature you truly have. Oh well, I guess I have my own set of quirky/bad traits too.

Maxing out your music memory bank


I think your head is definitely only set up for a certain amount of music. There’s a certaing gigabyte count assigned to each individual and once that limit is reached, that’s it, no more. Nothing else can really penetrate beyond this GB count. So youth beware! Don’t be so quick to pour the nearest and dearest sugary sap into your gray matter crevices. Sure certain sounds will be alluring to your pre and post pubescent ears, but those sounds are yours forever, they will be your base of comparison for other music in the future.

I remember the countless CDs I’d buy as a kid and nowadays, I listen to less and less new music – mostly sticking to about 4-5 bands on a regular basis. The idea of actively discovering new music is tiresome and really not that exciting to me anymore. Maybe there’s a certain age where this cut off occurs, or again like I said there’s this virtual gigabyte count we all reach at various time in our lives. I don’t have any urge to check out any new bands in a live setting either, live shows don’t thrill me anymore, there’s really nothing about them that inspires me to spend 30 plus dollars. Could be that I just burned out my music receptors too soon, maybe I need 2 solid years of NO MUSIC at all? Who’s into musical fasting? Have you tried it before? This might be an interesting concept or activity. How long could you go without music?

WPAS – or Wall Post Anxiety Syndrome – Facebook users

I came up with a new anxiety disorder that I’ve yet to hear Dr. Drew talk about on his HLN show. “Wall Post Anxiety Syndrome.” The syndromes symptoms included the following: The inability to commit to what you’re spontaneously thinking; The inability to trust in your convictions that what you have to say is valid and worthwhile: The inability to have an actual opinion, rather than just being sarcastic, overly witty, or say where you’re currently stuffing your face with food or beer; The inability to possibly offend your parents/family/or close friend as you might be saying something that cuts to the core of their religious/politicial belief system(s).

So this is the basic outline. The syndrome also covers people that constantly come up with great comedic content, but within a minute, delete it out of fear that someone from work might read it and show it to their boss. Something that may be a little too edgy and not really worth being etched into the fabric of time. What if down the line this kind of syndrome or other syndromes surrounding the use of facebook, actually become legit? I’m already convinced that proper facebook conduct courses will start showing up in colleges, as a way to discourage students from revealing too much about themselves, as prospective job offers will be considerably smaller than if they remained more low key/conservative with their FB content. But then again aren’t you to be viewed as the extremist, outsider, if you don’t have an account, and aren’t posting regularly, posting pictures of others – to confirm your social rank?

Or I could see this kind of course offered to new parents as they try to immerse themselves in the proper ways to introduce social media into their children’s lives. What age? How much supervision and until what age should they supervise? Should they know every friend that is under their child’s name? Should they have the password to their child’s account, for the occasional check in. Facebook psychology is definitely going to be picking up steam in the years to come, as it remains the leader in social media.

Kinetic Military Action

“Kinetic military action” is really just another way to say war, while sounding scientific/PC, just, and non-aggressive. But at the end of the day a bomb dropping onto your village still cuts through skin, kills, dismembers, and turns the clock back as rebuilding must start again – Whether or not said bomb or bullet is administered from a live soldier or not: A very cute way to impose military rule over a country.

I think this kind of talk and action is the beginning of a new way to fight wars, as the technology has probably been available for some time. Maybe it was all about waiting for the right president to articulate this kind of message? Imagine George W. trying to explain kinetic military action?

For instance, consider the kinetic training that happens within the youth culture. (And also consider the supreme court recently claiming that all video gaming is just another harmless form of “art”) You raise kids on a form of remote warfare by producing X number of 1st person shooter games for Xbox, playstation, etc. (call of duty and other warlike themed games) and get them into this remote mode of thinking, where actual kill counts become quite addictive, and hey it’s over the internet so this kind of mentality can pervade the whole world all at once.

So there’s this general detachment to your actions, compared to all the previous wars with hand to hand combat – where the individual’s conscious mind was much more at rsik for being permenantely altered or damaged. Then when these gamers are of military age, there’s the infastructure in new mexico and california to put all of those gaming hours to real practical use, as a few buttons and coordinates are calculated and libyan forces are intimidated at once.

My understanding of “kinetic military action” is that it’s a kind of warfare that doesn’t involve boots on the ground, that it’s by air, with the use of unmaned drones, which cuts down on casualties and presents the american public a much cleaner/orwellian form of war.