We Need to Re-Think How Music is Released

Having an all-you-can-eat music service like Apple Music is fairly incompatible with how music is traditionally released. Releasing singles and then eventually full albums and then sometimes deluxe albums and then even remix albums causing a lot of confusion. I end up with tons of duplicates in my library which then skews the “randomness” of shuffle. Here’s the scenario:

  1. Hear a new song that you like and add it to you library. This song comes from the single.
  2. Listen to “radio” streams or curated playlists and hear the same song. That song is being sourced from album. You add it to your library again because you don’t really know if it’s in your library yet or not.
  3. Listen to your library in shuffle and keep hearing the same songs over and over again.
  4. Realize you’ve added five versions of the same song – several are identical versions.

The multiple versions of songs also creates confusion when individual albums are pulled from the service by the studio for whatever reason. I’m assuming most reasons relate to contract negotiations. I also hate when songs are pulled and then are no longer playable then we they do get added back they’re not always associated with what’s in your library.

I’m not sure what the answer is to solve this. Maybe a machine learning algorithm to help reduce the duplicates by predicting matches better (“this song is already in your library”)?

People Are Not Drawn to Perfection in Others

My leadership coach shared a quote with me today that I’m using to help develop a talk I’m doing about how working remote saved my life.

In general, people are not drawn to perfection in others. People are drawn to shared interests, shared problems, and an individual’s life energy. Humans connect with humans. Hiding one’s humanity and trying to project an image of perfection makes a person vague, slippery, lifeless, and uninteresting.

Quote taken from Robert Glover in No More Mr. Nice Guy: A Proven Plan for Getting What You Want in Love, Sex, and Life

Filed Under: Crazy Shit My Insurance Provider Does

My employer recently changed our insurance plans around because we’re big enough now to manage our own insurance rather than use a third party co-employer. We actually have nearly identical plans with the same provider, Blue Shield of California. A limitation with their website requires me to register a new account to use with the new insurance plan. The stabby part of that is usernames are based on e-mail addresses. I have to use a different e-mail address which is annoying but at least they support the Gmail plus sign trick.

I’ve been getting e-mails that claims are ready for me to view on the site. When I log in, there are no claims. I finally sent a quick support request to the BSCA website technical team mentioning the creation of a second account and that I haven’t seen any claims come through yet.

Several days pass.

I was about to call the customer service team and then I see this come into my e-mail box. At first glance it looks like a shitty spam.

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I decide to click on it.

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A fax over e-mail? I understand I can have a fax number tied to an e-mail account but in this case it looks like it was “faxed” directly to my e-mail address.

It gets better.

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Somehow my insurance company doesn’t even have my phone number. I get how that could happen – maybe the data export from my employer missed it. But then how about e-mailing me back?

Instead of e-mailing me someone took the time to print out a letter, scan it, and then send it to me via a fax system. Notice how the letter states “Please do not reply to this email” since the responses aren’t monitored. 🤔

Looking at the second page it gets even more hilarious.

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There’s my original request as an e-mail.

You really have to wonder what sort of screwed up business processes had to misfire in order for this to be the most efficient way to get in touch with me.

Professionalism & Kerning

kern | kərn
verb [with object]

  1. (usually as noun kerning) adjust the spacing between (letters or characters) in a piece of text to be printed.
    • make (letters) overlap.
  2. design (metal type) with a projecting part beyond the body or shank.

photo

When I saw this poorly kerned sign in a doctor’s office I suddenly became less trustworthy of their ability to perform as medical professionals.

Today I Climbed a Mountain

I did something amazing today. I climbed a freaking mountain.

I’m at the Automattic annual Grand Meetup in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada. I went on a hike with several of my coworkers up Blackcomb Ascent Trail. This was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life. I made it.

Time: 3 hours 15 minutes

Distance: 8mi

Elevation Hiked: 3,900ft (1,200m)

What is Your Definition of Success in Life?

successful |səkˈsesfəl|
adjective
accomplishing an aim or purpose

How do you define success or if you’re successful in life? To some success is defined by their monetary reward or compensation. To others success is defined by the number of children they’ve raised. Success could also be defined simply as living a life you enjoy.

Most likely once you’ve defined what success is, you’re in a state of non-success. Success is something you still want to achieve. The problem with labeling yourself as not yet successful has the connotation though that you are the opposite of success – which is failure. This boolean expression is a logical falsehood. Humans are always striving to be successful at life or individual tasks. If you don’t reach your definition of success I’d rather re-evaluate the definition than give up and declare failure.

So if success is arbitrary or loosely defined, why bother defining it? Going through life without a goal or something to aim at can be hard to handle. I’m not suggesting we all develop a 20-year plan but at least consider what big things you want to accomplish in the next few months. When you’re sitting around the house bored or aimless your goals can provide some clarity.

Who cares about goals if you’re accountable only to yourself, right? Well, there’s the rub. Make yourself accountable. Tell someone your goals. Feel an obligation to follow through by getting someone else energized about these goals. While they’re not going to beat you over the head to reach the goals it’ll provide a sense of urgency or priority. This is one reason I used to love being in college – accountability.

Start off small if you haven’t ever considered what success means to you or if you’ve never set a goal before. Maybe that goal is to walk a mile over lunch or to volunteer for a social function. Whatever it is make the first goal something you know you can achieve with a reasonable amount of effort and time. Once you get in the groove of goal-setting, start setting longer-term goals and wider definitions of success.

Vicious Cycles – A Stop Animation Film

My brother recently sent me this video and reminded me how much we thought it was funny as kids. Turns out that film got me interested (for a while) in stop animation. I created a couple hours of stop animation shorts with my friends and brother. Too bad I don’t have that footage any more.

Vicious Cycles was created in 1967 by Chuck Menville. Its production value is simple by today’s standard but it still is hilarious.