No, sharing your Spotify year-end artist stats is not a good idea – here’s why not

No. I do not have a Spotify artist account. Nevertheless, if I had, I am not sure I would agree with the sentiment that streaming services screw artists. On the one hand, yes, it seems extremely difficult to make any (meaningful) money by (only) streaming your music. On the other, no one is forced to stream their music and with its rich history of subcultures, bootlegs, fanzines, t-shirt sales, club gigs, etc it seems, to me, the music world provides an as good opportunity as ever for aspiring musicians to get their music out there, and maybe even earn a buck or two. Also, people don’t play football expecting to be professionals, so why should music publishing be any different? Most people tend to get paid for doing things they don’t like. That’s why it’s called work. Thus, it seems reasonable that playing at a wedding should be work and something you only do if you get paid for it. Writing music, however, seems more like writing books: Lots of people do it out of love for the art, very few expect to earn money from it but a few lucky do.

‘The Mandalorian’ composer explains his process for creating 8 distinct scores for the 8 episodes, and how he made the show’s theme

The Mandalorian is the best Star Wars I have seen for a long while and the music is no small part of it.

The Top Songs, Artists, Playlists, and Podcasts of 2019—and the Last Decade

I am so out of touch. I don’t know a single Drake, Malone or Grande song. But I do know Shape of you, so maybe there is still hope. Honestly though, probably not.

I love to see stats about my music listening (I am, for instance, a long time subscriber to so when Spotify dropped a story about what I have been listening to not only this year but the whole decade, I was delighted. I was not at all surprised that my top artist of the year was Caterina Barbieri but honestly surprised that Daft Punk was my top artist for the decade.

New agreement with Elsevier – 100 percent Open Access

A new agreement has been reached with the scientific publisher Elsevier. The agreement covers university wide reading rights to about 2,000 scientific journals from Elsevier and allows researchers affiliated with Stockholm University to publish Open Access at no extra costs” (Stockholm University Library).

About time! But kudos to the libraries for their patience. 18 months without Elsevier articles was not as painful as I had imagined.

This is a step in the right direction to achieve the goal of 100 percent pure Open Access. This agreement in combination with other transformative agreements implies almost 90 percent Open Access publications at Stockholm University in 2020. In addition to these agreements, we will continue to finance article processing charges in all fully Open Access journals, says Wilhelm Widmark, Library Director at Stockholm University Library and vice Chair of the Bibsam consortium’s steering committee, who negotiated the deal” (Stockholm University Library).

Music from test equipment. Crazy good or just, crazy?
I loved it!

Voyager 2 Illuminates Boundary of Interstellar Space

As if gender wasn’t complicated enough.

Den här texten på Vattenfalls webbplats hade varit lite komisk om det inte varit så att det börjar bli kallt i lägenheten utan både värme och varmvatten en hel dag:

Fjärrvärme är miljöriktigt, kostnadseffektivt och driftsäkert med låg underhållskostnad.

Jag kan hålla med om att driftstopp är miljöriktigt och kostnadseffektivt – innan vi börjar elda i kakelugnar och sätter på elektriska element i alla fall – men driftsäkert?

Berliners are trolling Trump by shipping him a 2.7-ton piece of the Berlin Wall

Tech and Liberty

Kill the algorithm

Sverige är världsledande – på sprängdåd

”Vi måste tyvärr söka oss till krigszoner för att hitta något liknande” (Amir Rostami).

We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought. Why? A few reasons…?” (Jack Dorsey).

Finally some good news from Twitter.

Not new but newer old.

Woman Wins 50K Ultra Outright, Trophy Snafu for Male Winner Follows

When Ellie Pell took first overall, the surprised race organizers realized they had no trophy for the first place male” (Runners World).



Why do people believe the world is flat?

I have an op-ed in today’s Globe and Mail, “Why do people believe the Earth is flat?” wherein I connect the rise of conspiratorial thinking to the rise in actual conspiracies, in which increasingly concentrated industries are able to come up with collective lobbying positions that result in everything from crashing 737s to toxic baby-bottle liners to the opioid epidemic” (Cory Doctorow).

Saved from the death of iWeb! Also, a new home for IPA 2015 at

Robert Cornelius’ Self-Portrait: The First Ever 'Selfie' (1839)

The First Ever ‘Selfie’ (1839).

Music that kills. Literally.

Highlights from In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson

Reading it, I couldn’t help but notice several parallels between what was happening in 1933 & 1934 as Hitler worked to establish an authoritarian government in Germany and some of the actions of our current government and its President here in the US. If you think that sort of statement is hyperbolic, I urge you to read on and remember that there was a time when Nazi Germany and its rulers seemed to its citizenry and to the world to be, sure, a little extreme in their methods, fiery in their rhetoric, and engaged in some small actions against certain groups of people, but ultimately harmless…until they weren’t and then it was too late to do anything.

Here’s everything I highlighted on my Kindle presented with some light commentary…much of it speaks for itself and the parallels are obvious. I apologize (slightly) for the length, but this book provided a very interesting look at the Nazi regime before they became the world’s canonical example of evil” (Jason Kottke).

Read this summary!

Amazing performance.

Deprecating scripting

Plastic Bag Bans Might Do More Harm Than Good