The inspiration list 01/11/2019

Here we are gang – we’ve reached November already!

And this is inspiration list number five! Wow, how’s that for inspiring?

It seems like people are actually reading these as well, which is nice, and I’ve started getting feedback on other people’s inspiration. Overall, it’s having the desired effect!

So without further ado, here’s another list of things!

The thinkers

If, like me, you’re a regular listener of the Adam Buxton podcast, you may have heard the brilliant interview with author and scholar, Shoshana Zuboff.

If not, go listen to it now and I’ll wait because it’s excellent and well worth your time.

Shoshana wrote ‘The age of surveillance capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power.’

I’ve not read the book yet but it’s on order. I have been listening to every talk Shoshana has given online though because she’s absolutely fascinating.

She talks about the way in which corporations have commoditised our data online, and, with no permission, they are selling that data on to other organisations. More worryingly, Shoshana discusses the fact that what these companies are actually selling, is not just data, but our future.

Corporations collect data in order to build out a profile of our behaviour in order to predict that behaviour in the future. What they are selling is certainty of the way we will act in any given situation, and, what Shoshana argues is that this means those corporations have a vested interest in limiting our free will. The company with the most accurate prediction of our future behaviour is the one who can sell their data for the most money.

It’s pretty scary when you think about it.

Listening to Shoshana has sent me down a bit of a rabbit hole which has led to me listening to a lot of Jaron Lanier as well (the father of VR). He’s a very smart guy and I have several of his books on order too. (Check out ‘The dawn of the new everything‘)

It also reminded me of a book I read in University called ‘The Corporation‘ which is definitely worth a read if you want to know all the things big businesses have in common with psychopaths.

The music

Jazz has always been similar to art for me in that I appreciate there’s a hell of a lot of skill involved but unfortunately, I’m too uncultured to ‘get’ a lot of it.

I just know what I like when I see it (or hear it).

And I like Polar Bear. They’re pretty funky and chilled out, and check out their drummers hair!

I first heard of them on the fantastic James Acaster’s Fubar radio show. It’s a must listen for any music fan. James and his guest shuffle their iPods and have a discussion, ostensibly about the music but also not about the music.

I’d like to make my comedy a little more ‘jazz’. I am quite deliberately monotone and drawling but I like the way Jazz plays with tone and speed and volume, the repetition of themes and the way thematic ideas can be explored by taking them to their extremes before returning to the original idea. Lot’s to think about!

James was speaking to Scroobius Pip when I heard them mention Polar Bear and decided to check them out and I’m glad they did.

If you’ve not heard of Scroobius Pip then definitely check out ‘Distraction Pieces’ – especially ‘Let ‘Em Come‘.

While we’re on music, my talented fiancee (and constant inspiration) is a drummer and has been playing Lenny Kravitz around the house over the last week which got me listening to Kravitz again.

I absolutely love ‘It ain’t over ’til it’s over‘ and it’s beautiful retro vibe, largely thanks to the Phenix Horns (the main horn section for Earth, Wind and Fire and Phil Collins).

And that’s it for this week. Want to hear from me semi-regularly? Make sure you subscribe below.



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