Monthly Archives: October 2012

The Almost Guy

Don’t be the Almost Guy.

Who’s the Almost Guy?

He’s the guy who almost did something unique, who almost made a little ding in the universe. Maybe he almost started a company. Maybe he almost wrote a book. Maybe he almost talked to that girl.

Don’t be the Almost Guy, sitting in a bar or cafe telling the world about how you almost did it.


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Filed under China, Ideas

A Kick is a Kick and a Punch is a Punch

Bruce Lee said that. His point is that we shouldn’t get lost in complexity. A lot music would be better if the band focused on the groove and just beat the hell out of the 2 and the 4.

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The Internet Will Not Be Free for Much Longer

Get used to it, you’ll eventually have to pay for everything. Information systems start out as wild, open-source orgies of utopianism but they always end up corporate money-making monsters.

My go to examples are the telephone & radio. Telephone lines were locally installed, usually by the hardware store but the US gov’t created a monopoly (Bell) to control the system. Radio was also a wide-open royal rumble before regulation stepped in. Without regulations it was impossible to set standard ad rates (read: monetize).

The truth is, you can’t break the cookie jar and not replace it. The Web is cannibalizing all kinds of “old media,” but our economies have to replace those dollars somehow.

If you’re interested in Information Systems I highly recommend The Master Switch by Tim Wu.

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Mo Yan & Banalization

God knows there has been enough written about Mo Yan, but what the hell.

A lot of attention has been focused on Mo Yan’s ties to the Communist Party and whether or not that somehow discredits him. I don’t really find that debate very interesting. A cursory reading of almost any Mo Yan text makes it obvious that he’s not some Party hack dutifully towing the Maoist Line.

What I find more interesting, however, is why the Party would elect to have a writer who graphically depicts Party sponsored violence and rural poverty “in the fold.”

My take is that by giving Mo Yan an official position, the Party effectively muted his critique. Mo Yan’s rank & literary celebrity banalize the political undertones of his work.

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360Buy Goes Global? I’m Not Buying

Tech in Asia reported that Chinese e-tailor 360Buy is planning on expanding overseas. Well I’d like to wish them good luck because they are going to need it. E-tailors are supported by a complicated logistical infrastructure, with shipping and storage creating huge costs. I have no idea how 360Buy is planning on getting purchased goods to overseas consumers. Wouldn’t the cost of international shipping either drive up costs or decimate margins? Maybe Buy360 has some kind of logistical magic bullet, but I just don’t see it.


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Musicians Need to Think Like Drug Dealers

How many 1/8s of weed would get sold if the first hit wasn’t free?

You don’t buy drugs because of an advertising pitch, you buy them because someone–maybe a dealer, maybe a friend–gives you a taste for free.

Eventually you start paying for drugs because, sorry D.A.R.E. they deliver on their claim. They get you high and people like to be high.

For musicians to get buy in this economy, we’ve got to have hustle like drug dealers do.

We have to find a corner and own it, even if that means taking it away from someone else.

We have to give away our music and hope that it hooks people.

Actually, hope is the wrong term. To make it, you have to be so great that your art forces people to pay attention. If you’re full of “hope,” you have no hope.

People are addicted to their favorite bands.

It might be hard to swallow but you’re not selling music, you’re selling dope for their ears.

Stop reading Rolling Stone and (re)watch the Wire.

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Filed under China, Music, Not There

Not There Live @ 4 Corners this Saturday Night

Good food, good drinks, good people and spacey party music. Not There hits the stage at 4corners this Sat.

We’re excited to be celebrating our friends Renzo and Karens’ birthdays that night. Our warmest birthday wishes go out to both of you guys, thanks for your tireless support.

Not There @ 4 Corners

When: Saturday Oct.20th 22:00

Where: 4corners NO.27 Dashibei Hutong (near west end of Yandai Xiejie), Xicheng District




这一晚北京著名电音摇滚乐队Not There将带来动感的音乐,让你尽情跳舞!大杯的啤酒,欢快的舞蹈,释放压力,解放好心情,让你度过一个愉快的周末!



地点:4corners 西城区烟袋斜街大石碑胡同27号(鼓楼前地安门大街)

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Filed under China, Not There