Open projects in open music

– Cross reference artists, albums, and tracks in Discogs, Musicbrainz and Wikipedia, so that an entry in each one is linked to the corresponding entry in the others.

– Finish the genre graph implied in DBPedia. Extract the graph and QA it as a whole. Enable multiple distinct genre graphs, so that multiple cultures are supported. Create graphs for non-EU/US cultures, e.g. for use in China.

– Cross reference Encyclopaedia Metallum with Discogs, Musicbrainz and Wikipedia.

How to ask for a raise

Here is how to ask for a raise:

Ask for a raise.

Just asking is the most important thing. A lot of people don’t. Not everybody who asks gets one, but almost nobody who doesn’t ask gets one.

If you want to get fancy, have good reasons. What are good reasons? Go make a friend in HR and ask. Here’s a starting point:

  • Underpaid relative to other companies who might hire you
  • Long time since last raise
  • Outstanding evaluation
  • Credible threat to leave
  • Been at the company for a while
  • Increase in responsibilities without increase in pay. Implicit promotion.

Also: a promotion is the single best way to get a raise. Go ask for one. Make your desire to move up known.

Open Genres

There have been many open-ish projects working with music genres, but nothing on the scale of Musicbrainz or Discogs as far as I know.

  • Maintained on an ongoing basis
  • Global reach
  • Translated
  • Professional-level musicology

This territory is held by proprietary interests, including data vendors like All Music Guide (Rovi) and Gracenote, as well as music service providers like Spotify and Apple Music.

Maybe that shouldn’t surprise me. The great care and patient labor to create such a data set is generally not a good match for crowdsourcing. Crowds can do amazing things, but they are not methodical.

The Baroque entry in DBPedia is an interesting parallel.

Maybe I have bias from my time in the commercial music data world, and DBPedia is highly competitive. The entries for Jump Blues and Rockabilly, and their relationships, are excellent.

DBPedia has a single genre map for the whole world, I believe. (It might be scoped within a language, so that genre relationships don’t span more than one language).

This is a problem because genres mean different things in different cultures. Highlife is World Music in the US but Palm-wine music at home.

There could be a graph (“genre map”) which is a superset of all graphs, but it wouldn’t be coherent. There would be multiple roots or starting points, the same genre would appear in multiple locations, the same genre name might be used in different ways.

In terms of data modeling, there needs to be one simple change in DBPedia: add an identifier for the cultural context to the the music genre class.

Blogging vs Distribution

I am enjoying the privacy of writing on this blog at The readership is much smaller than on Facebook, Twitter, or Medium so I can speak more freely.

The down side is distribution. If I want my words to be read, this is not the place to write.

Obama Approval Rating Skyrockets To 56% As GOP Faces Trump Led Collapse

Republicans had already given away the qualifications argument to Hillary Clinton by nominating Donald Trump, but they are also watching the change argument quickly evaporate as voters are showing no signs of Obama fatigue. If Republicans can’t argue that they have the more qualified candidate, and the change argument falls on deaf ears, what exactly are Republicans planning on running on this fall?

Source: Obama Approval Rating Skyrockets To 56% As GOP Faces Trump Led Collapse

“Let’s just outlaw guns”

Scripting News says:

This came up in a thread on Facebook, once again being told that if you don’t own guns and study the hell out of them, you can’t have an opinion about which guns should be legal or not legal. If it’s hard to define what is and isn’t a good gun, just outlaw all of them. We’ve put up with this superior attitude from these murderer-lovers too long. Make them try to explain what they should be allowed to own. There’s nothing sacred about the 2nd Amendment. It’s an amendment — that means we could do another amendment to undo it. People who love guns and think it’s a sacred right, should think again. It’s not.

Maybe gun control is the reason guns are out of control.

In particular, the gun control meme. This way of framing things is wishy washy. It loses right out of the gate. The gun control meme is for wonks.

Let’s start over.

Ban guns.

Don’t get dragged into pointless detail. Guns are bad. Anybody can tell. Everybody knows it. Just ban them.

(Also: “murderer-lovers” is a brutal piece of framing).

Switching cost

When you switch social networks, you can only take a few connections along. You’ll have to build new connections among people who like the new network.

This works against decentralized social networks. They maximize switching cost by maximizing the number of networks.

Blogs are a single unified ecosystem, but there is a different group of people at each blog.


Trying to make it big is for marks. You will be taken advantage of until you are sucked dry.

Nothing wrong with ambition. The opposite! But business requires a blunt appreciation of realities.