#MTFLabs Blockchain white paper

What can blockchains do for music? A conference working group wrote a whitepaper that maps out both the benefits and drawbacks of how an actual implementation might distribute among industry players and stakeholders – from artists to audiences and all of the many intermediaries.

We brought together a diverse group including some of the world’s leading experts in blockchain technology, cryptography, metadata, music business, songwriting rights and royalties

It soon became apparent that before improvements could be attempted, first there must be agreement what would constitute an improvement.

After many long discussions, ranging from the technical to the philosophical, the group arrived at a number of more specific questions that require serious analysis, leading to a fuller and clearer picture of blockchain technology and its limitations, particularly with respect to how it might apply within the ecosystem of music

Source: #MTFLabs Blockchain

For myself, I am cautious about taking a ride on a hype bubble, but also about glib rejection. Bitcoin took a long time to happen for good reason. I am reading and absorbing whatever I can.

Be patient. Be wary of euphoria without being closed to big ideas.

OP-ED: Why Ice Cube and N.W.A. Are AFROPUNKs – AFROPUNK

To understand what Ice Cube and N.W.A. may be doing at AFROPUNK, it is first important to recognize that there is more than one way to be both black and ‘other,’ and that black American counterculture has become a melting pot of ideas about what happens when a person’s racial identity is at odds with their individuality. Since its inception, AFROPUNK has thoughtfully considered black punk as a reappraisal of what it means to be black, not an alternate lifestyle that exists outside of “traditional blackness.” It is impossible to police both who is and isn’t black and who is and isn’t punk.

Source: OP-ED: Why Ice Cube and N.W.A. Are AFROPUNKs – AFROPUNK

One-line program to sort clipboard

I often need to sort lines of text in a text document or spreadsheet, so I’ll select and ^C, then go to the command line and do:

echo "...^V to paste..." | sort | pbcopy -

It’s silly to keep retyping that – it ought to be consolidated into something short and sweet. So I created this one-line shell script and linked it to /usr/local/bin/pbsort:

pbpaste | sort | pbcopy -

To use it, ^C text in a document, go to the command line, type “pbsort”, return to the document, ^V.

Drone home security camera

A blue sky product idea –

A home security camera mounted on one or more autonomous aerial vehicles (“drones”). The drones are activated by motion sensors. The drone returns to its base station to charge and wait after a sentry pass. It does not follow potential intruders indefinitely.


  1. Intimidation: It would be scary. And it would create the feeling that a home was actively occupied.
  2. Cost: A single dronecam can cover a whole home, though there might need to be more than one motion sensor to activate it. No need for more than one camera.
  3. Coverage: unlike a fixed camera, a drone can photograph the same person from multiple angles, making it harder for an intruder to conceal their face and features.

Drones can swarm. More than one drone could be used. This would allow them to photograph multiple angles at once, preventing an intruder from selectively concealing their face or body. It also increases intimidation.

The VC Gap

Baby Internet businesses that need investment can only raise it from venture capitalists. VCs only lend to potential unicorns. There are many fine businesses that are not unicorns. Therefore there are fine businesses not being created.


What if we said “European-American” instead of “White?”

This thought occurred to me while I was doing some background reading on talking to my sons about race and racism. I have to stop saying nothing about it. “For white people, talking about race is uncomfortable. For people of color, it’s a necessity.

“European-American” is value-neutral. White is the color of virtue. Europe is just a place, on par with Asia, Africa, and so on.

“European-American” is factual. You either do or don’t have genetic roots in Europe.

“European-American” escapes the one-drop rule. You must buy into the one-drop rule to think in terms of Whiteness. A White person cannot be mixed-race. But a European-American can be mixed race.

“European-American” is awkward to say. Which, for a White person, suggests sharing the linguistic burden of terms like “African-American,” “person of color,” or “black and brown.”

I talk more about race and racism more than most people who identify as White. This is probably abrasive sometimes.

Drones vs trucks

Air Traffic Controller For Drones

Drone deliveries could considerably reduce the energy (and therefore cost) required to deliver small packages from delivery distribution centers to the consumer’s home. These last few miles of the delivery process are most often done by ground based internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles. Drones would reduce energy expenditure by virtue of the fact that most of the energy consumed in ground based delivery is for purposes of propelling the heavy ICE vehicle itself.

Are drones really more energy efficient for package delivery than trucks, given that (1) trucks amortize energy cost across many packages and (2) trucks don’t spend energy to stay up in the air?

Sustenance vs art

A nutrient slurry like Soylent is an act of engineering. It costs $X, has Y nutritional impact, requires Z effort. It is not unpleasant to consume, or shouldn’t be, but that is not its purpose.

The nutrient slurry in my bag.
80% of my lunch today.

That doesn’t mean sensory pleasure is absent from life, it just means it doesn’t come from the slurry. You are drawing a line between nourishment and sensory pleasure.

For fun you add a side dish or dessert. A bit of melon. A piece of chocolate. A small serving of sashimi. Not a lot – this isn’t to fill you up.

It’s a new template for your meal. The main course is neutral and functional. The side dish is interesting and frivolous.