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Taylor Swift game theory: Strategy in “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together”

Lovelorn teens can relate. You’re in an on-and-off again relationship with someone who promises to change but never does. Finally, you’ve had it and you call it off, permanently.

You tell them, we won’t get together tomorrow, the next week, the next month, the next year, the next decade, or the next time ever. That’s it: We are never ever getting back together.

The threat may be commonly uttered, but it is far from a simple statement. In fact, I suggest this ultimatum is an illustration of several game theory concepts. And while the threat often uttered as a lie, it is an effective lie. (more…)

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The fact is that most of what I write and my performances are crap.  Not horrible, awful, I have never practiced and I’m shitfaced when I perform, typical open mic crap (show up and throw up) but workmanlike crap.  Songs and music that just don’t quite connect with the strangers I am trying to connect with when I play out.

Forget friends and family — they lie.   Your own ears, friends and family, teachers will tell you your crap work is “awesome.”  They lie.  Search out experiences and people that will call you on your crap.

Most of what all of us produce is really weak, dum and misses the mark by a mile (aka crap).  Welcome to being human and an artist.  C’mon.  How much of what you do at your day job is worth anything?  Very little.  That’s reality.  Accept it — if you want to get better.

Getting better.  That’s the golden key.  The silly wish, the hope the dum dream that I can actually write a better song (someday) and get better at my craft.

Of course, this wish is a complete delusion — but I’m rolling with it.   Heck, it’s what drives me to spend the endless hours of hateful boring writing and rewriting and practice, practice, practice.

So I delude myself that there is a pony as I scoop out the stinking , smelly feaceas – with my hands – at the bottom, or somewhere in the steaming, stinking pile of shit.  “I wear this crown of shit,  upon my liars’ chair.” (Whair’s this drum, c’mon?)

The BIG MISTAKE is to actually believe my delusions of my work being awesome  and stop the endless hours of work.  Delusion is fine as long as I keep spending 20-40-60 hours a week (mainly alone) writing or practicing.  But ANYTHING that makes me cut back the work – mostly producing crap — is EVIL.

Does this sound harsh?  lol Not near as harsh as your audience’s attention and lack of interest in your work if you don’t give them your absolute best.  EVERY TIME you get up in front of them.

Here’s the ticket.  If you produce your absolute, exhausted, full-of-doubts, endless hours of work best — your audience will hear and respect that.  They may not “like” it but they will know you have tried your best and will give you respect.  Your absolute best is rarely crap – but equally rarely popular (today).

Can I get an AMEN!?

 

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Hi!  🙂

You don’t know me and I have no interest in getting to really know you, but I have a gig/record/t-shirt/project and I want you to give me money.  So I am gonna pretend we know each other and that I care about you (I don’t, your just ‘the audience’) so hopefully I can fool you into giving me money for my mediocre work.   (more…)

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America’s Music Scene

America’s Most Popular Music Scenes

The geography of popular music has changed considerably over the past couple of decades. The internet and social media have obviously played a large role. While industries like automobiles or steel still cluster around resources, cheap labor and transportation routes, or high-tech companies cluster around skilled labor and universities, the forever altered music industry now has fewer physical reasons to cluster — musicians no longer need to be near any particular resource to record and distribute their work anymore. And yet, they clearly still do cluster, just perhaps for slightly different reasons. (I’ve written about the role of place in music before as well as hereherehere, and here).  (more…)

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The science evidence and facts are clear and consistent – our behavior is “decided” instantly and without any conscious choice, decision making or choice.  Time to start integrating this into business and policy – STAT!

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Music and romance do not mix.   I know that is contrary to pretty much every urban myth and teen boy’s wish – but I only seen romance hurt the music and music hurt the romance when they are tied together.

Tough choices always come up and either the relationship or the music will suffer.

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