Conversations With Myself – A Masterpiece? Reply

I vote yes, a true masterpiece.


Recorded over three days on, 6 and 9 February, and 20 May, 1963 in New York City this classic album was released the following year and immediately caused controversy. It’s title comes from the idea that Bill Evans played three separate tracks and over-dubbed himself to build up the complex arrangements.

There were some that thought this sacrilege and an impure art as it was impossible to recreate in concert. It is with the passing of time acknowledged as a masterpiece by a genius. Producers David Foster and Tommy LiPuma both cite this album as an inspiration; many others agree and 1964 it won the Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group.

Evans played Glen Gould’s piano, CD 318 on the recording that was created out of a ‘conversation’ between the first two takes with subtle embelishments added on the third take. As it says on the liner…

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A Problem with Corporate Research and Content Marketing Reply

Structure-of-scientific-revolutions-3rd-ed-pbPerhaps one of the most important books I have ever read, Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolution taught me what modern day science is about.  Studying this classic in 1990 at Wright State University, Kuhn was the first to introduce me to Popper’s principle of falsifiability which has remained with even to this day.  The defining characteristic of science is the ability to prove a statement false (e.g., all swans are white is disproven by searching for a black swan).

It seems to me that far too much “content” shared by corporates and passing through social media falls short of this standard.  Case in point, a recent article from HBR blogs brags about the importance of messengers when it comes to spreading ideas through a network.  Given the language of my previous sentence, it should come as no surprise that the researchers used Tedx as their sample.

In the name of full disclosure I will admit I have found Gladwell’s notion of influencers overly seductive.  Watts’ description of influenceability  has greater truth value in my mind.  That said, let’s return to Popper and Kuhn.

If we go searching for data to support our thesis that influencers contribute to the spread of a message, guess what we are going to find?  Exactly that.  The fact that such research appears on an HBR blog then masks the fundamental flaw with the work.  If it appears on HBR, then it must be good.  Right?

I guess seduction takes many forms.  Just as the simplicity of Gladwell’s model seduces us, so does our love affair with sources perceived as authoritative.  But none of that changes the fact that so much of the corporate research and content marketing falls short of the defining characteristic of what we today call the scientific method and discovery.

We should not be surprised to find exactly what we search for.

This Week in Asia: Mobile News Not Involving WhatsApp or Facebook Reply

On this side of the globe, Rakuten’s purchase of Viber for $900 million is an interesting story for several reasons.  You can hear why, and how the purchase fits into broader regional trends, by listening here.

As always, subscribe to For Immediate Release (FIR) and check out all the exciting new podcasts available in the FIR Network.

This Week in Asia: China’s Sina Weibo Experiences a Declining User Base Reply

For Immediate Release podcast #741 is now live, and this week in Asia I share the story of Weibo’s declining user base.  But why are users starting to migrate away from this Twitter-like platform?  Is it the government crackdown on rumors, or some sort of market evolution?  Listen here and find out.

And for an investor’s perspective on the question, here is a short video from FT.