This week, I had the pleasure of talking to Sophocles Papavasilopoulos on a podcast of Composers at Play. On a previous post I mentioned this interesting series about composers who also perform. At my suggestion, Sophocles kindly agreed to create an episode about how writers describe music. I’ll be posting that podcast in this blog, (date TBA). It’s a fascinating discussion with Sophocles, another composer and another writer. It was interesting to me that some composers–maybe even many–think words can never explain what music evokes. So what is this writer to do–since both my books have music themes? We spoke about words forming their own music, the subjective use of metaphor–silver, for example,  evoking completely different music for each one of us, and then, as if to qualify the subjectivity, we considered the dubious effectiveness of onomatopoeia; the shimmering sheen of silver notes, etc. More on this when the podcast is released.

Grassroots: No more excuses

Also, this week, as part of my role on the Peconic Land Trust Outreach Committee, I shot videos of the inaugural Toxin-Free Lawn and Landscape Seminar. This was a seven hour program presented by the Perfect Earth Project, in conjunction with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County and the Peconic Land Trust. Bottom line: Toxin-free lawns and landscapes are achievable and landscapers are getting on board. Pets and people can picnic again without fear of carcinogens. No longer can homeowners say that organic growing “doesn’t work” — if they’re in doubt, they should attend this seminar next year. No more excuses for poisoning our planet.

It occurred to me as I was cutting the day’s footage (to something less than five minutes), that this process is not unlike editing a novel. Cut anything that does not address the premise. Finally I see some hope for the restoration of Peconic Bay and its wetlands, shell and fin fish.

I’ll be posting the completed video on my YouTube channel.

Openness: A shift in power

In 2012 I ran for the office of Trustee in the town of Southold, New York. My political platform ran on the plank of bringing transparency and efficiency to the work of the Trustees.
(See my bio.) So it is gratifying to me to see that the city of Philadelphia has embraced the power shift that comes when citizens address the issues facing the city. Like the toxin-free movement I describe above, this movement is grassroots, except they are more like three powerful tree roots:
  1. Cloud and mobile computing.
  2. Social networking
  3. Analytics: The difference between data and information is clear in this dynamically updated graphic. “Big Data” is a misnomer–the data analytics support BIG DECISIONS. And when that happens, information is beautiful, as this site demonstrates:

World's biggestdatabreaches

Cities such as Philadelphia see the growth of Uber and Airbnb (see our listing) and have questioned why they could not also benefit from this (dare I say it–organic) groundswell.
Philadelphia – resetting expectations
​Bloomberg West talks to Salesforce Executive Vice President Vivek Kundra about Philadelphia’s plans to move its tech to the cloud.


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8 years ago

[…] of his promo video (below) Mark touches on a successful hack of Apple’s Touch ID — to Bill Stamatis’ point that bio-metric ID’s are not […]

8 years ago

[…] government, and state and non-state actors.” This is not a new concept; I wrote about this in Letter #6, where the city of Philadelphia is moving community-based services to the cloud, and in Letter #9, […]

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