Netflix, & Worldwide Home Entertainment, 1981-2010

Given Netflix prices changes, a useful IHS graphic showing the rise and fall of VHS and DVD — and the nowhereness of Blu-Ray.

Rentals

Top Domestic Web Properties by Share of Minutes

Interesting changes over last two years in terms of share of time at major web properties.

Time

Top U.S. Marginal Tax Rates Over Time

Helpful graphic on marginal tax rates over time:

Tax rates

YTD Convective Activity in U.S.

Remarkable first-half to 2011 in terms of convective storm activity in U.S., but has slowed down considerably.

Torgraph big

Twitter Digest: 2011-07-12

Gundlach: Now What?

Good deck from Jeff Gundlach of DoubleLine on debt, global macro and the current sovereign situation in Europe. (Via ZH).

Now What



QOTD: U.S. Gets Error Award

Martin Wolf:

The US may be on the verge of making among the biggest and least-necessary financial mistakes in world history.

via From Italy to the US, utopia vs reality – FT.com.

John Mayer on Twitter, Blogging and Creativity

Good musings from songwriter John Mayer on twitter, blogging, creativity and the curse of self-publishing.

But John Mayer’s main reason for discouraging promotion came from his own struggle to curb using social media, which should have been an outlet for promotion but eventually became an outlet for artistic expression. Mayer shared that he found himself asking himself questions like “Is this a good blog? Is this a good tweet? Which used to be is this a good song title? Is this a good bridge?”

And possibly more alarming, Mayer realized that pouring creativity into smaller, less important, promotional outlets like twitter not only distracted him from focusing on more critical endeavors like his career, it also narrowed his mental capacity for music and writing intelligent songs.

“The tweets are getting shorter, but the songs are still 4 minutes long. You’re coming up with 140-character zingers, and the song is still 4 minutes long…I realized about a year ago that I couldn’t have a complete thought anymore. And I was a tweetaholic. I had four million twitter followers, and I was always writing on it. And I stopped using twitter as an outlet and I started using twitter as the instrument to riff on, and it started to make my mind smaller and smaller and smaller. And I couldn’t write a song.”

Although twitter was his most frequent whipping boy, Mayer also targeted the urgency beginning artists feel to update their blogs and youtube channels with new songs or videos to maintain steady flows of interest for their work. Instead, Mayer explained that he found the separation of creation and promotion necessary in his own career, saying “as you start playing music you’re going to stop thinking about getting better. As soon as you flip the switch into showing other people your music, for some reason, the other brain sort of goes away.”

“You got the distraction of being able to publish yourself immediately, and it is a distraction if you’re not done producing what the product is going to be that you’re going to someday use the promotion to sell…I had to go through the same thing I’m talking to you about – what you have to go through – which is to completely manage all the distraction. Manage the temptation of publishing yourself.”

So, to avoid the temptation of publishing himself and to increase his mental capacity for creativity, Mayer deleted his twitter, stopped blogging, and created a strict regime for recording his next album.

“Here are the rules for recording this record… no drum machines, no loops, no keyboards to start out with, no excuses, no breaks, no laptops, no nothing. If you take a break, it’s to eat. If you’re done, you go home.”

via John Mayer 2011 Clinic – “Manage the Temptation to Publish Yourself” – Berklee Blogs.

Those Algorithms That Govern Our Lives

Kevin Slavin on the algorithmic construction of reality:

California’s Constitution: Third-Longest in World

I supposed I shouldn’t be surprised, but it is still amazing. And what’s up with Alabama?

California’s constitution has been changed multiple times over the years by successful voter initiatives and public referendums, which have extended the state’s constitution to the extent that it is now the third longest in the world, with only India and the state of Alabama having longer constitutions.

via Amazon urges California referendum on online tax – FT.com.