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Made an appearance on Brian Redban's podcast yesterday
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Sage Francis
Self Fighteous

Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21790
Made an appearance on Brian Redban's podcast yesterday  Reply with quote  

It's been an interesting few days in LA for me (podcast links below.) My show is TONIGHT at The Dragonfly, and as this is a Hawaii-themed event, I'm legally obligated to state that everyone is getting lei'd. Ayooooooo! I hit the stage at 11:30 and I'll be digging a bit deeper into my catalog than usual. Artwork by Edrok One.
Before I came out to Los Angeles I tried to see if I could get on some podcasts. The only person who reached out to me is Brian Redban, who produces the Deathsquad podcasts. The night I landed in LA, he hooked me up with tickets to The Comedy Store and there was an all-star lineup; Brody Stevens, Joe Rogan, Chris Delia, Dean Delray, and tons of others. That was my first time at a legit comedy club, and I wish I didn't experience it in a jet-lagged, haze, but it was incredible.

The next day I drove to Pasadena to do his podcast which you can listen to here on iTunes:

If you prefer the video version:

Redban is a bit of a dirty bird, and the topics get a bit NSFW, so this is my official parental advisory warning.
Post Fri Jan 08, 2016 5:41 pm
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Joined: 01 Jun 2003
Posts: 3036
Location: Buried in Minnesota dirt.
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Crazy, didn't Redban just start up a podcast? I know he's been running the Joe Rogan Podcast since its genesis. I think I heard about him starting it up the other show.

Pumped to check this out.
Post Sat Jan 09, 2016 2:54 am
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Mark in Minnesota

Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 2112
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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I can't believe that happened. Weird but fun to hear.
Post Sat Jan 09, 2016 10:05 pm
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Good listen!
Post Sun Jan 10, 2016 1:02 pm
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Mark in Minnesota

Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 2112
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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Toward the end of this podcast, Sage mentions that he and B. Dolan have been talking about giving some renewed attention to this year.

I started thinking about that again today when I read this article, reviewing a book featuring the collected writings of Aaron Swartz:

Aaron should have been famous like Edward Snowden is famous. He's not, and he's dead by his own hand in the face of a ferociously unfair criminal conviction, and in some ways I feel like he is to the EFF and the ACLU what Eyedea is to independent hip-hop.

I forced myself to read the whole EFF article because I don't think I'll be able to bear reading the whole book. The tragedy will keep welling up and blinding me, and I'm in enough danger of steering into the rocks as it is. But EFF quotes this thing that Aaron wrote, which made me think of Knowmore and why I think it failed to achieve greater traction:


But just giving people information isnít enough; unless you give them an opportunity to do something about it, it will just make them more apathetic. So the second part of the site is building tools to let people take action: write or call your representative, send a note to local papers, post a story about something interesting youíve found, generate a scorecard for the next election.

NRA is ruthless at that: Deciding an agenda in advance, communicating with all parties how that agenda will be scored, judging every piece of legislative action or inaction against that scorecard, and recruiting donors and activists and candidates to move on the basis of that scorecard.

It's not enough to be informed. People who disagree with something need to move in unison and with a certain amount of malice against the subject of their disagreement. Aaron understood that, and sometimes I feel like he might be one of the only forces for good who did.

The defeat of SOPA is an important case study for this kind of activism coming from the left. A simple explanation of the evils, a simple litmus test about what the immediate next thing legislators needed to do, a simple scorecard for which legislators needed to be applauded versus which ones needed to be under assault.

Knowmore spoke loudly about reasons to disagree, but I feel like it might never have done enough to say what should come next in each of those cases. It was a diffuse lens scattering feelings of guilt onto many interactions between a certain class of consumers and a certain set of corporations; but I'm not sure it ever consolidated those consumers onto any given course of opposition or onto any set of viable alternatives. I'm not sure what scalp it can ever claim other than maybe Dov Charney's.

The idea can be something bigger, I think. In the podcast Sage explains its defeat pretty elegantly: It got bigger than something that could be managed by two rappers. But there was a technical failure too, and it's one that EFF also points out in that same article in Aaron's criticism of Wikipedia's governance, summarizing his criticisms with:


Aaron asked how Wikipedia could be optimized to bring in more expert contributors, rather than targeting its community-building efforts at a smaller, dedicated core of Wikipedians.

Mediawiki is conspicuously sparse in community-building tools. It isn't designed to be self-organizing or autonomous in the way that sites like Twitter, Tumbler, Instagram, and Reddit can all claim to be. It doesn't have a hashtag mechanism.

Corporations throw off brands like so much camouflage or antiradar chaff. My personal favorite examples are Kentucky Bourbon Distellery marketing all of its various small-batch bourbon/whiskey brands as if they were small independents rather than a massive consolidated operation, and Luxottica, which produces eye glasses and aggressively licenses or acquires branding rights from names like Prada, Nike, Rayban, and others, and markets glasses from those brand names in a stable of supposedly competing retail outlets with names like Pearle Vision and LensCrafters and Sears Optical--even selling their own vision insurance into corporations where the "in network providers" are usually just wholly owned subsidiaries of the same company that sells the insurance and manufactures the glasses.

Knowmore's ideology is about cutting through those disguises, meaningfully describing the corporate ownership behind companies and products and brand names, and holding those corporations to account for the worst lapses and excesses in their behavior in a way which will implicate every label and every brand. That's a needed thing and since the site has gone fallow the Internet has not done a good job of stepping up to offer alternatives, at least not that I know about.

I've always thought of this as more of a technical failure in the vein that EFF quotes Swartz as being concerned with than I do as a failure of passion or leadership or governance on the site itself. The community started to form but didn't find mechanics with words like shares, likes, favorites, hashtags, retweens, or reblogs to reward itself for participation or to make the most incisive and actionable writing rise to the top of the pile. Instead it opted for a mostly anonymous editorial voice, and then got drowned out because the number of World of Warcraft gold farmers willing to sabotage thoughtful writing in order to advertise their services dwarfed the numbers of community members willing to spend time and energy holding a sea of strangers to account for their writing.

Anyway, I've been thinking about that today. It wasn't at all surprising to me how little interest Redban had in any of that; he kind of smiled politely through it in the same way it sounded like Sage was doing when Redban was talking about McDonalds being good hangover food.

(EDIT: Sigh. Sneaky admin edit of my post followed here. The person I originally named as a guest I would like to hear is someone who is these days more known for viral antics than for rap music, and I was interested in hearing how he and Redban would deconstruct that topic given their mutual interest in it. The admin edit replaced the name of the rapper I gave with the name of a different rapper, and I am not at all interested in seeing Redban interview the other rapper.)

Last edited by Mark in Minnesota on Tue Jan 19, 2016 12:11 pm; edited 1 time in total
Post Mon Jan 11, 2016 3:23 pm
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Joined: 29 Jun 2005
Posts: 9288
Location: london
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awesome I'll give this a listen later tonight :)
Post Tue Jan 19, 2016 11:59 am
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Thank you
Post Wed Jan 20, 2016 11:53 am
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Flawed Logic

Joined: 16 Nov 2010
Posts: 355
Location: Austin, TX - Albuquerque, NM - Kalamazoo, MI - Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
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This conversation was all over the place and it was great. Redban is a funny and interesting individual. Glad you did it
Post Fri Jan 22, 2016 1:22 pm
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Mark in Minnesota

Joined: 02 Jan 2004
Posts: 2112
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
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I simply cannot fall asleep tonight. I've been in bed for seven hours and I woke up three times in the first three hours, haven't even yawned since.

I was listening to Blueprint's "Super Duty Tough Work" podcast (8 episodes recorded so far, I've listened to over half tonight) and in one of the episodes he goes off on a rant about how rappers should not announce a retirement unless they have a meaningful career from which to retire. That got me wondering about Dos Noun, who I remember _vaguely_ from some Scribble Jam DVDs and mostly from a thread on this forum about his retirement in 2006.

Well, now there's this:

Apparently he's now a real criminal defense attorney in Pennsylvania, with his own YouTube ad almost like an off-brand Better Call Saul. (His slogan: You keep your trap shut, and I'll keep your trap open.)
Post Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:03 am
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