Hip Hop Beats Beatles As Most Influential In 50 Years of Pop Music

If you were asked what was the most important development in pop music in the last 50 years, what would you pick? An evolutionary biologist who normally studies worms looked at 17,000 songs on Billboard’s Hot 100 over 50 years and found that hip hop beats out the British Invasion of 1964, Beatles, Stones ‘n all. From the LA Times:

Forget the Beach Boys, Michael Jackson and Madonna. The most important cultural shift in American pop music began with the explosion of rap in the early 1990s.

Public Enemy 4

The Beatles and the Rolling Stones didn’t spark the British Invasion of the 1960s, but they did fan its flames.

And don’t buy snobs’ complaints about the homogenization of pop. With the exception of a brief period in the 1980s, there’s been plenty of diversity in the charts.

These are the conclusions of engineers and biologists who analyzed 17,000 digitized songs from Billboard’s Hot 100 to produce an evolutionary history of American popular music — no listening required.

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Coincidence Control Network: File #85 – S&*t Beard Strikes Again!

This Week: Lil Ray combats corporeal Internet lurgies and hates on carnies, Sex robots, the question is finally answered…or is it?, Lil Ray hates earthquakes, Joe Nolanawitz and the missing art, branded teeth implants, and much more.

Personnel –  Joe NolanFrater Isla, and  Ken Eakins

Links

  • F&*k Animals. F&*k Clowns. Link
  • The future of sex tourism = Robots Link
  • Where is Napoleon’s penis? – Link
  • F&*k Earthquakes Link Link Link Link
  • What does this dying gangster know about world’s biggest art heist? Link
  • The best tooth implant ever? – Link
  • F&*k Bee Pollen Link
  • Snowden, Assange, Manning statues unveiled in Berlin Link
  • Being a hipster is shit – Link

Musique

Boots Electric – Complexity

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Status Quo Meet Future Islands – Revolution in UK Politics

There is no perfect remedy for Scottish Labour's broken record. Photo: Flickr/steve

There is no perfect remedy for Scottish Labour’s broken record. Photo: Flickr/steve

[This article refers to the recent British General Election campaign.]

These days you’d be hard-pressed to find any credible indie rock kids willing to admit they’re Status Quo fans. There are no breakbeats, hip hop samples or underground indie kudos here. It’s just the old guard cranking out the same old hits of yesteryear, pushing nostalgia tours on their ever-diminishing audience.

A once mighty commercial force, Scottish Labour, according to all the polls, are now passé. As far as the electorate is concerned, they have become the Status Quo, minus the ponytails and denim shirts (although perhaps Jim Murphy and Co are missing a trick there.)

How did these formerly psychedelic rebel rockers turn into yesterday’s news? They took their ear from the underground, hooked up with commercial producers to smooth out their sound, and now all they can do is tell the kids that the new music sucks.… Read the rest

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Conspiracy Theory as a Personality Disorder?

She's protected

Photo: John Allspaw (CC)

“The treatment of ‘conspiracy theories’ by the US intelligentsia is reminiscent of the Soviet commissions that labeled political dissidents mentally ill,” claims Kerry R Bolton at Foreign Policy:

While psychiatry as a means of repressing political dissent was well-known for its use the USSR, this occurred no less and perhaps more so in the West, and particularly in the USA. While the case of Ezra Pound is comparatively well-known now, not so recognized is that during the Kennedy era in particular there were efforts to silence critics through psychiatry. The cases of General Edwin Walker, Fredrick Seelig, and Lucille Miller might come to mind.

As related by Seelig, the treatment meted out to political dissidents in psychiatric wards and institutions could be hellish. Over the past few decades however, such techniques against dissent have become passé, in favor of more subtle methods of social control. While the groundwork was laid during the 1940s by President Franklin Roosevelt calling dissidents to his regime the “lunatic fringe,” this became a theme for the social sciences, the seminal study of which is The Authoritarian Personality by Theodor Adorno et al.

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Mass Incarceration: The Silence of the Judges

Jed Saul Rakoff is a United States District Judge on senior status for the Southern District of New York. He’s breaking the silence of the judges on mass incarceration in the United States in this essay for the New York Review of Books:

For too long, too many judges have been too quiet about an evil of which we are a part: the mass incarceration of people in the United States today. It is time that more of us spoke out.

The basic facts are not in dispute. More than 2.2 million people are currently incarcerated in US jails and prisons, a 500 percent increase over the past forty years. Although the United States accounts for about 5 percent of the world’s population, it houses nearly 25 percent of the world’s prison population. The per capita incarceration rate in the US is about one and a half times that of second-place Rwanda and third-place Russia, and more than six times the rate of neighboring Canada.

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1906 Illustrations of H. G. Wells’ ‘The War of the Worlds’

Henrique Alvim Corrêa, a Brazilian artist who worked primarily in Belgium, specialized in military and science fiction illustration. In 1906, he illustrated a French translation of H. G. Wells’s The War of the Worlds. Corrêa’s illustrations were definitely ahead of their time. Their atmosphere and texture echo modern science fiction art. Unfortunately only 500 copies of this edition were ever produced, but Corrêa’s artworks are currently up for auction.

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War of the Worlds. Translated from English by Henry D. Davray. Illustrated by Alvim Corrêa.

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Documentary — “Buying the War: How Big Media Failed Us” (2007)


Bill Moyers Journal: Buying the War from BillMoyers.com on Vimeo.

The story of how high officials misled the country has been told. But they couldn’t have done it on their own; they needed a compliant press, to pass on their propaganda as news and cheer them on. How did the evidence disputing the existence of weapons of mass destruction and the link between Saddam Hussein to 9-11 go largely unreported? “What the conservative media did was easy to fathom; they had been cheerleaders for the White House from the beginning and were simply continuing to rally the public behind the President — no questions asked. How mainstream journalists suspended skepticism and scrutiny remains an issue of significance that the media has not satisfactorily explored,” says Moyers. “How the administration marketed the war to the American people has been well covered, but critical questions remain: How and why did the press buy it, and what does it say about the role of journalists in helping the public sort out fact from propaganda?”

Read more about this documentary here.… Read the rest

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DEA approves study using MDMA for anxiety in seriously ill patients

Henry Riley (CC BY 2.0)

Henry Riley (CC BY 2.0)

Amid growing support for the therapeutic use of psychedelics, the DEA has approved a clinical trial that uses MDMA to treat anxiety.

Renee Lewis has the story at Al Jazeera:

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has approved the first clinical trial using MDMA along with psychotherapy to treat anxiety among people with life-threatening illnesses, researchers told Al Jazeera on Tuesday, adding that public support for the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs is rapidly growing.

“The tide has changed for psychedelic research,” said Brad Burge, the communications director for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a California-based nonprofit research group that studies medicinal uses for psychedelics and marijuana and is sponsoring the study. The DEA approved the project on Friday, he said.

Unlike Ecstasy or Molly — names for MDMA sold on the street and often mixed with dangerous adulterants — pure MDMA has been proved “sufficiently safe” when taken a limited number of times in moderate doses, MAPS says on its website.

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How Americans’ Views of McDonald’s Changed Over the Years

Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)

Mike Mozart (CC BY 2.0)

Francie Diep explores the ever-evolving public perception of McDonald’s at The Pacific Standard.

via The Pacific Standard:

One morning, you wake up, turn to your partner, and it’s like you don’t even know how they feel about you anymore.

After decades of enormous growth, McDonald’s has been on the decline recently, with same-store sales falling over the past five years, as the New York Times reported recently. America’s tastes have changed, a fact pointed out by many retail journalists. People are more concerned about wholesome, quality ingredients, and are therefore more likely to visit healthier-seeming chains, such as Chipotle.

As a look at the academic literature shows, this change has been a long time coming. Researchers have been bringing up worries about the influence of McDonald’s on business, culture, and health for at least 20 years. But it wasn’t until the last decade or so that the critiques really began to hit home, paving the way for Americans’ rejection of the Golden Arches.

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