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Intellectual House o' Pancakes Webdiary

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2009-04-09 - 12:01 p.m.

Two general observations unrelated to music, yoga, primates, or movies:

1) I think people have forgotten the purpose of "playing the devil's advocate."

When someone offers to do this for you, it seems like nine times out of ten they are about to say something mean or critical that they will then not have to take responsibility for.

(It's the new "don't take this the wrong way, but...")

The "devil's advocate" position is cool when it is going to help a person see a whole new point of view that they haven't considered yet--a way to examine all sides of an issue as a problem-solving technique, or even as a relief of mental suffering.

It's not cool when it's an excuse to assert a (perhaps controversial) opinion that one holds to be true but doesn't have the courage to endorse.

I am hrmphing at myself here, too, as I'm sure I've done this.

2) Social networking is all the rage, and entrepreneurs and business owners are all excited about taking advantage of it as a marketing tool. Fine, whatever.

But it backfires when all your status updates, links, and posts are spam for your product, workshop, book, or CD.

Do you really think people want to be your "friend" if you're constantly trying to sell them something?

I think some lower-level enterprises need to rethink this plan. And I need to stop befriending people I don't really know, except Tom Petty, I'm keeping him.

OK, now back to the regular stuff:

  • The late Ted Hawkins had one of the most gorgeous voices I've heard. His story (jail...heroin...busking...bucking success at every turn) is pretty fascinating, too.

    Rounder is about to release a 10-song retrospective, and they also still carry his scant back catalog.

  • I'm sure that Pineapple Express is really funny under, um, certain conditions. But, given that I watched while hopped up on Diet Coke, I didn't really appreciate its charms.

    thoughts? (6 comments so far)

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