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Life & Philosophy

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s life advice

Image via onmugul
Image via onmugul

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was the second woman to serve as a justice on the Supreme Court of the United States. Below are a few inspirational excerpts from her New York Times article ‘Advice for Living,’ as adapted from her forthcoming book My Own Words. Her life’s advice is a continuation of what others told her when she was growing up.

On-self reliance

First, a mother who, by her example, made reading a delight and counseled me constantly to “be independent,” able to fend for myself, whatever fortune might have in store for me.

On the power of words

At Cornell University, my professor of European literature, Vladimir Nabokov, changed the way I read and the way I write. Words could paint pictures, I learned from him. Choosing the right word, and the right word order, he illustrated, could make an enormous difference in conveying an image or an idea.

On listening and marriage

“In every good marriage,” she counseled, “it helps sometimes to be a little deaf.” I have followed that advice assiduously, and not only at home through 56 years of a marital partnership nonpareil. I have employed it as well in every workplace, including the Supreme Court. When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken, best tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade.

At 83 years-old, this ‘Beyoncé of the Law’ doesn’t plan on retiring anytime soon.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Advice for Living

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Beyonce Album Pirated 240,000 Times (Report)

Had those copies been purchased, the album would have grossed another $3.8 million in sales at $15.99 per album. While it’s certain that piracy eats into music revenue, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to know what percentage of those illegal downloads would have displaced purchases, since not everyone who pirated a free copy would have bought the album if it weren’t available via file sharing sites.

The Economist is more optimistic

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New Record, Flash Sale

If you can’t sell records in today’s world then you might as well sell surprise and immediacy.  Beyoncé released a surprise bundled album last week leveraging her army of social fans, plus supportive tweets from Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.  Other than Miley Cyrus’s twerk, I think that it was the most significant music story in 2013.  

As I tweeted:  

2013: “Surprise releases from Beyoncé + Lorde on same day. Expect to see more of the social driven surprise viral releases.” – “@bombtune

It’s difficult to create scarcity in the digital world of infinite inventory and piracy. The only way to create hype is to make one big splash instead of a cumulative one. If you have the millions of followers that Beyoncé has, you can afford to ship new content on impulse.

Digital downloads along with physical record sales are done and gone. The only way to revive buying is through a flash type sale that rides the viral nature of social media hype.

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Over-commercialization.  She faked the National Anthem at Obama’s inauguration.  The Super Bowl performance might as well been a Beyonce hologram.  Beyonce uses music as cheap scheme to sell more advertising, completely over-saturating the mainstream.   NPR asks a great question:  ”The Beyonce Experiment: How Far Can She Go?”
Over-commercialization.  She faked the National Anthem at Obama’s inauguration.  The Super Bowl performance might as well been a Beyonce hologram.  Beyonce uses music as cheap scheme to sell more advertising, completely over-saturating the mainstream.   NPR asks a great question:  ”The Beyonce Experiment: How Far Can She Go?”
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Niches are growing niches and the mainstream

The array of niches is making mass appeal less attractive but much larger. The long tail makes what’s popular even more popular, like an obsession.

Just scan your newsfeed. Everyone is tying in Jay Z, Beyonce, Bieber to one of their stories, hoping to woo a wider audience.

Forcing the conversation around a sly disconnect means that both people that love it and hate it will see it. The publications and celebrities both get richer, leaving limited space for new hyper-mainstream entrants.

On the whole, people gravitate to online tribes. The Internet connects a mass of niches and curators. Styles such as jean shorts and genres such as dub-step now have huge cult followings.

We really don’t even need the mainstream. It’s unnecessary noise acceptable only to people that don’t know any better. A online niche is a massive craze within itself.

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“Ether”