Thursday, February 08, 2007

Two Stevens Make Bold Statements

Interested in stimulating your mind? Looking for some good topics to discuss over dinner or drinks this weekend. Look no further. Here's my suggestions:

Steve Jobs: Thoughts on Music

I couldn't beleive it when I read this one. It seems that the company that sells the most mp3 players and has the most popular digital music store would prefer to remove the Digital Rights Management (DRM) system from the music they sell in their store. It's a rational approach to a problem created either out of the greed or ignorance of the four big record companies that own 70% of the music distributed in the world today. Here's a quote from the article:

So if the music companies are selling over 90 percent of their music DRM-free,what benefits do they get from selling the remaining small percentage of their music encumbered with a DRM system? There appear to be none. If anything, the technical expertise and overhead required to create, operate and update a DRM system has limited the number of participants selling DRM protected music. If such requirements were removed, the music industry might experience an influx of new companies willing to invest in innovative new stores and players. This can only be seen as a positive by the music companies.

Read the rest of the article here.

Steven M. Cohen: A Tale of Two Jewries: The "Inconvenient Truth" for American Jews

As usual, there's a ton of controversy when Steven M. Cohen writes an analysis of the state of American Jewry, and then makes some recommendations. What's the crisis all about? Here's an excerpt:

Responses to the statement “I have a strong sense of belonging to the Jewish people” are especially relevant here. The proportions who strongly agree drop from a maximum of 72% among those 65+, to 62% for those 55-64, to 58% for the 45-54 year olds, to 52% among those 35-44, and down to a low point of 47% for adults under 35.

Read the whole report here.
Read some articles about it here. And even more here.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Shabbos Machvis

  • Q: What is this? When is this holiday? Are you having Pessach in Jersey? Oh my....
  • A: It's this shabbos. You wanna come to NJ?
  • Q: Sorry, I can't. So whats machvis about?
  • A: When The Chairman was growing up in Milwaukee, he and another kid were the only Jewish kids in their class. Whenever they cut school, and the teacher would ask why they were absent, they would tell the teacher that it was a Jewish holiday: machvis. So machvis is a made up holiday from The Chairman's childhood in Milwaukee, or as we call it, "the good land."

We're taking it seriously, with a spreadsheet and everything: