General Music Thread

I’ve written before that writing or even reading about music isn’t as interesting as writing or reading about books and movies, but I still feel the urge to talk about music I’ve listened to and liked. These efforts, even in optimal circumstances, don’t really lead to interesting discussions. Instead, the value, in ideal situations, is that you find someone else that shares your enthusiasm. (If there is anything more that I find interesting or valuable, nothing really comes to mind right now. I guess, if the other person provides insights that I wasn’t aware of–i.e., I learn new things–that would be valuable as well.) I don’t think there will be a lot of opportunities for that sort of thing for any of us, but the urge is strong enough that this won’t stop me. (Additionally, since this is a general thread, people can write broadly about music, not just the things the music they’re currently enthusiastic about.

NFL Running Back Thread

This is a general thread about NFL running backs (RBs).

I’m going to start things off with some comments about RBs who run with a physical, punishing style–something I really like in a RB. I went back to watch clips of previous RBs, and I came away with this impression: There really aren’t a lot of these type of backs. If you were to list all the best RBs of all time, my sense is that most of them wouldn’t really fall into this category. Most of them would rely on moves, speed, and vision. This isn’t to say that they’re not physical–a lot of them can break tackles–but they’re not the type that would punish defenders. So who are some of the really good RBs that do have a physical, punishing style? Off the top of my head, here are a few (in no order): Continue reading “NFL Running Back Thread”

Are Liberals Defending the Character of a Neighborhood Comparable to Conservatives Defending the Demographics of a Nation?

I wanted to process and discuss this tweet:

Continue reading “Are Liberals Defending the Character of a Neighborhood Comparable to Conservatives Defending the Demographics of a Nation?”

The Three Problems America Needs to Overcome in Order to Survive as a Nation

What are the biggest domestic problems the United States faces today? If you guys have any thoughts on this I’d be interesting in hearing your answers. I have three that come to mind, and all of them are significant enough that they pose an existential threat to the nation if we don’t solve them. Here they are: Continue reading “The Three Problems America Needs to Overcome in Order to Survive as a Nation”

Music That Mitchell and I–Could–Both Enjoy

I think I started a thread like this in the previous incarnation of the site, but I thought of starting this again because I’ve been listening to the type of music that I think we’d both enjoy. For example, over the weekend, I watched a documentary on Lowell George, the front man for Little Feat. I’ve heard their music described as “Southern fried rock,” which is apt, although something like “roots rock n’ roll” might be a little more accurate–basically rock n’ roll that draws upon folk, country, bluegrass, and the blues. At times, there’s also a kind of Old Timey sound. Little Feat has this, but they also have a greasier, grungier sound (which I kinda like) compared to a group like the Eagles. Other groups that might fall into this type of music are the Grateful Dead, Poco, The Band, Allman Brothers (although they’re not so rootsy, I guess).

Actually, before I watched the video on George, I stumbled into the music of Lydia Loveless. Her music seemed like something of a modern version of this type of music, with maybe a heavier country sound at times (which can be heard in her vocal style). There’s something about her singing and the band behind her that I liked.

It’s weird because this isn’t a style of music I love. That is, I would listen to this when I’m in the mood for this sort of this, which doesn’t happen all that much. It’s definitely not something that I can see myself listening to regularly. But I do have some appreciation for it. Specifically, I like the way the various styles bleed together, in a way that suggests there are no boundaries; and, like almost every other type of music, I like the soulful, heartful quality that comes through, particularly through the vocals. (I also think Little Feat has some quality songs as well.)

Edit

Lydia Loveless has more of a 90’s alt-rock sound. I keep thinking of 10,000 Maniacs, and Natalie Merchant, but I don’t if there’s any real connection.

Here’s a Way I Think AI Could Enhance Professional Sports

I can understand why some of you will think I’m stubborn traditionalist–a luddite when it comes to technology and the use of advanced statistics applied to sports. I think it’s more accurate to say that I’m a pragmatist–my position on both depends on whether I think either is effective or not. To give you an example, I want to talk about a scenario where I can see AI being an important and valuable tool. Continue reading “Here’s a Way I Think AI Could Enhance Professional Sports”

To What Extent Should a Manager’s Evaluation Be Based on the Performance of Their Subordinates?

From the start of having a “real” job, I quickly concluded that the quality of management was crucial. I went so far as believing that, as a society, we should focus on training and developing people to be better managers and leaders. Every work will require and benefit from individuals with good management and leadership skills. One of the many ways management is so critical is that it has a tremendous impact on the employee–both in terms of the latter’s productivity and job satisfaction. I suspect this is obvious and banal, and yet to what extent are managers evaluated based on their employees’ performance? Now, managers don’t have complete control over their employees–and in some situations their authority can be quite limited–so let me rephrase the question: To what extent are managers evaluated based on their actions relating to getting the best performance out of their subordinates? In my work experience, managers aren’t really evaluated on this. Now, I’ve always assumed two things: 1) That managers should be evaluated on how well they help their employees perform, and 2) this is common practice in other organizations and businesses. I’m wondering if these two assumptions are correct, and I’m interested in hearing from others, based on their experience and perceptions.