Songs you should listen to... (see all 21 songs)

Taylor LaFlam Play free more
"You never really know what it feels like to have a song with your name in it until it happens to you." β€”Taylor LaFlam upon hearing this song for the first time

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Charles Zhu Play free more
Evidently, Charles' coworkers were weirded out when he played this at work.

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Dinosaur Comics - March 9th, 2011 Play free more
Lyrics by Ryan North, author of Dinosaur Comics.
The trick to writing music to words that were not intended to be lyrics is to vary wildly between time signatures.

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Lizzie Fulton Play free more
"This made my whole year." --Lizzie Fulton

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Who I am...(a mad lib)

Hi there! My name is David "Alexander" Mackenzie. I am a musician, person from the internet, and doodler. This crazy awesome website is where I share my music, thoughts, random projects, and plural nouns. All my music is available for listening and purchasing. My music has been called the craziest since prehistoric times by The Bilderberg Group. I'm sure you'll agree after giving it a listen. I recommend that you register for this site and maybe even support my habit, if you want to live. Enjoy! And remember, self-reference is cooler than this sentence.

From my blog...

Whatever happened to self-expression, Facebook?


It's always been sort of hip to hate Facebook. (Or at the least, since it expanded to include high schools.) I understand how counter-culture types have trouble embracing the frivolity and corporate ubiquity of Facebook, but I personally have often been unapologetic about my love for the huge social network.

I've always thought that the benefits of Facebook far outweigh its weaknesses. Sure, I abused it when I was a freshman in college, and I was sad when I realized that my parents' generation could friend me, but I still loved having a record of all my friends and acquaintances. I've used Facebook to reconnect with a guy whom I hadn't seen since preschool. I could touch base with high school friends that otherwise would have fallen off my radar years ago.

I have been a bit of a Facebook apologist when it came to the constant feature changes that have appeared on the website over the years. Silicon Valley companies really have to live by the mantra, "Innovate or die." On the whole, the changes have improved the site, despite all their privacy stumbling blocks. The fact that most of the changes have an "opt in" structure now has helped the company fend off the "Change is bad!" contingent.

The most recent changes to the profile are in some ways the best yet. The "friendship" pages that allow you to review the entire common history of any two people has been something that I've wanted for a long time. The unified look and feel for the wall, info, and photos is a great thing in my book.

But there is one thing that I really miss from older incarnations of the site: the opportunity for self-expression.

Sure, you can still be creative in your selection of your profile picture and in wall posts, but as a whole, the site now exists as just a series of connections that can be commented on, rather than personal representations of actual people.

My activities used to just list the four letter acronym of my singing group, "TUIB". It was there for people in the know, and it had the elegant simplicity of plain text. Now, the remnants of that four letter string is a fan page, incorrectly capitalized as "Tuib", that lacks a picture and a description and has a total of four "fans". The same thing happened to the fact that I listed "spending time with my sisters" as one of my interests. An empty fan page was created for something that was intended to be a shout out to two very specific people. What was once a personal representation of myself was converted into a meaningless link to nothing.

That is why I was actually sad to see the disappearance of that pointless plain-text box that appeared just below the profile picture. Facebook gave no guidance as to how to use it; it was just a simple but prominent place for self-expression.

I used that box to link to some of my favorite comics from my three favorite webcomics (xkcd, Dinosaur Comics, and Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal). With the new profile, those links were moved to the top of my "about me" section, which is now of coursed buried way down deep in my profile.

To a certain extent, helping people manage their existing social connections is what Facebook is all about, more so than representing themselves to new connections. So in that sense, it is logical that Facebook should grant the prime screen real estate to day-to-day interactions, rather than static personal information. It is more of a communication utility than a public creative space. But still, it saddens me that our nearly ubiquitous social network is becoming increasingly depersonalized.

Recently, on my Twitter:

What Daft Punk's Get Lucky would've sounded like in each decade since the 1920s.
Tim Cook, I like you, but please stop saying "do the math" when you mean "read the statistics".
RT @Pogue: oops! That great article on finishing Web articles was by @fmanjoo, not Dan Ariely--sorry! (Dan posted it to Facebook; thought it was his!)
Theory of mind can be a bitch sometimes.
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