Please don’t “like” and don’t “follow” us on Facebook, Twitter etc.

I’ve finally decided that it is time to disconnect from all social media. No FB, no Twitter, or any other platform. My reasons for doing so are varied but they include the reasons that have been discussed in public (from Cambridge Analytica and earlier). I also believe that these social media companies are, in essence, vile in their methods of manipulating users into addiction so as to focus primarily on their bottom line.  However, you don’t have to take my word for it, there are plenty of articles on books, based on peer reviewed research, that support this point. You might start by reading internet pioneer Jaron Lanier’s book “Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now.” Here is a review of this book. 

It isn’t enough to blame these big companies but we must also start with ourselves; i.e. the ‘users’.  If there weren’t so many people on FB etc. then there wouldn’t be an FB etc.  As Jaron writes ““If you’re not part of the solution, there will be no solution.”

Lastly, Lanier’s book makes an important point that I’ll quote from a NY Times review below. Read this and think about it.

“[Lanier’s] argument, however, is a profound one. He worries that our reliance on big tech companies is ruining our capacity for spirituality, by turning us into robotic extensions of their machines. The companies, he argues, have no appreciation for the “mystical spark inside you.” They don’t understand the magic of human consciousness and, therefore, will recklessly destroy it.”

Professionally, FB and Twitter were not all that useful because the work that I do involves face to face relationships that require a trust that is built over time.  In addition, it is impossible to keep up with 600 or so ‘Friends’, many of whom I’d never met, even though I was grateful for their reaching out to me. Instead, I prefer to meet people, whenever possible, in person or to be in touch in other ways (old fashioned e-mail, or better yet a letter!). No I’m not a luddite but I’m also not the only one making these points.

Frankly, I feel great without FB in my life any more. Try it 🙂

OK. Enough of this. Back to work!

In memoriam Oliver Knussen

The news of Oliver Knussen’s untimely passing came to me last night via e-mail. I was deeply saddened to hear this as Knussen was only 66. As far as I’m concerned, Knussen (or ‘Olly’ to those who knew him), was one of the greatest composers, conductors and musical minds of his generation. His music moved me deeply and inspires me constantly. Last year, I composed a work for solo piano titled Soliloquia No. 1 and I dedicated it to Mr. Knussen. Earlier this year I had planned on mailing it to him with a letter thanking him for all the inspiration his music has given. However, I was too self conscious and shy to follow through with this, which is something that I regret very much.

Rest in peace, Olly.

There is a beautiful tribute in the LA Times by Mark Swed here.