September 17, 2017
by Dave Digest

The Reality of Seeing Laurie Anderson at Bryant Park Following Her Virtual Reality Award

Geez, I don’t have a photo. But here’s my recent sighting of Laurie Anderson.

On September 11, 2017, at about 6:40 pm, on the way home. Beautiful evening, perfect as the morning of 9/11 in New York. I walked through Bryant Park on 42nd Street in NYC.

My eyes focused on a small woman in the center plaza overlooking the grand lawn.

She was about as tall as my shoulder – with a Tibetan hat (crossed stripes, like a ski cap, hiding her hair) and loose clothes in muted colors.

To be honest, she looked like a ragged poetess who had at long last emerged from her apartment.

But seeing her face – it glowed with joy.

Was that Laurie Anderson?? I’m not sure – wouldn’t she have Secret Service or something all around her??

She turned toward the lawn and looked at the expanse of Bryant Park. Hundreds of happy people in lawn chairs and blankets, getting ready for a performance, hanging out.

She put her hand on her heart. The beauty hit her like a wave. She smiled.

She walked past me toward the New York Public Library, which borders Bryant Park. She was holding a notebook – it’s gotta be Laurie.

Per NYC rules, I didn’t stop her and ask for a selfie or babble about how much I love her.

Like rare birds, our most precious artists in NYC must be allowed to live their lives and absorb the world without dweebs like me interfering. I remembered refraining when I saw Laurie and Lou at Sheridan Square circa 2008. Uplifting.

Googling later on, I saw she had just won the 2017 Venice Film Festival Award for Best VR Experience, for the virtual-reality film La Camera Insabbiata, with Hsin-Chien Huang.

Check it out – as always, she’s ten steps ahead:

See also:

September 16, 2017
by Dave Digest

Remembering Harry Dean Stanton at The Bottom Line

Rest in peace, Harry Dean Stanton. Circa 1988, I worked the ticket booth at The Bottom Line Cabaret on weekends, during the day, while I was at NYU. Stick thin, long-haired little weirdo. One rainy day, the night’s band was loading in. Suddenly, in the little yellow ticket booth, Harry Dean was next to me at the counter. No big production – it was as if he had worked at the club for years. He was singing that night – I was instantly starstruck – but he seemed to want to see the world through my eyes. Maybe he was slightly nervous – wanted to take it all in. Cubbyholes with stacks of tickets, cash drawer. Phone with punch buttons for five lines. He was one of those few famous people who rather than project celebrity uplifted your own humanity. (Among all the other performers at the Bottom Line, Herbie Hancock and Al Kooper also visited me like this. I’ll never forget them – or Harry.)

October 24, 2015
by Dave McClintock

Why Does Your Company Exist? Brand That Before How and What

It’s refreshing to rewatch Simon Sinek’s TED Talk “How Great Leaders Inspire Action.”

The lesson of first communicating why you do what you do, before how or what, is convincing.

We’re barraged with messages online, and our filters are thick. Why has the best chance of getting through. Just be sure the how and what are worth the attention.

March 26, 2015
by Dave McClintock

The New Republic Editorial Shake-Up: The Long/Short, Old/New Media Debate

Two recent Charlie Rose interviews – see below: One with Leon Wieseltier, long-time New Republic editor who resigned in protest last fall, and one with Chris Hughes, the Facebook cofounder and young grandaddy of online political organizing (Obama ’08) who purchased The New Republic in 2012.

It’s fascinating to see them wrestle with topics such as:

Assuming that long-form, in-depth content must be optimized for maximum exposure – to escape obscurity in a mobile/social world – is there any way to avoid destroying its quality and influence?

Where do I stand? I say that it’s possible and necessary. But I’m in no position to pass judgment on how The New Republic is pursuing that. (It would make a great movie, though.)

I was very moved by Leon Wieseltier’s call for a form of media that isn’t detrimentally driven by marketing or metrics.  He’s protecting a long-tail media that counts some of the most influential Americans among its relatively small audience.

But I’m generally a fan and admirer of efforts to breathe Silicon Valley entrepreneurship into old media that’s worth saving.

Side notes: In 2009, I wrote herein about how impressed I was with an appearance Chris Hughes made at NYU. And, of course, I’m a long-time fan of Charlie Rose – even have him in my blogroll (but was too shy to interrupt him as he looked for a cab recently on Lexington and 52nd or so).

On with the videos – presented with Chris second, not only in a defensive posture but with an optimism that I hope proves wise.


December 14, 2013
by Dave McClintock
0 comments Learn a Language, Translate the Web, for Free

In this TED video, Luis von Ahn of Carnegie Mellon introduces, a free online language tutorial site that (in the background) uses your quiz answers to help translate the web. Massive online collaboration.

Along the way, von Ahn explains reCAPTCHA – those two-word “type the mangled words to prove you’re a human” tests found on forms on Facebook, Ticketmaster, and many major sites.

Amazingly, in those tests, one word is from a digital book that computers couldn’t read – the OCR failed. So, when you fill out those reCAPTCHA forms, you’re helping to digitize books. (The other word is truly a test, to cross-check the digital book word.)

The video description:

After re-purposing CAPTCHA so each human-typed response helps digitize books, Luis von Ahn wondered how else to use small contributions by many on the Internet for greater good. In this talk, he shares how his ambitious new project, Duolingo, will help millions learn a new language while translating the Web quickly and accurately — all for free.

Here’s the video, “Massive-Scale Online Collaboration“:

August 22, 2012
by Dave McClintock

A First Look at is in beta launch, allowing posts from friends and family and inviting reader reactions via Twitter sign-ins.

The intro page describes it as a new platform for sharing stories and ideas. It’s longer-form than Twitter and organized into collections, by topic. So far, the design is very readable – gray-on-gray and all text (no ads or images).

I’m thinking it sounds like a giant shared blog, categorized by a core of editors … Like a wiki on human experiences?

With the founders’ track records at Blogger, Twitter, and other sites that revolutionized content generation and sharing, Medium is one to watch.

Here’s a snip from the overview:

While it’s great that you can be a one-person media company, it’d be even better if there were more ways you could work with others. And in many ways, the web is still mimicking print concepts, while not even catching up to it in terms of layout, design, and clarity of experience. …

Medium is designed to allow people to choose the level of contribution they prefer. We know that most people, most of the time, will simply read and view content, which is fine. If they choose, they can click to indicate whether they think something is good, giving feedback to the creator and increasing the likelihood others will see it.

Posting on Medium (not yet open to everyone) is elegant and easy, and you can do so without the burden of becoming a blogger or worrying about developing an audience. All posts are organized into ‘collections,’ which are defined by a theme and a template.”

August 20, 2012
by Dave McClintock

My Review of the Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight, on

Nook Simple Touch with GlowLightWith built-in lighting, the GlowLight beats the Kindle Touch – if like me you tend to be a nocturnal reader.

However, with full-color, multifunctional tablets descending in price to $199 and below, only hardcore bookworms may opt for a dedicated e-reader. (Nothing wrong with saving all your battery power for reading, after all – especially if your phone acts as a tablet already.)

Here’s a snip from my GlowLight review on

While E Ink enthusiasts have always bragged about E Ink screens’ superior readability in direct sunlight, they have always lost the night versus the backlit LCDs in laptops and tablets. Since E Ink simulates paper, e-readers with screens based on the technology have needed a supplemental book light to read in darkness. The GlowLight Nook (as we’ll call it in this review) makes a strong case for winning over the bedtime set versus traditional E Ink readers. No need to disturb your bunkmate or your neighbor on night flights: You’ve got your own lighting.