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Why, hello. I hope you were celebrating Donald J. Trump’s first impressive year AND the government shut down by marching in your city over the weekend, like I was. 

*record scratch*

Let me rephrase that. On the weekend of Trump’s one-year anniversary as jello-in-chief, the Republicans' complete ineptitude at governing, AND their constant and consistent attacks on civil rights, human rights, free and fair democratic institutions, hopefully you were able to make it out and also celebrate/support the one-year anniversary of last year’s incredible women’s march. Or at least hopefully you’re aware of the extreme inequality that still exists thanks to a biased, embedded, racist patriarchy. 

Unfortunately, the Democrats are fucking inept. So… I’m not holding my breath that they’ll be able to take advantage of the rising tide and political action on a national level to the extent possible. Hopefully the groundswell of grassroots activity and local candidates gets us there. We’ll see. I am happy that that large-scale collective action is garnering attention and energizing people. Protests and marching aren't just a part of your parents' experience.

Anyways, some thoughts on tech addiction and the unspeakable actions of Larry Nassar and his enablers below (what a lighthearted newsletter today! lol not really), along with some bullets and an album of the week. 

You also may notice a bit of a design change. I'll be playing with this and the overall format in the coming weeks. If you have any ideas or suggestions, holler at me! 
It’s Time for Apple to Build a Less Addictive iPhone [NYTimes]
It was probably inevitable that the dark side of social media and our reliance on mobile devices would rear its ugly head. 

Every second of our attention has been commodified and algorithmized (I made that word up) to keep us coming back for more. Tapping. Scrolling. Watching. I’ve certainly fallen prey to mobile/social addiction. 

Farhad Manjoo, a tech writer at the NYT, penned a pretty smart piece about steps Apple could take to make a less-addictive smartphone, with the assumptions that government regulation may not have the right solution and that restraint from individual users is probably a tough thing to ask (though something to strive for). 

Some quick hit ideas: give people more feedback about how they’re using devices, like a weekly activity report that could offer help or suggestions if you’ve been using the phone too much, scrolling through X app too often, etc. Or Apple could give users more granular control over notifications. 

I hope that articles like Manjoo’s become more frequent but, more than anything, I hope that mobile device makers and social networks make combatting addiction a priority moving forward. 
We Need To Be A Lot Angrier About The Larry Nassar Scandal [Buzzfeed]
The response of MSU’s president and board of trustees to Larry Nassar - the “doctor” who abused 100+ gynmnasts at the school and while with the USA gymnastics team - has been nothing short of deplorable. For some reason, Tom Izzo has chimed in with his public support of a president who should have been fired years ago while, instead, Nassar continued to abuse and assault young girls. These enablers and defenders - Izzo, the MSU board of trustees, MSU's president - are so divorced from right and wrong (and reality), but their actions and words illuminate a collegiate athletic system that prioritizes the status quo, sports, and a shiny exterior over the health, safety, priorities, and well-being of literal kids.

I agree with Buzzfeed’s Jessica Luther that this needs to be a bigger story. And that because the victims were girls and the sport is gymnastics, it hasn’t garnered enough attention like the Sandusky shitstorm at PSU, for example. The scale of Nassar’s attacks, the number of girls and women victimized, and the institutions that protected him is shocking. 

Horrors like the Nassar scandal really lay bare the moral compass and priorities of those in power. Some people rise to the occasion to do what's right. Many do not. 
  • 2018 is going to be the year of Khruanbin, the Houston-based psych trio. They sat in with Gilles Peterson last week and played an awesome DJ set. Hoping to see them in Dallas in March. 
  • I’m going to try to start using Apple Pay this week. That’s it. Just wanted to tell you. 
  • Spent a lot of downtime this weekend watching Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, and man, is that show good. On Netflix now. Watch it if you haven’t already. Watch it again if you have watched it. It’s comedy gold. 
Album of the Week: Barbagallo - Grand chien (2016) 
I’ve written about Tame Impala, time and time again, in this newsletter. In the studio, Tame Impala is basically just Kevin Parker playing everything, and their (his) run of three consecutive albums is magical. 

Turns out, there are still some great offshoots from Tame Impala. Pond is one such group. Tame Impala's touring drummer, who goes by Barbagallo, is about to put out a second album. Figured it would be a good time to share an earlier first album, to get up-to-speed. 

Grand chien is his 2016 album with musicianship, production, and a sound very worthy of Tame Impala. It get’s phsych-y and a little trippy, and it sounds very French, with a little bit of a 60s spaghetti Western vibe. All good things, IMO. 
Copyright © 2018 Greg's Newsletter, All rights reserved.

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