the most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time.
- mary oliver [emphasis mine]
As Jackson couldn’t fluently play any instruments, he would sing and beatbox out how he wanted his songs to sound by himself on tape, layering the vocals, harmonies and rhythm before having instrumentalists come in to complete the songs.
One of his engineers Robmix on how Jackson worked: “One morning MJ came in with a new song he had written overnight. We called in a guitar player, and Michael sang every note of every chord to him. “here’s the first chord first note, second note, third note. Here’s the second chord first note, second note, third note”, etc., etc. We then witnessed him giving the most heartfelt and profound vocal performance, live in the control room through an SM57. He would sing us an entire string arrangement, every part. Steve Porcaro once told me he witnessed MJ doing that with the string section in the room. Had it all in his head, harmony and everything. Not just little eight bar loop ideas. he would actually sing the entire arrangement into a micro-cassette recorder complete with stops and fills.”
Fresh Air’s tech contributor Alexis Madrigal discusses his research on the many “micro-genres” of Netflix. Here’s an excerpt of his piece:
Now it’s become one of the company’s big selling points. Netflix doesn’t just provide streaming movies and TV shows; it knows you.
Thinking about how specific Netflix could get, I started to wonder, “Just how many micro-genres does Netflix really have?”
A friend pointed out that the web addresses for the categories in the Netflix database were sequentially numbered, and that I could type through each URL, one by one, and figure out all the micro-genres.
The first brought up African-American Crime Documentaries. The second pulled up Scary Cult Movies From The 1980s. The next was Tearjerkers From The 1970s. After a couple more minutes, I tried entry 10,000, just to see if the database was really that big. Japanese Horror Movies From The 1960s was in that slot.
There was no way I could copy and paste tens of thousands of genre titles by hand, so I wrote a simple script, a little piece of code, that would copy the names to a list. I set it up to run and then I waited, as the script kept copying-and-pasting for more than 20 hours.
I found that Netflix has 76,897 separate categories. To my knowledge, no one outside Netflix has ever compiled this mass of data before. And now we can really understand how the system works.
The Pandora of movies