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Archive for the ‘Coincidences & Connections’ Category

Hallelujah for Leonard Cohen
Saturday, April 17th, 2010

My Leonard Cohen channel popped above the fold on my iCurrent front page today and got me playing Hallelujah.  I’d created my Cohen channel to follow him on tour a year ago when an article on the use of Hallelujah in the sex scene of the Watchmen movie hit my Allison Crowe channel.    All this resonates for me with the lively topics of serendipity and discovery and the secret life of interests.

Hallelujah has been covered 200 times [Wikipedia].  In an April 2009 interview, Cohen says this is “ironic and amusing” given Sony rejected the album it was on. He continues (at 35:20):

I was just reading a review of a movie called Watchmen that uses it and the reviewer said – ‘Can we please have a moratorium on Hallelujah in movies and television shows?’ And I kind of feel the same way …

The whole interview is worthwhile listening, a wise and humble man for sure (see background on the interview). Reminds me of the finest people I know.

There is a reason why this song is covered so much. Sheer lyrical brilliance that works for fine singer after fine singer. I picked him on his tour and four other takes here. Which do you like?

Pick your favorite of the four below or tell me a different one:

Brewster’s Box
Friday, June 6th, 2003

One morning a few weeks back, I ran into Brewster Kahle at the SFO airport before an early morning flight. The 2nd such coincidence of SFO x Brewster, the previous event being last January. I was off to a sales call in Arkansas, and he was off to testify at a DMCA hearing in Los Angeles. We were both tight on departures, but that didn’t stop Brewster from steering me to the nearby waiting lounge.

“You’ve got to see this, it’s really cool.” He proceeded to pull an aluminum-cornered hardcase box from his back pack. From the box, he lifted out an original VisiCalc package still in shrinkwrap. “Look at this, this started it all. They want us to destroy it. They don’t want Libraries to preserve it!” (He also showed me a box of MS Basic for an Atari.)

A few days later, John Markoff wrote a New York Times article, but already the content seems stashed away behind a feewall.

Are we in the era of Digital Libaries yet?

It’s been ten years since the NSF stirred up the academic research on digital libraries by calling for proposals. The theories and innovations aside, bring on the real world messy wicked problems. And Brewster continues championing with insane energy for sanity.