Cognitive Dissonance

Food for thought.


Dissonance theory also teaches us why changing your brother-in-law’s political opinions is so hard, if not impossible—especially if he has thrown time, money, effort, and his vote at them. (He can’t change yours either, can he?) But if you want to try, don’t say the equivalent of “What are you thinking by not wearing a mask?” That message implies “How could you be so stupid?” and will immediately create dissonance (I’m smart versus You say I’m doing something stupid), making him almost certainly respond with defensiveness and a hardening of the belief (I was thinking how smart I am, that’s what, and masks are useless anyway). However, your brother-in-law may be more amenable to messages from others who share his party loyalty but who have changed their mind, such as the growing number of prominent Republicans now wearing masks. Senator Lamar Alexander from Tennessee said, “Unfortunately, this simple, lifesaving practice has become part of a political debate that says: If you’re for Trump, you don’t wear a mask; if you’re against Trump, you do… The stakes are much too high for that.”



Noodling with a bit of audio gear

Had some fun tonight playing around with audio and midi gear.

First step was to repair the plastic overlay for the led display on my E-mu Xboard 49 midi controller. Had to disassemble it and glue a little shaded piece of plastic in place.

Some midi gear. The Xboard 49 is to the right.

Once the Xboard was squared away I played around a bit with Syntronik for iOS, configuring knobs etc. Fun!

Next up was practicing some scales and improv forms over two chord backing tracks.

Practicing lead with some Santana chords.

Here’s another lead practice- Moondance chords.

Practicing some leads

After the electric fun (AmpliTube via a Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 and the Fender amp pack), I decided to give “Blowin In the Wind” a try.

Key, timely line:

How many deaths

Will it take

‘Til he knows

That too many

People have died…

And the real answer is, this many.  Far too many, to date.

Definitely need to work on the audio mix…

Edit: here’s a different mix  better?

A few more photos – capture the flavor of the room.

Saturday Ride

Had a nice ride down Beach Drive to Ross Drive and Broad branch, past the old house on Connecticut Avenue then back home via Bethesda.

Lots of folks walking or biking with masks but plenty of bikers and runners were unmasked including me. (I do of course carry a mask at all times, and rigorously stay at least 6-10 feet or more from everyone.) I wonder how this paragraph would have read a year ago, or how it will resonate in a year or ten.

Put the bike rack on the Forester today to get ready for the beach. Still need to take a test run.

Here’s an article I want to remember, sort of a “how did we get here” piece about Trumpism.

History Will Judge the Complicit


Today’s Ride


Time for a break?

For a long time now (years! more than a decade!) I’ve been posting various things to Facebook. I like seeing posts from friends – everything from dear friends with whom I’ve had decades-long close friendships to former coworkers – I’m genuinely interested in seeing what folks have gotten into in terms of life, career, family, and the like.

But ultimately Facebook derives revenue from clicks and traffic, and the thing that really drives clicks and traffic is controversy – hate speech, modern day MAGA-tribal crap, and the like.

That’s why I’m taking a complete sabbatical (moratorium?) from Facebook for the month of July. I won’t pretend like this is some real or significant sacrifice on my part, only that we can all use a break from electronic things, glass screens, blinking red lights calling us to just one more action, just one more email, just one more document… every day.

So, be all that as it may, follow me here or not – just do what you feel like doing!



Screen Sharing

Today I tried out the Skype “group video” feature, and it works pretty well. It has, however, one serious drawback — in anything other than a 1:1 conversation, Skype’s screen sharing feature is disabled.

In casting about for a solution I found (or remembered a reference to) allows screen sharing with upto 250 (!) other people, lets you grant control of your screen to them, and starts up a (toll call) teleconference bridge for everyone to use. All for free!
Highly recommended!