Deep Cover

Dear J-

I get to figure out all the things that are wrong in the presentation before giving it today, which include the various numbers and most of the content and oh God what did I sign up for again? Seriously, though. I’m not that intimidated by all that’s happening, either because I’m not smart enough to know better or because the story is pretty compelling, at least for now, when we still do not have realistic models in, or that we don’t know about what’s real and what’s not. I think it would be fair to say there’s a lot of variation possible and if you’re trying to justify something related to safety, it would be fair to assume the worst case, but this is now more about the dollars than safety, which is a strange position to be in.

At any rate, the presentation is notably more solid than I remember, and I’m reasonably happy with what results we can show, although this means having to edit it down for non-technical audiences. Is what we do so specialized that the analysis will suffer for it? Nope, not really. It’s a sophisticated black box, but having massaged the inputs and outputs, I have reasonable confidence I understand the gears inside. Every day learn something new; I should ask if I’m not ready or I’m not sure about how to tailor the content, and if I need charts and other stuff from other people I don’t have to feel like I’m doing it all alone, do I? So many things around here are like the Little Red Hen: who wants to … ?

Musically I find myself in a rut but that’s probably because I haven’t sat down to listen to the stuff I’d put on months ago; a lot of that is more interesting and fruitful than what I have in regular rotation, but I stick with the familiar until my ears sense the right mood the music demands, like some trained dog salivating at the bell. Let’s say that again: we stick with the familiar because it’s comfortable and we aren’t surprised when say the auto-tune kicks in on the Broadway Cast Recording of Rock of Ages to make I Hate Myself for Loving You / Heat of the Moment a perfectly acceptable mashup (mental note: most of the YouTube videos of that performance are safe for work but unquestionably tacky to watch there). Discovering those deep tracks means listening to music, not just singles, and not everyone has the discipline for it; I don’t most of the time, but I’m thrilled when I do. Here, finding new things is not easy, and patterns are not always obvious; we tease them out and make sure they make sense first, right? Keep that in mind for today, too.

Mike

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