The Fundamental Way That Universities Are an Illusion 

Universities are an illusion because they are made of people. Got it.

Kevin Carey:

[T]he real differences exist at the departmental level, or within the classrooms of individual professors, who teach with a great deal of autonomy under the principles of academic freedom. The illusory university pretends that all professors are guided by a shared sense of educational excellence specific to their institution. In truth, as the former University of California president Clark Kerr observed long ago, professors are “a series of individual faculty entrepreneurs held together by a common grievance over parking.”

Carey makes a decent point, but it’s pretty much the same problem that afflicts any organization, firm, or group of people of some size.

Disaggregate all of the things.

Apple Music Is a Nightmare and I’m Done With It 

One day maybe I will wake up and decide music streaming is for me. But it hasn’t happened yet and based on stories like Jim Dalrymple’s, it isn’t going to happen soon either:

I trusted my data to Apple and they failed. I also failed by not backing up my library before installing Apple Music. I will not make either of those mistakes again.

The end result?

I’m going to listen to what’s left of my music library, and try to figure out all of the songs I have to buy again. I’ll also download Spotify and reactivate the account I cancelled with them a couple of weeks ago.

Yikes. I almost jumped in with Apple Music a few times, but I have resisted. I have good backups, but it just seemed that anyone who had a substantial music library (say over the 25,000 song limit of the old iTunes Match) like I do and like I bet Jim does was going to be in for some pain.

I’m okay sticking with my same old-fashioned MP3s and AACs if it means keeping inside my bandwidth budget, not losing thousands of songs, and keeping all the metadata I’ve meticulously crafted like a good little nerd over the past decade and a half of listening to music on Apple’s devices.

UPDATE 2015-07-26 In a post hilariously titled, “Don’t order the fish” Marco Arment really gets to the sole of the matter:

Even Jim’s follow-up piece, after meeting privately with Apple in PR-damage-control mode, is confusing at best about what actually might have happened, which is completely understandable because it sounds like even Apple isn’t sure.


The safest, most sensible course of action for users is to just keep their music libraries away from iTunes Match and Apple Music. We’ll all just know not to order that fish, and many of us won’t use Apple Music at all because its integration into our local libraries feels too unsafe.

Let’s reclaim the web from technologists who tell us that the future they’ve imagined is inevitable, and that our role in it is as consumers.... The web we have right now is beautiful. It shatters the tyranny of distance. It opens the libraries of the world to you. It gives you a way to bear witness to people half a world away, in your own words. It is full of cats. We built it by accident, yet already we’re taking it for granted. We should fight to keep it!

Maciej Cegłowski

Deleted GarageBand from my iPad because 600mb downloads for an app I’ve launched once seems silly to do again and again and again.

Did I Mention That I Loved the Ants? 

George R.R. Martin on Ant-Man:

There’s a lot of humor in this film, but it is not a farce, as I feared it might be. There’s a lot of action too, but not so much that it overwhelms the plot and characters, which was my problem with the last Avengers film… and the one before it, to think of it. A superhero movie needs a fair share of smashing and bashing and stuff blowing up, of course, but IMNSHO that stuff works best when it is happening to people we actually know and care about, and if you jam in too many characters and don’t take time to develop any of them properly, well… Ant-Man has a proper balance of story, character, humor, and action, I think. A couple reviewers are calling it the best Marvel movie ever. I won’t go that far, but it’s right up there….

I’ve been going that far in conversations with friends this week. Ant-Man feels like a real comic book in all of the the best ways.

Hopefully there will be bumperstickers and they’ll be red.

Can anyone think of a way to acquire one of said bumperstickers without making a contribution to the campaign?

[I]f a really famous clown shows up and pretends to be running for president a year before Iowa and scores some decent poll numbers, what we want to know is which counts more: the numbers, or that he’s a clown? I’m quite confident that the clown part – the objective side of the clown part, starting with the lack of elective or other high government experience – is far more important.

Jonathan Bernstein, May 2011

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