The Way

The word Buddhism was only coined by Europeans in the last few hundred years. For two millennia Buddhists were simply known as people who followed the Dharma. The word Dharma, like many Sanskrit words, has a wide range of meanings and can’t be translated into a single English word. However, a general description that works well enough for this purpose is path. It’s a path or prescription that can be followed. 

This meaning led to an interesting story when the Dharma arrived in China, because Tao means The Way. Some Taoists believed a story (early conspiracy theory!?) that claimed Laozi traveled east after writing the Tao Te Ching and taught a young man named Siddhartha about the Tao, which later came to be called the Dharma. It was suggested that the Dharma was built on the Tao or, to take the image of a path or road further, that the Dharma connected to the Tao. This is not at all likely but, like all good conspiracy theories, remotely possible. Siddhartha Gautama is said to have been born between 563 and 480 BCE and Laozi was born sometime between the 4th and 6th century BCE. 

Something else happened, however… Dharma met Tao in China and became Chan and then Zen. Instead of extending the path into India, a new path was forged. 

Kung Fu Werewolf

Enjoy the apparently mostly true story of Su Kong Tai Djin I came across yesterday:

Tai Djin was born in China in 1849. He was born unique, afflicted with hypertrichosis. Unlike Jo-Jo, who would be born a few decades later, Tai Djin was born into a highly superstitious family. As A result they saw his affliction as the work of demons and he was left in the forest to die.

A Shaolin monk traveling through the forest discovered the child and took him back to the Fukien Shaolin Temple. There Tai Djin was raised by the monks.

Read more here.

Uncle Al

My friend, and product manager at Epic Records, Al Masocco, had a birthday recently and I called him to wish him a happy birthday. He will be inducted into the Niagara Falls Music Hall of Fame on 15. November. Niagara Falls this year and surely Cleveland next. Congrats Al.

Mr. Masocco’s 28-plus years in the music/marketing world at CBS/Sony Music have given him a unique opportunity and the rare creative experience of working on strategies for artists such as The Rolling Stones, The Clash, Jeff Beck, Pink Floyd, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Tammy Wynette, Bruce Springsteen, Korn, Ottmar Liebert, Oasis and festival and tour compilations such as Woodstock 99 and The Family Values releases to name a few.
Over the last five years with The Firm, Mr. Masocco has been given the opportunity to explore and broaden his marketing and promotional playing field through working on development strategies for Enrique Iglesias, Limp Bizkit, Dixie Chicks, Michelle Branch, Linkin Park, Jennifer Lopez, Audioslave, Puddle of Mudd, Kelly Clarkson, Snoop Dogg, Dean Martin and The Doors estates, etc.

Al Masocco


While there has been evidence of women hunting, these historical discoveries have been treated more as the exception than the rule. But it seems women not only actively hunted in most societies, but their involvement in that role among the society was on par with their male counterparts.

Researchers have analyzed data dating back 100 years on 63 different and diverse foraging societies around the world and found that in 50 of the groups (79%), women were active hunters regardless of whether they were mothers or even grandmothers.

The study out of Seattle Pacific University looked at 19 North American, 15 Australian, 12 African, six South American, six Oceanic and five Asian societies and found that recorded data backs archeological discoveries from the Holocene that women from diverse cultures participated in hunting.

The ‘gatherers’ myth: Women have been skilled hunters in most societies

The Number of Songs

The number of songs in the world doubled yesterday. Did you even notice?

An artificial intelligence company in Delaware boasted, in a press release, that it had created 100 million new songs. That’s roughly equivalent to the entire catalog of music available on Spotify.

It took thousands of years of human creativity to make the first 100 million songs. But an AI bot matched that effort in a flash.

The Number of Songs in the World Doubled Yesterday

And the company that delivered this feat is led by a someone who studied Jazz Bass in college… A bass player. This is odd, I always liked bass players. They seem reasonable, grounded, solid. They don’t seem like somebody proud of letting machines make 100 million songs.

Read the linked article and let me know what you think.

Abundance or Scarcity

But there’s no secure place for magic or metaphysics in a trillion-dollar marketplace, and such fragile connections run counter to the production-on-demand requirements of any global industry. This is the attitude expressed by the CEO of Spotify when he told musicians that they are to blame for their poor earnings on the platform—because they weren’t releasing songs fast enough. From the perspective of a streaming platform, it would be better (or at least more profitable—which, for them, boils down to the same thing) if AI made the songs. Musicians are just a bloody inconvenience. But how did we arrive at such a dehumanized attitude to music?

Were the First Laws Sung? – by Ted Gioia

(emphasis is mine)

I chose to turn around and walk the other way. Away from what is becoming a race to the bottom… and once that bottom has been reached one can descend even further with the help of AI. No, I am going to make the turn towards art. Scarce, unique, special is what I am aiming for. I have some ideas for special packages, too. They might not be as elaborate as the limited edition La Semana package, that won awards, but they will be personal, home-made and very small, individually signed editions.