My shot

It’s strange that a stage show running in one city is affecting the whole continent, but New York isn’t a normal place and Lin-Manuel Miranda clearly isn’t a normal man.

The killing in Orlando originally prompted my personal doctrine in response to political violence: refuse to be terrorized. One or a few people armed and keen to kill do not affect my thinking about politics.

I cried quite unexpectedly when I saw Miranda’s sonnet.

Reading more about the musical, and revelling in my BitTorrent audio, I am increasingly impressed by the virtuoso genius of the thing. Violence has sometimes been a decisive factor historically, but there is scope to hope that ideas and arguments can be our battleground as humanity learns to live all together on this small planet.

The Harperman imbroglio

This little song, written by Environment Canada scientist Tony Turner, has received a lot of media attention:

CBC: Harperman case: Can public servants be political activists?

The Guardian: Canada government suspends scientist for folk song about prime minister

Both the song and the public responses point to one of the big unsettled questions about the appropriate conduct of the public service. What are citizens who are employed to serve the public interest meant to do when the country is badly governed by their political bosses?

Preliminary review: Shure SE-215 earbuds

After years of using Etymotic earbuds (first the ER-6is and then various telephone headset versions), I grew frustrated with how they always break when the cable frays at the point where it connects to the miniplug jack.

Because they have a $35 replaceable cable and sounded good in an in-store trial, I switched to the Shure SE-215s.

In terms of sound quality, I think they are very similar. Maybe a bit more bass, but the same high-fidelity rendition of all sorts of music, podcasts, and audiobooks. They are also similarly good at excluding external noise, and nearly inaudible to people beside you, even at high volumes.

The one significant downside is the weird design. The Etys definitely take getting used to, because of how deeply they sit in your ear canals. The part of the Shures that actually goes inside your ear is more comfortable, but the process of putting them in (which requires a weird half twist and putting the cable over the top of your ear) is still strange after a few weeks.

I also find that they stay in place less well than the Etys when I am walking around.

All told, I am happy with the Shures and will report on how long they last, whether I eventually get used to the insertion procedure, and anything else of note.