Anything can be rethought

Rethinking is happening with classical music right now.  Going to the symphony is a fine thing, no doubt. But it is an undertaking. Get dressed up, file in, stay silent, clap at only the prescribed moment, file out. Most people are, quite honestly, nervous at the symphony. And it isn’t really a natural way for many of us to enjoy music. No talking, no drinks, feeling uncomfortable and uninformed.

The folks at Fringe are changing that. I went to my first Fringe event on Saturday, and I was completely blown away. Its was laid-back and cool. There was beer, wine, and finger food. People clapped when they felt inspired by the music. We wore jeans. The musicians wore jeans. There was art and DJs before, during and after the event. Short movies and documentaries about the performers before the shows. And, like at any great concert, an obvious connection between the musicians and the audience. Rather than a room full of frozen penguins staring at a stageful of frozen penguins, there were just artists and music lovers. Smiling, clapping, and just generally having an awesome time. Fringe transformed classical music from something you do to feel adult, to something you do for fun.

It was an interesting lesson in how to rethink anything. Anything at all.

What exactly is the point of these things?

I sent an email to a friend at KPMG. At the bottom of the reply is this. Why do these things exist? Is there any POSSIBLE way I am legally bound by this? Is this designed to make the lawyers at KPMG feel like they are earning their salaries? Or to scare me? Or what?

This email has been sent from KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership (which is a subsidiary of KPMG Europe LLP), from KPMG Europe LLP or from one of the companies within KPMG LLP’s control (which include KPMG Audit Plc, KPMG United Kingdom Plc and KPMG UK Limited), together "KPMG".  KPMG Europe LLP does not provide services to clients.  None of KPMG Europe LLP’s subsidiaries have any authority to obligate or bind KPMG Europe LLP.  This email is confidential and may be legally privileged.  It is intended solely for the addressee.  Access to this email by anyone else is unauthorised.  If you are not the addressee or an intended recipient or have not agreed with us the terms on which you are receiving this email any disclosure, copying, distribution or any action taken or omitted to be taken in reliance on the contents of this email or its attachments, is at your own risk, prohibited and may be unlawful, and to the fullest extent permitted by law KPMG accepts no responsibility or liability to you.  When addressed to our clients any opinions or advice contained in this email or its attachments are subject to the terms and conditions expressed in the governing KPMG client engagement letter.  Anything in this email or its attachments which does not relate to KPMG’s official business is neither given nor endorsed by KPMG.

WiFi as public charity

Remember when your Pets.com stock raced down from $60 to $2 and you didn’t sell? That was a bad idea. You regret that, because it was wildly overvalued even at $2 and deep down you knew better. But the Fallacy of Sunk Costs consumed you, and you were determined to make something of your investment. We all know how that story ends (mine ends with a big basket of Webvan).

Well, that’s what is about to happen in Philadelphia, where the Mother-of-All-Bubbles, Municipal WiFi, is going to be attempted once again. When that project is done, hopefully the mayor will turn his attention to more pressing citywide issues, like the distribution of free Betamax to every taxpayer.

This will either fail mightily, or become a very large pubic works project.