A wonderful text message exchange, brought to you by The Uncluded

Below is a wonderful exchange of text messages between Thomas and I. My response makes a lot more sense if you’ve heard this excellent song from The Uncluded:

It might also be useful to read the lyrics since Aesop Rock’s verses (which are crucial to our exchange) are tricky to follow and understand. (I totally missed the “Vin Van” reference to Vincent Van Gogh until I read these, for example.)

Now to the exchange:

Tom: Thank you for paying for that [something minor]… For paying for college and so many other things… I feel like I owe you guys more than I could ever pay back…


Tom: That was the single best response you could’ve sent :-)

A nice example of why art and music matter. They give us a short-hand language for describing important and difficult concepts. Tom and I had discussed the lyrics to this song at some length when the video came out a few weeks ago, and Tom’s initial text really resembles some of the ideas Aesop is presenting in the song. Because of that conversation, I could respond with could appear as a bit of a non sequitur that would instead carry with it tons of information, and manage to raise a smile at the same time.

I’ll wrap by definitely recommending The Uncluded album. I think “Delicate Cycle” (video above) is a really wonderful song; I listened to it about a zillion times when the video came out. While some of the songs seem to have Kimya and Aesop’s parts kind of pasted together, Perhaps the two most “unified” sounding songs in my opinion are “TV at 10” and “Organs”, both of which are just killer. Tom really likes “Bats” as well. So check it out, and share your thoughts.

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TweetDeck shows me how I want to filter my e-mail!

Like most folks these days, I get crap-tons of e-mail. While I have fantasies of becoming an Inbox Zero ninja, the reality is that I need to triage stuff at times, and I still miss important e-mails way too often. Ugh, ugh, ugh.

An option that would be a huge help, however, has flown in from the distance lands of Twitter-dom, where message overload is again a huge challenge. I’m totally enamored of TweetDeck, which allows me to easily organize my messages into groups based on their sender/source. While it seems a simple idea, the way it’s implemented in TweetDeck is really nice, and a similar idea would be really cool for e-mail.

I realize that I can do what is essentially the same thing with filters in Thunderbird (my standard e-mail client) or most other reasonable mail clients, but TweetDeck recognizes that my interest in messages is strongly correlated to who sent them and makes it exceptionally easy to organize and filter around that concept. In particular I can take any message and in just a few clicks add the sender to one or more groups in a process that’s far simpler than organizing filters in Thunderbird.

It would be wonderful, for example, to have a group for students in my current classes, and be able to just pop someone into that group with a click or two. I just don’t see myself managing a filter like that in Thunderbird, but I do it easily in TweetDeck.

So, sure, it would be better if I was just all over the Inbox Zero thing. TweetDeck style organization would be a brill filtering tool in the meantime, or when things get crazy. Does anyone know of a Mac e-mail client that does this sort of thing this well? I suspect one could write a Thunderbird add-on that would do this, but I’ve never written a Mozilla plugin and have no idea how easy or hard it would be.


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