Monday February 24, 2020

Flying Start turns up in the bins, the second album by the Blackbyrds, the group Donald Byrd assembled while the head of Howard University’s Department of Jazz Studies in the 1970s. Curious, I look up info on the department — the first of its kind, established in 1970 “to preserve and perpetuate jazz through instruction, performance, and research.” From there, I’m off reading about a Beatles song released in 1968 called “The Inner Light,” the lyrics of which, written by George Harrison, paraphrase a portion of the Tao Te Ching.

Then onto the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory at Stanford University, as described by Stewart Brand in his 1972 piece for Rolling Stone magazine, “Spacewar: Fanatic Life and Symbolic Death Among the Computer Bums.”

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