This, for me, is the real reason that tech types don’t buy art: they’re busy investing in each other’s startups instead. Being an early-stage investor is in many ways just like being a contemporary art collector: you’re very unlikely to make money at it, even though the potential and anecdotal returns can be enormous; and it’s used in large part as a way of supporting your friends and being seen as being important within a very small world.
The King of 78s: Joe Bussard. This guy has 15,000 records and hilariously cantankerous taste in music. Although maybe that passion and nerdery foments and requires this kind of dismissive focus:
Q: Is there a music genre that you avoid?
A: Rock-n- roll. Period. Any of it. Hate it. Worse thing that happened to music. Hurt all types of music. They took blues and ruined it. It’s the cancer of music….ate into everything. Killed Country music, that’s for sure.
Q: A lot of people would claim the complete opposite. that Rock-n-Roll re invented and recharged music. What is it about rock-n-roll that annoys you so much?
A: Don’t like. Just my personal taste. Don’t like the sound of it, the meaning of it…doesn’t promote anything beautiful or meaningful. Idiotic noise, in my opinion.
Q: So artist like Miles Davis, John Coltrane don’t deserve your time?
A: Oh my god, you gotta be kidding me. None of that music moves me.
I think it’s an expression of our old hunter-gatherer module. I think that’s the module that lights up for everybody on eBay, regardless of what they’re looking for. It’s the flea-market gene. It’s hunting a bargain, sometimes. But when I went through my “watch process,” at the end of it I realized it was about information, about trying to master a body of fairly esoteric knowledge, regardless of what it was about. For somebody else it could have been hockey statistics. It wasn’t really collecting; it was about getting the knowledge.
“ConnollyÄôs Number, the largest number of songs that you can realistically maintain a meaningful relationship with: 1,000.”—from a footnote to a thoughtful essay. Thankfully I hate clutter enough that I never amassed much of a cd or vinyl collection.