Shades of Gray, Checking It Out

Musings From The Thought Machine: Human Memory vs. Computer Memory

No Comments 15 July 2015

Socrates may have been mistaken about the effects of writing (not to mention the scientific method), but he was wise to warn us against taking memory’s treasures for granted. His prophesy of a tool that would “implant forgetfulness’ in the mind, providing ‘ a recipe not for memory, but for reminder,” has gained new currency with the coming of the web. The prediction may turn out to be merely pre-mature, not wrong. Of all the sacrifices we make when we devote ourselves to the internet as our universal medium, the greatest is likely to to be the wealth of connections within our own minds.

Its true that the web is itself a network of connections, but the hyperlinks that associate bits of online data act nothing like the synapses in our brain. The web’s links are just addresses, simple software tags that direct a browser to upload another discrete page of information. They have none of the organic richness or sensitivity of our synapses. The brain’s connections don’t merely provide access to memory, they in many ways constitute memories. The Web’s connections are not our connections and no matter how intelligent, subversive or complex companies like Google want to make their tracking mechanisms they will never become our connections.

When we outsource our memory to a machine we also outsource a very important part of our intellect and even our identity. William James, in concluding his 1892 lecture on memory said:

“ The connecting is the thinking. The connecting is the self”. In other words critical thinking is not only distinctly human but it is the essence of humanity.

Human memory is alive, computer memory never will be. When the human mind recalls memories to evaluate, associate and decipher it is in fact a different mind that originally experienced that memory. Computers will never be able to do this.

Screw all you kids

Mr. Miserable

Shades of Gray, Checking It Out

The Dick Extravaganza is off and running!

No Comments 02 March 2015


We’ve all been looking forward to March since we received The Shade’s Mistakes & Redemption calendar back in December. It’s finally here – The Dick Extravaganza: Our celebration of all things dick. Dick Nixon, Dick Brautigan, The General Lee etc.

One of our readers was so excited he sent us a pic of his favorite dick:

Dear The Shade,

Mike here. First time, long time etc. I really like what you’re doing here in March. I know this is unsolicited but I’m just throwing stuff against the wall….you know. Dicks just inspire me. Here’s one of my personal favs. Maybe you should ask the rest of your readers to send in their favorites?

All for now.



Thanks Mike, what a great idea! Boy, aren’t our readers the best? So, please enjoy the extravaganza and feel free to send in those pics!


The Management

Checking It Out

Young Americans – 1974 Dick Cavett Show

No Comments 08 January 2015


How about this David Bowie week eh? I know what you’re thinking – “Boy we really want to hang out with you guys and listen to David Bowie”.

Listen, we don’t blame you but T.W. is Colorado now and I just picked up extra shifts at Dairy Queen to cover my credit card bills after the holidays SO us connecting might be tough. BUT, every time you visit The Shade and take part in Bowie Week it’s like you’re sitting on the old, stained beige couch at 294 with ‘the guys”

  • Killer lead alto sax rift
  • A young Luther Vandross front an INCREDIBLE group of background singers
  • Enigmatic Bowie dance movies


Shades of Gray, Checking It Out

A Book Review: A Load of Hooey

No Comments 25 November 2014

Dear Mr. Odenkirk,

I give your newest effort A Load of Hooey 8 ½ lytle snores out of 10. Maybe 9. It just didn’t work for me. I’m still not sure what you were going for. Was it an autobiography or an exercise manual? Either way, it wasn’t either. But as a fellow foot soldier let me first focus on the POSITIVES.

I very much enjoyed the pictures of cats. They are a favorite of mine as they seem to be for you. So, perhaps, we are kindred spirits of sorts?

I also liked the Winston Churchill misquotes. But do you know what I liked even better? When they were done FIRST in this quality publication years ago. Listen, I want to help a fellow hombre as much as the next guy but this is just TOO MUCH.

Moving on.

Oliver Ames is a distant relative so, as you can imagine, I’m into shoveling. All aspects of it really. Form, content, technique and proper shoveling etiquette. As such, I was particularly compelled by the photo on the back cover (which is where I started). You know how many references to shoveling followed? NONE! So you can see why I was left WANTING MORE. What gives?

Onto the exercise portion of the film book. With little in the way of instruction I’m still left with a blubbery midsection. And I’ve read the ABs section 3 times already. Be more constructive with your instruction?

I’d ask for my money back but I’m sure with this type of flop on your hands you’re not exactly ‘rolling in it’. At the very least an apology will do.

My best,



Shades of Gray, Checking It Out

Making RadioLab

No Comments 11 June 2013

For those of you not familiar with RadioLab it’s a terrific podcast/radio show that helps you learn cool things that you may one day use to impress your friends. If you aren’t familiar just try giving an episode a listen. Go ahead, I think you’ll like it. The above video gives you a behind the scenes look at the synchronicity of elements that goes into one program.

A good start would be listening to this episode

Checking It Out, Winston Churchill Misquotes

The Shade’s Power Point Presentation Of The Week

No Comments 15 November 2012


This edition of Power Point of the Week comes to you courtesy of Vic’s Nuts & Donuts on Main. Things are getting serious…so bear with us

Still trying,
The Shade Management

Shades of Gray, Checking It Out

Something to Consider…

No Comments 07 August 2012

Shade Enthusiasts,

At this week’s Monday Night Mud Mess we had a  new hire bring along Marley (2012). If you don’t know about “The Mess” check page 36 of your handbook (if you lost your handbook – or have questions- please email Todd at

Wow. What a documentary.

As a seasoned veteran of Bob Marley films I wasn’t expecting much. But, I ended up only thinking of 2-3 things I’d rather be doing vs. my usual 4-7.

Bottom line is its a remarkable story that’s always compelling (unless you’re a turd that doesn’t even celebrate Master McGrath).

If you don’t have anything else going on and you’re just sitting on the couch…check it out. It has my 2-3 guarantee!

The valve is at a good fit,


Checking It Out

The Hat of a Champion – Dave Wottle

No Comments 27 July 2012

While gearing up for the Summer’s as we like to call it here at Shade headquarters I was completely taken aback that my fellow journos had not come across The Man The Myth The Hat Dave Wottle.

Wottle The Throttle does not only embody a champion he does it was a certain panache that only a select few can embody. For those who are not familiar hold on to your hats.

The Shade gives you the 1972 800m Final.  Two laps that would define a man.


Checking It Out

The Shade’s 2012 Olympic Coverage – How We Get Started

No Comments 25 July 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Its that time of year again. Yes – the Olympics!

A time when random acts of nationalism are thrust upon us and we pretend to care about sports that we literally watch once every 4 years.

And if THAT wasn’t enough the Olympics really fills out our daytime viewing schedule. Now we’ll finally have something to look forward to between the end of The Price is Right and the beginning of Wheel of Fortune. Yes!

Seriously folks, whats not to get excited about? Sport – much like music – is a global language. Its possible to play on a team (or compete) with other people who all speak a different language – and communicate.

Its one of the few events that breaks down cultural barriers and shows how we can all work together if we want to. Except for when the opposite happened like in 1976, 1980 and 1984. But those were weird times before we lived life in HD and had the internet.

Sharing little else other than a common space and purpose (and striving to get the job done) is something The Shade gets behind. We’re also massive sports fans.

As such The Shade will be providing our cracker jack coverage of the 2012 Olympics to our readers! We’ll be bringing you thoughtful pieces, exposes`, possibly in-depth coverage of aspects we find interesting along with various other ‘odds and ends’.

So please stay tuned, stay cool and for god’s sake feed the cat.

The Shade Team

Checking It Out

Racist Word Association Interview

No Comments 16 March 2012

This clip popped in my head today as I was thinking about political correctness.  What can and can not be said today on television is a fucking disgrace.

Written by: Paul Mooney

Interviewer…..Chevy Chase
Mr. Wilson…..Richard Pryor


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