Like any parent of teenage daughters, Lina was concerned about their health and safety when the COVID pandemic hit in the Spring of 2020, and she knew that sacrifices were going to have to be made until the pandemic ended. What Lina didn’t expect was the sudden loss of a community that she had grown to love in the years leading up to the shutdown.
In 2014, Lina had recently divorced when she started dating a man who was a Bassnectar fan and urged her to go with him to a concert at the iconic Red Rocks venue in Colorado. Lina, an immigrant from Colombia who moved to the U.S. when she was 11, had grown up mostly on rock and heavy metal, but she was intrigued by her boyfriend’s description of the Bassnectar scene.
“For me, growing up in a country that wasn’t my own, I always just felt like an alien,” said Lina. “At that first Bassnectar event, I felt so much unity and positive reinforcement around me that I felt like I belonged somewhere, and I wasn’t just a weirdo. I felt included.”
During the last decade, Bassnectar shows have been some of the top-grossing tours in the music industry. The Bassnectar experience is rooted in bass music but the experience includes large video screens with a constant stream of provocative imagery and messaging emphasizing love, peace and social justice. It was started by a DJ named Lorin Ashton, who got his start in the 1990’s in the Bay Area and expanded to wider audiences after making his mark as DJ Lorin at Burning Man. By 2002, he was performing as Bassnectar.
For the next two decades, thousands of loyal fans, self-identifying themselves as Bassheads, would travel around the world to multiple shows to congregate with their community. In between shows, they translated the themes of kindness and empathy that coursed through the Bassnectar events into random acts of kindness and charitable efforts in their own hometown communities.
At her first show, Lina had found her tribe, and she wanted to immerse herself in that experience as much as possible, so she went to four more Bassnectar shows at different locations around the country in 2014 and spent all of her next five New Year’s Eve celebrations at Bassnectar events until COVID shut the world down in 2020.
While Lina enjoyed the music at the heart of the events, it was the people and the messages of kindness and empathy along with the support of voting rights and social justice issues that were important to Lina and kept her coming back.
Lina brought her parents to one of the shows, and they compared it to Grateful Dead concerts they had attended decades earlier because it felt like “everyone is standing for something.”
“They loved it,” said Lina.
When Bassnectar held a curated event not far from her hometown in Florida in 2018, Lina took her daughters, then 11 and 9, and made their way to the front of the stage where Ashton would be performing.
“As soon as he came on, everyone was making room for my girls,” said Lina. “Nobody gets- left behind. I felt so safe, and my daughters loved it.”
When the first COVID surge started in March of 2020, Bassnectar became one of the first major acts to acknowledge the health hazards of large gatherings and canceled a much-anticipated event called Deja Voom in Mexico.
Like Lina, 31-year-old Washington, D.C. resident Goran had already purchased tickets to Deja Voom and four other Bassnectar events for 2020. A self-admitted shy and reserved person, Goran had listened to Bassnectar’s music for years before a friend convinced him to go to the Spring Gathering event in Chicago in 2018. The experience changed the direction of Goran’s life.
“It was a place where I felt unlike anywhere I had ever felt before,” said Goran. “Being in the community and feeling a sense of comfort. Being able to be myself. Feeling at ease even in the middle of such a wild show.”
Goran had just recovered from a series of health complications. Being among the Bassnectar community made him realize that he could use the lessons learned from his journey to help others going through a health crisis. When he returned home from Chicago, he changed careers to become a health coach and continued going to Bassnectar shows for the next four years as a tonic for his own continuing recovery.
“It shaped the person I have become today,” said Goran.
In the summer of 2020, just as the Bassnectar community was coming to grips with a time of extreme isolation and the loss of what had become an essential support system for them, they started seeing a series of disturbing allegations being made against Ashton online. A number of women came forward with sexual misconduct allegations, mostly in chat rooms and social media and amplified by an Instagram site called Evidence Against Bassnectar, which relied on mostly anonymous posts.
Within a few days after the first allegations had surfaced, Ashton published an open letter on his social media channels, challenging the veracity of allegations, but acknowledging that he was stepping back from his career to take responsibility and accountability:
A longtime fan named Kate had already been a steady voice in the Bassnectar community when the allegations first surfaced in the summer of 2020. She spent the rest of the year contacting and exchanging messages with fans who were suffering not only from the isolation of the pandemic but also a difficult emotional reappraisal of the community that had been so important to them. In a few cases, she made contact with some of the accusers.
“What people don’t understand about the Bassnectar ecosystem is that it was really safe for women,” said Kate. “Unlike other shows where a young woman might be worried about being molested or drugged, men were acutely aware of boundaries and purposely respectful because of the ethos of the community, and that all started with Lorin. It’s one of the most immersive music shows that you could experience. It was a unique form of art in the world. There is no other musical performance that has ever been like it, and I don’t think it can be recreated, so the world lost an elevated piece of art when it was taken down.”
Kate says anyone who supported Ashton or Bassnectar in those first few months after the allegations were subjected to bullying and harassment.
“One guy got his car keyed, because he had a Bassnectar sticker on it,” said Kate “Fans who wear Bassnectar t-shirts or logos are called ‘rape apologists’ in public.”
“A fan who lost his father during the pandemic shared his pain on a Instagram fan site and talked about how he was missing the healing nature of the community,” said Kate, “and instead of showing compassion for his situation, angry trolls demanded that he take down his picture that he had submitted for the site, because it showed ‘innocent’ people in the background, and he felt bullied and asked to remove his post.”
Lina had a similar in-person experience when she wore a shirt with a Bassnectar album cover to a bass music show in late 2021.
“This woman was staring at me and started walking towards me,” said Lina, “but her boyfriend physically held her back, and she yelled out ‘You know you’re supporting a pedophile!’, and people looked at her like ‘get her out of here’. Even her boyfriend seemed ashamed of it. He came up to me later and apologized to me. I didn’t let it bother me.”
Ten months after the first allegations surfaced online, two women named Rachel Ramsbottom and Alexis Bowling filed a civil lawsuit in federal court against Ashton and his record label and management company, claiming they were victims of sex trafficking. Eventually, two more women were added to the lawsuit, but one of them has since been dismissed as a plaintiff after being challenged by Ashton’s attorneys.
When the lawsuit was filed, Ashton’s attorney, Mitchell Schuster said, “These outrageous claims – which were clearly designed for the media, rather than for the courts – are completely without merit and we eagerly look forward to proving so.”
In the most recent court filing, a case management order, attorneys for Ashton stated, “The plaintiffs are merely former romantic partners of Mr. Ashton who, in the era of the #MeToo movement, are jumping on the cancel culture bandwagon in an attempt to profit from the pressure they hoped this litigation would bring.”
Due to the time needed for discovery and the depositions of witnesses, the earliest the trial would begin is September 1, 2023, and it’s expected to last approximately three weeks.
Outside the courtroom, life goes on for the Bassnectar community as well as Ashton. Lina, Goran and Kate have all attended bass and other music shows since the pandemic restrictions were lifted, while Ashton was recently spotted at the Lightning in a Bottle Festival in California:
Online rumors have also been circulating that Ashton is behind some recent new music releases under the name, Locoqueen:
Since the rise of the cancel culture era, we’ve seen performers like Jimmy Fallon, Morgan Wallen and Louis CK overcome allegations of racism and sexual misconduct to continue with their careers. Film industry experts believe Johnny Depp will be fielding multiple job offers after his victory in a high-profile defamation lawsuit against his ex-wife, Amber Heard, who made abuse claims that were refuted by dozens of witnesses in the televised trial. For some Bassnectar community members, they say nothing that has happened in the past two years would keep them from attending a show if Ashton decided to return to the stage.
“I would and most of my friends would too,” said Goran. “When Bassnectar comes up in person, it’s a much different experience than an online discussion. Even people who say they wouldn’t go to a new Bassnectar show aren’t angry at me for saying I would.”
“Accusations are just that until someone is convicted,” said Lina. “I don’t feel like Lorin should have to say anything. I would be okay with him just coming back.”
When asked if she would go to a new show featuring Ashton, Kate was a little more succinct – “Fucking absolutely!”
Adjusting Your Creative Output With Dylan Sesco
Some people manifest their dreams, but very seldom does it pan out the way they wanted or imagined.
Dylan Sesco wanted to work on music. It started with wanting to lipsync Snoop Dogg for a school talent show, then writing his own lyrics in 6th grade.
“Oh it was bad. Really bad.”
Eventually with the accessibility of computers and programs, Dylan started making his own hip-hop beats. No longer did you need 10,000 dollars worth of studio equipment, you just needed a simple laptop. After that, a camera to start making music videos.
That led to working on projects with friends, which led to a crew of artists, which led to forming his own small label called Vertlife Entertainment with friend and fellow artist Flax.
Dylan Sesco was driven by production and crafting a brand, but still had the itch to make his own music as well. Jumping from executive producing to video production to rapper in the same session, he created an eclectic style of hip-hop based music with a stable of talent including Seaz, Ave, ItsRucka, Epacenter, Neto V and more.
You may not know those names. Infact, you probably don’t. The label didn’t amount to much.
“It still hurts sometimes. We never made it big, but I cherish those times and the art we created.”
After struggling for years, Dylan Sesco would be in his rented studio alone until the sun came up working on music that mostly never saw the light of day. He released multiple solo projects featuring all his friends, hoping it would motivate them to work as hard as he was.
It just didn’t happen. Everyone had their own lives, and this was viewed as a hobby. But not to Dylan Sesco.
The frustration led to a creative pivot. Dylan was already well versed in video production. He was the in-house video producer as well as head of the label, producer and rapper. From various music video freelance work to small documentary work, this was another passion that he had almost ignored.
In 2016, he went all in and started a new Youtube channel: The Somethin’ Or Other Tour.
Dylan Sesco (and his brother Cole) started exploring history, going to football games, and visiting pop-up museums.
“I just wanted to do something positive and motivate people to see the world. We lost a lot of peers to violence, drugs and prison. I wanted people that otherwise wouldn’t get a chance to discover the cool things the world has to offer.”
The idea that started as a hip-hop travel show has blossomed into a small time show with big time aspirations. An adventure, travel, experience show that touches on any topic you can think of.
Dylan says it has been the most rewarding creative outlet of his life. He thought his dream was music, but letting go of the stubbornness let him find his true passion. Things don’t always go as planned.
The Somethin’ Or Other Tour, or SOOT.tv, has been featured on the nightly news, ESPN, and even in a french high school textbook.
The viewership is not huge, it’s not a famous channel, but the content has depth that has touched people.
“I get so many kind words. Teachers that show my videos to their kids, people that haven’t been able to travel themselves, things like that. It feels good to be able to provide something, as little as it may be.”
“Letting go of my other dream was difficult, but necessary. It worked out. I am so much happier now.”
Let this be a lesson that sometimes our dreams aren’t set in stone, and there may be a separate, or adjacent goal that will fulfill you just the same, or even more.
You can learn more about Dylan Sesco and The Somethin’ Or Other Tour on Youtube at http://soot.tv.
Epic Copycat: MEMS Company Found Guilty of Infringement amidst Global Conference
The much-admired International Workshop on Acoustic Wave Devices for Future Communication recently took place after the pandemic. Needless to say, it went successfully and attracted many acclaimed industry experts and academic professionals. ‘Awareness about IP protection’ was one of the hot topics that were discussed at the conference.
However, things took an interesting turn when an announcement of a product originated from EPIC MEMES came under debate.
The proven copycat, EPIC MEMS, announced its self-reliance in research and development after the conference concluded. The company president proclaimed that the company has successfully developed the ‘FBAR technology.’ However, he forgot to mention the original developer Broadcom Inc., from whom they’d stolen the technology.
Dr. Rich Ruby, director of technology (FBAR & orthogonal markets) at Broadcom, made the case for his company. He shed light on how his company has acquired and developed the technology and presented solid evidence of the FBAR infringement.“I wish that I or Broadcom employees had thought of substituting Sc for Al atoms in the unit cell (and patented it),” explained Dr. Ruby. He then described how the process of patents works in the industry. “You get protection from others simply copying (or stealing) your IP and avoiding any innovation or research cost,” he clarified his stance.
Dr. Rich Ruby is a renowned name in the industry and has won several accolades for his contributions. He is well-known for his participation in the packaging of FBAR filters and duplexers as well as his development efforts for acoustic properties and manufacturability. He rose to fame in 2001–2003 when he universalized the first FBAR duplexers HPMD7901 and the 7904 back in 2001–2003.
For his work on FBAR technology, he has received the CB Sawyer Award, the Bill Hewlett Award, and the Barney Oliver Prize. He’s also the recipient of the IAP Prize for “Industrial Applications of Physics.” Over the years, he has given numerous invited papers and has registered around 80 patents.
Dr. Ruby was an Agilent Fellow in 2002 and later took over the directorial role at Broadcom. He expounded how the copycat, EPIC MEMES stole the FBAR technology developed by American Semiconductor manufacturing company Broadcom and did the copyright infringement.
According to Dr. Rich Ruby, “Broadcom FBAR IP was stolen around 2008/9. This stolen IP now has found its way into many Handset manufacturers, and we are aware of this.” To support his claim, he exhibited a photo example of the copycat FBAR 41 filter and said, “[It] looks almost identical to our product and uses many of the inventions we developed and patented.”
The photo proved to industry experts that Broadcom has developed the technology. The comparison made by DR. Ruby clearly indicated that the copycat company, EPIC MEMES has infringed the FBAR technology. From the cap-opened EPIC MEMS EP7041 filter chip, anyone can conclude that EPIC MEMES is using the technology from Broadcom.
Multiple research labs have unveiled this IP infringement with solid evidence after the conference. Dr. Ruby cautioned that brands who are using filter chips with infringed IPs may have to face the consequences. According to him, their reputation will be stained and the consequences may lead to market withdrawals. Brands may have to withdraw devices like pad computers and smartphones from markets which have infringed Broadcom patent chips.
The notion of a lawsuit against such companies is an interesting development. It has been observed that Samsung has obtained the problematic filter chips and they’ve been delivered to the market.
But the most surprising thing is perhaps the announcement made by the copycat EPIC MEMES. In response to Dr. Ruby’s panel, the company has rejected the claim. The Epic MEMES statement “we took (the) initiative designed and developed the technology” appears to be carefree and unworried. It is as if the copycat is challenging, “catch me if you can.”
Disclaimer: Contents and opinions in this article are not Founder Courier’s. We only provide a voice to sources in our community.
What is Positive Psychology?
For clinical psychologists, education and training have been centered on treating mental disorders to help people achieve symptom relief and return to “normal functioning. This is valuable and necessary work. It starts to feel overly focused on negative aspects of a client’s life. Would it be great to flourish rather than feel normal? What’s normal anyway?
A new field, referred to as positive psychology, was developed in response to the need for a broader focus. So, what is it exactly?
Positive psychology is a subfield of psychology that studies and promotes the positive aspects of human life, such as the strengths and virtues that enable individuals and communities to thrive. More specifically, it focuses on what makes life meaningful and worth living, particularly on topics like happiness, well-being, life satisfaction, gratitude, optimism, character strengths, flourishing, and human potential.
The field of positive psychology was founded in 1998 by American psychologist Martin Seligman (now known as the “father of positive psychology”) during his term as president of the American Psychological Association. At the time, Seligman was frustrated with psychology’s primary emphasis on understanding and treating the negative aspects of the human experience, such as mental illness, suffering, dysfunctional behavior, trauma, and pain. For this reason, he decided to make positive psychology the theme of his presidential term.
Other psychologists have emerged as leaders of the movement with their unique contributions, including Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Christopher Peterson, and Barbara Fredrickson. From these co-initiators, we now have compelling research on concepts such as flow, character strengths, the broaden-and-build theory of positive emotions, and many more. We are thrilled to be able to share them with you so that you can thrive, too.
Advantages of Positive Psychology
Many studies encourage the workings of psychology. These include but aren’t restricted to:
- The ability of a cheerful disposition to cultivate the expertise of a happier mood. This isn’t only to say that putting on a happy face will lead to feelings of enjoyment. Instead, they will start to exploit a deeper relationship together.
- Easy and tiny actions can have the most significant effect on mood. By way of instance, if somebody generates a custom of keeping track of all the things they’re thankful for, they can subsequently experience more minutes of happiness and pleasure since they’re “priming” their heads to be receptive to these encounters.
- We’re resilient. Positive psychology contributes to the story as individuals are invited to concentrate on their strengths. Limited time is spent ruminating on our shortcomings or failures. By coming to us in this manner, we realize that we’re far more powerful than we give our credit for. This self-love creates a cycle of positive thinking in which people become better equipped to deal with compassion, kindness, and understanding.
Positive psychology is popular and attempts to bring out the best within a person or group. For example, someone could pursue an extraordinary life, participate in life, have a purposeful life, or attain life using positive psychology. Positive psychology impacts supporting mental illness, being joyful, attracting well-being, and decreasing anxiety, depression, and anxiety during positive ideas. Positive psychology is the study of this “great Life”, or even the positive facets of the human experience which make life worth living. As an artwork, it targets both individual and social well-being.
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