Archive for May, 2013

that is not a train

Bone Walker, the soundtrack for The Free Court of Seattle, has its very first blue tag on the Big Board.

Blue means ‘finished.’

There are many more blue tags to go, but this is a major milestone, because as of yesterday, all of the session tunes sets have yellow or blue tags. All of them.

you need to read about chile 1971

If you’re into the whole old-school SF idea of planned/constructed societies and all that -and if you haven’t read much SF of the 30s though early 60s, you’ve missed out – you really need to read about Synco (a.k.a. Project Cybersyn) in Chile during the Allende administration, before the Pinochet coup d’etat. Because they tried it, for industrial production.

The Wikipedia article gives you an overview, but THIS WAS REAL, NOT A MOVIE SET:

The Opsroom or Operations Room: a physical location where [nationalised industry] information was to be received and stored and made available for speedy decision-making. It was designed in accordance with Gestalt principles, in order to give users a platform that would give them a chance to absorb information in a simple and comprehensive way.

They didn’t get finished before the coup d’etat – the screens were used, but they had to have slides prepared each day rather than getting the data straight from the computer. But they were using the data – successfully, in many cases. All the major production facilities were, in fact, connected, via a massive network of telex machines, and data was flowing to the central computer, which was modelling and predicting based on daily data, and heuristic decisions were being made and acted upon and everything.

The goal was to have it all be realtime, as their computer capabilities ramped up. Keep in mind: this was in an era when moving this kind of data around and collating it within a single company in most countries could take took weeks, and decision-making could take even longer. They were doing it daily, with an eye towards continuously.

The difference between this and the Soviet and Chinese experiments is that it was intentionally decentralised. They were specifically avoiding those systems and trying to come up with something both socialist and rationalist and distributed – some of the factories had started setting up their own mini-facilities like this central one.

I’m fascinated by what they might’ve come up with, without Pinochet and his military dictatorship. They had the entire system destroyed – Pinochet was about authoritarianism, and had no time for this distributed-authority bullshit.

supposedly three times

Any thoughts on the podcast, anybody? Anything you might like for Episode 3? You can listen to the first two episodes here; that page has YouTube and Soundcloud links, so you don’t have to download it, and an mp3 link, so you can if you want.

After three episodes I’m going to evaluate the project and see whether to continue it. Is that too early? I don’t really know, I’ve never done a podcast before.

john cleese on creativity

John Cleese gives a good lecture here on how to set up the opportunity to be creative. Not how to be creative, which he can’t teach, but how to set up an environment to let creativity happen.

His commentary also applies to trying to divide out creative-type-work time from bookkeeping-business time, which is difficult if you struggle with things like relative importance of art. (See also aftereffects of “Tiger parenting” and “Harsh parenting.”)

He also has some tips for PHB’s at the end, which you may find amusing.

too late for the podcast

This would’ve been in this month’s Geekmusic Podcast had it come out in time – Alexander James Adams is releasing a series of singles, once a month, online this summer. The first one is live today, at his bandcamp page. AJA fans, clickie!

and we are online

Episode Two of The Geekmusic Podcast is online now! YouTube, Soundcloud, and direct mp3 download all at the above link. We talk with Rai Kamishiro and Nicole Dieker of Hello, The Future! about musical culture and social expectations vs. art, plus the new Geekmusic News segment, and there’s a First Look at Ardour 3.1.

Have an embed of the YouTube version:

This one’s a lot shorter than the pilot – a trim 40 minutes instead of a sprawling hour and a half – because I like to think we learned better. The downloadable mp3 is accordingly smaller. I made a couple more interstitial and background fill-music pieces (I call them “portalesque” and “cosmic beats,” mostly just because I had to have filenames) so I hope those work. Lemmie know.

The official home is here:

…if you just want the URL.

If there’s anything in particular you’d like to hear in Episode Three, let me know. Enjoy!

editing and editing and editing

Writing up the news and DIY segments for the podcast – I have several via email, thanks, and if you hurry you can still get yours in – and editing the discussion spots with Rai Kamishiro and Nicole Dieker of Hello, The Future!

I kind of remembered but also kind of forgot how far off intended topic Rai and I went. There’s a lot in here about the difficulties of trying to have your art even valued enough for people to bother hitting play (in our cases) at all, and the ways people frame – to devalue, mostly – your art based on their ideas of what your role (in society, in fandom, in whatever) should be, in their minds.

Really, the discussion surprised me several times, in part just because of the shared experiences. It reminded me a little of this article on how what wine tastes like really depends upon what you think of the label.

Don’t worry, though, it’s not all depressing and stuff. Rai’s hilarious and will just go, and I left a lot of that in.

I’m also keeping it shorter this time. I think the pilot episode – which is of course still online for you to play – ran longer than it should’ve, even with my aggressive editing. This episode will be more like 45 minutes. Easier to download, easier to listen to on YouTube, or wherever.

Anyway, last call for submissions! Also, I’m looking for a co-host, if I keep doing this. Are you into geekmusic? Chiptunes, elfmetal, filk, geekrock, nerdcore, whatever. Do have an urge to talk about it? Do you have a reasonably decent microphone and an internet connection? Do you have a superpower or minion card, or, failing that, are a loner with no strong social ties or familial relationships who won’t be missed? If so, contact me! I’m looking for a research subject co-host.

flower or space probe

I’ve always liked these little flowers. They look so fake, like they’re made of some sort of particularly sun-resistant plastic. I’M NOT SAYING IT WAS ALIENS BUT

…it was aliens.

Remember a couple of months ago the hell of upgrading Ubuntu so I could run a modern version of Jack, so I could run Ardour 2.6.14? Well, that was the latest version six months ago, the first time I tried to upgrade.

About five months ago, the long-awaited Ardour 3.0 finally came out. (They’re at 3.1.mutter now; and having the history with Microsoft, this sounds like a sweetspot for versions.) So now I’m fiddling around with that.

I’ve only been working with it for a few hours so far, but I’ve done a little test recording and editing, and tried to put it through some early paces. It works with the version of Jack included with Ubuntu 12.04 LTS; no Jack update needed. It still allows parallel installations, so you can use it without losing 2.6. There’s an installation script, but honestly, you don’t need it; you can run it straight out of its bin directory, which is what I’m doing.

First impressions are really good. Latency is lower. I’ve had a little list of features I’ve wished Ardour had, and suddenly it has them. There are a lot of UI changes, most of which I like, some of which I love, a couple of which… I’m not as happy about, but nothing I can’t get used to. It has updated project formats; I’m figuring out how much that matters, it seems to maintain double root files now, one for Ardour 2.x use, one for Ardour 3.x use, but I haven’t tested that.

I love love love the new project view window.

It’s a lot smarter about use of screen space; I can fit all the tracks of, say, Voiceless usably into the editing window now, and even have a bit of room to spare. “Maximise editor space” is now actually worth using; it’s much smarter about use of screen real estate. Plug-in management in tracks is much better – that was one of those things I’ve been wanting. Click track now lets you set files for both emphasis note and basic notes, and it has an exposed level control. (You could do that before; it was just difficult.)

One way in the past to crash Ardour has been to get freaky with editor zoom controls while the transport is running on a complex project; 2.6.8 would crash pretty easily that way; I’ve only seen 2.6.14 do it once. 3.1 hasn’t yet, despite trying – but the night is still young.

Anyway, those are all just some first impressions. I’ve already made a scratch project for the soundtrack album in 3.1; if things continue to go well, I’ll do the whole album in it, and post new impressions as I have them.

give to me geekmusic news

I’ve decided I’m going ahead with episode two of the Geekmusic Podcast. I mean, that was always the plan, but I reserved the right to change my mind after the pilot. The pilot had (across various listen points) about 100 listeners – at least, downloads and/or reasonably meaningful streams – so I’m going to give it a go.

DO YOU HAVE ANY GEEKMUSIC NEWS? Preferably your own, but not just that. Comment here with it. I’m looking for things like music releases, public projects, stuff like that. Preferably near-term, so this can be a recurring feature. Anamanaguchi has a Kickstarter running right now (that I’ve backed), Leannan Sidhe have their new album wrapped up, but if you have something? TELL ME! I’ll talk about it in the news segment, which I’ll record later this week. It will be the last thing recorded, but make sure the news will still be good for at least a few weeks.

And tell others about this! Please and thank you. ^_^

best bike park ever

From chichiri, who lives in Japan and I follow on Livejournal:

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