2021 October❮❮prev

October 1, 2021

She picked her phone up off the coffee table. It was a hand-sized, rectangular device, similar in appearance to a mirror, but when imbued with electrical energy, its surface would display images and glyphs that responded to her touch. The smartphone was one of the most revolutionary technological advances of the twenty-first century. Its primary function was as a communication device, allowing her to send her voice, her image, or messages she typed onto the screen to others who possessed similar devices, but it also allowed her to search compiled records of human knowledge for any information she desired, listen to music, and watch pre-recorded theatrical performances, known as "movies--"
That bit about a reader of a story being annoyed by the the house-out-of-no-where of a flashlight reminds me I think I need to replace my pocketknife. Wonder if they make a pocketknife case for phones…
After a short wait, they were ushered onto the plane with the other passengers. The plane was an enormous steel cylinder at least a hundred meters long, with sleek backswept wings on which four jet engines were mounted. They glanced into the front cabin and saw the two pilots, consulting a bank of equipment needed the fly the plane. Roger was glad that he did not need to fly the plane himself; it was a difficult profession which required years of training.

The surprisingly large passenger area was equipped with soft benches, and windows through which they could look down at the countryside as they flew 11 km high at more than 800 km/h. There were nozzles for the pressurized air which kept the atmosphere in the cabin warm and comfortable despite the coldness of the stratosphere.

"I'm a little nervous," Ann said, before the plane took off.

"There's nothing to worry about," he assured her. "These flights are entirely routine. You're safer than you are in our ground transport cars!"
(Matt McIrvin pointed me to that on FB. Which is the kind of thing explaining why I'm still on FB!)

photos of the month september 2021

October 2, 2021

LOL. I love that I'm on dev teams sweating load time scores because Google the Almighty has really made it a point of emphasis, lest our SEO ratings plummet, and I'm starting at a gmail loading screen (weirdly rebranded "Google Workspace" for like over a minute.)

september 2021 new music playlist

October 3, 2021
My Life Is Better With You (My Brother, My Brother and Me Podcast Theme Song)
Decent indie pop.
Theme song from the "My Brother My Brother And Me" podcast. Honestly it sounds way too slow to me, since I usually hear it at 1.5x to 1.8x speed.

Beast Unleashed
Vin Jay
Dumb video but I like the chanting in the song, and the beat.
My friend Jonathan Z is one of the few people who is pretty locked into songs I'll likely like. I think it's a pretty shallow thing about the percussion.
Hootie Hoo
Old school slow flow hiphop.
Was tracking down a character saying "Hooty Hoo!" as a greeting on Ted Lasso. (I also remember it referenced in a Missy Elliot song.)

I Can't Decide
Scissor Sisters
Kind of playful old-timey sound, but with a serious dark edge.
via this tumbler post

End of the Road
Noga Erez
Her vocals remind me a bit of the background of will.i.am's Trump song GRAB'm by the PU$$Y
Found digging up her cover of "I Walk The Line" below.
I Walk The Line
Noga Erez
Slow female / orchestral cover of "I Walk the Line", right out of How To Make A Blockbuster Movie Trailer playbook....
Trailer for Netflix "Sex/Life"

Seven Nation Army
The White Stripes
Indie rock with an infamously catchy bassline.
I have and love a number of covers of this song but never had the original, looking to it when someone said I wasn't playing the bassline as it was written on a chart.
Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood
Nina Simone
So the original, with a more famous cover. (Along with "Tainted Love", songs I'm chagrined how I assumed they were work of their more famous cover artists.)
from the movie "Nobody"
Pat Benatar
late 70s/early 80s Rock!
played in the movie "Nobody". I missed out on a lot of classic rock by being a nerd who pretended he only liked classical and jazz.
Witness (1 Hope)
Roots Manuva
UK hip hop... like the glissando sound and the line "Breakneck speed we drown ten pints of bitter"
Dr. Sharon Fieldstone in "Ted Lasso" was listening to this on her bike (and then got hit by a car :-( )
Crazy (Radio Edit) [feat. Joie Tan]
female cover of modern r+b song
Playing at my dermatologist's office... I really love Shazam sometimes.
El Sueño
Javi Colina & Quoxx
South/Central American club music.
Played by DJ at a friends retirement shindig.
Hard to Handle (Live)
The Black Crowes
Big hit Otis Redding cover (speaking by white folks making bigger hits covering black folk's songs)
Went to see these folks live with Leigh... didn't really know a ton about them...
Ben Folds Five
Jesus, I didn't really think about this song's lyrics until just now... wow is that raw and dark.
From this goofy meme "She's a brick"... "house"? "and I'm drowning slowly"?

Chief Rocka
Lords of the Underground
Pretty cool oldschool hiphop. Shades of Beastie Boys and Onyx.
Playing from an open air restaurant near harvard square

Falling In Love
Julia Wolf
Sardonic modern indie pop. (Warning, cuss words.)
Apple blogs, that's like an iPhone 13 new camera mode exploration.

Dear Theodosia (feat. Ben Folds)
Regina Spektor
Moving song from Hamilton, to an illicit daughter. (I need more Regina Spektor in my life)
From the Hamilton Mixtape, now that I've finally watched the musical.

An Open Letter (feat. Shockwave) [Interlude]
Old school beat box behind a clever bit of Hamilton lyrics.
From the Hamilton mixtape.
My Shot (feat. Busta Rhymes, Joell Ortiz & Nate Ruess) [Rise Up Remix]
The Roots
Hiphop rework of Hamilton song. I do love Busta Rhymes sound and flow.
from the Hamilton Mixtape

how my honk bands work

October 4, 2021
In a sense, we work backward, either consciously or unconsciously, creating work that fits the venue available to us. That holds true for the other arts as well: pictures are created that fit and look good on white walls in galleries just as music is written that sounds good either in a dance club or a symphony hall (but probably not in both). In a sense, the space, the platform, and the software "makes" the art, the music, or whatever. After something succeeds, more venues of a similar size and shape are built to accommodate more production of the same. After a while the form of the work that predominates in these spaces is taken for granted--*of course* we mainly hear symphonies in symphony halls.
David Byrne, "How Music Works"
I've thought about this passage, or at least this book as the source of similar sentiment, often over the years, and was surprised to see I hadn't placed it in my common place blog before.

Currently I'm using it to bolster a defence of bands I'm in; I'm getting some heat from one of its members that it's not taking the music seriously enough.

But I think the idea that music is shaped by the space is mirrored by how it's also shaped by who shows up. My HONK! music tends towards the motley. Not just activist bands, but open community bands who will try to work with people at all levels and from all backgrounds - and, which might be the sticking point, doesn't necessarily demand a lot of time "woodshedding". (Maybe this reflects my own laziness about practicing. I've always coasted on tuba parts being less technical and my own constantly being in about 4 bands at once, and so I'm maybe too reluctant to tell people they need to hunker down.)

So we have a mix of people who maybe just had music-as-an-elective in high school and college and are getting back to it, or even some people who just started with ear training School of Honk, against, like, lapsed escapees from Berklee. We draw music influence and sometimes charts from lots of places (probably especially other HONK bands...) in the NOLA street tradition and trad jazz and maybe a little klezmer and African and Central/South American and Caribbean - like in a way it reflects a beautiful patchwork society. I mean not as much as we'd like at times- achieving diversity and looking like the less-gentrified parts of neighborhoods we're in is a challenge. Like if you're trying to frame most music as being of a culture, our is more loosely knit than many other traditions that come from a specific community - like, progressive liberals, often white, who live in small atomic families, often are living far from where they grew up, and who dig on bringing in lots of musical influences to their playing.

I've always thought that musical performance is usually leaning either towards connecting with crowds or impressing other musicians. The best can of course do both, but in a world of part-time musicians, I think it's ok to focus on the former more than the latter. "3 chord wonder" punk bands could rock the hell out of their venues! And while that's not who we are or what we do, I think it's a good reminder that even simpler music can be emotionally resonate.

I'm always going to worry that I'm not being harsh enough with the band, that maybe it could benefit from more tough love on demanding practice, more careful tuning, work on intonation, emphasis on dynamic, and thoughtful design of percussion. And my fundamental inability to judge critically (something that's really fundamental to my temperament, but that's a different story) is some of why I usually shy from an official role of "leader" - along my usual preference for consensus over top-down authority. (Also, I used to hold the idea that HONK bands - like my high school marching band - must always shun music stands, but have come to learn to split our repertoire into stuff we can march around with and pieces we will be stationary for, I think a decent compromise)

And we've lost a few of the "escapees from serious musical pursuit" players who get frustrated with the group, see its level as more of a ceiling than a floor. It's a bummer when that happens, because it's usually a loss acoustically and pedagogically , and of course I get filled with second-guessing. But still, I'm pretty happy with what my bands are able to do and the community they bring to my life and the chance to have musical fun for myself and others.

October 5, 2021

First, the old news: I am no longer a person (as I might put it to a believer) blessed with the gift of faith.

The primary fault line for me was one of empathy. The flavor of Christianity I had been given (and, in part, then would prepare for myself) was that of a belief system that was uniquely and universally True, and therefore pointed to the delusion or outright falsehood of other religions. But the contingency of it all -- when I reflected on how as the literal Sweet Talking Son of a Preacher Man I was striving to be a good Christian, but wouldn't an alternate me in the role of Sweet Talking Son of an Imam be trying just as hard to be a good Muslim? - led me to think that it was just terribly unlikely my people got it right and everyone else got it wrong, and this very powerful and loving God let that happen. Empathy (in combination with this deeply instilled idea that Religious Truth must be all encompassing and potentially universal) drove me from my precocious childhood sense of faith.

I'm reading Meghan O'Gieblyn's "God Human Animal Machine: Technology, Metaphor, and the Search for Meaning". She also had a strong Christian background she turned from, and writes
When I was in high school, the pastor of my family's church read the news through the lens of the minor prophets and frequently voiced his opinion, from the pulpit, that Christ would return within his lifetime (he was in his late sixties). For most of my life I had believed that I would live to see the coming of this new age; that my body would be transformed, made immortal, and I would ascend into the clouds to spend eternity with God.
That kind of thinking sounded very familiar to me. But now I'm thinking... hasn't at least one flavor of Christians been saying over and over and over for centuries? It feels like a certain gullibility there - akin to believing a tenant saying "oh, THIS month I'll get you the rent, I swear" or that any week now you'll win the lottery.

So that, too, lacks a certain kind of empathy. It's like the modern day believer, putting aside that Matthew 24:36 talk ("But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.") says - "C'mon... just look at the state of the world, the return of Israel, all that jazz. It's GOTTA be SOON!" and to the extent they acknowledge that line of thinking goes way, way back, it's like they're saying "What a bunch of rubes!" to those earlier generations of believers.

And I do resent that apocalyptic kind of thinking, which scared the bejeebers out of me as a kid, and has distorted our political and economic policy for centuries. It's tough to work to be really good long term planners when you think the end is nigh - ties in with our cult of individualism to make a country of "got mine, forget you" whether the "you" is others now, or in the future.

I do understand that this doesn't have to be the basis of Christian faith - here's a Baptist News piece from 2009 about surveys saying 40-60% of Americans say differing religions can lead to eternal life. (Heh, not even going to get into the eternal life bit.)

So not even every Christian was raised with this sense of uniqueness, and I'd say the many-path approach has a lot more wisdom, which is why I'm affiliated with liberal Unitarian Universalists.

It's funny, I always distrust any faith based on trusting an un-interrogatable "special revelation", but I also realize that I have no mechanism for absolutely saying that ISN'T how the Universal Truth might work. For all I know, one sect has it exactly right, and God is secretly blessing that one group, and the devil to all the rest. It just doesn't seem particularly likely to me.

October 6, 2021

A stopped clock is right twice a day.
A clock running in reverse is right four times a day.
A clock running at 720 times normal speed is right once a minute.
A faceless clock is never wrong.
T. R. Darling, "Quiet Pine Trees"

Biometrics were easy to disguise, so the authorities tracked people by their brain patterns. The only way to disappear was to change the way you think. Revolutionaries recruited artists, poets, and philoso-phers to give them mind-blowing insights whenever they had to lose a tail.
T. R. Darling, "Quiet Pine Trees"
(Admittedly, as a detractor of special revelation, I have mixed feelings about that one.)
'Don't let your random-number generators get loose,' the old programmer warned. 'Pi used to be an even three before a wild RNG got ahold of it.'
T. R. Darling, "Quiet Pine Trees"

'We had to switch from digital to analogue to get robots to feel emotions,' she explained. 'After all, they call them "numbers" for a reason.'
T. R. Darling, "Quiet Pine Trees"

'Nerves all over the body have thoughts, but the brain cannot receive them,' he said. 'Want to know what your organs think of their tyrant?'
T. R. Darling, "Quiet Pine Trees"

Relax while you can.
T. R. Darling, "Quiet Pine Trees"

It's all about the timing....

A page for the hymnal for The Church of Gun, where every American student gets to be part of the worship whether they believe or not. From today's shooting in Arlington, TX.

October 7, 2021

I had a dream where I was checking out Paul McCartney's autobiography, but he padded it with like 100 pages about "Page-A-Day Calendars I particularly liked".

wait is this true? I thought it was like.... booty bouncing in general and maybe with a weird reference to "I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE"

October 8, 2021

Nothing lasts forever, not even the world. So patch the holes and change the parts while we've still got it.
Heather Anne Campbell, quoting or paraphrasing the game "Death Stranding"

October 9, 2021

HAPPY HONK! One of my fellow tubists reminds me I have to keep up my dancing game.

October 10, 2021

Interesting defense of the old english system of measurement - fractions based on 2s 3s and 4s are much easier to deal with on your head than decimals

A serious pity, if we had 4 fingers on each hand or 6, our math would be much better, because 8 is great for getting to binary and 12 has that 3 and 4s dividing mojo.

October 11, 2021

Good advice.

October 12, 2021

One way to think about it is the longer your brain holds on to a negative event, or stimuli, the unhappier you report being. Basically, we found that the persistence of a person's brain in holding on to a negative stimulus is what predicts more negative and less positive daily emotional experiences. That in turn predicts how well they think they're doing in their life.
I do wonder to what extent this can be voluntarily controlled by people. I feel like I get good bang for the buck by drifting past negative emotions that don't serve me, refusing to let them snowball or self-sustain. And I feel like too many people are too emotionally driven. But then I feel like I might some kind of Spock-ian weirdo! Or that by working on my equanimity via self-"Talking Therapy" I've given up some highs as well as the lows.

I do feel I can be cheerful enough, mindfully acknowledging all the comforts of my kind of privileged life, though I feel I might've been bouncier/happier in the mid-90s. Like, after I got over worrying about nuclear annihilation but before getting worked up about Y2K and after that, adopting a kind of existential equanimity against a general panic about inevitable mortality.

October 13, 2021

Devblog of the moment:
Heh, in 3 days my UI Dev Blog will be a decade old! I was proud of this morning's entry on making and positioning circular image masks in p5.js - i also made up a sandbox program demonstrating the technique.

My friend Jeremy (of Glorious Trainwrecks thought this guy making art with big heaps of HTML checkboxes might be up my alley, and he wasn't wrong!

It reminds me of a mix of my Etch-a-Sketch animator art and my all-game-in-a-pushbutton game buttons.

October 14, 2021

How to hack, Missouri-style (a multi-step process):
go to a public, but HORRIBLY written site
right click and hit "View Page Source"(or hit F12)

Sounds like they are wanting to persecute some reporter for bringing their ineptness to their attention.

(So much for being the "Show Me State", clearly they are bigger believers in "don't show me")

2021 October❮❮prev