Three Eras of Preservation and the Scourge of Magnetic Tape

In the Modern Age of Entertainment, we have — so far — sustained Three Distinct Eras of performance preservation. The First Era was Film.  The Second Era was Magnetic Tape. The Third, and current, Era is Digital. The most cursed of all the Eras, is the misbegotten second — Magnetic Audiotape and Videotape — where performances were not actually preserved, they were only perpetuated to die!

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Finding Reality at Easy Street Records

A thin man — maybe it was a woman (honestly was hard to tell in my tired state) was looking through one of the several bins of used records in front of Easy Street Records in West Seattle. I was walking to a friend’s apartment to take a short nap and my wife and I thought we saw our friend walk into the store.

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iPad or iPlop?

Yesterday’s announcement of the iPad left me feeling disappointed.  There’s no built-in camera at all — let alone a forward-facing one for doing live iChats — and the thing doesn’t do voice and it doesn’t multitask and it doesn’t have a lot of storage.  “An iPlop in the toilet bowl,” was my first thought in the flushing.

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Real Guitar or Toy?

Misa Digital announced a new “guitar” this week that is more computer than guitar.  Instead of frets and strings, you have buttons and a touch-sensitive panel.  Instead of Bending the Soul of The Blues, you get to Press the Electrosynchrisity of Midi.

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Digitizing the Human

I was having a discussion the other day about the digital books movement and saving a university money, and when I took the next logical step in the argument:  “If we’re digitizing books to save space and money, why don’t we digitize librarians, too?”  I was given a look in response  intended to freeze fertile fields and euthanize rabid dogs.

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Mishmashed Writing as Performance

Some ideas are born to be expressed — while other infantile
thoughts should be considered but never uttered or placed into action.

We
are confused by the meaning and intention of this “digital writing”
course where computers are given the odd requirement of inventing new
stories:

This course
introduces the Python programming language as a tool for writing
digital text. This course is specifically geared to serve as a
general-purpose introduction to programming in Python, but will be of
special interest to students interested in poetics, language, creative
writing and text analysis. Weekly programming exercises work toward a
midterm project and culminate in a final project. Python topics covered
include: functions; object-oriented programming; functional programming
(list comprehensions, recursion); getting data from the web; displaying
data on the web; parsing data formats (e.g., markup languages);
visualization and interactivity with Python. Poetics topics covered
include: character encodings (and other technical issues); cut-up and
re-mixed texts; the algorithmic nature of poetic form (proposing poetic
forms, generating text that conforms to poetic forms);
transcoding/transcription (from/to text); generative algorithms: n-gram
analysis, context-free grammars; performing digital writing.
Prerequisites: Introduction to Computational Media or equivalent
programming experience.

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Kate on the Kindle

I am very pleased to announce that after only a mere eight years in development, the novella Kate is available for purchase on the Kindle. The process has been rather long and difficult but well worth it.

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