Archive for August, 2016
"AK Breaks" [mp3 removed -- please listen on Bandcamp]
Weeks in the making -- while I did other stuff -- but it does take longer to do five minute tracks. The "AK" refers to the Adventure Kid single cycle waves, played in Reaktor with "cheap spring reverb" effects. The "breaks" refers to some drum breaks I downloaded from Ableton, which perk things up, for me at least. Also featuring some sounds made with Linux Ardour, driving my modular synth, and on a separate track, playing those E-Mu Orbit soundfonts featured a while back.
The final mix was done in Ableton, with generous amounts of space-echo style tape delay (from NI's Guitar Rig effects rack) vibrating throughout.
Arrangement-wise, it takes time getting where it's going, but am happy with the way the motifs pile up at the end.
Update: Trimmed slightly, re-uploaded.
screen shot by photos
For a while this blog had stalkers in the form of copycat blogs, maintained by intrepid souls who thought... not sure, exactly. One of them tried to summarize the posts every day, but that got tiring so by the end it was just "July 2 - He hates Facebook, July 3 - More Facebook, July 5 Facebook blah blah." (Another blog disappeared entirely except for the ominous words "Don't trust him." As in -- he has opinions.)
Eventually the entire new media world moved to Facebook and it became irrelevant what any blogger thought. Rhizome.org opined that one simply had to use the portal for global theoretical discourse, and in fact they hoped one day to be technically adept enough to preserve chunks of this branded argumentation for posterity.
Pockets of FB hate still exist, however. Some of the noise comes from right wingers, who think Zuckerberg is a liberal and is suppressing them. A few on both the right and the left continue to object to the site's privacy quagmire.
So for today's Facebook blah blah here is the libertarian-inclined Liberty Blitzkrieg with a post titled Facebook Just Got a Whole Lot Creepier, with links to stories about people receiving friend recommendations from lists that were supposed to be confidential, such as a therapist's patients. Read, and then get back on Facebook to discuss!
The Clinton Foundation sleaze is finally percolating up to the media's attention. From a Boston Globe opinion column:
This week, the Associated Press reported that half the people outside of government who met with Clinton as secretary of state donated to the Clinton family charity. Also, a judge ordered the State Department to fast-track a review of 15,000 previously undisclosed e-mails the FBI discovered during an investigation of Clinton’s e-mail server. Both stories contradict what Clinton has told the public: that there is no connection between her work as secretary of state and the Clinton Foundation, and that she turned over all her work-related e-mails to the State Department in 2014.
No wonder leading Democratic Senate candidates, like US Representative Ann Kirkpatrick in Arizona and Governor Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire, are reluctant to vouch for Clinton’s trustworthiness on camera.
There is a documentary called Clinton Cash that covers foundation maneuvers, narrated by Peter Schweizer and based on his book of the same name. You might be inclined to blow it off as the latest right wing clintonconspiracymongering, but it's pretty much in line with the critique coming from the center-left (such as the Clinton Foundation Timeline).
Here's a three part review by Nina Illingham of the movie that gives ample reasons to be skeptical of the source while still waving at the stench emanating from Clinton World. Just because the wingnuts are paranoid doesn't mean Bill and Hill aren't working the dark side. Illingham writes:
There is also a curious, off-beat leftist tone to the film as Schweizer repeatedly comes back to the idea that the Clintons are actively professing to help the disadvantaged globally, but are instead actually preying on devastated countries for massive profit and political power. As the author details human rights violations, the swindling of natural resources from the poor for the benefit of brutal oligarchs and the unconscionable murders that donors to the foundation have helped facilitate – it’s hard not to get the sense that Schweizer actually cares about these horrible crimes; as much or perhaps even more than he cares about tearing down a powerful Democrat on the verge of the presidency.
Update: Lauren Weinstein pounds the podium about AP's "half the people outside of government" statistic. This is how it works: if it looks like the AP cooked its numbers, Clinton diehards will howl and thus keep attention off the main story. Possibly Weinstein hasn't seen the Clinton Foundation Timeline website or Clinton Cash and is still living the 1990s "media is so unfair to the Clintons" scenario. He should be happy that the Foundation is finally in the news; people should know what they're voting for.
You probably already know much of this stuff from a history of GIF animation in this month's Popular Mechanics -- yes, that Popular Mechanics...
...but it's worth a read. It gets the tech details and web politics of GIF usage mainly right without going too near the Duchampian, Barthesian "art" aspect -- the closest it comes is a consideration near the end of a Reddit whiz's "carefully crafted" movie loops.
As for the web politics, the piece is an extended infomercial for Giphy (pronounce it with a hard G and feel good about yourself) as a solution for cross-platform GIF delivery. The idea is you have this persistent animation filetype that works across browsers in a world dominated by "social" companies that want to keep you in their walled gardens, with their own proprietary video-delivery methods. Giphy aspires to be the go-to "cloud" storage place for GIFs that preserves them in their native format but also transcodes them so the social giants can all access them. Once GIFs have a reliable central location where they can be created, stored, and tweaked, people will stop saving them to their individual devices. Then, the GIF as a free-floating entity will finally shrivel up and die -- there will only be Giphy. There are still some awkward copyright issues to be worked out, as in, those GIFs you thought you were perma-linking might be suddenly replaced by YouTube-like take-down notices.
One thing I learned was that Nick Hasty, who was Rhizome's tech guy for a while, is now Giphy's tech guy. He's quoted with some old school fervor about what makes GIFs great but I doubt anyone else at Jiffy (or their tech backers) cares about any of that. Hasty says:
GIPHY believes in the experiential magic of viewing an infinitely looping series of images. While we have encoded all our GIFs into the most popular video formats and make those available on our site, the fact that GIFs play everywhere, can be copied and pasted, dragged and dropped, and don't force you to open a different interface or app for viewing, make them a better choice for what we're doing than any alternative formats.
They're changing GIF consumption in order for it to stay the same, or something. Monetize me, baby.
(hat tip EP)
Apologies for the blinking, usually try to avoid it, but when hate is pure desperate measures must be taken.
I suppose if you use the browser address bar for search you never have to see the main Google search page with its aggressively insipid daily theme drawing. Trust me, it's bad and needs to be destroyed, improved, or in the above case, both.
Screenshot detail from Andy Medeiros' video "Boats."
Just to remind myself in future years how awful Campaign 2016 became after Sanders rolled over, I copied all the headlines currently on the front page of San Francisco-based online rag, Salon, that dealt with the Evil Boogeyman of the hour, Donald Trump. This coverage sells magazines, and sells the supposed lesser-evil candidate, who has so many negatives she can only win by demonizing her opponent well beyond his own obvious negatives.
So here is a collection of mediocre headline writing in the service of bald propaganda, a kind of Day in the Life in Hell of 21st Century journalism. Hard to believe but each of these headlines has an associated article, that you are expected to read!
[photos of Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Trump]
Trump's illegal & insane plan
Donald Trump's "extreme" immigration plan is pretty clearly illegal, and GOP leaders need to answer for it
[photo of Trump]
It’s not Bernie backers: If the U.S. elects Trump, this is who is responsible
It’s convenient to blame Berners for a possible Trump win, but they are the last ones responsible for this mess
[photos of Trump and Trevor Noah]
Trevor Noah on Katrina Pierson: “I really feel bad for her and all of Donald Trump’s surrogates”
"CNN should hire her — that's what they should do," Noah said
[photo of Charlie Sykes]
The danger of the right’s noise machine: Years of misinformation led to Trump’s rise
"Where do you go to have any sense of the truth?" right-wing radio host Charlie Sykes told MSNBC
[photo of Trump]
Trump’s voter intimidation plan: Deploying poll watchers to fight nonexistent voter fraud is a November dirty trick
Trump's camp is calling for "monitors" at polling places to ensure "Crooked" Hillary doesn't rig the election
[photo of Trump]
Of psychopaths and presidential candidates: To what degree do modern candidates resemble psychopaths?
Analysis shows where some of this year's aspirants rank on a standard assessment of psychopathic traits
[photo of Clinton and Trump]
Sad! Breitbart commissions poll to unskew “mainstream media filter,” still finds Trump losing to Clinton
So much for claims of media bias -- even Trump's biggest media booster has Clinton beating him nationally
[photos of Trump and Stephen King]
“If Jesus were around today, he’d turn Trump out with the rest of the money-changers”: Stephen King’s anti-Trump Twitter campaign hasn’t lost steam
America's most prolific author and perhaps Trump's most entertaining Twitter critic never manages to disappoint
[photo of Paul Manafort]
Trump campaign lashes out at New York Times following report of cash payments from Ukraine to top aide, Paul Manafort
Even former Trump campaign head Corey Lewandowski tweeted a story on Manafort‘s work with the former pro-Putin ally
[photo of Trump]
Trump walks back claim Obama “founded” ISIS, says its rise “a direct result of policy decisions made by” administration
The GOP nominee reiterated his call to ban immigrants from "volatile regions," coining the term "extreme vetting"
[photos of Trump and Betsy McCaughey]
Team Trump is a disaster: It’s not just the candidate — his entire staff is ill-equipped for a presidential campaign
Trump has filled out his economic policy team with a long list of wealthy donors and female right-wing cranks
[photo of Trump]
The Trump vote: New data reveals hints as to who is most likely to pull the lever for Trump
A new Gallup analysis undermines some assumptions about Trump voters, and confirms that race plays a huge role
[photo of Trump]
The GOP after Trump: Don’t kid yourself — another candidate with his destructive platform can rise again
Even if Donald Trump is defeated, the xenophobic and bigoted goals of Trumpism will live on
[photo of Trump]
Donald the Terrible: If Trump had a selfie stick, we’d all be in the picture
Trump is the modern incarnation of Narcissus — a terrible-to-behold mirror image of America’s worst public face
When it first opened, grey panels lined the walls where future stores would be. It was so creepy and sterile (if spectacular) that the Port Authority hung an enormous American flag inside the vault, spoiling the architect's design but warming up the mood and reminding us that We Are Still At War. The flag disappeared as the mall stores began opening, giant photos of bony fashion models being a good-enough equivalent of Old Glory. Orcs are currently erecting some kind of giant bandshell/kiosk thing inside the vault. If the idea is to have music in there, the acoustics will probably be horrendous. Will keep you posted.
Update: The bandshell/kiosk thing was erected for a Grand Opening event for the Croculus. Some kind of terrible live R&B/jazz/lounge group boomed inaudibly in the interior. If you walked in to hear the music you were greeted with signs saying this was a public event and you consented to any use of your likeness captured by photo or video. People packed under the dome seemed to be enjoying themselves. Food was on sale courtesy of Pret a Manger.
Here they are setting up for the event (via AM NY):