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June 05 2017


Are Country Bassists Worth Listening To?

New blog post: Are Country Bassists Worth Listening To?

Stetson Hat
I recently came across a question on the r/Bass subreddit asking simply, “Any [country] bassists worth listening to?” There were a few responses disparaging bass playing within the genre, and there certainly weren’t a lot of people coming forward with names of players. I wanted to chime in and defend a genre I have come to like (from an initial position of complete disdain), but I didn’t have…

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April 29 2017


January 24 2017


Making Music With Depression

Grave were their faces
I started seriously pursuing music in my mid-teens. I was lucky to find myself in an environment where I had support and guidance to do this. I have not ended up quite where I expected to. There are lots of reasons for this. In my case one of those reasons is my mental health and how long it has taken me to begin to understand the role that has played (and is playing) in my life. In the 2013 UK…

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October 21 2016


At long last, America's racist, crazy tough-on-crime prosecutors are losing elections

Prosecutors are the reason that so many Americans were put behind bars on the basis of flimsy forensic evidence based on pseudoscience. Prosecutors are the ones who make the call not to prosecute cops who gun down unarmed black people.

But things may be changing. This article is about a law review article on how some “hard line” prosecutors are being voted out of office and why.

We have many of the tools to change our society. We only need to use them.

October 20 2016


Your brilliant Kickstarter idea could be on sale in China before you’ve even finished funding it

Products posted to Kickstarter are being copied by firms in China before the Kickstarter window even closes. This raises some interesting issues about the intersection of different viewpoints on commerce.

Kickstarter is a feel good platform for both the fundraiser and the supporter, but for commercial products it exposes them to wider attention at a vulnerable time. Many will not be patented yet and even if they are the company is unlikely to have enough capital to fight a claim.

Sometimes exposure is a bad thing.

October 19 2016


We Could Learn A Lot From The Way Kids Play Video Games

Adults, we seek out new experiences. Children couldn’t give a fuck. All children care about is mastery. It makes total sense. Put yourself in their position. You spend every single waking second being told what to eat, what to wear, where to go and when to sleep.

Then you get this video game. All of a sudden you are the master of your own destiny, you are the king of this digital domain. The sheer power Children must feel in these universes, with their clear rulesets, and comforting, unchanging worlds. The more they play, the more sense it makes, the more fun it becomes.

There are lots of interesting things implied in this short article.

October 18 2016

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(via Press Release: New court judgment finds UK surveillance agencies collected everyone’s… – Privacy International – Medium)

In a highly significant judgment released today, The Investigatory Powers Tribunal has found that the UK’s intelligence agencies were secretly and unlawfully collecting bulk data on people in the UK without adequate safeguards or supervision for over a decade.

If you don’t think this stuff matters I would suggest you read Cory Doctorow’s YA novel Little Brother. Mass surveillance profoundly alters the nature of our social contracts with those who would govern us.

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(via Figuring out what to do with Trump’s base means admitting they are racist / Boing Boing)

[I]n order to heal the great divide in the United States we’re going to have to admit what Trump’s popularity is all about: a fading, racist white majority is struggling to maintain primacy.

The reframing of a privileged majority as an oppressed (soon to be) minority is perhaps the defining concept of this post-truth campaign.

October 06 2016


'Copspeak' and other tricks of the police trade

Control of language is key to control of the perception of a situation. It is a powerful method of maintaining the status quo. This article looks at the use of language to portray victims of police violence as guilty (of something) and to reduce the reckless behaviour of the police as normal procedure.

October 04 2016

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(via xkcd: Work)

Thinking about this stuff can lead to madness

September 08 2016

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How I expect Apple’s iPhone 7 reveal is going to play out today

August 25 2016


As proof that Trump knows the job itself would bore him, note that The New York Times reported the following:

One day this past May, Donald Trump’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., reached out to a senior adviser to Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who left the presidential race just a few weeks before. As a candidate, Kasich declared in March that Trump was “really not prepared to be president of the United States,” and the following month he took the highly unusual step of coordinating with his rival Senator Ted Cruz in an effort to deny Trump the nomination. But according to the Kasich adviser (who spoke only under the condition that he not be named), Donald Jr. wanted to make him an offer nonetheless: Did he have any interest in being the most powerful vice president in history?

When Kasich’s adviser asked how this would be the case, Donald Jr. explained that his father’s vice president would be in charge of domestic and foreign policy.

Then what, the adviser asked, would Trump be in charge of?

“Making America great again” was the casual reply.

Daring Fireball: Is Donald Trump Actually Trying to Win?

August 22 2016

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starting over

August 16 2016

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(via Just Trust the A.I. [Comic])

The AI’s goals are not your goals (and it’s better at its job than you).

August 15 2016

Play fullscreen


This is a really interesting phenomenon. If you watch to the end of the video Mr Tokieda discusses how each individual ball is still behaving as you would expect it to if it were in isolation, but the balls together create an aggregate behaviour that is the opposite of that.

I wonder if there are parallels in social psychology to do with perceived intention and group interactions?

August 10 2016

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h/t Fipi Lele

*I think that would be funnier with a snakier font choice

July 29 2016

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Redditors of r/the_donald were upset that their hero’s AMA wasn’t very visible on r/all and that postings of Illma Gore’s drawing Make America Great Again were more visible. This seems similar to me to the outcry by followers of Milo Yiannopoulos at his banning from Twitter.

It’s all about rules and their implementation. The alt-right want to portray their darling’s ban from Twitter as a free speech issue. It’s not. It’s about the terms of use of a private company’s product. I don’t know if Mr Yiannopoulos explicitly broke any rules. He was responsible, in my opinion, for farming a wave of hatred towards Leslie Jones.

Twitter has been justly criticised for failing to deal with the waves of ignorant, horrible and sometimes scary nonsense that many women have to deal with on their platform. Perhaps having a racist misogynistic shitshow blow up was more than they could face justifying?

The objection is that Mr Yiannopoulos didn’t break any explicit rules. It’s a bit like a bully grabbing your arms and using them to hit you claiming they aren’t actually striking you, you are hitting yourself. It’s all a bit lower-sixth really.

The Reddit fandango is similar except this time it’s about how the algorithms that promote content on the site work. If you are pro Mr Tiny Hands then either they are broken or someone put their fingers on the scale. Regarding the drawing of the presidential nominee naked, the response has been to create and post similar pictures of Hillary Clinton. The hope being that they will be banned and then an inconsistency can be revealed.

It’s all about rules. Rules must be consistently applied, is the howl. Why is my stupidity worse than their stupidity? It’s all very tiring and that this is part of a debate about who runs the preeminent superpower in the world today is very sad indeed. 

July 26 2016


Don't Study Composition (yet)

In the past couple of weeks, I have been asked twice about my opinion on studying composition as an undergraduate. First by friends of mine who have a son that is developing into a fine young musician and once on Reddit. Studying music is a tricky thing, and studying composition is even trickier. You are putting your development as a creator of music in the hands of a few people. This is a big…

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April 22 2016



This is funny because it is true.

Blandly crafts inspirational bland stories that resonate with audiences. Our five-point Storytime Actualization™ method is designed to forge lasting codependent relationships between you and your target demographics.

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The VIII Commandments of the Well-Labeled Inn

I. Thy lamps shall have large, obvious switches that are not obscured by the shade nor hidden on their bases, nor their power-cords.

II. Thy wall-switches shalt be labeled with the parts of the room they correspond to.

III. Never shall thine electrical outlets be controlled by light switches, lest they cause a device to go uncharged overnight.

IV. Thine faucets shall be as plain as fuck.

V. Yea, and thou shalt label them, with large, sans-serif writing, HOT and COLD, in red and blue, for an icy shower at 4AM doth enrage a traveler and lo, first degree burns art a liability for thee and thine underwriters.

VI. Thy shampoo, conditioner and moisturizer shalt be labeled in the largest type that will fit on the bottles, for travelers may not be able to find thine goddamned lightswitches, and yea, may not wear their glasses to take a shower and thus be incapable of reading the tiny curlycue type used to label the bottles.

VII. Thine housekeepers shall never leave the TV on, even if thy in-room entertainment system has a muzak channel it can be turned to.

VIII. Thy TVs shall have large, obvious, front panel off buttons.

(via The quest for the well-labeled inn / Boing Boing)

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