Archive for June, 2005

Review Quasimoto + Win Lord Quas Skateboard

gotta admit.
I want this

contest rules here

Another Osaka pick up from a few weeks back. Quasimoto I first experienced when Casey Childs told me to pick up a 7″ inch by him years back. The 7″ didn’t really hit, but the freewheeling pyschedelica of this album definitely releases an art damaged smoked up cloud of jazz-comic-book sampling. Moto is joined by a variety of guests and occasionally even his alter-ego on the mic collaging real mcs with Moto’s tried but true muppet squeaking. For some reason album even includes a Zappa reference (the 5 or 6th this month so far) and I think Melvin Van Pebbles guests on some tracks. This shit’s so stoned it’s unbelievable.
Quasimoto Homepage

Bullyshit Video

Pick it up

June 28, 2005 at 1:16 am 1 comment

is mp3 blogging illegal now?

Taken the Supreme Court’s decession today to make producers of software that induce copyright infringement liable for illegal use, the question is making an mp3 blog aggerator totally illegal under this or an mp3 blog? While the Court ruled that inducement requires:

This decision relies on a new theory of copyright liability that measures whether manufacturers created their wares with the “intent� of inducing consumers to infringe. It means that inventors and entrepreneurs will not only bear the costs of bringing new products to market, but also the costs of lawsuits if consumers start using their products for illegal purposes.

Obviously blogging like political commentary and livejournal style rants don’t immediately fall under this rule. I mean we’re creating new content, not infringing with our words (but you can get in trouble for images and qouting text). The problem is all of our blogs here at or whatever else are now technically speaking illegal. While I never intended my blog as a copyright infringing warehouse, obviously proving that intention is quite hard to do. I mean I definitely intend for people to download the music I post here, and I really hope they do, the problem is what was already a pseudo-legal form of altruism is now a definite break of the law. Additionally, arregerators are obviously illegal, their very intent is to coalesce the sharing of mp3s similar to p2p networks. If we could produce lettuce for nothing and feed the world, why wouldn’t we? Becuase the lettuce farmers would go bankrupt? If we can produce all the culture we want and distribute it for free, why wouldn’t we? Becuase the entertainment industry would go bankrupt.

I would like to purpose an alternative history of the RIAA’s file sharing is killing us arguement. Over the last 20 years indepdent labels have grown to the point that Sub-Pop and Matador are practically major labels. Their sales figures are so promenient that when Soundscan announced last year that music industry revenue was up, the majors scoffed. That’s not possible they seemed to say.. file trading is killing us. All of which ignores your average best buy stocks more copies of the new Interpol, Belle and Sebastian, or Postal Service than your average major label release barring mainstream hip-hop. I’ve taught high school for 3 years. These kids do not listen to Avril Lavigne. They have internet connections. They have p2p networks, they have access to the postal service. Read any school newspaper, maybe they’ll mention outkast, but you can’t blame your sales on technology when you have to face the truth: your product sucks. just go ahead and sign fucking death cab warner brothers. we’ll all be happier when your done bitching and every no life from timbuktoo to greenspoint, ohio know’s ben gibard’s voice. Trust me, we’re sick of him. Please major labels take our bloated emo bands. We really wish they’d all just go away and leave us a place for something new to get their time in the sun,

June 27, 2005 at 9:25 pm 1 comment

blogger survey

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

some dude at MIT is doing a survey of bloggers.
the questions are bit redudant and he seems a bit
off base in his assumptions about bloggers (I mean
e-rock’s Light and Sound art journal is defiently
my favorite blog right now). none the less, survey
to be taken. I love hating on things… a lot.

Also, if your ever in Korea. DON’T use y2k pc.
they block access to, dns tools for some reason,
and restrict what you can download. so you have to wait for them
to download the new demos/ web browsers etc can’t read most blogs,
and all that.


June 26, 2005 at 7:22 am 2 comments

Google – Scholar or newer search engine

Continuations of google’s empire in the forms of SMS messaging might be nice, but this might be the killer app they need.
correctly identifies scholarly papers, ranks them according to citation, and is an easy and accurate way to survey new research. With so many scholarly papers and journals available online now, it’s nice to have an easy and free way to search them and it’s citation numbers let you know who’s ideas are the most referenced in the academic arena. It’s still in beta, but I’ve found it useful for looking up papers by particular researchers.

June 23, 2005 at 8:12 pm Leave a comment

Switch Off or Why it Sucks to be an Indian

Continuing all the fun that indengenious people in the Americas enjoy including reservations and poverty. This new film chronicles the consistent abuses of power of Chile’s privatized electrical industries and their displacement and failure to live up to the promises they made. Switch Off

June 21, 2005 at 12:31 am 2 comments

Johnson Corrections and More Games

due to the fact that every rss parsers that lists me
have a tendency to duplicate my posts if I edit them,
I’m posting my corrections here:

Who knows, maybe part of my cerrebellum is bursting these days into new worlds of intricately connected patterns, this book is admittidly a step forward for Johnsons though. Should have been: Johnson’s thought.

Additionally Johnson’s book seems badly researched compared to Strogatz’s Sync but that’s kinda to be expected I mean Strogatz did after all pioneer and co-author most of the papers that contributed to emergence. Should be: Johnson’s book Emergence.

But Everything Bad Is Good For might be the first time Johnson is truly investigating a subject passionate to him with the tools of his trade. Should be: passionate uniquely to him

Remember than in our own grammar and language principles are not always continous. I think it should be dis-continous.

Sure, but remember we’re looking at this through the gaze of mathematics and while these numbers might have refered to time or some other factor in our senusal world it might be a simple case of an inversion of the way we imagine the effect and not the actual effect we’re witnessing.

I wrote a short little easy in my book awhile back while reading Everything Bad is Good For You. One thing I have noticed is that games do seem to shuck off literary plotlines. I mean it’s really not that hard to re-do something like Half-Life (which is pretty complex in itself) and put it down in a language that displays more emotion while changing the goals from saving the world to saving yourself or navigating the scars of consciousness or society etc. My point being, good narrative games only lack the willingness to put more mature or interesting themes into their structure to make them more like literature of television. Of course the creation of more complex games specifically intended to actualize and play on our more intellectual sensibilities would be great ( I mean make it release it on the internet sell your 1000 or so copies who cares?). The indie game market is definitely growing as homebrew games stagger in complexity and the number of board programmers looking for something different grows. But video games acceptance as an art form depends on their ability to eschew simple entertainment and actually make us grow as people. Creating new confines to games might be one answer, I mean Edger, Kafka’s protagonist in the metamphorsis, could easily fly out of his room and proceed to become a superhero, but the very act of becoming a bug humbles him. He is afraid to leave his room or differ from what is proper, conveying such states in a game can be hard. Do you really wanna spend 30 minutes trying to figure out a way to defy the inherint social programming of your character? Such guestions have already been entertained by game makers all over the place.

I was thinking it might be nice to introduce some basic social programming into video games. Anxiety, sweat, fear, euphoria, something more than the pyschedelic sequences that over all your screen as your eat the poisin mushrooms, smoke the cigarettes, or get hit by the poision tip dart. But perhaps the fun in video games is the way the deliver worlds with out these contratins, outside of polite society.

June 20, 2005 at 9:26 pm Leave a comment

Everything Bad Is Good For You by Steven Johnson

Steven Johnson’s books always frustrate me. Their dreams. He outrightly states his vision at the beginning of each book and then proceeds to stitch facts together to further re-instate his view points. Johnson’s arguements are close to what we all intuit wether it’s complexity theory or here video games and media. He chooses a safe route of obviousness and good amounts of research, but at what point does thinking begin? Johnson merely gives us theories and little practical research into his fields. How hard would it have been to get a few simple IQ tests off the net and get his neighborhood kids together for some LAN action? How hard would it be to practically prove that someone watching the Sopranos is actually intuiting more information than someone not? Johnson does provide some interesting graphs of the plot structures to The Simpsons verus Laverne and Shirley, but his writing style is lacking. While Authors like Steven Strogatz, Kevin Kelly, and well any of the armada of cultural critics and professor/authors out there can juggle literature, fact, and speculation with an amplob that makes them infinitely read-able while simulatenously engaging, the problem with Johnson is his work does seem to intuitive. It’s not hard to get his point: video games are more complex than the simple dice based games he played as a child, television is becoming more complex, like the cab drivers of london, are brains are literally churning with each new technology. Who knows, maybe part of my cerrebellum is bursting these days into new worlds of intricately connected patterns, this book is admittidly a step forward for Johnsons though. With it he is beginning to put together his own ideas into sets and rows that seem far apart from his fewllows in the field (particularly Kelly). Johnsons’ Emergence hit in 2001 – 2002 about 6 years after Kelly’s Out of Control. Additionally Johnson’s book seems badly researched compared to Strogatz’s Sync but that’s kinda to be expected I mean Strogatz did after all pioneer and co-author most of the papers that contributed to emergence. But Everything Bad Is Good For might be the first time Johnson is truly investigating a subject passionate to him with the tools of his trade. While he can’t compete with folks like Kelly or Strogatz in the science arena, I don’t think Kevin Kelly is as fascinated with Survivor as Johnson is. Hence Johnson has found a niche, a unique little world between pop culture’s vapid subject matter and the complexity of the neural and linguistic models that are driving it. He’s the man finding pay dirt in what we live to despise: mainstream media. I think it’s the perfect place for him, branching his interest in the sciences with his interest in pop culture. At times Johnson’s naivety about academic arguements can be quite shocking. He advocates that post-modern theories attack on the sciences cease something which seems naive in the extreme. As Strogatz himself admits in Sync, sometimes intuition is better than fact in science and as the old adage goes, never trust a fact that’s not backed by a theoreom. Having cultural critics from other fields questioning the objectivity of science can only serve to improve it, it gives the scientests a new critical set to work with a new set of anayltical tools in which to see their work and it provides science with a much needed refletivity in it’s culture, to just be able to dismiss a theoreom as an interpretation can only serve to increase the ways sciences can calculate and see their results. Take for instance quantum mathematics in which classical phyiscs break down into strange new worlds. Can something exist in many places at once? Sure, but remember we’re looking at this through the gaze of mathematics and while these numbers might have refered to time or some other factor in our senusal world it might be a simple case of inversion of principle and not effect we’re witnessing. Remember than in our own grammar and language principles are not always continous. You can put things away today or yesterday simulatenously. You can quit your job in the past and in the present. The fact that such states exist in the language of mathematics and pop up in the special cases of quantum states fails to surprise me, it’s simply what happens as your language gets older and picks up a historical context that contradicts the reality of today. That our math tells us that strange seemingly contradictor states are existing isn’t an issue with nature, it’s an issue with our language of interpreting them. Similarly, as any environmental activist knows, scientests frequently come to contradicting conclusions about the same thing. The sheer complexity of factors and where you place the starting point or your actions can have remarkably different results. As any programming manual shows you, the order of operation is important in calculation for instance 4 * 3 – 5 solved right to left is 7 solved left to right it’s -8. While simple algebra tells us to solve the questions right to left such rules are harder to formulate for something like ecology, pyschology, or other fields. And of course you also just have to wonder why? Why right to left? As as Derrida theorized in Reading Condillac, a lot of these decessions in language come down to frivolity and perhaps in mathematics utility is the rule most often the basic order of operation still seems arbitrary. Well anyway, I’ve gone off on a long rant about science and objectivity and all that, but getting back to Johnson he also states that post-structualism believes that meaning is derived and contained with in language which is just plain false structuralism beleived that grammar and form dictated meaning. So let’s get back to what Johnsons does right. Johnsons does put down in words a thesis that’s worth researching, that’s worth testing, that’s worth the though given to it today, and for this he needs to be rewarded. But his book lacks life becuase he hasn’t actually done the experiments into his thesis. This abstract might lead researchers new places, provide a nice new subset of sociology or something, and hopefully improve studies of video games, but with out actual research it lacks the paradoxes and surprised inherint in any study, in short it doesn’t feel real. And also, how exactly does playing Madden 2005 sharpen my congnitive skills better than the real thing in my backyard? here

June 16, 2005 at 10:27 pm Leave a comment

CHC or more Hip-hop from Chile

Ok so latin flare + Stevie Wonder + vocoders = not bad.
kinda diging this. Tracks here

June 10, 2005 at 9:24 pm Leave a comment

Jerry Casale of Devo with a scary ass interview

Boing Boing posted this. Really interested interview with Jerry Casale of Devo. Jerry goes into detial about the Kent State Shootings he we was well apparently really scared by. Strangely this is kinda similar to how I feel these days, that their is no law protecting us or for that matter virtue. Full interview here

The scary part:
VR: You said that the Kent State shooting sort of served as a catalyst for your theory of Devolution, which spawned Devo–
JC: Absolutely. Until then I was a hippie. I thought that the world is essentially good. If people were evil, there was justice…and that the law mattered. All of those silly naĂ¯ve things. I saw the depths of the horrors and lies and the evil. The paper that evening, the Akron Beacon Journal, said that students were running around armed and that officers had been hurt. So deputy sheriffs went out and deputized citizens. They drove around with shotguns and there was martial law for ten days. 7 PM curfew. It was open season on the students. We lived in fear. Helicopters surrounding the city with hourly rotating runs out to the West Side and back downtown. All first amendment rights are suspended at the instant the governor gives the order. All of the class-action suits by the parents of the slain students were all dismissed out of court, because once the governor announced martial law, they had no right to assemble.

June 10, 2005 at 6:28 pm Leave a comment

Common – Be

listen to stuff here
Sure Common’s electric cirus provided about the best left-leaning hip-hop you were gonna find near a kinda sorta ahh well I don’t know. It was good, but it felt like Common was leaning to hard on collaborators that didn’t accenuate his skills as a MC. With BE though we finally get that heartful hip-hop album that Kanye West is always hinting at making. It’s kinda this friction between Common, old school conscietous hip-hop, and West’s new-school kinda sorta thug but am I just doing this to be mainstream antics that gives the whole thing a slight whirl. Sure West’s strings and productions lift up Common’s rabid postivity and aura of the genuine, but where does Kanye come in? Is he endorsing this? Remember he apologized to Talib Kweli on his first album for not going the conscientous route. Is this Kanye’s attempt to speak through Common or is it just a good album? It seems to be both with Common himself showing some bitterness about his school loans and raising up an edge that doesn’t come across as thug bombast. It’s this precarious equilbirum so confidently displayed by Common’s understated rhymes and Kanye’s intelligent production that manages to put the whole thing on a point. Maybe I’ve been reading to much network theory or something these days, but this album’s dualities don’t seem to crumble, but instead flatten out hip-hop as a whole. Back packer consciousness finally breeds a bastard child of mainstream hip-hop’s make a lot of money and gat your friends thing. I like Common a lot, but somehow I think it’s Kanye behind this pushing his views in a new form, but I mean come on. Do that shit on your album and sell 2 million copies.

Pick it up

June 8, 2005 at 12:54 am Leave a comment

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