Thanks to Jeff_Golden for this stunning shot
07/08/16 Friday 01:00 AM EST
Looking back at these last few posting dates is a big reminder of just how challenging it can be to multitask big projects. The world seems to be remaking itself every few months in one way or another. The one blessing in rapid change is that we’re in a position to shift gears and focus where opportunities arise. Right now there are multiple fronts propagating in quantum information and computing – these have impact in many areas and the tie ins with work in astrophysics and cosmology are a subcategory full of surprises. There are various data bumps in the particle physics domain that keep disappearing and reappearing in intriguing ways and oh – the NASA Juno mission just arrived at Jupiter and for all practical purposes in the vicinity of the proverbial orbital dime. Huzzah ! There should be more time now for updates and expansion of the various threads here and continuing on with daily tracks , music and Maria’s story. If your a fan make sure to remind her that your there and you care. Anyone going through this kind of atrocity with WADA & TADP should have massive crowd support.
Bee in hover by Ano Lobb
05/23/16 Updated Monday 4:44 AM
A lot of discussion among researchers lately about the Zika threat heating up – you can usually tell when a situation is going critical on the inside when guys that are normally very reticent about speaking outside their fields start weighing in. For it’s part the CDC is doing a fine job getting the word out. Remember that little bit of information when you go to the polls and vote for politicians speaking with great bluster about shutting down the government agencies charged with our protection.
We’re starting to see convergence of scaling with environmental problems and it’s not pretty. In a fight like the one Zika presents your generally going to fight with the weapons you have but spraying on the scale required to contain Zika most definitely is going to inflict a lot of collateral damage. Collapsing bee populations are already having an effect on food production and pesticides are a big part of that problem. Zika is definitely not a problem that can be ignored but neither should we ignore alarming trends in cognitive impairment among human populations with at least partial attribution going to increasingly complex levels of neurotoxins introduced into the environment via , you guessed it – pesticides.
The general public is not yet aware of the fact that with recent advances in genetic engineering we already have lab populations of mosquitoes designed to impair if not terminate breeding populations of these disease vectors. Unfortunately we haven’t done a good enough job of preparing the public or our politicians for understanding these advances in a way that would allow for rapid deployment – and obviously if your going to use the mosquito to kill THE mosquito you can’t be spraying at the same time.
The generalized collapse of fisheries at sea combined with an increasingly impaired ability to maintain food production on once productive land are not the kind of things you want to see happening at the same time . That combinatoric juxtaposition of unknowns foils prediction in many ways but really – observation of what’s already taking place should motivate more high level discussion regarding our ability to mass produce and deploy these more advanced science and technology based solutions in times of crises.
04/22/16 6:24 PM EST
We lost Prince yesterday. Now if I were a commanding general and musicians were my army I’d have been deeply concerned about attrition months ago, but
I think the words of a guy I deeply respect who can share his thoughts without pulling any rank whatsoever say it all:
It is plausible that folks might find it a bit arrogant to mention in this moment that we all need to have more timely thoughts regarding that word prevention when it comes to looking after ourselves. If there is a general back-story to the losses we are suffering it is not exclusive to musicians. Having a pre -existing condition , be it chronic or acute (something like the flu) has become a lot more dangerous in the age of ever evolving treatment resistant superbugs that people don’t often know they harbor until some other health insult comes along and weakens them sufficiently. It doesn’t matter how tough or healthy you think you are – shit can happen , and fast. ( Note that it’s early July as I append this and so most are aware by now that a drug dependency played the primary role in Prince’s passing. While the idea of prevention is just as relevant as it was before there is that sense of…how MANY more are we gonna lose this way before something changes ? )
Since doing these kinds of conscious (or-not) computations are part of our research remit I’d like to mention this interview of Scott Aaronson in Scientific American wherein he refers back to what I consider to be the machine primitive context of Quantum Computation to field some extremely difficult questions regarding physics and computation. It’s a long read and a bit technical but oddly enough captures the requirements for concise reformulation of questions regarding psi that are a main pursuit here.
So how’s that going ? The notion of consciousness as computation is ever evolving. The idea that consciousness as a concept has been nailed down to any great extent is not something that anybody should assume has happened ; we’ve gotten better at bounding the primitives that are subsets of functions of consciousness without necessarily getting any better at a workable definition of what consciousness actually is . That of course begs the question of whether psi phenomenologies and questions like life after death are subsets or constitute some superset of whatever the primitive roots of consciousness are.
Personally these things are made much tougher by the fact that I’m working to put music and musicianship on equal footing here. I know in the core of my being that music eventually wins out. After completing data runs last week I fired up the boards and started working on a bit inspired by @GrumpyOldRick ‘s Awaken . Going down that rabbit hole more and more frequently means that time has to be re-apportioned appropriately. Problem is – by the time you get to the point that you can actually play the stuff that voice that thunders you really shouldn’t be doing anything else is wanting to take you lock , stock and barrel. These are the kinds of fun problems one wishes to have.
11:17 PM EST
Worth mentioning that in the context of psi and computation there has been due progress since that original statement of intent. If you can identify your problem as being or having a dual (equivalent and /or inverse) in another familiar field of research then progress in that field tends to feed back into the work your doing . There are also other important questions that get you quickly down the rabbit hole like ‘ can a machine be conscious in the same way that humans are ‘ which begs the inevitable ‘ what a Turing test says and does not say about computation and consciousness ‘ .
One thing that should be clear is that the problem of consciousness presents too broad a front to attack on with regards to formulating a way forward in almost the same way that one would not want to attack P vs NP head on. Talking about consciousness in the context of computation doesn’t necessarily make things any easier – it just makes communicating and formulating your problems easier as you now have a language with a built in syntax for expressing those ideas without having to invoke the dreaded ” and then a miracle occurred ” hand waving type nonsense.
Quantum mechanics obviously is a nice resource to have but we still have the problem of classical suppression of nonlocality and entanglement as computational resources with regard to macrostates. Nature undoubtedly howls with laughter at what we go through to prepare for computation on the quantum level in laboratory settings. Wouldn’t it be something if she were running a classical simulation of a quantum computer just to keep us guessing…
Thanks to joinash on Flickr for this awesome shot
04/10/16 11:34 PM EST
I think it was Paul Krugman at the New York Times making that last salient comment about how little wisdom there is in evidence among leaders when it is absolutely critical we get things right…actually a running commentary that even he is frustrated by in terms of finding optimality of repetition ; how many times per week , per minute , per second do you have to repeat a thing in a different context in order to expand the boundaries of the choir such that positive change has a better chance of occurring ?
We know that one person saying the right thing at the right time in the right place can make a difference. Maybe even change the world. In fact there are enough people out there that such things can happen via sheer luck and force of numbers. But when it comes to our various forms of governance , our lawmaking , our science and technology – in fact anything really important to us , including our relationships with each other, we really ought to be harnessing more than sheer luck if we are serious about wanting positive outcomes. So it’s a bit disturbing when you go in and try to rationally tease apart the latest toxic hairball – be it the recent tennis WADA/TADP mess , the debacle of the new/old Republicanism (see below) , the idiocy of undoing the encryption that we need to protect all of our transactions…and finding at the core of each of these things…empty space. Sheer vacuum with regard to clear thinking or even minor citation of anything that could justifiably be regarded as cause and effect.
It’s even harder justifying a large form piece of writing when upon examination you find that the people most broadly affected by the subject matter are by and large oblivious to the dangers until they are caught in the gears of the machine and responding to the stressors involved before having a chance to think things thru. Of course this is made worse by a local dearth* of wisdom or experience.
…so take a look at that beautiful landscape above. Breath the cool mountain air. Put your mind at ease. Ignorance really is bliss – at least it is until you turn around and see that next giant toxic hairball barrelling towards something or someone you care about.
*On occassion referred to as dumbth
#TRUMP and a #PONY
03/02/16 3:15 PM EST
I have to preface what comes next with two things : the first is this – don’t be fooled by notions of Donald Trump as a political outsider: he is – but what matters more is that he is a child of privilege – he’s not one of those of you in the 99% making less than 2 million a year (wink,nod) struggling to make ends meet and you’ve pretty much seen and heard on display for decades now that ‘those people’ , meaning you , are losers. The thought that this type of personality is going to attain the most intoxicatingly powerful office in the world and be alchemically transformed into a wise leader is magical thinking at its finest. Massive abuse of power for personal gain is likely a given.
The second groups the things making him so dangerous as a candidate to both sides together – there is an unformed political personae here . Years of exposure under lights as media personality have drawn people in – a large percentage of them not really in the habit of wanting to think very deeply about who they are going to cast their vote for. Even more terrifying to the Republican establishment is that after becoming the nominee he will very likely become much more populist. He’s demonstrated that he is a quick study ( genius level ? – too early) , a great improviser – and the electorate is likely to see some appealing transformations in the run up to the general election. The view from here is that if he turns around and disavows the negatives as ‘ things I had to say to secure the nomination running as a candidate with all those crazies ‘ while saying ‘ but as President I don’t care which side of the aisle the best ideas come from ‘ that post primary gap for the general is going to close. The notion that he’ll start spouting party line dogmas and cut his own balls off is much less likely.
This is where you start to feel like the security researcher who’s warned some large entity that their product is insecure and your about to release the details of the exploit because they’ve not responded and blowing the whistle may be the only way to warn people. Call it what you will. Simply hoping and praying bad things won’t happen is not an option. The irony here is I think Donald Trump is the best candidate playing on that side of the aisle for the simple reason that the toxicity of the new Republicanism had nowhere else to go. If it had this country might well have had the inevitable civil war that is the only other outcome of that particular brand of stupidity. Donald Trump , for better or worse , is their equilibration and divine comedy. Dessert topping and floor wax meets its match. Thanks SNL.
On the bigger picture / analysis side things are settling down. Analysts have gotten sucked into the media driven desire to answer questions with statistics that really don’t even start to track until after #SuperTuesday ; some things labeled as surprises are more likely polling artifacts or the edge of two and four year old changes in small demographics. Of course there are some interesting things going on but to say anything definitive (cough, cough) more dust has to settle. Probably the biggest thing from here is that based on the Obama priors the democratic base has grown – probably enough to swamp any credible notion of disappointed ‘Feel the Bern’ voters going kamikaze in the general. One party did go crazy but what we’re seeing now took years of hard work to create 😉 – I’m not sold on the notion the entire country is in danger of making the same choice. Go Hillary.
03/01/16 11:14 AM
Intuition needs feedback from real world data if we as individuals are going to employ the thing skillfully to improve our lives. Intuition needs feedback from real world data because intuition is often wrong. Spend enough years analyzing real world data and it becomes obvious that the things people associate with the notion of analysis ( mostly from utterly absurd TV dramas) are wrong. It’s maddening to see people credited with real world analysis skills imposing their need for a binary outcome on data sets gathered from real world systems that almost never behave that way ! You know who you are.
Sorry. Had to get that out of the way. Every once in awhile somebody gets it. We have been given an unlimited source of opportunities with the cognition and consciousness this Universe has bestowed upon us. But also…computers. To do the boring stuff for us so we can get to the fun parts – discovery. Much of the impetus of this site is about that journey of discovery and how it applies to personal growth ; the idea that we can do physics or mathematics for the sheer joy of it , for understanding the world around us .
02/19/16 10:47 PM
Vet writers that have been part of the interwebs backstory / political mileau know that we’ve been at this for awhile. I’m no arch liberal anti establishment type. The problems start when your crunching data and start to see a picture emerging that is not even vaguely reminiscent of the story the general public is trying to digest – many of the labels we like to slap on things keep falling off – much to the dismay of folks who operate stricly on the friend or foe spectrum. It’s hard to maintain that level of separation between things when the data are shouting – we are our governance , we are our enforcers , we are our large corporations , we are our banks , we are our whatever it is we voted for in that last election.
There are now at least two midterms worth of evidence that suggest Democrats are more likely to embrace not voting as an expression of anger/discontent with current news than Republicans are. This is not a good thing , particularly if it happens heading into a general election with the opposition being a flock of complete loons. If your observing general downward trends in what one might call cognitive function across large demographics and have concurrently a Republican primary like the one we have now…democracy !
Current story : The phone. I’ll give one thing to the conspiracy theorists – they are bloodhounds when it comes to sniffing out the first few stops of a confederacy of dunces. But when the trail goes cold they start making shit up. The phone starts with sloppy jurisprudence that opens the elevator shaft on a world of dumbth and the FBI jumping into the breach demanding everyone get the same potential terrorist like thrumming of their constitutional rights equally… for the sake of national security of course. It’s not the first time – and it won’t be the last. The cognition/competency fails come with a simple segue from unlocking this particular dead terrorist phone to the generalization that we the people deserve the same treatment whenever some government entity sees fit. Darn that Constitution.
Timing. El Presidio jumps in. We’ll skip whether Commander In Chief actually has free will to decide he’s not running with the Feds on this . But then this is our guy helping slash and burn one more remaining swath of constitutional forest , possibly setting the stage for – you guessed it: future tyrant . See the problem ? Does it really matter who we vote for ? Those of us who spend a lot of time analyzing can answer unambiguously. Folks trying to survive that don’t have the time or inclination may get off the bus at disgust and not get back on.
02/16/16 3:15 AM EST
So this years #Grammys are in the books , the gravitational wave party is just getting started and we have yet another new element of drama to add to our season of political retrograde motion with the fight over the appointment of a new supreme court justice to replace Antonin Scalia. It’s also pouring cats n dogs here right now – I mean like , deluge with streaks of torrential. Actually kind of peaceful – the kind of relaxation that makes you realize sometimes you’d rather not have a front row seat to all the drama – be at liberty to just watch it all go by while doing the things that are important to you.
After 3 hours working thru some new acoustic guitar arrangements and into the wee hours yesterday morning I caught myself staring at new blisters on three of five fingertips and realizing what total bliss the state of musical immersion brings. The work is still punctuated in segments of juggling research while trying to keep tennis training at a reasonably high level. Lately those ‘flow state’ musical moments are happening more frequently . It’s possible intensity gets to that level where you just put everything else down – the energy just takes over and you literally have no choice – plus you’d have to be a complete idiot to to fight off that kind of muse after doing the heavy lifting – preparing the ground as they say. The value of choices and sacrifices made over years and years to keep dreams alive for most of us are not about fame and fortune foremost but rather those opportunities to once again be unfettered and child like in full discovery of a moment.
2/10/16 2:07 AM
So , prediction – One of two sane people will win on the democratic side (bias !) and one of several loons will win on the other . Omniscience no , sentience plausibly…but not rocket science either way. What worries me right now more than the possibility that a loon will be President is the susceptibility of people who’s judgement I normally trust to hand-wringing / panty bunching now bordering on hysteria. It’s too early for this. Wait til March madness rolls around ! Boy that’s gonna be fun.
We’ve seen this picture before in Primaries. Okay – no we haven’t , but still – it’s too early to surmise the end of the Universe. I do think there are some signals hidden in the noise. If your a Democrat with wonkish tendencies the mere plausibility of the Trumpster being the Republican nominee is intriguing – what inferences can you draw regarding the base ? There is obviously something important going on but it is at least partly comical and a little too early to parse exactly what that is. One thing is clear : the core influencers and deep pockets on the Republican side are on the ropes. But now some journos are suggesting there is similar division on the Democratic side. Wait , what ??!! R u nuts ? Dems don’t even have one puppy-monkey-baby candidate let alone one in the lead and an entire (now somewhat thinned ) herd on the bench…
Okay , back to that moment of serious. A true conservative can utter the most ridiculously inane thing with a totally straight face . Most late night satire of conservativism depends on the fact that it’s not a shtick – these are Very Serious People. But with Donald no one is ever quite sure how much he’s playing to audience , how much is shtick and how much has real conviction behind it. Possibly he doesn’t even know ; the segues might be entirely random. I know , I know – we should all be terrified that people are eating it up. But really – just substitute any early tea party loon for an equivalent amount of crazy. Here’s the thing – he’s not one of them. There is a massive disconnect at the very heart of the Republican hairball. A shift has occurred in a party that is already at maximum crazy. This is my non academic version of a prediction – the Republican party is in the process of discovering that it cannot survive without its moderates – all the skilled people the pogrom drove out. Fools.
02/06/16 11:32 PM
Just a quick note tonight – It’s been a fun week getting back into the groove here and we’ll have lots of music and video to follow in the weeks and months ahead. The world can be a bit strange if you take in a bit too much of the ‘news’ and it’s important to stay connected and close to friends and loved ones as a reminder that there is plenty to be optimistic about in the world. Breath
02/05/16 11:49 PM Dual Rig Adventures
Mentioned a bit ago we’ve been experimenting with various permutations of dual amp guitar rigs . Radial makes a whole host of tank built solutions for getting your guitar signal to one or more amps/pedalboards/starships. While the passive ABY is actually a box everyone should own note that the more complex a setup becomes the less a passive box is suitable. Just splitting a guitar signal to a unit like the HD500 and a second amp requires more futzing than your likely to anticipate. Impedance loads change , ground loops happen (often), noise is generated and levels can get harder to control. I also should mention that your gate now possibly becomes a bad cable detector. For most permutations today I found that plugging the guitar into the input of the ABY was the noisiest path of all. Things quieted down considerably plugging the guitar into the HD500 and taking the right stereo output from there into the ABY. The left out from the HD stayed were it was into the board , output A from the ABY went to the second amp and output B went to the board channel previously occupied by the right output from the HD. This got those three magic switches on the ABY (ground lift , phase invert and the isolation transformer) functioning as they should. Now for another zillion possible tonal experiments I had an old Pod XT in various places. In front of the amp there were several sweet spots that sounded huge but levels were too hard to control and the Orange Dark Terror (we don’t need no stinkin clean tones) feeding a 4X12 became even more ornery. We need a second volume control. Out comes the FCB1010 foot controller – cause Pod XT speaks midi and I am not buying another volume pedal ! So we get midi volume control for the XT working but still too noisy. Out from in front of the amp Miss XT goes and into the FX loop. Much better. We are now at the starting gate for tweaking dual rig tones . Possibly even quadruple rig tones when you think about it. Hey , where’d everybody go ? Sigh.
02/05/16 12:11 AM
Did ya see them #DemDebates
tonight last night ? What’s fun and lends itself to multitasking is that you can sorta ‘watch’ the thing unfold on social media while doing other stuff and not be glued in front of a television screen. That got me thinking – was there a local radio broadcast of the debates ? Of course there must have been a zillion webcasts – but I mean actual radio ? Hmmm. Time to go up in the attic and dig out that big silver RCA and see what she pulls in. Tangents ! The debate was mostly intelligent , reasoned and nontoxic. Boring if what you want in your governance is ignorant toxicity , stupidity and macho posturing.
On the music side one of the round-to-its on the table is checking out Positive Grid BIAS and their newer Pro FX . I’m already in progress working thru Peavey Revalver and that’s going to take awhile – these programs have gotten so deep that really it’s unfair not to spend serious time with them before rendering judgements. You do tend to bump up against certain things right away though with modeling programs particularly if it’s UI clunkiness but in many cases folks are already hard at work getting the next ACT together…pun intended. I was actually early on the desktop BIAS release list but the very last beta had a problematic installer and the first alpha installer kept getting attacked by my antivirus as malware. So that got put on hold. I’m guessing they’ve got that fixed by now 😉
Hi gain tones have always been the achilles heel of modeling in both software and hardware and Positive Grid seems to have made some very serious strides forward in this area . After the nth ‘you gotta check this out right now’ plus hearing and seeing some of the latest video it’s starting to sound more viable. Oh – and then of course there’s the review thread for Line6 Helix over at Harmony Central that @Craig_Anderton has in progress.
Dropping the mic dept : @TheWineryDogs are on tour in Europe and @BillyonBass tweeted a pic of his rig with Macbook air running Mainstage for synth pedal sounds . Hope we get to hear more about that – gearheads wanna know. Speaking of gear heads @JPetrucci tweeted his rig signal chain for the upcoming @dreamtheaternet tour – don’t even .
Happy Birthday to @Richie_Kotzen who turned 46 on Feb 3rd . Hope that wasn’t an ice cream cake !
Readjusting to the blogging routine is ah well – I’m sitting here typing this an
hour and a half 2 1/2 hours after the time on the top of the page and my own deadline of yesterday. So things are going well ! Mind you we’re also going to have video and daily tracks on all this stuff. What’s the point of all this yakking if your not gonna show off ?
02/04/16 12:37 AM
Bit of a robot cycle today ( now yesterday – by minutes ) with number crunching and analysis taking up much of the day. Attending to what many would consider drudge-work you sometimes realize how fortunate you are to have that sometimes boring , repetitive thing that shores up a whole bunch of other stuff. The world generally doesn’t look as attractive represented as tables of numbers until you let them draw a picture of something . Occasionally that something turns out to be an unexpected manifestation of what you were looking for – or utterly not at at all that thing but a surprising and relevant something else entirely…
This bit in The Guardian is something most of my muso friends are familiar with and reading it made me realize that the choices made to wait out the rough times are perhaps the only reasons why we now have a solid shot at an actual musical life minus most of the discomforts . It was worth waiting for a time when the risk of winding up under the bridge had been minimized. Sometimes living your dreams does in fact require hard core endurance of hardship but if you have the choice of creating a safe haven for that future minus the hardships via a few years of patience – be the patient, wise one.
02/02/2016 10:11 PM
So Dems , -the Hillary or Bernie question (?) . Here we are post Iowa and it’s still a tough choice. Many of us like them both . They are a sane contrast to the lunacy of the opposition. First I’ll say this : I think the agenda that Bernie Sanders wields describes the bare minimum of what will be necessary to preserve democracy for our children and move us away from oligarchy. The problem begins with the reality that nothing happens without Congress. The agenda Bernie describes is one that a two term President with a majority in both the House and the Senate would have a tough time completing. We will likely be nowhere near that. We’ll have to make use of the old fashioned wheeling and dealing that is the status quo in Washington to get anything done at all. When Barack succeeded in the rare end run around a totally obstructionist Republican house it was with a few key members that could moderate the otherwise lunatic fringe that was in the way. John Boehner , as evil as he could seem – had a few moments of sanity. There is no John Boehner now. The lunatic fringe wanted purity and they have pretty much achieved their goal.
Hillary has massive experience , quite a few intact old school D.C networks and plausibly the ability to awaken moderation from members of the opposition that may be hiding the desire to step away from the abyss that is the new Republicanism. When a few deep pockets offered the loons that ultimate deal with the devil in exchange for purity the Republicans turned on their own and ousted every remaining moderate with a zeal unmatched by the walking dead. It shouldn’t be the job of Democrats to resuscitate the moderate wing of the Republican party but as luck would have it…
…Bernie has the ideas and conviction – same as Barack had . Hillary has the chops and the networks – and maybe just that tiny bit of necessary evil.
02/02/16 1:14 AM
Quick ! Say something intelligent about the Iowa caucuses – Aaaaaaaagh . It’s bad enough missing your own midnight deadline two days in a row after re- commiting to the blogging cycle but now we also have this comedy pregnorama that is the election year giving birth to hordes of new comedy bits every five seconds or so. I’d love to speak at length about how important this election is going to be for science and education funding but it’ll have to wait. As a Democrat that two cents has been preached to the choir many times over. I will say that it did/did not surprise me that Iowa Republicans picked the loon that didn’t previously refer to them as idiots. It doesn’t actually prove anything of course because well…they’re still Republicans 😉
Novak Djokovic photo by Marianne Bevis
01/31/16 11:58 PM EST
Busy day and think we’ll fit in a congrats to @DjokerNole on the win to close out the #2016 Australian Open against a very tough @andy_murray. Fitting because the dominant theme of work today was assessing signal strength vs noise in a dataset and finding that stable hi temporal averages were the most consistent predictors above the noise floor in predicting outcomes overall for the system in question. Kinda like what happens when your up against a wall and banging your head against it to no avail : Your tempted to try and break free with instantaneous peaks in power that are lower percentage tennis against the consistently high average power spectrum that is Novak Djokovic and even when your winning a point it’s like you have to win it twice. Ditto for your errors -just count em twice. That kind of consistency will beat down anything in its path that isn’t as least as consistent.
Okay I’m not being too rigorous here but really it’s extremely satisfying to note that consistency applied to achieving whatever it is your after is a simple and powerful tool. In signals analysis there are quite a few different kinds of ‘consistency’ to look for : temporal averages or consistencies in time , spatial averages or consistencies in space , correlations between the two…and more. Find them both and learn.
Woody Gap on the Georgia Appalachian Trail
01/30/16 5:53 PM EST
So January just happened . How cool is that ? 🙂 This is where we ease back into blogging every day and begin expanding in all the areas we’ve been making a fuss about since the beginning. I’m going to introduce articles in this section that will grow into the full feature as we go – at least until I get the rest of the structural stuff on the site sorted. The thrust of where we’ve wanted to go with music , daily tracks , gear related articles , research writing and news is generally not something you usually see all on one site and it’s taken quite some time to process how to go about it. Truth is the broader you go in the ground your going to cover the less you can afford to be a perfectionista at the outset.
For sure folks will not be expecting the role that science and research in general can play in the context of developing a personal worldview encompassing any facet of life or skill one might wish to develop ; the influence of science and technology in these areas is expanding at a breathtaking rate and because we can take in so much more of life and what’s out there the next question naturally becomes more germane : How do we disentangle our personal state vector from that current hairball known as the world at large ? On what scale exactly should we try to take responsibility for our own lives and how much should we care how those things effect the world around us ? There are general abstractions like spiritual beliefs that can make these things more manageable , political beliefs – you name it. These beliefs don’t initially sound very much like computation but in fact they are and in often mind-blowing fashion. Because the reasons why they are are often so totally counter-intuitive you actually wind up having to treat the notion of their truth as an entirely separate subject. None of these applications are all or nothing options : like the wet dry mix on your favorite reverb or that ultimate lasagna recipe – you can modify to taste…
More to come…
12/15/15 5:23 PM EST
Happy Holidays ! Myriad things going on as usual . Ti’s the season where businesses that you’ve allowed to monopolize you as a customer suddenly become dysfunctional and unable to execute. Those extra CSR people are more than likely not veiling the ‘ yeah we’re really sucking right now whadd-ya gonna do about it ‘ attitude either. This begs the bigger question , actually the same question – since we’ve all been here before : What are you gonna do about it ?
Backup plan. Hopefully in place and actionable. It’s not the greatest time of year to put pressure on people and organizations regarding performance issues. Unfortunately the stuff that is going to break down sometimes will keep functioning until that time when a fail is going to effect the most people. Like right now. UPS and FEDEX will deliver your package into the void swearing you were that nameless faceless person they handed it to. Your supplier will dutifully not go into overdrive recognizing you as one of their best customers. Your hold times and phone calls regarding this one stupid order will pile up. They’ll tell you a replacement order is on its way. But then it isn’t. Today, but not today – today but later today as in tomorrow. Tomorrow they’ll promise today really really will be the day. This is when you get the email informing you that the order you finally gave up on and canceled has been shipped – as of yesterday.
Now add insult to injury with the recognition that the time you’ve spent well exceeds both the cost of the order and the time you’ve spent pursuing it. Have this happen often enough (hello alive and living on Earth) and you gain the instant ditch reflex. No fuss , no waiting – and no 30 year customer awards. Truth is most businesses today don’t know who those customers are. They’ve all moved on.
12/05/15 5:36 PM EST
Turns out everything I’ve personally enjoyed about social media resided in doing things that were fun, often spontaneous and highly experimental . I’ve used it to shout across six different networks without having to log into all of them or worry about who was here or there , done psi experiments , talked to ppl w/o the forced name dropping that comes with handles and bookmarked too many things to count. That last is why I’ve finally just given up on getting ‘serious’ about social media and follow counts – digging stuff out of a 10k tweet archive is ridiculous . Sucking all the air out of a room that was previously fun to be in in the name of marketing is also ridiculous. The old account & it’s ten thousand or so tweets encapsulates a journey and its expression. Analytics are important , follow counts will be provisionally important later on…but if i had a marketing team I’d have to fire them. It’s just not who we are. The old account is now the new account , the (old) new account is now a personal account. None of the stuff about analytics matters much when your original reasons for being on social media had nothing to do with selling stuff. I’m not even sure my consciousness is in a place where I can appreciate the difference between twenty followers and two million. How the hell do you feed all those people ? 😉
10/15/15 12:53 AM
It’s cool knowing that things and relationships that you build in the process of multitasking your way into a life representing dream (or is it vice – versa ?) are there in place just waiting for you. There are certainly insecurities involved in entrusting a process that requires you be confident of a project that first forms itself in the intuitive sense rather than taking shape fully as the result of hard analysis. In the early eighties much was made of a metaphorical ‘battle’ between faculties that were considered bastions of left brain or right brain dominance.Today we know that picture was a vast oversimplification.
There is a great difference between theorizing about such things and experiencing them directly. Learning what those differences are often has nothing to do with the demands that survival makes on us , thus many people never experience the joy of dreams made real by hard work – they are forced to stop dreaming too soon for the sake of survival , unaware that there ever were multiple choices with different outcomes even when it seemed survival made only one choice viable. One has to see beyond survival itself. A thing seemingly impossible when fear of non- survival rules one’s actions…
08/20/15 10:38 PM
Getting back into gear head mode I just tried something out that I’ve wanted to do for awhile – 1st I should say that Line 6 have their new Helix guitar rig out and this 1st take video has the thing sounding pretty awesome. Anyway we’ve got the Pod XT & HD500 – these two pieces of gear have the capacity to generate awesome tones but they require quite a bit of tweaking in quite different ways between the two to wring the best tones out of them. So anyway what I did the other day was run them into a dual ABY with the XT going into an Orange Dark Terror feeding a 4 x 12 vintage 30 cab and the HD500 going into my monitors and a sub. The result of that was – well 1st I’m going to need a volume pedal up front to work with this controllably because it sounded so f***ing HUGE- and that was with a Morse patch I crafted for the XT that makes serious use of the curve eq they added later and a modded Marshall JCM800 conjured with the HD. Will try to have a full rundown on this rig shortly. Also speaking of rigs and rundowns Premier Guitar has a great new one with one of our favorite people in the whole world : check out Perfesserer Steve Morse and his Deep Purple rig . And so it begins…
08/08/15 6:38 PM
So I’m now doing the right thing and posting er…posts – rather than posting update snippets all over the place like the stuff you stick to your fridge. The problem of course is that Google comes around and indexes site content which then disappears and hurts you in search results. People also post links to the stuff they like which then get broken and return 404 errors . None of this is good if you care about site ranking or not pissing off folks that may have just decided they like you. Eventually SEO determines that you have a vanity license plate instead of a website and you are sucked into oblivion and ignominy. No wait…ignominy has to come before oblivion. 🙂
07/21/15 9:30 PM When you become a caregiver for an aging parent who can no longer look after themselves your relationship with them changes – grows…deepens if your lucky. These past seven years Mom and I fought and won many of the battles that complicate growing old. Battles that take down most folks in less than a year. But then one day you lose and it’s not just losing a mother or a father anymore. It becomes equally like losing a child. Your soul just contracts into this tight little ball. It takes a while to open up again. You don’t feel like playing or singing or writing much. If I’d have been gigging or competing I’m pretty sure I’d have been utter toast.
The few folks that have followed my writing here and elsewhere know experiential psi has been a primary force in my life.These things are so much more comprehensive than a mere subscription to some externally imposed spirituality or religion – I wouldn’t know where to begin – but the dreaming began late last week and the healing and reconnection they afford have once again saved my ass. For those that scoff at the notion of psi as a set of sensory survival skills or the work that people like Robert Monroe did or that John Edward and Joe Mcmoneagle continue to do I say this – What makes people whole again after loss is not computable in most cases.
– Tom –