• "One of the biggest challenges for code based artists is figuring out how to interface with traditional workflows. How can we export images, videos at resolutions and formats that work. In addition, we are building tools as we build our art. This is both a gift and a curse. It’s a gift in that we can often do things that are hard or impossible with traditional tools, but also a curse in that the tool building part of our work can be really time consuming. Imagine if every time you went to cook a meal you also had to construct the pots and pans for cooking."

    Zach Lieberman on recent work on editorial imagery, built in code.

  • "The solo would still sound great if he played it with stiffer sixteenth notes, in a pop rather than funk style. And the groove would work fine if the drum machine had a little more swing to it. But keeping the guitar swing in tension with the straight drum groove is real Jedi-master musicianship. Right before the solo starts, Prince sings, “Ahhh, think I wanna dance,” and that is exactly what it sounds like his fingers are doing." One of many highlights from a huge deep dive on yet another Prince guitar part that sounds like, you know, just a thing, but is a producer and player at the top of their game. Fitting that tiny thing into such a sparse track! Every time I listen to Prince, I wish I knew even more Prince, and when I'm reminded I know a lot of Prince, I wish I knew it _better_.
  • "As I have grown as a person and as a maker-of-things, that question has come back to me again and again. I have learned how and when to stop  talking and start doing. To other more-talker sorts of people, that can  look like a magic trick. I have better learned to recognize when someone is frustrated by communicating-in-words about a plan instead of performing the plan. These are learnable skills; and I have seen that there  are commensurate skills that have to be hard-won for doers.

    Instead of an accusation or a challenge, it’s become a gentle reminder:  you’re more of a talker than a doer. Keep an eye on it."

    Writing from Sam Bleckley on talking, making, thinking, and doing. Moving from one state to the other, and back again. This struck a chord.

  • Enjoyed this write-up from Tom MacWright, if only because I spend a lot of my time writing Rails, still, even in 2020-1. It's nice to be reminded by somebody thoughtful, but coming from outside, that yes, there's still a lot to like in your part of the world, that it's not an ideological dead-end. And yes, that the _culture_ around the Ruby ecosystem really is, by and large, a good one. Sure, we don't have strong typing (well, we kinda do now), but we do have lots of great _practice_ around testing, and writing code in the first place. Not having IntelliSense™ is sometimes an advantage. Also, having wrapped a four-month Ruby contract recently, it's just such a nice language to write – and to *think* in.

    (I'm with Tom on the whiffiness of all versions of the asset pipeline / webpacker / whatever it is we're doing this week.)

  • "The LM13600 has designed by Bill Gross and myself in less than 5 minutes." Which is a humbling anecdote about a classic OTA amplifier. But, as the story goes on, it makes sense: it's just "two of something else" with a buffer, and the design brief was "make something somebody can learn to layout 16-pin DIP with". Didn't matter what the thing was, just needed to have 16 pins. And there you are.

Station Ident, January 2021

31 January 2021

Claire M Singer plays the Union Chapel organ.

  • "The most notable “discovery” in the dataset was that if you simply plotted the number of steps versus the BMI, you would see an image of a gorilla waving at you (Fig. 1b). While we teach our students the benefits of visualization, answering the specific hypothesis-driven questions did not require plotting the data. We found that very often, the students driven by specific hypotheses skipped this simple step towards a broader exploration of the data. In fact, overall, students without a specific hypothesis were almost five times more likely to discover the gorilla when analyzing this dataset (odds ratio = 4.8, P = 0.034, N = 33, Fisher’s exact test; Fig. 1c). At least in this setting, the hypothesis indeed turned out to be a significant liability."