Category Archives: Opinion

Don’t Even Bother Asking About The Microwave

“No – your refrigerator is too low-fidelity to be counted as a phonograph: it cannot reproduce sounds at all.” (Hofstadter 406). This retort in Goedel Escher Bach from Achilles to the Tortoise represents the crux of the argument between Zen and the Pragmatist. While Achilles reacts sensibly to the inaudability of the cold plastic disk, isn’t the Tortoise in competition for Zen practitioner of the year?

In my most recent involvement with self-appointed subculture, the Zorba Festival, the nerve centre of all Negev Desert chill-outs, I lost a similar battle but wouldn’t know it until too late. The tent was in fact patchwork canvas over a geodesic dome, the time late, and the attendees personified bric-a-brac.… Read the rest

Lessons from Songles

On the last page of Jaron Lanier’s You Are Not A Gadget: A Manifesto,typically where you expect some encompassing conclusion, you will receive the baffling premonition of, “I imagine a virtual saxophone-like instrument in virtual reality with which I can improvise both golden tarantulas and a bucket with all the red things. If I knew how to build it now, I would, but I don’t.”

 

Which if you have read all the pages as well as the last one, in true order, you will find to be fitting conclusion. For the manifesto is much more a poorly meshed attempt to collect his small findings, gigs, opinions and brainstorms since his day prototyping Virtual Reality in the 80s.… Read the rest