Ok… putting January behind me. This year started off with a COVID-19 infection and later the winter flu… here’s looking to February! 🥃

Currently reading: The Way of Zen by Alan Watts 📚

Each of the other senses might similarly be used to illustrate the “non-active” functioning of the mind-listening without straining to hear, smelling without strong inhalation, tasting without screwing up the tongue, and touching without pressing the object. Each is a special instance of the mental function which works through all, and which Chinese designates with the peculiar word hsin.”

This term is so important for the understanding of Zen that some attempt must be made to say what Taoism and Chinese thought in general take it to mean.’ We usually translate it as “mind” or “heart,” but neither of these words is satisfactory. The original form of the ideograph seems to be a picture of the heart, or perhaps of the lungs or the liver, and when a Chinese speaks of the hsin he will often point to the center of his chest, slightly lower than the heart.

Eleven Pond + FJF + Plastic Flowers

Digging through old backups and came across this flyer for a show we (Plastic Flowers) did with Eleven Pond and Frank (Just Frank). This led running a search against Flickr (of all places) and lo and behold!

Living in Filth

There’s probably grime from NYC venues that haven’t existed for several years caked on this.. 😶

Nice and clean… I’m a sucker for stainless steel strings. I went for the D’Addario Pro Steels “Regular Light Gauge” this round.

This is my first (and currently my only) electric guitar, a Mexican Fender Stratocaster bought around ~‘00 at the (now long gone) New York Music in Boardman, OH. I think this was the only color option aside from black or red (I didn’t like either of those with the white pick guard) and I had yet to learn how to play let alone start customizing. It’s been used on everything I’ve recorded.

Finished reading: Blood-Soaked Buddha/Hard Earth Pascal 📚

Well that went down quick… will need to let this digest. I can say this is without a doubt going to be my #1 read for the year… If you’re slightly intrigued just buy it, be mindful and enjoy.

UNIX and Time

While reading The Overspill this morning I came across the following post:

Why the iPhone Timer App displays a Fake Time

TL;DR The iPhone countdown timer doesn’t strictly display the correct time but adds 500ms, or half a second, to the remaining time. It does this to make the reading of time more intuitive for humans. The alarm at the end of the countdown is not affected by this 500ms inaccuracy.

I became a bit giddy as I recently finished Jaron Lanier’s book You Are Not A Gadget at the end of 2019 which sort of makes sense of the above issue:

There’s a core design feature in UNIX called a “command line interface.” In this system, you type instructions, you hit “return,” and the instructions are carried out.* A unifying design principle of UNIX is that a program can’t tell if a person hit return or a program did so. Since real people are slower than simulated people at operating keyboards, the importance of precise timing is suppressed by this particular idea. As a result, UNIX is based on discrete events that don’t have to happen at a precise moment in time. The human organism, meanwhile, is based on continuous sensory, cognitive, and motor processes that have to be synchronized precisely in time..

The arguments in favor of UNIX focused on how computers would get literally millions of times faster in the coming decades. The thinking was that the speed increase would overwhelm the timing problems I was worried about. Indeed, today’s computers are millions of times faster, and UNIX has become an ambient part of life. There are some reasonably expressive tools that have UNIX in them, so the speed increase has sufficed to compensate for UNIX’s problems in some cases. But not all.

I have an iPhone in my pocket, and sure enough, the thing has what is essentially UNIX in it. An unnerving element of this gadget is that it is haunted by a weird set of unpredictable user interface delays. One’s mind waits for the response to the press of a virtual button, but it doesn’t come for a while. An odd tension builds during that moment, and easy intuition is replaced by nervousness. It is the ghost of UNIX, still refusing to accommodate the rhythms of my body and my mind, after all these years.

Note, he states he’s not just picking on the iPhone or UNIX, Windows is guilty as well.

Currently reading: Blood-Soaked Buddha/Hard Earth Pascal 📚 🤯

Finished reading: The God Delusion 📚

Self-Promotion: Blue Blue Youth

Blue Blue Youth - We Are Wood And Likely To Burn (originally released October 20, 2016 via Velvet Blue Music) is now available for purchase via Bandcamp!

Drew Diver (Soda Shop) and Julian Brau (Isla invisible) take on this project of dark drones and soundscapes. Ambient, yet still moving pieces of work.

The new Photos recommendation widget on iOS 14 is great… here’s a throwback from probably 2003 or 2004 playing in my old punk band The Punchbowl Spikers.

Currently reading: The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins 📚

“Lying, as rule for life, is inherently unstable. More generally, selfishness, or free-riding parasitism on the goodwill of others, may work for me as a lone selfish individual and give me personal satisfaction. But I cannot wish that everybody would adopt selfish parasitism as a moral principle, if only because then I would have nobody to parasitize.”

Here’s hoping for a better four years…

A friend and former bandmate (who often mixes/masters my stuff) released their new Isla Invisible EP2 this past Friday via Velvet Blue Music, check out the track “Estranged” below via Apple Music or via Bandcamp or via YouTube… on and on…

Currently reading: The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins 📚

Top 20 Tracks of 2020

Better late than never! I’ve been in the habit of keeping a smart playlist for each year that contains all the tracks I “loved” in Apple Music. Here are my 20 for 2020. Enjoy!

Reality Bites

A relevent quip from a conversation in the novel The Broom of the System by David Foster Wallace:

RICK: You’re being cruel, Jay. Go back to blatant bullshit. I vastly prefer blatent bullshit to overt cruelty.

JAY: You know, Olaf Blentner once said to me, over tea, that when reailty is unpleasant, realists tend to be unpopular.