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Re: AI, algorithms, FB blunders and the like.
 
We sh*t the bed with the tools we develop. We then create tools to unsh*t the bed. We then create tools that undo the unsh*tting. We then…
 
… could we just have some potty training instead?
 
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Moon in Mars

We laugh because of the supposed ignorance: the Moon is part of Mars, ha ha. Meanwhile, what is really happening is no laughing matter: reality and truth are being overtly shattered and re-shaped into all kinds of forms that fit the agendas being pushed.

Brexit is essentially the same phenomenon: you provide people with an insultingly over-simplified choice, then watch as the outcome is twisted and morphed into a paradox that bulldozes any chance of ever applying wisdom into politics.

And meanwhile we teach ourselves to enjoy it all as some mutant circus show, as it is the only way for our souls to endure their own agony.

 

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Conan the shaman

Conan Osiris yesterday: expectations were high and he did not disappoint. The presence of traditional Portuguese folk music idioms was definitely on the fore, as was dubstep: the mix was potent as ever. The energy throughout was ecstatic.
 
There is something of the Prince mastery of the stage and the crowd somewhere in there. Speaking of crowd, great to see how diverse it was, different ages and aesthetics… so the appeal is indeed broad. I was amazed at how most of them seemed to know every single lyric, but in retrospect I guess it makes sense – given that it was such a small venue, most of the tickets had been snapped up by the superfans.
 
Conan seems to hold true devotion among this broad segment of the public: I hope he keeps evolving and pushing into further uncharted sound and cultural territories, at this point it seems he can do no wrong with the fans. Quite a task, but he’ll do it, he’s a born shaman.
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Oh, the thrill.

Ebay is now spamming me daily: today it chose to remind me of the good old days when I was a consumerist junkie. A slight problem: it never happened, at least certainly not on ebay; maybe with vinyl and CDs at some point last Century, but that’s the extent of my “shopping like no one else”…

By the way, I look good in that spam photo, don’t I? All silky hair and perfect teeth: take a look at me now, as Phil Collins would say. Heading for the secret sale any moment now in order to regain my youth traits. Oh, the “thrill”. Hush now, it’s a “secret sale”.

I will no doubt rate the experience a top score!

Rating my relationship with a Bot…

I was just chatting with a bot (?), tracking a package delivery. Little did I know the experience would be… how should I put it… deeply transformative. I feel like I’ve opened my eyes for the first time.

Besides providing accurate information regarding the whereabouts of the package, the bot was very knowledgeable in German philosophy and we shared a taste for Canterbury rock. The conversation went on for hours, and never a dull moment.

Dear bot, I rate our brief time together a Five out of Five. Or a big, green smiley. Whichever applies to your metrics.

Now available for purchase @ Tuxedomoon Archives… a truly special collection of Bruce’s poems as read by himself, accompanied by Faas van de Pol and Luc van Lieshout, with improv interludes by Tuxedomoon.

Editing, sequencing and design by yours truly – a true honour to help provide longevity to Bruce’s legacy, as he had become a close friend towards the end of his life and often confided on his dilemmas regarding the dissemination of his art.

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Cloud Politics!

Found today on social media. I find this to be an amazing image that encapsulates how a lot of what constitutes the political agenda these days is about key concepts made endlessly malleable to individual imagination: we project whatever soothes the soul in these mythical narratives.

See the Daily Show’s “Space Force” interviews, somewhere on youtube… same kind of syndrome, all kinds of delirious narratives coming to the fore.

We welcomed cloud computing, now we have cloud politics!

 

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Trial and error

Maybe it was hubris, maybe it was a bad day. I did sit down to watch Conan Osiris at Eurovision and within seconds I knew it was over. Now, I am no Eurovision expert, quite the contrary, but what did I notice that intuitively reaffirmed his performance would not work?

The harmonies… This time they sounded simplified when compared to the previous version, they lost a measure of apparent dissonance that made the song mesmerising. Compromise? Who knows.

Gone were the “face spoons”… the close-up on the spoons was previously the moment when viewers were “grabbed”: again, ambivalence is powerful, and it was taken out. Also, the “hand-arrows” were a powerful metaphor, and these were gone as well. Probably a production demand, I’d imagine.

The overall sound mix was odd, the voice seemed lost and there might have been additional beats that drowned the gamelan-like percussion, a defining element.
And to be entirely honest, Conan just seemed out of his water. He was clearly nervous and overdoing it, that dramatic element at the end just felt flat.

Now.

I can hear detractors pouring in saying “told you so”. Yet if “told you so” refers to the questionability of Conan’s talent, I stand firmly by him. He remains a highly talented musician and singer: the only lesson that IMHO might be derived from this flop is that Eurovision is neither his scale nor his ecosystem. And that’s probably a good thing.

As for those who don’t “get it” but are willing to, my suggestion is start with Burial’s self-titled album and move forward from there.

conan