UrNOtAGadget- and not a moment too soon!




{ the MIDI interface as a telling metaphor * }

> “One day in the early 80s, a music synthesizer designer named Dave Smith casually made up a way to represent musical notes. It was called MIDI. His approach conceived of music from a keyboard player’s point of view. MIDI was made of digital patterns that represented keyboard events like “key-down” and “key up”.

That meant it could not describe the curvy, transient expressions a singer or a saxophone player can produce. It could only describe the tile mosaic world of the keyboardist, not the watercolor world of the violin…

Before MIDI, a musical note was a bottomless idea that transcended absolute definition. It was a way for a musician to think, or a way to teach and document music. It was a mental tool distinguishable from the music itself….

After MIDI, a musical note was no longer just an idea, but a rigid, mandatory structure you couldn’t avoid in the aspects of life that had gone digital. The process of lock-ins is like a wave gradually washing over the rulebook of life, culling the ambiguities of flexible thoughts as more and more thought structures are solidified into effectively permanent reality…

Throughout this book, i’ll explore whether people are becoming like MIDI notes – overly defined, and restricted in practice to what can be represented in a computer. This has enormous implications: we can conceivably abandon musical notes, but we can’t abandon ourselves.

By now, MIDI has become too hard to change, so the culture has changed to make it seem fuller than it was initially intended to be. We have narrowed what we expect from the most commonplace forms of musical sound in order to make the technology adequate. It wasn’t Dave’s fault. How could he have known. ” <

excerpts from Jaron Lanier’s ” You Are Not A Gadget ”

more plucked analytic jewels + review coming soon to



* ear + beef borrowed from the repository of records Thx!

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