no secret

As I was just now saying to a good friend of mine; who is a Nobel prize winning author, but doesn't realize it; there is one person more loved and respected in all the world, miles more than any other. I am exaggerating, trying to prove a point. I aim to point her in the direction of the Nobel, nomatter the entry requirements, which there are.

I said "'her' work", and gave away a 50/50 clue, "is not only loved and enjoyed by children and adults, but by papperazzi and geek alike.". The geek part is significant. I expected to see and hear references to her work in modern fiction, television, drama, movies and all the rest; it goes with the turf; but the way she dropped the bomb on the smart crew is well worth noting. If you know a real geek, check out what laptop he owns and buy one; you'll have the most powerful rig in your clique, no doubt.

Her words, concepts, forms, all find themselves embedded in in hacker culture, and if you consider the mind of the hacker, that's no mean feat. I don't know of any other author (and There's clue No. 3) who has so successfully inserted their thoughts into such an insular and powerful group as the hacker elite, but there she is, bold as brass. At least, her ideas are; and that's what matters.

So, congratulations; and it's great to see you putting your enormous wealth to such worthy means while you're at at, and There's more yet to come, fo sho. About the ends; yup, on their way, of course. What a beautiful world.

for now..

;o) Cor

Inward Journeys, outward forms..

an image
I like holes in the ground; man-holes, and all the other ways we tunnel our way into mother earth; I find them irresistible, photographically speaking. There's something primal going on, no doubt.

And so it goes I've about finished my latest collection of songs, a.k.a. album; though collection is probably a better word in this case. One cycle of life completes (it's a spiral, right?), and its thoughts and ideas get recorded like this; fit together in interesting ways, and with other things, not songs, and not like spoons. I may call it "Man Holes".

Did I say Finished? I meant Abandoned, and if I can get some peace, I may even make some half-decent recordings, now that I have a half-decent sound card; at last; they may even find their way up here somewhere, somehow, and then the thousands of others sitting around, waiting for better recordings, better ways to show themselves; collections, or whatever form they decide to huddle into, whatever word we call it. Piles?

a road-works cone embedded upside-down in the ground
I want a way to throw files into place, like you can on a Mac, but on a web page. I recall an old request; "goan let me read one of your poems", and I open the folder (iMac days) and she just sits there staring. It was my " in" folder1, and I liked to have it unordered; chuck stuff in, piles and groups and so on2. "Goan Then!", I exclaim. She says, "I'm just reading all the titles. Wow". And I hadn't really thought about it like that before, how a list is artists imposing their own order where that may not always be a useful thing. But if it is, for a certain song, I don't want track three, I want top-right, if you see what I mean.

And that's half the problem with "Albums". Sure, it's possible to program any old CD player to play the tracks in whatever order you like, but first you have to select them somehow, and so you have to see all the names, and that's a tricky part. The Seventies idea of "the album" might still be valid; some kind of linear progression, a story of sorts, and classical music is filled with these human-sized chunks of music, starting here, ending there, and exactly so-and-so in-between, every time; the stamina of orchestra and listener is a limitation, as is the capacity of a of vinyl disc, the data density of CDs, thickness of a tape, or whatever portable media format technology comes next. Magnetic tape is the worst - a bastard to navigate - I've got boxes and boxes of them stuffed with stuff, C60, C90, see me rewinding - stretch. Remove twisted mess. Insert sigh.

an image
In our new reality, these limits have been removed, and perhaps there might be better ways to present "collections" of things like songs. Sometimes it might be five songs, or it might be fifty, and they might best be presented in a circle, or a pile, or in the shape of a house, with a really long title justified into a tight block of chimney, or ordered by some predetermined range of personal criteria, favourite words, length of title; who knows what you might want?

A future device would present our designs on whatever display was handy, but meantime, do artists wait for mega-violet-ray discs, or what? On the web, it's doable now. But someone will have to code that first; you might have to do it yourself. Getting the big music companies to drop the material-hungry profit media formats of the last century is quite another matter. it's just as well some of us aren't in this for the money, and are patient sorts, to boot.

A peer-to-peer search for a popular artist reveals; you can click a heading - sort by popularity, bitrate, size, complete copies, and more. It seems like the start of something better, and better interfaces are surely around the corner, moving particular files maybe "nearer" and "farther away", as well as the usual up and down we get with regular sorted lists. I use macros extensively on my desktop, moving particular content types into particular positions (invaluable with multiple open filesystem content windows, a la "Explorer, or "Finder", or however you get around your storage). It would be nice for my operating system to recognise content and move the window there automatically, but so long as it remembers where I put it last, I'll survive for now. But what about a web view along these lines?

It sounds like it will involve JavaScript, so I'll start with Google, and see if someone else has done it, first. I might add prayer into the mix. If that fails, I'll suggest the idea here and there, and if that fails, add it to my own 2do list with a sigh. One day.

And one day software will just write itself, realtime compiling-in functionality as its user-creator desires. The program I've been describing might be called Mac-Web View or something; created with AutoCode Web Creator™ - spitting out thoughts as pure web code.

More near-term, I'd better get cracking with the navigation system here at the .org; currently you can access only something like 10% of the content from there. Hmm. Okay, I now have a design for that pesky "serv" button, and will slip it in while you're not looking, along with perhaps a few other buttons. Although sure, the mostly xhtml design means you can render me on pretty much any device, I'm still aiming to keep the funky for-web browser orange design viewable on an 800x600 screen, though having a widescreen display here is certainly nudging me towards wider and wider designs, so we'll see about that.

On the subject of displays, I must remember to have a Google around for a digital book; something I can hold and flip, and slide a memory card into (I guess they will sell the cards in train stations). I don't even know if these exist yet. When they do, I want to be able to keep the page, of course, and the best way to do that; would be to press my thumb upside-down, on the top of the right page, close to the spine - in case you make these things; or influence someone who does; and want an intuitive way for folk to remember where they left off. Just a thought. Freebie.

for now..

;o) Cor

references:
1: note the space at the start; another thing that's tricky to achieve on a Windows desktop
2: although, technically, you can have an unordered window in Windows®, you are limited to "icon view", which sucks for anything but, well, icons.

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