New Phone Number

Today I learned that if you lose a prepaid phone, you also lose your phone number. My new number is +31 (0)6 42 83 1440

Also, losing a phone means losing all your phone numbers. Please email me back with your number or send me an SMS, if you think you will want to chat with me.

My old phone is someplace in Birmingham. Alas. I hope somebody gets some use out of it.
In other news, Polly (who is awesome) took a sign up sheet with her to the 21 Grand thing last night and got 4 more names! Hooray. Only 22 to go.
I posted to friendster and Craig’s List and haven’t gotten anything from that. I feel like I’ve lost a lot of cachet by leaving eBay. I need to start looking at banner ads or adwords with google.
I think next week, I will start going to school again. I’ve been sorta, um, not going except to lab hours. I dunno about bea 5 (the giant room of analog synth of doom). It would take me years to master it. I’m totally into the bank of sixteen oscillators (16!! 16!!! It’s obscene!) and the sequencer and the VOSIM and the third octave filter and something called the VTQ and anything that does the same thing as a module I own in my own synth. But the other things – there are just so many of them and it’s going to take a lot of experimentation to use them in a non-cliched way. Like the plate reverb is super awesome, but it only gets like one sound and that sound is full of a lot of hiss. If I want to do something really interesting with the plate, I’m going to need to de-ess it and then either do some sort of feedbacky tape delay or pitch shifting because the sound of that plate does not change ever – it’s always the same pitch. So I think I’m going to concentrate on the things I already understand and see what kind of sounds I can tease out of them. Because playing with the new thing or the splashy thing or the 200 kilo thing is a lot of fun, but the resulting recordings are really hard to work with. It’s possible to pull out a good minute from the exploratory noodling, but it’s easier and better to do something immediately interesting and record that.
Also, I want to think more about post-processing. I’ve got 178461978461 Audacity plugins and I thin I’d like to subtly apply the same fx to all my recordings, so they sound like they go together. All my MOTM recordings mostly sound right together and the bea 5 ones have their own sound, but some signature should unify them. Like if I just got the perfect impulse response to convolve everything with. The IR of the gods.

I’ve been making movements, with the idea that there will be some advantage in all of them, despite my lack of a plan or even a completely clear goal state. Then I looked again. The future state has advantage in every movement. And Change is slowly occuring. Right now, movements might bring disadvantage, for all I know. Or maybe it’s just important to keep busy. Or maybe the only direction to go is up.


Right now, we live in a very visual culture. People make biological explinations for this, which I’m not prepared to discuss, but it’s important ot note that Western Culture was not always visual. During the Medieval period, most information was translated verbally. Thus listening was more important than seeing. Even literate people were trained to read aloud, rather than silently, so in literacy there was still a sence of an auditory component through which information was relayed.
Many factors in our modern culture have changed that. Television. Movies. Widespread silent literacy. Visual images have become the dominant communication medium. Sight is now culturally more important than listening.
Thus, when you sit in a room and talk with someone, you are doing so in a visually-dominated milleu. You look at them, looking for information cues, such as facial expression, twitching, body language, etc. This makes up at least half of the communication. You also detect other stimuli, which we are less aware of, such as pheremones. The voice alone is telling less than half the story.
This means, that under ideal circumstances of perfect audio reproduction, let’s say 24 bit audio at 96 k sampling, with a perfect condenser microphone, you’re getting less than half of the cues, especially the emotional cues. And most voice reproduction is not so ideal. Take, for example, the telephone. Under a perfectly clear connection, the sample rate is not so high, the bit rate is lower and many high and low frequencies have been filtered out so as to require less bandwidth. Most phones have very cheap dynamic mics and equally poor speakers. Subtleties are lost. Voice inflections, rich in emotional content, are compressed away, filtered out, not reproducable by the speakers and not picked up by the mic in the first place. This is under ideal circumstances, making a phone call to somebody down the street on a perfectly clear line. What percentage of content is actually getting through?
Now, think of a very long distance line. If you’re calling Europe, for example, your signal is bouncing off a satalite or going through a very long trans-atlantic cable. Your phone is probably analog, with heavy filtering of highs and lows. The signal gets converted to digital part way through by the phone company, using A to D converters that are probably less than perfect, probably passing again through a filter to clear out analog line noise (and taking some of your signal with it), then it gets sent across the atlantic, then is re-converted to analog, again with not a studio-quality D to A converter, or recompressed and sent out to your cell phone, which does it’s own D ot A conversion using whatever circuts are included in the thing. your voice has been routed a long way, filtered, compressed, converted A to D to A and maybe to D and A another time again, and otherwise mangled. Some of your packets were probably lost. You’re lucky if there’s not static or echo or both.
On the one hand, it’s entirely astoundingly miraculous that you can be standing in Connecticut and hear the apartment noises of dinner being cooked in an apartment in France, while it’s actually happening. On the other hand, how much data is really getting through? It’s something like a cruel joke, in that it implies that communication is possible, but then drops so many pieces of it, making communication extremely difficult.
Having phone conversations with strangers works well because there’s often very little emotional content. Having phone conversation with someone you see frequently can also work well. We are creatures of habit. You are used to reading their cues, because you spend time around them and have the full picture of their cues fresh in your mind. But that gets lost if it’s not practiced. The cues that you can read over the phone, because you read them all the time in person, get less clear over times of seperation. Thus the phone, once a handy way of saying you’d be a few minutes late to dinner, subtly turns against you as the distance and time seperating you grows.
The parable of the frog not jumping out of a slowly heating pot and getting cooked, alas, is not based in fact. Nevertheless, it can take time to realize that the phone is not helping things. The seeming miraculousness of it disguises it’s evil intent. It’s like the devil appearing to the unsuspecting and performing false signs and miracles to lead would-be visionaries into heresy.
It is barely possible to have an emotional conversation in a long distance phone call. It is impossible to conduct a relationship over the phone. What is the answer to this dilemna?

Christi has reported in her blog that I no longer answer the telephone. This is not entirely true. I don’t answer the phone in the mornings.
When I had the flu several months ago, I was reading Miss Manners books and I got to a chapter on the telephone. I thought she was going to talk about telephone manners, but instead she talked about telephone’s lack of manners. It’s a machine and you are free to ignore machines. And anyway, it often rings when you’re in th midst of something important, like dinner, or a bath or staring out the window and you don’t need to answer at those times. I felt freed. No longer did I need to be a lsave to the phone!
And what sort of messages come through the phone anyway? The governor never calls me to say, “we’ve decided to succeed from the union to form an eco-socialist-republic.” (Although Christi once got a call from President Bill Clitnon, back when she was a democrat, telling her to go vote. It was a recording on the answering machine. Too bad you can’t transfer your voive mail when you move.) No, it’s always your uncle saying your grandma had a heart attack or your grandma died or your mother has a brain tumor or somebody is dead. These messages are infrequent, but they’re bad. Worse than I can deal with before lunch.
Otherwise it’s you boss or somebody’s boss wanting to know where you or whoever is and could you do some more work. Or your credit card company is trying to sell you more stuff to get you deeper in debt so they can own your soul. Telemarketters, surveys, impersonal strangers calling up to part me with my money. This is a disease of capitalism. I reserve my afternoons to deal with diseases of capitalism.
My friends hardly ever call, probably becuase I hardly ever answer. But telephone conversations are awkward with long silences and it’s hard to read the other person’s reactions. Am I talking too much? Did that last joke hurt her feelings? How can I tell, it’s the telephone.
Telephones exist to carry terrible news and they’re excellent at that. The first telephone message was when good old what-his-name who invented the phone spilled acid on himself and needed his assistant to rush to his aid. This set a precedent. And it can wait till lunch time.