Monday, February 28, 2005

Cut My Voice On the Chorus

I just finished watching an ok documentary on sampling and although 96% of it was old hat, right at the end, 3 artist suggested that it would be an honor for them to hear themselves over the chorus. So, I am gonna do that. I guess they would probably like it if I bought their albums, but I don't know if I am willing to go quite that far.

wow, the post frequency has really gone down here.

well, it was fun while it lasted wasn't it?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

HIV vs. Cancer

I have been telling people about this all day. I think it is about the coolest thing that I have ever heard. So dope. Essentially, HIV turns out to be a pretty good virus to use as a carrier for gene therapy. So some researchers are using it to fight cancer.

Also, I made a little music video. It is part two in a series.

Also, I would like to know if this posting method is working out for my readers. Should I do more of a one idea, one title thing? Or is this ALSO method working out?

respond in the comments section

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


At first glance it is an unremarkable piece of equipment.
Encased in metal, it contains at its heart a microchip no
more complex than the ones found in modern pocket calculators.


In other news, I told you so.

A barely annotated link, newssource, and art software politics

Warren Ellis, as one of my readers knows, and the other perhaps does not, has some interesting things to say about the future. He address the issue of where your jetpack is, and why we are not on mars yet with the following witty phrases.
People are disappointed with the future they’re living in. Since 2001, the refrain has gone up, louder year by year: “This is the future. Where’s my flying car? Where’s my fucking jet pack?” Pre-millennium, we were living in an unprecedented density of imagined futures, and we assumed it was all waiting for us around the corner. And here we are, around the corner, and none of it is standing here.
well, acutally that block quote was totally worthless, but I assure you, the rest of the article is solid gold platinum, the only heavy metal worth dealing in.


Speaking of articles, I decided last night to become a contributer to the wikinews project. I edited three drafts, and today they have come up on the front page (although they did not make it to the rss feed). I would love to just barely annotate this link, but I think that is in bad form, so let me let you in on what I think. I am not a newsreader by any measure, but I do enjoy finding out about interesting items in the news. I am not a newswriter either, but I do enjoy helping others find out about what is going on in the world. So therefore, wiki is for me, the one that does but doesn't.

A third item that I would like to mention is that adobe software (specifically aftereffects) is really a pile of crap. Sorry, let me extrapolate that a little further... The aesthetic of much of the after effects work that I see is based heavily on the tool, a very plugin centric sort of game. The problem that I have is that the tool requires you to wait for a very long time to create these effects. Why can't it realtime render? Would that have been so hard? I have seen the effects that I am trying to create done in real time in video games, and at higher resolutions as well.

I think that the reason that after effects does not render in real time is because adobe is in line with hardware manufacturers. Just an unsupported thought.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Holding it down

I would like to try a new method of posting that will hopefully create better posts for readers, and that will in turn make me happier about what I post to this blog. This method will be working on a post every day, but only posting every two days.

I working on an animation right now (or should I say, I am trying to work on it, but this dang browser window is in my way) and while working on it, I am questioning myself about what it is worth and why I am doing it... I have yet to come up with an answer, other than, it is cool and maybe will help me get a job in the future.

I also have finished up a little patch that controls audio playback based on how fast I play the drums, and it is a bit of a dope ass guitar solo type thing. I am going to make a music video for it tomorrow (or later tonight, perhaps, and post it on this blog).

Sometimes I think that if I had worked a bit more on writing in school my writing in general would be better. What makes this writing bad? I think that perhaps it is both because I don't have enough questions, nor do I have enough answers, I just have a head full of globo-corporati caffine and a broken keyboard. This combination clearly results in some fustration, but I know you, fine reader (and friend) can deal with it.

I would like someone to throw me a birthday party. I will provide links to all of my profiles on webbased personal services, if you would like. Really, what I am looking for is the opportunity for me and my friends to all drink ourselves into submission while listening to some good music. Ok, wait, I actually just want to have a dance party. I have some Dj friends. ok, lets make this happen. together we will stand strong, celebratory, with our fists held high in the air, sweat streaming off of our bodies, empty of all consciousness save for the fact that we remember that stupid post that we wrote on the internet (to our audience of 2) fantasizing about our party.

also, I would like to have the type of mind that produces poorly formed thoughts suitable for printing on the back of japanese peoples t-shirts. There is something really good about the two words "fuzzy robot".

Sunday, February 13, 2005


so, I did my week (was it two?) of blogging every day, and I think that I came up with a few good pieces of content, but it was really cutting into my time, and I could not keep up with it. I would like to do it again some week, but I am not really sure when.

Zero Quality Control 2 is out now, and I have sold about half of the issues already. If you would like a copy, it is only a dollar, and I would be glad to accept your paypal payment (just make sure to include your address for shipping). I think I will release it on the web within the week, but you know, paper is cool!

I have been working a bit on a floppy disk album, which I hope will be about 10 songs and a music video. I think that most people are not using floppy disks anymore, but whatever. I will also release it on the internet simultaneously. It is quite the challange to fit a whole album on a floppy disk, but the methods remind me of the good old gameboy, so that is pretty exciting.

I had a funny idea for a photoseries involving my webserver blowing up, after me hosting some delicious extension on it, but I don't have a digital camera. Hahaha, I remember those times when I tried to pass off the gameboy camera as a digital camera. oh, man, good times.

Also, to contribute to the global metadata, I have this link for you today, connecting you to the always amusing Josh at fireland. He contributes some nice thoughts about where the web went, and coming from 2003 it is pretty insightful. Let me block quote a little for you, so that you can laugh along, and maybe even hit the hyperlink.
The weblog—and I’m using the original definition here, namely oft-updated annotated links—became the default personal site. I mean of course: it’s easy content. It’s like when you’re in the office kitchen trying to like maybe quietly enjoy a juice box for once and some guy comes in and starts reading the paper and saying Can you believe that? And: What do you make of that?
oh, man, this guy is smart. Feel free to peruse the rest of his site!

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Tales from the Crypt

This sounds cool:

For those of you who have a car that can be unlocked
that remote button on your key ring: If you lock your
keys in the car and the spare keys are home, and you
don't have "OnStar," here's your answer to the

If someone has access to the spare remote at your
call them on your cell phone (or borrow one from
someone if the cell phone is locked in the car too!)
Hold your (or anyone's) cell phone about a foot from
your car door and have the other person at your home
press the unlock button, holding it near the phone on
their end. Your car will unlock. Saves someone from
having to drive your keys to you. Distance is no
object. You could be hundreds of miles away, and if
you can reach someone who has the other "remote" for
your car, you can unlock the doors (or the trunk, or
have the "horn" signal go off, or whatever!)

(Editor's Note * It works fine! We tried it out and it
unlocked our car over a cell phone!) Distance doesn't
seem to be a factor.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Not Quite Net.Label

While watching a Cory Doctorow speach tonight on the web, I came up with a nice idea. He mentioned that asimov's science fiction magazine payed very small amounts to a very small percentage of the writers that submitted (i.e. the few writers that got published).

So, what net.labels are able to pay artists for music that they host? I think that I could pony up a dollar per a release if I ran a net label. I guess what I am trying to say is that giving away hosting is not enough of an incentive for me to send music to other people to allow them to distribute. The net.labels are getting something out of it as well, right?

also, how do you feel about this new text size? I like it.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Muzzik :: Gangzta, Eskimo, Stuff by me.

so, I have been reading some stuff tonight about the death of dance (as in music that would be classified as such, not the movements). I know that most people don't care, but I think that it is pretty interesting that all these people grew up, or whateve. Gutterbreakz links to a few arguements and has some comments of his own...
The thing about technologically-driven music is that, during those certain 'white heat' phases, it develops and mutates at such a ferocious rate that sometimes you feel that the original ideas didn't get a chance to be fully explored, as with Darkside Jungle. I spent nearly fifteen years telling anyone who would listen that the synthpop/futurist* period circa 1978-82 was ripe for fresh exploration...
Yet when the revival actually began, I was horrified by the majority of it.
As for myself, I am mostly interested with what the hell is happening in two places...
Gangzta/krunk/hip-hop is dead and come back to life as a flesh eating zombie and whatever the fuck "eskimo" is (Grime/dubstep/NUSKOOL-UKG). I like to think of whatever hiphop has mutated into is the most bizzare stuff to dance to. It is strange to see people dancing to tongue slap rythyms (snoop dogg - drop it like its hot).

Eskimo it turns out, is not in fact music made for dancing to while wearing those silly eskimo looking jackets (although they can certainly dance to it), it is a track by a guy named Wiley (although according to some sources, it may be somebody elses track). I think that one of the things that I like most about all this grime stuff is what is written about it, but that may be because I don't have the inside perspective on the scene.

I guess the best way to deal with it is just to start dropping some of these tracks the next time I am allowed to dj, and see how people deal with it. I think that it may just be too wierd.

also, I was going to share some acid house that I have been writing, but I think I am just going to share the eskimo track instead.

Thursday, February 03, 2005


originally uploaded by jonbro.
This is a comic that will eventually end up in zero quality control issue two. I just want to remind everyone that submissions are still open (even though I am about half way done scanning what I have now, so you know, whatever). The format is going to be half of an 8.5 x 11 page so you know just drop them on me. The more the better...

René Magritte's
La condition humaine

linked from: National Gallery of Art

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Okay here are the links

Link The "Hole-in-the-wall" home
PBS Reportage

Here's the idea behind this computer device via PBS:

Mitra has some provocative ideas on the connection between learning and poverty. "Poverty has two different definitions," he tells me. "Poverty of information is one kind of poverty; poverty of materials is another kind of poverty. The same method may not apply to solve the two problems."

Mitra observes that the developed world has spent billions of dollars over decades trying to solve the problem of "material poverty" with little success. He speculates that if the problem of "information poverty" is addressed instead -- by providing poor people with access to information they need and can use -- then the poor "might just figure out how to solve the problem of material poverty by themselves."

Here's how the idea got turned into a computer kiosk:

Like many great ideas, Mitra's was essentially simple. He cut a hole in the boundary wall separating NIIT from the adjacent slum, put a high-speed computer connected to the Internet in the hole, and turned it on.

I'm intrigued by the physical metaphor of a window, in reality a rear window into a tech company, for people who have not had opportunities to be involved in India's ongoing tech boom. I hope it works as planned but I have a feeling that setting someone loose on the internet without guidance is like dumping a lifeboat in the ocean without a compass. I think I'll write about this more after I think on it for a little while.

Rene Magritte is an artist

Corporate Lesson #2:
A priest was driving along and saw a nun on the on the
side of the road. He stopped and offered her a lift,
which she accepted. She got in and crossed her legs,
forcing her gown to open and reveal a lovely leg. The
priest had a look and nearly had an accident.

After regaining control of the car, he stealthily slid
his hand up her leg. The nun looked at him and
immediately said, "Father, remember Psalm 129?" The
priest was flustered and apologized profusely. He
forced himself to remove his hand. Changing gear, he
let his hand slide up her leg again.

The nun once again said, "Father, remember Psalm 129?"
Once again, the priest apologized. "Sorry, Sister,
but the flesh is weak." Arriving at the convent, the
nun got out gave him a meaningful glance and went on
her way.

Upon his arrival at the church, the priest rushed to
retrieve a bible and looked up Psalm 129. It Said "Go
forth and seek, further up, you will find glory."

Moral of the story: If you are not well informed in
your job, you might miss a great opportunity.

The computer as a door.

I found this interesting article on the design constraints of social software. Right from the beginning it is fun...

When we hear the word "software," most of us think of things like Word, Powerpoint, or Photoshop, tools for individual users. These tools treat the computer as a box, a self-contained environment in which the user does things. Much of the current literature and practice of software design -- feature requirements, UI design, usability testing -- targets the individual user, functioning in isolation.

And yet, when we poll users about what they actually do with their computers, some form of social interaction always tops the list -- conversation, collaboration, playing games, and so on. The practice of software design is shot through with computer-as-box assumptions, while our actual behavior is closer to computer-as-door, treating the device as an entrance to a social space.

It goes on to describe and suggest social software art projects...

Jonah Brucker-Cohen's Bumplist stands out as an experiment in experimenting the social aspect of mailing lists. Bumplist, whose motto is "an email community for the determined", is a mailing list for 6 people, which anyone can join. When the 7th user joins, the first is bumped and, if they want to be back on, must re-join, bumping the second user, ad infinitum. (As of this writing, Bumplist is at 87,414 subscribes and 81,796 re-subscribes.) Bumplist's goal is more polemic than practical; Brucker-Cohen describes it as a re-examination of the culture and rules of mailing lists. However, it is a vivid illustration of the ways simple changes to well-understood software can produce radically different social effects.

You could easily imagine many such experiments. What would it take, for example, to design a mailing list that was flame-retardant? Once you stop regarding all users as isolated actors, a number of possibilities appear. You could institute induced lag, where, once a user contributed 5 posts in the space of an hour, a cumulative 10 minute delay would be added to each subsequent post. Every post would be delivered eventually, but it would retard the rapid-reply nature of flame wars, introducing a cooling off period for the most vociferous participants.

This seems like a very interesting field of new media art, what I would like to see is projects that are slightly less text centered and take advantage of vocal buildups of social networks.

via the best software essays of 2004


So, I know I should go to sleep, but I am puttering around the internet wondering what the hell is up with all this shit.

First up, I don't think that the page rank system that google uses is really terrible. I just think that you should be able to do things like get the results in reverse order, or at random, or like flashcards. I also think that link ranking should somehow be based on the rank of what you link to, so that you could get search results that would run from links to respected to links to disrespect and then everywhere inbetween. This is clearly oversimplification, but I think that the real method of improving the problems with google is not taking away functionality or using subpar rating systems, but rather to develop new rating systems that take into account the fact that people really use this stuff.

Second up, I can add your links to the side bar... Anybody in?

Third, while googling my name, I discovered a strange thing, and that was my address came up with the second hit. This concerning fact was pointed out to me by Eli earlier tonight, and it makes me wonder what I can do about it. It also made me wonder who this person in first was, who is linking to them, and why they rate. I chalk it up to the fact that I have been using a pseudonym almost since the beginning of my service on the internet.

Fourth, slightly further down the search results, I found this disconcerting little album review which I wrote near the beginning of my romance with the internet.

notice the following...
I have found that this music works best around middle-aged women, and people who just need to relax.
and later on...

Great Music to Play While: Romancing
uhhh, wtf?!?!?

Be sure to check out my other reviews on that site for a look into the life of an idiot 16 year old. The one regarding mission impossible 2 is possibly a high mark in the world of action movie criticism.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

One more image.

Link to birdhouses built into buildings by Ottoman Empire architects during the 16th-18th century.

Folks might be interested in seeing how different cultures throughout history construct different relationships with non-human nature.Constructing these additions required that the architects think outside their own experience, imagining what a bird might desire including "runways for landing and take-off, and even balconies where the birds can venture out and survey their surroundings." Although the ornate decoration reflects the convention for human architecture of the time it seems that it was meant as a gesture of respect for the importance of birds within Turkish culture.

I liked this poem from the site:

Mehmet Zaman Sacliolu’s poem, ‘Bird Houses’;
The outer walls of houses should be bird houses
That take wing when children laugh.
Even if it’s winter outside,
The summer sun should rise inside the walls
And happiness will also warm the birds.

System specs, comics, ads---

Tonight my mission is to write some system specs for a online collaborative comics writing system. I have been told that the right way to do it is in the Universal Modeling Language, but after looking at the front page for a second, I think that project is bigger than tonight (although I find it interesting that you can write business models in UML). Tonight I am going to downgrade to just taking some notes...

first, however, I have two announcements.
1) Google ad words are gone... Apparently google is evil. In addition to that, the main goal of that little venture, to see specifics about the view logs, was not as successful as I thought it would be.
2) Welcome to another friend, Eli. I think that he will be writing nice essays and helping the content of this site increase, and possibly make it a nice destination for links and that type of junx. Slightly related, my name is Jonathan Brodsky, and I will be working to make the site reflect that.

A system to allow collaboration in the WTF style (pioneered by myself and Josh Atlas in the Carnegie Mellon University Newspaper, the Tartan [haha, that site is the result of a comic {not written by myself, Josh Atlas, or and of the contributors to this site}]). The WTF style is for creator A to draw a panel, then for creator B to provide the captions for that panel, and draw the next. This occurs until the comic is complete, either based on a predetermined panel number, or based on the paper size / number of drawings.
An online system would allow for users to decide who they were going to work with and how long the completed comic would be (if in fact it was going to be completed at all). Average users would have thresholds for comics that would be displayed on them, based on completion percentage, contributing artists, and personal preference.
The Basis of the system would be a page that showed the last completed panel of the comics that you were working on. Once you wrote a caption for it, you would have the opportunity to draw the next panel. Only once that panel was complete and submitted would it stay in the system.

This system would allow comics artists to find others with styles, tastes, or humor, as well as improve their weak points in the comic writing duality. Of course you probably already knew that, because there are about 3 people that read this, and I write comics with all of them (except you elijah, but we can fix that).

I am an undercover monk

In early january upon my return from Italy I was invited to partake in a seminar on my friend's island, located on the Potomac River opposite of Old Angler's Inn. I spent a solid three day weekend there discussing how to preserve an individual philosophy in a world of perverse intrusiveness. The head of the seminar, Ed Binns, was an educated man who started this group of Urban Coyotes, as he likes to call them, so that we would be encouraged to consider this damn important question.

It just so happens that I am pretty stubborn in my religious beliefs and he just as stubborn in his areligoius beliefs, so arguing with him was lots of fun. It seems, ironically, that taking a break from society brings you only closer to your fellow man. Anyhow I won't bore you kiddies with my old geezer stories (and by kiddies I mean Jonathan Brodsky), but I will be posting a few 'corporate parables' which Ed shared with us.

Corporate Lesson #1:
A man is getting into the shower just as his wife is
finishing up her shower when the doorbell rings.
After a few seconds of arguing over which one should
go and answer the doorbell, the wife gives up, quickly
wraps herself up in a towel, and runs downstairs.
When she opens the door, there stands Bob, the
next-door neighbor. Before she could say a word, Bob
says, "I'll give you $800 to drop that towel that you
have on." After thinking for a moment, the woman
drops her towel and stands totally naked in front of
Bob. After a few seconds, Bob hands her 800 dollars
and leaves.

Confused, but excited about her good fortune, the
woman wraps back up in the towel and goes back
upstairs. When she gets back to the bathroom, her
husband asks from the shower, "Who was that?? "It was
Bob the next door neighbor," she replies.

"Great!" the husband says, "Did he give you the $800
he borrowed from me?"

Moral of the story: If you share critical information
pertaining to credit and risk with your shareholders
in time, you may be in a position to prevent avoidable

yellow birthday cake

[verse 1]
G Am Am G
last night I had some yellow birthday cake, it was protected by a friend until it got ate.
I am on a plan to gain some weight by the end of minute or at least eight.

Dm E Am
please tell me, mister what you got there.
can you spare a change to spare.
hey there, buddy, what choo selling,
break some off and make a killing.

Dm Em (Dm transposed 3) E A7
find your self another pathway...
this ones been taken for a walk.
find your self another hallmark...
this ones been taken around the block.

[verse 2]
let the record spin out and play, I doubt they were listening anyway.
speakerboxes on the sidewalks, remaindered visions from somebody elses thoughs.

say is that ok,
the rip off?
I will keep my voice low,
so nobody hears...


[bridge... aka verse with retared ass solo]

[chorus to fade out.]