Another epic post from City of Sound, this time on one of the Far East's latest 'instant cities'. It's incredible really, as if someone's literally playing Sim City with the landscape there (cf. Blog All Bookmarked Web Pages: Shanghai Diary). Also: I never realised China, South Korea and Japan were in such close proximity as to make a bridge between them a realistic engineering challenge. Please make that happen. #link
Thoughts from Dan Hill on how we discover and listen to music, and the problems that new technology has brought to the table. He's spot on about metadata and context; even five years on the situation remains mostly the same. (Maybe because most people don't care about these things?) #link
"Historically, the shape of rail's introduction to Japan and its development into a tourism industry mirrors that of the West. Unlike the West, steam trains have taken on a symbolic strength that permeates the culture... Melancholy, wistful, an image of the voyage and sadness of life itself." #link
Always interesting to see things from an outsider's perspective, so to speak. #link
"Something terrible lies at the heart of New Orleans - a rampant, widespread and apparently uncontrollable brutality on the part of its police force and its prison service." Surely New Orleans isn't the only example of this, even within the US. #link
"Once the game is good enough that it can’t be killed, that means it’s too good to be controlled either." #link
News of the high speed rail crash in China last week (which has raised questions about what some perceive as a cargo-cultish rush into modernity) prompted me to dig up some choice quotes I’d saved back in 2004 from Justin O’Connor’s Shanghai Diary on the City of Sound blog. Seven years may have passed from then to now, and the environment may have changed drastically in the interim – but people don’t change that quickly.
From Shanghai Diary #1:
“The men on the construction site work from 6am I think, definitely before 7am. They wake me up, but gently, the drop of metal and scraping of shovels slowly gathering weight around the dreams and then tugging and pulling and then — you’re awake. They work in the sun but drink tea in the shadows. They work until late. It’s hard to tell when, they’re gradually absorbed into the background. Then the flare of an arc welder reminds you. Last night they were laying concrete at 2am. Nobody opened the window and shouted shut the fuck up you fucking inconsiderate fucking fuckers. I suppose they all lay there, tired, hot, that’s just the way it is.”
Last items from the 2006 file:
An interesting argument to make, certainly, but Wyman is wrong: the fact remains that not all music is as available as he supposes. For starters, virtually all of his references are to work generated by mainstream artists! For many of the things I like, I still have to do the internet equivalent of crate digging. And the value in that isn't in procuring things that others don't have. I can only wish I could find all the things he says are so instantly available. #link
In other words, I need to relax about missing all that stuff in my feed reader. See also: Anne Billson in the Guardian on the Fear of Missing Out, or Fomo. #link
Once upon a time I'd see the UCD water tower every day and just for a moment believe I was in the future.
A year of films, books, TV, plays and stories consumed. Including Raiders of the Lost Ark three times. In black and white! [c/o Kottke]. #link
Director's cuts are fine if they don't replace the original. And it goes without saying that they only matter where the film is of sufficient quality and the original version was compromised in some fashion. #link
I maintain that nobody really knows what work is till they've worked behind a till. #link
My 'in' to cricket was baseball (the scoring system and game mechanics are surprisingly similar). That and watching highlights of the World Cup. I couldn't sit through a full day test match. #link
That's a lot of reading. #link
In short, Scientology isn't just ridiculous. It's dangerous. See also: Fact-checking the Church of Scientology and Bobbie Johnson on what Scientology tells us about journalism. #link
Sure, this is more about search than it is about food, but I'm still interested to see if it can find me things more tailored to my improving diet. #link
Saving this for the next visit, whenever that is. #link
A series of columns about where the book industry is headed. #link
On the recent deletion of swathes of content from the BBC website, which will in the future prove to be as shortsighted as the erasing of archive videotapes in previous decades. #link
Matt Webb on animals and technology, sort of. This guy thinks so fast it's hard to keep up. #link
Lovely plugin for those 8-bit chiptunes sounds you've always wanted. #link
Forgot to post these after the last batch. That was four months ago. Oops. Anyway, some more linkage from 2006:
- Wayfaring / Web service for creating personalised maps (of walking routes, etc). Completely forgot about this!
- Tom Coates’ notes on the RCA Summer Show 2006 / I attended the same show and thought I’d made some notes on it, but apparently not! I only made note of Availabot and the Saddlebag (a utility belt for your chair that really should be available in IKEA by now; sadly didn’t note the name of the designer and can’t find her/him on the RCA website).
- ChucK / “…a new (and developing) audio programming language for real-time synthesis, composition [and] performance.” See also: Real DJs Code Live.
- In Praise of the Hyperlink / “The hyperlink is an amazing solution to an old problem. That problem is classification.”
- The Urban Etiquette Handbook / More rules for urban behavior. Some good points here, even if many others are over-the-top (thank-you cards to waiters are a bit much, no?).
Transformed? I don't know about that. But it's certainly made things more immediate, and works very well for events such as sports as they happen. In that respect live blogs might be the new radio. #link
A depressing story about the dark side of the space race. #link
That'll save me doing the ol' copy-paste-return. #link
Storyful tracks the Irish citizenship test Twitter meme. #link
Confession time: I've never read any Vonnegut. But he really seems like my kind of writer. #link
The story of how the High Line evolved from urban relic to a model for future city green spaces. #link
"I read with continuous partial attention and I don’t care that I am frequently interrupting my own reading. I despise the discourse that says we are all shallow, that we are all flighty, distracted, not paying attention. I am paying attention, but I am paying attention to everything, and even if my knowledge is fragmented and hard to synthesise it is wider, and it plays in a vaster sphere, than any knowledge that has gone before." #link
Workarounds for maintaining discretion in an always-on world where our devices tell nothing but the truth. #link
Fantastic site for visualising weather data over time. Also available as an app for Chrome. #link
Just in case the worst happens. Flickr is a Yahoo! company, after all. #link
Storyful explains it well: "Out of a fast-flowing river of news, curators are the zen-like bears, sitting amid the chaos, selectively plucking out the juiciest, shiniest salmon and then explaining which bits to eat." #link
The 1950s and '60s are when things start getting awesome. But they've bland-ified in recent years, I feel. #link
On the future of marginalia in the age of the e-reader. I'm of the opinion that e-books make things easier, especially for people like me who can't/won't write in their books. I'd never highlight passages or scribble notes in a physical copy, but I'd happy do it all day with an e-book (I did it a lot while reading Moneyball). #link
The OED makes the distinction between its various dictionaries. Handy to know. #link
April closed out nicely with Knut and Keelhaul playing a free show at the Button Factory. This is what hardcore’s supposed to be! Knut were quite good, if slightly on the hostile side (their vocalist didn’t seem the warmest of chaps). But Keelhaul blew them off the stage with time changes, awkward rhythms and riffs galore. So happy to have finally seen them live.
More gigs in May. Rush at the O2 was what you’d expect it to be: a show. But what a show! Spaceship lights, fireworks, elaborate sets, videos – the whole package. Even if it threatened to veer into Spinal Tap territory at times (mandolin on a stand, anyone?) these Canucks are no dinosaurs; three hours of hits is a breeze to them (it was much harder on my feet).