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w/e 2020-11-15

[long, slow, resigned out-breath]


§ I’m surprised I wasn’t aware of the band The Burning Hell before now, because they seem right up one of my streets, but when I heard Fuck The Government, I Love You, from their 2016 album Public Library, on Dandelion Radio this week they were new to me:

Everything else I’ve heard so far has also been splendid, crammed full of words, catchy tunes, unexpected references, and great rhymes. Also, a clarinet.


§ This week I relaxed by reading long forum threads about audio equipment.

I came across Audio Science Review whose reviews focus on measuring the equipment’s characteristics with lots of graphs. At first I was a bit 🙄 about this overly-detailed analysis, also thinking of photography sites that obsess over slight pixel-level differences between camera sensors that no one would notice in actual use.

But, on the other hand, it’s also quite refreshing. There’s so much very subjective opinion in the audio world – e.g. people claiming to hear amazing differences in sound quality between one over-expensive cable compared to another – that being ruthlessly objective about it makes a nice change.

And, armed with this data, the forum’s posters seem quite down-to-earth, like, “Sure, you can spend £800 on this DAC rather than £200 on that DAC if it makes you happier, but look at our reviews – you won’t actually be able to tell the difference.” (A bonus: the moderators seem pretty ruthless about banning people causing trouble.)

I guess it’s also a bit like analysing the speed of computer processors compared to relying purely on how fast different computers feel in real world use. I think? Some objective basis for future subjective judgements?

Anyway, I enjoyed this thread in which people suggest forums, sites and YouTubers who are “the opposite” of Audio Science Review. “Definitely Head-Fi. They have some incredible imaginations there.” Finding what a place collectively thinks of other, superficially similar places, seems a good way of getting a feel for it.


§ I wrote a short Twitter thread this week. Forgive me.

I hate Twitter threads that are more than a handful of tweets long. I understand why people write them: it’s where they already are, with all their followers; they don’t have anywhere else to put it; and they enjoy the immediate feedback (and you can get so many likes and retweets from an entire thread!).

But, ugh, I hate reading the things. “Get a blog!” I inwardly scream, even as the thread starts to dissolve into the morass of billions of tweets, never to be seen again.

Anyway, it was worth a try, to air my grievances over a battle that was lost over a decade ago, rather than tackle more important chores. And I did learn something: I found it interesting to compose the thread.

Breaking an argument up into discrete, brief chunks felt like a good discipline. Keep to the point, remove extraneous words, don’t add unnecessary tweets. I could imagine a text editor that forces you to break your text into brief paragraphs, counting down the characters, and then lets you re-order them by dragging these chunks around.

It’s probably not a great process for longer pieces, not allowing you to vary the rhythm much, perhaps one reason that long threads get tiresome to read. But, still, it felt like a useful writing exercise.


§ [sharper, preparatory in-breath]


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