Author Archives: TKM

My bio, sorta…

Originally Posted by Desire Inspires View Post
Wow, did you ever go back to school and finish your degree?

tl;dr: no. 

I actually took some general requirements at the local community college while I was working at the gas station and then went back to school at the state 4 year school I’d previously been attending full time, that while I was still working at the station. But the year I didn’t take classes was pretty much the only time I’d been ‘out of school’ since I was 4 and a half…

FWIW, I never matriculated — I called it the ‘Steinbeck plan’ (Steinbeck went to Stanford, I think, for 5 years, taking what he wanted, never graduating, and ended up with a Nobel Prize for literature).

But it wasn’t entirely free form; I was in a 4 year experimental interdisciplinary studies program that mostly got the gen grad requirements out of the way. It was a great program, in many ways, created in large part by the late August Coppola, brother of Francis Ford C (and father of ‘Little Nicky’ as we knew him around the department office). It wasn’t so much the general knowledge I acquired in those classes — as learning a multi-faceted approach to understanding specific subjects in the context of other subjects — and how they interrelate in human culture through history.

I took other survey/first-second year courses outside that program, but they were typically boring, so after the first semester or two, I concentrated on only taking upper division classes when possible. The height of my ability to talk my way into classes I wasn’t technically qualified to take was when I talked the head of the Psych department into letting me into the major-seniors-and-grad-students-only Cognitive Psychology class she taught — though I wasn’t a psych major nor had ever matriculated in any major. (Got an ‘A.’)

I had been taking writing courses out of the journalism department when I heard that the community college I’d taken classes at in my ‘hiatus’ from the uni had a then-pioneering commercial music production program (which closed down about a decade ago when the state mandated a certain percentage of professional uptake of students from vocational programs for funding, IIRC). In the middle of that, I got knocked out of school by a nasty motorcycle wreck but went back the next term on crutches, because, well… I was hooked. 

[And, in fact, I did matriculate for that, but it was more to secure the now super-modest-seeming student loan that supported me after disability ran out. But I do have that certificate… somewhere. I’d already been freelancing for a while when I got it. Basically, I went to school to get my hands on the gear, learn and, a bit laughably, to record my old band — which I did, eventually — but it was after I’d dropped out of it.]

This may be the closest thing I have to a coherent bio on the web. 

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My 8th subscription streamer… Amazon HD

tl;dr: maybe I should just start another blog… ‘spillover content’ originally posted on Gearslutz…

Quote:

Originally Posted by drockfresh

I love the Amazon HD GUI
But hated iTunes and like Spotify
And you can click and it shows you the sample/rate etc.

Inspired by your enthusiasm, I downloaded the Amazon music streaming app (unlike GPM, it’s got a dedicated desktop app) and — I have to say, at very first blush, I think I could stand this.

In particular, the queue is very much to my liking! You can bloc-select multiple items and move them around in bloc, there’s a play-next option in lookups, and add to faves/playlist options right there in the queue.

Since Google Play Music is threatened with imminent extinction (to make more room for YT Music), Amazon should consider creating an IMPORT tool for favorites library and playlists. I’ve spent five years building a library of 40,000 favorite tracks… leaving that behind is going to be like starting fresh… something I’ve done before (I’ve been on seven subscription stream platforms) and I really hate it… I always ‘lose’ (forget) some obscure favorites… since I use my faves/library to spur my memory for listening (like flipping through LPs), that’s kind of a big deal.

Anyhow, while the music included in basic Prime is pretty limited (only ONE blues album by Fleetwood Mac  — and that was a multi-artist collection), I imagine the premium Prime music services have most of what everyone else has. (I did see one of my songs, lonely, locked up behind the ‘Music Unlimited’ barrier. Waiting to make me money, I suppose, I should look at it… )

Anyhow, yeah… I think I will probably start preparing for that life-altering event of changing streamers — right up there with moving residences, changing jobs, divorcing, I figure.

I was wondering where I’d go (I mean, every time I check YouTube Music, it seems more disappointing; it’s included in my monthly fee but… who cares?)… now I have a landing place — and it don’t look too bad at all. And the ‘upgrade’ to lossless will only cost me an extra three clams a month.

[EDIT: Went with the free 90 day trial. One minor bit about the queue — I’m really used to the convention of clicking an artist or album name in the queue and being taken to the artist or album page — and though that doesn’t work in Amazon’s player, I’d at least expected those options on the right-click/context menu. =( Minor-ish point, but… [b]UPDATE: OK, weird: after not functioning in that fashion for my first two or three loads of the app, NOW clicking on the artist or album title DOES take you to the appropriate place. Just plain weird.]

[EDIT 2: I was feeling like the audio quality wasn’t up to snuff — and then I noticed that the player’s volume control defaults to only ‘halfway’ up. I turned it up and now things seem a bit better.]

[EDIT 3: It’s weird; when I first used it, I swear there was an ‘add to my music’ option on the three dot menus from songs or albums — but now, all I can do is ‘add to my music’ ONE BLINKIN SONG AT A TIME from the play bar menu, which now appears to be the only place that option exists… WTF??? That seems really weird. Why wouldn’t you let people add an album at a time to ‘their music’ faves? SERIOUS WTF?]

[EDIT 4: Now the link/buttons on the left sidebar have stopped working. Two of them are ‘lit up’ but when I click on any of the options, nothing happens. This app is the bunk.]

[EDIT 5: Ah! The ‘plus‘ sign I originally thought added something to the queue is actually an add to library button! I started realizing that I must be misunderstanding at least some aspects of this thing — but have been unable to find any meaningful help or how to for the thing at all. I probably should have explored the ‘plus’ thing more. A basic explainer for the UI functions would have been nice, though. I mean, I kind of have a feel for subscription streamers after having been on 8 of them now (as well as a brief, informal trial of Tidal)… perhaps that made me ‘arrogant’ about assuming I could figure this mess out. UPDATE: LOL, all the albums I THOUGHT I just added apparently didn’t get added because of an unspecified system error. LOFL2KFC]

To sum up [for now]: Maybe it’s all just roll-out blues? Whatever, it DOES sound good and I seem to be getting things to a usable point. Now all I gotta do is recreate my faves library from GPM… only about 2600 more albums to go. 

UDATE / ADDENDUM

tl;dr: maybe I should just start another blog…  (Well… not exactly, but I moved the mess that was here because… it was a mess. I have a lot of thoughts about streamers — this will be the eighth I’ve subscribed to — and, while the sound is mostly great (not everything’s HD — some of it is apparently ‘up to 320’ [!]), and there’s a lot I like about the user interface — there are some things that strike me as really nutty in the design/function.)

They mostly get the queue right (or my idea of right) but, bizarrely, when a queue is done playing — the player doesn’t clear the queue or leave the playhead at the end — [I]it repositions the play head back to the top of the songs [/I]– so if you try to play more with play-next, the new track is added right below the first track IN THE OLD QUEUE LIST and plays the previously played tracks after the new stuff!!! If you try to add-to-queue and hit play — it just plays the ENTIRE OLD QUEUE before it gets to the new tracks.

That and a few other behaviors are just so perversely bizarre that I feel like I must be missing or misunderstanding something. So I’m going to keep playing with it and try to figure out WTF these guys were thinking…

UPDATE: I just spent almost an hour on chat with a nice fella (I think) from SE Asia trying to figure out how the heck one is supposed to play a specific song or set of songs next after a queue has ended without first manually clearing the queue. He had to consult his leadership team a couple times and he ended up agreeing with me that the behavior makes no sense and said he’d send my concerns to the dev team. Maybe if the dev team had ever used a music player before? :heh:

But… the sound. After a day with the service, it would feel dark and dim going back to Google’s rather dull (even for 320s) 320s. When I tried Tidal, I couldn’t get over the very limited user interface (good for playing an album or playlist at a time and not much else). The sound was enticing — but it was such a pain to use. A few quirks (and the gamer-dark looks) notwithstanding, I’m pretty sure I can live with Amazon HD.

[I]One last thing I miss: the ability to upload my own files[/I] or play files off my local machine/device — there are just a few (for me) significant things missing (to be fair, some are missing from GPM and Spot, too, though some, like Trio Mandili, are just plain azz not on Amazon (except in remix!) though they’re on the others.

 ADDENDUM 2:

What I had written on Gearslutz.com over two long posts (one replacing the other) was a mess, a jumble of first, second, and third impressions, a lot of minor kvetches, but probably not enough praise for the new service.

I have to say, since this is my 8th subscriptions stream service since around 2005/6, Amazon HD’s lossless service would be pretty much impossible for abandon at this point.

I guess I’d done a pretty good job of convincing myself I could live with my soon-to-be-former service (Google Play Music) and its not very competitive fidelity (their 320s — presumably Fraunhofer codec in super-fast mode — are noticeably inferior to properly made 320s using LAME, including the content on the old, lamented MOG service).

I still prefer Google’s overall service — but it’s on the gangplank to make way for the eventual ‘flagship’ YouTube Music [which has so far completely failed to engage me on any level except maybe a marginally better integration between streamed audio and videos than in GPM. And I really don’t care much about videos. (Good ones are great, but…)

But… the sound is so noticeably better than Google Play content (no ABX testing required here — even though I HAVE been unable to differentiate quality 320 rips I’ve done with LAME from full lossless — so good 320s ARE possible) that, really, even if I wasn’t a Prime subscriber already, I’d almost certainly go from the $10/mo GPM to the full $15/mo for Amazon HD for non-Prime subscribers. I’d rolled around a move to Tidal — and it’s $20/mo and I HATE the user interface. So, you know… sound.

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Consciousness, evolution, nature, and resonant systems…

Consciousness, evolution, nature, and resonant systems…

That’s a mouthful, huh? A big bite and more than any reasonable man should try to chew in one sitting, maybe… but back in January of 2016, I had sort of a mini-revelation, a satori, maybe… here is what I wrote off the top of my head then:

So I had this satori…

It was while playing guitar. I was working on ‘casting’ my attention to different ‘snapshot’ patterns of strings (a dexterity and diversification practice strategy) and at one point my conscious direction seemed to ‘descend’ out of the range of consciousness — I was still aware, but my awareness was so abstract as to be fugue-like. During that period, my playing went off the rails — but that’s not the point.

What was interesting was that it was almost as though the ideas/concepts I was trying to hold in my head were so ‘out of focus’ to my normal consciousness as to be sort of vague and abstract in that consciousness. Almost as though they were ‘out of range’ — like tuning.

Like a filter…

And that starts me thinking, like a resonance filter — and the more you crank it, the narrower the Q gets — the higher the amplitude, narrower the range.  The narrower the range of reception/perception, arena-of-consciousness concept-manipulability.

And why would you want to do that? To ‘reinforce the signal,’ make it cut through system noise.

Maybe consciousness is simply the evolution of feedback control.

I would be suspect of a direct correlation, but it’s tempting to think of the psychedelic ‘feedback effect ‘– visual echo — in these terms.

[My brainstorm fever-spew starts getting a bit wooly here… I’ve also included (below) my more or less unedited subsequent ramblings transcribed that day.]

Maybe our human consciousness is system resonance overcranked and focused (in shifting, sequential, time-shared fashion — so one wonders what that mechanism would be — counter feedback? LFO modulation/disruption via counter-feedback — that then allows — in effect forces  a shift* to the next   ‘loudest’ resonance component… (oh my)]

* or at least a sort of de facto queue evaluation  — if, even after ‘reverse feedback’ the most-recent resonance/conceptual stream is still that with the greatest amplitude.

Seems like I’ve come across the notion of consciousness as a form of feedback — I’ll bet if I google I will find

Addendum [essentially unedited; a tour of my messy and discursive mental airballing process; read at your own risk]

– Corollary: concepts are formed from resonance, single ideational elements driven to oscillation, generating harmonic series overtones in the mental medium

Words, similarly, though they are harmonic interactions in the social, shared mindspace. They don’t necessarily have the same ideational value, intensity, timbre from individual consciousness system to system (iow, from individual to individual — another resonance system, to turn the world into a nail for the resonance hammer to pound it into unified field coherence — or the resonance model, thereof…

– Anyhow, to continue on the words as resonant systems, they work harmonically with other individual/social nodes as mentioned, but also display that aspect for the individual, with the first exposure vague, ill-defined, but moving into reified/ resonant form across the time domain.


– To belabor process:

This resonance process would take experience — initially of elemental nature — and reify those elemental resonances into time domain structures. (One could  even imagine such a system developing system resonances from ‘random system noise’ — probably themselves resonances of bio-electric particularities of a given time domain sector.)

The basic idea here is that feedback loop resonance would play a part in the creation of structures as well as ‘tuning’ by balancing positive and negative feedback, in an ontological sense, to ‘filter consciousness’ and allow better abstraction of conceptual ideals.

– And THEN there is the correlation across domains between various harmonic/resonance structures, (synchronous and asynchronous or am I pushing a concept too hard) … words and music and obvious…mathematics and abstraction of real world systems and the systems themselves… all overlapping and potentially interrelated…

– I think this correlation/interrelation/intermodulation of resonant systems across domains is key to ever more complex, multidimensional (you should pardon the expression) structures — but I think it’s fundamental to the way that systems become more complex over time. (Entropy rears its head. The ‘drag’ of ‘remembering’ the state of the universe — of course, it’s probably that very entropic process that allows ‘cooldown’ phenomena like the development of things like Terrestrial life. But I’m not sure I buy the interconnectedness/increasing-complexity-ergo-increasing-entropy scenario — although it’s making me glad I dumped all those phone numbers out of my head… if I really even did… LOL

– Positive or negative feedback. Boom. the engine of control of the various system in the body, the endocrine system — why not consciousness itself — modulating a basic energy flow/supply, forming resonances that grow  ever more resonant, structured over time — and evolution.

Anyhow, there’s your direct analog to Emil Golas [Lazy Man’s Guide to Enlightenment] expansion and contraction…

FLASH FORWARD TO 2018

Back in 2016, I did do some googling and did find some tantalizing threads in the scientific literature. But this thought piece from 2018 attempts (although also in loose form) to tie some of those threads together (from The Conversation):

Could consciousness all come down to the way things vibrate?

Update, this interesting article on an associated topic just posted (sadly pay-walled)…
Scientific Song of Consciousness and Self
Associated links:
Wild Systems Theory as a 21stCentury Coherence Framework for Cognitive Science

Toward a theory of embodied communication: self-sustaining wild systems as embodied meaning

Here’s the abstract from that last paper:
“This chapter proposes the Wild Systems Theory as a potentially integrative perspective on embodied communication. The fundamental assumption here is that organisms need to be understood as systems that survive through energy transformations. In this perspective, cognition and communication are functions that are enabled by a dynamical control system. Each layer of this hierarchically organised system embodies aspects of the contexts organisms need to survive in, at different scales. Communication is conceptualised as a special case of control where organisms jointly gain control over the environment.”

Like I was sayin’…

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On Faith

I’ve got NO problem with folks musing on the unexplainable, talking about it, questioning it, trying to be one with it…

But when they start trying to ‘explain’ the unexplainable… c’mon, grow up.

There’s nothing wrong with faith.

But there’s plenty wrong with a ‘faith’ that demands the ‘certainty’ of dogma and pat doctrine.

And the impulse to impose those explanations on others is, seems to me, one of the most profound crimes man can commit against the unexplainable.

— TK Major

(From a comment on a Facebook post from Jim Washburn.  https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1354170688019807)

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Why is life all about money?

Why is life all about money?

I wouldn’t say life is all about money.

But to stay alive, one needs food, and, at least occasionally shelter. The struggle for sustenance and survival runs through history.

In our modern, economically tokenized market economies, we’re no longer hunting game on the steppes or in the forests and jungles, but the struggle can seem just as real.

But I don’t think money has to rule one’s life, even at that. Way too often it seems like people spend money not so much to fill their stomachs or put a roof over their head, but, rather to fill some only faintly perceived hole in their lives.

It helps to figure out what you really need and what you really want — rather than the tokenized symbols of happiness the marketing community dangles before us like carrots suspended from a stick, always a few feet in front of us as we plod along toward someone else’s goals.

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Reset Android 2.3 mobile phone gmail sync

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Go to Accounts & sync
    – make sure Background data and Auto-sync are checked
    — same page, down under Manage accounts locate your email
    — below the email name is the sync status (even if it’s ‘on,’ your phone might not be syncing)
    — to the right is a circlular Sync button with two arrows ‘chasing themselves’; should be green if sync is supposedly ‘on’ — grey if not (and they will be turning if it’s actively syncing)
    — tap the Sync button and you will go to the Data & synchronization details page
    —- locate Sync Gmail and uncheck it, count to five or ten and check the checkbox once again
    —- use the ‘back button’ (physical, hardware buttons at bottom of phone below screen, second from right with ‘up left’ icon on it*), tapping it twice to exit Settings and return to home screen.
  3. Find your Gmail icon on your home screen and tap it to open the Gmail app
    – use the hardware Menu Button at the bottom of the phone (below the screen, second from left, four tiny squares*) to open the Gmail menu which will cover the bottom of the Gmail screen. First panel-button will be REFRESH (with two arrows ‘chasing’ each other). TAP THAT.
    -Use the hardware ‘back button’* to exit Gmail.
  4. WAIT… It can take 15, 20 minutes or more for sync to kick in and start refreshing your email on your phone. Best to do something else and come back in a half hour or so to check to see if things are updating.
    (You can use your phone’s ‘clock’ app to set an alarm if you like. 😉 )

*Refresher course: the hardware buttons on your phone are:

HOME | MENU | BACK [escape] | SEARCH
LGandroid

 

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