Posted on Nov 13, 2023

This process that renders the memory stable is termed reconsolidation

In the 1980s, Basinski recorded from found sound sources, shortwave radio and delay systems, influenced by musicians such as Steve Reich and Brian Eno. Decades later, while transferring the recordings from magnetic tape to digital format, Basinski found that the tape had deteriorated; as it passed the tape head, the ferrite detached from the plastic backing. He allowed the loops to play for extended periods as they deteriorated further, with increasing gaps and cracks in the music. He further treated the sounds with a spatializing reverb effect.

Basinski finished the project the morning of the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City, and sat on the roof of his apartment building in Brooklyn with friends as the World Trade Center collapsed. He filmed the fallout during the last hour of daylight from a roof, and the following morning he played “Disintegration Loop 1.1” as a soundtrack to the aftermath. Stills from the video were used as the covers for the set of four CDs, and several weeks later Basinski dedicated the work to the victims in a postscript in the liner notes. He said that “the events gave new meaning to the musical pieces created by catastrophic decay in my studio a few weeks before”.

The Disintegration Loops on Wikipedia

A forgotten piece of media recently suggested to me that memory itself is like these magnetic tapes. Revisitations of memory will alter them, the claim would go, and time will degrade them. I found that quite distressing. This study would indicate the claim is mostly not true, but that it is possible for the new to replace the old. I reviewed other abstracts; much is still unknown.

Didn’t Have To Re-invent the Wheel, Just a Better Design

I expect to spend the balance of the year catching up on the past ten. From 2002 to 2011, this site was evidence of my enthusiasm for self-expression. Only two posts followed the birth of my first son, Jeff. The world looks much different now, and my own world is no exception. Much has changed, but some things remain. I am rediscovering that some aspects of a past self are still there, and feel deeply that it would be worth some time to write about it.

I know for a fact that the blog started on Movable Type. It moved to Typo. Then Wordpress, and I believe it was on Mephisto after that. Finally, I combined static-site generation with Ruby on Jekyll and Octopress. The part of me that cares about blog software is definitely dead forever; this will be the last migration. Hugo and go and so on will be runnable for the balance of my productive life, and it seems popular enough to keep me in themes and my lizard brain can handle the p95 markup needs.

I don’t feel any need to prove myself with HTML and CSS. Though my heart is still warm with the fires of web standards, I have no stamina to venture from the cabin of Markdown to the cold winds of involving HTML tags while writing in English. (I am remembering a time I preferred Textile, in part because of its tie-ins to TextDrive. Wrong again! Twice!)

All comments you supplied as a audience are long drowned by spam and eaten by bitrot. Because of spam, adding comments to a blog is a professional undertaking requiring money. Your speech is more important than mine, but this is probably not the best house for it. Find me on the fediverse and drop me a note. We won’t be paying for this right now.

At this writing, I didn’t wish to forget or turn my back on the past, even if aspects of it provoked real shame. That meant visiting everything I’d written here to ensure it would render on your screens correctly. The concept of the ‘permalink’ has become darkly comic. Huge swaths of the web, including major blogs from public figures, are entirely vanished. Personal sites were very likely to be affected. A lot of content moved to YouTube. Several ideas lived on at new homes, and I repointed those links during this editing pass. Very few internet quizzes made it. Information has flaked off the tape. But a lot stayed. The tune is still there.

What makes it better?

So why do I feel so at home in this new place?

“Micro” blogging and social media

It’s clear at this point that Twitter, in particular, will not survive the Elon Musk era as the product and community I mostly loved. The idea of beginning again the process of building community from first principals very much informs the process of bringing this site back online.

I’ve moved to a Mastodon instance that is LGBTQIA+ supportive, which is critical to my values. I am cishet, but trans persons are a part of my professional, personal, and hobbyist lives, and their physical safety and paths to expression are important to me. RIP Kris Nova. Her tragic climbing death adds to the list of the wonderful engineers that had so much to offer this open community far too early. I expect to write on both topics in time.

By volume, a tremendous number of posts here are of the sort that would be better suited to Mastodon. That includes things like “timely deals” or “did you know?” or “here’s an idle thought”

Likewise, any movie review would go to Letterboxd, or a music update might pass almost without note. To the extent my musical taste might have been welcomed, it’ll probably move to inline YouTube clips.

Less flailing

The days of maximum speed and experimentation are over. While the pace of change in the tech world won’t slow, I suspect my own frontiers might be near their edges. I stayed out in the field longer than most. We’ll see if I can make my recordings from the trenches valuable to a new generation.

Combining the static-site capabilities directly inside themes, and content posts, I believe I understand how to properly express myself here.

Something to communicate

I’ve been a father for many years. Youth that enter my profession today remind myself of a former life and set of viewpoints.

I lament the circular nature of ‘progress’ in my industry with some regularity. It was especially troubling to see (for example) pre-cursors of fake news and Twitter’s noise not register as an old sentiment.