A blog about the many neat things in life, along with the many other things that are lying around. Categories include: political things, philosophy things, design things, template things, garage things, music things, and lots and lots of other things!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Sampling Things

Palms Out Sounds:
...as you hear these tracks you'll either decide Daft Punk isn't as genius as you thought they were or that they're twice as amazing. I just know that for any Daft Punk fan out there- these tracks are essential. In other words, don't skip this one.
Palms Out Sounds exposes the not really hidden: Daft Punk are DJ's first, and master re mixers more than instrument builders or synth freaks. They show in their wonderful post songs like Edwin Birdsong's "Cola Bottle Baby," which were used extensively to create the main beat in Daft Punk's work.

I'm still struggling with the question of sampling - how much is appropriate, when it becomes "cheating" and if whether it's ever appropriate or ever wrong. Honestly, I'm starting to lean towards the "it's not cheating, it's good sense" argument. In the web programming world, we use a lot of frameworks like CakePHP, Django, and Ruby on Rails to avoid "reinventing the wheel." For the longest time I tried to avoid frameworks and scripts like Wordpress and Movable Types simply because I felt that using someone else's code for my projects was "cheating." And yet, that violates the entire principal of the open-source world: code should be shared, the wheel does not need 100 inventors.

So, what's different between code and music? Why should we be afraid of using samples to lay the groundwork for a song? As long as you are creating something new with it, is it really "cheating," or just skipping the tedious parts?

This also has a lot of implications for digital copyright. Boing Boing and company have fought for the "right to remix" for artists like DJ Danger Mouse, and have made great mention of the innovation they can bring to old ideas. I'm currently stuck on John B's album Electrostep, which remixes some great 80's tracks ("Hey Mickey", "Tainted Love") into a fusion of drum & bass and 80's that's highly original, and deathly enticing. Even if you support copyright, how could you draw the line between innovation and imitation?

So, I don't have any short, quick answers -- but I am tempted to whip out ACID and see what I can do with some of the obscure little tracks I love.

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Privacy Things

All the rage on campus right now are these goofy posters warning you how you will never, EVER get a job if there is a picture of you drunk on Facebook. "Be careful what you post online..." they warn in apocolyptic tones - "Someone might see it!"

Personally, I'm tired of hearing it. If Twitter, Google, or Last.fm wants to look at my various social networking sites, then whatever they find there is their problem to deal with, not mine. None of it is relevant to how well I handle web design and programming, and I want to work at a company that can respect that. I want my job to be as egalitarian as possible, because I'm confident I can provide value to whatever company I work at.

Finally, I'm pretty sure there would be nasty legal complications if a potential employee found out they were rejected because the HR people looked on Facebook. Much like video resumes, social networking profiles often contain information it is illegal to use as a basis to reject someone - race, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation. If I were a big business, I would advise HR and managers to steer clear of accidentally gathering this kind of information.