The Future, Now or Later

Help… he’s ranting again

I imagine it’s all better in the future. Maybe in a hundred years, or two hundred years. Things are slowly getting better, right? From what I can tell, the future is going to be amazing. But how we get to that enlightened best-of-humanity harmonious Star Trek future is a little difficult to fathom at the moment. Society has a lot of problems. Here’s the thing, I think that we demonstrably live in a world where all scarcity is manufactured. We actually live in an age of plenty. And we (humanity) are perfectly capable of correcting all the world’s problems. If we were allowed to concentrate on that instead of pouring all our man-hours into servile economic activities then we could go very far very quickly. The vast majority of people hold enlightened ideals and want, more than anything, fairness. The cranks and provocateurs want to push your buttons. I think we need to push back. The truth is, and this is me presumptively speaking for all of humanity, we want to see a fair world. Fairness is a human instinct, but so is domination. The idealistic majority has always been dominated by a tiny network of (let’s not be histrionic or exaggeratory) power-mad psychopaths. They built religions and economic systems that kept the common people in their place. They brainwashed you with the way things are for your entire life, like your parents before you and their parents before them ad infinitum. The more scarcity and unfairness the powermongers generate in society, the further it seems we are from our glittering future, the less likely we are to reach out and seize it. I don’t actually think it’s that far off, potentially. All that needs to happen is awareness, the right ideas taking hold. I think I feel it happening already. Sometimes I like to remember that this could all end tomorrow.

Sketchy Cat

This is Pishkin.

Continue reading Sketchy Cat

Podcasts: Where Do I Start?

With my tendency to over-subscribe to podcasts and then prune over time, Overcast’s playlist functionality has helped me to manage this weird little workflow that I use to find stuff I like. Big thanks to Marco.

One of Marco’s podcasts: Accidental Tech Podcast

IGTV Vertical Video Hack

We all spend years criticising anyone who shoots vertical video, and then IGTV comes along and says vertical video is the way to go. God damn it. Guess I’m making vertical videos now. Or am I? Can I get behind this? I recently completed a 16:9 video for the song ‘Bang Goes The TV’ and as an experiment I decided to try and verticalise it (going that crazy/wrong 9:16 ratio).

I took the existing 16:9 video and chopped off the left side and right side, sticking them down the bottom in different hues. It is a bit of a hack, but kind of works in the context of the song and the general weirdness of the video. I have no idea how this works.

It was a bit of a struggle outputting the right format. Turns out I can do that with Motion. Vertical video needs a custom format, I went with 608 x 1080. Most output formats are .mov files but IGTV needs .mp4. You can do it, it’s just tucked away in the Share menu [ Share > Apple Devices > Mac and PC ]. Always with the technical issues, I still haven’t got a way to embed IGTV in WordPress. Anyway, you can click here to watch the completed vertical video on IGTV.

It’s Been 3 Years

…since I released GIVE ME A SINE. Here’s three videos from that album. And three links to places you can buy or stream the album.

Bandcamp / iTunes / Spotify

The Moving Statue of Ballinspittle

There could be nothing more Ireland in the eighties than the incident at Ballinspittle, County Cork, where a statue of the Holy Virgin Mary, Mother of God, was said to have moved of its own accord. Nobody had multi-channel in those days, so there wasn’t a moment’s hesitation. My parents bundled up the five kids and we drove for more than an hour. We all sat on a hill waiting to see a holy vision, like hundreds of other pilgrims replete with hang sangwidges, bockles of orange and picnic blankets.

Let me tell you, if you’re five years old and you stare at anything for a whole minute (let alone several hours) you will think it’s waving at you. You will hallucinate out of sheer boredom and suggestibility. The Wikipedia page says Many visitors claimed to have observed the spontaneous movements. The Catholic Clergy in Ireland maintained a neutral stance in regard to the authenticity of the claims. I don’t know anything about the original claims, but I think when I was there the only witnesses were young children (myself included). The statue was a cheap babysitter and a cheap day out. The rumour was probably started by a local shopkeeper to sell more bockles of orange and rosary beads. It was like something from an episode of Father Ted.

It’s amazing I turned out so well adjusted, when you consider I believed such silly nonsense. You see, I was raised in a country where a fanatical cult run by hypocritical monsters shielded and facilitated paedophilia and other abuse for decades. That kind of dawned on me (and everyone) in the nineties. That was the last real decade of the rosary bead (though the old folks still carry on the old ways). I’m not nostalgic for a time when Catholicism had such a hold on people’s minds in Ireland. But I could murder a bockle of orange.


A Remix Credit

Preceded by a short rant about remixing and copyright…

I have a few strongly-held opinions on copyright. I support the idea of some kind of mechanism to provide artists with monetary compensation for their labours. We all need money to live. But as a creator, I also want to be free to remix and explore the work of others through my own work. It all hinges on ‘fair use’, a concept whose interpretation has been stretched on both sides of the debate.

Continue reading A Remix Credit