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Tycho / on Mon, Dec 10 2007 at 12:06 am

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In The Service of The Queen, Part Two

Page Two of "In The Service Of The Queen" will be available shortly, as he’s taking the process very seriously.  Writing ridiculous poems used to be something I did with much more frequency, though it still happens occasionally.  I did, at one point, seize the entire site to host a comic musical about TRON.  The urge just rears up sometimes, swiping at the air with its claws, and I must feed it tender, rhyming couplets to bed it back down.     

When I have been thinking about something for a long time, for some reason I get the impression that it has been broadcast somehow and everyone is clear on the underlying assumptions.  I really feel like there LEDs in my teeth, constantly spooling out my thoughts.  So if I start to talk about musical revolutions or whatnot, and you cock your head, and then I just keep on going, well, that’s why.  It’s not merely an attempt to ennoble leisure activity.  The notion that the millions of guitar controllers currently in people’s homes could, at a signal from high command, empower a generation of musicians is so delicious that I must believe it.  That it is plausible from both a social and a technological perspective only stokes my delight. 

    Learning to play the guitar is actually fairly difficult.  It’s not impossible, by any means.  You’re rewarded by a suite of incredible auditory functionality.  Most people can’t, don’t, or won’t utilize the whole of it.  I think the set of potential musicians is greater than the set of people who want to wrangle something like that.   

Essentially, I’m saying that people could play the guitar without learning to play a guitar.  People who have spent years perfecting their skills probably wouldn’t like that.  The idea of virtuous toil is deeply ingrained, and the real thing has some serious advantages.  But there’s always going to be a line between people who could compose music and people who can be excellent with a traditional instrument.  I don’t know how wide the line is, or how many people it describes.  But that line clearly negotiable. 

This is fairly conservative, as far as revolutions go.  No firearms or divisive slogans.  Some new instruments, some new notation, and a socially networked distribution scheme.   For what are (I’m sure) obvious reasons, I still value human authorship.  I don’t want the guitars to actually write the music - I don’t believe in The Singularity, or anything.  I just see living rooms and basements and retail stores full of these simulated instruments everywhere I go, and it’s like future is staring me right in the face.   

(CW)TB out. 

  heedless of the wind and weather


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