Communications Lab

Response: McLuhan & Truax

Posted by | Communications Lab, ITP | 6 Comments


I’ll start with Truax since that’s the easiest. This work came across as just a bit dated, but it was still very relevant. I like how he gave a pretty objective discourse and explained alot of facts. I learned a little bit about sound theory here that I didn’t know before.

I found his idea of “schizophonia” to be a bit amusing and really interesting. I’ve never thought of my relation to sound in that way before, but I have thought alot about how background music and ambient noise affects mood and performance. Some people do their best work in a quiet environment, but I find the quiet rooms here at school to be entirely too discracting!


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Posted by | Communications Lab, ITP, Physical Computing | No Comments

Alright, so this is a joint commlab/physcomp post. I’m supposed to document one of my projects for commlab, so it all worked out.

Here’s the video.

I started toying around with the servo, but I really wanted to play with the piezo. I wanted to create a different sound based on the user’s input. I had a force sensor, so I jury rigged some code up to do interesting stuff. At first there was a problem when I tried to upgrade the arduino program and found that it was broken. Oh well. Back down to version 0011.

So, what i was trying to do is let a user make a 3-note song. But this sound stuff is harder than it seems. I kept having trouble getting the delay right for to seperate the notes, so really what you’re hearing in the video is 3 notes being played very fast, but it sounds like one sound. Still, it’s generally what I was aiming for. I need to figure out the delays more. But not now. Later.

And here’s the code:
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Response to W.Ben

Posted by | Communications Lab, ITP | No Comments

So, read “The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction” by Walter Benjamin. He was a much easier read than the other Walter. There wasn’t much to respond to in reading his paper. The main section gave a fairly accurate and interesting description of what’s happened when moving from older forms of art to more modern forms.

Where the interesting bit comes in is in his preface and epilogue. Let’s start w/ his preface. He presents the idea that ‘creativity and genius’ are no longer usable or practical terms. I’d be forced to disagree there. They both are still valid and indeed, should be used in my opinion. He also says that about ‘eternal value and mystery’. I’m not sure about eternal value. I might have to agree with him on that one. I can’t see anything as having value forever. Mystery, i feel no way about.

The war bit at the end in his epilogue was kind of funny. The Marinetti quote just made me think… “Alright, if war is so beautiful, let’s see you go and enrich a flowering meadow on the front lines.” Sounds like a guy who does alot of talking, but not alot of doing.

Also, I’m not sure I got where he was going with all the Fascist talk. I didn’t quite get that. Felt like just oh-so-much-ranting.

Small Video

Posted by | Communications Lab, ITP | 3 Comments

Here’s our 1 minute video. We accidentally failed to record one scene and accidentally deleted another while slicing. :D Go video editing and stuff.

Ok, so it was < 1 minute. Bleh.


Posted by | Communications Lab, ITP | No Comments

So here’s my repsonse to the waterfalls:MEH. Frankly, I was underwhelmed. They were just… there. Oh, and at night they lit up.

And my response to Ong: The first thing I have to say about Ong is … Wow, this guy can really talk.. er, write. He somehow manages to take a simple idea and expland it into multiple paragraphs through use of examples. I think this reading would be alot easier to follow if he dispensed with all the references to other texts and such. It’s just waaaay too long winded for my tastes.

Ong says that a literate person can never truly recover a sense of what the word is to purely oral people. I think that he should perhaps have said that they can never capture it. Being literate, they probably learned to read at a young as and never had the sense that pure oral people get. Though if he said that he’d be wrong. My family has a tradition of storytelling to the young children and these stories tend to carry over through the generations w/o being written down.

Really, I had no idea such controversy existed over the Illiad and the Odyssey. I found the idea that Homer’s group was illerate to be a bit interesting. But only a bit. I found Parry’s work to be pretty hilarious though. A couple of the most famous works of literature made up of cliches and literary formulae.

The bit about oral cultures being made up of literary formulae I agree with. Proverbs are far more commonplace in primary oral cultures.
I’m up to chapter 3 and there’s still not much I can say about this. Most of what’s here seems like, “Oh yea, that’s true.” It’s getting more interesting though. I like the case studies.

Overall impression: Very DRY (Kind of like having biscuits w/o tea).