Monthly Archives: July 2010

I’ve Looked At Clouds From Both Sides Now.

I’m an audio guy, not a computer scientist.  Still, I’ve been a heavy user, and sometimes a designer, of computer-based communications for more than 30 years now.  From slow-scan and acoustic couplers, to Arpanet, TCP/IP and dial-up BBS, to early Compuserve, Usenet, WWW, through the rise of distributed hosting, social networking, the modern world.  Having worked with mainframes in the late 60’s, done hardware and software design on 1st-gen uP’s in the 70’s, up through the latest in DSP and embedded systems these days, has given me the opportunity to spend many hours studying and talking with the best and brightest in the field. 
Perhaps because so much of my social and professional communication was and is electronic, my goal of maintaining a personal blog has consistently eluded me.  It’s a very different processes to write in a diaristic way than to engage in discussion or participate in an interview.  But, I am going to try again.  There is much I want to write about related to the business and technology of audio, along with the usual doses of armchair philosophy.  Over the years, I tried to use various public venues on line to do this kind of thing, but the noise level now is just too high to allow meaningful commentary and dialog to exist.  Internet fora have become essentially useless.  Everything is debated endlessly, even the most established and incontrovertable facts.  Similarly, the parties who prevail in these debates are most likely those who have the most time on their hands, and who reinforce popularly prevailing beliefs.  Since there is no barrier of entry, and anyone can craft an identity and even register a domain, the amount of bad information available has mushroomed.  The vast majority of online readers have no way to differentiate real experts from eloquent hobbyists, or even educated trolls. 
As a result, most true audio professionals have long-since abandoned the internet as a vehicle for education and communication.  Many have urged me to do so over the last several years.  But, the internet is an important source of education for many consumers and hobbyists, and I have kept at it, sometimes skillfully, sometimes counterproductively.  So, now I am going to try blogging again.  This is a personal blog, and makes no pretense at being organized, useful, professional, academic, reviewed, concise, dispassionate, etc.  The posts will be topics that occur to me, and particularly, those related to audio, though the relationship is not guaranteed and may be very tenuous. 
"I may agree with what you say. But, I will defend to the death my right to ridicule you for saying it!" -Millie Voltaire