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About Mike

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  1. Nice to see you online. :)

  2. Come baaaaccckkkk.... *cries* *begs* *pleads*

  3. I don't really understand how users can seem to get logged out momentarily for no reason, but I have made a small fix to the shoutbox which allows those that the site perceives as guests to retrieve the list of latest shouts. This should fix the periodic "you are banned" message. Can't really shed any light on everything else. It must be sleep deprivation or schizophrenia. ;) (Not on my part, that is)
  4. That was me testing a theory. Apologies for the interruption. On the basis of what I have observed today, it seems the site-wide error message that presented itself recently was caused not by someone tampering with the server's files, but by erroneous changes made by a trusted administrator to a small snippet of custom code we use. This code is evaluated at runtime, so it is possible for an error to suddenly crop up without any changes first being made to an actual physical file on disk. The site was not hacked, nothing was compromised, no personal data was leaked, etc. It seems human error was to blame, nothing more. Even in the event a malicious individual had managed to gain access credentials to an admin account, they would be unable to log into it and make changes owing to security restrictions we have in place.
  5. AA is making the argument that man hours expended contributes to or defines value. I personally see that as another guise of the commodification idea: an "hourly wage" for music composition. The more time you put in, the more compensation you should receive. Unless we can agree on certain extra-musical presuppositions, there is nothing to say that a piece which took 12 years to compose is superior to one which took 12 seconds. It may be that we can indeed agree that the former deserves more praise and championing, but for no reason having to do with the music itself. I don't actually think that we need to find some kind of enchanted over-arching rationalization for music in and of itself. For me, music is very much a social, psychological, economic and cultural phenomenon We can do very well looking for an understanding from these angles. We can also look at its bare bones to understand the raw material from which it is derived, an activity which certainly has its place, but at that point the grounding becomes softer and matters more unsettled. This is why I'm not sure music fits so well into the academic world just by itself. You normally have to add other grounding before it makes much sense. There is sort of an exception in that inter-subjectivity arises (a la memes) so people start to agree things because everyone else agrees them...again though, that's sociological, psychological and historical. AA, your own musical story seems to be largely sociological and psychological, much like everyone else's. Nothing to be ashamed of, it's just human nature. I also think you are expecting too much of music academia. If you want to stand up for your own interests, write music which is true to you, collaborate with it, get it heard, see what people think, have fun. The world outside academia is full of rich musical traditions/disciplines which are barely even acknowledged inside institutional walls. Don't fall into the trap of thinking that music has to be paid respect in an academic context for it to have some kind of value.
  6. The impression I garner from the site under discussion is that its author is possessed of fundamental disagreements with the way modern society is structured, and is using music as a form of scapegoat or outlet for expressing these feelings. I would consider myself opposed to the tenets of consumerism, although not opposed to capitalism in general, but I can hardly agree with the author's stances, nor fail to notice the bitterness residing in many of his/her statements. Fundamentally, of all the malaises afflicting society, I can't think of one for which music is primarily to blame. I would think that commercial or "commodified" (thank you Adorno!) music maintains its current standing largely because people in the west, particularly the young, seem to lack affinity to the larger community as compared with say 50 years ago. Personal identity tends to be formed more individualistically - music represents one avenue through which this may be achieved. But I'm sure fashion designers would look upon my clothing as terribly kitsch and unimaginative, interior decorators upon the decor in my house as bland and hollow, and so on. By studying a discipline in depth, you are guaranteed to move beyond a rudimentary appreciation into a critical mode of understanding. Through this, you can also gain wider perspectives, although a lot of people don't seem to. Instead, they can grow blinkers and form some kind of superiority complex. Wider understanding is replaced with what essentially constitutes narrow-minded, zealous fundamentalism. Maybe those words are too strong - the principles does seem to operate along those lines, however, and it really helps no-one. It's late over here, the above might make less sense if I were to read it tomorrow morning...
  7. I suspected as much. Once you get over the hump and become accustomed to how they work, you'll find the setup is much the same on just about every site you visit. :)
  8. If you don't wish to view the shoutbox, click the double arrow icon in its top right hand corner. It will remain hidden forever unless you clear your cookies, I believe. The same goes for any other forum sections you are not interested in. One might equally argue placing the forum jump at the top of the page would be intrusive, though I do agree it is a bit obscure. Have you used forums before, out of interest? Our community is powered by a popular brand of generic forum software which is also in use on thousands of other websites.
  9. There's also the Forum Jump menu located in the bottom right hand corner of the screen. You can use this to navigate to any forum thread listing from just about anywhere on the board. Or, you can click View New Posts at the top to display a reverse chronological list of all posts you haven't read. I'm confused when you say a thread has to be listed in the most recent thread column in order to be accessible - you can view all threads in a particular forum simply by clicking the name of that forum on the index page, or the name of a subforum when inside another forum (e.g. Other Arts from Off Topic).
  10. It can be done, though the ethics are a bit questionable IMO. Perhaps if the mass send-out were to honour the user's Receive Email from Administrators option, that would be more considerate. What's wrong with putting up a normal announcement, anyway?
  11. It isn't really necessary to perform clean-up - the site will not gain any noticeable performance or stability improvements in the absence of clutter. I really can't begin to account for the strange issues being reported in this thread as of late. Maybe it's something kooky happening at the level of the ISP as opposed to YC...
  12. I think there's a lot of truth in this. Performers tend to play in a manner which makes them sound bored when they are bored - things like lack of phrasing, lack of articulation, lack of dynamic range. Also, if you can see them (i.e. it's not a recording, or you're not too far away from the stage, etc.), the facial expressions might give it away. :P And personally, if I think I hear bored musicians when sitting in the audience at a concert, it makes me feel somewhat awkward.
  13. Seems to have potential as an easy "quick fix" for composers just starting out and looking to earn a little money...but what if one of your tracks actually makes it big and ends up being used in a really profitable, high profile media endeavour? Ordinarily you would reap the royalties from such an opportunity, but in this case your remuneration would be limited to the one-time fee. Nature of the beast, I suppose. Also, there may be no fee charged in order to submit one's music, but 50% commission seems pretty high...
  14. It's difficult to imagine another Michael Jackson ever coming along again. That's why people have become so reflective (or hysterical) over his death. His highly unusual upbringing and subsequent life was likely the main culprit in the manifestation of all those weird behaviours, including perhaps some form of child molestation. Who knows? If the American judicial system is to be respected then Jackson was not a paedophile, under the law at least. I do believe there was a large scope for ambiguity in that Jackson regularly held "sleepovers" with various children. Maybe he was so far gone that he didn't even acknowledge the possibility in his mind that his behaviour might be interpreted as inappropriate by others. As for the music, words fail me. His voice was amazing. Every element of almost every track seems perfectly positioned, perfectly timed, perfectly mixed. I can chart in my mind an overall decline in the musicality of pop music from about the time when Michael Jackson's success began to fade. And what about those dance moves? Sad that he had to go right before the This Is It tour - although maybe he wouldn't have lasted through that kind of physical and mental exertion regardless. We'll have to await the full autopsy/toxicology results, I suppose.
  15. Heh, indeed. Brian Eno is like quantum mechanics. If you think you understand Brian Eno, you don't understand Brian Eno. Flint, you should educate yourself a little on the mentality behind pop music production. The fact that it is very largely technologically mediated, for one. Much of what technology is capable of doing to sound nowadays is not expressible in terms of traditional Western notation. "Harmony" is, in a very real sense, just an academic concept when you take into account the myriad possibilities afforded by technology in terms of how sound itself - not notes - may be manipulated. Listen to Boards of Canada or something. How do you reconcile Eno's hand in all those pop records with ambient music, visual art installations etc.? His activities have been very varied, in much the same way that Cage's career consisted of more than just 4'33". Incidentally, Eno also pioneered the use of Cageiean aleatoric techniques in generating pop material: set up the parameters, capture what occurs, mix it all together afterwards. As for influences, I'm inclined to agree that all music heard is potentially influential to a composer, whether or not he/she is directly conscious of it.
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