Saturday, August 11, 2018

Meet the Turtorial

Uploaded a "Turtorial" to the Patterning tutorial.

It shows you how to use the built-in "turtle" and "l-system" functionality of Patterning to create more organic forms.

Friday, August 03, 2018

The new Alchemy Islands

I've just refreshed the Alchemy Islands site.

That's home to Patterning and now some other old "algorithmic design" and crazy art projects.

All of which are in the process of being refreshed.

August is Patterning-month, so the focus is there.

I finally sat down and played with devcards the other day, a wonderful innovation in ClojureScript world that let you write and test small fragments of UI code in self-contained "cards".

I've used this to redo the Patterning tutorials, so now you get can see tutorial pages like this, where the code is actually running live in the browser. (Note it might take a few seconds to render, even more on a cellphone.) But yeah, the whole library is running in the browser and generating those patterns live, thanks to ClojureScript.

As always, props to the awesome geniuses of the Clojure / ClojureScript world.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

A Month of Patterning

August is Patterning month again.

I'm back to work on the Patterning library. And, in particular, getting it working properly in the ClojureScript, in-browser version. I'm going to be using devcards, figwheel, spec and other good tools in the Clojure community.

I'll be revamping the site, posting new images here, and new versions of the code.

Watch this space ...

Saturday, June 30, 2018

This part of town. My corner of the internet.

It's basically becoming a derelict wasteland. It's falling to pieces. Neglected. The flows of life, of information, of "voice" have moved elsewhere.

I've successfully avoided the clutches of Facebook and Instagram and Whatsapp. Only to be similarly addicted to Quora. And increasingly dependent on Telegram for actual social stuff.

I have online existence. But not "here".

And I'm not only talking about this blog : Composing.

I'm talking about many of my online presences.

I'm talking about ThoughtStorms wiki, which has retreated from an open forum for debate. Via the idea of the Smallest Federated Wiki to a closed, but federal. To now an entirely personal closed thinking space. Perhaps inevitably, given the increasingly hostility to be found online. But is now full of outdated, half-baked, deprecated ideas.


I'm talking about my so called home-page which is now three years out-of-date.

I'm talking about the presentations of my projects which are languishing on public but unvisited static pages. Because, again, these aren't part of the flows  of life.

I am no longer living "publicly", putting what I do online. I don't even know if I want to be living "publicly" in such a way today.

Or to put it another way. I fragment over various places online and IRL. And each fragment has freedom to be what it wants. Unconstrained by the other fragments. How much do I want to try to reunite and reintegrate my fragmented personality? Or do I enjoy the small sense of "privacy" that remains when I allow these fragments to have independent lives of their own? Is becoming the "dividual" the only way to avoid being signed, sealed and delivered into the hands of the machine learning mind controllers today?

But how do you even "live" in a world where "existence" is increasingly tied to participating in the right flows?

Don't ask me. I have no fucking idea.

But ... what I do know is that it's a mess around here. So ... it's time to knock down a lot of stuff and build something new.

So ... in the next few months, I'm going to blow up this blog : Composing. I'm going to be blowing up Synaesmedia. And, perhaps most shockingly, I'm going to be blowing up ThoughtStorms Wiki. And a bunch of other sites.

None of that means that everything is going away entirely. 

What's still valuable will come back in some form.

But I'm going to make big changes. I'm going to break links. (Who cares about broken links?) I'm going to break names (what do my names even mean? Alchemy Islands? Gbloink? Mind Traffic Control? Why are they stuck with the crumbling signifieds they're currently pointing to?) I'm going to break online libraries. (Is anyone really using the ThoughtStorms libraries? If so, pay close attention to what's happening in the online repos)

I just over a year, I want to have achieved a thorough clearing out of the junk and cruft from my online life. And be focused on fewer, more live and dynamic, channels, better suited to today's internet and my current interests.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Gary Younge knocks it out of the park :

If ever there was an illustration of how a system of patriarchy demeans and depletes us all, this is it. Unable to take advantage of the male privileges they believe they are owed, they feel inadequate and grow resentful, and a handful become violent. Often awkward, shy and unconfident, they cannot meet the standards of machismo that patriarchy demands. They think feminism will destroy them. But in fact it is their greatest chance of liberation, since the less women are forced to conform to preconceived notions of femininity, the more space there is within masculinity for them to be themselves. As such, they are not only the perpetrators of misogyny but the products and, ultimately, the victims of it.

Friday, March 16, 2018


Improvisation using some of my new software for BSBLOrk.

Monday, February 05, 2018

I stand by this Quora answer on Marx.

But there is something a little bit unnerving about Quora telling me they just sent it to 100,000+ people.

Monday, August 21, 2017

On Academic Administrivia

Guardian nails it :

The first step in cutting back empty administration is eliminating the demand. An important aspect of this is to remove creeping government attempts to micro-manage the sector. Putting an end to the research excellence framework would save the sector £250m. It would also eliminate pressure on faculty to publish obtuse articles which are read by few people. Killing off the new teaching excellence framework will immediately save the sector £20m, plus countless hours of staff time spent complying with the exercise.

The next step is to root out the supply of empty administration in universities. A modest first step would be the elimination of “bullshit jobs” in universities. These are jobs which the people doing them think should not exist. Creeping forms of corporate escapism in universities would also be wound back. This includes everything from fanciful strategy development exercises, managerial vanity projects like opening campuses in exotic locations and overly elaborate leadership retreats. Staff need to be given space to question and even veto any new administrative initiatives. When any new initiative is proposed, faculty need to ask: “Is there any evidence this works? What is the logic behind it? And is it meaningful to staff and students?” Answering these three simple questions is likely to cut back empty administration substantially.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

I'm really enjoying playing with Protoplug for scripting your own VST plugins in Lua.

This sketch uses 3 scripts with the plugin.

My own Waveflavours synth (playing the ever-evolving drone chords). The default "midi chordify" (that chord isn't programmed, it's being generated automatically from single notes) and another self-written variation that chooses random notes from a chord which is driving the u-he's "Triple Cheese" plugin.

All these scripts are hosted in FL Studio, which is also providing the drums.

Protoplug is really exciting to me, because I can finally turn FL Studio into something scriptable, and which I can use more like the way I was using Sonic Pi, to experiment with algorithmic composition.

Update : You can find my scripts for ProtoPlug on GitHub

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Resistance To Corbyn


Jacobin Magazine has a good overview of how much the media / establishment opposed Corbyn during the last two years.
It just makes his performance in the election all the more impressive.

Wednesday, June 07, 2017

George Monbiot :
Who, in this fissile age, would wish for a prime minister with no discernible convictions, no perceivable moral core? Who, when we need courage in government more than at any time in the recent past, wants a prime minister who rolls over to everyone from the Daily Mail to King Salman bin Abdulaziz al-Saud? Who, as we face negotiations with the European Union that will determine the future of this nation – negotiations that demand the utmost delicacy and care – wants a government peopled with buffoons, blusterers and bullies?