As a teenager I used to think I would listen to my walkman for the rest of my life. It was so essential to me – the cassette tapes I had painstakingly curated, the stock of fresh AA-size batteries, the headphones I found in an airport in England. The ritual of plugging it all in and pushing play. It just didn’t get any better.
One day in my early 20s I found my dad’s LP collection and an old hifi setup. I heard classics like Otis Redding and Springsteen in such clarity and power. Besides the fidelity, there was the long beautiful process of choosing the record, cleaning it, playing one side through and flipping it over, reading the liner notes, poring over the album covers, adjusting the needle and the audio settings. A new ritual was born. My life changed.
Now in my 30s I have my iPhone and an Apple watch. New tech, new ritual. I can call up any song I want no matter where I am. The digital liner notes are getting better every day and the sheer convenience of Bluetooth and music on the go is changing my life again. Don’t even get me started on Spotify’s daily mix and discover weekly playlists. That revolution in curation is a topic for another post.
Older forms of technology can all still be used of course. And often they retain their original power even though the convenience factor is low. Vinyl has made a come back. Audiophiles also tout the benefits of CDs and cassettes. For me this means I now have an arsenal of ways to access the Music drug. The music is the constant, Platonic form while the tech revolves and morphs around it in a clumsy, circular dance.
Perhaps one day the headphones will be nothing more than chips in our brains. A neuralink device Elon Musk sells for a fee. What might a music listening ritual look like for this scenario?
I get comfort from the fact that the music never changes. Taste and quality may vary, but a song is a song no matter what. The catalogue keeps on growing, but the essential form and function of a song is set. It is information in the form of a sound wave being received by the brain. Only the tech for delivery varies.
Hyperion has become a sleeping aid for me. That sounds like a poor review of a book sending me to sleep, but that is not what I mean.
For various reasons I have had to get up a lot at night recently. This is fine, but lately my mind has begun to race around, skipping from one thought to another which keeps me awake. Hyperion is what calms me down and focuses my mind on just one thing. The stories are so great and eventually I nod off to fantastic images of talking dolphins and portals across time and space. It’s kind of trippy to have so many nights with those stories running through my head.
Usually I am able to turn of audible before I fall asleep. Otherwise the story just keeps playing in my head and the next night I am hours behind and completely lost! I can mostly figure out what has happened, but after twenty hours of narration and a few nights leaving the story running on my headphones whilst I snore away, I definitely have some gaps.
Last night I finished the sixth and final chapter and I just have the prologue to go tonight.
Still highly recommended.
Happy Thursday chimps.
We are in lockdown in a beautiful location. We are lucky. There are regular scenes resembling a cover of a sci-fi novel.
Peach and pink sunset over the bay, the sea was perfectly still as a navy submarine, half submerged and performing a routine drill, cruised past like an alien ship in the evening. All the while a bright white moon hung in the pink sky. La Luna smiled down on us from the other side of the bay, almost scraping the pastel colored mountains which surround us like one of Mars’ orbital rocks.
On another morning, further out to sea a pod of hundreds of dolphins were in a feeding frenzy. They gorged themselves on a huge shoal of smaller fish which they had trapped. A boiling, choppy circular mass moved along through the water until the feeding was done. From high up here it looked like one of Jupiter’s storms passing by.
Now at night time the darkness of the water fills up space from our viewpoint to the city. Far on the other side of the bay is where the water ends and the city starts. I see an amber glow and winking, yellow lights floating on the blackness of the sea. The city is like a huge mothership hovering on the ocean.
Look for the sci-fi around you because it’s surely there.
Happy Tuesday chimps.
Dan Simmons’ Sci-Fi novel is a great listen on Audible. So far I have listened to about 8 hours and I have about 12 hours left. That’s 20 hours in total! Sheesh…. I don’t think I would have started the book let alone stuck with it for this long if I was reading an old hard copy. But with Audible and my routine of listening before sleep, I am confident of finishing it.
The ‘Canterbury Tales’ structure of the novel is brilliant. The Priest’s tale was an introduction to the world. The army general’s tale was brilliantly graphic. The Shrike is terrifying. I am in the middle of the Poet’s tale (no. 3) and completely absorbed by the tale. The humour and in particular the linkage with the writing process are absorbing. It makes me want to read the referenced poets like Keats. I want to visit the “City of Poets”. Check out this trail for an idea of the links to old poetry: link
Happy Monday chimps.
The addition of ‘escape the jungle’ to my blog’s main menu is taking shape. I plan to add a few sub menus to cater for all the things in life that help me to escape the jungle – to be less chimp and more rational being. Less anxious and more free.
So far I have art, design, productivity and psychology.
Within these categories I will post my favorite stuff. There will be subcategories too I guess…sport goes somewhere. This is the stuff I love and enjoy. The stuff that makes my life better.
Happy Sunday chimps.
It helps a lot if you are confident about the desired outcome. If you know what you want. I’m not sure what the stats are, but I bet that the odds of something happening go way up if you have the end goal clearly emblazoned is your mind.
All of the most important things related to a project – values, culture, status, leadership – they depend on the parameters that are set.
Maybe an example will help me express myself. If you write a novel, and it starts as a tragedy, then slips into a sci-fi, then to a slapstick comedy, and finally reaches a crescendo as a religious historical piece – well that sounds like a confused mess.
Genre and its audience is perhaps where you want to start. It helps to define the values, the culture and the modus operandi.
With that in mind, I have realized my writing on this blog tends to split into different interests. I might write about creativity, African trade, productivity, music, or sci-fi all in the space of a week.
This needs to become a little clearer, and step one in the splitting out of interests is to redesign the site a little. I think this new template is clearer and the menu at the top will help to clarify things.
It’s a work in progress.
For anyone who has reached this far in the post, happy Monday chimps. 😀
At the bottom of this blog post is a link to sign up for my new newsletter.
It’s gonna be full of great stuff. It’s weekly. It’s free. It’s to help you ‘escape the jungle’.
Click the following link for more details and to sign up today.
Visit our page: https://mailchi.mp/1fc50c04727f/chimpwithcans
Happy Wednesday chimps.
I am really enjoying audible during lockdown. It’s something to do while i do something menial or to relax.
The latest listen is Dan Simmons’ “Hyperion”. I listened to about an hour last night and I’m hooked.
Another cool thing I just discovered about Audible is that you can exchange books you have already read. So I’m refreshing my library to help get me through this lockdown.
Easter tomorrow. Wishing you chocolate, health, and peace of mind.
Happy Saturday chimps.
I received a reminder from my own website. Kind of ‘meta’ and Sci-Fi in its own right no? But the reminder was for an old post (link) about a Kickstarter campaign. This reminded me of the prize I got for backing the project – Like so many things – I downloaded the anthology and never read it.
I now have it lined up in my queue after ‘Foundation’.
Here’s to machines talking to people, reminding them of their laziness. And here’s to reading Sci-Fi.
Mostly to reading Sci-Fi.
I’ve started reading Isaac Asimov’s ‘Foundation’.
Well, sort of. I’ve actually started listening to it on audible. It’s great and very entertaining. I can see echoes of the story in more recent fiction.
Audible as a way to consume books is a revelation to me. It will help me to work my way through this great sci-fi list: link
Imagine a city which covers a whole planet…