Douglas Coupland and William Gibson discuss culture, technology, and the craft of writing. Communications technologies are a global memory prosthesis, says Gibson, and aspire to an experience in which distinctions between the "virtual" and the "real" are dissolved. We are already the borg, Gibson says.
Tagged with “audio” (8)
Once long past, listening gave clues for survival. Now we listen unconsciously, blocking noise and tuning in to what we want to hear. Yet the unwanted sounds we filter out tell us a lot about our environment and our lives. Broadcaster Teresa Goff listens for the messages in our walls of sound.
As civilization has become more mechanized, more urbanized and more digitized, the amount of noise has increased in tandem. This noise, according to Garrett Keizer, author of The Unwanted Sound of Everything We Want: A Book about Noise , "is a window for understanding some of the paradoxes and contradictions of being human." If you take the sum total of all sounds within any area, what you have is an intimate reflection of the social, technological, and natural conditions of that place.
Hildegard Westerkamp, a founding member of the World Forum for Acoustic Ecology, says that "Environmental sound is like a spoken word with each sound or soundscape having its own meanings and expressions." So when you listen to the noise, what does it have to tell you? "Noise is a pit of interpretation," says noise musician Brian Chippendale. Broadcaster Teresa Goff goes into the pit with her documentary, The Signal of Noise.
Jesse Thorn on making your own thing in public radio (while still being able to feed your family) » Nieman Journalism Lab » Pushing to the Future of Journalism
Two years ago, I did an interview with Jesse Thorn, the host of the public radio program The Sound of Young America and, to my mind, one of the most interesting entrepreneurs in public media today. The Sound of Young America is an interview show (think a younger Fresh Air) that is distributed by PRI and airs on dozens of public radio stations — but has a business model built primarily on donations from podcast listeners.
Since that interview, Jesse’s business has grown and evolved. What began years ago as a single show is now a network of a half-dozen podcasts, including one featuring “I’m a PC” Daily Show fave John Hodgman. Fans of the shows now gather yearly at a (profitable) weekend conference in the hills of southern California. Jesse now hosts a weekly show on IFC and, thanks in part to a successful Kickstarter project, runs a video podcast/successful blog on men’s fashion. But as new opportunities have arisen and the Jesse Thorn empire has sprawled into new directions, he’s managed to maintain control and a unified brand in a way I think a lot of young entrepreneurs could learn from.
So I thought it was time to have another conversation with Jesse.
Commentator Andy Raskin returned to Tokyo, where he once lived, and discovered musical improvements to the notification sounds played at each stop on the Japan Railways line. We hear some examples.
Kate Bush’s Running Up That Hill vs. Prince’s Sign O’ The Times.
Black Sabbath’s War Pigs vs. Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love.
Ever wondered what might have happened if Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin got together for a studio session 37 odd years ago?
Wonder no more…
When it comes to Apple-watchers, they don’t get much more thoughtful or insightful than John Gruber of Daring Fireball.
So when Apple unveiled its long-awaited iPad device today, we knew who to call.
A shorter version of Nora’s interview with John will air on Spark 101, but you can hear the full, uncut interview below, or download the MP3. [runs 15:43]
Have you ever played around with a gadget or application, only to discover it’s absolutely perfect for something different from its original design? This kind of inventiveness, or playfulness, happens all the time in our digital environment, but it signals a major shift in the relationship between the inventor or designer and the user.
Nora interviewed Clay Shirky about just that earlier this week. Clay is a big thinker on internet and culture, and he has a lot to say about how users shape the tools they use and how designers should respond to this new “interaction loop.”