Across the Transom: November 2023

Backups, Goals, Aztecs

Gahlord Dewald :: 12/04/23 :: Mānoa


New forms of culture, fresh narratives, and novel ways of telling stories will be part of how America resolves its collective feelings about decline.

Katherine Voyles in "Reviewing The Future of Decline: Anglo-American Culture at its Limits," Strategy Bridge


I’m just as passionate about curating as I am about making art. It might sometimes be even more important because holding space and having the opportunity for community to be together and experience whatever transformative art is present is so important. That’s the way that we use art to organize our communities—by actually experiencing it together and having space for people to be inspired.

maassai interviewed in Bomb Magazine


Interview with Okkyung Lee.


I find when looking at memory, particularly intense memory and intense and creative moments, my memory has more to do with the feeling of the event than the factuality of the event, if that makes sense. Another thing I've noticed is that in a creative moment - for instance, live performance - the artist viewpoint can only be subjective.

On very rare occasions I have known something is going on in a live performance, and I've always noticed by listening to many archive recordings that a particular performance which is considered by fans and reviewers and online commentators to be classic performances, very powerful and moving, if you actually listen to the music, the music as such, per se, and standalone, may not be exceptional. But there is something within the event which is exceptional and touches people very deeply...including, perhaps, even the performers.

So within a performance event, there are a number of factors involved: the music, the musicians, and the audience. And the combination of the audiences and the musicians with the music can generate an event that goes beyond the specifically musical...or to put it another way, something can come through the music to touch the audience - and perhaps the musicians - which bypasses the notes that are actually being played and moves directly into the performance event. Something like that.

Robert Fripp interviewed in "Robert Fripp on 50 Years of '(No Pussyfooting),' Working With Brian Eno, the Future of King Crimson, and More," QtheMusic


I remember after the first prac doing that tune w/ig, me asking him about this tune and he looked at me serious and said “mike, little richard” and damn if I didn’t realize and think “no shit,” only to ponder that for days later cuz it made TOTAL SENSE.

Mike Watt recalling a moment with Iggy Pop in "The Stooges | 'Shake Appeal' | 1973," HiLoBrow


It might interest such people that the Indigenous themselves wondered why their enemies—who were manifestly not superior to them in any intellectual sense—had far greater technological endowments. (Without access to radiocarbon dating of archaeological sites, they had no way to measure the length of time peoples of the Old World versus those of the New had spent as sedentary farmers!) It might interest many to find that supposedly stoical Native people regularly demonstrated both a wry and a raunchy sense of humor; that they wrote poetry bemoaning death and war; that they wished they could win the war and tell the Spaniards where to go; and that they wondered why the gods had disposed certain things the way they had and what, if anything would happen to mortals after they died. They expressed anger at the situation they found themselves in; they worried about their grandchildren; yet they always found something to laugh about.

Camilla Townsend in "To Understand Aztecs, Listen to Them," Public Books


Beware of looking for goals: look for a way of life. Decide how you want to live and then see what you can do to make a living WITHIN that way of life.

Hunter S. Thompson quoted by Tyler Etters in "Ending a Dream," Northern Information


Whether musicians, or visual artists, or sound artists, each of them made choices that left them able to create works of art. They gave up day jobs, and nice houses, and in some cases their health in order to create works that would speak for them, and for others.

These have never been people who look for short-cuts.

Perhaps more importantly, the artists in my life are people who work incredibly hard at both developing their skills as artists - be it paint, or pencil, or editing tape - and in thinking long and hard about what they’re about to create.

Yes, some artists just jump in and go entirely on inspiration and intuition, or at least present themselves that way. You’ll still find that this “in-the-moment” inspiration actually builds on hours and years of thinking, and practising, and exploring dead-ends.

Barry Rueger in "Rattles and AI," Échapper de North Vancouver


Re: Backups

My understanding is that SSDs just aren’t well suited to shoveling lots of smaller chunks or lots of r/w access. Those kinds of tasks beat them down pretty hard. For most people no big deal, but if you’re doing a lot of video/music etc then the lifespan of SSDs isn’t going to be what you will expect from a lifetime of using HDs.

Doesn’t mean they should break down in a year or whatever and it always sucks to lose data. But some kinds of workloads really will destroy a disk in a year or less.

I run sort of 3 tiers of disks/arrays:

  1. I use SSDs for working space, for the speed. All the work that I’m doing for the most part is working with files on an SSD. I have a dedicated SSD for the OS and a different dedicated SSD for my user account which is mostly a folder called “Active Projects” and I work out of that folder.
  2. I have a couple sets of HDs configured in RAID 0 (least safety, most speed) for assets I use often and for an available copy of my complete archive. Not as fast as the SSD but pretty damn fast. These exist as a cost compromise from just storing everything on SSD. There is no safety net in RAID 0. If it blows up then I have to rebuild it from…
  3. Slow, gigantic HDs, no RAID, no nothing. If I want a file and this disk boots up then I’m probably going to find that file. These mirror the working space, the archive, the assets, the OS every night. I never touch these unless I need to rebuild a RAID (hasn’t happened in a couple years but it has happened) or unless I’m moving them to off-site archive (try to do that quarterly) and starting a new one. These are giant and slow. Depending on the speed of disk size increases, these have sometimes become slices in a RAID array a year or two after they’ve done time in off-site storage. They are always the largest HD available to me at the time I put them in service.

I manage backups with Carbon Copy Cloner (if you’re on Mac and have never used it, once you use it you will wonder how you ever did backups without it: been bombproof for literally decades, must-have Mac software). It happens after I go to bed. Except for when I’m starting a new drive set I never even notice it.

If the machine starts preparing to run the backup that is my notice that it’s too late for me to be working or looking at a machine. If I was a late-night gamer or worker, then I’d set it to some other time or get a machine for late night gaming/working that I didn’t use for anything else so that my main rig would be able to back up without me getting interfered with.


A history of low power FM in a hat description.


A video manual for the Sony Trinitron PVM 8044Q