splash
4/23/15

Göbekli Tepe

I recently purchased a used Venue 8 Pro tablet to replace the HP TouchPad I had that was getting flakey. I hate to admit it, but what hooked me on the Dell was the fact that it runs Windows 8, and that means you can load anything that runs under Windows on to it.

Why does this matter? It matters to me because I like to use specific programs to do things like word processing and photo-editing, and I don't want to have apps for that- I want the programs I actually know and enjoy using. So this is my Venue running Reaper, a digital multitrack recorder, on a tablet that is somewhat smaller than the Tascam USB interface and microphone. Wacky!
4/21/15

Google announced today that they will penalize websites in their search rankings that are not mobile friendly. Hence the new format.

Surprisingly, some of my old fashioned ways were an advantage to me here. I don't have to worry about excessive use of CSS (I don't use it), flash graphics (ditto) or http: calls (ditto ditto). I still write these pages in boring old HTML, with tables and obsolete text size calls that are still supported by most browsers (and mobile devices).

So good old Steam Powered Studio should remain in the top section of the first page of search results for the time being, although I'm not terribly pleased with the layout on a desktop...
4/19/15

Amazingly Life-like, page two
4/13/15

live recording setup

This went well. A recording session, a demo, so nothing heavy in terms of tracks, just bang bang bang out some songs. I knew that this band was going to want to hear each other to get the vibe going, and would hate headphones (which would add extra layers of complexity anyway). So, playing live as a group- how to get some isolation?

Here's where my gobos paid off. There they are, in between the drums and the guitar amps. The stereo overheads are in the sound shadow of the upper part of the gobos, the bass goes direct with just enough in the room for reference, and the guitarists don't really want to hear the drums so much anyway, they are far enough apart that they won't fight. At a reasonable level, everyone had a good time, minimal fuss- 7 takes in about one hour once everything was set up. Yea for me!
4/11/15

Göbekli Tepe

Göbekli Tepe

I'm late to this, but it's big news and it hasn't been out there much. Back in the 1990's excavations started at this old site in Turkey. I mean really old. The place was built in the stone age, around 10,000 years b.c.

It's some 7,000 years older than the Pyramids, 6,000 years older than Stonehenge. The people who built it hadn't begun to make pottery, they had no domesticated animals or plants, nothing we would call civilization. They were simple hunter-gatherers: call them "cavemen".

It's a fascinating place and worth a few hours of your google- be sure to check out the lecture of herr Professor Schmidt if you want to hear about it from the archaeologist who first delved there. With his accent and his enthusiasm he's right out of the movies.

Of course, if it was a movie, there would have to be nazis or aliens to move the plot along. No such stuff here, it seems. Just the mystery of why a bunch of stone agers would go to all the trouble of building and rebuilding this place over the course of 1,000 years or so- then cover it all up with rubble and walk away.

Now, there are alien astronaut types out there writing books about Göbekli Tepe. There's money to be made from discoveries like this, and religious axes to grind. I love wondering about the significance of the site and of the symbols carved on these stones as much as anyone, but we will never really know. I am sure they were created by humans, not aliens or the gods. We can learn a lot about ourselves from this place, once we stop expecting there to be a meaning in it.

Let's go here...

monolith

Mssrs Clarke and Kubrick apparently didn't get the memo about the "T" shape, but they were pretty close otherwise. Their vision hit the screen 30 years before the discovery of Göbekli Tepe, so they hadn't seen those ancient stones. I could speculate how this remarkable similarity of appearance came about, but that isn't really the thing. I'm thinking that the driving force behind the creation of both Göbekli Tepe and the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey was the same- entertainment.

All the heavy thinkers get busy with a place like Göbekli Tepe. It's their job, after all, to tell us what it means. Was this a place of worship, the "first temple"? Was it a cause of, or a response to the transition from hunter-gatherer culture to agriculture? Did the construction of this site require the existance of a ruling or priestly class?

Would it be fair to ask the same questions about 2001? No, 2001 is just a movie... Of course, it is a movie that caused a lot of discussion and wonder and speculation about the nature of being human. Entertainment, yes, but entertainment that left us with questions.

I don't think we are any different than the people who witnessed whatever it was that went on 12,000 years ago in Anatolia. In that place, at that time, they were being entertained, and possibly, incidentally, being made to wonder about the nature of being human. Call that religion if you like. Whatever it was, it worked for them for a thousand years.

Then they changed channels.


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