Minutes of meeting, Saturday 1 March 2008

I met James for a pint or x a few Saturdays ago, and we had the usual rambling, digressing, tangent-going-off-on, and thoroughly enjoyable and edifying discussion. Here are a few of the topics covered, in no order, but you may be able to see where threads link up.

  • Noise Music
  • Teleportation – Physical transferral or descriptive data transmission, in which case what do you do with the copy left behind? Socio-political impacts thereof.
  • Post-scarcity as described by Banks in his Culture novels, and Gene Roddenberry (or whoever) in Star Trek.
  • RepRap – an effort to build an open source 3D fabber.
  • ‘Jaunters’ as described in Bester’s The Stars My Destination (by the way, the unflattering mention of my namesake here is not me. I would have been trying to climb through the screen)
  • Jumper – a movie about teleportation.
  • Godwin’s Law – which says that as soon as you call the person you are arguing with
  • Cover versions
  • Faking It – a great book given to me for Christmas by Robin. It’s a series of essays about the myth of authenticity in music, something which I have always had problems with. It starts with Nirvana Unplugged, and goes on to talk about Elvis Presley (who wasn’t seen as “authentic” and loved it), punk, singer-songwriters, Billy Joel, Neil Young, Alan Lomax and his search for the “real” sound of the noble savage, Ry Cooder and the Buena Vista Social Club, World Music and much more. Refreshing and challenging.
  • Hawkwind
  • Live music
  • Effect of limited instrumentation on cover versions (and not just YouTube acoustic guitarists – “here’s my cover of blah blah” oh shut up)
  • Suicide – the fantastic band, with their sparse keyboard and drum machine sound.
  • Theatricality over talent, as demonsrated by KISS in this clip of God Of Thunder.
  • The ZX80 home computer.
  • The ZX81 home computer (my first computer). I got mine to make sound by changing the way it interfered with the TV. Related to noise music, above?
  • The Commodore VIC-20 (my second computer)
  • The Retro Computing Fair I attended in 2004.
  • ZX Spectrum (couldn’t find a link about this little-known early computer) .
  • The Early Matrix as seen by Lileks.
  • Halo – the computer game, with it’s great (if cliched) story concerning ancient megastructures in space built by an earlier race called The Forerunners.
  • Portal – another computer game with a wicked sense of humour.
  • Nexuiz – the computer game currently taking up my time. It’s a 3D deathmatch-style FPS, and it’s available for Linux.
  • Do Not Want – the web meme
  • The origin of the Do Not Want web meme.

As you can see, the discussion degenerated at this point, and last orders were called. Any other business? Only chips.