Friday, July 28, 2006

"we all want to change the world"

i pulled out my 10 string Warr guitar the other night endeavoring to respond to a creative impulse that is coming in loud and clear regarding a pattern in 10/8. The instrument is "set up for cross-handed playing". i could uncross my hands and learn to play it the way it is set up, but it does seem a suboptimal set up for that arrangement. So, i started to think about how i would set up the instrument for uncrossed playing.

i should note that this was in the context of having just seen Jon Catler perform at a microtonal guitar festival, last Saturday. i noticed that his frets did not go all the way across the neck of the guitar, so that some strings had different patterns of frets along the neck. And, then when i started thinking about my right hand playing bass i flashed on the fact that i wanted the frets to run in opposite directions for the left and right hand. That is, in the left hand, the frets are spaced wider apart as you move toward the headstock, while in the right hand the frets are spaced wider apart as you move toward the bridge.

(Editorial insert: obviously, you have to make the right hand side "bridge" be a nut and "nut" be a bridge. i guess that means you have to put the right hand side pick ups between the leftmost end of the frets and the nut. i guess i better draw a picture.)

i conjecture this would more effectively mirror the left-right symmetry in my body and make playing the instrument a lot easier. Does anybody want to sponsor me to get a Warr set up this way and test out the theory? ;-)

Another random incoming impulse for improving the world... how about a paypal interface to the till of my favorite coffee shop. So, as i'm sitting here typing this and realizing i need a quad shot, white chocolate, rice milk mocha, split 3/1 (3 shots caffeinated, one shot decaf), i go to the coffee shop's web page, order and pay for my drink the order appears on the barrista's screen, she makes it, and calls out my name and my drink and i go pick it up from the bar.

If this model works out, you could easily expand it to a large portion of service sector commerce. Out in the distant future of this idea you could imagine a mobile device, like a phone, that could scan the barcodes of on the shelf goods and with a single click, the good is paid for and the "thing" that makes the buzzer go off when you exit the store is deactivated for this good. Surely, surely, someone is working on all of the ideas in this spectrum, but, i think i could build the former and would enjoy seeing it worked out in practice.

i guess the point is that noticing and responding appropriately to the noticing are two different things. i notice too many things to be able to respond to them both actively and effectively, given my resources. So one question is which noticings come with a responsibility? i guess they all do... if i include 'letting go' as an effective response. Then my question becomes something like

...grant me the strength the change the things i can
the serenity to accept the things i can't
and the wisdom to know the difference


Blogger alexis said...

Certainly, there have been people looking at the barcode thing for ages now. It's not just marketing talk either. There is a supermarket that my parents use where shoppers can scan in the goods as they take them from the shelves.

Another factor in this is RFID which may lead us to a full implementation of the Augustinian picture of ostention and naming :-)

Now add tagging and people can semantically enrich the world with an ad hoc typesystem.

The latest Vinge novel, Rainbows End, features some of these ideas.

12:40 AM  

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