The Best Laid Plans
or, quick notes in a crisis.
It’s a weird time in a lot of ways. I don’t know. Maybe all times are weird with the right attitude.
To keep it short: I’m fine, Emma is fine, and we’re cozy in our apartment. That apartment has become slightly cozier due to our new house guest, who takes the form of a bunch of lab equipment set up in the bedroom.
There are several things that I have been thinking about lately, running over again and again internally. I keep encountering them. I intend to write about them. I was going to write about one of them today, but I have decided to take additional time to figure out how I should write about it. To satisfy beeminder (and myself), I must post something, so this is a stopgap. I may as well use this spot to advertise a video I recently created to go with a one-minute, Xenakis-inspired piece I created for a class.1
I’d like to briefly sketch out some kind of roadmap for my next few posts, in which I hope to finally address some of the things that I’ve been thinking about. I’ll do this by distilling a few of those things as brief, related statements:
- People can find fulfillment, interest, love, and everything that is human in practically any human pursuit. Which thing it is doesn’t really matter much; how it is approached does.
- In addition to striving to do good work, it’s good to make work accessible — in terms of distribution and in other ways. By inviting people to engage with your interests, you can help other people find value and fulfillment in things that you personally know can be valuable and fulfilling. In short: if you love something, share it. This is in contrast to, e.g., hoarding knowledge, cultivating an excessive air of mystery or “you aren’t smart enough to get it”-ness, or doing intentionally ‘complex’ work that is designed to intimidate rather than elucidate.
- I’d rather be an enthusiast than a connoisseur.
- Music (and more broadly art) should strive to engage people. Innovation and appeal are not mutually exclusive.
- Accessibility is a crucial issue that has often been overlooked in the Western classical tradition.
- Sports… are alright! (I did not always hold this opinion.)
Take care everywhere,
I hope to practice what I’m preaching by writing more about this soon; perhaps someone will find my code for audio and video generation useful. (Both the audio and video were rendered in Python.) ↩