Author Archives: Robert Marsanyi

Found on a Forth-based web framework site

You’re using Gforth, which came out in 1992. Also, it’s 2017.
Okay. But Fredric Jameson establishes that in postmodernism we have experienced a weakening sense of historisity such that what is, what was, and what will be all exist as presents in time. 1970, 1991, 1992, and 2017 all happen simultaneously. Hence developers working on new projects while still coding in decades-old text editors. They write the future in the past and are made present in so doing.

ContinuuMini and Ondes

Saw this on Create Digital Music feed the other day, but forgot to post it.

There are two pieces to it: first, Lippold Haken (didn’t he do that synthesis/analysis thing with tracking sine wave partials?) is an instrument builder now, and he has a beautiful ribbon controller-like thingie called a Continuum. He’s announced a smaller, more reasonably priced version, the ContinuuMini.

Then, there’s a really nice instrument builder, a luthier, who is building acoustic resonators for electronic music. The one I like is a small guitar-like body modeled after, and named for, the Ondes Martinot, in whose tradition this guy is steeped. He also makes a bigger floor-standing unit.

Check out the combination in this video:

Here’s the link to the resonator guy:

Here’s the ContinuuMini stuff:

It’s not my imagination

Health care spending is out of control. Over 500,000 families go bankrupt from medical expenses each year according to The American Journal of Public Health, via Boing Boing. I spend more than my mortgage each month for “insurance” for Shelley and myself, and I’ve not yet met the usurious deductible, ever. The “cost” of health care is simply whatever can be expropriated from the consumers involved. How is this not being addressed?

Black and white and gray

We just finished watching “Black Earth Rising” on Netflix, by Hugo Blick. The English have a long tradition of intelligent parsing of their Empire and colonialism in their fiction; Graham Greene and his ilk. We in the US are more immature about ours. All our discussions, and our art, are still reduced to black and white, polemical. Lots of shouting, still. I wonder if the French have a grown-up point of view in their literature.


I’m reading Dennett on AI, and he talks of the goal of creating “a free-wheeling, open-ended imaginative human mind”. Maybe the problem is that such a thing is as hard to find in Natural intelligence as it is in Artificial intelligence; look at all the research that’s been coming out on behavioral economics, post-modern philosophy, …. We humans aren’t really there yet, either, although we can imagine such a thing.

The right way to transition off coal

When Hillary Clinton ran for office, she made the future of the coal mines in Appalachia part of her campaign. The solutions she was offering for the miners, however, were the same tired retraining schemes. I couldn’t see how retraining 50 year old miners to be web site designers was going to work. Instead, I proposed just paying these guys a decent pension for life, thank you for your service but we have to move on.

I see that I’m not the only one thinking this way. There’s a movement called Just Transitions that sounds much more reasonable. Spain recently agreed on such a process with their miners:

Its going to cost more, but it’ll work, and it’s much more fair. Much easier to get support from the miners. All the “controversy” over coal v jobs goes away.