April 14, 2008

Three more snippets

To persuade you that McDaid's Keyboard Practice belongs in your life, I offer these:

Of software:

These tools are all written by programmers driven by frightful agendas: lobbying memos from marketing, quarterly marching orders from managers, apologetic memos from engineering VPs describing overblown promises made to analysts by desperate CEOs, pet peeves, side bets on Easter eggs, crank theories, smoldering resentment over midyear reviews, bad habits from college programming courses, and the numb, looming horror of fixed ship dates. It's a wonder any of this stuff works. Ever.

Of the sorting of the ambitious young:

They all dream of becoming the Elect - until they spend long enough in the City to realize that dreams don't come true. The culture protects itself from an excess of artists by throwing up filters: editors, critics, teachers, device logging, all the machineries of meritocratic Selektion. Someone needs to determine where the culture will invest its reproductive capital. ("Money's own genitals!" yelped Rilke, but we never learned who he was transcribing.)

The downside, as always, is time lags, slippage, human error, and an inevitable overgating. Are a few false negatives too high a price to pay?

Of the limitations of the ambitious young:

But their understanding of the world has been shaped by the presuppositionless "now this"-ness of the Net. Everything to them is sequence; flipping through the world by remote control, reality is just one damned thing after another. Their narrated digital space is not a medium that promotes reflection or deductive logic. And their induction never pushes past vague first-order syntheses; they've been taught to distrust master narratives, and schemas, res ipsa loquitur, are always tools of oppression.

No wonder they can't play Bach.

Posted by oook at April 14, 2008 04:16 PM