I also play traditional music, though boredom wasn't part of my discovering that. However, silence was a big part of traditional music, in the past. You need empty space if you're going to approach something with a fresh, receptive mind and heart. When something is so common that it becomes an ubiquitous commodity, we tend to tune it out and become desensitized. It's this way for all kinds of culture and media. If you're not familiar enough with the really great parts of traditional musics, then think of media around sex. Or, for that matter, video games.
The transition from boredom to fascination to determination has been a start of many significant parts of my life.
The constant bombardment of shit is so real though. I want to spend time with my wife and kid. Sometimes it's hard to focus though. Everywhere you look in public there is something flashing to get your attention. Thankfully we _are_ able to turn things off for a while and just be with each other.
I don't know if that's entirely fair- orchestras have always been quite overwhelming to the senses, as have choirs and organs, IMO. Swing dance music is also quite fast and filled.
Similarly, in my music spheres, minimalism is quite familiar- popular music "unplugged" has made a large comeback.
But those were rare, special events which people went to a lot of trouble to attend. Between those orchestral performances, people had to make their own music. Contrast that with today, when orchestral music can be background noise somewhere, accorded no special value.
another good one:
PUSCIFER - Momma Sed
Wow, that is so not what I was expecting from your description.
For "space in a song" I was thinking something more like "Brothers in Arms" or "Comfortably Numb".
> However, silence was a big part of traditional music, in the past.
A glass is useful because of its empty space. You need the emptiness to fill it up with something. For inventions/ideas/startups, you need some empty space in your mind.
Think of a bored computer (one that is not used to its maximum capacity). It's like a computer that uses swap memory v.s. one that has a few GBs of free RAM. Which one would you rather use?
I say, it is good to be bored and stay bored -- don't rush to fill up the empty space.
A bored computer would just be one that idles more than it schedules work. Memory is not a good anthropomorphism to boredom. Why? Because swap memory can be beneficial to systems even if RAM is un-exhausted, and a system that has a few GBs of free RAM is a newly booted, or a poorly cached system, the extra ram is just unused extra resources -- untouched. Maybe, the system can be bored waiting for IO, but again this is stalled CPU cycles. The glass analogy would fit better to annotate the memory system architecture itself as the glass, a rigid and crafted system, and the water as the actual physical pages, the actual dynamic data that flows through.
Thirty spokes share the wheel's hub;
It is the centre hole that makes it useful.
Shape clay into a vessel;
It is the space within that makes it useful.
Cut doors and windows for a room;
It is the holes which make it useful.
Therefore profit comes from what is there;
Usefulness from what is not there.
As for the thread, a very straightforward quote:
So the unwanting soul
sees what's hidden,
and the ever-wanting soul
sees only what it wants.
In music, I always found it interesting that it was "Smells Like Teen Spirit" that ushered in a pop music revolution - as it had "quiet-loud-quiet" dynamic.
When I was going out to play I would then come back with my whole body hurting from how much I ran. Not even sure how to describe that pain, because I can no longer feel it, in spite of me working out. It was this intense visceral pain, literally I could feel my organs tired and yet I was euphoric.
And I'm not sure how it was in the US in the eightees and nineties, but in my Eastern European country we grew up without much baby sitting, as our parents were busy and there was no such thing as an "after school", so we were either doing homework or we were outside to play unsupervised.
In other words I had a childhood full of distractions and yet I learned programming just fine, from shitty resources gathered from internet cafes with poor internet connections.
Got my first computer in '94 and we had plenty of games too, some arguably more fun than what's available today. When I started learning I did so with the desire to create my own games. I think that some people are simply wired with an inclination for such hobbies.
Oh and did I mentioned that we were coming out of communism so we had decades of western movies to catch up on, VHS rentals being a huge phenomenon?
Boredom is overrated.
There's something intrinsically toxic about portable devices of course. But I don't think boredom had anything to do with it.
Absolutely lovely music, but some of their music is more black metal. Not as accessible, but the albums the recommended songs listen to are easy to get into.
Also, for anyone wondering what the hell is going on in the intro to limbs, it's actually an e-bow, this weird magnetic gadget that slowly swells guitars strings. Makes it sound rather orchestral :) I believe either Muse or Radiohead make heavy use of it too.
EDIT: forgot to mention, check out Mogwai! Not that similar, but it's instrumental and great for getting in the zone!
I'm young enough to have had smartphones when I was in highschool... but I really do feel bad for younger kids these days now that their smartphones are so much better and the ecosystem is so much better, I can imagine they almost never have an opportunity to be bored. There really should be some sort of BASIC emulator that comes shipped with smartphones because smartphones don't really easily present an opportunity to start programming even though they're reasonably powerful devices
Meanwhile I'm able to write about game ideas, code them, create some characters and story and background, even though it doesn't lead to anything since it's more of a hobby, but I fail to make it into a job. I love to think, create, try to design little things, and honestly that's the best pleasure I have.
In the end, I don't think I'm really unhappy. Nihilism is a good way to cope with my own reality. I don't think people who fill their time with a job to kill the boredom are doing themselves a favor. The philosophy of contributing to society to gain money, quality holidays and entertainment seems weird to me.
I always wonder: when their week is over, where do people find refuge? Sports, hobbies, entertainment? I just don't understand how people can think about leaving this world without having something that is really their own. How do you live when you're just a consumer? What happens if you lose friends? In my own conception of life, I just don't understand how people can not feel lost if they don't create something that stems from their own selves.
Everyone reading this will be dead in 90 years. We are stranded on a giant rock spinning through frozen space.
At the end of it all there will be nothing but the heat death of the universe. Nothing and nobody will survive.
There is no larger purpose. There will be nobody alive to remember any good or bad deeds you may do.
Fortunately, you have the choice to either be depressed about it, or try to enjoy as much of it as you can while you can.
I enjoy listening to and producing music and playing sport. Also enjoying nature and peace and quiet. I like nice food and spending time with my partner.
I love my life, except work which to me is an unfortunate necessity. I just try to maximize my enjoyment and that makes me feel alive.
I'm as non-religious as they come, but I often wonder about this. Any time I spend even a little bit of time thinking about this stuff, I always find myself turning to the thought that, if that truly is all there is, then why does anything exist at all? Like, even on the level of energy/matter. My brain just can't get past the logic of, if there truly isn't anything here at the end beyond a dead, near-infinite void, wouldn't it have been cheaper and simpler for literally nothing to ever exist? Why go through the hassle of all this matter creation?
It's just a really stubborn blocker for me. I get sort of stuck there and kind of throw up my arms and get to living as if some of this must matter somehow. I'm not saying it does. But the fact that matter exists, as opposed to there just simply being absolute never-nowhere-nothing, keeps me questioning.
This assumes purpose, intent. Yes, it might’ve been more logical to not create anything, but the processes that initiated creation didn’t reason, they didn’t think “what makes more sense”, they happened randomly.
But even it there was an objective behind creation, that might have just as well been “to see what happens”, same way some people keep ant farms just to watch them — doesn’t make the ants’ existence any more meaningful.
Or perhaps our universe it all there is, and it doesn't expand infinitely, but will begin a pullback at some point leading to a new big bang.
Or maybe we're just simple 3d beings, and the universe is really multi dimensional. Or even more mind boggling, we're just a simulation.
None of the above explains what is outside, nor does it answer your question. What I'm trying to paint, is that we will probably never know. But we do know that being happy feels good, so just focus on that, because that is the meaning.
Is that true? I thought the whole reason they came up with dark matter was that the universe was expanding faster than the amount of detectable matter inside it would suggest.
Nobody really knows enough about what could happen on timescales that large.
We've invented dark matter to explain the accelerating expansion of the universe because we don't have any proof of why that is happening.
One thing is clear to me though, and that is that both Earth and the universe will outlive me.
So no matter what happens to the universe, it's not my problem and I'm back to, "it's my choice whether I just sit here depressed about my imminent demise, or just forget about that which I have no control over and just try to enjoy myself as much as I can".
For a majority of people, their greatest and most satisfying achievement will be their children. Nature doesn’t play around :)
This sentiment is grossly nauseating, to me. Having children is not an achievement. It may be satisfying and fulfilling, but it is in no way an "achievement".
If your greatest contribution to the world is birthing a child, you have failed as a person.
Isn't that exactly what it has become? Right now we are struggling with a massive environmental catastrophe, which is largely caused by overconsumption.
One of the best ways to fight that is to simply have fewer consumers , yet somehow that's something barely anybody even dares to talk about because we can't take from people the "freedom" to keep birthing more off-spring for no other reason than self-gratification.
It's not like we are a species on the brink of extinction like we direly need those additional bodies. Right now it looks like we are having way too many bodies to actually keep busy with meaningful work, a problem that will only become that much worse as automation makes even more manual jobs redundant.
In that context, I consider this urge to have biological off-spring the epitome of egoism. There's plenty of orphans out there who would be glad to be living in a family that cares. Why not give them a chance instead of adding yet another body to the problem because it has some minor DNA similarities?
Yes, adopting in most countries is a difficult process, I know that, I still think it's the much more responsible choice than insisting on biological offspring.
Consider the movie Idiocracy, where the high-IQ couple decided to put off children until they were unable to conceive - contrasted with a trashy man who had dozens of children with many different women.
Do you want the world you live in 20 years from now to be one with people like you or unlike you? Regardless it reduces to people being selfish, but I dont think it's inherently wrong to want to raise children into upstanding citizens.
If you want to decrease the number of consumers, here's what you do: Go to every developing country in the world and speed up its movement aping the western development arc so that it gets more money, suburbia, feminism, etc. Until everyone's miserable, alone, and nobody's having kids, like in Europe, Korea, or Japan.
I believe that you have to look at that from a global perspective as the climate change also doesn't stop at borders and globally birth rates are still way too high. The proper solution would be to stop trying to keep "foreigners" out of the rich, western countries, so that people from countries with high population growth can migrate to countries with shrinking population. That'd be a win-win situation for everybody.
Lol, I mean, yeah. It is. It's a biological imperative to recreate yourself.
To another responder's comment: "To many, their children are their greatest achievements". True, but a majority of people will not achieve anything great. A kid is like a participation trophy for life.
There's a line between totally dismissing the difficulty of raising children and the holier-than-thou attitude many parents have with regards to their parenting abilities. I do not envy people who have nothing to say about their own passions except their children.
I think you’re the one in this thread with the holier-than-thou rhetoric. You and the other commenter are the ones trying to minimize the work of childcare. Don’t make like it’s the other way around.
99.9999% of people's life achievement die with them the second they pass away.
If you don't make it to Bach's level of achievement you'll be forgotten instantly. Enjoy simple things, life is beautiful without setting bs goals, play music, draw, dance, do some woodwork, who cares you'll most likely suck at it compared to the masters, just enjoy the process
My experience has been the complete opposite. There are teachers whose memory I still cherish to this day because of their tender yet firm touch in guiding my growth. That's just one example. People scarred by their parents play out their issues on other people, multiple people are affected in that case. There are many other examples of actions whose repercussions are felt long after the actor's death.
I don't get the 'either we destroy ourselves, or the sun explodes'. If we don't destroy ourselves now, there's no way humans just stick around in the solar system till the sun explodes- at one point, some civilisation will invent brain uploading or general AI or something, and then they'll go and eat the Galaxy. It's either that or total extinction. I can't envision a very likely future where humans survive for Billions of years as-is.
We ourselves create meaning in our lives, and our doing so is subject to memetics, like most everything else. I would argue that the desire to do acts that affect others and be remembered through them is a pretty clear leader in this memetic race.
The GP didn't say “having children”, so even to the extent one agrees with this claim it's a non-sequitur.
> If your greatest contribution to the world is birthing a child, you have failed as a person.
Perhaps. Certainly, if that's your greatest contribution to your child, you've done very little as a parent. But when people say that someone's greatest achievement is their children, they probably don't mean giving just giving birth to (or fathering) them.
Here is another perspective: Having children and providing for them is actually a huge contribution to the society. At the end of the day, we want to keep our knowledge (understanding of the universe, etc) afloat. And the only way to do that is by having children and educating them about it.
The vast, vast, majority of humanity will never accomplish anything that will rival raising children well. The remainder are those who invent, discover, build, and market those things that let us live and have children better.
And all the failures.
There's already too many people on this planet for it to be sustainable.
We demand constant growth in the economy which won't play well with a rapidly shrinking population.
That being said, I'd love to promote the idea that your children are not just your responsibility but mine as well. It is such a primitive tribal idea that I find it strange people are offended by it because it is "socialist".
Personally, I am OK with waves of forced mass sterilization but I understand, because human nature, it will be just as poorly implemented as any war draft so I can't promote this idea.
That ridiculous and frankly insane expectation of constant growth is the reason we're in this mess in the first place.
Also, a "rapidly shrinking population" has never happened so who knows what the effects might be.
>Personally, I am OK with waves of forced mass sterilization but I understand, because human nature, it will be just as poorly implemented as any war draft so I can't promote this idea.
I wasn't suggesting either genocide or mass sterilization, but lets not go too far the other way and pat ourselves on the back too hard for simply making more people, and making vapid statements like, "All the accomplishments of humanity stem from having children".
Those billions of accomplishments are rapidly destroying the only planet we have, so clearly on average every extra person is a net negative.
I haven't had children myself so the effects of all those accomplishments won't be my offspring's problem when I'm dead.
>We demand constant growth in the economy which won't play well with a rapidly shrinking population.
Especially interesting/scary is the "World population since 10,000 BCE" chart.
I don't think a rapidly shrinking population is the problem that we are likely to experience.
It is way harder (to do it right) than anything you can imagine.
Then you must ask why those who have accomplished their dreams (doing what they want) still feel lost. I know many.
The real question is: what can complete the emptiness that I feel?
The answer is simple: Nothing! There is no emptiness -- stop imagining one.
Do what your heart desires, experience life, create stuff, change the world as you wish, but remember, oh my friend, you are not just this!
Completing a big project, setting a new weight lifting or running PR only leaves me feeling empty. I've come to realize fulfillment, for me at least, is in the journey; accomplishment is merely a memento.
I am feeling sort of stuck in a loop with this, and constantly feel like a failure about it. Part of me thinks I should give up on the idea altogether and I would just be a happier person. But I don't know if I could do that if I were being completely honest with myself. Not that this helps you, just putting it out there :)
I don't think giving up is a word I would use. I'm thinking about my project in very safe manners so it cannot fail. As long as I'm conservative about my ambitions and as long as the project holds and has something other don't, it is worth pursuing.
In a way I've already abandoned it a million times because I had to do other things. So to be honest, the only way is forward, all I can do is making it. There's nothing to throw away, only things to make.
It's not really giving up, it's trying to forget about a project, but that's just not possible. I don't think I could change my tastes and abilities or have another project to replace this one.
Now if I had something else to do I would pursue it, but in the end, I think I'll always go back to my project.
It seems like humans are now at the same junction. After getting all stuff we need, we are lost again. We have less children for economic reasons in the same way hunters did. Having and raising children is ironically the simplest way to find meaning in life.
Personally I'm happy to be with myself. I spend most of my idle time reading, talking to my loved ones and reflecting on my days. I'm not sure if I call myself just a consumer because I don't enjoy going out to drink, try new restaurants or purchase things I have no need of.
Regarding what happens if you lose friends. Keeping your friends close to you takes effort. I try to stay in touch with my closest friends and take interest in their lives.
Lastly, I have no desire to leave an imprint on this world as my own creation. What I do desire the most is to create an impact in the lives of people I do care about. So far this impact is limited in sharing my thoughts about philosophy, science and society.
It's not a weird fear. It is rooted in the expressive individualism of our age, which strips us of tribal identity and tells us that we can be whoever we make ourselves. Both for better and for worse.
The worse of the latter is that if we do not make anything of ourselves, it is our fault. This is perhaps a little more true today than it was in ages past, but we feel it to be a near-absolute truth where it was barely thought of once.
I feel the same thing. It is neither strange nor unexplainable. It is one of the little-spoken downsides of modernity.
noun - a style of Japanese film and television animation, typically aimed at adults as well as children.
I don't think I've felt bored in decades precisely because I have so many things I like to think about. I'm not sure I could even turn that stuff off to actually feel bored any more.
You are doing those things to escape boredom. The idea isn’t to stay in a perpetual state of boredom. The point is to induce boredom, so that it pushes you towards doing things you wouldn’t normally do, in order to escape it.
Still doesn't sound like a great idea.
"Inducing boredom" doesn't mean "sit down in your apartment like you normally would, but force yourself to do nothing and get bored just because." I always understood it as "put yourself in an environment with limited options, so that you would feel more encouraged to do something productive/creative that you always wanted to do (but couldn't due to all the outside distraction/overstimulation) in order to escape boredom."
- a public park with too many people / other distractions
- and individuals private property
- a corporations private / leased property
Where is this if I may ask? And how many sheep do you get to see? I wouldn’t mind doing that and take my camera.
Re: How many sheep -- Depends on your count site; some people see zero, others see upwards of 40.
See this HN comment (from this same thread) for additional info. https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=20384971
This is a great KQED piece from 2 years ago.
Edit: I'm happy to share and am available for further questions, but for anyone planning to visit the any parts of the Southern California desert during the summer, please please don't plan to go all out on your first visit. Please take a measured approach. For example: an overnight car-camping trip before you attempt a backpacking trip. When you're new to the summer-desert, plan on carrying one-gallon-per-person of water for a hike of any length, even if it's less than a mile; it can save your life if you unexpectedly get heat exhaustion when it's over 115F.
Edit II: To volunteer, e-mail AB.Sheepcount AT parks.ca.gov -- express your interest in the 2020 census and they'll put you on the mailing list. If you'd like more information, reply to this comment and we'll work out how to chat directly.
I really think social media is altering our attention spans and changing our minds, for the worse.
Certainly agree with the idea that phones create a strong environment for bored distraction. I've been slowly deleting apps where I find myself pointlessly refreshing/checking, but I haven't made it to the next level of completely disengaging and simply sitting and mentally exploring other forms of leisure.
> 3. Boredom and drudgery are evil.
> Hackers (and creative people in general) should never be bored or have to drudge at stupid repetitive work, because when this happens it means they aren't doing what only they can do — solve new problems. This wastefulness hurts everybody. Therefore boredom and drudgery are not just unpleasant but actually evil.
> To behave like a hacker, you have to believe this enough to want to automate away the boring bits as much as possible, not just for yourself but for everybody else (especially other hackers).
> (There is one apparent exception to this. Hackers will sometimes do things that may seem repetitive or boring to an observer as a mind-clearing exercise, or in order to acquire a skill or have some particular kind of experience you can't have otherwise. But this is by choice — nobody who can think should ever be forced into a situation that bores them.)
Knowing you’ve reached the limit of your current capability is boring because you know the next few practice rounds will be much of the same, with minor improvements that provide a dopamine rush.
Regardless, nothing has changed in the age-old saying of how to get to Carnegie Hall: Practice, Practice, Practice. The practice is the boredom, but without training your muscles and building up myelin sheaths, you’ll never be good enough to automate most of the music to an extent that you can improvise on top of it (the fun part).
I guess my point is akin to OP’s, in that boredom isn’t inherently a bad thing, but a means to an end. Without the boring practice, we wouldn’t have experts/artists...and even then, the practice doesn’t have to solely be boring.
You would be in a different place, and whether it's better or worse is unknowable.
For every person inspired to greatness (or okayness) by boredom, there is someone driven to drug addiction by boredom.
I literally just said those factors got me to where I am today. I did not imply where I am now is better than an alternative.
Where are you? Not in prison I hope.
You have the opportunity to work on them. Be it via meditation. Or cognitive behavioral therapy. or whatever.
And if you succeed, you earn a happier mind.
Interestingly, both curiosity and self-control have been turned into successful reinforcement learning techniques. A RL agent would walk a maze collecting points, but one wall was turned into a TV, so when it found it it stopped exploring and just binged on the video feed. Even RL agents can be addicted to video.
Having a population with varied amount of attention seeking seems beneficial for finding the "optimum" for the local environment. Too much novelty seeking and the seekers will all get eaten by bears and starve because they fail to do what is known good. Too little novelty seeking and the known good will rot and be inflexible to changing conditions. (obviously contrived)
But! Richard Dawkin's selfish gene theories go the other way and argue for natural selection working on the gene-level instead of the individual level.
It seems like group selection but it is more like population dynamics and selection pressures for traits in a population. If a gene becomes too prevalent in a population it's advantages become disadvantages and an individual has less chance of surviving. If it is too scarce, an individual has a large advantage and a higher chance of surviving and passing the gene on.
It would be limited to traits where the phenotype results in more successful competition with the same species.
― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder
These days, I don't even know where to start. It's terrifying! I'm moving to the country soon to get away from the overload.
I would tell her I'd be there in two minutes, and to me what felt like two minutes, was really ten in real life.
In those days, this kind of computer time dilation experience was pretty unique, and very few people had access to it.
Now I find it funny to see that all of society seems to be turning into phone zombies.
Although this absorption state is occasionally useful, I've come to dislike it. I feel it takes me away from real life down a rabbit hole.
I much prefer full contact living, and the occasional boredom that comes with it.
I install only utility apps, a surf forecast app, a VPN token generator for work, and a few others.
I specifically don't install any social media apps on it.¹
I also use an older phone (iphone 5), and maybe that helps a bit too, since you have to be really motivated to browse the web on it.
1: I don't even have social media accounts, period, but that's another story.
"Being bored is good? I'll show you how bored I am! I'm the most bored. Here's an anecdote about how I was the most bored before being the most bored was known to be good. Therefore I really am bored and therefore good. LIKE ME LIKE ME LIKE ME"
You know what? I'm rarely bored, suck it.
It would definitely be easier for everyone's self image if we weren't exposed to the parts of ourselves that we found weak, or disgusting. Boredom and lack of stimulation easily facilitates this illusion of self control and virtue. But true self knowledge and self-equilibrium result from the understanding of who we exactly are, how we react to different situations. In this way, I think "over"-stimulation is laudable: you never know what is enough until you know what is too much.
A similar situation is with food in America. I'm from another country and had a pretty healthy weight. Then I moved to the US. All the weight again and associated health problems hit me like a truck. I didn't change as a person, but massive amount of ridiculously cheap food everywhere just wasn't (as much) of a problem in my home town, so I was healthy. NOT ANYMORE!
If we should do something about it or not is a completely different topic.
I consider it an aspect of “wealth” to have quiet time for introspection. While I do most of my hiking with friends, I block off long periods of time for introspective, or meditative, walks by myself in the wilderness (I live 150 feet from a trailhead, with lots of nearby wilderness).
I usually enjoy writing but after a recent move back to our home in Arizona, I was suffering from “writer’s block” and the way I broke through that was to toss my laptop in a backpack and walk for 45 minutes to my local library, write, then walk home. Walking 90 minutes might seem boring but this process worked well for me and got me unstuck.
> Boredom is, at its simplest, a form of desire turned back upon itself, resulting in the inability to act in any purposeful or happy manner.
> Why can’t I simply want something? Why can’t I simply do something?
A lot of people of my generation actually need Netflix to fall asleep, which I find frankly disturbing. The eyeball economy is an addiction, maybe not as dangerous as other ones, so we just live with it.
Look at Europe, the north does significantly better than the south in most cases. The southern countries in my opinion, have far better quality of life.
Somehow i feel people mistake living a peaceful life with living a boring life. if you are bored all the time, that is basically called being depressed. it is not fun and it is not good.
This seems a little bit like a fist-shaking "back in my day!" kind of judgemental statement. Music is a matter of taste and what you're approaching here doesn't relate to the topic.
There is money to be made out of superficial music, fit for consumption as a background to parties and dance, tailored for the least common denominator in terms of intellect. But that has always been the case; nostalgia aside, the "current" music of pretty much every decade has been pretty bad. Sure, the greatest hits are, well, great. But if you dig a little, you'll find that the songs that were just below the greatest hits in terms of popularity -- but hugely popular nonetheless! -- are pretty bad.
But there are plenty of artists making good music today. And frankly, I think the current situation, where we have things like Bandcamp and Youtube and whatnot is better than ever before. If I'd been a teenager in the 1970s it's extremely unlikely that I'd have heard of bands like, say, Malicorne -- superb music but with success limited to their own country mostly. Nowadays, if there's a great band making great music in Ittoqqortoormiit, there's a good chance you can hear about them and listen to their stuff.
I can't help but roll my eyes when people say that 80s music was bad. Sure, popular music was an abomination (when hasn't it?); but even if you searched a bit you would have found great music lurking in the shadows.
My son is currently trying to break into the music industry. He is a gifted guitarist and musician , but whenever he talks to music producers and execs, he is told that his songwriting is too complex, his songs too long (avg 4 minutes) and his lyrics too deep for the current generation of music buyers (read: teenagers and young girls).
He is being told repeatedly by the people who make the decisions that he needs to reduce his songs to a basic beat with a couple of good hooks and not much more than that (apart from adding some eletronica). These are the people who fund albums and promotions these days. This is their criteria. From the horses mouth.
 - https://instagram.com/jordanravimusic
And VCs want you to make food delivery or photo sharing apps, because it makes them money. And yet, I can look out my window and see an artisanal bakery and craft store.
Is your son's goal to become a rich, pop star, or to play his music for a living? If it's the former, then I guess he should listen to the people who produce the pop stars. If it's the latter, there are more channels for doing so than ever in history.
Those people mostly focus on finding songs that can reach a billion streams. They are like the VCs looking for the next Google, they don't care about the specialty boutique.
Maybe your son should try to find his '1000 true fans', instead of trying to win the gatekeeper lottery.
This has been true to some extent since the dawn of popular music after the war, though? Stock Aitken & Waterman were slapping synth beats on simple lyrics probably before your son was born. They wrote Kylie's "I should be so lucky" in an afternoon after being told she was at the airport and they'd forgotten she was coming. Went on to sell a million records.
You can appeal to sophisticated tastes or the mass market, but the latter is very definitely a product which lots of specialists are continually trying to optimise.
Did you deduce that from looking at his Instagram feed that I posted above? A feed that pretty much contains NONE of his original material and only covers of current songs? That you didn't recognise that pretty much shows your total and complete lack of knowledge of the music industry today. You should spend less time at the (computer) keyboard and go listen to more live music.
Lastly, Where did you get the idea I was leading him anywhere? All his choices, I am just reporting what I see when he talks to music execs.
Invention of the radio, coupled then with the automobile, supported by advertising during drive time shows, has created a popular genre focused on simple short repetitive themes repeated 3 to 4 times, identifiable and quotable in a few second segments, and with a run time limited typically to 2 to 4 minutes.
As a social researcher, one of the most frustrating things I found was this deep cultural idea that reacts against cultural context and analysis. a lot of people seem deeply offended that ideas of taste might have something to do with external forces or manipulation, time and place in the same way they get offended about the idea that their religion and culture is also largely determined by time and place: yet it's undeniably true...
But that has nothing to do with the commenter relating "modern music" to a "constant bombardment of shit" which is what my reply was addressing.
I'm mostly with you with one exception. If there's one thing that may be objectively evolved, it is the power of the raw human singing voice. With all its expressivity, dynamics, range, colours, individualism, and overtones.
I claim that anyone who studies carefully the pure sound of the voice and what it is capable of will always hear synth vocals as superficial. (I don't care genre, whether it's opera, art song, jazz, blues, hip hop or vocal music from any culture).
Techniques like additive, FM, and physical modeling synthesis have opened up whole new worlds of musical possibilities to explore. The combination of synths with vocals only widens the expressivity, range, color, and ultimately individualism that voice alone can accomplish. For every autotuned vocal track in bad taste there are just as many creative uses of vocoders, talk boxes, filters and samplers that enhance creative expression.
> If I hear one more person who comes up to me and complains about "computer music has no soul" then I will go furious, you know. 'Cause of course the computer is just a tool. And if there is no soul in computer music then it's because nobody put it there and that's not the computer's role. It's the role of the songwriter. He puts down his soul in the song if he wants to. A guitar will never write a song and a computer will never write a song. These are just tools.
Combining singing with synthesis is where it’s at. If you’re specifically talking about computer-generated vox then I probably agree with you. But there’s a whole range of things that can be had with a mix of singing and synthesis that is wonderful to behold.
The standout track for me is Imogen Heap’s Hide And Seek: https://youtu.be/UYIAfiVGluk
She can do this live, solo, because all of the harmonies are generated by her voice synth. And the way it reflects her in-the-moment dynamics cannot be matched by a human chorus even if they sank a hundred hours into synchronizing the performance.
I'm big on the electronic music scene here; and once you're in the zone that repetitive four-on-the-floor 120/140bpm dance beat begins to feel like a heartbeat: essential, calming, and deadly if stopped
On another note I recall hearing about some anthropologists who claim that the acoustics of Stonehenge are optimal for repetitive drumming in the 130-150bpm range, suggesting it to be an ancient dancehall for prehistoric techno beats
There's definitely something meditative about it.
It took me a long time to realize that if a book wasn't interesting or enjoyable, I could just...stop. With twitter it's a bit mentally easier to just close the browser.
When I was less distracted, the slog was easier.
Rinse and repeat until dead.