Jeremy Felt

Thoughts for the week’s end

I remembered what day it was several times this week and actually took time to acknowledge it. And it was great.

On Tuesday, there was even a moment where I thought it was Wednesday already! So maybe time is starting to normalize? Right.

We read Jennifer Egan‘s A Visit from the Goon Squad for book club last month. It was fun, fairly standard fiction sprinkled with some music geekery.

A thing that one of the characters, Lincoln, focuses on is pauses in music and their importance as part of various songs. There’s even an entire chart—among others—in the book titled “Relationship of Pause-Length to Haunting Power“. Exactly the kind of conversation I like to have!

One of the examples, George Michael’s Faith, has a 3 second pause at the 2:58 mark. Bernadette, by The Four Tops, supposedly has a 6 second pause, but I only count 2. I haven’t dug into the other tracks listed, but I’m assuming they’re correct.

And now that I’ve read the book and have the idea of pauses in my head, I of course notice them everywhere.

Why are you so petrified of silence?
Here, can you handle this?
Did you think about your bills, your ex, your deadlines
Or when you think you’re gonna die?
Or did you long for the next distraction?

I listened to Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill this week and sure enough, there’s a pause of about 1.5 seconds at the 3:09 mark in All I Really Want accompanied by self-referencing lyrics.

It’s a good song and I’d rank the pause as short, but powerful on Lincoln’s chart. That whole album also gets better every time I listen.

And then! While rocking out to Local H’s Pack up the Cats again this week after geeking out on it last week, I caught the almost 2 second pause in All-Right (Oh, Yeah). Talk about a song with a title that fits. 🎸

So why not create a collaborative playlist based on a thing I read in a book? Here you go.

I’m glad I looked Bernadette up tonight, it’s a good tune. It’s familiar to me now that I’ve listened to it, but I wouldn’t have known to check it out purposefully if it wasn’t for the book.

It also reminds me of something very specific that I can’t put my finger on. Oh well, next week.

I figured out a way of phrasing a feeling that I sometimes find myself having as an open source contributor/maintainer.

“I am not confident enough in the solution to summon the future energy it may require to defend the change after all of the work has been done.”

Now that I have the phrasing, I might need to think through a way of actually summoning energy. 💡

I’m going to do a photo post soon, but we walk through our local set of primitive trails at least once a day now, sometimes as many as three times, and it’s fun to all of a sudden be so familiar with a chunk of nature as it blooms into spring.

Even the cottonwood trees, which I absolutely despise, are interesting to me at the moment.

My head is finally starting to wrap around how VR could start to solve video chats. How to explain in a nutshell?

Just because you’re hanging out with a group of people in a bar or a restaurant doesn’t mean that you’re all always having the same conversation.

Someone tells a story, everybody listens. The story ends, people start asking questions or talking and then all of a sudden there are 2 conversations happening at once. If you’re on the end of the table, you and one other person may be chatting on the side about their move to a new city while also keeping an ear on the conversation next to you as it progresses.

The conversations ebb and flow. The group comes together and moves apart. It’s all very fluid and our physical signals make it all relatively easy to deal with.

On a video call, only one person can talk at once. There is no way to have a quiet side conversation while 4 others are talking unless you open up a text chat, which is something completely different.

In a proper VR video chat (or something, I don’t know), the volume of the conversation could change as you move your head. So if two people wanted to shift to the side a bit and carry on a side conversation, they could still hear bits of the main conversation, but the volume of the people speaking would change based on their virtually physical location.

Until something like that is available, every video chat is like a rigid meeting in a conference room. It’s the best we have right now—and it can still be fun! But it will also be interesting to see what it’s like in 20 years.

This week has felt closer to a normal week than it has in a while, even with everything still going to shit. Here’s to normal weeks! 🍕

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