Upgrading Sony MDR-V6s and an Antlion Modmic 4.0

 5 mins

love my Sony MDR-V6 headphones.  They’re iconic; every professional recording studio I’ve ever been to has had several sets sitting around, and for good reason; they’re excellent. And cheap. You can pick up a a set for around $80 brand new any time you like!  But there’s one major downside: they come with a curly rubber cable that’s approximately 4 miles long and not detachable.

Thankfully, there’s a hack to fix that, and it’s probably Lenny’s fault. Let’s walk through this.

Continue reading “Upgrading Sony MDR-V6s and an Antlion Modmic 4.0”

Thoughts on Human Knowledge and Communication

 1 min

With exceptions (and limited ones, at that) for empirically demonstrable fact, anything any human being has ever “known” is a context sensitive and heavily subjective narrative.

Every communication of any narrative spawns a cacophony of new narratives in the minds of anyone who receives that (or any) communication.

The likelihood that any two people share any single identical narrative is so close to impossible that we might as well call it that.

Most people are not actively aware of just how lossy human communication is.

The vast majority of people communicate their knowledge-narratives under the assumption that their audience will understand them in the same way they understand themselves. It is assumed that either their communication includes the contexts necessary to clearly communicate their narrative, or that their audience already has the necessary contexts.

For many reasons, some cultural and others limited by capability, almost no one spends time verifying the integrity of a communicated narrative.

This, in my opinion, is at the root cause of every argument and dispute up to and including our current political climate.

What Outrage Fatigue Looks Like

 3 mins

It’s November of 2016 and you just watched a racist, misogynist, anti-LGBTQ+, habitually lying fraudulent salesman win the most powerful position in the world by the technicality of the electoral college. You, a minority resident of the US, are in shock; lost in a wave of hundreds of emotions too numerous and fast moving to list. How could this have happened? I mean, of course things were never perfect or even great for you in this country… but was this really the United States you’d at least felt at home in until today?

His supporters start to gloat, emboldened by their narrow victory. They spout bigoted slurs at you and mock your fear and upset. Several of them send you death threats, and the same thing is happening to nearly every minority friend you have. The world outside went from a livable home to a burning hellscape in which no one is safe, almost overnight.

Around this time, you start to realize that you still exist, and that you have the right to continue existing. That fear and anxiety starts turning into a more productive emotion: anger. You start looking for ways to join the resistance. Anything you can do; by spreading the voice of the resistance as far and wide as you can, by attending protests, by making signs or just consoling those in need so they can get back up and continue to make their voices heard.

January seems to come too soon, and you watch this abomination travel in a bullet proof limo amidst thousands of angry protestors to his inauguration to be sworn in as president of the United States. The very thought of it makes you sick to your stomach.

The weeks that follow only make things worse. Every day carries with it a new and terrible example of the oppression and hatred of the new administration. Every day, something new happens that adds high octane fuel to an already roaring fire. Every day, you reach levels of upset you previously thought impossible. It quickly becomes exhausting.

You continue to do what you can to resist, and every day, finding the motivation to continue that fight gets a little harder. You read an article about Outrage Fatigue and realize you’ve been pushing yourself a bit too hard, so you cut back a bit so you don’t normalize all of this automatically in emotional self defense.

February comes along swiftly. The corrupt administration’s supporters are now going out of their way to find you online. It seems like any time you post something positive about minorities on your social media account, you find bigoted slurs and hatred in your notifications. You block each of them as they come along, but more and more seem to find you regardless.

All of this is wearing you thin. You struggle with work, and at the end of the day, all you want to do is rest and relax– find some solace from all of this, but all of your favorite places to relax are crawling with more of the same. Nowhere is safe. Nothing is sacred. You find yourself watching, unable to look away as families and friends tear each other apart over differing ideology.

By March, you find yourself less and less eager to spend time with your friends; that usually results in constant reminders of the hell you’ve been forced into.  You find you have less and less energy after work.

You look back at all this, and realize a few things that should have been more obvious.

It’s been a week since you actually initiated a conversation with friends you used to talk to every day. You haven’t had interest in doing things you used to love; when you force yourself to do them, you’re just going through the motions; the enjoyment never comes.  It’s as though you’ve become numb to all but the constant anxiety of never knowing what new horror awaits you tomorrow.

And it’s only April.

You finally understand what is meant by the term “Outrage Fatigue.”

On National Pride

 1 min

“The cheapest sort of pride is national pride; for if a man is proud of his own nation, it argues that he has no qualities of his own of which he can be proud; otherwise he would not have recourse to those which he shares with so many millions of his fellowmen. The man who is endowed with important personal qualities will be only too ready to see clearly in what respects his own nation falls short, since their failings will be constantly before his eyes. But every miserable fool who has nothing at all of which he can be proud adopts, as a last resource, pride in the nation to which he belongs; he is ready and glad to defend all its faults and follies tooth and nail, thus reimbursing himself for his own inferiority.”

I don’t want a new car

 1 min

I want something old and bygone.
A car that weathers storms as I do
One broken in body but with the strength to carry on.
I want a car I can truly relate to.

I don’t want a car found in some chum’s garage,
pampered and cared for to excess.
I want the scraped paint, gum and crumb covered carpet
Signs of a life lived- not just dumbly expressed
or pretending with some photos to perfect
adventures without stress
to learn from

I want a wreck that still drives true
An old soul on wheels of rusted chrome
Something I can climb into
and inside, truly feel
at home.

How the Nintendo Switch Saved Gaming (for me)

Nintendo Switch: Back side
 2 mins

A title like that requires a little background.

I have carpal tunnel syndrome and chronic tendinitis in both of my hands.  When I have a flare-up, my hands stop working: can’t hold or pick things up because there’s no strength in my hands to do so, and it hurts to move my fingers.  I’m a web developer by trade, so I have to be very careful where I spend my hand points on a given day. I wear wrist braces when I use computers. I had to stop doing things like playing guitar and piano, turning wrenches, etc.

Recently, I’ve found myself experiencing pain when playing games in ways that had previously been comfortable. I can’t play First Person Shooters with a mouse and keyboard for extended periods of time anymore (and that’s with a sit/stand desk and ergonomic everything). I can’t play games requiring a controller for too long, either.

Enter the Nintendo Switch.

I can play it in comfortable places when my back hurts.
I can take it into bed with me.
I can take it on the bus.

When my hands start to hurt from playing it like a handheld, I can detach the controls and let my hands lay in their natural resting positions and continue playing, either in the docking station on a large television, or anywhere on the small screen.

When I need to stop playing, I can hit the power button and it instantly goes into sleep mode, even in the middle of a boss battle.

I have played on that console for almost 12 hours straight and my hands actually feel better for it. As though I’d been resting them. Here I thought I’d have to give up serious gaming. 

For me, the Nintendo Switch has been the best gaming system that has ever existed.

…It certainly helps that the new Zelda has been such an amazing game. ♥️

No Reception Here

 1 min

The following is a poem from the game “Night In The Woods” by Infinite Fall; a team-up of Alec Holowka, Scott Benson, and Bethany Hockenberry.

I wave my black phone

In the air like a flare
Like a prayer
But no reception

I read on the internet
Baby face boy
Billionaire

Phone app sold
Made more money in one day
Than my family
Over 100 generations

More than my whole world ever has

World where
House-Buying jobs
Became Rent-Paying Jobs
Became living with family jobs

Boy Billionaires

Money is access
Access to politicians
Waiting for us to die
Lead in our water
Alcohol and painkillers

Replace my job with an app
Replace my dreams of a house and a yard

With a couch in the basement

“The Future is Yours!”

Forced 24-7 Entrepreneurs.

I just want a paycheck and my own life

I’m on the couch in the basement
They’re in the house and the yard

Some night I will catch a bus out to the west coast

And burn their silicon city
to the ground