Oram Sans Mens

Three Day. A bit strange, even for a Wodensday. Schule is obviously counting down to desessioning for the torrid term, loosening all manner of carpet cruds to suck up my share of bandwidth from the so-called Oneonta Telephone Company, a corporation who thinks that landline voice service is their core competency even though they lose 0.1 of subscribers each year. 

The scary part after attending aboard meeting some years ago was to discover that this is indeed the core competency of their directors and management. Shade of the Containment Era!

Anyway, the podcast, an episode of CBC’s “Quirks and Quarks” was entitled (What Scientists did on their Summer Vacation.” The title is the humorous part. First of all, all the scientists interviewed were women. Not that I have anything against women; my life depends on them, but they are hideously underrepresented in the sciences and to have only women on a podcast like this smacks a bit of genderism?

I also have to wonder if geographers are actually scientists? Even scuba diving geographers. 

Anyway, I motored to Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill in search of provisions and wisdom, obtaining both, the former from various stores and the latter from a colleague, Mass Magnetic Field. 

While I motored I listened to a CD I had recently purchased of pipe musics and highland throat mumbling. A good collection and I found myself cursing traffic idiots in a brogue. And reflecting that the greatness of the Scots is amply demonstrated by the bagpipes, a musical instrument that is easier played while walking than standing still. 

Then I reflected in whether that thought was racist of not? 

I shall not belabor my thoughts on “race” as a matter of rubbish, but the stereotyping denigration (which is NOT a racist word) is rubbish only in the sense of not having any merit or benefit. I realize that humans are programmed to delineate “Us” versus “Them”, but not outside our skulls and definitely not in action. 

For some reason, I was reminded of a family July 4th reunion the summer after I had finished being a Freshman. Flip flops were enjoying (?) their first (?) popularity and all of my girl (is that genderist?) cousins were wearing such. My grandmother commented something along the lines of “nothing says trailer trash like flip flops.” I recall their parents, at least half of which were the children of the woman speaking, looked horribly uncomfortable, apparently unsure of whether they should defend their offspring or defer to their parent. I was bemused, looking at my own feet, shod in Hush Puppy loafers horribly pitted over the toes almost to a hole on both shoes where acid had dropped in lab that year. The air tingled with that horrible agony just before super-cooled steam turns to crystaline ice with a wild crash as everyone froze and pretended to be deaf. Then the moment passed and a frustrated lemming urge to flee was suppressed until food was consumed. 

That was the last time I went to a summer reunion. 

And when I got back to Castellum SCP, I came into contact with an article [Link] entitled “RIP MP3 – the sound file that changed the world is declared dead.” Somehow this abomination of techno-journalistic babble put the whole matter into perspective. 

The thesis is that the organization who owns the patents on MP3 encoding announced that they would no longer license the use of the encoding. Lots of journalist who know how to write but not what to write have been announcing the demise of the MP3 file. 

(Sniggering laughter from the Nerd and Geek contingent. Blank ignorance from the Bog majority.)

What the Fraunhofer Institute meant was that they could no longer license MP3 encoding because their authority to do so had expired. Patents have a lifetime, unlike – apparently – copyright which seems to have been conscripted by greedy people wearing flip flops. 

In words of a different flavor, licensing of MP3 encoding is no longer necessary. It is now a resource of the species.

I suspect that part of this Bronson Beta grrrr brrrr was pandering to the people who make high end music players (those that do OGG or AAC but not MP3) and the makers of RAM. After all, journalists have to make money to survive because no one will willingly pay to read what they have written these days. (So they have difficulty purchasing new flip flops.)

The MP3 is not dead. It still has utility. For one thing something like five thousand new podcasts are generated every day on Tellus and almost all of them are available as MP3s. And a lot of music is still available as MP3s and will. Because there are lots of audio files – podcasts and not-classical music – that people don’t want the enormous, audio accurate files. If I’m listening to a podcast at the gym, surrounded by weight bouncers shouting visceral groans and crunching cement when they drop their weights and educationalists whose indoor voices are more suitable for a football game in a hurricane, I want enough quality to understand (maybe) what is said but not pay the RAM price I would pay for Beethoven from the Berliner. 

And it will likely stay that way. Despite what some knowledgeable journalists ominously foretell. 

But the intriguing question is what kind of Themism is discrimination against a file format? Fileism. Formism. Digitism? Noiseism?

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