A Lazy Sequence

The recording guitrist: are you playing for the song, or for your butt?

Joe Gore for Premier Guitar:

Consider how most of us practice: with loud amps aimed at our butts. Yeah, it’s fun, but it can cultivate a warped sense of how parts should sound in context. Over time, that butt-thumping sensation becomes synonymous with “good tone.” Hearing ourselves from any other source—studio monitors, say, or the crappy little computer speakers and ear buds used by most of today’s music consumers—feels wimpy in comparison. That can make us play too loudly, mix ourselves too prominently, and monitor ourselves so deafeningly while recording that we can’t hear ourselves within the production.


21 July 2015

The Web We Have To Save

Hossein Derakhshan, a blogger who was jailed in 2008, writes about changes in the web.

Six years was a long time to be in jail, but it’s an entire era online. Writing on the internet itself had not changed, but reading — or, at least, getting things read — had altered dramatically. I’d been told how essential social networks had become while I’d been gone, and so I knew one thing: If I wanted to lure people to see my writing, I had to use social media now.

Even before I went to jail, though, the power of hyperlinks was being curbed. Its biggest enemy was a philosophy that combined two of the most dominant, and most overrated, values of our times: novelty and popularity, reflected by the real world dominance of young celebrities. That philosophy is the Stream.

Via Stuart Sierra


15 July 2015

Advice to a new DM

Matthew Colville:

A new edition of D&D came out last year and it seems like a lot of people are discovering the game for the first time. Possibly because of great shows like Critical Role showing everyone how much fun it is.

It is a lot of fun! But for a new Dungeon Master, it can seem daunting. Relax. I started when I was 15 and had no idea what I was doing. I sucked at it, but my players were also 15, so none of us had any frame of reference. We all sucked together!

Here’s some straightforward advice to make the process a little less intimidating. Take what you like from here, it’s not an assignment.


05 July 2015

Dune, 50 years on: how a science fiction novel changed the world

Hari Kunzru for The Guardian

It has sold millions of copies, is perhaps the greatest novel in the science-fiction canon and Star Wars wouldn’t have existed without it. Frank Herbert’s Dune should endure as a politically relevant fantasy from the Age of Aquarius


04 July 2015