Thursday, November 10, 2005

random access apologetic part 2

Zyklus is an example of what has been called Mobile music because it is a musical version of the visual idea of a mobile, in that it is perceived differently depending on the vantage point of the observer. Once begun, the path and order of the tangents would be different depending on the starting point and thoughts.
For a decade, I’ve described this trait of mine as random access thinking. The term occurred to me as opposed to linear thinking and was related to recording with computers versus magnetic tape (linear). I was intrigued by the idea of pointers that gave direction for the processing of data that need not be stored sequentially. Data stored linearly could be read in any order, and data stored in random places on a disc, could be constructed and perceived linearly as it was read. This allows for non-destructive editing in which an alternative could be created and stored without the loss of the original. A new pointer simply tells the processor to read the alternative instead of the original. One can always decide later to choose the first version. Undo.
Recently, I read some quotes from Chris Seay, who describes this as web-based thinking, likening it to webpages, each of which contain any number of hyperlinks that one can click and find himself on an entirely different trail.
Early this summer, I took it upon myself to gather all my blog posts and to put them into folders, labeled according to topic categories. I ended up with way too many categories, and for the next few weeks, I was constantly, moving files between different folders. Finally, I realized that I was actually placing copies of the same post in several different folders. This is what happens when a random access guy tries to behave linearly. I forgave myself when I realized that there is now some Apple software that decided to try the same thing. I noticed that the new iLife bundle on Macs is geared to organize so that even the most unorganized will be able to find things. For example, iTunes will search your hard drive and make copies of every mp3, and place the copies in special sublevel folders according various identifying information. But, you don’t actually have to allow it to do this if you choose. Itunes can actually just point to all your mp3s and leave them where they already are on your drive and access them directly from there. Of course, this saves disk space. Of course, this is how my brain works. Thoughts are stored at random places on my disk and therefore, seem less likely to get attached to a particular in sequential format and thus not be accessible from any other context. Any context is accessible from any context in my brain. If it gets paired with something with which it doesn’t fit, it is easily removed. For example, purpose and procedure – but that’s another blog.