This is fascinating. The idea is, I could encrypt some data and send it to a third party X. Then, without ever decrypting my data, X could perform some computation on my data and return the results to me. Only I can read the results, just like how only I can decrypt the original data. This would have interesting consequences for “cloud computing,” because I could pay X to perform expensive computation for me without X having any idea what my data or the results are.
I read about this in this paper on philosophy and computational complexity: Why Philosophers Should Care About Computational Complexity.
My last monitor stand was certainly overkill, and while decent, used a large portion of my admittedly tiny
sewing table computer desk. My new display solution required buying another monitor (Amazon link) and an Ergotron LX Dual Side-by-Side Arm from Amazon.
My Samsung monitors required VESA adapters, which were not included with the arm, but strangely two sets were included with my old Ergotron single-monitor stand.
This monitor arm provides much flexibility and frees much desk space. I rather enjoy this setup. Thanks Ergotron!
This is what I made over the weekend.
This is a medley of three Jonathan Coulton songs, in a pop punk arrangement. I recorded everything except JoCo’s vocals, which I got from his JoCo Looks Back album.
Here it is:
This is a partly original instrumental metal piece, so titled for reasons which will become obvious upon listening. Highlighted is my inadequate mixing ability, but a decent sounding result was achieved.
As of this moment, I have completed watching Vicky Christina Barcelona, bringing the number of movies I have watched for the first time this summer to fifty. Granted, prolific film critics easily view two hundred films a year–I am no less impressed with my accomplishment. I set out to expose myself to films which I normally would not pick up from the video store, watch with a friend, or see in theaters. I viewed a mere two films in a theater; the majority came from Netflix. Were I destined to become a filmmaker, I would certainly list my education as NFI: Netflix Film Institute.
Sure, Quentin Tarentino may have been a “film geek filmmaker,” in stark contrast to the film school crowd headed by Spielberg and Lucas, but the “small world of cinema” that Netflix creates allows for a new kind of filmmaker: one with unprecedented access to a vast quantity and range of films.
My tastes have evolved during this summers’ viewings. Early this summer, I became obsessed with the notion of plainness in filmmaking. I was initially drawn to minimalism since its definition seemed similar to my new-found taste for plainness. I sought after some directors known specifically for minimalism: Bresson, Ozu, and Kaurismaki. Even now, I am unconvinced that minimalism is something I like, or even what exactly it entails. I felt certain Kaurismaki films employed minimalism too visibly, ironically defeating what I interpret to be the point of minimalism. While I am unconvinced the interpretation and application of minimalism has been purely good, I do enjoy many films often labeled as minimalist. I believe that filmmakers should do only that which immediately portrays action to the audience. Identifying disciplined filmmaking is more important to me than great acting, great dialogue, or a great plot.
The number of Woody Allen films I viewed this summer is no coincidence: I have found such consistency in his work that I am always anxious to see another of his films. Conversely, the common themes and plot points in his films can become monotonous when viewed often in a short period of time. I find his humor top-notch, and his portrayal of romantic relationships interesting, if but pessimistic.
Elitism is prevalent among critics both amateur and professional. I feel that having seen and/or enjoyed “the right films” is of no value. On the other hand, seeing many films and a wide a range of films is invaluable. When dealing with a film that falls into a category of no particular interest to me, instead of reviewing the film poorly and pointing out its “flaws,” I will rather abstain from reviewing it. All films are not created with the same audience in mind, so critically treating all films as such is pointless. For example: Pixar can masterfully create all the animated features it wants; I will not be interested, and I will not condemn them.
Many critics condemn certain blockbuster action movies for not being “smart,” implying “smartness” is the single or most vital requirement for a movie. However, the medium of film can deliver many other virtues to its audience. Critics who are not seeking a particular virtue should not condemn a film for focusing on that virtue. Nor should critics seeking a certain virtue condemn a film for not delivering that virtue.
Film is as broad a medium as literature. In fact, a film may have more in common with a novel than with any other film. As such, genres of film can accurately be considered separate media of art altogether. This consideration should allow a film critic to, say, not enjoy the critically acclaimed Star Wars films without offending fans of those films, just as a music critic’s apathy toward a Degas painting shouldn’t offend a passionate fan of Impressionist painting.
The important requirement for art criticism is honesty. If a critic shares no tastes with you, ignore his or her recommendations, but do not label his or her opinions as “incorrect.” The only useless critic is a dishonest one–one who deliberately adheres to a group of critics, or automatically disagrees with another.
A list of the films I have viewed this summer follows:
After setting up all my recording gear, I christened my new apartment by recording this piece.
I recorded this short piece to try out The Metal Foundry, an expansion for Toontrack’s Superior Drummer, a sampled drum VST instrument. The whole thing actually turned out a bit decent. I also used a distorted preset with Reason Electric Bass and Amplitube for the rhythm and lead guitars.