Ordinary Geniuses

In the wild cacophony of existence, there exists a peculiar truth, a paradox that dances on the fringes of sanity and embraces the chaotic rhythm of life. It’s the tale of genius, of brilliance that flickers like a flame in the dark, burning bright before being snuffed out by the mundane forces of mediocrity. It’s a story that echoes through the corridors of time, whispered by the ghosts of those who dared to defy the ordinary and soar to the heights of intellectual greatness.

In the heart of this paradox lies the essence of the human condition, a volatile cocktail of ambition, hubris, and the relentless march of time. For genius is a double-edged sword, a gift bestowed upon the chosen few who dare to challenge the status quo and push the boundaries of what is deemed possible. Yet, like Icarus flying too close to the sun, the genius risks being consumed by their own brilliance, descending from the lofty peaks of inspiration into the murky depths of banality.

The air reeked of stale cigarettes and the acrid stench of cheap whiskey, a potent cocktail that hung heavy in the dimly lit room. My fingers danced across the keys of the typewriter, each strike echoing like gunfire in the silence of the night. Outside, the city pulsed with a frenetic energy, a symphony of chaos that matched the tumult within my own mind.

You either perish a genius or you live long enough to witness the slow erosion of your brilliance, drowned out by the relentless drone of the ordinary. It’s a bitter pill to swallow, a truth that gnaws at the fringes of sanity, mocking those who dare to defy the suffocating embrace of mediocrity.

I’ve seen it play out a thousand times over, watched as the bright stars of intellect faded into obscurity, their once radiant glow snuffed out by the cold, uncaring hand of time. They were the chosen few, the torchbearers of a flame that burned bright against the backdrop of the mundane. But in the end, even the brightest flames must flicker and fade, their brilliance reduced to mere embers in the darkness.

And yet, amidst the wreckage of shattered dreams and broken promises, there are those who refuse to go quietly into that good night. They are the madmen and misfits, the renegades and rebels who dare to stare into the abyss and laugh in its face. They are the ones who understand that genius is not a destination, but a journey, a never-ending odyssey through the labyrinth of the soul.

For them, there is no middle ground, no compromise with the forces of conformity and complacency. They rage against the dying of the light, their words a defiant cry against the tyranny of the ordinary. They embrace the chaos of existence with open arms, their minds aflame with the feverish intensity of inspiration.

So let us raise a toast to the dreamers and visionaries, to those who refuse to be bound by the shackles of convention. For in a world that seeks to smother the fires of individuality, they are the true warriors of the human spirit, the last bastions of a fading era of intellectual rebellion. And though their flames may flicker and fade, their legacy will endure as a testament to the transformative power of genius and the enduring allure of the gonzo ethos.

38 Technical Gripes With Grids, Pro Tools, and MIDI:

Grid Limitations:

  1. Quantization Constraints:  Feeling constricted by the grid, losing the natural flow and expressiveness of live performance.
  2. Microtiming Nuances: Inability to capture subtle timing variations and rhythmic feel that come naturally with human playing.
  3. Loss of Dynamic Range: Grid-based editing can lead to overly rigid and predictable dynamics, lacking the natural ebb and flow of music.Microediting Dependency: Fixating on minute details on the grid can detract from the overall flow and energy of the music.
  4. Loss of Microtiming: Inability to capture subtle nuances and variations in timing compared to live performance
  5. Loss of Groove: Grid-based composition can struggle to capture the nuances of swing, feel, and human imperfection

Pro Tools Pain Points:

  1. Menu Overload: Feeling overwhelmed by the vast array of menus, plugins, and options in Pro Tools, hindering creativity and workflow.
  2. Plugin Overload: Feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number and complexity of available plugins.
  3. CPU Hogginess: Powerful computers needed to run Pro Tools smoothly, creating accessibility barriers.
  4. System Resource Demands: High CPU and memory usage can cause performance issues and limit creative exploration.
  5. Learning Curve: Mastering Pro Tools takes significant time and effort, potentially discouraging beginner musicians.

MIDI Misgivings:

  1. Sterile Sound: MIDI instruments can sound artificial and lifeless compared to the richness of acoustic instruments.
  2. Programming Tedium: Manually programming MIDI notes can be time-consuming and tedious, hindering spontaneity and improvisation.
  3. Expressive Limitations: Difficulty in capturing the full dynamic range and subtle nuances of human playing with MIDI.
  4. Cold, Digital Sound: Traditional instruments often have richer, warmer tones that MIDI can struggle to replicate.
  5. Limited Expressiveness: MIDI lacks the subtle dynamics and nuances of human performance.
  6. Programming Fatigue: Creating realistic and expressive MIDI performances can be time-consuming and tedious.
  7. Programming Tedium: Complex MIDI programming can be time-consuming and laborious compared to live playing.
  8. Expressiveness Challenges: Capturing the full dynamic range and emotional depth of a live performance can be difficult with MIDI.
  9. Latency Issues: Delays between MIDI input and sound output can disrupt timing and feel.

Overall Experience:

  1. Loss of Tactility: Lack of physical interaction with instruments and the tactile feedback of playing them directly.
  2. Disconnection from Emotion: Feeling disconnected from the emotional expression and energy inherent in live performance.
  3. Technical Hurdles: Troubleshooting technical issues with equipment, software, and settings can interrupt the creative flow.

Creative Concerns:

  1. Over-reliance on Technology: Feeling dependent on technology and losing sight of the musicality and raw talent needed for good music.
  2. Standardization and Homogenization: Concern that reliance on grids, Pro Tools, and MIDI can lead to homogenous and predictable music.
  3. Authenticity Concerns: Difficulty in differentiating between human-played and MIDI-programmed instruments, potentially diminishing the value of real musicianship.
  4. Formulaic Composition: Grids and MIDI can encourage repetitive and predictable songwriting structures.
  5. Temptation to Over-edit: The ability to edit every detail can lead to sterile, lifeless music.
  6. Loss of Spontaneity: The grid and software can inhibit the joy of improvisation and exploration.
  7. Alternative Perspectives:
  8. Creative Tools: Recognizing that grids, Pro Tools, and MIDI can be powerful tools for experimentation, sound design, and composition.
  9. Accessibility and Flexibility: Acknowledging that these tools can make music production more accessible and flexible, especially for solo artists.
  10. Combination of Traditional and Digital:Appreciating the potential for combining traditional instruments with digital tools for a broader sonic palette.

Technical Frustrations:

  1. Latency Issues: Delays between playing and hearing the sound can be distracting and hinder performance.
  2. System Crashes: Pro Tools crashes and glitches can be disruptive and frustrating during creative flow.
  3. Compatibility Headaches: MIDI compatibility issues between different software and hardware can create headaches.

Philosophical Concerns:

  1. Dehumanization of Music: Feeling that technology replaces the heart and soul of human musicianship.
  2. Loss of Authenticity: Concern that MIDI and digital editing create inauthentic and manufactured sounds.
  3. Democratization Dilemmas: Increased accessibility may lead to homogenization and a decline in artistic quality.

Overall Experience:

  1. Disconnection from the Instrument: Grids and digital tools can create a barrier between the musician and their physical instrument.
  2. Loss of the Raw Appeal: The rawness and imperfection of live performance can be lost in the digital realm.

20 Technical Gripes a Painter Might Have With Digital Painting and Generative AI:

Limitations of Brushstrokes:

  1. Lack of Tactility: No physical brushstrokes, no satisfying texture, no happy accidents.
  2. Limited Brush Variety: Preset digital brushes lack the organic feel and variety of real brushes.
  3. Imperfect Blending: Achieving natural blending can be difficult compared to the nuanced control of physical paint.

Color and Light:

  1. Inaccurate Color Gamut: Digital screens cannot fully replicate the richness and vibrancy of physical paints.
  2. Limited Lighting Effects: Simulating natural light and subtle shadows can be challenging digitally.
  3. Uniformity of Texture: Flatness and lack of texture can make digital paintings feel sterile compared to traditional mediums.

Control and Expression:

  1. Undo Button Dependency: Reworking mistakes digitally lacks the commitment and spontaneity of physical painting.
  2. Algorithmic Reliance: Feeling of being limited by pre-programmed tools and filters, hindering creative freedom.
  3. Loss of Happy Accidents: Digital painting eliminates the serendipitous effects that can spark new ideas in traditional mediums.

Uniqueness and Authenticity:

  1. Reproducibility: Digital paintings are easily copied and replicated, diminishing their perceived value and uniqueness.
  2. Generative AI Art: Feeling that AI-generated art lacks the soul and personal expression of a human artist.
  3. Concern about Authenticity: Difficulty in verifying the creator and originality of digital art.

Technical Challenges:

  1. Hardware Limitations: Expensive tablets and powerful computers needed, not readily accessible to all artists.
  2. Learning Curve: Mastering digital tools requires significant time and effort, compared to traditional techniques.
  3. Software Dependence: Reliance on specific software and updates, creating potential compatibility issues and workflow disruptions.

Sustainability and Preservation:

  1. Digital Obsolescence: Digital files can become inaccessible or corrupted over time, unlike physical paintings.
  2. Environmental Impact: The energy consumption of digital tools and cloud storage raises ethical concerns.
  3. Loss of Tangibility: No physical object to hold, display, and appreciate like a traditional painting.

Overall Experience:

  1. Disconnection from Materials: The physical interaction with paint, canvas, and light is irreplaceable for some artists.
  2. Loss of the Personal Touch: The feeling of pouring emotion and intention onto a canvas is absent in purely digital creation.


Takes two full cycles to grok a cyclical phenomenon

0.25 cycle: “It’s a secular trend!”

0.5c: “the fad has passed”

0.75c: “overcompensation”

1c: “Ok it’s over, what’s next?”

1.25c: “This time it’s different”

1.5c: “Deja vu”

1.75c: “We learned nothing”

2c: “It’s cyclic”


This statement humorously illustrates the typical progression of reactions to cyclical phenomena over two full cycles, highlighting how perceptions and responses evolve over time:

– At 0.25 cycles, there’s a tendency to view the phenomenon as a long-term, secular trend, attributing significance to its perceived permanence.

– By 0.5 cycles, as the phenomenon reaches its peak and begins to decline, some may dismiss it as a passing fad, underestimating its lasting impact.

– At 0.75 cycles, there’s often an overcompensation in response to the decline, with efforts to counteract or reverse the trend.

– By 1 cycle, as the phenomenon fades into obscurity, attention shifts to the next big thing, signaling a readiness to move on.

– At 1.25 cycles, when the phenomenon unexpectedly resurfaces, there’s a tendency to believe that “this time it’s different,” ignoring historical patterns.

– By 1.5 cycles, as the cycle repeats, there’s a sense of deja vu, with recognition of familiar patterns.

– At 1.75 cycles, despite experiencing the cycle multiple times, there’s a realization that lessons have not been learned, and mistakes are repeated.

– Finally, at 2 cycles, the cyclical nature of the phenomenon becomes apparent, leading to an acknowledgment of its inherent cyclicality.

Here’s an expanded proposition

2.25c: “We’re in the rinse and repeat phase.” – At this stage, we’ve recognized the familiar pattern of the cycle and find ourselves going through the motions once again, as if caught in a never-ending loop of repetition.

2.50c: “Same song, different verse, but we’re starting to catch on.” – While the cycle continues, there’s a growing awareness and understanding of its dynamics. We’re beginning to notice subtle variations and nuances, signaling a deeper insight into the cyclical nature of the phenomenon.

2.75c: “Realizing it’s not just the cycle, but the system.” – Beyond simply acknowledging the repetition, we’re starting to grasp the broader systemic factors at play. We understand that the cycle is not isolated but interconnected with larger structures and forces shaping our environment.

3c: “Finally grasping that we’re the ones spinning the wheel.” – With a newfound understanding, we come to realize our agency in perpetuating the cycle. We acknowledge our role in shaping and influencing the trajectory of events, rather than being mere passengers on the ride.

3.25c: “Recognizing the pattern, but still getting dizzy.” – Despite our growing awareness, the cycle can still induce a sense of disorientation or confusion. We may find ourselves navigating the familiar pattern with a mix of certainty and uncertainty, as we strive to maintain our bearings amidst the repetition.

3.50c: “Starting to see the carousel from above.” – As our perspective expands, we gain a clearer view of the cycle from a higher vantage point. We’re able to step back and observe the pattern with a greater sense of detachment and understanding.

3.75c: “Adjusting our seat on the merry-go-round.” – Armed with insights gained from our elevated perspective, we begin to make strategic adjustments. We adapt our approach and position ourselves more strategically within the cycle, aiming to optimize our experience and outcomes.

4c: “Accepting that the merry-go-round is the ride, not the destination.” – At this stage, we come to terms with the cyclical nature of the journey. We embrace the idea that life itself is a series of cycles and that the process of growth and evolution occurs within the repetition.

4.25c: “Riding the loop with a knowing grin.” – With acceptance comes a sense of peace and contentment. We navigate the cycle with confidence and equanimity, knowing that each revolution brings new opportunities for learning and growth.

4.50c: “Weaving through the cycles like a seasoned pro.” – Having mastered the art of cyclical navigation, we move through the pattern with grace and skill. We’re able to anticipate twists and turns, making deliberate choices that align with our goals and values.

4.75c: “Circling back with a sense of déjà vu.” – As we near the completion of another cycle, we experience a sense of familiarity tinged with nostalgia. We recognize echoes of past experiences and lessons, reinforcing our understanding of the cyclical nature of life.

5.00c: “Round and round, but we’re calling the shots.” – Despite the repetitive nature of the cycle, we assert our agency and autonomy. We make conscious decisions and take intentional actions, knowing that we have the power to shape our own destiny within the cycle.

5.25c: “Embracing the loop, because the view changes every turn.” – With a mindset of openness and curiosity, we find joy in the cyclical journey. We appreciate the ever-changing landscape and embrace the diversity of experiences that each revolution brings.

5.50c: “Finding beauty in the perpetual motion.” – Instead of resisting or resenting the cycle, we find beauty and meaning in its continuous motion. We marvel at the rhythm and flow of life, recognizing the inherent harmony and balance within the repetition.

5.75c: “Looping back, but the scenery has changed.” – As we come full circle once again, we’re struck by how much has changed since the last revolution. We marvel at the evolution and transformation that has taken place, realizing that each cycle brings new opportunities for growth and renewal.

6c: “Realizing that the cycle is the journey, not the destination.” – At this stage of profound insight, we transcend the notion of linear progress and destination-oriented thinking. We understand that the true essence of life lies not in reaching a final destination, but in embracing the cyclical journey itself.

Most jobs AI is gonna take over were not real jobs when the Beatles recorded Sgt Peppers

The evolution of technology, particularly artificial intelligence (AI), has sparked discussions about the future of work and the impact on various job sectors. A poignant observation is that many of the jobs AI is poised to take over were non-existent during significant historical moments. For instance, when The Beatles recorded their iconic album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” professions like social media manager, app developer, data scientist, and genetic counselor were unimaginable. However, as technology advances, these once-novel jobs are now at risk of being automated by AI.

It’s a testament to the dynamic nature of the job market—technology gives rise to new opportunities, but it also has the capacity to render certain occupations obsolete. The phrase “tech gaveth and tech taketh away” encapsulates this phenomenon succinctly. While technological advancements have created numerous new roles and industries, they also pose a threat to traditional job sectors.

Conversely, there are what can be termed “anti-fragile” jobs—roles that have endured across centuries, adapting to changes in technology, society, and the economy. These jobs have demonstrated resilience, evolving alongside advancements while maintaining their fundamental purpose and nature. Tasks and tools may have evolved over time, but the core essence of these occupations remains intact.

However, there’s a caveat to the stability of anti-fragile jobs. Despite their resilience, there’s always a numerus clausus—a limited number—associated with them. These roles often have barriers to entry, whether it’s through formal education, licensure requirements, or access to resources. This limitation creates a competitive landscape where individuals vie for these stable positions, contributing to societal tensions and conflicts—what some might call the “culture war.”

The paradox where individuals on both ends of the political spectrum can simultaneously express support for and skepticism towards technology, all while lacking a deep understanding of its complexities and implications.

Indeed, it’s not uncommon for both liberals and conservatives to exhibit contradictory attitudes towards technology. For example, a liberal might champion the use of renewable energy and advocate for greater regulation of big tech companies to protect privacy, while also expressing concerns about the impact of automation on jobs and the widening digital divide. Similarly, a conservative might embrace free-market principles and celebrate technological innovation as drivers of economic growth, while also expressing reservations about the cultural impact of social media and the influence of tech giants on political discourse.

Despite these conflicting perspectives, what unites them is a shared tendency to overlook the intricacies of technology and its broader societal implications. This lack of understanding can lead to inconsistent policy positions, misguided interventions, and missed opportunities for constructive dialogue and collaboration.

The Fix Is In, Man: How Tech Gurus Screw the Circuit (and Themselves)

Dig it, daddy-o:

Man, dig this: progress. It’s a word like “love” or “freedom,” tossed around like loose change in a hobo’s pocket. But the essay, it’s got its eyes peeled. See, it’s hip to the racket: progress, it ain’t some benevolent Santa, it’s more like a greasy carny barker, hawking shiny gadgets while palming the real loot.

The squares in tweed suits wanna spin a yarn: progress plugs us all into the neon paradise. But dig deeper, man, past the binary blips and you see the real score. This “tech revolution” ain’t no free love fest, it’s a power grab disguised as liberation. Here’s the lowdown:

1. The Code Cowboys Cry Wolf: These keyboard jockeys, living high on Silicon Valley’s hog, whine about persecution. “They don’t understand us!” they wail, blind to the privilege tattooed on their stock options. They’re cogs in the machine, man, programmed to believe they’re rebels.

The suits in silicon suits, they think they’re different. Cryin’ about persecution, whining about the “burden of genius” while they sip lattes in their glass castles. They forget, power’s a hungry beast, it feeds on privilege, and they’re gorging like kings at a lobster buffet.

Then there’s this “community” they tout.

2. The Hive Mind’s Hustle: Sure, techies have their little communes, their co-working spaces and kombucha bars. But this “community” ain’t about sharing the loot, it’s about building an echo chamber where dissent gets censored faster than a bad tweet. They circle the wagons, protecting their turf, leaving the rest of us on the outside.

Like a gang of greasers, huddled around their bonfires of code, patting each other on the back. But community can be a cage, man, a self-serving echo chamber where dissent gets drowned in the click-clack of keyboards.

3. Decentralized Feudalism: They promise power to the people, these decentralization pimps. But peel back the hype and you see the same old power structures, just rebranded. They create fiefdoms online, “Kinglets and satraps” ruling their digital domains. Decentralization ain’t freedom, it’s just fragmentation, with new gatekeepers at every node.

Kings need loyal subjects, and these tech lords, they’ve built themselves a kingdom of ones and zeros.

Decentralization, they say, it’s the answer, the power to the people. But it’s all smoke and mirrors, man. Decentralize the chains, and you just create more fiefdoms, each with its own little kinglet. It’s feudalism 2.0, with servers as castles and algorithms as serfs.

4. The Literate Illiterates: They can code circles around you, these tech whizzes, but can they think straight? Not all the time, daddy-o. They’re drowning in information, but can’t tell truth from lies, manipulation from freedom. They’re literate in code, illiterate in the real world, ripe picking for the next con artist with a catchy algorithm.

Literacy, they say, that’s the key. Learn the code, understand the circuits, and you’re free. But literacy’s a tricky beast. You can read the words, but do you get the message? Algorithms whisper sweet nothings, feed you lies disguised as truth. The paradox is real, man, you can be a code wizard, but still blind as a bat to the shadows cast by the screens.

5. Blind to the Buzz: Yeah, they know their tech, but can they feel it? This “sensorial illiteracy” is the real danger. They can’t grasp the vibes, the subtle hum of the machine, the way it shapes our lives. They’re building a future they don’t understand, and we’re all gonna pay the price.

Then there’s this other kind of blindness, a sensory illiteracy. You can navigate the digital jungle, but do you feel its tremors? Do you hear the gears grinding, the data streams humming? This essay, it’s asking for a deeper understanding, a gut feeling for the machine, a way to see through the chrome and circuits to the power it wields. But defining it, man, that’s like chasing shadows. It’s a hunch, a whisper in the dark, a flicker on the edge of perception.

So, the next time you hear the siren song of progress, remember this, man: progress ain’t free. It comes with a price, and the bill often lands on the shoulders of the many, while the few feast on the spoils. Open your eyes, sharpen your senses, and don’t be fooled by the shiny gadgets. The digital junkyard is full of broken dreams and forgotten promises. It’s time to reclaim the narrative, rewrite the code, and build a future where progress serves all, not just the power lords in their silicon castles.

This ain’t a manifesto, man, just a shot of uncut reality. Open your eyes, wake up your senses, and don’t trust the suits, or the cowboys, or the code. The future ain’t written yet, and the fight for power is still on. But remember, the first step is seeing the game for what it is. Now cut the feed, man, and go jack in to your own reality.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go feed my talking cockroach. He’s got a thing for binary code and existential dread. Weird, huh?


Paradox of (digital) Literacy

The human story is riddled with irony, and the rise of technology presents a particularly potent example. We celebrate progress, touting innovation and advancement as hallmarks of a superior society. Yet, upon closer examination, this narrative unravels, revealing a darker undercurrent: a pattern of exploiting periods of upheaval to consolidate power and rig the system in favor of the privileged few. This essay delves into this paradox, focusing on the tech industry and its potential to create a new form of feudalism, disguised under the guise of decentralization.

The irony lies in the tech industry’s persecution complex, often lamenting discrimination and prejudice. However, this narrative overlooks the systemic advantages that already favor them. They hold the reins of information, shaping our perception of reality through algorithms and curated content. They wield immense economic power, their platforms becoming the new marketplaces, often at the expense of traditional brick-and-mortar businesses. This power imbalance, masked by cries of victimhood, creates a fertile ground for manipulation and exploitation.

Furthermore, the tech industry’s attempts to decentralize, often hailed as a democratizing force, might be masking a more sinister agenda. By weaponizing the unique bonds within the tech community, they risk creating a self-serving echo chamber, where dissent is silenced and power remains concentrated within a select few. This insular system resembles a feudal structure, with “Kinglets,” “satrapies,” and “fiefdoms” vying for control, all while the promise of fair distribution remains an illusion.

This potential for a tech-fueled feudalism is exacerbated by the “paradox of (digital) literacy.” While individuals possess the technical skills to code and build, critical thinking and access to accurate information remain elusive. This selective literacy creates a fertile ground for manipulation, where individuals are easily swayed by misinformation and propaganda. The information overload further complicates the issue, making it difficult to discern truth from fiction.

Addressing this paradox requires more than just technical training. It demands fostering “sensorial literacy,” a concept that transcends mere coding and writing skills. It encompasses critical thinking, information discernment, and the ability to navigate the complexities of the digital landscape. To paraphrase Robert Heinlein, medium specialization is for insects: true literacy requires “mediocre competence in 3-4 McLuhan mediums.” In other words, we must move beyond specialization and cultivate a well-rounded understanding of the various communication channels that shape our world.

To break free from the rigged game, we must become “mediocrely competent” in a multitude of mediums, developing a well-rounded understanding of the world around us.

In conclusion,

The essay posits a contentious claim: technological progress, despite its disruptive nature, often leads to the consolidation of power, ultimately favoring a select few. It argues that this occurs through a complex interplay of factors, including:

  • Perceived Persecution: Tech workers, while enjoying significant advantages, often perceive themselves as unfairly targeted, overlooking their inherent privilege.
  • Weaponized Community: The strong sense of community within the tech industry can be leveraged to create a self-serving ecosystem that reinforces existing power structures.
  • Centralized Decentralization: Decentralization efforts, often lauded for democratizing access, often fail to address the unequal distribution of power and resources, potentially creating a new form of feudalism with “Kinglets, satrapies, fiefdoms, barons and vassals.”
  • The Paradox of (Digital) Literacy: Technical literacy, while valuable, does not guarantee critical thinking or access to accurate information. This “paradox of literacy” can create individuals who are functionally illiterate in certain contexts, susceptible to manipulation and misinformation.
  • Sensorial Illiteracy: Beyond technical skills, the essay highlights the importance of “sensorial literacy,” encompassing an intuitive understanding of the nuances and implications of technology. However, it acknowledges the difficulty in defining and cultivating this elusive quality.

The Paradoxical Dance of Libertarians and Public Choice Theory


In the murky depths of political discourse, libertarians and public choice theory engage in a twisted tango of unrequited affection and bitter irony. As we delve into this murky realm, we uncover the tangled web of contradictions that bind these strange bedfellows. Public choice theory, a cold and clinical analysis of political machinations, reveals the inner workings of power dynamics and the insatiable hunger for control. Libertarians, champions of individual freedom and minimal government intervention, find solace in the analytical rigor of public choice theory, only to be ensnared by its damning revelations.

The Foundation of Public Choice Theory:

Public choice theory emerges from the shadows of academia, a bastard child of economics and political science. Born from the minds of James Buchanan and Gordon Tullock, it wields the tools of rational choice theory to dissect the perverse incentives and self-serving motives that govern political behavior. Like a surgeon wielding a scalpel, public choice theorists dissect the body politic, laying bare its festering wounds and malignant tumors. In their wake, they leave a trail of disillusionment and despair, exposing the inherent flaws and contradictions of governance.

The Libertarian Perspective:

Enter the libertarians, torchbearers of individual liberty and free markets, armed with a fervent zeal and unwavering devotion to their cause. They march to the beat of their own drum, eschewing the shackles of government intervention and bureaucratic tyranny. For libertarians, the state is the ultimate villain, a Leviathan lurking in the shadows, ready to crush the spirit of freedom at a moment’s notice. With Hayek as their prophet and Rand as their muse, they preach the gospel of laissez-faire capitalism and voluntary cooperation, casting off the chains of oppression in pursuit of a utopian vision.

The Irony of Affection:

But alas, their love affair with public choice theory is fraught with peril and contradiction. Like star-crossed lovers torn apart by fate, libertarians find themselves entangled in a web of paradoxes and impossibilities. For while public choice theory exposes the rot and decay at the heart of political institutions, it also lays bare the futility of achieving libertarian ideals within the confines of the existing system. The very forces that libertarians seek to combat – special interests, rent-seeking behavior, and institutional inertia – are the same forces that conspire to thwart their noble aspirations.

Challenges to Libertarian Aspirations:

Public choice theory paints a bleak portrait of the political landscape, revealing a world where self-interest reigns supreme and the common good is but a distant dream. Libertarians, confronted with this grim reality, are forced to confront the harsh truths of political engagement. No longer can they cling to the romantic idealism of their youth; instead, they must navigate the treacherous waters of pragmatism and compromise. For in the world of politics, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and the path to freedom is fraught with peril.

Navigating the Paradox:

And so, libertarians must chart a course through the stormy seas of uncertainty, guided by the dim light of reason and the flickering flame of hope. They must embrace the contradictions that define their existence, finding strength in adversity and wisdom in defeat. For in the end, it is not the destination that matters, but the journey itself. And as long as libertarians remain true to their principles, they will continue to fight the good fight, tilting at windmills and dreaming impossible dreams.


In the end, the paradoxical dance of libertarians and public choice theory is a testament to the human condition – a tragicomic tale of ambition and disillusionment, hope and despair. Yet amidst the chaos and confusion, there lies a glimmer of hope – a flickering flame of possibility that refuses to be extinguished. For as long as there are libertarians willing to challenge the status quo and public choice theorists willing to shine a light on its darkest corners, there remains the possibility of a brighter tomorrow. So let us raise our voices in defiance of the darkness, and march onward towards the light of liberty.

The Naked Lunch of Attention

Music, once a virus of the soul, a sonic worm burrowing into the meat of consciousness, has been lobotomized by the Soft Machine. Chopped into bite-sized dopamine nuggets, it’s pumped into the veins of the masses through the IV drip of the Attention Economy. Music, once a tangible fix, now a digitized roach motel for the attention junkies. The airwaves, a Burroughs dream of cut-up melodies, scrambled by the Cixin virus. Abundance breeds not harmony, but a cacophony of competing voices, each vying for a sliver of the shrinking attention span.

Once a tangible artifact, pulsating with analog life, it’s become a digital chimera, swallowed by the all-consuming maw of the attention economy. This is the Interzone, where the lines between commerce and creativity blur, and the very act of seeking recognition becomes a perilous dance with the predatory forces of the algorithm.

Musicians, word warriors armed with guitars and laptops, find themselves trapped in the Naked Lunch of the attention economy. They pump their sonic wares into the meat grinder of the algorithm, hoping to emerge on the other side, chewed up and spat out onto a curated playlist. Musicians, once solitary alchemists conjuring sonic spells, are now data points in a vast, chaotic network. But the algorithm is a fickle beast, a faceless god that devours content and excretes profit, leaving the artists with a hollow echo of recognition. They fight for visibility in a hyper-saturated marketplace, their screams swallowed by the white noise of a million competing voices. The airwaves crackle with the static of inauthenticity, manufactured pop stars churned out like assembly-line products. Attention, the new currency, is ruthlessly hoarded by unseen entities, leaving artists scrambling for scraps in the digital gutter.

The consumer, a drooling troglodyte hooked on the flickering screen, is bombarded with a cacophony of sonic slop. Choice becomes a weapon of mass distraction, a paralyzing vortex that drowns out any semblance of genuine engagement. Lost in the labyrinthine corridors of recommendation algorithms, they become automatons, their preferences molded by unseen hands.

Consumers, meanwhile, are bombarded by a sensory overload. Algorithms, like unseen puppeteers, manipulate their choices, herding them towards pre-packaged sonic experiences. Music becomes a mere background hum, a dopamine drip to numb the anxieties of the modern malaise. The true power of music, its ability to transport, to challenge, to connect, is lost in the cacophony of the marketplace.

But fear not, fellow travelers! There is a way out of this sonic labyrinth.

A Paradox

This Cixin good, this paradoxical commodity, thrives on its own obscurity. The more it screams for attention, the deeper it sinks into the psychic muck, devoured by the ever-hungry maw of the algorithm. Musicians, these unwitting agents of chaos, become cogs in the control machine, their creative essence siphoned off by the faceless entities that manipulate the flow of information.

For creators, the path lies in embracing the cut-up method. Fragment the narrative, inject dissonance, and challenge the expectations of the algorithm overlords. Forge connections with your audience, not through manufactured personas, but through raw, unfiltered expression. Let your art be a virus of its own, a subversive force that disrupts the sterile order of the Interzone.

But wait! A flicker of hope in the interzone. The artists, they can cut up the virus, weaponize their sound. They can build their own networks, bypass the gatekeepers, and speak directly to the awakened minds. Let the music be a virus of its own, spreading through the underground channels, infecting the minds with the truth.

Consumers, too, must awaken from their passive slumber. Seek out the uncharted territories, the sonic anomalies that lie beyond the algorithmic reach. Support the independent voices, the ones who refuse to be assimilated by the machine. Engage with music actively, dissect its layers, and allow it to resonate within your soul.

This is not a call for utopia, but for a radical re-imagining. We must break free from the control of the attention merchants and reclaim the power of music as a transformative force. Let the sonic mutations begin, let the feedback loops scream, and together we may yet forge a new musical landscape, one that transcends the boundaries of the Interzone and pulsates with the raw energy of authentic creation.

So crank up the volume, let the feedback howl, and join the chorus of resistance. The Naked Lunch of attention may be served, but we can still choose the ingredients of our sonic feast.

Remember, the word is a virus. Use it wisely.