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Mystified

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Status Replies posted by Mystified

  1.  

    BIG DATA:

    That’s where it’s all at, I am told-- ‘Big Data’. I have been learning to code to gain access to it, and the world increasingly revolves around it.

    The trouble is-- Is it accurate? Can we trust it?

    The fact is, nearly every database has some degree of error. Some have quite a bit of built-in-error. Those that do not admit to this are not being honest with their users.

    There is a popular reference database, for example, that was designed for startup businesspeople and advertising. It shows the economic conditions and spending patterns of over 290 million Americans.

    Unfortunately, nearly every entry in the database is flawed. Some have out-of-date information-- dating back to the last Census, over 8 years ago. Some do not explain where their data comes from.

    This database does not explain the potential built-in errors, nor does it reveal in detail its sources. I believe that all public databases should include detail about and disclaimers concerning possible inaccuracies.

    If a person made a major economic decision based on this database, they would risk taking losses. This because the database is flawed, and because nowhere on the databases’ website does it list or explain these flaws.

    When data has errors, problems are bound to occur. As long as we refer to data as a reality grounded in “probability”, we are ok. As soon as we use databases as justifications for action, we have to be careful.

    What if, for example, a study that suggested that many cancer cases occurred in a certain city turned out to use data from a Census that was from a decade ago? What if this affected the ill-timed or ill-placed construction of anti-cancer centers, or training and/or deployment of doctors?

    I have used perhaps a half-dozen databases in my SQL training this year. All have been helpful, and all have been full of errors. And that’s ok, as long as I am using them as probabilities, as aids towards understanding. If I am treating the data, however, as though it is objectively true, and making decisions based on it-- that’s when problems begin.

    Imagine relocating a business only to find that your new location is not lucrative for your industry. Imagine being denied a spot in a class, or for a loan, due to data that is inaccurate, or of date, or unfair to use. Imagine taking a trip to a spot and finding it to be nothing like what was promised.

    In a culture, in a society, that holds big data to be truth, and information to be money-- remember, please, to be careful and selective about how data is used. True objectivity is hard to achieve, whether you are a consumer, a small business owner, or a large corporation.

  2.  

    BIG DATA:

    That’s where it’s all at, I am told-- ‘Big Data’. I have been learning to code to gain access to it, and the world increasingly revolves around it.

    The trouble is-- Is it accurate? Can we trust it?

    The fact is, nearly every database has some degree of error. Some have quite a bit of built-in-error. Those that do not admit to this are not being honest with their users.

    There is a popular reference database, for example, that was designed for startup businesspeople and advertising. It shows the economic conditions and spending patterns of over 290 million Americans.

    Unfortunately, nearly every entry in the database is flawed. Some have out-of-date information-- dating back to the last Census, over 8 years ago. Some do not explain where their data comes from.

    This database does not explain the potential built-in errors, nor does it reveal in detail its sources. I believe that all public databases should include detail about and disclaimers concerning possible inaccuracies.

    If a person made a major economic decision based on this database, they would risk taking losses. This because the database is flawed, and because nowhere on the databases’ website does it list or explain these flaws.

    When data has errors, problems are bound to occur. As long as we refer to data as a reality grounded in “probability”, we are ok. As soon as we use databases as justifications for action, we have to be careful.

    What if, for example, a study that suggested that many cancer cases occurred in a certain city turned out to use data from a Census that was from a decade ago? What if this affected the ill-timed or ill-placed construction of anti-cancer centers, or training and/or deployment of doctors?

    I have used perhaps a half-dozen databases in my SQL training this year. All have been helpful, and all have been full of errors. And that’s ok, as long as I am using them as probabilities, as aids towards understanding. If I am treating the data, however, as though it is objectively true, and making decisions based on it-- that’s when problems begin.

    Imagine relocating a business only to find that your new location is not lucrative for your industry. Imagine being denied a spot in a class, or for a loan, due to data that is inaccurate, or of date, or unfair to use. Imagine taking a trip to a spot and finding it to be nothing like what was promised.

    In a culture, in a society, that holds big data to be truth, and information to be money-- remember, please, to be careful and selective about how data is used. True objectivity is hard to achieve, whether you are a consumer, a small business owner, or a large corporation.

    1. Mystified

      Mystified

      Every now and then I think-- "What is beyond digital?"

    2. (See 11 other replies to this status update)

  3.  

    BIG DATA:

    That’s where it’s all at, I am told-- ‘Big Data’. I have been learning to code to gain access to it, and the world increasingly revolves around it.

    The trouble is-- Is it accurate? Can we trust it?

    The fact is, nearly every database has some degree of error. Some have quite a bit of built-in-error. Those that do not admit to this are not being honest with their users.

    There is a popular reference database, for example, that was designed for startup businesspeople and advertising. It shows the economic conditions and spending patterns of over 290 million Americans.

    Unfortunately, nearly every entry in the database is flawed. Some have out-of-date information-- dating back to the last Census, over 8 years ago. Some do not explain where their data comes from.

    This database does not explain the potential built-in errors, nor does it reveal in detail its sources. I believe that all public databases should include detail about and disclaimers concerning possible inaccuracies.

    If a person made a major economic decision based on this database, they would risk taking losses. This because the database is flawed, and because nowhere on the databases’ website does it list or explain these flaws.

    When data has errors, problems are bound to occur. As long as we refer to data as a reality grounded in “probability”, we are ok. As soon as we use databases as justifications for action, we have to be careful.

    What if, for example, a study that suggested that many cancer cases occurred in a certain city turned out to use data from a Census that was from a decade ago? What if this affected the ill-timed or ill-placed construction of anti-cancer centers, or training and/or deployment of doctors?

    I have used perhaps a half-dozen databases in my SQL training this year. All have been helpful, and all have been full of errors. And that’s ok, as long as I am using them as probabilities, as aids towards understanding. If I am treating the data, however, as though it is objectively true, and making decisions based on it-- that’s when problems begin.

    Imagine relocating a business only to find that your new location is not lucrative for your industry. Imagine being denied a spot in a class, or for a loan, due to data that is inaccurate, or of date, or unfair to use. Imagine taking a trip to a spot and finding it to be nothing like what was promised.

    In a culture, in a society, that holds big data to be truth, and information to be money-- remember, please, to be careful and selective about how data is used. True objectivity is hard to achieve, whether you are a consumer, a small business owner, or a large corporation.

    1. Mystified

      Mystified

      Thanks. All I can say is, whenever I attribute things that don't have magic powers powers they can't have, it never ends well. If I think a model or a database is going to solve my life issues, I tend to discover that I am essentially dealing with, simply, data a person has collected.

      I have written about having a radical doubt, in my blog. By this I mean that, when things seem more and more to veer from reality as we know it, we need step back and question our perceptions, or whether we are being fed something that in itself is deceptive.

      The best remedy for predictive behavior is to act unpredictably-- or at least to be aware of the freedom and potential to do so.

    2. (See 11 other replies to this status update)

  4.  

    BIG DATA:

    That’s where it’s all at, I am told-- ‘Big Data’. I have been learning to code to gain access to it, and the world increasingly revolves around it.

    The trouble is-- Is it accurate? Can we trust it?

    The fact is, nearly every database has some degree of error. Some have quite a bit of built-in-error. Those that do not admit to this are not being honest with their users.

    There is a popular reference database, for example, that was designed for startup businesspeople and advertising. It shows the economic conditions and spending patterns of over 290 million Americans.

    Unfortunately, nearly every entry in the database is flawed. Some have out-of-date information-- dating back to the last Census, over 8 years ago. Some do not explain where their data comes from.

    This database does not explain the potential built-in errors, nor does it reveal in detail its sources. I believe that all public databases should include detail about and disclaimers concerning possible inaccuracies.

    If a person made a major economic decision based on this database, they would risk taking losses. This because the database is flawed, and because nowhere on the databases’ website does it list or explain these flaws.

    When data has errors, problems are bound to occur. As long as we refer to data as a reality grounded in “probability”, we are ok. As soon as we use databases as justifications for action, we have to be careful.

    What if, for example, a study that suggested that many cancer cases occurred in a certain city turned out to use data from a Census that was from a decade ago? What if this affected the ill-timed or ill-placed construction of anti-cancer centers, or training and/or deployment of doctors?

    I have used perhaps a half-dozen databases in my SQL training this year. All have been helpful, and all have been full of errors. And that’s ok, as long as I am using them as probabilities, as aids towards understanding. If I am treating the data, however, as though it is objectively true, and making decisions based on it-- that’s when problems begin.

    Imagine relocating a business only to find that your new location is not lucrative for your industry. Imagine being denied a spot in a class, or for a loan, due to data that is inaccurate, or of date, or unfair to use. Imagine taking a trip to a spot and finding it to be nothing like what was promised.

    In a culture, in a society, that holds big data to be truth, and information to be money-- remember, please, to be careful and selective about how data is used. True objectivity is hard to achieve, whether you are a consumer, a small business owner, or a large corporation.

    1. Mystified

      Mystified

      The BI notion is similar to the idea I have that we exist to corporate and other entities as  data dopplegangers-- elaborate class objects, with certain attributes that can be increasingly predicted.

      Is this pernicious?

      Offering me something to buy is ok, I suppose.

      If I am given something or denied something based on such predictive models, that could be a moral problem.

      I suspect we are going to see more dilemmas like that as time goes on.

    2. (See 11 other replies to this status update)

  5.  

    BIG DATA:

    That’s where it’s all at, I am told-- ‘Big Data’. I have been learning to code to gain access to it, and the world increasingly revolves around it.

    The trouble is-- Is it accurate? Can we trust it?

    The fact is, nearly every database has some degree of error. Some have quite a bit of built-in-error. Those that do not admit to this are not being honest with their users.

    There is a popular reference database, for example, that was designed for startup businesspeople and advertising. It shows the economic conditions and spending patterns of over 290 million Americans.

    Unfortunately, nearly every entry in the database is flawed. Some have out-of-date information-- dating back to the last Census, over 8 years ago. Some do not explain where their data comes from.

    This database does not explain the potential built-in errors, nor does it reveal in detail its sources. I believe that all public databases should include detail about and disclaimers concerning possible inaccuracies.

    If a person made a major economic decision based on this database, they would risk taking losses. This because the database is flawed, and because nowhere on the databases’ website does it list or explain these flaws.

    When data has errors, problems are bound to occur. As long as we refer to data as a reality grounded in “probability”, we are ok. As soon as we use databases as justifications for action, we have to be careful.

    What if, for example, a study that suggested that many cancer cases occurred in a certain city turned out to use data from a Census that was from a decade ago? What if this affected the ill-timed or ill-placed construction of anti-cancer centers, or training and/or deployment of doctors?

    I have used perhaps a half-dozen databases in my SQL training this year. All have been helpful, and all have been full of errors. And that’s ok, as long as I am using them as probabilities, as aids towards understanding. If I am treating the data, however, as though it is objectively true, and making decisions based on it-- that’s when problems begin.

    Imagine relocating a business only to find that your new location is not lucrative for your industry. Imagine being denied a spot in a class, or for a loan, due to data that is inaccurate, or of date, or unfair to use. Imagine taking a trip to a spot and finding it to be nothing like what was promised.

    In a culture, in a society, that holds big data to be truth, and information to be money-- remember, please, to be careful and selective about how data is used. True objectivity is hard to achieve, whether you are a consumer, a small business owner, or a large corporation.

    1. Mystified

      Mystified

      In terms of the "Big Data" trend, are you suggesting that data worship and overuse could lead to negative consequences? I do, if that is what you mean. Feedback loops being a good example. If reality means data means reality, the more we generalize, the more a particular response or result ensues. Data is never perfectly accurate, and it, in turn, helps to dictate reality. A troubling notion.

    2. (See 11 other replies to this status update)

  6.  

    BIG DATA:

    That’s where it’s all at, I am told-- ‘Big Data’. I have been learning to code to gain access to it, and the world increasingly revolves around it.

    The trouble is-- Is it accurate? Can we trust it?

    The fact is, nearly every database has some degree of error. Some have quite a bit of built-in-error. Those that do not admit to this are not being honest with their users.

    There is a popular reference database, for example, that was designed for startup businesspeople and advertising. It shows the economic conditions and spending patterns of over 290 million Americans.

    Unfortunately, nearly every entry in the database is flawed. Some have out-of-date information-- dating back to the last Census, over 8 years ago. Some do not explain where their data comes from.

    This database does not explain the potential built-in errors, nor does it reveal in detail its sources. I believe that all public databases should include detail about and disclaimers concerning possible inaccuracies.

    If a person made a major economic decision based on this database, they would risk taking losses. This because the database is flawed, and because nowhere on the databases’ website does it list or explain these flaws.

    When data has errors, problems are bound to occur. As long as we refer to data as a reality grounded in “probability”, we are ok. As soon as we use databases as justifications for action, we have to be careful.

    What if, for example, a study that suggested that many cancer cases occurred in a certain city turned out to use data from a Census that was from a decade ago? What if this affected the ill-timed or ill-placed construction of anti-cancer centers, or training and/or deployment of doctors?

    I have used perhaps a half-dozen databases in my SQL training this year. All have been helpful, and all have been full of errors. And that’s ok, as long as I am using them as probabilities, as aids towards understanding. If I am treating the data, however, as though it is objectively true, and making decisions based on it-- that’s when problems begin.

    Imagine relocating a business only to find that your new location is not lucrative for your industry. Imagine being denied a spot in a class, or for a loan, due to data that is inaccurate, or of date, or unfair to use. Imagine taking a trip to a spot and finding it to be nothing like what was promised.

    In a culture, in a society, that holds big data to be truth, and information to be money-- remember, please, to be careful and selective about how data is used. True objectivity is hard to achieve, whether you are a consumer, a small business owner, or a large corporation.

    1. Mystified

      Mystified

      Jack-- can you explain? How do inaccuracies drive the industry? Do you mean that is what makes it necessary?

    2. (See 11 other replies to this status update)

  7. Google Advanced Search: When you run a search on Google, it gives you this option, but I am sharing a direct link: https://www.google.com/advanced_search. Note that you can choose the type of domain to select (i.e. .com, .gov, .edu, and so forth). You can be very specific about certain terms appearing in the page. You can decide what license the page is-- so you could search for creative commons or public domain content. Try it out-- and share this information. Search in a smart way!

    Additionally, in the "Tools" section for normal searches, you can search for material that is from a recent period-- ie anything posted, to things posted within a certain number of hours.

    1. Mystified

      Mystified

      Indeed, and thanks for that additional info..

    2. (See 1 other reply to this status update)

  8. Even the biggest FB Group spammers can't compete against:

    FAKE NEWS!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/10/11/facebook-purged-over-accounts-pages-pushing-political-messages-profit

    Who really abuses the system are people whose beliefs are hard to discern and have no conscience for methods.

     

    1. Mystified

      Mystified

      In response to the "Fake News" incidents and resulting purge at Facebook, I have written a python program to help people to find topical news from sources that are generally deemed reliable-- so they can avoid all of the fake stories, ads, malware and so forth associated with many of these bogus 'news ' sites. I plan to develop my code into a free web app, but for now the python version is available here:
       
    2. (See 2 other replies to this status update)

  9. Even the biggest FB Group spammers can't compete against:

    FAKE NEWS!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2018/10/11/facebook-purged-over-accounts-pages-pushing-political-messages-profit

    Who really abuses the system are people whose beliefs are hard to discern and have no conscience for methods.

     

    1. Mystified

      Mystified

      Interesting. Lol. That might cut into social media profits, I suppose.

      This weekend I plan on whipping up a python search engine portal designed to help avoid fake news sites.

    2. (See 2 other replies to this status update)

  10. I want to be quite clear about something. Trying to react to and provide alternatives to a failing paradigm is not in essence revolutionary, or seditious in any way. It is trying to make things work when a system begins to fail. There is a big difference, and I am sure people can see that. If big oil and coal are failing us, they need to be replaced. That is not a revolutionary statement, rather one made by necessity. If Cold War ideology is no longer functional, and causes more problems than it helps, it has, by need, to go. If you think about what parts of your life no longer work as they should, it is then ok, I feel, to take action to make changes until you are all right again.

    1. Mystified

      Mystified

      So that a more supportive system has to be "magically implemented". Lordy.

    2. (See 4 other replies to this status update)

  11. I want to be quite clear about something. Trying to react to and provide alternatives to a failing paradigm is not in essence revolutionary, or seditious in any way. It is trying to make things work when a system begins to fail. There is a big difference, and I am sure people can see that. If big oil and coal are failing us, they need to be replaced. That is not a revolutionary statement, rather one made by necessity. If Cold War ideology is no longer functional, and causes more problems than it helps, it has, by need, to go. If you think about what parts of your life no longer work as they should, it is then ok, I feel, to take action to make changes until you are all right again.

    1. Mystified

      Mystified

      Thanks! And thank you for the interesting chart. Especially interested in "the chasm", and how that would seem from a development standpoint.

    2. (See 4 other replies to this status update)

  12. Thanks to Subterranean Books for letting me engage in my longest live jam ever-- nearly two hours. Here is most of the second hour, recorded live at the event. Among other sounds, the voice of local poetess Amanda Wells can be heard at points in the mix. 2018 Community Audio

     

     

    1. Mystified

      Mystified

      Thanks, Jack! I am trying to get more and more gigs like this.

    2. (See 2 other replies to this status update)

  13. I have started visiting a site called "Electronic Cottage". It's Hal McGee's brainchild-- a resurrection of a project he began back in the '80's, which was dedicated to DIY and hometaper culture.
     
    I was immediately overwhelmed by what was too much to take in at once. A lot of parallels could be drawn between this scene and my early days as mystified.
     
    A main parallel involves what I would call a "distancing of the audience".
     
    Because a lot of home recording happens essentially without an audience (and involves just the artist(s)), it happens without restraint-- and without critique.
     
    As a result, it is often glorious, free, and, well- somewhat trashy and disposable. Fun stuff that parodies itself endlessly, recursively.
     
    I think again about where I am today in regards to archiving my work, and the sheer abundance of material from earlier eras that is not altogether different.
     
    A formidable challenge-- perhaps even a quixotic task-- to make as complete a record as possible?
     
  14.  

    Artists-- it’s sad to consider-- but if you die, or, rather, when you die-- how will you be remembered? Who will take care of your artistic creations? How will they be presented?

    I have created a free pdf with some thoughts on this matter:

    https://ia601504.us.archive.org/27/items/ThomasParkBenchmarkHub/20_Creating_Your_Own_Artistic_Legacy.pdf

    1. Mystified

      Mystified

      One great thing about this topic is-- because it's up to is, it really IS our choice. Reflexively. If we choose not to publish, then we don't have to go through that process, but there is no access or public record. If we want to, we do-- and there it is.

      I really wouldn't want to pressure artists who don't want to share or archive their work to do so-- only to emphasize that that might be their decision and their labor.

    2. (See 6 other replies to this status update)

  15.  

    Artists-- it’s sad to consider-- but if you die, or, rather, when you die-- how will you be remembered? Who will take care of your artistic creations? How will they be presented?

    I have created a free pdf with some thoughts on this matter:

    https://ia601504.us.archive.org/27/items/ThomasParkBenchmarkHub/20_Creating_Your_Own_Artistic_Legacy.pdf

    1. Mystified

      Mystified

      A result of these larger patterns is that the DIYer becomes a sort of renaissance person-- they plan, create, promote, share, participate in communities, remix, master, create cover art, videos-- and, yes, indeed, they may be called on to archive their own work (or no-one will).

      Looking over my material, I am definitely the only person on the planet who could properly archive it, and that is a struggle, even for me.

      Part of the purpose of the legacy page on my toolkit is to awaken artists to that possibility-- that if they want their work to be remembered, for whatever reason, they need both to preserve archival copies of the material-- and to make sure that it is shared in an appropriate manner.

    2. (See 6 other replies to this status update)

  16.  

    Artists-- it’s sad to consider-- but if you die, or, rather, when you die-- how will you be remembered? Who will take care of your artistic creations? How will they be presented?

    I have created a free pdf with some thoughts on this matter:

    https://ia601504.us.archive.org/27/items/ThomasParkBenchmarkHub/20_Creating_Your_Own_Artistic_Legacy.pdf

    1. Mystified

      Mystified

      Interesting point. And I think you do raise a pivotal issue-- what makes creative works worthwhile to people, beyond an artist's lifespan? If art is really mainly and just a commodity-- and that may be more of a societal issue-- then monetary value is and will be all. If certain types of innovations, ideal examples,  technical abilities or other qualities matter-- perhaps, then, an artist's works might indeed survive beyond their date of passing.

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    2. (See 6 other replies to this status update)

  17. Fame: Remember My Name

    An Essay By Thomas Park

    So, you want to be famous?

    I shared that dream. For nearly two decades I composed literally thousands of pieces of music in an effort to become a famous artist. I tried using new ideas. I tried top notch production techniques.

    I never really sacrificed my muse to the notion, but I did appear on several monied releases, as well as a set of compilations and other projects that were large and involved lots of press.

    In 2017, I abandoned my main music projects, and in 2018, I essentially retired from music. I did this having achieved some notoriety in certain circles, but without having become famous from music.

    My desire to be well-known gradually subsided over the years. I began focusing on the art itself. I tried hard to find and maintain my own style, my own voice. When I retired, I felt satisfied, in spite of my lack of success-- I felt that I had achieved great things in the aesthetics department, and that the efforts were worth the time and energy spent.

    In my opinion, fame-- particularly fame in music-- is largely fictitious. The rock and roll lifestyle is something that was invented. Very few people ever could or would live that lifestyle. Those who do would come face to face with risks such as chemical dependency, exhaustion, and exposure to a possibly dangerous public.

    The dream of rock and roll seems to suggest that one should master a musical instrument, and leave home at a young age. The artist is to meet a number of people involved with music-- other artists, an agent, and so forth. A constant process of recording and touring is to begin, and great amounts of addictive substances and sex are to be had.

     

    This is 2018, not 1950, and I trust that people realize that living for pleasure has its downsides. There was never a high without a low, that is just human nature. It’s how the mind and body work. And sure, sex with groupies sounds fun. How about S.T.D.s, some perhaps being deadly? The difficulty of committing to a spouse? The hardships of raising children while on tour? Not to mention the exhaustion that could come from always being on the road making music.

     

    I recently watched a recording of Elvis Presley singing “Suspicious Minds”, during one of his later tours. When he hit the high note, he seemed to be appealing to us (and perhaps to his wife Priscilla), to trust him, to believe in him. He was an honest man, and did not want to go on living in a shadow of suspicion.

     

    The effect of that piece was somehow lost knowing Elvis’ true lifestyle. In fact, meditating on the life and death of “The King” provides an excellent study for why a person would never, really ever want to be famous.

     

    As for myself, I remain “Mystified”-- a successful netlabel artist. I am known by some, largely not by others. As a result, I can easily walk out of the front door of my modest, affordable home, and not get mobbed by a crowd of people holding cameras or shouting my name.

     

    I can tweet without causing ridiculous controversies.

     

    Best yet, I can work a steady, fulfilling career that helps people, and come home to my wife and our two cats, where I can peacefully drift off into sleep.

     

    You ask about fame? You can have it. I will take security and fulfillment anytime.

    1. Mystified

      Mystified

      How awful that would be. I am convinced he would have been happier without the fame.

    2. (See 5 other replies to this status update)

  18. Fame: Remember My Name

    An Essay By Thomas Park

    So, you want to be famous?

    I shared that dream. For nearly two decades I composed literally thousands of pieces of music in an effort to become a famous artist. I tried using new ideas. I tried top notch production techniques.

    I never really sacrificed my muse to the notion, but I did appear on several monied releases, as well as a set of compilations and other projects that were large and involved lots of press.

    In 2017, I abandoned my main music projects, and in 2018, I essentially retired from music. I did this having achieved some notoriety in certain circles, but without having become famous from music.

    My desire to be well-known gradually subsided over the years. I began focusing on the art itself. I tried hard to find and maintain my own style, my own voice. When I retired, I felt satisfied, in spite of my lack of success-- I felt that I had achieved great things in the aesthetics department, and that the efforts were worth the time and energy spent.

    In my opinion, fame-- particularly fame in music-- is largely fictitious. The rock and roll lifestyle is something that was invented. Very few people ever could or would live that lifestyle. Those who do would come face to face with risks such as chemical dependency, exhaustion, and exposure to a possibly dangerous public.

    The dream of rock and roll seems to suggest that one should master a musical instrument, and leave home at a young age. The artist is to meet a number of people involved with music-- other artists, an agent, and so forth. A constant process of recording and touring is to begin, and great amounts of addictive substances and sex are to be had.

     

    This is 2018, not 1950, and I trust that people realize that living for pleasure has its downsides. There was never a high without a low, that is just human nature. It’s how the mind and body work. And sure, sex with groupies sounds fun. How about S.T.D.s, some perhaps being deadly? The difficulty of committing to a spouse? The hardships of raising children while on tour? Not to mention the exhaustion that could come from always being on the road making music.

     

    I recently watched a recording of Elvis Presley singing “Suspicious Minds”, during one of his later tours. When he hit the high note, he seemed to be appealing to us (and perhaps to his wife Priscilla), to trust him, to believe in him. He was an honest man, and did not want to go on living in a shadow of suspicion.

     

    The effect of that piece was somehow lost knowing Elvis’ true lifestyle. In fact, meditating on the life and death of “The King” provides an excellent study for why a person would never, really ever want to be famous.

     

    As for myself, I remain “Mystified”-- a successful netlabel artist. I am known by some, largely not by others. As a result, I can easily walk out of the front door of my modest, affordable home, and not get mobbed by a crowd of people holding cameras or shouting my name.

     

    I can tweet without causing ridiculous controversies.

     

    Best yet, I can work a steady, fulfilling career that helps people, and come home to my wife and our two cats, where I can peacefully drift off into sleep.

     

    You ask about fame? You can have it. I will take security and fulfillment anytime.

  19. Fame: Remember My Name

    An Essay By Thomas Park

    So, you want to be famous?

    I shared that dream. For nearly two decades I composed literally thousands of pieces of music in an effort to become a famous artist. I tried using new ideas. I tried top notch production techniques.

    I never really sacrificed my muse to the notion, but I did appear on several monied releases, as well as a set of compilations and other projects that were large and involved lots of press.

    In 2017, I abandoned my main music projects, and in 2018, I essentially retired from music. I did this having achieved some notoriety in certain circles, but without having become famous from music.

    My desire to be well-known gradually subsided over the years. I began focusing on the art itself. I tried hard to find and maintain my own style, my own voice. When I retired, I felt satisfied, in spite of my lack of success-- I felt that I had achieved great things in the aesthetics department, and that the efforts were worth the time and energy spent.

    In my opinion, fame-- particularly fame in music-- is largely fictitious. The rock and roll lifestyle is something that was invented. Very few people ever could or would live that lifestyle. Those who do would come face to face with risks such as chemical dependency, exhaustion, and exposure to a possibly dangerous public.

    The dream of rock and roll seems to suggest that one should master a musical instrument, and leave home at a young age. The artist is to meet a number of people involved with music-- other artists, an agent, and so forth. A constant process of recording and touring is to begin, and great amounts of addictive substances and sex are to be had.

     

    This is 2018, not 1950, and I trust that people realize that living for pleasure has its downsides. There was never a high without a low, that is just human nature. It’s how the mind and body work. And sure, sex with groupies sounds fun. How about S.T.D.s, some perhaps being deadly? The difficulty of committing to a spouse? The hardships of raising children while on tour? Not to mention the exhaustion that could come from always being on the road making music.

     

    I recently watched a recording of Elvis Presley singing “Suspicious Minds”, during one of his later tours. When he hit the high note, he seemed to be appealing to us (and perhaps to his wife Priscilla), to trust him, to believe in him. He was an honest man, and did not want to go on living in a shadow of suspicion.

     

    The effect of that piece was somehow lost knowing Elvis’ true lifestyle. In fact, meditating on the life and death of “The King” provides an excellent study for why a person would never, really ever want to be famous.

     

    As for myself, I remain “Mystified”-- a successful netlabel artist. I am known by some, largely not by others. As a result, I can easily walk out of the front door of my modest, affordable home, and not get mobbed by a crowd of people holding cameras or shouting my name.

     

    I can tweet without causing ridiculous controversies.

     

    Best yet, I can work a steady, fulfilling career that helps people, and come home to my wife and our two cats, where I can peacefully drift off into sleep.

     

    You ask about fame? You can have it. I will take security and fulfillment anytime.

  20. For some reason, I keep feeling myself pulled back again and again to a certain time in my life. This was the years 2000-2012, when I lived alone in a low rent apartment in the South Side of Saint Louis.

    Life asks us to pay attention to our loved ones, to our jobs, and to our obligations. This was a period of time when I had few obligations, and no spouse. 

    It really was just me, all day, every day, in this shabby place.

    Chippewa And Brannon was where mystified was born.

    Part of mystified's development involved the harvesting of field recordings. My collaborator Chris McDill at one point suggested that I stop using purchased sounds in my pieces, and start harvesting my own.

    As a result, I was able to capture the atmosphere and vibe of my little apartment in the city.

    I tried to convey this atmosphere in many ways. I would use the field recordings as samples, mixing them together. Sometimes there were conscious compositions. Other times, sounds were mixed fractally in a freeware program.

    Last night, I dug into my archival drive and posted all of the phonographic recordings I had from that period-- all of them that had not been digitally effected. I released them on archive.org.

    Having posted them, I went back to listen. I must admit, these field recordings are indeed the best record of the years 2000-2012 for me. They most accurately capture the vibe of living in poverty in the city. My compositions stretch, mold and exaggerate. The recordings do not.

    This was living low and these field recordings capture it exactly.

    https://archive.org/details/ThomasParkSaintLouisUrbanPhonography

    1. Mystified

      Mystified

      Thank you, Jack! Small world-- my wife recently had a big Lynch kick (we both watched the Return together), and she shared this documentary with me. Very cool.

    2. (See 2 other replies to this status update)

  21. Now that most of Thomas Park's solo audio projects have been officially closed, including Mystified, Mister Vapor, AutoCad and others, Thomas has embarked on a multi-phase archiving process.

    First, Thomas amassed and created copies of his complete collection of files-- nearly 1 TB of data.

    Second, Thomas has made available in one convenient place high-quality selections of his various works. Thomas calls these "Archival Selections". They are available at the site that was so pivotal to his career-- The Internet Archive. Archival Selections 1-28 appear as a sub-collection of Treetrunk Records, a netlabel at The Internet Archive.

    You can access these selections at the online hub for Treetrunk Records:

    https://archive.org/details/treetrunk

    Here are direct links to the selected releases:

    Aluminum Fly (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections001
    AutoCad Reclaimed Disc One (AutoCad): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections002
    AutoCad Reclaimed Disc Two (AutoCad): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections003
    Cereal For Dinner (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections004
    Coming Days (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections005
    D-Program (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections006
    Eldritch Steps (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections007
    Elemental Dub (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections008
    Fragment, Compress (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections009
    Haiku 01 (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections010
    Knowing Memphis (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections011
    Machines 2 (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections012
    Night Wheel (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections013
    Overtone Drones (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections014
    Skywatchers 2 (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections015
    Stellar Fugue (Thomas Park): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections016
    The U.F.O. Hoax (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections017
    Tropical Depression (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections018
    Urbscape (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections019
    Urgent Cells (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections020
    Endless Flutter (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections021
    In A Haze (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections022
    Moonshine (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections023
    Still Dreaming (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections024
    The Luminous Deep (mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections025
    The Murk (Digital Mass): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections026
    Constant (Mystified): http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections027
    Thomas Park and Various Artists- Full Album Videos: http://www.archive.org/details/ArchivalSelections028

    Especially of note is this last selection, number 028. Number 028 contains a large set of high-definition videos that each contain an entire album. These are not all of Thomas' albums or videos, but they represent a good portion of the releases that featured Thomas as composer-in-chief.

    Archive.org, and these collections, represent the best available set of archived material by Thomas Park over the last 2 decades.

    There are a few other collections to note:

    YouTube features 2 archival playlists, the "Full Albums" Playlist, and the "Longform Videos" Playlist:

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9TuK-wqyd1Sh1sLWWmkoWhjYpV7XGuVf

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL9TuK-wqyd1Tm3GQXAn_3n4bHIbPzsKuM

    Another site useful for finding Thomas' music is his Bandcamp Page:

    https://mystified.bandcamp.com/

    Finally, looking up information or release links on Discogs.com and/or Google.com can be very useful.

    Thank you for your interest in Thomas' creative projects! It is appreciated.

  22. A heavy dose of kosmische is in the new "Bergen" video from FAST RAILS.

     

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