Years ago, I did He asked a friend what kind of case he planned to buy for his shiny new flip phone. He stopped, a little annoyed. “I don’t like to buy stuff for my belongings,” she said. These words pierce directly into my hippocampus, ever to exit. That’s right! I think. Don’t buy stuff stuff! Very straightforward! I have tried to maintain that policy ever since, and it has lived up to your expectations. Of course, I can spend 1,000 on a tech-giant-controlled smartphone, but I do it every three years instead of every two. That is how we will win.
The problem is that certain kinds of things only attract more things. The house is an obvious one: it prefers sofas, sweaters, buffet cabinets, chandeliers. Computer other; They increase USB tendrils. Smartphones are born Earbud, Cloud backup, and Music service subscription. I am envious of the people who make it work with an Emes chair, a fancy Ottoman, some excellent art books, and many generations of inherited resources. Their iPads are so empty, just a few apps, where I have 60 terabytes of storage scattered across different blinking devices because I download big data sets for fun.
I often deceive myself into thinking that the road to less things can be widened with more stuff. Lately, under the influence of some long-suppressed percussive will, I have bought a drum machine. It’s actually a portable production studio – a hardware-based update of the music-sequencing software from the old Amiga computer. It has buttons, a jug wheel and a screen that shows most numbers. It’s called Polyand Tracker, but I think of it as a sonic spreadsheet. Everything you can do with it can be done on a laptop. Importantly, though, it does not connect to the Internet.
I bought the Sonic spreadsheet with the idea of going offline, escaping from the centralized world I live in, creating sick beats in the backyard or on the kitchen table. I wanted to look at a small screen instead of a big screen, the way I do back-to-the-land. Instead I curled up in front of my regular monitor, watching YouTube videos of various Nordes showing it. They Most of the beatings were not so bad. Although their lighting was good. Maybe those who are making sick beats are not making YouTube videos.
After a few weeks of use, the tracker starts calling: Feed me acoutrements. The luggage box is starting to come in – curved legs to help it, rubber feet to stabilize it, a padded case to protect it, a battery pack to get it. Having a microphone and a lot of headphones, I decided that what I really needed was a microphone and special headphones for this thing. Then I downloaded 100 gig audio samples from the 1990’s, which meant I had to upgrade my Sonic spreadsheet’s microSD card. (And of course the names of the samples were inconsistent, so I wrote the code to organize them.) Each item, each unit of staff, came with its own, pet accessories – a stand, a foam cover, a cord, a manual, a little drawstring suit. Supply chain Fractal: Your staff has zoom in and more stuff, ad infinite.
The result of all this is that I have no musical talent. I spend hours and hours interrupting, turning small expressions into whole songs, spinning that jug wheel like a professional, and the next night when I get back on those tracks, I keep discovering that I don’t have a creative idea. My drum track sounds like a nervous rabbit kicking a bongo. If you need wonderful, stylish digital clown music that can be a Christmas carol playing on dog skin, I’m your guy. I’m not a musician. I am a system administrator for my digital audio workstation. There will be no SoundCloud for me.