Monday, October 7, 2013

Text and Tech (from the ferry)

DSC00422 (1200x900)I’m headed back to the UK to start the week – I’ll be in London for a full day of meetings and then down to Poole to settle into life down there.  I’ve been concerned about what to do now that I’ve turned the corner in life: Should I start to re-define my commitments, build into the new voids left by places and people, and progress towards life’s longer-term goals?  Or should I take a healthy break, time off to slow the pace,  experience the new places that I live, and get to know the new people in my life more fully. 

After discussion, I’m opting for the latter.  No deep questions or reflective puzzles, just a few months of exploring, relaxing, and consolidating.  And daily Dutch, more biking or sailing, and building up local connections, as several friends have recommended. ‘should be fun.

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Text: The New York Times published an intriguing article Sunday, “Great Betrayals”, discussing the issues experienced by people who discover that their partner has been living a longstanding lie.  The people committing the offense know what they have done and why, have come to terms with their history, and, if they change and make amends, are redeemed by society.  Those who have been lied to, in contrast, are counseled to get over it, to move on, to forgive, receiving  markedly less emotional or social support.

The real damage, the author correctly notes, comes from the destruction off their own past narrative.  Since the things that they believed true are, in fact, false, they must rebuild their story from the life experiences that they can still trust.  Both elements of that process are problematic.

When I think back on past betrayals at school, at work, in my personal life, and the process of moving on, I agree that understanding and accepting the truth, while necessary, is not  enough.  Only when I can rebuild the past and reclaim my lost successes and purpose is the ‘moving on’ really complete.

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Tech: I have a lot of .mp3 music files that I converted from CDs so that I could carry them with me when I travel or exercise. I’ve always  liked  dbPoweramp as a convertor, it keeps the audio quality high and is regularly updated to conform to new formats.

However, the music files clutter across my hard drives and music players, cursed with a tangle of names (especially after a disastrous attempt to automagically rename files using a shareware utility).  It’s pretty much rendered unusable.

Google MusicThe TWiT network recommended giving the new Google Music service a try, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised.  Files uploaded quickly, all but five were correctly recognized, the rest were well labeled, and the access options work well.  It’s been good about making relevant recommendations, whether to round out a collection or to find related artists. 

shazamI use it where I have WiFi (3G charges would likely kill me, as with any media streaming service).  I’ve also been exploring the music recognition utility Shazam.  When Radio One comes up with a good track, I tap the button on my Nexus and it generally finds the information in about fifteen seconds.  It filters car noises well and only stumbled on some covers of classic Cole Porter songs.

As always, I purchase the technical and media products I discuss, and am neither asked nor incented to write about them.

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