A fascinating thought experiment from Ted Chiang:
So let’s imagine a world in which Chinese characters were never invented in the first place. Given such a void, the alphabet might have spread east from India in a way that it couldn’t in our history, but, to keep this from being an Indo-Eurocentric thought experiment, let’s suppose that the ancient Chinese invented their own phonetic system of writing, something like the modern Bopomofo, some thirty-two hundred years ago. What might the consequences be?
An examination of how sites like The Session are meshing with older ideas of traditional Irish music:
There is a very interesting tension at play here – one that speaks directly to the design of new technologies. On the one hand, Irish musicians appear to be enthusiastically adopting digital media to establish a common repertoire of tunes, while on the other the actual performance of these tunes in a live session is governed by a strong etiquette that emphasizes the importance of playing by ear.
There’s an accompanying paper called Supporting Traditional Music-Making: Designing for Situated Discretion (PDF).
A really nice short film about the Willie Clancy Summer School. It makes me want to get back to Miltown Malbay this July.
The trailer for a documentary on flutemaker Patrick Olwell. The film should be done later this year.
Here's the video of my talk from this year's Reboot conference in Copenhagen. I had a lot of fun talking about (and playing) Irish music here.
The BBC talk to the hacker/conspiracy theorist awaiting extradition to the US. He's a bit of a loony but he's harmless.