Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Not everyone can be Sting.

I was thinking about systems like Whuffie and how in an actual such system, you are not necessarily interested in getting a super high score, in being the most popular person around. Rather, what you want is to increase your standing among people you respect and like.

Not everyone can be Sting. In fact, it might not be the most fun thing in the world to be Sting. Everyone always wants you to play Roxanne no matter how cool your new material is. I mean, it might be thrilling in a buzzy, drug-like, adrenaline kind of way but it's probably not the most satisfying experience in the world. It might be way more cool to play with a few people you like and respect with an audience of 20-50 friends.

Maybe the best experience (enhanced by reputation) is like a St. John's seminar -- not freshman seminar, certainly, but maybe senior seminar or the seminars that never happened because there is no fifth year at St. John's.

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Noise pollution solution

We have some neighbors who like to party. Apparently they're restuarant or theater people (or both). They're in their 20s, I guess, and they like to play music and giggle out on the deck, which happens to be two feet from our bedroom window. Often these get togethers happen without us noticing them because we're already asleep. However, the other Saturday night (I guess it was really Sunday morning) they had a real rager. Another neighbor called the police at midnight with a noise complaint and then at 2 AM opened the window and said, classically, "If you don't quiet down I'm gonna come over there and it's not going to be pretty!" Although my wife and I were irritated by the noise, that made us chuckle. It was like something out of an old movie.

Anyway, I was thinking of a technology that would allow sound to be directed only at those who wanted it and not at those who didn't. I'll be short on details here -- I don't want to get bogged down on where this technology resides or who or what controls it. The end result would be that you could have a party in which your house and your deck and your yard was filled with sound for those who wanted it. On the other hand, for the parent types next door, silence. This would also make the party somewhat cooler too. For example, you could go into the room where people were dancing and, if you wanted to dance, raise the volume of your own experience of the music to an appropriate flailing volume. On the other hand, if someone entered the room whom you wanted to talk to, you could both lower your volumes for a moment while you talked.

Eliminating all undesired sound and controlling the desired sound -- isn't that a nice goal?

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