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What am I missing…

While listening to public radio, my ears perked up when I heard a story about how the first MP3 was created. It seems that in 1987, Tom’s Diner by Suzanne Vega was the first song that was compressed into what we now know as the current MP3. It seems that to create an MP3 the file is compressed and that some of the audio data is lost in the process. While the current technology seems to give us acceptable losses, there are losses none the less. Ryan Maguire’s Ghost in the MP3 project examines this lost information and presents this lost data as an oddly beautiful piece of music, a sort of phoenix from the ashes. In addition, our cell service is regularly flattened which has the effect of removing the emotion out of the voice we are listening to while supposedly reducing background noise, it also removes some of the emotional content of the voice- possibly one of the few remaining things that we have that computers can not yet replicate.
While these losses may seem insignificant, it reminds me of the poem by Martin Niemoller, “First They Came” how one by one the Nazis purged groups until there was no one left to protest when at last they came for the author, no one was left to hear his protests. What exactly are we compressing, do we know what we loose over the thundering goosestepping of technology. While I like to think we have learned from our mistakes if we wait too long our calls of protest will be devoid of emotion content in the interest of reducing the background noise.

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Emotional Words

I have been helping my son with his Science fair project for a few days now. He is recreating the work of Masaru Emoto  a Japanese author, international researcher and entrepreneur, who claimed that human consciousness has an effect on the molecular structure of water. While his work is fascinating I wont go into it here but basically he believes and proves in his work is that our intentions have a physical effect on the objects that receive the message that is sent. Angry words can retard the growth of plants while positive and loving words can make them grow even faster than a control plant. It seems that the message is more than just a message and that the meaning is carried in more than the words. This got me thinking about our new media- and if our correspondence caries any emotional intent that we put in as we type. Perhaps our emotional message is carried forward in every media that we use, speech, writhing or electronic text. Perhaps we need to think about more than just what we type before we push the send button.

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