Wavelet of Musical PretentiousnessHere’s something unexpected and quite pleasantly surprising: my dear old friend Blaise Agüera y Arcas, now the Architect of Bing Maps and Bing Mobile, has started a ruminations blog (music, food, film, books, thoughts) called Style Is Violence, which, as I learned by reading the blog, is a quote from the painter Gerhard Richter:

I like everything that has no style: dictionaries, photographs, nature, myself and my paintings (because style is violence and I am not violent).

[Notes, 1964-65]

If the post revealing the secrets of the elusive simple Italian red sauce is not enough to entice you to check out Style Is Violence, I believe that Blaise’s two TED talks will do the trick. First his 2007 talk on Photosynth, which allows viewers to navigate 3D environments stitched together from vast quantities of images taken from photo-sharing sites like flickr:

Blaise’s second TED talk from earlier this year shows how the Photosynth technology (and more) has been woven into Bing Maps:

I will only mention in passing Blaise’s earlier, groundbreaking work (with Princeton’s Paul Needham) applying imaging technology and computational analysis to shine bright light on a major puzzle in the history of early printing, namely the inner workings of Gutenberg’s press, which had remained frustratingly obscure for ages. You can get a taste by going to the BBC/Open University website which accompanied a documentary on the subject.

My secondary goal here is to make Blaise blush almost as much as I did upon reading his post about the WPRB School of eclectic exploration in music–and my small role in the transmission of it. But only Blaise could have come up with the Wavelet of Musical Pretentiousness (image above).

Why do I mention this now? See my next post.

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