127. Let's e e cummings This Up


March 28th, 2022

1 hr 13 mins 50 secs

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  • Black Square Day (inventing holidays and subsequently forgetting everything about them)
  • Nostalgia for old computers isn't because they were good, but because they sucked in ways that were simple to understand
  • The Dirtywave M8 tracker
  • Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening, by Robert Frost


  • The music videos of Max Cooper.
  • Styptic pencils.
  • Doing archaeology on your own Google calendar.
  • A stable time loop where your future self adds "Black Square Day" to your calendar.
  • Bringing a palindrome to the palindrome party.
  • Telling your visitors "it's Black Square Day; dress appropriately."
  • Celebrating the day you really burned the casserole.
  • Black Squaroling.
  • A way that your community organizes itself.
  • Getting in a pissing contest with your neighbors about whose house has the most black squares.
  • Booting up to a BASIC prompt so you need to write a short BASIC program to load the program you want to run (probably another BASIC program)
  • How the Commodore 64 BASIC determined where the line you were editing started and ended.
  • How Commodore 64 BASIC stored lines of code internally.
  • Survivorship bias among early microcomputer users.
  • Accepting a certain level of brokenness because fixing the problem will take an unbounded amount of time.
  • Machines that are simple enough for a single human to understand vs. those that are not.
  • What percentage of the Commodore 64's ROM is dedicated to implementing floating point math.
  • Varying levels of nostalgia for developing for the Playstation 3.
  • The room in London that the Playstation 2 had instead of a debugger.
  • The Tool PS2.
  • Fetishization of the mid-2010s tower PC
  • Second order nostalgia, for what 90s emulation of 80s games looked like.
  • Nostalgia for objectively terrible art style.
  • All the walls swimming all the time.
  • The 15 year nostalgia gap where nobody wants to remember the early 3D console games.
  • Making music on the toilet every day.
  • Trackers.
  • What Trackers are better at vs. traditional DAWs.
  • Music that ships with its own source code.
  • Technical limitations transforming into a unique aesthetic.
  • How to hide a second song in the same tracker module.
  • Doing a thing on the screen while music loops.
  • A portable device to edit spreadsheets that only has a trackball.
  • Looking at your song through a straw.
  • Loading a ProTracker module in FastTracker.
  • Trying to identify which tracker created the MOD you're reading by looking for file format bugs unique to that tracker.
  • Fixing bugs by hex editing an executable and that becomes the version everybody uses now.
  • What you call it when an archaeologist writes the file spec.
  • Unknown sources of dubious quality.
  • Lore of unknown provenance about how to play a mod file.
  • Watching dense notation scrolling by.
  • Loading tracker music into various players to see how their performances of the same material vary.
  • Trying to load up music you wrote fifteen years ago and needing to source old versions of all the plugins you used.
  • Watching the woods fill up with snow.
  • A very evocative one of those.
  • Whether sleep represents death in this poem or if it's just sleep this time.
  • Why write a poem.
  • Interviewing the author of a poem and then interviewing everyone who ever read the poem before writing the authoritative interpretation of that poem.
  • A joke that doesn't really seem like a joke at all.
  • Rating a poem on a five star scale and then deciding how many of those stars belong to each of the stanzas.
  • The Three Musketeers sequels that nobody has read.
  • Getting paid by the line and adding a character to your story that speaks only one word at a time.
  • How to write 300 books a year.
  • Taking out the but because there's nothing for it to but.
  • Ceramic clown statues.
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