[linux-audio-user] Things people do to look cool

Nick Scheer nscheer at gmail.com
Sat Dec 23 22:02:17 EST 2006

Whoah. Have you considered switching to decaf?


Seriously, I make music on Linux because I like Linux/FOSS, and I like
to make music. I also love having access to great FREE tools, even if
I have to work a little harder to put it all together.

I personally don't feel that the tools used to create are all that
relevant to someone listening to the finished product.



On 12/23/06, Carlo Capocasa <capocasa at gmx.net> wrote:
> ... and why that's relevant to any of us here who are smart enough not
> to care!
> Well I don't know about you guys, but to me when I was a kid, 'cool' was
> always a mystery.
> I had a friend who gave himself a 'cool' image and I kind of liked my
> intelligent philosopher image (that's not what I thought of it at the
> time but I think it discribes it quite well) so we eventually drifted
> apart. He also tried to kind of 'lift' me onboard to hang with the cool
> kids, but you know... For one thing, this involved starting to spend
> massive amounts of money on alcohol, and for another, it seemed kind of
> hard to me to actually do something interesting and be cool at the same
> time.
> But I still knew there was something there. Being kind of a geek loner
> dude, I knew I didn't want to go around and 'be' cool then and there and
> pay the price, namely let go of my values, as I would call it today. But
> 'cool' had something. What was this mysterious cool? I had to know.
> Today I have found out many things that are uniquely relevant to 'cool'.
> For one thing, I realized a lot of cool kids of the time are on WELFARE
> now. Not to say that's a sign of failure, I went through the same thing
> for a short while when I dropped out of university to start my first
> business. It's not failure, but it is a sign that 'coolness' did not
> seem to have a lot of relevance when it came to survival. In school,
> that was grades. Here in the world where people who make food, shelter
> and clothing all expect money in return, we're at the mercy of the cold,
> hard cash. But we're certainly not at the mercy of the 'cool' hard cash,
> that's for sure! Ask any engineer.
> But then there were all of these marketing types who appeared to
> actually be able to convert 'cool' to payments. And there were the
> 'stars' and the 'media phenomenons', who all appeared to do the same
> thing. My emphasis is on 'appeared', because according to musicians who
> broke free the music industry is all about who slept with whom and who
> owes whom a favor, much more so even than who is cool. But then they
> somehow usurped the authority of what 'cool' is. And then it hit me.
> 'Cool' has absolutely nothing to do with desirable, even though it
> pretends to be that way. Anything that happens to be desirable isn't
> really, it's only there to lure you into believing there is.
> 'Cool' essentially means 'approved by an external authority'. Cool can
> be anything specific that authority assigns to be cool. Tomorrow, 'cool'
> can mean 'carries a tracking microchip under his skin which also
> functions as a member card to certain elitist dance clubs'. This is
> REALITY TODAY in certain circles in Spain, as foolish as that is. (I'm
> sorry I don't have sources for that right now, I WILL do better at
> citing in future articles). But that's only an illustration on how
> ludicrous 'cool' can be. In a lot of circles, stealing is 'cool'. Guns
> are 'cool'. Violence is 'cool'. Even rape can be 'cool'. It's all up to
> who is making up the rools of what cool means. But, regardless of who is
> making the rules, it is all about one thing:
> 'Cool' is about someone else validating you. Saying you are 'all right',
>  'accepted', and 'have a right to live'. Of course, these things can
> also take other forms (like deriving that approval from a job and
> productivity) but, essentially, it is all the same thing, and in pop
> culture, where survival is already taken care of by a job and
> entertainment is key, external approval takes the form 'cool'.
> This is a tremendous control device. When someone is so afraid of being
> rejected he or she needs an external source of validation, absolutely
> anything will do. ANYTHING. And when there is more than one source, the
> source that is the most impressive to the subconscious mind wins.
> The cool kids do not dress shiny because that's part of being cool. Cool
> kids dress shiny because their 'leader' (where there is 'cool' there is
> also a 'leader', or 'sociopath' if you prefer that term) has used
> superficial attractiveness and impressiveness, superficial because it
> only deals with the 'animal' aspects of us and hence has nothing to do
> with values, sustainability or love, but only with: "Is it shiny? Is it
> symmetric? Is it aesthetic in some way? Does it seem mysterious and
> special if I don't dig too deep?"
> Hence, we have the typical behaviours of that insane bunch of idiots
> (I'm sorry about the term, but yes, I would say cool kids qualify as
> idiots, for the most part, according to most definitions of sanity,
> certainly of mine) who call themselves 'cool kids' explained quite
> neatly. And, of course, since there is now no growth to seek because
> anything outside of the boundaries of 'cool' is out of bounds, enter
> competition as a superficial struggle to give life meaning. Hence we
> have football, baseball, ping pong, but also chess, street behavior,
> gangs, and, ultimately, armies, secret services, and war.
> Ever notice how 'cool kids' seem drawn to James Bond? Guess why. The
> answer is in who gets to be the official authority of designation in
> 'what cool is'. Yes, that's right! To be dictator of coolness you must
> fight for it... anyone who realizes what WE just realized and sets out
> to be one of the 'leaders' to profit from the sheep's ignorance has
> competition. There are only so many sheep, and to feed one wolf it takes
> many sheep, so the wolves fight to the death (literally) for who gets to
> control the sheep... By defining cool and punishing the un-cool. Yep...
> The only condition for 'cool' is it must be specific enough so the
> un-cool can be punished, excluded, even persecuted. This has happened
> over and over again through history.
> All right... now where are we going with this? I am writing here because
> I want to make linux audio POPULAR with the masses. Why? Linux audio
> embodies free spirit. It is very difficult to work with linux audio if
> you are not a free spirited person, because if you're not a free
> spirited person using linux audio is a very difficult thing to do
> because it violates the way you think. ("It's too complicated" "So many
> distributions... what is a distribution, anyway? It's way too
> confusing..." "There's so much choice I don't know what to do") much in
> the same way using Windows violates the way you think if you ARE free
> spirited ("Microsoft is trying to control me and limit my freedom").
> In other words, music produced with linux audio is bound to be free
> spirited in nature. It is INHERENTLY free spirited. You don't get any
> freer today than linux audio.
> And I want to make the free spirit the way the world works. I want no
> less than to end hierarchy, to end competition, to end war, to end any
> nonsense talk of 'natural selection' (don't worry not to replace it with
> 'God created us all but hates some of us', another manifestation of the
> 'cool' scenario, but to replace it with 'God created us all, and there
> happens not to be a distinction between God and me, since the only sane
> definition of God is "The Collective of all beings", so God created
> itself in a collaborative process, and Free Software is part of that
> process. So is, in fact, proprietary software, but on a lower level of
> evolution')
> In other word, I intend to replace the 'cool' paradigm of 'be cool and
> adhere to my specific requirements' to 'you're already cool, there's
> nothing specific you need to do to be 'cool'.
> So there goes 'cool' out the Window. If you don't give any specifics of
> coolness, there is no longer such a thing as 'cool', simply because
> there no longer is such a thing as 'uncool'.
> So I decided to learn from the experience and find an expression that I
> can use to make the new thought of 'anything goes' more attractive to
> sheep. After all, the thing 'cool kids' do to lure victims into their
> cobwebs is to use shiny stuff, sweet stuff, intoxicating stuff,
> addicting stuff. Smart cool kids (yeah, not the way we're smart, but
> there ARE a few reasonably intelligent cool kids, although they usually
> hide it quite well. I'm not saying wise, just intelligent.) all use this
> to hide the fact that 'coolness' is a very unwise place to be, simply
> because it leads to emotional breakdown and dullness and uniformity,
> much like fascist regimes, in fact the cool kids in school ARE small
> fascist regimes, so they lure the kids in with all kinds of monuments
> and ritual and stuff that makes the animal mind, which controls the
> emotions, go 'Oooooh, wow!'.
> According to a Hawaiian Shaman, Serge Kahili King, who has rightfully
> earned my respect, there are two ways to be impressive to the
> subconscious mind. One: Sensory detail like high-detail image, touch,
> sound, smell and taste, and two, repitition.
> This is, by the way, the process that I use on my OWN subconscious mind
> to control my own behavior. I have a small notepad on which I wrote my
> intentions as if they were already here, like: "I am a famous musician."
> "I am a technology innovator" "I am a famous sex symbol." "I love people
> and I show it." "It easy for me to make friends" and so on and so forth.
> So I read these every day, and because I read it so often, my
> subconscious mind starts to believe it and my so called 'affirmations'
> become a self-fulfilling prophecy. That's using the 'repitition'
> concept. The second thing I do is I think about myself on stage, with my
> stage outfit and nice little linux audio box sitting next to me,
> performing like crazy, again, as if it were already here (which, to my
> subconscious mind, it is). Here I am using the 'detail and shinyness'
> concept. These are the only two ways our subconscious mind can tell
> important from unimportant stuff.
> Of course, some shrewd people have used this knowledge to create 'mental
> prisons', where people think they are powerless and dependant, but that
> is simply not true. You can start writing your linux software project
> and making a living off your GPL licensed software TODAY... If you
> decide that you can do it. All it takes, is that you use these two
> techniques, impressiveness and repition, until you BELIEVE FULLY that
> you can do it, at which point it will happen pretty much automatically.
> Our space isn't as dense as one might have thought, on the contrary;
> it's all just subconscious minds mingling with each other on various
> frequencies, which is the same thing as objects, concepts, ideas, and
> emotion. These four things are the same thing, at various levels of
> density! Think about the implications of that.
> So these 'cool' people use this knowledge to 'impress' other people's
> subconscious minds into perceiving them as important without exactly
> knowing why, but nonetheless acting on these impulses as 'God given',
> sometimes literally, sometimes more metaphorically ("Look at that Guitar
> God!").
> So I finally realized why I was so intrigued with cool people: I was,
> essentially, looking for techniques to impress my subconscious with
> stuff *I* (my conscious mind, where my values and long-term benefits
> thinking is) found right for *me*, and hence, one might say, run my own
> brain, finally.
> Stuart Lichtman, another man I respect a lot, had phrased it this way:
> Your brain is like a massively parallel computer, that is both analogue
> and digital at the same time. Now paraphrasing: You program it by making
> the analogue part (your subconscious) impressive enough until your
> 'digital' instructions (conscious instructions) are impressed on it. You
> program digital, but you transfer the digital using analogue techniques.
> This is exactly the same as with a hard drive: You have binary data on
> it, but to get the binary data on the disk, you use various, analogue
> methods of, for example, magnetism, which you at an arbitrary point
> separate into zeros and ones. This programming process is absolutely no
> different to computers, which explains why we, as a species, were able
> to invent them in the first place.
> So right now, what's happening, essentially, is that we're running
> someone else's software. Again, that is absolutely no different than
> Microsoft making sure they're the only operating system that you can get
> on the market. They force you to update when *they* want, even force you
> to connect to a wireless network when *they* want, simply because if
> they would not do this their authoritarian programming style would break
> down.
> That is exactly like the programs most of us inherited from our parents:
> go to school, join the cool kids, get a job, play the same game with
> your boss, make babies, pass on what you know (which is hardly different
> from what your parents knew and taught you), wither, and die.
> Depressing? Yep. That's why we're all here in the linux audio community,
> to change all that. Linux really IS changing the world, because embedded
> in the way it works are principles that can change EVERYTHING when they
> are applied to the rest of the world. Think of bazaar style
> supermarkets! Farms! Heck, governments! (They would cease to be
> governments, more like 'recommendation centers', much like the W3C
> consortium, saying this cautiously and not knowing much about it).
> That's the REAL reason why we're all here on the web forums in our free
> time when we could be somewhere else. It's this great opportunity to
> change the world to be a free, loving place.
> So where does that leave us with 'cool'? Well, the cool kids know how to
> program minds. They are using it for stupid purposes, however, we, the
> 'smart' kids, are too awquard  with our programming tools, our
> subconscious minds, that a lot of us cannot really implement our
> intelligence with any sort of confidence. So what we need to do is merge
> the two worlds: We 'smart' kids must apply our intelligence for it to
> become wisdom, and learn to speak the language of our emotions (which is
> the same thing as our subconscious language, repetition and sensory
> detail), and the 'cool' kids must learn to be more open to their
> thoughtful and intelligent aspects, which, among most 'cool kid'
> cliques, is pretty much a crime to do, which I perceive as simply
> because if all 'cool' peasants keep each other dumb it is easier for the
> street smart lord to exploit them. So 'cool' kids learn that being
> 'cool' is a prison, and exploiters, left without anyone to exploit,
> learn that they can actually produce value to survive instead of
> competing at various arbitrary contests. And we, the educated, stop
> whining about being excluded and stop trying to find ways to out-smart
> each other (just another 'cool' trap, if we use our intelligence to
> compete at some contest or to build weapons we will earn the approval
> form the same source the 'cool' kids get it but it will only help us
> realize how futile relying on external approval is), and start using our
> intelligence for *constructive* purposes, and using our knowledge we
> have learned from the 'cool kids' to actually convince people to follow
> our recommendations and earn the greatest benefits.
> I'm gonna do that with song. I'm gonna be so cool I'm gonna be blazing.
> I'm also going to be laughed at because I'm going to be very sexy, and
> as a man, you get called 'gay' and laughed at if you're sexy, mostly to
> pressure men into defining their value on the sex market by how well
> they compete. But I'm brave, I don't care. And I'm going to be immensily
> impressive by any standards (of subconscious minds), and I'm going to
> lure immense amounts of people into taking me for an authoritative
> figure, much the same way any cool kid does.
> And then I will brainwash the fuckers into believing the actually have
> CHOICE in life, and that it is a good thing to take INITIATIVE and
> create whatever the hell they WANT in their life. Just like I'm doing now.
> And much like, after finding out and having been tought that I can
> CREATE ANYTHING I WANT IN LIFE I'm not creating myself playing more
> video games, an attractive option as long as I believed I was powerless
> to accomplish stuff in REAL life, but I'm going out attempting to help
> people in a way no one has before, I believe those empowered people will
> find a way to help me back, and hoping there will be at least some
> vegetable farmers among them, that they will start sustaining people for
> free. Or, as an interim, give me money as donations, but I like the
> vegetable gift thing better, somehow :)
> So this is what I wanted to share with you, my message to you given
> everything I have learned about how the world works, and probably the
> reason why silicon valley firms exist, because we read the same books;
> (Look for "The Master Key System" by Charles F Haanel, this is
> supposedly what Bill Gates read to build his empire, only he used it
> less constructively than we will) and what I want us to accomplish is
> that we will have more impact on the world than any company ever could.
> This is already happening, but the more 'enlightened' developers we
> have, in other words, developers who are aware of how the mind can be
> programmed and are hence incredibly effective, even at the stuff they
> are ALREADY good at, the stuff YOU are already good at, we can become
> even MORE effective at producing excellent software...
> ... AND MAKING THE TIME TO DO SO by getting our asses out of any sorry
> job we might have.
> That is playing with our survival instincts for sure, and is not an
> *easy* thing to do, although it is a *simple* thing to do. Just go out,
> get your affirmation card, and write one it something along the lines
> of: "I am a free software developer and I can sustain myself." The rest,
> my friend, will be history.
> And why am I writing all this stuff to you? I'm a musician! I want more
> free software to play with. Code it now!
> ;)
> I love you guys. All of you.
> Carlo

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