[PD] [OT] technological parody was: Pd performance at TED

Jonathan Wilkes jancsika at yahoo.com
Wed Jun 22 21:43:18 CEST 2011

How is the guitar hero example not just an example of locked down proprietary consoles 
vs.  free software ideals?

Put another way: if the console/game were free and open, guitar hero would be the 
equivalent of a starting point, or maybe (even a tutorial like B07.sampler.pd), that 
you do before going on to do more expressive and creative things with the 
controller-- just a way to build facility on the controller.  And there would be a community 
of people modding the hell out of the game, and creating new games.  So in this alternate 
universe guitar hero would be a good thing (that leads to better things), but it would still be a technological parody.

The Rube Goldberg machines and the fridge are great examples of parodies-- I suppose 
we can call them technological parodies if we want to be precise.  But for things that 
are not actually meant as parodies, it's a misnomer that just seems like an 
ideological term of derision.


--- On Wed, 6/22/11, Charles Henry <czhenry at gmail.com> wrote:

From: Charles Henry <czhenry at gmail.com>
Subject: [PD] [OT] technological parody was:  Pd performance at TED
To: pd-list at iem.at
Date: Wednesday, June 22, 2011, 9:00 PM

eheh, I'm glad the concept of "technological parody" is giving so much to discuss :)We should put up a twitter account with the #technologicalparody (kidding)

I caught on to it, just because I liked the phrase so much.  But there are some real examples--Rube-Goldberg machines come right to mind, but you never see them in real life as anything other than comedy.

There may be more real-life examples from hacker/builder communities--like, say, a robotic fridge designed to fire a can of beer into the air.  Although it may be an awesome novelty, it's not actually practical.  Hence, it's nearly a mockery of robotics to build it.  No offense to the creators of beer can canons--but you knew it was going to be a joke before you started.

So, there's a clear comparison between Pd and Guitar Hero that illustrates the difference.  With Guitar Hero on your favorite console, you have a specialized controller, useless for any other "games", that only plays canned guitar riffs from a CD.  Moreover, the software has to run on particular hardware.  Then, a clever programmer with Pd can take that same ridiculous controller and use it for whatever he/she wants.  


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