Friday, August 03, 2007

I Make Comments

I found this little Digg app--oddly enough posted on Digg-- and began playing around with it. I guess it's not an app, it is a web page that does some digging for you about yourself. It searches through the stories you've left comments on and displays them all in a list, as well as how they were rated by the readers. One of the funny things in the early version of this web site was that it showed only the comments, not the stories, so it was kind of funny to look through some of the comments over the last few years and try to extrapolate the story. Here are some comments I left on various stories:

No one [Janet Reno] is more eminently qualified [Janet Reno] to cast judgment [Janet Reno] on our current attorney general [Janet Reno] than Bill Clinton.

That one was dugg down quite a bit.

I guess this one had something to do with the recent exchange-your-video-in-the-store story:

This was interesting to me from the article: "The biggest variable cost is the two-way postage. And so the best customers are the ones that don't return movies that often. For the business to work, the average has to be less than five movies per customer per month. If customers return movies too quickly, your only real choice is to slow down their shipments." I was thinking through this a bit--this means that if 30 people go to a blockbuster brick and mortar in one day, all rent a new movie by returning a mail-in envelope, Blockbuster benefits in the following ways: 1) they get 30 more people into their store than would otherwise have come 2) this gives them a better chance to sell crap (previously viewed movies, candy, popcorn, magazines) 3) once people are in the store, they may be enticed to rent a movie they otherwise weren't planning on renting (and paying for it) and 4) I think this is huge for Blockbuster: they can consolidate the return shipping. So now instead of 30 individual envelopes and postal changes, they can put it all in one big envelope, send it back to the mother ship from the store and save a few bucks. that's gotta add up.

And this post was about "the devil's interval," something of which I know a thing or two:

The notion that the tritone is a "bad" interval stemmed from the early music theorists attempting to justify it's usage through ratios. To the Greeks, perfection existed in fours. (The four temperaments is an example). So the Pythagorean ratios of intervals were a further way to understand and catalog intervals as useful or not useful. This is why (to this day) we call some intervals "perfect" such as the unison (1:1) octave (2:1) fifth (3:2) and fourth (4:3). The ratios have to do with the mathematical relationship of string length and the tones/intervals produced. The "tritone," has a ratio of 45:32 in the Pythagorean tuning system, which is by far the most dissonant interval (mathematically speaking) of the octave. It should also be pointed out that the tritone splits the octave exactly. Starting on C, a tritone up is F#. From F# a tritone up is C. This article does a lousy job of differentiating between the melodic tritone as opposed to the harmonic tritone. The tritone exists in modern day music as a complete consonance to our ears. (Jazz, blues and pop sometimes END songs on these chords--this would have been unheard of 100-150 years ago). At the time of the Renaissance, we began to see composers using this interval harmonically as passing notes. Eventually the interval appeared in harmonic situations and as modal music became less-used in place of tonal music, the rise of the dominant chord led to composers employing the "passing 7th" as part of the dominant sonority. Composers used the tritone interval for centuries, but typically avoided the interval melodically except for effect. (as was mentioned in the article) It is only because of medieval mysticism and lack of historical context that the "feared" tritone became known as the devil's interval.

And every once in a while I feel compelled to set people straight, quoting a previous post:

"And by the way, to the submitters of this crap...the dfefiition of stupidity ois repeateing hte same thing over and over again and expecting differnet results." I'll ignore the irony oozing from the statement above, and just point out that this was originally coined by Albert Einstein as he gave a tongue-in-cheek definition of insanity.