Spoken Word with Electronics is an audio series delivering to you a two side recording of unusual stories paired with vintage modular electronic sounds
Hi, everyone, welcome back to the show. Bit of a fun one this week. Depending on your personality type, the phrase "I have over 130,000 unread emails" will either place you in one of three or four personality categories: Discomfort over the idea of this (That makes me anxious), Competition (I have more than that!), Disconcern (So What?) or Self-Reflective/Assessing (I only have 20, I'm fine). But it's unlikely any of you will envy a person with such a stockpile.
I can't sell this batch of unread emails as a currency, just the number itself, for example. (Though if this were Google, they would be selling the information gathered, but that's another topic) – Really, the acquisition of such a bounty of unread messages is a descriptor of a kind of personality, nothing more or less. But I decided about twelve years ago, when my daily management of emails had run over to 500 Unread Messages, to just let the faucet continue unabated. If I missed a message, someone would surely message again, and not going through a daily drill of negotiating trashed messages or folder arrangement provided literal hours of rescued time to my work week. So, at 500 unread emails and 3,000 unread work emails (ha), I thought: "Let's see how far we can take this".
After a year of not organizing messages into separate folders, I found I'd developed a very comprehensive habit. I hadn't missed a single important message from or to anyone. There was only one folder: My INBOX, and it was easy to look at 200-300 messages a day visually to determine if I needed to open a message, or if the subject itself was suitable to indicate its contents. I started to receive compliments from co-workers for my dependable communication style, as well. Oddly, the less I cared about structuring and organizing, the more I was perceived as provably structured and organized.
So this week, I celebrate the achievement of 100,000 unread personal emails and 35,000 unread work emails. To make this applicable to the show, I discuss digital resolution, compared to analog signals. In some ways, digital resolution in its lowest bitrate is a collection of poles of data. Each pole could be perceived as a single message, or an email (why not) – and this week's demonstration shows you how to make your own waveform for free, making a very low bitrate waveform using a tool like Audacity: Make a 1/10th second tone (generate tone) and add a 1/5th of a second space of silence (insert silence) – Then follow along in the discussion on how to make a suitable VCO (or DCO, more accurately) for adding to modular synthesis.
Some of these episodes of SWWE discuss expensive gear, but everything made this week is using free software, like Audacity. The mentioned apps are incredibly cheap, as well: PixelWave (one dollar) and Bebot (two dollars).
Thanks and Have a Very Communicative week, Ethan