Monthly Archives: September 2015

My Grandfather

My Grandfather, John Deegan, wrote a lot of music in the mid-late 20th century, and my Uncle, Kevin Deegan, has painstakingly recovered and transcribed a fair amount of this work for posterity. Between us, Kevin and I set up the Deegan Music Wiki which archives the results.

This is a work in progress, but much has been done and it’s a fascinating insight into the works of my Grandfather. The material on there is available in PDF format (the sheet music) and MIDI format. Going forwards we are going to render the works in MP3 as well.

Tonight, I did the first MP3 render (of a work for choir and organ, called Ecce Sacerdos) and I think it came out rather well. It can be found here. I’m looking forward very much to doing more of these MP3 audio renders, as it makes my Grandfather’s music come to life again in a way which, without Kevin’s dedication and perseverance, it would never have otherwise done.

Info on registration and comments

Update: 7th Jan 2016 – We have disabled comments for now, as the number of automated spam bots sending mind-bogglingly stupid junk  to our inbox was getting tiresome 🙂

Original text of the post is below:

We have a number of options for handling comments on this blog so I thought I’d take a moment to explain how it works currently.

  • Comments can currently be submitted without a login, but the first comment you make will have to be manually approved (for obvious reasons!) before you can make further comments using the same nickname and email address.
  • If you would like to have an account that you can simply log in with, and then be able to make comments freely from then on (in which case they will appear immediately), then drop me or ju an email and we’ll set one up for you.

We’re not really expecting much commenting, but we wanted to make it available as an option for any friends and family who wanted to be able to post comments, so for now this seems the best approach!

I’ve only gone and done it.

Well i’ve put my money where my mouth is, so to speak, and deleted my Facebook account. I was using it for 8 years and had really good fun, loved keeping in touch with friends old and new.

Recently it has been increasingly annoying me, but still i stayed, even after Eddy left and told me IN LENGTH how evil Facebook is, i didn’t listen. Just merrily carried on my way ignoring the doubts, as the thought of not having it seemed weird. I have been resenting how much of my time it sucks out of me. Why am i checking Facebook whilst on the beach??? because A: i’m nosy and B: clearly on the slippery road to becoming a zombie glued to my phone. You see people out for dinner in pubs, bars all ignoring each other as clearly what their old school friends dogs sister is doing is much more interesting. Or looking at photos of other peoples food. Just bloody talk to each other, btw your dinner is now cold.

Something happened the other day that made me so angry it tipped me over the edge. The realisation that some people are so addicted its taken over their whole life. Something was demanded of me quite aggressively that was so pathetic my eyes were finally opened. Sometimes people can tell you stuff till they’re blue in the face, but you need to realise it for yourself. Anyway i’ve never been a fan of being told what to do.

So…

I’m free and feeling very pleased with myself..

A quick thought on facebook

A mental addiction

 

When Ju and I were talking about her deleting her facebook account (I deleted mine ages ago), we both observed the fact that facebook is much like an online game. Regardless of whether one really cares, there is an innate satisfaction in collecting ‘likes’ and seeing people comment on stuff you put up. This very easily becomes a habit, and it’s difficult to see past it when you’re interacting with facebook on a regular basis.

There is a well known psychological technique used by people who write ‘freemium’ games – you know, the ones that are free to install but then try to get you to buy stuff in the game. The details are quite involved but the summary is that these games give people continual little ‘rewards’, occasionally interspersed with bigger ones, that make them feel as if they are not wasting their time playing the game. This technique feeds that part of the brain that accumulates points or status in one form or other and we are all susceptible to it.

Facebook have been very clever in that they have effectively turned their whole site into an online game. There are points to be gained in the form of ‘likes’ and prizes to be gained in the form of comments. It’s easy enough to get both, up to a point, but now and again when you post something that gets an unusually high number of likes or comments, your pleasure centre in the brain is stimulated and these occasional boosts to the ego reinforce your habit of playing the game.

The result is narcissism, and in some cases, self obsession. Facebook is training people (especially young people) to feel as if they need the admiration and approval of their peers, because this drives the feedback loop that makes facebook more money. Many people on facebook are effectively building their own brand, and spend more time maintaining this facade than they do interacting in a healthy manner in real life. Looking at it from the outside, it’s quite scary actually.

The truth is that in  facebook’s case you are the product. They sell your information, and indirectly they also profit from the posts you put up. They make a lot of money from it. Facebook are also actively seeking and implementing ways to extend their ownership of you as a product, by proactively filtering what you see and hiding from you the things they are doing with your data.

In short, you are being manipulated, and many people seem not to realise this. Many of those who do go ‘meh’ and remain using it because of the established habit I wrote about above. When I left facebook (and I was already a cynic), even I found it hard to drop out of the collective for a week or so. After the initial habit wore off, I never looked back and somehow my life was better for it. I felt the same way when I stopped playing World of Warcraft, incidentally.

As a final thought, this struck me. You don’t need facebook, facebook needs you. The same is true of vampires.

Ju and Eddy’s goings on….

Hello 🙂

Well, it’s been a long time coming but finally we’ve gotten it together to put up a family blog/website/whatever to keep people informed of our progress with projects and general updates as to what we’re up to. As you may know, Ju has joined the ranks of the enlightened and is deleting her Facebook account (yay!) but it is true that Facebook has been useful to keep friends and family informed of what we’re up to so here is the official replacement for that.

Unlike Eddy’s wordpress blog, which sort of languished after setting it up, we will be updating this site regularly, as it is effectively a Facebook replacement, so watch this space. Anybody can submit comments to anything, if they feel the need (and we’ll welcome them!). You don’t need to log in to leave a comment, but to prevent spamming from dodgy err… well, spammers, we’re vetting comments prior to publishing them for the time being so don’t worry if your comments don’t appear immediately.

By the way, we will be tinkering and experimenting with various settings and stuff as this new site evolves, so please bear with us if any links are broken or things don’t appear to be working as they should. We’re on the case!