Friday, September 6, 2013
Dan, Dan I Am
To be asked who you think you are is rather more comforting than being asked who you are. The former allows me to be right; the latter virtually guarantees that I'll be wrong. As much as I wish it weren't the case, I have a problem with being wrong, which prompts me to keep my mouth shut. Recently, however, I've come to the conclusion that it is better to be vocally stupid than silently stupid, because there is always the chance that someone will be kind or irritated enough to point me in the right direction. I look forward to (hopefully) being corrected many times throughout this course.
My name is Daniel Pease. I'm a pretty decent person. I'm more or less obsessed with music. I'm never without my headphones, and I spend hours each day playing, writing, discovering, and listening. Around the same time that I realized that it was better to be stupid aloud, I realized that the terms 'good' and 'bad' do not apply to music, or to taste in music. Simply put, there is music that one likes, and music that one doesn't. This seems obvious now, but prior to thinking this way, I was quite snobbish about music. Having the perspective that I do now lets me appreciate music that I would have dismissed out of hand in the past, and, more importantly, enables me to talk to anyone at all about any kind of music. This might sound odd - but I used to spend a fair amount of time on Omegle, the anonymous chat website, asking people to recommend songs that were, for whatever reason, very special to them. While they were few and far between, I did have a good number of protracted, exciting conversations with people who gave me quite a lot to listen to.
I decided to include this in my introductory post because perhaps more than anything else, this is who I think I am. I want desperately to learn, and to grow, and I believe I do so by interacting with anyone and everyone. I don't want to be wrong, but I accept that perfection does not exist, and I understand that for me to be wrong less often requires a degree of humility and openness to criticism on my part. Music played a huge role in helping me understand these things.
Most of my media consumption is, and has been for some time, through the internet. Compared to most of the people I know, I was something of a late-bloomer in this regard; I was using AOL 9.0 until about 2006, if memory serves, which prevented me from actually enjoying the internet. When I got broadband, it wasn't long before I was devouring news articles, posting on forums, and looking up tutorials on everything from 'how to shave' to 'how to repair a machine head.' Although I spend less time on the internet these days, I still find the time to make the rounds, which include a few blogs, a bunch of subreddits, xkcd, news websites, the random button on Wikipedia (which after some clicking brought me here this morning) and the odd episode of QI. It's something of a relief that I don't have a smartphone, because if I had one, I don't think I'd ever take my eyes off it. I'm looking forward to seeing how new technology will influence the media and how we interact with it, even though things like Google Glass terrify me. Our generation is incredibly fortunate - we're the first to have our identities shaped by the internet, and we will have experienced the 'freedom' of its youth.
Also, our 'Back-In-My-Days' will include things like the dial-up tone, horrific image macros, and actual, physical, computers. Which is funny to think about.