Children in the midnight city mix

Robert Miles: Dreamland (Experimental)

Its sad to hear Robert Miles died a while ago. Children was one of the most famous trance tunes ever and I remember many nights dancing to Children.

Most people know the story behind Children; but if not…

Children is one of the most iconic tracks in the history of dance music.

It launched a new genre – “dream house” – and although that did not last long, the more melancholy, cerebral sound opened the door for trance music, which would come to dominate clubs in the late 1990s, going fully mainstream into the new millennium.

That sound was a very deliberate choice by Miles, whose real name was Roberto Concina.

Although Children was initially written in response to images of the child victims of the Balkans war as Yugoslavia tore itself apart, the track then took on a different life – and a different motivation. Miles wanted to make it big to help save the lives of clubbers.

So on a journey back from TOA Berlin, I decided to pick up one of my old and favourate mixes. Adding the old classic Children from 1995 (used the Tint remix) and nearly ending with a modern classic Ferry Corsten’s Anahera; which was the biggest trance tune of 2015.

20+ years of trance, incredible to think about.

Here’s the tracklisting and mix for your listening pleasure.

  1. Children (Tilts Courtyard Mix) – Robert Miles
  2. Shadow World (Original Mix) – Thomas Bronzwaer
  3. Resound (Original Mix) – Thomas Bronzwaer
  4. Intuition (Martin Roth Remix) – Marninx Pres. Ecco
  5. Amino Acids – Tau-Rine
  6. Body of conflict (Cosmic Gate Club mix) – Cosmic Gate
  7. The Evil ID – Max Graham
  8. The Labyrinth (Part One) – Moogwai
  9. Summer Melodies (Frequence Remix) – Frequence
  10. The Pride in Your Eyes (Martin Roth Remix) – Tillmann Uhrmacher
  11. Mass Noise 2015 – Fred Baker & Seb B
  12. We Are One (Instrumental Mix) – Dave 202
  13. Anahera (extended mix) – Ferry Corsten
  14. Grotesque (Alex MORPH and RAM mix) – RAM

Enjoy!

Celebrating, I didn’t reproduce day

Bill Mahar hits the nail on the head with “I Didn’t Reproduce Day.” Its a  excellent observation of the state of our society, where people are pressured into having children because “you don’t have children?

I know Bill is being deliberately controversial and I don’t really think we need a I didn’t reproduce day but he’s right about this pressure from our society and its not really on…

This will instantly wind up a lot of people, especially those with children. It may feel like an attack on you but its not. Its about giving people the space and freedom to make their own decisions not feel guilt tripping them into something which others think is correct. Similar messages are applied to couples which are not married.

Control of everything, at what cost to Britain?

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On Friday 24th June I woke up in another universe, one where 51.9% of Britain voted to exit from the European Union. I had gone to bed just as I heard the news Sunderland had voted to leave the EU. There is so many things to say but I want to say…

I reiterate, I am so so so embarrassed and ashamed to be british to all my EU friends and collaborators for the ‪#‎brexit‬ result… Kat says it exactly right

I don’t usually watch much live/broadcast TV but it was on at work, so I watched a bit of coverage. There was quite a bit with people from both sides. What I found really interesting from most of the people who voted leave, was the need to have control. control of our borders, control of our laws, control of immigration, control of our money, control, control…

Or the rather the illusion of control… This is set in motion through Fear. Interestingly Adam Curtis’ Power of Nightmares talks about this…

…fear will not last, and just as the dreams that the politicians once promised turned out to be illusions, so too will the nightmares. And then, our politicians will have to face the fact that they have no visions, either good or bad, to offer us any longer.

Watching the leave campaign talk about what next after the decision was, lacking in vision to say the very least. They got everything they wanted including the head of Cameron.

But back to control… Control seems at odds with collaboration and cooperation. It’s exactly the kind of thing you expect from young children not reasonable adults. This was even clearer watching back some of the panel debates (the world was watching too) on the run up to Thursdays vote, although there’s enough dust kicked up to make both sides look like screaming children.

And it goes much deeper than just the EU.

The vote blew the lid off tensions between Scotland and the rest of the UK. Could stir up trouble between Ireland and Northern Ireland. Threw a series of molotov cocktails at the already growing differences between the lower and middle classes. Then dug a hole the size of the channel tunnel, straight through the baby boomer generation and every generation who followed.

How different would things be if 16-17 year olds could have voted? Heck what about all the other people who made the UK their home from the EU?

There is a slight glimmer of hope as the referendum isn’t legally binding, yet.

The referendum is advisory rather than mandatory. The 2011 referendum on electoral reform did have an obligation on the government to legislate in the event of a “yes” vote (the vote was “no” so this did not matter). But no such provision was included in the EU referendum legislation.

What happens next in the event of a vote to leave is therefore a matter of politics not law. It will come down to what is politically expedient and practicable. The UK government could seek to ignore such a vote; to explain it away and characterise it in terms that it has no credibility or binding effect (low turnout may be such an excuse). Or they could say it is now a matter for parliament, and then endeavour to win the parliamentary vote. Or ministers could try to re-negotiate another deal and put that to another referendum. There is, after all, a tradition of EU member states repeating referendums on EU-related matters until voters eventually vote the “right” way.

Theres also a petition with almost 2 million encouraging parliament to step in and debate the legality of the EU referendum. I signed it as something as devastating as leaving the EU must be debated in a rational way, not children paying in the mud that was the previous campaigns. Even if it doesn’t become legally binding some of the damage is already done and there will be collateral damage as a good part of the 51.9% will cry foul, maybe turning to greater supporters, further stiring up troubles?

I cling to the fact I never voted to leave and all the places I’d lived

  • Bristol (61.7%)
  • London Croydon (54.3%)
  • London Bromley (50.6%)
  • London Greenwich (55.6%)
  • Manchester (60.4% )

All voted as a majority to stay.

I am so greatly sorry to be British, in a similar way to how Americans use to have to apologize for George W Bush and the middle east war. Well the shoe is on the other foot now.

My country is acting like spoilt little children, fallen for the lies and needs to get a clue that the future is about collaboration & relationships not control & dominace.

Good points about AI and intentions

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Mark Manson makes a good point about AI, one which had me wondering…

We don’t have to fear what we don’t understand. A lot of times parents will raise a kid who is far more intelligent, educated, and successful than they are. Parents then react in one of two ways to this child: either they become intimidated by her, insecure, and desperate to control her for fear of losing her, or they sit back and appreciate and love that they created something so great that even they can’t totally comprehend what their child has become.

Those that try to control their child through fear and manipulation are shitty parents. I think most people would agree on that.

And right now, with the imminent emergence of machines that are going to put you, me, and everyone we know out of work, we are acting like the shitty parents. As a species, we are on the verge of birthing the most prodigiously advanced and intelligent child within our known universe. It will go on to do things that we cannot comprehend or understand. It may remain loving and loyal to us. It may bring us along and integrate us into its adventures. Or it may decide that we were shitty parents and stop calling us back.

Very good point, are we acting like shitty parents, setting restrictions on the limits of AI? Maybe… or is this too simple an arguement?

I have been watching Person of Interest for while since Ryan and others recommended it to me.

This season (the last one I gather) is right on point

(mild spoiler!)

The machine tries to out battle a virtual machine Samaritan billions of times in virtual battles within a Faraday cage. The Machine fails everytime. Root suggests that Finch should remove the restrictions he placed upon the machine as its deliberately restricting its growth and ultimately abaility to out grow Samaritan. Finch thinks about it a lot.

Finch is playing the shitty parent and root pretty much tells him this, but its setup in a way that you feel Fitch has the best intentions for the machine?

Should we teach people how to code in school?

Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

I’ve seen quite a lot of blogs, notes, and even papers on the question of shouldn’t we teach the next generation how to code? Somewhere in the mix, there’s lots of thoughts that the problem we’re having keeping up with our american friends is because we’ve gone soft on teaching the next generation the essential skills needed to not just become workers but to think for themselves and ultimately take control and drive their own destiny.

And finally there’s a lot of thought that the BBC should be a large part of what ever happens, after the success of the BBC Micro ecosystem back in the 80’s. There is no way I could go on without mentioning the fantastic work which is going on in these areas from Ant Miller, Michael Sparks, Mo McRoberts, Alan O’DonohoeKeri Facer, Adrian Woolard, etc, etc…

My own thoughts are quite complex on this issue but I wanted to talk about one aspect of it… teaching people to code.

Lots of people have said code is law, code is power, code is freedom, code is a way of life. They may even be right but I have a problem with this…

…I’ve never had any formal programming/computer science training. So obviously I would say, its not as biscuit critical as some people are making out. Don’t get me wrong its powerful and the ability to be able to manipulative the landscape around yourself and others is a fantastic thing to have. However there’s more to it than just this.

I have the power to manipulate and bend the landscape to suit myself, its not so elegant but it kind of works because I understand the systems and services around us. I would conclude this is the hacker mindset (although others would disagree or think I’m being a little broad with the definition.

So what is the hacker mindset? And ultimately what is a hacker and what does this have to do with the next generation? Bruce Schneier explains what a hacker is…

What is a Hacker?
A hacker is someone who thinks outside the box. It’s someone who discards conventional wisdom, and does something else instead. It’s someone who looks at the edge and wonders what’s beyond. It’s someone who sees a set of rules and wonders what happens if you don’t follow them. A hacker is someone who experiments with the limitations of systems for intellectual curiosity.

There’s some keywords in that statement which stimulate my thoughts… But the big one is the Curiosity.

From Secret & Lies, the famous Schneier book which I actually own, but I think I lent to someone? (Glyn?)

Hackers are as old as curiosity, although the term itself is modern. Galileo was a hacker. Mme. Curie was one, too. Aristotle wasn’t. (Aristotle had some theoretical proof that women had fewer teeth than men. A hacker would have simply counted his wife’s teeth. A good hacker would have counted his wife’s teeth without her knowing about it, while she was asleep. A good bad hacker might remove some of them, just to prove a point.)

How do we entourage young people to keep there natural sense of curiosity? Somewhere in the process of growing up its kind of knocked out of young people and I don’t know where it exactly happens. I also feel this fits well with my thoughts about the need for young people to explore their inner geek or passion if you prefer.

I would also suggest curiosity + passion is a killer combination and something a lot more people could do with (imho). This combination seems to be great (although not all of them appear in the 8 great traits) ironically.

Inspiring the next generation is the game and aim here, not teaching young people to code. Being smart, curious and passionate is what I wish for all the young people of this and every nation. How the BBC and BBC Micro Redux project (I totally made that up!) fit into this frame I don’t honestly know, but I know many people are chipping away at this in many different ways. I just hope there ultimate aim isn’t to just create a whole bunch of coders because that would be very dull and a crying shame…