Fractals fascinate me – the mesmerising beauty of their evolving, expanding symmetry never fails to draw me in and remind me how beautiful maths can be. Mandelbrot, of course – such mathematical cleverness, but also the numerous examples that can be found in the natural world. Romanesco broccoli, pine cones, snowflakes – even trees. Surely Deleuze would not have been tired of trees had be noticed this facet of their nature.
So as I was googling this week I was delighted to find that fractal music is an existing genre. I read about the musical motif called an ostinato (which I think is a fancy name for a riff, actually), and wondered if we could use this to create some CLMooc fractal music.
For me it’s the act of zooming in and finding macro patterns copied in micro that fascinates me, so I wondered how to emulate that in musical form. A simple way of doing this, at least in my mind, would be to find a passage of music (the ostinato), and then mimic this zooming in and zooming out that visual representations do. Here’s my initial thoughts:
Play the phrase at normal volume. Play it again very quietly and keep playing it over and over, louder each time, till it gets back to the original volume. Repeat.
Play the phrase right down at the left hand end of the keyboard. Play it again a few notes up, then up again, right to the top of the keyboard. Repeat.
El (a musical friend) suggested starting with breves (long notes) and repeating with shorter and shorter notes.
Niall and I thought about layering the phrases in (3), so for each time we played it through as breves we’d play it through twice as semi-breves etc. (Hard to explain this one without doing it, but maybe this makes sense?) I think this would also work for (1) and (2), and we could possibly combine 1-3 and make one fractally magical noise.
El suggested changing the note order to represent the branching.
Other things that Wendy and I discussed were using different instruments, and using rounds (like “row your boat”).
And, just as I dash off to have my Saturday night pizza, I realise that we could use Fibonnaci numbers, and that seems so beautifully easy. At least on paper. 🙂
“Mandelbrot Monday” flickr photo by kevin dooley shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license.
“Romanesco” flickr photo by tuppus shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license.
I’m always looking at the sky – my camera is full of pictures of sunshine and sunsets – so Kim’s weekly photo challenge is right up my street this week. The pic above is of Bridge Street subway early one morning a few months ago – I love this image.
Last November we travelled south for mum’s 80th birthday, and walked along a local beach as the day was closing in. I always love being near the sea, and the sunset was stunning:
Back in Glasgow we get spectacular evenings as well – here’s a couple of the beautiful Uni tower:
This next one was taken through the car window:
Who doesn’t love a rainbow? Here’s one over Loch Ness, where my brother and his family rented a boat this Easter:
and here’s a doubler outside our house recently:
I could go on, and on – but I’ll end with one of naughty little Cagney – who escaped from Niall’s loft study and got stuck on the roof – it took a while to coax her back in:
Last summer, Aras, AK, Len and I did some exploratory research into “lurking” behaviour in #CLMooc. I wrote about a presentation I gave, and we recently had a paper published in EURODL. “Lurking” is a loaded term, with negative connotations, and we tried to find a more positive word. The best we could do was to suggest “legitimate peripheral participants” (LPPs), which is term from Lave and Wenger’s Situated Learning, which rings true for us as it looks at communities of practice and fits well with the ethos of CLMooc.
We concluded that this was a complex issue, that there was no one motive for being an LPP – that although time was mentioned many time as a reason, we suspect that there is more to be spelled out here – and we knew that we wanted to delve deeper into the questions.
It’s that time of year again, and with #CLMOOC in full swing again for the summer, we are planning some follow up research to see if we can probe deeper into online behaviour including lurker intentions. So we’ve created a Google form to capture responses – please do feel free to fill it out. I’ve embedded it on this page, but the link is also here.
I’ve just discovered a new resource and I am loving it. Check out Sketchfab (account is free) and see how you can search all of the uploads there. I grabbed the embed code and dropped this straight into my blog post – it does all of the attribution for me.
Last year the place I work was restructured and my post as a learning technologist was made redundant. However, there was a post in the new structure with more responsibility and more money, which I applied for. So since January 4th of this year, I’ve been working as a Good Practice Adviser – a brand new post and one I’ve been able to make my own.
As it was a new post, that meant that after all these years working for the UofG I was back on probation for six months, and my director noted that this would end on July 4th – how apt. This week he told me that he’d signed the forms to confirm to HR that I’d passed my probation, so that’s me now with my L plates off and ready for our official service launch on July 12th as the Learning Enhancement & Academic Development Service (LEADS) when we’ll be running drop in sessions throughout the day. All UofG staff and students are very welcome to come along.
A week of reflection. Finding that friends were hurting and we didn’t know. Knowing that I’d been hurt as well. What to do? What to think? What to say?
A slogan from Terry jingling around in my head resulted in the above poem.
A conversation yesterday to help others with their research gave further chance to pause and reflect on some of the highs and lows of some of my more recent online interactions …
Being told my philosophy is not worth considering
Friends remixing and enhancing my words and images and sharing them with the world
Being told I was only worth befriending as a means to meeting other friends
A friend inviting me into their Digital Lighthouse
Discovering that other "researchers" had stolen our research
Friends liking and retweeting the things I make and write
Seeing some writing pulled apart maliciously
Friends annotating some of my writing in Hypothes.is
Postcards from friends dropping through my letterbox and cheering my soul
The anticipation of each new Daily Create
Sharing photos for Silent Sunday
A kind soul listening and helping me to find a better skin for Mastodon
I could go on, and on, and on with these acts of kindness ...
So is it worth it? Well, it’s not a cost-benefit analysis, but I am happy to have all of the friends that I have, and I will try to ampen, not dampen – to celebrate all the wonderful things I see online, and ignore those that I think are less wonderful. Here’s the poem again as hieroglyphics for today’s Daily Create.
What are the status of hashtags? Are they things that can be owned by individuals or groups of individuals? Once I have laid claim to one, can I request, or even demand, that other users follow whichever rules I have decided apply? Can a group (explicitly or implicitly) come up with a set of rules or conventions that apply to tweets containing a particular hashtag? I was prompted to think about these questions during a Twitter conversation that begun after a discussion about whether remixing a stranger’s words, or images, was something we’d do. A tweet by Wendy left me thinking of tweets to a hashtag as being a signal that a person might be open to a conversation. Here’s the conversation a few of us had about that this morning.
I was going to do something clever for this Daily Create, but as I was working it out I looked around and saw both cats posed perfectly in my study. So I grabbed my camera and quickly took these photos – see how Cagney turns into a cushion and then into Lacey?