Knowledge as an abstract quality of the mind is worthless. Only as an embodied capability does it serve us. Without embodiment, knowledge is a golden calf. Without embodiment, we are truly mindless.

The fingers of a pianist are obviously knowledgeable. A scientist, on the other hand, delves far out into the space of abstraction where he faces a great risk of getting lost. If he comes full circle and brings some value into the world, he is a master. If the endeavour turns out to be pointless and he leaves the ship and returns to earth, he is still a master. But if he cannot let go of abstract knowledge, the ship becomes his master.

HuS2_b

After too many days of paralysis and dark thoughts, I sense there may be no need for a piece of paper that proposes I am a Master of Science. Maybe there is no need for another label to identify myself with.

I realized that this endeavour to attain a master degree is, to a great extent, ego-driven. And although the goal seems so close at hand, there may not be enough time left to cleanse myself of the attachments that hold me back ... to tear down the success barriers within.

This is, at least, one part of the truth ... that I seek myself in an abstract idea called master degree - an illusion that drains more life energy than it can ever return. Maybe it's time to practice letting go and truly be the master of my life.

Finally. The deserts of theory are behind me. The gardens of programming lie ahead. I submitted my overlong master seminar paper to my advisor.

The paper presents a framework for developing innovative music composition software. The requirements that emerge from research heavily overlap with my intuitive predictions but, anyway, they'll make the master thesis more solid and grounded in research. Now, I'm just happy to return to modelling and prototyping HAIL (Human-Audio Interaction Lab) for the iPad.

Kunst als Schule der Wahrnehmung

Bei Kunstinterpretation geht es nicht darum die Botschaft des Künstlers zu dechiffrieren. Dass Kunst einfach ein Vehikel für Aussagen sei, ist ein Mythos der durch staatliche Schulbildung geschürt wird und vielen Menschen die Freude an der Kunst ausgetrieben hat. Ein Werk das weder einen Gebrauchswert aufweist noch irgendeinen Wahrheitsanspruch erhebt muss man stattdessen als psychologisches Phänomen und als Indiz der menschlichen Natur begreifen, gerade dann, wenn es nicht für intellektuelle Rezeption sondern für kommerzielle Verwertung bestimmt ist.

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Are We Having Fun Yet?

After about eight years of studying at two universities, I'm glad the courses have not succeeded in killing my love for computer science. They almost did – in spite of really encouraging grades. Over the past months I reanimated my drive to think freely and take the time to follow ideas through to the bitter end. Am I the only one who finds it awkward that this is not exactly what they're doing at universities these days?

Anyway, it's awesome fun to research what my mind brings up and what I care about instead of what is appointed to me. And it's even more awesome to find that, all those times when I was sceptical of what (or how-) we were taught, my gut feeling pointed in a fruitful direction. Gut feeling: That's something I should listen to more often (it's amazingly fast).

What surprised me the most are the things university didn't teach us at all. In particular, I felt that process- and architecture related courses did, in no way, reflect modern reality. Software engineering as it was presented to us is kind of dead. So, I went on my own journey, starting at architectural basics, and came up with a theoretical framework that I'm applying to all my software development: the Diamond Tree. It's a little abstract but simple and it helps me (re-)factoring my projects. Feel free to let me know what I'm missing or what else you think.

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This is the second first post. I relaunch the blog, but this time from a different perspective. It will not only be about HAIL, but about everything. Yes, everything that is going through my mind, mostly software development, books, philosophy, music, politics and what not. My head is overflowing, it needs output. Why wasn't there any news about HAIL, you ask? Because I need to unlearn perfectionism. I've always known it but managed to suppress the fact: Perfectionism prevents output. Then, a somewhat unrelated statement in an article by Jeff Atwood became the tipping point:

If you are afraid the things you share will suck, that fear will render you incapable of truly and deeply giving back. The most, uh, delightful… bit of open source communities is how they aren't afraid to let it "all hang out", so to speak.

To value clean language over being right is one thing, but really putting output over perfectionism will be a challenge for me. So here, I don't write to be right. I don't commit to explain myself. I enjoy the creative right to be wrong.