Archive for the ‘Me Myself&I’ Category

Word, Prince

Monday, September 2nd, 2019

A few days with Prince’s ghostwriter and his client before the artist passed away.

Prince, you’re right. We have to own our things. And create.

You’d be surprised that I wrote my own memoir lacing music, technology and my intersectional life all in one, in my second language, English. An Englishman (white) and an English professor (black) told me it was good writing, if not really great.

I also wrote and produced 100+ songs and tracks. Videos. Thousands of sound effects. Thousands of blog posts. I coded a couple games.

I also play bass like Sonny T (that is, play bass guitar like a guitar, too).

I did it all 99% by myself. I own all that stuff.

It ain’t over brother P. Thanks again for the inspiration.

Alec Holowka

Monday, September 2nd, 2019

Man.

I started following Infinite Ammo way back in 2004-2005 or something? Two guys making a “console” game straight for Windows and PCs? And the game is called Aquaria and allows you to play a mermaid in a Ecco the Dolphin type of game? I was interested and excited.

At that time RSS and bookmarks were the only way to connect with someone. Alec seemed amazing. Coder, designer and composer. I didn’t have issues to understand that he was constantly working. You have to when you do those three things well. Which he did.

I think he –or the folks around him- launched the pajama jam where you jam on your favorite instrument after waking up. I participated.

I wanted to connect with Alec and those awesome independent game developers because they looked like they were “getting it”. That is, doing things I would love to do and polish and polish more.

Making good games. Selling them well. Staying independent. This looked like was I exactly wanted to do.

Alec never left success, basically. From Aquaria to now –12 years– he seemed destined to always be in the light. Always working on not necessarily the hottest games, but always *good* games or prototypes. It’s pretty hard AF to do.

We started to follow each other somewhere in 2007 on Twitter. This is where Twitter was amazing and an actual social network. Everyday for the next decade and more, I would read his tweets and he might have read some of mine.

I could tell sometimes that he had a dark side. But most people do AND he lived in Canada, the country with at least 6 months of winter. So I didn’t see anything wrong. I remember being in the room during an indie game conference –Horizon Conference back in 2014– where he was showing up Night in the Woods. He was funny. A classic, chill nerd. I briefly exchanged a few words with him in a semi star-struck vibe.

I was super happy for Alec and his team when Night in the Woods, finally came out to a torrent of accolades and commercial success. It looked like that game could have destroyed everything. 5 hard years of work, Kickstarter and everything, I wasn’t sure this would pan out well. But it did and I guess he did some pretty great work on it.

This week was insane. I had no doubt he would seek to commit suicide after the news broke out.

So it’s a mix of Fuck This World, Fuck Him, Thank you for the Games, Why can’t we break abuse loops, Why Video Games Anyway?

It’s just hard. I’m sorry for everyone involved closely with his life. May y’all reach peace.

Blog dad

Thursday, August 29th, 2019

I’ve been following a blog for fifteen years. The dude has a  kid. Had a kid. The kid is grown up and just moved out of the house to go to college.

I read so many stories, their relationship. In real time, basically. RSS is the best thing ever.

It’s a new chapter for them.

I love long term things. I had followed that blog for some computer game stuff in 2004 and ended up giggling at family stories, weather updates and whatnot for all those years. Some good people.

And like them, I’m a little sad. It’s beautiful though. I’m glad he’s sharing a part of his life.

To the next hundred years.

Bracing myself

Wednesday, August 28th, 2019

I’m reading books about music. James Brown is mentioned. I’m torned by this mf. He came from absolutely nothing, changed how popular music was thought, had a private jet in the 50s. But he raped, assaulted and fucked over so many people.

Just yesterday, some big names in game development fell to sexual abuses claims. People I had been following for most of my career. People both younger and older that I am. People that I didn’t expect to do that at all. But like, not at all.

Earlier this week Paul fucking Mooney fell. He apparently molested Richard Pryor’s son in the 70s. What the actual fuck. I cherished that man. Gave his autobiography to a young brother I love because it was a good book. I wanted to inspire him.

It’s like a vast amount of men I looked up to, from my childhood to now are/were twisted fucks.

I don’t know how to explain how it feels like.

Needs

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

"Well you don’t need a million dollars to do nothing, man.
Take a look at my cousin, he’s broke, don’t do shit."
– Lawrence

I think about Mark Zuckerberg. He’s a billionaire. Most people don’t like him. Most people who would say they do only think about what kind of checks he can write them.

He can’t trust no one. Absolutely no one.

He can’t be in public anymore, ever again. What he can do to relax is sit in his living room, fixing some furniture for his family.

Yes, he can travel anywhere in the world. To sit somewhere, not doing anything, maybe just read.

My favorite homeless couple just sits there reading books and listening to music too.

You don’t need to be that wealthy to feel fine. And it’s so bizarre and liberating to think about that.

Dan Nocera

Thursday, August 22nd, 2019

I watched his talk years ago. I was so impressed by the elegance of his team’s solution to sustainable energy. He’s also hilarious.

Then he disappeared. Or I couldn’t remember his name and look at what he was doing. EITHER WAY.

I found his ass again. His motto, basically:

Solar energy has the potential to scale up to meet long-term energy demands. He emphasizes that scientists must consider the economics of the materials they propose to use for energy sources and for storage technologies, if they are to develop viable energy alternatives.

So I was thinking, “Dan’s got it. We will reach complete sustainable energy autonomy at some point!!”

And then, he showed up with something amazing, the Artificial Leaf:

Like conventional photovoltaics, the artificial leaf used common semiconducting materials (in this case, amorphous silicon) to absorb sunlight and emit electrons. But then it went one step further. When dipped into a beaker of water, instead of producing electricity, the leaf harnessed the electrons to break the chemical bonds of water and release hydrogen gas — a fuel that can store energy at a significantly higher density and lower cost than electricity.

In 2009, Nocera formed Sun Catalytix, a startup to develop a prototype design for a system to convert sunlight into storable hydrogen which could be used to produce electricity.

And I’m like “fuck yeah it’s on!” But then it is not on:

However, in May 2012, Sun Catalytix stated that it would not be scaling up the prototype.

Fffffffuuuuuuu but then:

In hopes of developing a product that could be more rapidly brought to market, Sun Catalytix refocused its business model on developing a low-cost rechargeable flow battery for use in grid-scale and commercial-scale storage.

Me: this is it! It’s happening! Nocera’s company:

In 2014, Sun Catalytix was acquired by Lockheed Martin, because it was interested in using the flow battery.

Daaaaaamn Dan, can we, citizen peasants have access to tech that changes the world? Not emojis or photo filters, actual, real shit that saves the earth and us with it? Lockheed Martin is 30mn away in Burbank, Imma go knock at the door. “hi, I’m here for the batteries and fuel cells?”

Jokes aside, this technology is one of the holy grail of a sustainable future and it just got bought by a private, defense-focused company… Mr. Nocera, I really hope you bring this to production and to the world. We need your stuff.

Self-hosted

Tuesday, August 20th, 2019

Has been the keyword again. I’ve been working on getting everything on my lil server. Photos, some of my music (bandcamp is still the shit). Pondering on re-starting the rss/feed/podcast of sound experiments.

It’s still a lot of tech bullshit to go through but I’m making progress.

What’s nice is the feeling that I won’t have to worry for a while. Peace of mind. No social media has enough of me to own me.

Freedom and control. Those are sweet.

Wait for me Grandma

Monday, August 19th, 2019

I’m scared I’m not going to be able to see my grandmother again.

Last time I saw her five years ago, she was overweight. My sister told me she’s like Skeletor now.

She’s okay, bored. My dad tells me that she still asks about me, “the American”.

I’m stressed I won’t make it back to France to hold her against me a little bit more. I’m mad because I didn’t think it would be that hard to afford (time and money) to fly back real quick to say hi.

I missed my foster dad’s last days. I missed my grandpa’s funeral. If I miss both for her because I did everything right (not only according to me, but to everyone around) and worked harder than ever, I’m going to lose my shit.

Tide

Wednesday, August 7th, 2019

I was writing a bigger post about gun violence but, what’s the point?

It’s just so infuriating that we have everything, all the knowledge in the world, all the wealth possible (you know that we just print more money when we need some, right?) and we just let things rot until there’s no return possible. Even though we could fix most of everything within a generation.

It’s maddening. Absolutely maddening.

That day I blacked out I guess

Sunday, August 4th, 2019

It was not long after Prince passed away in his elevator.

I was working on this TV show. 12 weeks, twelve to sixteen hours a day, six days a week. It was rough but I was holding up.

I was driving a lot, from LA to somewhere north of San Diego. We were over the hump, habits and routines well in place. On a return to the set from LA, I was driving alone in my minivan, leaving the 405 traffic to finally zip up south on the 5.

And then I arrived and couldn’t remember how. Black hole in my memory. Absolutely no recall of the past hour. None. All I could remember was “emerging” on the ramp leading to the parking lot and wondering who the fuck drove the past hour because I felt like I’d just woken up.

I could remember when I had left LA and the start of the trip. But right before Carlsbad, I couldn’t remember anything at all. I have a pretty good memory of everything. I’ve never experienced before or after such a memory failure/loss.

I remember ordering food, waiting in line while I was freaking out because the last part of the trip wasn’t easy freeway. It was mountain roads and ravines. Pitch black. And I had no clue how I had made it. I felt so vulnerable and scared.

I still don’t know how I made it. I’m happy I’m here and I still remember that day very well.

I didn’t quit but I was happy to be done with the gig. Exhaustion, man.