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May 9th, 2012
01:24 am

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Divisiveness and prejudice

  Tonight was a conjoining of two events, a big thing and a small thing, that got me thinking on things.  The big event was the passing of Amendment 1 in the state of North Carolina which eliminates all unions that are not traditional marriage.  While aimed at same-sex unions its effect is wider than that since civil unions for anyone are eliminated.  This amendment represents the latest in a long line of state legislation across the country that regulates what is marriage and highlights the hypocrisy of all the small government/no government intrusion folks.  

  The small event was watching the DS9 episode "Far Beyond the Stars", got to love Scifi for examining the hard issues.  In a nutshell the episode centers around the idea of what kind of future did the black community and individuals have in pre civil rights America.  In a world of legislated and regulated racism any attempt to look beyond to a better time and place (ie: the future) was ridiculed by your friends and derided by your enemies.  It was a time when the normal was frequently depressing and disheartening for the folks on the "wrong" side of the racial divide.

  These two events got me thinking that we find ourselves in a world and country where we are both the future to that bad past where things are better in some ways, though not enough, and the bad past to a hopefully better future.  It's that second part that makes events such as North Carolina's amendment feel like that better future keeps receding in front of us and the bad past keeps catching up from behind.  It's the loss of this dream of a better future and its replacement by a far darker vision that we find so disturbing and unnerving.  The future is supposed to get better if we go by the guide of the history of this country, technology, rights, and life has been mostly on an upswing since theis country was founded.  

  However, the event in NC is a complete reversal of this forward progress with it being another attempt by a few to define life in a narrow and rigid fashion based on some idealized version of an earlier world.  This cannot stand, we must work towards this bright future so that the truly better world it brings is available to all of us, even the ones who would oppose it.  In many ways I feel we have lost this vision of the better future even before events like Amendment 1 happened, we as a society and individuals have become too self-involved to do more than desultorily object or protest when dark events happen.  We don't understand systems or understand them improperly and apply opposition too frequently in the wrong place and time.  We express care about people but then rarely do anything to actually show that care, and we don't look to a better future just a better now.  Look forward and beyond yourself, ditch the navel gazing of post-modernism and be a modernist where the future is the constant goal.

Current Location: Home

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December 18th, 2011
11:31 pm

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Thoughts on end in Iraq
-This week the world saw the end of nine years of war, occupation, and reconstruction of the country of Iraq by the US and other members of the "Coalition of the Willing".  At this point in time there is almost complete withdrawal of all US forces (barring 157 for training purposes and the embassy defense contingent) and the complete withdrawal of all coalition forces still remaining in Iraq.  However, even though we are effectively out at this point in time the training contingent has a moderate probability of being increased some months or years further on.  This will be done quietly most likely, and connected to both weapon and equipment purchases from the US and any specific training requests by the Iraqi government.  There is also a slim chance that if the situation in the country destabilizes badly enough there could be the redeployment of US forces in Iraq.  Hopefully that will not come to pass and the Iraqi government will remain strong and develop into a true democracy.
  
-That brings me to my next concern, the future of Iraq as an independent entity.  At this time Iraq has a government that is still seen by the populace to be more sympathetic to the interests of the Shi'a segment of the population than the other two major groups and a host of smaller groups and populations.  Hand in hand with this concern, is also the feeling about possible Iranian influence in both civil unrest and elements of the government?  This only increases the unease the non-Shi’a groups and promotes a host of concerns about how that Iranian influence is aimed against them.  As long as this concern remains it will affect internal relations between the Shi'a led government and the rest of the population which will make any institution building effort on the part of the current government suspicious to the rest.  In addition, the majority Shi'a population will most likely continue to lead governments for the foreseeable future, which seems to mean that this simmering tension will be the norm between these groups.
  
-As part of the internal issues in Iraq there are two other concerns:
1) The Sunni.  As long as they still feel disadvantaged in comparison to the majority there is always the risk of a return to the civil war of the mid 2000's, especially if enough time elapses.  This tension may also be aggravated by the change in status of this group from being relied upon by US Forces to being ignored by the Iraqi Government.  Conversely, this tension could be reduced by a general desire for these two groups to work together in the government and overcome the horrors of the civil war.  Though the Sunni will have to resign their leadership and themselves to minority status with no chance of changing that in the foreseeable future.
 
2) The Kurds.  While they maintain an autonomous region they also participate in the central government so their fate is linked to that of Iraq, unless they break away and become independent.  The Kurdish region faces three concerns: internally there is the issues surrounding Kirkut and the ethnic status of the city and where does it exist in Iraq, inside or outside the autonomous territory.  Also, the question of whether Kurdish forces pushed out other Iraqi's to lay claim to the city or not is still ongoing and any resolution to that will leave internal scars for some time to come.  The central Iraqi government will have to decide how to handle both this claim and how to coordinate with the autonomous region and make that the new normal.  At this point in time the internal situation in Iraq is still being created and has yet to find its level.
 
Externally, the Kurds have to start making decisions about what they plan to do with the PKK and other resistance fighters in surrounding countries.  With the US gone the Kurds do not have them to restrain neighboring countries from restarting the reprisal system that existed in the 90's and early 2000's when we saw Turkey send forces into Northern Iraq to punish Kurdish communities for the actions of Kurdish rebels.  While actions by the PKK and other groups are at low ebb right now that does not mean they may not restart sometime.  If that happens this will pull the Iraqi central government into the conflict even if they don't want to become involved out of the sheer necessity to protect their borders.
 
-External concerns for Iraq.
1) Though there is concern of Iranian influence in Iraq there is little public evidence to suggest such a connection exists but it would not be surprising if one did considering how Iran feels surrounded by American client states and forces.  Their concerns that Iraq would become the staging area of a US invasion of Iran should be reduced now considering the forces have left the country and are leaving the region. However, as long as Iraq is perceived as a US client state there is always the risk of Iran attempting to take action and exert control in Iraq out of self-interest and the feeling of threat.  Since the Iraqi military is still very small and configured for the counterinsurgency role and the government is weak, the possibility of effective outside action disrupting Iraq is high at this moment and will remain so until the government becomes stronger.  Only then will it be able to resist these threats.
 
2) There is also the concern that the US may now feel proprietary towards Iraq and attempt to meddle in the day-to-day affairs of the country and will keep a close eye on such events as elections and policy creation.  This has the risk of stifling the development of the Iraqi government and the democratic process in general by forcing it to continue to rely on outside influence for help.  While there is the feeling in the US that we will never let go of Iraq completely, one hopes that this is not the case for the sake of the Iraqi people.
 
-All these factors taken together show that although the US has withdrawn from Iraq, there is a great deal of internal construction to be undertaken in the country.  Only once Iraq has developed a system of governance that is seen as fair by the majority of the population across the spectrum and is also considered effective in delivering services to all segments of the population will it be considered strong.  Until that point in time it can still be regarded as a fragile construction that could collapse under a hard enough shock, but may also be strong enough to withstand it as well.  In this regard, there is still a long road ahead of the country. 
 
-Finally at the end of this event we can look back on the Bush Doctrine in this case and evaluate in the context of Iraq.  In this context the Bush Doctrine can be seen as a complete failure to successfully exercise its policies in the international stage in that the executive presidency and administration led the US into a situation that was greater than any of them imagined, with no post-war reconstruction plan.  This resulted in a series of bad decisions that affected Iraq and helped create the civil war in the middle of last decade, destroy Iraq's cultural history, and rendered the current government weak.  Only when General Petraeus was given the lead to run operations without the micro managing that was the norm until that point was stability achieved though it should have never been lost in the first place.  For the last three years the current President did not modify the overall policy in Iraq other than upping the timetable of a necessary withdrawal, to have done otherwise would have been to invite further disruption in the country.  At this point in time, we should look at the second Iraq war as a mistake that should never be repeated due to the risk to all involved.  Further, the reasoning for the invasion in the first place was specious and grandstanding with no basis in fact and not supported by any evidence that has come to light post-invasion.  As a result, we can say that this war resulted in the unnecessary deaths of tens if not hundreds of thousands of people for effectively no reason and this is possibly the saddest outcome of the conflict overall. 
 
Thank you for reading,
 

Current Music: 8tracks.com
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October 21st, 2011
10:29 am

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Thoughts on the end of Qaddafi
-Firstly, like it or not, this is a definite win for what we can now call the Obama doctrine. What this means is that a joint effort with our allies in an equal and supportive role works well and is relatively low cost for the US.  In this case we mostly pulled out of the direct combat role after the first month or so, leaving it to NATO and Middle Eastern allies, and supported them with our very extensive Electronic Warfare (EW), Signals Intelligence (SIGINT), and Electronic Counter Measures (ECM) among other support activities.  This resulted in a relatively low-cost military campaign that suppressed the majority of the Libyan military's advanced equipment within the first couple months.  To finish this it puts us in a place to have helped bring down a dictator without having Coalition powers commit many ground troops and lose none of them.  Additionally, this means we are not in a position to have an Iraq or Afghanistan like post-war situation, at this time.
 
-On the other hand, this campaign is also a reinforcement of the War Powers Act that has been in effect since the Johnson Administration allowing troops to be deployed and war engaged without asking Congress to approve it.  The success of the Libya endeavor has legitimized this use of power for US administrations in the 21st century much like it was for the last quarter of the 20th century.  In fact even before the events of yesterday, earlier this month the president deployed a small detachment of US forces to Uganda to help suppress the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in cooperation with local forces.  This is also being offered to neighboring Central-African countries to assist their efforts against the LRA as well.  The events of this year certainly seem to be setting the stage for small-scale involvements for humanitarian reasons as the ideal for the second decade of the 21st century.
 
-We do have here the third success of the "Arab Spring" movement which does show that this movement is alive and well at least in Libya. This victory may even promote other uprisings in the region reinvigorating the movements in countries not yet affected by this movement or bolster the revolutions in those countries where it is struggling or under assault.  Though it may not have a positive effect as well considering how the movement is progressing in Syria and Yemen and after the brutal end of the uprising in Bahrain and the seemingly co-opting of the revolution in Egypt.  This doesn't include the quiet end of the Arab Spring movement in Jordan and Morocco where there was activity for the first couple months but it seems to have faded away. 
 
-Additionally, there is the concern that the Transitional Council in Libya will successfully transform into a functional democracy over the next year or so.  In regards to the building of some form of democracy, the next several weeks will be as critical as the last six months.  There are many barriers that could stop that transition, not the least being the proliferation of informal militias and the remaining Qaddafi supporters.   This is part of the next step of the Arab Spring, which will be to see what happens in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt over the next couple years and to see how the region receives the results.
 
-Finally, it is the end of a leader who was probably one of the most disruptive forces in the world, and especially Africa, over the last 40+ years.  Probably even someone who should have been finished off decades ago, but the end fits with the popular nature of this recent round of overthrows in the region.  With that said, Africa has lost one of its most powerful voices and influences of recent years, take note how many southern African nations decided to oppose the intervention of NATO et al.
 
Thank you for reading this thumbnail sketch of some of the issues surrounding the end of the Era of Qaddafi, and feel free to comment.  

Current Location: home
Current Music: NPR
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January 2nd, 2011
02:01 am

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Technological surprise- Or: Does that look a bit like a Chinese clone of the US F-35?
[1/2/11 update:  Something else I noticed, is this isn't as much of a straight clone of the F-35 as it has qualities of both that and the F-22 while being bigger than the F-35.  So this may be closer to being inspired and reverse engineered from stolen data than a out and out clone.  However still nothing is certain.]

        Well while looking for an Intelligence Victory (read governmental/military intelligence) to write about for an entry in an essay contest that would have something to do with my graduate thesis I found this instead. From the looks of it it seems the Chinese have managed, on the surface, to have made one or more copies of F-35 JSF (Joint Strike Fighter). There are some external differences, the biggest one being a twin engine layout vs. the JSF single engine, but this is pretty spot on as a whole. Now as for the internal similarities, only time and intelligence (of all sorts) will say if this is a more than external copy of the JSF.
         I would suggest reading the Globalsecurity.org article and follow to the china-defence.com article. From there stick to the reputable sites, be discerning of where your info comes, and watch out for certainties rooted in speculation. However, looking at what is being described, barring this is equivalent to many of the Iranian new weapon system releases (aka: faked for disinformation and/or propaganda) the Chinese have succeed in technological surprise. Only last year did Sec of Defense Gates say that the Chinese would be able to operationally test a gen 5 stealth fighter by 2020 or so. Well that projection has been upset but we will have to wait and see what this actually portends, because this could be just a tech demonstrator or a flying but not fully operational (no weapon systems, advanced radar, or production engines) prototype and not a the first step in China's fielding of such an advanced aircraft. Only time will tell us what this all means.

Current Mood: interested
Current Music: A Lion in Winter

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October 1st, 2010
04:19 pm

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Extending yeast without making a full growth cycle.
Edit
To you bread making types and other bakers too
by David Schwartz on Friday, October 1, 2010 at 1:58pm

Now that I'm in school and we're trying to save some costs I've taken up bread making. Now I haven't found out how to buy yeast in bulk and the TJ's out here only sells yeast in the fall (which is cheaper than anyone else), so I have taken up trying to figure out how to get my yeast to stretch. And I think I've hit on it. So much so that I can get two properly risen loaves of bread from one packet.



Here's how I do it:

Fill a glass/bowl/whatever with a cup or a little more of lukewarm water.

Put a table spoon or two of flour (your preference) in it.

Add a teaspoon of sugar.

Add a packet of yeast.

Mix well in the glass until fully mixed.


So you take this glass and then let it sit for 12-24 hours. By the end of this time you should have about 1/2 of sludge at the bottom. I've covered it during this time and I haven't. I even got an interesting sourdough one time from this sitting.


Now this is what I've done, go check this out for yourself and see what you get with you modify it.



Go make happy yeast.



Inky

Current Location: School
Current Mood: waiting to fall over

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August 19th, 2010
01:04 pm

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Craptastic freight service
David Schwartz To anyone planing on using either Freightcenter.com or Central Freight Lines here are links to my reviews of their fer shite service.

http://www.yelp.com/biz/freightcenter-trinity#hrid:dJoGvXrAHo-cNWh069b1Ew/src:self

I highly recommend not to ever use this service since they don't have anyway to affect how your shipment is picked up, shipped or delivered after you hire them. After loading 5 skids with my possessions I proceeded to wait for the truck that i didn't find out was not coming until a random call by the contact set events in motion to find that out. As a result I was required to move the shipment to the terminal myself with a truck and pallet jack I rented myself. While the rental will be reimbursed (I hope) I now need to seek action so I can get at least the pick-up charge reimbursed.

Additionally, the delivery was scheduled yesterday however when I called to confirm that I learned only then that I was supposed to call to set up an appointment to deliver. This is a critical piece of info that should have made crystal clear when this process was being set up.

To add insult to injury I also received an email stating that the pick-up of my goods from my address was made at 1pm last friday and not stating that no truck had shown up and I made the delivery myself at 6pm.

To anyone planing on using this service, stay the heck away unless you can get iron clad guarantees.



http://www.yelp.com/biz/central-freight-lines-inc-waco#hrid:Jq54onIxyW7hpJajnN8cdQ/src:self

This company was hired by http://FreightCenter.com to move my shipment of my life across the country and while their pick up and transport of my goods was just fine the delivery has been completely awful. First I was told that they couldn't deliver my possessions without a advance call, but no one at either company made that obvious to me until it was too late. Then when I called the next morning first thing I was told that the driver would call me himself when he was going to make the delivery.

5 hours later I call this company to check that everything is ok. Instead I'm told that the shipment never made it onto a truck since no appointment for the drop off had never been made. Which goes against everything that had been told to me back in the morning. Now I'm going to spend time tomorrow sitting and waiting and hopefully I will be able to pull a crew together in time to move this into my apartment.

I don't know how a company like this can stay in business since after 10 year in the entertainment industry receiving shipments on time almost all the time, the fact that this is soooooo hard for them to pull off is mind boggling.

To anyone commercial or personal who think s about using this company I hope you have time to kill while waiting for your shipment.

Here's hoping that the companies pay attention and take corrective action.

Current Mood: Rightous indignation

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March 8th, 2010
12:55 am

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Our First Civil War?
I recently was reading A Little Revenge by Willard Randall and came to a striking realization (at least to me). As far as I can figure, the Revolutionary War that gained us our independence was basically a civil war.

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines a civil war as “a war between opposing groups of citizens of the same country”. According to James Fearon of Stanford University, he defines a civil war as "a violent conflict within a country fought by organized groups that aim to take power at the center or in a region, or to change government policies”. Also back in the day, in my junior high social studies class, my teacher said to us that only roughly 1/3 of the population supported the rebels. Another third supported the king and the remainder just wanted to be left alone and live their lives.

As we all know one of the cores of the conflict that led up to the Revolutionary War was the idea of taxation/governance with representation. So the Rebels, to some degree, had tried to come to an accommodation with the King and his ministers that would allow them representation and say in how the colonies were run. They worked in the system with Ben Franklin as their representetive, but he was run out of the England and the colonies were told to follow government orders.

While reading this I keep thinking back to Ken Burns “The Civil War” and the many stories of brother against brother that made that conflict such a tragedy to so many families. From what little I know I see this preceded almost 80 years earlier in the conflict that gave birth to our nation. Rebel militia fought pitched battles with Tory volunteers, and many times neighbor fought neighbor and siblings killed each other.

While many revolutions if not all of the armed ones take place in the form of a civil war we tend not to regard the conflict that formed the United States as such. That’s due the fact that the plucky rebels won against the king we were able to define our path and how much history we take from our former mother country. We now think the king was a tyrant and it was all live free or die, but in every way this was a conflict between two factions that were of the same nation, at least in the beginning.

Now all of this is feeling a bit poetic due to my lack of overall knowledge of the war and the tasty Serbian wine I’m drinking while writing this. So if anyone has some good history books of the Revolutionary War to recommend please shoot them my way. I’m curious to see if my feeling is correct and frankly I know so little about the founding of the nation I live in.

Time to fix that.


Thanks for reading.

Current Location: floor
Current Mood: indescribable
Current Music: Electric Version

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December 25th, 2009
01:45 am

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Why I don’t feel at home with my actual family
Disclaimer: Written while really upset and angry but still my beliefs. Just more poorly written than I mean to.


I hate being seen as that crazy liberal brother who doesn’t understand how things actually work because he’s not Christian, is liberal, in theatre, in a big city, lives out of wedlock, won’t get married and feels for people who ”sin”. This always pisses me off when I talk to my brother and he sits there and tells me that it doesn’t matter if two people are in love they don’t deserve to be together or if they do they should say they made a mistake. A mistake.

That angers me, since it means the fundamental message that that love is universal is false. If two people are of the same gender and they love each other and end up spending their lives committed to each other in all aspects, it is not equal to the same commitment between two people of the opposite gender. If all are not included in any case where it is a consensual situation then that is the true sin against what Christ said. All or nothing (within limits of a wider sort than what is accepted).

Yes I should read the Christian Bible at some point to hone my arguments better but this is what I believe and if in the end this is wrong then there need to be changes to protect those who need it.

(A break to calm down and talk to the lady)

OK, now in a calmer frame of mind but my argument still stands. I talked to my brother moments ago and our final calm words on this subject was, that I don’t care what he believes in as long as it doesn’t harm me and my friends. In response he said he would live his life in a Christian manner and show me the rightness by doing that. Which does not address my concerns. I am still disturbed that my own brother, who was raised to be fair and open minded, would still continue with this injustice.

My feelings about religion are simple: to believe and have faith is perfectly fine as long as you don’t harm or negatively affect others. If you don’t feel that something agrees with your Faith I understand that troubles you but you have no right to use your faith as a bludgeon upon others because that is how you feel. Instead don’t step on my rights and the non-harmful wants and desires of my friends, instead shrug your shoulders and live your life as you mean to do so and leave us to do as we wish. In return I will fight for your right to believe what you believe because that is enshrined in our Constitution and is a right to be protected and honored.

Thank you.

Current Location: Not Home
Current Mood: Misanthropic

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March 2nd, 2009
12:38 am

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Futures and conflicts
So recently two aspects of my future have been cropping up and presenting me with some challenges that are proving to difficult to overcome.

Firstly there is the course of my education and occupational future that I’m in the middle of charting. Frankly the biggest problem is that I’m regularly doubting my own ability and choice in changing from a technical profession to a much more intellectual one. And this all stems from simple fear. Fear of leaving my comfort zone in my life. Fear of having to face the unknown and an uncertain future. Because simply put, I’m a bit of a homebody and I like my routine, so much so that I’m having trouble looking ahead. This results in self-doubt of whether I’m smart enough to go do something so completely different that my last 10 years of work provides only the barest framework of reference. All it has done, which isn’t nothing by any means, is make me very independent and hard working and determined. The last is in conflict with the self-doubt at this moment. So I know I’m not an idiot but to contemplate doing something like this makes me feel so overwhelmed that I want to hole up and hide. And on top of all this is the fact that there is a contingent of my friends who don’t want me to leave the field either out of a sense of concern about my well being in another field, or out of a sense of self-interest that I won’t be there to help them anymore. And they also feed into this comfort zone, which leaves me even more conflicted.

Now none of that is helping me any so I need to force myself into action and make things happen. Which is a difficult slope to navigate since if I’m at home I get distracted way too easily. So I need to kick my arse out of the house and go to the Grind and do all this work there where I feel more motivated to work. I’m such a hard time for myself. But in the end I’m smart enough to do this, I hope, and I’ll at least give it my all.

The other thing that has been cropping up over the last few days is the whole dating thing and where do I sit in regards to it. The sitting position keeps slowly creeping closer and closer to me feeling willing to go ahead and dive back in. Of course since after the one year I’m starting to hear murmurings to outright declarations that I should just dive in with occasional suggestions as to who I should ask out at times. My problem at this moment is that I still want to be in a relationship and I feel that whoever I start dating at this moment I would just want to leap into that with. Not a good idea. So I have to give myself a bit more time and let myself be willing to take whoever comes along with no sense of preconception of what should happen. Other than the usual ones that one has in those circumstances. And lets take a moment to think about me dating, kinda silly eh?

So that’s what on my mind and that I need to get out so I can set these issues aside and move on with some sort of confidence.

G’night all.

Current Location: Desk of Inky
Current Mood: anxiousanxious
Current Music: Andrew Bird & The Mysterious Production of Eggs

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February 25th, 2009
12:09 am

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A trend I am noticing in Lighting.
So I have been paying attention to trends in technology and noticed something that seems to be coming together at this time with sever implications for the future.

My job field is going through massive upheavals that we in the industry don't necessarily see. And the current state of the economy will do nothing but help those changes. What I'm speaking of is the high cost of labor and how technology will remove certain jobs mostly to completely. Look theatre, as all performance arts, are expensive if you're trying to do it above a certain lower limit. This article outlines some of it for the music industry but the sentiment is the same for us too: http://www.newmusicbox.org/article.nmbx?id=5001. Simply put, people keep needing to be paid and you can only cut so many people from the performance end before the show suffers or is a one shot appeal. So you cut costs on the production end, specifically crew.

I recently did a show where I ran both sound and lights from the same computer in the same program. And almost any dance show I work on could do the same thing. You digitize the music files; bring in a sound op for tech to set the levels and do the necessary tweaks and then hand the whole thing over to the light tech to run the show. Or vice versa. Additionally several times in the last couple years I've done shows at the Royal George where I was there to program the show through tech and do notes and then hand it over after tech or after opening to the Stage Manager. Since it's cheaper to pay the SM the, I think, $50-$150 week under current equity rules than hire a light op in Chicago. This could be scaled up to larger productions that have strictly playback sound. We could of had a computer run both lights and sound for Dublin Carol or even Superior Doughnuts, either doing through one program or firing midi triggers to connected decks and gear.

This won't take over us in the next 5 years but expect to see this expand sharply then. Look at it this way: with Horizon I can pay $2500-$5000 and own a one or two universe moving light desk that can compare to a Hog 2 in many ways for moving light capability plus having a whole multimedia capability that the hog doesn't have. And for about the same to half the cost: http://tinyurl.com/dy2f7m. Or ask Dustin up at the Center East what he's doing with his lighting system. With the decreasing costs of this technology we are starting to see it in smaller and smaller venues. An example of this is the Lakeshore Theatre; they added 12-16 Robe moving light fixtures 3 years ago. Now they don't hire techs since they just need one house guy 99% of the time since the conventionals are rep and the movers take care of everything else. Yes they will need more people if something goes wrong but that’s a once or twice a year thing at best for the rest of us.

And if we're looking at the union to save us from this, remember that they caved and early versions of modern lighting consoles replaced with one person the jobs of 2-5 others. This is normal and it will happen again. Heck we've seen in our own industry the shortening of some Mariott calls by adding the 8 VL2000's replacing about 4-8 systems of lights that were doing the same thing. Cable calls used to 12-hour affairs all the time instead of the 8-9 hour events they are these days. That may not sound like much but even if you add the 1-2 times a year maintenance calls for the movers they are still saving money on labor costs.

A projection of what this will mean for us in the next decade may look like this: Video effects and lighting becoming closer together if not the same thing. At the least a heavier use of movers and the possibility of medium sized venues using them more often to the point that they may be considering purchasing movers for a rep set up. They will still add heavy banks of specials and washes of conventionals but most of their conventional FOH and backs needs may be taken up by movers. We're doing it in dance more and more often these days, so why not theatre. Yes there will always be exceptions but we should expect to see this. This will mean less work for larger crews overall. Additionally we should see the consolidation of operators expand into the smaller events of major theatres with maybe the SM running everything off one comp with maybe a house tech on standby if something goes wrong. Plus the unions will start having to cave to fiscal pressures and allow this condensation of personnel into their smaller venues. Though it may take another 20 years min before you start to see this to happen.

What does this mean to us? Well there always be ME's but expect your knowledge of Movers and multimedia systems to increase or rather it should to keep up with what looks to be a rising tide of technology. Or maybe it will consolidate with projections with specific lighting and video heads, with heavy cross platforming. There will be needs for techs to put up touring shows and larger theatres that want/afford to move away from rep plots. And any live music requires at least one or two sound ops; there is no way to get way from that. So see a reduction of the number of console jockeys in smaller venues that go down this path. The short of it is there will be fewer jobs for a smaller number of highly specialized techs.

Or this may never happen. Or maybe everything will return to business as usual after we get though this financial slump. Maybe it will be limited to smaller venues where this sort of consolidation would bee a boon to them. Who really knows? This is just what I see happening around me. And for the smaller theatres and companies this access to technology is a boon to them, letting them do more with less. Remember as technology is used more and bought more the costs go down. Maybe expect to see small movers with CYM mixing marketed at clubs and theatres for low cost. It's possible if it hasn't happened yet I honestly haven't looked. In short this is all speculation.

So what do you think: is this a boon, is it a bad thing, will it help some and hurt others, or will it never come to pass? I want you, my fellow professionals, to tell me what you think based on what you know and observed. Is this just speculation or do you see some truth in all this?

Current Location: table
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: NPR in the background

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