02023-02-01 | Musings | 9 comments

Woke up around 0255. Maybe I had a nightmare but couldn’t recall it. Felt heart beating. Read for a while. Wrote something down that was on my mind and then went back to sleep.

Instead of computers becoming like us, we are becoming like computers. We are becoming binary thinkers. Zeros and ones, yes and no, good and bad, heaven and hell, blue and red, with me or against me, acceptable books and not acceptable books, the backlash against non-binary gender, 😊 or ☹️

Binary thinking isn’t exactly new, or limited to the age of computers, but it is becoming more ubiquitous and extreme. Perhaps it’s due to the two hemispheres of the human brain, but it has undoubtedly been amplified by the machines we made. It’s either too hot or too cold. Music is great or sucks. Animals, or plants, are deemed either useful or considered pests or weeds.

Robby told me, on Monday, that some kind of magic happens when one mixes one part of oatmilk with one part of H&H and adds that to coffee – so half and half actually becomes a quarter and a quarter – sorry, I couldn’t resist, but it’s my birthday and so I allow myself to write it. Fixed my morning coffee like that. Double espresso with Oatly and H&H. Nice. Not sure whether it’s magical but pretty damn good.

Walked three and a half miles and listened to On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. I am glad I am listening to the book, instead of reading it. The author reads his own text and he gets the rhythm just right. The rhythm of words. Rhythm is the most important part of poetry. Rhythm is everything, isn’t it. Drumming is Life!

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When Robby plays the djembe it’s easy to forget he also plays Chopin on the piano, has perfect pitch and a masters in composition… Playing with Robby and Jon is incredible. If you had asked me for advice about performing or how to put an band together I would tell you this: play with the absolute best musicians you can find and always, always look for musicians who are better than you. You will learn and they will lift you up. And listening to them will give you pleasure, night after night. A career is a marathon, not a sprint. Listening to Jon’s solo on Butterfly Dream energizes, encourages, and inspires. This is the stuff that keeps you going night after night and improves you.
end interlude

At home I had a second cup – actually a glass – of coffee. Still enjoyed the oatmilk + H&H mixture. Thought about what I wrote in the middle of the night.

We are clearly binary creatures. Two arms, two hands, two legs, two feet, two lungs, two eyes, two ears, even two nostrils, the brain’s hemispheres. Perhaps it’s a bad design, destined to lead to war. Perhaps it is just a good challenge. Something to outgrow and overcome.

Don’t focus on the weather, whether the sun shines or a storm is coming… above the storm the sun always shines. I think somebody said that better… (quick search) yes:

You are the sky. Everything else is just the weather. – Pema Chödrön



  1. Diran

    Happy Birthday to you,and many many more with full of Music,

  2. Yvonne

    Happy Birthday

    • ottmar

      Thank you Yvonne

  3. Steve

    First of all, Happy Birthday!

    Second, I think its interesting the way we as a collective tend to think of computers. and computer technology. Perhaps it is because of the way that technical things get filtered through pop culture.

    Consider the idea of binary computers. We use terms like, “high”, “low” or “True”, “False” or even “1”, “0” But that’s really just an abstraction.

    The link below[1] shows a high speed transition from a “0” to a “1” … you will notice that it doesn’t transition instantaneously, but there is a defined slope to this signal. There is a similar looking plot for the transition from a “1” to a “0” …The point being that even what we think of as “binary” or “digital” signals are really, truly analogue and continuous. All one really needs is better resolution.

    It is most unfortunate that we have as a collective pursued this “digital thinking.” As you say, “It’s either too hot or too cold. Music is great or sucks. Animals, or plants, are deemed either useful or considered pests or weeds. ” in reality, everything is an analogue continuum.


    • ottmar

      Thank you. That’s very interesting and I’ll contemplate that. All one ever needs is better resolution, isn’t it. Works for everything.

    • ottmar

      Maybe the resolution doesn’t matter because it will still only be a jagged line after all and the curve will eventually pixelate when enlarged. It will never be an analog knob that turns smoothly or a perfect line from a brush or pen. Maybe there are other ways to compute…

      • Steve

        >Maybe there are other ways to compute…

        Oh, absolutely there are!

        (BTW … in order to change your resolution, you also have to change your reference frame)

  4. anne


    Feb 1st is like Jan 1st (to me). The start of a new year – good day to be born on.

    Hope you had fun, & birthday cake – never too old for cake.


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