Gustavo Montes de Oca ( @goldengus )


In Uncategorized on June 7, 2013 at 10:51 pm

The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees

In Uncategorized on November 28, 2012 at 6:47 pm

The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees is a short story that imagines that wasps paper nests are intricate, microscopic maps. Wasps collect information about the world and note it in their Great Library at the centre of the colony, which is presided by a “foundress”.

When the wasps invade bee territory and subjugate the bees (remember bees are furry vegetarian wasps), this allows for the development of anarchist bees, who decide that a monarchy is not for them and there should be no leadership. So they set up their own rival anarchist colony. Read the story here to find out what happens to that colony – it is a good example of what happens when a natural system is overridden. It is also a great example of why we need to be aware of the limits of our metaphors: while bees are interesting to study in terms of their organisation, their society is organised in ways that are fundamentally different (more on that here).

There are a couple of interesting observations that emerge from this story: a) the myth of leadership in the colony in which the queen dictates over subjects continues and b) animal structures record environmental information.

The Monarchy Myth… read the rest on The Golden Company website.



Some things are bigger than punk rock

In Uncategorized on September 7, 2012 at 8:15 pm

Sonic Boom Six serve up a great awareness of “nestedness”, and rise above the perspective of their particular nest.

Systems are  “A set of things – people, cells, molecules, or whatever – interconnected in such a way that they produce their own pattern of behaviour over time.” In this case Sonic Boom Six are a system comprised of the musicians interconnected in such a way that they produced storming genre crossing social music over time.

Can’t see the wood for the scene

SB6’s pattern is nominally in the Punk Rock genre (though if you follow the comments it seems some people are very precious about what is allowed to count as punk or not). But they are aware that the Punk Rock perspective as defined by certain sounds  is not the only one and that regardless of the strict genre boundaries, “It’s doing it yourself that gets the respect”.

They have defined the system of Punk Rock not as a relationship of sound elements (Don’t want to be the sound to tick off your list), but of human elements – how you do it.

And they know that their musical corner of the world, even defined as how you do it, is not the only way. SB6’s pattern, is part of a bigger system, they are “nested” in the music system. This is made up of musical entities, whether bands, musicians, DJs, people banging stones together and the pattern they create is the soundscape of our lives, of the planet.

Revolution is more than Sound

But SB6 recognise in this song not only that people can get stuck in the perspective of the system that is most immediately in front of them – or which they want to identify with. But that they can also get stuck in the perspective of that next bigger system, in this case music.

And so Laila K blasts out: “Revolution is more than sound”. The music is where we are and where we operate, but seeing things from here alone will not help us change the picture.