File sharing sites, some illegal and others legal in nature, have transformed the way music is accessed. One is able to download the most recent song in less than 5 minutes, provided you have a good internet connection. This of course has proven to be a single-edged sword as it has opened a loophole for the consumers while it is a menacing blow to the musician. Technology has also had a big hand in transforming the way music is created. Hybrid genres such as crank, afro-pop and a myriad others have made waves on the musical landscape during the past few decades.
Technology has simplified cross cultural interactions exposing musicians to new forms of music. The result has been the mixing of elements of different genres in order to create new and more exciting hybrid forms. A few decades ago, hip hop was foreign and unacceptable in most African countries. It was usually considered the music for the rebellious and perverse but we all know it is making its way into most countries of the continent through hybrid forms like afro hip-hop and other genres with even more funny names.
Piracy is a nightmare to any serious musician who wants to make any meaningful sales from his or her talent. In white-collar terms, it is defined as any form of duplication along with distribution of music without the formal permission from the entity holding the copyrights to that particular music.
The mp3 was basically the digitization of music. Music could now be read, copied and transferred between computers and the result was a disastrous loophole that made music too accessible to anyone with a basic computer and an internet connection. Piracy is the main culprit in economic losses incurred by the music industry over the past decades amounting up to Several measures Have been put in place but with technology evolving every day, the musical world still awaits a miracle. Much has technology has significantly simplified a lot of hustles associated with producing quality music.
However, over reliance on its benefits affects the quality of the music produced.
Sometimes it is hard to come by a musician with pure originality and the finesse that makes music such a powerful force. The good old days used to have musicians who looked at music as a calling and though the resources were limited, there musical masterpieces still echo in our ears today. The lack of fancy equipment to let them make up music while half asleep taught them to appreciate music in its purest form. Technology has made it possible for cultures to share values including music but to be realistic, the more powerful cultures dominate the scene and this results in other cultures adopting the values of the dominant ones.
EMI, however, also failed to succeed from the signing of Mariah Carey and other stars and, thus, found itself in the situation to release on profit warning after another. This always-on approach to digital technology surrenders my nervous system rather than expanding it. Access to the Internet would then provide the opportunity to everyone anywhere in the world to obtain a great deal of information on any subject that they choose. But before all this, I knew there were lots of people in the world, capable of using language and saying clever or stupid things. Today I read the articles that I know will interest me when I'm staring at a computer screen and have to click to get to the actual article.
This is a genuine threat to the diversity on the musical landscape. It would be a much better musical world if new forms of music were emerging while the older ones were still appreciated and given a place. To sum up, technology has changed the world and made it better in countless ways and so has music done for thousands of years.
The human race needs to find a way to let the two important factors which are very dear to us to coexist. Piracy has to be conquered for us to fully embrace the value of music and the musicians who work so hard to produce the treasured songs. Average rating 4. While I was doing all the above, which could take weeks or months, my general ideas for the book would be evolving. My objectives might change, and my research tasks with them. I would do more 'broad brush' thinking.
Now, when documents can be found and downloaded in seconds, library catalogues consulted from one's desk, experts emailed and a reply received within 24 hours, the idea is set in stone much earlier. The broad brush thinking is now informed rather than uninformed.
I give up. It's only a tool. An electric drill wouldn't change how I many holes I make in a piece of wood, it would only make the hole-drilling easier and quicker. A car doesn't change the nature and purpose of a journey I make to the nearest town, it only makes it quicker and leads to me making more journeys, than if I walked. But what about Lady Antonia Fraser?
Is the truth-telling power of the Internet something to avoid? But anyone who says this is news just doesn't get out enough. The only way my thinking would have been changed by this 'revelation' would have been if I believed along with Dr Pangloss that all is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. And I don't.
I notice that some radical social experiments which would have seemed Utopian to even the most idealistic anarchist 50 years ago are now working smoothly and without much fuss. On the upside, I notice that the variable trustworthiness of the Net has made people more sceptical about the information they get from all other media.
I notice that I now digest my knowledge as a patchwork drawn from a wider range of sources than I used to. I notice too that I am less inclined to look for joined-up finished narratives and more inclined to make my own collage from what I can find. I notice that I correspond with more people but at less depth.
I am unconvinced of the value of these. I worry that this may be at the expense of First Life. My notebooks take longer to fill. I notice that I mourn the passing of the fax machine, a more personal communication tool than email because it allowed the use of drawing and handwriting. I notice that my mind has reset to being primarily linguistic rather than, for example, visual. I notice that the idea of 'expert' has changed. An expert used to be 'somebody with access to special information'. Now, since so much information is equally available to everyone, the idea of 'expert' becomes 'somebody with a better way of interpreting'.
Judgement has replaced access.
I notice that I find it hard to get a whole morning of uninterrupted thinking. I notice that I am expected to answer emails immediately, and that it is difficult not to. I notice that as a result I am more impulsive.
I notice that I more often give money in response to appeals made on the Net. I notice that 'memes' can now spread like virulent infections through the vector of the Net, and that this isn't always good. I notice that I sometimes sign petitions about things I don't really understand because it is easy. I assume that this kind of irresponsibility is widespread. I notice that everything the Net displaces reappears somewhere else in a modified form. For example, musicians used to tour to promote their records, but, since records stopped making much money due to illegal downloads, they now make records to promote their tours.
Bookstores with staff who know about books and record stores with staff who know about music are becoming more common. I notice that more attention is given by creators to the aspects of their work that can't be duplicated. The 'authentic' has replaced the reproducible. I notice that almost all of us haven't thought about the chaos that would ensue if the Net collapsed. What is the impact of spending hours each day in front of a monitor, surfing the Internet and playing games? Brains are highly adaptable and experiences have long-term effects on the brain's structure and function.
You are aware of some of the changes and call it your memory, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. We are not aware of more subtle changes, which nonetheless can affect your perception and behavior. These changes occur at all levels of your brain, from the earliest perceptual levels to the highest cognitive levels. Priming is a dramatic example of unconscious learning, in which a brief exposure to an image or a word can affect how you respond to the same image or word, even in degraded forms, many months later.
In one experiment, the outlines of animals and other familiar objects were viewed briefly and 17 years later the subjects could still identify the animals and objects above chance levels from versions in which half the outlines were erased. Some of the subjects did not remember participating in the original experiment.
With conceptual priming, an object like a table can prime the response to a chair. Interestingly, priming decreases reaction times and is accompanied by a decrease in brain activity — it becomes faster and more efficient. Brains, especially youthful ones, have an omnivorous appetite for information, novelty and social interaction, but it is less obvious why we are so good at unconscious learning. One advantage is that it allows the brain to build up an internal representation of the statistical structure of the world, whether it is the frequency of neighboring letters in words or the textures, forms and colors that make up images.
Brains are also adept at adapting to sensorimotor interfaces. We first adapted to clunky keyboards, then to virtual pointers to virtual files, and now to texting with fingers and thumbs. As you become an expert at using it, the Internet, as with other tools, becomes an extension of your brain. Are the changes occurring in your brain as you interact with the Internet good or bad for you? Adapting to the touch and feel of the Internet makes it easier to extract information, but a better question is whether the changes in your brain will improve your fitness.
There was a time, no long ago, when the heads of corporations did not use the Internet because they never learned to type, but they are going extinct and have been replaced with more Internet savvy managers. Gaining knowledge and skills should benefit survival, but not if you spend all of your time immersed in the Internet. The intermittent rewards can become addictive, hijacking your dopamine neurons that predict future rewards. The Internet, however, has not been around long enough, and is changing too rapidly, to know what the long-term effects will be on brain function.
What is the ultimate price for omniscience? For me, the Internet is a return to yesteryear; it simply allows me and all the rest of us to think and behave in ways for which we were built long long ago. Take love. For millions of years, our forebears traveled in little hunting and gathering bands. About 25 individuals lived together day and night; some ten to twelve were children and adolescents; the balance were adults. But everyone knew just about everybody else in a neighborhood of several hundred miles. They got together too.
Annually in the dry season, bands congregated at the permanent waters that dotted eastern and southern Africa.
And although a pubescent girl who saw a cute boy at the next campfire might not know him personally, her mother probably knew his aunt or her older brother had hunted with his cousin. All were part of the same broad social Web. Moreover, in the ever-present gossip circles, a young girl could easily collect data on a potential suitor's hunting skills, even whether he was amusing, kind or smart.