Waves plugins, or how to make the customer feel like he/she is being extorted.

Waves offers some really great audio processing plugins for programs like ProTools and Reason. The company has been going since the early 1990s and has invented some great algorithms for reverb and for many other audio processing necessities in recording. They are very clever and very good at creating this type of software.

In the early days, though, people were sharing unlocked versions of many of those plugins. Accepting those unlocked versions, yes, was stealing, let's face it, and many people in the industry did it. It was human nature I guess, and it was wrong.

Of course, without having used those free versions in those days I suspect many audio engineers and many audio software consumers might not have eventually bought the paid versions later on, because they knew the software and were familiar with it and liked it. But despite this upside for Waves, which is the same reason so many of us give our music away effectively free on youtube these days, it was still stealing, and…

RIP Ravi Zacharias

Ravi Zacharias died yesterday, the famous Christian apologist. A thought-provoking quote:

Can you explain to me why if a plane were to crash and some die while others live, that a skeptic calls into question God’s moral nature if he at his whim chooses some to live and others to die; yet when it is your choice to allow a child within you to live or die, it is your moral right to make that determination? Does that not sound odd to you? When God decides, he is immoral. When you or I decide, it is our right.” Beyond Opinion (Edited by Zacharias, 2007, p. 188)

On the necessity of suffering in God's universe

This meme is going around the internet, Epicurus' paradox, saying how God can't possibly exist if there is suffering in the universe. (The best answer to it is that God is not all-powerful - in that He can't create logical contradictions - Alvin Plantinga, the great contemporary philosopher, enumerates that in this video: ) (CS Lewis sort of goes the opposite way and asks, where does his sense of justice and injustice come from, if not from God?)

But I don't think it's logic that makes us rebel against the necessity of suffering in our lives and in the universe.

I've been in a state of lack of motivation for the past day or two, possibly caused by over-exertion beforehand. In my creative endeavours I tend to work in fits and starts, I'll have a period of extreme concentration for a day or two, sometimes longer, followed by a day of extreme exhaustion. I still wonder if I caught malaria at some point and that's what determi…

Some FBI UFO files for your amusement

These are a few wacky pages from the UFO files released a few years ago by the FBI.

Wuhan Coronavirus probably created in the lab.

Apparently Australian scientists from the CSIRO were helping Wuhan virologists to create chimeric viruses that were able to infect human cells out of Wuhan bat viruses.

Zhengli-Shi, one of the authors in the study below, is a virologist who came from Wuhan to study with the CSIRO. Read the abstract - creating chimeric viruses was one thing the scientists were doing in the Wuhan labs! Apparently Zhengli-Shi compared the DNA to reassure herself that the Coronavirus was not one of her creations. 
But under instructions from the Chinese Communist Party, a bunch of records were destroyed.…

Askeladden - I Dovregubbens Hall - review (on SBS)

Askeladden (Ash Lad) is the traditional Norwegian protagonist of numerous fairy tales. In Ibsen's Peer Gynt, several Askeladden tales were concatenated and adapted, which of course is the inspiration and purpose of Grieg's Peer Gynt suite.

Askeladden - I Dovregubbens Hall is a faithful movie adaptation of this well known character in Norwegian lore, and indeed the hero Askeladden in this movie even has the Tao-like habit of picking up apparently useless things, for which he later finds a use; a broken mirror, an old helmet, a bear-skin, etc etc, a habit that Peer Gynt shares.

In a way this adaptation is almost perfect - one can hardly find anything to criticise in this fairy tale movie. There is no cringingly pathetic bowing and scraping to political correctness, as in so many Hollywood fairy tale adaptations these days. The movie is mercifully free of pointless non-necessities. It tells the fairy tale story in a way that is engaging, funny and well-paced. The music is marvello…