Cinematography of The Wire

An ode to the cinematography in David Simon’s gripping, sprawling Baltimore saga, The Wire.

I’m surprised there aren’t any spoilers here (not really), in case you care about that sort of thing. And if you haven’t seen the show? Allot yourself some time and make it happen.

By the way, I’m aware of the controversy regarding the original 4:3 broadcast and the 16:9 HD remaster that occurred years after the series ended. I have my own opinions about this, but for the aesthetic sake of this post only, I’m okay presenting the widescreen version.

Note: I am not the copyright holder on any of these images, and would assume that all rights belong to HBO.

Digidesign Audio Drivers Causing OS X El Capitan to Hang

My old Digidesign MBox 2 core audio drivers somehow never got properly uninstalled, and were insidiously causing my iMac with El Capitan to hang on restart always, requiring a hard reboot.

The thing is, I had no idea that these drivers were the cause. I looked in the Console app at the exact errors after shutdown, yet nothing led me to suspect audio drivers. I’d tried deleting a .plist file that can commonly cause Finder hangs (which was a symptom), but no luck.

Finally after a renewed round of frustration and Googling*, I stumbled upon this post where people had success removing the culprit drivers. I did the same and BAM: no more horrible hangs.

The culprits:

  • /Library/Audio/Plug-Ins/HAL/DigidesignCoreAudio.plugin
  • /Library/Audio/MIDI Drivers/DigidesignMbox2MIDI.plugin

Here is a complete list of files/directories that may need cleaning up after an old ProTools 8 LE and/or Digidesign install.

Note: I had to use sudo rm ... from the terminal to delete these.

* the text “syncdefaultsd[517]: SecTaskLoadEntitlements failed error=3” (part of my console output during a restart hang) was what led me to the forum post on; hooray for Google Search!

Sexual Harassment, Anarchy, and the Tor Project

Back in November of last year, I shared this openDemocracy video of Jacob Appelbaum, “journalist and researcher for the Tor project, [talking] about technology, freedom and resisting surveillance at the World Forum for Democracy.”

While this current post has no bearing on his rousing speech or the approach to technology with regard to communication (and vice versa) it supports, I’m compelled to write it as a sort of follow-up.

Recently a number of women claiming sexual assault, sexual humiliation, and rape have spoken up publicly about being victimized by Jacob. Some of them are/were significantly involved in the Tor Project while others may be associated with the broader cryptographic & cybersecurity community.

I read all of the accounts to date, some of which are still anonymous, one of which is lengthy and provides a large amount of context, and I believe that they should all be believed. I’ll link them at the bottom.

In the media—especially social media—talk abounds in regard to the subject of sexual harassment permeating all levels of society, but I want to highlight something that will be different than what we in the US usually hear and expect with regard to our legal system and notions of punishment.

Two of the victims, Isis Agora Lovecruft (@isislovecruft), and Alison Macrina (@flexlibris) are or were involved in anarchist collectives (Isis Agora is much more prominent about her anarchist status, as evidenced from her personal website) and as a result have opinions that contrast with what mainstream society may expect.

Below are some excerpts from their posts.

Alison Macrina:

People speaking up were dismissed as a lynch mob — an ahistorical and offensive way to describe a critical mass of people who had previously been silenced and were demanding accountability. There have been repeated calls for “due process” and the involvement of the court system, which ignores the violence that system perpetuates against both accuser and accused. Calls for police intervention are particularly alarming to hear from a community in which so many advocate for a stateless society.

For all of you screaming “This is not what justice looks like! Why don’t you just go to the police?!” let me just wax realpolitik and, like a good little German, quote some Gesetz and cite some statistics.

The “due process” of a state court, in my case, will be detrimental to both Jake and I, as well as numerous other people. The law is very clearly against both of us in this case, with the overwhelmingly likely outcome that he would be kicked out of Germany.

Isis Agora Lovecruft:

Not to mention that, if our goal is to prevent more people from being harmed by Jake, prison is not an option. Overwhelmingly likely, even in Germany, Jake would be raped in prison. I do not wish these painful things I’ve gone through on anyone, not even those who have caused me pain. Further, most abusers have a history of having been abused at some point in their past, and Jake going to prison certainly will not help him amend his behaviour.

And here is part of Lovecruft’s statement on her website:

I am an anarchist! And when I say that, I do not simply mean that I would like to see all States destroyed, social hierarchies crumble, and state capitalism perish. I mean that I believe inequalities in power dynamics pose a hindrance to the progression of human thought and scientific understanding, that the overall degrees of freedom for collected conscious agents should be maximised, and that all forms of government are intrinsically immoral due to their disregard of individual consent. I don’t believe in control even down to the microcosmic, interpersonal level. Expressed more colloquially: “fuck you, you’re not my dad! make total destroy! kill it with fire.

I note these statements—which are but small passages of their posts regarding Jacob and his abuses—because they are in stark contrast to the prevailing incarceration-centric approach here in the US, which can be seen very notably and recently in the Stanford case of Brock Turner.

I by no means wish to say Brock doesn’t deserve an extended prison sentence (I signed a petition to recall Judge Persky who so leniently let him off, but my justification for signing lies outside the scope of this post), but only to juxtapose the community-centric approach and emphasis on transformative justice that anarchists—especially these two—espouse for terrible crimes.

Fireflies and Bats

Last evening I jogged at twilight—my companions: fireflies; crickets; a chunky raccoon scampering across the way; a spry dear subsequent and parallel to the raccoon; and, perhaps coolest of all, a couple of bats who kept up pace and circled my path occasionally, presumably to echolocate and nab the fireflies.

Come to think of it, I posted in late 2014 of how a bat circled me at twilight as I played droney, open-tuned acoustic guitar on the stoop of the yurt I was vacationing in just off-shore from the southern fork of the American River west of Tahoe.

A casual reminder that I’m way more goth than I outwardly seem.

Senator Elizabeth Warren on Planned Parenthood

At seven minutes, this video is about three times longer than the edit that’s laden with the huge meme-flavored block text “HOW TO SILENCE CRITICS OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD” that will make the rounds around social media—along with its other sound-bite brethren on both sides of the table—and that will do anything but silence those that already have their minds made up. Those who are willing to shout and deflect and insult and stew in the tumult of political “discourse” that occurs on social media daily, hourly, minutely, and that affects, as Warren pronounces, all of us.

But I can’t just re-share a morsel that tries to encapsulate it all at a glance; speeches like this one are where the substance resides, and Senator Warren does not waste one second sensationalizing.

I know I’m connected with people online who resolutely fall on the other side of this issue, and I don’t think I can lob any image, quote, or speech their way that will change their minds. Hence, sharing this is more for myself and others who are willing to think and respond critically; to let her language, reasoning, and passionate admixture thereof inform us of how we should discuss and think about these issues, and then go off and do it, as the kids say, IRL, where you’re most likely to present to a friend, family member, or colleague an angle they hadn’t previously considered.

In real life, where presence plays a factor. Where disconnecting from the conversation is more difficult than just closing a browser tab.