This Is Me Trying (Taylor Swift Cover)
Like most people in the world, I sometimes listen to Taylor Swift. This is a bit strange for me, though, since I typically avoid mega-pop stars like the plague. But you have to respect Ms Swift's songwriting skills, however famous she has become! In particular, I am enamoured of her album "folklore", whose production aligns much more with the type of music I normally listen to.
And so, admittedly very late in the game, I've decided to hop on the Swiftie bandwagon with this cover of one of my favourite tracks off that album. (It is, predictably, probably one of the most depressing songs available in the Taylor Swift catalogue, just how I like it!)
Let There Be Light
I wrote this song while reflecting on global and personal pain and darkness during 2023. In a way that particularly resonated with me at the nadir of the year, I loved the image of nothingness pregnant with light, the intention of creativity "hovering" over the chaotic absence of sense, just about to be revealed for the love that it is. Could this be where we are, in the big scheme of things? In the roil of chaos, just prior to something better? Could it be where I am, in the little scheme of my life? "'Cause some of the infinity of love, it turns out, is meant for me." And you. And everyone.
The Gardener (The Tallest Man On Earth Cover)
In the summer of 2009 I got a bunch of mp3s from a friend. In this particular batch was an album called "Shallow Grave" from some artist named "The Tallest Man On Earth", a name which I figured (correctly, as it turns out) was tongue in cheek.
The album was intense, raw, organic, overcompressed—all things I loved, and none of which I had previously associated with folk/country/Americana. But that is what was happening. I was immediately drawn in, and have been following Kristian Matsson's music ever since. I always find myself coming back to this first record, and often this song in particular. I don’t know if this story it tells is perhaps intended to be a metaphor, or what. It certainly has a chilling element to it that belies the beautiful folky melody. Regardless, there’s a sense of wistfulness, of resignation to oneself and one’s choices that I find compelling.
Appium 2 is (Finally) Here!
I celebrated the official launch of Appium 2 with a set of webinars hosted by HeadSpin. This talk was presented in order to give a bit of the backstory behind Appium 2's development as well as showcase the set of new features and changes to be aware of when adoping Appium 2.
On the Other Side
This is a song / music video recorded with my brother at Earthtones Audio. While the song has intensely personal and specific meaning for me, I like to think it also says something universal about significant transitions in life (and death): the courage, fear, loss, and hope involved. We recorded this song in basically one day while I was visiting on a short trip. I decided to throw up my phone to capture some video as we were working, and it turned into this really fun way of showing our recording process and visualizing the different parts as they come in and out of the song.
Skinny Love (Bon Iver Cover)
This is one of my favourite songs by one of my favourite songwriters. I still remember checking out Bon Iver's first release back in 2008 and being blown away by so many of the songs. This one in particular captured me. The impenetrability of the lyrics, the loose and jangly guitar tuning, the sheer emotion pulsing throughout. It captured me. So here's my hopefully not-too-skinny homage to this musical love of mine.
The consequences of AI for human personhood and creativity
With the recent and sharp rise in the adoption of AI assistants, particular in fields formerly related to creative work, I felt the need to put forward my thoughts on the consequences of AI usage for human creativity. I argue that while AI assistants embody a huge amount of promise in terms of making creative production easier, there are tradeoffs and dangers involved in their use, particularly for our human faculties that we prize most highly.
Appium 2.0: State of the Union
Here's the AppiumConf 2021 keynote, which happened during the Covid-19 pandemic, making it impossible for us to hold the conference in person. My secret demo for this talk was to produce an Appium 2 plugin for automating Unity-based games! Appium 2 was not yet released and so the rest of the talk was as discussion about the development process for it.
Creatures of Dust? What Are Human Beings in Ancient Near Eastern Thought, and What Are They For?
In this paper, I explore the resonances between the Israelite origin myths of Genesis and the various other myths in the Ancient Near East, primarily Mesopotamia, and attempt to argue for an ideological distinctiveness within a largely similar contextual frame.
Facebook, Virtual Reality Church, and Embodiment: Technology in the Church in an Isolated World
I was a guest on this episode of the Here Be Dragons podcast, discussing theology and technology.