Monday, June 15, 2009
Nine Inch Nails Reinvigorated: After several unsuccessful bids to carve out a living in the music industry with various bands, Trent Reznor finally enjoyed the benefits of widespread notoriety with the release of Nine Inch Nails' (NIN's) first album, Pretty Hate Machine, in 1989. Generally described as an industrial metal group noted for eccentric tones and heavy drum and bass elements, NIN has effectively become a musical genre in its own right. The above video is actually a remix of the 2005 NIN song "Only." It includes a visual interpretation of the lyrics (which are solipsistic in nature) and it incorporates animation from The Sims 2. Although the remix is neither produced nor engineered by Reznor, major portions of the original song are still intact. As for the bigger picture, NIN is considered one of the most creative industrial bands that originated in the 1980s. With songs like "Wish" and "Happiness in Slavery," both of which won Grammys for Best Metal Performance in 1992 and 1995 respectively, Reznor truly puts his soul into NIN's music. And likewise, one must commend him for maintaining such a high degree of musical integrity throughout NIN's existence.
Monday, June 1, 2009
Technics in Time: The origins of the mechanical clock can be traced back to a French monk at the close of the tenth century named Gerbert d'Aurillac, who later became Pope Sylvester II. Attributing full credit to him is still controversial, but the general implications of the mechanical clock's invention are widespread and undeniable. At that time, the monastery was the seat of a regular life where bells rang at specified intervals to call the monks to prayer. Although sundials and water clocks had been in existence for thousands of years, the invention of the mechanical clock signaled a fundamental change in the progression of daily life. As a result, a definitive form of social regimentation developed in urban life around the thirteenth century. The drive for routine and rigidity stemmed primarily from the introduction of the mechanical clock, which demanded efficiency, punctuality, and responsibility from all citizens. Such a radical departure from previous epochs in human history, where people subjected time to their individual needs, could only mean that modern man was a creature that necessitated discipline. And it was precisely this healthy appetite for discipline that led to the foundation of modern capitalism. Man was finally able to self-actualize and create a better future for himself by furthering innovation.