||The Other World
||I got a new pair of earbuds for running,|
||"On My Way to Love"
||and also a new pair of supposedly slightly fancier shoes.|
||"The Final Lullaby (feat. Shining)"
||The thing about running gear is that running is hard,|
||"At First Light"
||and bad gear can make it even harder,|
||but good gear doesn't really make it easier.|
||Nor would you want it to.|
||Ксюша на Марсе
||Running is not a transportation mode.|
||If I wanted to reach a destination with less effort,|
||"Back Where You Belong"
||I would use pretty much any other method.|
||"Where Do We Go"
||I run to force my body to expend energy it would otherwise unimaginatively conserve,|
||Praise the Sun
||"The Curtain of Life"
||The Proffer of Light
||and to confront my brain with a provocation of effort|
||that offers emotional potential for essentially no risk.|
||I Don't Know What I Am 6
||If I stop in the middle of a loop, the sudden reduction in centripetal force does not fling me from the route to my grisly demise.|
||The new shoes do not make this unlikely outcome differently unlikely.|
||I'm trying them, instead of the supposedly slightly unfancier model I've been running in for a couple years,|
||"Saturn - Human Clockwork"
||because the company that makes both models describes the fancier one as the running shoe they would make if they only made one running shoe,|
||Unleash The Archers
||and I know a veiled warning when I hear one.|
||As with all choices, I want to know if I'd be sad to have only this one|
||while I still have others.|
||Are they better? Maybe.|
||再生のアンセム / I:Do:l 2
||Are they $25 better? Maybe.|
||If I replace running shoes after 500 miles, a $25 more-expensive pair only has to be $.05 better per mile,|
||and the current tradeoff between my financial situation and my bodily self-awareness is such that I absolutely cannot pretend to be able to detect anything that subtle.|
||I take about 1500 running steps in a mile, according to a device on (dubiously) my wrist,|
||so that's a third of a hundredth of a cent per step,|
||which sounds like an absurdly exploitative wage for running-shoe laborers,|
||寄る辺のSunny, Sunny +1
||and would be, if we paid for running shoes by counting our steps|
||and stopping after just one of them.|
||"maze of desire"
||MONSTER BITE 4
||If you only go one step, that is not a run.|
||That is a hop.|
||"Film Reel of Our Youth"
||Film Reel of Our Youth +1
||If you hop just once, young or old or gazing at your hopping shoes or not, you are not a hopper, you a person who hopped once,|
||and I don't want to hear about how much energy-return you feel like you got from your hopping shoes after hopping in them once.|
||The company that makes my shoes (and also other running clothes) gets a lot more than a third of a hundredth of a cent of my money over the course of a year,|
||even though I give them nothing at all most whole days, never mind miles.|
||Drippin So Pretty
||Carrying a stack of nickels in order to pay for each mile of running as I run it would be annoying,|
||and not just for me.|
||Instead, I pay all the nickels ahead of time,|
||"Speak For Myself"
||and this buys me the freedom to run as many miles as I want in these shoes,|
||at least until they degrade to the point that they no longer function as shoes,|
||"IS IT ME"
||End of an era
||which in my experience they don't actually do in 500 miles.|
||$.05/mile is thus, in fact, a measurement of me more than the shoes.|
||I am a 55-year-old who has spent much of adulthood out of shape,|
||and almost all of it employed at software companies,|
||and am thus willing to spend $.05/mile to feel hopeful that nicer shoes, replaced more often,|
||increase the chances that I will be able to keep running for a few years now that I've semi-mastered it.|
||The guy who buys shitty $40 running shoes and only ever runs 20 miles in them has generated $2/mile,|
||which I think we can all agree is a much fairer rate to pay shoe-laborers than a third of a hundredth of a cent,|
||"Live Laugh Love"
||Live Laugh Love +2
||were it not for the small detail that none of those rates are wages,|
||or even how shoemaking wages are paid.|
||"Nothing Lasts Forever"
||Nothing Lasts Forever +1
||It might occur to you to try to apply this reasoning analogically|
||"See You In My Dreams"
||In Between Dreams 4
||to some other payment domains, and if it does, I will not try to prevent you,|
||"my best friend's ex"
||or at least not until it looks like you're about to suggest giving me running shoes for free but requiring me to stop every mile to watch advertisements on their soles.|
||Don't forget to account for the history of the shoe industry, in New England and elsewhere,|
||"Fette Wilde Jahre"
||and which of these two hypothetical customers the shoe companies would like to have,|
||and whether the answer is different for different shoe companies.|
||Hold The Girl
||Analogies are not much use for running, but good for thinking.|
||Carly Rae Jepsen
||"Talking to Yourself"
||Shoes, at least, are tangibly if gradually consumed by the physical act of running.|
||"Guess We Lied..."
||Girl Of My Dreams
||This is not true of analogies. Nor, for that matter, of earbuds.|
||"Ghost of You"
||Wish I Missed U (Deluxe B-Sides) 3
||The ones I was using before still work.|
||Expert In A Dying Field
||I presume they hold a charge for less time than they did when they were new,|
||The Joy Formidable
||"Adored or Bored"
||Into the Blue
||due to what I hope will come to seem like the woeful state of circa-2020 battery-charging technology,|
||The Darling Fire
||"Heart Will Stop"
||but they run for a lot longer at a time than I do, so I'm not going to be the one to critique that.|
||"Wired and Windburned"
||They do not appear to degrade from the act of playing anthemic symphonic metal|
||The Wedding Present
||"We All Came from the Sea"
||We All Came from the Sea +2
||or melancholy Japanese indie-pop|
||Too Much Joy
||"Normal Never Was"
||Normal Never Was +1
||or unglossy Pinoy pop-punk|
||or Big-Country-evoking Welsh alt-rock|
||"So wie mit 19"
||or stately German indie-adult-pop.|
||La teoría del todo 4
||They played me music without flying out of my ears, for two and a half years,|
||in a frankly admirable combination of acoustics and non-ballistics,|
||"La increíble historia entre tú y yo"
||and I feel more than a little bad about the disloyalty inherent in even questioning them.|
||Fast Animals and Slow Kids
||"Il tempo è una bugia (feat. Ligabue)"
||But the company that made those earbuds actually did stop making them,|
||Ha Empezado el Baile 6
||and once you realize you can't necessarily live with an earbud model for the rest of your life,|
||"La Broma De Mis Sueños"
||you start worrying that the rest of your life might start at any moment.|
||The new ones are better.|
||We're in an era of insanely rapid improvement in tiny machines that consume or emit waves:|
||cameras in phones,|
||"Ek Like Jou"
||sensors in almost everything (I assume the next model of these running shoes will be Bluetooth-enabled, and the asshole adsole idea is probably inevitable),|
||The Roads Below
||speakers nestled inside our ears.|
||This Is the Heavy
||These mid-tier wireless "sport" earbuds only claim to have good audio quality,|
||and they're still a dramatically better music-listening experience|
||"Think Of Us Kissing"
||than any of my practically countless and now essentially obsolete previous generations of stereos and headphones.|
||"Just Know It"
||Just Know It +2
||Dramatically, but not transformationally.|
||"House of Worship"
||House of Worship +3
||There have been only four transformational advances in music playback in my lifetime, I think, unless I'm forgetting one, which would be embarrassing:|
||King of the North
||- the shift from LPs to CDs making essentially-full-fidelity playback possible in portable devices;|
||"Foregone Pt. 1"
||Foregone Pt. 1 +2
||- the shift from CDs to iPods making collections as portable as individual albums;|
||"Frozen in Time"
||Frozen in Time +3
||- the shift from downloads to streaming making collecting no longer a prerequisite of listening; |
||We Belong to the Stars
||- and the shift from wires to wireless closing, at least provisionally, the unencumbered distance between the music-control interface and our heads.|
||"Can't Let You Win"
||I assume the next one will involve implants and/or angels.|
||House Of Lords
||"Take It All"
||Saints and Sinners
||This new running set belongs to the same era as the previous ones,|
||Get Over It
||so they only sound better and weigh less and fit better and make track- and volume-changes more easily,|
||"Tears Within A Paradise"
||and I would have been surprised if I didn't like them better than their predecessors.|
||Scales and Details
||The surprise, though only mild, is that I also like them notably better than the fancier pair of less ear-adhering and more "professional" (in predictably both good and bad senses) earbuds I was previously using for non-exercise purposes.|
||"The Paradise of Lies"
||Progress elides tradeoffs.|
||MCC [Magna Carta Cartel]
||"This Is My Life"
||The tiny camera in my phone is better than all my previous cameras at everything but extreme zoom,|
||For Absent Friends
||The Big Room
||and one of the many interesting things I learned from my questionable choice of majoring in photography at college was that walking closer is almost always better than zooming closer, anyway,|
||"A Commercial Break that Lasts Forever"
||SO MUCH. too much.
||especially (and I learned this in college too, albeit with different magnitudes) if you don't have to carry a giant camera with you.|
||The noise-reduction in these mid-tier 2022 "sport" earbuds is more or less as good as the noise-reduction in my much-clunkier 2020 specialty noise-cancelling earbuds,|
||The Antichrist Imperium
||and the reproduction of misotheism is cheerfully superior.|
||"A Winter Tree Clad in Black Frost"
||It's a little weird to say that my earbuds are the most important piece of technology in my life|
||when they need a phone or computer to do anything and those gadgets can do many other interesting things,|
||Second To Sun
||"The Divine Voice"
||Voices of Obscurantism
||but I already routinely say that I think putting all the world's music online together is the greatest cultural achievement of my lifetime|
||"Once Upon A Pale Horse"
||Opvs Contra Natvram
||even though we had to invent the internet to make it among a billion other things possible.|
||We're still just beginning to understand the constraints and possibilities of music streaming, I think,|
||"No Rules, No Limits"
||No Rules, No Limits +2
||and simultaneously the implications of so much of music moving from shared air directly into our bodies.|
||Music is joy, and this was no less true when I was 12 and it was coming out of a tinny 1979 clock-radio speaker|
||turned to its literal lowest volume against the side of my head because it had no headphone jack, never mind Bluetooth,|
||"Shazam the Void"
||and the Great American Radio Show aired in Dallas after my bedtime.|
||Our spirits have always flown with our available wings.|
||Lullabies for Falling Empires
||New earbuds don't make joy more joyous, much like they don't make running less hard,|
||"الاِحتِفَالِ بِإۤلِة الشَّمْسِ فِي سَهْلِ الْبِقَاعِ - Single Version"
||but we don't run to escape running, and neither does joy exist to be optimized|
||"Moments of Momentum"
||or measured, or discretized.|
||"My Mother Told Me"
||Earbuds are a technology of immersion, not isolation;|
||"Heimdalagaldr - Single Edit"
||of music as present and overlayed world, not a sited ritual.|
||"Wild Weird Web"
||A Leaf in the Stream of Creation
||Of course this is the theme of all virtuality and everything that isn't entirely virtual but virtually so,|
||"...And The Sky Turned Black"
||including our catastrophes,|
||"Until My Lungs Explode"
||Until My Lungs Explode 5
||their proffered doom|
||and all our stubborn combinations of denial and hope.|
||If we can reach each other with a whisper,|
||what other seemingly intractable distances exist to limn diversity|
||instead of inviting the void?|
||These songs accompany me.|
||"Til deg, du hei og bleike myr"
||Det stig av hav eit alveland 3
||We arrive as legion.|
||Our headphones may yet save our lives,|
||no matter how long we survived without them.|
||Mtekhala uMaqatha No Dogzin
||The past is not an alternative to the future,|
||Journey To Infinity
||it is the hearth we cross when we are ready to go|
||071 NELLY THE MASTER BEAT
||and today everywhere is new again.|
||All these machines are levers we use to lift ourselves up,|
||to pry ourselves forward towards transformations that described themselves as our fate|
||until they realized they were not entitled to our silence.|
||"Like a Prayer"
||Let the choir sing. Let the noise-cancellation lift their voices out of the HVAC hum, traffic,|
||Death From Above 1979
||"Don't Stop Believin'"
||"Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)"
||There is thunder in our hearts;|
||"Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)"
||possibly we put too much bass-boost in our new earbuds' custom EQ settings.|
||Ana Black Orchid
||"Running Up That Hill - Metal Version"
||Look into someone's eyes until you can tell the song they're hearing.|
||"Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)"
||If you move one step apart, once you know, that is not running. Not running away.|