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wright/eno speak
July 8, 2006 2:57 PM   Subscribe

Will Wright & Brian Eno, Playing with Time. (MP3, Vorbis) Will Wright, creator of the video games "Sim City," "The Sims," and the forthcoming "Spore," spoke with Brian Eno on many subjects, including time, and generative programming, on June 26, 2006, in seminar put on by the Long Now Foundation. (Summary).
posted by crunchland (26 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Indeed.
posted by ny_scotsman at 5:31 PM on July 8, 2006


How come Brian Eno gets to be so cool?
posted by Meatbomb at 5:53 PM on July 8, 2006


There's a video of the Spore demo here, btw.
posted by bshort at 6:48 PM on July 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


Meatbomb, the question should be this one: "How come Stewart Brand, in his mid-70s (?), gets to be so au courant and conversant with multiple domains of knowledge people half his age can't seem to get their heads around?"

Except we know the answer to that one. Great post, thanks!
posted by adamgreenfield at 7:34 PM on July 8, 2006


I wish Eno, David Byrne, Bill Laswell and Jon Zorn would quick phuckin around and create a supergroup...
posted by Unregistered User at 7:35 PM on July 8, 2006


I'm listening to this, and I don't really understand what the topic is supposed to be about. They seem to be all over the map. However, it is more interesting than Walk the Line which is currently on pause in my dvd player. This mp3 is more interesting than a biopic about Johnny Cash. And I happen to like Johnny Cash but somehow they've turned that great man's life into an After School Special it's boring me to tears so this mp3 between Wright & Eno is a welcome change of pace. From a wannabe nerd's perspective it's quite fascinating, though I'm completely unable to keep up with whatever the hell they're talking about.

Eno: "That's a moving target you see because whenever you listen to a piece of music you really are listening to the latest word in a conversation that you've been having ever since you started listening to music. You hear every other piece in that piece you are listening to at that moment. So as your taste changes and your experience changes that target will change all the time I think."

Wright: "Can you imagine any sort of even disperse path computational filter that would prelisten to the music y'know analyze the structure look for patterns whatever that would at least prune out the ninety percent that you obviously don't want to listen to and let you focus your efforts on the ten percent that have some promise?"

Eno: "Would you like to work on that?

Wright: "Sure! I would like to. You just have to give me the algorythms. I'll get it coded right up for you."

D3finitive LOLness right there. You can't get much more simultaneously cool and geeky than that. =)
posted by ZachsMind at 7:55 PM on July 8, 2006


Unregistered User, add marc ribot to that mix and I'm right there.
posted by edgeways at 8:08 PM on July 8, 2006


I've listened to about half an hour of this.

It's awesome.
posted by Alex404 at 9:26 PM on July 8, 2006


I was fascinated by this interview with Eno.
So I'll be listening to this.
posted by jouke at 10:20 PM on July 8, 2006


I wonder what you'd get if you'd combine these guys with Stephen Wolfram.
posted by jouke at 10:26 PM on July 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


There's also a transcript with irrelevant pictures of Eno.
posted by jouke at 10:33 PM on July 8, 2006


That's from a different talk. It's dated November 14th, 2003.
posted by crunchland at 10:37 PM on July 8, 2006


Hey, their music is based on cell based algorithms. So their approach is related to a new kind of science.
posted by jouke at 10:50 PM on July 8, 2006


And Google a video of a demonstration of the game, Spore, that they demonstrate
posted by jouke at 11:06 PM on July 8, 2006


yeah, bshort linked to that. it was the third comment in this thread. are you actually reading anything that gets posted here, or are you just blindly linking to everything you come across?

i can't get excited about anything will wright does. he seems to have the same weird mental illness as peter molyneux: making tons of promises regarding his game's features and failing to follow up on any of them. when wright manages to apply his ideas to a game that's actually fun to play, i'll be all over it.
posted by jimmy at 2:25 AM on July 9, 2006


The conversation was cute, the gents on stage were both charming, the Spore demo was fun to watch, but a friend and I who attended together thought it was an evening of "intellect lite." Part of the problem was the format: staged conversations without a clear questioner and a clear respondent rarely work well. The other problem was the lack of a well-focused question to drive the conversation. So while it was pleasant to bask in the glow of two smart, interesting, creative guys I felt a sense of "empty calories" by the end.
posted by twsf at 3:27 AM on July 9, 2006


Jimmy has it. I watched that Spore demo and had a much different view than the many I have heard who say they can't wait for this game to come out.

I can appreciate the scope of his vision and the cool procedural programming methods he employs. But the actual game looks like it would be FUCKING TEDIOUS to play. It looks like something you would play one time through, figure out the patterns, and never touch again.
posted by Arch_Stanton at 7:54 AM on July 9, 2006


how did you feel about The Sims?
posted by crunchland at 8:35 AM on July 9, 2006


...it was an evening of "intellect lite."

There are definately advantages to a well organized night of Q&A, but personally, in small doses, I love hearing two equally, very intelligent people simply run with their conversations, wherever they take them. Calling this intellect lite is innapropriate. Where directed panel discussions can be very enlightening in terms of a well defined topic, the sort of discussions linked in this post allow you to see many other things. The topics that really interest the speakers, the way the speakers talk about and frame new ideas, the speed and wit of the speakers. Perhaps it's far more biographical, or something, but calling it intellect lite is somewhat narrowminded.

he seems to have the same weird mental illness as peter molyneux...

I think pretty much the exact opposite. Both Molyneux and Will Wright are idea men interested in testing out their latest light bulbs on the unsuspecting public. Except that I've never really enjoyed a Molyneux game, whereas Will Wright games are awesome.

I mean really, have you even played Sim City?

Also, RoboSport was totally sweet.
posted by Alex404 at 10:09 AM on July 9, 2006


It's understandable if the kind of games you like to play involve spasming trigger fingers and frags, etc. None of Wright's or Molyneux's games are adrenaline rushes at all.

Some kids like to play in the sandbox, while others run around playing War.
posted by crunchland at 10:53 AM on July 9, 2006


And some kids just like to read .plans and imagine games that would be totally awesome. And then maybe later play a game that sort of looks like them and has the same name!

Molyneux has those kids totally covered.
posted by Simon! at 11:46 AM on July 9, 2006


I wonder what you'd get if you'd combine these guys with Stephen Wolfram

A loud and obnoxious ambient artiste who rips off other musician's work, and then sues them for the privelege, while claiming that his work is so deep that it will revolutionize the construction of toasters.

Really. Wolfram is a kind of person our society is not really set up to deal with: smart and evil. Or at least sufficiently pompous and self-centered that it's hard to tell the difference from just plain evil.
posted by nickp at 1:20 PM on July 9, 2006


Why is Wolfram evil?
posted by jouke at 8:30 PM on July 9, 2006


None of Wright's or Molyneux's games are adrenaline rushes at all.

uh, Syndicate? Magic Carpet? Hi-Octane? and let's not forget Fable, which is easily the biggest disappointment i've ever had the misfortune of playing.

how did you feel about The Sims?

best interior decoration simulator i've ever played, no doubt. nonstop fun!
posted by jimmy at 7:17 AM on July 10, 2006


My brother-in-law worked for Wolfram. To hear him tell it, he's a self-important asshole.
posted by geekhorde at 10:41 PM on July 10, 2006


Re Wolfram: yeah, he comes across as being very convinced he's worth more than other people because he's smarter than anybody else.
Maybe he is; but I can imagine it's not a likeable trait.
Evil though....?
posted by jouke at 10:18 AM on July 13, 2006


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