Archive for April, 2009

Auto-tune the news

April 23, 2009

Suddenly everyone seems to be having fun with an autotuner.  I want one too!


Pitch correction is the process of correcting the intonation of an audio signal without affecting other aspects of its sound. Pitch correction first detects the pitch of an audio signal by looking for a periodic repeating waveform and then calculating the time difference from these periodic waveforms. The widest use of pitch correctors is in Western popular music on vocal lines. An audio processor for correcting pitch in vocal and instrumental performances is called an autotuner.

The most important thing in democracy

April 17, 2009

“The most important thing in democracy is to be re-elected. Look at [Silvio] Berlusconi. He has been re-elected three times.”

This is one of many outrageous statements made by Nicholas Sarkozy at a recent lunch meeting. He is quoted at length in Libération here, but all the best bits are summed up in the Guardian here.

Sadly, Sarkozy’s statement is absolutely true, if you share his view on what democracy is – the system by which you get to the top and stay there.

Sarkozy always wanted to be President. He was open about this during his campaign. Yet his personal motive for gaining power did not put off the majority of voters any more than his unparalleled arrogance or his contempt for common folk.

Examples like Sarkozy and Berlusconi are evidence that the intended function of democracy – to ensure that all citizens have equal access to power – has been superceded by the goal of playing the game of democracy and winning it – year after year after year.