American Higher Ed

“The question arises how our own intellectual traditions, both scientific and humanistic, will be affected by the current transformation of the American university along the lines of a business enterprise. We are told that there are exciting efficiencies to be realized by replacing face-to-face instruction with Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). However appropriate-even ideal-they may be for instruction in some narrow technical matters (I am a big user of YouTube instructional ideas on topics like computer-aided design, and how to build electronic fuel injection systems), in the arts and sciences we should take notice that MOOCs divorce the articulate content of a field from personal interaction with a teacher who has made it his vocation to live with the field's questions. There is, then, a certain harmony between these institutional developments and our deep supposition that the ideal of perfect “clarity”-of precise formalization-is both possible and desirable and that, if realized, it would make any field transmissible by impersonal means. But let us heed Polanyi's warning that “the ideal of eliminating all personal elements of knowledge would, in effect, aim at the destruction of all knowledge.”

Matthew Crawford, The World Beyond Your Head, pp. 138-39.

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Budget Cuts 20170516

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Budget Cuts 20170515

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Saxophone and Electronics Titles

I've been away the last week due to grading final papers and projects. But here are some more title ideas for the Saxophone and Electronics piece:

In Over Your Head
Penny wise but pound foolish
Civil List

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Budget Cuts 20170506-A

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Budget Cuts 20170506

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Budget Cuts 20170503

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Budget Cuts 20170502


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Updated Piece Title Possibilities for Saxophone and Electronics

Self-Fulfilling Prophesy
The Matthew Effect (See Wikipedia)
To the Point of No Return
Sustained Irresponsibility
Entropy in Reverse
Snowball Effect

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April Projects Update: Concerts, Saxophones, Transparency

Hey, it's May, and you know what that means. It's time to do a month in Review post for April. It was, overall, quite productive in a lot of ways, so let's dive in.

Cloud Music

Cloud Music for cloud computing and Audience Participation received its first and second performances, with a lot of great feedback and audience participation. There are quite a few improvements to be made, but the two performances served as a really great beta tests of the concept. Between the two performances, about 1600 clouds were launched from

Sooner Bassooners

This ensemble is one of the most fun I've played with in a long time. AND we've been accepted for Midwest this December! I've had a blast playing with them, and I'm hoping to write something for them in the very near future.

Improv Ensemble

The newly-relaunched New Century Improv Ensemble had its concert on April 28, with a handful of excellent works by several of our student composer-performers at OU. I played a radio. It was a lot of fun.

Saxophone and Electronics

Oh, the saxophone piece. I'm nearly done! With part of it. The first part to the golden section, or the first 4.5 minutes, minus the electronics, are pretty much in place. The next phase is to dump everything I have so far into Pro Tools to start work on the electronic part, before moving on to the second portion of the piece. Here's what it currently looks like: 


Liszt development is continuing, with additions to inventory control systems (marching band uniforms!), comments (add a comment to anything within Liszt, including other comments!), file uploads (drag and drop multiple at a time!), and especially the blogging system, allowing me to present…


I've been doing a lot of reading and thinking about the creative process recently, and I'll be trying an experiment in making the creative process transparent. You can thank Austin Kleon's Show Your Work for giving me the idea. To that end, I've created a second blog for the site, titled OpenKyle. While the main blog will still be for substantial contributions to human knowledge, OpenKyle will be more along the lines of stream of consciousness. Works in progress, stuff I'm listening to, code snippets, random thoughts, basically all the stuff that goes into creating. It's built on a combination of Liszt and Postmark, with a bit of Microsoft Flow to make it as easy as possible for me to blog. Up in the navigation bar, it'll take the place of “Projects and Research”, until I figure out where best to put them.

And that's what's new here. Oh yes, and a bunch of grading.

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Kyle Vanderburg