Posts by Ritesh

DJ / Producer (EDM), Avid Photographer, Formula 1 Nerd, Proven Geek/Tech Pervert. about.me/riteshtripathy/

2014 model-based driver rankings

Fantastic metrics, brilliant analysis, fine detail. Overall, a great read!

f1metrics

2014 was a year completely dominated by the Mercedes team, with the barest sniff of the title for Ricciardo. But who would have won the title if all cars had been equal? Were the Mercedes drivers the year’s best performers, or would other drivers have looked even better behind the wheel of a Mercedes? That’s a question you could debate for hours. Alternatively, we can pose the question to a mathematical model, such as the one I previously used to estimate all-time driver rankings.

In a nutshell, my model ignores races for each driver where they had non-driver failures (e.g., mechanical DNFs), then uses points per race in each of the remaining races as a performance metric for each season. While this is not a perfect metric (e.g., it doesn’t assign blame for crashes), it does capture one of the most important aspects of driver performance, and it can…

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The EDM epidemic.

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I’m not going to begin this with a nice introduction. Rather, I’ll just get to the point. Its appalling, its sad, its frustrating and its painful. Something I, and many many other electronic music enthusiasts, hold so dear to our hearts, is being butchered and sold in pieces to the masses who can’t tell shit from Shinola! Its an epidemic and it inadvertently leaves us “old-timers” angry.

Music is just music, so why not enjoy it and leave all the anger aside, you say? Well, when music ceases to be music and becomes a mere vessel for corporate greed and posers/imposters corrupt the scene with all sorts of disgusting stuff, the anger just doesn’t want to be left aside. Each week, the charts are inundated with piles of steaming dog shit that hordes of morons lap up like Jesus bread, which in turn encourages even the guys who’ve done so much better in the past to contribute their few ounces to the pile. Its a vicious circle of grim.

From being a Friday night regular at some of the hottest trance nights in Europe to being stuck with the budding EDM scene in India, a lot has changed in my musical life. Now, don’t get me wrong. Its great that dance music is finally a thing in India, but, the problem is, its merely a lamer reflection of the pathetic scene in the US. Same shit, different place. There’s just no soul in it, no connect, no silent conversations among total strangers about some incredible moment within a track. I’ve had tears, goosebumps, total blackouts, more times than I can care to count, on the dance floor. I’ve seen a lot of fellow fans fall to the floor in submission after they had nothing more they could signal or shout or express, like they’ve just had the strongest cocaine shot in the world from thin air! That’s what its about. That’s the music doing all the talking and dealing. Not once, ever, had I seen a DJ pick up the mic and scream “put your hands up” or some crap in the middle of a build-up. That’s just retarded beyond comprehension! Not shocking that its led many to call it Electronic Douche Music..

Just a few years ago, the best trance night in London was a very un-posh, industrial looking club with nothing more than a DJ booth, a dancefloor, a bar, a standard sound system and a few lights. But what happened in that little space, every Friday night, was pretty darn special. It was the music. That was all that mattered. Almost each person inside that room for those 6 or 7 hours, was there just for the music. Some of the biggest (and most respected) names in dance music started their DJ careers in that very room. And no, I’m not talking about the massive douchebags of today you might be thinking of.

Having said all of that, my bone is not with the EDM fans of today as no one can blame them for not knowing what real dance music actually is. They just haven’t seen it. I wouldn’t even say they haven’t known better, as “better” would mean I’m comparing the music of those years to the music of now. It just can’t be compared. It was dance music. Now its just pop music, a majority of which seems to have been produced by the same guy, on the same day, in the same mood. That Daleri mashup? Yeah, sums it all up pretty effectively.

My bone is with the industry itself. Its become this massive money-spinning business that’s churning out “music” that’s no better than mass-produced consumer durables in factories all over Asia. Music is not a commodity. People need to make money, of course they do, but good artists were making money even before this whole EDM blow-up. Gigs were packed with fans in the thousands in those years too. But the music was honest. The artists were real. Their art was real. A small percentage of today’s top names are still doing the real thing and that’s about the only hope there is for the scene right now before it returns to the underground and cleans itself.

If you’re an electronic music fan and got into the scene recently, do yourself a favour and go listen to some of the stuff prior to 2009. Save yourself from the “charts” and dig up some lesser known stuff. You’d be amazed at what you’ve been missing out on! Ask someone who’s been into this for more than a couple years to point you in the right direction. Its not just music from those years, there’s a lot of music being made right now that still has that soul in it. There are more than a few producers who are still making amazing stuff that is far detached from the “EDM” you know. Look beyond the quarter-mil-a-gig guys and there’s gold lying out there waiting to touch your ears. Don’t be fooled by the feverish hoarding and ridiculously hyped up names that are nothing more than poster boys/girls of corporate marketing. Don’t put your music in the grocery bag. Put it somewhere closer to your heart.

Thanks for bearing with me..

Cheers!

Some great reads on this issue:

EDM – the worst thing that has ever happened to electronic dance music?

THE GREAT EDM DEBATE

EDM is the new American bubble

Some ugly truth behind the hyped up smoke screens:

PRODUCER FACTORY: THE LOWEST REACHED POINT IN EDM SO FAR

Some byproducts of the EDM business:

EDM Culture Bears Fashion Fruit

The Five Reasons YOU Should Invest More Time Into Your Blog


Everyone has a story or a song or an experience that once immortalized through blogging, will produce comfort or force thought or a reaction, somewhere around the world. Investing more time recording those experiences, assures that our imaginative creations, valued opinions and wealth of knowledge will find audiences to enjoy and learn from them, long after we are gone.

Read: The Five Reasons YOU Should Invest More Time Into Your Blog

By: Kendall F. Person (thepublicblogger)

LIFE – the greatest gift each of us ever received.

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E
verybody has a view of life, how they want it to be, how they always planned it to be and how they are working towards it. I’ve met countless people who are focused on building “the perfect life”. Sounds good and innocent, doesn’t it?

So what is this “perfect life”? What makes it perfect? A good job? A good house? A nice car? A perfect partner perhaps? Maybe.

Some people have all of that, yet when I ask them what’s the one thing they wish they had, the answer, more often than not, is a blank stare or confused silence. I used to wonder why that is? As I went through life myself, trying to follow the norm, the path to the “perfect life”, I unconsciously started to veer away. Day by day, week by week, I began to figure, life is not what most people try so hard to set in concrete. Life is like the beach sand – constantly moving, constantly shifting, changing shapes, dry now, wet later and dry again. It never stays set. The more you try to set it the way you want, the more it rebels and frustrates you by becoming what you didn’t want.
Don’t try to control it, tame it or force it. Let it be. There’s a beauty in how it moves. There’s an element of surprise in it all the time.
You never know what its going to look like after a few hours. That keeps you interested. Build your little sand castle and enjoy building it. Just don’t expect it to be permanent. Nothing is. It won’t be perfect. Nothing is. Perfection is a myth. Life is about this epic journey of randomness & unpredictability, not about the destination. Its in constant motion, all the time. Its a journey. Enjoy the journey, live it with an open mind, take your own path, build your little sand castles along the way and keep moving. The moment you get stuck at one, you are just setting yourself up for disappointment as the castle will get washed away, eventually. Keep moving, build something new, listen to a bird sing and smile. Don’t hang on there too long as the song will stop and the bird will fly away on its own journey. Say your goodbye and keep moving. We as humans have been blessed by the most creative and intelligent minds. Appreciate it and make use of it. Following set paths is an insult to that intelligent mind. Make your own.

Life is really not complicated at all and making your own path is not the Herculean task most think it is. It is, in fact, the most natural thing to do. We’ve been hammered so hard by the rule-bound industrial society that this natural act has been masked and buried. Dig it out. It is inside you. It is inside each one of us. Its liberating, and,  can solve almost all your worries and life issues. Its not bravery, its just life. Live it. That’s all you really need to do. If you can allow yourself to do what comes naturally to you & makes you happy, you’ll never have complaints.

Don’t look to do what others have said you must and you won’t have to find someone or something to blame later. You won’t have to “prove” yourself to others and won’t have to constantly nurture this false bubble of “achievement” when all you’re achieving is stagnation in a pond we call “society”. When most of the fish in this pond get to the same size, they try to find new ways to prove their worth. No one proves anything and all we get is a mess of clashing egos and pointless competition.

Right about then, if you pop the question “..what’s the one thing you wish you had”, you get the blank stare and/or the confused silence we began with.

Life can be really simple yet exciting and satisfying if you only allow yourself to live it.

A tribute to the unsung heroes of motorsport.

Caution: Some images in this article might be disturbing.
 

Mark Robinson (38) was a highly knowledgeable F1 fan who had been visiting the Canadian GP since the early 80s.
Image Courtesy: Facebook

Motor racing is a risky sport, no one needs to be told about that. Its dangerous not just for those who participate in it, but also for the hundreds of officials and staff on support duties at such events. Last Sunday, at the 2013 Canadian GP, we were faced with a rude and brutal reminder of this very fact.

Mark Robinson (38), who volunteered as a marshal for Sunday’s race, slipped under the wheel of a crane as it was carrying Esteban Gutierrez’s Sauber from the track, which had crashed in the final laps of the race.

Image Courtesy: globalnews.ca

Robinson, reportedly, dropped his radio while walking with the crane and reached down to pick it up. The crane/tractor operator could not see him and as a result, ran over him. Robinson was airlifted to Sacre-Coeur Hospital by helicopter after being stabilized by race-track trauma nurses. He was declared dead in hospital. An absolute tragedy that could only be described as a freak accident.

The previously posted image of the incident has now been removed as it was seen as an insensitive gesture towards the incident. It was included in the article solely for purposes of bringing attention to the dangers of marshaling but many people didn’t see it that way. I respect those opinions and have taken the image down.

Marshals volunteer for this work out of their love and passion for motorsport. Their work is absolutely critical for the running of any motorsport event. They routinely put their lives at risk to ensure smooth and safe running of racing events. They’ve saved numerous lives over the years and many have lost their own lives in the process.

F1 went through a major overhaul of safety regulations in the 90s after the horrendous weekend at Imola ’94. Everybody knows what happened there. As a result, deaths have been rare in F1. The last time a marshal was killed was in 2001 and this is only the third fatality since 2000. An absurd, but very unfortunate, incident. According to his friends and colleagues, Robinson was a highly knowledgeable F1 fan who absolutely adored and almost worshipped the sport. He’d been attending the Canadian GP since the early 80s. As expected, almost all the teams and drivers have expressed their grief and shock over the incident.

An official enquiry is underway:

The Commission de la sante et de la securite de travail (CSST) said Monday that six months—give or take—would be needed to complete the report. “Our inspectors were on the site last night and looked at the overall situation and what they will try to figure out over the next couple of days is what exactly occurred,” CSST spokesperson Jacques Nadeau said on Monday, adding that interviews with fellow volunteers would be forthcoming. “They probably know exactly how he went under the tractor that was carrying the car,” Nadeau said. “But we need to let them cool off and let them find their senses. Our main concern is that the workers are in good health.”

FIA president Jean Todt issued a personal statement on behalf of the governing body:

“I would like to share my profound sadness, and that of the whole FIA community, following the tragic death of the circuit worker, who was working as a volunteer marshal at the Canadian Grand Prix,” Todt wrote. “My thoughts, and those of the FIA members, are with the worker’s family and friends and we all wish to extend our sincerest condolences, as well as our support, in these most tragic of circumstances. This tragedy has affected us deeply, and the whole of motor sport is profoundly touched by it.“In volunteering to be a marshal, he had made the choice to give his time, his knowledge and passion in the service of motor sport. All over the world, it is men and women like him who make possible the organisation of motor sport events. Without these thousands of volunteers who give their all selflessly, motor sport would simply not get off the starting line. I and the FIA want to share with each and every one of the pain resulting from this death, a hurt that unites us all today.”

Silverstone marshals have planned to pay tributes to Robinson when the F1 fraternity reconvenes at Silverstone later this month.

In the event of this tragedy, all I can say is – marshals deserve a lot more credit and recognition for the work they do for free. Putting your life at risk for something that you love is not something all of us could do. My thoughts and condolences remain with Mark’s family, friends and colleagues.

And to every brave marshal out there – you guys are the unsung heroes of motorsport!

Pirelli, Mercedes, FIA, FOM & a whole load of politics.

Let’s talk tyres, yet again.

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This whole Mercedes/Pirelli test controversy from Spain is about political games, not about Mercedes gaining any advantage at all. Its about the FIA and FOM facing off each other to expand and drag on what happened back in 2010 with the Michelin vs Pirelli decision.
Mercedes are the mere scapegoats that other teams want them to be in order to get lucky in some way and garner some points and/or testing mileage.
From my understanding, there is no controversy as such. Mercedes have gained no advantage from the test as according to Pirelli’s information (confirmed by Ross Brawn too), Mercedes had no identity of the tyres being used or the compounds being tested. It was a bit of a blind test in that, as far as Mercedes go, they only provided the car, driver(s) and the support personnel. They did not collect any tyre specific data.
What is going on now is, the FIA want to assert their power over the FOM and might try to use this to penalise Pirelli and (maybe) disallow them from being the supplier next year on grounds of technical breach of regulations.

When Pirelli were announced as the new supplier at the end of 2010, a part of the (somewhat odd) statement from the FIA read:

“..the sole supplier will undertake to strictly respect the sporting and technical regulations implemented by the FIA”

This might be relevant to the current situation as anybody can guess what it could mean.

FIA (or at least Jean Todt) wanted Michelin but the commercial rights holder wanted Pirelli. Bernie won that round. Who has the power over decision on tyre suppliers still remains unclear. The FIA sure wants to have a strong say in it.

Pirelli didn’t want to garner any more negative publicity or storm over tyres and hence kept the test out of media knowledge, but, it seems to have backfired.

We might have some news in Montreal.