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bachus



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 7:25 am    Post subject: Re: black and white Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

David Westling wrote:

Describing the vein of the general critique of culture I am referring to is a hazardous enterprise; one is liable to distort the arguments, and even trying to provide a detailed recounting is difficult for the same reason, but I'll try for a concise version.


Many thanks. I was able to read that before I -- Oh, hey, look a butterfly... sigh

Um... as to "Art is not life and cannot be--a midwife to society." From a previous post: The nature of the connection between mundane reality and art is not clear to me, but it seems that Charles Dickens is close to proof that art can at least be a shepherd to society as we are likely to get. And that it can have some connection to evil is hardly debatable. Though how that connections runs is, again, unclear to me.

I have to say that about 30 years ago I lost interest in philosophy qua philosophy when I discovered that there was no tool of analysis applicable to it. At that time the predicate calculus was the most powerful tool available and it could only handle trivial and uninteresting arguments. I.e. there was no way to prove that an argument was logicaly consistent with it's axioms. It follows that ideological disputes are on the same moral footing as religious wars -- deep in the mire of unprovable belief. Thus I concluded that anyone claiming to have the truth should be completely ignored. Also any one offering a "clear vision" seems potentially dangerous on the same grounds. I mean how clear can a vision be if one cannot demonstrate its axioms. This is perhaps easier for the insane to grasp than the sane.

As I get older more of what I know turns out to be wrong. If philosophy has acquired adequate tools of analysis I should rethink my thinking. As it it is I attach little importance to any idea that is not subject to empirical validation. Being insane makes one extremely skeptical. dunno

But I am especially skeptical of people who use QM as a justification for philosophic arguments. I have noticed that most such people do not understand Hilbert Space, and therefore do not understand the significance of state vectors and therefore awash in more unknown unknowns than Donald Rumsfeld.

The tone of your presentation just smelled dangerous and my own fears, doubts and biases predisposed me to misinterpretation.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 11:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I agree with you bachus. Philosophy is not science and can't really be used to seek the truth (at least, no more than any other endeavor).

Never has there been a philosophy that, when implemented, stands up to reality. The failures could be ascribed to implementation errors and that's likely the cause, but that just shows that dedication to an ideal is impractical. But I don't think that knowing what you know is wrong precludes thinking about life and culture and society in abstract terms. It's possible (and maybe even useful) to entertain various ideas whole-heartedly while remaining extremely skeptical.
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bachus



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

play wrote:
It's possible (and maybe even useful) to entertain various ideas whole-heartedly while remaining extremely skeptical.


I won't go that far. But, half-heartedly, that seems reasonably safe. Whole-heartedly might be ok for obsessions, so long as one can keep them in that perspective. Wink

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 4:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

play wrote:
Philosophy is not science and can't really be used to seek the truth (at least, no more than any other endeavor).


I'm very bad at understanding irony in general and in english text in particular, so I might be missing something here (this discussion is a bit over my head anyway), but I thought that philosophy is, like, the science of sciences. And (like other sciences) it serves to explain and predict more than to be something that you implement.

/Stefan

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 5:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Antimon wrote:
but I thought that philosophy is, like, the science of sciences.


Yes, it is absolutely valid to see philosophy as the core of all science. It must be said that there is a subfield within philosophy that discusses the definition of philosophy.
Main themes are wonderful stuff like epistemology and logic.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:

Yes, it is absolutely valid to see philosophy as the core of all science.


Yes and then the question is what is the minimum set of axioms do you need? Can you make it simple enough to get to the needed theorems so that the predicate calculus is sufficient.

Obviously one can build elaborate and untestable philosophies of science. But to practice the methodology of science in a logically and axiomatically consistent way does not require that. Or so I thought. Am I wrong?

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 6:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes, as in you are a bit off the track here. The field of philosophy is quite complex and a major factor in actually getting anywhere at all is some basic knowledge of the history of the field as well as general cultural history.

Oversimplified, you might say you need philosophy in order to understand ( or even attempting to understand ) what hard science thinks it knows. Knowledge itself means little until you have some way to get at what the knowledge really means. Please consider that many of the proper scientific fields already have transcended our subjective realities.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 10, 2007 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

elektro80 wrote:
Yes, as in you are a bit off the track here. .


Please feel free to say you think I’m wrong—I know I’d do the same for you Laughing


elektro80 wrote:
…The field of philosophy is quite complex and a major factor in actually getting anywhere at all is some basic knowledge of the history of the field as well as general cultural history.

Oversimplified, you might say you need philosophy in order to understand ( or even attempting to understand ) what hard science thinks it knows. Knowledge itself means little until you have some way to get at what the knowledge really means. Please consider that many of the proper scientific fields already have transcended our subjective realities.


The basis of my off trackedness must lie here: I agree that epistemology is essential. However I would argue that all philosophy does is formulate and refine what we intuit. And what we intuit is formed by both known unknown assumptions. This background of assumptions seems mostly cultural and is dynamic, as when the mystic mindset of Europe during the middle Ages experienced the culture shock of the great plagues and was introduced to ancient Greek thinking in short order. Yada yada, yada, and then comes Francis Bacon and finally there is a dim half recognition that "The human mind has no power greater than self deception” and the scientific method is born* -- a method to limit individual biases, errors and blindness in descriptions of the physical world. This method of exploring the physical world (natural philosophy) is so powerful that it propels humanity at break neck speed toward a singularity** within the near future. Meanwhile over the same period the other branches of philosophy do manage to intuit a few new assumptions and the idea individual worth and freedom are hashed out. Not really to well, but given how crippled philosophy is by its appalling*** lack of rigor it’s amazing it produced that much. But (physical) science with its ever increasing power and scope has begun to eat many of the remaining domains of non-rigorus philosophies for lunch****.

*The Greeks could not do that because their greatest minds considered experimentation a form of physical labor and therefore categorically beneath them as an endeavor. This distaste of getting down and dirty with reality has been a common carbuncle on the ass of philosophers.

**The singularity may be the destruction of the civilization if not humanity and a major portion of the worlds eco-system rather than Kurtzweil’s happy visions.

***It’s only appalling because of the certainty of truth philosophers are willing to assign to their informal musings. Even Wittgenstein could not wring out the informality though at least he had the guts to recognize the depth of the problem and try to deal with it openly.

**** Chemistry is reduced to physics, biology is being reduced to chemistry, and parts of human behavior and psychology are being reduced to biology.

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The above reads like philosophy to me. Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 5:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Really, I'm not against philosophy. I just think it richly deserves a kick in the ass for hubris and that those involved in the field should practice extreme humility until they have a better analytic tool.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

philosophy [d]evolved into Theory of Mind...read: Artificial Intelligence

and we all know that will end in tears

and those guys don;t even get invited to parties at the Grad Lounge anymore


or it also went the way of Derrida...self referential ....

and psychedelic drugs

harder to make a livin' as a professional thinker

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

paul e. wrote:
harder to make a livin' as a professional thinker


That is why we have the Amalgamated Union of Philosophers, Sages, Luminaries, and Other Professional Thinking People.

God help us if they ever strike.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

g2ian wrote:
Amalgamated Union of Philosophers, Sages, Luminaries, and Other Professional Thinking People.

God help us if they ever strike.

I wonder if yours is a sarcastic remark Cool

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

seraph wrote:
g2ian wrote:
Amalgamated Union of Philosophers, Sages, Luminaries, and Other Professional Thinking People.

God help us if they ever strike.

I wonder if yours is a sarcastic remark Cool


Impossible! Shocked Laughing

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 9:15 pm    Post subject: Re: black and white Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

David Westling wrote:
Yes, the counterculturalists of the '60s expressed the idea I introduced, that art that is not at the service of the revolution is at the service of the reaction, which seems to be so upsetting to some people here, as " if you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem," and their "art", if you can call it that (mostly that scratchy rock and roll stuff), incorporated this dictum.


There are two kinds of people in the world: those who believe in binary polarization, and those who know that binary polarization is stupid. Razz

David Westling wrote:
But around thrity years after Hegel's major works aappeared someone named Ludwig Feuerbach came along and criticized the Master from the point of view of religion. It's our reliance on God that has caused so much misery, he said; the emphasis on the hereafter has many pitfalls, among them the devaluation of the strivings of the underprivileged....


OK, so here's a point where it gets interesting for music. I remain skeptical of the political power of music. I had a run-in once with some really pretentious UIUC grad students who thought they could create music that would "force" people to confront the abridgment of their free will. The folly of that view is, of course, that people can always choose to leave the room, or not listen in the first place. So their expressed motivation was fundamentally deluded in my view, because in fact it becomes just another extension of the insularity and self-congratulatory posturing of the presently emasculated avant-garde, unable to accept its own irrelevance.

I have yet to hear a good explanation of how music without theater or words can counteract repressive authoritarianism. Not just exist in opposition to, but actually undermine the social relations that maintain its power. In the absence of such an explanation, I'm hard pressed to spend a lot of time barking up that tree.

I would suggest instead that, while it's true that most contemporary religion is a corrupt, authoritarian instrument, it is only so because it's a false understanding of what religion -- or rather, spirituality -- is supposed to be. Now, spirituality is something about which music has a great deal to say. Can music invite people into a deeper spirituality (without "forcing" them)? I suspect this is possible though I can't prove it tonight Smile

One of the things I want to do this summer and fall is take my laptop setup out into public places and do musical stealth attacks, play for 15 minutes, then pack up, go somewhere else, do it again. What kinds of sounds could I create that would, in an unstructured performance setting, invite people to stop and notice things around them differently? Don't know yet... that makes it an interesting aesthetic question.

James

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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 10:25 pm    Post subject: Re: black and white Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dewdrop_world wrote:
What kinds of sounds could I create that would, in an unstructured performance setting, invite people to stop and notice things around them differently? Don't know yet... that makes it an interesting aesthetic question.


That's a really interesting question. There was this band in my hometown called mini-systems that did a lot of wire-bending stuff. They had this wagon that was all wired up with modded toys and speakers that they would drag around town. I don't think they were intentionally trying to change the way people think but simply the sudden appearance of something totally unexpected, in other words, a moment of surreality all on its own can cause people to view their surroundings in a new way, if only temporarily.

One of the coolest shows I ever went to was The Orb (Bad Orb tour). They did this trick where they recorded the audience applauding and looped it so there was this very short moment when I heard applause but looked around and saw everyone just standing there. Of course, it was only a moment before I realized the sound was coming from the speakers but it was jarring and also somehow made me feel more connected to my environment instead of just focusing on the spectacle in front of me.

The essence of the surreal is to exaggerate features of reality or juxtapose real objects in improbable/impossible ways. I see a lot of room in your idea to do that. You could do a lot of live effects processing of the sounds around you. This would be particularly effective if you were able to process conversations that were going on at that moment.

Another idea, and this one might be a bit more difficult with a small setup, is to really blast some sounds that you would not expect to hear in the environment you are modifying. Like go downtown (not sure where you are) to the bus station and blast some elephants trumpeting. Or, on a sunny day, the sound of rain falling.

As far as permanently or drastically altering people's ideas...I don't think it's possible. Not with sound, not with pictures. At least, not in any predictable way.
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 11, 2007 11:25 pm    Post subject: Re: black and white Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

dewdrop_world wrote:
There are two kinds of people in the world: those who believe in binary polarization, and those who know that binary polarization is stupid. Razz


Actually, there are only 10 types of people in the world: Those who understand binary, and those who don't.
Laughing
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

FLechdrop
Quote:
why still use these parts or 'conventional composing concepts'? Well, I'd say these are just very senseful roles for musical parts to play. I think there have been 'bass', 'rhythm (in the sense of percussion or drums)' and 'lead' parts all through musical history. Just why should we want to change that now that we have a new means of generating sound?


This is a goood point i'll tell you why we can't / shouldn't change
... it's human nature to like those sounds!

How do you think the orchestra came to be - trial and error
they had a ton of other instruments that didn’t make the cut and we too
have that same cut today. Just like the spectrum of human hearing where
tendencies occur that we "enjoy" cretin spectrums we also enjoy cretin
instruments... but that's just me Razz

-ian

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I like the idea of more "cretin" instruments. Then we could create more "cretin" spectrums, to listen to and no-one would be bothered to talk about why at all! Laughing
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Uncle Krunkus
Quote:
Then we could create more "cretin" spectrums, to listen to and no-one would be bothered to talk about why at all! Laughing


We can't create a spectrum - there is a given spectrum of human hearing
that is naturally pleasurable. This has been proven by scientific studies. The
only thing we can do is make music within those lines... Have you ever
heard a song that was at 8K to 20K No because no one would like it is not pleasurable to our ears -physically.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

IanBuzz wrote:
Have you ever
heard a song that was at 8K to 20K No because no one would like it is not pleasurable to our ears -physically.


Oh, I've heard music in this range. Some of it is great.

I think the word spectrum has several meanings. Sure we can't change the frequency spectrum that humans can hear, but we can pick a spectrum of sounds for our music, even is we use conventional orchestral instruments.

There are certainly cultural preferences even in the spectral response of music. In the US, there are these people that have huge car audio systems that are extremely bass heavy. Sometimes my house shakes when one of these guys drives by a block away. On a recent trip to Israel (1999) we heard several cars with very loud audio systems that had virtually no bass, just lots of piercing highs.

Different strokes for different folks.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

mosc
Quote:

There are certainly cultural preferences even in the spectral response of music. In the US, there are these people that have huge car audio systems that are extremely bass heavy. Sometimes my house shakes when one of these guys drives by a block away. On a recent trip to Israel (1999) we heard several cars with very loud audio systems that had virtually no bass, just lots of piercing highs.


I will agree that there are cultural prefs in eastern music and their tonal center and use of scales (Phrygian mode common tendency in music there)... But not all Americans like bass, and it's not a American cultural trend - any kid can buy a sub and amp for their car for like $50 these days - doesn’t make it our musical culture.

Well I would love to hear that great song or style that's in the range of 8-20K? Is it a piccolo triangel duet with a LCF on the piccolo? Razz

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 08, 2007 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

IanBuzz wrote:
Uncle Krunkus
Quote:
Then we could create more "cretin" spectrums, to listen to and no-one would be bothered to talk about why at all! Laughing


We can't create a spectrum - there is a given spectrum of human hearing
that is naturally pleasurable. This has been proven by scientific studies.


Oh Ian! It seems you've left your irony and humour sliders turned way down. Crying or Very sad Very Happy

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