Friday, January 04, 2008

Rollin' Into a Strange Attractor With a Tiger in My Tummy (1.06.11)

Well, one thing was settled last night: Iowa is the new Alabama. Then again, I suppose Huckabee does have a sorta' purty mouth. But at least we have a good headline for when his campaign sinks next week in New Hampshire: Huck Fin.

Now, back to our transconscious journey through the hidden arteries of the cosmos to look for the meaning and purpose of free will, which otherwise hangs suspended from our official scientific paradigm like a loose shirttail with no footprints in the air. Either it is significant, or it's not significant. But if it's not significant, then it's difficult to account for how only its existence makes possible something as manifestly significant as science. And how can one have a science that is unable to justify the necessary conditions for its own existence, i.e., minds that are free to discover truth? That view is positively wacky, that's what it is.

I don't know how many of you saw that little Terence McKenna clip on You Tube I linked to the other day. If you did, then you can see what an extraordinarily fertile mind he had. Nevertheless, a backyard full of weeds is also fertile, so fertility itself is neither her nor there. As my father used to tell me, "you've got more fertilizer than Bandini."

I remember once during a talk, an audience member asked McKenna to speculate about something (I forget what it was), and McKenna responded -- apparently only half-ironically -- "Oh, I never speculate." To a certain extent that was actually true, since he based everything on personal experience, including countless experiences under the influence of psychedelic drugs. For him, what we call "normality" was just another arbitrary, chemically induced brain state. So in a way, he was strictly empirical, but this only goes to show how deceptive concrete appearances can be.

McKenna's freewheeling approach, while entertaining, leads to cognitive anarchy, of which he was actually a proponent. It was as if he preferred to have no portions of the mind reduced to civilization, i.e., "consensus reality," but a complete bewilderness oddventure in which every spud was radically free to live in his own private Idaho. But as we've been saying, this is not freedom, any more than knowledge can exist in a universe without unconditional truth. Or, if it is freedom, then it's the sort of tyrannical freedom discussed by bedwetting existentialists such as Sartre, i.e., indistinguishable from "nothingness."

In contrast, the whole purpose of traditional metaphysics is to show us what must necessarily be concretely true, despite appearances -- not only what is true in this here cosmos, but in any hypothetical cosmos. Metaphysics deals with the conditions of existence. Period. On a deeper level, religion discloses this objective metaphysics through its symbolic forms. The fact that scripture does this in such a way that it transcends whatever its writers thought they were writing about, leads to the conclusion that it is at the very least "inspired," but "revealed" is probably more like it. I can say this because I never speculate.

As we were saying yesterday, if you think about the barbarity of the Hebrew tribes that were handed the Jewish revelation, you know that it couldn't have sprung from the unaided mind of man as such. At best, they could have come up with childlike, spookulative fairy tales, not any kind of transcendent wisdom that would fruitfully occupy the sharpest human minds for the subsequent three or four thousand years.

Seriously, you try that -- yes, you over there, Dennett or Dawkins or Harris -- let's see one of these sods produce a single sentence that won't be forgotten just as soon as they're safely beneath the sod, let alone pored over thousands of years from now. In a way, these flatulent earthbounders are just the inevitable shadow given off by the light, sinbiotic and parasightless Nietzschean leeches on the inner reaches of primordial speechings and celestial teachings. So there.

Let's look at it -- or listen to it -- this way. Think of the thousands of musical sophisticates who have obtained Ph.D.s in music in the past half century. How many of them have written a single note of music that will be remurmured by thousands of lips hence?

In coontrast -- and I could be way wrong or naive about this, but I don't think I am -- a Johnny Cash, for example -- a musical primitive if ever there was one -- will still be appreciated. Let alone Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, or [early] Ray Charles. What do they "know" that the musicologists don't? For obviously these primitives possessed a form of sophisticated knowledge, even if that knowledge cannot be represented in any abstract way, and is ultimately not reducible to anything other than itself. It is literally inconceivable that there could be a pop singer who could ever surpass Sinatra, meaning that he somehow embodied "ultimate" musical knowledge. How can this be? I can't tell you. It's a secret, Mr. Jones.

Now, according to the Zohar -- the basis of esoteric Jewish thought -- the world only survives because of its secret. What's that supposed to mean? I can't tell you. It's a secret. Okay, I'll play you just a lila bit. But don't you toil, anybody!

For starters, it means that the secret is not at the bottom of the cosmos, but at the toppermost of the poppermost, like a man on a flaming pie. You're not going to disclose the secret of existence by pulverizing matter into smaller and smaller bits with bigger and bigger hammers. Since existence is a hierarchical manifestation from above, it is as if each level is "stamped" by the level immediately above. As such, there is inevitably some information that is "lost" with each successive level. Thus, the higher can disclose the lower, but the lower can only partially disclose the higher. As we have said, life isn't the secret of DNA; rather, DNA is the secret of life. And sow on, if you seed what I mean. That's the harvest part.

This is why, no matter what you say about the Creator, it's never enough because it's too damn much and can't possibly "contain" him anyway. Human language can contain what is lower than language, but never what is higher. As such, this is why the higher dimensions can only be spoken of in a poetic, symbolic, elliptical, or suggestive manner, through which the symbol unsays much more than we could ever say. I suppose it's somewhat analogous to opera. In opera, the story line is usually rather lame and skeletal. It only hints at the real action, which is taking place on a purely musical level. If the libretto were less lame -- i.e., more saturated and detailed -- this would obscure the music's ability to convey the much deeper level of transverbal meaning.

This, of course, is why Jesus speaks in parables. For one thing, being who he was, he couldn't speak in any other way. But even on a purely talktical level, this was the only way to make sure that his words would have a timeless and transcultural relevance. As the liner notes of one of my Sinatra records say (written by Stan Cornyn, King of Bad Liner Notes), he always sings like he's got an extra tank of Texaco in his tummy. Jesus too has an "extra tank of Texaco in his tummy," which means that he only says enough so that you may "participate" in what he's talking about. He never puts the pedal to the metal and screams at you -- neither Frank nor Jesus -- but is always simultaneously relaxed and intense. It is said that the greatest singers sound as if they could be singing to you while sitting in your lap.

That goes double for some of the greatest prophets. When they start yelling at you, or hectoring, or getting right in your face, that's when you know they're lousy singers, like Janis Joplin. This is because a great prophet is singing from the attractor, so that he will "draw you in," rather than drag you by the lapels. Don't get me wrong -- they do at times have to get in your face, but this takes on added significance because of its exceptional nature.

What's my point? I don't have to have a point. I'm Bob's unconscious. I can just say whatever comes to mind without censoring myself. But I never speculate.

One of my favorite strange attractors:

Here you go. You know, relaxed. Nice & easy. Takin' every step along the way. Tiger in the tummy:

56 Comments:

Blogger debass said...

"What do they "know" that the musicologists don't?"

They know nothing. That is why they can create music. Musicologists study music as a science. Having almost attained a pHd (piled higher and deeper) in music theory, I can speak from personal experience that, what you say is true. It seems that the more you learn about music, the less able you are able to create something beautiful, because you are reducing it to a scientific process rather than a truth seeking process.
I think it was Buddy Rich who was once asked if he read music. His reply was "not enough to effect my playing".
Poor music teachers get more respect than good musicians, a fact that has bothered me for years.

1/04/2008 09:56:00 AM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Bob's Unconscious,

Could you go and get Bob for a minute and ask him this question?

I watched the You Tube video with Terrence McKenna which is quite a feat on a dial up connection.
I was struck by his intensity and imagination but I was also struck by how his conclusions on the "graph of time" were about 180 degrees out from what I would consider was happening during the peaks and valleys. For instance, he pointed to the Reagan Administration as a downward slope from a mid-level high of Jimah Carter and compared it to the statist imperialism of the Roman Empire. In my mind, Reagan embodied the transcendant fight of Liberty vs Tyranny and was instrumental in the demise of the largest tyrannical state in the world simply because he stood up to them. Also, the trough of World War II in my mind was another example of the good guys having had enough of the deception and manipulation of evil, and putting a stop to it.
It also seemed as though his high points represented the decadence produced as cultures and the world stray further and further from the truth. Not that alot of good wasn't going on in the cultures at the high points but there was alot of will driven decadence to which the cultures eventually succumbed. So, with that in mind, given his interpretations of historical events, what would you "speculate" was his definition of the Attractor at the end of history/time?
I'm not at all familiar with his work and maybe he at some point spelled it out completely.
From what I can see, (which isn't much) you catch more medium sized fish in one day than he would in a year being that his compass was off and he was fishing in the wrong spot.

1/04/2008 09:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Aquila said...

Quote of the day:

"It is no great accomplishment to hear a voice in the head. The accomplishment is to make sure it is telling you the truth."

- Terence McKenna.

1/04/2008 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger vogz said...

Bob,

This post prompts me to ask if you've heard of Paul Potts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k08yxu57NA

He ended up winning the Britain's Got Talent contest and was of course then criticized by opera purists who said his voice was flat, TV isn't the right venue for opera, it's all in the Puccini piece he chose, etc etc. Figured you would find it another interesting case-in-point.

1/04/2008 10:39:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once heard the most primitive blues singer--playing through some awful self-created sound system- late at night down in the subways of nyc and had been just been blown away by the power of what this person could express.

Of course Bach saw music in some sense as a science...which never stopped him from transcendent beauty. My understanding of North Indian Raga is that it is seen as both an art and a science. The discipline involved is tremendous to say the least. The goal of which is also apparently transcendence.

I wish it were so simple to know why some of us get there and most of us don't. Still a life of music...what could be better?

1/04/2008 10:43:00 AM  
Anonymous Bob's unconscious said...

Hey, I'd rather listen to Sinatra than have to be him.

Hoarhey: I don't agree with much of what McKenna says. I mostly just find him entertaining and sometimes even inspiring. I agree with him that time has "content" and conditions space, just not in the formal way he describes. He's a good example of the lower trying to comprehend the higher in terms of the lower. In other words, he thought he'd discovered the "formula" for how time does this, but it can't be that simple.

1/04/2008 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

" free to live in his own private Idaho..."

...rolling on the ground like a baked potatoe...

(sorry, couldn't resist)

1/04/2008 10:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a musician...I have met/played with/been totally confused by so many musicians with gobs of talent who could abundantly express such beauty--but who's lives were otherwise an almost total disaster on any other level...particularly on a moral level.

Thankfully I was blessed with the confusion WITHOUT the transcendent talent. Keeps me honest. :)

But digesting what goes on here at OC is slowly filtering through. So there may be hope for me yet.

1/04/2008 11:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The word on the jazz trumpeter Clifford Brown is that he had both the transcendent talent and was a well grounded human being. Sadly he died young in a car crash.

I have drummer friend says the same combination was true of Papa Jo Jones...the great drummer for Count Basie. Luckily he lived a longer life.

1/04/2008 11:44:00 AM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

terence never blinks
staring at his private sun
doré mefa sol

1/04/2008 11:46:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Vogz, a lot of us here saw the video when it first came out on YouTube. I didn't know the opera purists had criticized him that way, but I can't say I'm surprised. From my own perspective (and from a lot of other people's as well, it seems) he was amazing. I don't much care for opera, but he brought tears to my eyes, and I know I'm not the only one.

It's not so different from the art world, really - the grand high poobahs tell us what we're supposed to like, and anyone who disagrees has "low" taste.

1/04/2008 12:29:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Interesting article by Michael Novak on the varieties of athesim, several of which are not particularly atheistic.

1/04/2008 12:30:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Bob's Uncon.

I'm guessing it wasn't a mistake that you chose that particular clip.
I could see his influence on you and how he has affected your thinking about time, history and reality. It was also apparent that that influence had alot to do with the paradigm you operate in and not as much to do with the conclusions and directions you've taken it.
I guess what I like the most about the combo of you, Bob and Petey is that you are open minded but not so much as to allow Bob's brains to spill out onto the sidewalk.
You're able to incorporate different views when they speak truth to you without the prejudice of dismissing things out of hand because of who said them.
I think I got a start on that process when I was able to listen to and incorporate wisdom from a Father who wasn't necessarily following his own guidance. Of course I needed to drop the anger and the "need" to prove him wrong.

1/04/2008 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger Gerard said...

"...we have a good headline for when his campaign sinks next week in New Hampshire: Huck Fin. "

In a fair and just society all those who pun on that level would be executed.

1/04/2008 12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Hoarhey said "From what I can see, (which isn't much) you catch more medium sized fish in one day than he would in a year being that his compass was off and he was fishing in the wrong spot."

Actually, I think McKenna was probably fishing with a duck hunting license... caught lots of stuff, but before the hook had a chance to make it in the water... or is it the other way around...? Either way, apparently the big one kept getting away.

1/04/2008 12:37:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Also, did you ever get a handle on what he perceived as the "Attractor" at the end of History drawing us to it? He mentioned it in the video but wasn't clear on what he believed it was or the "purpose" of History which he sees as having a definitive end.

1/04/2008 12:43:00 PM  
Anonymous hoarhey said...

Van,
I don't know about ducks but I have caught a few seagulls using that technique. :^)

1/04/2008 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Ducks != fish

Seems like a rudimentary problem.

Nice technique, though.

1/04/2008 12:56:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

"Mark Twain appears frequently in Finnegans Wake. Both he and his hero Huck Finn (Finn in America) were adventurers, rose to a height, and took a fall. Interestingly enough, Samuel Clemens called his wife 'Livy'" (Joseph Campbell, A Skeleton Key...).

1/04/2008 01:00:00 PM  
Blogger Mizz E said...

As such, this is why the higher dimensions can only be spoken of in a poetic, symbolic, elliptical, or suggestive manner, through which the symbol unsays much more than we could ever say.

1/04/2008 01:04:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Hoarhey said... "I don't know about ducks but I have caught a few seagulls using that technique..."

... and I once caught a bikini top... talk about your hierarchical structuring of Heavenly bodies... ahh ma..memories.

:^)

1/04/2008 02:00:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"Since existence is a hierarchical manifestation from above, it is as if each level is "stamped" by the level immediately above. As such, there is inevitably some information that is "lost" with each successive level. Thus, the higher can disclose the lower, but the lower can only partially disclose the higher. As we have said, life isn't the secret of DNA; rather, DNA is the secret of life. And sow on, if you seed what I mean. That's the harvest part. "

Like Poetry in Motion...det dah dum
... she blinded ME with Science!

1/04/2008 02:04:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Julie, you wrote you don't much care for Opera. if Pott can draw tears, get a box of tissues & try Jussi Bjorling singing Nessum Dorma :
("Pavarotti Shmavarotti! THIS is the definitive Nessun Dorma" says the youtube poster)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUbA5y1hnFg


This is the version that's part of the Turadot recording that also features Nielson, Tebaldi & Tozzi made in the '50 & is still my favorite. Have it in original vinyl (swiped from my Opera-nut parents), cassette & CD. A great way to be introduced to Opera, since everybody involve is outstanding.

http://www.amazon.com/Puccini-Turandot-Hybrid-SACD-Giacomo/dp/B000G759LM/ref=pd_bbs_9?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=11994833

Don't miss Bjorling & Robert Merrill doing the Pearl Fishers Duet on youtube also:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zdb94HbyRko&feature=related

Did not know about the Ultimate Collection of Bjorling & gotta get it! This guy makes my toes curl & I always want to be a tenor when I hear him: must be such a charge to sing like that

1/04/2008 02:22:00 PM  
Anonymous Alan said...

Speaking of Dennett, Hawkins, et al

Four Horsemen of the Atheocaplypse

2 hours of discussion by Hitchens, Dennett, Dawkins, and Harris - sort of a fireside chat of the status of the atheist project. You'll have to pick out the two videos from the search results.

1/04/2008 03:36:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Ximeze,
that is lovely. I suppose I'm a bit of a visual person, though - part of what moved me so much with Mr. Potts was seeing him, a perfectly unexceptional-looking fellow, not ugly but also not the standard-issue metrosexual pretty-boy so ubiquitous to such shows. His open face at first looked almost simple, his accent a bit coarse. You could tell he was a little nervous. The judges tried not to laugh when they saw he was going to be singing opera. Nobody expected such beauty and passion to come bursting forth from such a humble-seeming vessel. When he opened his mouth to sing, he was utterly transformed. It was the combination of the music and the transcendence dancing across his face that brought me to tears.

These audio clips are beautiful, to be sure, but I think perhaps I'm not alone in experiencing the full effect of opera by seeing the passion they put into it as much as by listening. Good opera is, I think, very physical, perhaps even as much in its way as ballet - but if you hear how physical it really is, it probably isn't actually good. So without being there, or at least seeing it in a video clip, you can't appreciate how they put their entire bodies into those exquisite notes.

Which is a long-winded way of saying that it's very nice, but somehow just doesn't reach out and grab me :) I wouldn't mind actually going to the opera sometime, though. I probably would need lots of kleenex, then.

1/04/2008 03:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Saintly Throng
in the Form of a Rose

1/04/2008 04:20:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Julie, very true. I have not idea what it would be like to get into Opera as an adult.

One of my earliest memories (about 4ish) is of Turandot sung on the stage at La Scala & dang, what a production! We had a box for the season in any country that had an Operahouse. Barring that, records & radio filled the gap.

Dad would whistle along & our parrot, Pedro, did too. That boy could not get enough & really had a thing for fine sopranos. Often, I'd come down a hall & hear whistling of a recognizable aria with a few missed notes & think: Dad you're slipping, only to find Pedro entertaining himself with some very fine music.

It's a kick to see 2 portly singers, in one of those tight embraces, usually just before one of them dies, fill their HUGE lungs at the same time during an aria. They spring apart suddenly & can barely hold on, then get closer & closer as they sing.

We often had as a houseguest a tenor who would warm up his voice while he shaved & I would sit on the bed while he did so. The resonance of his voice, that would fill a 'house' without a mic, at such close quarters, was really something.

For me it's decidedly a real physical experience that comes back in a flash if the voices are good. Guess that's why my toes still curl up.

1/04/2008 05:05:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Since existence is a hierarchical manifestation from above, it is as if each level is "stamped" by the level immediately above. As such, there is inevitably some information that is "lost" with each successive level.

I totally see this with my Sims. Since their reality is right below ours, our world is their archetype. As far as they are concerned, their world is very concrete. If a toddler sits in front of the fridge, they canot open the fridge. (Instead they will wave their arms an yell.) How would I explain to them that my world, despite being their archetype, is not made of pixels? Everything is made of pixels. If they look closely enough, the universe is entirely composed of tiny red, green and blue dots, too small to see with the naked eye. If a higher reality really exists, then surely it too must be made of pixels, otherwise it would not be concrete and its inhabitants would just be spirits floating around in a void... logic dictates it.

1/04/2008 05:10:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

That sounds utterly marvelous! Alas, I have no such delightful experiences to draw from in that regard. The closest I can think of is listening to my grandma softly sing along to the AM station playing songs from the 40s and 50s while she puttered around the house. My mom had given up the cello by the time I came along, and while I do have a soft spot for certain classical instrumental pieces thanks to her efforts, opera was never part of the repertoire.

1/04/2008 05:14:00 PM  
Anonymous cousin Dupree said...

I hate to be the cretin here, with the exception of Tommy, I'm not much of an opera buff. And that's only good if it's turned up to 11.

Wait, I also like Quadrophenia. Maybe I'm not such a cretin after all.

1/04/2008 05:28:00 PM  
Blogger walt said...

From Tommy:

"I leave a trail of rooted people
Mesmerised by just the sight,
The few I touch are now disciples
Love as One I Am the Light..."

1/04/2008 05:43:00 PM  
Blogger vogz said...

Bob,

In Novak's article, would you put leftists in Category 2 or would you add a sixth? I think you'd have to add another category since they wouldn't fall in the same company as Ayn Rand (along those lines, it was interesting that an Objectivist wrote Explaining Postmodernism).

1/04/2008 05:49:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Actually, Dupree, given that I've only heard about Tommy and had to Google Quadrophenia, I'm probably more of a cretin :)

1/04/2008 05:50:00 PM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

Vogz,

Novak's categories don't seem to mean to be exhaustive, he's just listing some major types of atheist (and some of them aren't mutually exclusive, either).

There's nothing about leftism that requires atheism (or vice versa), but it is true that many leftists are "sort of" atheists. I say that because while they don't believe in a deity per se, they do believe in ideals that are unprovable, irrational, and inconsistent (which, with due respect to those here, is true also of some religions). I'd make a new category for them, because they're not "anything goes", they're "I have my own morality based on my own dogma but I won't admit it to you and I'll expect you to follow it as (gospel) truth".

1/04/2008 06:20:00 PM  
Blogger CrypticLife said...

One might say that leftists are very religious, but either without a deity or pantheist (if you consider the idea that they have particular idols).

1/04/2008 06:21:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

No, no, you're not gettin it Cuz. Full blown operatic productions are turned up way past 11.

It's must go with that cretinous preference for Dullball over Soccer.

Just say'n

1/04/2008 06:33:00 PM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

Mr. Unconscious,
great take on the music angle. I myself am a musician who is almost illiterate when it comes to actually reading music; what I do have is perfect pitch and a tape recorder memory. I have always been able to play just about any radio tune on my guitar by just hearing it and then figuring it out. Sure, some of my idols like Rick Wakeman and Keith Emerson read music and compose it in the classical way, with notes and staffs, but so many truly great musicians are simply gifted with a kind of spirit of music, a muse if you will, that makes them mouthpieces for something that totally transcends them and us listeners. Little wonder that medical science has discovered that music actually has healing powers for certain patients.

The idea actually goes beyond music, to things like education; the more full of bloated lefty theory a teacher is, the less likely they will probably be an effective teacher in ways that really matter. The best teachers are the ones who are gifted and born to it, who have a burning passion for it and just somehow know how to do it. I just wonder how many of those teachers are destroyed by the s*** they are filled with in the teachers' colleges. Vocational gifting is something that is beyond mere horizontal understanding, and perhaps is meant to be.

Great video; Sinatra and Jobim in the same room, I am not worthy!

1/04/2008 06:55:00 PM  
Anonymous tsebring said...

ximeze,
agreed; listening to Wagner's The Ring at 11 would surely wake the cretinous dead and loosen some plaster, but, in deference to the cuz, so would aforementioned Tommy and Quadrophenia, in their own ways. Actually, listening to Yes's Awaken or ELP's Karn Eval 9 at 15 would be my idea of a perfect musical thunderstorm.

1/04/2008 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Regarding the article by Michael Novak, with the possible exception of the last line of collection One, "They might wish that they could believe in God, but their intellectual conscience will not allow them to.", Rand belongs in category One.

The whole point of Rands Objectivism, is that Morality is necessary to living a properly human life, and it must be based on clear objective and unswerving principles as defined by reality. To put her in any way, shape, manner or form with nihilists, taking joy in brute power and will or anything to do with the arbitrary or lacking trust in reason shows either a total lack of familiarity with Rand's ideas, or a deliberate smear. I mean "death of trust in reason" ?! If Rand ever worshiped anything, it was capital 'R' Reason. She also, BTW, celebrated Christmas - though as a capitalist holiday via Santa Claus, as a celebration of achievement and generosity - loved the lights and decorations - ehh yeah, sorta misses the wider point, but still....

I think his surprise at
"We may concede, even, that some atheists live better moral lives than some of those who attend Christian churches. Some of the latter may live “as if there is no God” to a greater degree than some atheists. ",
comes about from not making a substitution for the word 'God' in these lines,“If there is no God, everything is permitted.” G. K. Chesterton is often quoted as saying of such persons: “Those who say they do not believe in God do not believe in nothing. They believe anything.”;

if you want to have that apply to atheists, it can only do so if you can also substitute the word 'Truth' for 'God' (or alleged theists, for that matter, hiding under cover of 'god').

If they believe in, and that there is, Truth, then likely they are going to be decent, moral people. If not, then not.

1/04/2008 07:19:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

cryptlife said "I say that because while they don't believe in a deity per se, they do believe in ideals that are unprovable, irrational, and inconsistent (which, with due respect to those here, is true also of some religions)."

Which comes back to (and the question I've asked you a couple times and never received a straight answer... just noting), do they believe in Truth.

And, yes, if so, then you are inevitably drawn into a hierarchical understanding of reality, and morality, and eventually to Classical Liberalism, at the least.

If not, then leftism will be your home, leaning towards skepticism or cynicism, depending on your particular bent - but honesty, and any conception of Happiness above an assemblage of pleasures, will be out of the quesiton.

And yes, if a person is consistent, I think a sound grasp of leftism is incompatible with a sound grasp of religion, because it does require a reverence for Truth - though one can revere Truth, and still manage to shut one self off from religion.

1/04/2008 07:30:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Tsebring said "The idea actually goes beyond music, to things like education; the more full of bloated lefty theory a teacher is, the less likely they will probably be an effective teacher in ways that really matter."

Doesn't it come down to mistaking system for substance? The musicologists mistake their system of notation for music, the musician has the substance of Music, with or without the system of notation.

Also on the part of the Musician - if they think, or allow their thinking to make the same mistake (probably because of some fool teacher), then it can limit them... but somehow I don't think that Mozart made that mistake.

And yes, regarding 'Education', the educationists concentrate almost exclusively on 'method' of teaching, system after fad system, rather than an understanding of the subject - hence their dismal results. In some areas, having a degree in higher mathmetics (meaning you actually understand Math) means a disqualification to teach math, or demotes you a paygrade or two. Seriously.

1/04/2008 07:39:00 PM  
Anonymous Djadja said...

Thanks for the link, vogz. Hearing Paul Potts sing the Nessun Dorma brought me and my wife to tears. It wasn’t just the music, beautiful and well performed as it was. It was the audience reaction. This was opera sung to an audience that came for pop music, and yet the whole audience was swept up into it. It was a grand manifestation of the human spirit.

1/04/2008 07:42:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Tsebring said "ximeze,agreed; listening to Wagner's The Ring at 11 would surely wake the cretinous dead and loosen some plaster..."

I must confess to enjoying doing that for 1)my pleasure, and 2)if the band misbehaved and had the misfortune to be riding back from the gig in my van. Freaked them out, thrilled me - a true win-win situation.

For me.

Bwahhahahahahhhaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

(No Ximeze, I didn't miss the 'dullball' reference. I'm watching)

1/04/2008 07:45:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Yea djadja, did you catch the smerk on the host-bimbet when PP said what he would sing?
Ya gotta be kidding, right? Spare me!

Got her square between her dripping eyes by the end too.

Loved that.

1/04/2008 08:32:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Vanster:

Did'ja put on a horn-adorned helmet & braids too?
Valkyrie is the way to go, what with the boobetta breastplate & all.

I'd have killed to get a chance to be there when a cop pulled the van over..........

Cuz must be out getting drunk, per usual. Had my 'don't taze me bro' & 'oh yea? well you're unevolved & your mother dresses you funny, so there!' all ready too.

Sheesh

1/04/2008 08:44:00 PM  
Blogger Robin Starfish said...

Magnus, since we seem to be on the same wavelength today, this one's for you:

Endangered Species Act
life by lcd
trading imagination
for a pixel trap

1/04/2008 08:45:00 PM  
Blogger debass said...

My appreciation for opera and classical music started at a young age from watching Bugs Bunny and Walter Lantz cartoons. Actually, my mother was an opera singer. She was on off-coloratura.
Here is some great Carl Stalling music in case you were wondering where those cultural cliche sound effects come from.
http://www.amazon.com/Carl-Stalling-Project-Cartoons-1936-1958/dp/B000002LJE

1/04/2008 09:57:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Thanks debass, very kewl

1/04/2008 10:16:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Ximeze said "Valkyrie is the way to go, what with the boobetta breastplate & all."

Yes on the Valkyrie's, but Madonna kind of ruined the "boobetta breastplate" look for me, she always struck me as ugly through and through.

"I'd have killed to get a chance to be there when a cop pulled the van over.........."

Heh... oddly enough, the couple times that happened, they let us go - I think we scared the poor troopers - that or flabergasted them; out on a lonely stretch of highway, they pull over a van and out stumbles what looked less like a rock band, than half a football team decked out in Rocker gear (except for one or two scrawny guys over the years, for some reason most of us were 6'+ and fairly rough looking. Lol, you play near a Marine base in spandex, you'd better be!).

Speaking of the early musical memories, my Mom & Dad both did some musical theatre on the side when I was little, and strolled around the house singing opera or Camelot, Fantastiks, etc. For some reason the opera never took with me, but Camelot and the others... maybe because I could understand them. That, and driving to the beat!

Family trips meant Sinatra, Herb Alpert or the Carpenters, and during particularly snappy sections, my Dad would drive to the beat - a mix of gasHARD, brake, brake, swerve left, swerve right, GASSSSSSS, swerve, brake, brake....

A tradition I continue to delight and embareass my kids with.

;-)

1/04/2008 10:16:00 PM  
Anonymous the tragically hip said...

you are ahead by a century

1/04/2008 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger NoMo said...

Speaking of Attractors...I call this "The Opera of the White Rose".

Gotta fly now.

1/04/2008 10:43:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I gotta say I was quite impressed by Paul Potts also when I saw his performance rebroadcast on Fox news of all places, and the only opera I ever liked before that was what Debass mentioned, with Bugs Bunny, et al.

Of course, I also love rock-opera.
The Who and Styx, most notably.

1/05/2008 06:46:00 AM  
Blogger vogz said...

Watching Potts' first performance will always be etched in my mind because my dad showed it to me over Christmas, and it's only the third time in 40 years I've ever seen my dad with tears in his eyes.

One of most compelling parts of Potts' story is that he is somehow able to balance both humility and artistic excellence. Hopefully he stays that way.

1/05/2008 08:34:00 AM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

Van said:
"A tradition I continue to delight and embareass my kids with."

LOL! Mamina had several of those too. She would pull up next to some dude at a stoplight..... Ok, think early 1970s, big mustache, big hair, shirt open to the waist, adorned with multiple gold-chains Argentine hyper-macho.... in a Renault (called locally 'quatro latas' ie 4-tin-cans).
Tiny, 50something female with LARGE dog barking out window in a auto-trannie Valiant. Light would change, she would floor it & the poor dears would strip their gears while she made them eat dust.

This one was fun too: pay your own toll-fee & the one for the car behind you, speed away & watch while they go crazy trying to catch up see who you are.

1/05/2008 08:44:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gagdad or the dumb ass who or whom tried to act smart by writting that stupid crap! GO BACK TO SCHOOL! You are clearly the most retarded person who ever wrote about anything. NEXT TIME, PLEASE USE WORDS YOU CAN UNDERSTAND YOURSELF AND TAKE THAT DICTIONARY OFF YOUR LAP!

9/28/2008 12:34:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

dumbassymouse said "Gagdad or the dumb ass who o..."
Clue, you don't have to rely on your intellect to figure out who you're talking to (scary thought, er?) - see the blue link by the name? Click it.

"GO BACK TO SCHOOL!"
Clue, what you learned in school wasn't an education. Get one.

"...ASE USE WORDS YOU CAN UNDE..."

I think it was a very wise move, switching from profanity to all caps, that improved the substance of your comments so much. Looking forward to your next ASSertion.

Still laughing.

9/28/2008 09:23:00 AM  

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