Friday, June 20, 2008

Darwinists and Other Cosmic Egomaniacs (6.14.09)

How do we know with absolute certainty that reductionistic Darwinism cannot account for Man? Because we may know with absolute certainty.

And we may know with absolute certainty because the realm of the empirical ego -- which can more or less be explained on Darwinian grounds -- shades off to the transcendent interiority of the Self or Atman, of which it turns out that the ego is actually a sort of "emanation" or satellite.

In other words, the gap between ego and Self is another one of them ontological discontinuities that is infinite if viewed "from the bottom up." But if regarded "from the top down," then we see that the ego is a necessary feature of the cosmo-psychic economy. Just like maya herself, it "must be" if there is to be existence. In fact, you might say that the ego is a mirror of maya, or of the relative plane, just as the Self is the mirror of the Absolute.

In order to comprehend this more holistic cosmic economy, we must again abandon the mental fiction of logical atomism that forms the ego's point of view. In other words, if you are a materialist, it is simply because you are operating out of the material ego, so there is no surprise there. It's analogous to someone putting on red sunglasses and insisting that everything looks red. Of course it looks red. Of course our troll is an atheist. That is not a mystery but a banality, a logical necessity, just as someone with an insufficiently developed ego lives in a magical or malevolent world as a result of being swamped by the unconscious.

Now, our pardigmatic science, physics, proposes a model of reality which is literally impossible to picture in one's mind. Nor will we ever be able to picture it, for it is a not a human reality in the strict sense of the term. Not to get sidetracked, but I do need to emphasize that one of the reasons I am religious is because religion preserves the most intense forms of humanism, which is to say, of human knowledge about the human state, and its privileges and responsibilities.

To cite just one obvious example, the other day, one of the mutual readers of LGF and One Cosmos was also commenting on the increasing lurch into anti-intellectualism of the former, noting that his rabbi -- an eminent scholar -- had spent his entire life studying the Torah, and yet, had not even scratched its surface. I am sure that even someone as exalted as, say, Adin Stinsaltz, would echo the same sentiment.

But it takes no learning -- let alone, wisdom -- for a jackbooted mob of metaphysical yahoos to, as the reader put it, "pontificate with grand self-assuredness that they know fully what is meant in all the intricacies and layers of Torah and the rest of us believers are a bunch of deluded dummies. There's nothing to be said to such people." Indeed, like gleeful, deicidal three year-olds, they can tear down in the space of five minutes what it took 2500 years of spiritual genius to build.

But from whence comes the certainty on matters that far transcend their childlike, earthbound intellects? It comes from the transcendent absolute, only dissipated and "frozen" within the confines of the -- you guessed it -- quasi-animal ego.

For when someone asks if you "believe in Darwinism," let's be honest. They aren't asking if you believe in whatever the theory has been demonstrated to prove -- like a bacterium that learns a new trick. After all, Kos readers learn new tricks all the time. Rather, they are asking if you believe that it provides an all-encompassing explanation for human existence, and ultimately whether or not you are a theist. And to the extent that God exists, then Darwinism quite obviously cannot embody any kind of "total explanation." Not even close.

Again, even on logical grounds this is strictly forbidden, a la Gödel. Some people try to get around Gödel by artifically restricting the implications of his theorems, but they are not to be taken seriously. For no matter how much we learn about the human genome, our understanding will be either consistent or complete, but not both.

Along these lines, Rebecca Goldstein -- author of the excellent Incompleteness -- notes that "Gödel was a mathematical realist, a Platonist. He believed that what makes mathematics true is that it's descriptive -- not of empirical reality, of course, but of an abstract reality. Mathematical intuition is something analogous to a kind of sense perception. In his essay 'What Is Cantor's Continuum Hypothesis?', Gödel wrote that we're not seeing things that just happen to be true, we're seeing things that must be true. The world of abstract entities is a necessary world -- that's why we can deduce our descriptions of it through pure reason."

Again: things are not true because they are logical, but logical because they are true; our ability to use logic and math to describe the world is because they derive from something higher and eternal (more on which below).

Another passage from this interview is worth citing at length: Gödel's ambition was "to produce a mathematical result that would have meta-mathematical implications, or at least suggestions, about the nature of mathematics itself. It's as if a painter produces a picture that has something to say about the nature of beauty, perhaps even something to say about why beauty moves us. Mathematics forcefully raises meta-questions, since it is a priori, immune from empirical revision, necessary. How can we have knowledge of this sort? What's it about? The truths we learn about the spatio-temporal realm are all ultimately empirical; and they're contingent. They're not immune to empirical revision.... Mathematicians are cheap; they are thus cost-effective for universities -- which is another way of saying that mathematics is a priori.

"But this aprioricity and necessity present problems. What can necessary, a priori truths be about? Maybe they're about nothing at all, other than the formal systems we construct, mere consequences of manipulating symbols according to rules, as in chess. Platonism rejects this answer. It claims that mathematics is descriptive of abstract entities, of numbers and sets, that exist separately from our attempt to understand them through our mathematical systems. Platonism has always had a great appeal for mathematicians, because it grounds their sense that they're discovering rather than inventing truths."

Now, there is a way "beyond" the limitations of Gödel, but it obviously cannot reside in any form of empiricism, rationalism, materialism, reductionism, or Darwinism. In other words, we cannot escape Gödel "from below." But we can most certainly escape him "from above." Indeed, the very existence of certain mathematical truths proves that this is possible: again, the certainty of math cannot be derived from itself but from the certainty of the Platonic realm of which it is a "descent," so to speak. This is something which the neo-Platonists -- one thinks in particular of the immortal Plotinus -- emphasized.

Again, to repeat our thesis: How do we know with absolute certainty that reductionistic Darwinism cannot account for man? Because we may know with absolute certainty.

Now, one might say that the whole basis of the spiritual life involves "ascending" to the level of those Platonic truths that "cannot not be." This is again what religion is "all about." Some people understand this -- in fact, the vast majority of people -- whereas others -- we call them materialists, reductionists, Darwinists, The Tenured, Lizards, etc. -- are, for whatever tangled developmental or genetic reason, incapable of seeing it. On this they insist, a la our recent Wog. For them, blindness is just another variety of vision.

Goldstein makes an excellent point above, with the analogy of the painter who attempts "to produce a picture that has something to say about the nature of beauty," or "perhaps even something to say about why beauty moves us." This, don't you know, is precisely what I endeavor to do with words. And I know that I sometimes succeed at this, because every once in awhile we get a reader, such as Ray, who cannot see the painting. I know it's fun for you guys to knock him around, but the problem is, he doesn't know he's being knocked around, so where's the bloody pleasure in that?

This is why even Dupree doesn't participate (it's also because his step-brother, LaFayette, is visiting, but that's another story). I encourage you to chuckle at our trolls, not argue. Or at least make your points with lighthearted humor and wit (or haiku). This is the eternal Raccoon way. I don't want to say that this is a dispensation from the Thrice-Cleared Operating Thetan and Infallible One, but it's getting close.

The point is, Dupree only enjoys the clean kill, the arrow straight through the heart. I know that to some he appears mean-spirited or perhaps even "sadistic," but I can assure you that this is not the case (perhaps I should say that he is not only sadistic). Because what he wishes to kill is precisely that which is already half-dead, which is to say, the empirical ego. He wants you to rise on the stepping stones of your dead selves, to paraphrase someone. He wants to give you the wound that cannot be healed on its own level, so that you can reach up for the real medicine. He wants you to to taste the Supra-ontological essence with your own tongue. Mmm, yummy!

Here's a dense lila One Cosmos birthdei hologram addressed to your private particle. See if you can open its presence:

Ananda chance to sat down at the last resort and enjoy a little moksha (or maybe some bhakti) at somarise. Sorry, menyou have only one taste. Whoops, where'd ego?

There is only one thing that is truly proportioned to man's intellect, and that is the transcendent Absolute of which we are mirrors, links, and even deputies. Any philosophy short of this will inevitably produce a human body with no head. And folks, if you don't see a lot of headless people walking around our society, you might want to start by looking to see if your own head is properly attached and up in the clouds.

The only freedom that is proportioned to our nature is that which opens the gates towards the eternal Freedom we bear in the depths of our being, and not to that which betrays man's weakness -- especially collective man's -- to the powers of dissolution and spiritual suicide. --F. Schuon

70 Comments:

Blogger mushroom said...

For when someone asks if you "believe in Darwinism," let's be honest. They aren't asking if you believe in whatever the theory has been demonstrated to prove. Rather, they are asking if you believe that it provides an all-encompassing explanation for human existence, and ultimately whether or not you are a theist.

True. Though our buddy denies it by repeating over and over, "You are misrepresenting darwinism. You don't really, really understand it." Yes, we do. This goes along with Dawkins complaint that evolution isn't taught in schools. I checked with my granddaughter. It is. What they are complaining about it that evolution is not taught as the only possible explanation for anything while religion is magnanimously relegated to "literature". In other words, Dawkins is whining that children are not indoctrinated with the darwinian religion from K through 12.


Woo! Woo! Woo!
GB says: Again: things are not true because they are logical, but logical because they are true; our ability to use logic and math to describe the world is because they derive from something higher and eternal

Repeat. Rinse. Repeat.

6/20/2008 08:49:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

On a more lighthearted note, it looks like the film career of the Dreadful Deepak has been blessedly stopped in its tracks, for he has participated in what could be the worst film of All Time.

6/20/2008 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

It's worth noting that, in my experience certainly, it's the theists who ask the question, "Do you believe in Darwinism?" It's only theists who use the term "Darwinism". People who actually study or work with evolutionary theory call it 'evolution'. The closest scientific term to 'Darwinism' is the "neo-Darwinian synthesis", which is very definitely not meant as an "all-encompassing explanation for human existence" or "total explanation". It doesn't touch on geology or cosmology, for example - though it does adapt itself to results from the former.

If you actually ran across someone for whom evolution consisted of their entire worldview - as opposed to something which was incorporated into it - then I suppose they might be characterized as having "childlike, earthbound intellects". Real, actual human beings - even the ones who disagree with you - are more complex than that.

Besides which, mathematics is increasingly empirical and formalist, rather than Platonist, as well. Consider things like the proof of the four-color theorem, or the proofs of the Poincare Conjecture or Fermat's Last Theorem. Both had alleged early proofs that turned out to have problems, which were later corrected. But can we be absolutely sure that there aren't other flaws not yet identified?

There are more possible variations on the philosophy of mathematics than Platonism.

6/20/2008 09:22:00 AM  
Anonymous LaFayette said...

Ho! He's been lapped and thinks he's ahead!

6/20/2008 09:55:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Mushroom,
Indeed! They were teachin' darwinism even when I was in school during the 60's and '70's as the only explanation for the origin of life, with the prevailing view that man was nothin' more than the smartist animal.

6/20/2008 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

"And I know that I sometimes succeed at this, because every once in awhile we get a reader, such as Ray, who cannot see the painting. I know it's fun for you guys to knock him around, but the problem is, he doesn't know he's being knocked around... "

Ray said "... in my experience certainly, it's the theists who ask the question, "Do you believe in Darwinism?" It's only theists who use the term "Darwinism". People who actually study or work with evolutionary theory call it 'evolution'. The closest scientific term to 'Darwinism' is the "neo-Darwinian syn...."

"..., so where's the bloody pleasure in that?"

sigh.

6/20/2008 10:06:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"But it takes no learning -- let alone, wisdom -- for a jackbooted mob of metaphysical yahoos to, as the reader put it, "pontificate with grand self-assuredness that they know fully what is meant in all the intricacies and layers of Torah and the rest of us believers are a bunch of deluded dummies. There's nothing to be said to such people." Indeed, like gleeful, deicidal three year-olds, they can tear down in the space of five minutes what it took 2500 years of spiritual genius to build."

The audacity of cluelesside!

6/20/2008 10:12:00 AM  
Anonymous LaFayette said...

Ray Bans -- guaranteed to ban the celestial light of the central sun.

6/20/2008 10:21:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Van-
Hell, he knocks himself around.

6/20/2008 10:26:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Wow, Bob! That reviewer is a master at sarc!

"This tale of a guru who brings joy to all who meet him is the most joy-draining 88 minutes I've ever spent outside a hospital waiting room."

Ha ha! Sounds like even the MST3k
guys can do little to make this disaster even worthy of ridicule.

6/20/2008 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Great top-tener for the sidebar, Bob. Ok, so my request is looking more like a category…

Bob said,
“It's as if a painter produces a picture that has something to say about the nature of beauty, perhaps even something to say about why beauty moves us.”

The only kind of abstract “Art” that interests me. It cannot be achieved, but only attempted. In a sense that words can’t substitute for what inspired them. And if you can explain it that way the Art exists before it has been made.

6/20/2008 10:31:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

The veil is, not something you can tear away to see what is behind it. Like the wedding veil, until the priest says, "Kiss the bride", remove the veil only reveals what you thought was behind there.

Darwinists or reductionists sometimes try to tear through this veil to reveal nothingness - because the veil can only be opened through the other side.

Or, "He who gives up his life for the sake of my kingdom, the same shall save it."

6/20/2008 10:35:00 AM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Ray: It is fair to say that 'theists' never refer to themselves as such. Does it make it less true?

6/20/2008 10:36:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

“The point is, Dupree only enjoys the clean kill, the arrow straight through the heart. I know that to some he appears mean-spirited or perhaps even "sadistic," but I can assure you that this is not the case.”

Jesus likes to "cut" the chase too.

6/20/2008 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I might add that we all believe in evolution -- at least I do -- which was known long before Darwin. It's the mechanism that is in dispute, not the fact that things evolve.

6/20/2008 10:39:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Rick:

Don't be giving Dupree any "big ideas." His self-esteem is inflated enough.

6/20/2008 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous son of a preacher man said...

Bob

Thank you for the post you helped illuminate something I did not realize I was in the dark about.

6/20/2008 10:52:00 AM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"This is why even Dupree doesn't participate (it's also because his step-brother, LaFayette, is visiting, but that's another story)."

My curiosity is picked. :^)

6/20/2008 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger Ricky Raccoon said...

Sorry Bob.

(click)
“Feed the cows chocolate.”
(click)

I’m any idea man, Chuck.

6/20/2008 11:08:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

River - you're right that 'theists' isn't the best term to use. "Theists who think evolution threatens some part of their worldview" is the phrase I should have used. There are plenty of religious people who don't have a problem with evolution.

Theists also don't generally refer to themselves as "hair-possessing milk-giving amniote-possessing tetrapodal jawed vertebrate notochord-possessing multicellular non-chloroplast mitochondrial eukaryotes", however accurate the term is technically. I use the term 'theist' descriptively - what, are you an atheist? - not dismissively. No insult is or denigration is intended. I wish I could think the same of the way the term 'Darwinist' is used here.

6/20/2008 11:27:00 AM  
Blogger Van said...

Darwinists would not only have no problem refering to themselves as "hair-possessing milk-giving amniote-possessing tetrapodal jawed vertebrate notochord-possessing multicellular non-chloroplast mitochondrial eukaryotes", but refrain from doing so only to avoid being thought uncool. And because it would take to long to memorize. And drill and kill memorization damages the self-esteem.

6/20/2008 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger QP said...

If the presuppositions of contemporary science are made explicit and religion is purged of superstition, the identity of the objects of their faith become apparent.

Errol Harris, Revelation Through Reason

Blessed be you, mighty matter, irresistible march of evolution, reality ever newborn....you who by overflowing and dissolving our narrow standards of measurement reveal to us the dimensions of God. Ho!

[First page of Book One, One Cosmos Under God

"That religion is strong which in its ritual and its modes of thought evokes an apprehension of the commanding vision . . . . an adventure of the spirit, a flight after the unattainable. The death of religion comes with the repression of the high hope of adventure."

~ Alfred North Whitehead

6/20/2008 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Bob, I've been asking for pointers to the posts in the archives, but since none have been forthcoming, I can ask you directly - any specific bones to pick with 'the' mechanism? You said you didn't have a problem with natural selection, and that was Darwin's main contribution... that and common descent.

6/20/2008 11:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Ray, I will answer your question one last time, knowing full well that I am wasting my time. I only have a problem if the purely horizontal mechanism of natural selection is absurdly elevated to a metaphysic, thereby eclipsing the vertical dimension through which man is Man. I believe each moment is a collision (or perhaps "hologram") of vertical and horizontal energies, and that a human being is a combination of "genetic" and environmental (including the psychic environment, both high and low) factors plus a vertical descent into matter. That the latter is true is certain, as all religions are about the means to reascend that ladder back to our vertical source. I can indicate the way, but I cannot save a drowning man who wishes to remain in the water.

6/20/2008 12:13:00 PM  
Blogger River Cocytus said...

Ray, my point was that if we call people 'Darwinists' who would never use that term, it does not make it any less true.

P.S. part of the problem materialists will have is that, for instance, the Garden of Eden was a real place - as in, physical. However, it is a spiritual place, paradise. It is inexplicable, perhaps - or requiring epicycles of a sort - to explain the travel from Eden to the area around Eden into Nod; and the lack of presence of Eden altogether in the material world. It is perhaps that the mountain Eden is on is too high - spiritually - for us to reach. Anyway, the Seraphim - highest ranking angel - with the flaming sword? But you won't ever find them by walking around with a camera and binoculars.

6/20/2008 12:23:00 PM  
Anonymous ximeze said...

"It's analogous to someone putting on red sunglasses and insisting that everything looks red. Of course it looks red...That is not a mystery but a banality, a logical necessity."

Yes, yes. Or in the words of the inimitable Gregory House MD:

'YOU'RE ORANGE YOU MORON'

6/20/2008 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger QP said...

I like that doc Ximeze.

Uno mas:

"Perseverance does not equal worthiness"

6/20/2008 12:53:00 PM  
Anonymous c said...

"In other words, the gap between ego and Self is another one of them ontological discontinuities that is infinite if viewed "from the bottom up." But if regarded "from the top down," then we see that the ego is a necessary feature of the cosmo-psychic economy. Just like maya herself, it "must be" if there is to be existence. In fact, you might say that the ego is a mirror of maya, or of the relative plane, just as the Self is the mirror of the Absolute."

This is dead on. There are necessities to this existence in this way.

Another is what is called the Pythagorean comma in musical ratios. (Axiom: The existential plane approaches but does not reach perfection in anything.) Even the most perfect item or happening here has an very small but real gap between "excellent" and "perfect".

As a musician I know this issue experientially from tuning strings, as does anyone who approaches this stuff in real time and space. I know it in spades in the design problems I solve at the cracker factory (read Nabisco Bakery).

The history of music in the west is in part the history of developing the equal tempered scale in use today, where various tones are shifted from the perfect ratios on purpose to allow all the key signatures to be pleasing to human ears. At one point along the way we had well tempered tuning and this led to certain keys having emotional tones darker and brighter, and all because if you tune exactly according to ratios you come up sharp on the octave. That little bit extra is the Pythagorean comma, so called because it was found by him supposedly, a long time ago.

That little bit extra is very like the ego to consciousness. I believe it an excellent choice of words that the "correction" to remove the sharping from "perfect" tuning is called tempering. "Removing" the ego is also a tempering process.

When striving for perfection on this plane, we end up "sharp".

However, singers go flat, as do strings over time. That is entropic. Singers are instructed to "think" sharp to hold pitch.

6/20/2008 01:23:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Precisely. In the absence of the Absolute, we could not have degrees of perfection, only a horizontal relativity -- which we already see in academia.

6/20/2008 01:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Of course tempering is only necessary in a functional harmonic system as we have in the West. I think the emotional power *and* disequilibrium is apparent in our music and culture. Western music is restless and constantly seeking its way back home.

By comparison N. Indian Music generally a single melodic line played against a drone *is* in tune--often in very refined ways. N. Indian music, while dynamic, is simultaneously *always* home.

There is a entirely different approach to reality inherent to both systems--while of course working with the same "source material" i.e. the overtone series.

I like what you say about the Pythagorean comma, something that has troubled many, myself included, for a long time.

6/20/2008 01:32:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

C, now that's something I'll have to admit to not having taken notice of before, the Pythagorean Comma, at least not put in that way... interesting. Will look into.

Cosa, you out there?

6/20/2008 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Being but a humble (oh... shut up) rock musician, I did notice that the octave E always seemed to have to be backed off a bit after tuning off the harmonics up the strings (always figured my ear was muddy)....

I wasn't tone deaf... I was Tempering.

I like it.

6/20/2008 01:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Trying to get a standard guitar *in tune* for real will drive anybody nuts. And one actually does have a good ear it will drive you even battier. I've seen it happen.

It's often better, for me anyway, to just get a cheap tuner and live with it being more or less out of tune.

or one of these puppies: http://www.petersontuners.com/index.cfm?category=37&sub=21

6/20/2008 01:47:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Agree about music. If I may say so, I believe I am attempting to convey the perennial truths, except within a western "jazz" context. In other words, a Guenon, Coomarawamy or Schuon never wanted to be original, almost as if they were classical musicians working with a fixed and final canon. But -- at risk of vulgarizing the message -- I take the same "chordal truths" and try to riff over them, in the hope that I can reach more modernized ears. So it is the exercise of creativity within very tight constraints, and never about me, but the truth.

6/20/2008 01:49:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

In other words, I can still be an individual, but in the context of being a complete nobody.

6/20/2008 01:51:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Anonymous said "Trying to get a standard guitar *in tune* for real will drive anybody nuts."

My twelve-string makes me a case in point.

6/20/2008 01:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The beauty of jazz, it seems, is that the tighter the "constraints" the more actual freedom there is.

In my mind only Coltrane (for the most part) could really live without those constraints, perhaps because he had so intensely lived within them. As has been noted here before, "free" jazz was often the most stuck and cliched form of "jazz" there was.

6/20/2008 01:54:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

Sorry about the C. Actually you can sort of nearly perfectly tune but if you do only one key is usable. The difference in Indian music generally is they use the SaReGaMaPaDaNiSa as the tuning and do not worry about modulating to other keys.

6/20/2008 01:57:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Van,

You are a braver man than I. 12-strings sound beautiful, but oh my, they make me want to weep to try to keep them in tune.

6/20/2008 01:59:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

If I am using the terms correctly, it seems to me that modal jazz melodically "flows out" from a semi-static or repetitive tonal center, similar to Indian music. No surprise that it is probably my favorite music, as it combines the modes of stasis and generativity in a kind of musical O-->(n).

6/20/2008 02:05:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christopher-

Yes, modulation is the crux of the issue. Though even within a key there are issues within just intonation. Hence the "seeking" quality of tempered Western Music. N. Indian having no such concern, does not require a solution to the "problem" of unequal intervals that don't quite add up i.e the "problem of the supertonic".

6/20/2008 02:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, modal jazz is far more harmonically static, often revolving around 1-2 chords. One of my favs for the reasons you mentioned is "Africa" by Coltrane off of Africa/Brass. Perhaps a piece were those worlds come together, even if they seem like they are always about to fly apart as well.

6/20/2008 02:09:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Interesting how western sacred music generally draws one "upward," while Indian music leads "inward" (or is this too facile a generalization?).

6/20/2008 02:09:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

I learned about the comma during the period I was studying and using astrology. It's in the planets too. Uranus has a yearly orbit divisible by the Terran orbit resulting in the answer 84 and a vanishingly small remainder, sharp again.

6/20/2008 02:10:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I should compile a list of my favorite modal albums. Jackie McLean's Let Freedom Ring would be near the top of the list. Oh yes -- Eberhard Weber combines elements of classical chamber, modal jazz, world, ambient and film music in the most wonderful way. I've never heard anything like it.

6/20/2008 02:12:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, yes...I like the inward/upward distinction.

6/20/2008 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Likewise, it can be easily seen how premodern jazz is very vital and dispersive, i.e., the Hot Fives & Sevens (not to say it's not great, only that it's not "centering"). Jazz took a highly cerebral turn with bop, but only after 1954, starting with the Brown-Roach quintet, did it really gain that true balance of subtle emotion and high intellect, IMO.

6/20/2008 02:18:00 PM  
Blogger lance said...

"I might add that we all believe in evolution -- at least I do -- which was known long before Darwin. It's the mechanism that is in dispute, not the fact that things evolve."

Thanks for the clarification Bob, I was starting to get a little concerned at the direction everything was going. I really do not think that Darwin was out to destroy the Church or God. I think he was mistakenly trying to explain something that he didn't fully understand or comprehend.

6/20/2008 02:28:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree...though there may have been foreshadowing of that synthesis with the likes of Lester Young and Coleman Hawkins. And of course the one and only Duke.

But the music as a whole it did seem to teeter between the two extremes, even though the seeds for the synthesis were not only planted but had sprouted in certain places.

6/20/2008 02:30:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I know last week I mentioned how hopeless I am, but I do hope for certain things, and one of them is better sound. I've been meaning to talk about this fantastic new subwoofer I purchased, as my previous one -- which was quite inadequate anyway -- died.

This new one is exceedingly "musical," and causes markedly more "involvement" with the music. I thought about this, and the reason seems to be that the subwoofer is more felt or sensed rather than heard. As such, your whole being is vibrating, not just the ear drums.

Anyway, I got a b-stock model for only $600, which is quite reasonable for such a significantly audible upgrade. I don't know if you can get a better one for the money. It's powered by a 1500 watt internal amp. My whole CD collection has "come to life" again. Here is the model I got.

6/20/2008 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

christopher said "Uranus has a yearly orbit divisible by the Terran orbit resulting in the answer 84..."

Why... that's twice 42!.

6/20/2008 02:31:00 PM  
Blogger slackjack said...

And I wonder where jazz would have gone if Clifford Brown hadn't died so young. What would he have done with modal jazz, free jazz, fusion? Would he have traveled it differently then, say, Miles did?

No way to know of course. But one wonders.

6/20/2008 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

.

.

.

woof

(its been a strange week)

6/20/2008 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Clifford Brown was just a monster. And a very sweet man -- no one has ever said a bad thing about him. No one can combine his speed of attack, his fluency of ideas, his precision, and lyricism. Of his successors, I think that Freddie Hubbard at his peak comes closest.

6/20/2008 02:35:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

Pi is also "sharp" in this way, and a whole slew of numbers like it, significant in real world design but never perfect, cannot be, always a small remainder. These numbers define infinity of the second order as mathematicians define it. The first order is the natural numbers. The second order consists of any number that is generated such that it has non repeating decimal integers. These also are infinite in number, thus defining an infinite plane, along with the original infinite line.

The point is that these numbers are always "sharp" too.

6/20/2008 02:40:00 PM  
Blogger slackjack said...

Coltane played a bit sharp as did the aforementioned Jackie McLean. Which one can get away with, for whatever reason--it sounds more insistent and intense. Playing flat never works--it just sounds awful.

6/20/2008 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Yes, that's why McLean always had that "astringent" sound I alluded to yesterday -- like sucking a lemon.

6/20/2008 02:47:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

Van
Actually the division of interest numerologically is that 84 is three 28's, tying to Saturn and Moon.

These are interesting symbolically after the manner of Jungian archetypes, and 84 is basically the idealized human lifetime.

6/20/2008 03:01:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

12 x 7. That makes sense.

6/20/2008 03:08:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

Gagster, there is music everywhere. They used to say "music of the spheres" referring to just such stuff. We got all scientific and lost the symbols. Eliade, Jung, and Campbell are recent scholars getting the numbers (the music) back.

6/20/2008 03:27:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Likewise, architecture is "frozen music." And the cosmos is the biggest structure of them all.

6/20/2008 03:31:00 PM  
Anonymous christopher said...

God at play
Gives the model to man
Calling him to follow

Here is the reason for music
And worship and all creative
Disciplines

Walk in the image of God

6/20/2008 03:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Petey said...

Wu, full frontal nullity!
The body,
an ephemeral harmelody of adams
forged from within stars,
our life,
a fugitive dream within the deathless, sleeping
what's-His-G-d-name.

6/20/2008 03:58:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Christopher said "... Actually the division of interest numerologically is that 84 is three 28's, tying to Saturn and Moon."

heh... sorry, but the 42 ref was to "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"

"the characters visit the legendary planet Magrathea, home to the now-collapsed planet building industry, and meet Slartibartfast, a planetary coastline designer who was responsible for the fjords of Norway. Through archival recordings, he relates the story of a race of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings who built a computer named Deep Thought to calculate the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything. When the answer was revealed as 42, Deep Thought predicts that another computer, more powerful than itself would be made and designed by it to calculate the question for the answer. "

Like I said, a strange week.

6/20/2008 04:27:00 PM  
Blogger Ray Ingles said...

Bob - You'd hate "Evolution for Everyone", especially chapter 29.

6/21/2008 05:53:00 AM  
Anonymous The gospel of ray said...

I believe in a single substance, the mother of all forces, which engenders the life and consciousness of everything, visible and invisible. I believe in a single lord, biology, the unique son of the substance of the world, born from the substance of the world after centuries of random experimentation: the encapsulated reflection of the great material sea, the epiphenomenal light of primordial darkness, the false reflection of the real world, consubstantial with the mother-substance. It is he who has descended from the shadows of the mother-substance, he who has taken on flesh from matter, he who plays at the illusion of thought from flesh, he who has become the Human Brain. As a Human Brain, I acknowledge a single method for the elimination of error, thus ultimately eliminating myself and returning to the mother substance. Amen.

6/21/2008 06:51:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok so Dr. Godwin believes in evolution except it doesn't account for the verticality of man spiritually... is that correct?

6/21/2008 06:58:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm somewhat confused on his stance, I was reading through the comments rather quickly but that's about what I got out if it.

6/21/2008 06:59:00 AM  
Anonymous Scatter said...

I'm confused too. Does this mean truth is better than a banana? Because that makes no sense.

6/21/2008 07:38:00 AM  
Anonymous chandler said...

"My freedom will be so much the greater and more meaningful the more narrowly I limit my field of action and the more I surround myself with obstacles. Whatever diminishes constraint diminishes strength. The more constraints one imposes, the more one frees one's self of the chains that shackle the spirit."

Igor Stravinsky, Poetics of Music

6/21/2008 05:29:00 PM  

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