Abductio Ad Absurdum
You are viewing the most recent 25 entries.
17th January 2014
11th December 2013
I started a new blog which will likely center around science, philosophy, metaphysics, spirituality, and the like. I'll probably use it to explore, analyze, comment upon, and what not things I find online, but some original writing and research is also likely. :
Come on over and have a look.
First couple posts are about an experiment conducted in Neuroscience which shows that our brains prepare to make a decision before we actually consciously "decide". Puts the idea of Free Will into question. My posts explore possible variations on the experiment and the implications of such variations: "Variations On a Neuroscientific Experiment I'd Like to See", and "The 'Monkey Wrench' Variations on a Neuroscientific Experiment."
23rd October 2013
I think it's dead, Jim.
I'm really not sure that many people use good ole LJ anymore. But thought I'd post this here all the same... :
After an almost two year hiatus from releasing anything new into the public sphere, Heir to Chronos has become active once again.
with a video:
And a squeaky new webpage:
3rd October 2013
So, I finally caught up with the future and recently acquired my first ever mobile phone--a smart phone, even--although I'm not sure how intelligent it really is. Anyway, I gotta' say that, overall, I quite enjoy having this piece of technology, and the fact that it's also a telephone seems almost secondary to my engagement with it thus far. :
One thing I really like is having a handy pocket sized camera with me, and I've started to take photos of things that catch my eye while I'm out and about. Here's a Photoshop processed piece of digital art that I created from one of my recent snapshots: Groundswell/Downfall II.
27th September 2013
Ugh, I've caught myself some kind of cold and I'm all stuffed up, my eyes feel buggy--yay sinus pressure!--and I'm feeling a bit bagged. Dry throat, wheezing cough, sneezing, you know, all the good stuff. :
I'd started working on a piece of sound the other day based on a recording of rain I made the other night from my balcony. It was coming along fairly nicely, or so I felt, but with the onset of this cold I simply don't feel like working on it.
So, my creative energies took a different outlet and, voilà, a bit of digital art:
Kinda' reminds me a bit of some sort of Cthulhu Mythos something or other.
11th September 2013
Well, I decided to take the plunge and buy myself a new turntable. I've been fussing over my old Technics SL-B2 for a little while--I gave it another contact cleaning the other day as the speed was a little off, and I was thinking about replacing the cartridge as I have never changed it since getting it, which was about twenty years ago (although it also spent a fair amount of time in storage during that period and not in use), I think, and who knows when it had been changed before that. :
Anyway, I've been buying a lot more music on vinyl these days, and I needed to do something--replace the cartridge so I can at least stop worrying about the age of the needle (and the potential damage it might be doing to my records) or get a new table, so today I went ahead and bought a new table. I purchased the entry level Rega model RP-1 in the "cool grey" colour.
So, I got it home and it was super easy to set up. The folks at Rega have designed this table really well, and it's set up at the factory to be pretty much usable out of the box (so long as you stick with the factory cartridge and such).
I was thinking, "what record to start with?" I've got a couple records I haven't even listened to yet, but then I thought the best way to start might be with an album I've heard many, many times. So I went with COIL's Horse Rotorvator, which is the first vinyl record I ever bought--long before I had a turntable even! I've heard this album about ten thousand times, I'm sure. I've listened to a cassette copy of the album on several different stereos and portable cassette players, I've listened to it on CD over several systems, I've listened to its digitized counterpart (from CD and from album, ripped at a few different qualities) on a couple of different systems, and, yes, I've even listened to the vinyl on a few different stereos. So, yes, I know it very, very well.
So, how does it sound on the new RP-1?
And I don't even have a particularly "high end" chain right now--pretty much the exact opposite: the RP-1 through an ART DJPre II phono preamp, and then lined in to the AUX of an old TEAC bookshelf stereo. And it still sounds probably as good as I ever heard, if not better. And this is before the "break in" period of the new cartridge to boot.
The sound is really "full" and "crisp"--clear tones, individual sounds are very distinct, vocals sit incredibly nice amongst all of COIL's strange and eerie sounds. A decent amount of bass--even for these little speakers, which gels nicely with the rest of the mids and highs.
Certainly, gaging the playback quality of any component is a somewhat subjective affair, and I might be somewhat biased since I shelled out close to five hundred bucks for it, but the last thing I am right now is disappointed. Indeed, I am incredibly pleased with this purchase and it's probably the best investment I've made in audio related devices in the history of ever. Right now, I can readily understand where Art Dudley was coming from when he wrote:
"It's not just that I can't imagine $445 buying more happiness; I can't imagine so modest an investment in money and effort buying more music."
Holy shit, COIL's cover of the Leonard Cohen's "Who By Fire" was just on: seriously, I've never heard it sound so damn good!
I guess the big question now is: which album will I play next!
11th July 2013
So, since discovering Eleh the other day, I've been doing some poking around trying to find out a bit more about who is behind this project and, really, anything I can further discover about Eleh (I also bought an Eleh record on eBay, heh). So, I find : this little review about The Decibel Festival where Eleh apparently preformed.
Now, in writing about his experience of the Eleh performance, the author--one Dave Segal, apparently--writes the following:
Thank Allah Eleh wasn’t playing yet another fucking silver Mac.
And, while "ooo isn't that sort of a clever little thing about the Allah/Eleh word pairing, sorta'," what I find myself wondering about is the part concerning "...playing yet another fucking silver Mac." I wonder what Mr. Segal's problem with "...a fucking silver Mac" is?
Is it that he is tired of seeing only silver Macs and would prefer if they came in more colours? Perhaps he feels the musicians who use this bit of gear aren't being creative enough with the external appearance of the instrument? I mean, certainly people could put stickers on their Macs or encase them in different cases or spray paint them or something to vary the colour and appearance so they are all not merely "fucking silver"?
Although, take something like a cello. Most cellos are some variety of stained wood colour without much variation in look or style or colouring. Yet, I wonder, would we say something like "thank the Lord that performer wasn't playing yet another fucking stained wood cello"? I imagine that seeing a cellist preform we would give very little regard for the colour of his or her instrument.
Well, maybe it's not the colour Mr. Segal is commenting on in the above. So what is it?
Perhaps he's tired of seeing musicians using Macs as instruments? Now, I've never actually seen a so-called "laptop performance," which is to say I've never been to a show where the musician playing music for the audience did so using some sort of laptop as his or her instrument. Apparently some people have negative feelings to such things--like such performances are boring, or that a computer isn't a real instrument, or something like that. I get the feeling that Mr. Segal is coming from some place in the vicinity of such feelings.
But, really, would we go to a rock and roll show and say something to the effect of "that dude was playing another fucking black guitar. What is it with these people and their fucking guitars?" And if we did utter something to this effect, could anyone take it as a sincere and reasonable criticism?
No. It is simply idiotic to comment on the fact that a musician is using a guitar at a rock and roll show since pretty much every fucking rock band uses at least one guitar. So, if we are into electronic music in whatever of its sub-genres, and we go to see an electronic music performance, then why would we tend towards criticism of the performers instrument when that is, in this day and age, a popular instrument for creating and performing said music? Why would we say "...yet another fucking silver Mac"?
Sure, it's great to see performers use a variety of instruments to create their sounds. Maybe it's really cool to see someone set up an older modular synth and twist actual dials, patch actual cables, and what-the-fuck-not. But does it matter so much as to what creates the sounds as compared to how the sounds and the performance of these sounds make the people in the audience feel?
No, of course it doesn't.
I think if we go into a show with expectations based on the gear the performer is using, then we are doing both the performer and ourselves a disservice. Who fucking cares what the instrument is as that is merely the tool that enables the creation: would we criticize Picasso for using another fucking paintbrush; would we walk into an exhibition of paintings and be troubled by the fact the artist used fucking canvas again?
"Man, I went to see this band the other night, and those fuckers used speakers."
Anyway, Mr. Segal--not like it's likely you'll read this but--this little article was written on yet another fucking silver Mac, simply FYI you understand.
2nd July 2013
irr. app. (ext.)
Currently checking out irr. app. (ext.)'s latest release called : The Other Side Is Blank.
I had ordered this direct from Mathew Waldron, and I gotta' say this guy is top notch! Not only did he package the records I ordered in the best way I've ever had any sent to me--you could tell it was done with loving care--but when I wrote to Matt and thanked him for getting everything to me safe and sound, and mentioned that I wouldn't be able to listen to the records for awhile yet until I get my turntable back, well, he sent me MP3 files of Blank so I didn't have to wait. Freakin' good guy points for sure!
First, the packaging of this limited to 100 copies release is absolutely gorgeous. It is beautiful in design and execution and lovely to behold! Enclosed are a couple of sweet looking prints and some really slick inserts. The whole collection of goodies can be seen here. I'm a sucker for nicely or uniquely packaged records, and this is certainly a prize.
The music itself is excellent. I've several of irr. app. (ext.)'s releases, and have written before about how much I enjoy his work with sound, and this release has not let me down. Indeed, I'd say that it's some very good work on his part, perhaps a little darker than some of his other stuff, if that's possible, heh. Lots of unique sounds with probably a splash of field recordings: it would be a real treat to see Matt perform live as I guarantee this isn't merely all done on a laptop (or electronically) but probably employs creative instrumentation along with recorded and manipulated sources. Like I swear to god I'm hearing train horns in amongst the dark cacophony of sound. If this music was inspired by a dream Matt had, it certainly sounds as if I'm listening to some dim recess of a sleeping mind mired in a foggy train yard of unsettled dreams. And, geez, that sounded like a dog growling or snarling somewhere in the fog, perhaps warning the sleeping mind away from this unnameable intersection of subconscious tracks, but then it becomes clearer as the sawing of, well, something, that ends in a splash--presumably as the end of whatever is being sawn drops into some basin of liquid. The sawing and the splashing continues as the nightmare station fades away. Where the fuck have we ended up? Heh.
Seriously, this is some really inspired sound, and, yeah, I'd even hazard that it's his best stuff so far.
Pretty happy I tracked down and procured a copy before I'd be forced to buy one from some reseller on eBay or Discogs who'd jack the price. Ah-yup, in checking back to Matt's site, The eie Consumer Emporium, there are no copies left, but I paid $40 for it: two sellers on Discogs are asking $75 and $150 respectively, and I came across a copy on eBay for $55, which prompted me to track it down in the first place.
I'll have to get off my ass and do a follow up to the Q & A I started with Matt back in November of last year. It started off as some curious questions I had for him, but he ended up providing some pretty great answers that deserve some follow up questions.
Anyway, yeah, great fuckin' record(s)!
New to me, love this stuff! :
Freakin' awesome. Some new sounds to track down.
30th June 2013
I discovered, the other day, that the movie The Adjustment Bureau is loosely based on a Philip K. Dick story. I did not know this. Seems more and more of PKD's work is being adapted into movies. Too bad his works didn't get all that much recognition while he was alive to enjoy the spoils, but maybe that's simply how it had to be. :
I haven't seen The Adjustment Bureau, but I'll probably try to get to seeing it sometime soonish. In the meantime I tracked down the story, called Adjustment Team, and read it--pretty good PKD in fine form: I guess it was one of his earlier works, to be sure.
You can read it here, if you'd like.
28th June 2013
Does Anyone Want This Worm?
early in the morning
war, death, and famine.
15th June 2013
Well, I can't tell ya' how much I'm lovin' the MacBook. Freakin' awesome. I can't wait to get my Mac Mini all set up in studio shape again and then I'm thinking about getting a small relatively inexpensive audio interface for the MacBook, and then I can run it into the Mackie Onyx firewire mixer I've got and use it as another platform of instruments for recording into the Propellerhead Record program I usually use for recording. :
I suppose I don;t necessarily have to go that way: I could simply export audio files from Garageband or Audacity on the MacBook over to the Mac Mini and then add them to whatever project I'm working on in Record. This will always be an option, naturally; however, I was thinking like in the same way I'd be using a hardware synthesizer through the Onyx into the Mini, well, the MacBook can act like a whole variety of "hardware" synthesizers, except, of course, the Macbook would be running a whole bunch of so-called "soft synths." These days, as far as I can tell, most dedicated (read: "hardware") synthesizers are digital machines anyways, so I see little reason to purchase a dedicated synthesizer that costs, say, a grand or so, when I can simply get a much cheaper software synthesizer to run on the MacBook.
This brings me to the iPad. I'm thinking I might shop around for an iPad--maybe see if I can pick up a used one--and use it for pretty much the same reasons. I mean, iPad 2 with Wi-Fi is four hundred bucks brand new, and you can't really even buy a hardware synth for that little: even my (former) used Korg R3 cost be four-fifty. and there's so many cool looking apps for the iPod these days. Korg seems ot be steadily releasing Apps for it. There's the iElectribe (and I've thought, off and on, about getting the hardware version of this, which sells for close to six-hundred new), which you can get for a cool twenty bucks. Korg also have a section of synths for the iPad: the iMS-20 for thirty bucks, and the iPolysix also for thirty bucks. They also have a version of their Kaossilator for twenty bucks. So, for, like the initial expenditure for the iPad and then the Apps, I'm looking at around a five-hundred dollar expenditure, and I end up with not only an iPad, but four different instruments. I'm not even sure what buying the equivalent of those four as dedicated hardware devices would cost: probably a couple grand. And there're other instrument apps by other companies available for the iPad as well. I'd love to get one and stuff it full of music production related apps.
And, should I ever get the gumption to try and do a live performance, well, I'm pretty sure it's much easier to pack up a laptop and iPod (or maybe even two?) then it is to try to load up a few racks of synthesizers, samplers, and the like. I can picture having a couple iPads along with the MacBook running through a mixer--maybe with some dedicated hardware effects boxes (but not necessarily) on the iPads. *shrug* I dunno', but it looks cool in my head anyway, heh.
So, yeah, I'm thinking I very well might pick up an iPad in the near future. We shall see what happens.
Also, if, like me, you like dreamy dark ambient music, check out KLEENKOMA on SoundCloud. I discovered his/her/their (?) stuff yesterday and am totally diggin' it!
And if yer too lazy to click a link, simply press play:
11th June 2013
"Women," he only said, "Who can tell what goes on with them?" :
5th June 2013
I Was Glad
that apparently I'm not the only one to notice: :
Although I vote less "separated at birth" and more "cloned from the same source."
22nd May 2013
Very Short Story
A woman I met recently was asking me to write her a story, so, after a bit of playful reluctance, I wrote this in a spontaneous, stream of consciousness type way: no editing, no proof reading, and no changes--simply let the fingers tap it out. Seems to me it belonged here as much as anywhere, so... :
Back before time began, and space became something extended, there wasn't much of anything, which is to say that there was everything that one could possibly imagine. Of course, since there was only No One, which was One, well, it was crammed together right there--no where--and didn't make much sense in any way at all, and was, therefore, extremely difficult for one to imagine much of anything, let alone everything.
So, instead of fretting and dwelling within all this tension of being and nothingness, of non-being and everythingness, one simply imagined something.
And then there was light, but ain't no God had to say nothing about that no how, and if He did, what of it? And if He was She, then all the more of the same, which is, of course, to say something different.
And then, yes, there was difference, even if it was all the same.
Years later--many years later, many, many, many years later, in the relative scheme of things, see--there was some small speck of dead star stuff that gathered itself all together about some other larger collection of dead star stuff that was, itself, collapsing into itself due to its on severe, and very serious, gravity.
It was a very heavy situation, you see?
So, as this other stuff sparked itself off into what would become a new star--some regular, run of the mill star in a galaxy full of similar quite ordinary other stars--this collection of other dead star stuff spun itself up into what would become some insignificant ball of mud and water, which, once that mud and water learned how to get up and walk around, would actually begin to consume itself in some little understood act of self destruction, which, when we stop to think about, is pretty silly, and perhaps only a misunderstanding--all that walking, talking, scheming mud and water simply not very self-reflective perhaps: a skewed and very shallow understanding of self-interest, we could suppose.
At least, that's what the shrinks would say, if only they themselves weren't so tiny, and getting smaller and further away all the time.
See, when everything else is expanding and moving away and distances getting further and further all the time--indeed, things on the edge dropping right off as they move so fast, now, that their light cannot catch up to whatever point becomes a central place of a taken observation--well, is there really any difference between that and the distance remaining the same while the little bits of stuff get smaller, and simply shrink and shrink and shrink?
Well, in the end, it don't matter all that much as, in the end, well, there's the beginning, and in the beginning there was only One, which was none, and there was nothing and everything, and it don't matter what no God or Goddess said no how, 'cause all of that is something would come much later, even if all of it--any something at all--was all here, now, waiting to be imagined.
In other news, I picked up a Macbook Pro, and, man, is it ever fuckin' sweet!
9th May 2013
Hmm...been prowling about some old intellectual stomping grounds again in the past few weeks, and been thinking a bit here and there about the notion of infinity. :
Whatever "infinity" might be, it can certainly bend your mind in odd directions when you spend some time thinking about it.
For instance, simply because we might have something that is infinite does not mean that we have every possible combination in that infinity. I recall reading something by RAW years ago where he assumes that if he had an infinite amount of time available to him, then he'd eventually find himself lecturing to a room full of people name Jesus. This simply isn't the case (without further assumptions about the infinity in question). I mean, for example, take the collection of even integers (2, 4, 6, 8...): they go on forever but never will we find an odd integer in that collection.
What might seem also a bit peculiar is the set of all integers is the same size as the set of even integers is the same size as the set of odd integers. We might be prone to think that, somehow, if we took all the integers and divided them in half (odds in this half, evens in that half), then each set would be smaller than all the integers, but it's not the case.
Something that I've been thinking about recently with regards to infinity is this: no matter large a number (integer) we might imagine, it might as well be zero.
What I mean is this: since the integers go on forever it is impossible to imagine a largest number, let alone imagine a number that even approaches being the largest number. Consider this number:
999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999 999
Seems like a very large number, yes? It's so large that I can't even attempt to enunciate its name; however, as large as it may seem relative to the number one, it doesn't even scratch the surface of all the other numbers that must come after it: relative to the remaining infinity of numbers, this seemingly "large" number is actually very small indeed--so small it might as well be right next to 0, and, compared to all the numbers that come next, it pretty much is--relatively speaking.
11th April 2013
King, Straub, Gibson and Co.
Well, I’ve been reading like a fiend ‘cause I don’t have much else to do. I’ve finished four out of the five A Song of Fire and Ice series (Game of Thrones), which are generally OK. Well, no, the story is really good (although, maybe at times kinda’ cliché here and there, but what can one expect in an epic fantasy series, I suppose?)—a page turner!—but the writing is, dare I say, fair to middlin’. I mean, now and then there’s some tidbit of deep thought and ponderous reflection, but those sorts of nuggets are few and far between, imho. :
But that’s not what I wanted to write about.
I read Stephen King And Peter Straub’s Black House recently. It was, meh, mediocre at best. I had read their The Talisman when I was much younger (one of the few Stephen King books I’ve read), and recall it being fairly good, with even some parts that totally creeped me out! This go-round (it’s got the same main character, only set many years later—twentyish) was OK, but not spectacular. It took me about one hundred pages to get into, and then I could have done without the last forty or so pages—as in I was simply trying to get to the end without much care about what was going to happen. I guess I’d give it about a five out of ten: far better things to spend 800+ pages reading, I’d reckon.
On the other hand, I finally got ‘round to re-reading William Gibson’s Mona Lisa Overdrive after re-reading the previous two novels in his opening trilogy sometime last year. Damn--what a great book! I feel that Gibson really is my favourite writer. I get hooked into the story immediately. His pacing is always spot on, his detailing is fantastic, his characters a pleasure to become involved with, and I’m always left wanting more, more, more! It was quite a contrast to the aforementioned Black House insofar that I’d much rather read 800+ pages of Gibson and, say, 300 or so pages of King/Straub.
I was thinking about reading King’s Dark Tower series, which I read the first two books of ages ago but never bothered with the rest, starting again from the beginning, but after reading Black House I am kind of skeptical about doing so (and Black House, as it turns out, is a kind of tie-in, albeit very slightly, to the Dark Tower mythos). I see that part one, The Gunslinger is here for me at the library—I’d put a reserve on it—and I guess maybe I’ll give it a go and then decide if Imma’ put in the effort to read the whole series. I certainly won’t be starting it until I’m finished Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy though, which, I’m sure, will be a much better and more authentic Western, heh.
20th March 2013
On Intelligent Design
(Edited to Add this aside: a very nice soundtrack for reading, thinking about, and participating in this discussion (yes, the main post plus comments) can be had by going to : Grooveshark, putting "Rapoon" into the search, then selecting "see all," from the albums list, then selecting Easterly 6 or 7 from that list, and then selecting "play all."
A mere suggestion for any interested parties--past, present, or future.)
Milk and cookies have kept me awake, it seems, and, for whatever reason, I found myself reading an article tangentially related to so-called "Intelligent Design." And now I feel like spending a few moments writing--probably sketching, probably poorly, possibly rantily--about it.
First thing I'd like to address is that some people who support Intelligent Design say things like "life is so complicated and complex, it couldn't possibly happened by accident; therefore, someone (i.e., GOD) had to make all these wondrous things." I mean, this paraphrase is the main thrust of argument from design: it's the old "you find a watch on the ground and know from its workings it had to be made by a master craftsman" via William Paley circa 1802.
So, when people spout this kind of shit, I wonder exactly what sort of fuckin' Dark Ages their minds are living in anyway? OK, first things fuckin' last: I don't know who you think you are that simply because you can't fathom something makes whatever it is you can't fathom untrue. Most people can't fathom the oddities of modern physics, yet they believe in their fuckin' cell phones all the same. Anyway...
I feel that what is lacking here is at least two-fold: 1) an understanding of what Evolution actually puts forward (of which I am not necessarily an "all-in" sort of supporter), and 2) any sense of imagination or creativity that can go beyond whatever dross has been embedded in this or that person's mind.
I think that if we really get serious about what Evolution is all about, then it becomes apparent that it's not merely a series of "accidents" or even a series of "happy accidents," which might be called by some a "series of coincidence" (and it's certainly not a "series of meaningful coincidence because "meaning"--as far as I understand the word--only arrises within self-reflective conscious beings (which could actually be everything or one thing or nothing but that's a different story for a different time).
No, if there's anything these masses of drooling idiots should have taken from all those police dramas that have been on their televisions over the years it is this: a good investigator understands there's no such thing as coincidence.
It's synchronicity (although not in quite the way such a concept is currently defined). It's interactive iteration. It's positive feedback/feedforward. It's pratītyasamutpāda (better parsed as "mutually interdependent co-arising")--like mutual dispositional partnerings.
Now, and further, there's all kinds of fanciful theories floating about in the realm of science these days. Many of them are mere conjectures: they make good argument and seem to account for this or that observed phenomenon or other or collection thereof, but they're still only stories. So, what I'm driving at here, like some kind of half-crazed lunatic who's had to much to drink and shouldn't be behind the wheel (although I assure you I'm stone cold sober), is that if some of these Intelligent Design supporters would pull their heads out of their asses (which might account for the Dark Ages they find their minds firmly rooted in), quit decrying science, and actually take a look around and learn about some of the things that "science" has put forth, then maybe their own fuckin' worthless imaginations might clue them into better stories they could tell themselves about life, the universe, and everything.
For Example: take the "many worlds" interpretation of Quantum Mechanics. It basically posits that for every possible outcome a system can take it takes it, but each outcome creates its own world line.
Imagine that for a second: every time an event happens on subatomic scale, every possible outcome of that event creates its own actual world.
That's a hell of a lot of worlds. A hella' lot of worlds. Probably uncountable, but maybe only countably infinite--I dunno', that would need more thought--but I digress.
So, take this and apply it to this whole notion of evolution happening by accident. Nope, sorry: every possible manifestation, permutation, instantiation that can occur has occurred or will occurr within the set of all these actual worlds.
So, when a supporter of ID talks about how amazing the eye is, for example, he or she might simply be missing the idea (and the imagination and perhaps the depth and or scope of knowledge) that the eye was simply a possibility right from the instant of the Big Bang, and since every possibility manifests over the course of time in the form of the actuality of every possible world (if the many worlds interpretation is true), then it is merely the case that we live in a universe where the eye exists.
(And don't even get me started on why the singularity of the Big Bang is outside of spacetime, and therefore, is actually the same singularity that manifests every possible world, 'cause that's a very tall and complicated tale to be sure)
But, on the other hand, the same argument I give above about the "many worlds interpretation" is not only an argument against "irreducible complexity" arguments of ID supporters, it is also a refutation of standard interpretations of evolution.
At this point ('cause it's late, and the milk and cookies--and the piss and vinegar--are wearing off, plus, I'm sure I've already pushed well beyond most people's "TL;DR" boundary (heh, who am I kiddin'--I doubt anyone reads this journal anymore)), I'll leave it to the reader to ponder why.
Oh! One more irksome thing about some of the tactics of some supporters of Intelligent Design: they rally against science's lack of knowledge. The claim is, for example, that since science can't explain such-and-such, it sucks, and, therefore, God exists. This is the God of the Gaps. This is also stupid: simply because scientific knowledge can't currently account for, well, whatever, doesn't entail the existence of any God, it merely entails our ignorance.
The current "standard model" in physics can only account for, and work with, 4.6% of the stuff in the universe. Does this mean there's a God? No. It simply means we're stupid, and it's likely for all the things we believe that we know, there're exponentially more things that we don't know shit about.
Good night, and God/dess(es) bless.
5th January 2013
On Evolutionary Theory
I've never been a big fan of Evolutionary Theories. This is partly due to the contrarian nature in me which tends towards rebelling against readily accepted dogma, but that's not the mere basis of my rejection of, or rallying against, theories of evolution. :
One serious point of contention is the idea of "survival of the fittest." However, my ire here, it seems, is more towards the misinterpretation of this idea than towards the idea itself. The common way of using this idea seems to imply that it is the strongest that survive or that 'fittest' equals 'most able'. And, I suppose, the latter is closer to what is meant by "survival of the fittest," but still not quite what the phrase intends to convey.
A further objection I have to Evolutionary Theories is with regards to their assumption regarding time. Under such theories time is linear and flows only in one direction. The past is concrete whereas the future is open and has yet to manifest. This, to me, seems to assume way too much about something we really have only the slightest hold upon.
And don't even get me started on off shoots of Evolutionary Theory, such as so-called "Evolutionary Psychology." As if "psychology" itself is not a tenuous "scientific" discipline to begin with, then take that and try to connect it with a further dodgy theory. Shit, if you ever attend any sort of lecture or read any sort of literature that stems from a position of "Evolutionary Psychology," well, you'll never hear so many "just-so" stories peppering a supposedly "academic" and "scientific" endeavour.
While I feel there is some merit in the ideas that stem from Darwin's original formulation of Evolution, I also feel that it needs some serious overhaul to more readily describe the situation as it appears. I believe that such an overhaul can be undertaken if we describe evolution in terms of dispositions, specifically dispositions as laid out by C.B. Martin.
This is simply a rough sketch at present in order to get some thoughts down about the matter so as not to forget what I've been thinking about over the last few days.
The formulation of dispositional manifestation seems to me as readily capturing the idea of "survival of the fittest." This expression refers to the ability of an organism to adapt to its environment. This entails that the environment has certain attributes or presents specific needs to an organism, and, in turn, the organism can change in order to take advantage of these environmental conditions. We can picture this as the environment having specific slots or places that can be filled by an organism's own potential attributes and abilities. Put differently, and in terms of a dispositional account, an environment offers specific sets of dispositional opportunities which, if a given organism has dispositions that are able to partner with the environmental dispositions, then manifestation as mutual dispositional partnering in turn creates the "evolution" or "adaptation" of the specific organism.
(Christ, ever repeat a word over and over again until it becomes meaningless?)
Hmm...that's all for now.
2nd January 2013
It was a decent ride today. Once I got out and rolling I stretched out the aches and pains, so I felt much better when I got back in as compared to when I went out. We've had a bunch of snow here over the past few weeks, so many riding spots were covered with snow or ice or ice and snow, but not all. :
On one spot I hit briefly--the stair set at the Shell--some asian folks waiting at the light in a truck actually rolled down their windows, applauded and cheered giving me smiles and thumbs up after I hopped down the stairs, heh.
Ah, my adoring anonymous public.
Whelp, that about wraps up the day, but before I go let me show you this:
I received this in the mail on the day of New Year's Eve: it's a split 7"--Jawbox covering TAR's song "Static" and TAR covering Jawbox's song "Static." Two different bands, two different songs, same title, and both bands are right up there on my favourite post-punk, post-hardcore indie rock acts from the nineties. And you might notice it happens to be signed by all the members of Jawbox on their side and all the members of TAR on their side. I ain't never heard these covers before and it only cost me $8--score!
1st January 2013
I Wonder If...
I'm going to receive a complaint regarding my customer service from an encounter I had yesterday at work? :
So, it's New Year's Eve day and, of course, the store is super busy 'cause many people reckon drinking is what's in order for New Year's Eve.
So, I'm stuck at the counter of the store 'cause my back/sciatic nerve is really bothering me yesterday and I'm in a fair bit of pain, so I don't want to be lifting and moving any boxes. Normally that's what I'd do on Mondays as we get three different orders in.
Anyway, I'm going through the robotic counter service person motions dealing with a seemingly endless queue of customers when I ask the patron currently at my till if he needs a bag with his purchase. He responds, "It couldn't hurt."
So, contrarian, absurdist brain kicks in, and out of my mouth rolls, "Well, it could if you placed it over your head and held it there." Of course, this is spoken with my patented dead pan delivery.
Well, the guy simply looks at me and doesn't say squat. The woman he's with laughs a little--she at least found it funny, but I got the feeling that buddy took it all personally: like I was talking about him when I was actually commenting on plastic bags and their potential ability to cause "hurt".
Sheesh--and I know that I'm also at fault of this on occasion--sometimes people are so ready to take things personally when those same things are not about them at all. I guess that's simply a symptom of the self-centeredness of most people's point of view.
Flappy Blue Ear!
And so it is that the end of another arbitrary calendar cycle is upon us as a new arbitrary calendar cycle begins. The Earth--despite all our glorious efforts--keeps spinning on its axis, turning about the Sun, and the Sun, well, we haven't figured out ways to plunder its resources yet, so it's relatively secure in its orbit about the Supermassive Black Hole that comprises the center of the Milky Way. :
Turn, turn, turn.
And, speaking of turning, I turned many a page of many a book this past year: read more in 2012 than I have in several years combined! Although, I guess I freed up a bunch of time by choosing not to get drunk on a consistent (er, "daily") basis (indeed, I pretty much stopped drinking altogether in 2012--it simply began to seem rather dull and a waste of time and money), and this time was then available to put to more seemingly constructive uses.
So, books I read in 2012 (mostly in the order of reading them--if memory serves; titles with an '*' beside them are books I had read sometime previously in my life):
A Scanner Darkly, Philip K. Dick *
Flow My Tears, The Policeman Said, Philip K. Dick *
The Unlimited Dream Company, J.G. Ballard *
The Glass Hammer, K.W. Jeter *
Solaris, Stanislaw Lem *
Briefing For A Decent Into Hell, Doris Lessing *
Destroying Angel, Richard Paul Russo *
Replicant Night, K.W. Jeter
Jailbird, Kurt Vonnegut *
God Bless You Dr. Kevorkian, Kurt Vonnegut
Zero History, William Gibson
Slaughterhouse-Five, Kurt Vonnegut
Snow Crash, Neal Stphenson *
The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul, Douglas Adams *
Carlucci's Heart, Richard Paul Russo *
Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk
Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami
The Third Policeman, Flann O'Brien *
Neuromancer, William Gibson *
Farewell Horizontal, K.W. Jeter *
Queen of Angels, Greg Bear *
If on a winter's night a traveller, Italo Calvino *
Count Zero, William Gibson *
Generation X, Douglas Coupland
Noir, K.W. Jeter
The Zap Gun, Philip K Dick
All The Pretty Horses, Cormac McCarthy
American Gods, Neil Gaiman
I also read various excerpts, articles, essays, and interviews from the following:
Re/Search #4/5: W.S. Burroughs, Brion Gyson, and Throbbing Gristle, V. Vale & Andrea Juno eds
Re/Search #6/7: Industrial Culture Handbook, V. Vale & Andrea Juno eds
Semiotext[e] USA, Jim Fleming & Peter Lamborn Wilson eds
I'm currently about halfway through The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami.
I think that William Gibson has become one of my favourite--if not most favourite--authors. It was really good to discover both Gaiman and Murakami's works. Palahniuk was also new to me as was Coupland: I'll likely read more Palahniuk for sure, and I could take or leave Coupland (although it is likely I'll give him at least one more read, but not sure which work).
Aside from reading, I'd say 2012 was generally a good year: I got a decent paying job after over a year of unemployment; I bought a trials bike and made some excellent (imho) progression in riding; took on what is turning out to be an excellent roommate; got back into buying music and started expanding my humble vinyl collection; and, quite simply, felt that there were many more good days than bad ones.
Some possible goals for 2013:
--Get a new bed 'cause my old one is a piece of shit and has begun to cause me back problems.
--Finish and release the collection of "songs" I've been working on, perhaps with an eye towards having it done "semi-professionally".
--More progression in trials riding; possibly buy a new bike (but might save that part for next year).
--Find a better job.
--Quit smoking (yeah, still working on that one, lol).
--Continue to pursue, with an eye towards completion, the works of COIL, Rapoon, and Zoviet France.
--Read even more books!
--Buy a new and fancier turntable, heh; digitize the records I don't have on CD.
--Eat less junk food (chips and chocolate).
--Rehabilitate and recover from back problems.
--Be somewhat more "social", heh.
Well, I don't know what anyone else has planned for the first day of the new arbitrary calender cycle, but here in Calgary, with the weather being a balmy -4°C with the possibility of a high of 2°C, I'm going to get out and ride my bike this afternoon--back pain be damned!
Good luck, everyone, and all the best in 2013:
Snappy Shoe Shear!
19th December 2012
Aw shit. An old roommate and I, Nick, back in the days of living in County 23, would blast that song out the window of our apartment. We lived downtown above a shop that sold new and used (but mostly used) odds and ends. For some reason our landlord, the shop owner, never complained about any of our shenanigans.
Anyway, I received a beautiful copy of Negativland's Escape From Noise in the mail today. About as close to "mint" condition as I think I'm gonna' find a record that's 25 years old. It came with a press release booklet (fairly rare, only a small number of copies had this booklet, apparently) and a bumper sticker that says, yup, "CAR BOMB" (that's a scan of it above, yah).
I've had a cassette copy of this album for years (and years), and have an actual version of it on CD. But I couldn't resist this little bit of collector's delight--plus, I've always really wanted that bumper sticker, heh. Got a super good deal on this too: very exciting!
18th December 2012
Books, Music, Bicycles.
These are some of my favourite things. :
Finished reading Gaiman's American Gods last night. It was a page turner for sure: at 588 pages, I finished it in a little over a week--spent a few nights staying up too late reading, plus a few great evenings listening to Bass Communion records while reading. Another great recommendation by another seemingly fine woman who happens to be married.
Sigh. That makes two recommendations of good reads by two women who are married.
Third time's the charm, perhaps?
Anyway, went over to Page's here in Kensington and picked up another Haruki Murakami book (he was recommended to me by the first married woman--you might recall when I read Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World): The Wind-Up Bird Chronicles. Looking forward to starting that shortly--later tonight before bed, which is soon.
Received a Jawbox 7" in the mail today on white vinyl: Tools and Chrome. A four song single, all of which I already have on CD, but, yeah, bought this purely from a collector point of view. Well, that and Jawbox are one of my favourite indie post punk hard rock acts of the 90s. Was recounting to the roommate earlier today--while blasting the newly acquired record--about one of the best shows I ever did see which featured Jawbox as an opening act for Tar.
Didn't really know Jawbox at the time, but was very much looking forward to Tar. Jawbox played and blew me away and I was worried that they would have upstaged Tar. Then Tar played and I was blown away all over again. It was a really good show.
Went for a good ride today with Alex. We hadn't been riding together for quite some time: damn winter. But today it happened to be relatively decent outside and we both had the day off, so we made it out for a tear. I've had to ride the good ole Shred lately as I still have to replace the crank arm on the Echo. Surprisingly, I can ride a fair amount of trials on the Shred: all the riding on the Echo has really enabled me to do things on the Shred that I probably would not have been able to do without time spent on the Echo.
That said, I'm looking forward to getting the Echo up and working again and some nice Spring weather to ride it in. I'd really rather not be riding it around through all the crap that winter conditions bring.
Guess I'll be waiting for awhile yet, heh.