On Fri, Sep 21, 2012 at 6:56 PM, Craig Weinberg <whatsons...@gmail.com>wrote:

> On Friday, September 21, 2012 8:47:15 AM UTC-4, Platonist Guitar Cowboy
> wrote:
>> On Thu, Sep 20, 2012 at 8:39 PM, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com>wrote:
>>> On Thursday, September 20, 2012 1:25:48 PM UTC-4, Platonist Guitar
>>> Cowboy wrote:
>>>> Reflected eternal song(s) dressed in the illusion of time. As far as I
>>>> can see: proportions, relationships, ratios.
>>> That's what I mean by "a conceptual sculpture of abstraction". It's not
>>> real though. Proportion of what? Relations between what?
>> Pick your ontological primitive and insert it there.
> Nothing would work except the ontological primitive that I use (sense).

Glad that works for you. Linguistically I am flexible with primitives, and
I'm not overly hungry for consistency either, as language is so
semantically imprecise and notoriously slippery: on some days maybe
numbers, on other days the opposite sex, on other days strings do fine, as
I love guitar. Maybe all at once and when I play, at times I think its all
nuts anyway: there are more precise languages, such as music, that limit my
squirrely linguistic operations and can aim more efficiently towards joy.
These linguistic squirrel operations can be really ornate and rich but in
my case are mostly circular and don't lead to better composition/playing.

>> That said, a theory of everything with my stamp of approval has to
>> account for music, as intangible as it is: is it the code, the score, its
>> syntax, the technical levels a musician has to engage in (rhythm, harmony,
>> melody), the physical vibrations produced, nerve cells and neurons, the
>> composer's intention, the listening experience etc. simply because, despite
>> that ambiguity: music is here and guitars are awesome dream machines.
>> This ambiguity, that music appears only partially in all these different
>> ways, makes a piece of music materially intangible. A piece of music is not
>> reducible to the page of notes, nor to its interpretation by one musician
>> live, nor the recording etc. It does not exist materially. If you play me a
>> Mozart piece on Piano, I might not agree with articulation or some
>> parameter: for you this would be music and you'd point to the physical
>> waves of sound in the room and the corresponding score; and I'd say:
>> "nope." Even concert professionals see their best work as "approximations"
>> of a piece and rarely as "perfect" rendition of the piece.
>> So despite physical vibrations and neurological correlations, music is as
>> intangible as ever.
> I don't think of experiences as intangible, I just think of them as
> privately tangible as experiences through time rather than publicly
> tangible as objects across space. What makes it seem intangible is if we
> use public realism criteria against private phenomenology.

That's not the question, it was: what is music?

Music does not equal its experience alone. Reflections of it can be
experienced on a sensory level, sure, I'll give you that. But as I already
asked: is it the code, the score, its syntax, the technical levels a
musician has to engage in (rhythm, harmony, melody), the physical
vibrations produced, nerve cells and neurons, the composer's intention, the
listening experience, the infinite approximation of the performer that will
always find ways to render a piece more precicely etc.?

Your calibration of sense does not address this ambiguity, nor does it
clarify it.

>>> When we think of these things we can conceive of them abstractly
>>> as-if-they-were-real, but only because we are borrowing the concrete
>>> reality of our own neurology to do that.
>> How is this room I'm typing in not "some mental abstraction or
>> conception"? Neurologists can't explain "aesthetic experience" either.
> Because the room is publicly accessible, not just to yourself but guests,
> dogs, termites, etc. The idea of an Ur-music which is independent of all
> forms of experiencing the music is a purely idealistic notion - which is a
> concretely real experience too, but as a cognitive artifact rather than a
> referent in public reality or private qualia.
As I said, I am ontologically promiscuous. I do prefer Ur-music to termites
on most days, however. I don't let the latter into the room.

>>> Just because we can imagine how a song would look as a graphic
>>> representation doesn't mean that there is an independently real
>>> mathematical spirit which is clothed in different forms. It is the math
>>> which is derived through experiences of form, not the other way around. We
>>> are informed by experiencing forms, not by composing in silence and then
>>> hoping to discover sound.
>> How are forms not another kind of "mental abstraction"; the sort of which
>> you just denied "real" existence.
> Forms are another kind of abstraction but not mental. They are qualia of
> whatever sense modality we are being informed through - visual/tactile,
> acoustic, etc.

Now you make qualia into abstraction. This I don't understand as eating an
apple does not equal somebody's thinking operation "quale of apple eating":
there would be no famine on this planet if people could conjure up food by
imagining its experience. This would be great: I am hungry for anchovy
pizza and it appears before me.

>>>> Time makes them appear to chat and sing; but in some sense every song
>>>> has already been sung, even if they've never been voiced or heard.
>>> I almost agree, but I think that in the same sense that every song has
>>> already been sung, it has also already been voiced and heard, only not in
>>> the 'small now' of ordinary waking human consciousness. When I heard the
>>> song Street Spirit for the first time, I immediately knew that it was the
>>> song that I had heard in my mind often as a child. Not the exact Radiohead
>>> recording, but the tone and mood of the song, foreshadowings of the notes.
>>> They had found what I found and recorded it. What I heard as a child had
>>> nothing to do with ratios and pitch - it was pure aural psyche. A
>>> melancholic science fiction embodied as music. Music is a feeling that
>>> turns math when you play it or compose it...when we touch things with our
>>> fingers (actual or mental), they become as fingers: digital, distant,
>>> objects to be controlled.
>>>> Beethoven was almost completely deaf while he composed/dreamed the 9th.
>>>> Mahler wrote/dreamed his later symphonies in a hut by a lake in Austria. No
>>>> Piano, no reference pitches. He never even "heard physically" his 9th.
>>>> Some are amazed by this. I am not.
>>> I would be amazed if they were born deaf though. Once you have heard
>>> music it is not too surprising that you could still compose or perform.
>>> Remarkable, but not surprising. Even if someone was technically deaf, they
>>> still might be able to feel the vibrations and rhythms. I think there is a
>>> famously deaf drummer I heard about. But to truly have no way to experience
>>> music at all, there would be no point to composing it. As a mathematical
>>> curiosity it would be pretty boring - simple repetitions for the most part.
>> Music's major appearance last century as "mass-product", as Adorno has
>> pointed out, materializes it into something taken for granted and boring
>> anyway. To most, music doesn't change much and they stick with a set of
>> favorites from their twenties onwards.
>> Sex is a series of repetitive moves. You can do these boringly and
>> crudely or not.
>> Music has only to satisfy those aesthetic criteria, that everybody
>> involved can identify with.
>> Also, I don't think having impaired hearing inherently bars people from
>> learning to interact meaningfully with music. Google "hearing impairments
>> education".
>> But I guess that won't satisfy you: you want somebody completely deaf,
>> for their whole life to compose.
> Well yeah, that would be the only way to test the principle I am talking
> about. If there were no sound, what would be the appeal of
> music-theoretical structures in and of themselves?
>> Besides this being perhaps cruel to some people with profound hearing
>> impairments, I will say this: if the problem set of formal music theory and
>> its genealogy is made explicit to them with enough clarity, then I bet
>> their internal "semantic imaging/thought/voice", for lack of a better term,
>> will eventually be able to pick, through pattern recognition and
>> refinement: the more appropriate line, voicing, and or chord; even if you
>> have to work pedagogically with just trial and error: writing a fugue is
>> also like crossword puzzle. It's not all that ethereal: stringing events
>> convincingly in code. If they like puzzles and stringing code, it might be
>> great, but I don't know explicitly of any scientific work done in this
>> direction.
> Sure they might be able to compose great music - even masterpieces from
> pure theory, but I am asking what the point would be from their
> perspective. Other than the socio-economic appeal of producing something
> valuable, what would make someone map out a logical function and then
> repeat it three times as a 'chorus'? Why would that be interesting if you
> didn't have an accompanying emotional-somatic-audio experience which makes
> that repetition groovy?

Groovy for whom? Why is the deaf man's groove inherently poorer than what
hearing people consider groovy, which varies considerably on its own btw?
Groovy patterns are number relations. If our hypothetically deaf composer
had been presented with the genealogy of say mambo, late 70s funk, 90s
hip-hop, dubstep grooves through another sensory channel, then she/he would
be able to distinguish between groovy and not.

But I don't need this line of argument since you already divorced rhythm
from music by negating the "deaf drummer feeling vibrations" phenomenon
that you brought up. That's clearly contradiction.

>>>> You're probably gonna state that they needed experience hearing in the
>>>> first place, which leaves me unconvinced as I have read the scores:
>>>> whatever is being coded there is not "dead information" but entities,
>>>> portals into dreamworlds.
>>> I agree with portals into dreamworlds, but I see that as psyche, as
>>> sense, not as math. What does math care for mood or timbre? If you don't
>>> need experience first, then why not compose music-equivalents in a sensory
>>> mode that doesn't exist yet?
>> The timbre of most recorded instruments today is brought totally into the
>> digital domain; even if this is avoided until CDs are produced. As for
>> Vinyl, I wish people lots of joy with their hissing analog records.
>> How can composition take place in an unknown unknown? Throw people a
>> sensory mode, and composing will take place.
> Not really though. Very few people compose music purely for it's visual
> appeal when played on a graphic equalizer. It's the sound that makes music
> special. Music exploits sensual qualities of sound to evoke rich
> transpersonal qualia. You can get something like that with visual art, but
> looking at visual maps of music just isn't as interesting as hearing it.
> All forms are not equally commutable in every sensory mode. I think that
> music derives from the exquisite nature of sound in the human experience,
> not from the mathematical relations which inform it.

I question this separation between visual and auditory, having worked with
sound and video: If I had to make advertisement video for eating apples, I
would code the audio channel to the same number relations as the
video/visual channel: like roundness, red, vital, crunchy, up beat, bright,
lightness etc.

Also, if you tell say a club to not sync their light machines to the
music... Visual pulses reflect rhythm and all manner of musical nuance can
find a visual counterpart. Music videos are still produced as effective
marketing tools and films without music are rare and make some inverted
statement of: absence of music raises/lowers some other effect parameter.

>  Composing is a bit like dreaming with interventions of analytical aspect
>> of mind, to render the dream more universally accessible for others. But we
>> dream constantly; if mind is allowed to run redundantly, with no focus and
>> or functional distractions, it will naturally start to dream up its own
>> worlds.
>> With certain consciousness altering plants and substances that perturb
>> the mind's routine illusions/dreams, or to a less explicit degree, right
>> between waking and sleeping (you know you're dreaming, the
>> self-referentiality of which usually kills the dream "machine" from just
>> running) the mind dreams redundantly and starts creating one artistic
>> universe after the other. In a few hours people experience more art,
>> poetry, music, dreams than the entire tangible history of mankind.
>> What implications this has for us, is for every mind to explore.
>>> Note how in festival culture from woodstock to burning man: music
>>>> functions as portal, a kind of carrier wave, to other loci of being and
>>>> perception => physical sound strings point towards some dream, mind of the
>>>> festival goers do the introspective traveling.
>>> No question of that. I don't know that the dirt and blankets have a
>>> similar experience though. Seems like a human journey to phenomenological
>>> places. Figurative spacetime, not literal. You can't play a song from the
>>> 1920s and learn who was vice president by osmosis.
>> Yes you can,
> How so? You are saying that I can learn specific factual knowledge about
> the real world of the 1920s by listening to a recording of any random song
> from that time? Like an oracle?
As I stated: speech is a stringed succession of small mouth noises, pitch,
articulation and rhythm...

> I guess if you don't annoy anybody: speech is a stringed succession of
>> small mouth noises, pitch, articulation and rhythm... People play music
>> with their mouths all day. I just keep wondering why so many don't take the
>> opportunity to make this more beautiful. We're here. Stuck. So why not a
>> more musical global discourse, while we are? A bit more Mozart and reggae
>> in global politics and law, anyone?
>>>> Their use of similar adjectives, hyperbole and superlatives to describe
>>>> their experience points towards kind of eternal universality of music, when
>>>> removed enough from "consumer of music", "User of music" through the usual
>>>> list of consciousness altering practices, substances, and plants.
>>> I think that music gives humans access to a kind of human universality -
>>> to point the antenna of the psyche to different places that it wouldn't be
>>> able to point on its own perhaps.
>> I'd buy that, no probs.
>>> Dogs and cats don't seem to care too much about it though.
>>> Craig
>> Yeah, I only know of one cat that responds to it at times. But our dog
>> just chills out whenever I play. Doesn't matter if guitar or piano... he
>> just lays there and forgets to nag for walks, treats or to want to go
>> outside on his barking routine, annoying the neighbors (not music anymore
>> sadly). He does not give a damn about speakers however, even if I play him
>> the same songs I play, played by concert pianist in pristine studio
>> conditions through reference quality studio monitors... Perhaps my dog
>> argues in favor of physical universe. Then again, he might just have
>> aesthetic preference for my strings of code.
> That's very interesting to me though, because it suggests what I take as
> axiomatic in my model, which is that the map is not the territory.

I need maps, otherwise my herd would get lost. Seriously insincere, though:
"map is not territory" ignores problem of orientation, however wrong the
map may be. If I run out of gas, and ask for the location of the next gas
station, refusing any directions as mental abstractions and insisting on
somebody providing me with proper "quale for territory" because "a map is
not the territory"... I wouldn't get very far.

> Just because what comes out of the speakers seems similar to a live
> performance a song to us humans does not mean that it means the same thing
> or anything to other organisms, or even people of different cultures. This
> is why it is so easy to confuse the possibility of artificial intelligence
> with artificial sentience. We think that if it answers verbal questions in
> a way that seems familiar to us that it means they are as good as human,
> when in fact they are a plastic and silicon apparatus.
> Craig

But you said that your primitive was sense. Why does silicon not sense you
back? I don't know how we can rule this out, if we assume your notion of
sense primitive. Sometimes I sense you emphasizing strongly neuronal
activity and at other times you sound closer to Kant transcendentalism
("exquisite nature of human experience", "groove" etc.), with its marked
idealistic streak. Would you perhaps clarify how you reconcile? Highly
virtuosic linguistically, no doubt. A bit Bergson like imho, who I find
fascinating, even if I currently don't bet on materialism part.

Even ancient Greeks believed in creative muse/spirits whispering them word
and song... if sense holds, how do you make plausible that we experience
introspection or introspective listening/dreaming as non-local, foreign?
Mahler remarking of his fifth or sixth symphony while conducting it: "It
feels as though 'I' didn't write this music; as though I'm merely a scribe
conducting someone else's music." How does sense account for the
non-locality of introspection and dreaming, alluded to here? If these are
Mahler's neurons performing the operations primitively as sense, why does
he, and many composers share this, feel a "foreign sense informing them" or
why do the Greeks feel "muses speaking to them", spirit talk heard by
indigenous people, and why is this so pervasive if its always "our neurons"

And if this is a mere hallucination produced by neuronal activity, why is
it so fruitful in art, science, music etc. since the antique; and not more
random without results like books and symphonies etc.?


>> Mark
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