[ by Charles Cameron — just passing along what the New Yorker passed my way this last week ]
The New Yorker‘s regular emails pointing to past stories offered up a pair of very interesting writings this last week:
The first is the piece by Susan Orlean which was later developed into her book, The Orchid Thief, and again by Charlie Kaufman into the script for the Spike Jonze film, Adaptation. Just the screenplay would be enough to capture my interest, for its inherent ouroboros:
I’ve written myself into my screenplay.
That’s kind of weird, huh?
But that’s my obsession, far less erotic than orchids, I concede.
The second is Vladimir Nabokov‘s account of his own obsession, you might call it, with butterflies:
[ by Charles Cameron — there’s this word, multi-tasking, but multi-listening would be more useful and to the point — counterpoint, that is ]
We know that in general, binocular vision allows us to see an additional depth dimension not available to a single eye — but that’s when both eyes are looking at the same object. Now — after a quick F Scott Fitzgerald refresher — this:
The F Scott Fitzgerald quote you’ll probably recognize, but the one about more “open” personalities being better able to “see” two opposing images — red shown to one eye, green to the other — merging into one more complex image is intriguing, to say the least..
We already know instinctively how to listen to several voices when we listen to music — but when two speaking voices are in conflict, or talking right past each other, or one’s going big picture and the other deviles in the details.. let alone when there are three opinions to be heard, or four, or seventeen..
Below, you’ll find Joni Mitchell singing Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter with lyrics that keep bridging gaps “between yes and no .. altitude and flesh .. some duality .. fire and rain” and summed up in the lines “the eagle and the serpent are at war in me, the serpent fighting for blind desire, the eagle for clarity”. Listening to Joni sing, we can hear her powerful voice and the poetry of her lyrics, her guitar, and at the very least underneath both the driving bass of Jaco Pastorius — three “voices” simultaneously.
Below, too, I’ve posted Bach‘s A minor Fugue, BWV 904 — with the brilliant graphical scoring of Stephen Malinowski — and again, it’s possible to follow two or even three voices, particularly with the assistance of the graphical score.
Now, at a geopolitical conference, or a discussion of Presidency and impeachment, or a board meeting — or on the inside of your skull — how many voices can you hold in tension, in counterpoint, or bring into harmony and concord?
Temperature and ocean levels go up. Whole world regions dry out. Hundreds of millions will have to leave, migrate, millions will fight wars, no end being in sight. Can we go on listening as usual to Buxtehude, Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Bruch, Bruckner?
and at last Teeth — with the Ligeti from the late ’70s as context, the stunning Roomful Of Teeth plays Caroline Shaw‘s Pulitzer-winning Partita:
Music, it would seem, is the chosen placement of sounds, random or chosen, from the field of all sounds, in some form or container within which they may bounce and reverberate.
Note that under this definition, the barnyard’s sounds may sound (Ligeti, children’s rhymes), as may silence..
the words of operas and masses..
Note too, that under this definition, plays and poetry are a subset of music, also.
[ reposted from BrownPundits — by Charles Cameron — few things in life are as delightful as finding kinships of mind and heart ]
Brilliant, IMO — and hopefully of use to Ali Minai, Mike Sellers and others in the field of artificial intelligence — here the Loom is, as JustKnechtpresents it on Medium:
9 categories can be used to classify how forms, meanings and the connections between them change, develop and evolve in relation to each other. Put anything at the top left of this table, then:
re-express the idea of it in a different form (horizontal movement towards the right of the loom, e.g. from Mercury the Roman god to Greek Hermes and Egyptian Thoth), or else
reinterpret that particular form with a different idea (vertical movement towards the bottom of the loom, e.g. from Mercury as god to the metal or planet of exactly the same name), or
vary both the form and the meaning (with ideas and forms both contrasting towards the bottom right of the loom, e.g. follow Mercury into the domain of trees, according to standard tables of correspondence in European culture, to the fast-growing hazel — hazel groves often being associated with gateways to the underworld, and Mercury himself being a guide to the underworld).
JustKnecht‘s Loom would be a powerful tool by which to analyze many uses of my DoubleQuotes format.
My own HipBone Games, like JustKnecht‘s Rattlesnake Games, are inspired by Hermann Hesse‘s Glass Bead Game as described in his novel of that name — and there’s enough kinship between them that Derek Robinson‘s comments on my own games and Ai may be of use, mutatis mutandis, in setting a context for Rattlesnake Games, too:
Zenpundit is a blog dedicated to exploring the intersections of foreign policy, history, military theory, national security,strategic thinking, futurism, cognition and a number of other esoteric pursuits.