Re: virus: Faith, Logic and Purpose

Tim Rhodes (
Sat, 8 Nov 1997 12:48:08 -0800 (PST)

On Fri, 7 Nov 1997, David McFadzean wrote:

> Sorry, I didn't realize that the traditional religions owned the term.

The term "Faith"? You didn't think that had religious overtones?

> I guess it is my fault that you don't seem to have a clue what
> I'm trying to accomplish. But believe me, it isn't to insult
> religious people.

Actually I have no problem with insulting religious people. Do it all the
time myself--keep a couple religious friends around for just that reason.

But really, I don't think I do understand what you're trying to
accomplish. Could you drop a lil' science on the homeboy here and lay it
out for me?

> >> Isn't it amazing how ignorant you can make someone look when you quote
> >> them out of context?
> >
> >To quote Frank Zappa, "Now, ladies and gentlemen, we have moved beyond
> >`mumbo-jumbo' into the world of `mumbo-pocus'!"
> All I can suggest is you read again what I was replying to. I didn't say
> what you think I said.

Why do you think Reed used that particular analogy/example, David? Didn't
you see where he was heading with that one? I know you didn't mean it
come out that way, but I think that was the point. That way of thinking
leads you into traps like that if you aren't very, very careful.

I was talking with a friend, a composer, the other night about tonal
scales and the history of music. He pointed out the the standard tonal
model that we are all taught as "the way music works", the Classical
model, was only really the dominant model for about 200 years. We have
written music from about 800 A.D. on, but the Classical periods notation
and scales have come to dominate the way we think about music.

I asked why? He theorized that the reason was that this periods scales
were translatable mathematically. That one could perform functions on it
and analyze it quantitatively unlike other periods before and after. This
makes it more of a "science", and as a result it looses its flexablity an
adaptivity. We compared it to the visual arts, in which work becomes
hopelessly dated within 100 years (at the most) because of the increased
rate on innovation. In fact the movements in music have followed the lead
of the visual arts, although 50-100 years behind. Baroque music, for
example is really music's Renaissance. Although it called Baroque because
it didn't take place until the composers had become influence by the
Renaissance in the visual arts and by then the visual arts had moved on to
the Baroque period. Minimalism is the same way. In order to understand
Minimalist music you really need to look at the Minimalist painters that
the composers were influenced by.

It occurred to me that this is the real beef I have with the sciences, by
the very nature of their analysis the sciences give up the flexibility, and
thus adaptivity that the arts maintain. They are the main force, the
occupying army, but they cannot lead the charge. By their nature of the
beast, the sciences will always be following someone else's lead, getting
their inspiration from another source. Differing to Science Fiction to
task of pointing new direction to explore in the future.

-Prof. Tim