“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, therefore, is not an act but a habit.”
They key rule of the F.E.D. first arithmetic of dialectics, which they call the "Qualitative" or "Q" arithmetic, to keep in mind here is this, the "ontological multiplication" or "qualities multiplication" rule --
<<Aufheben>> of meta^n-units = meta^n-units "times" meta^n-units = meta^n-units + meta^(n+1)-units.
These "qualities multiplications" are carried out below in the context of the "dyadic Seldon Function", which is just a framework for re-squaring the already squared previous stage to generate its successor stage --
-- such that )-|-(n denotes a non-amalgamating sum of 2^n qualitatively-different category-symbols.
The written letters in written words have different meanings to those in isolation. And individual words in sentences are likewise different than when in isolation. And so on for paragraphs, essays, books etc.
Oh, and the entire universe is like this too, in one way or another.
There's Antinomy and Arsenic, Aluminium, SeleniumNow, after an hour's work with carpet tape on the back and invisible selotape on the front, it's patched up and above this computer, stuck to the wall with an unopened packet of blu-tack I also found.
And Hydrogen and Oxygen and Nitrogen and Rhenium
And Nickel, Neodymium, Neptunium, Germanium
And Iron, Americium, Ruthenium, Uranium...
There's Gold and Protactinium...
The university library sent me an invoice a week ago, for two books that I borrowed while in their employ. After being dumped for inconveniently succeeding when I was set up to fail, I wasn't in the mood to return them, so put them to one side to read later...and completely forgot about them.
Well, six months later, they noticed the loan on their records, and politely asked if I could either return the books or pay replacement costs - £15 each for volumes 1 and 2 of Introduction to Music Theory by Eric Taylor.
Seeing as it's an out-of-print standard work, and they have 5 or more other copies, and these remain unborrowed by other students - possibly because the university doesn't have a music department - and because I think they're very interesting...I've paid the 'replacement' costs. First books I've bought in years.
Leafing through them, I was set thinking by how there are two kinds of approach to teaching music theory - top down and bottom up.
The top down approach starts with the most general terms - composition and work, harmony and rhythm - and subdivides these into more specific areas. Harmony devides into counterpoint and chord theory. Chord theory into triads, 7ths and 9ths, modes and keys. Keys gets us into the mathematics of frequency, which gets into the physics of sound and psychoacoustics, which in turn (if you want to go that far) links to the physiology of hearing and even neurology.
The bottom up approach does the opposite, trying to start with the most basic physical properties of sound, and building up a series of more and more abstract levels, each supported by the more concrete one below.
The trouble is, neither the highly general notion of composition, nor the very specific subject of cochleal chamber structure - which is in it's way just as abstract and forbidding - is a good starting point. Both are unfamilliar to the music novice.
The novice has to start with what they already know, which is in the mundane middle ground of pitch, simple harmony, rhythm and volume. Never mind that these terms are not at this stage actually defined. If someone 'knows' pitch, it makes more sense to define frequency as an underlying property of pitch, than to define frequency mathematically, the climb from maths back up to pitch.
What if I were to be told tomorrow that I had five years to live? Give or take six months or a year. How would I want to spend the time, and what would my priorities be?
I think the short answer is: Be the person I intended to be at 23. That is, musician, writer and slut. Record an album, write a book, and have large amounts of guiltless sex.
At 24 I stopped making music, stopped writing, and walked into a disasterous relationship - the former two largely because of the latter. I took a wrong turn, and the right road now seems distant.
Of course, there are other things I want to do - various subjects to study...
"Britain's largest nuclear reactor", the newspapers proudly called it. Although it was in the Republic of Ireland and there were two larger.
Commissioned in 2010, the Dankhill plant had promised local jobs for all and limitless cheap energy. Finished five years late and three times overbudget, most of the staff had been flown in from England, and electricity prices were still rising because the plant was still only working to half capacity.
The government minister who'd championed the plant was in jail for perjury following his trial for indecent exposure, the third manager in four years had just been installed, and the press was full of stories about rising cancer rates in nearby villages. And there was a bomb in reactor 4.
It was quite a large bomb, and no one was sure how it got there. But it was definitely a bomb.
There is a parasite worm that lives by burrowing into the skulls of ants, and eating their brains. A shout is literally a million times the amplitude of a whisper. Every hour, at least two species become extinct. The human eye has 130 million light receptors. It is unknown why animals need sleep. The difference in scale between a quark and the limits of the observable universe is 10^44 - that's 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.
If you want to understand an idea, study the arguments against it.
I occasionally make use of a little magazine called Spiked. It's run by the remains of the RCP - Revolutionary Communist Party. This gang of mad sectarians probably never had more than 200 members before it imploded around 2000, but they somehow produced a stream of televised 'documentaries' throughout the 1990s, using various fronts and pseudonyms.
The speciality of Spiked and the late RCP is to justify rightwing ideas in terms that sound like they come from the left. They opposed the Poll Tax demonstrations because the protesters were 'middle class'. They attacked environmentalism on the grounds that some Nazis were mystical treehuggers.
The actual content of most Spiked articles is of course junk. Like this one on Ten myths about assisted suicide which caught my eye. But it's a useful exercise in clear thinking to sort out other people's muddled thoughts - in this case, deliberately muddled thoughts.
Some interesting points came up in the forum last night. One was the habit in mainstream economics of treating the mass of people as a kind of crisis generator.
If people live longer, they are seen as a drain on resources for living beyond a productive age. If the average length of life falls, they are not fulfilling their full productive duty. If the birth rate rises, the new population are once again a drain, because the state needs to waste money on feeding and housing them. If fewer babies are born, this reduces future productivity.
Other points. The occupational pension fund owned by a company may be it's largest lump of money. It could run into billions of pounds. Some companies are the targets of takeover bids mainly for the size of their pension fund.
Individual saving is promoted as a way of deferring use of personal resources until old age. Saving food might work like that, but money doesn't.
Three films captured today, all files unreadable beyond a random point - different for each one. It could be a problem with the codecs, or more likely the OS, or more likely than that, the capture software.
I don't have a desperate yearning to reinstall Windows for the second time in a week - I've done it so many times I've memorised the 25 character authorisation code.
If I knew what the problem was, and knew that it was insurmountable, I could live with that. If I knew what it was, and could find a solution, that would be great. But I don't know what the problem is, and that is guarrunteed to bother me.
It's so tempting to withdraw from any political matters, and shrink into the private world of music, computers, philosophy and science. Areas that we can pretend have no political influences or ramifications.
Having a cold, trying to lose weight, installing software, watching television, looking for love. These are the things that belong in personal blogs. I've just been to a forum about an encroaching police state - imprisonment without charge, trial without jury, a climate of fear
I seem to have drifted into the habit of staying up all night, going to bed at 0700, and waking up around 1400. I've always been a night owl, and it's a good way to study, compose, and work uninterupted - but it does rely on there being nothing to do in the daytime, except the occasional client with a computer to mend.
Unfortunately I have an interview tomorrow at midday, at which I have to prove that I'm still self-employed. The scheme is one of the government's ways to reduce apparant jobless figures - in this case, by getting 'jobseekers' to go through to motions of running their own business for six months.
My tenure is nearly finished, at which point the jobcentre will try to put me onto an 'Intensive Jobsearch' programme, and I tell them to go fuck themselves. I've been on that programme before, and it was the biggest waste of time I have ever experienced.