Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Tryptonique

  1. I'm not seeing what the issue is here. Lets go through the paragraph bit by bit shall we? Statement 1: "I am fairly certain that Ayn Rand wasn't an expert on musical theory, and I'd say that there are excellent odds that certain types of experimental or avant garde music probably sounded like incoherent noise to her. " That sounds reasonable. All the guy is saying here is that - Ayn Rand probably wasn't a musical expert -given that you need to be a musical expert to properly "hear" or understand or "get" certain types of complext music, Ayn Rand probably saw certain music as incoherant noise. That doesn't sound like mind reading, it sounds like creating a hypothesis based on some generally accepted facts like - Ayn Rand didn't play instruments - Ayn Rand didn't study musical theory for any length of time - being profecient or having an expertise in music isn't a subjective thing. Having expertise generally requires lots of study or a remarkably gifted ear. Even with a natural ear for music, it takes study to understand what you are hearing I'm not seeing what the problem is or how he is psychologizing/mind reading. I'm also aware that you didn't quote this statment above, but I am analyzing it because it is part of the overall statment and excerpting like you did takes what was said out of context (and I think that will become pretty obvious the farther we go). 2) Statement 2 :" On the one hand, she could denounce folk music because of its redundant, repetitive simplicity, and feel, perhaps justifiably, that such music was beneath her since it offered no challenge to her intellectually, and caused in her a purely negative emotional response;" That seems pretty reasonable considering we have a body of empirical evidence before us proving WHERE Ayn Rand denounces folk music and for the very reasons this guy tells us...because it is "simple, repetitive, redundant". If I (Evan Sanchez) labeled music as simple, repetitive, and redundant, is it a huge logical leap to say that such music doesn't challenge me intellectually and is (at least in my own opinion) beneath me? Not at all. Unless I'm half-witted, simple stuff like the Barney and Friend's theme song isn't going to intellectually exicte or elicit positive emotional responses in comparison to the work of a master. By the time I'm 10 I'm probably going to have moved on and such crappy musicianship is probably going to be beneath me in reality as well as by my own standards and value orientation. We already have the fact that Ayn Rand disliked folk music and we know why. Is it such a bad thing to put two and two together and get four? 3) Statement Three : "but on the other hand, due to the fact that she was not an expert in musical theory, she ought to have (and very well may have) recognized the possibility that certain types of music might actually be beyond her in the same sense that certain types of music were beneath her." Once again, given that Ayn Rand ISN'T an expert, this person tells us that the smart thing to do is acknowledge that while some things are going to be obviously beneath Ayn Rand's massive intellect...others are going to be beyond it. Not due to some flaw in Ayn Rand or lackof intellect , but due to a lack of musical training or knowledge about musical theory. Is that such an insult? Is that a bad thing? Of course not. I know many brilliant people who can't carry a tune. That doesn't make them bad. I know many people who can do advanced calculus, but couldn't tell you OBJECTIVELY what makes Beethoven's 9th better than the theme song to Seinfeld other than the fact that it uses more instruments and is "seems" harder to play. Most important about this third statment is the fact that this person doesn't assume that Ayn Rand didn't realize that some music was going to be beyond her. He leaves open the possibility that she herself might have acknowledged this very fact when he quotes the passage where she talks about Eastern music. He made a value statment (ought instead of is) saying "This is what Ayn Rand should have done." Is that a bad thing? He even concedes that she might have indeed done what he thinks is proper. So what is the problem? Do you think that he is in some way fundamentally wrong? Do you disagree with what HE thinks should Ayn Rand should have done in that situation or his evaluation of what would be right in that situation? Given that Ayn Rand wasn't a musical expert, yet STILL persisted in making music related value judgements is it wrong to maintain that while some things are going to obviously be at or below Miss Rand's level that some things are going to be above it? If you DO think that is wrong, please tell us why you think it is wrong. Is it wrong to say that the right thing to do in that instance is aquire more knowledge or withold judgment until one gets a greater grasp in material? Ayn Rand was all about getting the facts, learning, studying, and understanding the world around her. She was definitely not one to encourage whim or snap judgments. Thus, I honestly do see how William B's suggestion could be off the mark at all. If you don't take this paragraph out of context or excerpt it as you did, I think it is pretty clear that this guy wasn't "mind reading" at all. He wasn't saying "Ayn Rand felt X or thought Y" without any empirical evidence whatsoever. He cites why he thinks Ayn Rand felt that folk music was beneath her and simple logic tells us that people don't think that simple, repetitve, boring music is at their level unless they themsleves are simple, repetitive, and boring people. Unless you are implying that Ayn Rand is as simple as the music she labeled "simple" then why is it a bad thing to take a logical statment and derive a conclusion from it that lines up with observable reality? How is that "psychologizing" or "mind reading?"
  2. I was introduced to Objectivism by my English teacher a couple of years ago. She encouraged me to enter the essay contest and let me borrow Atlas Shrugged. I talked with her last year and she ordered books through ARI and taught The Fountainhead this year (it was the AP English student's summer reading). Definitely cheery news!
  3. 1) he he...ok. I actually LIKE that CD which was why I was asking. I particularly like the instrumental intro, "Learning to Fly," and "one Slip." In fact...considering your situation, you might want to listen to that song (or at least look at the lyrics). It is a good song too:). 2) I think in some ways it is beyond a simple "this is right" or "this is wrong." Like I said, I wasn't trying to point fingers at you. I think different people drink or smoke for different reasons and to judge the moral worth of either action requires that you understand the motivation or what one is trying to get from those actions. If you were just having fun and you choose to get drunk...eh whatever. I wouldn't recommend letting it become a habit or make a regular behavior, but there probably isn't huge harm done. So long as you are an adult and understand the repercussions of your actions and choose to do so voluntarily, it is YOUR choice and you have to live with it. 3) What do you see in this girl that makes you think she is cool? What attracts you? If your body and mind are responding, they are responding to SOMETHING. If she is a negative person with zero value and you are attracted to her, that says something about you. I'm sure you remember where Frisco mentions that you can best judge a man by what he finds attractive in a woman. He had Dagny as his ultimate good and James had Lilian. You can obviously see where I'm going with this. If you are HAPPY with how you have evaluated this girl and think she really is worth your time, I would get to know her. Slow it up a bit, you know? Making out and having sex is fine and dandy, but there is always time for that. Get to know her before hopping in the sack. REALLY get to know her. If you are romantic, you know it is the only way you can really be sure she is the one who matches up to your sense of life and rational values. If you are a cynic, you will know that getting to physical too fast is a great way to end up with a stalker, a girl (or yourself) with oodles of emotional baggage, an STD, or other not-so-hot situations. You seem like a very sexual dude. That is cool. I am too. Just keep your hands in your own pants until you can be sure that they really belong somewhere else and you can put them there without thinking "damn I didn't think this through" afterwards. The fact that you can't even remember what lead you to make out with this chick isn't really a good sign. I personally hold things like that to be really important. Staying sober enough to know WHY you hook up with a girl is important. Just use common sense, be introspective, and and think before you act. a) yeah. It happens sometimes. There are a whole list of things that could have happened there. Perhaps you just fell in love and you had a hard time breaking off because of the potential for pain? Perhaps you are insecure about yourself and didn't think you could do better or deserve better? Perhaps you just lost interest to the point where what she said didn't really matter and your relationship didn't either? I don't know the specifics of your relationship story, and even then...I'm not exactly qualified to pass meaninful judgement or really get into advice giving. All I'm saying here is that to prevent this sort of cycle from happening, YOU have to take charge and take responsibility. YOU need to identify what the hell happened in that past relationship so that way it doesn't happen again. That way if you get a new girl who starts the same crap, you can say "hold up" and stop the cycle before it gets so engrained and boring that it's negative effects don't even phase you anymore. At some point, if you end up with a series of bad girlfriends you have to ask yourself "Am I attracting these types? If so..what can I do about that?" I'm not saying you have to be paranoid and blame everything on yourself. Definitely be open to the possibility that you have some unresolved contradictions/faults/dysfunctionalism that could be attracting the same types. You know...the whole birds of a feather thing often rings true (not always, but often). That was supposed to be a subpoint B, but it eneded up being a smiley with glasses.Sorry! c) I wasn't trying to be overly harsh or anything. Please understand that. I'm just saying that you are obviously bothered by the fact that your act with this one girl happened inside the bonds (legitimate or not) of a relationship. That strikes her (and probably you) intuitively as being dishonest. That isn't a good feeling and it isn't something you want to seek out. You seem like you are bothered by it...and the simplest answer is, if you don't want to jeopardize your integrity, don't put yourself in those situations and if you GET in those situations...be able to get out of them honorably. 4) I have made the same mistake. When I screwed the pooch in a similar situation, I realized something. I was taking the lazy man's way. The path of least resistence. If you want to fool around and your relationship with your girl is so meaningless that other girls are catching your eye and you want to go farther...is it that hard to break up? No. Obviously you get benefits from having a girlfriend..even a crappy one. So the male logic goes, "Why not double dip?" The problem with that is that it lacks honesty. If you told your girlfriend that you wanted to fool around and she was cool with it, that would be one thing. In fact, if that were the case, I would tell you to ditch her ASAP because she doesn't value you enough to demand exclusivity. At that point, your relationship is already dead. Odds are, you KNEW that if you told her that it would be the end of your relationship. So you evaded and omitted. There isn't really a nicer way of saying it. Another thing you might want to honestly consider. The girl had a problem when you put your hands in her pants because she was thinking about the fact that you had a girlfriend. That didn't seem to stop her the night before. Think about that. Yes, she was drunk (which once again illustrates the risk you take when you get imbibed). The fact is, she knew you had a girlfriend. I have been drunk on more than one occasion. Does it lower your inhibitions? I don't really think so. I think it lets you take that as an out if you WANT to take it as an out and silences that part of your brain that holds you accountable. The fact is, even when plastered I still know some basic facts of reality. I have never forgotten my name, where I was, the fact that I had a girlfriend, etc. I might not be able to walk in a straight line and in fact...I have intellectually thought "Damn it is going to be a pain in the ass to get up and walk to point X because I'm so inebriated that motor function isn't exactly at 100%." I haven't been to the point where it is like "what is my name?" I'm doubting that she was there either. She made a choice and that choice was to ignore boundaries and parameters. You also made that choice. Keep this in mind. If you get your act together, you could probably do much better. Think of it this way...would you trust this girl around alcohol if you were away on a business trip and there was an attractive/smart guy who wanted to makeout? Knowing that she made out with a guy who already had a girlfriend, would you really be able to have trust on a meaninful level? I dunno. I DO think people are redeamable and I think that people DO make mistakes. At the same time, you are playing roulette with this one in my opinion.
  4. 1) Do you like Pink Floyd? 2) I would recommend laying off of the shots for a while. At least until you have your stuff together. I'm not moralizing or anything cause trust me, I have taken my share of shots, cigarettes, etc. The only thing is, it is a crappy way to meet women, have fun, or really do anything constructive. The acts themselves are 9 times out of 10 not worth what you get from them (at least in my opinion). Over X-mas break I went to a party and wasn't feeling it, so I poured my beer in a potted plant. I'm not saying that you feel socially pressured to drink, but if you do...don't. If you like drinking for it's own sake, fine. If you don't...lay off and get your head together. 3) It seems like you hooked up with this girl and kind of used the whole encounter to justify breaking up with your girlfriend (or if nothing else to highlight what you don't like about her). If you disliked her that much, you probably should have ended it a long time ago. To prevent that kind of situation from happening: a) don't hook up with women you barely know or women that are dysfunctional and not worth your time if a GOOD relationship starts going bad, you need to be able to communicate and trust the other person to be rational. You have to know that they can deal with YOU on a rational level and you have to trust yourself enough to know you are rational yourself. c) have integrity. Know what you want in a woman and what you don't. If you aren't getting what you want, either take constructive steps to get it, or end it. Simple as that. 4) Hooking up with a drunk girl (even if you yourself are drunk) probably isn't the best idea. Find a sober chick and if you both are really interested in each other, break up with the old girlfriend. Or better yet, just break off with the old girlfriend and THEN go looking for women. It seems as if you are using the crappy girlfriend to justify messing around with this new girl. It also seems like you are using the new girl to justify breaking up with the old one. All in all, it looks like you are avoiding the real dysfunctionalism in your relationships and within yourself that seem to be in play here.
  5. Read this if you want to understand what trance is: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_music
  6. *laughs.* No worries there, amigo. The music is done by a band I'm very good friends with. In fact, the bassist sent me the music in m4a format because it is higher quality than mp3. I spent 2 nights with him about 2 weeks ago and one night with the drummer when I visited them in Fresno, California. I have known them for 2 years or so now and they are really cool guys which is why I was hooked up with unpublished demo versions of songs that the general public doesn't have access to. the band is called Camera www.garageband.com/camera <---I actually set up that page about 2 years ago and did a bunch of other stuff to help out the band which is how I became friends with them. No conflicts whatsoever:). THANK YOU! I appreciate it a lot:). Whoops. Sory FC. That was my bad. I didn't realize we HAD a misc. forum:).
  7. I got "In Love and Death" by The Used for X-mas. I recommend it, though I don't like it as much as their self-titled album. I find it more pop sounding and not composed with as much care as the first one, though producer John Feldmen shows his great talents once more on this album. If you like self-titled, check this one out:).
  8. Sorry it has taken me so long to respond:) I have been enjoying my winter break as long as possible and am now back at the salt mines (aka school...he he). mkay...here we go: Lol...well technically you were VERY imprecise. Earlier you asked: Question: Isn't instrumental music the purest form of music as such? If you take away all of which instrumental music consists (melody, harmony, rhythm, etc.) from pop/rock, aren't you left with poetry at best?. I'm saying NO. If you simply strip away the instruments, you still have melody, harmony, rhythm, etc...just in a different form. It doesn't bring it down to the level of simple poetry though, which is what you are implying. I mean...sure, if you just look at words on a paper (linear notes to the further uninitiated ) you won't have an reference to HOW it is musical. It doesn't mean that the musical qualities they possess must automatically be due to instruments though...which is why I am thoroughly confused by the fact that you insist that instruments are the purest form of music. They AREN'T. Go back to my point concerning how instruments derive their musicality from nature and ultimately from man. If you strip away instruments you might or might NOT end up with poetry at best depending on whether or not any musical elements are present in the way the lyrical content is delivered. I'm sure with *SOME* bands, you could strip away the instruments and all you get is basically a poetry reading with words said in a monotonous fashion with a cadence similar to poetry or simply talking. The music I enjoy doesn't fit that pattern. The music I enjoy (based on my criteria for what makes music enjoyable) DEMANDS that vocals have a musical quality all their own for me to take notice and not get extremely bored. There we go again with the arbitrary value judgments. Just because something is incredibly technical and difficult to play doesn't automatically give it quality. You might not like it, but it is hasty as hell to assume that most people are "philistines" who don't value musical quality. They might simply value DIFFERENT qualities in music over others (like lyrics delivered musically...aka singing over instruments alone). You show ZERO reasons why I (or anyone) should accept your paradigm as intrinsically valuable in any sort of relevent way. You are right, it is about supply and demand...yet you once again give ZERO reasons why classical musical inherently has more "quality" than non-classical. What if I value social commentary or something that actually SAYS something? I'm going to be more likely to appreciate even a dumbface commie band like Rage Against the Machine than Beethoven, because they SAY something. I personally don't have that as my dominant value (social commentary, that is)...but if I did, what makes me wrong for having that view? You can say that the artist's job is not to provide social critique or commentary, but if an artist decides to do just that and ADOPTS that job by his own voluntary will and Person X decides that he likes it and is willing to pay for it, what gives you the moral authority to declare with certainty that it ISN'T the artist's "job." It seems like you have a very constrained view of what "quality" is. That is fine. Call it elitism, call it picky, call it "constrained." It doesn't really matter. The only thing is, you can't justify it logically or in any meaningful sense. Thus, you seem like a moralizer pointing the finger at "philistines" for not seeing your point of view. Sure, the classical musician might not be in high (or ANY) demand right now. That might discourage some people from going that route. It also might not. I would never demand that a musician be an aesetic and shrug off all material wants. It comes down to a scale of value. What do you want more...your art or weath? If you value producing Beethoven/Rachmaninov quality pieces, you will produce them even if it means you don't end up rolling in dough. The fact is, last time I checked Pavarotti wasn't panhandling at the corner of 4th and Vine. He might not have 10 porches, 10 million dollar houses, and the ability to own a sports team....but he isn't anywhere near the poverty line. He probably *conservatively* has at least 10 million stashed away in various places. What about Yanni or Yo Yo Ma? Are they poor? Of course not. Lets say they only make 1 million (which isn't that much by today's standards) in net profit. They can invest in other things and have quite a nice life by most people's standards. Maybe not in comparison to how Britney Spears can live. Once again though, it is about supply and demand. How badly did Yo Yo Ma want to become insanely rich? I'm guessing that wasn't his primary motivator. 1) Not at all. She doesn't suggest that a Rach prelude is better than Bruckner's symphonies. The whole point of her telling me that (in a whole different conversation) was to make the point that in some ways, writing stuff that is characterized as simple and catchy can actually sometimes be more difficult. That was all. It doesn't automatically make simple and catchy and better than difficult and non-memorable. The statement she made was value neutral. 2) I believe she was coming from the perspective of: "If you sit down with the idea that you are going to create two pieces of classical music and you want one of them to be simple and catchy/memorable and the other one to be difficult and not-so memorable....it would probably be harder to come up with the simple and catch piece of music." (the quotes are me paraphrasing). She wasn't saying on a case by case basis that Rachmaninov actually toiled harder writing a prelude than Bruckner did on his symphony. Just that simple/catchy music requires an element that reaches out and touches a wide demographic of people and stimulates a certain part of who we are (whether it is some part of our brain or our emotional centers) enough so that we remember it and WANT to remember it. This is in contrast to something that can be really difficult but not possessing that element. If you string together a bunch of stuff that is fast/touch to play or simply musically complex it doesn't make it automatically "desirable" to a good number of people. Thus, your chances of being able to achieve your pupose is probably numerically greater on the side of "diffcult and non-memorable" as that type of composition requires less in terms of elements you must incorporate. That is pretty impossible to write such a piece considering that each piece has a finite number of elements (notes, rhythm, etc) and a finite time..but whatever. Depth in some elements and a lack of depth in others (refer back to the post in which I make it pretty clear that the depth found in classical and other instrumental is dependent upon the way you internalize it and not based on a sort of tangible quality one can necessarily put their finger on-unless you just straight up intellectualize your music as in "I like this piece because writing so and so chord followed by this time signature change HERE and this key change HERE is meaningful because of it's technical difficulty". Horse puckey. The same palletes are available to rock musicans. Take Metallicas "S&M" live album which utilizes the San Franciso Philharmonic orchestra to remake some of the old Metallica songs. Or even take the fact that many musicians utilize different instruments other than the "traditional" ones (such as Linkin Park's "Nobody's Listening" which uses a shakuhachi). Sure...Metallica or LP aren't complex AT ALL musically speaking, but they have the same pallette to draw upon. I value artists that can do so sucessfully. Sure, most rock musicians don't dedicate their lives to the intellectual study of musical theory prior to actually composing their works. That doesn't mean that they CAN'T or that it is impossible for them to do so. It just means that they haven't up until now (at least not with great prevalence). The pallete is there if someone decides to pick it up and work with it. The technical depth that rock/pop music lacks isn't inherent to the actual form itself.
  9. My quandary is simple: I have a really really cool song that I wish to convert from .m4a to WMA or MP3. I don't need help playing the file as frankly, I prefer WMA to most other forms of audio compressing (Monkeys Audio and OGG are also pretty good as well). I just would like to have the file in Mp3 form. Does anyone know a good *free* or shareware program that would let me convert the file? -Evan
  10. *laughs*. That was a really funny post, Thoyd Loki. I'm assuming you like Norse mythology?
  11. In that case, I agree with you 100%. Sounds awesome. Ditto. Hope everyone has a safe and fun holiday season. Peace on earth and good will to those that deserve it
  12. Nope. Have you ever heard of the term "acapella?" Normally when one thinks of acapella...they think of jazzy/pop-like Motown type songs being sung by barbershop quartets. That isn't necessarily the case. If you have vocal ability and you take a rock song and sing it without any accompaniment while in the shower, are you telling me that it lacks melody, rhythm, harmony, etc? Lyrics aren't just written words that are poetic or pretty. They are written words that are vocally expressed. This is known as singing for the uninitiated. What you are telling me is that you don't see the human voice as adding anything "musical" to music. Have you ever heard of opera? Dude...even check this guy out and tell me you aren't impressed by the human voice: http://www.ebaumsworld.com/beatbox.html That is a pretty gross generalization that lacks ZERO empirical data or warrant to back it up. This is interesting coming from an Objectivist. Why is mass production a BAD thing? Great pieces of art work are reproduced all of the time. Go to Cordair.com and you can buy gliclee reproductions of an artist's work. If Cordair was the biggest art gallery in the U.S would you bitch about their art being "mass produced" as well? I thought Objectivists were supposed to be into that crazy thing called capitalism . I would have thought that the site of hundreds of CDs being pressed to go to sale would make one HAPPY and not all angsty and bitter. As far as simplicity goes...I will restate my point on this in bold so maybe it will be read this time and we won't have to keep rehashing this. Ray Vernagus (also known as "Bowzer" on this site) said that :"One of the things that makes pop music popular is the way that it takes crow epistemology into account. The songs are typically short and do not place a large demand upon your awareness. Lyrics are quick and to-the-point. Musical motifs are simple (but powerful) and usually involve simple measures. A good pop tune is like a good principle in that it compacts a plethora of information into a single retainable unit. I see these as virtues for pop music." -Ray Vernagus on OO.net Sometimes great depth can be found in simplicity. You can write a huge classical piece that is technically brilliant that no one can really retain or remember much about. The song won't necessarily get stuck in your head or anything of the sort. My girlfriend wrote me something interesting about this: "It's harder to write short, memorable music, than long, hard-to-remember stuff. It's like the difference between a Rach. prelude and a Bruckner symphony. Never heard of Bruckner? My point exactly." Once again...why is everyone scrambling to damn the mass production of music? I think it is pretty badass that musicians can rake in lots of money. Can you imagine Beethoven turning down million dollar royalty checks if they would have had mass scale CD-production, big global tours that were conducted via plane/bus, etc? I also think it is important to note that just because a band is successful (major label platinum acts) doesn't mean that they suck by default or are "empty headed." Do you realize how much work it takes to get signed by a decent label? The Beatles got started playing little dingy clubs in England and went on to be global superstars. What is wrong with that? Why does sucess mean that you aren't enjoying making your music in contrast to the "little guys" in bars and clubs? I'm not seeing why these traits appear to be mutually exclusive in your minds. Please enlighten me.
  13. I apologize because I was a bit hasty and extreme when I put that classical music doesn't have ANY referents. It does. As I stated earlier, those referents are the rules and structure in classical music itself. The 3/4 minor theme is a classical tool that you can look back on and say "ah ha! That is a strong movement that implies determination, strength, etc." The intro's tension doesn't come from nowhere, it comes from musical tools that are utilized. I agree. It takes loads and loads of natural ability, training, etc to be able to do that. One thing that I would like to point out is that music has it's roots in many metaphysical concretes. For example, flutes are often compared to the sounds birds make, oboes have been compared to ducks, and violins are most often compared to a human voice. I'm not trying to grotesquely oversimplify things, but take a look at Peter and the Wolf:). I think it makes a good point that the music itself has an element of physical reality in it that more likely than not inspired the artists who created the instruments. Thus, thoughts and emotions provoked by music are able to be provoked by very concrete things. Those concretes aren't necessarily communicated however...but I will get to that later in my post. Much apologies, friend. I was intending no disrespect and wasn't implying that you were ignorant, didn't know English, or anything of the sort. I was a debater for 4 years in high school and defining terms or dealing with accepted and understood definition is important when advancing an argument. The reason I did what I did is to make it SUPER clear that the position I was advancing was NOT that classical/instrumental music doesn't inspire something nor was I trying to say that it was worthless or that it communicated absolutely nothing. I wanted to make it clear what I meant by "communication" and "vague" so that way there wasn't any confusion on anyone's part. Data by itself is just data. Dog, cat, hat, brown, smelly, delicious. Those words MEAN something by themselves, but they don't communicate anything past a simple image or thought. Saying "The dog ate the brown cat and thought it was delicious and later it had smelly breath" says a lot more. Music is definitely data and it isn't a floating abstraction. The glue that binds music are the rules regarding what you DO with music when you compose. It is no different than grammar in that sense. To communicate an effective message though, you need a firm basis in reality. The word "dog" has a referent. Labrador retriever has more referents. C# doesn't really refer to anything in a metaphysical sense so it is harder to simply play one note on an instrument and derive meaning from it. When you compose you get a better picture, but it ultimately MUST be completed internally or else it is 100% meaningless. It takes meaning only from those who know how to use it for themselves. As such, communication isn't really taking place. I would argue that it is actually necessary to have lyrica/music integration unless you are trying to create a thematic parody, sarcasm, or bitterness. Playing a happy polka while singing about suicide would be a rare thing. Just like playing a funeral march while singing about personal achievement would also be rare. Nope. It also wouldn't be a song either. When reading a book you have to ask yourself "Who is conveying a message?" Ayn Rand is communicating with her readers by way of her stories. She is telling us about a philosophical system that lets men achieve their highest potential and true happiness. Take away the writer and you don't have the book. When I read, I do just sit and think:). However, all of the elements (characters, sentence/grammatical structure, events in the story,) come together to create a picture that actually says something. You can't really say that Ayn Rand's message in AS was "Don't have sex with pink kangaroos." That would have ZERO basis in reality because we have concretes to work with that DO provide a communication between author and reader. The same thing goes for a letter written from one person to another. If instead of getting a letter saying "Evan, we are having an Objectivist club meeting on Tuesday" I received an email featuring nothing but an attachment of Beethoven's 9th I would be screwed! A lyric isn't as concrete as a simple message, but there is a difference between thematic presentations based on overarching abstractions (like "Justice" or "perserverance") that lack specific detail. A sentence without a direct object isn't really a sentence is it? Music lacks such definition and that is why I don't see it as communication between two parties. I see it as an artist putting their very soul on display instead of an artist using their soul to say something (even if there isn't an actual intended audience...like Emily Dickenson who never published any of her work). See above. I would also like to thank you because I appreciate the sense of life you demonstrate by speaking so adoringly of the music you listen to. You clearly feel very profound things that affect you deeply. You also have provided an interesting conversation. I look forward to your reply. -Evan
  14. As soon as lyrics are divorced from the music I don't think it really warrants the same degree of comparison. Even if you are basing your techniques off from vocal jazz standards, you music is NOT lyrical in nature due to the fact that techniques can be utilized to create entirely different messages and meanings. The technique of humour can be used to do many different things in literature, just like a jazz standard that had lyrics might have it's techniques imitated. That doesn't mean the lyrics are copied, expressed, or even relevant to the overall picture being produced by the imitator and even if it is, how would you really know? Let us define some terms: (from www.refdesk.com) = Main Entry: vague Pronunciation: 'vAg Function: adjective Inflected Form(s): vagu·er; vagu·est Etymology: Middle French, from Latin vagus, literally, wandering 1 a : not clearly expressed : stated in indefinite terms <vague accusation> b : not having a precise meaning <vague term of abuse> 2 a : not clearly defined, grasped, or understood : INDISTINCT <only a vague notion of what's needed>; also : SLIGHT <a vague hint of a thickening waistline> <hasn't the vaguest idea> b : not clearly felt or sensed : somewhat subconscious <a vague longing> 3 : not thinking or expressing one's thoughts clearly or precisely <vague about dates and places> 4 : lacking expression : VACANT 5 : not sharply outlined : HAZY synonym see OBSCURE - vague·ly adverb - vague·ness noun and of course: Main Entry: com·mu·ni·ca·tion Pronunciation: k&-"myü-n&-'kA-sh&n Function: noun 1 : an act or instance of transmitting 2 a : information communicated b : a verbal or written message 3 a : a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs, or behavior <the function of pheromones in insect communication>; also : exchange of information b : personal rapport <a lack of communication between old and young persons> 4 plural a : a system (as of telephones) for communicating b : a system of routes for moving troops, supplies, and vehicles c : personnel engaged in communicating 5 plural but singular or plural in construction a : a technique for expressing ideas effectively (as in speech) b : the technology of the transmission of information (as by print or telecommunication) - com·mu·ni·ca·tion·al /-shn&l, -sh&-n&l/ adjective They are emotions that are based on vague interpretations of concepts without any referents. You might feel overwhelming joy listening to Beethoven's 9th imagining scenes of Atlas Shrugged or the time you became CEO of a company or who knows what. You might gasp with delight thinking about the best times of your life. You wouldn't simply feel "joy" without any mental connection to anything at all as that would be an emotion that was disconnected with anything based in reality. Even if you had an emotional reaction from music that you couldn't identify, it must have some basis in previous experience, your sense of life, or your principles. Emotions aren't just floating abstractions that pop in and out of people's bodies. As such, the emotions provoked by classical music are really only bringing out what is inside of you already.You don't NEED lyrical concent to provoke thuoghts or emotions. You can have an emotion or thought without any words at all. So it makes sense that music could stimulate thoughts or words inside of you based on your interpretations, your mental capacity, etc. It just isn't communicating a specific message in a relevant sense. To communicate you have to have 2 parties that are transmitting data. If Beethoven is in the background what is communicating in a relevent (non vague) sense? If it is truly data that is a concrete, it cannot be contratictory in nature. However, as you admitted...your thoughts and feelings that are provoked from listening to Beethoven might be 100% different and even contradictory than mine. How is that possible? It is only possible because a MESSAGE isn't being communicated (like in a movie, lyrical music, a book, a painting) but you are coming up with messages yourself based on a whole lot of different variables like your own life experience, the parameters set by the music, and your imagination. Classical music is a mirror that to a limited degree can reflect whatever you want it to. I don't really think anyone here (including me) is going to argue that a major chord (by itself) can logically be interpreted as conveying images of horror or suspense. Obviously classical music has rules and structure and enough basis in human experience that the majority of people are going to intuitively understand certain things like "this music is happy and upbeat". So you can't just make up ANY interpretation of classical music that suits your fancy and have it be legitimate. However, once people understand the basic tools of classical music (like "this chord followed by this scale is meant to convey THIS feeling" or "that time signature shift is supposed to do this to the song") then you have a "realm" of possibilities instead of virtually unlimited possibilities (which DEFINITELY separates it from the post modern/abstract art category that I described in my last post). The fact that classical music DEMANDS imagination and interpretation with extremely limited referents (the only things you have going in your favor are titles, historical context, the artist's life experiences, music theory which gives you certain EXTREMELY limited on how you are supposed to interpret music, and other exogenous factors) makes it extremely personal which we have both agreed upon. It just isn't communication in any relevant sense of the word. I think they communicate which is entirely different from classical music which isn't true communication between two parties AT ALL. As such, I don't see that as being "limited" or even in a comparable realm to classical music. As far as explicitly telling someone what the song is about, that isn't always or even nearly always the case. I just think language and music together is ultimately more interesting because there are many more concrete referents that we have available due to the presence of language. Those referents can allow us to piece together a picture that I find to be ultimately more relevant to each individuals personal experiences and life.
  15. This isn't about lyrics NEEDING to be present to make a statment, but rather the statments themselves. Let our subject be "pipe". Lets call language on its own variable "A". Language + other medium of expression = "B" Instrumental music= "C" Instrumental music + another medium = "D" Abstract/Post Modern Art = "E" Here are examples of each. 1) "A" could be spoken word or a novel. It is just pure language. Perhaps a book about pipes or a speech about pipes. Perhaps a guide on how to build your own pipe or simply the word "pipe." 2) "B" could be language and visual art/action or language combined with music. This would be like Rene Magritte's "The Treachery of Images" Or it could be a rock song like Weezer's "Hash pipe" that combines music and words. 3) "C" is simply music. It could be a composition. For all we know the author might have written about ponies. When you play it before 20,000 people you get 20,000 interpretations of what the instrumental song is about. It could be about pipes, ponies, or a happy time making love to your wife depending on who you play it for. As Richard Halley points out, music is written by the composers for themselves and isn't necessarily intended to communicate a message. 4) This could be a painting combined with instrumental music that gives the painting a focus in a certain direction. If you play "ode to joy" while viewing "The Treachery of Images" you will get a different focus than if you play "the flight of the bumblebee." One might give you images of a a glorious man smoking a pipe and the other might give you images of a guy smoking himself into lunacy. Big difference. Both interpretations are centered around the concrete reality of the physical art and are focussed by the elements which can be interpreted using the basic parameter of "pipe" to fashion your ideas. You can think "What does this piece mean if we give it the context of a this pipe?" 5) This could be metal pipes you use to make a sink that are shaped in the form of a smoking pipe while suspended upside down in urine and attached to gooshy wires. Does anyone really know the message here? The point of me going through the trouble of labeling these messages is that the ability to convey messages is almost always done through a combination of mediums and not *just* music. Rock music communicates an effective message. Classical music postures without communicating anything more than a vague mood or rough concept. The mood itself can often be best inferred through the title. Does anyone really think "Ode to Joy" is intended to convey feelings of despair or angst? Of course not. You probably wouldn't think so even if it just had a number like Beethoven's 9th. The thing is though, I challenge anyone here in this forum to tell me what Beethoven's 9th is about in any relevant sense. What does it mean? What message does it communicate? It might convey tension, uplifting ideas, etc...but does it really (on it's own as a solely musical piece excluding any choral parts) convey anything more than rough concepts or moods? I can understand why people play classical music as mood music or background music. I think that sitting down to listen to classical music is like masturbation. It is a uniquely private and individual experience that has it's place and time. You can get a LOT from it in terms of utilizing your imagination and what you take from it says a lot about your perceptive capacities and your sense of life. I see rock music as more of a direct communication or connection with a message that is focused and honed using musical tools/devices (like structure, rules, etc) and just raw music. It is more like a handshake or listening to a speech. It is like reading Atlas Shrugged or watching a movie. Something tangible is conveyed from one party to another.
  16. Not necessarily. Some guitarists like Yngwie Malmsteen, Joe Satriani, or Steve Vai have been compared to classical greats like Paganini for their sheer techincal ability. There is a lot of technical stuff that is brilliant out there if you know where to look. The one thing you are missing though is musical ability as the sole qualifier of "good music" isn't necessarily the most important criteria for truly good music. Sometimes great depth can be found in simplicity. One of the things that makes pop music popular is the way that it takes crow epistemology into account. The songs are typically short and do not place a large demand upon your awareness. Lyrics are quick and to-the-point. Musical motifs are simple (but powerful) and usually involve simple measures. A good pop tune is like a good principle in that it compacts a plethora of information into a single retainable unit. I see these as virtues for pop music. -Ray Vernagus on OO.net It is a full package deal. It is lyrics and multiple instruments combined to ultimately SAY something. Often times the lyrical message can be quite complex (I love analyzing lyrics as it has been a hobby of mine for YEARS)and the musical message isn't MEANT to overshadow the message but suplement it. With classical music, the message IS the music. In pop/rock...the message comes in two parts: 1) The lyrics 2) How they are delivered (vocally and instrumentally...or in one word:musically) I think both are equally important to make a truly memorable and good rock/pop song. However, the premium isn't placed solely on composition. It doesn't mean that there aren't rock musicians out there capable of doing Pagannini type stuff on guitar (Steve Vai, Yngwie Malmsteen, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and Joe Satriani limited extent) all can work a fretboard like crazy insane devil-gods. They also don't write vocal stuff for the most part and when they do it isn't NEARLY as successful as their instrumental stuff. There are metal bands like Symphony X, Iced Earth, etc that actually are really really really really technical as far as musical composition goes. They are rarities though and they are an aquired taste. In all honesty, you would probably rather stick to straight classical than classical/rock hybrids. It would be frickin' INSANELY difficult to play like Rachmaninoff, Sebelius, or Stravinsky and sing at the same time (which is what Joe Loeffler does when he plays guitar and sings at the same time for Chevelle). If you are going to sing and play...one of them is going to take a backseat. What a lot of bands do to make up for that is they have two guitarists. The frontman just becomes the rythm guitarist (like James Hetfield) and the other one does lead (like Kirk Hammet). Other bands just do what they do which is write/play pop/rock music. For what it is worth, some of them do a damn good job at what they are going for musically which is fundamentally different than that of a classical musician. Jazz is primarily an instrumental genre. Comparing it to rock/pop is silly and a waste of time.
  17. Lets look at the actual critique: 1)The point is made that the argument is NOT that Syndrome ISN'T the villian, but that Objectivist's don't make value neutral judgments on the issue you present and that is a bad thing given the fact there are things that *SOME* Objectivists have differing opinions on (false choice for example).The fact is though, despite claiming that you aren't arguing Sydrome is the villian, YOU present the fact that it is "sickenly ironic" by the fact that Sydrome isn't the hero while at the same time making your OWN value judgment that isn't neutral. 2) Syndrome isn't labeled a villian for being creative or innovative. He is labeled a villian because his LIFE is defined by conflict and other people. When he is rejected by an individualist (Mr. Incredible) he decides to seek power for the sake of power. He decides to make himself a hero while taking down the actual people of ability. What part of this can't you see? He killed several superheroes by perfecting his war machine. He defined HIS powers and himself in terms of Mr. Incredible and the real superheroes. Could he BE a bigger second hander? The fact is, Syndrome had hurt feelings like a little Hitler getting rejected from art school. Syndrome is a sycophant from the beginning...he is a drooling fan boy who can't get enough of Mr. Incredible. Getting autographs and pictures is one thing, but being something your not is another. Syndrome tried to MAKE himself into Mr. Incredible. From an Objectivist standpoint the ideal situation would be Syndrome making himself into the best possible individual that played on his own strengths. Instead of trying to be "Incredi-boy" (look...more secondhanding) when his help (or lack thereof) wasn't wanted he should have focused on developing the math and science to do what he really wanted to do. You can be a hero without being Mr. Incredible or any of the superheroes. What about the little lady on speed who developed the maxed out clothing? Was she not pretty important to the overall picture? She used math and science to enhance the natural abilities of the superheroes...just like education enhances a thinker's natural abilities (think Galt and Hugh Akston. Does that little lady not deserve some mention? Syndrome/Incrediboy wannabe could have done so much with his life for the positive. He could have BEEN an individual...a true individual because he was extremely talented. The talent was meaningless the second he decided to live his life for another man.Think of it this way, "Incrediboy" wasn't interested in fighting crime and making himself the best damn superhero out there. He was interested in being a collectivist...a "part of the team" when no such help was wanted and he didn't let it stop there. He made himself such a pest that like an annoying socially inept twit that he was, he was swatted away like a fly. Obviously that affected his self esteem. The thing is though, how much esteem did he have to begin with if all he was doing was chasing someone else's life and living vicariously by chasing them from crime scene to crime scene? When Mr. Incredible told him to buzz off, this kid didn't ever grow up and instead devoted his creative energies into destroying all that is good. His main product (the spider-weapon) was made to kill superheroes. Even his product that he was to sell on the open market was defined by an external force and honed through deception, trickery, and murder. He is a Dr. Ferris...and I find it sickenly ironic that someone familiar with Objectivism would embrace Syndrome as a hero. 3) Just because the fact that The Incredibles have superpowers and Syndrome does not doesn't make The Incredibles less or Syndrome more. One person's lack of ability or presence of it doesn't automatically make someone worthy of condemnation or praise either way. Think Ellie Willers (the best of the average) and John Galt. The fact that they both choose to be made them great people. The reality is though, John Galt was born with more natural ability so he is going to be looked up to because he has more stuff to work with. You can bemoan that as unfair or not cool, but I LIKE having people who work at such brilliant and super-productive levels. I would rather have one Michael Johnson than 10 million Joe Shmoe's and no MJ. I don't resent athletes like Michael Johnsonfor being more physically gifted than I am. One of the best track athletes of all time gave an interview in Playboy(the Michael Johnson I'm talking about) = http://baylorbears.collegesports.com/sport..._michael00.html In this interview he talks about pushing himself to the limit and focussing on his game. Playboy asks: "Now we're going to make you a choach. How do you get a guy ready to beat Michael Johnson?" MJ: "If I were a coach, I'd tell an athlete not to think about Michael Johnson, not to worry about him. I saw a very good athlete last year, Jerome Young-one of the only people who I feel at this point can run 43 seconds- totally screw himself out of a medal at the world championships because he was trying to run with me. I think he can run 43 and would have been a silver medalist last year. But he admitted that his strategy was based on my race and what I was going to do. There's nothing he can do about what I'm doing. So If I'm a coach, I tell the guy, 'don't think about him, it's dangerous.'" I'm NEVER going to be as physically gifted as Michael Johnson. Sorry, just isn't going to happen. That doesn't make MJ a better person than I am because he was blessed with something I don't have. He also shouldn't be burdened because he was "unfairly" blessed with an ability that 99% of the world doesn't possess. Shit happens. Serendipity happens. Life happens. At some point you have to quit living your life around other people and simply be the best you can be. After all, you can't be anyone else, so why bother? That is why Syndrome/Incrediboy was a fundamentally flawed human being and became a villian. Not because he wasn't born with a special ability that didn't require any talent or effort on his part and was thematically "penalized" for his impudence at rising up against the gifted oppressors.
  18. Velvet Revolver is awesome. If you like GnR or STP, check them out! Frankly I LOVE Stone Temple Pilots and think GnR was a tight band. Scott Weiland is a brilliant vocalist and Slash is a cool guitarist. Putting them together has worked in a way that allows them both to compliment each other and create something unique unlike Audioslave which is like RATM-Lite.
  19. The character on the trailer that appears immediately after the cheering wookies (he is in a red cape) looks like he is the same dude who played Nightcrawler in X2. Perhaps they go to the same dentist .
  20. I always liked "Jumper" by 3eb, though they got to just be a crappy band when they turned into wussy pop that you hear on the soft rock station (Like "Never let you go") The lead singer Steven started singing like he couldn't "unstick" himself from his cheeseball falsetto.
  21. See, I find their lyrics to be very good and their sense of life/romance to be VERY well honed and top notch. What I don't like the fact that stylistically the songs don't change much in terms of "vibe" or overall emotional impact. They also don't change much in terms of vocal range. Everything is a big emotional ballad with Dashboard. It is like the paintings are all composed using the same colors and brushes. I like things slightly more varied, but that doesn't make Dashboard less of a band or even a "not so great band." I think they are definitely talented and worth at least a listen or more depending on your personal preferences.
  22. You guys are aware that Vladimir Putin is an ex-KGB officer himself, right? I'm not suggesting that Vlady poisoned Yushchenko himself, but seeing how strongly he has come out to support the Pro-Moscow/ Pro-Russia Ukrainian candidate makes me wonder if he wouldn't have handed over the task to someone else. Especially after Putin does crappy things like arrest oil tycoons, start development on a missle defense system that will supposedly "outclass" anything the west has to offer, interfering in elections in a former satelite state, and other such Soviet style nonsense.
  23. I thought about this while in the shower earlier today. I don't think they are arguing that *our* planet has a volitional consciousness any more than they are arguing that we have giant snakes like the Midgar Zolom or lion-like creatures that can live for hundreds of years and talk:). I think suggesting that the video game planet has a consciousness serves a specific purpose. Namely it makes the point that coercion against a volitional being is *wrong* on a symbolic level. Just like animal farm isn't advocating the premise that sheep and cows can talk (George Orwell wasn't a member of PETA or anything stupid like that) and rather that communism is horse puckey...I think that the point is that consciousness and identity are sacred and not to be screwed with. I think there are MANY pro-individualist and pro-capitalist themes in the game. If nothing else, you get money for selling things and you can buy them all throughout the game. When you beat Emerald and Ruby weapon you get some of the best items in the game by trading the desert rose and the earth harp for Master Materias and a Gold Chocobo. Also, the Gold Saucer isn't labeled a "den of iniquity" because you pay to have fun in various forms while earning your own currency (GP) to trade in for various items. You can use your own physical power and strategic battle tactics to take on monsters in the battle arena as well as ride a chocobo for prizes or GP. All of this is seen as normal and acceptable and not something that is remotely tagged as "bad." Also...keep in mind the beginning of the game where Cloud makes Barrett pay him for his services and is a hired mercenary. You could say that Cloud is scalping him, but no one forces Barrett to pay for Cloud's help. If Cloud would have been too demanding, Barrett wouldn't have had a rational interest in paying him more than he was worth. Also...keep in mind the fact that one of the "perks" of the game is being able to buy your own house in Costa del Sol for 300,000 gil. It isn't suggested that you should forsake luxury or material goods for the poor/charity/altruistic causes. In fact, you are given the option of buying this house and reaping the benefits of it (sleeping there for free and getting regenerated) along with the simple pride of saying "I scraped together 300,000 smackaroos and this house is MINE!". I don't think that FFVII is anti-capitalist at all. As far as the environmentalist thing? I think that is more symbolic than really a left agenda. The fact is, Barrett WAS a coal miner and if I recall right, the Cetra were nomadic farmers who used the land for their own benefit. In fact, the search of the promised land requires the ability to hold values and seek them out. I think there are OODLES of good things about FFVII. I think you just have to think about it a lot instead of taking everything on a surface level. -Evan
  24. Ok...here are my exact recommendations: 1) The Used = "The Used" (self titled) 2) Kill Hannah = "For Never and Ever" 3) My Chemical Romance = "Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge" 4) Coheed and Cambria = "The Second Stage Turbine Blade" A good unsigned band whose singer left: Camera = http://www.garageband.com/artist/camera (I'm friends with this band and I'm going to hang out with them over X-mas.) Some songs that strike an Objectivist chord inside of me: "Warning" - Incubus "Vindicated" - Dashboard Confessional (I really don't like this band but this song is brilliant and reminds me of Hank Rearden in a lot of ways)
  • Create New...