Saturday, April 29, 2006

A bandit, I

The library in the next town had its semiannual book sale today, and I made off with a double armload of goodies. My eyes are surely bigger than my head – there's no way I'll ever get to all of these – but these babies were priced to move: the whole lot cost about six bucks total.

1. Goethe – Faust, pt. 1, Penguin Classic edition (1949; orig. 1801). Never read this. I did read The Elective Affinities a few years ago, which wasn't exactly what I expected (good though). You've heard the opera(s), now read the book!

2. Ferdinand de Saussure – Course in General Linguistics (1959; orig. 1915). I'm always amused by criticisms of "post-structuralism" which point out triumphantly that Saussure was wrong about this or that. Q: What part of "post-structuralism" don't you understand? (A: the "post-" part.) Not like I'll be reading this one soon, but it may prove useful for reference at some point (he said, engaging in furious rationalization for his cupidity).

3. Paul Ramsey – Nine Modern Moralists (1962). To wit: Tillich, Marx, Niebuhr (x 2), Dostoevski [sic; not like that's wrong, of course], Maritain, Sartre, Brunner, and one Edmond Cahn. Blurb on the back: "A single thread runs through these essays, that divine charity, by transforming human justice and elevating legal morality, created the Western conception of the good community." Never heard of this guy, but it says he was the chair of the Religion dept. at Princeton. Looks interesting. Onto the shelf with the other unread theology!

4. Steven Vogel – Cats' Paws and Catapults: Mechanical Worlds of Nature and People (1998). Not sure about this one, on second look. It's a pop science book about the mechanical principles explaining various natural forms. It does mention cats though. I'll keep it around for a while.

5. Robert Coles – The Moral Life of Children (1986). Out of the mouths of babes. I keep hearing about this one – but he has a number of simarly titled books, so maybe I'm just confused.

6. Philip Kerr – A Philosophical Investigation (1992). This could be stupid, but I couldn't resist. It's a serial-killer tale, and yes, the title is indeed alluding to a somewhat more famous work by someone else. From the blurb on the inside dust cover: "Inspector 'Jake' Jacowicz must use all her powers of reason and intuition to track this extraordinary sociopath, code-named 'Wittgenstein,' who draws her into a diabolical cat-and-mouse game and engages her in a chilling 'philosophical' dialogue about the nature of life itself." Set in 2013, by the way.

7. Wm. Buckler, ed. – Prose of the Victorian Period (1958). 570 pp. of Macaulay, Carlyle, Newman, Mill, Ruskin, Arnold, T. H. Huxley, and Pater. I don't currently suffer from insomnia, but it's nice to know that if I ever do, Sartor Resartus will be within easy reach. I kid – actually this does look good.

8. Steven Pinker – Words and Rules: The Ingredients of Language (1999). Not a big Pinker fan, but here he has limited himself to a very narrow topic: irregular verbs. The author attempts to entertain as well as instruct. Here's a taste, from p. 85, a quoted excerpt from one of the H*y*m*a*n K*a*p*l*a*n books:
"I tought de pest time 'bite' should be—'bote.'"
Miss Mitnick gave a little gasp.
"'Bote'?" Mr. Parkhill asked in amazement. "'Bote'?"
"'Bote'!" said Mr. Kaplan.
Mr. Parkhill shook his head. "I don't see your point."
"Vell," sighed Mr. Kaplan, with a modest shrug, "if is 'write, wrote, written' so vy isn't 'bite, bote, bitten'?"
Psychic cymbals crashed in Mr. Parkhill's ears.
"There is not such a word 'bote,'" protested Miss Mitnick, who took this all as a personal affront. Her voice was small, but desperate.
"Not-soch-a-void!" Mr. Kaplan repeated ironically. "Mine dear Mitnick, don' I know is not soch a void? Did I say is soch a void? All I'm eskink is, isn't logical should be soch a void?"
And naturally there's a lot of stuff about kids. Put it on the shelf next to the Coles book.

9. An Anthology of English Drama Before Shakespeare (1952, orig., well, before Shakespeare). Everyman and other such. Not all dour mystery plays; there's also something called "A Right Pithy, Pleasant, and Merry Comedy Entitled Gammer Gurton's Needle."

10. Leonard Peikoff – The Ayn Rand Library, Vol. VI: Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (1991). Not all dour mystery plays (oh wait, that was the last book). This, the publisher feels it is important that the reader know, was endorsed by Miss Rand as "the only authorized presentation of the entire theoretical structure of Objectivism. P.S.: Kant sucks." (okay, I added that last part). Accept no substitutes!

11. Kazuo Ishiguro – When We Were Orphans (2000). I have not yet managed to read any Ishiguro, though The Unconsoled has been parked on my shelf for some time (thanks Jay!). That book was recommended to me heartily, as being one that I in particular would like, by someone who had not 30 seconds earlier described his experience with it as including many instances of wanting to hurl the book across the room. Not sure how to take that. Also, I have had the recent Never Let Me Go out of the library proper for a month now (haven't started it yet). I did see the movie of The Remains of the Day though – partial credit? This one has been described to me as being a cross between Remains and The Unconsoled. Let me try Never Let Me Go; then we'll see about the others.

12. Strunk and White. They always have a few copies of this, and I always get one, so I can hand them out to those who especially need it. But I never do (seems presumptuous somehow), so they're accumulating. Oh well, there's fifteen cents wasted.

13. José Ortega y Gasset – The Dehumanization of Art (1948) Includes 4 other essays, including "In Search of Goethe from Within," which goes well with #1 above, don't you think? I may actually have this one somewhere already, but I don't see it.

14. Howard Kahane – Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life (1992). This is your typical Critical Reasoning textbook. Looks okay. Lots of cartoons and quotations, making it reasonably entertaining. Continuing our theme for the day, here's one from our man Goethe:
When an idea is wanting, a word can always be found to take its place.
Ouch. That's harsh.

15. Actually, this one deserves its own post. Stay tuned. Really, you are not going to believe this one.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Friday semi-random ten (on Friday this time)

1. Monolake – interstate (monolake/imbalance)
2. Yasume – where we're from the birds sing a pretty song (citycentreoffices)
3. Tetsu Inoue – Yolo (DiN)
4. Four Tet – Rounds (Domino)
5. Roberto Musci – Debris of a Loa (Lowlands)
6. Daniel Menche – the face of vehemence (Ground Fault)
7. Beethoven – Piano Trios, Vol. 3 (Op. 70, 1 & 2), Stuttgart Piano Trio (Naxos)
8. Christoph Heemann – Days of the eclipse (Barooni)
9. Iron & Wine – Our Endless Numbered Days (Sub Pop)
10. Andrew Chalk – East of the Sun (Hic Sunt Leones)

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Let's get this straight, ding bing it!

Like most people, I have a few particular gripes about other people's mistakes (my own mistakes I'm fine with). You know, like writing "it's" for "its", or misusing "begs the question" – that sort of thing. For some reason this very common one makes me crazy. We shouldn't be getting this wrong any more, people! (Actually, that's another one: "anymore" with an assertion rather than a negation, as in "I take the train all the time anymore." That one makes my skin crawl.) It's from an ad for The Economist, of all things.
When a butterfly flutters its wings in one part of the world, it can eventually cause a hurricane in another...
Argh. The reference is of course to the famed "butterfly effect," in which certain dynamical systems (like the weather) exhibit what is called "sensitive dependence on initial conditions." (There's a decent explanation of the effect, and some of the misconceptions surrounding it, here.) Sensitive dependence, no problem; but the clear implication of the ad, and that of the popular use of the idea, is that the slight puff of air caused by the butterfly's wings grew and grew until it became a raging hurricane.
Like the theoretical wings of the butterfly, events on the other side of the planet (not to mention right here in the U.S.) can ripple toward you at an alarming rate of speed and brew up quite a storm in your business .... and your life.
This is balderdash (not to mention flapdoodle). What grew and grew ("rippled toward you") is the difference between the states, at corresponding times, of the system sans butterfly and the one with it. There's nothing to suggest which one will end up with a hurricane, or that either will. If we picked a point in time halfway between then and now we wouldn't be able to tell which one had the butterfly and which didn't. The point is just that in such systems (and the Economist is correct to imply that the economy is one such system), a small difference in initial conditions will grow into a large difference later on: one which may even be manifested, at a particular place and time, between Katrina on one hand and complete calm on the other. It doesn't mean you should be on guard for those stormbringer butterflies across the globe. Or whatever the news-junkie analogue is. After all, even if butterflies became extinct we still wouldn't be able, in January, to predict the weather for Game 2 of the World Series (even if we did know where it was going to be).

Interestingly, the Wikipedia entry on the Ray Bradbury story "A Sound of Thunder," which refers to this effect (although before the work on chaos theory which led to the name) doesn't indicate why the story's ending is implausible; and even in the entry on the effect itself, which also mentions the story, it is not criticized in the obvious way (i.e. that the effect as described is not chaotic enough).

Friday, April 21, 2006

Not necessarily experienced, but ... beautiful

While our local libraries do reasonably well with cinema (I just got Kings and Queen, the new Arnaud Desplechin movie, which I'm looking forward to very much), the CD collections are virtually worthless, except for the classical discs. I did find one recently though, a 1993 disc called Stone Free: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix.

Here's the lineup:
The Cure - Purple Haze
Eric Clapton - Stone Free
Spin Doctors - Spanish Castle Magic
Buddy Guy - Red House
Body Count - Hey Joe
Seal and Jeff Beck - Manic Depression
Nigel Kennedy - Fire
Pretenders - Bold as Love
P. M. Dawn - You Got Me Floatin'
Slash and Paul Rodgers with the Band of Gypsys - I Don't Live Today
Belly - Are You Experienced?
Living Colour - Crosstown Traffic
Pat Metheny - Third Stone From The Sun
M. A. C. C. - Hey Baby (Land of the New Rising Sun)
Some okay material there – perhaps not surprisingly, the less faithful renderings tend to be more successful, the P. M. Dawn track for example. Some are just embarrassing, like Nigel Kennedy (yes, the violinist), and most are pointless at best.

I don't mean to dump on this project – it's more dull than actively offensive. But it did get me thinking what a better tribute (and yes, one more faithful by my lights to the actual significance of the man's music) might look like. Here's my (wish)list, beginning as one indeed must with "Purple Haze":
Disc 1:

Heldon – Purple Haze (8:51)
Robert Wyatt/Terje Rypdal/Carla Bley/Steve Swallow/Jack DeJohnette – If 6 Was 9 (6:44)
Oren Ambarchi/Noël Akchote (produced by François Tétaz) – Machine Gun (12:11)
James Blood Ulmer – Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (7:08)
Fripp & Eno – Castles Made of Sand (9:23)
Robert Rich/jhno – Burning of the Midnight Lamp (15:00)

Disc 2:

Lassigue Bendthaus – Fire (4:21)
Naked City – Foxy Lady (5:50)
Supersilent w/Tore Elgarøy – House Burning Down (12:53)
Sun Ra Arkestra w/Vernon Reid – Little Wing (9:15)
Marcus Schmickler/C-Schulz/Manuel Göttsching – Rainy Day, Dream Away (8:33)
Jon Hassell/Michael Brook – 1983 (15:02)
Rafael Toral – Moon Turn the Tides ... gently gently away (13:06)

Disc 3:

Mark Nauseef/Miroslav Tadic (w/David Torn and Jack Bruce) – The Wind Cries Mary (5:44)
Windy & Carl – One Rainy Wish (30:05)
Francisco López/Joe Colley/John Duncan – ... and the gods made love (13:55)
Steve Tibbetts/Marc Anderson – Third Stone from the Sun (9:32)
Massacre w/Bob Ostertag – Are You Experienced? (8:19)
Okay, that's more than 14 (so sue me). And there's one point of overlap, but I never said there couldn't be. By the way, the Nauseef/Tadic track actually exists, on The Snake Music (CMP, 1994). As for the others – well, we can dream, can't we?

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Names of names

My friend Justin has an article at 3 Quarks Daily in which he makes the following point:
The Neanderthals, I should not have to point out, were illiterate, and the presence or absence of an "h" in the word for "valley" in a language that would not exist until several thousand years after their extinction was a matter of utter indifference to them.
Quite right. Now read the rest.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

10 things

Speaking of the PhilCarn, our überringleader Richard had a provocative post at his own place the other day about 10 things people should know about philosophy, and Clark followed suit soon after (evoking a comment from me there; but it seems I have more to say). I liked Clark's better – Richard's included several things which were philosophical opinions, rather than things about philosophy itself (not like the latter don't involve the former, of course), and some of them weren't even correct (!). Here's my own list.
1. Basketball coaches don't have "philosophies" (except possibly Phil Jackson). Philosophy is an intellectual discipline.

2. As such, it isn't identical with the profession of teaching philosophy courses to students in universities, or even with publishing articles about philosophy in professional journals. It's open to everyone to do, but you aren't doing it simply by saying you are (nor are you not doing it simply because you don't know that you are; on the other hand if you don't know that you're doing it you probably aren't doing it very well).

3. Philosophy is one of the humanities. It's not a science, but it's not an artform either. In this sense, it's like history, only less empirical. What matters is not simply whether what you say is true but what your point is and how your story goes. (Consider for example that a really lousy history could be made up of only true, perfectly well documented facts, while a really excellent history might be only marginally less so for its cavalier approach toward documentation. Philosophy's like that too – but of course in both cases solid arguments are generally better.)

4. That is, philosophers can make claims which are true or false (and failure in philosophy is at least, shall we say, well correlated with falsehood, although not straightforwardly so), but the goal of philosophers isn't knowledge, it's understanding. You can know without understanding (although your lack of understanding does put limits on what you can be said to know), and you can understand something without that understanding taking the form of a known proposition or formal theory (or, again, without the vehicle of that understanding being a rigorous argument for a specific philosophical doctrine).

5. In particular, our goal is self-understanding. ("Know thyself.") More particularly still, it's self-understanding as philosophers. That is, not only do philosophers want to understand themselves (everyone wants that), they want to understand what it is to take a philosophical view on something (including philosophy itself). This gives philosophical thought a characteristically reflexive cast. Which makes it the case that ...

6. Philosophy is really hard. I mean really hard. The reason that it isn't "rocket science" is that rocket science (qua garden-variety empirical discipline – *yawn*) is a snap compared to philosophy. What makes it characteristically difficult, again, is that its own aims, tools and methods are part of its domain. It's thinking about thinking (which of course includes thinking about thinking, etc.). This makes it something like performing surgery (using mirrors) on one's own motor cortex. What you do affects how you must think of what you are doing, which affects what you do, which ... you get the idea.

7. What this means is that while philosophy does indeed make progress (and not simply in rejecting previous absurdities, like that the world is made of water or some such), it takes much longer than science does (and of course there are other disanalogies, easily but fatally ignored). It can only be understood according to its own time-scale. Our present task, for example, is making sense of the transition into modernity (not out of it). This is proving quite a head-scratcher.

Corollary: while there are no "eternal" problems in philosophy, some of them are reliably stable, as we are reliably subject to certain fairly straightforward – although alas not thereby easily overcome – illusions. This allows us to see ourselves as in an important sense concerned with the "same problems" as, say, the ancients. The trick is to understand what sense that is, given that to understand exactly which confusion it is under which one labors, and how it compares to another, is hardly to be separated from overcoming that confusion itself.

8. "Analytic" philosophy isn't just a bunch of overly abstract, physics-envious logic-chopping, and "continental" philosophy isn't just a bunch of tenured-radical, jargon-ridden reality-free balderdash. Further, the (study of the) history of philosophy isn't just a bunch of fossilized Britons arguing over the placement of commas in the 20-volume edition of so-and-so's unpublished notebooks, where we now know that so-and-so was pretty much wrong about everything anyway, seeing as he lived back when they thought you could tell the future by consulting bird entrails.

Of course, here as everywhere else, one must remember Sturgeon's Law: 90% of everything is crap. To be fair, for philosophy that figure is too high. Even a lot of the stuff which future historians will laugh at (even as they prepare their Gesamtausgaben) is worth doing (if only to dot the i's and cross the t's), and is being done reasonably well, by very bright people (even if they are misguided in not agreeing with me about everything).

9. "Logic" isn't the same thing as "reason" or "rationality." One way of being irrational is indeed by ignoring (or getting wrong) some logical rule, but that doesn't make one the same thing as the other. As a philosophical subdomain, logic is more concerned with structures as structures than with arguments or the "inferential glue" that holds them together. That is, logicians and philosophers of language never talk about logical fallacies or inferences or arguments (that is, any more than anyone else does).

Someone tried to tell me once that spiritual things were "beyond logic." I suppose he was making the familiar point (not that I agree with it necessarily) that we can't prove or disprove such things by argument. But if they really were "beyond logic," then they quite literally wouldn't make any sense. That might be okay if you are a Zen master or something, but most defenders of religion, I imagine, want to say that sentences like "God exists" and "Jesus was resurrected" are not only not gibberish (as "Krotok maxo corculoth stusk" is) but in fact true (indeed, not simply true but "absolutely" true, whatever that may mean), if perhaps not rationally justifiable (but no worse off for that, epistemologically speaking). After all, we're supposed to use them with conditionals like "If God exists, then I will be punished for my sins" to allow us to infer the consequent, and we can hardly do that if they don't have a truth value. And if something has a truth value, it isn't "beyond logic."

Some theologians (Kierkegaard, and Brunner is it?) do push the paradoxical angle, but there the paradox is (I think) supposed to be practical, not semantic. Another way of making my point here, then, is to insist on the mutually interconstitutive nature of logic and semantics – which shouldn't really be controversial: logic is the formal framework of meaning, and meaningful sentences are the instantiation of logical structure.

10. "Metaphysical" doesn't mean "supernatural." Whether God exists is a metaphysical question, but so is whether essences exist – or numbers, or species, or objects; and even the straightforwardly scientific question of whether electrons or quarks exist has its metaphysical aspects. After all, ontology is metaphysics, and ontology concerns what there is – as well as what it is to say what there is, and what we commit ourselves to saying there is in saying what it is to say what there is. Say that three times fast – and what it would be to say that three times fast (oh, stop it). And see #5 again (and #6).

Corollary: scientists who say that they have no metaphysical commitments are ... (okay, let's be charitable, or at least polite) using the term in a sense other than its usual philosophical one. (See Clark's version of this one.)
Now aren't you glad you asked?

New Carnival

New Carnival. Lots of stuff this time. Check it out!

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Non-Friday non-random ten (ambient edition)

The ambient mailing list at had another go-round at polling its members for their fave discs (I did not participate this time), and the results are here. Numerous gripes ensued, as people complained that the list looked suspiciously similar to the previous edition. Hasn't anything good come out since, say, 2000? So a further call went out, for, well, fave discs since 2000. This time I responded. The upstate returns haven't come in yet, but here is my list (as of whenever I wrote it; it may be different today). No order – they're all good.

1. Robert Rich - Somnium [Hypnos]

This is an audio DVD (not DVD-Audio, mind) of sleep-concerty stuff, seven hours long. Put it on and drift away, only to wake up four hours later with something unobtrusively odd happening in the room, over there somewhere. Very minimal (or is it?).

2. Jeff Greinke - Soundtracks [FWD]

Jeff used to go by J. Greinke, and put out three or four industrial-ish records on the Dossier label in the 80's. This is more drony, including a nice long track. I saw him play live (a couple of years ago already?) – in fact that's where I got this disc. Unfortunately it doesn't include the wild solo trombone thing he did (actually, I think you might have had to be there ...).

3. Bass Communion - Ghosts on Magnetic Tape [headphone dust]

BC is Steven Wilson of the prog rock group Porcupine Tree. This is very spacy, with some nice use of vocal sounds.

4. Rick Cox - maria falling away [Cold Blue]

Like his labelmate Chas Smith, Cox is a guitarist who will never be mistaken for Christopher Parkening (too few notes, no attacks; you get the idea). This has one track with Jon Hassell, but the highlight is a glorious twenty-two minute guitar-heavy track (not like you'd notice though).

5. Kwook - Unidentified Feathered Object [DataObscura]

Kwook is an Aussie, and I think this is his only actual CD release (okay, it's a CD-R), which ranges from Rileyesque sequencer workouts to a tour of the outer planets (no lie). There's a lot of other fine material on this label – check it out!

6. Loscil - First Narrows [kranky]

I mentioned Loscil the other day, touting his recent netlabel release stases (free! free!). I wasn't kidding when I said I liked this record. A new one is due soon, I hear.

7. Shuttle358 - Understanding Wildlife [Mille Plateaux]

All of Dan Abrams's work is good (Frame is a little beatier than the others) but this one epitomizes his sense of proportion among space, melody, and glitch. But also check out optimal.lp (a CD, actually) and the recent Chessa.

8. Oöphoi - Mare Tranquillitatis [Deep Listenings]
9. Alio Die - Il Tempo Magico di Saturnia Pavonia [Hic Sunt Leones]

For some reason Italy is a hotbed of ambience. Oöphoi (Gianluigi Gasparetti) and Alio Die (Roberto Musso) lead the pack. Both of these discs – and I could have picked any of many others, as both artists are both prolific and consistently excellent – are rich, thick, drony, and lushly reverberant. By the way, I think Alio Die's classic Suspended Feathers has been reissued somewhere (of course I have mine already ...).

10. Marconi Union - (Distance) [All Saints]

This was a name unknown to me until recently. It's a very nice guitar-oriented disc (identifiably so this time) that wouldn't be out of place on the Kranky label – like Labradford, only, well, more ambient. They're from Manchester.

I'm sure there's a lot more out there, even in this very room. But I'm sure I'll mention them eventually.

Monday, April 03, 2006

X-post facto

Ed B. has a post about Newt Gingrich's new book, The Creator's Gifts: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, and since I was thinking of addressing this topic anyway, I'll crosspost my comment here, to wit:

Alan Keyes likes to say that what liberals forget is that our rights are "given to us by God," (as if he'll take them away, or as if we're being ungrateful, or something, if we don't let theocrats run things) and it's disappointing to see Gingrich, who is not a total jackass, buying into it too. The Declaration reads:

We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

This sentence rejects the then prevalent idea that our having rights is contingent on their being bestowed by some agent external to us (like a king, say), rather than their being ours by nature (and thus necessarily). The point of referring to the Creator here is to endorse the latter idea: we have rights simply in being human beings at all. This being the 18th century, the chosen wording is about what we should expect. It's a good choice – forceful, poetic, and yet doctrinally non-committal (between deism and traditional theism). And of course that's why it says "endowed" (which means "provided with some quality," i.e., by nature) rather than "bestowed" (although another meaning for "endowed" is "bequeathed," as in a university endowment, which may be causing some of the confusion here).

But Keyes (and now Newt) misses the point entirely, as if the founders were accepting the original idea (rights bestowed by external agent) and simply changing the agent from king to deity. But that can't be right. For one thing, they would hardly hold such a metaphysically contentious idea to be "self-evident." Indeed, that idea is barely coherent, assuming as it does that making us human and bestowing rights upon us are conceptually distinct things, as if it were possible to be fully human, but without the right to liberty until it was subsequently bestowed upon us (by a wave of His mighty hand – which did what, exactly?). But this is just what the Declaration denies. To be human just is to have the rights in question. They depend on nothing external to us, natural or supernatural. That's what the part about it being "self-evident" is meant to emphasize: that having rights is (metaphysically) necessary for being human. It doesn't say that they couldn't give an argument for that claim, but indicates the kind of argument that it would be if they did give one (if the DoI were a philosophical treatise, which it is not). That argument would not be an appeal to Scripture (which is the very opposite of self-evident, concerned as most of it is with contingent matters of fact), but one concerned with (as Kant would say a few years later, in a different context) "necessity and universality," the marks of the a priori.

Not that I agree with that exactly (that sharp necessary/contingent dualism looks funny nowadays, for starters) but that's what the founders thought.

Also see SharonB's comment, a point which Ed makes in the post as well: "Nowhere [in the Bible] is a statement to the effect that the power of government derives from the consent of the governed" (her words). Quite right.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Non-Friday semi-random ten

1. Ravel - Complete music for solo piano (A. Simon, piano) [VoxBox]
2. Alio Die - Il Tempo Magico di Saturnia Pavonia [Hic Sunt Leones]
3. L'Usine - s/t [Isophlux]
4. Michael Vetter - Zen-Glocken [Wergo]
5. Jan Maier - Mountain Skyes [Jemsong]
6. Hazard - Wind [Touch]
7. Dan Abrams - Stream [Mille Plateaux]
8. Richard Pinhas - L'Ethique [Cuneiform]
9. Anouar Brahem - Khomsa [ECM]
10. Klimek - Milk & Honey [Kompakt]

Notes: Le Tombeau de Couperin is my favorite piece of classical music (I don't remember how this performance is). Jan is my cousin.

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Eppur si muove

My goodness, I think we have a live one here. (HT: Dadahead)

As is well known, the creationist knock on evolution is that once the kids learn that biological evolution is non-teleological, they will infer from this that there is no objective morality and consequently try to have as many abortions and/or homosexual orgies as humanly possible. Or something.

For some, however, this common view is insufficiently hardcore (= deliriously perverse). To save the world from gay marriage and so forth, it is thus not Darwin whom we must reject, or even those pesky geologists with their absurdly old earth, but ... Galileo and Copernicus. Yes, at there is displayed a full-blown case of geocentrism. Under a picture of a "levitating globe" (scroll down) we read:
"An electromagnet and computerized sensor hidden in its
display stand cause the Earth to levitate motionlessly in the air."
Could God have engineered something like that for the real Earth?
The Bible and all real evidence confirms that this is precisely what He did, and indeed:
The Earth is not rotating...nor is it going around the sun.
The universe is not one ten trillionth the size we are told.
Today’s cosmology fulfills an anti-Bible religious plan disguised as "science".
The whole scheme from Copernicanism to Big Bangism is a factless lie.
Those lies have planted the Truth-killing virus of evolutionism
in every aspect of man’s "knowledge" about the Universe, the
Earth, and Himself.

Take your time.
Check it all out.
Decide for yourself.
So without the divine electromagnet (or whatever) the Earth would ... fall down? Which direction is that, exactly? South? My stars, that's astoundingly stupid. Even a flat earth makes more sense than this - at least then there is a "down" (in some versions, anyway; in others there are people on the flip side too).

And is it a coincidence, or instead deliberate, that this list (you can't see it in my version, as I cannot figure out how to center-justify; go look) resembles a mushroom cloud?