Archive for September, 2009

Conservatory of monkeys.

September 29, 2009 17 comments

“Show me something original!” said the producer.
“Original?, but there is no such thing Sir!”, replied Benjarong.
“What do you mean there is no such thing?”
“A musical piece is but a permutation of notes that sound pleasing to the ear, is it not?”
“If I had a million monkeys and gave them a million pianos and left them in a room, one of them would likely come up with a musical piece, could he not?”
“A trillion monkeys perhaps, but I see your point.”
“And what if there was an infinite number of monkeys and an infinite number of pianos kept there forever. Is it not guaranteed that all the musical pieces that ever were, are, and will be, will be produced by them, eventually?”
“You have been reading too much Borges, Ben!”
“Guilty as charged Sir, but why pick on this glorified monkey?! Let us just make the audience happy and leave ‘originality’ to the critics!”

Categories: music, philosophy Tags: , , ,

Just another conversation?

September 28, 2009 22 comments

Me: Who am I?
Me: Who wants to know?
Me: I do.
Me: Who am I?
Me: Ok, this cycle is fake. I think, therefore I am, so the existence of I is not in question, the nature and description of I is in question.
Me: Ok, what is the nature and description of I?
Me: Umm, how do I tell you?
Me: With words of course, how else?
Me: Words? What do words mean to you?
Me: Words mean what they are meant to mean.
Me: Who told you what they are meant to mean?
Me: Life did. Experiences and all that. Plus, I agreed to agree with the meaning of words so I could talk to other folks, you know!
Me: I see. So the best description of yourself that you can come up with, is one based on “ideas based on your experiences (in other words, words)”?
Me: It appears so.
Me: In that case, you are what you do.
Me: I’d rather say I am what I think I am.
Me: But you can only think within the framework of ideas that were based on your actions with respect to your universe, can’t you?
Me: I suppose so. I can’t imagine the unimaginable. I am a sentient being, given ways to interact with and interpret the universe and that is all that I am.
Me: Hmm, so aren’t you just a glorified animal?
Me: Yes, a questioning animal, I certainly am. Is this question tending to mu.
Me: Why mu? Don’t you think “unasking” this question is escapist?
Me: No. I am not running away from the question, just attempting to understand it better. Perhaps I will re-ask it later and better and close the door on mu.
Me: Ok, understand it better, then.
Me: I will procrastinate. Right now, the animal is hungry and must be fed.
Me: Dang it, you’re right! Just feed the animal. Feeding us is going to take forever anyway and our hunger will probably never be quenched.

Categories: me, philosophy Tags: , ,

Thus spake Nietszche

September 24, 2009 20 comments

A fable.— The Don Juan of knowledge: no philosopher or poet has yet discovered him. He does not love the things he knows, but has spirit and appetite for an enjoyment of the chase and intrigues of knowledge—up to the highest and remotest stars of knowledge!—until at last there remains to him nothing of knowledge left to hunt down except the absolutely detrimental; he is like the drunkard who ends by drinking absinthe and aqua fortis. Thus in the end he lusts after Hell—it is the last knowledge that seduces him. Perhaps it too proves a disillusionment, like all knowledge! And then he would have to stand to all eternity transfixed to disillusionment and himself become a stone guest, with a longing for a supper of knowledge which he will never get!—for the whole universe has not a single morsel left to give to this hungry man. – Nietzsche

To have an ‘unquenchable’ thirst – that sounds like hell. But Sisyphus must be happy, mustn’t he?

Was Sisyphus happy because he had hope? Was Sisyphus happy because of his ignorance of the fact – that his task was unending? Did Sisyphus know that his existence was – in a sense – absurd?

I am Sisyphus. I must find my absurd task and make my peace with it.

Categories: philosophy Tags: , ,

Uisge beatha

September 15, 2009 9 comments

Life is an acquired taste.

There are times when it is unpalatable. Just suck it up, and learn to enjoy it. Eventually you (me) acquire a taste for it. Like single malt Scotch whisky, perhaps?

Uisge beatha, n: Gaelic
Water of Life.The original name given to that Golden nectar by the Celts Of Scotland,  also known as whisky, never whiskey.

Categories: life, me

Interesting entrepreneurs

September 8, 2009 7 comments

I came across this article about some very interesting African entrepreneurs on the Freakonomics blog. But what caught my eye was one of the comments below by one Joe Smith. He very succinctly summarizes the “preconditions for economic development”:

We’ve known for a long time what the preconditions are for economic development: (1) physical security (no one will accumulate capital if it will only result in their being murdered) (2) the rule of law (property rights are enforceable and corruption is at a minimum) (3) the right to trade more or less freely.

These pre-conditions of economic development have not changed in thousands of years.

— Joe Smith