Posts Tagged ‘Borges’


October 8, 2009 6 comments

I read Funes the memorious, and thought* – what is an ‘event’? Some Wiki-diving reveals that philosophers are still divided over how to define an event.

What is an event? [To my lay brain, an ‘event’ is the temporal equivalent of a point in space**. You can see it (in your minds eye), assign co-ordinates (properties) to it, but “it” is infinitesimal.]

What is the extent of my memory? [I distinctly remember Scotland – 1989, I remember some vague stuff about Mini KG and nursery – 1987]

What is the granularity of my memory? [Definitely not points but some larger intervals of time – incidents, places, smells, sounds]

What is the capacity of human memory? [Landauer did a study that estimates it at a few hundred megabytes! A summary is here]

*Says Borges, “To think is to forget a difference, to generalize, to abstract. In the overly replete world of Funes, there was nothing but details, contiguous details.”

**I have not studied relativity and don’t understand spacetime. My thought process is firmly Euclidean.


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: , , ,