Monday, June 30, 2014

Open Ends

"We’re so proud of ourselves as particle physicists that we now understand five percent of the universe, but there’s lots left to discover” - Jonathan Bagger, a high-energy physicist

A minor correction or is it a major one? The number these phycists derived was 4.9 per cent. Of course, the glaringly obvious observation, if you don’t know the whole value of what is being measured, how can you derive a percentage of it?

In the last post Frank Zappa’s perspective on the anomalous was starkly pragmatic despite the the common perception that Surrealists are far from logical but then again it depends on whose logic we borrow to analyse the unobservable. During the course of that interview Zappa noted that we do not have a language for that we do not understand only stereotyped placeholder references that reduce the complex as to make it navigable. Of course, Zappa parlayed this point of view into satire, a vaudeville of irrational logic. One sees that all around us. Who could have predicted the installation of a 7th Century Caliphate in Iraq during the 21st Century?

Within another harbinger of the weather here on this planet, we have the secret National Security Court issuing a single warrant to spy on some 7,000 individuals. This information was supplied as an example of transparency and yet if you think about a single warrant covering that enormous number of individuals without disclosing the rationale that lumps together all these folks, it becomes surrealistic, abstracted and paradoxical like so much of what we term rock solid reality.

You could characterize this as open ends becoming a means or as the philosopher said, if nothing is true then all things are possible and that insight came from Hassan-i Sabbah who founded the socio-politcal movement that invented the term Assassin, which interestingly derives from the word hashish which makes a hash out of rational logic.

As we grow older, we pick up our tray at the beginning of a philosophical buffet line of artistic underpinnings for rationality. You can chose between pointillism, abstract expressionism or cubism. One could easily say reality has always been an artistic expression and it’s many variants constitute a spectrum of a single organic unity posed as an open ended question which is the theme of this blog.

Zappa considered every sound to be music, whether it was a toy ray gun or a violin and as a statement he refused to put end caps or borders on what was inclusive. He once asked George Duke who could literally play anything to play a repetious four chord progression over and over again and Duke said “I can’t do that” as he had in his mind an anticipation of playing exotica. Zappa asked him in reply if playing that simple progression was beneath him.

There was certainly the touch of Zen in that.

Have you noticed the increasing velocity of our society throwing nuance out the window at every opportunity that presents itself all in the quest to make our behaviors “manageable”, predictable and serving a ill defined logic of comprehension trumping thought?

Recently I received a letter from Arbitron that has within it a crisp dollar bill as bait for a supplication of my willingness to participate in their ratings program. I kept the dollar bill and spent it without ever answering their persistent telephone calls.

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