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Tag: Einstein

Liszt – piano concerto no 2 in A major‏

since discovering Tamás Érdi, feral hands,
uncommonly hirsute, but uncovering the
soul of a poet, an angel in wolf’s clothing,
a satyr, without a flute but, at the piano,
I’ve been hooked, combined with Liszt he
is again irresistible, not to mention totally

you’ll find Liszt quite a bit like Beethoven,
but more bombastic than philosophical,
style trumps substance, Liszt was a
show-off, a pianistic Paganini

stylistic flourishes abound in the hands
of a deft, however uninformed might he
or she be, technical wizard, it doesn’t
take an Einstein, in other words, to be
a Puccini

and Liszt is a Puccini, who delivers
likewise, and for the very ages

note the same intensity as Beethoven
in Liszt, much of the same musical
idiosyncrasies, but with more dramatic,
late Romantic, alterations of tempo, he’ll
milk a phrase before returning to a more
Classical, which is to say, less elastic

his extemporisations are also less
ruminative, more serendipitously
motivated, like jazz, Liszt wants
primarily to dazzle, kick around,
not instruct

and he does, masterfully, just that

here’s Alfred Brendel doing an alternate,
wholly incandescent version
I couldn’t
at all leave out

here’s Julie Andrews giving her take on
the history of jazz


Nemo – “Ennead I” by Plotinus (16)‏

 The School of Athens - Raphael

                                             The School of Athens




Date: Sat, 23 Mar 2013 22:47:05 +0000
To: Richibi’s Weblog
Subject: [New comment] “Ennead I” by Plotinus

As I said at the very beginning, you are “sensitive”, and I was right, because you rightly perceived that I was becoming impatient. My apologies. Patience is not my forte. 🙂 However, you have not “touched a nerve”, as this is by no means an emotional discussion from my pov. I have no intention to “vehemently reject” your position (after all it is yours not mine), but only to share my perspective, including what I perceive to be irrational arguments.

Here are the two statements you made;
” I, and the “demented” Nietzsche, incidentally, equally fervently mistrust, even deem fundamentally impossible”,
“I do not profess to “know what Nietzsche believes or “fervently mistrust[s]‘”.

Is that not a self-contradiction?

You say that you’re making an interpretation. But, what is knowledge but an interpretation? A translation from the concrete and the objective to the abstract and subjective, just as we translate a work of literature from one language to another? By interpreting Nietzsche to yourself, you gain a rational understanding of him, and by interpreting him to others, you share that understanding.

I think an important distinction should be made between a) the belief in the existence of Absolute Truth” and b) the belief of one’s monopoly of the Absolute Truth. You seem to be passionately rejecting b), which is quite understandable. But Platonism is not b) but a). It does not claim monopoly of the Absolute Truth, but instead, Plato and Socrates both exhort their listeners to pursue Beauty, Goodness and Truth, to pursue virtue, to be the lover of wisdom, which is the literal meaning of “philosophy”,

According to Einstein, this pursuit of the Absolute Truth is also the guiding principle of the scientists. Without this passionate pursuit of the truth, we would never discover that the earth is not flat. Now think about this: Can you still insist that it is uncertain whether or not the earth is flat, that it is impossible to have a rational understanding of the shape of the earth?

You argue that uncertainty makes people less likely to kill. But most people who kill are not driven by belief in the Absolute, but by their lust for pleasure, wealth and power. Some may kill in the name of Truth as a disguise for their ulterior motives, but it would be unfair and irrational to blame the Truth for their acts.

I’ll refrain from discussing the Catholic Church, partly because to me this discussion is about Platonism, and Christianity is not Platonism (though they share many similar aspects), and partly because I’m not associated with the Catholic Church and frankly don’t know enough about it to say anything useful


first of all let me raise a glass to our conversation,
a toast that it might live long
and thank you for your continued respectful and
penetrating participation, I will endeavour to as
assiduously hold up
that said, we get into, as I see it, the question
posed by Wittgenstein, an obstacle of the
most impenetrable sort, the egregious
unreliability of language, what do you mean
when you say something, and how does that
synch with the other guy’s interpretation of it,
or, indeed, girl’s 
your meat could be my poison, my Plato,
your Proust   
indeed which one of us is right about this,
is Plato a saint or a sinner, a boon or a
though Proust, of course, would remain 
unquestionably and irreversibly here,
ever, surely, for both of us, benefactor
of positively Promethean, natch, 
what has become here then of the
Absolute, gone up in a whiff of, just
as insubstantial, smoke, the exhalations,
note, of a fully material mens sana,
sound mind, which can be nothing
without the enveloping corpore sano,
sound body   
should there, in the instance, however, 
be a One, an Absolute, we would not, nor
can anyway ever, from our intrinsically
divergent perspectives, be able to, in
any meaningful way, know It
more practically and topically, when
my mother had her living room walls 
painted, my blue was her green, or vice
versa, in either case adamantly, trying
both of us to eke out from each other
concessions to a position, undyingly,
each, though ever politely, both, held, 
a model accommodation, which is to say,
without the often attendant bombs 
we remained puzzled, however, each,
ever, by insidious, and inescapable,
doubt, who saw the right colour 
there is a technical solution to my mother’s
wall, I know, but only after great psychological
adjustment, even torment, will the blue think
his or her visual impression another colour  
and who is mistaken 
or can some people be ever right, 
and ever wrong
this, incidentally, is the central problem
of philosophy, not just our own central
and its resolution the central problem
of politics
in this instance when her cataracts were
removed, her blue became green, or vice
versa, I’d have to be in her apartment, I
can’t remember which colour, right now,
it was I saw, another philosophical
conundrum, but surely, you get the
picture, interpretation is highly
subjective, and porous 
which is why Science requires absolutely
unanimous approval, if you’ll forgive this
metaphorical only use of that prickly
adverb here, to determine Its still 
fundamentally ever tenuous theories
we’ve even only recently deconstructed
even time,
or Time
now there’s a God for you, Giver of context
however, even there, It would appear arbitrary,
there may be another Reality beyond our
particular three-dimensional Plato’s cave
but I digress
my misuse of the word “know” in citing
my apparently contradictory statements,
is at fault, I can never know, I can only
interpret, with custom we have come to
accept our suppositions as fact, and hope
that everyone else will do the same, which
we mostly do, except when we have wars
because of some intractable position,
where someone has set a price on his, her 
incontrovertible, but still fundamentally
arbitrary, opinion, even of ownership,
family structure, interpersonal affairs,
like this one 
but we are talking with only air, no
concrete certainty    
I believe Nietzsche, in other words, to
have thought my thoughts, or I, rather,  
to have incorporated his, but that is only
my understanding of it, which surely I
propound, though I might quite possibly
be wrong, but, Nemo, I can’t remember
the last time I was, I could check, I keep
a tally
scientists, I believe, are indeed seeking
always to know, perfecting their idea of
Reality, but Truth can only be the sum
of all things we think It is, nothing else,
nothing more, after all what other entity
that we know knows anything at all
about It, about Truth
we can only think there is a Real out
there, and make the best of It, the rest
is, Shakespeare again,  
           “…………………………………. such stuff
           As dreams are made on; and our little life
            Is rounded with a sleep.”
                                             The Tempest – act 4, scene 1
                                                                            lines 156 -158
cheers ever

Nemo – “Ennead I” by Plotinus (13)

Date: Sun, 17 Mar 2013 19:04:56 +0000
To: Richibi’s Weblog
Subject: [New comment]“Ennead I” by Plotinus.
You wrote, “my experience is that I cannot know even dimensions before I formally deduce them,”

That is a unique experience. Einstein came to the same conclusion when he developed the Theory of Special Relativity, though perhaps he didn’t have quite the same experience. You both beheld the same underlying reality, although you expressed it in different ways.

Plato’s Absolute, i.e., which is Beauty, Goodness and Truth in One, is immanent. It is distinct but not distant from us, and every soul can ascend to it by reason and intellect. There are different types and levels of beauty, in the human body, in nature, in the universe, in science and art, literature and music. One doesn’t have to be a “Superman” to see beauty or create beauty. Every life is an artistic activity. Every individual is an artist.

The concept of Absolute by no means deny or diminish the freedom of individual existence. On the contrary, the more diverse and free the individual existence, the better and fuller it manifest Absolute Beauty. For instance, Beethoven’s Ninth, unless each member of the choir and orchestra plays his/her best part, the beauty of the symphony cannot be manifested nor experienced by the audience.

Unlike Kant who believes that the noumenal is unknowable, Platonists reason that the noumenal and the phenomenal correspond with one another (sort of like the way an image in the mirror corresponds to the original), since they are both derived from one and the same intelligible reality. Because of this “correspondence”, it is possible to do science. We have been able to predict with accuracy the movement of the stars and other events occurring in nature; Because of this “correspondence” between our consciousness and the outside world, it is possible for us to interact with other people and the world


you say, Nemo, “Plato’s Absolute, i.e., which is
Beauty, Goodness and Truth in One“, which
seems to me anachronistic, a premature
conflation with Christian, however implicit,
thought, I don’t think Plato would’ve had a
Trinity, whatever for in a society replete with
a variety of quite serviceable, not to mention
glorious, deities
when you speak of “[e]very life“, “[e]very
individual” being “an artistic activity“, “an
artist“, what about animals, insects, trees,
do roses perceive their own beauty, these
are lives, even creative, even inspiring ones,
though I draw the line at inspired, I suspect
they don’t consciously know it 
therefore “Beauty, Goodness and Truth” are in
the eye of the beholder, no, as we ask in
French, and the beholder is our own human
only, it appears, incarnation, blessed as we
are, for better or for worse, with
self-consciousness, ““Superm[e]n”” need
not even, but only superfluously, apply  
the Tree of Knowledge bore the fruit of
which all of us have partaken, for better or
for worse, by our very nature, and we’ve
created a poem around it in order to
it has been mighty, if flawed
about mirrors, when I yearned for word
from above, or from wherever, I understood
I’d have to forego my entrenched scepticism
under the influence of Sartre and Camus,
the Existentialists, whose ideas dominated
the Western World, and my university years,
however nowadays incredible, a time when
Van Cliburn, a Classical music pianist, 
would return from a sealed Communist
Russia, no less, to a New York ticker tape
parade, a more idealistic time than our
present more rapacious, morally bankrupt,
apparently, epoch, I’d believed in Being
and Nothingness, and the corollary Absurd,
I was alone in an indifferent Universe
to assume spirits, an extraterrestrial entity
who might be responsive, would require
an act of absolute faith, a profound
disorder in my otherwise determinedly
rational perspective
but I had no choice but to succumb to
even irrationality, I knew, for any chance
of grace, you need to believe in miracles
to experience them  
need I say that I found that transcendence,
I called it crossing the Bridge of Faith
where everything was the same but
different, Nemo, like crossing through a
mirror, like Alice, and discovering another,
infinitely more enchanted, however
numinous and otherworldly, world   

Debussy’s “Études”

 Man with a Guitar - Georges Braque
                    Man with a Guitar (1914)
                               Georges Braque 
while we’re on the subject of études, listening to 
hundred years later, 1830s to 1915, would prove
instructive, I deemed 
picture me deeming, August 3, 2012, my brow
just slightly pensively constricting 
if the basis of music as defined by the Classical
period depended on beat, tonality, and the repetition
of the tune, usually of both musical statements, these
apparently essential components of course would be
the first places to bear the scrutiny of probing musical
minds, seeking to find, seeking to set more expansive,
more profound dimensions to the areas of their quest,
that’s what artists do 
and this of course is exactly what happened starting
with Beethoven, by the time of Chopin music had
relaxed its stricter Classical rhythmic precision,
allowing great expansive gestures in the more
malleable tempi, tempos, producing the effect of
more compassion and soulful examination than
the earlier less indulgent, more disciplined code
the fact of having musical tapestries, sound patches,
take the place of melody, narrative, in the musical
presentation of Chopin also suggests a more
diversified, dare I say prismatic, telling, than the 
linear account of for instance Mozart‘s solitary
tuneful wanderer
it also evokes incidentally the vagaries of the
inconstant heart rather than its unflinching
condemnation, a repudiation of atavistic
Christian ecclesiastical intolerance 
by the time the old order was about to be extinguished,
in 1915, at the onset of the First World War, Debussy’s
Études, like Chopin 12 of them per set, had seen
social injustice – see Charles Dickens, see Émile Zola,
see Karl Marx – the improbable discoveries of science –
Darwin, Freud, Einstein – the car, the airplane,
photography were changing everything, the old
paradigms no longer applied, were irrelevant, even
harmful, in this new context, the First World War 
would prove all that 
in the language of music, tempo, melody, repetition
would be inevitably subverted
Debussy produces erratic tempi, foregoes melody for
harmonic exploration, combining incidentally the
musical patches of Chopin with the intellectually
driven investigations of Beethoven for a more
cerebral understanding of music, a music for the
head, with expert displays of pianistic skill, indeed
prestidigitation, for, along with the intellectual
rigour, spectacle  
is this then still music 
is Post-Impressionist painting still art  
what would 1915 have said
above is Georges Braque‘s nearly contemporary, 1914,  
man with a guitar, who’d a thunk it