Cliff Crego's blog, whitebark—
Notes scratched into a stonepine snag, open to the light, clear air . . .

October 2013
« May   Nov »
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 12:31 pm

♫ COPLAND #Violin Son. (’68) w/ Isaac Stern A masterpiece of DIALOGUE,
performed w/ ugly Julliard ‘olive-oil’

[NOTE: I’m just being overly critical, but only kind of: Stern
was a master, and a great mensch. But that’s not the point.
It’s about defending natural living sound, like one defends
natural living water. So, what I call O2V aka ‘olive-oil’ vibrato
is an incessant mechanical wobbling of the pitch or frequency
of a sound, in which the performer puts the same sauce on
all dishes. Even great talents like Hilary Hahn for some
unknown reason let their sound be corrupted w/ o2v…
Personally, it drives me straight out of any room, especially
when they are playing OLD (Bach) or NEW MUSIC (Stravinsky).
Every thing in between, they are far as I’m concerned free
to wobble away — call the WOBBLERS as a species — to
their heart’s content, because I don’t listen to this
imbalanced musical disaster of a period from 1750-1910
anyway. (Oh may Muses of Minor forgive Mozart for all his
ballroom prancing white-horses excess….) For me, natural
vocal sound always begins w/o vibrato; all else is nuance,
is inflection. The Baroque people get this. But then, they
only play OLD music anyway, so they’ve opted ipso facto
to be not relevant at all in the contemporary sense. But
more on that kind of imbalance of natural sound perhaps
another time….]

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COYOTE & CROW discuss Edward Snowden and Secrecy . . .
Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 9:08 am

CROW said to RAVEN,
“Don’t say NSA & Intelligence in the same sentence!”
And Coyote barked, “Right! The plan for the next 9/11
will be written on the back of a postcard, US Mail.”
Crow, dumbstruck and deep in meditation, seeing suddenly
the difference between insight and mere machine intellect,
remarked thoughtfully, “What do you get with an acceleration
of an acceleration?” “Easy. A differential equation.” “No.”
flapped Crow. And Coyote laughed and guessed again, “You
mean that manic scientist who looks like Woody Allen
and invented the out-of-tune synthesizer, what’s his name?
“Ray Kurzweil”
“Yes, Kurzweil! Dr. Exponential!”
And Crow, shifting into his not-always-so charming
preaching mode, “No. No, you get an avalanche of lies
that cover up all the worthless stolen data people people
think is relevant. But it’s really so much more bearshit.”
“Bearshit. Yes, a big data dump that distracts attention,
that lets them plan the next terrorist event, giving
them the fear-excuse to keep the oil, and the machine, going.”
A depressing thought, they both thought to themselves.
It was getting late, and from their high ridge they both
saw a hunter’s quarter moon rising, never a good sign.
Coyote laid down, putting his head over his paws, saying,
And Crow, taking off for the night, echoed, “Bearshit!”
And Coyote thought to himself, ” I never liked the smell
of it.”

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Filed under: General
Posted by: @ 6:47 am

“Information is a difference that makes a difference.”
Gregory Bateson (Mind and Nature: A Necessary Unity)

To keep your little lifeboat of meaning afloat in a turbulent
sea of misinformation, full of the riptides of false, irrelevant
data and treacherous whirlpools of consumer temptation
and potential debt, stay close to the coastlines of the broad,
historical, polycultural view.

Learn the languages of foreign ports of call. Seeing things
for oneself from many different perspectives naturally lifts
the best view up into awareness, like a single bright beacon
one suddenly sees clearly on a distant horizon.

And when the mist of night closes in, keep your moral
compass close to your heart, and let it point to the true
north of sound, ethical principle. Always:–First, do no harm.

A NOTE ON RELEVANCE: “relevance” comes to us from
the Latin, RELEVANT, or “raising up,” which suggests,
as David Bohm pointed out, “a raising up into awareness.”
In the current era of pushing DATA into the current non-stop
OVERLOAD of images and sounds, where everybody wants
to sell you something, is spying on you, and/or is promoting
him or herself, I find that is possible–Nay, absolutely necessary–
to take refuge in RELEVANCE. If you think of it, there is alway
a dearth, a severe shortage, of relevance. That is, like Bateson
so beautifully puts it, information that makes a difference. I
also find that it is evidently only possible to sense relevance
relative to a problem space.

Say I’m a conductor. I lead an orchestra for new music. Then
I must find new pieces to play, right?

That is my problem space.
But 99% of what’s written is trash.
That’s the NOISE, the flood of IR-relevant data. It’s
everywhere. And increasing exponentially, every day. But what
I’m looking for is the difference that makes a difference. The
challenge, then, is to filter out the BAD, while letting the GOOD
come through. This is especially important for the young, or
the young mind as it is learning to learn. It should be one of
the primary thing they study and work on, in my view, as a
kind of daily yoga-of-the-mind practice.

Below is a TWEET. Just a text message of maximum 140
characters, 137 in this case, you say. But notice that tweets,
very differently from how FACEBOOK moves DATA around,
are like seeds of meaning. Seeds of meaning that, given a
particular reader’s context, may unfold into relevance. Sometimes, tremendous relevance. And they have a certain wonderful quality
of independence of self, or autonomy of one’s physical
circumstance. It’s just the meaning that counts. It makes
no difference if I’m white or black, handsome or ugly, or
haven’t combed my hair today, or don’t have enough money
to pay my rent. It’s just about meaning. That’s brilliant.
Culturally, this really IS A difference that makes a difference.

READING: “Information is a difference that makes a difference.”
Gregory Bateson, from “Mind & Nature” pdf [4.5 Mb]

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