4 Matching Annotations
  1. Last 7 days
    1. “In order to talk to each other, we have to have words, and that’s all right. It’s a good idea to try to see the difference, and it’s a good idea to know when we are teaching the tools of science, such as words, and when we are teaching science itself,” Feynman said.

      Maths, Logic, Computer Science, Chess, Music, and Dance

      A similar observation could be made about mathematics, logic, and computer science. Sadly, public education in the states seems to lose sight that the formalisms in these domains are merely the tools of the trade and not the trade itself (ie, developing an understanding of the fundamental/foundational notions, their relationships, their instantiations, and cultivating how one can develop capacity to "move" in that space).

      Similarly, it's as if we encourage children that they need to merely memorize all the movements of chess pieces to appreciate the depth of the game.

      Or saying "Here, just memorize these disconnected contortions of the hand upon these strings along this piece of wood. Once you have that down, you've experienced all that guitar, (nay, music itself!) has to offer."

      Or "Yes, once, you internalize the words for these moves and recite them verbatim, you will have experienced all the depth and wonder that dance and movement have to offer."

      However, none of these examples are given so as to dismiss or ignore the necessity of (at least some level of) formalistic fluency within each of these domains of experience. Rather, their purpose is to highlight the parallels in other domains that may seem (at first) so disconnected from one's own experience, so far from one's fundamental way of feeling the world, that the only plausible reasons one can make to explain why people would waste their time engaging in such acts are 1. folly: they merely do not yet know their activities are absurd, but surely enough time will disabuse them of their foolish ways. 2. madness: they cannot ever know the absurdity of their acts, for "the absurd" and "the astute" are but two names for one and the same thing in their world of chaos. 3. apathy: they in fact do see the absurdity in their continuing of activities which give them no sense of meaning, yet their indifference insurmountably impedes them from changing their course of action. For how could one resist the path of least resistance, a road born of habit, when one must expend energy to do so but that energy can only come from one who cares?

      Or at least, these 3 reasons can surely seem like that's all there possibly could be to warrant someone continuing music, chess, dance, maths, logic, computer science, or any apparently alien craft. However, if one takes time to speak to someone who earnestly pursues such "alien crafts", then one may start to perceive intimations of something beyond their current impressions

      The contorted clutching of the strings now seems... coordinated. The pensive placement of the pawns now appears... purposeful. The frantic flailing of one's feet now feels... freeing. The movements of one's mind now feels... marvelous.

      So the very activity that once seemed so clearly absurd, becomes cognition and shapes perspectives beyond words

  2. Jun 2016
    1. Two performances did seem to transcend the present, with artists sharing music that felt like open-source software to paths unknown. The first, Sam Aaron, played an early techno set to a small crowd, performing by coding live. His computer display, splayed naked on a giant screen, showcasedSonic Pi, the free software he invented. Before he let loose by revising lines of brackets, colons and commas, he typed:#This is Sonic Pi…..#I use it to teach people how to code#everything i do tonight, i can teach a 10 year old child…..His set – which sounded like Electric Café-era Kraftwerk, a little bit of Aphex Twin skitter and some Eighties electro – was constructed through typing and deleting lines of code. The shadowy DJ sets, knob-tweaking noise and fogbank ambient of many Moogfest performers was completely demystified and turned into simple numbers and letters that you could see in action. Dubbed "the live coding synth for everyone," it truly seemed less like a performance and more like an invitation to code your own adventure.
    2. The shadowy DJ sets, knob-tweaking noise and fogbank ambient of many Moogfest performers was completely demystified and turned into simple numbers and letters that you could see in action.
  3. Jan 2016
    1. It was not so very long ago that people thought that semiconductors were part-time orchestra leaders and microchips were very, very small snack foods. --Geraldine A. Ferraro

      Good one.