Monday, February 25, 2008

Meme 123-5 Variation

This is a variation of the 123-5 meme which involves tagging five other bloggers. I've been tagged by Dylan. Here's the deal:

  1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
  2. Open the book to page 123.
  3. Find the fifth sentence
  4. Post the next three sentences.
  5. Tag five bloggers.

I picked up Music and the Ineffable by Vladimir Jankélévitch (Princeton University Press, trans. Carolyn Abbate, 2003).

And more still: even in this "moment," the musical-ness of music will often be due to an even briefer conjunction, the briefest instant within a brief moment, an opportune minute, one beat of a single measure–like the ravishing chord in Chabrier's Sulamite, like the captivating harmonic sequence in Chaikovsky's Dumka, or the Gregorian cadence at the end of Fauré's fifth piano prelude. The Charm hangs on the impoderable musical-ness of a brief occasion, a lightning strike of an event.

But can one install wisdom on the seat of this delicate imperceptible point in an ephemeral instant?

I reckon old Vladimir was asking the question posed by music which is also a vital question for thought. Generally I'd say it was the question of the present moment, though as Paul might want to point out, my inclination would be to jump to the question of how one experiences the present moment–and so perhaps you can see one reason why the question appeals to me as it arises from thinking about music rather than, say, calculus.

I tag Nick,Matt,Roman,Yusef and Keith.

Whew! I made it without crashing. I'll be on shaky legs until next Monday or so.

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posted by Fido the Yak at 10:50 AM.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Can't catch me!

Went down to Auckland recently and browsed the journal 'radical philosophy' in the uni lib.

An interesting review of a book by Alberto Toscano, 'The Theatre of Production: Philosophy and Individuation btwn Kant and Deleuze, Palgrave Macmillan, 2006. Maybe you could get out your reading machine and give us a synopsis?

In the same issue (144, July, August 2007) there's an essay by Isabelle Stengers 'Diderot's Egg: Divorcing Materialism from Eliminativism'. She always has an interesting angle...

February 25, 2008 2:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Btw Toscano is the trans of Alliez's 'The Signature of the world.'
I'm enjoying Chabon's 'The Yiddish Policeman's Union'...(Don't ask)

February 25, 2008 2:25 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

Hi, Paul!

Guess I'm still it.

Toscano's book is in the university library here, but the reading machine is off its rhythm since my computer started to fritz out. I'm not comfortable reading if I can't take notes, and I don't do that by hand anymore. Anyway, I've got three books out on interlibrary loan which will be due shortly. After I return those I'll check out Toscano's book.

I'm reading Evan Thompson's Mind in Life. (It was brought to my attention by Shahar Ozeri over at Perverse Egalitarianism.) I was thinking you might find it ineteresting even though his approach is explicitly phenomenological. I'm thinking I'd like to say a few words about a relation between autopoiesis and interority.

February 27, 2008 8:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did once look at thompson's 'colour vision'. He was close to Varela. His father wrote some interesting bks...

I wrote to Evan once but never heard anything - I think he's a snob - but I may stand corrected (smile).

February 27, 2008 1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It did occur to me that there is nothing else to experience but the present moment..

February 28, 2008 2:05 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

Still crashing a lot, so that's why I'm slow to respond.

What thickness do we grant the present moment? You know I was critical of Stern for placing a ten second limit on the duration of the present moment but my criticism now would be to question the "texture" of the present moment, the threads that connect one moment to other moments, and generally how time is constituted. I should check out Stern again.

February 29, 2008 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well that's a question and a half!

I would be looking at Crocco and szirko rather than stern.

the main thing in this approach is that the physical 'instant' does have a thickness and time does not 'course' within it...this allows for memory without engraving for empsyched beings - i.e reimagination rather than recollection.

But to flesh this out would take 'time'!
but in a v. real sense we do not live 'in time'...

the technical term is I think 'actualism'. 'nature vacates itself outside of the instant.' There is no past or future except for empsyched beings - and the remembered past is occuring in the present - as is the imagined future...

February 29, 2008 11:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please excuse the long paste-post:
I believe that this stuff is worth studying 'in context' (in a way it is not here!)

Mario Crocco, On Mind's location:

7. But this process has not been found to organize the internal differentiations of minds, or mental contents. This suggests that such time processes do not course inside minds and anything that achieves sensed or known differentiations “sediments” them as its memories, altering itself by sedimenting away from time its causal involvements.

“Away from time” means “not on time courses but inside the instant,” which instant is where such reality which knows – as well as the whole of nature – occurs and simultaneizes the sedimented sequences (“memories”) of its reactions to its causal interactions.
This is tantamount to saying that whichever reality that knows itself ought to possess memory of what it knowingly differentiates; namely that, because nature vacates itself outside actuality and so every thing and process in nature, including each mind, only exists within the physical instant, the preservation of memories is an effect of the absence of time course, not of the presence of brain engrams.

To put it still otherwise, it means that, in the same way that impetus is superfluous to keeping unperturbed bodies in geodesic motion, en-graving such memories in the brain is superfluous to keeping them in mind.

8. The interval-like duration of the physical instant, or time-like period in which no physical action could ever insert a change, is unknown.
Many physicists are sympathetic toward the view that identifies it as the Planck instant, but in present nature no separate force, or interaction modality whose relationships enter to de-fine the Planck instant, can produce a change before a “characteristic time” of some 1020 Planck instants or more: every transformation in time is, thus, currently ticked on intervals always larger than this one.
In contrast, it is observed that moments, the least interval which an awake mind can distinguish or resolve and during which no mental action can be done, have a magnitude of the order of the hundredth of a second, about 1041 Planck instants.

3. Interval dilation in mind disconnections
This particular relationship between such physical instants and mental mo-ments, namely about 1041 times, may be a relativistic dilation generated by moving close to a speed equal to c minus a 10-82 fraction of c.
Further circumstances sug-gest that this possibility should be seriously considered.
9. Besides this time acuity proper of the attentional focus of an awake mind, we observe states of inattention, sleep and coma that are usually interpreted as loses of consciousness or, in the case of inattention, as a decrease in the sensed objects’ “force of imposition”.

As an academic expression, the latter is a wording that acquired some biomedical denotations following its origin in phenomenological intro-spection5 and might require explanation: what is in the focus of attention allows one to be mindful of all that one knows that could be done with it (i.e., its defining “concept”), while what is outside of the attentional focus is minded as if one’s op-erative possibilities in its regard had been abridged into a referential block, like substituting a complicated term in equations by a single letter or a simple sign.

This state of the fully sensed but faintly apperceived objects is the decrease in their op-erational recognition in which the reduction of their force of imposition consists. It, as well as the “losses of consciousness” (sleep, general anesthesia, coma), may manifest variations in the resolutive power or acuity, caused by variations in the said relativistic dilation – not wholly unlike playing an old phonograph record at the wrong speed.

[5] E. g., philosopher X. Zubiri says “Every apprehension has its own force of imposition, and this im-position in the intellective state is knowing”.

That is, c is what mathematics call a limit by right and by left. But c is a limit related with the instant's "thickness" and requiring all the energy of the universe for any quantum with inertial mass (whether of a matter field or of a force field) to cross it.

The combinations of matter field quanta possessed with inertial mass and force field quanta whether mass-possessed or massless make up the situations – e.g., the deer under the cloud – whose modification by physical forces is that to which time elapses: e.g., how long the moving cloud takes in leaving behind the deer, or how long our brains remain in the same place. (Dragged by the sum of known astronomical motions at almost 400 kilometer per second, a speed also probably close to the velocity with respect to the local space, brains linger in contact – in the scale of an atomic nucleus – with a fixed volume or region of its own size, also covered or suffused by all physical fields, for only about 10-21 second; in the Planck scale, instead, brains are stationary during 4 x 10-41 second, i.e. no more than 730 Planck instants.

This maximum figure is relevant for the physical description of the finite mind's circumstancing to a parcel, or portion, of the action-quanta-bubbling field whose manifesting and compliant-to-semovience surf the mind is restricted to "ride.")

That time elapses only to situations is extremely important because we causally efficient circumstanced existentialities do not exist à la Minkowski, i.e. along intervals, but inside the situational intransformativity of the physical instant's actuality – which is where all our memories, projects, and interval-minding actions are ontologically crammed.

March 01, 2008 1:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mea Culpa - end of rave

Memories are 'sedimented' in your equilibrable operations system,

see e.g. any encyclopedia entry on
Piaget's portrayal of the child's

On Mind's Location:
Finally, one should observe that space, or dispersivity for forces, is not a cosmological primitive: vast amounts of fresh space are being continuously cre-ated with the expansion of the observable universe. What we can localize in space is action, not the action’s determinations, whence “minds’s localization” means that we localize the presence of some of mind’s operations, not that of their de-terminations. Whether mental or not, the latter seem to eschew manifestation in such a derivative occurrence, spatiality.
In conclusion, neuropsychological observations, a part of the description of the evolution of living systems as one of the most notable dynamic phenomena in nature, suggest a scenario in which the localization of the operations of observers (minds or existentialities) in nature are certain force-carrying particles whose speed, physiologically modulated, sets the variations of wakefulness. Through this force, observable by its influence on the evolutionary process, minds and bodies in-teract: physical actions on a mind generate in it physical reactions whose causal ef-ficiency gets exhausted. As the reactions cannot continue their causal series, they become sensorially known. Upon them the mind then takes efficient initiatives – whereby it acquires intellectual development – setting up broken causal sequences that enable minds for progressing toward biological goals through appropriate steps for which the instructions are undefinable. For clinical practice, this scenario’s va-lidity means that the issue of “impaired consciousness” amounts to controlling the tissue’s electroneurobiological activity that gates the proper acuity, thus restoring the time-resolution matching. For physics, the present analysis can provide a start-ing point for investigating the means enabling for biological purposes the strangest things in cosmology, these existentialities, subjective existences, minds or psyches."

No worries.

March 01, 2008 1:25 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

Fascinating. I'm kind of intimidated by Planck instants, but I think will want to put some effort into sorting this out.

March 07, 2008 10:48 AM  

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