Tuesday, April 17, 2007


am I arguing this with any accuracy?


Duff said...


Sorry about teh caps, the lock was on.

What is odd to me is Karine's questioning of it being truth, the way you cast society. Yet she is an avowed proponent of relativism, and usually truth is a dirty four letter word amongst relativists, or at lest something to be used with long winded caveats, like fact vs. truth vs. Truth vs TRUTH.

You're right in pointing out that Karine is making an equivocation: when she says "civilization" she probably means "Western Civilization" and I dare say she means "International Corporations." Whereas, civilization as you pointed out is all-encomposing: humans are never without it, except for those lucky few that are raised by wolves. But even some of those gone on to found cities, like Rome!

Duff said...

I tried to post a commet to his page but his image verification thingy wouldn't except my interpretations

Anonymous said...

I felt that I should stretch my mind a little and put my two cents in... though I think my educational background may not be quite adequate enough to talk about "truth vs. Truth vs TRUTH" I hope I can add something constructive.

For the bit on civilization, I think you do make a valid point, though I think the word has grown from the general sense of societies, to "advanced" states of society. Though I have to say that those who use it with that "advanced" sense usually don't consider what societies they are considering "regressed?" or "stagnant" or maybe I'll just say those that have not "advanced". By my humble opinion ... okay I might be in real danger of taking this too far but here we go... society is everywhere, you can see it in the lion's pride, the "march of the penguins", the indigenous tribes of indonesia, acorn trees... yes acorn trees, the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree does it... and of course there's western society.

There has always been a debate about the levels of intelligence and where to draw the line, but the key point here is that there is no way for you or me to be able to evaluate the inner workings of the consciousness of these beings, let alone the "social" groups that they form. There are even points of history that there have been declarations of other races of the same species to be "uncivilized" and I am inclined to believe that we don't have sufficient perception to decipher the extent of how far civilizations or societies extend by the definition of higher levels of culture, science, industry and government have been reached. Yet I believe that we can perceive that they are not an unnatural phenomena.

Now how does it relate to art or the perception of art. In this context art in general. I think that art can be perceived but the expression of your perception is a learned ability. So this is what brings about the discrepancy seen in the new york subway. I'm sure that everyone heard him play, but did everyone recognize the quality, the expression of emotion, time and energy in the music he played.

I would like to say that there were many flaws with this experiment because the environment is predisposed to the subjects not stopping... hey it's a subway, people are trying to get somewhere not stop and listen. It's not like you are going to get the people thinking "hey I'll think I'll take a relaxing ride on the subway today".

In other news, as in my life, I was walking to work the other day, in the rain at about 8pm, and there walking towards me was someone playing the harmonica. It made my day.

Much love,


djdm.mom said...

Yes. I am also impressed with the kindness and thoughtfulness shown by both you and Vertesi toward Karine the hissing cat.

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