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Keep It Down
:: Posted by Royston on April 04, 2015

Thanks to Marked Man for two quite disparate yet resonant posts.

As for the first: if the Shepherd Effect works with descending tones as well as ascending, it might well explain the seemingly endless descent of Coda: Marine 475 (presumably itself a rather nice metaphor).

As for Jack Bruce, Richard Williams wrote a brief but appreciative memorial piece in October 2014 in which he tells of attending a Lifetime gig at the Marquee in October 1970 with Robert Fripp, where "we spent the evening glancing at each other in wonderment as the storm raged through the club, threatening to strip the black paint from the walls. I donít believe the sheer ferocity of it, the unstoppable outpouring, the brutal intensity and sometimes ecstatic interplay, could ever be recreated. Sadly, their records didnít even begin to tell the story."
(http://thebluemoment.com/2014/10/25/jack-bruce-1943-2014/)

The seeds of 1972-74 KC were possibly sown that day. Along with Sailorís Tale.

And Iíve always thought that John Wettonís bass part on Fracture (starting at 8:38 on the SABB version) sounds remarkably like Jack.


jack bruce
:: Posted by TheMarkedMan on April 03, 2015

Iíve been listening to a lot of Jackís solo work, especially those first four solo albums from Things We Like through Out Of The Storm and wondered if Robertís path ever crossed Jackís, even just comparing notes (no pun intended) there sure seems to be a lot in common with respect to aesthetic and goals for their music.


the shepherd effect
:: Posted by TheMarkedMan on April 03, 2015

Was just watching a short flick at I fíing love science dot com about audio illusions and they covered something called the shepherd effect which gives impressions tones are moving higher and higher. I immediately wondered if this illusion had been used deliberately in Larks Tongues in Aspic Part II?


Entropy
:: Posted by willesley on April 03, 2015

Life
:: Posted by willesley on March 29, 2015

Life - a temporary reversal of entropy.

Thatíll teach me not to be facetious.

CERN music
:: Posted by Bakullama on March 30, 2015

You mentioned a King Crimson fan who was there when the Higgs Boson particle was discovered... Here is some music created by one of the LHC staff (Piotr Traczyk).

Thank you Bakullama for the link. Most interesting - but definitely not the guy I know. Makes me wonder how many Crimson fans there are in CERN and whether Robert should have considered Geneva for the upcoming tour.


More weird LIFE discoveries.
:: Posted by Bakullama on April 02, 2015

An insane discovery worth looking into, there is lots of info out here...

The work being described is by Prof S. James Gates... He has noted that the supersymmetric equations of string theory contain some binary codes built in. Yes like this....( 011000111).... and they are self correcting. These are the same as codes sometimes used in computing for error correcting. Like the self dual 8-bit Hamming code in particular. He constructs mysterious looking diagrams which he calls "adinkra" to encapsulate these structures.

Gates has hyped this quite a bit suggesting that it is a sign that we are living in a computer simulation as in the film "The Matrix.

It is always speculated that these codes could also play some kind of error correcting role in string theory preventing uncontolled decoherence of spacetime, but this is pure speculation and it is not clear if such a mechanism is even needed.

It is an interesting intellectual exercise to think about the way the universe might run like a computer or quantum computer. but suggesting that we are living in a matrix is pretty scary.


cry pardon
:: Posted by sylvanasheart on April 02, 2015

Ignorance has always been something I excel in,followed by naiveteí and pride.Audio;arse;ass...these are words that start with "A",the former which I was an example of the latter two in regards to"DVD-A".As to the"BIG QUESTION"filling the latest bloggulations...entropy exists,doo-doo occurs,shyte happens.Kinnit?I ,fer one,do not believe we are meant to save the planet,but to escape it before it rots beneath our feet,as it will surely do.As above,so below.I dunno...one glass of merlot-n-off I go.


Max Delbruck
:: Posted by albemuth on April 02, 2015

I doubt that there is much of importance in Schroedingerís "What is Life" beyond the historical fact that he influenced a generation of physicists (like Max Delbruck and Francis Crick) to look at biological problems, especially genetics.  The hope was that "new laws of physics" might be found.  Of course, it turned out that new laws were NOT found, but Schroedingerís book is probably one of the early inspirations for what we now call "biophysics." 

As far as entropy is concerned, Emory is correct.  We use the word "disorder" in everyday life but it has a precise meaning in statistical mechanics.  I did not care for this subject any more than Emory, but part of the problem with statistical laws is that they upset our common sense.  Einstein famously did not like them, either.  Does the Second Law prove that the universe will run down?  Who knows and Iím tempted to add who cares?  In any case, I hope that Isaac Asimov was right when he wrote "The Last Question." 


Disorder...
:: Posted by emory0 on April 02, 2015

Rogadaire wrote...

"While I presume it must be possible to ímeasureí order/disorder mathematically, I cannot help but regard the concept of íorderí as being really more of a psychological than physical issue"

Even though I actually did physics in my first career, I never felt super-comfortable with some of the ideas of thermodynamics. And with stat-mech (statistical mechanics) Iíve always stumbled philosophically on precisely this issue.

Despite my personal discomfort, I will say that in physics these ideas are not only quite precise, they have directly measurable outcomes which have been seen too many times to begin to enumerate. As an example: We never (and I mean literally never) have seen a balloon filled with helium spontaneously contract because all of the helium atoms just happened to bunch up in a tiny fraction of the balloonís space. This is because the number of configurations of molecules that lead to a "full" balloon are greater than the number of configurations where all the atoms are in a tiny corner, by hundreds of orders of magnitude. In other words, youíd need more time than the universe has in order to see the extremely rare coincidence of all the atoms bunched up. Thatís thermodynamics in a nutshell, and itís behavior is quite predictable mathematically. But I admit it gives me the heebee jeebees when I think about it too much. My teenage son pointed out that, if we waited long enough around that balloon, we could "catch" those rare states and use that moment to do free work as the balloon expands. Granted, weíd have to wait a long time, but he has claimed that the balloon is basically a very slow perpetual motion machine.

That a balloon canít actually be used as a perpetual motion machine is apparently explained away through "Maxwellís Demon", which brings in the concept of "information", and this is what Schrodinger was getting at in his book: Biological systems basically harvest information from their environment in order to battle the constant forces of entropy.

But I repeat that Iím still not comfortable with these ideas, and many physicists I have known donít like them either.


What is it with entropy?
:: Posted by rogadaire on April 02, 2015

Emory says - which I think is worth quoting in full:

íIn What is Life Schrodinger states that life is basically a mechanism that fights off entropy locally, exporting the entropy elsewhere. I donít think he was saying that this was ALL that life was, but that it was an essential part of what life is and does, which is true.

As for biological systems breaking the second law of thermodynamics, most physicists have never been too concerned about this and wave it away as a "local" exception, which of course can occur statistically. What is a little more troublesome, however, is the process of evolution, which appears to be a far longer-term violation of thermodynamic laws, in that more and more matter is getting pulled into decidedly improbably configurations as time marches forward over billions of years. I donít know if statistical physicists ever had a good answer for this, even with the concept of a "spontaneous structure" (which are structures that arise from the underlying statistics of the medium in which they are spawned, such as Jupiterís great eye).

A fascinating person to read in this context is, of course, the Jesuit anthropologist Pierre Tielhard díChardin, who invented the concept of the noosphere and described God as the "Omega Point" and eventual destination of evolution. His written works are absolutely fascinating, and perhaps even more so because he was (as I remember) eventually censured by the churchí.

I confess I simply donít understand why the idea of entropy is taken quite so seriously by physicists. While I presume it must be possible to ímeasureí order/disorder mathematically, I cannot help but regard the concept of íorderí as being really more of a psychological than physical issue. There is clearly an evolutionary advantage in being able to recognise patterns and our brains are wired in a way that does this. Order is when something follows a pattern, disorder is where there is no discernable pattern or where a pattern is disrupted. Everything that we are able to physically recognise in the universe is through our ability to see patterns. Patterns are not things that exist íout thereí but are our way of bringing a sense of coherence to íwhatever it isí out there. Our ability to recognise patterns is now so sophisticated that one pattern we can íseeí is the breaking down of other patterns - disorder. However, to elevate the idea of disorder to a natural law, such that special explanations need to be found in every case where this law appears to be flouted, strikes me as a gross overstatement of the significance of disorder. Indeed, I think it completely misrepresents a psychological trait that is key to perception to regard it as a physical law in this way. And the result is that the cart gets put before the horse.  If the process of evolution is understood properly there is no problem for physics or entropy - the íimprobable configurationsí of matter to which emory refers are in fact the entirely expected results of natural selection.  What we do not yet have is an explanation of how the first simple, pre-DNA and pre-evolutionary life came into being or how the degree of variation occurred which forms the basis of all future evolution - but I donít see that the answer to these questions is likely to be found in a study of entropy. If it was, then entropy would also have to explain how the sufficiently stable (implying order rather than disorder) environmental conditions necessary for life to come into being (and be supported for billions of years thereafter) came about. Itís just not the right tool for the job.  What we observe with life may be categorised in terms of a balance between order and disorder, but such categorisation does nothing to explain the phenomenon of life any more, it seems to me, than we might say that the underlying quality of a painting is to be found in the weight of paint on the canvas. 

I am intrigued by the idea of God as the íeventual destination of evolutioní but there is a fundamental problem with it, which is that evolution cannot overcome what it is that separates God from all other beings - the difference between the finite and the infinite.  But perhaps thatís a discussion for another day.            




What is Life?
:: Posted by emory0 on April 01, 2015

In What is Life Schrodinger states that life is basically a mechanism that fights off entropy locally, exporting the entropy elsewhere. I donít think he was saying that this was ALL that life was, but that it was an essential part of what life is and does, which is true.

As for biological systems breaking the second law of thermodynamics, most physicists have never been too concerned about this and wave it away as a "local" exception, which of course can occur statistically. What is a little more troublesome, however, is the process of evolution, which appears to be a far longer-term violation of thermodynamic laws, in that more and more matter is getting pulled into decidedly improbably configurations as time marches forward over billions of years. I donít know if statistical physicists ever had a good answer for this, even with the concept of a "spontaneous structure" (which are structures that arise from the underlying statistics of the medium in which they are spawned, such as Jupiterís great eye).

A fascinating person to read in this context is, of course, the Jesuit anthropologist Pierre Tielhard díChardin, who invented the concept of the noosphere and described God as the "Omega Point" and eventual destination of evolution. His written works are absolutely fascinating, and perhaps even more so because he was (as I remember) eventually censured by the church.



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