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

I’ve been listening to a lot of Jack’s solo work, especially those first four solo albums from Things We Like through Out Of The Storm and wondered if Robert’s path ever crossed Jack’s, 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 f’ing 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.

That’ll 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 naivete’ 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 Schroedinger’s "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 Schroedinger’s 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 I’m 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 ’measure’ order/disorder mathematically, I cannot help but regard the concept of ’order’ 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) I’ve 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 balloon’s 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, you’d need more time than the universe has in order to see the extremely rare coincidence of all the atoms bunched up. That’s thermodynamics in a nutshell, and it’s 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, we’d have to wait a long time, but he has claimed that the balloon is basically a very slow perpetual motion machine.

That a balloon can’t actually be used as a perpetual motion machine is apparently explained away through "Maxwell’s 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 I’m still not comfortable with these ideas, and many physicists I have known don’t 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:

’In What is Life Schrodinger states that life is basically a mechanism that fights off entropy locally, exporting the entropy elsewhere. I don’t 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 don’t 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 Jupiter’s great eye).

A fascinating person to read in this context is, of course, the Jesuit anthropologist Pierre Tielhard d’Chardin, 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’.

I confess I simply don’t understand why the idea of entropy is taken quite so seriously by physicists. While I presume it must be possible to ’measure’ order/disorder mathematically, I cannot help but regard the concept of ’order’ 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 ’out there’ but are our way of bringing a sense of coherence to ’whatever it is’ out there. Our ability to recognise patterns is now so sophisticated that one pattern we can ’see’ 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 ’improbable configurations’ 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 don’t 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. It’s 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 ’eventual destination of evolution’ 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 that’s 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 don’t 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 don’t 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 Jupiter’s great eye).

A fascinating person to read in this context is, of course, the Jesuit anthropologist Pierre Tielhard d’Chardin, 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.



Crimso Unplugged
:: Posted by jbricker on April 01, 2015

Is it really too much to ask for a Bluegrass 21CSM?
Banjo, dobro, double bass, penny whistle, harmonica, wash board, and bottles?


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