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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.

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?

KC Unplugged
:: Posted by RickyM on April 01, 2015

Nice one Sid ! Happy April Fools Day to the entire KC family and team.


Baby's Been Exstringuished
:: Posted by davidly on April 01, 2015

There has been plenty of third guessing over the years Ė some of it via this very forum Ė regarding the origin of the guitar solo on Babyís on Fire from Brian Enoís debut album. Appropriately enough, credit given to Paul Rudolph was even implicated in an April Foolsí gag.  This hasnít stopped Rudolph advocates from insisting the style more akin to the Canadian guitaristís work with the Pink Fairies than anything Fripp ever produced.  They say it is the additional guitar in the background that is Frippís.

The album credits have been anything but definitive about this matter, but someone in the audience at a recent panel discussion featuring Eno decided it was a burning question that had to be answered once and for all.  The following, from the artistís reply:

"I have heard this question before and, frankly, had never been certain of an answer.  Now, it just so happens that I was going through some old tape recently and came across some notation that was an early version of some of the sketching I subsequently developed for my compositional approach in the studio.  Based upon what I was able to decipher from these, it would seem that I had originally tried to place one of the guitaristís solos primarily in the foreground and the other, which sounds less like a solo than it does atmospheric accompaniment, just kind of flourishing quietly behind.  Whenever I had given it thought, which was quite infrequent honestly, as I hadnít really cared one way or the other, but I always kind of knew that it was an overdub and in the back of my mind decided it wasnít important who had done which take.

"The most interesting thing for me, but which will probably upset a lot of the people who invest an inordinate amount of emotional interest in such things, well, anyway, I was looking at some of the scribbling I had done over the top of the original plan and have now come to the conclusion that there were two traditional solos, as it were, and that I decided in the end to keep the more classic sounding electric guitar elements of both guitarists in the foreground whilst taking turns dropping into the background things I thought served a more atmospheric aspect.  If I had to say, and at least the sketches and notation seem to bear this out, and an objective listen to the track with this in mind does as well, what we have is approximately a fifty-fifty contribution.  Oh, and also, the guitarists in question are not Paul Rudolph and Robert Fripp, but Phil Manzanera and a certain six-string shredding wizard who goes by the name of Skibby MaRue."

Unplugged dance
:: Posted by PigletsDad on April 01, 2015

In an acoustic set, I expect RF will have a chance to show off the nifty dance moves he has perfected over the years - I have seen photos of him playing standing up at Guitar Craft events, so why not?

:: Posted by ChewChewGumChew on April 01, 2015

I canít wait! I just read that Gordon Haskell is singing with Adeís Power Trio on the second stage as they play Exposure in itís entirety.

Crimson Unplugged
:: Posted by rja1967 on April 01, 2015

I actually checked the Green Man Festival site before I realised what the date is today...

However, an acoustic Crim being the electric Crimís support act is such a wonderfully good idea that I really hope that actual consideration is given to this. 

A lovely set could be put together - "I Talk To The Wind", "Lady Of The Dancing Water", "Cadence and Cascade", "Islands", "Walking On Air", "Book Of Saturday" - there are endless possibilities.

I saw the last Porcupine Tree gig at the Royal Albert Hall a few years ago and PT were their own support band, playing an acoustic set. And it worked perfectly.

Please donít let this just be an April Foolís joke, itís a genuinely brilliant idea.



KC Unplugged
:: Posted by MartinLennon on April 01, 2015

Yíknow, for a moment there...

Thing is, I imagine a great number of people would pay good money to see that. And I do believe it would be stunning.

Would have got me, if it werenít for the date in the piece.


Blush - 2nd law it is
:: Posted by PigletsDad on March 31, 2015

Rogadaire is quite correct; I meant the 2nd law. I remembered correctly that the third law was about entropy, but it is the one about about finite entropy at absolute zero, not about entropy increasing.

Commenting on the other point, about the creation of stars and planets, this does superficially look like a reduction of entropy! What is happening is that the gravitational potential energy of the primordial nebula is reduced as it collapses; this involves dissipative, irreversible processes (like collisions, condensation) that result in an increase in Entropy - for example much of the initial energy is lost as photons radiating away.

Keeping it simple?
:: Posted by rogadaire on March 30, 2015

PigletsDad cites Schrodingerís theory about life being a system that reduces its own entropy. Not being familiar with this one, I presume there is a little bit more to it (the question might be íreduces its entropy to what extent?í) But such a theory seems not that far removed from the idea I put forward here earlier - that life is the property we ascribe to any entity that maintains itself through interaction with its environment. Where I would certainly see things differently to PigletsDad (and possibly Schrodinger) is regarding the suggestion that the universe would have to ícompensateí for such an aberration against one of its ílawsí. PigletsDad refers to infringement of the 3rd Law of Thermodynamics , but I wonder if he means the 2nd Law, the one about everything tending towards disorder over time? If life comes about entirely as part of some sort of natural process - which is what I beleve - then I donít see that any natural law is being broken at all. One might want to say that life is an exception to the 2nd or 3rd Law of Thermodynamics, but - unless Iíve musinderstood this completely - so is the creation of planets and solar systems and galaxies. I am rather drawn to the conclusion that breaking these laws (at least, the 2nd Law) does not seem that big a deal (and why should it be?).

In the meantime, if there are any readers shaking their heads pityingly at my modest attempt at answering the ílifeí question, I should be extremely grateful if they could share those thoughts with me here.

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