Non-Minimal Weekend

By cjohnson | April 3, 2006 10:12 pm

I was at a particularly good dinner party on Saturday night over on the West Side. It had a little under a dozen people, from professionals in academia and surrounds (such as relativist Kip Thorne of Caltech, or Legal scholar and writer/broadcaster Jonathan Kirsch) to professionals in entertainment (such as writer/performer Julia Sweeney), and journalism (such as South African Journalist and Activist Zubeida Jaffer) and several other fields…. and a good time was had by all. I only had to explain string theory and the whole of particle physics three times (to three separate groups; and I was glad for the opportunity to do so) so I managed to get some food and wine down. I’m not sure if my biggest moment was convincing the razor-sharp Julia Sweeney that maybe she does not hate string theory quite so much any more, or whether it was just finding ourselves enthusiastically in agreement over public transport issues in LA (i.e., it exists, if only people would use it more! Well, you’ve heard me on this topic a lot…..)…this is a big deal to me since a lot of people never want to talk about this matter. We also spoke a lot about getting more science into the entertainment/media realm as well (you’ve heard me on that topic a lot too) a subject we agreed was worth pursuing…

It turned out that a couple at the party could not use their tickets for the Sunday afternoon concert at the Disney Hall, and they gave them to me. This was rather nice since I’d been thinking that it would have been nice to go to the concert. All I had to do was find someone in the short time available (Sunday morning; concert was at 2:00pm) to take with me to use the extra ticket. This was a challenge (combination of it being a sleep-in day with the time change, and me not being terribly flush with contacts who I can call on for that purpose at short notice…..people my age often come in bound states, and/or they’ve planned to do stuff on the precious Sunday afternoons that you only get once a week) but I succeeded. At 2:00pm, we were in our seats, waiting for the first half:
disney hall interior

The concert was the last in the Los Angeles Philharmoic’s “Minimalist Jukebox” series. It was excellent, (although I beg to differ with the “minimalist” moniker for those particular pieces). The whole concert was conducted by John Adams, and the first part was a Phillip Glass piece (or set of pieces; selected scenes from his opera Akhnaten, in fact), while the part after the intermission was John Adams’ own Harmonielehre. It was an afternoon of wonderful music, overall. I particularly loved the opera (even with the rather silly words in places), which was beautifully orchestrated with a small configuration of the orchestra (it was in fuller configuration later for the second piece).

There was a great dramatic effect that the layout of the hall lends itself to very well. A person can stand right in the center of the wonderful explosion of wood that is the Organ (see above photo) and look out onto the assembled audience, and they look rather commanding from up there. Well, they had the actress Holland Taylor go up there, splendidly dressed and dramatically lit, to read the parts of the Narrator. She has a quite commanding voice, and so it worked very well indeed.

Ok, I admit that I did have a silly moment when I could not help but distract myself a bit when I heard things like this:

Opened are the double doors of the horizon.
Unlocked are its bolts…

Hmmm….. black holes, right? They’re talking about Hawking radiation?

And also:

Thou shalt exist for millions of millions of years;
for millions of millions of years….

I see. So it’s a decent-sized black hole then. Hmmm…..

A notable thing happened at the end of the first part. I saw Ms Taylor leave her spot in the Organ loft and leave through a door up there. Not remarkable in itself. I carried on discussing the music with my friend who I found at the last minute to come along to the concert, who we’ll call Ms Smith, just to be stupidly mysterious….(oh, and because that is actually her name so I get a kick out of that!) She’s a designer of interiors for homes in the region, and so minimalism has some resonance with her world, so she was interested to see some of that in music. Actually, it just occured to me that the rise of what’s called minimalism in music (and its predecessors… the rethinking of tonal harmony by Schoenberg, etc) coincides nicely with the movements happening during the architechtural periods from which the homes (Hollywood and surrounding neighbourhoods) she does a lot of her work in date from.

disney hall exterior Suddenly, there was the sound of high-heeled shoes going down concrete stairs, very loudly through the whole auditorium. Of course, everyone turned to look at the stairs nearest them to see who was arriving with such declamatory aplomb. Nothing. No-one in evidence.

In a flash, I knew what it was. Holland Taylor must still have her personal microphone on, and we’re now hearing the sounds of her going down the stairs behind the Organ. All of a sudden I was very very worried. Why? Several years ago, in 1998 I think, I gave some lectures in a Trieste Spring School at the ICTP in Trieste, Italy. (Love it there, right on the Adriatic….so long since I’ve been). After one lecture, I left the theatre (mostly everyone remained inside since there was another lecturer to follow) and made a beeline for the men’s room. Just before I entered the doors to the men’s room, a student stopped me and asked me a question. I began to answer it, and about 30 seconds later two of the organisers came bursting out of the lecture theatre and rushed up to me. I was still connected to the speakers in the lecture theatre via the microphone I’d forgotten to switch off or remove from my shirt! Everyone in there was listening and wondering where the voice was coming from!

Pause for a moment….

Yep, imagine what would have happened had that student not stopped me to ask a question. If I did not already love answering questions from students, that episode alone would have been enough to make sure that I take any and all questions from students for the rest of my career!!

So now you see why I was a bit concerned when I heard those footstep sounds. Ms Taylor is human like the rest of us, and has been sitting up there at the organ for an awfully long time……

But no. The sound stopped. Sigh of relief from me (and happily not from Ms Taylor). I think that the sound technicians must have figured it out too. I wonder who else knew what that sound was and if they gave it a second or third thought?

Anyway, then it was a quick dash home to turn myself into a baker. Plan was to make an apple pie (out of some rather good apples I got in the Farmer’s Market that morning) to take to… another dinner party due to start in a couple of hours. Yeah, it was a busy weekend. The baking, normally a relaxing enterprize, all started rather stressfully when I realized that for one reason or another I had no flour to make the pastry! So I had to go shopping, etc, panic panic panic, then back home…. then ran out of chilled butter because the first batch of pastry was substandard and I only had just enough butter the first time around. I eventually made it to the party almost an hour late…… but the party was fabulous, the company was fantastic, and the pie was a success! Hurrah!

-cvj

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Arts, Food and Drink, Music, Personal
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  • Moshe

    Funny that Trieste story, I was actually in the audience, my first trip to give a conference talk, just after graduating, I was pretty nervous and that was one good way to relieve the tension…(and Trieste was really nice, also Venice…)

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/clifford/ Clifford

    Wow! You were in the audience? I’d no idea…..

    Yeah, I miss Trieste and Venice. I’d better start working on mainstream stuff again so that people will start inviting me to give School lectures in places like that again…. Hmmmm.

    -cvj

  • http://optics.unige.ch/peter/home_peter.html Peter Armitage

    “If I did not already love answering questions from students, that episode alone would have been enough to make sure that I take any and all questions from students for the rest of my career!!

    So now you see why I was a bit concerned when I heard those footstep sounds. Ms Taylor is human like the rest of us, and has been sitting up there at the organ for an awfully long time……”

    Sure, just like Leslie Nielsen in Naked Gun?!

    It is one of my recurring anxieties… I’ve never done it, but I’ve been close a few times. :)

    -Peter
    Chairman Physicists for the Promotion of Juvenile Humor

  • Cynthia

    Hi Clifford,what makes you think that string theory has dropped-out of mainstream physics? Case in point: at a mainstream public talk at the Perimeter Institute, Leonard Susskind boldly argues that a peaceful resolution to the information paradox at the blackhole horizon has been decisively achieved. In effect, Susskind makes the argument that the information paradox is closed to any further speculation. Let me briefly paraphrase his argument. By combining principles pertinent to general relativity and quantum mechanics, Susskind has formulated a concept called blackhole complementarity. Furthermore, by using blackhole complementarity – accompanied by the holographic principle of strings – the information paradox of irreconcilability between the observer’s viewpoint “at” the horizon versus the participant’s viewpoint “upon” the horizon becomes peacefully resolved. In summary: by combining the logic of blackhole complementarity with holographic strings, Susskind argues that seemingly irreconcilable viewpoints transform into viewpoints with equal validity. Rephrased more succinctly, by using his “super-equivalence principle” with holographic strings, the information paradox regarding seemingly irreconcilable viewpoints achieves a peaceful resolution. However, an unfortunate side effect emerges from Susskind’s peaceful resolution to this blackhole information paradox: any observer/participant has – at most – access to one-half of all information generated by a blackhole.

  • Elliot

    which half?

  • Cynthia

    One’s access to the “one-half limit” to blackhole information depends upon which side of the blackhole horizon one is positioned on: essentially the observer’s position versus the participant’s position. Susskind’s principle is based on the argument that one cannot (physically or mentally) be simultaneously on both sided of the event horizon of a blackhole.

  • Moshe

    That lecture, as well as pretty much any other lecture given at PI, can be viewed starting from

    http://streamer.perimeterinstitute.ca/mediasite/viewer/

    Lenny’s talk was part of the public lecture series (click on the left panel). There is
    also a lot of other excellent stuff there.

  • Elliot

    Don’t you just hate it when you can’t be an observer and participant at the same time. :)

  • Cynthia

    Elliot, you do not have to buy into Susskind’s argument. I am simply paraphrasing Susskind’s method of solving the blackhole information paradox.

  • http://eskesthai.blogspot.com/2006/04/krauss-speaks-people-react.html Plato

    Cynthia,

    #3 that is “common knowledge” to the string theorist.

    Even some scientists do not understand this, and denigrate the value of the theory, because of not understanding it?

    This should not relegate less importance to attempts to experimentally explain it, yet “the opinions against it under that knowledge held” were public as well. Why we rely on opinion about what we should follow and not.

    That can hurt public perception of what scientists are doing/should be doing?

    I can’t imagine Clifford having to explain string theory to a relativist like Kip Thorne? :)

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/clifford/ Clifford

    Cynthia:- String theory has lots of parts to it. At any one time, some bits are under focus by the larger community (“mainstream”) and others are not. Just like in any other field of science.

    Plato:- Obviously, I was not explaining particle physics to Kip. There were others at the party.

    Cheers,

    -cvj

  • http://eskesthai.blogspot.com/2006/04/krauss-speaks-people-react.html Plato

    Hmmm…so that’s why I couldn’t imagine it :)

    Clifford: There were others at the party.

    What your saying, is what I did image, Clifford.

    So, all relativists, are not like Kip Thorne in regards to understanding particle physics in relation to string theory? :)

    This “distinctiveness” I wonder about, as being forefront of the “new directions” that cosmologically could take, while some might not have understood this connection?

    ISCAP for instance. Is this a problem, and “the motivation” behind the group of cosmic variance? A mission statement perhaps?

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/clifford/ Clifford

    Plato, as usual, I’ve no idea what you’re talking about. Not a clue. Way over my head. Sorry.

    -cvj

  • Elliot

    Cynthia. It was a joke. But I appreciate the reference to the Perimeter Institute lectures. Looks like lots of good stuff.

    Thanks,

    Elliot

  • Cynthia

    Clifford, I am well aware that the field of strings contains a wide scope of practice incorporating the mainstream as well as the non-mainstream. However, with the lines becoming increasingly blurred between mainstream and non-mainstream, how can one predict the “shifting sands” of mainstream string thought? How can you truly define yourself as out of the mainstream when you can easily shift to the mainstream? For example, both Kip Thorne and Stephen Hawking originally fell out of the mainstream but more recently moved into the mainstream. Furthermore, unlike thirty years ago, information flow is much faster today allowing non-mainstream to quickly move into mainstream and vice versa. I apologize for developing the blackhole thread in your post. I simply thought the blackhole thread in your post would make an interest discussion.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/clifford/ Clifford

    Hi Cynthia.

    Thanks for your comments.

    (1) Mountains are being made out of molehills here. The “mainstream” remark is being taken way too seriouly. I give a little less than a lukewarm damn about the mainstream…I’m trying to work on some questions that seem interesting to me. Here’s the content behind the remakr though: In any given year, directors of topical schools must choose which topics are to be taught to the budding theorists….. they (rightly) choose, given the constraints of time and numbers, to get lecturers who are working on are the big topics of the day that are rich enough in technique, folklore, and applicability to bear a pedagogical presentation to those who are about to begin research. Example: when everyone was trying to learn about what D-branes were and how to apply them, I was one of the people who’d get the call regularly to lecture on them at schools, since that was what I was up to in my research. Now that there are other foci, other people get called on. That’s exactly the way it should be. So I was just making a flippant remark about getting invited back to lecture at Trieste by shifting my focus….which I can trivially do, but of course would never do for such reasons.

    (2) Black holes are not off-topic. Don’t hesitate to get a nice discussion going on a topic. It is better than no discussion at all….. If I deem something way too off-topic, I’ll certainly let you know.

    -cvj

  • Cynthia

    Clifford, even if D branes are on the wane for you, I will state the obvious about you: your unique talent for the arts will greatly enhance all of your future scientific endeavors. Just a parathetical thought… physicists are faced with the fundamental challenge to merge the two great titans of consciousness and culture:art and science. I have the deepest respect for your invaluable gift to bridge this gap.

  • Supernova

    To change the subject a bit… Clifford, did you see the article in today’s Chronicle about a study finding that black and Hispanic students enter STEM majors at the same rate (or higher) as white and Asian students? They even get through the first two years at about the same rate. Apparently the big dropoff hits around the third year, and the article mentions some interesting statistical correlations between family background, age, preparation, and financial stability. Thought you’d find it interesting.

    Study Blames Obstacles, Not Lack of Interest, for Shortage of Black and Hispanic Scientists

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/clifford/ Clifford

    Cynthia. D-Branes are not on the wane for me. They are more and more interesting every day….. And, yes, my interests in things other than the directly scientific do help me with my scientific work. Particularly music. That has always been the case, and will probably continue. True for lots of people too, I should say….

    Thanks,

    -cvj

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/clifford/ Clifford

    Supernova:- Thanks! I’ll have a read of it.

    Cheers,

    -cvj

  • curious

    Enquiring minds need to know: whose dinner party?
    A scientist colleague, or a glam entertainment type?
    (..it is so much fun being the pet scientist…
    I just love it when the artists say “you’e so cute” in that bewildered, only slightly patronising way.)

  • Cynthia

    Clifford, I see my gross error in comment. Please forgive me for mis-stating my comment. A lesson to learn: never respond to a comment while multi-tasking. By the way, great shot of the concert hall! Later, I must return to work, multi-tasking, of course.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/clifford/ Clifford

    curious: Hi. I don’t know any glam entertainment people of the sort you have in mind….. 😉

    But more excitingly, you said:

    I just love it when the artists say “you’re so cute” in that bewildered, only slightly patronising way.

    Evidently, I’ve been going to the wrong parties! Nobody’s ever said that to me before! I’m not saying this is a bad thing or a good thing…..it’s just a…. thing.   😉

    -cvj

  • curious

    Oh, I get it all the time. Must be the earnest way I attempt to explain the world.

    As for dinner parties mixing academics with glam entertainment types… Im still cringing at Terry Castle’s description, in her LRB elegy (?) for Susan Sontag, of a NY dinner party she was dragged along to.

    Probably LA is different.

  • Cynthia

    Clifford, I meant to reply in comment#16: regardless of waxing or waning on D-branes. However, I know you only wax on D- branes. Keep up with your outstanding work!

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/clifford/ Clifford
  • Cynthia

    On the periphery, I have noticed minimalism is on the rise in the world of interior design. Regardless of popular trends, I prefer an eclectic style of expression. However, if minimalism of design truly reflects conservation of energy and natural resources, I might switch to this nascent style of expression. Unfortunately, switching styles requires unnecessary consumption of energy and natural resources. In other words, the popular culture of interior design encourages wasteful consumerism. Therefore, in the meantime, I will remain with my outdated style of design.

  • http://eskesthai.blogspot.com/2006/04/strangelets-do-not-exist.html Plato

    #13

    as usual…

    I’m trying. sorry. :)

    Blackhole and new physics possibly? Then again, maybe not? More ON name.

  • Jack

    Cynthia = Plato upgrade with extra RAM?

  • Cynthia

    Jack, are you implying that I access my thoughts in a random fashion? By equating my thinking with the workings of a computer, you have totally insulted me.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/clifford/ Clifford

    Cynthia, I imagine Jack was trying to make a joke, rather than insult.

    Jack….. play nicely please!

    Cheers,

    -cvj

  • erc

    Cynthia,

    I am curious as to when this talk by Susskind at the PI was? I ask as the black hole complementarity idea is not especially new. (See for example http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0002044 – Susskind and Bigatti’s TASI lectures from 2000.)

    Also, if I understand you correctly, you seem to be using this talk as evidence that string theory is a mainstream topic. Now, undoubtedly ST is mainstream physics. However, I am not sure that this is a good example. Not only is the work you describe not new, but, as I understand it, the principle of black hole complementarity does not rely on string theory. The holographic principle is not in and of itself a stringy phenomenon (see for example the review by Bousso http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/0203101 , or indeed one of Susskind’s own papers http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-th/9409089). Finally, to accept Susskind’s thesis that BH complementarity solves the information loss paradox one has to accept also his view that a theory may not predict anything that is unobservable.

  • Cynthia

    Erc, if you want to view Susskind’s talk, please access it from comment#7. I will not be the judge as to whether or not mixing BH complementarity with the holographic principle is mainstream or not. However, I question your conjecture that BH information will always be beyond our detection. Who is to proclaim that astronomers will never gain the skillls to detect quantum information bits embedded in BH horizons? Perhaps I am simply too idealistic in thought.

  • http://eskesthai.blogspot.com/2006/04/strangelets-do-not-exist.html Plato

    #31

    Good thing I have thick skin and emotionless, so I can make #30 feel better :)

    Random!:) Ya okay.

  • http://eskesthai.blogspot.com/2006/04/strangelets-do-not-exist.html Plato

    I’m having Random thoughts about CFT and bekenstein bound.:)

  • erc

    Erc, if you want to view Susskind’s talk, please access it from comment#7.
    I do not wish to watch it (right now), I merely asked when it was.

    If I understood you (and I apologise if I have not), in comment no. 4 you discussed this talk in refutation of what you thought was a claim by Clifford that ST is not mainstream. I was curious as to why you would cite this talk as evidence for this as the topic discussed therein was investigated most intensely some years ago. Hence my question about when.

    Whether “mixing BH complementarity with the holographic principle is mainstream” is not the topic of the conversation, I thought. We were discussing whether or not string theory is mainstream. I was pointing out that neither the HP or BHC exist solely in the context of string theory, and so their popularity is actually peripheral to the issue at hand.

    However, I question your conjecture that BH information will always be beyond our detection.
    I did not say this. A consequence of BHC and the resolution of the information loss paradox offered by Susskind is that one must accept that much of the information we say is “hidden” by the black hole horizon is simply not there. This rests on his stated belief that a theory “should not predict anything that is in principle unobservable”.

  • http://eskesthai.blogspot.com/2005/09/cft-and-tomato-soup-can.html I, Robot

    More random thoughts

    Gary Horowitz relays the outside label of a can of a soup as the conformal surface, while the soup, the spacetime fabric?

    Thank you Gary Horowitz

    “D-branes provide the fundamental quantum microstates of a black hole that underlie black hole thermodynamics”

    Holography encodes the information in a region of space onto a surface one dimension lower. It sees to be the property of gravity, as is shown by the fact that the area of th event horizon measures the number of internal states of a blackhole, holography would be a one-to-one correspondance between states in our four dimensional world and states in higher dimensions. From a positivist viewpoint, one cannot distinquish which discription is more fundamental.

    Pg 198, The Universe in Nutshell, by Stephen Hawking

  • Cynthia

    Erc, I am simply regurgitating the content of Susskind’s talk. In the content of his talk, Susskind linked BH complementarity with the holographic principle involving STRINGS. Perhaps I wrongly mis-characterized the finer details of his talk. Perhaps Susskind simply suggested the notion of speculatively injecting STRINGS into the mix containing BH complementarity and the holographic principle? However – without a doubt – Susskind articulated a three-prong merger between BH complementarity, the holographic principle and STRINGS.

  • erc

    It is entirely likely that Susskind did discuss both strings and the HP together – indeed it would be surprising if he had mentioned the latter and not the former, as the holographic principle is most convincingly manifested in string theory (via the AdS/CFT correspondence).

    However, my point that this lecture is not a good way of demonstrating the “mainstream-ness” of string theory still stands, for the reasons I already gave.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/clifford/ Clifford

    Cynthia, erc….. maybe the horse is dead now. The point is that Cynthia already realised that he/she was in error in reading my remark as saying that strings were not mainsteam. I was talking about subfields within the topic of strings (whether strings be mainstream or not), and I clearly explained my meaning in later comments.

    Let’s move on, shall we?

    Plenty of physics and other fun stuff to discuss!

    Cheers,

    -cvj

  • Cynthia

    Are there any C.V. bloggers interested in returning to the thread of Minimalism in this post? Even if I fail to gain any willing participants, I will proceed to revitalize this thread. I find it intriguing that the arts and crafts movement was lead by a radical faction of craftmen who desired to diverge from the extreme ornamentations of Victorian architecture. This wave of rebel workers preferred to create designs with straight (Euclidean) line as opposed to curved ( non-Euclidean) lines. Is this a noteworthy expression of nineteenth century arts converging with – followed by – diverging from nineteenth century mathematics? Or is this observation purely based on a historial fluke that the rise of non-Euclidean geometry parallels the rise of the Victorian era?

  • http://eskesthai.blogspot.com/2006/04/quantum-mechanics-determinism-at.html Plato

    Or is this observation purely based on a historial fluke that the rise of non-Euclidean geometry parallels the rise of the Victorian era?

    Not really. Our values becomes entrenched in what the microscopic views are in relation to the cosmological valuation produced in abstractual thinking? The historical perspective gained, was in conjuntion with the developing insight from Euclid’s fifth postulate to Gauss’s UV dynamcal triangulations, Riemann’s encapsulation used further by Einstein?

    Intellectually, you deal with different kind of space now. One that is dynamical. I assume now, you are now using non-euclidean perspective?

    So, “quantum gravity” and we have the artistic renditon of historical perspective (dynamical triangulation) moving perception to see in different ways?

    This is just one example, strings is another. Non? Amazing is it not? The bulk space is still of value now. You just had to know how it got that way.

  • Cynthia

    Trieste? Did not Dennis Sciama end his career in Trieste? Sciama is given much credit for launching the Golden Era of blackhole physics. Frequently, one will hear pioneers of blackhole physics give honorable mentioning to Sciama. Unlike many PhD advisers of the times, Sciama allowed his postdocs – such as Stephen Hawking, Martin Riess and Brandon Carter – the freedom to explore the blackhole landscape. Sciama – a most distinquished man of physics – resided in Trieste – a most beautiful setting on Earth.

  • Cynthia

    Plato, art/culture rarely follow the literal lines/laws of math/science. Consequently, I am implying that Victorian architecture is figuratively linked with the revolutionary movement of non-Euclidean geometry. Along sociological lines, art/culture prosaically captures the overall emotions rising from this newly discovered field of geometry. Therefore, I will loosely argue that highly curved expressions within Victorian architecture are cultural symbols of non-Euclidean geometry. What makes you believe that the average Victorian architect/Victorian consumer of architecture could fully grasp the space dynamics of non-Euclidean geometry? Furthermore, the “time component” of non-Euclidean geometry was not conceived until the tailend of the Victorian Era. Nevertheless, Victorian architects/consumers of Victorian architecture could only sense the shear power of this revolutionary branch of geometry. In effect, by designing structures/by living in structures with highly curved expressions allowed Victorian society to feel connected with this highly elusive discovery in math. Perhaps – from a historical/cultural perspective – there is no connection between math and architecture?

  • http://eskesthai.blogspot.com/2006/04/hyperbolic-geometry-and-its-rise.html Plato

    Hyperbolic Geometry, does not fit that time scale alone?

  • Cynthia

    Once hyperbolic geometry started to take hold in culture, curved/nonlinear expressions in Victorian architecture increases towards greater degrees of acceleration. Consequently, as a counter-cultural response to this increased acceleration in curvature within Victorian designs, the Arts and Crafts Movement began producing more simple styles encompassing straight lines/linear expressions.

  • ms. smith

    this quote may be applied to music, color, and physicists (apparently)(and thank goodness!)

    “By giving up a preference for harmony,
    we accept dissonance to be as desirable as consonance”

    Interaction of Color, josef albers

    it was a fantastic concert clifford-i truly felt priviliged to be there-thank you again-yes-i am a minimalist-to me its about getting to the essence of the thing-and sometimes its a feeling-relative to its surroundings-

    to me-the victorians were about opulence and science, in that they were collectors of anything and everything of the natural world. the huntington gardens and many plants and trees growing here in LA were collected from around the world, at the turn of that last century. rooms were filled with cabinets of bird skulls etc., and rooms themselves were built of sea shells…..the arts and crafts movement was more a philosophical and (supposedly) socially conscious one-but could be just as heavy w/ the ornamentation.

    the ornamentation and yes, the shapes, help describe architectural styles-during the same period- adolf loos wrote an essay called “ornament and crime”
    for him- “the modern ornamentalist” was “either a cultural laggard or a pathological case”

    art nouveau anyone?

  • Cynthia

    Would you rather live in the simplicity/linearity of the Arts and Crafts Movement or in the complexity/nonlinearity of the Victorian Era? Questioned more generally, would you rather exist in a culture which thrives on expressions of Minimalism or thrives on expressions of Maximalism?

  • http://eskesthai.blogspot.com/2006/04/working-angles-until-they-add-up-too.html Plato

    Both spherical and hyperbolic geometries are examples of curved geometries, unlike Euclidean geometry, which is flat. In spherical geometry, the curvature is positive, in hyperbolic geometry, it is negative-Helen Joyce

  • ms. smith

    are you kidding?
    do i have to choose a culture?

    i like both.
    i take cues from our own evolution-
    our eyes like the complex patterns of nature-they actually find it restful.
    more restful than a blank wall.

    and yet who doesn’t marvel at the sight of a big full moon-glowing with its spherical simplicity.

    same w/ music-none of the minimalist concert was truly minimal-it was actually very symphonic-

    choose a cultural expression?
    did you know that there’s more than 100 languages spoken here?
    in the desert (one of the more minimal environments?!)
    anyway, thats why i love this city.
    its one of the most eclectic in the world.

    encourages our imaginations to run wild-
    or to be content, looking at our big blue sky.

    no need to choose-

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/clifford/ Clifford

    I think I heard the other day it was 207 languages in LA county.

    -cvj

  • ms. smith

    could be-my figure was from kids registered w/ LAUSD(county) and it was over 110-but that was 2 years ago……

    sheesh.

  • ms. smith

    oh and i had a question for everybody-

    what do you think is the most minimal thing you do?

    the thing i thought of is: eat a hardboiled egg.

  • http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/cosmicvariance/clifford/ Clifford

    Wouldn’t a raw egg be more minimal than that? Or am I missing the point?

    -cvj

  • ms. smith

    do you eat raw eggs?

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