Today's Elites

Sunday, March 29, 2009

History and Drama

I'm just finishing up another excellent forgotten play. Cato by Addison. I was thinking what a wonderful theme it would make for an historical study on many fronts. There are several ironies about this. Firstly, this Addison was an ally of Swift in his mission to free Ireland from the yoke of an oppressive British empire policy of looting its satrapies. Second, today's Cato Institute is the complete opposite of anything resembling true patriotism. (Perhaps they should be renamed the Sempronius Institute.) Third, there is a forgotten tale to be told which is worthy of any scholar's enterprise. Diametrically opposite of the popular entertainment of today, there was a time in our country when drama was a vehicle for nation building. View in your mindseye this play actually performed at Valley Forge in the winter of our nascent Republic's own discontent. Regard the remnants of an even greater forgotten dramatist and historian Schiller-- today only known as a nameplate for many monuments and parks around the country. (I suspect that this lapse in education was probably the result of the anti German jingoism dating from WWI.) Lastly, what more appropriate vehicle could drama today be put amidst the onrushing dual calamities of suicidal economic and military policies foisted on a mesmerized and basely "entertained" US public?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Beethoven and Riemann: Polemicists against Chaos Theory

Figures that hover above their own epochs sometimes not only anticipate happy developments but also unfortunate declines. Both Beethoven and Riemann attacked in advance the absurdities of today's Chaos "Theory" on their own terms. The Grosse Fugue presents the hearer with an apparently arbitrary sequence which is "resolved" through the ensuing movements of the piece. Thus Beethoven established a high water mark for all musical composition and anticipated the Listian descent into manneristic chromatic irrationality of today. Riemann's Zeta function/prime number hypothesis inter alia, likewise provides a method (via Dirichlet's principle) for resolving with functions of apparently arbitrary disorder. How unlike the probabilistic unreason leading to today's information, string and chaos theories, et al!

What more fitting spectacle than seeing the march of doom of the so called "quants" on Wall Street today.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


By the blue taper's trembling light,
No more I waste the wakeful night,
Intent with endless view to pore
The schoolmen and the sages o'er:
Their books from wisdom widely stray,
Or point at best the longest way.
I'll seek a readier path, and go
Where wisdom's surely taught below.

How deep yon azure dyes the sky,
Where orbs of gold unnumber'd lie,
While through their ranks in silver pride
The nether crescent seems to glide!
The slumbering breeze forgets to breathe,
The lake is smooth and clear beneath,
Where once again the spangled show
Descends to meet our eyes below.
The grounds which on the right aspire,
In dimness from the view retire:
The left presents a place of graves,
Whose wall the silent water laves.
That steeple guides thy doubtful sight,
Among the livid gleams of night.
There pass, with melancholy state,
By all the solemn heaps of fate,
And think, as softly-sad you tread
Above the venerable dead,
'Time was, like thee they life possess'd,
And time shall be, that thou shalt rest.'

Those graves, with bending osier bound,
That nameless heave the crumbled ground,
Quick to the glancing thought disclose
Where Toil and Poverty repose.

The flat smooth stones that bear a name,
The chisel's slender help to fame,
Which, e'er our set of friends decay,
Their frequent steps may wear away,
A middle race of mortals own,
Men half-ambitious, all unknown.

The marble tombs that rise on high,
Whose dead in vaulted arches lie,
Whose pillars swell with sculptured stones,
Arms, angels, epitaphs, and bones;--
These (all the poor remains of state)
Adorn the rich, or praise the great;
Who while on earth in fame they live,
Are senseless of the fame they give.

Ha! while I gaze, pale Cynthia fades,
The bursting earth unveils the shades!
All slow, and wan, and wrapp'd with shrouds,
They rise in visionary crowds,
And all with sober accent cry,
'Think, mortal, what it is to die!'

Now from yon black and funeral yew,
That bathes the charnal-house with dew,
Methinks I hear a voice begin;
(Ye ravens, cease your croaking din,
Ye tolling clocks, no time resound
O'er the long lake and midnight ground!)
It sends a peal of hollow groans,
Thus speaking from among the bones:

'When men my scythe and darts supply,
How great a king of fears am I!
They view me like the last of things:
They make, and then they dread, my stings.
Fools! if you less provoked your fears,
No more my spectre-form appears.
Death's but a path that must be trod,
If man would ever pass to God:
A port of calms, a state of ease
From the rough rage of swelling seas.

Why, then, thy flowing sable stoles,
Deep pendent cypress, mourning poles,
Loose scarfs to fall athwart thy weeds,
Long palls, drawn hearses, cover'd steeds,
And plumes of black, that, as they tread,
Nod o'er the 'scutcheons of the dead?

Nor can the parted body know,
Nor wants the soul these forms of woe:
As men who long in prison dwell,
With lamps that glimmer round the cell,
Whene'er their suffering years are run,
Spring forth to greet the glittering sun:
Such joy, though far transcending sense,
Have pious souls at parting hence.
On earth, and in the body placed,
A few, and evil years, they waste:
But when their chains are cast aside,
See the glad scene unfolding wide,
Clap the glad wing and tower away,
And mingle with the blaze of day!'

Thomas Parnell

So it must be with all things that have such a mournful and useless appearance on this earth. Most especially the current monetary system and its apologists!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

AIG Bonuses

If we as a nation are so crazy as to forgo bonuses for AIG employees whoever can we possibly get with the requisite expertise to take their place now that Bernard Madoff is going to jail? Maybe he could get a work release. (Alas.)

General Relativity, the Monadology, Harmony of the Worlds and the Degeneracy of Voltaire

When Plato's Socrates is situated declaiming on the degenerate profligacy of the wayward arts in the Republic, the perspective that must be allowed him should only be delimited to satirizing bacchantic frenzies as art that would masquerade as anything approaching truth in beauty. This perspective or weltanschauung is the Republic's myth of the cave or the island of Sancho Panza's governiate -- the make believe world of Lewis Carroll's Flatland or the false dichotomy of right brain/left brain of art versus science. It is the phony chop logic of Dr. Pangloss mock tragedy of Leibniz' genius, i.e. the eternal and continuously reenergized monadology.

Take, for example, Dante's Paradiso as a template. Did he not situate a sort of immortal dialectic or Socratic dialog on the completely relative frame of reference of the earth's moon in contradistinction to the idiocy of the Ptolemaic banality of "Mother Earth" Gaia corybantic phrensy (as in "Neoplatonic" cabbalists magic hokum)? Isn't this indeed that which Albert Einstein continued? The best of all possible worlds as opposed to the rock and rolldom's 666 Beast Aleister Crowley, is Einstein's own truly "gauge fixed" general relativity. Isn't this concept sempiternal? -- As it undergoes a continuous timely updating relative to one's own "mortal coil" in the here and now?

Image, if you will, the peculiar multifunctionality of the biophysical domain juxtaposed to the merely inorganic substrate whence it derives. The distance from that dead continuum to the plenum of the living realm is a "poetic" equivalent of the distance from the the living to the thinking self reflexive creativity of human endeavor. It is Cantor's transfinite conceptual updating of Nicholas of Cusa's non-other. Which is the refutation at once of both "cybernetics" and the degenerate Cartesian Grassmanian Wienerian fiction of "absolute entropy". (As opposed to the relative correctness of the Carnot cycle.)

This Schopenhauer-like world weariness emerges from a Mephistophelian myopia. In the make believe land where supposedly "we all agree that no one foresaw the current economic crisis" (except for modern day Epimethius LaRouche) we kowtow to feces on a canvass as art. This is the true aesthetic excresance of the misbegotten progeny of Mr. Voluntaire's misconception.

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