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Monsters from the Id

In CinemaScope - The Modern Miracle You See Without Glasses

“We have taken Aqaba.”
G'Kar (Babylon 5)
swashbuckler332
    “In whose name do you ride?”

  • This week I had the pleasure of attending the Fathom theatrical presentation of Lawrence of Arabia. They were screening the recent 8k to 4k restoration of the film, which presents the extended 1989 director's cut of the film assembled by Katz and Harris under the direction of Sir David Lean and editor Anne V. Coates. I had seen the film projected previously in 70 millimeter at the Paris and Ziegfeld theaters, and I have always tried whenever the film was in theaters to go see it. This time was no different, except that I had attended Fathom's presentation of The Birds and was less than blown away by the image, and was less than impressed by the clips shown before that film of what Lawrence might look like. However, the film was being shown theatrically and my date had never seen it, so I felt justified in wanting to catch it again.

    I needn't have worried; the presentation was first-rate. I can say that the restoration looks fantastic, colors are more solid than they appeared on film prints. The depth and detail captured by the original 65 millimeter camera negative is all there, solid and vivid.

    The thing about Lawrence is that, if you've seen it at home, you haven't really seen it. This was a film that was photographed to be seen on a huge screen, and it doesn't translate so well to smaller dimensions. To put it bluntly: if your television fits in your apartment or house, it's TOO DAMN SMALL. Sequences in Lawrence are built around such striking images as a speck on the horizon resolving into a character (Omar Sharif's dramatic entrance and Lawrence's rescue of Gassim are unforgettable examples), or the John Ford-inspired use of the landscape to isolate characters. Freddie Young's cinematography is striking from the opening shot to the final fade-out, and several of the images are some of the most iconic in cinema history.



    Something else struck me as interesting whilst watching the film. While one can definitely point at institutional racism of its casting and production (the only star of the film that came from even close to the region he was supposed to be from was Sharif as Ali, and only because Horst Buchholz and Alain Delon weren't available), it is interesting that the finished film tends to be too sophisticated and intelligent to fall into the standard movie “white man helps the primitives” narrative that this film could easily have descended into. Indeed, Lawrence's own motivations as well as those who use him for their own ends (including Prince Faisal) are sharply called into question by the nature of the story itself. Colonialism and warfare are the subjects of the film, and many of the more disturbing elements of the film are addressing these issues head-on.

    To get myself pumped to see the film, I spent much of the day before I saw it (and the day afterward as well) listening to the superb Tadlow recording of Maurice Jarre's striking score. As I have mentioned before, I consider this to be one of the finest examples of a film music re-recording thus made. The performance captures the spirit of the original, and the sound is consistent with that of the original recording whilst not having any of its limitations. Indeed, perhaps the best complement I can offer is that there are several moments over the course of the album that I would have sworn before that only Maurice Jarre himself could possibly have conducted.

    However, the Blu-ray set is said to have a remastered edition of the original soundtrack album with two previously unreleased tracks. While I am quite satisfied with Tadlow's recording, I am nevertheless curious about this disc for two reasons:

    1. The sound of the score iin the new master of the film seemed a bit cleaner than it did in previous screenings I'd seen and the advances in mastering technology since the Varèse issue of the Colpix album was originally released in 1990 have been a thousandfold.


    2. I am hoping that among the two additional tracks will be the “Entry To the Desert” cue: that's the famous cut from Lawrence blowing out the match to the sunrise in the desert, with the rhapsodic presentation of the main theme as Lawrence and Tafas traverse the desert. This is one of the most striking cues in the film, but it was omitted from the original album (and subject to an awful rendition on the Silva recording), but has been part of many concert suites throughout the years; I'd love to have the original of this.



  • “It's okay by me…”

  • A wonderful surprise was the Quartet Records release of The Long Goodbye. While a few tracks had already been released by Varèse paired with an album for another Johnny Williams score Fitzwilly, Quartet presents several more variations on the main theme as well as an edit of Robert Altman's ingenious main title montage. The latter conforms to the film cut, but because the song always cuts to a different version of the same song but at the same melodic point, it still works as a piece of music. Weird.

    Quartet's edition nearly doubles the running time of the Varèse version, which could conceivably have made for a pretty dull listen for a score that consists entirely of different version of one song, but between Quartet's intelligent sequencing and the sheer inventiveness of the variations John Williams came up with (among the new tracks, he accompanies the Dave Grusin trio on piano), it pretty much breezes by.



    I recently revisited the film as well. I refer people to my earlier comments on the film and how well it captures the feel of Los Angeles. I did pay special attention to the music this time around, now that I was a bit more aware of the different elements that went into it, and I have to say that I have an even greater appreciation of the Altman/Williams collaboration that yielded this and Images. The song is like another character in the film; rather than reflecting anything interior, it seems to become a sort of Greek Chorus, but with jazz.



  • “Jim, I want this. As much as you wanted the Enterprise, I want this.”

  • I haven't really said much here about La-La Land's release of Star Trek: The Motion Picture, mostly because I was just so overwhelmed by the sheer wealth of material represented on the set (although I did make the adjustments to my entry for A Busy Man to reflect the replacement of the old masters with the new material from this and GNP Crescendo's release of Star Trek: First Contact into that mix).

    It is difficult to explain what I find so satisfying about this release. The fact is, anybody who has been collecting for as long as I have has come across multiple different variations for this score; in addition to the original album and the expanded 1999 edition, bootleg tapes of various elements of the score abounded since the film's release. I have heard most of the music on this set in one form or another. It isn't discovery that is making owning this set so conclusive.



    Mostly, it's the fact that, for the first time, everything that I've ever heard has finally been placed in its proper context. All alternates and multiple versions have been accounted for, from the Lionel Newman-conducted version of the main title (the version on the record and in the “Director's Edition” cut were Goldsmith's own album take) to the different blaster beam hits for “The Force Field” to the variations on “Inner Workings;” album takes that are different from film takes, which were different from what was heard on the 1999 edition, at last can be made sense of here once and for all. And it is more complete than anything else previously heard, even including the film version of “No Goodbyes,” which I've never heard outside of the film before except as part of the sign-off for the expanded “Inside Star Trek” program included with the 1999 edition, where it was under Nichelle Nichols' exit speech.

    It's also the sound.

    The intial album master for Star Trek: The Motion Picture was prepared digitally in 1979; the 1999 edition was taken from an analogue source. The expansions on the latter had a characteristically flat sound, and while the original album master (faithfully reproduced as part of La-La Land's set) sounds decent on its own, there was some room for improvement. Newly mixed from the original 24-track analogue master tapes, the new set sounds completely different. Each section of the orchestra is much more clearly delineated, and the much more detailed sonics means that one hears more than one ever did, even when listening to one of the more familiar cues.

    This is one of the scores that truly cemented my love for this genre, and it has finally gotten the release that I'd always hoped for. As I've often commented, if this film were better-paced, I might not have had to notice how good the music was. As the film's tag-line stated, “There is no comparison.”



  • “Forget it, Jerry. It's Varèse Sarabande.”

  • Varèse has been taking some hits from some people in the film music community for their “Encore Series,” which is essentially them repressing certain titles from their back catalog, then making them available on iTunes. I actually like much of what they've re-released, and while some titles might have benefited from an expansion, if you look at it from the point of view that they're just making available stuff that people might have missed, it becomes a very fruitful line. I for one was very pleased to be able to pick up Elmer Bernstein's Amazing Grace and Chuck, Georges Delerue's Crimes of the Heart and Maurice Jarre's Tai Pan (among others) for a reasonable price.

    I have to say, however, I was not very pleased with their re-issue of Chinatown. I was okay with getting a better sounding master of the original LP (I would prefer the complete score plus alternates, but I understand that may not be as easy as some may think it is) there was no sonic improvement I could hear (the sound is slightly different, but I wouldn't say one disc had any real advantage over the other), the notes weren't much more illuminating than they originally were, and I actually liked the disc artwork a bit better than what graced the original CD release. There was no point in my upgrading whatsoever, and in a few weeks I plan to sell a lot of my doubles and whatnot to Screen Archives; it will be the new edition, not the old, that I am offering them.

    Speaking of Jerry, I found the BuySoundtrax album Jerry Goldsmith Volume One: The Rarities to have been full of pleasant surprises, not least of which is how well it sounds when played straight through. It is very well programmed so that the listener goes through various “suites” that concentrate on a certain genre or sound, such as a 'noir' suite with Chinatown, L.A. Confidential, 2 Days In the Valley and the like.

    Some of the tracks are remarkably faithful, such as the main title for Shamus (I'd love a release of that score some day), others are very, very different stylistically from the originals. Warlock and Psycho II get some very contemporary and different arrangements. I really liked this compilation as it filled in some blanks, while at the same time offering a fresh spin on some familiar favorites.

    Meanwhile, Intrada released the full original unused score for 2 Days In the Valley. The aforementioned BSX compilation was the first time I had heard any music from the film, but I loved the plaintive trumpet theme, and so I was quite interested to hear more. I was surprised to find how colorful and varied the score was when played in full. Some passages have what sounds like a slinkier take on Basic Instinct, others a jaunty Italian tune. I've not seen the film, so I don't know how any of this would fit together, but it makes for an interesting listen.



  • “My defense was evolving. You guys got scared. ”

  • Among his swan songs, Lukas Kendall has righted a serious wrong.

    In 1981, when John Barry was recording his soon-to-be classic score for Lawrence Kasdan's soon-to-be classic film Body Heat (again, I refer to my previous comments on the film), which was to be released by on John Lasher's Southern Cross label. An album master was prepared by Dan Wallin, but apparently Lasher didn't want to pay the price for that composer-approved mix and went off and made his own. That horrid sound mix was what graced the original LP and Southern Cross CDs, and for years was the only was to hear the original soundtrack recording.



    Film Score Monthly's new edition of the score repairs the damage done to the score with a fresh new stereo mix that is so much of an improvement over the Southern Cross master that it's amazing that they're even the same recording. The sound still has a slightly flat aspect to it, but it shares that with many other Dan Wallin recordings of the era; otherwise the new edition is clean and clear instead of muddy and distant.

    The film score is a much sleazier performance than the Varèse Sarabande recording. While I like both, it is the film performances with Michael Lang and Ronnie Lang (no relation) that really gave this score its characteristic sound, which would in turn redefine the sound of a genre.


I leave you with a picture of Varinia lying on a T-shirt that I got when I went to see Roger Waters at Yankee Stadium:


“Fell deeds awake… Now for Wrath… Now for Ruin… and the Red Dawn!”
Théoden (Lord of the Rings)
swashbuckler332
Okay, this is seriously frustrating.

I have been working on finishing up my Lord of the Rings compilation. I want to have it completed once and for all by the time that the first Hobbit movie will come out. I am almost finished, there are only a few minor bits here and there to finalize on the sound side of things, and I wanted to complete the relevant LJ entries that would accompany the completion.

The notes were very complicated; they were in that way a counterpart to the mixes themselves. In addition to listing what the source material was for each track, I also had noted which choral texts went where and had links to where one could read those texts. Each track's entry also had a relevant quote either from the film or the book. The main body of each track's entry then had a description of the music, its construction, and how it fits into the overall arcs of this particular album.

I found, however, that the Semagic drafts I had saved had disappeared. I can't find them on that hard drive at all. I am a little confused, as I can imagine losing one of those files, but both of them sounds a little strange. I searched the entire drive looking for anything with the SLJ extension, but I can't find the notes for these. Actually, I couldn't find the notes for anything older than a few months ago.

Yes, I know: "First World problem." Nevertheless, I am very disappointed in this. I worked really hard on these, and to see these notes just evaporate into the ether really takes the wind out of my sails. I have no idea why this has happened, nothing else on the drive is missing. I don't see how I could have accidentally erased them, but I do wonder if there is another file extension I should perform my search for.

“Does It Come In Black?”
Gordon (Batman Begins)
swashbuckler332
I have on occasion talked about "getting bitten by the mix bug." This is because there are some ideas I have that appear in the back of my mind and then start to bother me until I try them out. Sometimes this is for a track or two, sometimes it's for an entire mix. In cases like that, I don't always know where that process will take me, but that's part of what makes this hobby interesting. Sometimes I try things that just don't work (I never managed to get a Harry Palmer mix together, for example; the scores are just too different). Sometimes I get an idea that ends up taking me in directions I am a bit surprised by.

My reaction to the music for the Christopher Nolan Batman films — which seem to be referred to now as "The Dark Knight Trilogy" — was indifference at worst, lukewarm at best. There were a few moments I felt were especially inspired, but for the most part I was not too jazzed by the music by its appearance in the films or on the albums, feeling it was mostly pretty routine stuff, reasonably effective in the films but little more.

Those moments, though… they gave me an idea for the basic structure for an album. And trilogy mixes, where I have the opportunity to explore the development of themes over the course of a film series, are probably my favorite to make. And I knew that there was an enormous amount of music from all three films available. And… and… and I saw it as a challenge, to go through, get into and work with this music that I had such ambiguous feelings about, because I had to sort of "buy in" to the style, as well as the mythology of the film series in order to organize a decent representation. Who knows, I figured, maybe I would come away from the project with an elevated opinion of the music.

And that's how this project began, unlikely as it may seem.



  1. BATS
    BATMAN BEGINS
    — Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard 2:34

  2. THE BANK ROBBERY
    THE DARK KNIGHT
    — Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard 3:44

  3. GOTHAM'S RECKONING
    THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
    — Hans Zimmer 4:08

  4. WILL IS EVERYTHING
    BATMAN BEGINS
    — Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard 4:27

  5. BLOOD ON MY HANDS
    THE DARK KNIGHT
    — Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard 1:28

  6. FLYING ON ROOFTOPS
    BATMAN BEGINS
    — Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard 6:29

  7. WHITE KNIGHT
    THE DARK KNIGHT
    — Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard 2:52

  8. MIND IF I CUT IN?
    THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
    — Hans Zimmer 2:44

  9. APPLIED SCIENCES
    BATMAN BEGINS
    — Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard 1:51

  10. JURISDICTION
    THE DARK KNIGHT
    — Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard 2:51

  11. CHILD OF SHADOWS
    THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
    — Hans Zimmer 2:53

  12. A DARK KNIGHT
    THE DARK KNIGHT
    — Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard 7:38

  13. WHY DO WE FALL?
    THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
    — Hans Zimmer 2:05

  14. LEGACY
    BATMAN BEGINS
    — Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard 5:53

  15. SELINA KYLE
    THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
    — Hans Zimmer 3:28

  16. THE CORRUPTED
    THE DARK KNIGHT
    — Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard 6:59

  17. SALVATION
    THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
    — Hans Zimmer 12:36

  18. THE LEGEND
    BATMAN BEGINS
    — Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard
    THE DARK KNIGHT — Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard
    THE DARK KNIGHT RISES — Hans Zimmer
    8:36


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So… now that I've completed this mix, do I feel more positive about the music for the trilogy? Actually, I have to admit that I do, somewhat. I like how Zimmer developed his Batman theme into the Dark Knight theme and finally into the Orphan theme over the course of the series, the full dimensions of which I didn't really appreciate until I started assembling this album. I have a newer appreciation for some of Zimmer's production techniques, especially those employed to wreak havoc whenever the Joker would appear. I like the sound of the extended bass and 'cello section. I still have my reservations, however. I do have to say that, even though I did have to take an extended break for a bit of time because it does consist of such (intentionally) oppressive music, I did enjoy putting together this album a lot more than I thought I would.

Collisions and Collusions
Lex (Superman: The Movie)
swashbuckler332
This has been a seriously fucked up month.

I've been okay, for the most part, but there are a lot of things going on within my family and at work that have been seriously trying. A lot of things have been changing around me, and they're taking some adjustment.

On a lighter note, my burner and printer are back on line, so at long last I can start producing discs of the mixes I've been working on, which included a new variation on A Busy Man, my Jerry Goldsmith Star Trek compilation and, of course, my oft-mentioned, rarely heard Lord of the Rings two-disc set (it's almost done, for real this time; that's partly the reason for me getting my ass in gear with all of my gear). There is also another mix coming down the pike, one that is pretty much almost completely finished (it just needs a few sound tweaks here and there)and which surprised me with how much fun it was to put together because it's not really the sort of thing I usually like (it should be pretty easy to figure out the subject). However, the first album to be produced in full again is my July revision of Flight



Unfortunately, while I have all of the mixes intact and component files, there is just no way I can recover the work that I had done in Pagemaker. I am going to have to recreate almost all of my album artwork (not the CDs themselves, just the jackets). I do, however, have all of the original artwork that went into them, so it's basically a matter of reconstructing what I'd done before (and the fact that all of the mixes are documented on this journal will make it much easier).

One more thing before I shuffle off to bed.

La-La Land Records proved to me this Friday that some dreams aren't as impossible as I once thought.


WORK SAFE

Soaring
Goldsmith (film composer)
swashbuckler332
It has been many years since I originally compiled one of my first concept albums Flight. Along with Songs of the Heavens and The Farthest Reaches, this remained a personal favorite of mine of that particular vintage. However, due to some of the complications involved with the Great Computer Crash of 2010, it never made it on to my iPod. I wanted to rectify this, but when I actually listened to my master, I realized something: it sounded terrible.

I'm not saying that there was a specific problem with the sound quality on the disc, but rather that there are many tracks on it that were of less than optimum sound quality, so much so that the original disc artwork contained a legend that the music spans several decades of recording technology and sound quality would not always be consistent. The thing of it is, most of the worst offenders had been remastered, and anything left over would have been well within my abilities to correct for. So I decided that I might try to re-create Flight from scratch using better masters, and improving some of the more primitive transitions from the original (only a few) and recreating most of the rest of the original transitions, as I quite liked them.

The more I thought about doing it, though, the more I felt that the original Flight had room for expansion, while my sequel didn't really come together as well as I'd hoped. It occurred to me that I could easily combine the best elements of both discs, while adding a few new tracks that fit the concept. In the end, I used long sequences from Flight as it appeared on the original disc, but with a few deviations where I used material from Flight II: Conquering the Skies (The Right Stuff, Explorers, The Aviator), or that wasn't a part of the original assemblies (Empire of the Sun, Slipstream), or that hadn't been written yet when the original two discs were created (Up, How To Train Your Dragon, The Avengers).

This is a project specific to Flight. Don't expect either Songs of the Heavens or The Farthest Reaches to get similar treatment; I have listened to those albums recently and I am quite satisfied with how they sound and play.



  1. JAMES HORNER: The Ride of the Firemares (Krull — 1983) 3:19
    The London Symphony Orchestra and Ambrosian Singers Conducted by James Horner


  2. LEE HOLDRIDGE: The Eagle (The Beastmaster — 1982) 2:52
    The Academy of Santa Cecelia Orchestra and the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Rome Conducted by Lee Holdridge


  3. ALAN SILVESTRI: The Helicarrier (The Avengers — 2012) 2:02
    Orchestra Conducted by Alan Silvestri


  4. HOWARD SHORE: H-1 Racer Plane (The Aviator — 2004) 3:09
    The Flemish Radio Orchestra Conducted by Howard Shore


  5. JOHN WILLIAMS: The Ballroom Scene (The Witches of Eastwick — 1987) 5:27
    Orchestra Conducted by John Williams


  6. JERRY GOLDSMITH: Overture (The Blue Max — 1966) 2:16
    The Philharmonia Orchestra Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith


  7. LAURENCE ROSENTHAL: Pegasus (Clash of the Titans — 1981) 2:38
    The London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Laurence Rosenthal


  8. GEORGE FENTON: The Londonderry Air (Memphis Belle — 1990) 3:50
    Orchestra Conducted by George Fenton


  9. ELMER BERNSTEIN: Flight To the Temple (Heavy Metal: Taarna — 1981) 2:15
    The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and London Voices Conducted by Elmer Bernstein
    Jeanne Loriod, Ondes Martenot


  10. BASIL POLEDOURIS: Plane To Vegas (Cherry 2000 — 1987) 0:54
    The Hungarian State Opera Orchestra Conducted by Basil Poledouris


  11. JOHN WILLIAMS: Buckbeak's Flight (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban — 2004) 1:51
    Orchestra Conducted by John Williams


  12. LEE HOLDRIDGE: Leaving Home (The Tuskegee Airmen — 1995) 4:06
    Orchestra Conducted by Lee Holdridge


  13. JERRY GOLDSMITH: No, Thanks (The Secret of N.I.M.H. — 1982) 1:58
    The National Philharmonic Orchestra of London and Ambrosian Singers Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith


  14. MICHAEL KAMEN: The Balloon (The Adventures of Baron Münchausen — 1988) 1:04
    The Graunke Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Michael Kamen


  15. JOHN WILLIAMS: The Magic of Halloween (E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial — 1982) 1:52
    Orchestra Conducted by John Williams


  16. JERRY GOLDSMITH: The Mountain (Total Recall — 1990) 0:41
    The National Philharmonic Orchestra of London Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith


  17. VANGELIS: Los Angeles, 2019 (Blade Runner — 1982) 2:37
    Performed by Vangelis


  18. JOHN WILLIAMS: Imaginary Air Battle (Empire of the Sun — 1987) 2:33
    Orchestra and Choir Conducted by John Williams


  19. ELMER BERNSTEIN: Escape (Slipstream — 1989) 2:22
    The London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Elmer Bernstein
    Cynthia Millar, Ondes Martenot


  20. MICHAEL GIACCHINO: Carl Goes Up (Up — 2009) 3:30
    Orchestra Conducted by Tim Simonec


  21. JOHN BARRY: Main Title (High Road to China — 1983) 1:17
    Orchestra Conducted by John Barry


  22. JOHN WILLIAMS: The Flying Sequence (Superman — 1978) 8:04
    The London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by John Williams


  23. JERRY GOLDSMITH: Flying Ballet (Supergirl — 1984) 4:10
    The National Philharmonic Orchestra of London Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith


  24. BASIL POLEDOURIS: Night Bird (Conan the Destroyer — 1984) 2:19
    El Unione Musicisti di Roma Conducted by Basil Poledouris


  25. JOHN POWELL: Test Drive (How To Train Your Dragon — 2010) 2:27
    Orchestra Conducted by Gavin Greenaway


  26. JOHN WILLIAMS: Remembering Childhood (Hook — 1991) 2:18
    Orchestra Conducted by John Williams


  27. JERRY GOLDSMITH: Have A Nice Trip (Explorers — 1985) 5:41
    Orchestra Conducted by Jerry Goldsmith


  28. BILL CONTI: Yeager's Triumph The Right Stuff — 1983) 5:10
    The London Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Bill Conti

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Trembling Before the Dragons of Eden
Sagan (Scientist)
swashbuckler332


A few weeks ago, mainstream news with some shock reported the "discovery" that a person making a decision actually makes the choice a fraction of a second prior to being consciously aware that they have made their decision (actually, much of the research had been around for a while, it's just that somebody somewhere happened to have noticed that they could make a sensational story about it). Unfortunately, this has set off a wave of questions about how much a person is actually responsible for what they do and speculation about "free will" that I think betrays several societal biases.

It seems that people fear that this reduces the conscious mind from being the one in control and calling the shots to something more like a central communications hub, a processing center for the multitude of "important" information that has been passed through various different filters. And yet, the reason I put quotes around the word discovery before is because these scientists have now explained the biology behind something that we already knew was deeper.

Before you glance at the title of this blog and run naked and screaming through the streets that we're all under the thrall of the hideous beasts of our subconscious (the resulting video might be worth you doing that anyway), please understand that when I'm talking about "conscious" and "unconscious," I'm not talking about "ego" and "id." For purposes of my conversation, the "conscious thought" I'm talking about is the thing that you think you are, and the "subconscious" is the rest of the machine that is your mind.

The idea that our conscious mind is not that active in the decision-making process is not news. We already have terms like "Freudian slip" and "institutional racism," which are acknowledgments that the conscious mind isn't really calling the shots in our brains. How many times have you gone somewhere new but on a relatively different path and accidentally made the wrong turn out of habit? How "aware" were you of making that turn?


And you thought it was your friend.


Practically, this means that a person is no less responsible for their actions with this knowledge than they were before. I don't think anybody would disagree with me when I say that the decisions that are made by an individual tend to be consistent with that individual's background, experiences and genetic predispositions (the sum total of which we colloquially refer to as "personality"), and that the resulting decisions tend to be consistent with one another. Your conscious mind doesn't necessarily make choices, but it is nevertheless reflects them when they occur.

There is another element to this issue that seems to be bubbling underneath the surface of the public reaction to this information, and that is that at this point we are really talking about the brain as a machine. I think people are okay with the idea of their brains being the seat of thought, but when you start actually breaking down the mechanics of how we think, how this piece of meat actually generates a mind, you start bringing topics that were traditionally where materialism ended and spiritualism began sharply into focus in the material world. Again, this is not news (we've known for some time that if you damage the brain, you alter the mind), but the full reality of it makes people feel less self-aware, when, in fact, it is the opposite that is true; we now have a greater understanding of ourselves.

"While our behavior is still significantly controlled by our genetic inheritance, we have, through our brains, a much richer opportunity to blaze new behavioral and cultural pathways on short timescales."
— Carl Sagan
The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence (1977, 1986)
Tags:

Hooked On Telephonics
Vic Androzzi (Shaft)
swashbuckler332

I bought an iPhone yesterday.

I had been intending for some time to get a new personal phone. I have yet to get into any trouble with my employer for personal use of a business tool, and would like to keep it that way. I also found the BlackBerry pretty lackluster for following links posted on Facebook and Twitter, and forget about YouTube on that thing.

The choice of iPhone over the operationally similar Droid was a practical one: I wanted to make some space on my iPod for more film music, and the iPhone gives me an opportunity to put other genres of music on a separate device that can not only be loaded with my existing software, it is also compatible with everything that I already have for my iPod (including my car stereo, my home theater and my portable boom box, all of which have docks on them).

I have only just started; my primary goal for my first day was only to get all of my social networking and whatnot off of my work phone and on to this one, which has thus far been an easier prospect for the iPhone than the BlackBerry. Yes, the process of removing optional programs threw the BlackBerry into a state of confusion.

Right now that phone is being used solely for work purposes and the BlackBerry Instant Messenger (my use of which is primarily work-oriented anyway). The iPhone, on the other hand, has been loaded with personal apps (including the one I'm using right now to compose this entry), a lot of rock, jazz and reggae, and even a few games (Scrabble, of course, I'm also going to look into this "Words With Friends" game that looks very similar I keep hearing about whenever Alec Baldwin gets into trouble).

I've named the iPhone Vital Information Centralized (if you get the reference, I'll give you a virtual dollar). I'm loving it.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


What does it mean… exact change?
Bones (Star Trek)
swashbuckler332

I have been sick all week. I was sick two weeks ago as well. It's amazing how when you get to work, all you want to do is go home, but when you're stuck home, all you want to do is get to work. It's not like I don't have anything to do (a have a large collection of books, movies, music, Netflix and, oh right, the freakin' Internet) but when you're stuck with nothing else to do it can be rather dull. Time off from work ought to be for vacations, not boring oneself stupid in one's apartment.

I'm not exactly in a bad mood, but I'd characterize it as a "drab" mood. I'm stuck in the apartment on the BRAT (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast) diet (also plain roasted chicken and chicken soup) until my body deals with whatever it is dealing with.

So I'm bored.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.


"I love hangin' with you, man."
Ka D'Argo (Farscape)
swashbuckler332

2011: Nutshells for the Home Stretch
Purple Snorklewacker (Bloom County)
swashbuckler332