Daily Archives: May 24, 2012

Duncan’s Ditty of the Day #10

As promised, I’ll put in a few videos of the mega-bands of the 1970’s. And they don’t come any bigger than Pink Floyd. Indeed, a few years ago Q magazine rated them the biggest of the big. How they worked that out I don’t know, but they must be up there somewhere.

While the Syd Barrett era is important in some respects, the idea that Floyd lost out following his breakdown is unsustainable. Instead, it let loose some of the best writing and some of the best music that we could ever hope for – simply speaking, they are peerless. Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall still sound good today. Everybody loves Pink Floyd, and for good reason.

The video below is relatively recent, taken from the time after Roger Waters left. That wouldn’t denigrate it though, the song would be a classic whichever version of Floyd performed it. It also comes from the Pulse tour, one of the three best music videos ever for my money. (The others being The Last Waltz and Beside You in Time).

Note that some UK viewers have this content blocked. For me, it depends on the computer I’m using.

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Truth and Objectivity

To say of what is that it is not, or of what is not that it is, is false, while to say of what is that it is, and of what is not that it is not, is true.

Aristotle

Just a recap from the last post on truth. In common discourse we like to think of truth as correspondence with reality. Yet it’s commonplace to hear such things as “that’s a matter of opinion”, “it’s true to them”, etc. etc. The implication here is that either there are a number of competing truths, of which only one’s own, or none of which, has any special privileges, or that objective truth as correspondence with reality is an illusion. In fact (should I even be saying that?) it seems that this is how most people view truth – as something that corresponds not with reality as much as their own pre-existing beliefs or ideology. It’s much easier to see this (or as an argument-stopper) to imply or infer it in others while denying it for oneself. You don’t much see people basing their arguments on such grounds as “believing that is useful to me” or “that corresponds with my other beliefs”, although I do recall a poster on the FFF denying the validity of theistic evolution on the grounds that sin could not then have entered the world through Adam and therefore it was untrue on the basis that it contradicted his previous belief. More commonly one hears such things “I’m a Catholic and therefore I believe that…”.  True beliefs will not contradict other true beliefs, of course, provided that the truth of at least one of them can be rationally established.

Moving on, for an example of how other peoples’ view of truth is pejoratively compared to one’s own, see the Jim Denison’s comment below, from here via the FFF:

You state that there is no such thing as absolute truth, which is itself an absolute truth statement.  You remind me of the ancient Skeptics three centuries before Christ whose philosophy could be summarized:  “There’s no such thing as truth and we’re sure of it.”

I could assure Denison that not all of us subscribe to that position, and I strongly suspect that what it is that he calls true in this matter is but a mere convenience. However, although he is probably equivocating, he is correct in his analysis of scepticism as long as he means universal scepticism – some other forms of scepticism are completely honourable and a reasonable approach to truth-seeking. Like simple relativism, universal scepticism is untenable in that to claim it’s truth would be to claim that it isn’t true, and therefore there aren’t really any universal sceptics, even if they so label themselves. Even Denison recognises this. Continue reading


A Bit of Excitement on a Thursday

It’s a good thing and a bad thing that in Hereford nothing much ever happens. Usually the big news is something like “Girl breaks leg falling off horse at gymkhana” or “chip-shop sign stolen”. (These are real front-page headlines in Hereford). So in the surrounding villages, one can barely imagine anything happening at all – “battery fails in camera”, for example, is big news.

But today was different. The Olympic flame passed through my village, only about 100 metres from my house, and we were out all there in force to cheer it on.

The level of excitement was maintained, every thirty seconds or so, by police motorcyclists, buses, sponsors’ lorries and council vans – all getting a great cheer. At long last the flame arrived, and just as the carrier came…my camera died.

But I did get a rear view. Better than nothing.

All-in-all, about fifteen minutes. But well worth it. It’s not going to happen here in my lifetime again, and it’ll definitely never be so close. The sense of occasion is certainly building up, and whatever one might think about the individual sports or the behaviour of the IOC, it’s a great time to be a Brit right now.