Pat Gunn (dachte) wrote,
Pat Gunn

  • Music:

Narrow Channels

(Human) Languages are goofy - one of the ways I know I never learned enough Spanish is that when I hear it, most chunks of the language have parts of themself "widened" with the English placed alongside the Spanish. There are a few words that have joined my core inner-language that's a rough superset of the languages I know bits of, but that's really more a mix of German and English with bits of other languages tossed in as second-class citizens. When reading in German, sentences don't usually widen - they're as first-class and as ready to be recalled as English words when I'm producing language. Things like word order are already pretty fluid, and my Cyrillic and Hiragana are almost as fast as reading Roman characters.

I wish I had put more effort into Spanish in Elementary, Middle, and High School - I was more interested in German (for philosophy and literature) and Japanese (for culture), and learning many languages at the same time meant that Spanish kind of lost out (and French *really* lost out - I can often read it (slowly) but can't really produce sentences of any length).

I'm thinking about this because I've been sorting my music collection again, incorporating some CDs I've had for forever but never imported. The band 「Celtas Cortos」 is very likable, blending south american pop with celtic flavour (and, like with Flamenco, Romani, and Klezmer, it's hard for a music group to go wrong with Celtic flavouring - it's like the curry powder of music).

I dislike that it takes a good bit of my brain away to try to parse the lyrics in their music (sent me scrambling for a dictionary the first few times) - that "widening" takes mental time and takes a good amount of mental space - while when I'm listening to German bands like 「Die Prinzen」, it stays narrow and leicht.

Also: amused at the ugly truth of campaign finance laws - that they're an affront to stupid levels of human dignity and naïve belief in democracy. A lot of people really believe in the wisdom of the common person, and that democracy is a rational process, while the restrictions on campaign finance explicitly acknowledge that collectively people are stupid in democracies - we know that campaign adverts work, and we can observe that they're usually pretty stupid - like any good advertisement they tug on heartstrings. If people were generally smarter, the adverts would not affect them much - their existence (and the reform laws) show that people don't actually research the people they vote for. I am sometimes amused at how naïve people can be about the level of political intelligence of the demos and how insistent they are that "they know better", when stuff like this so clearly indicates otherwise. It is also amusing when they don't really learn many lessons from the way things are, insisting on inappropriate dignities. Either people are smart and do research on candidates and are hard to trick or emotionally manipulate, so campaign finance reform is unnecessary (and so are all those advertisements, so running them is an incredible waste of money), or there's some level of suceptability to these problems-in-perception and people are fallable. The fact that it's such a big thing should point us to the conclusion that most people are very weak to such adverts, and that our democratic process is very shallow.

Sometimes I am angry at various parts of human nature, either the general things, or the synthesis of culture and biology that produces us as one of the two genders. There is competitive pressure to be things that one really shouldn't be. I guess it can't be helped though.

Tags: music

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