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A quick programming note: I’ll be in Baltimore this Sunday (11/16), giving a talk at the Walters Art Museum. The event starts at 2PM.
Although I’ve yet to make it there personally, I’ve heard that is a very nice museum. Have a good time.
Since you are in the area – if you happen to be interested in art by criminals and crazy people, you could pop into the American Visionary Museum (http://www.avam.org/) as well. There is a fairly interesting exhibit ongoing, The Marriage of Art, Science & Philosophy.
Heard the talk was great.
For what it’s worth, you connected well with the audience, addressing their questions with skill. Plenty of good material. Some of the themes on the minds of the audience included the dichotomy between reductionism and emergence in natural phenomena, the oft-presumed correlation between mathematical beauty and some conception of “truth,” and recognition of the cultural and temporal filters through which we judge tonality and rhythmic patterns in musical works. One wonders whether we really know less about the phenomenon of human consciousness now than we did 20 years ago. It seems that 20 years ago, the use of scientific (i.e., reductionist) methods applied to the phenomenon of consciousness was not considered appropriate. Perhaps some approaches, aimed for example at identifying neural correlates of consciousness, will not in the end prove fruitful. But having more fully compassed the vast extent of what is not known, what is not yet explicable in reductionistic terms, this itself appears to signal progress.
Another topic that came up in the Q+A had to do with singing as a learning tool. Interestingly enough there is a great article on Oprah’s website by Oliver Sacks about this very topic. Go to Oprah.com, click on Spirit and then on an interview with OS by Dr. Oz. Under the interview there’s a link called: OS Finds the Bond between Music and Our Brain.
It was a wonderful afternoon: lecture and Q+A in a nice setting! I overheard the Walter’s program director invite Jonah to come back to Baltimore. Thank you Jonah! please return. PS See Jonah’s article “The Listener” for more on OS.
20 years ago. It seems that 20 years ago, the use of scientific (i.e., reductionist) methods applied to the phenomenon of consciousness was
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