Friday, June 30, 2006

Give me back my (Intelligent) Design!

The name of the piece, The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Reason, was my private attempt to take back from the 'Intelligent Design' camp what is remarkably true in that phrase. We look around our world and we find an organization in the world well-met by our own internal organization. It doesn't have to be that way. Of all the possible worlds, ones so organized are rare -- by probabilistic arguments.* It is remarkable, indeed, to inhabit a world where mathematics, for example, is so strangely effective. To sense 'design' in the world is connected with sensing that well-met feeling between our internal order and the order around us and connected with a proper (as in well-proportioned, or in good ratio, i.e. rational) sense of awe. This sense is one of our birthrights as human beings and not the domain of some specific religious or political agenda.

* Actually, i would admit arguments that worlds so organized as to have observers inside them intelligent enough to observe the order of the world they inhabit must have a propulsion engine -- like natural selection -- selecting for a better and better match between the organization of the intelligent observer and the world they observe. In this sense there may be some skewing of the probabilistic arguments by anthropic-principle-type arguments. On the flip side, think about how many more programs with 'errors' in them there are than programs that are correct -- even in the class of programs having some parts that model the program as a whole. So, the counting argument may be somewhat subtle.

And, i can't help but calling out in this connection the striking parallel between such anthropic-principle-type arguments and Heidegger's argument at the beginning of Being and Time. Heidegger asks: is there a specific being we should inspect or interrogate if we wish to know something about Being; and he answers: yes, the being concerned with the question of Being. A universe so organized as to have beings in it concerned with the organization of the universe -- like questions of Being -- is a remarkably constrained structure. The reflective organization of ourselves and our universe is a very big clue, in my opinion.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006


Here is a game that came to me recently. If you would like to play and have a Mac (OS X) with Omnigraffle, i have a stencil that will enable play on a computer. You can find the OmniGraffle template for the board here. When you download it put it in ~/Library/Application Support/OmniGraffle/Templates. The OmniGraffle stencil for the tokens is here. When you download it put it in ~/Library/Application Support/OmniGraffle/Stencils.

Thursday, June 15, 2006


Here is one arrangement of The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Reason (midi file).
And here is another (midi file).
And here is one arrangement of GlassSlipper10 (midi file).
And, for good measure, here is Lylli in Africa (wma file).
Oh, and When Gabriel Crawls is here (wma file).
And the night max wore his wolf suit is here (wma file).
And click here for Naomi's Theme (wma file).
Click Gravity (wma file) to hear an earlier piece.

More later...