Bach, Bhyrappa, Victims, Philosophers And Poets

My friend and I were chatting for quite some time today morning. Among many other things, we talked about why Christ was not born on Jan 1st, how almost all cultures have 7 days in a week, significance of palm-up, palm-down and fingers in putting ‘tALa’ in Indian music, theory behind naming ‘saMpoorNa rAgAs’ in carnatic music etc. Our final topic revolved around something which was nothing. If you are visiting my blog, then I am sure you won’t be bored 😉 Enjoy!!!

HE[11:47 AM]:there is a book called Godel-Escher-Bach

HE[11:47 AM]:explains the similarities between Math/Painter/Musician minds

ME[11:47 AM]:yeah I have heard about that…..

HE[11:48 AM]:not easy to understand unless it is studied, especially Bach

ME[11:48 AM]:Bhyrappa was arguing the other day that to be a writer you need to be more intelligent than to be a painter or a musician and a lot of people agreed…I too tend to agree

HE[11:48 AM]:Escher’s paintings are nothing but certain math-transforms on a painting in a particular order

HE[11:49 AM]:what is more intelligent, what is less?

ME[11:49 AM]:OK, now we are into philosophy…..lol

ME[11:49 AM]:if not, at least we are going to define abstract

HE[11:49 AM]:no, Im saying it is not very smart to discuss those things

ME[11:50 AM]:not smart to discuss, yes

ME[11:50 AM]:not smart not to discuss as well

HE[11:50 AM]:someone will say a rocket-scientist is more intelligent than say, a composer

ME[11:50 AM]:at least at a superficial level, it’s easy to define, I would think

HE[11:50 AM]:I just think it is stupid

HE[11:50 AM]:very superficial

ME[11:50 AM]:true, but closer to reality, isn’t it?

HE[11:50 AM]:and just for saying sake

ME[11:50 AM]:not true…I disagree

ME[11:51 AM]:Something which touches more people is more important…..

ME[11:51 AM]:Unfortunate rule…but hey tell that to Darwin…who pretty much messed it up for all of us

HE[11:51 AM]:a writer needs life experience and content and musician has content available, in that way, yes

ME[11:52 AM]:A doctor is as (perhaps more) important than a Hollywood actor…but who is more famous and ‘successful’?

HE[11:52 AM]:successful or not is easy. Tell me who is more intelligent

ME[11:53 AM]:now, you are talking Bhyrappa…..at least to a certain degree

HE[11:53 AM]:it may not be always right to say doctor is more intelligent than an actor

ME[11:53 AM]:sure enough…I agree

ME[11:53 AM]:So, then all human beings are , shall I say ‘victims’ of circumstances

HE[11:53 AM]:Im saying Byrappa had a very subjective line of thought which I wouldnt want to venture

ME[11:54 AM]:I thought it was quite abstract actually…he didn’t get deeper into it….but still….

HE[11:55 AM]:‘victims’ is not exactly correct, conservative word

ME[11:55 AM]:conservative..really? So, what would a liberal mind say?

HE[11:55 AM]:exactly, for saying sake….

HE[11:55 AM]:liberal mind would say….

ME[11:56 AM]:Ummmm…no…If every human being is a ‘victim’ then there is no ‘victim’ per today’s definition

HE[11:56 AM]:….fruits of circumstance

HE[11:56 AM]:or flowers of circumstance

ME[11:56 AM]:LOL….as GSS says you are calling a conservative a Philosopher and a liberal a poet

HE[11:57 AM]:no

HE[11:57 AM]:most liberals may be poets and most conservatives may be phils, but what I said is independent of that

ME[11:58 AM]:By that definition, my take was that of a philosopher and not conservative…

ME[11:58 AM]:Now, I am content…

ME[11:58 AM]:so that makes me a liberal

ME[11:58 AM]:and I ‘could’ be a poet

ME[11:58 AM]:So, that’s good

HE[11:58 AM]:everyone is here for a purpose for him to fulfill, so a ‘flower’ is a much better word

HE[11:59 AM]:didnt you say ‘victims’?

ME[11:59 AM]:But, didn’t I just prove that I could be a poet?

HE[11:59 AM]:how?

HE[11:59 AM]:not that Im refuting your claim but I didnt understand how

ME[11:59 AM]:Philosophers can use the term ‘victims’

ME[12:00 PM]:I used it in a broader sense where everyone is a ‘victim’…so it really loses the true meaning……it becomes a grand equalizer

ME[12:00 PM]:thus, I am a liberal…

ME[12:00 PM]:and liberals could be poets….so I choose to be one

ME[12:00 PM]:There you go

HE[12:00 PM]:yes, ok

HE[12:00 PM]:correct!

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15 Comments on “Bach, Bhyrappa, Victims, Philosophers And Poets”

  1. Aram Says:

    “ME[11:48 AM]:Bhyrappa was arguing the other day that to be a writer you need to be more intelligent than to be a painter or a musician and a lot of people agreed…I too tend to agree”

    Bhyrappa is a very popular writer with the highest sales and many translations, but compared to Mills and Boon, Harold Robbins, Barbara Cartland, his popularity is less.

    Bhyrappa is a great writer, thinker, philosopher, and intellectual, etc., but even he is moved by
    Gangubai Hangal and Bhimsen Joshi, in a way his books cannot.

    As the blind John Milton said, “He also serves who only stands and waits.”

  2. Aram Says:

    I should have also said: “Does Bhyrappa’s writing appeal to Gangubai Hangal and Bhimsen Joshi, the way their singing appeals to him, or in any way at all?” Comparison spoils appreciation and kills enjoyment.

  3. tarlesubba Says:

    puska odu. puska odu.

    the other day i was waiting in a line at the post office. saw a huge wall painting with lots and lots of objects in the painting. was quite amazing. the number of levels the painter had to visualize the picture. thats when it occured to me painting is a multi scale visualization and rendering phenomena. plus painting has to evolve in time the vision has to be sustained in time. in terms of all these a painters brain and his mind processes are quite involved and deep. amazing anasthu.

  4. tarlesubba Says:

    Intelligence itself is pretty well quantized. I cannot give you a definition off the top of my head without referring to texts, but it is a fairly well understood process. in our tradition intelligence is referred to as buddhi, which sits on manas and what each means is fairly well defined.

    Saying a writer is more intelligent than a painter is like saying engineer is more intelligent than MBA types. Which as you have come to discover is not an intelligent position after all. 😀

    Basically writing and painting are just modes of communication. There is a lot of intelligence involved in creating an effective piece of communication. There is a lot of intelligence behind designing fonts, scripts, road signs, sign boards, billboards, advertisements, religious imagery. Equally, there is a lot of intelligence involved in understanding the subject of communication to begin with before deciding what and how to communicate. I guess what I am saying is that the same amount of intelligence is required in writing and in painting. Afterall, isn’t writing/verbalizing all about creating mental imagery? 😀 How does a writer communicate this type of information:
    Understanding Bangalore's public transit needs.
    Whither Planning?

    The thing that makes one APPEAR more intelligent than the other is that a lot of the time we equate knowledge with intelligence and writing is a more intelligible and more direct medium of communicating knowledge, especially quantitative type knowledge. Painting can awe people but very difficult to communicate and quantify reality. Even if a painter draws 127 people behind a king, it is difficult to communicate that the king’s personal detail consisted of 127-armed guards.

    I want to rewrite this whole thing, too lazy now. But the basic point is this. To create requires the same amount of intelligence whether it is a rocket or an imagery of a rakshasa. It is only in the perception and in value users assign to what is created that one appears more intelligent than the other.

    One way to think about philosophers is about the time scales of the problems they consider. poets capture a movement of life which happens in short moment of life. Philosopher’s problems have a much larger time scale typically. Ofcourse there are philosopher poets. J Infact in the east 95% of philosophers are either poets or pithy writers. In the west to the same crap they write pages and pages. No wonder we have global warming. Lot of hot air.

    Enuf said. Apologies for unsolicited funda haering.

  5. parijata Says:

    I second Aram. Comparing a rocket scientist with a musician is amusing, but not rewarding.

    Some autistic children have a great ability to paint /sketch, etc, but does that make them more intelligent? For all practical purposes they are mentally retarded! One’s area of “intelligence” is a factor of genes, and what part of the brain is more active (sorry, I am fresh from reading V.S.Ramachandran).

    There is another example that I would like to give. The shatAvadhAni, Dr R.Ganesh, regularly participates in programmes called kAvya-chitra. Here, based on audience’s requests, Dr.G composes poems, and (usually) BKS Varma draws pictures. The programme I attended had another dimension to it, viz, yaksha-nRitya. So, Dr.G would write poetry, a couple of musicians would compose music to the poetry, BKS Verma would draw a picture, and yakshagAna artistes (led by Mantap Prabhakar) would perform to the music. Within a span of two hours, there were some four prasangas. Everybody’s performance was amazing, IMO. But Verma was certainly the star of the evening, because people could understand his art better than yakshagAna or poetry!

  6. neelanjana Says:

    May be it is to do with the areas in the brain that interprets various messages. Yes, for some people reading a book may give more joy or fulfilment than listening to Balamurali singing sunAdavinOdini. But I am not one of them LOL. It is probably a cultivated trait too, based on what you have grown with.

    But one thing is for sure – If an artist (or a writer) does not enjoy himself while producing that work of art, he sure can’t make a rasika enjoy it.

    BTW, I thought people celebrated Xmas on Dec 25th 😉 Yes, It could not have been in winter at all at the latitudes of Bethlehem. It should at least be spring (if not early summer) when Jesus was born.

    So what’s your theory behind sampUrNa rAgas?

    -neelanjana

  7. Aram Says:

    Re: intelligence vs. musicians

    In Carnatic music, I believe that rhythm is given equal or even more importance than melody. I am told that rhythm involves intricate mathematical patterns and that the top rhythmists have a very high degree of mathematical intuition. Mathematics as we all know is the servant as well as the queen of science.

  8. Srik Says:

    Should I call everyone is a poet and everyone is intelligent?!!

  9. parijaatha Says:

    hahaha..very amusing!

    You cant compare a lion to an apple.So all arts are different and the flavors of intelligence we have is varied.

    Mass appeal cant be used as a parameter to judge the genius of an artist 🙂


  10. @ Aram:
    Comparison certainly spoils appreciation, I agree. As you can see, we were just havign too much time and little fun, that’s all 🙂

    @ tarlesubba:
    My simple response: “Darwin”. What is perceived to be more important makes you more famous. what is perceived to be more intense makes you more intelligent.

    @ pArijAta:
    I agree with you. As for your ‘gIta-saMgIta-kuMcha’ example, I am sure people were awed by BKS Verma in that program. So, tell me, if there is a painting exhibition and a music concert, how many people would go to the painting exhibition and how many would go to the concert? See, how the change in time, place and intent changes the choices which people make?

    @ neelanjana:
    Yes, the creator ahs to enjoy his creation first, only then will the others appreciate it. As for the rAga, not my theory, I was just explaining him the naming…kA-di-nava, TA-di-nava etc.

    @ Aram:
    Mathematics IS the queen…yay!!! But, it always bugged me that chemistry is king of sciences…gawd, whoever came up with that!!! (I always topped my class in chemistry, but hated it).

    @ Srik:
    I think that’s a good start 🙂

    @ parijaatha:
    Mass appeal can certainly not be used to judge the genius, but hey, at that point it boils down to whether the artise wants to be ‘good’ or ‘famous’. It’s the choice he or she ahs to make.

  11. Aram Says:

    “it always bugged me that chemistry is king of sciences”

    I did not know this.

    I understand, however, that if the chemistry is not right between two partners, the holiest institution of marriage will start rotting.

    Does this mean chemistry is the king of romance and love? -:)

  12. tarlesubba Says:

    darwin(evolution)?? arthaaglilla. sort of a timeless problem you started with.

    newho… wanted to drop in an unsolicited reco….
    if you have not watched ondanondu kaaladalli recently watch it. i had not seen it before. saw it. simply blew my mind off. 30 years old movie, will beat “action movie” hands down nevertheless. what a movie.

  13. tarlesubba Says:

    ಮಿ. ನಂಗೂ ಸಂಗೀತ ಕಲ್ಸೊ.


  14. @ Aram:
    Oooh…I hope not, it’s full of acids!!!

    @ TS:
    Darwin, not wrt evolution, but wrt survival. Recently watched “Ranganayaki” again, and “Masanada Hoovu”. Actually, I haven’t watched “Ondaanondu Kaaladalli” at all. I will

    Yes, raaga Ranjini is a very nice program. but, I thought off late Praveen was diluting the program a little by bringing in too many raagas into a single episode.

    And going on a tangent, S uncle was full of praise for you. Apparently you had sent him some emails and stuff. He was thrilled to see that our generation is so civic conscious.

  15. tarlesubba Says:

    ‘mi … thanks man you made my day.


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