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Re: From a note to Ken Knowlton about ZigZag
- To: "zigzag@xxxxxxxxxx" <zigzag@xxxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: Re: From a note to Ken Knowlton about ZigZag
- From: Peter Barus <ViPr@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Mon, 29 Jun 1998 16:49:13 -0400
- Reply-to: zigzag@xxxxxxxxxx
- Sender: Peter Barus <ViPr@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>> The object of ZigZag (most grandly generalized)
Thank you! This is great.
I often resort to the shovel and the violin. Two instruments I have played
long, if not well, in life. The shovel is the irreducible thing I thought
we should have sent into space, instead of that silly picture of two naked
people on a plaque. What will They think? There's a race of flat beings?
Anybody out there smart enough to know what is implied by a shovel is
somebody I might want to meet, and could maybe trust.
[There's an interesting scifi book about lightspeed ("relativistic") bombs
arriving in the Solar system because "We are the World" got broadcast, and
Somebody Bad heard it, the logic being that you have to bomb the other
before he might bomb you, or you are risking your species' existence, and
that's what he will think, if he can think at all...]
The Violin, on the other hand, is irreducibly a violin. You can't remove
anything and still have one. But not just anybody can use one, whereas a
shovel is somewhat more widely accessible.
Zigzag it seems, is a sort of setup of the necessary principles one needs
to create violins. A matrix, but more and less than a matrix. If I even
understand the term. "Paradigm" is a lousy word for "model", cause nobody
who uses it has looked it up in the dictionary. In the violin/shovel
metaphor, I'd suggest it is something like a voice, or maybe it is a ditch,
in the sence that a shovel implies "ditchness".
Remember when somebody thought it would be neat to make a string family
that were all perfectly alike, and graded in size and range? They made
viols in five or six sizes, so you had instead of four distinct voices, a
range of string sounds that went from top to bottom as if on the same
string. It never got very far in the musical community, but it was a
wonderful concept, and a triumph of fiddlemaking.
What do you think? Does zigzag accommodate the quirky, lumpy aspects of the
human machine? Can it be left-handed? Can it have a charming accent?
Bach came up with a way to tune a piano in which he cheated a little bit,
to even out the intervals between not-enough-pitches, so his music would be
playable. It's my thought that you are working at this level in relation to
the microchip, though I don't mean you are cheating that way. So what is
it, do you have music that can't be played on the current instruments, or
That's what's wrong with kids these days. Not enough sax and violins <g>.