Friday, December 30, 2011
The Origins of Industrial Music: With the arrival of Nikolaus Otto's internal combustion engine (ICE) in 1862, factory work became increasingly automated (more so than in the days when steam engines reigned supreme). Factory workers, especially in Otto's home country of Germany (which did not officially unify until 1871), began to incorporate the rhythmic sounds and vibrations of ICEs into their daily routines. The types of sounds that workers often heard included the engine's compression hiss and metal on metal clanging. In other words, the ICE was perhaps the earliest source of industrial music. Although James Watt's steam engine had existed in mills and factories for about 100 years at that point, it proved very inefficient when compared to Otto's ICE. And considering the mass production of automobiles (with ICEs) after the turn of the twentieth century, the industrial sound became both personal and widespread. However, it was not until the 1970s microcomputer revolution that bands like Kraftwerk and Tubeway Army could electronically re-create industrial sounds with their synthesizers.
Thursday, December 15, 2011
QUESTIONS!!!: Do I exist? How do I know I exist? Why do I exist? What does it mean to exist? For what larger purpose(s) do I exist? When will I not exist? Does existence precede essence? Why is existence temporary? How does existence relate to Faith? Will the length of my existence heighten or lessen my Faith? Is Faith without works dead? Will Faith alone (sola fide) bring my soul to eternal life? What is the soul? Does every body possess a soul? Do animals have souls? What happens to the soul upon death? What if I doubt the existence of death? How does doubt affect my Faith? Is doubt the origin of wisdom? Does doubt beget sin? Does doubt lead to despair? How does despair prevent me from 'dying the good death?' Will despair lead to revelation? Is revelation the origin of wisdom? Does revelation beget conversion? Is conversion the final determinant of salvation in the Faith-building process? What have I become? ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Am I dead? Does God exist? No, He is eternal.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Jonathan Swift and Anglo-Irish Satire: As a literary genre, satire is perhaps one of the most effective tools for social commentators to use while critiquing society. In Jonathan Swift's eighteenth-century writings, a unique blend of irony and sarcasm is certainly present. By ridiculing some of the more pervasive problems in Anglo-Irish culture, such as poverty and prostitution, Swift seeks to shame his readers (fellow countrymen) into improving Britain's lot. For example, in his 1729 A Modest Proposal, Swift famously argued that Ireland's poor ought to sell their children as food to the wealthier classes in British society. In doing so, the poor would eradicate their biggest economic burden while simultaneously feeding others. Swift even outlines a variety of ways to prepare children for cooking, so as to obtain maximum flavor potential. This kind of political satire not only mocked British policies toward Ireland's poor, but also specifically derided the methodologies of noted seventeenth-century English economist William Petty. In fact, some of Petty's early ideas contributed to the development of modern economic concepts like the "division of labor" and the "labor theory of value." Yet Swift merely understood Petty to be a bureaucratic pawn in Oliver Cromwell's government: someone who fudged socioeconomic data to support public initiatives.