— Ethan Zuckerman at My Heart’s in Accra. Brief glimpses of other lives
Thomas de Zengotita in The Hedgehog Review.
Ethics and the Limits of Evolutionary Psychology
-This is a stupid quote, and I have always loathed it. The solitary province of mankind is to attempt to describe that which is experiential in whatever mode is most evocative. Just as music is sometimes the best way of describing a phenomenon- phenomenon in this case used in the philosophical sense, although certainly it can be true in the purely scientific sense- so, too, can writing sometimes be the best mode of conveying ideas about music that are not immediately available to the human perceptual and critical apparatuses upon intake of the thing in itself. Writing about music is like dancing about architecture insofar as both circumstances involve an attempt at communication beyond purely conventional experiential modes, but, were we to extrapolate this logic, we could contend that music ABOUT anything is invalid as it is viewed as conventionally ineffective at conveying the plurality of the perceptual intake of a thing, and we aren’t contending that music ABOUT things is invalid, are we? And, furthermore, what’s wrong with dancing about architecture? Ask a smart dancer: I bet they’d find a way to do it. This idea that the thing in and of itself, as experienced by purely momentary perceptual actions, is the only valid experience from which to draw upon in the critical appraisal of a thing, invalidates lifetimes of painstaking work to afford meaningful thought behind these objects presented for critical appraisal. Things not immediately available to perception are often of paramount importance to delivering an effective portrayal of the information contained in a thing. Does knowing the ideas behind a thing’s creation, behind its intention, behind its creator not ENHANCE the clarity of this picture? (via zombielectroniq)
Yes, I that’s why an illustration, for example a painting of a bird, can be so much more informative than a photograph.