Re: ART: Mental-enhancing music

Ryan T. Bickel (
Mon, 7 Sep 1998 22:41:11 -0700

-----Original Message-----
From: Anders Sandberg <>
To: <> Cc: <> Date: Monday, September 07, 1998 10:38 AM Subject: Re: ART: Mental-enhancing music

>Kathryn Aegis <> writes:
>> If someone were actually writing a program to produce the 'perfect'
music, I
>> would have to tell that person: don't give me what I want, don't play
>> notes I expect to hear--give me something to blow away the flabbier
>> knife-edged to cut away complacency, trash my assumptions and leave me
>> floundering in the deep end of the pool....
>Hmm, isn't that truly extropian music in the sense that it helps you
>grow and develop? (the floundering part might need some help, through
>- I always think the artist should give the audience a sporting chance
>It is also interesting from an information theoretical point of
>view. Music you can predict doesn't give you any new information - it
>is the unexpected stuff that is information-rich. Of course, not all
>information is equal.
>Anders Sandberg Towards Ascension!
>GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y

It seems that the most 'xtropian' music is that which fosters a sense of connection to the music. To say that our ears and our capacities for comprehending music must be challenged with something that would "blow away the flabbier neurons" is only half of the picture. My appreciation for music as a welcome staple in the extropian diet has largely stemmed from its power to conjure up repressed memories and past states of consciousness otherwise inaccessable without that feeling that this music is not only being heard but is seeming so familiar to me that it must be manifested in me somehow--almost as if I arranged the sound(s). I think it must be remembered that music, like any other form of energy, and as far as we're concerned, is just a language. Therefore, I would think it impossible to write a program that creates a universally 'information-rich' sound. All music is filtered in a sense by the individual. The brain, then becomes a sort of effects processor--what happens after this is dependent upon the sum of the individual's total life experience, or at least how much he can recall at the moment.
I certainly agree that music must contain this "knife-edged" element about it, a sense of it being completely foreign--I see this as introducing yourself to new languages, new energies, stimulating consciousness otherwise on it's way to 'flab'. But I see human extropy not only as a future idea but something in our past as well.
Isn't everything we discuss here on this list about 'the discovery of the discoverer?'
Music is a tool, a platform in which to build languages--languages that may not yet exist are only languages which haven't yet been flowing through our filter in a duplicate manner.

Likewise, music must be as ignorable as it is interesting.

Ryan T. Bickel