Monday, January 21, 2002

There's no classes today, so I'll probably spend some time catching up on my composing, which slipped a little in productivity this week. This is actually the only federal holiday FSU allocates this semester, so I may as well enjoy it while I can.

This three article series that we had to read for pedagogy is a ridiculous waste of pontification. The original article, which I read on Saturday, was a rational comparision of three solmization systems: one fixed syllable and two movable syllable. By the end of his supposedly unbiased comparison, he was obviously advocating the movable systems over the fixed systems, with one system getting more adulation than the other.

The next article was jointly written by two advocates of the other movable system as a paragraph by paragraph rejoinder to the original article. Like kids in a sandbox arguing about whose dad could beat up who else, they took issue with the author's favourite system and proceeded to quote various passages to provide counter-arguments. Since they were apparently seeing things through a red haze, many of the arguments were unsupported, vague, or actually in agreement with the original article (but worded differently). I think my two favourite arguments were those that basically said "the perceived faults in our system are really just the result of stupid people who don't understand the system" and "music theorists are destroying our music students by emphasizing analysis over listening".

After this, Analogy Boy returned to the fray to defend his original article. Apparently, he wanted to take his flotilla of arguments and launch it from the anchorage of joint authors' harbour to show that they were sailing in the same direction. However, instead of providing any new information at all, he preferred to restate everything he said before in a quick introduction, and then spent the rest of the article brutally mocking the joint authors' short-sightedness and inability to understand complex issues through fantastic hypothetical situations and rhetorical statements. You could tell he was having a great time at their expense, but neither his article or the rejoinder provided any relevant information to the topic at hand. The whole thing reminded me of a flame war on Usenet from the mid 90s. Of course, we couldn't just read the first article for Pedagogy and call it a day; that would be too easy.

If you're in Pedagogy and you haven't yet read the two response articles, I'd imagine that you could have an intelligent conversation in class about them just by reading this News page. Who said this site doesn't have redeeming social value?

Alias was really good last night. I read somewhere that the creator of the show also writes the music. At least the show is good.

"Jazz will endure, just as long as people hear it through their feet instead of their brains." - John Philip Sousa

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