Author Archives: signature103

About signature103

Language teacher and researcher. Buddhist.

The end of an era in Japan

2019.

We don’t think much about it but it is the start of the Post-Christ era. Like everything else we need to place things relative to each other. Time is no different.

In Japan the Gregorian calendar is used in conjunction with the Japanese “nengo” or era name. The present era is Heisei, the name chosen for the present Emperor’s reign which started in 1988. The two Chinese characters of the name means “becoming peaceful”. And it has been relatively peaceful. This year, 2019, is the 31st year of his reign. But this will end on May 1st when he abdicates.

Abdication is not the norm for the Japanese imperial family. Usually they reign until death. This is perhaps only the second time in history that an emperor had abdicated, and the first in modern Japanese history. So the citizens have no idea what to expect.

The country is also holding its breath as to the name of the new era which is being decided by the government at the moment. We will find out on April 1st.

Regurgitator’s Pogogo Show – a review

The Song Formerly Known As was the first song that made me aware and like (love) Regurgitator. That was back in the late 90s. And my opinion of them has not changed since. They are what we like to call “big kids”. And this latest album – Regurgitator’s Pogogo Show (iTunes) is another example of their playfulness.

Regurgitator collaborated Australia’s national television and radio service, Australian Broadcasting Commission, to produce an album for children (perhaps for the first time in their careers) and one that is relatively children-friendly … for their standards. The iTunes blurb points out without exaggeration their style which traverses punk, pop, electro, rock, hip-hop and funk. Regurgitator often, if not always, do this on a single album (and sometimes in a single song) without missing a beat. The blurb continues with where the inspiration came from (a toned-downed kids show they did of their songs in 2013). Their music is regularly a pastiche of music history genres. And on this album they have not deviated from this successful formula.

The album is a 17-track monster, moving along dizzyingly from Zelda-inspired RPG music, to rap, acid jazz, punk, computer-game funk, guitar-driven punk, light Japanese Cornelius-like indies, crazy-Bob country, garageband, old-school gangsta-rap, Ramones-punk, RPG story, Miami Vice intro-ed hip-hop song, a ukulele song, Shonen Knife punk, Cuban rumba, and ending with a clearly Kraftwerk-inspired electronic track.

The Gurg (as they are known to fans) are as cheeky as ever, toying with sounds that only they can. Having not lost any humour with age they have blended various styles effortlessly to create an album not only will kids enjoy (elements of The Wriggles) but also something for the adults who ultimately fork out the money. While the lyrics are written for kids in mind a couple of tracks will draw more than a giggle from adults. Mr Butt and Farting Is a Part of Life placed towards the end of the album will educate children empathy and reality. A well thought-out album collaboration that not only highlights the quality of Australian music (especially music for children), Australian values, but also just how underrated and misunderstood Regurgitator are. And this can be considered their first foray into the mainstream music consciousness.

This is only an album Regurgitator can make. They have not returned to being children because they had never left. While the fortunes have not been with them it is perhaps time to revisit some of their older works. Recommended is Dirty Pop Fantasy (iTunes). Thoroughly postmodern in the positive sense of the word, they have created an album which introduces to the next generation a breadth and variety of music that no other band could pull off, all the while being entertaining.

All tracks, except for the last track (The Robots), are under three-minutes long as appropriate for a children’s album.

Rating: 4.8 out of 5.

Tracks

  1. Fanfare Intro (0:34)
  2. Pogogo Show Theme (2:24)
  3. Favourite Song (2:05)
  4. I Don’t Wanna Dog (2:21)
  5. Games on My Computer (1:46)
  6. Pillow Fight (0:57)
  7. The Morning Theme (1:01)
  8. Pigeon Riding on a Motorcycle (2:34)
  9. Party Party Party! (1:34)
  10. The Box (2:23)
  11. Ghost Cat (1:55)
  12. Pogogo Show Story Time (2:09)
  13. Mr Butt (1:12)
  14. Farting Is a Part of Life (1:38)
  15. Best Friends Forever (2:15)
  16. Curumbo! (1:06)
  17. The Robots (7:05)

Naive or Direct Realism

Naive realism holds that its philosophy of perception can be summed up in the following way:

  1. There exists a world of material objects.
  2. Statements about these objects can be known to be true through sense-experience.
  3. These objects exist not only when they are being perceived but also when they are not perceived. The objects of perception are largely, we might want to say, perception-independent.
  4. These objects are also able to retain properties of the types we perceive them as having, even when they are not being perceived. Their properties are perception-independent.
  5. By means of our senses, we perceive the world directly, and pretty much as it is. In the main, our claims to have knowledge of it are justified.

I am satisfied with Statements 1 and 2.

But I have trouble with part of Statement 3 – “The objects of perception are largely, we might want to say, perception-independent”. “largely” seems to suggest that there is something that is perception-dependent.

The concept of object-property in Statement 4 is also problematic. Whether an object has properties or not is unknown.

And Statement 5 also suggests that perception is an unproblematic or non-existent medium. Direct perception must mean without needing sense faculties. A damaged eye or clouded view must necessarily suggest that the medium is not perfect and therefore not direct.

Meta-epistemology

When I first come online as a being (whatever that may be) is that I am confronted by a reality. I sense the reality but I do not know that I am sensing it. I only see “data” coming in. That data is somehow stored and slowly I begin to make sense (note the metaphor) of it. We call this experience and knowledge. As I build up my knowledge of the reality I begin to understand its limitations and possibilities within it. It is only after some time that I can understand what experience is, and what knowledge is, and that it may or may not a thing. Having these experiences I have to make a decision on how to perceive it and deal with it.

External reality and anti-realism

In anti-realism, the external reality is hypothetical and not assumed. This sounds like a reformulation of the veil-of-appearance argument. Our knowledge of the external world is one mediated by the sense, and never amounts to direct knowledge. The conclusion is that our perception of the world is secondhand information.

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and the last mind

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus is the latin title of Wittgenstein’s first and only work published within his lifetime.  It translates roughly to A Treatise on Logic and Philosophy.

The stance then is that of logic.

I do not agree that logic is the best place to start. Logic, to me, seems to be an activity of the mind. And the mind is physical object take performs such processes. To me, place to start is ontology and then epistemology.

Someone commented in a previous post that it is ironic that one must use logic to even start to ask ontological and epistemological questions. I agree. And that tells us something about the inescapability of the act of thinking in order to get to the understanding. Logic, in other words, is a physical act. Logic cannot occur without the availability of the body or mind. This extends to knowledge (the epistemological act) as well. Logic and knowledge do not exist without a mind perform these acts. When the last mind extinguishes form this world so too does logic and knowledge. What continues to remain is the physical world, the reality. And logic and knowledge will restart when another mind comes into (for lack of a better word) being.