Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-03-04 - 4:05 a.m.

Not as cold as yesterday but I seem to have a cold nonetheless which woke me early. Paul W mailed about De Leuze and Mark about parataxis. Last night I played the 20 odd tracks from Tim Hardin and they seemed even more incredible – one could not believe how they came to be. In so many ways they are the opposite of what known facts about the life would lead you to predict.

To deepen the comparison Amazon delivered to the factory D Graham (1967 in Hull) B Jansch (1974 in Glasgow) and JC Frank (1960 to whenever). Very good documentation with each. The JCF life is dark throughout except for an intense mid 60s period when he went out with Sandy Denny, got produced by Paul Simon won accolades from B Jansch etc. If you listen to the Simon Prager vid on KK Talking Heads you can hear how JCF built on aspects of country blues. TH is probably drawing on a later strand of blues – and of course the countrysinger trope of projecting strongly your life into the song. TH actually seems to do all kinds of reversals – the ‘I’ of the songs is more likely to be a ‘you’ in the biography quite often.

The other random thought – having listened to those ND bootlegs at the weekend – is how his guitar playing stands up to all comers – especially in terms of grafting the technique into contemporary song form – rather than using it for jazz standards or deepening traditional song.

But when it comes to conjouring a novel out of a two and half minute song there isn’t much between TH and ND – and there are slightly fewer TH songs than ND. The number of ND songs is about the same as the number of surviving Vermeers (pix not songs).

Bloor Ch2 is about finitism. The brute fact that whatever we do or say then finite numbers apply – and what this might mean for universality. Anything you like which appears to go on the same way without end. Bloor suggests that the brute fact of the finite means that its always an illusion – whenever we think that some relation of fact will always be the same. The sensation, compulsion, faith in the universal is engendered by our social relations. In that sense it is like Marx out of Hegel.

There is also a Ch towards the end about innovation which is potentially very radical. Those who favour the individual rather than the social always point to the isolated act of innovation as a counter example. Bloor sticks to his position and argues that this is more or less a contradiction – an innovation isn’t an innovation unless it is both conceived and recognized by someone who isn’t the conceiver. This is profoundly true of innovation – invention requires something more.


When you couple Bloor’s point with Popper’s – that innovations are not sitting around in the present not happening for some accidental set of reasons – (rather they are part what makes the future the future) ; then you get the idea that how the future unfolds depends on certain quite strong features of current social relations.

Across the world governments are trying to get the future to happen faster – because its happening so fast in China. (I heard that BBC promo which says that China will overtake the UK as the fourth largest economy in the world this year.)

So what governments are trying to realize is a weakening of the conservative, homeostatic elements of current social relations. There’s ample material for a Brave New World / 1984 style vision set 40 years or so hence in this state of affairs. Burke, the conservative, believed that the homeostatic machinery in society was impossible to understand but all the more essential because of it.

http://www.specialradio.ru/ well I never – I caught a piano trio on here improvising over Book 1 of the Preludes.

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