Iain Cameron's Diary
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2005-05-20 - 10:09 p.m.
The politics unfolded a bit more - thanks to Ian who sent me some recent UK work on new product introduction. The question is whether it is up to the global standard of competitiveness - I did some searching to track down what s on offer in the US just now . An organization which goes by the initials SAE.have got some good courses which look to me way ahead - we might be better off buying from them directly. My anchor in this is that I wrote the analysis of the industry’s requirement - so it is down to me to say whether an offering in response is up to scratch . I just have to watch my rep as a trouble-maker. I mailed Alan in Herts about his assessment on this as he has an updated Msc course in the area which is sponsored by Ford. I also tracked down a good German PPT on some of the issues which was presented in Detroit a couple of years back.
I mailed David about Toyota’s decision to start making hybrids in Georgetown Kentucky. One of the important consequences is the establishment of a new hi-tec supply chain in the state. The Ricardo newsletter arrived which always makes me think - there was a great article by Jeremy in Detroit about how Ricardo (who have a place in Leantown by the canal) had helped Ford develop their new hybrid SUV (Jeremy has a vintage strat and is into post punk). This really got me thinking and I tracked down an amazing MBA project related to this development where Ford put together a multi functional team of students at Carnegie Mellon. The Ford plant is in Kansas City - they have licensed a lot of Toyota technology.
Viv came in the afternoon - he and I are working on the West Midlands auto strategy. We worked on his model for a couple of hours and really ripped through it. He has worked for MIRA transferring expertise to the Koreans and has a good grasp of globalisation. The regional programme looks much more promising than the national level efforts. Viv and I wondered what was happening on the NEAC project - very much on my hitlist of revenue sources. I promised to send him my national strategy paper and the astonishing SKOPE 50.
The primacy of regional over national is the vision of Ed Balls - former G Brown adviser and now MP. His wife is also a MP - and a Minister. I still have to work out whether I am going to the House of Commons reception next week. Alan said he was going.. (Alan has given me a lot of good material for this project.) I suppose I ought to go as there is a link between the evaluation funds on the sponsors of the Commons reception Then I talked to Steve C about helping me out on the Auto College evaluation - this is in danger of being pushed aside by the motor racing projects. He has the special expertise to do the financial evaluation - in fact there is an eponymous method - thanks to DTI endorsement.
Mike asked if I had any Fraunhofer contacts as there is a supply chain study he wants to get hold of. Fraunhofer have bought the National Engineering Lab in East Kilbride and I have bumped into their man at Manufuture meetings at Loughborough - a thread I am keen to pull. (Fraunhofer have the IPR on the mp3 format.)
Stopped off at the same pub in the evening - its on the 400ft terrace - with a lot of memorabilia about a songwriter from the FWW . I picked up Architectures of Knowledge.- one the books I bought when I met up with Laurence in Oxford earlier in the year. The authors explain the available evidence on the social processes which generate new knowledge - both practical and theoretical knowledge. In a nutshell a kind of obsessive informality in a network is key. Do these people free-float? There is also an issue about free-floating photocopier repair engineers.
I ordered a copy of Ackroyd’s Ezra Pound for one dollar seventy six cents - transport will be rather more than that but its cheaper than the UK price all up.
Good article about Miss M’s influences on KK news - see button at the top of this page.
The next day I had lunch with David and Steve P who had been interviewing Bob as part of the David’s ESRC project. David is going to Detroit next week and is meeting up with Jeremy and so I gave him a copy of Jeremy’s Ricardo article - also showed him the Architectures book. We decided the authors must work at European universities.
Drove to Pear Tree parked and rode. The SKOPE meeting was at St Anne’s in the new conference centre - David had said the researcher was good and I must say I really liked his categorisation of general skills. His work showed that people with high level communication skills get a salary premium. I pitched in a link between his findings on deepening of computer skills in the late 90s in the UK and Geoff’s stuff on ICT investment and productivity in France Germany US and UK. This seemed to go down very well. (Geoff wrote SKOPE 50).
Great dinner in the Senior Common Room. I sat next to Jonathan from Wwk who is working on the political economy of skills - we ended up talking about it all from a Marxist perspective. Matthew was opposite and he had a link for me through to Carnegie Mellon. Also over the pre-dinner sparkling wine I had a long chat to Bill about the angles on the item I started with.
Drove home listening to more of Melvyn Barg and chums on aesthetics - I thought the Burke-Kant stuff might apply to 5LL. They played Meredith Monk’s Memory Song on Late Junction.
I am obviously eating too much.
Sublime and the beautiful - was discussed in gendered terms - grace and softness versus awesome angular power. The Kantian angle - that the sensuous aspects of the artwork interact with the rigorous structural side. The interaction is energised but not resolved - rather like sympathetic vibration. .
‘since the freedom of the imagination consists precisely in the fact that it schematizes without a concept, the judgement of taste must found upon a mere sensation of the mutually quickening activity of the imagination in its freedom, and of the understanding with its conformity to law. ‘ .
The imagination assembles the work as a sensuous entity - the understanding works with rules - somehow the imagination and the understanding are both ‘quickened’. So when we see art we see in a new hyper fashion - have you ever had that experience of falling out of the Hayward and seeing the South Bank as if it were (say) a Rothko or a Monet? .
‘it must therefore rest upon a feeling that allows the object to be estimated by the finality of the representation (by which an object is given).’ .
The Finality of the Representation refers to purposes - in aesthetic experience there is a strange mixture of apparent purpose and purposelessness. The latter arises because beauty/art is for its own sake and not for something else. Kant thinks that when we do art - as consumer - we are disinterested - maybe we even float freely? .
‘for the furtherance of the cognitive faculties in their free play.‘ .
As we come to know the sensuous work of art in its strange mix of purposefulness and purposelessness - our cognitive faculties move away from their habitual rule governed operation and start to ‘free play’. .
‘Taste, then, as a subjective power of judgement, contains a principle of subsumption, not of intuitions under concepts, but of the faculty of intuitions or presentations, i.e., of the imagination, under the faculty of concepts, the understanding’.
This is the nub - and its difficult. .
Intuitions being subsumed by concepts - that’s ordinary mental life - I turn around and think that’s my sister over there - a perceptual judgement..
Rather we are focusing on the ability to assemble a sensuous object - not the object assembled - this is the ‘faculty of presentations’. This feels like a second order thing. The music is just a sound - but our faculty of intuition kicks in and it is assembled as a meaningful sensuous entity But its both with and without meaning (as indeed music is). Being with and without meaning symbolises freedom . Kant liked things to conform to law - the categorical imperative works because the will (and its freedom) is reconciled with duty - the one thing which must be done - and so the freedom of the will resulted in deliberation towards lawlike socially harmonious behaviour. Clearly art is less tightly bound to duty. But nonetheless it is winding up the bit of the mental apparatus that works on rules. .
I suppose you could say that a tonic/dominant resolution is a sensuous entity - with a temporal direction - reduction in harmonic pressure. It appears purposive but actually doesn’t carry any purpose - none the less we hear a kind of narrative trajectory in it. We could give an account of this whole bundle in terms of rules but this would compromise the freedom in the sensuous side of the experience. .
What is this freedom? That the V7 could actually be followed by a IV7? It is a literal truth that the chord could progress in that way and we could construct a different narrative if it did..
So it seems that the freedom in the grammar of the music - which we experience - is part of the pleasure. Perhaps it is because we can hear the freedom in the grammar - because we hear it as music and not just as sound - that the judgement gets the odd frisson. When we hear sound we don’t know what it should be followed by - it could be followed by any sound. But when we hear music we hear structured sequence - a big surprise or a satisfied expectation. This wide range of meaningful possibility is inherent in our hearing music as music. .
So in the music there is an unfolding story-like dimension to the sensuous experience which both has meaning and doesn’t have meaning - its almost as if this dimension is to do with playing with a system. The playing around side carries the purposelessness - play too is for its own sake..
The idea I have been toying with is to with variety of what Kant calls ‘accord’. .
So the sensuosness of the three tonal centres in THTM - the implicit narrative - ‘accords’ with a bundle of rule-like stuff in the understanding. And of course the fact that it’s a song and has lyrics gives the understanding a few clues. .
It is the special nature of this specific ‘accord’ that is the place to focus. .
I think VFT is saying something like - to do poetry these days - which does justice to things today - I am going to flirt with bundles of rule-like stuff which come from an unusually wide range of sources. I have called the book Language-Games for at least two reasons - partly because to do this new kind of poetry I am going to play more ambitious games with language. And partly because this is an idea in Wittgenstein and I find his stuff fascinating. And then there is a bit more ‘strategy’ to do with perplexity about inner states.