Iain Cameron's Diary
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2004-04-29 - 6:04 a.m.
Claire explains Deleuze so well. Could we have had Romanticism without the figure of Byron - she asks, expecting the answer “no”. The colourful personality helped fuel the movement and focus subjectivity on certain models. Experience becomes funnelled into certain patterns and motivations.
We might say – in contrast - there just “is” experience without subjects or objects, inside or outside. Just intensiveness and intensities.
Paul and I touched on this discussing the Observer piece. I might have said that Chopin is reported in unusual terms within the Romantic model– someone whose experience in the world is less decisively owned and therefore more available to others.
Totton published a book last year as editor – he wrote one article in the collection where he mentions Freud’s view that sometimes there just is experience in a way that circumvents ownership. Experience - a - deux. Don’t even think about trois. A better reflection might be “We are everywhere.”
Have I mentioned that the Australian author of Going For Jazz is at Lancaster now having left the jazz station in Sydney. What happens when 4 or more go for jazz? How individualised or collectivised is the experience? Could Descartes busk? Would he have been any good in sessions? Eight tunes in three hours. D D D D D De De loose. Stay loose. Lancaster is the home of soft systems analysis. Some say that they should read more Habermas.
Radio 3 were in this area last night – talking about personal identity and starting off with Descartes identity as a thinking thing. They spent a lot of time on Weber and Nietzsche – W is very much the predecessor of Habermas. The issue was what happens to identity when too much of the lifeworld is taken over by means-ends logic? Habermas tries to find a way through by elevating the respect for “the other” which is inherent in communication.
At that Totton launch I met some people who know the classicist that gave Cage the I Ching. Leibnizian.
I read some reviews of Closer on a strange Julian Cope site. Someone suggests that there are two values of the “s” – both proximity and shutting. I played it and heard it in a new way – on the line from Paris 1919 to late Nico.
The Cope site has an intriguing enthuse about a recent lovingly created MC5 documentary.
I have been listening to the Rhythm kings. On the Spaceward page on the Highveld site – see button above – there’s a Les Paul quote about Bill Wyman. Having heard it in a medium sized hall and now on the car CD I think he may have passed across something special.
James Jamerson got the fullness in the bass sometimes by using a string bass and a Precision together and partly through the wire wound strings on the Precision. BW gets a similar low wave of sound rolling out.
The band do what they promise in the title – sometimes the rhythms reach back well into the swing period. Albert Lee sounds much funkier than live with his own band. You can hear the clarity of the Musicman to Fender rig but the phrasing is raunchier. I suppose it’s the company.
Bad weather today – on the M6 I listened to Airport Music on the way to Birmingham – it did well as Music for the M6 in challenging driving conditions. The meeting was eventful but the drive back was hard – bad weather and queues. I had a long chat to my boss about all the forces circling.
Back to Weber’s means/ends rationality I have made a little model of the European automotive manufacturing sector. The model says that if you look at the percentage of the workforce employed making cars as opposed the bits that go into the carsO and then multiply it by three and subtract 15 – you will get a number which gives you an idea of the labour cost element in value added. Countries like Sweden where most of the workforce are making vehicles have a lot of excess cash
There’s another way of doing the sums starting with the same percentage. Multiply it by 1.5 and take away 6O to get the number of thousands of Euros available per worker year as margin after you have paid the labour costs.
It sounds bizarre but if you take the 1OO% case then you get around 9OOOO Euros – which is a figure which ties in with some of the really productive Japanese plants which are in the Uk. This sounds like a lot of dosh but the annual capital costs are very heavy – so much equipment is used in the factory to assemble the car. About half that excess will go on new equipment for each worker each year eg to introduce new models or to bring new features into existing models or to speed the rate at which cars are produced.
The model also says that you can’t have a viable automotive sector just making the bits which go into cars without making the cars themselves. A lot of people believe this is true but its less clear why it might be true.
Tonight we celebrate the Automotive College. This was the project through which I met Peter Chatterton who through his work on the Cable and Wireless College was brought in to advise on the use of IT in supporting learning which was a big part of the original conception.
The College was part of the set of proposals in the early 199Os which set up the organization which now pays my wages. But the format of the College took a long time to work out and it was down to me to decide whether to fund it or not – which I did – after giving the sponsors quite a hard time.
Peter and others had the idea that the College would be something called a SMART Partnership – a way of different organizations working together without having a central organizational entity. It’s part of the virtual world.
It would take a long time to explain the links between the Automotive Academy and the Automotive College. One difference is that the College was led by a couple of ambitious former polytechnics with string automotive roots whereas the Academy is led by industry. In practice a lot of the experience gained in the College has gone to the Academy because people like Peter have moved across.
Anyway the problem the celebration is that the morning after I have two meetings in St James about the contract that is helping me meet my income target this quarter.