Hello world!

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was…”

Many of you will recognize that as the first words of John 1:1 in the Christian New Testament Bible. There’s also a cross-reference to the very first words of that Bible (Old Testament in this case), “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” And this is about words and about beginnings.

Others might recognize it as a conflation of the lead-in to a Moody Blues tune, OM, from In Search of the Lost Chord, and the title of a song from another album (yes “album”; I’m old), In the Beginning, from On the Threshold of a Dream.

In the former album, the spoken lead-in to OM is a 49-second track, The Word, has Graeme Edge explaining about the Lost Chord. He ends with the words, “To reach the chord is our life’s hope, and to name the chord is important to some, so they give it a word, and the word is OM.” That segues into OM, which is the final track on that album.

Understand that those spoken bits were–at least for me–one of the highlights of the Moody Blues. They were unique and deep and interesting. That bit about the Lost Chord is one of my favorites. Very mystical, and mystical fascinates me.

In the latter album, the first track, In the Beginning, contains the spoken bit I like most. For one thing, it’s the only one they did that involved more than one band member.  It has Edge (the nasty computer) plus Justin Hayward (the guy) and Mike Pinder (the guru). So it’s unique bit in a unique group of bits.

But what really catches me is the content.

It starts with Hayward’s line, “I think, I think I am, therefore I am, I think.” Which I think is a wonderful word play on the so very important statement by René Descartes, “Cogito ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am). That phrase is fundamental to much that I am, and it will be the topic of many a blog post down stream. In any event, the turnaround in the Moody Blues tune tickles me enormously: “Therefore I am, I think.”

Or as I sometimes put it, “I am, therefore I think.”

Which is why I’m here (I have no idea why you’re here; what did you hear?).  I am.  I think. At least, I think I think. Which, according to Descartes, means I am. (According to another philosopher, “I yam what I yam,” but I don’t think it applies in my case, since I don’t care for yams.)

But I digress.  But get used to it; I digress a lot.  That’s another reason for this blog: so I can digress wantonly at will.

To return to the beginning and the word, this is the beginning of my blog of words. Why is it called Logos con carne?  Good question, thanks for asking.  You’ll find the answer on the About page.  So go read that; I’ll wait.

So now that you know we can begin. With words, words, words.

Actually, we’ve about come to the end of the words for now.  I mostly just wanted to say, “Hello! Welcome! Drop by any time; our doors are always open.”

I will close with this: today would have been my 13th wedding anniversary. It isn’t, because the whole marriage thing turned out to be a disaster (and, yes, I am bitter; very, very bitter), but it seemed an appropriate date to begin this blog. There’s also that whole “American Independence Day” thing. Fireworks, Founding Fathers, Freedom, etc. Plus I know some people who were born this day, and there’s a relative who died.  Big day, the Fourth of July. Big enough to demand a Fifth. Of Tequila.

It’s also one month after I entered the blogosphere and started my Minnesota Twins baseball blog.  But the more I baseball blogged, the more I wanted to blog about, well, lots of stuff other than baseball.  I’m pretty certain I have more than enough words for two blogs.

So it begins.

Here I am.  I think.

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

18 responses to “Hello world!

  • Chyina

    Talking about albums doesn’t make you old. It makes you cultured. Besides, before I moved to Aus. I had over 300 LPs and loved every one of them.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      And I hear vinyl is making a comeback! Those old LPs may be worth something someday.

      • Chyina

        I think they’re worth something already, but it’s good that others are falling back to them.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        I have a major hearing loss, so any of the supposed advantages of vinyl are lost on me. I do have to say I rather like being able to carry my entirely music library (over 7000 tunes) around in my iPod. What I always found intriguing about vinyl is that, if the recording process is all analog, then in some sense there is a chain of physical reality that leads all the way back to original music.

        The instrument physically moved the air particles, the air physically moved the microphone, the electrons in the mic cable send a physically signal to be physically recorded by magnetic tape. Later those magnetic domains are used to physically move the cutting lathe to make the record. More physical processes stamp out the records (at one point, one of the molds is called a “mother stamper”!). The physical grooves in the record move the needle in your player, which moves electrons which moves your speaker cones, which move the air particles, which move your ear drum allowing you to hear the sound.

        In some sense, the musician reached out and shook physical reality all the way to your eardrum. With digital, it’s all numbers. There are interesting things about that (no degradation through copying), but it’s just numbers.

      • Chyina

        I could not agree more. There is something far more tangible about the vinyl record. I had all three speeds/sizes of LPs in my collection, but had a hard time finding the cylinders. To this day I’ve only ever seen pictures of the original records. It hurt quite a bit to give those up when I came to Australia. But they did go to another vinyl lover, so I can’t complain too much.

        There are certainly advantages to the digital recordings, but given the choice I would still pick the LPs. Personally, I don’t have an MP3 player of any kind. My phone can play music that I put on it, but can’t handle the how much it takes to actually play them, so it skips and sputters. So that advantage is not mine, yet.

        But in the end it does feel less personal or real compared to the old way.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        My iPod doesn’t have the skipping issue, although with over 60 gigs of tunes, the menus are very slow. Even the volume control seems unresponsive at times. Time to upgrade, I think. Originally I’d bought an 8 gig Nano iPod, but I filled it up that weekend and had only ripped about 1/3 of my CDs. So I went back and traded for the iPod Classic (120 gigs), which is now just over half-full.

        My hearing is so bad that the quality loss isn’t an issue, and the iTunes compression standard is a fair bit better than MP3 (but is still a compressed scheme, so there is a quality hit). Given that my ears wouldn’t know what to do with higher quality sound, it works really well for me. I use it at work a lot, and it’s nice having the whole music library on tap.

      • Chyina

        My ears may know the difference but having high quality has never been a high priority with me. Guess that’s why I never minded vinyl, when others said it sounds like crap. *shrugs*

        Funny thing is I use to listen to music almost non-stop. Though my BF is a musician (as am I), I’ve noticed I don’t listen to it as much. Not sure why. My love for it hasn’t diminished.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        But you see, there are those who say they sound better. The husband of an old high school friend, for example, claims he can hear the loss of quality due to digitizing. (Generally speaking, these people are wrong; what they’re really hearing is just the difference, and they aren’t used to the cleaner sound and greater dynamic range.)

        All that said, there is still that analog thing, and you definitely do lose information when you digitize. (That’s kind of the whole “thing” about chaos mathematics… once you round off reality, forget about any real accuracy. And hence the unreliability of the weather report.)

        So, it ends up being one of those things with good arguments on both sides, no clear “right” or “wrong” so… whatever works for ya!

      • Chyina

        I like them both, but as we said before there is just something more real with the old records.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Oh, we totally agree on that!

  • Lady from Manila

    I did it! I was able to scroll all the way down until I reached this very first post from you. Yay!
    Now I badly need (panting…) that other glass of wine up there. Can you please hand it over to me? 🙂

    I found out I have a lot to read and learn from this amazing and exciting blog. I’ll be initially starting with the ones that are of greatest interest to me and then click Like when I finish. Hope it’s just fine with you. This is truly one of the best blogs I’ve ever seen, WS.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      You badly need panting? 😛 {{Sorry, couldn’t resist!}}

      Here’s your wine (but there isn’t much in the glass…it’s almost as if someone drank most of it):
      glass of wine

      And thank you! I’m glad you enjoy the blog. It’s in part a work for me, but it’s also very much for those who can appreciate it. I’m delighted that you do, my new friend!!

      • Lady from Manila

        He he.. I was in a hurry to let you know I made it this far, even if I wasn’t sure I used the correct punctuation. Please apprise me on how I should have treated that sentence? I’d appreciate it so.

      • Wyrd Smythe

        There was nothing wrong with what you wrote. It was just a cute juxtaposition of words, so (as I said) I couldn’t resist a little word play!

        The whole idea of inserting emotive clues in writing is “dealer’s choice.” It’s an art, you’re the artist, so do whatever you like. If you’re interested in the most common way, I think most use square brackets more than parentheses (leaving the latter for inserted thoughts). But there really is no wrong way.

        That said, let’s get really picky and precise. We’re going deep into minutia here; uber pedanticism. The word, “pant,” probably is probably most often used with regard to animals. Dogs, in particular, pant. The word just means “breath hard” so it clearly does apply to all, but it’s more common to hear it used for animals. Another common use is in writing about human sexual/sensual experiences; “panting with desire” isn’t an unusual phrase. Its animalistic and sensual nature makes it a strong word that calls attention to itself (which is why it caught my eye, I suppose). Ultimately, the word may carry a bit more freight than you really intended. [gasps for breath] And italics can be useful to set an inserted emotive off from the text.

        {{Never ask a pedant for an opinion unless you really want to know! :lol:}}

  • Lady from Manila

    Oh, but I really want to know where I’ve gone wrong. So any helpful comment from you means a lot to me. I didn’t study English hard when I was younger which is one of my regrets these days. I could have been a better writer if I’d taken the time and real effort because I am currently engrossed with the language. I also had no role model in my younger years, and we had access only to Philippine grammar textbooks which, I have to admit, weren’t competently good or enough. Uber Pedanticism is finely appreciated – as it can be valuable for someone like me. 🙂

    You’re right. It would have been better if I’d used brackets. And I couldn’t think of any other word then – aside from “panting” – because it really took time for me to go down while scanning at each topic simultaneously. I had a great time doing it although it was a bit exhausting (You had been an industrious blogger. Delightfully.). Next time, I’ll use “gasping for breath.”

    Thank you for explaining things to me and if you don’t mind my stretching your kindness; can I ask how you are able to italicize letters, words and phrases in a comment? Just this one final question, please… 🙂

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Well, in point of fact, your English is much better than many native-speakers here. I’ve been impressed by the content on your blog. (Which I keep meaning to visit and spend some time with; oddly, despite being retired, my days continue to be pretty full!)

      Do I understand correctly that you teach English (as second language)? Okay, I’ll be free with comments about yours. Such comments are always intended to promote growth and excellence, never to put down.

      I know what you mean about having to page down and down and down to read a person’s first blog. I created an Index and a Reading List to get around that (and there are some other ways, the calendar, for example). But if you were also scanning as you went, then all that paging is the only way!

      (I do wish other bloggers had some sort of link to their first post. When I meet a new blogger and decide to follow them, I like to (if possible) go back to “page one” and read forward to see their evolution and course. With long-time productive bloggers, that’s a formidable task, and sometimes I just go back a few years.)

      Regarding the italics: Obviously when you’re replying to comments on your own blog you have the same formatting tools as you do when writing a post. When commenting on another blog, you don’t. But the comment box does allow HTML (some of it anyway), so you can use <em> and <strong> tags for <em>italics</em> and <strong>bold</strong>. Note the use of the forward slash (“/”) in the closing tag. You can find more details in one of the myriad HTML tutorials out in the ‘web.

      I hope that isn’t really your final question… Questions are Good, and I love them around here. I wish more readers asked questions.

      • Lady from Manila

        You got that right. I used to be an accountant and a bookkeeping instructor who ended up as an ESL teacher for SK students some six years ago. I enjoy my job better now. Here in the Philippines, academies do not require instructors for SK students to have formal training or be armed with diplomas in the English language. Which means I remain a work-in-progress as an English teacher.

        No problem even if you don’t visit my blog or read my sappy posts. I haven’t been writing anything there recently anyway. I am planning to set up a new (saner) blog minus any mushiness and the cheesy pieces – but when it’s done, I might compel you to drop by. he he.

        Thank you for your kindness and generosity once more, Wyrd. I’ll try italicizing that way as soon as I can. Oh, thank you, too, for allowing me to ask questions anytime. I might have to do that especially when I get to your more informative and educational posts. I’ve initially read the lighter ones. Because when I get to the heavier parts, I will have to take out my writing notebook and start jotting down notes. That’s my learning style. 🙂

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Whatever works! The cool thing is the desire to learn!! As I’ve said, your English is excellent! Better than a lot of natives!

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