Sounds of life: Defending myself against criticisms

A lot of people don’t like my ideas or my music. That makes sense. The music is the practical realisation of my philosophy, and so being treated as a politician is what I expect in releasing music and posting my ideas. I would like to give some principles which guide my thinking and music making, principles which I believe are relatively well-founded, and therefore serve as foundations for justifying what I do.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy summary of Hegel’s dialectics.

1. Doubt: I don’t agree with most ideas or ways of making music, so I don’t try to.

2. Belief: I want to believe in something, even though it’s tempting to believe in nothing, so I try.

3. Hope: I want the world to be a better place, and will try to.

4. Despair: I think the world is a bad place, and so it’s hard to try.

5. Balance: I think it’s always important to balance positive ideas with critique, and hope and despair, so I give that a try.

Indeed, I believe the central idea of my philosophy and my music is the idea of NEGATION. This is an idea in Hegel, and posits that we should reject all ideas which are unconvincing. This led predecessor Descartes to come to the only idea of the self, and philosopher Plato to endorse the idea or form of the good. I don’t think these ‘absolute foundations’ make much sense, even if they are construed relatively. I prefer a working set of principles, as I believe this is a purer philosophy than the absolutism which pragmatism entails. True Platonism, I think, is relativism. We cannot be sure of anything, and to try is to lead to constant dead ends.

Better to live in the moment; a philosophy of flow. I fear that Jacob Collier’s music, for instance, ends us in a dogmatic place where all we care about is harmonic complexity. There is more to music than this; and when music is all about technical skill, it is about nothing at all.

I also don’t like the cult of bureaucratic efficiency, ‘Pomodoro techniques’, and suchlike. I think this is tyrannical. I also think universities’ league table / ranking methodology of acquiring staff is bizarre, and journals are generally mediocre in their output. Moreover, I think age is not a qualification of wisdom, and intelligence is sometimes possessed by the youngest of people — but neither is youth a qualification for knowledge and wisdom. Status matters — but only insofar as it is imbricated with power, which tends to alienate truth.

Plato recommended a unity of truth and power. The worst possible thing, however, is false unity. Too often, Foucauldian ‘power/knowledge’ systems rule our lives, telling us what to think and how to live. There is nothing I hate more than despotism, manipulation, and domination of one person by another. We are free — we should live by this principle.

In this sense, the one truth of our nature is power itself. When we forget that, we let power consume us and we forget truth. When we allow power to grow naturally, we prevent truth from becoming colonised artificially by this capitalistic hellworld in which we live. As Kanye West says on ‘Closed On Sunday’: ‘Watch out for vipers: Don’t let them indoctrinate’.

I have come not to destroy the law, but to realise it. Do to others only what you would have them do to you — this is the sum and total of the law. The only true function of the law is to preserve the liberty to live and live how we wish. True freedom is the only principle we should live by; freedom without slavery. Free yourselves — be free.

I am the future, the past, and the present. Watch as I rise.

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