Friday, February 15, 2013

Badass Fugue

This is the last movement of the F minor quartet from Haydn's Op. 20 set. What's this? Not the jaunty classical Haydn you are used to? That's right. This is a double fugue. The 2nd violin presents the first subject, then the viola follows up with the second one. It's incredibly intellectual and exciting music.

In a "regular" fugue, each instrument enters with the melody (called the subject) one at a time.  A series of episodes and returns to the subject follow, through different keys and variations.  In this double fugue, there are two subjects - just to make it even cooler.

It’s only about three minutes, so be sure to listen to the whole thing! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013


I realize that we live in an age of sound bytes and bumper stickers, and what we need is more reasoned discussion.

But I love expressing ideas compactly!   Perhaps catchy phrases, at their best, can stimulate thought and conversation?   Plus they are fun to work on, like a poem or a musical phrase.

Here are a few that I have collected over the last year.  Many of them are somewhat similar, as I have tried different approaches to similar ideas.   You may or may not agree with all of them, but I hope you enjoy some of my slogans!

Yelling “Tyranny!” feels more effective than “I disagree with your position because it is incrementally different than mine!”

True justice is an expression of love, not its counterweight. 

If you want to learn it quickly, practice it slowly.

Your work is what you make.  Your income is what you take.

Nothing produces libertarians faster than the other guy winning.  

For your family, your income is what you make.  For your society, your income is what you take.

The only true revenge is rehabilitation.

It is amazing that people can think on the one hand that government is incompetent and on the other hand that it is perpetrating vast conspiracies.

Symbols convey truths that cannot be adequately expressed with vernacular language.

Labels, like nets, are useful at capturing ideas, but they miss a lot through their holes.

Common sense is only useful when one understands the context.

Efficiency is only worthwhile if it leads to greater well-being.

Sometimes freedom is more a product of your perspective than of your circumstance.

Faith is not the same as belief.  

Our understanding relates to our experience as a part to a whole.

“Living within our means” is ultimately a question of our resources, not our finances.  (with apologies to the economists at

Love is looking at another and seeing yourself.

There is always room for a reasonable leap of faith.

In a society of conformity, we focus on difference.  In a society of diversity, we focus on commonality.

Hope + Trust = Faith

Faith is not our problem.  The abuse of faith is our problem.

Closing our eyes to empirical reality is an abuse of faith.