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If you go in to it thinking it's going to win Best Picture, you'll be thoroughly disappointed. I found it entertaining and a solid blockbuster flick. If you enjoyed the original two films you'll enjoy this one.

AfraidofVWoolf  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Where are you?


I am currently living in Los Angeles, U.S., but am originally from a bit further north, near the East Bay/San Francisco area of California. I'm attending university so, yes, I am on a break currently.

I get what you're saying and a lot of the cultural and social definitions of race are obviously a human construct, but for my initial problem, as a white mal, if I stand next to a black male, I'm going to see some physical differences, notably skin color. There are some biological differences between races, but the problem is that that there are a lot of culturally-defined groups of people that have somehow adopted the word "race."

I admit the word has changed over time, but my original dilemma still stands. If I'm trying to identify someone across the room, am I limited to saying "that human being over there," or maybe should I say "the darker-skinned guy."? I'm certainly not attaching any sort of cultural or social characteristics when I say "the black guy," I'm honestly just referring to the color of skin.

I don't like mentioning race in a lot of situations, like when the news is covering a piece on a criminal and they say "white male," "Latino woman," etc. because I feel like that can perpetuate those attachments we try to avoid. But in my situation, I don't think I'm attaching anything to it, and don't see why there's anything wrong with it.

AfraidofVWoolf  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Do we see reality as it is?

That's what I gathered. Although I'd change the your use of the word misinterpretation with something like what's presented to us. I don't think Hoffman believes we're incorrectly identifying or constructing something, just that we're only able to perceive what's shown to us, or the "folder" as he says.

Yes, there are definitely people who study this and can get P.h.ds in Music Theory I believe, but obviously not all of it is relevant to someone just trying to learn basic piano skills.

I'd say that for making learning and playing the piano easier you should learn about chord structures and progressions, so that you can essentially "free-style" if that makes sense. You'll find that a lot of songs follow the same progressions (you've probably seen the four-chord song on YouTube).

I'd also take a look at ear training so that you can have a better relative pitch (identifying what each note sounds like).

I'm not sure exactly where I'd "draw the line" but honestly if you just spent a few hours with the stuff above and had some charts handy while you learned it would be helpful. As a fan of music you might find it interesting as I do and want to go further with it. There's no way that I wouldn't help you, it just might not be necessary for the level of skill you're trying to obtain.

I know there's a lot of online resources that are free, but I personally haven't used any so couldn't recommend them myself. I have heard good things about teoria, but just look around to find something you like -- I'm sure there's even mobile apps for it.

AfraidofVWoolf  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Do we see reality as it is?

I really enjoyed watching this. It gave an interesting perspective and I loved the analogy with the desktop. I usually am fascinated by topics of reality and I suppose that this one isn't much different, but I couldn't help but think "so what?"

This is not necessarily saying that the idea is wrong, but wouldn't you think the purpose of philosophical thought or all sciences in general be to have an understanding that leads to change? Let's say that there is a more complex layer behind or simplified perception. What are we to do with that. Is Hoffman suggesting that with a more precise understanding we may be able to "tweak" the background, or "mess with the programming" if still using the analogy? If that's the case, then sure, let's explore.

If not, and it turns out to just be a bunch of 1s and 0s behind our reality that we can't really do anything with, then what's the point? Is there a reason to divulge ourselves with information that we are obviously not able to comprehend? I'd argue that if there is something there in the file folder that's different from what we are perceiving, it is so complicated that there's really no point.

As an aside, Paul Rudzuski, in the comments on the TED website for this video, writes:

    Here is a simple test of reality.

    Close your eyes and just walk. You know that table you bumped into? That flight of stairs you just fell down? That car that hit you? That's reality.

    Whether we construct it or not with our minds.

    Easy enough?

I'd like to think he completely missed the point. If I were to open my eyes and look at whatever table I just bumped in to, that would be the construction. Hoffman's argument was that the "table" might really not be what we perceive, and even commented on that with his analogy of jumping in front of a train.

Are you trying to learn to play classical music by reading sheets or do you just want to be able jam? In both cases, I'd suggest spending a lot of time learning music theory. A lot of the programs use pianos for a reference and could be something you use side by side, but at least a basic knowledge of music theory will help you tremendously.

I took piano lessons for two years about 10 years ago but didn't remember much. I stayed active in vocal performance and theory and have always been able to sit down and play single or two lines of music without problem. Anything more complex like a lot of famous classical pieces would need a lot of practice on your own specifically at a piano. I'd still say try that after having an understanding of music theory. It will make your life so much easier and will allow you to hear things a lot better as you play. It will make much more sense.

I'll answer with something sort of broad as well as something specific.

For the broad location, I enjoy being on the beach at night. I used to live in Long Beach, CA in a place that had beach access and would spend a lot of nights on the beach with a jacket and my headphones. Those were definitely some of the more peaceful moments of my life, and I miss them dearly now that I've moved more centrally.

For the more specific location, I really enjoy the Boardwalk Resort in Disneyworld. I've spent a lot of time there with family and loved ones, and the atmosphere and memories, along with it being in Disneyworld, make it one of my favorite places I've ever been.

As a side note, I've never been to Europe but have always dreamed of going to Paris, as cliché as that sounds. I have a feeling if I go there my opinions might change on my favorite place.

Well, I would never spoil a movie -- but no. That would be cool, though.

AfraidofVWoolf  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: America's struggle

Absolutely, that's something that people never seem to talk about. It's either A or B, and that's such a "black or white" (excuse the phrase) way of looking at it. The problem is, looking over a lot of the recent police shootings that have received major media coverage, whether it was racially-driven or not, the victims happened to be black.

AfraidofVWoolf  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: America's struggle

What part of the post was anti-white to you? The word "white" was only used twice, one when referring to white-only fountains, something that did happen in our history, and the second,

    White supremacy is a weight that continues to stunt the growth of the black american even today.

is, I'd agree, a pretty blanket statement, but to say it holds no truth in any area of the United States would be wrong.