Intro to Logic: Changing Your Mind

by Luke Muehlhauser on February 15, 2010 in Intro to Logic

Welcome to my course Intro to Logic (index). Here, we learn the basic skills of good thinking and their benefits in real life.

Some people are dogmatic. They are immune to evidence and argument. But one purpose of logic is to change minds. If you are presented with a sound argument that contradicts your views, you ought to change your mind.

Dogmatists ridicule people who change their mind as “unstable” and “flip-floppers.” Of course, many people do change their mind based not on sound arguments but due to the changing tides of emotion or public opinion. But that does not mean we should deride those who have the courage to change their mind when it is shown they are wrong.

The capacity to change your mind on the basis of sound argument, even late into life, is the mark of someone truly committed to critical thinking.

In 2008, Edge.org asked dozens of leading thinkers from across the globe:

What have you changed your mind about?

Here are some of the answers:1

  • Keith Devlin, mathematician: Mathematical Platonist –> NOT
  • Lee Smolin, physicist: Quantum reality is timeless –> Time is real
  • Paul Davies, physicist: Laws of physics are immutable –> NOT
  • Rupert Sheldrake, biologist: Skepticism is primarily an intellectual virtue, whose goal was truth –> Nope, it is used as a weapon.
  • Susan Blackmore, psychologist: I used to believe and prove the Paranormal  –> Now I prove it false

Your author likes to think he, too, can change his mind in response to argument and evidence. Here are some things he has changed his mind about:

  • The Beatles are the best rock band ever -> The Beatles are the most overrated rock band ever. [In 2005 I was persuaded by the problematic but still substantial arguments of rock historian Piero Scaruffi.]
  • Christianity -> freethought / atheism. [In 2007-2008, I was persuaded by such writers as Dan Barker, Michael Martin, and Robert Price.]
  • Religious sex-avoidance -> Sex positive. [In 2008.]
  • Republican -> Libertarian -> Empirical politics. [I was raised Republican, was attracted to Libertarianism in 2008, and then realized that politics didn't require ideology. It could proceed like a science.]
  • Libertarian free will -> No contra-causal free will. [Early 2009.]
  • A-Theory of time -> block universe. [Early 2009.]
  • Objective moral values are grounded in God -> There are no objective moral values -> There are objective moral values. [I lost hope of objective morality in 2008, but was tentatively persuaded of their reality by Alonzo Fyfe in 2009.]

Now, think about yourself. Do you have the capacity to change your mind – even about your most deep-seated convictions, such as those about religion or ethics or politics or spacetime – in response to good arguments? Are you able to practice logic all the way, not just by evaluating argument, but by responding to them appropriately?

  1. Summarized by Sabio Lantz, who inspired this post. The full answers are also available as a book. []

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{ 68 comments… read them below or add one }

Haukur February 15, 2010 at 9:23 am

Here are some things I’ve changed my mind on by reading something:

Eduard Sievers’ metrical theory is a ridiculous crank theory -> Eduard Sievers’ metrical theory is a reasonable approximation to the truth [persuaded by actually reading Sievers instead of only sneering critics]

Science has definitively shown that there are no racial differences in mental make-up -> Maybe science has not yet definitively shown that there are no racial differences in mental make-up, I’d have to read more to be sure [persuaded by Rushton and Jensen]

Christianity is true -> Christianity is not true [persuaded by a book I read when I was twelve]

But most of the time we tend to change our mind due to our own experiences. I think I’m vaguely more socially conservative (and more tribalistic, less individualistic) than I was a few years ago – not because I read something that changed my mind but just because I’ve been raising a kid, caring for a family etc. Traditional socially conservative concerns are much more salient to me now than when I was a teen.

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lukeprog February 15, 2010 at 9:54 am

Interesting, Haukur.

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Reginald Selkirk February 15, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Rupert Sheldrake, biologist: Skepticism is primarily an intellectual virtue, whose goal was truth –> Nope, it is used as a weapon.

In other words, he couldn’t convince any rational, skeptically minded people that his wacko theories about “morphic resonance” and paranormal powers weren’t a load of carp.

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Reginald Selkirk February 15, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Republican -> Libertarian -> Empirical politics.

In fairness, it should be noted that the Republican party has changed a great deal in recent history.

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Rick B February 15, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Christianity is true -> The christian god is false, but supernatural beings might exist -> Supernatural beings are theorized by people to explain internal experience and gaps in current science, and need not be taken seriously.

Engineering students work harder than I’m willing to -> Almost done with an engineering degree

And to echo Luke, religious sex-avoidance -> sex positive

Politics is awesome as long as we agree -> people really like to categorize their political views too simply to make discussion based on labels (Left/Right/Libertarian) meaningful.

l love being right/hate being wrong -> l love finding out I’m wrong so I can change my mind to fit reality (hopefully) better

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Laura February 15, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I have changed my mind on the idea of objective morality so many times recently, I am afraid to announce my take on it at all until it settles down.

No objective values/whether something is right or wrong should be judged solely on its consequences (2004-2008) —> Objective values should be based on their consequences (2008) —> Absolutist values which should absolutely never be based on their consequences (2009) —> Virtue ethics, which should be judged still irregardless of consequences (today). It seems to be a good way to reconcile between my weird antinomy between objective morality and my error theory of yesteryear.

I can barely recognise myself from when I started out.

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lukeprog February 15, 2010 at 1:04 pm

Very cool, guys and gals.

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Tomas Wallin February 15, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Eating flesh is justified –> Eating flesh is not justified (Persuaded by Peter Singer, late 2009).

Dogmatic Atheist (early 2009) –> Freethinking Atheist (partly thanks to this blog)

Rap music is always crap (2008) –> Rap music is mostly crap.

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lukeprog February 15, 2010 at 1:22 pm

Thomas,

Have you heard the rappers Dalek or Clouddead?

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Justfinethanks February 15, 2010 at 1:31 pm

My biggest change in the realm of aesthetics is probably..

Led Zeppelin is what happens when a rock band takes itself way too seriously. It’s an unholy combination of imagery stolen from fantasy novels and western European Pagan religions and riffs stolen from blues musicians. I can’t listen to a single song of theirs without thinking of Spinal Tap or Jack Black doing his uber-rock fan bit. They are outclassed in every conceivable way (creativity, variety, innovation, and even musicianship) by rock contemporary The Who -> LED ZEPPELIN ROCKS

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Reginald Selkirk February 15, 2010 at 2:10 pm

I changed my mind on abortion. I was raised Catholic, so early on I just assumed their position on the issue without serious inquiry. I remember when I changed my mind, it was in an early networked conversation, I was an atheist by then, and I prepared a response, then decided to edit it, then thought some more and edited some more, and kept doing that until I had played out a rather lengthy series of questions and answers in my mind. It was the sort of occasion which made me appreciate “Preview” buttons.

Ha ha, using the “Edit” function! I suppose since my first position on that issue was from social inertia and not something I had actually explored for myself, it may not qualify as a “deeply held conviction.”

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Tomas Wallin February 15, 2010 at 2:13 pm

@Lukeprog

No I have not.

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Paul February 15, 2010 at 2:14 pm

Luke -

I am curious about the following -

“Republican -> Libertarian -> Empirical politics. [I was raised Republican, was attracted to Libertarianism in 2008, and then realized that politics didn't require ideology. It could proceed like a science.]”

You’ve made comments in the past, I think, that give the impression that you view capitalism as evil (am I using to harsh a word?). Possibly you think this and yet also think that given other options it is the least bad of current available options. Regardless, I’d be interested in hearing you elaborate on this.

As for me – I used to consider myself a republican although always socially liberal – I suppose this really made me libertarian. Where as now, I continue to, be and cannot see myself ever being not so, extremely socially liberal. On other issues I suppose I am all over the place. Couple of simple examples: I am a proponent of universal health care. I disagree with banning of smoking in restaurants. I feel it should be left up to the restaurant owner.

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Scott February 15, 2010 at 2:15 pm

Art has objective quality -> Art might not have objective quality.

(Not that I want art to be subjective – the thought that Twilight could ever have equal merit as Shakespeare makes me retch).

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Alec February 15, 2010 at 2:24 pm

Hey Luke, what argument for a block universe did you find most persuasive?

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Haukur February 15, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Justfinethanks: [sophisticated bullshit argument] -> LED ZEPPELIN ROCKS

You win the thread :D

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BenSix February 15, 2010 at 2:53 pm

At last, my opinion is unimpeachable! -> Oh, Lord, not again… [Every few months]

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Hermes February 15, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Too many to list. A sampler;

The Republican party is the party of sane and well reasoned policies, even if they are difficult in the short run ==> WTF?!?! We wasted how much? On WHAT? [tears eyes out]

The Democratic party are a bunch of doormats ==> Oh, wait, never mind!

Ross Perot is a worthy candidate even if he is not likely to win ==> Ross Perot’s running mates; noooo!

John McCain is just playing those who are corrupt in the GOP and has the country’s best intentions in mind ==> !@$!@#$ senile corrupt self-centered insane old coot! !@#$!@$ running mates!

Different ladies;

* She loves me. ==> She loved me not.

* She didn’t love me. ==> Married or not, she still pines for me.

* She didn’t like me. Oh, well. ==> What do you mean she had a crush? (bangs head on wall)

Theism;

* God exists
==> Must be a god (deist)
==> Not credible to me, but those Christians must have some good arguments
==> Well, maybe some non-Christians have good arguments
==> The only points of view that are consistent are ones that can’t be proven but aren’t self-contradictory (deists and/or pantheists)
==> Supernatural beliefs are the same as paranormal beliefs except that they have a weekly book club for fans and the leaders tend to dabble in costumes

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Jeff H February 15, 2010 at 4:05 pm

Hermes:
==> Supernatural beliefs are the same as paranormal beliefs except that they have a weekly book club for fans and the leaders tend to dabble in costumes  

Hah! I like that. I’m going to steal that, if you don’t mind :P

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Hermes February 15, 2010 at 4:46 pm

Jeff H: I’m going to steal that, if you don’t mind :)

Absolutely. Feel free to mangle, reuse, abuse, … as you see fit.

I’m considering refinements but the core ideas are there. Suggestions for changes are welcome if you’ve got them!

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shawn b judd February 15, 2010 at 5:48 pm

Logic Can God make a Taco so large, and so hot that even he cannot lift it ,or eat it? If the answer is yes than he is not all powerful. If the answer is no he is also not all powerful. Thus he cannot exist. In the words of Edward current Checkmate Theist!

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lukeprog February 15, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Paul,

Republican and Democrat are virtually identical so I’m not either. Like most people, you’d have to ask where I stand, issue by issue.

Democracy is the least bad option currently in play. However, it is inherently evil, unfortunately. So we need a better system. Some plausible alternatives have been worked out by Michael Alpert and others. They are worth a try.

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lukeprog February 15, 2010 at 7:17 pm

alec,

Good question. I’ll be covering that later, in my series on Gary Drescher’s book.

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Rhys Wilkins February 15, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Times I changed my mind:

Then: Science is a process of finding out how the world definitely works and making open & shut cases

Now: All scientific ideas are forever amenable to revision and change. Uncertainty is a bedrock staple of the scientific method.

_________________________________________________________

Then: The New Atheists seem to make some arguments that are not very philosophically satisfying. This is the best atheism has got.

Now: The sophisticated philosophers of religion make some fucking epic arguments for atheism, and the New Atheists are to be commemorated for providing a congenial environment for unbelievers to come out.

__________________________________________________________

Then: Dr Craig is the most sophisticated apologist for Christian Theism. He genuinely values the importance of logic, reasons and conducting honest inquiry. I wish we had someone as good as him arguing against religion.

Now: Dr. Craig does not give a shit about arguments, evidence, logic or reason. He twists them to fit his personal comfortable paranoid fantasies. They are all post-hoc justifications for his magic thinking epistemology. The fact he repeats the same fucking shit over, over, over, and over again in his debates (not just his 5 reasons, but all his fucking responses and even his specific rhetorical language) and noone catches onto it is enough to make one rip the hair out of his head.

__________________________________________________________

Then: The Kalam Cosmological Argument does not work because we have no evidence the universe began to exist, and since quantum effects are significant at the primordial stages of the universe, we can say it arose probabilistically without a cause (based on the Uncertainty Principle).

Now: I agree with all 3 premises of the Kalam. However I think the conclusion is that the universe is self-caused rather then a magical being who can think without a brain speaking it into existence.

__________________________________________________________

Then: The existence of evil is logically contradictory to the existence of Yahweh.

Now: The existence of evil is extremely strong evidence against the existence of Yahweh

__________________________________________________________

Then: Alvin Plantinga is totally batshit.

Now: He is more intellectually honest then Dr. Craig.

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Chris Hallquist February 15, 2010 at 7:52 pm

Hmmm…

God is required for morality –> God is morally unnecessary.

Evil isn’t a problem for theism –> Evil is a decisive argument against theism

Belief in psychic powers, UFOs, etc –> These things are bunk

Capitalism is evil –> Capitalism is possibly the best political idea ever

McCain should be president –> McCain is an idiot

Necessity is analyticity –> I don’t know what to think about most of metaphysics

Some kind of Cartesian style foundationalism has to be right –> G.E. Moore got epistemology right –> Moore may be right, but moving towards thinking criticisms of opposing views are overrated

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lukeprog February 15, 2010 at 8:02 pm

Wow, that’s alot, Hallq!

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Charles February 15, 2010 at 9:30 pm

I’m certain God exists. -> I’m not sure God exists. -> I’m pretty certain the God of the Bible doesn’t exit.

The Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God. -> Certain passages (like the creation account) shouldn’t be taken too literally. -> Paul gets some stuff seriously wrong. -> The Flood didn’t happen (not even a little). -> It’s possible the earliest books of the Old Testament were fabricated. -> The resurrection account in Mark is likely a forgery. -> Very little of what appears in the Gospels is probably true.

Evolution is false. -> Evolution happened.

It’s possible to believe in evolution and be a Christian. -> It isn’t possible to believe in evolution and be a Christian.

Eating meat is morally neutral. -> eating meat is likely bad.

Real Christians are Republicans. -> Real Christians are Democrats. -> Both parties are full of shit.

And now, a bonus …

\/\/1|\|D0\/\/5 r0(| \/\/1|\|D0\/\/5 5U> L1|\|U>< r0(| L1|\|U> 0$ >< r0(|<5!

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Charles February 15, 2010 at 9:32 pm

The housing market will always go up. -> The housing market *coughs* at times can go down.

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lukeprog February 15, 2010 at 9:47 pm

Charles,

I had the same transformation about eating meat. Have you tried to lower your meat intake as a result. I have not, yet.

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Charles February 16, 2010 at 5:20 am

Yes, I have. At first, it was very hard. With time, it got easier. Except for the occasional bout of akrasia, I’ve been able to cut farm-raised meat almost completely out of my diet.

Let me know if you want to try going this route. I can tell you what I did.

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Reginald Selkirk February 16, 2010 at 7:07 am

Hermes: The Democratic party are a bunch of doormats ==> Oh, wait, never mind!

lukeprog: Republican and Democrat are virtually identical so I’m not either. Like most people, you’d have to ask where I stand, issue by issue.

Democracy is the least bad option currently in play. However, it is inherently evil, unfortunately. So we need a better system.

I am not a member of either party.

In the 1980s, the Reagan years, the GOP embraced anti-intellectualism, and this has been amplified even more during the Bush 43-Cheney years. During the latter, the GOP took openly anti-scientific stances. In 2006, 6 or 7 state GOP platforms included planks supporting ID and/or Young Earth Creationism. That made my political decisions a lot simpler; scientific facts are not negotiable in the way that economic strategies might be. The religious right wackos now seem to be driving the party bus.

The Democrats meanwhile, cannot seem to get anything done. There were jokes after the recent election of Sen. Scott Brown in Massachussetts about the Republicans gaining a 41-59 majority. (A pretty funny joke, I think.) But Republican obstructionism is one of the key causes to the Democratic failure to achieve progress, so I cannot view Republicans as a better choice in the next election. And, after 8 years of Bush-Cheney, I do not accept arguments that Democrats and Republicans are virtually indistinguishable.

The current system places too much importance on political parties. Candidates spend too much time plotting towards their party’s success in the next election, and to little actually serving the needs of the people.

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Paul February 16, 2010 at 7:32 am

lukeprog: So we need a better system. Some plausible alternatives have been worked out by Michael Alpert and others.

Do you or anyone else have any links. I searched o Michael Alpert and the immediate links appears to be some other Michael Alpert – a musician.

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lukeprog February 16, 2010 at 8:39 am

Charles,

I certainly plan on going that route eventually, but right now I don’t have time to consider the challenge of reformulating my entire diet. I’d be very interested to know what you did – either privately or here in the comments. I’m sure others would be interested, too.

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lukeprog February 16, 2010 at 8:40 am

Paul,

There’s a reason for that! I made a typo!

Michael Albert.

‘Realizing Hope’ is probably the easiest place to start.

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Lee A. P. February 16, 2010 at 10:16 am

Vox Day gets props from me for changing his mind here:

http://voxday.blogspot.com/2010/02/tia-welcome-correction.html

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svenjamin February 16, 2010 at 10:46 am

Christian theism——————> atheism, c2003-05 (it’s a long arrow because it was a long process)

free-will is the case–> contra-causal free will is not the case.

illicit drugs are bad, and should be illegal–> some illegal drugs have valid medical uses, and should be regulated.

eating animal flesh is morally wrong/less healthy–> eating moderate quantities of animal flesh may be morally acceptable in specific circumstances(2010)and there are health trade-offs either way. (2009) But I’m still not going to eat meat.

abortion is wrong–> the morality of abortion is complex, and in a way depends on response to the axiom “any life is better than no life at all.”

homosexuality is wrong, but equal rights should be granted–>homosexuality is not wrong, and equal rights should still be granted.

applied mathematics is less interesting than pure mathematics–> both are extremely interesting, but I am much better at pure mathematics.

creationism–>indifference–> evolution by natural selection, but human nature is predominantly cultural–> human nature is heavily influenced by evolutionary history–> evolutionary psychology provides an overwhelmingly powerful explanatory paradigm for patterns in human behavior and common cultural features.

I don’t appreciate Neuromancer–> Neuromancer should be appreciated for its literary significance –> Neuromancer is an important and prescient expression of anomie and prospective human/technology relations–> I should buy this ancient audio recording of Neuromancer from the library for a quarter, even though it’s terrible.

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svenjamin February 16, 2010 at 11:01 am

boxing is just a subset of more complete fighting systems like muay thai/boxing stances leave one extremely vulnerable—-> boxing is one of the most evolved fighting systems in terms of explicitly developed strategic exposition that we have available. there is much to learn from it in this light.

Anyone else notice how Luke the Listmaker has successfully replicated his addiction?

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marc February 16, 2010 at 11:14 am

I know I’m deploying a good old ad hominem here, but Sheldrake is a quack. Note that this is descriptive and not primarily normative. But, it is.

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Revyloution February 16, 2010 at 11:44 am

The most dramatic change in my thinking was loosing belief in free will. Once that belief is gone, it creates a cascade of other changes.

I too grew up with a fairly libertarian streak. One of the core tenants of Libertarian thought is the concept that people should be free to do what they want. Once you learn how manipulated humans are by their environment, you can no longer believe that they should be free to choose their own path.

Humans have a unique adaptation that allows our brains to imagine ourself far into the future. That ability to make long term plans gives us the illusion of free will, when in reality we are just reacting to the plans we made earlier, and how those plans react with all the other things in our environment.

If youre curious what started me down the path to my loss of faith (faith in free will, I was brought up a non-believer) it was a conversation with my wife about if people can actually change. I maintained that human consciousness was solely the product of all the choices we made up to the present. She insisted that people could change, become radically different from who they were before.

That conversation led to learning about the chemistry of the brain, and how basic things like what you had for breakfast could change your mood. From there I compared the Maugrim studies to the Stanford prison experiment to the real world examples of Rwanda and Nazi Germany (thank you Mr. Godwin).

Reading about how people were so easily manipulated to commit atrocities was the final nail in the coffin of free will.

If you will excuse me, my environment is compelling me to go get a beer and some nachos.

Ciao ~

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lukeprog February 16, 2010 at 12:12 pm

Lee,

Yeah, that’s cool. Though Everett’s was probably the first significant multiverse theory, it might still be the case that some later multiverse theories were inspired by the apparent fine-tuning of the fundamental constants. Me, I think the apparent fine-tuning of the fundamental constants requires no multiverse explanation, though some multiverse theory may still be true. I think the whole thing is a misunderstanding that revolves around assuming that human-like life is somehow intrinsically the goal of the universe, as opposed to all the other things that could have come to be.

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Hermes February 16, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Questions about freewill are fundamental to understanding other issues. ==> Freewill is a useless concept and should be jettisoned as soon as they appear if they can’t just be ignored.

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Charles February 16, 2010 at 1:57 pm

Luke,

I don’t see a difference between Everett’s result and what you call “fine-tuning multiverse theories”. If the Big Bang was a quantum event (and according to Everett everything is), then everything that could have happened, did.

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Revyloution February 16, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Hermes: Questions about freewill are fundamental to understanding other issues. ==> Freewill is a useless concept and should be jettisoned as soon as they appear if they can’t just be ignored.  

Hermes, was that a response to me?

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Hermes February 16, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Nope. Your comment at most just reminded me. I had forgotten to add freewill to my list.

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lukeprog February 16, 2010 at 4:35 pm

Charles,

No, they’re all multiverse theories. I’m just saying that I’ve heard atheist cosmologists talk about how they sought their theory BECAUSE of the fine-tuning of the initial constants. I can’t remember which ones, unfortunately. Maybe Smolin.

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cl February 16, 2010 at 4:50 pm

Rupert Sheldrake, biologist: Skepticism is primarily an intellectual virtue, whose goal was truth –> Nope, it is used as a weapon.

Ha! Hilarious, and so true, of a certain subset of course.

One thing I recently changed my mind about (last year) was: no version of the first cause argument favors theism over atheism -> Aristotle’s argument from kinesis successfully argues for an agent with specific qualities.

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Al Moritz February 17, 2010 at 1:50 pm

2006:
Intelligent Design -> die-hard evolutionist (took me about a month after finally seriously studying the issues)

Origin of life as supernatural event -> origin of life by natural causes (took me about 2 and a half months to get there, because I needed to study the primary scientific literature)

I have written a review on the research at the evolution website talkorigins.org:

http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/abioprob/originoflife.html

and in the meantime things in the field look even better.

I remain a theist, but with much better intellectual background on my belief than before (including full study of all atheist objections).

1999:
Utmost rejection of athematic atonal music as ‘ivory-tower’ music -> full, enthusiastic embrace of it (took me a couple of weeks)

I have become so immersed that it has lead to this (linked from stockhausen.org):

http://home.earthlink.net/~almoritz/stockhausenreviews.htm

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Hermes February 17, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Al Moritz: I remain a theist, but with much better intellectual background on my belief than before (including full study of all atheist objections).

Re: Biology. It’s amazing what looking does, isn’t it? If the world were filled with people like Ken Miller, I’d have no public quibble with religions.

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lukeprog February 17, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Al,

Great Stockhausen page. I think he went out with a real bang; I love Cosmic Pulses or whatever it’s called, though I’ve only heard it in stereo.

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Al Moritz February 17, 2010 at 4:17 pm

lukeprog:
Al,
Great Stockhausen page.

Thanks, Luke.

I think he went out with a real bang; I love Cosmic Pulses or whatever it’s called, though I’ve only heard it in stereo.  

Glad you love that piece. But didn’t you say somewhere on your music site that you didn’t like Stockhausen?

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lukeprog February 17, 2010 at 4:52 pm

Al,

What music site? You mean this page, where I praise Stockhausen for inventing new languages of music?

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Al Moritz February 18, 2010 at 12:07 pm

Yes, Luke, it was that page. You made the following statement:

“My criteria for greatness are very simple. Many artists (1) invent a new language for music and/or emotion (Karlheinz Stockhausen, etc.), or (2) use that language in an emotionally powerful way (Radiohead, etc.). The greatest albums do both.”

I had taken that to mean that Stockhausen was incapable of (1) *and* (2), but perhaps this is not what you wanted to say.

Then the following:

“Several of his pieces apply highly complex mathematical procedures to sound spaciation, microtonality, and timbre to create a very cerebral music that may be interesting to an experimental physicist on the page, but makes for horrible listening.”

This sounds like the typical argument against Stockhausen, something that I also held for a long time but did not find to be true once I actually *listened* to the music.

Yet:

“(Then again, other Stockhausen pieces are very good.)”

I must have overlooked that one when I read your page a while ago.

So what are the works that you find “a very cerebral music that may be interesting to an experimental physicist on the page, but makes for horrible listening”, and which are the ones that you find very good (besides Cosmic Pulses)?

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lukeprog February 18, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Al,

Well, almost every extreme of Stockhausen’s music – in form and success – are represented somewhere in Licht. Much of Kontakte is interesting reading for those who like isomorphic algebraic formulas, but often doesn’t amount to anything likely to engage human emotion. Of course, whether or not a certain piece of music engages your emotions is a significantly subjective affair, though not entirely.

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Al Moritz February 19, 2010 at 4:32 pm

Luke,

I love Kontakte, and so do many others. In fact, during the Stockhausen courses in Kürten, Germany 2006 the four-channel projection of the version for electronic tape only was among the events that received the most roaring applause.

What engages my emotions? That depends, all music is different. What makes Stockhausen’s music so addictive for me are its colorfulness, originality and expressiveness – I do not mean ‘romantic’ expressiveness, but that the music is filled with an exciting and multi-layered inner life. And Kontakte has that in spades.

PS: the classic Wergo recording is not of great sound quality and makes the music sound dull indeed. The Stockhausen-Verlag recordings are sonically far superior.

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SCURAFFIISTOTALLYWRONGABOUTTHEBEATLES! March 18, 2010 at 8:23 am

Also in an excellent Beatles book Ticket To Ride by Denny Somach where so many other well known popular respected rock musicians and artists are interviewed about The Beatles praising them including Jimmy Page,Brian Wilson who says he’s always loved The Beatles. And Brian Wilson called John & Paul the greatest song writers of the 20th century on a 1995 Nightline Beatles tribute show,(which had on music artists from every type of music,a young black jazz musician,a middle aged black opera singer,Steve Winwood,Meatloaf,and classical violnist Isak Perleman,who said he plays his children Bach,Beethoven Mozart and The Beatles)and he played With A Little Help From My Friends on the piano and he said he just loves this song. He also said that Sgt.Pepper is the greatest album he ever heard and The All Music Guide says in their Beach Boys biography,that Brian had a nerveous breakdown after he heard it. Brian also said that when he first heard The Beatles brilliant 1965 folk rock album Rubber Soul he was blown away by it.He said all of the songs flowed together and it was pop music but folk rock at the same time and he couldn’t believe they did this so great,this inspired him to make Pet Sounds.

John Lodge and Justin of The Moody Blues are interviewed in this book and Bill Wyman and Ron Wood says how The Rolling Stones became good friends with The Beatles in 1963 after John and Paul wrote 1 of their first hits,the Rock n Roll song,I Wanna Be You’re Man.

Ron Wood was asked what his favorite Beatles songs and he said there are so many apart from the obvious like Strawberry Fields I Want To Hold Your Hand is one he said he used to like a lot ,and he said he really loved We Can Work It Out.He also says that The Beatles used to have a radio show every Friday where they played live and spoke and he would never miss an episode. He said infact whoever has the rights to those shows should dig them up,because they are incredible.

Justin Hayward says that the album he always really loved ,and he said it was when they started experimenting with chord structures ,was A Hard Day’s Night.He says they began to move away from the standard 3 chord thing and just went into more interesting structures .He said A Hard Day’s Night was the album for him and their song If I Fell was the song.He said it started in a different key to how it ended up,and it’s a beautifully worked out song and that there are some songs on that album that were very emotinal and evocative. He said that for everybody just starting to write songs as he was,it was a real turn on and eye opener.

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SCURAFFIISTOTALLYWRONGABOUTTHEBEATLES! March 18, 2010 at 8:24 am

As The Rolling Stone Album Guide said,not liking The Beatles is as perverse as not liking the sun. And Ozzy Osbourne said not loving The Beatles is like not loving oxogen. And a guy who runs Keno’s Classic Rock n Roll Site and who runs a Rolling Stones and John Lennon fan site says in his review of The Beatles 1967-1970 Red Album damn The Beatles were one great group and he said in his great review of The Beatles 1962-1966 Red album, that if you don’t love or at least like The Beatles and their music then you are not a true rock fan and more than likely will never ever get it.Billy Joel said youcan’t like music & dislike The Beatles.

He also says that John Lennon showed on Paul’s rocker Get Back why he should have played lead guitar more often because he did such a good job of it. He also said he played a pretty good slide guitar on George’s For Your Blue and he said John also played one of the first and best acid guitar parts on his great rocker Revolution.

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SCURAFFI IS TOTALLY WRONG ABOUT THE BEATLES! March 18, 2010 at 8:46 am

From the site Listology

Comment Comment Dat
The Beatles and Folk Rock. From the Horse’s mouth (s)

But in my imagination this whole thing developed and I started mixing up old folk songs with the Beatles beat and taking them down to Greenwich Village and playing them for the people there.
Roger McGuinn

The big turning point, really, was the Beatles’ influence on American folk music, and then Roger took it to the next step, and then along came the Lovin’ Spoonful and everybody else.
Barry McGuire

and PS: Not only is the White Album Demos bootleg an AMAZING listen and an insight into the creative process that
5/14/2008 View

2/6/2008
piero scaruffi, THE BEATLES and ELVIS PRESLEY

Very nice article. I think all the Scaruffi-ites that have both agreed with the delusional views of the Beatles and parroted Scaruffi’s views and lists should have a look. And, really, it’s only the tip of the iceberg of Scaruffi’s Beatle ignorance.

The final quote on his Beatles page (and a quite fictional, erroneous and jaded page it is), written with a finger pointed directly at the Fab Four was this:

They had nothing to say and that’s why they didn’t say it.

If maybe Scaruffi had even the slightest hint of actual musical knowledge (not a critic’s ego and poison pen or a supposed historians sense of music, but ACTUAL MUSIC THEORY and the ABILITY to PLAY an instrument or WRITE a song) he would realize that the other four fingers are pointing back at a man who created nothing whatsoever but an avant-garde elitist list.

Zappa once said:

“But as for the sucker who will write a review.

If his mind is prehensile he’ll put down his pencil and have himself a squat on the cosmic utensil”

And he couldn’t have been more right about Piero Scaruffi on The Beatles.

2/4/2008

Contributions The Beatles made to music. I think your list is quite interesting, but at times may be a bit of a stretch. That being said, the Beatles were, without a doubt, the most influential, inventive and successful band of the 2nd half of the 20th century, the opinion of a few underappreciative reviewers aside. Their songwriting ability is second to none and their “great” song catalog dwarfs anyone else’s, as does their “great” album catalog. No other band/artist has a discography on par with Rubber Soul, Revolver, Sgt. Pepper, White Album, Magical Mystery Tour, Abbey Road and Let it Be- and that doesn’t even mention their earliest and most successful songs (think: I Want to Hold Your Hand-Help!-Hard Day’s Night). Folks who don’t rank Beatles albums among the best ever are simply wrong- avant-garde elitist perhaps- and moreover by this fact alone lose quite a bit of musical credibility. And Messer Scaruffi is about as full of shit as he is of himself. He’s so anti-Beatles (with no good reason) it’s impossible to take him seriously.

1/23/2008

Contributions The Beatles made to music.

Hey- thanks for the incredibly cordial response. However, there’s no confusion on my part whatsoever. The Beatles were indeed one of the most (if not THE most) innovative band of the rock era, and moreover made more important contributions during the era than anyone else. And really, it’s not even that close.

There were two statements you made in your response that were extraordinarily inorrect. The first: All of the “innovations with the rock format” they’re credited with should really be attributed to others who came before them.

This is completely false and is not backed up by any measure of historical accuracy. Certainly there were a few items on Bleach’s list that were somewhat inaccurate, but certainly there were items that were completely correct. Perhaps saying “”Some” of the innovations….” would lead me to believe you’ve done your homework on this issue, but the historical record tells otherwise, as the Beatles are credited undoubtedly for many of the innovations mentioned.

The second: People like Scaruffi have sites dedicated only to the groundbreaking-ness/originality of artists, so they rate the Beatles justifiably lowly

This is where Scaruffi is totally off his rocker. (pun intended) The Beatles weren’t Groundbreaking or original??? Utter hogwash.

I DO tend to agree with some (many) of Scaruffi’s choices, but overall I believe his musical credibility is quite suspect. It’s not really so much what he includes, but what he excludes that makes his opinion, in my opinion, suspect. And finally, what I saw from Scaruffi didn’t seem to be based solely on those 2 criteria, but overall best rock albums ever made. Not including the Beatles is just silly. Maybe John or George did something unholy to his sister or his dog or summat…..

But seriously, check out this article from a music professor to see just some of the actual facts concerning the Beatles innovative nature.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa4026/is_200304/ai_n9202278/pg_1

Then check out Alan W. Pollack, who seems to me just a TAD more credible than Scaruffi in his estimation of those ultra-innovative Beatles, and further includes actual musically based interpretations of their work.

Peace

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SCURAFFI IS TOTALLY WRONG ABOUT THE BEATLES! March 18, 2010 at 8:49 am

The Beatles revolutionized popular and rock music and were very innovative,prolific and creative,more than any other group. And their great timeless songs are the most covered in music history by everyone from jazz musicians,classical,Motown,rock,pop and even heavy metal recording and playing their great timeless music.

Many academic musicologists and music scholars have done serious studies,analyses and praise of their great timeless music,like university of Penn gradutate musicologist Alan W.Pollack who did an extensive 11 year detailed analysis of every Beatles song.He says he hadn’t even listened to The Beatles in 20 years until they came out on CD for the first time in 1987.

And university of Michigan music professor and musician Walter Everett who wrote the 2 volume,The Beatles As Musicians:The Quarry Men Through Rubber Soul and The Beatles As Musicians:Revolver Through Anthology.And British musicologist and classical composer and music professor (who is dead now)Willifred Mellers 1973 book,Twilight Of The Gods:The Music Of The Beatles,and he also wrote about Beethoven,Mozart and Bob Dylan.

And award winning music professor Dr.Glen Gass who has been teaching a course on what brilliant composers The Beatles were and a rock music course at Indiana University School Of Music since 1982.Dr.Gary Kendal’s Beatles course is the most requested at North Western university ,university of California also has one and Oxford university had a recent Beatles course.

How many serious music scholars and award winning music professors are teaching and writing serious academic works studying and prasing what “brilliant” composers The Rolling Stones or any other rock band were?

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SCURAFFI IS TOTALLY WRONG ABOUT THE BEATLES! March 18, 2010 at 3:07 pm

I recently read an online article that had an interview with Ernie Isley of The Isley Brothers about a recent tribute to Jimi Hendrix,in which he says that Jimi played for The Isley Brothers & lived with them & that they & he were fans of The Fab Four from the moment they all watched them on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964. I always thought that Jimi was only a later period Beatles fan,I knew he played Sgt.Pepper live the weekend it came out,& he played Day Tripper live also,& several people on different message boards said that when he was asked where the direction of music was going,he said ask The Beatles.

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SCURAFFI IS TOTALLY WRONG ABOUT THE BEATLES! March 18, 2010 at 3:09 pm

The Rolling Stones also wrote quite a few soft sentimental pop kind of songs,Lady Jane,As Tears Go By,Rubey Tuesday,Angie,Wild Horses,Waiting On A Friend and the 2 dreadful disco imitations,Miss You and Emotional Rescue. At least when Paul McCartney did a disco like song,Good Night tonight it was good interesting sounding music!

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SCURAFFI IS TOTALLY WRONG ABOUT THE BEATLES! March 18, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Not only did The Beatles give The Rolling Stones one of their first hits with their rock n roll song I Wanna Be Your Man,and they wrote it right in front of them and Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were impressed and like wow how can you write a song just like that and it motivated them to start writing their own songs.

And as I already said The Rolling Stones were good friends with and fans of The Beatles.

Mick Jagger was at 4 Beatles recording sessions and Keith Richards was at 2 of them with him.Also Mick Jagger was such a big Beatles fan that in May 1967 when The Beatles were redording their song Baby You’re A Rich Man he came there and stood on the sidelines to watch and listen to them recording it. His name is also on the tape box and he likely sang at the end verses.

Also Mick Jagger said that Keith Richards loved The Beatles and loved their beautiful melodies and harmonies and that Keith and Brian Jones tried to equal them but he said Brian couldn’t sing good enough!Charlie is obviously envious with sour grapes,The Beatles remastered albums sold much more 40 years after their break up than The Rolling Stones remastered albums and they are still together! The Beatles have the best selling album of the last decade with their CD 1.

And Brian Jones played the saxaphone on the strange Beatles song, You Know My Name Look Up The Number and he and Mick Jagger’s girlfriend at the time Marriane Faithful contributed sound effects on the song Yellow Submarine.

As this guy Sal66 who has also posted on sites debunking ignorant cr*p about The Beatles has rightfully pointed out, The Beatles wrote,played and recorded I Feel Fine (which The All Music Guide says has brilliant,active ,difficult guitar leads and riffs) in the Fall of 1964 which was the first use of feedback guitar on a pop rock record and it also had a prominent guitar riff throughout this very good song almost a year *before* The Rolling Stones’s Satisfaction came out.

And on John’s great Norwegian Wood recorded in the Fall of 1965,George Harrison was the first to play a sitar on a pop rock song and it was released on their great album Rubber Soul in December and then in May 1966 The Rolling Stones song Paint It Black came out with Brian Jones playing a sitar!

And in Paul McCartney’s authorized biography Many Years From Now, Mick Jagger’s former girlfriend singer Marriane Faithful says that she and Mick used to go over to Paul’s house a lot and hang out in his music room. She said he never went to see them at their house they always went to visit him because he was Paul McCartney.She also said that Mick was intimidated by Paul but that Paul was totally oblivious to this.

Paul also says in this book that he turned Mick on to pot in his music room and he said which is funny because a lot of people would assume it was the other way around.

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SCURAFFI IS TOTALLY WRONG ABOUT THE BEATLES! March 18, 2010 at 3:26 pm

And many of The Beatles songs were about sex & drugs,& even a few violent ones like John’s Run For Your Life,in which John sings the lines I’d rather see you dead than be with another man, on Rubber Soul which he didn’t like himself.In the early -mid 60′s you couldn’t be as blatant with sex & drug messages or you would be bannec off of the air!

The Rolling Stones became more blatant in those lyrics after the mid 60′s,& Paul’s song on The great rock album The White Album,Why Don’t We Do It In The Road? was as blatantly perverted as can be especially for 1968.Day Tripper from late 1965 was about sex & drugs, so is Happiness Is A Warm Gun,even Penny Lane has a reference to an obscenity Liverpool guys would refer to about a certain sexual activity with Liverpool girls.

A Day In The Life was banned off of the BBC in 1967 because of LSD messages in the line,I’d Love To Turn You On,Paul wrote Got To Get You Into My Life about pot, Dr.Robert was about a real doctor that supplied drugs to his patients,in John’s great song Girl on their brilliant 1965 folk rock album Rubber Soul,Paul & George are singing t*t t*t t*t over & over as part of the backing vocals.

John’s great 1968 hard rocker Reveloution was overtly political,Paul says he wrote Blackbird about black civil rights. Rolling Stone and others have said John’s early 1963 hit Please Please Me was about oral sex etc etc.

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SCURAFFI IS TOTALLY WRONG ABOUT THE BEATLES! March 18, 2010 at 3:26 pm

Just another of countless examples of Scaruffi’s total inaccurate distortions & falsehoods about The Beatles,I looked up on Wikipedia many early-mid 60′s Rolling Stones songs,Mother’s Little Helper,Time Is On My Side,Get Off Of My Cloud,Rubey Tuesday,Satisfaction,Paint It Black,Lets Spend The Night Together etc,& they are all 2 minutes or 3 minutes & some seconds because before the late 60′s( and The Beatles broke the rules with the great Hey Jude,)songs could only be under 4 minutes to be played on the radio & The Rolling Stones knew this rule also to have hits too.But the dishonest ignoramous isn’t going to tell you that.

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SCURAFFI IS TOTALLY WRONG ABOUT THE BEATLES! March 18, 2010 at 3:31 pm

On Last FM. The Rolling Stones only had 80 members of their fan group in 2007, The Beatles had over 2,000 which is now over 1,000 and the average age of fans is 22 more guys than girls and they are from all over the world.

In 2006,2007 and 2008 The Beatles were the # 1 most listened music artists on Last.FM and they are very popular on YouTube and Rate Your Music where many male and female fans in their teens and 20′s call them The Greatest Rock Band Ever!

The Beatles are still rightfully regarded by most people,most rock critics,and many other music and rock artists as The most creative,innovative,and prolific rock band ever!

As many people even some Rolling Stones fans have said, The Rolling Stones haven’t made a great record in at least 25 years or more.

The Beatles wrote *plenty* of great rock songs including hard rock on The White Album and Abbey Road and as many have rightfully pointed out Paul invented heavy metal with his 1968 song Helter Skelter and people have also said John’s I Want You She’s So Heavy on Abbey road was also one of the first heavy metal songs.

Even in their early days they wrote some great rockers that were very rocky for the times, as The All Music Guide said,in their very good review of Past Masters Volume 1 that they proved they could rock really really hard,with John’s I Feel Fine from late 1964 which featured the very recorded feedback guitar on a rock song,and Paul’s great blues rocker,She’s A Woman also from late 1964,and what they called the peerless I’m Down which is Paul’s screaming rocker from mid 1965 which they performed even harder rocking, and screaming in August 1965 at Shea Stadium.

Also John’s You Can’t Do That from early 1964,is a great rock song, so is Day Dripper,Paperback Writer, And You’re Bird Can Sing, She Said She Said,Taxman, Oh Darling,Hey Bulldog etc!

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SCURAFFI IS TOTALLY WRONG ABOUT THE BEATLES! March 18, 2010 at 3:46 pm

And the only reason that I posted all of this information is because I’m so sick of this kind of ridiculous inaccurate ignorant garbage being said about THe Beatles all over the place for years now.

I have been a huge highly impressed Beatles fan(specifically a big John and Paul fan) since I was 11 when I got my first Beatles book for my 11th birthday,I started collecting their albums at age 9,and I had every great album by age 13,I was born after 1964 too.

My father had a lot of different music in the house and was a big Bob Dylan fan and had many of his albums,he also had a Peter Paul and Mary album,a Leonard Cohen album and Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass albums which I liked even at age 4.I also had my own radio at age 9 and I listened to a lot of music.

My sister 4 years older had an even bigger diverse music collection, and she always loved The Beatles too.She bought Paul McCartney and Wings great 1975 rock album,Venus and Mars when it came out in 1975 and she said years later it’s one of the best rock albums she ever heard and that it’s unique and she knows no album like it and it is a great album.

When I was 9 I had a teacher in library class play The Beatles great rock album Abbey Road on a little record player and she said they were genuises.When I was 11 my music teacher asked us to guess who he was talking about when he said they were genuises and they wrote about 200 mostly popular acclaimed songs and many great albums in just an 8 year recording career,and I already being a big fan guessed it exactly right and said,John Lennon and Paul McCartney,The Beatles and he smiled and said yes thats right!

I’m really very happy to say that most people I have known throughout my life recognized they The Beatles specifically John and Paul were brilliant singer song writers and very good musicians.The only Beatles haters I ever knew were 14 and 15 year old boys in school and one of them became a huge Beatles fan on his own.

A guy I was friends with for many years who lived down the street and was 2 years older was a big fan too and he also liked Frank Zappa and his brother who was 10 years older than me had a big music collection and he loved The Beatles too,so did his mother and sister.I once spoke with their stepfather about how John and Paul are rightfully widely rearded by most people,most rock and music critics,and many other well known respected rock musicians and artists as 2 of the greatest song writers of the 20th century and he said I think so too.

Below is part of a Beatles review by a Epionions reviewer.

Home Epinions Music Please Please Me by The Beatles
Please Please Me by The Beatles
Overall Rating:

20 consumer reviews
Lowest Price: $5.90
at Amazon Marketplace

<< Back to All Reviews About the Author
The Beatles Debut – Please Please Me
Written: Apr 28 '06 (Updated Sep 28 '09)

Product Rating:
Pros: Good Debut

Cons: Only eight original songs

The Bottom Line: The Birth of The Beatles, well in the UK anyway.

scapp70's Full Review: Please Please Me by The Beatles
and now a word from Scapp70 straight from his Beatles Soap Box

Are you a Beatles fan? Are you a Beatles nut? Are you insane for The Beatles? No? Yes? Well, I am – I'm not sure if you noticed. One of the duties of being a Beatles fan, which should really be a non-existent duty, is defending The Beatles. The Beatles were and are the greatest band in history, yet oddly not everybody knows that. The people that do not know that The Beatles are the greatest will more likely than not, argue that they aren't. It is the same thing as debating politics with a person who is not informed of the arguments, yet they passionately will tell you how you're wrong. Does that mean that any person who argues that The Beatles are not musical god-men, that they do not have all the albums and therefore do not know the position and the reasons why The Beatles are the greatest? Yes, I say to you – YES!

If you as a Beatle fan have to argue that an album like say The White Album or Abbey Road are not five star albums, just sit and be quiet and let them talk. They will soon give hints of their Beatle un-savviness. For example, they may say that Sgt Pepper is a concept album, does any real thinking Beatles fan think that? They may say something as silly as Paul McCartney's bass playing ability is any less than stellar, or even worse…mediocre. Do we have ears? What are we comparing The Beatles to? Phish? U2? '90s College Music? What or who is out there who is better? The Beatles are not kings of the musical hill, they are an island unto themselves.

So far no one has been able to come close to what The Beatles have accomplished. The Beatles were not just pioneers with each new release, The Beatles were amazing songwriters, fine musicians, forward thinkers and they are pretty funny too. Any other musician or musical group who would wish to accomplish the magnitude of what The Beatles had done in just six years would need a magical pocket watch that stops time. Six short years includes thirteen albums, four movies, and three world tours, enough singles to fill up two CDs and not to mention they changed the face of pop rock with each new release.

When the Beatles broke up, each member had varied success, some more than another. No matter how successful The Beatles were individually in the 70s and 80s, and no matter how great the songs were during these times, it was apparent that the four guys still needed one another in order to change the world every six months as they did in the sixties. So even if the uniformed debater tries to come across as musically intellectual by praising dopey bands from the 90s that no one has ever heard of, just remember theyre still just uninformed. They try to mask their unsavvy musical taste by pointing to pointless music that you had never heard of.

and now… the music that changed pop culture

Sorry about that above, I have just been reading a lot of negative things about The Beatles in print and online lately. It’s just so wild, but I guess when you are as big as The Beatles, there is bound to be some negativity out there.

And the only reason that I posted all of this information is because I'm so sick of this kind of ridiculous inaccurate ignorant garbage being said about THe Beatles all over the place for years now.

I have been a huge highly impressed Beatles fan(specifically a big John and Paul fan) since I was 11 when I got my first Beatles book for my 11th birthday,I started collecting their albums at age 9,and I had every great album by age 13,I was born after 1964 too.

My father had a lot of different music in the house and was a big Bob Dylan fan and had many of his albums,he also had a Peter Paul and Mary album,a Leonard Cohen album and Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass albums which I liked even at age 4.I also had my own radio at age 9 and I listened to a lot of music.

My sister 4 years older had an even bigger diverse music collection, and she always loved The Beatles too.She bought Paul McCartney and Wings great 1975 rock album,Venus and Mars when it came out in 1975 and she said years later it's one of the best rock albums she ever heard and that it's unique and she knows no album like it and it is a great album.

When I was 9 I had a teacher in library class play The Beatles great rock album Abbey Road on a little record player and she said they were genuises.When I was 11 my music teacher asked us to guess who he was talking about when he said they were genuises and they wrote about 200 mostly popular acclaimed songs and many great albums in just an 8 year recording career,and I already being a big fan guessed it exactly right and said,John Lennon and Paul McCartney,The Beatles and he smiled and said yes thats right!

I'm really very happy to say that most people I have known throughout my life recognized they The Beatles specifically John and Paul were brilliant singer song writers and very good musicians.The only Beatles haters I ever knew were 14 and 15 year old boys in school and one of them became a huge Beatles fan on his own.

A guy I was friends with for many years who lived down the street and was 2 years older was a big fan too and he also liked Frank Zappa and his brother who was 10 years older than me had a big music collection and he loved The Beatles too,so did his mother and sister.I once spoke with their stepfather about how John and Paul are rightfully widely rearded by most people,most rock and music critics,and many other well known respected rock musicians and artists as 2 of the greatest song writers of the 20th century and he said I think so too.

Below is part of a Beatles review by a Epionions reviewer.

Home Epinions Music Please Please Me by The Beatles
Please Please Me by The Beatles
Overall Rating:

20 consumer reviews
Lowest Price: $5.90
at Amazon Marketplace

<< Back to All Reviews About the Author
The Beatles Debut – Please Please Me
Written: Apr 28 '06 (Updated Sep 28 '09)

Product Rating:
Pros: Good Debut

Cons: Only eight original songs

The Bottom Line: The Birth of The Beatles, well in the UK anyway.

scapp70's Full Review: Please Please Me by The Beatles
and now a word from Scapp70 straight from his Beatles Soap Box

Are you a Beatles fan? Are you a Beatles nut? Are you insane for The Beatles? No? Yes? Well, I am – I'm not sure if you noticed. One of the duties of being a Beatles fan, which should really be a non-existent duty, is defending The Beatles. The Beatles were and are the greatest band in history, yet oddly not everybody knows that. The people that do not know that The Beatles are the greatest will more likely than not, argue that they aren't. It is the same thing as debating politics with a person who is not informed of the arguments, yet they passionately will tell you how you're wrong. Does that mean that any person who argues that The Beatles are not musical god-men, that they do not have all the albums and therefore do not know the position and the reasons why The Beatles are the greatest? Yes, I say to you – YES!

If you as a Beatle fan have to argue that an album like say The White Album or Abbey Road are not five star albums, just sit and be quiet and let them talk. They will soon give hints of their Beatle un-savviness. For example, they may say that Sgt Pepper is a concept album, does any real thinking Beatles fan think that? They may say something as silly as Paul McCartney's bass playing ability is any less than stellar, or even worse…mediocre. Do we have ears? What are we comparing The Beatles to? Phish? U2? '90s College Music? What or who is out there who is better? The Beatles are not kings of the musical hill, they are an island unto themselves.

So far no one has been able to come close to what The Beatles have accomplished. The Beatles were not just pioneers with each new release, The Beatles were amazing songwriters, fine musicians, forward thinkers and they are pretty funny too. Any other musician or musical group who would wish to accomplish the magnitude of what The Beatles had done in just six years would need a magical pocket watch that stops time. Six short years includes thirteen albums, four movies, and three world tours, enough singles to fill up two CDs and not to mention they changed the face of pop rock with each new release.

When the Beatles broke up, each member had varied success, some more than another. No matter how successful The Beatles were individually in the 70s and 80s, and no matter how great the songs were during these times, it was apparent that the four guys still needed one another in order to change the world every six months as they did in the sixties. So even if the uniformed debater tries to come across as musically intellectual by praising dopey bands from the 90s that no one has ever heard of, just remember theyre still just uninformed. They try to mask their unsavvy musical taste by pointing to pointless music that you had never heard of.

and now… the music that changed pop culture

Sorry about that above, I have just been reading a lot of negative things about The Beatles in print and online lately. It’s just so wild, but I guess when you are as big as The Beatles, there is bound to be some negativity out there.

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lukeprog March 18, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Uh-oh. The Beatles maniacs have discovered me…

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SupremeMuffin May 12, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Luke-

This is my first time posting, so I wanted to say this is an awesome site!

I’m curious about your views on politics. You say that capitalism is evil and that

“Democracy is the least bad option currently in play. However, it is inherently evil, unfortunately”

I’d like to know how you arrived at that view and why you think so. I’m currently all over the place on most issues and it would be great if you could tell me the reasons your mind was changed and what prompted the change on the issues of capitalism, democracy as a poor political system, and empirical politics.

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lukeprog May 12, 2010 at 4:24 pm

SupremeMuffin,

This lecture by Michael Alpert is a place to start.

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