Bigsley the Oaf

Static / Dynamic

Posted in Uncategorized by bigsleytheoaf on August 9, 2013

Static is small time scales, full description.

Dynamic is large time scales, partial description.

Given a finite representational space, large time scales require coarser encodings, due to their having more data. Thus, dynamic representational schemes must be low resolution in proportion to the time scales under consideration.

Smaller time scales do not have this requirement, since they have comparatively little data to represent. Thus, static representational schemes can be higher resolution.

Contemporary american society is obsessed with the dynamic – in change over time scales. What is lost is our vision – we do not have the time to look around us and see how things really are. We must only pay attention to those facts that are most directly related to our material progress.

Many other societies seem more interested in the static. I’m not saying that no one in the US is interested in the static, I’m just talking about societal priorities. Japanese culture, for instance, seems somewhat more interested in the static – in how things are now rather than how they’re changing, or where they’re going.

Alan Watts says that those who pay attention to tomorrow use up their energy in this attention, and thus are unprepared for tomorrow.

Those who pay attention to the moment do what they’ll need for tomorrow as a matter of course.


One Response

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  1. Graham said, on August 15, 2013 at 4:48 am

    I have more evidence for your claim about the US being more interested in the dynamic. Almost all non-Western cultures have no movement of harmony in their music — most non-notated or traditional music is either monophonic, percussive, or a melody played over a drone. Whereas in the “West” since 1700 or so the movement of chords has been pretty much the sole motivating force behind perceived movement in music. In fact there’s this obsession with the general idea of movement throughout Western music. That music has to or should move in order to be interesting or effective.

    The most static instrument I can think of is a gong.


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