sidebar 2005.08.04
Never know, maybe their way of doing it is consistent and efficient, in some kind of way.

Just the other day, I heard about their tax forms. I guess they take forever to fill out, but the government pretty much efficienty processes them. The reason the forms become such a strain is because they have so many tax exceptions and deductions for "minorities" (I guess they may not necessarily call them minorities. . .maybe something more like "populations that we treated horribly, REALLY horribly in the past and pretty much get ethnically shafted in Europe.")

That attitude really does show the profundity of how different countries and continents view ethnicity, race, etc. I remember reading an editorial in the Metro about how, in Africa, the color of your skin doesn't matter. Rather, your tribe matters. The person who wrote the editorial, however, really changed their mindset when they moved from Africa to the US. Instead of thinking so much about tribe and such, they changed their discernment to the color of their skin. Oh, in the US, where nuance doesn't exist. . .. =/
--Mr. Lex Thu Aug 4 11:40:51 2005
"Never know, maybe their way of doing it is consistent and efficient, in some kind of way."

Possibly, but I doubt it. I'm just a music theory duffer, but bear with me:

The "usual" system (I know it at applies to USA and England) runs through the alphabet A-G. Or more commonly, if you're playing a major scale, from C to C, starting over at G:
The German system would go
It gets a little more complicated with flats and sharps; the reasons why there is "no" E# or B# (Simpsons reference ahoy!) require a chunk of music theory. That might tie into the whole H=B B=Bb thing, but I think it's just a historical artifact

--Kirk Thu Aug 4 12:18:37 2005
History of Note Names on this page gives a touch of history:
--Kirk Thu Aug 4 12:20:18 2005
Well. . .I guess I look at as we used to call the USSR the USSR while the peole in the USSR called it CCCP. Different letters can mean different things in different alphabets. After all, German has a couple letters in it that us English speakers don't have.

Sure, it's music but music is different everywhere. Us Americans generally have a 12-note scale (or something like that) while other cultures have different kinds of octaves and scales. Darn, some of them may not even have different octaves and scales. Just because it's different doesn't make it anything less efficient, maybe they have a different purpose for doing something than we do.

And sure, I don't play music and I have a pretty rudimentary knowledge of it, but from what I know, I know that music is different for different cultures, whether they be Western civilization, Eastern civilization, 3rd World civilization or even cultures within civilization.

I guess when it comes down to it, I feel like making evaluative statements like "consistent and evaluative" about cultural artifacts that don't kill or hurt people or hold back from accomplishing a task that something of a consensus wants to reach feels. . .I don't know. . .somewhat reductive thinking.
--Mr. Lex Thu Aug 4 16:34:49 2005
Read the wikipedia, and the historical/cultural "linguistic" way in which the German note system evolved, when combined with my thoughts on things such as Germany having different letters and such, it makes plenty of sense. Maybe it's not consistent in a systematic way with the English way of doing things, but it's culture. . .culture doesn't really happen systematically or efficiently, and trying to change that stuff systematically and efficiently can cause more trouble than its worth because one person systematic efficiency is another person's decadence and allowing whores into their country.
--Mr. Lex Thu Aug 4 17:36:34 2005
Just a side note: A person of German and American descent that boarded at my home doesn't know why they call her homeland Deutschland even though she knows why we call it Germany.

Maybe they're not as orderly and efficient and consistent as we think. =d
--Mr. Lex Thu Aug 4 17:38:41 2005
Sure, it's fine to recognize that there are always going to be cultural assumptions and biases lurking about. For example, even with Western music, A-G is just one branch. There's this formalized "do re mi" (with different vowels for flats/sharps) that I've never gotten comfortable with, but it has some pluses like you don't have to worry about transposing things.

BUT -- you can't become a total cultural relativist with this kind of stuff. It's like the metric system. In many ways it is inarguably better than the "English" system we use. The "English" system isn't without some nice qualities; it maps well to some things of "common" experience and can have a poetry that Metric lacks. But in terms of conversions, it's Metric all the way.

Basically, I think anyone who argues for such cultural relativism is thinking WAY too linearly; they assume things are measured on a single spectrum of "goodness". I never said the German system was worse than ours, just implied that it lacked "consistency and good engineering principles" I'll stand by that...and that runs counter to the stereotypes of German culture we all know and love.

It was meant to be funny, you know. Not super funny, but a bit.
--Kirk Thu Aug 4 18:29:06 2005
I think there's places for cultural relativism and there's places not for it. But how can arguing for cultural relativism be an argument for too much linearality as compared to an argument of engineering and such? And in a sense, it seems like you're making somewhat of a cultural relativist argument except that it seems like you're making a utility relativist argument rather than a cultural relativist argument, which somewhat sidesteps the discussion that I thought I was entering. But I agree with the utility relativist argument, except that to some degree that falls under cultural relativism to some degree, in a very American way. . .. =d

As for Germans being consistent and engineerers, I kind of think that's something of a stereotype created by some "loud" Germans like Kant and probably the engineers.

But I possibly could have missed out on the humor when I first read the entry because when it said "good engineering," I for some reason thought your wrote "efficient." I wonder why I thought that way. . ..
--Mr. Lex Thu Aug 4 18:40:45 2005