Saturday, September 17, 2011

More to the point

I have renamed this blog to "concertnotes" because it gives a better sense of the kind of posts I do. It used to be called "grumbleby", but grumbling is only an amusing sideline. My basic disposition is that of a spectator at concerts that do not seize his attention. As a result, I find myself examining the ceiling, riffling the program notes and in general not so much watching the show as considering the circumstances of its production.

This is what Luhmann calls "second-order observation". To be clear: engaging in this does not grant "objectivity", or privileged access to "the truth". It is merely a technique of attention to attentiveness - looking at the finger instead of what it's pointing to, studying the window display without buying anything (possibly for lack of money). The Little Match Girl was a second-order observer, and so was Wilde.

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