fredag 14 augusti 2009

Modernity in Physics, Arts and Music

In the previous blog I observed that modern physics is based on assumptions which cannot be directly verified experimentally. It appears that this aspect of modernity has a parallel in non-figurative arts and atonal music, which together with modern physics emerged in the beginning of the 20th century, in what can be viewed as a preparation to the collapse of classical Western culture in the 1st World War followed by the 2nd. 

An aspect of the modernity of non-figurative art is that it is impossible to compare the painting with what is supposed to be depicted. A non-figurative painting does not depict something explicitely, if anything only implicitely, as in the above painting. 

An aspect of the modernity of atonal music is that it is impossible to decide what the key is. Atonal music does not show tonality directly,  if any only indirectly. 

The modernity of modern physics is that it is impossible to experimentally verify basic assumptions. The basic assumptions thus do not reveal their character directly,  only indirectly through traces as shown in the above picture from a particle experiment. In classical physics basic assumptions such as Hooke's law, Fourier's law and Coulomb's law, can be directly checked in experiments. But the quanta, photons and quarks of modern physics cannot be observed directly. 

Modern physics, art and music thus share a common quality of hiding to inspection, or
impliciteness and indirectness, like the shades of Platon which only vaugely indicate their origin, if any.

We can compare with the life in the modern city with the qualities of the people we meet in the street hidden to direct inspection, only available indirectly by clothing and appearance, while in the classical village everybody directly knows everything about everybody.

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