Monday, 17 October 2011

Chronos, Concord and Pask

I'm listening to Britten's choral dances from Gloriana, which have the titles "Time" and "Concord". They are very beautiful, but also very profound and relevant to my current obsession with time and symmetry... These are William Plomer's words to the dances:

Yes, he is time, Lusty and blithe, Time is at his apogee!
Although you thought to see
A bearded ancient with a scythe
No reaper he that cries "Take heed!"
Time is at his apogee.
Young and strong in his prime
Behold the sower of the seed.

Concord is here, our days to bless
And this our land to endue with plenty, peace and happiness.
Concord and time, each needeth each
The ripest fruit hangs where not one but only two can reach

From springs of bounty, Through this county
Streams abundant of thanks shall flow.
Where life was scanty fruits of plenty swell resplendent
No Greek nor Roman Queenly woman knew such favor from Heav'n above
As she whose presence is our pleasance - Gloriana - Hath all our love.

Here we have the 'clock time' of Newton, as well as the Bergsonian time of 'being'. Concord makes time stand still.. it is the essence of harmony and symmetry. There may be perfect and imperfect concord (I'm aware that I'm getting close to medieval theologians here).. does Chronos arise from the imperfections of concord?

In Greek mythology, Chronos's consort was Anake - or "inevitability". It may be that 'inevitability' and 'anticipation' are closely related. And maybe what is inevitable becomes so when Concord is disturbed - a symmetry is broken.

My real interest in all this has to do with the dynamics of learning. I've been studying Pask's work on 'learning curves' which is fascinating me because it looks like a musical score.

In those patterns of rising and falling levels of understanding, there may well be emerging symmetries... fading in periods of concord, and where the concord breaks down, so chronos takes over and drives things forwards...

Might the dynamics of this process be similar to the discursive inter-penetration that is suggested by Leydesdorff? Maybe they are the effects of an inner 'triple helix'? Could these graphs be broken down into three dimensions and then analysed for where the 'knowledge flows' really are?

There's something in this, and I'm wondering if between Pask and Symmetry, there might be something very interesting to study.... maybe OER is good place to start...

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