Nostalgia for the 960s

April 17, 2013

Have you ever felt that you would have been happier and more at home if you had been born in another time? I certainly hope so. And you are not alone:

Can you imagine what it was like to have been around when Odo of Arezzo broke onto the scene? Or to have actually seen Reginold of Eichstätt live? It blows my mind that on any given weekend in the Abbey of St. Martial you could have seen St. Tutilo von Gallen, Ademar of Chabannes, or Hucbald. Hucbald! And just think how amazing it would have been to experience that unforgettable summer of 969, when it seemed like everyone gathered on the lea to circle-dance and intone around a communal fire. Yeah, it was muddy, and yeah, the food was almost assuredly rancid and diseased, but so what? Two words: Heriger and Wigbert!

(Tonsure-tip: The Chant Cafe)

7 Responses to “Nostalgia for the 960s”

  1. Janet Says:

    I can’t tell you how often I’ve thought just that. Well, not about the girls, but the rest of it.


  2. godescalc Says:

    …I am disappointed to find it’s only an Onion parody and they’re not actually serious.

    I sometimes wonder what future generations will envy us for. I’m currently a little conflicted about whether to go see Leonard Cohen in Vienna – the tickets aren’t cheap, but if the future has any sense it will contain people envying us the chance to go see people like Cohen, Dylan etc. while they’re still around.

  3. cburrell Says:

    My sister saw Leonard Cohen a few months ago in Vancouver. She said the concert — which lasted for 4 hours! — was one of the best of her life. I’d go if I were you.

  4. godescalc Says:

    My family offered to contribute to the ticket, so God willing, I’ll be going in July, woo.

    Incidentally: what branch of physics do you work in, again? I’ve noticed the occasional bit of science-blogging here.

  5. cburrell Says:

    That’s great. I hope you enjoy it.

    I am no longer in academia, but back in the day I studied what is called “elementary particle physics”, or “high energy physics”: quarks, neutrinos, Higgs bosons, and that sort of thing.

  6. godescalc Says:

    Aha, thanks.

    Do you have any opinions on interpretations of quantum mechanics? I’m currently slightly troubled by the possibility that the many-worlds interpretation might actually be true, which would have somewhat deleterious implications for moral responsibility, personal identity, faith, anything resembling purpose, etc. But that kind of issue is somewhat more fundamental than what we do in our field (quantum chemistry – applied shroedinger or dirac equations), so I’m worrying about something I’m not really able to parse too well.

  7. cburrell Says:

    I don’t have a settled view of how to interpret QM. But the many-worlds interpretation has never been very compelling to my mind: too extravagant, to say the least. If one must choose between many worlds and one world with a dash of the inexplicable, I’ll take the inexplicable.

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