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Borrowing from the Future. The great flaw?

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posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 08:34 PM
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Fellow ATS Members,

I would like to present an idea I had recently and receive your input as to what you think. Perhaps we could build on my idea and eventually create a proper thread with actual evidence to back the initial idea up.



I first want to start with a story, a personal situation I recently found myself in that sparked my idea.

I am a graduate student studying Music Composition and K12 Licensure. Every week I am expected to compose and attend a lesson with the professor of music composition for him to give me feedback on my work. Last week I didn't quite compose as much as I wanted too but did put considerable thought and effort into my work, however the amount of notes on the page were... lacking. I take it to the professor, feeling proud of the ideas I had come up with. He goes over the usual process of trying to pick out the notes on the piano (because he hates the idea of using a computer to compose).

At the end of my lesson he tells me "I am going to give you a mid semester warning. I don't think you are composing enough for a grad student and if this continues you may need to think about how much work you are taking on and how many degree programs you are taking." This kind of shocks me, my undergrad professor never complained about my pacing! He admitted I had done a nice job but I am just not writing enough. Write more. More, more, more!

Here's the problem I have with this; I pay this guy part of my outrageous tuition of $8,500 a semester, to essentially do all this work without pay, to hopefully learn something useful, and he's saying that I'm not doing enough? I'm paying him! I'm employing him! He can't "fire" me! Talk about biting the hand that feeds you!

But I digress. The point is I prefer to have a higher quality in my work and usually this is at the expense of quantity. However in modern society we typically care about more. More.

The Idea

The idea that spawned from this is what I believe to be the fundamental flaw in modern society. Progress now at the expense of the future.
The idea that humanity must be on an relentless path of exponential progress now at whatever cost. That new ways, and ideas are better than old ones.
Don't get me wrong, there is good progress. Things that fundamentally benefit and change humanity, but typically these things take time and cannot be forced to occur.

The Case for the Flaw

1. Rome

The typical reasoning behind the fall of Rome and the onset of the Dark Ages is essentially laziness, and over-expansion. While this is true I would further argue that it was their relentless march towards progress that eventually caused them to over consume, over expand, that pampered their citizens to the point of apathy. The expanded so much so quickly it stressed the world and their system to the point of it's collapse. In response the Dark Ages was marked by slower progress and more localized communities. A depression if you will in response to a bubble.

2. The Roaring 20's and Depression

The 20's and Depression of the 1930's in my opinion is a microcosm of the Roman Empire. The US saw great growth in the 20's at the cost of many other nations after WWI. We were king and the economy and markets saw extreme growth that was unsustainable for our country and ultimately was corrected after the crash of 1929. Instead of accepting these depressions as natural corrections to the exponential growth caused by the bubbles, the Fed and Government were concerned and tried desperately to fix this situation. Pushing growth on an already strained economy and country is not good.

As a side note, it could be argued that bubbles also cause an explosion in population growth. So perhaps there were too many people seeking the same resources that were not available in the country?

3. The Fed of Today

The policies of the Federal Reserve for the past 30 - 40 years have been to push up asset prices and profits for the stock market. The past couple decades have been marked with record high stock markets, record housing prices, dramatic increase in college tuition, as well as government and public debt. All this while wages stay relatively low and jobs are shipped overseas to cheaper labor markets. In America, this has created an atmosphere of borrowing from the future to benefit the present at an unprecedented rate. If the markets start to crash as they did in 1987, 2000, and 2008 the policy is to now borrow from the future to keep progress marching on. The markets must increase in value, there must be inflation, there has to be relentless progress or we're doomed!

Before the easy money policies of the Fed, Americans used to save for things such as houses, cars, vacations, investments, etc. and the banks used to pay interest for using your money. This was more stable and although "progress" wasn't measured as high, it encourages the idea of saving now to benefit in the future.

4. Environmental, Economical, and Global Implications

Because of this relentless march towards progress at the expense of the future there are many resources humans are using faster than the Earth can provide. Gas, Lumber, Seafood, Minerals, Water (Ogallala aquifer, California) etc. This ability to consume at unprecedented rates is causing us to literally borrow resources from our future to benefit modern society! In more than just money! It's not just America either, it's the whole world. The global economy is slowing and I believe this is the reason why. We have pushed our consuming abilities to the limit and it is now our time to reap what we sowed.

The Future?

If my theory is right, this puts us in a bad situation for the future. My generation (the millennials), our children and possibly our grandchildren are indebted to the "progress" achieved in our society. What I foresee is not a global depression but a new Dark Age. While that may seem like I'm trying to propagate doom and fear, I don't believe we should fear it. From my point of view it is inevitable and has already begun.

My prediction is we will see a time of slower progress. More localized communities, an emphasis on quality and reliability over quantity, closer families, and a general appreciation for simplicity.

What say you ATS?

edit on 1-3-2015 by asmall89 because: needed more color




posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 10:11 PM
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a reply to: asmall89

I work in the arts. And work for a university. If your professor is telling you you are not doing enough, then you are not doing enough.
What I have seen with the group you lump yourself into, is a sever lack of follow through and wanting to use any excuse for not doing your work outside of the classroom setting.

Back when I was playing in a band, we could pull out three or more jams to turn into songs in a 3 hour session.

You are not paying your grad adviser $8,500 or even part of that. They get their paycheck regardless if you are there. That money you are paying for the privilege of working on a graduate degree.
I will point out to be a commercial success in music has nothing to do with the degree you do or do not hold.

The answer to your "Idea" and it's subclauses is to work hard, and stop thinking more money spent in education means any easy answers or knowing anything about the real world.



posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 10:35 PM
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a reply to: asmall89

I think your story with your professor is a weird trigger to start thinking about future generations...

But I agree.
And it's true - it is not only America. We see the same MO in Europe too.
The part about apathy among the roman citizenry in particular is analog to our times.
Political and economic ignorance, passiveness and decadence are everywhere.
And it will cost the next generations dearly. Which leads to the question of our responsibility of course.

The only part I disagree with is what you implied about the FED and your Government being all "concerned" and "desperately trying to fix situation".
For their bosses, everything is working as intended.
An indebted, dependent, unaware citizenry is exactly what their social engineering is aiming for.

So what to do? Because it IS our responsibility.
The great correction will come. We better have (our own) solution by then.



posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 10:36 PM
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a reply to: randomtangentsrme

Ok answer me this then. If there weren't any students for this professor would he still have a job? Or for any professor for that matter.

You are wrong in your statement about the professor not getting my money. I spend money on tuition based on credit hours. The money goes to the University which in turn pays the professor his paycheck. Essentially I (and other students) am the reason his position exists.

Lack of follow through and work ethic for my generation? OK well consider this, I am working on 2 degrees and working on top of that plus having a fiance, and trying to keep up with networking, yeah I suppose you could say I am and those like me are lazy... Also doesn't the Bachelors indicate I can follow through?

Progress and work takes time and can't always be measured with quantity.

That is the flaw, we are focused on quantity as a way to measure progress. Thus we use loose monetary devices to fund this endless desire to create more and more at the expense of future generations. Working hard cannot solve this fundamental flaw, a change in mindset is what is needed.
Beethoven was one of the slowest composers and yet we consider him one of the greatest. Compare that to Mozart and Bach, you have a greater amount of music composed but only a smaller proportion of those are considered masterworks.



edit on 1-3-2015 by asmall89 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 10:37 PM
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There is more than one way to skin a cat. You can pay those outrages fees and pray you learn enough and chosen the right field. You can do it the hard way also, self teach. I played guitar by ear for a very long time before I got around to theory but it also hasn't been my primary focus. You want something bad enough you'll find a way even if you have to create your own business to make the money you need to create the liquidity to learn and experience what you want.

As for the future, in the end, I see the inevitable ebb and flow of existence. I also recognize that my reality is comprised of preconceived notions of who I am, what I want and if I'm good enough. Just knowing you are and working towards that goal will eventually get you there. Long story short, law of attraction. Or not.



posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 10:44 PM
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a reply to: Rosinitiate

I agree and that is what I have realized is I don't think I am getting my moneys worth. This prof doesn't want to me to use a computer to compose or playback my music (which is pretty much what everyone else does these days) but instead painstakingly tries to plunk out what I wrote on the piano.

I mentioned I used a certain melody as an underlying theme to my most recent composition. He tried to disern it from my composition and said I didn't use the exact melody because I added an extra note. Little did he know he was playing it wrong


I'm finding academic music is pretentious and has little purpose outside of academia. If Mozart was alive today he'd be composing for movies, and that's what I ought to be doing.
edit on 1-3-2015 by asmall89 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 11:02 PM
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a reply to: ColCurious

I know but I guess what triggered it was this thought; I'm borrowing tons of money from future me, to pay this guy to tell me I'm not good enough, for what?

They push college way too hard in this country and it's just as over inflated as everything else. You can't pack in years of experience and knowledge in 2 or 4 years.



posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 11:11 PM
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a reply to: asmall89

Well - that is your investment, your venture, and still your decision to make.
You should rejoice and be glad it is still yours.

Future generations won't even have that choice.
They will just have to work and pay for our generations bills, and maybe whistle workers' songs.
edit on 1-3-2015 by ColCurious because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 11:17 PM
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a reply to: asmall89




"If there weren't any students for this professor would he still have a job?"
Yes because of tenure.



You are wrong in your statement about the professor not getting my money. I spend money on tuition based on credit hours. The money goes to the University which in turn pays the professor his paycheck. Essentially I (and other students) am the reason his position exists.


No. His position exists because his department has deemed it important that his position exists. Part of the money to pay for his position comes from any number of tuitions paid from other undergrads or grad students.
My dept, has 7 grad students. Their tuition doesn't come close to paying the faculty grad adviser, and the dept staff grad adviser, and the other professors and staff they interact with.




Lack of follow through and work ethic for my generation? OK well consider this, I am working on 2 degrees and working on top of that plus having a fiance, and trying to keep up with networking, yeah I suppose you could say I am and those like me are lazy... Also doesn't the Bachelors indicate I can follow through?


Seeing as I was born in 1980, that puts me in the millennial generation as well. I worked through college as well. Difference is I left school when jobs came, and now I work at a university with no degree, because I worked at my craft (theater, not music). As a play writing professor once told me Show me don't tell me.
A Bachelors may show you can follow through with an undergrad degree, why would that mean you can survive the additional needs of a grad degree?




Progress and work takes time and can't always be measured with quantity.


In the arts nothing matters but how the final product is received by the public. Be it now or 100 years from now.




That is the flaw, we are focused on quantity as a way to measure progress. Thus we use loose monetary devices to fund this endless desire to create more and more at the expense of future generations. Working hard cannot solve this fundamental flaw, a change in mindset is what is needed. Beethoven was one of the slowest composers and yet we consider him one of the greatest. Compare that to Mozart and Bach, you have a greater amount of music composed but only a smaller proportion of those are considered masterworks.


Once again you are showing a lack in understanding the industry you are trying to break into. When it comes to the arts it is an industry of feast or famine. You may not have work for 6 months or 6 years, and then get 10 people wanting you to compose something in the next 2 weeks.
When it comes to making a living not everything can be a master work. Sometimes it just needs to be enough to get the job done.

I have a friend who has played Carnegie hall a couple times, with standing ovations each time. He makes sandwiches now.
I have friends who have worked on Broadway with much success. They stay at home now.

If you want to make it, you will go above and beyond. If you want to hide behind excuses, you will end up like so many others, with a great degree and a job at target



posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 11:17 PM
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double post
edit on 1-3-2015 by randomtangentsrme because: bah



posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 11:29 PM
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a reply to: randomtangentsrme

If there weren't any students would a university exist?

Doesn't a university exist to educate and further the advancement of knowledge?

The thing is 30 to 40 years ago many of these positions didn't exist. They exist primarily because of inflated university funds brought on by easy money from student loans. When the student debt bubble bursts, and it will burst, many professors will be out of the job.

I agree with your diagnosis on the arts. The thought I have had is I should be working under a film composer. Simply because I'm getting paid for my work and learning in the process. Which IMHO is the way it ought to be.



posted on Mar, 1 2015 @ 11:47 PM
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a reply to: asmall89

What you are saying sounds like the Petrodollar problem where we are borrowing money based on future projections of what our grandchildren, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, etc will earn. yes, there will have to be a new Dark Ages at the current rate we are going.
edit on 1-3-2015 by lostbook because: word change



posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 12:31 AM
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a reply to: asmall89

No it wouldn't exist, and with what it costs these days it shouldn't exist.

Arguably yes. Do professors at a college have any clue as to the workings of the professional world?

If you want to work under a film composer then do it. They will be harder on you then your professors are.



posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 01:24 AM
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originally posted by: lostbook
a reply to: asmall89

What you are saying sounds like the Petrodollar problem where we are borrowing money based on future projections of what our grandchildren, great grandchildren, great-great grandchildren, etc will earn. yes, there will have to be a new Dark Ages at the current rate we are going.


Yes, that is essentially the issue I'm describing. This is totally unsustainable and I think we're beginning to see it unravel. The markets no longer have relevance to the average person. The average people are going to feel the strains first, the wealthy last since they have access to political and monetary manipulation.


originally posted by: randomtangentsrme
a reply to: asmall89

No it wouldn't exist, and with what it costs these days it shouldn't exist.

Arguably yes. Do professors at a college have any clue as to the workings of the professional world?

If you want to work under a film composer then do it. They will be harder on you then your professors are.



Some professors do have an idea... most don't. Both profs I've had admitted they don't know what to do with students that come in wanting to be film & video game composers.

Yes they would be harder on me and rightfully so since I would be paid a little, rather than indebted.
edit on 2-3-2015 by asmall89 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 01:45 AM
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originally posted by: asmall89
This prof doesn't want to me to use a computer to compose or playback my music (which is pretty much what everyone else does these days) but instead painstakingly tries to plunk out what I wrote on the piano.


Oh brother, seriously? You remind me of last time that I went to school in technical drawing and they didn't want us to use computers for month and months when 99% of the industry uses computers. The people that say that you have to learn to crawl before you learn to walk are the people that would be jealous of others advancing faster than they did...you'll still have to learn to crawl eventually, but all in good time! There's more than one way to learn everything.


originally posted by: asmall89
I'm finding academic music is pretentious and has little purpose outside of academia. If Mozart was alive today he'd be composing for movies, and that's what I ought to be doing.


I studied in music for a while, I didn't land a diploma. Anyway, I felt the same way.
I'm not saying you won't learn anything, not meet any contacts or have a totally useless degree but music comes from the soul. You got it or you don't, no matter the education.

Maybe if you keep up with his pretentious attitude, lick his ass and eventually say some BS that you wouldn't know nothing if it weren't for him, then he will help you land a good job. On the other hand, you can do like you are above his BS (which you could be I don't know) and do like every other musician : Find a real job, Get equipped, Practice, Compose and pray to God that you will make a big break...at least that's what I'm doing. I do got good music going on hehe



posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 02:53 AM
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originally posted by: theMediator

Oh brother, seriously? You remind me of last time that I went to school in technical drawing and they didn't want us to use computers for month and months when 99% of the industry uses computers. The people that say that you have to learn to crawl before you learn to walk are the people that would be jealous of others advancing faster than they did...you'll still have to learn to crawl eventually, but all in good time! There's more than one way to learn everything.


I studied in music for a while, I didn't land a diploma. Anyway, I felt the same way.
I'm not saying you won't learn anything, not meet any contacts or have a totally useless degree but music comes from the soul. You got it or you don't, no matter the education.


I know! It's rediculous. Notation software has been around since Apple. I can do the work by hand but it takes twice as long. I feel like an old school drafter.

Yeah to me music is something that should come from the heart while also being listenable. New academic music seems to go out of its way to be dissonant and unpleasant. If it sounds good or as my prof says "pretty" then it's considered antiquated or "popish". What a bunch of BS.

Well good luck on your music and give em academics a run for their money!
edit on 2-3-2015 by asmall89 because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 09:56 AM
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Have you ever actually considered who you'd ultimately be working for as a composer for film?



posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 12:23 PM
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a reply to: Psynic

A director? Who's employed by a production company. I know their deadlines are rediculous, that's why people like Hans Zimmer have assistants/ghostwriters.



posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 12:51 PM
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I think the OP is just being plain lazy.

I think the OP thinks he is so talented that all he has to do is compose a piece with no theory or written documentation and then tries to justify his laziness by comparing his situation to that of the economic collapses of past Empires.

I see through the OP and so does his tutor.

success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration .



posted on Mar, 2 2015 @ 01:32 PM
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originally posted by: Gideon70
I think the OP is just being plain lazy.

I think the OP thinks he is so talented that all he has to do is compose a piece with no theory or written documentation and then tries to justify his laziness by comparing his situation to that of the economic collapses of past Empires.

I see through the OP and so does his tutor.

success is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration .


Ok so basically, you are not artistically gifted and think that other people are just like you. I've listened to his stuff and he knows the theory just fine.



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