From a received email:
It seems to me that most discussions about human/global problems take a scientific approach; ie focus on the facts of the situations and the reasons and causes for them. I believe the processes of science are one of the great developments in human thinking. But that is just the problem they involve thinking and rationality. And all of this is good too expect that human beings are not rational beings. So it seems to me that engaging the arts to ‘speak to’ human beings (rather than rational beings) MIGHT engage people and their actions is ways that a purely rational approach cannot achieve.
Therefore I appreciated A. and O. instigating a discussion on Music last week. Preparing for the discussion reminded me of Oliver Sacks’ book Musicophilia where he claims that we are the musical species because more of our brains are devoted to the processes of music than speech. Reflections remind us of how smells and snatches of music can bring back whole memories.
We also reflected that the military and the church has LONG used music to engage and motivate people. Where are hymns and anthems for the change we seek?
Perhaps the visual arts are doing the best work for us so far; eg that photo of the blue earth floating in space probably had as much an impact on us as all the facts and figures put together. Can we use music more?