#TFOI (The Firstness Of Ideas, March 14, 2015):

SynTalk thinks about the phenomenology of getting an idea, and wonders about the fine ‘thinness’ of an idea’s form. We discuss lively, apt, inapt, frustrated, injurious, abstract, failed, & wrong ideas, and understand how an idea can sometimes (but only rarely) run away with reality. The concepts are derived off / from Plato, Guru Nanak, Kabir, Leibniz, Hume, William Blake, Peirce, Dalton, Mendeleev, Allama Iqbal, Tartakower, & Kasparov, among others. Are ideas always driven by a sense of necessity, and how necessity fundamentally deals with form (& not content)? Is the world of the sensible (matter) and the sensitive (mind) different from the (autonomous) world of ideas? Is the material world a corruption, then, of the realm of ideas? In what sense is the idea of (say) justice or table-ness enworlded? The modes of recollection, doubt, introspection, induction, deduction, or abduction. Why a solution or an idea sometimes hits one as a bolt out of the blue? Are problems also ideas? Why an epiphany can (& should) never last long? Does every idea start with an anxiety, and what is the (creative &) schizophrenic journey into the field of uncertainty? What is the granularity at which the mind operates? How blunders and combinations are all waiting to happen. Are bad ideas as rare as good ideas? What is the margin of lost memories (between remembrance and forgetfulness)? The interpretive act of rendering a poetry using melody. Can we formalize introspective rationality? Chess chunks and how expert level games are driven by pattern & experience recognition? What is the darkness of the infinite like, where one may be without an idea? The links between rabab, homeless king, Dervish dance, smothered checkmate, stylization, alaap, dreams, indrajaal, & fMRI. How the greatest empowerment (in any field) via any idea is being or momentarily becoming as large as the universe. How the likely long term change in the global political order might change the idea of an idea into one more experiential and less propositional? Does idea need to liberated from underneath language? Is it fair to anticipate that much of human affairs in the future is going to driven by the new form of the ‘point’? The SynTalkrs are: Dr. Madan Gopal Singh (sufi music, Delhi), Prof. Navjyoti Singh (philosophy, IIIT, Hyderabad), & Pravin Thipsay (chess, Mumbai).

SynTalk is pleased and privileged to have hosted the following SynTalkrs (in alphabetical order) on its #TFOI show.

Dr. Madan Gopal Singh (music, writing) is a singer, composer, lyricist, actor, screenwriter, film theorist and an editor. He was the Executive Editor of the Journal of Arts and Ideas for almost a decade. In the mid-sixties, he watched mesmerized the appearance of the earliest underground translations of Barthes, Foucault and Lacan into Punjabi. His doctoral dissertation ‘History as Signification – a Semiotic Study of Three Seminal Film Texts”, is the first known semiotic study of some of the seminal texts from Indian cinema: Sant Tukaram (1936), Pather Panchali (1955), and Meghe Dhaka Tara (1960). He also served as the Contributing Editor, Cinemaya – the Asian Film Quarterly, for a number of years. Dr. Singh has composed and sung the poetry of Rumi, Shah Husain, Sultan Bahu and Bulle Shah, and has also translated poets such as Bertolt Brecht, Federico García Lorca and John Lennon. He has performed widely both in India and internationally. He has also traveled through Iran and Kurdistan in the company of the legendary Sufi singer, Shahram Nazeri. His other creative works include Khamosh Pani (2003, music composer), Ekti Naadir Naam (2002, screenplay), and Qissa (2013, lyrics, dialogue translation). His most recent work pertains to composing Kabir and recording the compositions at Woodstock.

Prof. Navjyoti Singh (philosophy) is currently Professor and Head, Center for Exact Humanities, IIIT Hyderabad. His current research interests are in formal ontology, foundations of humanities and computing. After technology education from IIT, Kanpur, in Mechanical Engineering and later Nuclear Technology, he shifted to professionally researching on the ‘crossroads of Indian and Greco-European analytic traditions’, an engagement that spans more than three decades. Early publications on foundations of logic, mathematics and linguistics gave way to prolonged research on the ‘working of the mind’. He has formalized Vaiseshika ontology, written on transfinite mathematics of Jaina and developed formal approach to Buddhist phenomenology. His recent works deal with formal theories of justice, history, society and arts. Prof. Singh labels a wide range of his intellectual pursuits under ‘exact humanities’ and draws heavily from Indian analytical traditions.

Pravin Thipsay (chess) is a Chess Grandmaster and currently coaches budding chess players through his Chess Academy. He has been playing chess since the age of 14 and has won the Indian Chess Championship 7 times (from 1982 to 1994). He also played for India in the Chess Olympiads for 7 years. During Commonwealth Chess Championship (1985), he tied for the first position with Kevin Spraggett. In Asian Chess Championship (Tehran, 1998) he tied for 4-7th position. He received the title of ‘International Grandmaster’ (GM) from International Chess Federation (FIDE) in 1997, and was the 2nd Indian after Viswanathan Anand to attain the GM norm. In 2007, he won the FIDE Rated All India Open Chess Tournament in Mangalore. He has received numerous awards including the ‘Arjuna Award’ (1984) from Government Of India. His current FIDE rating is 2409 and at his peak, in 1981, his rating was equivalent to 2751 when he was ranked 141 in the world. His best single performance was at Brighton (BCF Championship) 1984, where he scored 6.5 of 10 possible points (65%) against 2549-rated opposition.

Note: Any & all errors in the brief profiles above are SynTalk’s own.

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