Skip to comments.Ray Kurzweil Wants to Make Us Gods, But Got the Piano Wrong
Posted on 10/03/2015 12:43:34 PM PDT by CharlesOConnell
Yes, but what tawdry gods we'd be. Okay, all I have to do is realize that I'm god, or as a technological solution to the fundamental ontological question "why?", get one of Kurzweil's gizmos implanted in my skull. But what a poor job I'm doing from my shabby Mt. Olympus. Just take a look around you, a world of repression & murder, but with no excuse, with a sufficient amount of everything for everybody to have enough of everything. Enough agriculture, manufacturing & information, products of the 18th c. agricultural, 19th c. industrial, 20th c. information revolutions, with more organized mayhem & murder than all previous ages combined: sure proof of the mythic truth of the Tower of Babel.
Take as an example of his exalted influence, enabling us to create ourselves, just one of Kurzweil's inventions, the one for which Ray Kurzweil is most famous, but which is fundamentally corrupt: the synthetic piano; its tone is an average of all 88 "notes" on a piano WHICH WAS NOT FINISHED.
A properly regulated piano has a smooth, mellow tone across all 88 keys; Kurzweil's piano does not, it buzzes uniformly across all 88 keys, enforcing its defective tone on every note. Producing pure tone is the height of the piano technician's craft. In fact, master piano technicians practice eleven separate crafts. To custom remanufacture a $100k factory stock Steinway with another $100k of tuneup, piano technicians first start with properly regulated string-bridge contact, strung across a perfectly tangential 90° bridge on every string, well before they practice the supreme craft of hammer tone regulation (producing even tone across all 88 keys by first lacquering compressed woolen hammer felts, then needling them with a tiny fork about 5/16ths inch wide with 4 independently adjustable needles to regulate the tone).
(My teacher unstrung a 9 foot concert Steinway, grabbed a bastard file, thrust it at me, a student, and commanded, "square that bridge!" - on a $100,000 instrument. Sure!)
This means, on a top piano you want a pure, unbuzzing tone, the opposite tone of a Tamboori, the Hindustani Classical drone instrument with bits of paper deliberately placed on the string close to the bridge to evoke higher string harmonics for singers & players to microtonally emulate the pitch: You want inharmonic piano strings which produce tone louder among the lower fundamental components, 2:1 octave, 3:2 fifth above octave, like the notes of a bugle which are all really just one note. To get that piano tone on a $200,000 Steinway, before re-stringing you have to make sure the stainless-steel bridge insert is absolutely 90 degrees, filed as sharp as a knife so the strings have only minimal, tangential contact with the bridge.
Kurzweil just took an unfinished piano, with an unfiled bridge, with some of the notes putting out an almost Sitar-like buzzing, evoking some of the higher harmonics like 4:3 third above double octave. Kurzweil, who knows nothing about pianos, he's just an electronics geek, just averaged those 88 tones, producing buzzing on all the notes, every single electronic piano which emulates what he so defectively did, no matter whether the rest of the instrument is Jazz concert quality.
The claim on The Kurzweil was "only a trained piano technician can tell the difference". A trained piano tech can show you in 30 seconds what's wrong with THE Kurzweil. What you're listening for on a truly great concert grand piano is pure, even tone across all 88 notes. This is the culmination of properly regulated hammers, founded on a properly filed, tangential bridge. Kurzweil's piano heaven is really hell, like the material hell we'd all be in if we were immortal.
Sure, you can never die. But what kind of eternity would it be, to have to live in a universe of lies, deceit, hatred, violence, mayhem & murder.
That's anyone's definition of hell.
Fedgov supports Kurzwell’s idea - amn implant to make us “gods” in every skull (with hidden programming suubroutines embedded but we won’t talk about that). The feds will require built in GPS and WIFI capabilities I’m sure.
I am no fan of Ray Kurzweil’s trans-humanist nonsense, but this article is bullshit. The Kurzweil K250 released in the early 1980s was the first viable sampled piano and was head and shoulders above everything else on the market. While there are now many electronic piano imitations on the market, the current Kurzweil Forte is one of the best of the lot.
Incidentally Ray Kurzweil has had no direct involvement in the musical instrument company that bears his name for years.
Didn’t this guy make crappy electronic keyboards too?
He’s come up with a lot of print to voice tech for blind people.
My buddy who’s been blind for many years has mentioned him several times.
And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: / For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.Just another serpent repeating what his forefather said a few millennia ago.
Yes, I recall him doing that.
Better than a home made electronic clock LOL
Kurzweil is waaaaaaaay beyond the echelons of reality here.
1. Malware and hacking.
2. Software bugs.
So, you want to be “godlike” with robots in your brain?
What are you going to do when some vicious bastard puts malware on them, or hacks them?
And what are you going to do when your robots start running into bugs int their software?
There are more lines of code on a smart phone than any one human can write, much less debug, in a lifetime. There will be even more in your robots. Bugs will only multiply.
Firewalls will never be good enough to allow people to safely merge their brains and the net. Likewise, error handling will never be sufficient to protect users allowing software to run on their ‘bots.
I used to think there might be something to mind/machine interfaces. Now I just think they would be a major hazard to civilization.
“Hes come up with a lot of print to voice tech for blind people.”
Seems I read that it was the inspiration for the title of Stevie Wonder’s album “Talking Book”.
I was never able to afford a Kurzweil, and had to be content to make my living on a Panasonic Technics KN5000.
I put all my settings and shows on 3.5” floppies and thought it was wonderful.
But every time i drove past the Kurzweil factory in Waltham, I wondered if, somehow, it was a better keyboard because it was so darn expensive!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.