Copy and paste somethings, take them out of context. The first from a lecture on….
model free control
“We’re going to finally find out if you drop you’re robot or agent into some unknown environment and you don’t tell it anything about how that environment works, how can it figure out the right thing to do?”
A World Away (sleeping now/ the wide-eyed host)
Early medieval verse depicting violence and death asMy Sites an effortless activity, it is no more, to kill, be killed, than it is to sleep. It requires no thought. It expresses clear contempt for the foe. It also expresses the skill and ability of this ‘mindless’ warrior, which are considerable, ‘no one is greater.’
When Flamdwyn killed Owain,
there was not one greater than he sleeping.
A wide number of Lloegyr
went to sleep with light in their eyes
And those that fled not instantly
were beyond necessity.
Owain valiantly chastised them,
like a pack (of wolves) pursuing sheep.
He moves effortlessly on the battlefield and moves effortlessly from life to death. Its a considerable cost.
To him the price is of no consequence. This is a heroic quality. Understanding and acceptance of mortality and an inevitable meeting with death.
A Motivational State
Lets throw in the clunk, clunk, clunk of anthropological language
adjusting behavior from one sphere of appropriateness…. a shift from a relaxed to a mobilized state….. a disciplined response, a motivational state…… which separates and defines differences between an individual’s role in ordinary life and his role in another domain which sanctions extraordinary behavior.
Backtrack slightly, as the poem cited is not noting a distinction between the individuals role in ordinary life/ spiritual life and his role as a warrior
i.e his ‘ordinary’ role as a warrior king and the religious belief system he is apart of, need to create some distance between themselves. Considerable tension to be resolved between these two conflicting states of being.
The soul of Owain son of Urien.
May its Lord consider its need…..
A worthy man, upon his many-coloured trappings,
he would give horses to those that asked.
While he hoarded hard money,
it was not shared for his soul.
The soul of Owain, son of Urien.
Return to the first question raised, how in these situations do you figure out how to do the correct thing?
Explore the possibility that in this case no thought is required. This is a rhythmic activity and we can make sense of the situation in these terms.
A poet and a song, clearly these things are not a warrior and a sword. But sometimes they look little different from one another.
These activities are a world away, considerable distance has to be maintained, the activity is effortless, everything is one, both friend and foe. All are caught up in the same act and they have to live with the consequences of such actions.
They are at one with the horror of it.
These societies lived with high levels of violence. It is not an activity confined to the battlefield. Ravaging, the systematic destruction territory, destruction of livestock, crops, settlements and non-combatants, was the mainstay of this type of conflict.
Psychological impact on both perpetrator and victim. Society as a whole has to at least exert some control, the warrior has to step away and return to a settled community. His foes will be intent on vengeance.
Winning is a temporary state, the inevitable outcome of entering into such a relationship is death.
Heroic quality here can be interpreted as having a full understanding of the consequences and cost of the action. yet not failing in regard to duty despite the cost.
Poetry here is unrelenting heroic in tone, it is a world away from reality set in a dream like state.
It is ‘psychologically real.’
On the hoof notes that may not make much sense. First stab at constructing an argument. I need to look at some detail. Bend it rigidly to the argument at hand and hope it falls apart and becomes something I have not yet thought about.
This type of material does not simply perform one role but these texts have been described as unrelentingly ‘heroic’ and not a subject for students of ideas. I don’t think that’s entirely the case. At times the verse can be as subtle as a rubber cosh but get past the immediate impact and response, more here than simply being left dazed and confused by the glamour cast by violence.
Unrelentingly heroic, unrelentingly ideological, unrelentingly reflective. An unrelenting host of unrelenting things, which in the moment become one thing intent on achieving one goal, one movement.
It is found contained within a song.
“there is a rhythm that is asking to be made bigger, to go further and become a thing in-itself.”