Thoughts on post-Turunen Nightwish; and the importance of creativity

After Tarja Turunen’s departure from Nightwish; here are two cultural artefacts which express the two paths that have separated; from Nightwish’s most wonderful and one of the most successful Finnish national products (Nightwish).

Tarja Turunen’s ‘I walk alone’ 

Nightwish’s ‘Bye Bye Beautiful’ (a song about Tarja)

A question many ask: Who is better; Tarja or Annette?

As a Nightwish fan; I hear many on the camp of ‘Tarja was better’, Annette sucks; and on the other side, it is ‘Nightwish is not about Tarja!’. A great many of the fans feel they have lost the huge appeal of an opera singer in a metal band. One question I entertain is: Will Nightwish be different? Things I consider:

  1. Marco’s increasingly more prominent role in Nightwish from Century Child to Once to Dark Passion Play
  2. Tuomas’ increased use of orchestral sounds
  3. Tuomas’ increased use of extreme metal idioms
  4. The combination of 2,3
  5. The increasingly ‘fashionable’/contemporary look of Nightwish away from its more ‘romantic’/folk culture look; Annette dresses like a lot of girls I know; where Tarja’s dress is so elegant and refined she seems more a Goddess than a woman; I prefer Annette’s more people-like look.

The importance of creativity

Secondly; I think fans of a band, or an artist should not make demands upon the creativity of said artist. It isn’t fair to good music to ask Metallica to play Enter Sandman all the time (despite how nice it is); or Hangar 18 of Megadeth (oops!); as it not only ruins a good song; but undermines the creative power and breadth of the band.

Nightwish is a developing band; people shouldn’t expect the same hits to be troddled about without new ones. That’s an unfair demand on the band and a morally bad demand of consumers upon good music. Maybe Black Sabbath can learn that lesson (oh, I mean “Heaven and Hell”).


P.S. I think Annette adds a wonderful flavour to Nightwish that belongs to Tuomas’ brainchild. I wouldn’t be happy if Marco left though!!!

An architecture of the mind


The mind is something that interests me. What is the mind? Lets give a preliminary distinction. The mind is that which is knowable of what one knows, feels, thinks and acts; it is a part of our being qua being. Pretty bad definition; but that’s my ad hoc musing for now.


Anyway; what I think is interesting is if we introspect and think about the ‘furniture of the mind’. What does this mean? I am referring to the content of our minds. Thoughts, and feelings; how do they relate? We can express thoughts in propositions; but what about feelings? Does a proposition really express a thought (if it is without sentiment)? There are so many things we can learn through our introspection. So much activity that goes on in the mind. It would be interesting to examine all the things that happen and note them; perhaps even to order them, understand the relations between parts.

This suggestion is a predominantly ‘cognitive’ endeavour. Understanding how we understand. This as a project seems to be a deeply fascinating, deeply troubling and immensely complex project. How do we think, learned from thinking about our thoughts themselves.


I know that one of my readers will point out ‘Godel’s second incompleteness theorem’ and show the impossibility of a completeness about a set of all propositions about the mind. Sure, that’s all good and well; maybe we won’t have completeness about the mind.


But isn’t this suggestion the worry we must have? That the mind understanding itself internally is fundamentally flawed? How then are we to understand our furniture through a means that really makes sense?


The foundations of knowledge is one thing; understanding how we understand is something that subsumes the former. To say “I know” presupposes ascent to knowledge; to ascent, there must be a process by which one knows. We must have the process before we have the knowledge-veridity. We must do psychology before philosophy. Perhaps psychology IS philosophy.

The mind is a very dark and murky thing. In order to reach the sunlight, we must go INTO the cave; this irony seems frightening for me.


1. I am aware of the allusions to Kant, here

2. I am aware that I said ‘mind’ and not ‘brain’

3. This is a joint authored article

Rationality and knowledge


 Destre and I have been talking for a while now and we have been considering a definition of reason/rationality. The consequent of this project is that we are to look at the ‘applications’ of a proper definition of reason. Sofar we have the following:

i. Social science

ii. Ethics

iii. Aesthetics

Now we have thought about this.

iv. Knowledge

Now. I was considering; how does rationality come to play when we form beliefs? DO we use reason at all? Or, like Hume says, are beliefs involuntarily pushed upon us (e.g. “Ow, that hurts”)? Is there such thing as a ‘rational belief’? Well; that’s the whole question that Destre and I are trying to ask, if there is such a thing as a rational belief, we must know what the word ‘rational’ means; and in all honesty, I don’t think I can come up with a definitive answer to that.

So, we could ask about the psychology of forming beliefs (a descriptive question); how do we form beliefs? Do we base our assent to truth on available evidence (Bayesianism)? Are there pre-epistemic, psychological factors to belief-forming; such as adherence to tradition, or the desire to believe in something as true? Or, as a Kantian may suggest, pre-cognitive categories which tries to apprehend the manifold of experience; pure categories unmixed by experience.

Then comes the normative question; how SHOULD we form beliefs? The former, descriptive question makes not judgement about what is a true or false belief; which is something many people want to know about. The latter question satisfies this curiosity. In all honesty, I am not confident about trying to answer this question, but more interested in the quid facti issue how beliefs are formed; rather than the quid juris issue of how beliefs should be formed.

Lemma: One related issue is how rationality relates to probability. I’m scared of tackling this question; and I’m sure Mr. Dawson (The Seed of Reason) may be better suited to answering this.

A blogging side-project

Dear Readers of the Noumenal Realm,

 After much consideration. Destre, Sinistre and myself have decided that one or more of us are going to undertake a side project. But don’t worry. This blog is not going to end. I do apologise, however; and we feel we must explain our motivations.

Identity: Some of my readers and correspondents have been speculating about the identity of Destre and Michael. We have always contemplated how much to reveal about my (Destre) life. Similarly, a lot of claims have been made that have been attributed to Michael which are not merited; as they belong to Sinistre and Myself. The latter two of whom remain anonymous.

The ‘tone’ of Noumenal realm: Noumenal Realm; and the blogs which it came from (since 2004) are the diaries of Sinistre and Michael. Our blog has turned into something of a topical thoughts-page than an anecdote website. Michael and Sinistre are upset that the tone of the blog has come onto ‘serious’ matters all the time. Certain things, certain participation, and certain organisations that the member(s) of NR are affiliated with deserve to be talked about; but we are not ready to reveal ourselves.

Honesty: There is an irony that I must share with you. The more I tell you about myself, the more difficult I am to identify. Furthermore; the more I say about myself; the less one truly understands. Here is another contradition; the fact that I am ‘Destre’ means I can be myself. If I told you who I really was you would never know who I really am….

Concluding: The Noumenal Realm shall be involved in another (here unnamed) blogging project. This is a ‘re-interpretation’ of the topics we normally write about. Don’t worry. You will still see us posting. This blog has gone from strength to strength. But sometimes you want to ride a bike when the train goes too far.


St. Anger!

Okay, I am going to say something uncool and unpopular.

St. Anger is Metallica’s finest album!!!!!!

I don’t like metallica’s stuff generally. But St. Anger is a true work of art; its production is raw, the drumming is sound, the lyrics are gritty, and, yes, there are no guitar solos, but this is a work of music. As a piece of music, it has good rhythm, tempo, the tonality is reasonable, and varied phrasing.

Although I think Megadeth are a better band; they couldn’t have done a St. Anger.