Archive for October 13th, 2012

October 13, 2012

Law & Order Clang

Jack McCoy

The music for Law & Order is composed by veteran composer Mike Post. The music is deliberately designed to be minimalist to match the abbreviated style of the series. Post wrote the theme song using electric piano, guitar, and clarinet. In addition, scene changes are accompanied by a tone generated by Post. He refers to the tone as ‘The Clang,’ while ‘Entertainment Weekly’ critic Ken Tucker has referred to the sound as the ‘ominous chung CHUNG,’ actor Dann Florek (in a promo) as the ‘doink doink,’ and Richard Belzer as ‘the Dick Wolf Cash Register Sound.’

The tone moves the viewer from scene to scene, jumping forward in time with all the importance and immediacy of a judge’s gavel – which is exactly what composer Mike Post was aiming for when he created it. ‘The Clang’ is an amalgamation of nearly a dozen sounds, including an actual gavel, a jail door slamming, and five hundred Japanese monks walking across a hardwood floor. The sound has become so associated with the ‘Law & Order’ brand that it was also carried over to other series of the franchise.

October 13, 2012


Münchhausen Trilemma

Fallibilism [fal-uh-buhl-iz-uhm] (‘liable to err’) is the philosophical principle that human beings could be wrong about their beliefs, expectations, or their understanding of the world. In the most commonly used sense of the term, this consists in being open to new evidence that would disprove some previously held position or belief, and in the recognition that ‘any claim justified today may need to be revised or withdrawn in light of new evidence, new arguments, and new experiences.’

This position is taken for granted in the natural sciences. In another sense, it refers to the consciousness of ‘the degree to which our interpretations, valuations, our practices, and traditions are temporally indexed’ and subject to (possibly arbitrary) historical flux and change. Such ‘time-responsive’ fallibilism consists in an openness to the confirmation of a possibility that one anticipates or expects in the future.

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