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Sunday, 31 July 2011

Song and video: "Semioteque"

The Schopenhauer Experience, my musical alter ago, has over the last three weeks or so composed and produced a song entitled "Semioteque". The song can be heard on Picosong, and a video (made by my wife Helena da Silva-Tønnessen) can be watched on YouTube.

The song and video has been made at the occasion of my mother, Elise Seip Tønnessen's, 60 year anniversary, which was celebrated yesterday. "Semioteque" does not feature ordinary vocals, but instead samples from Umberto Eco's lecture in Tartu, Estonia on May 6th 2009, 'On the Ontology of Fictional Characters: a Semiotic Study' (more specifically samples of rector Alar Karis, me, and Umberto Eco). That whole session can be watched on video on the webpages of University of Tartu.

The full transcript of my question and Umberto Eco's answers has been posted in Utopian Realism, with a comment written in hindsight, in 2009. The edited excerpts made use of in the song "Semioteque" reads like this:

[not transcribed: Alar Karis, speaking in Estonian. ...]

MT: And I would like you to say something about what role fiction can be said to play within natural science...

Eco: No... No, I missed ... the real question.

MT: Let me finish. Um…

(MT: And I would like you to say something about what role fiction can be said to play within natural science... )

(Eco: No... No, I missed ... the real question.)

MT: And often in applied science, we start out with imagining something that does not exist – it’s totally mind-dependent; and then we carry it into life. … Isn’t that the work of fiction?

Eco: No! I... Take, for instance the cold fusion. Typical example of a scientific hoax.

Eco: I don’t say that it’s a fiction – it’s a mistake, which is different.

Eco: I say that there is fiction when the author pretends to say the truth, and asks you to pretend that you are believing it.

Eco: If not, it’s a lie. If I tell you there is an elephant outside… and you naively go out to see whether it is there or not, that is not a case of fiction, I am only a *** liar... And you are too naive, hehe.

Eco: Except, you are not Thomas Aquinas! His comrades told him… 'Thomas, there is an ass flying on the skies', and he went out … (to) look. Hehe…

MT: Isn’t that the work of fiction?

This edited transcript has been added to The Schopenhauer Experience's lyrics section, along with previous material (which includes original song lyrics, original poems, and cover songs).

Biosemiotics achieves ISI acceptance and indexing

A few days ago I was informed by Editor-in-chief Marcello Barbieri and Managing Editor Catherine Cotton that the academic journal Biosemiotics, where I am a member of the editorial board, has been accepted by ISI, the Institute for Scientific Information (a part of Thomson Reuters), the top rating organization in the publishing world. Starting with volume 1, issue 1, Biosemiotics will be indexed in:
* Science Citation Index Expanded (also known as SciSearch®)
* Journal Citation Reports/Science Edition
* Arts and Humanities Citation Index®
* Current Contents®/Arts & Humanities
* Social Sciences Citation Index®
* Journal Citation Reports/ Social Sciences Edition
* Current Contents®/Social and Behavioral Sciences
I have written three articles that have been published in Biosemiotics, and co-written one, and further co-edited a special issue:

2009. Umwelt Transitions: Uexküll and Environmental Change. Biosemiotics 2 (1): 47-64.

2010a. Guest aditor, along with Kati Lindström, of a special issue of Biosemiotics (Springer), vol. 3, no. 3 (December 2010); entitled Semiotics of Perception. 136 pp.

— 2010b. Being in the World of the Living – Semiotic Perspectives: Introduction to the special issue Semiotics of Perception. Co-written with Kati Lindström. Biosemiotics 3.3: 257-261 (online version, published April 20, 2010: DOI: 10.1007/s12304-010-9073-1).

— 2010c. Steps to a Semiotics of Being. Biosemiotics 3.3: 375-392 (online version, published April 30, 2010: DOI: 10.1007/s12304-010-9074-0).

— 2010d. Wolf Land. Biosemiotics 3.3: 289-297 (online version, published April 23, 2010: DOI: 10.1007/s12304-010-9077-x).