Let's cut to the chase ... Is there a God? I don't think so. Even after the events of the past few weeks I still don't think so. And yet I now see that something more profound than the universe existing is in fact going on. Let me explain ...
From the days when I was old enough to know what the terms meant, until yesterday I was somewhere between an atheist and an agnostic. Things changed for me yesterday afternoon on our way back from Anglelo's subsequent to the ridicylous offer of $12.50 for a very small subset of an entire banker's box full of music CDs.
Here's what's new and different for me. If you believe Richard Feynman's sum-over-histories view of quantum mechanics, and I do, then the mathematics of the situation compel a universe in which at every instant the universe forks into an infinity of replacement universes. Everything that could happen in a quantum mechanical sense does happen -- must happen -- and the only issue is which of the infinity of new universes you find yourself in. Until that car ride back from Angelos I believed that the universe you found yourself in was chosen by a random throw of the quantum mechanical dice. Now I believe differently.
I now believe that some agency -- some mysterious cosmic force -- a deity if you will -- caused Angelo's staff to make me an offer so ridiculously low that I could not possibly accept it. Not only that, I believe that same agency caused me to think about why the universe would want me to decline this offer. The answer I came up with was that going into Angelo's I was looking at that set of CDs purely in terms of my own enjoyment. On the ride home after coming out of Angelo's, I realized that I need much of the music in that banker's box as reference music for algorithm development.
In other words, I decided to keep the twenty years worth of Billboard Top Ten CDs not because I like the music but because it's going to be importnat for me to understand why other people liked the music, so I can come up with algorithms that will construct sequels to the to ten hit music that people also will like. Similarly with the collection of the most important works of the most important classical composers. The issue is not whether I like the music -- I don't and never will -- the issue is whether I can come to understand it well enough to develope algorithms that will create sequels to all the important classical music pieces.
No, I'm not being ridiculous here. Twenty five years ago, for the Golden MIDI sequenced music business I produced a lot of music in sequenced form that I did not care for. We moved a lot of copies of our big band cover of "Take The A Train", a piece that I personally detest. That was okay because I knew in advance it wild be a big seller for us. More importantly, I knew why it would be a big seller -- for Golden MIDI.
Now I have to take my analytical thinking powers to the next level. Now I have to come to understand not what makes music popular out on a lounge act dance floor but instead what makes a piece a winner or a loser across the entire music buying public. This is why the Universe with a capital U made me hang onto those CDs, so I would have a comprehensive but small enough to be manageable library of pop and classical source music. If I can come to understand the pop music of the mid-50s through mid-70s, and the classical music of the mid 1600s through the late 1800s, then I will have a sufficient base a) to build a business based on that understanding, and b) to understand the rest of recorded music of the western world.
It's a tall order but if anyone can do it, I can. I don't expect the Universe to do my work for me -- to solve the problem for me -- but I do now have faith that it will keep helping me reach certain logistical conclusions -- such as the fact that this project is more important to me than my marriage.