The Magnetic Fields - '86 How I Failed Ethics




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Published on Nov 17, 2016

The Magnetic Fields perform "'86 How I Failed Ethics" from the 2017 album 50 Song Memoir: http://smarturl.it/50SongMemoir

'86 How I Failed Ethics

Though majoring in Visual and Environmental Studies
And minoring in History of Sci,
I had to retake Ethics from my Mennonite professor,
For whom my skepticism didn’t fly

The first time I made mincement of the standard propositions
Establishing a so-called moral science
And I declared morality an offshoot of aesthetics
And got a failing C for my defiance

So next semester I back to Divinity School trotted
Proverbial tail not between my legs
And spent the whole course positing my own ethical system
(While other college students emptied kegs).

Information ethics/cyberethics (both since taken)
Said: Maximize the information flow
Toward a hypothetical end state in which the cosmos
Consists entirely of our info,
And at the highest level possible, not only data
But data about data dot dot dot
Of life on top of life on top of life, et cetera;
Profundity, my mother’d say (I’d not).


My Mennonite professor did concede I’d done the coursework
Although my system left him quite dismayed,
Depending, as it did, on neither history nor Jahweh;
And gave me, finally, a passing grade.

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    • '86: How I Failed Ethics
  • Artist

    • The Magnetic Fields
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    • WMG; Sony ATV Publishing, ARESA, and 1 Music Rights Societies


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