Fun By Design

free play with friends

I started playing Free Play Softball in Cleveland Heights in 2002. It brought me back to left field for the first time in eighteen years. (I had spent the interim playing the only team sport I was ever really good at, volleyball and grass doubles volleyball.) Taking up softball again brought back memories of having previously formulated two-thirds of a lockdown outfield with Bob Buckeye as member of the Abernathy Special Collections Library ‘challenge’ team at Middlebury Collegebetween 1976-1984.

What changed for me between the ages of thirty and forty-eight? Slower. The hand-eye coordination always was my ace capability, but you have to get to the ball first. I never was a terrific hitter, although the scratch stats I’ve been keeping ever since the Hawken School intramural league (in 1971-1972,) indicate, at least, consistency. Yet, last year I figured out a missing piece of the craft of hitting and reeled off the hottest eight weeks of singles hitting ever, at the age of 58!

Today, opening day, I mention these personal tidbits because in ensuing recaps, as is usually the case, I will focus on being one of the key organizational developers of the weekly game. This is the oblique way of putting the following: I carry the equipment in my trunk, I store it over the winter, and, since 2004 I have been making out the line-ups with an eye on creating the conditions for equitable play. With all those tasks comes awesome obligations and presumptions of ritual and instrumental power. These features have long gone to my head, and to, especially my big now old Scots’ heart.

Everybody wins is my goal.

the odds

Learning to Play, Playing to Learn
A Case Study of a Ludic Learning Space

Alice and David A. Kolb
In this paper we propose an experiential learning framework for understanding how play can potentially create a unique ludic learning space conducive to deep learning. (full paper pdf)

excerpt:

History of the [Free Play Softball] league
In the mid 1970’s, Case Western Reserve University organized an intramural softball league from different departments and fraternity groups which have been competing ever since on a regular basis. The Organizational Behavior Department organized its own team made up of faculty, staff, students and family members. Overtime, the games became increasingly competitive and aggressive, and the OB team, which was much more inclusive when it came to its member composition (composed of men, women, and physically disabled individuals with varying skill levels) found itself at disadvantage playing against highly skilled, competitive, intramural teams.

Born out of this experience was the desire to create a league independent from the competitive intramural league, where anyone would come together to play just for the fun of the game. David, one of the founders of the game, remembers his motivation to start a different kind of league because “softball was too much fun to be left only to those who could play well.” In essence, those words summarized the vision for the pick up softball game and so the league was born in 1991. The league met every Sunday morning from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm at the baseball field of the University campus. The season began on the first Sunday after tax day in April and ended at the first snow in November. David provided the softball equipment and took it on himself to haul the balls, bats, gloves and bases and set up the field every Sunday morning. In the early years the term “league” may have been a bit grandiose for the game. The participation was random and sparse, not enough to make up two teams. Regardless of who or how many showed up, members played catch, hit balls, practiced fielding. Those for whom softball was a new experience learned the rules of the game as they played along. There was no designated coach or manager, or team captain for that matter; those who knew how to play helped those who were new to the game. As membership grew, and the converts regularly showed up, two teams were made up, sometimes five on each side, other times seven. Only after several years was the full complement of ten players on a side reached, and then only occasionally in the middle of the summer.

In 1995, the game was moved to a new softball field within a neighborhood park close to the University campus. Following the move to the new field membership began to grow not only in its size, but also in its diversity by gender, age, ethnicity, socio- economical background, and softball skill level. What had started out as a fairly homogeneous population of OB faculty, students, families and friends, began increasingly attracting local residents who found out about the game from different people and sources. Over time, new players joined from other counties, some of them taking a forty five minute bus ride to the ball field. Guided by the league’s founding vision, “fun softball for all,” everyone was welcome. In the fifteenth year of its existence, the league adopted “Free Play Softball League” as its official name, celebrating the special occasion with anniversary shirts and hats.

The Free Play ball field was in a grass park next to the city baseball fields. Unlike the impeccably manicured city league fields, the Free Play field was poorly maintained with no score board, lights or dugouts. The home plate area was particularly a mess, with weeds growing behind the base and the deep indentations in the batter’s box. The backstop was old and torn at the bottom. It was almost as if the Free Play league existed in the shadow of the city league, unnoticed by the city, or by the neighborhood community. The “league up on the hill,” as the Free Play members used to call the city league, was a highly competitive softball league, with die hard aggressive players pushing each other to their limits to win the game. As Lebron would say, pointing to the city fields, “over there, you get out there every single time to kick ass and beat the other team. It is not like our league.” In the Free Play league, we played a different kind of game.

Old-School-free-play

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Hearsee

“A Vision in a Dream,” (aka “Kubla Khan” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

In the summer of the year 1797,
the Author, then in ill health,
had retired to a lonely farm-house
between Porlock and Linton,
on the Exmoor confines
of Somerset and Devonshire.

In consequence of a slight indisposition,
an anodyne had been prescribed,
from the effects of which he fell asleep
in his chair at the moment that
he was reading the following sentence,
or words of the same substance,
in Purchas’s Pilgrimage:

A paved road in Exmoor,
near the confines of Somerset and Devonshire,
also travelled by the Person from Porlock
“Here the Khan Kubla commanded
a palace to be built, and
a stately garden thereunto.
And thus ten miles of fertile ground
were inclosed with a wall.”
The Author continued for about
three hours in a profound sleep,
at least of the external senses,
during which time he has
the most vivid confidence,
that he could not have composed less than
from two to three hundred lines;
if that indeed can be called composition
in which all the images rose up before him
as things, with a parallel production of
the correspondent expressions,
without any sensation
or consciousness of effort.

On awakening he appeared to himself
to have a distinct recollection of the whole,
and taking his pen, ink, and paper,
instantly and eagerly wrote down
the lines that are here preserved.

At this moment he was unfortunately
called out by a person on business from Porlock,
and detained by him above an hour,
and on his return to his room, found,
to his no small surprise and mortification,
that though he still retained
some vague and dim recollection
of the general purport of the vision,
yet, with the exception of some eight
or ten scattered lines and images,
all the rest had passed away
like the images on the surface of
a stream into which a stone has
been cast, but, alas! without
the after restoration of the latter!

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The Strong Voice

Anne Baring The Dream of the Cosmos: online | Amazon

The Real Challenge of Our Times:
The Need for a New Worldview

Neither do men put new wine into old bottles; else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out, and the bottles perish: but they put new wine into new bottles and both are preserved. Matt. 9:17

To reclaim the sacred nature of the cosmos – and of planet Earth in particular – is one of the outstanding spiritual challenges of our time. Diarmuid O’Murchu, Quantum Theology

The threat of global warming, the urgent need to free ourselves from dependency on oil and the current financial crisis could be the triple catalyst that offers us the opportunity of bringing about a profound shift in our values, relinquishing an old story and defining a new one. Our lives and well-being depend upon the fertility and resources of the earth, yet in relation to the earth, it would seem that we have been autistic for centuries. Now, instead of treating our planetary home as the endless supplier of all our needs, without consideration for its needs, we could rethink beliefs and attitudes which have influenced our behaviour for millennia.
Because of those beliefs we have come to look upon nature as something separate from ourselves, something we could master, control and manipulate to obtain specific benefits for our species alone because ours, we were taught, has been given dominion over all others and over the earth itself. It has come as a bit of a shock to realise that our lives are intimately bound up with the fragile organism of planetary life and the inter-dependence of all species. If we destroy our habitat, whether inadvertently or deliberately by continuing on our present path, we may risk destroying ourselves. We have developed a formidable intellect, a formidable science, a formidable technology but all rest on the premise of our alienation from and mastery of nature, where nature was treated as object with ourselves as controlling subject.
Yet now, the foundation that seemed so secure is disintegrating: old structures and beliefs are breaking down. It is as if mortal danger is forcing us to take a great leap in our evolution that we might never have made were we not driven to it by the extremity of circumstance. Many people are defining a new kind of relationship with the earth, based not on dominance but on respect, responsibility and conscious service. Because our capacity for destruction, both military and ecological, is so much greater today than it was even fifty years ago, and will be still greater tomorrow, we have only decades in which to change our thinking and respond to the challenge of this evolutionary leap.
There is a second problematic legacy from the past: the image of God shared by the three Abrahamic religions. This has presented God as a transcendent creator, separate and distinct from the created order and from ourselves. Western civilisation, despite its phenomenal achievements, developed on the foundation of this fundamental split between spirit and nature—between creator and creation. Only now are we brought face to face with the disastrous effects of this split.
Once again, as in the early centuries of the Christian era, it seems as if new bottles are needed to hold the wine of a new revelation, a new understanding of reality which could heal this split. But how do we create the vessel which can assimilate the wine of a new vision of reality and a different image of God or Spirit? How do we relinquish the dogmatic beliefs and certainties which have, over the millennia of the patriarchal era, caused indescribable and quite unnecessary suffering and the sacrifice of so many millions of lives?
I cannot answer these questions. But I do know that as the new understanding, the new wine comes into being, we have to hold the balance and the tension between the old and the new without destroying the old or rejecting the new. It must have been like this two thousand years ago when the disciples of Jesus tried to assimilate what he was telling them, something so utterly different from the belief-system and the brutal values which governed the world of their time. Even today, the revolutionary teachings and the different values he taught have barely touched the consciousness that governs the world of our time, however much political and religious leaders proclaim allegiance to them. What would Jesus have thought of WMD, depleted uranium and cluster bombs, and the massacre of helpless civilians in war, let alone the destruction of vast swathes of the earth’s forests to supply crops for biofuels? What would he have thought of the fact that colossal sums of money are spent on the military when 17,000 children die every day from hunger and disease?.
The need for a more conscious relationship with both nature and spirit, bringing them closer together, is intrinsic to the creativity of the life-impulse itself—urging us to go beyond the boundaries of the known, to break through the concepts and beliefs, whether religious, scientific or political, which currently govern our culture and constrict the expansion of our understanding and our compassion.
What is the emerging vision of our time which could offer a template for a new civilization? the remainder of the essay

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Intersubjective Stars

Finally, the issue of causal mechanism, or why astrology works: It seems unlikely to me that the planets send out some kind of physical emanations that causally influence events in human life in a mechanistic way. The range of coincidences between planetary positions and human existence is just too vast, too experientially complex, too aesthetically subtle and endlessly creative to be explained by physical factors alone. I believe that a more plausible and comprehensive explanation is that the universe is informed and pervaded by a fundamental holistic patterning which extends through every level, so that a constant synchronicity or meaningful correlation exists between astronomical events and human events. This is represented in the basic esoteric axiom, “as above, so below,” which reflects a universe all of whose parts are integrated into an intelligible whole. – Richard Tarnas

Alternately, the ‘just so’ of a symbolic ecology and information organized by astrology’s focused generalizations are enough evocative so as to penetrate to the level of the so-called personal religious problem, or whatever is the psycho dynamic situational attractor. In this conjunction comes about the constructive animation of meaningfulness. This gets around the obvious problem of astrological correspondence.

(The presumption of correspondence is falsifiable and once falsified it cannot serve any longer as a causal predicate. Correspondence–meaningful correlation between astronomical events and human events–is falsified in cases for which identical subjects’s identical astrological natal data aren’t strongly paired, correlated, and given to highly correlated predictions. The falsification is apparent even through a thought experiment. Obviously, it happens all the times that completely identical natal charts are instantiated by simultaneous births in the same hospital. Both identical and fraternal twin studies would prove this same point.)

From the perspective of astrology, there is no absolute separation between the consciousness of the individual and the consciousness of the Universe in which the individual is embedded. Higher levels of consciousness interpenetrate the lower; attraction-at-a-distance assumes an interdependence between the whole and its parts. Each person is part of the greater whole, just as a wave is part of the ocean from which it arises. In this view, the planets don’t cause events on earth, anymore than a clock causes time. Rather, planetary configurations are symbolic reflections or analogues of cyclic phenomena at the terrestrial level.

The New Paradigm And Postmodern Astrology (Glenn Perry, Ph.D)

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Master and Emissary

Iain McGilchrist

The last two paragraphs from Iain McGilchrist’s Introduction [pdf] to his book The Master and the Emissary

There is a story in Nietzsche that goes something like this. There was once a
wise spiritual master, who was the ruler of a small but prosperous domain, and
who was known for his sel?ess devotion to his people. As his people ?ourished
and grew in number, the bounds of this small domain spread; and with it the need
to trust implicitly the emissaries he sent to ensure the safety of its ever more
distant parts. It was not just that it was impossible for him personally to order all
that needed to be dealt with: as he wisely saw, he needed to keep his distance from,
and remain ignorant of, such concerns. And so he nurtured and trained carefully
his emissaries, in order that they could be trusted. Eventually, however, his
cleverest and most ambitious vizier, the one he most trusted to do his work, began
to see himself as the master, and used his position to advance his own wealth and
in?uence. He saw his master’s temperance and forbearance as weakness, not
wisdom, and on his missions on the master’s behalf, adopted his mantle as his
own – the emissary became contemptuous of his master. And so it came about
that the master was usurped, the people were duped, the domain became a
tyranny; and eventually it collapsed in ruins.

The meaning of this story is as old as humanity, and resonates far from the
sphere of political history. I believe, in fact, that it helps us understand something
taking place inside ourselves, inside our very brains, and played out in the cultural
history of the West, particularly over the last 500 years or so. Why I believe so
forms the subject of this book. I hold that, like the Master and his emissary in the
story, though the cerebral hemispheres should co-operate, they have for some
time been in a state of con?ict. The subsequent battles between them are recorded
in the history of philosophy, and played out in the seismic shifts that characterise
the history of Western culture. At present the domain – our civilisation – ?nds
itself in the hands of the vizier, who, however gifted, is effectively an ambitious
regional bureaucrat with his own interests at heart. Meanwhile the Master, the one
whose wisdom gave the people peace and security, is led away in chains. The
Master is betrayed by his emissary.

(SC) My associate Kenneth Warren brought McGilchrist’s work to my attention. One of the first so-called turns a new publicized model goes through is for it to be stripped down and reattached to the folk estimations (or constructs,) which emerge when a representation of domain-specific research is loosed into the public source. Put differently: the representational concepts transform into hypotheses, and then people deploy these possible explanations in new, and untested areas and experiences.

This ad hoc meta-abduction pulls experiences and situations and potential matches and mappings back toward the explanation; and explanation held by human awareness. This entanglement could describe aspects of a social complex. It’s important to comprehend that it is first embodied, next emboldened, then reembodied; and that there is a parallel biosemiotic operation. A sense given by this view is that the transformation of domain-dependent concepts into something else altogether–where the concepts are made to visit new domains–is more complicated than the transforms caused by concepts being metaphoric or analogues.

A practical possibility, then, is that, for example, an ecological space such as a room or building, may be designed with the model in the designer’s mind.

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Teaching Cartoon: On Planning

Oops experiment

We think in order to act, but we also act in order to think. We try things, and those experiments that work converge gradually into viable patterns that become strategies. This is the very essence of startegy making as a learning process. – Henry Mintzberg

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The Time of the Cats

Waiting for Spring

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Nye(t) to the Single Observation of Any Type

Ham Scam

It finally happened: I was hanging around the tv late at night and channel surfing and ran across a CSPAN rebroadcast of the Nye vs Ham debate. It was just what I would have expected: a wipe out, but, after all, Ham is arguing on behalf of positive facts as ridiculous and unfounded as the assertion that the earth is flat.

Bible_cycle

I went online to be the voyeur of the troll fest inspired by the debate. I found the same dead-on-arrival creationist arguments, and shameless and tenacious ability to proudly argue against biological science without knowing anything about biological science.

God At Work

I wish Bill Nye knew enough basic philosophy of science to dispatch Ham’s blather about the difference between observational and historical science. If a creationist argues for the unfalsifiable veracity of the observer’s observed account, the principal vulnerability isn’t only that the assertion is ridiculous on its face, but that, in science, a single observation, even if taken as true, never counts as verification by itself.

toles-noah

To verify, you need lots of observations. That isn’t a requirement of methodological naturalism–scientists don’t need to be explicitly committed to any philosophy of science–it’s a requirement for the sake of confirming that what was true enough in one instance will also be true in a current instance and likely true in a future instance.

Ham, not to his credit, seem oblivious to his coming off as wanting it both ways too: instead of just asserting that the Bible is a record of truth and that equally true and necessary miracles do all the heavy lifting, he wants to promote a pseudo-regime of pseudo-science for the naturalistic sake of falsifying foundational knowledge in biology, geology, cosmology and relativity–all the while his inane version of (what to him) is a science assumes its best (supreme!) evidence is not able to be falsified because it immunizes itself from any and all inquiries that could be brought to bear on it by naturalistic science!

Hey, the Bible doesn’t say it can’t be proven false or improved upon, right?

wasittoday

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Being Unreasonable About Reasoning

Cultural Evaluations

Schematic Reasoning

 

Deduction

Induction

Abduction

Analogical reasoning

Cause-and-effect reasoning

Comparative reasoning

Conditional reasoning

Criteria reasoning

Decompositional reasoning

Exemplar reasoning

Modal logic

Traditional logic

Pros-vs-cons reasoning

Set-based reasoning

Systematic reasoning

Syllogistic reasoning

wxcerpted from:

Reasoning in every day life
Michal Vince
Department of Applied Informatics Comenius University in Bratislava Slovakia
January 24, 2011

Recently, I’ve been thinking about abduction. Also, I’ve been observing, introspecting, and reflecting on how modalities seem to assemble and blend and, to borrow from the Churchlands, join the cascade. Then, I wished to see what else might join a listing of the modes of reasoning. I shall now add to that list.

Conformative Reasoning

Reformative Reasoning

Design Reasoning

Instrumental Reasoning

Metaphoric Reasoning

Reference-point Reasoning

Tautological Reasoning

Heuristical Reasoning

Intuitive (Hunch) Reasoning

Musical Reasoning

Semiotic Reasoning

Schematic Reasoning

Kinesthetic Reasoning

Connotative Reasoning

Classificatory Reasoning

Antimonial Reasoning

Prototype Reasoning

Improvisational Reasoning

Contemplative Reasoning

Ecstatic Reasoning

Transitive Reasoning

Memetic Reasoning

Exemplar-ordinated Reasoning

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The Other English Revolution

History of English Language

“When a man hath eat, and drink, and clothes, he hath enough. And all shall cheerfully put to their hands to make these things that are needful, one helping another. There shall be none lords over others, but everyone shall be a lord of himself, subject to the law of righteousness, reason and equity, which shall dwell and rule in him, which is the Lord.” Gerrard Winstanley

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Time Requires Time

Flowing Data

Philosophy of Time:

A great many other “flowings” or “fluxes” or “relations” acquire
their privileged directionality (their asymmetry) from the arrow of
time. How then does time acquire its direction? This seems to be a
very puzzling question. (C.G. Weaver)

Lecture One handout – Debates About Time Oliver Pooley [pdf]

What is the extent of reality? Putnam (1967) suggests that the ‘man on the street’s’
view of the nature of time involves a commitment to the claim that “All (and
only) things that exist now are real”. This is presentism: all that exists is what
exists now. An alternative view is eternalism: all events, whether past, present
or future, are on the same ontological footing; they are all equally real. A third
possibility is that the past and present are real, while the future is not. This third
option is a component in a dynamic view of time championed by Broad (1923)
and Tooley (1997), often called the ‘growing block universe view’.

Metaphysics:

The A-Theory of Time, The B-Theory of Time, and ‘Taking Tense Seriously’ Dean W. Zimmerman [pdf]

Presentism and Eternalism in Perspective Steven F. Savitt [pdf]

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Careful About the Exploding Fizz

Microdrones

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Anti-Hayek

No man is an Iland, intire of itselfe; every man is a peece of the continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thine own were; any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

Devotions upon Emergent Occasions John Donne (1624), No. XVII

h/t Jerry Swatez

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The Avalanche That Hasn’t Happened Yet

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Symmetry Series – God of the Navy

God of the Navy

God of the Navy – 2014 – 10×8″ dye proof

A keeper from the symmetry series of experiments–and for every keeper there are 20 thrown away and maybe one or two future record covers.

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musicians with guns – overstepping artifacts

musicians with guns – overstepping artifacts from ricardo montalban on Vimeo.

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Paulo Freire II

…the rationality basic to science and technology disappears under the extraordinary effects of technology itself, and its place is taken by myth-making irrationalism … Technology thus ceases to be perceived by men as one of the greatest expressions of their creative power and becomes instead a species of new divinity to which they create a cult of worship. (Education As the Practice of Freedom, Freire:2000, pp. 62-63)

Paulo Freire and Peace Education – a good primer on Freire (pdf) by Lesley Bartlett, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Department of International & Transcultural Studies Teachers College, Columbia University

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Community – tag scene

Current TV season favorites:

1. Justified
2. True Detective (just completed)
3. The Good Wife
4. Community
5. Girls

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Hovering & Echoing

A hovering object that explores and manipulates transitional public spaces with particular acoustic properties. By constantly recording and replaying these ambient sounds, the levitating sphere produces a delayed echo of human activity. Project Page

 

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Tall Order

Tall Order

Tall Order – symmetry series 2013 – S.Calhoun

 

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