Monthly Archives: May 2016

Finding the Middle

Baseball-Tarot

Free Play Softball League evoked my frustration and depression for a moment yesterday. It was a nice day for softball but by 9:45am only four players had arrived, increasing to seven by our start-time of 10:00am. Very disappointed, after announcing to Dave that I was going to go home, but would first have to find some volunteers to take care of the equipment, I walked back to the field. Potential equipment caretakers were ambivalent, yet as I negotiated with several, three more players arrived. So, at 10:15am I decided to stay and proceed to make up the line-ups.

The week before several players had offered constructive criticism about my so-called handicapping. One mentioned I should do a better job of spreading out the “horrible players.” Since I don’t even make such judgments, and could argue that this advice is anchored to incorrect analysis of what has driven our recent lopsided games, I, nevertheless, considered what this advice entails.

Yet, on this day, we were missing so many of our most competent players that I was compelled to go out and play shortstop for only the second time in fourteen seasons. I’m not a horrible shortstop–I would say I am consistently mediocre at all the positions except for first base.

------------1 2 3 4 5 6
DB's--------7 7 0 0 2 5 -21
DK's--------0 3 4 1 4 8 -20

Not unpossible!

First one run game of the season.

I was mediocre in the hot spot, went 0-2, then 5-5, and made out the lineup without a thought about anything other than you need two teams of six each.

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Take A Hike Payday Loan Queen

Screw-You-DWS

The ominous and/or scammy front side of this envelope did not entice me to open it, but then I flipped it over prior to pitching it.

Then I thought of the truly horrible Debbie Wasserman Schultz and what kinds of framings for pitches she might have learned as a patron on behalf of the truly evil payday loan industry.

In December, she, along with many members of the Florida delegation, signed on as a co-sponsor of legislation that would limit the federal government’s ability to regulate payday lenders in states, like Florida, with payday protections. But consumer rights groups and Canova say Florida’s laws don’t go far enough: In Florida, the average interest rate on payday loans is 304 percent, and the average payday loan customer takes out nine loans over the course of a year, according to data compiled by the Pew Charitable Trusts. Often, the result is consumers becoming caught in a cycle of debt. “It just perpetuates, with one loan paying for another paying for another,” says Karl Frisch, executive director of Allied Progress, a nonprofit group lobbying for stronger payday lending protections. In April, Frisch’s group launched a campaign to highlight Wasserman Schultz’s support for the bill—including two billboards along high-traffic roads in her home district labeling her “Debt Trap Debbie.” Frisch also points out that, since 2004, Wasserman Schultz has accepted $68,000 in campaign contributions from payday lenders, including Amscot Financial, whose founder, Ian MacKechnie, pleaded guilty to civil racketeering charges in 1998 to avoid a criminal prosecution. Wasserman Schultz spokesman Ryan Banfill points out that $68,000 represents only about 1 percent of the congresswoman’s fundraising since 2004, and calls Frisch’s attacks “a little unfair.” And, he says, Wasserman Schultz also recently signed on to a bill by Democrats Suzanne Bonamici of Oregon and Elijah Cummings of Maryland designed to protect consumers from predatory payday lenders. Newsweek Why Don’t People Like Debbie Wasserman Schultz

The Newsweek article is a snow job. DWS failed miserably in the 2014 mid-terms.

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Floating Gestures

IDEO: Each sphere is equipped with inertial motion sensors—acceleration, rotation, and the Earth’s magnetic fields—enabling the spheres to act as a gestural musical interface. The gestures are interpreted through machine learning and used to control an evolving soundscape.

via Synthtopia

taches (excerpt)

taches
to obscure
to reject
to uninhabit
to destabilise
to be reborn
to erase
to pin down
to spill memory
to depart

coda: “I was possessed by movements, on edge with these forms which came to me rhythmically.”

Henri Michaux

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Resisting the Climate Change for Libraries

The thought of a future without libraries compelled me to make a documentary addressing their decline. I wanted to show that libraries are symbols of social equality that were built initially by the working class to educate and improve their children’s lives and the country as a whole.

Author Jeanette Winterson says that “libraries are doing more education work than ever. Libraries and literacy cannot be separated”. She protests strongly against libraries being classed as “leisure”, alongside sports centres, and says they should instead be part of the national education budget. Poet, activist, filmmaker Greta Bellamacina, The Guardian, UK

IN4tuity‘s model for the social cybernetics of the deep, (or noetic,) public library.

phenomenology: experienced inquiry in the lifespace

praxis: learning rooted to inner/outer experience and awareness

pragmatics: keen sense of solving problems, living through challenges, orderly analysis (and meta-analysis)

psychoenergetics: caring feel, the vibe of the institution, the vibe of the contexts, crucially: the vibe of the actualized commitments

(IN4tuity named the consulting partnership, with the late Kenneth Warren (1952-May 21, 2015,) This was the model that underpinned our focus on supporting the humanistic library.)

(source) Lakwood Observer

(source) Lakwood Observer

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Inner Mounting Flames

NCL-Dennis-Sparling-quarry (source)

Back during my Middlebury Vermont chapter, Dennis Sparling and I spent some quality time naked at his family’s quarry in New Haven. This was over twenty-five years ago. Still, lying around naked and learning in the quiet way that being next to millions of cubic yards of clean, fresh water provides was glorious; and, retrospectively remains a bittersweet memory due to the loss of connections with such friends.

Dennis-Sparling

Nowadays, Dennis is on a mission.

“I see my responsibility after 45 years of intense struggles as an Artist; is to see and know the world as best I can; and pass on to those with fire in the belly, a way to survive life’s paradoxes and thrive with a great sense of humor and clarity of how to prosper as an artist and innovator; al-la Leonardo DaVinci’s mind and works.” D.S.

(If I tell you, ‘by all means’ I’m insisting,) please visit the Sparling Studio and watch the youtube video and read about his project.

Right before Dennis first hit the road, NPR in Vermont told his story.

Then last November, Louis Varricchio starts his article (in the Green Mountain Outlook) out with this fine summation:

It’s easy for those mythologically inclined to imagine how Vermont sculptor Dennis Sparling might have emerged in our universe via a fiery furnace from some other place in space and time—for all the molten, primordial elements comprising 10,000 years of human art, poetry, theater, science and engineering, which simmer just below the surface of the New Haven artist’s amazing corpus, have been sintered into one dazzling, clastic vision of the cosmos.

Here is a fascinating trend: experienced, learned, counter-culturally-inclined, and fired-up baby-boomers, realize that he or she has something to teach, something to transmit. This is their body of transferable understanding. And, this desire to transmit is congruent with their deep sense that the conjunction of western schooling and post-capitalism is failing the human spirit.

This capacity to go beyond the factors of conditioning is one of the obvious advantages of the human person. ~ Paulo Freire, Pedagogy of Freedom

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Implicit Sacramental Fallacies (Re: Gregory Bateson on the Nature of the Sacred)

A linear concept of causality cannot adequately explain the interactions of a complex
system or Gestalt. The classical scientific paradigm is sufficient only for understanding
carefully isolated phenomena, where unidirectional cause and effect relationships occur
between interacting pairs, e.g., between one thing and another thing. – Lawrence Bale (Gregory Bateson, Cybernetics, and the Social/Behavioral Sciences)

Gregory Bateson: Am I using explanation in the same sense you are? I’m not sure. By explanation I would mean mapping a bunch of phenomena onto a tautology. The tautology being such that you cannot doubt the steps contained within it. The propositions you can doubt, but the steps you cannot. If P…then P…all right. This means that what is contained in the tautology is relations, only relations

Paul Ryan: Right.

Gregory Bateson: In order to explain, we build a tautology and map the things onto the tautology. And in order to strengthen our explanation we shall then go into what Peirce calls abduction and find other cases under that tautology.
(Metalogue: Gregory Bateson, Paul Ryan via earthscore.org)

In a computer, which works by cause and effect, with one transistor triggering another, the sequences of cause and effect are used to simulate logic. Thirty years ago, we used to ask: Can a computer simulate all the processes of logic? The answer was “yes,” but the question was surely wrong. We should have asked: Can logic simulate all sequences of cause and effect? The answer would have been: “no.” (Gregory bateson, Mind and Nature)

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Sophie Munns

Sophie Munns is working as an artist in a vein at least related to my own interests in its appropriation of the seed-bearing section of a plant’s natural life cycle. Her work is more particularly ethically rooted than is my own, yet it seems both of us have eyes cast toward the ground!

Seed Art Labs Studio

Sophie Munns – Tumblr

sophiemunns.weebly.com

interview excerpt via Guernica At Soil Level

Guernica: Has this been the greatest confirmation that you’re on the right path?

Sophie Munns: In 2010, I had some work from my seed lab residency at Brisbane Botanic Gardens in a group show. A woman in her late 60s came in who said she never looks at art and talked to me about my work. She wasn’t terribly articulate or very educated, but she completely surprised me with her reading of my work and project. She said, “Your work is not selfish. It’s amazing.” I felt deeply understood by this woman. I think she saw that this was an art whose intention was for people to wake up to the power of seeds and what they can mean for all humans. It’s not about me projecting my desires by painting things that really only refer to me and my little life. She could see it wasn’t “look at me, the artist” art.

I am driven to want to highlight, make room for, celebrate the many—and sit as far away as possible from the same old elitist position that purposely excludes for the good of only a few. I want to see something happen that is meaningful for all kinds of people; I like seeing when someone very closed has a new experience. I like seeing the change that’s possible when people wake up and realize there is something they can do.

Emphasis is my own. Great interview.

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No Hand Waving, please!

diddywahdiddy

Evolutionary Argument Against Reality

I believe that consciousness and its contents are all that exists. Spacetime, matter and fields never were the fundamental denizens of the universe but have always been, from their beginning, among the humbler contents of consciousness, dependent on it for their very being.

The world of our daily experience—the world of tables, chairs, stars and people, with their attendant shapes, smells, feels and sounds—is a species-specific user interface to a realm far more complex, a realm whose essential character is conscious. It is unlikely that the contents of our interface in any way resemble that realm. Indeed the usefulness of an interface requires, in general, that they do not. For the point of an interface, such as the windows interface on a computer, is simplification and ease of use. We click icons because this is quicker and less prone to error than editing megabytes of software or toggling voltages in circuits. Evolutionary pressures dictate that our species-specific interface, this world of our daily experience, should itself be a radical simplification, selected not for the exhaustive depiction of truth but for the mutable pragmatics of survival.

If this is right, if consciousness is fundamental, then we should not be surprised that, despite centuries of effort by the most brilliant of minds, there is as yet no physicalist theory of consciousness, no theory that explains how mindless matter or energy or fields could be, or cause, conscious experience. source: Donald Hoffman Cognitive Scientist, UC, Irvine; Author, Visual Intelligence | Edge,org

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Free Play exemplar

Jim, in green

Jim, in green | “…May I follow thee so that thou mayst teach me something of thy wisdom?” (Moses to Khidr, the green man, Surat al-Kahf, Quran)

The things that, being pleasant, make for health or for good condition, he will desire moderately and as he should, and also other pleasant things if they are not hindrances to these ends, or contrary to what is noble, or beyond his means. – Aristotle

Free Play Softball League is nothing more than the sum of, and interplay betwixt, its personalities and their real time entangled experience.

Character is the interpenetration of habits. Ideals are like the stars; we steer by them, towards them. John Dewey

Jim is leaving our game after eight years. He is moving with his family to take a new job. He will be missed. He exemplified how to come out and participate and have fun without whacking the game. Not once did he indulge in negativity, take part in drama, or, do anything but play, learn, and bring his good attitude forward every week.

This week he smashed a triple in his first plate appearance. Our game’s attractions are animated by small moments, yet his hit was a big, salutary moment. He’ll be missed.

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Hunch a Bunch

BobbyZ9_

“Instinct paints my pictures and guides me to my next subject. It’s the voice that says it’s not here, it’s over there.”
– Tasmanian artist Bobby-Z Lambert

A few days ago my cell phone rang and a voice with a British-like accent just started in, and, after a minute or so I disrupted the caller simply to learn with whom i was engaged with! He introduced himself as a fellow artist, calling from Tasmania, calling from fourteen time zones away at 10:45am in my time zone, calling because he had a hunch ‘we had a bunch in common.’

Bobby-Z had discovered my artwork and then made his way over to this blog. He read enoguh to suggest common interests and possible shared affinities.

This sense of his was revealed to be accurate–after we had spoke for forty-five minutes.

How much respect do I have for persons willing to jump right into the opportunity of relations with complete strangers based on a hunch? I have nothing but respect for such audacious acts.

Who is Bobby-Z?

Bobby-z … and the Miners of Potosi

Bobby-Z Interview Gallery Salamanca

. . .kindred soul.

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Tiny Paper House

Wikkelhouse from Wikkelhouse on Vimeo.

I like to walk about among the beautiful things that adorn the world; but private wealth I should decline, or any sort of personal possessions, because they would take away my liberty. ~George Santayana, “The Irony of Liberalism”

Be content with what you have,
rejoice in the way things are.
When you realize there is nothing lacking,
the whole world belongs to you. ~Lao Tzu

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