"When I get new evidence I change my mind. What do you do?" John Maynard Keynes
- Teaching Cartoons: On Context
- Paolo Freire – Last Interview
- Complex World
- Visual Experiment: Real Voodoo #1
- Kamelmauz Update
- The Ark
- Strip Teases
- Thinking About Libraries
- Awesome Photos from the Library of Congress on Flickr
- Stephen Brookfield & the Incremental Rhythm of Learning
- Another Ladybug Moment
- Teaching Cartoon: Living At Home
- Context in Two Shakes
- Just Go For It
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- "It requires a very unusual mind to undertake the analysis of the obvious." - Alfred North Whitehead
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
- If, during the long course of ages and under varying conditions of life, organic beings vary at all in the several parts of their organization, and I think this cannot be disputed; if there be, owing to the high geometric powers of increase of each species, at some age, season or year, a severe struggle for life, and this certainly cannot be disputed; then, considering the infinite complexity of the relations of all organic beings to each other and to their conditions of existence, causing an infinite variety in structure, constitution, and habits, to be advantageous to them, I think it would be a most extraordinary fact if no variation ever had occurred useful to each being’s own welfare, in the same way as so many variations have occurred useful to man. But if variations useful to any organic being do occur, assuredly individuals thus characterized will have the best chance of being preserved in the struggle for life; and from the strong principle of inheritance they will tend to produce offspring similarly characterized. This principle of preservation, I have called, for the sake of brevity, Natural Selection. [Charles Darwin (1859) On the Origin of Species]
- “It is essential to such a government, that it be derived from the great body of the society, not from an inconsiderable proportion, or a favored class of it; otherwise a handful of tyrannical nobles, exercising their oppressions by a delegation of their powers, might aspire to the rank of republicans, and claim for their government the honorable title of republic.” James Madison
- All the property that is necessary to a Man, for the Conservation of the Individual and the Propagation of the Species, is his natural Right, which none can justly deprive him of: But all Property superfluous to such purposes is the Property of the Publick, who, by their Laws, have created it, and who may therefore by other laws dispose of it, whenever the Welfare of the Publick shall demand such Disposition. He that does not like civil Society on these Terms, let him retire and live among Savages. He can have no right to the benefits of Society, who will not pay his Club towards the Support of it. -Benjamin Franklin
Thinking Outside the Agora
- Dan Harmon hints Heat Jack and Vision may return as a cartoon March 12, 2014Heat Jack and Vision was one of the best, funniest pilots to ever not make it to TV. Dan Harmon, creator and showrunner of Community, was the pilot's original writer and producer, and he just said a Heat Jack and Vision animated series is in development! Here's why you shouldn't be excited.Read more... […]
- DreamWorks introduces its new alien characters in a short prequel film March 12, 2014The upcoming animated film Home is about a group of alien refugees who conquer the Earth. Instead of meeting them and their Steve Martin-voice captain through a trailer, we get a short film about their difficulty in finding a planet to inhabit.Read more... […]
- Concept Art Sketches for the Clone Wars Stories We Never Saw March 12, 2014The final batch of Star Wars: The Clone Wars made its debut on Netflix on Friday — and now, here's a glimpse of what we might have seen if the show hadn't been canceled. Read more... […]
- Star-Crossed finally starts to ask the interesting questions about race March 12, 2014Star-Crossed has been a show about race and racism from its very first episode. But with last night's outing, the show acknowledged that fact more openly and groped its way towards telling real stories about race, with no easy answers.Read more... […]
- The most important scene from last night's Being Human sets up the end March 12, 2014Or at least we think it does. Read more... […]
- Dan Harmon hints Heat Jack and Vision may return as a cartoon March 12, 2014
- Denver’s First Maker Faire Shows Colorado’s Unique Character March 12, 2014
- Peek Inside a Pi-Powered CNC Oreo-Customizing Machine March 11, 2014
- Drone Lawyer Discusses His Landmark Victory with MAKE March 11, 2014
- RFID Power Ups Transform Go-karting Into Mario Karting March 11, 2014
- Pouring an Aged, Concrete Coffee Table March 10, 2014
Category Archives: adult learning
Calvin will be surprised when the test comes back.
This replicates a classic form of a lesson on ‘precision.’
Only dialogue, which requires critical thinking, is also capable of generating critical thinking. Without dialogue there is no communication, and without communication there can be no true education – Paulo Freire
I put together a wall exhibit of various materials prior to facilitating a staff inquiry for a strategic planning project recently, and this graphic purloined via google image search was part of the display.
A Valentine from Möbius
squareONE’s ‘fastest’ tool is called Mobius Strip. I build an introductory program around it, and other times I use it for one-to-one exploring.
I’m thinking about public libraries again. Kenneth Warren has engaged squareONE learning to help design and guide a strategic planning inquiry for Wadsworth Public Library. We began the interactive part of the process with a staff day this week.
It went really well both from my perspective and given the appreciative report of the library’s Director.
I created a bunch of materials for the walls. I showed them, but I didn’t tell much about them.
These dichotomies reflect the result of our initial inquiry made with the Director. Cut into cards, they constitute an evocative device for exploring questions, challenges, and routes for further inquiry.
When I think about public libraries, I’m thinking about their deep human system and how it nourishes development and education throughout the human life cycle. Of course, how a given library does so reflects the unique human system of that particular library.
When this project is completed I will have lots more to say!
Teaching in a critically reflective way involves teachers trying to discover, and research, the assumptions that frame how they teach. In researching these assumptions, teachers have four complementary lenses through which they can view their practice; the lens of their own autobiographies as learners, the lens of students’ eyes, the lens of colleagues’ perceptions, and the lens of educational literature. Reviewing practice through these lenses helps surface the assumptions we hold about pedagogic methods, techniques, and approaches and the assumptions we make concerning the conditions that best foster student learning. Reflective teaching involves discovering and researching one’s own assumptions. from: Using the Lenses of Critically Reflective Teaching in the Community College Classroom
goldmine: Articles & Interviews
RESISTANCE TO LEARNING from Helping Adult Learn packet-pdf
Poor Self-Image as Learners
Fear of the Unknown
Part of the Incremental Rhythm of Learning
Disjunction of Learning & Teaching Styles
Racial, Cultural & Gender Differences Between
Teachers & Students
Apparent Irrelevance of the Learning
Level of Required Learning is Inappropriate or
Fear of Looking Foolish in Public
Lack of Clarity in a Teacher’s Instructions
Personal Dislike & Mistrust of a Teacher
Racial, Cultural, Gender Mistrust
Jung did provide some paradigmatic clinical experiences about synchronicity. His most famous example was of a young woman whose analysis was in a bit of impasse based on her resistance to the notion of unconscious process until she had a dream that included a golden scarab (as a piece of jewelry). In discussing the dream, Jung was alerted to a tapping sound at his window, which he opened. He caught a rose chafer, a Scarabaeid beetle, that he gave to the woman, apparently breaking through her resistance. (Joseph Cambray)
In this example, the psychic state is indicated by the patient’s decision to tell Jung her dream of being given a scarab. The parallel external event is the appearance and behaviour of the real scarab. Neither of these events discernibly or plausibly caused the other by any normal means, so their relationship is acausal. Nevertheless, the events parallel each other in such unlikely detail that one cannot escape the impression that they are indeed connected, albeit acausally. Moreover, this acausal connection of events both is symbolically informative (as we shall see) and has a deeply emotive and transforming impact on the patient and in these senses is clearly meaningful. (Jung’s requirement that the parallel events be simultaneous is more problematic. For present purposes, it is sufficient to know that Jung does also allow for paralleling between events that are not simultaneous.1 Thus, the patient’s dream, rather than her decision to tell the dream, preceded the actual appearance of the scarab by several hours. Yet, Jung would certainly have considered the coincidence between the dream and the actual appearance synchronistic even if the patient had not decided to tell the dream at just that moment.) (Roderick Main)
The occurrence of synchronicities is seen as permitting a continuing dialogue with the unconscious and with the larger whole of life while also calling forth an aesthetic and spiritual appreciation of life’s powers of symbolically resonant complex patterning. . . . Although Jung himself did not explicitly describe this later stage in his principal monograph on synchronicity, it is evident from many scattered passages in his writings and from the recollections and memoirs of others that he both lived his life and conducted his clinical practice in a manner that entailed a constant attention to potentially meaningful synchronistic events that would then shape his understanding and actions. Jung saw nature and one’s surrounding environment as a living matrix of potential synchronistic meaning that could illuminate the human sphere. He attended to sudden or unusual movements or appearances of animals, flocks of birds, the wind, storms, the suddenly louder lapping of the lake outside the window of his consulting room, and similar phenomena as possessing possible symbolic relevance for the parallel unfolding of interior psychic realities. . . . Central to Jung’s understanding of such phenomena was his observation that the underlying meaning or formal factor that linked the synchronistic inner and outer events—the formal cause, in Aristotelian terms—was archetypal in nature. (Richard Tarnas)
The Blind Men and the Elephant
by John Godfrey Saxe (1816–1887)
(Based upon a Hindu Parable)
It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.
The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”
The Second, feeling of the tusk,
Cried, “Ho! What have we here?
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”
The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a snake!”
The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee.
“What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain,” quoth he;
“‘Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”
The Fifth who chanced to touch the ear,
Said: “E’en the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!”
The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right
And all were in the wrong!
So oft in theologic wars
The disputants, I ween,
Rail on in utter ignorance
Of what each other mean,
And prate about an Elephant
Not one of them has seen!
Even yours truly, being a ‘nary a Christian,’ and by reputation being also a mildly notorious Christmas season curmudgeon, can warm up to this video.
“I’m too ME to die.” is typical Snoopy, in Snoopy’s ‘French’ mode. These two cartoons face each other down.
Alan Alda and The Center for Communicating Science for creating such an educational and creative venue!
Thus I heard. On one occasion the Blessed One was living at Gaya, at Gayasisa, together with a thousand bhikkhus. There he addressed the bhikkhus.
“Bhikkhus, all is burning. And what is the all that is burning?
“The eye is burning, forms are burning, eye-consciousness is burning, eye-contact is burning, also whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with eye-contact for its indispensable condition, that too is burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hate, with the fire of delusion. I say it is burning with birth, aging and death, with sorrows, with lamentations, with pains, with griefs, with despairs.
“The ear is burning, sounds are burning…
“The nose is burning, odors are burning…
“The tongue is burning, flavors are burning…
“The body is burning, tangibles are burning…
“The mind is burning, ideas are burning, mind-consciousness is burning, mind-contact is burning, also whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with mind-contact for its indispensable condition, that too is burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hate, with the fire of delusion. I say it is burning with birth, aging and death, with sorrows, with lamentations, with pains, with griefs, with despairs.
“Bhikkhus, when a noble follower who has heard (the truth) sees thus, he finds estrangement in the eye, finds estrangement in forms, finds estrangement in eye-consciousness, finds estrangement in eye-contact, and whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful- nor-pleasant that arises with eye-contact for its indispensable condition, in that too he finds estrangement.
“He finds estrangement in the ear… in sounds…
“He finds estrangement in the nose… in odors…
“He finds estrangement in the tongue… in flavors…
“He finds estrangement in the body… in tangibles…
“He finds estrangement in the mind, finds estrangement in ideas, finds estrangement in mind-consciousness, finds estrangement in mind-contact, and whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with mind-contact for its indispensable condition, in that too he finds estrangement.
“When he finds estrangement, passion fades out. With the fading of passion, he is liberated. When liberated, there is knowledge that he is liberated. He understands: ‘Birth is exhausted, the holy life has been lived out, what can be done is done, of this there is no more beyond.’”
That is what the Blessed One said. The bhikkhus were glad, and they approved his words.
Now during his utterance, the hearts of those thousand bhikkhus were liberated from taints through clinging no more. link-accesstoinsight.org
How Fire Is Made Ahmed el-Bedavi (d. 1276), founder of the Egyptian Bedavi Sufi Order. Retold by Idries Shah. “Tales of the Dervishes“
Once upon a time a man was contemplating the ways in which Nature operates, and he discovered, because of his concentration and application, how fire could be made.
This man was called Nour [Light]. He decided to travel from one community to another, showing people his discovery.
Nour passed the secret to many groups of people. Some took advantage of the knowledge. Others drove him away, thinking that he must be dangerous, before they had had time to understand how valuable this discovery could be to them. Finally, a tribe before which he demonstrated became so panic-stricken that they set about him and killed him, being convinced that he was a demon.
Centuries passed. The first tribe which had learned about fire reserved the secret for their priests, who remained in affluence and power while the people froze.
The second tribe forgot the art and worshipped instead the instruments. The third worshipped a likeness of Nour himself, because it was he who had taught them. The fourth retained the story of the making of fire in their legends: some believed them, some did not. The fifth community really did use fire, and this enabled them to be warmed, to cook their food, and to manufacture all kinds of useful articles.
After many, many years, a wise man and a small band of his disciples were traveling through the lands of those tribes. The disciples were amazed at the variety of rituals which they encountered; and one and all said to their teacher: ‘But all these procedures are in fact related to the making of fire, nothing else. We should reform these people!’
The teacher said: ‘Very well, then. We shall restart our journey. By the end of it, those who survive will know the real problems and how to approach them.
When they reached the first tribe, the band was hospitably received. The priests invited the travelers to attend their religious ceremony, the making of fire. When it was over, and the tribe was in a state of excitement at the event which they had witnessed, the master said: ‘Does anyone wish to speak?’
The first disciple said: ‘In the cause of Truth I feel myself constrained to say something to these people.’
‘If you will do so at your own risk, you may do so,’ said the master.
Now the disciple stepped forward in the presence of the tribal chief and his priests and said: ‘I can perform the miracle which you take to be a special manifestation of deity. If I do so, will you accept that you have been in error for so many years?’
But the priests cried: ‘Seize him!’ and the man was taken away, never to be seen again.
The travelers went to the next territory where the second tribe were worshipping the instruments of fire-making. Again a disciple volunteered to try to bring reason to the community.
With the permission of the master, he said: ‘I beg permission to speak to you as reasonable people. You are worshipping the means whereby something may be done, not even the thing itself. Thus you are suspending the advent of its usefulness. I know the reality that lies at the basis of this ceremony.’
This tribe was composed of more reasonable people. But they said to the disciple: ‘You are welcome as a traveler and stranger in our midst. But, as a stranger, foreign to our history and customs, you cannot understand what we are doing. You make a mistake. Perhaps, even, you are trying to take away or alter our religion. We therefore decline to listen to you.’
The travelers moved on.
When they arrived in the land of the third tribe, they found before every dwelling an idol representing Nour, the original fire-maker. The third disciple addressed the chiefs of the tribe:
‘This idol represents a man, who represents a capacity, which can be used.’
‘This may be so,’ answered the Nour-worshippers, ‘but the penetration of the real secret is only for the few.’
‘It is only for the few who will understand, not for those who refuse to face certain facts,’ said the third disciple.
‘This is rank heresy, and from a man who does not even speak our language correctly, and is not a priest ordained in our faith,’ muttered the priests. And he could make no headway.
The band continued their journey, and arrived in the land of the fourth tribe. Now a fourth disciple stepped forward in the assembly of people.
‘The story of making fire is true, and I know how it may be done,’ he said.
Confusion broke out within the tribe, which split into various factions. Some said: ‘This may be true, and if it is, we want to find out how to make fire.’ When these people were examined by the master and his followers, however, it was found that most of them were anxious to use firemaking for personal advantage, and did not realize that it was something for human progress. So deep had the distorted legends penetrated into the minds of most people that those who thought that they might in fact represent truth were often unbalanced ones, who could not have made fire even if they had been shown how.
There was another faction, who said: ‘Of course the legends are not true. This man is just trying to fool us, to make a place for himself here.’
And a further faction said: ‘We prefer the legends as they are, for they are the very mortar of our cohesion. If we abandon them, and we find that this new interpretation is useless, what will become of our community then?’
And there were other points of view, as well.
So the party traveled on, until they reached the lands of the fifth community, where firemaking was a commonplace, and where other preoccupations faced them.
The master said to his disciples:
“You have to learn how to teach, for man does not want to be taught. First of all, you will have to teach people how to learn. And before that you have to teach them that there is still something to be learned. They imagine that they are ready to learn. But they want to learn what they imagine is to be learned, not what they have first to learn. When you have learned all this, then you can devise the way to teach. Knowledge without special capacity to teach is not the same as knowledge and capacity.”
(I will be posting the two additional videos of Humberto and Heinz. Their brief engagements are very dense and rewarding. One of my favorite endeavors is to dive into dialogs. Thankfully these moments betwixt Maturana and von Foerster were captured so it is now possible to point to fine examples on youtube of deep diving dialog and conversational learning.)
Given the objectives of the Reduced Bateson Set, The second protocol of systems awareness, following from the first protocol of Intentional Reflection, is: “de-location and re-location.” This move is concerned with, in actual effect, jiggling–the/available/any–context(s.)
For now, after dealing with the above video, ramble with Heinz von Foerster.
shr: Do you not think that artificial intelligence is similarly implicit in other fields?
heinz von foerster: I do not think so. The founders and proponents of Artificial Intelligence were from the beginning very much motivated and extremely competent to go after highly specialized tasks as, for instance, how to build a robot which could rearrange an arrangement of blocks into another desired arrangement.
The performance of these machines are very impressive indeed, but I see them more as witnesses to the extraordinary natural intelligence of their designers, rather than cases of “artificial intelligence.”
The anthropomorphization of these machine functions I see insofar as dangerous, because one may be tempted to believe that when we say “this machine ‘thinks’” we know now how we think, for we know how the machine “thinks.”
Syntactically, however, the distinction is clear, for when the machines “thinks” they do it between quotes: quote think unquote. Except for the name there is nothing in common between the functions “think” and think!
shr: This is somewhat reminiscent of some classical critiques of artificial intelligence, for example, Hubert Dreyfus’s critique. It seems that you are saying something along Dreyfus’s lines because you are saying that although artificial intelligence is claiming that they are working to solve the problem of intelligence at large, indeed they are working within a very narrow definition of cognition or intelligence, ignoring the larger background and context within which cognition operates. And it seems that your view of cybernetics, or your own work, strives to look at cognition the opposite direction, in its largest possible framework.
hvf: The way you put your question conjures up in my mind the image of the Roman god of the Beginnings, the Guardian of the Universe, the god Janus. He has a head with two faces that look in opposite directions. Now I see one face watching Aristotle’s way of synthesizing imitations of life: “bio-mimesis”; the other face attending to those who follow the Platonic of coming to grips with, as Bateson put it, “mind and Nature, a Necessary Unity.”
My sense is that we need to learn to look both ways, like the god Janus. Interview at SEHR; Stanford
Heinz vo Foerster: When I answered “I shall talk about Ethics and Second-Order Cybernetics,” almost all of them looked at me in bewilderment and asked “What is second-order cybernetics?” as if there were no questions about ethics.
I am relieved when people ask me about second-order cybernetics and not about ethics, because it is so much easier to talk about second-order cybernetics than it is to talk about ethics. In fact, it is impossible to talk about ethics. But let me explain that later, and let me now say a few words about cybernetics, and, of course, about cybernetics of cybernetics, or second-order cybernetics.
As you all know, cybernetics arises when effectors, say, a motor, an engine, our muscles, etc. are connected to a sensory organ which, in turn, acts with its signals upon the effectors.
It is this circular organization which sets cybernetic systems apart from others that are not so organized. Here is Norbert Wiener, who re-introduced the term “cybernetics” into scientific discourse. He observed:
The behavior of such systems may be interpreted as directed to the attainment of a goal.
That is, it looks as if these systems pursued a purpose! That sounds very bizarre indeed.
But let me give you other paraphrases of what cybernetics is all about by invoking the spirit of women and men who rightly could be considered the mamas and papas of cybernetic thought and action.
First, here is Margaret Mead, whose name is, I am sure, familiar to all of you. In one of her addresses to the American Society of Cybernetics she said:
As an anthropologist, I have been interested in the effects that the theories of cybernetics have within our society. I am not referring to computers or to the electronic evolution as a whole, or to the end of dependence on script for knowledge, or to the way that dress has succeeded the mimeographing machine as a form of communication among the dissenting young.
Let me repeat that:
I am not referring to the way that dress has succeeded the mimeographing machine as a form of communication among the dissenting young.
[And then she continues:]
I specifically want to consider the significance of the set of cross-disciplinary ideas which we first called ‘feed-back’ and then called ‘teleological mechanisms’ and then called ‘cybernetics’ — a form of cross-disciplinary thought which made it possible for members of many disciplines to communicate with each other easily in a language which all could understand.
And here is the voice of her third husband, the epistemologist, anthropologist, cybernetician, and, as some say, the papa of family therapy, Gregory Bateson:
Cybernetics is a branch of mathematics dealing with problems of control, recursiveness and information.
And here the organizational philosopher and managerial wizard Stafford Beer:
Cybernetics is the science of effective organization.
And, finally, here the poetic reflection of “Mister Cybernetics,” as we fondly call him, the cybernetician’s cybernetician, Gordon Pask:
Cybernetics is the science of defensible metaphors.
It seems that cybernetics is many different things to many different people, but this is because of the richness of its conceptual base. And this is, I believe, very good; otherwise, cybernetics would become a somewhat boring exercise. However, all of those perspectives arise from one central theme, and that is that of circularity.
When, perhaps a half century ago, the fecundity of this concept was seen, it was sheer euphoria to philosophize, epistemologize, and theorize about its consequences, its ramification into various fields, and its unifying power.
While this was going on, something strange evolved among the philosophers, the epistemologists and the theoreticians: they began to see themselves more and more as being themselves included in a larger circularity, maybe within the circularity of their family, or that of their society and culture, or being included in a circularity of even cosmic proportions.
What appears to us today most natural to see and to think, was then not only hard to see, it was even not allowed to think!
Because it would violate the basic principle of scientific discourse which demands the separation of the observer from the observed. It is the principle of objectivity: the properties of the observer shall not enter the description of his observations.
I gave this principle here in its most brutal form, to demonstrate its nonsensicality: if the properties of the observer, namely, to observe and to describe, are eliminated, there is nothing left: no observation, no description.
However, there was a justification for adhering to this principle, and this justification was fear. Fear that paradoxes would arise when the observers were allowed to enter the universe of their observations. And you know the threat of paradoxes: to steal their way into a theory is like having the cloven-hoofed foot of the Devil stuck in the door of orthodoxy.
Clearly, when cyberneticians were thinking of partnership in the circularity of observing and communicating, they were entering the forbidden land:
In the general case of circular closure, A implies B, B implies C, and — O! Horror! — C implies A!
Or in the reflexive case:
A implies B, and — O! Shock! — B implies A!
And now Devil’s cloven-hoofed foot in its purest form, in the form of self-reference:
A implies A.
l would like to invite you now to come with me into the land where it is not forbidden, but where one is even encouraged to speak about oneself (what else can one do anyway?).
This turn from looking at things out there to looking at looking itself, arose — I think — from significant advances in neurophysiology and neuropsychiatry. (H.v.Foerster, ethics and second order cybernetics; SEHR; Stanford)
Paper: On Constructing Reality (pdf)
I HAVE NO PARENTS;
I MAKE THE HEAVENS AND EARTH MY PARENTS.
I HAVE NO HOME;
I MAKE AWARENESS MY HOME
I HAVE NO LIFE OR DEATH;
I MAKE THE TIDES OF MY BREATHING MY LIFE AND DEATH.
I HAVE NO DIVINE POWER;
I MAKE HONESTY MY DIVINE POWER.
I HAVE NO MEANS;
I MAKE UNDERSTANDING MY MEANS.
I HAVE NO MAGIC SECRETS;
I MAKE CHARACTER MY MAGIC SECRET.
I HAVE NO BODY;
I MAKE ENDURANCE MY BODY.
I HAVE NO EYES;
I MAKE THE FLASH OF LIGHTNING MY EYES.
I HAVE NO EARS;
I MAKE SENSIBILITY MY EARS.
I HAVE NO LIMBS;
I MAKE PROMPTNESS MY LIMBS.
I HAVE NO STRATEGY;
I MAKE CLARITY MY STRATEGY.
I HAVE NO DESIGNS;
I MAKE INTUITION MY DESIGN.
I HAVE NO MIRACLES;
I MAKE RIGHT-ACTION MY MIRACLES.
I HAVE NO PRINCIPLES;
I MAKE NO-AVERSION MY PRINCIPLE.
I HAVE NO TACTICS;
I MAKE EMPTINESS AND FULLNESS MY TACTICS.
I HAVE NO TALENTS;
I MAKE READY WIT MY TALENT.
I HAVE NO FRIENDS;
I MAKE MY MIND MY FRIEND.
I HAVE NO ENEMY;
I MAKE CARELESSNESS MY ENEMY.
I HAVE NO ARMOR;
I MAKE BENEVOLENCE AND RIGHTEOUSNESS MY ARMOR.
I HAVE NO CASTLE;
I MAKE IMMOVABLE-MIND MY CASTLE.
I HAVE NO SWORD;
I MAKE ABSENCE OF SELF MY SWORD.
Once knowing is no longer understood as the search for an iconic representation of ontological reality but, instead, as a search for fitting ways of behaving and thinking, the traditional problem disappears. Knowledge can now be seen as something which the organism builds up in the attempt to order the as such amorphous flow of experience by establishing repeatable experiences and relatively reliable relations between them. The possibilities of constructing such an order are determined and perpetually constrained by the preceding steps in the construction. That means that the “real” world manifests itself exclusively there where our constructions break down. But since we can describe and explain these breakdowns only in the very concepts that we have used to build the failing structures, this process can never yield a picture of a world that we could hold responsible for their failure. An Introduction to Radical Constructivism, in: Paul Watzlawick (Hg.): The Invented Reality, 1984, p. 39.
Onset: Free Play Softball League winter blues.
As it turned out, the gentle slope in the westward direction of Forest Hills (and its Field #8) allowed us to set up an impromptu diamond in the southeast corner and play in rather decent conditions for the last four weeks.
Last Sunday’s game may well have been our last of a season begun the SUnday after tax day. It was a notable Sunday for several reasons. First, for the second week in a row Jedi Matt launched a ball over 300 feet. This time I paced off the distance when I retrieved a second 300 foot shot into foul territory. Secondly, our cast of characters allowed us once again to play the minimum type of game with at least six to a side, a game in which we slice the outfield in half, give up the right fielder, a second baseman and some times a catcher, yet retain the first baseman to avoid the dreary game dubbed ‘pitcher’s mound.’ Finally, it was our fifth game in a row in which the home team had a chance to win in the bottom of the seventh.
Because I keep track of my own hitting, I can report we played 27 Sundays out of 30. We enjoyed this year the best weather and the most dynamic group relations of any season since I commenced my own participation in 2001.
Those features combine to knock out a data set about, this year and in a nutshell, ‘ludic aspirations, aging, and the interplay of masculinities.’ Ha!
I asked by email for twelve and twelve came.
There’s more to it than that. First: MONSTER SLAM BY JEDI MATT! Estimates as to length of home run varied from 375 feet to a parsec; still, a top five mash for sure.
My research focus is on serendipity and this also means that I am ensnared on a good day with the problem of contingency as it happens in causal chains of human action. I told Dave B. as we departed the parking lot on Sunday that it was his own email to me earlier in the morning that compelled me to bring the equipment and learn whether or not we would gather enough Free Players together for a November game.
Before his email I was ambivalent and leaning toward announcing by email that the field was too wet, the day too cold, and the season too aged, to play. Earlier in the week Francis, acting as our scout, reported the field would be playable on Sunday. Except this was in the middle of the week and Friday came a day-long, soaking, rain.
The Dave’s email arrived in my in-box. I leaned the other way and shot out an email and stated I would be doing my darn duty and hoping we could play with enough forces to have a first baseman for each team. And, my colleagues made it so.
A close game, the fourth in a row, unfolded on a day past the ending of the real world series. Mark us down for one of best seasons whenever we’re playing in November. We tucked our improvised diamond in the southeast corner of the park and except for scattered miniature ponds in left field, the field was in fairly decent shape.
The ball was leaping off the bat. Monster blast! It came down to the last at bat. With one out I laced a shop into the gap, Stacey zoomed and grabbed it, darn kid! It didn’t matter we came up short, but everybody won the day.