Cloudy Daze and Catty Ontologies

Lost Memories 2.0 from Francois Ferracci on Vimeo.

Catumentary from Lizz Dvorsky on Vimeo.

Robert Anton Wilson Channel on youtube

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Yet, We Converse With Each Other

Hexagram44
Hexagram 44
Your name or your person,
Which is dearer?
Your person or your goods,
Which is worth more?
Gain or loss,
Which is a greater bane?
That is why excessive meanness
Is sure to lead to great expense;
Too much store
Is sure to end in immense loss.
Know contentment
And you will suffer no disgrace;
Know when to stop
And you will meet with no danger.
You can then endure.

QUESTIONS

What is your personal ideology, and, how does it track back to its source in your personal culture?

Do we not construct somewhat congruent collections of best explanations?

Everybody lives in their own subjective world, or, not?

PROVISIONS

Every individual is dedicated in explicable and inexplicable ways to their favorite: dispositions, habits of thinking and feeling, heuristic tools, automatic responses, etc..

Individual comprehension of what are apparently objective features of the world are: variable, often warrantless, and, these comprehensions are, finally, usually subjective..

The common ground is not itself beyond the intersubjective field.

Each person over time develops, tests, refines, and deploys, their unique folk psychological ideology and toolset.

Often this bundle of suppositions and provisional abductions about, for example, how one’s own mind and other mind’s work, is utilized as the first->second order means to understand another person. It is deployed as if it is comprehensive and commensurate to the task of understanding this other person.

This normal attitude and approach is used by many people who are innocent of its origins (from within their personal culture, subjectivity.)

As a practical matter, eventually meeting the challenge posed by hoping to develop accurate interpersonal and intrapersonal construal requires the negotiation of each other’s self conception, self conception in contexts, language, concepts, suppositions, and, linkages and intrinsic networks, and, all the other potential features of subjective deep beingness. Hey, these considerations are truly, mine alone!

Hexagram 44. Don’t negate me bro for the sake of flattening me so that I may tumble along in your own 2D world. If I wanted to be in your world, I’d have to have been you.

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Remedios Varo

In the previous post I mentioned my being turned, by a serendipitous contact’s suggestion, toward the artistry of Remedios Varo. It was my good fortune to find the two most important books of her work at The Cleveland Public Library.

The Magic of Remedios Varo – Luis-Martin Lozano (2000) – National Museum of Women In the Arts
Remedios Varo: The Mexican Years – Masayo Nonaka (2012) – Editorial RM

Remedios Varo (December 16, 1908 – October 8, 1963) was a Spanish-Mexican surrealist painter. She was born in Anglés Cataluña, Spain in 1908 and died from a heart-attack in Mexico City in 1963. During the Spanish Civil War she fled to Paris where she was largely influenced by the surrealist movement. She met in Barcelona the french surrealist poet Benjamin Péret and became his wife. She was forced into exile from Paris during the Nazi occupation of France and moved to Mexico City at the end of 1941. She initially considered Mexico a temporary haven, but would remain in Latin America for the rest of her life.

In Mexico she met native artists such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. However, her strongest ties would be to other exiles and expatriates, and especially her extraordinary friendship with the English painter Leonora Carrington. Her last major relationship would be with Walter Gruen, an Austrian who had endured concentration camps before escaping Europe. Gruen believed fiercely in Varo, and gave her the support that allowed her to fully concentrate on her painting.

After 1949 Varo developed into her mature and remarkable style, which remains beautifully enigmatic and instantly recognizable. She often worked in oil on masonite panels she prepared herself. Although her colors have the blended resonance of the oil medium, her brushwork often involved many fine strokes of paint laid closely together – a technique more reminiscent of egg tempera. She died at the height of her career.

Her work continues to achieve successful retrospectives at major sites in Mexico and the United States. (Wikipedia)

Well worth your time:

REMEDIOS VARO: Round Table Discussion Part 1 – Hosted by Frey Norris Contemporary & Modern, San Francisco from Gallery Wendi Norris on Vimeo.

(My own art is sometimes very surreal, but, my artistic outlook is not intentionally surrealistic. The surrealism sometimes evident in some of my pieces results from the meta-aesthetic given by my creative aspiration, in its aim to provide a praxis for the viewer. This experience is instantiated by a combination of chance visual elements, underdetermination, symmetry, complexity, and, the aspect that most supports ‘surreality,’ occulted patterns/forms/symbols/shapes/faces/masks/beings. However, this occultation is, overwhelmingly, not a matter of my choosing what is to be hidden.)

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Touch Recognition

Stephen Calhoun, artist

Gemini’s Sense of Humor (2016) 38×44″

Around the middle of January I received an email from a stranger. This happens often. The question about such emails is: will it sort into the box labeled Serendipitous Contact, or, Internet Scammer?

This one ends up in the former box. Its author had been urged to visit my art web site by a friend from my Vermont chapter. In her email she wrote: I have not begun to plumb the depths of your site, but I am grateful to learn the word pareidolia. I create art and music that is pareidolic (word?) in process. Previously, I have just called it “clarifying the images”. Thanks for the new vocabulary. When I googled pareidolia, I also learned the word apophenia. Also a great phenomenon.

J.S. hipped me to the artist Remedios Varo. Fantastic!

via Wikiart

via Wikiart

She suggested I might correspond with her friend, Genese. She described her friend: She has a great mind, and the spirit of a wild sprite.

Pareidolia, Seeing Patterns, Making Meaning – Genese Grill

Here are two excerpts from longer, and essential, posts. Ms. Grill doesn’t publish posts often, but when she does, her consciousness lights up her subject matter.

AN APOLOGY FOR MEANING The artist, as the “creative subject” par excellence, re-vivifies stale images and ossified words, dissolving the fixed relations and drawn boundaries around entities and forging new meaningful connections between materiality and imagination, individual particularity and archetypal abstraction.

CORRESPONDENCE AND DIFFERENCE A sense of what is beautiful, evidently, is at least somewhat natural and universal. And the works of art or ritual made with this sense of what is beautiful still resonate with a mysterious significance, even if we today cannot fully understand or believe in the things that were sacred to the people who made them. Translation across time and cultures is needed for a more approximate comprehension of the objects, but something very powerful, something powerfully familiar is present even without a struggle. What we want is to maintain the strangeness, while approaching a comprehension. What we must avoid is to diminish difference in the interest of a complete and total correspondence.

I haven’t taken up L.S.’s suggestion. I will. The outreach recently coming my way through the serendipitous transmission has tipped a bit, and so it will be my own effort which brings it back in balance.

Why? Is the highest artistry given in the penetrating and receptive engagement of intracommunicating being?

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Marco Rubio’s Dance Wit Me

Deborah De Luca

Marco Rub-bot, the Little Prince, tells anther interviewer that he enjoys EDM, electronic dance music, because the music has clean lyrics, where hip hop. . .

Burning Man 2015

The EDM web site reports in an article from November:

Sadly, a Republican who likes EDM is not the most ludicrous comment coming out of the GOP in recent weeks.

In a recent interview with CNN, junior United States Senator Marco Rubio revealed that he not only listens to dance music, but he actually appreciates and respects it. His interviewer gives him quite the side eye (“Party music?!”) when says it, and continues to be baffled when he uses Tiësto as an example. It’s hard to believe that a conservative Republican like Rubio would dare to open his mouth and align himself with a culture that’s anything but straight-laced (he opposes legalizing weed and gay marriage), but Rubio is from Miami, a major hub for EDM.

While I doubt we’ll be seeing him popping bottles at LIV anytime soon, I don’t mind temporarily entertaining the thought that Rubio uses Tiësto’s tracks as his rally music. Who knows? Maybe Tiësto could be the first DJ to play the Inaugural Ball if Rubio somehow wins the election in 2016.

Tiesto

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Spinning

Blooms: Strobe-Animated Sculptures from Pier 9 on Vimeo.

Circle Game
by Joni Mitchell

Yesterday a child came out to wonder
Caught a dragonfly inside a jar
Fearful when the sky was full of thunder
And tearful at the falling of a star

Then the child moved ten times round the seasons
Skated over ten clear frozen streams
Words like when you’re older must appease him
And promises of someday make his dreams

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game *

Sixteen springs and sixteen summers gone now
Cartwheels turn to car wheels thru the town
And they tell him take your time it won’t be long now
Till you drag your feet to slow the circles down

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

So the years spin by and now the boy is twenty
Though his dreams have lost some grandeur coming true
There’ll be new dreams maybe better dreams and plenty
Before the last revolving year is through

And the seasons they go round and round
And the painted ponies go up and down
We’re captive on the carousel of time
We can’t return we can only look
Behind from where we came
And go round and round and round
In the circle game

© Siquomb Publishing Company
source with additional notes

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The Very Soaked, Very Dry, World

via The Guardian, UK

via The Guardian, UK

Cleveland Heights, Ohio, USA, is 950 feet above sea level. We could probably take tens of thousands of climate refugees. I do not know what the effect of climate cahnge will be on the great lakes. Hey, I can look it up!

Forbes Magazine tells me “the great lakes are benefitting from climate change.”

Nature Geoscience, February 8, 2016 – Cooling and societal change during the Late Antique Little Ice Age from 536 to around 660 AD

PDF: Confronting Climate Change in the Great Lakes Region – Union of Concerned Scientists, Ecological Society of America

Glacial Isostatic Adjustment (i.e.,Glacial Rebound): The Great Lakes basin is, in effect, tilting over time as the result of the land rebounding after regional glaciers retreated about 10,000 year ago. The southwestern end of the basin is falling relative to the center of where the past glacier existed. This makes water levels in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, for example, appear to be rising. At the same time, water levels in the northeastern portion of the basin (e.g., Georgian Bay, Ontario) appear to be dropping. This rebound accounts for about one foot of water level change (rising or dropping) in a person’s lifetime (International Upper Great Lakes Study 2009).

Climate change: Annual average air and water temperatures are rising and future climate models
project continued warming, which contributes to higher rates of evaporation. Projected future
precipitation amounts, rates, and annual variability in timing of wetter and drier periods vary by
model.

PDF: What Could Changing Great Lakes Water Levels Mean for our Coastal Communities? The Nature Conservancy

But what does all of this mean for water levels in the Great Lakes? This is an important question; after all, our current infrastructure around the Lakes, from ports and canals to beaches and boardwalks, were designed and built based on the water levels experienced throughout the Twentieth Century. This is a far more complicated question than the one facing coastal cities along the oceans that are contending with sea level rise due to glacial melt and thermal expansion of water. Water levels in the Great Lakes will be determined almost entirely by levels of precipitation and evaporation, as well as by the quantities of water removed from the watershed through consumption or diversion. A further consideration is that water levels are controlled at two points; at the outflow from Lake Superior, and at the outflow from Lake Ontario, as regulated by the International Joint Commission. This suggests that the Lake Superior, as the upstream lake, will serve as the bellwether for the rest of the lakes. How Will Climate Change Affect the Great Lakes? Earth Institute, Columbia Univ.

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By Hand

A Thousand Hands Ago from S Ensby on Vimeo.

The dramatic form is reached when the vitality which has flowed and eddied round each person fills every person with such vital force that he or she assumes a proper and intangible esthetic life. The personality of the artist, at first a cry or a cadence or a mood and then a fluid and lambent narrative, finally refines itself out of existence, impersonalizes itself, so to speak. The esthetic image in the dramatic form is life purified in and reprojected from the human imagination. The mystery of esthetic, like that of material creation, is accomplished. The artist, like the God of creation, remains within or behind or beyond or above his handiwork, invisible, refined out of existence, indifferent, paring his fingernails.—Stephen

—Trying to refine them also out of existence—said Lynch.

A fine rain began to fall from the high veiled sky and they turned into the duke’s lawn to reach the national library before the shower came.

—What do you mean—Lynch asked surlily—by prating about beauty and the imagination in this miserable Godforsaken island? JAmes Joyce, Portrait of An Artist As a Young Man

[Wikipedia] Microcosmos (original title Microcosmos: Le peuple de l’herbe — Microcosmos: The grass people) is a 1996 documentary film by Claude Nuridsany and Marie Pérennou and produced by Jacques Perrin. Set to the music of Bruno Coulais, this film is primarily a record of detailed interactions between insects and other small invertebrates.

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Accidental Artist

Stephen Calhoun, artist

My one man show is hung and ready for the public to ‘have experiences’ at The Gallery at Gray’s, 10717 Detroit Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio. Yes, there will be an opening, and an associated catalog, an online gallery, and, some other initiatives. Fortunately for me, I am greatly benefitted by the enthusiasm of Deba Jean Gray, the gallery owner and the person who saw I was up to something artistically intriguing.

In crucial ways–and besides my being in the sociology of artists’ sense, a naive, and outsider, and untrained, artist–I am an accidental artist. Ms. Gray discovered me when she pulled a generative piece off the wall by the stairway in my step mother’s house in 2014. Later, after she toured my private gallery, she invited me to provide two pieces for an auction in May 2015. Those pieces were in a catalog amidst stellar company, such as Frankenthaler, Calder, and Stella. One of the pieces sold.

(It was only late in 2014 that it became possible for me to imagine that thirty years of private visual experimenting, begun first as a designer, then done as a painter, then starting in 2003, done as photographic/generative image-maker, might find my work engage a public.)

Four months later, I was prepared to show Deba and her associates my growing book. My visual experiments were rapidly evolving to become more ambitious. Also, I was learning in leaps and bounds, while dialing in much more technical control. I was spending all my time doing visual experiments, while trying to guide the most successful experiments up and out of the laboratory!

Nowadays, I work in photography or generative modes which integrate essential elements of serendipity. So, I see myself as an auteur of image-making–who dials in a delicate harmonization of the intentional with the fortuitous. Painstaking technical processes are involved in my, in effect, over-enlarging high resolution photographs, and doing the same with low resolution generative pieces.

My art reflects my life long interest in experiential development and a more recent interest in serendipity and contingency. My visual art is also of a piece with my musical experimentation; and it occurs to me I am bringing forth visual potentials which yield to a kind of visual equivalent of the deep listening developed as a holistic conception of sound experience by one of my main creative influences, composer Pauline Oliveros.

Ironically, 2015 was the year I steered my creative energies toward visual art, and away from music and sound design. Nevertheless, my creative process remains deeply musical.

Diver's Dilemma (2016)

Diver’s Dilemma (2016)

“What do you see hidden in the image?”

Each piece, by design, aims to support the viewer going into its complexity and tiny details to discover patterns, objects, symbols, faces, figures, etc. The artist does not program every discoverable feature. Far from it: the experience of each unique viewer, reveals sightings about which the artist is unaware of.

The pieces are intended to be experiential, and, are driven by my own conjoined experiential and experimental creative process. The primary process is a conduction drawn through phases: (1) capture, (2) cut, (3) create, (4) consummate. The last phase introduces the engaged viewer and realizes the culmination of the experiment in the unique experience of this viewer, this deep see’r.

I’m focused on providing experiences for viewers who freely choose to have an experience. For me, this completes the virtuous circle implicit in my substantiating such opportunities. My own creative purpose consequentially relies on the engaged viewer’s projective capacity. These pieces are primarily about enacting discovery.

 

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Evan Thompson, Presentation May 2015

a CONTEXT

According to [Francisco] Varela, an autonomous system can be precisely defined as a system that has organizational closure and operational closure (Varela 1979, pp. 55-60). The term ‘closure’ does not mean that the system is materially and energetically closed to the outside world (which of course is impossible). On the contrary, autonomous systems are thermodynamically far from equilibrium systems, which incessantly exchange matter and energy with their surroundings. ‘Organizational closure’ describes the self-referential (circular and recursive) network of relations that defines the system as a unity. At any given instant or moment, this self-referential network must be maintained, otherwise the system is no longer autonomous and no longer viable in whatever domain it exists. ‘Operational closure’ describes the recursive, re-entrant, and recurrent dynamics of the system. The system changes state on the basis of its self-organizing dynamics (in coupling with an environment), and the product of its activity is always further self-organized activity within the system (unless its operational closure is disrupted and it disintegrates).7 Biological examples abound—single cells, microbial communities, nervous systems, immune systems, multicellular organisms, ecosystems, and so on. Such systems need to be seen as sources of their own activity, and as specifying their own informational or cognitive domains, not as transducers or functions for converting input instructions into output products. In other words, the autonomous nature of these systems needs to be recognized.

Neurophenomenology: An Introduction for Neurophilosophers (pdf)
Evan Thompson, Antoine Lutz, and Diego Cosmelli

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Magical Inflation of the Pick-up King

If you regard honesty and humility as virtues, which I think most Iowans do, his ridiculous boasts demand derision. He’s the business genius who brags about screwing his investors and who has declared bankruptcy as often as some people overdraw their checking account. He sports the world’s silliest comb-over and makes fun of other people’s looks. He’s the tough guy who never served in the military, never risked his life or his interests for anyone other than himself, and disparaged the service of a decorated veteran.

He promises to make America great again and rejects the ideals and decency that made us great in the first place. Trump isn’t a fascist. He just says stupid, offensive things, seems unaware we have a Bill of Rights, and surrounds himself with aides who appear to have graduated first in their class at the Baghdad Bob School of Awesome Ass Kissing. Fascism is an ideology. Self-aggrandizement isn’t. -Mark Salter, Esquire

(Psychologist Howard) Gardner said, “For me, the compelling question is the psychological state of his supporters. They are unable or unwilling to make a connection between the challenges faced by any president and the knowledge and behavior of Donald Trump. In a democracy, that is disastrous.” (from Is Donald Trump Actually a Narcissist? Therapists Weigh In! Henry Alford, Vanity Fair)

Trump is a masterful pitchman on behalf of his own self-interest because of the way he helps his supporters unconsciously understand that their own self-interests are impotent. I attribute his ability then to seal the deal with slabs of (Girardian) scapegoating to his insecurity, especially his sexual insecurity.

(Trump from the perspective of my own sense of cultural complexes represents the realization of the shadow of the so-called neoreaction.)

Logos domination can lead to a degree of detsruction only hinted at by chthonic phallos behavior. The highest potential of masculine solar consciousness–spirituality, intellectual and institutional leadership–can tyrannize whatever is considered to be in error, whoever cannot “measure up” (an oblique reference to the interest males have in phallic size.) The tyranny is all the more devastating due to the cultural admiration of solar masculine attributes, behind which the shadow qualities fester. (Eugene Monick, Phallos, Sacred Image of the Masculine, Inner City Books)

It’s worth noting that in the psychological sense, given somewhat old fashioned ways of framing such phenomena, there is a strong cultural complex at work in our society that has to do with the unconscious restoration of phallic power. For the purpose of observing this we can look to Trump’s ‘priapic’ approach as being the natural attractor for the unconscious projections of the contemporary wilted masculine, and, the impotence of its various white-skinned tribes.

For me, it seems obvious that Trump is carrying the projection that makes of him the greatest vigilante possible: one issued by and sprung from tired pale loins. Revenge, finally revenge! Trump is the daddy who solves the problem and never asks question later; or, as Trump has put it, “People won’t like what it is necessary to do.”

As Dr. Carl Jung noted, ‘if you stack enough rifles in a warehouse they will go off all by themselves.’

The fantasy of the good guy shooting the bad guy is, obviously in these terms, a sexual fantasy, and the only possible result in the collective sense is the eventual orgy of badly aimed money shots; shots hopelessly exploded for the unconscious sake of gaining a moment of tumescent identity.

As I like to put it: the dream of being an effective vigilante requires a great deal of unconsciousness, and, a ‘swollen head.’

Then there are the urgings of the holler:

If there is more risky intrapsychic group attitude than that which attaches to another person’s parental persona, I’m unaware of it. This group’s ideational scaffolding to get to the point of supporting Trump is, in a word, frightening.

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Art Meets Science & Spirituality in a Changing Economy

1990 Amsterdam

Published on Nov 26, 2013
Part 1: “FROM FRAGMENTATION TO WHOLENESS” This film features the Dalai Lama speaking on the nature of mind and on his personal feelings as leader of the Tibetans in exile, the physicist David Bohm, who explains his theory of the “implicate order”; and interviews with artist Robert Rauschenberg and Russian economist Stanislav Menshikov. Artists, scientists, spiritual leaders and economists gathered in Amsterdam in 1990 to explore the emerging paradigm of a holistic world view and the implications for a global economy. The five day confernce was inspired by the artists Joseph Beuys and Robert Filliou, and manifested by Louwrien Wijers, who called it a “mental sculpture.”
Part 1/5: “FROM FRAGMENTATION TO WHOLENESS” (Dalai Lama, David Bohm, Robert Rauschenberg)
Part 2/5: “THE CHAOTIC UNIVERSE” (Ilya Prigogine, John Cage, Huston Smith)
Part 3/5: “CRISIS OF PERCEPTION” (Francisco Varela, Mother Tessa Bielecki)
Part 4/5: “THE TRANSORMING WORLD” (Rupert Sheldrake, Sogyal Rinpoche, Lawrence Weiner)
Part 5/5: “THE SHIFTING PARADIGM” (Marina Abramovic, Fritjof Capra, Raimon Panikkar)
PLAYLIST “Art Meets Science & Spirituality in a Changing Economy”

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Don’t Follow the Directions

Stephen Calhoun, artist

Jack’s New Scheme (2015)


Pagan Kennedy’s New York Times feature, How to Cultivate the Art of Serendipity, is apparently drawn from her new book, due January 26, Inventology. Her article is a very good read.

inventology

In the article Kennedy mentions a researcher, Sanda Erdelez. A little digging brought her paper Information Encountering, A Conceptual Framework for Accidental Information Discovery to light. At the end of the paper her summary inspired me to reflect on the status of “pre-direction” in search routines.

From this it seems worthwhile to muse on a adirectional learning, and directionless directing.

Meanwhile, Kennedy wrote:

That’s why we need to develop a new, interdisciplinary field — call it serendipity studies — that can help us create a taxonomy of discoveries in the chemistry lab, the newsroom, the forest, the classroom, the particle accelerator and the hospital. By observing and documenting the many different “species” of super-encounterers, we might begin to understand their minds.

A number of pioneering scholars have already begun this work, but they seem to be doing so in their own silos and without much cross-talk.

What could these researchers discover if they came together for one big conversation?

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Cube-O-Probe: How to Work With a New Team

Cube-O-Probe

Classic four square CoP roll. The so-called heavenly quadrants are above the center, and the hellish quadrants are below.

This is a very clear and direct roll of the Cube-O-Probe, framed by the intention,

Give me crucial hints about working with the new team.

My reflections on it clarified for me the necessity of allowing the wise ones to have their say and impact, trusting their wisdom for the sake of my own development, understanding that the project aims for my own stability–but that it is not yet an obvious possibility–and, my sense that I need to mediate my own inquisitiveness.

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Co-Incidence? experiential learning Cycle and Adventist Theology

Kairos devo

As I understand it, the most simple definition of a contemporary Kairos moment is: the moment at which the inborn Christological consciousness is instantiated as an active essential commission.

In adventist theology, the two perfect instances of Kairos were the birth of Christ, and, his resurrection.

graph-of-time

(See: Myth, Faith, and History in the New Testament
Author(s): Paul L. Hammer
Journal of Bible and Religion, Vol. 29, No. 2 (Apr., 1961), pp. 113-118)

Kolb-Model

Meanwhile, it is notable that my colleague David A. Kolb’s constuctivist-cognitivist learning cycle echoes the schema of the Kairos moment.

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Nora Bateson: Between generations: gaps, links and learning

Università degli Studi di Milano – Bicocca

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Eat or Be Eaten

World Surf League Pe’ahi Challenge

These waves are over 25 feet, with most of them in the 30-40 foot range. If you wipe out and end up under the break, you can be driven 30+ feet under the surface. Big wave surfing is, it is said, at once extremely dangerous and exhilarating.

The two summers I surfed, first in 1968 (mostly off Honolulu Oahu, or Barber’s Point,) Hawaii, and the next summer, 1969, in South Carolina and Virginia, the biggest wave I tried to ride was a 10+ piece of hurricane surf off of Hilton Head. I crashed and was so impressed by the burn that I swam to shore, waited for my big old Hobie board to wash ashore, and, literally, called it a summer. Oddly, the closest call I ever had was on a tender little five footer at a spot off of Honolulu called Ones and Twos. A soldier on R&R from Viet Nam, who had rented a board probably to go surf for the first time, kicked it my way while missing his take off. I spotted it zeroing in on my head, dove away and crashed into the coral reef.

My pal Teddy had already warned me that there were a lot of servicemen out on the breaks convinced surfing wasn’t so hard that it couldn’t be mastered in a day.

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Teaching Cartoons: Structure and Shifting

freewillor

shift-happens

bonus:

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Slow, Steady, and Permanent

Your half hour will be well spent in a close engagement with the thought of Mr. Varela.

Recovering Common Sense
The tacit assumption behind the varieties of cognitive realism (cognitivism, emergence, and the society of mind) has been that the world can be divided into regions of discrete elements and tasks. Cognition consists in problem solving, which must, if it is to be successful, respect the elements, properties, and relations within these pre-given regions.

This approach to cognition as problem solving works to some degree for task domains in which it is relatively easy to specify all possible states. Consider for example the game of chess. It is relatively easy to define the constituents of the “space of chess”: there are positions on the board, rules for movements, turns that are taken, and so on. The limits of this space are clearly defined; in fact, it is an almost crystalline world. It is not surprising, then, that chess playing by computer is an advanced art.

For less circumscribed or well-defined task domains, however, this approach has proved to be considerably less productive. Consider, for example, a mobile robot that is supposed to drive a car within a city. One can still single out in this “driving space” discrete items, such as wheels and windows, red lights, and other cars. But unlike the world of chessplaying, movement among objects is not a space that can be said to end neatly at some point. Should the robot pay attention to pedestrians or not? Should it take weather conditions into account? Or the country in which the city is located and its unique driving customs? Such a list of questions could go on forever. The driving world does not end at some point; it has the structure of ever-receding levels of detail that blend into a nonspecific back- ground. Indeed, successfully directed movement such as driving de- pends upon acquired motor skills and the continuous use of common sense or background know-how. (Chapter 8, The Embodied Mind)

Varela passed away in 2001. What would he think about self-driving cars, and self-navigating drones? On one hand, he would no doubt be impressed by the effective programming underlying the operational flexibility in such robotic machines. On the other hand he would have every reason to remind us about the inherent uncertainty in particular task domains.

Embodied Cognition Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Archive.org full text Francisco J. Varela, Evan T. Thompson, Eleanor Rosch The Embodied Mind Cognitive Science And Human Experience MIT Press (1993)

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Working Class or Just Playing

Stephen Calhoun, artist
Title: Working Class – workshop version

Workshop version is my term designating specific pieces to be ongoing, incomplete, in progress. The term is borrowed from Charles Mingus, who characterized his ensembles in the fifties to be The Charles Mingus Workshop because he wanted to highlight the ongoing process of collaborative creation.

My blogging tenacity is waning while I prepare pieces for an art show here in Cleveland early next year. None of my pieces, since they are digital art, are finished until they are produced at full size. The full size specification is realized when the pieces are printed to aluminum or archival acrylic on giant flatbed UV curable ink jet printers, (by my finisher VistaImage here in Cleveland.)

Before a piece is finalized and finished it goes from being a workshop piece to being the final piece in a closed edition.

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