2010.01.25 19:00 - "Being" Gets a Job / Ghost Stories

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Calvino Rabeni. The comments are by Calvino Rabeni.


    Pila Mulligan: hi Calvino
    Calvino Rabeni: Good evening Pila
    Pila Mulligan: how are you?
    Calvino Rabeni: quite well
    Calvino Rabeni: And you?
    Pila Mulligan: I'm fine thanks
    Pila Mulligan: I came in to place my avi at Kira for the dream workshop tomorrow and noticed it was a PaB hour
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, that is true
    Pila Mulligan: ... think I'll stop by the pub later on the way to Kira, see how it is
    Calvino Rabeni: going to kira?
    Pila Mulligan: just to leave my avi there ... better to be there when I log in tomorrow for the dream workshop
    Pila Mulligan: sometimes it is slow omving around, due to bandwidth
    Pila Mulligan: kind of advance planning
    Calvino Rabeni: I see, just in case of slow internet problems
    Pila Mulligan: yes
    Pila Mulligan: I think my alt is still here at the pavillionin numinous form, for the same reason
    Pila Mulligan: a contingency :)
    Calvino Rabeni: RIght - I haven't resorted to it yet but it is handy
    Pila Mulligan: I'm not sure what factors exactly cause the loss of bandwidth and lag - but when they are presen it can be like molasses
    Pila Mulligan: s l o w
    Calvino Rabeni: A skirted figure approaches
    Calvino Rabeni: wandering nearby
    Pila Mulligan: hmm, I do ont see anyone yet
    Pila Mulligan: Storm in a kilt?

    Calvino Rabeni: No not sure this person is coming to meeting here
    Pila Mulligan: hi Widget
    Widget Whiteberry: good evening
    Calvino Rabeni: Widget, Hello
    Pila Mulligan: how are you?
    Calvino Rabeni: Is widget invisible to you, Pila?
    Widget Whiteberry: ☆smiles☆
    Widget Whiteberry: I see both of you, and I will rebake
    Pila Mulligan: you are visible to me, Widget
    Widget Whiteberry: Cal I rebaked, does that help ?
    Widget Whiteberry: comes from years of practicing invisibility in rl
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Time to make "being" pay the rent...
    Widget Whiteberry: what were you two talking about?
    Pila Mulligan: just small talk, nothinig topical
    Calvino Rabeni: no "topic" yet
    Pila Mulligan: ... any thoughts?
    Calvino Rabeni: I have a backup topic, but is there anything up for either of you?
    Pila Mulligan: not for me, thanks
    Widget Whiteberry: I've just come from a meeting where a co-worker was cranky with me
    Widget Whiteberry: but I'd much prefer your topic
    Pila Mulligan: ah, grouchy people can be a topic :)
    Widget Whiteberry: smiles
    This topic was already just offstage, waiting for its cue:
    Calvino Rabeni: What if it was "how to deal with difficult people"
    Widget Whiteberry: lol
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Widget Whiteberry prepares
    Widget Whiteberry: to learn
    Calvino Rabeni: So I was in a cafe today, and a man I've met was there, and he asked me to look at his computer
    Widget Whiteberry nods
    Pila Mulligan: rl?
    Calvino Rabeni: The computer had normal if annoying behavior,
    Calvino Rabeni: yes in a RL cafe
    Widget Whiteberry: was he offer reciprosity?
    Calvino Rabeni: and he represented that it was acting wrongly, that it meant it had been "hacked" by the chinese
    Widget Whiteberry: oy
    Pila Mulligan: second oy
    Calvino Rabeni: And I looked, and it was normal IMHO, but he wouldn't have any of that
    Pila Mulligan: well, hacked by the chinese puts him in good comapny
    Calvino Rabeni: so he said, "you think I'm full of s**t, don't you" - and so on
    Widget Whiteberry nods
    Widget Whiteberry: then what?
    Calvino Rabeni: and it seemed to me that he was in a paranoid fantasy
    Calvino Rabeni: so I thought "9 seconds"
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Pila Mulligan: perhaps he was just full of s**
    Widget Whiteberry: good idea
    Widget Whiteberry: 9 secs was a good idea
    Calvino Rabeni: Then I told him a joke about my computer, and he relaxed, then I slipped away
    Widget Whiteberry: well played, Cal
    Pila Mulligan: yes, defusing the tension
    Widget Whiteberry: slipping away
    Widget Whiteberry: too
    Pila Mulligan: yes, retreating
    Calvino Rabeni: It was impossible to "reason" with the situation
    Widget Whiteberry: we don't have to engage with every situation
    Pila Mulligan: indeed
    Widget Whiteberry: I have just read a wonderful novel about hackers and gamers
    Widget Whiteberry: called 'This is Not a Game'
    Calvino Rabeni: So that was my topic - awareness with difficult interactions with people
    Widget Whiteberry: hmm
    Widget Whiteberry: ok, let me ask you
    Widget Whiteberry: what did you do in the 9 secs
    Widget Whiteberry: what was in your mind?
    Calvino Rabeni: Relax, then give up any idea of fixing anything or persuading him, then feel "done", then imagine my exit strategy
    Widget Whiteberry: I may need to practice this in the morning
    Pila Mulligan: our approach to situations always affects those around us, raising or lowering the common feeling
    After work, "Being" brings home the bacon, but it doesn't look like much...
    Widget Whiteberry: can you say more about feeling done?
    Widget Whiteberry: Cal, can you say more about feeling done?
    Calvino Rabeni: Done - the idea that the world as it is, with mysterious computer thing and paranoid man, is one I'm happy to be in
    Widget Whiteberry laughs softly
    Calvino Rabeni: Like - no problem, nothing to do, etc.
    Widget Whiteberry: very useful, ty
    Widget Whiteberry: sometimes things just are
    Widget Whiteberry: so maybe I don't need to 'fix' my colleagues grumpiness with me
    But it does serve as the prologue for a new cycle of activity:
    Pila Mulligan: but usually there is an available step to improvement as well
    Widget Whiteberry: that's what i'm looking for
    Pila Mulligan: have you done yoga, Widget?
    Widget Whiteberry: sadly not
    Widget Whiteberry: I stretch though
    Pila Mulligan: any form of dance of physical practice?
    Widget Whiteberry: yes
    Pila Mulligan: ok, is there one thing in particular that maekes your body feel better?
    Widget Whiteberry: 30 min on an elipital bike or an hour of hiking
    Widget Whiteberry: always makes me feel good
    Pila Mulligan: can you replicate that feeling at all by rememebring it?
    Widget Whiteberry: no, it seems very physiological
    Pila Mulligan: ahh
    Widget Whiteberry: all my energy systems flow smoother
    Widget Whiteberry: channels feel open
    Pila Mulligan: there are some things, it seems to me, that have portable improving capaiblity
    Pila Mulligan: you can do them as practice and also use them as snippets at need
    Widget Whiteberry: interesting
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: yes, it is -- the body's internal form and external posture
    Pila Mulligan: it can add or detract in any given moment
    Pila Mulligan: smooth energy flow and oen channels :)
    Widget Whiteberry: certainly I can go to sleep earlier and affirm to myself that the mornning will be good
    Pila Mulligan: open*
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: positive optimism :)
    Widget Whiteberry: yes
    Widget Whiteberry: general contentment
    Pila Mulligan: kind of a mental yoga
    Widget Whiteberry: remind myself that, crankiness aside, I am not* the target
    Widget Whiteberry: maybe I need the 9secs when it happens
    Pila Mulligan: maybe
    Widget Whiteberry: the 9 sec habit
    Widget Whiteberry: of thought
    Pila Mulligan: remembering, as you said, we don't have to engage with every situation
    Widget Whiteberry nods
    Pila Mulligan: waiting is sometimes an appropriate approach
    Pila Mulligan: and I also like 'yo mama' :)
    Widget Whiteberry: lol
    Widget Whiteberry: what time zones are you two in?
    Calvino Rabeni: and sometimes the engagement can be transformed
    Calvino Rabeni: SLT time zone
    Pila Mulligan: 5:40 pm here, late afternoon in Hawaii
    Widget Whiteberry: slt here
    Pila Mulligan: ahh, west coasters

    Widget Whiteberry: I have an invitation for both of you
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes same as here, easy to remember
    Pila Mulligan likes invitations
    Widget Whiteberry: I need to rewrite that
    Widget Whiteberry: but it will be a wonderful hour
    Widget Whiteberry: with Prof Cole
    Pila Mulligan: thanks
    Pila Mulligan: this is an interesting new world to me -- blogs and such
    Widget Whiteberry: in that book I mentioned
    Widget Whiteberry: the author talks about the 'Group Mind'
    Pila Mulligan: I was an activist on the streets in the 60's ad 70s -- the political world was different then
    Calvino Rabeni: Which group mind is meant, in that case?
    Widget Whiteberry: which is what happens when many people who are linked electronically set themselves to solve a puzzle or problem
    Another avatar shows up.
    Widget Whiteberry: Hello Cor
    Calvino Rabeni: Cor is a friend of mine :)
    Calvino Rabeni: He has been read his "rights" about PaB
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Widget Whiteberry: we have rights?
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, the right to be recorded on the internet for eternity
    Widget Whiteberry: ah yes
    Widget Whiteberry: another aspect of 'group mind'
    Calvino Rabeni: and the right to have notice of that, and maybe, have it removed
    Cor Wylder: I heard a little on the way her - group mind - interesting topic
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Widget Whiteberry: um, so
    Widget Whiteberry: how many of you are there?
    Calvino Rabeni: Cor helps me out
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    The topic of "Group Mind" goes back into the group mind's unconscious, its place taken by the presence of the new avatar and his/its ambiguous identity and intentionality.  People not infrequently have more than one avatar, and for various purposes, including some related to anonymity, experimenting with identity, or simply to be in two places at once in order to solve a schedule conflict. 
    Calvino Rabeni: You know how it is, Pila
    Pila Mulligan: increases the gestalt potential
    Widget Whiteberry: why is he here now?
    Calvino Rabeni: For test.  Sometimes with the mobile phone client.
    Pila Mulligan: he has changed appearance since the last I saw him, at a WoK session
    Calvino Rabeni: I send cor to events that I want to know about but can't attend
    Widget Whiteberry: that's handy
    Not wanting to be addresssed in the third person, Cor speaks up, with an altogether different explanation about why he came to the session:
    Cor Wylder: I get bored sometimes being in suspended animation
    Widget Whiteberry expected suspended animation to be a time with no awareness, let alone awareness of boredom
    Cor Wylder: Perchance to dream
    Back to the "real world":
    Pila Mulligan: so Virtually Speaking is in voice, Wdiget?
    Widget Whiteberry: We stream in the audio
    Widget Whiteberry: studio (SL) audience is the back channel
    Widget Whiteberry: and in text
    Pila Mulligan: in ntext?
    Pila Mulligan: ah, thanks
    Widget Whiteberry: you can subscribe on iTunes too
    Calvino Rabeni: I didn't know that Widg.
    Widget Whiteberry: listen at your convenience
    Pila Mulligan: and Prof Cole is ...? did not notice the anme in the invitation
    Widget Whiteberry: read down
    Widget Whiteberry: oops
    Widget Whiteberry: moment
    Widget Whiteberry: Cole is the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. For three decades, he has sought to put the relationship of the West and the Muslim world in historical context. His most recent book is Engaging the Muslim World (Palgrave Macmillan, March, 2009) and he also recently authored Napoleon's Egypt: Invading the Middle East (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007).
    Pila Mulligan: aha :)
    Pila Mulligan: thanks
    Widget Whiteberry: He continues to study and write about contemporary Islamic movements: mainstream, radical, Sunni, Salafi and Shi`ite. Cole has a strong command of the Arabic, Persian and Urdu languages and reads some Turkish, knows both Middle Eastern and South Asian Islam. He lived in various parts of the Muslim world for nearly 10 years and continues to travel widely there.
    Pila Mulligan: I think they got the wrong section of the first amendment
    Widget Whiteberry: I need to rewrite this
    Widget Whiteberry: who did, Pila?
    Pila Mulligan: the Supreme Court relied on free speech
    Widget Whiteberry: yup
    Pila Mulligan: they were thinking of capitalism as a religion, in my opinion
    Pila Mulligan: also first amendment -- freedom of religion :)
    Widget Whiteberry: it's a very bad situration
    Pila Mulligan: to those Five, Capitalsim is above all
    Pila Mulligan: like Bush v Gore, they are making politics not law
    Widget Whiteberry: yes
    Widget Whiteberry: Cole wrote about that this week
    Widget Whiteberry: I need to read it
    Widget Whiteberry: there we go - use that to subscribe
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Cor Wylder: hanks widget I will set my Itunes to that :
    Widget Whiteberry: ☆smiles☆
    Widget Whiteberry: thank you!
    Widget Whiteberry: they are not all there, but many are
    Widget Whiteberry: some are very good
    Widget Whiteberry: some need editing
    Widget Whiteberry: is the retreat still on in Malta?
    Pila Mulligan: I like Cole's point about corporations being in competition with each other rather than a single netity

    Pila Mulligan: "Then, corporations don't all agree with each other. We still have Net Neutrality in part because Google lobbied for it even as some of the telecoms lobbied against it. Some industries have an interest in polluting, others have an interest in a clean environment. They will fight each other with their political infomercials."
    Calvino Rabeni: The retreat is still on,yes
    Calvino Rabeni: The Pub has a new pet, a cat.
    Calvino Rabeni: Storm is soliciting names for the creature
    Pila Mulligan: an the cockroach-poet was interesting Cal
    Widget Whiteberry: Some corporations seem bent on making serfs of the rest of us
    Widget Whiteberry: I saw that
    I was curious about the SL salons associated with Widget's Virtually Speaking, and whether it had any connection with the RL "Spirit of the Senses" salons.
    Calvino Rabeni: Widget, do you live in Arizona?
    Widget Whiteberry: California
    Calvino Rabeni: Oh, which part of that big golden state?
    Widget Whiteberry: just north of SF
    Calvino Rabeni: My ex lives there
    Pila Mulligan: as far north as Petaluma?
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Pila Mulligan: some former neighbors form here live there now
    Widget Whiteberry: Marin County, 10 miles north of the bridge
    Pila Mulligan: ahhh, Marin County
    Calvino Rabeni: Indeed
    Widget Whiteberry: I really belong in Oakland
    Widget Whiteberry: but Marin is where I am
    Pila Mulligan: capital of the left coast as some grumpy people say
    But then - still feeling the slight uncanniness associated with the earlier interactions with Cor, I yielded to the tempation to start a kind of ghost story for adults.  Besides alt avatars, there are other possible spooky identities in SL.
    Calvino Rabeni: What with anonymity, for all I know you might *be* my ex.
    Widget Whiteberry: lol
    Calvino Rabeni: Scary thought :)
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Widget Whiteberry: oh god, I hope not
    Pila Mulligan: quick inventory of former spouses occurs
    Widget Whiteberry: we need a test
    Widget Whiteberry: how long have you been exed, Cal
    Widget Whiteberry: for me it's hmm 20 + years
    Calvino Rabeni: RIght - same amount of time :)
    Widget Whiteberry: uh oh
    Pila Mulligan: lol
    Calvino Rabeni: Oops, that didn't reject the hypothesis yet..
    Pila Mulligan: beware, stereotypes happen
    Widget Whiteberry grins but doenst for a moment think her ex would be around this pool
    Widget Whiteberry: ok, what was your mother's name
    Calvino Rabeni: People change, if they are not dead.
    Widget Whiteberry: first name
    Pila Mulligan: Mom?
    Widget Whiteberry: other first name
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Widget Whiteberry winks at Pila
    Calvino Rabeni: That's a good test - I hope your ex-mother-in-law was not named Dotty
    Widget Whiteberry: awfully close
    Widget Whiteberry gets nervous
    Calvino Rabeni: How close?
    Widget Whiteberry: Dorty
    Pila Mulligan: shall you each give me a name in IM and I shall determine if they are the same?
    Widget Whiteberry: a mess up of Dorothy
    Calvino Rabeni: As "Dorothy" shortened?
    Widget Whiteberry: I don't recall his fathers name
    Widget Whiteberry: his sister though, is Maggie
    Pila Mulligan: did you have a pet during the marriage?
    Widget Whiteberry: no pet
    Pila Mulligan: well, Maggie will do it
    Pila Mulligan: unless by extreme coincidence Cal has a sister named Maggie
    Widget Whiteberry: Cal?
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Widget Whiteberry: still breathing?
    Pila Mulligan: lol
    Yes, I was holding my breath while the non-identity case was being resolved.  It seemed a bit too close for comfort.  Relatives might have *very* similar names, but aesthetic choices are very individuated, so I propose:
    Calvino Rabeni: And you don't currently have a big pink Blog, I hope?
    Widget Whiteberry: I do not have a blog of any kind
    Pila Mulligan: [sigh of relief]
    Widget Whiteberry: and would never* have a pink one
    Widget Whiteberry: let alone a big pink one
    Cor Wylder: I was on the edge there too !
    Pila Mulligan: yo mama
    Widget Whiteberry: um , me too
    Widget Whiteberry: yo mama indeed
    Widget Whiteberry: on the other hand, were he to appear around this pool,it might be a good sign about him
    Cor Wylder: But I must go listen to Tunes - nice meeing you Widget
    Widget Whiteberry: nice to meet you.
    Widget Whiteberry: I'm off to edit
    Pila Mulligan: bye Cor (presumes Cal stays)
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Pila Mulligan: bye Widget, thanks for the invitation
    Calvino Rabeni: _/!\_
    Pila Mulligan: namaste
    Pila Mulligan: care to walk over to the pub, Cal?
    Calvino Rabeni: Sure, let's go
    Pila Mulligan: I'll follow
    Pila and Calvino retire to the nearby Five Bells Pub for more stories and what turned out to be, as I recall, quite an interesting conversation.
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