2010.05.29 07:00 - Overlapping Contexts

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Eliza Madrigal, filling in for a newly open session. The comments are by Eliza, joined by Yakuzza and Wol. 

    Yakuzza and I begin by remarking on Sophia Placebo's note to the email group, that she would be leaving Second Life for at least a while, and therefore this morning session, open. Later we talk about Wol's upcoming Kira workshop on 'identity and appearance', and the tiny topic of what happiness is made of ...

    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Ya :)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hi eliza
    Yakuzza Lethecus: it´s sad that sophia won´t come anymore
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes, I think so too...
    Eliza Madrigal: I'd noticed that she'd been online at all less and less
    Yakuzza Lethecus: oh, i saw her online so often
    Eliza Madrigal: and knew of course that with studies it had been less easy to focus
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, really? For me just Saturday & Sunday mornings lately
    Eliza Madrigal: When she first joined PaB she came to quite a few morning sessions
    Yakuzza Lethecus: i don´t keep a protocol :P
    Eliza Madrigal: In any event, life changes and we change with it :)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: nods

    What is a worthwhile use of one's time?

    Yakuzza Lethecus: i also thought about leaving sl sometimes
    Yakuzza Lethecus: because it´s a damn timeeater
    Eliza Madrigal: Me too. I think we all go through that. In fact, we talked about it a little last week, remember!
    Yakuzza Lethecus: what´s good and whats negative in sl
    Eliza Madrigal: yes
    Eliza Madrigal: I've found a better balance recently, but there are days when events I want to attend will pile up and if I don't make 'tough choices' then I can feel concern
    Eliza Madrigal: especially in the first year, when I felt just so awestruck to know what 'this place' was all about
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: i always think about what makes secondlife interesting to me and the main thing is to have exposure to so many different thoughts
    Yakuzza Lethecus: and backgrounds
    Eliza Madrigal: indeed
    Yakuzza Lethecus: the internationality provides a secondary facination
    Yakuzza Lethecus: i mean it´s not a goal for me to become a buddist but it´s important to have these ppl around and implicitly gain a feeling for these topics
    Eliza Madrigal: Agree. It was funny that yesterday I was with a friend who was going on about various local things, and I realized that I now knew more about the european song competition than the one which is big news here lately... :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Wol :)
    Wol Euler: hello eliza, yaku
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hiya wol
    Eliza Madrigal: Wow! Beautiful outfit Wol!
    Wol Euler: ty!
    Yakuzza Lethecus: i´ll be afk for a while

    Unacknowledged Valuations...

    Eliza Madrigal: Its easy to see the time we spend here and worry that its 'too much', but it is, I think, just 'different'
    Wol Euler: oh, I could easily jump onto that hobbyhorse :)
    Wol Euler: there are so many unacknowledged valuations in that sentence
    Wol Euler shuts up
    Eliza Madrigal: No, please go on!
    Wol Euler: well, start with "too much". What exactly does that mean? Who judges it? against what?
    Eliza Madrigal: Indeed. We do, and we judge it differently every day I think
    Wol Euler: I don't hear people who watch TV having to justify the time they spend on that
    Eliza Madrigal nods... quite true
    Eliza Madrigal: its just accepted as 'down time'
    Wol Euler: yet this is surely by any standard of culture or interaction far better than TV
    Wol Euler: IMHO YMMV
    Eliza Madrigal: In fact, its odd to 'rl others' when I don't know more of what is going on, on tv
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Eliza Madrigal: like haha... my not eating meat for a while. It isn't something I did to make a statement... I just feel better
    Eliza Madrigal: yet people will get sensitive as though i'm making a judgement ...same with tv
    Wol Euler: oh yes


    Wol Euler: being a non drinker among drinkers has that affect too
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, definitely
    Wol Euler: it's often felt as a ciriticism
    Wol Euler: with fewer "I"s
    Eliza Madrigal: is it a concern like 'weakening the herd' ?
    Wol Euler: perhaps, yes. DIviding the tribe against itself
    Wol Euler: we have a very strong herd instinct, as a species

    Swimming in a sea of choices...

    Eliza Madrigal: hmm.. yet it also feels like a time delay. We've long gone past the point of just a few options and channels, so that people just 'fall into' default choices...
    Eliza Madrigal: but its like we don't 'know' that yet... haven't really walked into it
    Wol Euler: yes, you can choose between 4 channels but when there are 1488 the word "choice" is no longer really correct
    Eliza Madrigal: hehehe
    Wol Euler: because there isn't enough time or energy to inform yourself about them all
    Eliza Madrigal: indeed!

    Wol Euler: Barry Schwarz gave a great TED talk about this, about how overabundant variety actually reduces choice and with it, our contentment
    Eliza Madrigal: I heard a commercial on the radio yesterday, for a search engine, advertising itself as a 'decision engine' instead
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, will look for that
    Wol Euler: I twittered it, let me look athat up

    Wol Euler: http://www.ted.com/talks/barry_schwartz_on_the_paradox_of_choice.html

    Eliza Madrigal: I wondered when I heard the commercial "Is that what we want now?" an engine to make some decisions because we have too many? Or hm... "Is it something we 'need'?"
    Wol Euler: a kind of meta-need perhaps :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Saving... thanks
    Wol Euler: yw, enjoy
    Yakuzza Lethecus starts watching
    Wol Euler: TED is such a wonderful resource. I less than three them so much :)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: btw. did you buy an ipad wol ?
    Wol Euler: no, I was dismayed by the cost of available 3G plans
    Wol Euler: but still considering
    Eliza Madrigal: I really liked the talk you tweeted the other day... don't think this is the same one. The speaker was talking about how we plan the future based on what we think our memory of it will be.
    Wol Euler: right, that was Daniel Kahneman
    Eliza Madrigal: excellent... a really neat idea too... considering how entangled time and memory are
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Eliza Madrigal: how we perceive satisfaction
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Wol Euler: and the enormous and mostly unconscious difference between what we experience and what we remember
    Eliza Madrigal: Yes!
    Wol Euler: it's amazing htat the scientific study of happiness is so new :)
    Wol Euler: people have been investigating misery for so long ...
    Eliza Madrigal: luxury to study happiness :)
    Wol Euler: perhaps there needs to be a base level of it available :)
    Wol Euler thinks of Maslow and his pyramid of needs
    Yakuzza Lethecus: inernational differences in well being
    Eliza Madrigal: yes... enough material to work with...
    Yakuzza Lethecus: nods
    Eliza Madrigal: Well, like in Pema's video talk that we discussed at gaya's workshop... he was mentioning the youth of science itself, and the relative newness of looking at the subject
    Eliza Madrigal: rather than just object
    Wol Euler nods
    Eliza Madrigal: so to 'see the seeing' is very new... like a leap :)

    The above-mentioned video, for reference: http://www.blip.tv/file/3486930/

    Eliza Madrigal: Ya was talking about being exposed to buddhism, through SL, and I was thinking that SL probably lessens my 'buddhism per se' focus...
    Eliza Madrigal: exposure to so many views and how they overlap
    Eliza Madrigal: learning in a concentrated way while not 'having' to have one channel only I guess :)
    Wol Euler nods


    Wol Euler: perhaps the natural way of being (lower case b) is to start out thinking the world is either/or, and grow to see overlappings and similarities and greyscales
    Eliza Madrigal: mmm, nods. And if SL speeds up that process, seems a worthwhile place to invest one's limited time :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I notice that I am easily tired by 'opinions' lately... people on tv just giving opinions back and forth "this is terrible, yes this is"
    Wol Euler: oh yes )
    Eliza Madrigal: and not just tv I guess... have started to note it if I see my friends and I falling into the pattern...
    Eliza Madrigal: easy to do
    Eliza Madrigal: I think that's another benefit of SL though... suspending opinions... or, maye its just PaB :))
    Wol Euler grins and nods.
    Wol Euler: this is a special subset of SL, I think
    Wol Euler: there are other people in other places
    Eliza Madrigal: :)

    Wol's upcoming Identity workshop!

    Wol Euler: I've discovered so many very clever people thinking about SL and what it is, since I began preparing for the workshop
    Eliza Madrigal: OH, you have!
    Wol Euler: they "meet" mostly outside of SL in the blogosphere, though :)
    Eliza Madrigal: nice, am looking forward to that one
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, I see
    Wol Euler: I've only met one in-world, so far
    Yakuzza Lethecus: preparing for the workshop ?
    Eliza Madrigal: I do think that SL is still a strange threshold for many... even for people who spend lots of time online
    Wol Euler: yes, I'm going to be hosting a workshop at Kira on SL-ness and identity and appearance, starting in the summer
    Yakuzza Lethecus: nods i also considered it very strange

    Wol Euler: yes, I entered SL originally only to prove to some overtalkative friends that it was crap :)
    Eliza Madrigal: hahahahaha
    Wol Euler: but proved myself wrong
    Eliza Madrigal: I didn't know that!
    Wol Euler: well, yeah :)
    Eliza Madrigal: That's great :)
    Wol Euler: shot myself in the foot there :)
    Eliza Madrigal giggles
    Wol Euler: another unexamined fixed idea in action :/
    Eliza Madrigal: haha, yes 'just try' 'just see'

    Yakuzza Lethecus: btw. considering ted talks on happyness:
    Yakuzza Lethecus: Group Notice From: Pamala Clift 8 am. Sat May 29th So we will be discussing whether expectations helps or hinders happiness>? The discussion will examine how goals and expectations contribute to our thoughts of happiness. or do they more influence our unhappiness? Is the best way to live without goals? is that possible? Come share your brillance and perspective. at the Think Tank. Lm sent tomorrow morning. We will have fun with examples. This notice has an attachment.

    Wol Euler: they're like cockroaches, no matter how many of the little buggers you squash, there's still another one just behind you
    Eliza Madrigal: Oh, yes!!
    Wol Euler: oh, interesting. thanks yaku!
    Eliza Madrigal: Ya, is that Thothica, or?
    Wol Euler: can you pass me the notecard,please?
    Wol Euler: oh, that's now
    Wol Euler: in 20 mins
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, I've not been to too many SL events outside of PaB lately... usually try to sneak away from the house on Saturdays to read
    Wol Euler: ty
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks Ya
    Yakuzza Lethecus: it´s in voice but it´s fine to chat too
    Wol Euler: good
    Eliza Madrigal: Is thinktank separate from thothica and philosophy island, etc?
    Yakuzza Lethecus: yes, it´s rockcliff
    Wol Euler: brb
    Eliza Madrigal: hm, hadn't heard of it
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hmm i need 60k $ income per year i guess
    Eliza Madrigal: haha, yes I've heard that figure. Its an american figure though
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hihi :)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: just nearly through that ted video :)


    Eliza Madrigal: :) Its another area where I think perception and memory play huge roles... and comparisons with those around one
    Eliza Madrigal: I sometimes remember 'poorer' days as being quite happy. Were they? In another context I could look at those same times and call them the most difficult/miserable
    Wol Euler: context is all.
    Wol Euler: to coin a phrase
    Eliza Madrigal: yes :))
    Wol Euler: leaveing aside the number 60, the principle is surely correct.
    Wol Euler: one car is much better than none, but four cars are not better than one
    Eliza Madrigal: hmmm, nods
    Eliza Madrigal: And yet there is something to be said for the fishbowl idea... that if you're a big fish in a little bowl, the one making 40 amidst 20s ...
    Wol Euler:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diminishing_marginal_utility#Diminishing_marginal_utility
    Eliza Madrigal: there is some feel of accomplishment but same person amidst 80s... not so much
    Wol Euler: yes
    Wol Euler: context again
    Wol Euler smiles to remember Fitzgerald saying "... the comforting proximity of millionaires"
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe... which brings up the 'good will hunting' question for me... of 'is one obligated' to stretch...
    Wol Euler misses the reference. Never saw that film...
    Wol Euler: or did I?
    Wol Euler: the dropout kid who is night cleaner at a university math department?
    Wol Euler: robin williams?
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah, well the main character is a mathmatical genius with many emotional issues... an open door to 'do more'
    Eliza Madrigal: yes
    Wol Euler: ah, right )
    Eliza Madrigal: but, leave the friends? etc. Around that time there came a discussion about whether one is 'obligated' to use their gifts...
    Wol Euler nods
    Eliza Madrigal: even if uncomfortably exposed
    Eliza Madrigal: that was a topic leap I guess... sorry... for some reason they seem connected to me
    Wol Euler: the path of conversation was clear at the time :)
    Wol Euler: we aren't here to write a thesis, after all.
    Eliza Madrigal: :))
    Eliza Madrigal puts away her stack of notes and references
    Wol Euler: heheh
    Eliza Madrigal: and her 'how to write a thesis' book
    Eliza Madrigal giggles

    Wol Euler: SL conversations are so much like some RL conversations, which is actually a remark of singular fatuity and triviality.
    Wol Euler: what I meant was: the stack of URLs and wikipedias and film names is like the pile of books that accumulate on the kitchen table when talking about the meaning of life in RL
    Eliza Madrigal: !! yes, and what a sweet image actually....
    Wol Euler smiles.
    Eliza Madrigal: Ah! you know something funny.... last night I dreamed about the village hall....
    Eliza Madrigal: and it was dirty... lots of mud and stuff because it was raining outside
    Wol Euler: heheh
    Eliza Madrigal: it was a RL place, but very much village hall
    Wol Euler nods
    Yakuzza Lethecus: :)
    Wol Euler: my dreams very often blend RL and SL now
    Wol Euler: I am Wol in RL, or RL-me in SL places
    Wol Euler: (I do dream as wol, btw :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I love the idea of Eliza getting to walk into my RL... but hasn't happened in dreams... not sure who was in village hall
    Eliza Madrigal: You can 'see' Wol?
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Wol Euler: and feel her, the dream body is very definitely female
    Eliza Madrigal: so fascinating... makes me even more excited for your workshop!
    Wol Euler grins
    Eliza Madrigal: I've had just one dream in which I felt 'male'... but wasn't a person... as an animal
    Wol Euler: I'm making notes about it on a blog,


    Wol Euler: ah:)
    Wol Euler: oh, we should go. its time
    Yakuzza Lethecus: i am going over to roadside
    Wol Euler: see you there
    Yakuzza Lethecus: bfn, cya there
    Eliza Madrigal: Thanks for the link Wol
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Ya
    Wol Euler: bfn, eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye both, am going to sign off for a bit
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Wol Euler: ejnjoy the day
    Eliza Madrigal: You too

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