2010.09.26 19:00 - We Find Ourselves on a Ship

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

    Calvino Rabeni: Hi, Selene and Mitzi :)
    Selene Northman: Hello Mitzi and Cal :-)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: GOod evening ... I'm spacing myself evenly - you know, so Calvino can have his space!!
    Calvino Rabeni: :) We can surely start that way Mitzi
    Calvino Rabeni: Who knows what the evening may bring !
    Selene Northman: hello Hana :)
    Hana Furlough: hello and sorry cal, hello to selene and mitzi as well
    Calvino Rabeni: Good to see you Hana :)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Hey Hana, good to see you again.
    Hana Furlough: yes, great to see you three
    Hana Furlough: so what are we chatting about this evening?
    Calvino Rabeni: We're open for proposals :)

    Calvino Rabeni: I always have a few of those up my sleeve... how about anyone else - something on your mind?
    Calvino Rabeni: Sometimes I say - what would hou throw into the pool here?
    Calvino Rabeni: A word or image ...
    Hana Furlough: that's nice
    Calvino Rabeni: Something half formed ...
    Hana Furlough: i'd blow some bubbles into the pool
    Calvino Rabeni: Hunches and notions
    Selene Northman: How about philosophy and experience?
    Hana Furlough: ok sounds good
    Selene Northman: Well I experienced philosophy as my companion during hard times
    Hana Furlough: can you tell us more, selene?
    Selene Northman: I love the work of Hans Blumenberg, especially the book Schiffbruch mit Zuschauer, translated as shipwreck with spectators
    Hana Furlough: hmmm i don't know it
    Hana Furlough: why do you like it so much?
    Selene Northman: it deals with the thesis, that we are all leading our lives as a seamanship
    Calvino Rabeni: Hard times can be one of the formative things for character
    Selene Northman: you are the captain of your own vessel and you steering it through he cliffs and obstacles on sea
    Selene Northman: I like this metaphor :)
    Hana Furlough: wow cool
    Hana Furlough: : )
    Calvino Rabeni: It's romantic :)
    Hana Furlough: reminds me of moby dick somehow
    Selene Northman: it is a bit :)
    Selene Northman: but sometimes you have to steer your boat to a harbour for maintenance reasons.
    Calvino Rabeni: The metaphor reminds me of how much teamwork is involved on a well-operating ship
    Hana Furlough: sometimes i feel like the sea is steering me
    Selene Northman: that's when the wind is blowing in your sail ;)
    Hana Furlough: haha nice
    Hana Furlough: and the worse thing to do would be to resist it, no?
    Calvino Rabeni: Maritime metaphors must have been important to much of pre-20th century people
    Selene Northman: the worst thing is shipwreck
    Calvino Rabeni: Shipwreck is to land on a barren shore without provisions and means
    Selene Northman: when you need to rescue yourself on the remaining parts and paddle back into harbour
    Selene Northman: yes Cal :)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Its funny ... a related metaphor came up the other week ... a different meaning though. In this case, the ship is your body I presume?
    Hana Furlough: so what kind of provisions do you need?
    Calvino Rabeni: A ship is a more existential version of the castle archetype
    Selene Northman: the ship is a metaphor for life
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: A ship usually knows its destination ... but we haven't usually been given such information!
    Selene Northman: how to steer your course
    Hana Furlough: good point mitzi, there are a lot of choices
    Hana Furlough: how do we know if we've picked the right one?
    Calvino Rabeni: How does one navigate the ship of life through the apparent chaos of existence?
    Calvino Rabeni: Are there safe harbours?
    Calvino Rabeni: Maps and compasses
    Calvino Rabeni: Stellar navigation?
    Selene Northman: if you don??t crash, it might be the right course ...
    Hana Furlough: haha nice
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: It's almost like we find ourselves on a ship, which is moving ... but we don't know where it is heading to!
    Hana Furlough: and if you do crash, just keep going
    Selene Northman: well when you navigate a course, you plan certain things Cal
    Hana Furlough: but that's what makes it fun
    Hana Furlough: it can be a surprise, and in the meantime we can just enjoy te scenery
    Selene Northman: if you crash, go to a harbour, repair your vessel try again
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: We have no maps ... and everyone has an idea about where we SHOULD go ... the we have to figure out our own destination.
    Hana Furlough: yes, certainly
    Calvino Rabeni: What captain would venture on the ocean without maps and navigational skills?
    Selene Northman: I always thought there are plenty of maps given by other people.... but perhaps you have to identifiy your own course
    Selene Northman: you are the captain
    Calvino Rabeni: On the contrary, it shows how much preknowledge is needed to survive
    Hana Furlough: maybe we have some kind of inherent navigational skills

    Calvino Rabeni: And every captain meets with others in the ports, comparing charts
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Its amazing how well we muddle through considering we don't have a clue what we are doing.
    Calvino Rabeni: Is that true Mitzi?
    Calvino Rabeni: Is *everything* we know, "wrong"?
    Selene Northman: no
    Selene Northman: you have to wake up with certain assumptions otherwise you can??t lead a life
    Calvino Rabeni: I'm just playing a bit with one of Mitzi's themes, a thought experiment kind of thing
    Selene Northman: please explain
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Well, yes, I do believe that "everything we know is wrong" as Calvino knows ...
    Calvino Rabeni: Maybe Mitzi will say more about the theme
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Oh, I have insights from time to time that seem to show me that my actions and decisions come from unknown causes ...
    Hana Furlough: can you tell us more, mitzi?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: ... yet my mind runs behind them, making up plausible stories about how "I" did this, and "I" decided that ... with just fantastic speed and creativity!
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: When I really investigate things that seem normal, I usually find that nothing is as I had assumed.
    Hana Furlough: sometimes i wonder if it is the opposite
    Selene Northman: okay, lets give it a try. I am counting 4 avatars. Is this knowledge right or wrong?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I'll agree with that one! (unless someone is lurking in the bushes ...
    Hana Furlough: lol
    Selene Northman: ;-)
    Calvino Rabeni: Being on a ship - in the middle of the sea - one imagines all kinds of things - and for survival sake, hopes it to be substantially true
    Hana Furlough: yes definitely
    Selene Northman: yes, I guess it will be true
    Hana Furlough: wanting to be able to rely on some kind of knowledge in all circumstances
    Hana Furlough: something absolutely foolproof
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I also have found, through some in-depth communication practice I've done in the past, that what we think we are communicating clearly about is almost never clear and often heard and interpreted in wildly offbase ways to what we had thought.
    Selene Northman: something which is true is the occurance of a horizon.... so you now there will alaways be a distance you can oversee
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, but life's a journey, navigating beteen the scylla of certainty and the charybdis of chaos
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: So I'm very cautious about assuming I'm understood ... or that we can really communicate well.
    Calvino Rabeni: That's a metaphor of situated perspective - horizon
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: ... It's fun to try and satisfies social needs ... and I'm not against that. I just try not to have high expectations of really exchanging meaning.
    Calvino Rabeni: Well as in "well enough" Mitzi ?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Yet, with you all here ... I'm open to trying to be clear.
    Hana Furlough: i feel like we're on the same page : )
    Calvino Rabeni: Careful Mitzi, danger :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Don't get too close to Scylla
    Hana Furlough: lol, cal!
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Danger! Scylla! Charybdis!
    Selene Northman: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Chart the middle course
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: That's nice Hana. Me too. Yes, we can chart the middle course - cautionsly optimistic.
    Hana Furlough: hi luci
    Selene Northman: Hello Lucinda :)
    Lucinda Lavender: Hi all!
    Calvino Rabeni: :) Cinda
    Lucinda Lavender: charting a middle course ?
    Calvino Rabeni: Between sterile certainty and dangerous chaos
    Lucinda Lavender: nice to see you all...amidst it all
    Calvino Rabeni: basically the middle course where intelligence is maximized
    Hana Furlough: sterile certainty, i like it
    Hana Furlough: can you say more about maximized intelligence cal?

    Calvino Rabeni: It's based on the idea of maximizing ordered complexity
    Hana Furlough: yes?
    Calvino Rabeni: The most complex and flexible operations - intelligence - work best at an intermediate level of order
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: could certainty be fertile and juicy? By being limited to a smaller set of more-verifiable matters?
    Calvino Rabeni: Or so the idea goes
    Hana Furlough: interesting...
    Hana Furlough: so, the middle path?
    Calvino Rabeni: Enough cerainty to be tractable
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Cal, is this theory from which field of study?
    Calvino Rabeni: enough flexibility to provide stategic alternatives and freedom
    Lucinda Lavender: had to leave for a moment..looking for seeds
    Calvino Rabeni: complexity theory
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Oh cool!
    Calvino Rabeni: Or take the game of Go as a metaphor for life
    Calvino Rabeni: Or on the other hand, the design of naval vessels
    Calvino Rabeni: Every design has to find a tradeoff betwen stability and flexibility
    Hana Furlough: yes, yoga is like that as well
    Calvino Rabeni: too stable - will lose against a maneuverable opponent
    Calvino Rabeni: too flexible - not very strong in a direct confrontation -
    Calvino Rabeni: LIke the oak tree and the willow
    Calvino Rabeni: willow better for windy environments; the oak is stronger and lives longer
    Hana Furlough: what about pine trees?
    Calvino Rabeni: Pines have tiny leaves so they are flexible enough to drop the snow off and not be crushed
    Calvino Rabeni: their body design speaks to their environmental conditions
    Hana Furlough: and they live a long time
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Calvino Rabeni: much longer than the deciduous trees
    Calvino Rabeni: But you know what ..... if pruned they don't grow back
    Hana Furlough: really?
    Calvino Rabeni: while the broad leafed trees are usually able to do so
    Calvino Rabeni: They are adapted for cold and dry climates
    Calvino Rabeni: slow growing
    Hana Furlough: fascinating
    Calvino Rabeni: don't need much energy input from the sun
    Calvino Rabeni: Every life form's design speaks volumes of strategy
    Hana Furlough: and chance
    Calvino Rabeni: about how to make different tradeoffs between strength and flexibility
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Hana Furlough: old and new
    Calvino Rabeni: If the environment has a lot of energy, like a jungle, things grow quickly and compete a lot
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: We humans are so, so flexible - we perhaps over-yearn for stability in all this openness. Maybe that's why we make certain errors.
    Lucinda Lavender: thinking about how flexibility has been one of my strategies...a strong one for me
    Calvino Rabeni: You can also look at the archetypes of body form for nearly all objects, living and not
    Calvino Rabeni: Like does it have a head, body, arms, and feet?
    Calvino Rabeni: Or a face....
    Calvino Rabeni: Every flexibility goes along with a stability
    Calvino Rabeni: the feet are stable
    Calvino Rabeni: the arms are flexible

    Calvino Rabeni: the face is mobile and can be directed in many ways
    Calvino Rabeni: The stability of a ship is its keel and rudder
    Calvino Rabeni: You have a stability in some ways I envy, Lucinda, along with your flexibility
    Selene Northman: well folks, I am going to leave now. Have a nice day/night :-) bye bye
    Lucinda Lavender: have to go now...sorting seeds to send ...ah:) nice night to you also
    Lucinda Lavender: which stability do you know about...?
    Lucinda Lavender: always finding new parts of self...
    Hana Furlough: i should be off as well
    Hana Furlough: have a lovely night, all
    Calvino Rabeni: Good seeing you Hana :)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Interesting metaphors to contemplate tonight ...
    Calvino Rabeni: your home is where your stability is
    Lucinda Lavender: yes..
    Calvino Rabeni: for example, can make recipes that take years to complete
    Lucinda Lavender: nods
    Lucinda Lavender: lived in 26 different houses before this one that I have been in since 90
    Calvino Rabeni: And collect all kinds of objects
    Lucinda Lavender: today I was asked not to move the skulls:)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Ha ha! I hate it when my skull is moved
    Lucinda Lavender: :)))
    Lucinda Lavender: little alters everywhere
    Calvino Rabeni: Mitzi, what would qualify something like envy or pity as sincere (he said, apropos of nothing)?
    Calvino Rabeni: Metaphors ... threat or menace? :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Or an aesthetic indulgence?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Well I would actually prefer social-pity or social-envy, because the sincere versions would be bummers to experience ... and I hope that all beings would be happy and FREE from such sufferings.
    Calvino Rabeni: Or ... what else is true?
    Calvino Rabeni: Hmm, mitzi, what's so awful about those feelings .. that we might be tempted to redesign human existence to avoid them ?
    Calvino Rabeni: Do they lower the dignity of our existence?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: what else is true ... I am on the new viewer on my work computer which is a beautiful fast iMac with 24-inch screen, delightful. And yet, .... so what, you know,, big deal. I notice that it's pleasant, but I really don't like CRAVE to have such a computer at home. IT'd be nice, but I don't care that much.
    Calvino Rabeni: That is the thing about suffering that seems interesting
    Calvino Rabeni: and cultural ... as an attitude I think
    Calvino Rabeni: Is it in every culture that people add a sense of shame onto suffering?

    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Well OK, Calvino. Of course you make a truly valid point. I think we could draw a distinction between worthwhile suffering and unnecessary suffering.
    Calvino Rabeni: (Bye Cinda)
    Calvino Rabeni: For example, the idea that I somehow *should* be free of suffering, therefore if it exists ... (fill i the blank about that trip that gets laid on top of it to make it heavier)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: There are many flavors of suffering. It would be instructive to name and describe the sub-varieties.
    Calvino Rabeni: On what different bases could they be categorized?
    Calvino Rabeni: Every categorization expresses some ethics
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Some are plain old wastes of time and have zero value (in my opinion). Most of the rest display a huge variety of characteristics - physical discomfort, emotional vibrations of unlimited variations, confusions, angers, lack-of-vitality, ... so many personalities of suffering.
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: One starting point would be whether they are primarily physical; emotional; or mental. Or combinations thereof.
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: THen there could be self-created sufferings and externally caused sufferings.
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Bye Cinda! Fly away fly away home!
    Calvino Rabeni: Self-inflicted, as they say
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Say hi to one of the skulls for me.
    Lucinda Lavender: ok
    Calvino Rabeni: Alas, ... I knew him well :)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: He's at peace now! No longer suffering ... poor Yorick.
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Got the last laugh
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: .. They could be rated on a scale of 1 to 10 in terms of how much they affect your daily functioning. Like, at the doctor's, they ask you to rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10. Scales could be developed and shared through social networks.
    Lucinda Lavender: did you resolve the question about pity and envy?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Resolve it? That's no fun. We need it to remain unresolved so that we can kick it around a bit more.
    Lucinda Lavender: right...I knew that...
    Calvino Rabeni: How can they be calibrated numerically
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: of course ...
    Calvino Rabeni: OK, pity then
    Calvino Rabeni: That's always a good one
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Well each person picks a number. Of course their choice will be different than someone elses fo rthe same complaint.
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: or similar complaint.
    Lucinda Lavender: I would say you could notice if tears come to your eyes
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Now that's what i'm talking about!!! (She exclaims!)
    Calvino Rabeni: OK, so on a scal of 1 to 10, how much do you suffer with your SL viewer?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Something measureable and not subject to (much) interpretation.
    Calvino Rabeni: Hehe yes
    Calvino Rabeni: but then you'd have to say - what kind of experience went with the tears...
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Me? About 3 (where 10 is the worst pain imaginable and 1 is an almost-unnoticeable mild annoyance).
    Lucinda Lavender: swallowing is another sign for me...
    Calvino Rabeni: Tears of joy ? Frustration? Grief? Confusion?
    Calvino Rabeni: ok,how about -5?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: That would be a refinement - but the tears themselves are physical and therefore countable.
    Calvino Rabeni: are you going to calibrate some positive experience?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Minus 5?
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I thought we were talking about suffering. Now you have to go and change the subject to something positive. And just when were were starting to have so much fun.
    Calvino Rabeni: On a suffering scale, my marrage was, e.g. -5
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Some people kind of seem to ENJOY their suffering. THey cling to it so devotedly.
    Calvino Rabeni: While hating it
    Calvino Rabeni: Now that's flexibility :)
    Lucinda Lavender: :)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Ha ha, indeed. Gives you something to relate to - the drama.
    Calvino Rabeni: Drama 'R' Us ?

    Lucinda Lavender: whispering bye...
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: (whispers) bye ....
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: You could develop a facebook app - rate how much you hate (something silly like Britney Spears). You could gather tons of data in a short time.
    Calvino Rabeni: People are always popping in and out of here :)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: There was an interesting story today about how Twitter data can be mined to determine accurate versus inaccurate rumors in a disaster situation.
    Calvino Rabeni: Google has done similar with epidemic study
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Extremely accurate - crowdsourcing of a type. Or, you can tell when an epidemic is about to start in a particular area by mining Google data where people are googling the symptoms of that particular bug.
    Calvino Rabeni: Is this the start of the development of the Global Heart?
    Calvino Rabeni: (in contrast to the Global Brain)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: COuld be ... Im acgtually kind of optimistic about all this stuff.
    Calvino Rabeni: Aha
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: I haven't learned your "ideal world" paradigms
    Calvino Rabeni: (Takes a google break ..just a sec ..)
    Calvino Rabeni: (Takes an IM break .. just 2 secs)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Do I have "ideal world" paradigms? I didn't realize ...
    Calvino Rabeni: Do you? :)
    Calvino Rabeni: I think nearly everyone does ... only it is one of those hard-to-see things
    Calvino Rabeni: It's hard to be in a reflective relationship to it
    Calvino Rabeni: because those things are formatory
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I don't recognize myself in that terms ... but it is possible if I understand the meaning better ... perhaps I do have them and call them something else.
    Calvino Rabeni: defining the apparent things themselves
    Calvino Rabeni: The idea of clinging to suffering devotedly ...
    Calvino Rabeni: That's pretty complex as an idea
    Calvino Rabeni: Does naming something ... say calling an experience suffering ... imply someone has "power" with respect to it?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: I was just reading about that idea today in Maurice Nicoll's "psychological commentaries" vol. 1
    Calvino Rabeni: And if they did, to what end would that power be exercised?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Maybe the only power you have! Great thought ...
    Calvino Rabeni: So OK, lets' let ourselves off the hook ... what's the ideal world scenario implied by Nicholl's constructions?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: By naming, you define it and by implication, place yourself in a relation to it of some distance - and by naming, perhaps that's a form of power

    Mitzi Mimistrobell: So at least you are defining some sort of relationship with the other thing. That's not being completely powerless or unaware.
    Calvino Rabeni: Always ... naming is a danger and a power
    Calvino Rabeni: Imagination is to look at things as if they could be different
    Calvino Rabeni: which is not an unreasonable proposal
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: yeah ... does this relate to naming?
    Calvino Rabeni: and before they were seen to be "as they are" it was imagination in part that constructed their as-is-ness
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: and probably still does
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, the names seem like bookmarks to the more subtle and inchoate process of imagination
    Calvino Rabeni: LIke taking a snapshot of a cloud
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: nice ...
    Calvino Rabeni: To name implies prior imagination
    Calvino Rabeni: to imagine implies selection of latent possibilities
    Calvino Rabeni: according to some criteria like hope
    Calvino Rabeni: pointing back to the ideal-world mythos
    Calvino Rabeni: As we know the arrow of consciousness points in two directions
    Calvino Rabeni: Do you think that could be "mined" from the twitterverse? :)
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Certainly, *some*thing could be mined / mind from the Twitterverse!
    Calvino Rabeni: That's an interesting proposition :)
    Calvino Rabeni: The energy seems to be flagging - shall we call it a night?
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: You could take all that massive data and just run programs to find ANY kind of correlations no matter how arbitrary ... then see what they might point to.
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Yes, flagging ... drifting ... like a snapshot of a cloud ...

    Calvino Rabeni: This one looks like a rabbit :)
    Calvino Rabeni: There's an ice cream cone ...
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Well, dude, it's been real, as always ... I think I will be off like a big bird.
    Calvino Rabeni: Thanks Mitzi -
    Mitzi Mimistrobell: Fare thee well Calvino!
    Calvino Rabeni: Have a good late evening :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye <333

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