2011.06.12 19:00 - Reality as Conversation

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

    Calvino Rabeni: Hi, Roger and Susan
    Roger Ormenthal: Hi
    iwandertoo Resident: waves
    Roger Ormenthal: Hope you all had a nice weekend.
    Calvino Rabeni: I did
    Calvino Rabeni: Getting near the end of a RL project that involves masonry and concrete
    Calvino Rabeni: 7 days, I'm not cut out for manual labor, but like doing it
    Calvino Rabeni: things in RL are HEAVY :)
    Roger Ormenthal: Building something that will last for centuries.
    Calvino Rabeni: Could last a long time, yes
    iwandertoo Resident: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Stairs of stone and colored concrete
    Calvino Rabeni: Mixing up the concrete in a wheelbarrow, reminds me at the same time, of cooking (like mixing butter and flour) and the children's game of making mud pies
    Calvino Rabeni: at a certain point one just grabs and works it with hands
    Calvino Rabeni: liquid, but heavy as stone
    Roger Ormenthal: One can get no closer to one's work.
    Calvino Rabeni: Feels that way
    Calvino Rabeni: It's relaxing, a good time to muse about things, like hiking
    Roger Ormenthal: Work with a permanent reality. Whereas the SL reality could be wiped out with a few disk erase commands.
    Calvino Rabeni: yeah, a couple cosmic rays in unlikely places
    Roger Ormenthal: If one day God issues a supernova command, you beautiful stairs may disappear too.
    Roger Ormenthal: your
    Calvino Rabeni: Colored concrete is interesting, it's like liquid stone or lava .. once its mixed there's just a short fixed time period where everything has to be placed correctly
    Calvino Rabeni: So there's days of prep, then 30 minutes of placing it into its form
    Roger Ormenthal: I don't work with concrete, but I do work with fast set epoxy, so can appreciate the timeline.
    iwandertoo Resident: waves
    Roger Ormenthal: Bye
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye Susan :)
    Roger Ormenthal: I guess we started down a non-interesting subject for her.
    Calvino Rabeni: One never knows

    Roger Ormenthal: It is vry satisfying to create something that is lasting and of quality.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, isn't it. A nice contrast with commercial software.
    Calvino Rabeni: Which is ephemeral, probably speculative or even obsolete, and just as good as it needs to be but no better
    Roger Ormenthal: Well if you don't like Microsoft Office 2011, there's always Microsoft Office 2012 to look forward to.
    Calvino Rabeni: Right, the coders who made 2011 know that it's like dairy in the supermarket, with a limited shelf life
    Roger Ormenthal: And of course there's always Microsoft Office 2011 bug fix 234b.47, sub release q473234.2347, speculative provisional version 47236723.2382378.
    Calvino Rabeni: Argh
    Roger Ormenthal: Hi Druth.
    Calvino Rabeni: its a pet peeve of mine when the automatic updates fail with no information or followup advice
    druth Vlodovic: hi roger, cal
    Calvino Rabeni: Hi druth :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Do you fab objects from epoxy, Roger?
    Roger Ormenthal: I avoid Microsoft at all costs, and use a Mac. I use Sun OpenOffice instead of Microsoft Office. Linux is another way to go.
    Roger Ormenthal: I'm always prototyping one thing or another, and doing repairs, so epoxy is a part of my life.
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Prototyping?
    Roger Ormenthal: I'm an inventor, and build custom systems of one sort or another for myself and others.
    Calvino Rabeni: (I was prototyping stone stairs .. the curse of the amateur is one-off projects)
    Calvino Rabeni: It's always better the second time
    Calvino Rabeni: but chances are I won't do one
    Calvino Rabeni: Well maybe that's life
    Roger Ormenthal: Well first efforts have their charm too, and seeming imperfections just give the project some additional personality.
    Calvino Rabeni: Do you have any favorite inventions?
    Calvino Rabeni: Asking an inventor where the ideas come from seems like asking a poet where the poems come from
    Roger Ormenthal: They are like children, hard to pick a favorite. One has gone commercial and is known globally.
    Roger Ormenthal: hard
    Calvino Rabeni: Ah, which has gone commercial?
    Calvino Rabeni: Yeah, I've tried it (asking) and its like - what are you talking about ?
    Roger Ormenthal: I could say, and that would reveal my RL identity. Always a problem here in SL.
    Calvino Rabeni: Right, forgot about that
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Never mind
    Roger Ormenthal: Druth, do you have an idea for a topic tonight?
    druth Vlodovic: just listening
    Calvino Rabeni: I watched a video yesterday that seemed "playasbeing-ish"
    Calvino Rabeni: Called "The Conversational Nature of Reality"
    Calvino Rabeni: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Ss1HuA1hIk
    Calvino Rabeni: it's a bit long
    Roger Ormenthal: looking
    Roger Ormenthal: It's 20 minutes long. Guess it will have to wait.
    Calvino Rabeni: yeah too long for this conversational reality
    Calvino Rabeni: Interesting that a company that makes commercial airliners, hires a well-known poet
    Calvino Rabeni: The poet, asked to write a poem on spec, says ... well that's pretty hard for poets, it probably won't be a very good one, but ...
    Calvino Rabeni: Will give it a try, sure :)
    Calvino Rabeni: And managed to use the airfoil of a 777 wing as a metaphor
    Calvino Rabeni: And I think the poem flew okay
    Roger Ormenthal: I could write a poem for an airliner:

    Up. up, and away;
    We hope you'll fly and play;
    We'll take you to your gate;
    And promise you won't be late.

    Roger Ormenthal: OK, I know that was silly.
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    druth Vlodovic: a jingle :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Yeah, it reminds me of old fashioned advertising
    Calvino Rabeni: back when it was too easy to know what the ad is about
    Calvino Rabeni: But, I'd say that was a great just-in-time-jingle!
    Roger Ormenthal: There were some recent TV ads I still have absolutely no idea what the product was, or the promotion, or the idea.
    Calvino Rabeni: The mark of a successful ad
    druth Vlodovic: we make our world heavy and dark, jingles are good
    Calvino Rabeni: One can't resist what one doesn't understand
    Calvino Rabeni: (or can one?)
    Roger Ormenthal: Maybe we could make some more jingles tonight, Haiku Marketing.
    Calvino Rabeni: Some ads are fun
    Roger Ormenthal: How about a jingle for PaB?
    Calvino Rabeni: I remember one - well maybe it only appeals to some - where a car hit another in a car park, and it flew into all its pieces, which arced through the air and came back together again as a perfect new car
    Roger Ormenthal: Sounds fun.
    Calvino Rabeni: It was a negentropic and statistically unlikely event
    Calvino Rabeni: Jingle for PaB
    Calvino Rabeni: hmmm ...

    Calvino Rabeni:

    Being is easy
    and can be fun (even if you're not phenomenologically orientated) they say
    come sit in the Pavilion
    we're here four times a day!

    Calvino Rabeni: hmm, okay, that's a prototype, not the production model
    Calvino Rabeni: Version 0.1
    druth Vlodovic: purest epoxy
    Roger Ormenthal: That's great! To the point. I'm working on one.
    Roger Ormenthal: OK, I have on, it's really bad. Version 0.1
    Roger Ormenthal: have one
    Calvino Rabeni leans forward
    Roger Ormenthal: too many words
    Roger Ormenthal: OK, here it is. I offer it as proof that 1) I should stick to my day job, 2) I am an unperfected being. 3) Stick to simple limericks
    Roger Ormenthal:

    Play as Being will set you free, expand your mind, and cause reverie;
    Reveal your mind, with friends around, we'll all expand, our brilliance abounds;
    The wisdom of the universe in each is hidden, come share your light, you've been properly bidden; If nothing else, we'll have some fun, share some laughs, sitting in the sun;
    Come Play!

    Calvino Rabeni gives it a standing ovation!
    Roger Ormenthal: You are a very forgiving audience.
    Roger Ormenthal: Shall we try some real topic?
    druth Vlodovic: no more fake topics?
    druth Vlodovic: aww
    Roger Ormenthal: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: well yes, but I'm not sure what the criteria are
    Roger Ormenthal: There are no criteria
    Calvino Rabeni: ok, that works fine as a topic
    Calvino Rabeni: On Having No Criteria
    Roger Ormenthal: Stream of consciousness
    druth Vlodovic: once upon a time a person I knew complained of the lack of criteria for conversations in the pavillion :)
    Roger Ormenthal: The group usually spontaneously gravitates toward some topic.
    Calvino Rabeni: Perhaps that person could venture some criteria to plug the gap
    druth Vlodovic: he tried from time to time, I made a place for him to give direction beforehand, but never told him

    Calvino Rabeni: One issue with "stream of consciousness" is what kind of consciousness gets streamed
    Roger Ormenthal: Well it is also getting a bit late, and I need to go shortly.
    Calvino Rabeni: I had a general quote as well as a question for druth
    Roger Ormenthal: It's been fun. Happy building Calvino. Your contact with the cement also made me think of the experience wit a potter's wheel.
    druth Vlodovic: uh oh
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, it's similar .. more can happen during the baking, that's a pretty involved process
    Calvino Rabeni: Cement is like a self-baking mud pie
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye Roger, good chatting with you
    Roger Ormenthal: You can tell people, those stairs once squished through my fingers.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yeah
    druth Vlodovic: difficult to walk upon
    Calvino Rabeni: I can see the finger marks, though others might not recognize them as such
    Roger Ormenthal: OK bye all, and have a pleasant evening.
    druth Vlodovic: goodbye roger
    Roger Ormenthal: Bye
    druth Vlodovic: I should go too, have fun calvino
    Calvino Rabeni: Thanks, take care druth :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Apropos of a conversation I'm having in IM the following seems interesting
    Calvino Rabeni:

    V.S. Ramachandran Letter in New York Review of Books, June 23, 2011

    (Regarding perception and Art)
    Our brains have over thirty visual areas arranged hierarchically and at every stage a partially computed "solution" is fed back to earlier stages to bias further processing. Each partial solution echoes back and forth with reward centers (amygdala), ensuring that aret is a vastly more complex and multilayered experience than mere pleasure, yet scientifically tractable.

    (On science vs. philosophy)
    Early in any scientific enterprise, it is best to forge ahead and not get bogged down by semantic distinctions. But "forging ahead" is a concept alien to philosophers.... To a philosopher who demanded that he define consciousness before studying it scientifically, Francis Crick once responded "My dear chap, there was never a time in the early years of molecular biology when we sat around the table with a bunch of philosophers saying 'let us define life first.' We just went out there and found out what it was: a double helix." In the sciences, definitions often follow, rather than precede, conceptual advances.

    Calvino Rabeni: I wonder who is thinking about how scientists and philosophers can engage in mutually beneficial conversation

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