2011.08.14 19:00 - Wisdom / Culture / Story

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

    Editor's note - One participant made a special request relative to the disclosure of personal information in the transcript, and I have edited

    Calvino Rabeni waves to iwandertoo
    iwandertoo Resident: waves
    Aphrodite Macbain: This is nice
    Calvino Rabeni: Good evening, Susan !
    Aphrodite Macbain: Hi Cal, Hi Susan
    Calvino Rabeni: Aphro, hi, you mean the grass ?
    Aphrodite Macbain: Yes. plus daisies
    iwandertoo Resident: hi Aphrodite, Susan
    Susan Aloix: Hi Susan :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: Hi iwandertoo
    Susan Aloix: brb
    Aphrodite Macbain: I have recently come back from a lecture by Thic Nhat Hanh
    Aphrodite Macbain: so wonderful
    Aphrodite Macbain: He spoke for almost 1.5 hrs
    Calvino Rabeni: Sounds like you mean in person, in your area?
    Aphrodite Macbain: and had over 100 peoplee in his thrall
    Aphrodite Macbain: yes. Here in Vancouver
    Calvino Rabeni nods
    Aphrodite Macbain: The past week he was here for a 5 day retreat
    Aphrodite Macbain: I hear it was pretty special. He came with his retinue of ovr 25 monks and nuns
    Aphrodite Macbain: who played music and sang
    Aphrodite Macbain: He's about to turn 85
    Aphrodite Macbain: He talked about joy
    Calvino Rabeni: That "thrall" effect of being in someone's presence can be powerful
    Aphrodite Macbain: and how we can all achieve it

    Aphrodite Macbain: yes. we all fell in love with him
    Susan Aloix: bk
    Aphrodite Macbain: wb
    Calvino Rabeni: wb :)
    Susan Aloix: :) ty
    Calvino Rabeni: Was there something about it that really "came through", Aph?
    Aphrodite Macbain: Hmm. I'm still processing it but
    sinequanon Sahara: Hello Everyone
    Calvino Rabeni: Hi, Roger, Paradise, sine :)
    Susan Aloix: Hi Sinwquanon
    Paradise Tennant: smiles and waves all round and listens :))
    sinequanon Sahara: Sine would be fine
    Susan Aloix: hi paradise
    Aphrodite Macbain: I guess it is our potential to make our world what we want it to be.
    iwandertoo Resident: waves
    Aphrodite Macbain: Hello sine, para and Roger
    Aphrodite Macbain: Have you ever heard him speak Cal?
    Calvino Rabeni: No, I would if he were in the area
    sinequanon Sahara: amI seeing double or are their really two Susans here
    Aphrodite Macbain: I also liked his concept of applied ethings
    Aphrodite Macbain: ethics
    Calvino Rabeni: but I hesitate to do that by media, like a recording
    Aphrodite Macbain: yes.
    Calvino Rabeni: because the presence part of it is n't there
    Aphrodite Macbain: It's never the same
    Aphrodite Macbain: He is such a gentle presence.
    Aphrodite Macbain: Such a light touch
    Aphrodite Macbain: (I'm talking about Tich Nhat Hanh whom I saw today)
    Paradise Tennant: wow
    Roger Ormenthal: Hello everyone (delayed).
    Aphrodite Macbain: I am a little shaken
    Aphrodite Macbain: (and stirred)
    Paradise Tennant: smiles :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: Hi Roger
    Susan Aloix: Hi Roger :)
    sinequanon Sahara: the mere presence of someone like that is enough to shake us
    Aphrodite Macbain: He talked about how the understanding of our suffering allows us to understand the suffering of others (compassion)
    Roger Ormenthal: Hi Aphrodite.
    Aphrodite Macbain: it allows us to love fully
    Aphrodite Macbain: compassion being a combination of understanding and love
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Everyone :)
    sinequanon Sahara: Hi Eliza
    Aphrodite Macbain: Hiya Eliza
    Susan Aloix: hey eliza
    iwandertoo Resident: hi eliza
    Calvino Rabeni: That seems fundamental, one of those true-and-obvious-and-useful realizations
    Paradise Tennant: smiles at eliza ..
    Eliza Madrigal: ltns Susan, pretty crown
    Aphrodite Macbain smiles
    Aphrodite Macbain: yes
    Eliza Madrigal: ~smiles at Paradise~
    Eliza Madrigal: (and listens)
    Susan Aloix: :) indeed Eliza thank you
    Aphrodite Macbain: He also said that by facing our suffering (in meditation) we can beter understand the suffering of others
    Aphrodite Macbain: and therefore have compassion
    Aphrodite Macbain: No wonder he was awarded the Nobel Peace prize

    Paradise Tennant: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thich_Nhat_Hanh
    Paradise Tennant: http://thinkexist.com/quotes/thich_nhat_hanh/
    Calvino Rabeni: Does it say in that article, what was the grounds for the Nobel prize?
    Paradise Tennant: peace efforts
    Aphrodite Macbain: He has done alot in the field
    Aphrodite Macbain: He actively protested th war in Vietnam and was kicked out of his country
    Aphrodite Macbain: He found the school of Youth Social Service
    Aphrodite Macbain: Based his work on thebprinciples of non violence and compassionate action
    Aphrodite Macbain: He persuaded Martin Luther King to opose the Vietnam ware openly
    Aphrodite Macbain: oppose
    Aphrodite Macbain: ML King nominated him for the Nobel Prize
    Aphrodite Macbain: over and out
    Paradise Tennant: I did not realize how old he is ..he looks so young 84
    Aphrodite Macbain: yes He has a lot of support, doesn't drink and goes to bed early!
    Paradise Tennant: note to self go to bed earlier :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: I go to bed early but that's all
    Calvino Rabeni: I think it's great how our media now gives us the opportunity to keep track of people who are in their 80's and more and at the peak - don't want to say near the end - the maturity of their moral careers
    sinequanon Sahara: Good it doesnt say anything about getting up early
    Aphrodite Macbain: dont want to say near the end?
    Aphrodite Macbain smiles at sine
    Susan Aloix: yeah good point cal. they can fall into invisibility easily.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, they are often at the peak of their "powers" and who knows how long they may continue
    Aphrodite Macbain: he travels and lectures a lot, but also meditates and paints calligraphy
    Susan Aloix: okay.....got to go...bye all :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Right Susan, it's a way to overcome a
    Aphrodite Macbain: Bye
    Aphrodite Macbain: Bye! Susan
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye susan
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Susan
    Paradise Tennant: nite nite susan namaste :)
    sinequanon Sahara: Bye susan
    Eliza Madrigal: overcome a... ?
    Aphrodite Macbain: http://www.tnhvancouver2011.org/retreat
    Calvino Rabeni: Social norm of attitudes toward elders
    Calvino Rabeni: And part of that is, a preference toward newness, per se
    Aphrodite Macbain: With an increase in the percentage of elders in the western world, I wonder whether those attitudes will change.
    Calvino Rabeni: It seems so, Aph

    Aphrodite Macbain: maybe a prefernce for wisdom will arise
    Calvino Rabeni: only through elder's participation in the culture, playing both an active role, and having positive recognition in different ways
    sinequanon Sahara: umm..well the link specifies you just might have to get up early as well
    Calvino Rabeni: Because they are a vehicle for wisdom, which would exist in the abstract
    Aphrodite Macbain: Although we shouldn't assume that to be old is necessarily to be wise. :-)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Visitor
    sinequanon Sahara: an old fool makes quite a disgusting sight actually
    Visitor: Hello
    Aphrodite Macbain: worse than a young fool?
    Aphrodite Macbain: Hi Visitor
    Calvino Rabeni: Wisdom comes  embodied
    Visitor: How do you define "old"?
    Aphrodite Macbain: :-)
    Aphrodite Macbain: It's all relative
    sinequanon Sahara: it implies a willful ignorance
    Eliza Madrigal: one would hope though, that tools and technology might make it easier to access the wisdom/productivity too often obscured by health difficulties/limitations of aging
    Paradise Tennant: smiles at Visitor :)
    Visitor: The definition of "old" varies quite a bit from one culture to another.
    Aphrodite Macbain: yes Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: indeed
    Calvino Rabeni: True
    Calvino Rabeni: I went to a gathering on "conscious aging" recently, there were all ages and cultures present
    Eliza Madrigal: 'I was so much older then I'm younger than that now'
    Aphrodite Macbain: we ar also finding different words for it
    Visitor: There is also th e institutional defnition vs. other definitions.
    Calvino Rabeni: and indeed the different definitions and expections are interesting
    Aphrodite Macbain: senior, 3rd life, elder
    Calvino Rabeni: Each one of us is "aging" at this moment
    Calvino Rabeni: regardless of age or chronology
    Calvino Rabeni: is that meaningful?
    Aphrodite Macbain sits up straight
    Visitor: Yes, the definition of "aging" used in gerontology is rather odd--associating it with old age.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes
    Aphrodite Macbain: the pathway between birth and death
    Calvino Rabeni: We're all on a path collectively, of maturing, not just, experiencing effects as individual bodies
    Aphrodite Macbain: the pathway has gotten a lot longer
    Visitor: In some places.
    Paradise Tennant: and easier over all :)
    Roger Ormenthal: One can also be an old soul in a young body.
    Aphrodite Macbain: yes Visitor
    Visitor: It has actually gotten shorter in some places, as well, such as the Sudan.
    Aphrodite Macbain sighs
    Aphrodite Macbain: that's not about aging though
    Visitor: Average life expectanct at birth in the Sudan is about 36, I believe.
    Calvino Rabeni: An experiment is, ask a group of people what age they consider "elder', and it varies by culture, because it means different things implicitly
    Aphrodite Macbain: My definition has changed as I have gotten older
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Visitor: It is about aging, because aging is a process that is not isolaged from other processes, such as disease.
    Visitor: isolated
    Aphrodite Macbain: It is built into our genes
    Calvino Rabeni: Even a 1-year old is aging and maturing
    Aphrodite Macbain: some more quicly than others
    Aphrodite Macbain: quickly
    Calvino Rabeni: In which cultures do young people look around and think, "I want to be elder", such as when I was a child and looked around and thought, "I want to be adult and be able to drive a car" ?
    Visitor: Also, the meaning of being old varies quite a bit form one culture to another. Some societies have an ideology that venerates the elderly, some don't.
    Eliza Madrigal: the idea of age has changed for me getting older too Aph... considering the people I know of around the same age and the wide range of vibrancy, so much dependent on outlook in most cases
    Visitor: I am not aware of any society in which young people desire to be elderly.
    Calvino Rabeni: "Elderly" has different connotations than being an "elder"
    sinequanon Sahara: the case of Benjamin Button
    Eliza Madrigal nods
    Aphrodite Macbain: It is sad that as ne gts older our memory gets worse, so any wisdom we gain in the process is clouded by deteriorating memory
    iwandertoo Resident: i'd like to live to 144
    iwandertoo Resident: maybe 199
    Aphrodite Macbain: I wouldnd't
    iwandertoo Resident: maybe more
    Visitor: THat's true, Calvino. Elder can be a comparatively young person.
    Paradise Tennant: smiles at susan :)
    iwandertoo Resident: :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: Elder implies wisdom and leadership qualities, something to be respected
    Visitor: I would assume that in some pre-industrial societies, people may have desired to become elders, since that was associated with some level of power.
    Calvino Rabeni: Traditional cultures often respect elders, and that's a kind of "wanting to be" ... at least there's the expectation of reaching a place of value
    Paradise Tennant: as long as you can go out by yourself :) that is my definition of old the day you cannot go out for a walk under your own steam :)
    Eliza Madrigal remembers a tv show episode where everyone wanted to rescue this poor old woman living in a delapidated house of clutter, but in her world it was a paradise... memory is a mystery :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: some very young people are trapped at home
    Visitor: There are ideologies in some societies in which there is a great deal of emphasis on respecting elders, but that doesn't mean it works out that way in practice.
    Roger Ormenthal: My definition of old would be when I forgot where I put my teeth.
    Eliza Madrigal: the paradise was made of all her memories and full life 'objects'
    Aphrodite Macbain smiles at Eliza
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, many young people are trapped in a video game world
    Aphrodite Macbain: What a great story
    Aphrodite Macbain: we make our own worlds
    iwandertoo Resident: our hell and our heaven
    Calvino Rabeni: And notice, how the definitions of "elder" we are reciting here, have to do with infirmity and vulnerability
    Aphrodite Macbain: yes
    iwandertoo Resident: and all the inbetween stuff too
    Calvino Rabeni: and decay
    Calvino Rabeni: rather than, e.g. wisdom or moral power
    Calvino Rabeni: it's setting our expectations pretty low?
    sinequanon Sahara: Yes Calvin
    Calvino Rabeni: Worrying about the worst case scenarios
    Calvino Rabeni: sure all that stuff happens
    Calvino Rabeni: but what else is possible
    Aphrodite Macbain: In aEastern cultures age is revered, isn't it?
    Calvino Rabeni: I think that's one of the messages Aphro was hearing from her lecture
    Aphrodite Macbain: Yes. We make our own reality
    Calvino Rabeni: is that true, Aph?
    Visitor: In some East Asian cultures, at least, there is an ideology of reverence for the elderly. In practice, that isn't necessarily how it works out.

    Aphrodite Macbain: we can be joyful in bad conditions
    Visitor: In Japan, there is Respect for the Elderly Day on 15 September. But that should not be interpreted as meaning that the elderly are treated with respect.
    Calvino Rabeni: Ideology has its exceptions and discontents, but in cases like that the "exception proves the rule" which wouldn't stand if it were completly groundless
    Eliza Madrigal: yes I guess the question is whether they are heard... the elder to the young, or vice versa
    Visitor: In fact, the elderly in Japan are subject to extensive scams and there is a growing problem of elder abuse.
    Calvino Rabeni: This is true in many places
    Eliza Madrigal: our general ways of living seem to compartmentalize so much that there are gulfs created (observation from watching my kids with grandparents and great grandfather)
    Visitor: Yes, it is, but in the Japanese case this is interesting because there is a widely accepted ideology of respecting elders.
    Eliza Madrigal: ah
    sinequanon Sahara: especially true of the hollywood culture..where old age is always mocked at
    Aphrodite Macbain: The ideology doesn't jivve with practice
    Aphrodite Macbain: jive
    Roger Ormenthal: It is hard for people with limited self-respect, to respect others, of any age.
    iwandertoo Resident: does it mock old age?
    Visitor: No, it doesn't.
    Calvino Rabeni: Perhaps in Japan the two value systems are more starkly in collision than in other places
    iwandertoo Resident: thinking of two movies ... very much appreciated old age
    Visitor: I am not sure that there are two value systems. I suspect that elderly have always been the subject of both derision and respect.
    Paradise Tennant: very true roger ..personal depth is what give dimension to many of the traits we aspire to ;)
    Aphrodite Macbain: which ones Iwandertoo?
    iwandertoo Resident: the bucket list, meet joe black and indirectly gattaca
    iwandertoo Resident: the first two very light movies
    iwandertoo Resident: the third, a bit different
    Visitor: There is also a value of not speaking one's mind in Japan and I have had many elderly people tell me that they hold their tongue rather than say what they really think.
    Aphrodite Macbain: elderly are traditionally considered unuseful to society
    Eliza Madrigal: ah, have only seen meet joe black, interesting choice
    iwandertoo Resident: "...65 years gone in a blink...to want for nothing more" - to have lived fully
    Calvino Rabeni: A quote from Mark Twain - “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he'd learned in seven years.”
    Visitor: There is actually a myth in Japan called Obasuteyama.
    Aphrodite Macbain: the Inuit grandmothers would be abandoned to their fate
    Visitor: The meaning of the word is "mountain for throwing away granny"
    Aphrodite Macbain: yikes
    Visitor: The story deals with a place in which the elderly were taken to a mountain and left to die when they reached the age of 60 or 70 (it varies).
    Aphrodite Macbain: I know how you feel iwandertoo
    Aphrodite Macbain: I'd be dead in that Japanese myth
    Visitor: There are two wonderful movie versions of the story, both called Narayam Bushiko.
    Visitor: Narayama Bushiko, that is.
    Eliza Madrigal: prob fewer stories of wise 'old' woman than wise men
    Aphrodite Macbain: ...not sure if I want to see it...
    Aphrodite Macbain: wise women were also called "witches"
    Visitor: The final scene shows the grandma left to sit and die at the top of the mountain with bones all around here. It begins to snow and she is blanketed in white. It is quite a beautiful scene.
    Aphrodite Macbain: Hmmm
    Aphrodite Macbain: in a cold sort of way
    Eliza Madrigal: striking even in description
    Visitor: Well, it is snowing, so it's cold. But the point of the story is that from an emotional perspective it isn't cold. The woman wants to go to the mountain--it is her son that resists.
    Aphrodite Macbain: She is open to her fate?
    sinequanon Sahara: why does the woman wants to go there
    Aphrodite Macbain: sounds very passive and acepting
    Visitor: She sits in zazen as the snow falls and her son realizes that it is an auspicious event. She is not only open to her fate, she welcomes it.
    Aphrodite Macbain: accepting
    Visitor: In one scene, she knocks out her teeth with a stone so that she can go to the mountain looking appropriately old.
    Aphrodite Macbain: sounds liek a form of socialization
    Paradise Tennant: when you are ready for death it is relief
    Aphrodite Macbain: like
    sinequanon Sahara: what it seems to tell me is that ...we or the writer is enforcing all old people to accept their fates
    Visitor: Not sure what you mean, Aphrodite
    Eliza Madrigal: another, possibly not as romantic way of looking at it, is that people find ways to feel a sense of honor about doing what is expected at times
    Aphrodite Macbain: what is considered "normal" is in fact a social convention
    Visitor: No, that's not it. The point is that there is an aesthetic quality to death, and Orin, the old woman, dies beautifully.
    Aphrodite Macbain: Yes, but i don't buy it
    Paradise Tennant: with grace
    Visitor: Buy what?
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes Eliza, people do find ways to honorably work with the expected social patterns
    sinequanon Sahara: she could have died as beautifully neas a fire place
    Aphrodite Macbain: it's the expected social patterns that I am concerned about
    Visitor: Not in this story. The snow is important because it symbolizes her purity of mind.
    sinequanon Sahara: or it symbolizes the cold around her..that she has no way to resist
    Visitor: Keep in mind that this is a story, Japanese don't actually do this.
    Paradise Tennant: or in a cozy bed :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: what is a pure mind?
    Calvino Rabeni: It's interesting how Japanese stories are able to put so many existential conditions into aesthetic forms and find the beauty in them
    Eliza Madrigal: mmm
    Paradise Tennant: after a really great dinner party with all her favourite people
    Visitor: Maybe, Sin, but I don't think so based upon the entire story.
    Aphrodite Macbain: yes cal
    Aphrodite Macbain: it is very subversive
    Eliza Madrigal: indeed Cal, yes
    Aphrodite Macbain takes a deep breath
    Calvino Rabeni: That's a good point Aphro, about it being subversive
    Eliza Madrigal: there is a missing naturalness to the timing of her fate... she decides before life does by giving herself to the elements, which could have been done at any point
    sinequanon Sahara: we need more facts about the writer...his life ....his prejudices
    Visitor: But there is value in following the rituals of society properly and she is very concerned with doing that.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes Eliza, those stories often show more than just one simple perspective
    Eliza Madrigal: yes
    Calvino Rabeni: paradox
    Aphrodite Macbain: tI feel we must be more aware of what is considered "natural" or "normal" and what is created by social strructures.
    Aphrodite Macbain: Like homsexuality for instance
    Calvino Rabeni: not in the sense of a logical conundrum, but an existential one

    Visitor: In some versions of the story, the son hides his mother under the floor and then he shows the Lord of the area that she is valuable, but those versions are not use much these days.
    Aphrodite Macbain wispers. I must go. and tiptoes out
    Eliza Madrigal: Night Aph :)
    Aphrodite Macbain: whispers
    iwandertoo Resident: waves
    Paradise Tennant: thanks for shairing aph :) nite nite
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye Aph
    Aphrodite Macbain: Bye!
    Visitor: In the modern world, the Obasuteyama word has come to symbolize nursing homes.
    Eliza Madrigal: very interesting discussion, rare treat for me to be here on a Sunday rather than reading :) Have to go as well though
    iwandertoo Resident: waves
    Paradise Tennant: good nite eliza ;) namaste and sweet dreams
    Eliza Madrigal: wonderful point, in many cases, doing what seems better for others
    sinequanon Sahara: that almost reminds me of the american psycho where he takes her mother to the cellar
    sinequanon Sahara: bye Eliza
    Eliza Madrigal: Night and thanks very much. Namaste'
    Visitor: But in the Japanese story, there is nothing psycho about the son.
    sinequanon Sahara: so he is even portrayed as normal...even more disturbing
    Visitor: Actually, he shows deep love for his mother and doesn't wnat to bring her to the mountain.
    sinequanon Sahara: and the mother...what kind of a woman is she portrayed to be...as a person
    Visitor: The mother has a noble quality to her.

    Calvino Rabeni: That's interesting, thanks
    sinequanon Sahara: its very interesting

    sinequanon Sahara: a noble quality...like a super ego
    Visitor: More like an anti-ego. She is extremely selfless.
    iwandertoo Resident: she is doingit against her wishes?
    Paradise Tennant: going to say thank you and good nite :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: night all, I am being called away
    iwandertoo Resident: waves
    Paradise Tennant: namaste my friends
    Visitor: No, she is the one who wants to go.
    sinequanon Sahara: nity night
    iwandertoo Resident: it is in her self-interest then

    iwandertoo Resident: waves to steve, paradise
    Calvino Rabeni: _/!\_
    Visitor: Yes, that is one interpretation, but she seems to want to go because of a lack of food for her family, in part.
    Calvino Rabeni: Fly well
    Visitor: Ethnography
    Calvino Rabeni: Anything along with that?
    sinequanon Sahara: a sacrifice then
    iwandertoo Resident: she values her family more than her own life...of value to her
    Visitor: It's not that clear, Sin. It's not an either/or type of thing.
    Visitor: Along with what?

    Calvino Rabeni: for instance, stories and mythology
    Calvino Rabeni: you find them interesting and study them, but they don't fit into the research framework, I think?
    Visitor: I find some stories interesting. I have written about the Obasuteyama story because it is relevant to the contemporary elderly in Japan.
    Visitor: But I'm not much of a literature person, actually.
    Calvino Rabeni: It's impressive, or maybe, puzzling (?) how a field of study manages to narrow their focus enough to do a well-defined research project
    Calvino Rabeni: e.g. it's not like, an ethnographer-alien dropped down in Kyoto from a flying saucer and said "show me your elderly"
    Visitor: Well, you couldn't really do one without narrowing the field. Most good research papers/books make a single point.
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes true
    Calvino Rabeni: then someone has to occasionally keep track of the "forest" while others focus on specific trees
    Visitor: Actually, it's a lot like an ethnographer-alien dropped down and said "show me your elderly". It's quite similar to that.
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Visitor: But I dont' do research in Kyoto.
    sinequanon Sahara: like Avatar...or repenzel
    Calvino Rabeni: More rural, Visitor?
    Visitor: I've never seen Avatar. Yes, I do work in a very rural area of Japan.
    iwandertoo Resident: i should think you would enjoy it, Visitor
    iwandertoo Resident: (Avatar)
    sinequanon Sahara: esp in 3D :)
    iwandertoo Resident: :)...vibrant

    Visitor: I've heard both good and bad about it. My son hated it.
    sinequanon Sahara: i hated it too frankly :)
    sinequanon Sahara: maybe cause i didn thave 3D :)
    Roger Ormenthal: Goodnight everyone.
    iwandertoo Resident: based on the above might be worth watching. philosophically, very different from how i think about things...but the colors briilliant
    Visitor: bye
    iwandertoo Resident: waves
    sinequanon Sahara: the cinematography is excellent...no second opinions on that
    Visitor: Sorry, I didn't mean to capitalize the discussion. I've only come here once or twice and it was very odd when I popped in and found the discussion on aging.
    sinequanon Sahara: no Visitor you merely gave us focus...
    sinequanon Sahara: hello Andres...
    Andres Marquis: Hey....mind if I sit?
    Calvino Rabeni: Please do Andres
    sinequanon Sahara: hello Andres
    iwandertoo Resident: waves
    Andres Marquis: Hello, again Sahara
    Calvino Rabeni: The conversations here are recorded and placed on our wiki at http://wiki.playasbeing.org/ - I wanted to check if that's acceptable to you Andres?
    Calvino Rabeni: As I'm not sure if you've been to other meetings here
    Calvino Rabeni: the meetings are every day at 1 and 7 AM and PM (slt)
    Andres Marquis: yeah...
    Andres Marquis: someone gave me a card about it
    Calvino Rabeni: ok thanks
    Andres Marquis: thanks
    sinequanon Sahara: my dislike of it the movie stems from its apology for the colonial or imprerial project
    iwandertoo Resident: apology?
    Andres Marquis: sorry to interrupt....what movie are you discussing?
    iwandertoo Resident: avatar
    sinequanon Sahara: yes an alien arriving in a perticula ecology ...and then informing them what is best for them...
    Andres Marquis: thanks Susan
    iwandertoo Resident: yw
    sinequanon Sahara: like they needed to be saved...and poor creatures just couldnt help themselves
    Visitor: I think I will go to bed. Thank you for the interesting discussion.
    iwandertoo Resident: i didnt receive this meaning
    iwandertoo Resident: waves
    Andres Marquis: it was Pocohontas rehashed.
    Calvino Rabeni: I think to the superficial level, at least, the movie is a morality play about the evils of colonialism?
    sinequanon Sahara: bye Visitor..thanks
    Calvino Rabeni: Good night Visitor
    iwandertoo Resident: can you genuinely apologize for such things?
    sinequanon Sahara: yes it is basically a white mans guilt complex...(not to sound racist or anything)
    Calvino Rabeni: Yeah I can see that
    Andres Marquis: yes...then, Sahara....I agree with you. It was an apology.
    Andres Marquis: May I pose a theory?
    sinequanon Sahara: sure
    Calvino Rabeni: Of course :)
    Andres Marquis: about colonialism ....
    Andres Marquis: and animal/human nature
    Andres Marquis: is it human nature to conquer? And if so, then is conquest of less, so called "advanced" societies by other "advanced" societies inevitable?
    sinequanon Sahara: technological superiority is no proof for cultural superiority...first of all...
    Andres Marquis: of course
    Andres Marquis: I share this opinioin with you, Sahara.
    sinequanon Sahara: in fact i believe it works the opposite way sometimes...
    Calvino Rabeni: I'm looking for the theory behind those questions
    Andres Marquis: Right, Calvino....
    Calvino Rabeni: suspect you haven't got to it yet?
    Andres Marquis: My theory is.....

    Andres Marquis: if Europeans had not conquered the tribes here...some other stronger society would have done so at some point.....
    Andres Marquis: conquest has been a part of the human story since it began
    sinequanon Sahara: could you define "here" so we can allign our frames of references
    Andres Marquis: I am in the states, so that is my reference point...but I am speaking of conquest in general terms
    sinequanon Sahara: ok
    sinequanon Sahara: go on please
    Andres Marquis: do you think conquest is inevitible in the world in which we live given human nature?
    iwandertoo Resident: in response to perceived actions for survival - yes
    iwandertoo Resident: but not human nature as an outright act of aggression, rather in terms of defense which can be aggressive
    Calvino Rabeni: In general, I'm leery of positing "general terms" like conquest, as if they stood outside a social value context ... just having observed that others posit contrasting ideas as basic, like "we all are evolving" or "we're all meant to follow the will of god"
    Andres Marquis: what term would you use, Calvino?
    Calvino Rabeni: Because it's not clear whether or how those terms ground out
    Calvino Rabeni: it's like trying to define intelligence
    Calvino Rabeni: and coming to some kind of theory of traits
    Calvino Rabeni: like, intelligence is a property of an individual characterizing behavior in an environment
    Calvino Rabeni: I wouldn't be looking for terms, just for a little more theory that may be cognizant of the causal webs involved
    Andres Marquis: the causal webs involved....those strands could be infinite
    sinequanon Sahara: yet..speaking for the tribes that are no longer here...they were conquered..or annihilated or whatever you want to call it
    Calvino Rabeni: Under some conditions (what) something happens (what) that could be labeled using a term like conquest or aggression
    sinequanon Sahara: lets speak for the dead
    Calvino Rabeni: There's the rub ... are the strands infinite, or do they circle around such that some theoretical framework can partly encompass them to a reasonable degree?
    Calvino Rabeni: Speak for the dead
    Andres Marquis: no one can see or know all reasoning behind the act of one or even of a group
    Andres Marquis nods to Sahara
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't think you mean, Andres, "not in the slightest degree"
    Calvino Rabeni: and I claimed, "not completely"
    Calvino Rabeni: so where's a reasonable middle ground
    Andres Marquis: yes, Calvino...I know this...I stopped ot let Sahara finish his thought. My apologies
    Calvino Rabeni: Or do we use other means to apprehend the complexity, such as myths, metaphors, stories, art
    sinequanon Sahara: there can always be a middle group..a framework can always be reached even be agreed upon..
    Calvino Rabeni: sure, please go on, I fear I'm also interrupting
    Andres Marquis: I would finish that thought by saying...if we cannot see or know all of something...then for all intents and puposes is that something infinite within the scope of our perception?
    Calvino Rabeni: It seems useful to assume it
    sinequanon Sahara: we assume it anyway...we do have to proceed
    Andres Marquis: and I agree with you, Calvino about the use of art to attempt to explain the inexplicable

    sinequanon Sahara: we can carry out a bayesian probability analysis :)
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Just hope we chose the right terms first
    Andres Marquis: ah semantics
    sinequanon Sahara: thats always the most difficult thing to do
    Calvino Rabeni: I what areas does that work really well?
    Andres Marquis: gentlemen, thank you for letting me intrude on your discussion
    Calvino Rabeni: YW Andres, stop by any time
    Andres Marquis: I must go
    Calvino Rabeni: Thanks for your ideas
    sinequanon Sahara: Thanks Andres
    Andres Marquis: you've been very gracious
    Andres Marquis: good night
    Calvino Rabeni: Good night
    sinequanon Sahara: it works very well in game shows at least :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Like "Watson" ?
    sinequanon Sahara: havent heard of Watson ..
    sinequanon Sahara: what is it
    Calvino Rabeni: The IBM game playing program
    Calvino Rabeni: that "played" a game show on television
    sinequanon Sahara: the one that plays jeopardy i think
    sinequanon Sahara: i have never seen it playing
    Calvino Rabeni: After it did so well, IBM had to have an ad campaign to reassure people
    Calvino Rabeni: "Humans are the winners" or something
    sinequanon Sahara: interesting..
    sinequanon Sahara: it would work in ad campaigns surely
    sinequanon Sahara: the intital terms can be quantified there
    Calvino Rabeni: How?
    sinequanon Sahara: in terms of profits and sales
    Calvino Rabeni: I thought those were about values and such like fuzzy factors
    Calvino Rabeni: oh, do you mean marketing and pricing, not so much influencing opinion?
    Calvino Rabeni: Ad campaigns are often rhetorical in intent
    Calvino Rabeni: Perhaps something like that is already in play in terms of election campaigns
    sinequanon Sahara: there is a less fuzzy example..
    sinequanon Sahara: the game show example i was referring to..
    sinequanon Sahara: you have three doors...
    sinequanon Sahara: behind one is a car..
    sinequanon Sahara: goats behind others...
    sinequanon Sahara: say you choose door A
    sinequanon Sahara: the host then shows you whats behind door B...
    sinequanon Sahara: a goat...he knew that before hand...
    sinequanon Sahara: now does it improve your chances of winning if you change your intial choice...or does it not..
    sinequanon Sahara: bayesian probabilty tells you that it improves your chances of winning by switching
    Calvino Rabeni: yeah

    sinequanon Sahara: http://news.discovery.com/space/no-nemesis-impact-events-not-periodic.html
    sinequanon Sahara: heres a more recent example
    Calvino Rabeni: I haven't studied it, but maybe this is the crux (from wikipedia)
    Calvino Rabeni: The Bayesian interpretation provides a standard set of procedures and formulae to perform this calculation. Bayesian probability interprets the concept of probability as "a measure of a state of knowledge", in contrast to interpreting it as a frequency or a "propensity" of some phenomenon.
    sinequanon Sahara: yes...
    Calvino Rabeni: So it tries to track unfolding knowledge in some way, making a place for the influences of the participants in the process
    sinequanon Sahara: the frequentists are often going against the bayesisan...dont even consider it a science sometimes
    sinequanon Sahara: or new evidence
    Calvino Rabeni: whereas classical probability says "it's just this way or that, objectively, independent of any observer" ?
    sinequanon Sahara: yes thats true
    Calvino Rabeni: And classical probability wouldn't do too well for game theory, I suppose
    sinequanon Sahara: no it wouldnt
    Calvino Rabeni: it would say you can't win at "rock paper scissors", might as well flip a 3-side die
    sinequanon Sahara: whats that :)
    sinequanon Sahara: rock paper scissors
    Calvino Rabeni: A simple 2-player game
    Calvino Rabeni: you make a sign
    Calvino Rabeni: rock, paper, or scissors
    Calvino Rabeni: at the same time as the other player
    sinequanon Sahara: ahaan
    Calvino Rabeni: the rock beats the scissors, the scissors beat the paper, the paper beats the rock
    Calvino Rabeni: circularly
    Calvino Rabeni: but of course the game is played based on the choices of the players
    Calvino Rabeni: partly in response to what already happened
    Calvino Rabeni: and their predictive abilities of the other, including of their predictive abilities
    sinequanon Sahara: humm
    sinequanon Sahara: try this...a recent book review
    sinequanon Sahara: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/07/books/review/the-theory-that-would-not-die-by-sharon-bertsch-mcgrayne-book-review.html
    Calvino Rabeni: thanks ... that looks like a good popular description
    Calvino Rabeni: I was aware there was some controversies or confusions, but not sure quite what it was about
    Calvino Rabeni: Would you excuse me though, ?
    Calvino Rabeni: I have some things to attend
    Calvino Rabeni: thanks for your conversation, sine
    sinequanon Sahara: thanks calvin...
    sinequanon Sahara: always a pleasure...
    Calvino Rabeni: Likewise, Sine
    sinequanon Sahara: have a wonderful day :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Thanks, you too
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye for now
    sinequanon Sahara: Bye :)

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