2008.04.04 13:00 - Phenomenology

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    This afternoon there were just Friedrich and me.

    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i picked the minute of the hour i am aiming for, and yesterday managed to tax most hours, though not ussually on time
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i have an issue w/ quarterly pauses…
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i don’t normally wear a watch, and I am blessed with a job that leaves me in conversation and/or flow most of the time
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: being shackled to time is actually a burden for me
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: so, i am sticking with the hourly tax, for now. anyway, its working well for me so far
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i chose :09 past the hour. i didn’t want to break at the top of the our, or even on an ordinary increment
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i wanted to disrupt my flow a little bit
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: and top of the hour is an ordinary transition point anyway, for me (meetings, etc)
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: but, this has been sufficient for the mantra to pervade my expeirence, so it picks up as a default now, even without the increased rigorous frequency
    Pema Pera: mantra?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: play as being?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: catchphrase? jingle?
    Pema Pera: ah!
    Pema Pera: ;>)
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: heh.
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i’ll also say that yesterday and today i have been a good mood. spring is dawning, so that’s good
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: and, im jotting down some notes
    Pema Pera: Sure, once an hour is interesting too
    Pema Pera: a good place to start and work with
    Pema Pera: but perhaps it might also be fun
    Pema Pera: to just try once or so the quaterly ones
    Pema Pera: even though it may seem hard or strange or unnatural
    Pema Pera: it might be an intersting experiment to see how you react to something hard or strange or unnatural
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: well, i wont knock it till ive tried it
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: but, i hate being that conscious of the passage of time
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: even hourly throws me
    Pema Pera: ah!
    Pema Pera: hate!
    Pema Pera: then you definitely have to try
    Pema Pera: to get to know yourself even better ;>)
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i’ll try it. my past experiences with things like that have been negative
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: say, taking pills, or whatever
    Pema Pera: sure
    Pema Pera: just for the sake of phenomenology
    Pema Pera: seeing what phenomena appear
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: well, wehn i am that conscious of time, its ussually when i am exteremelyt bored
    Pema Pera: sometimes we are correct in our expectations and guesses of what will happen
    Pema Pera: sometimes we are a bit off
    Pema Pera: and sometimes we are totally wrong
    Pema Pera: never know in advance!
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: well, as is, it is very hard to avoid knowing the time
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i remember taking my watch off, and noticing how often i needlessly glanced at my writst
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: consider, i live in nyc, and time is ussually a matter of stress
    Pema Pera: when feeling bored, how about looking at boredom and trying to describe it phenomenologically?
    Pema Pera: same with fear and hope and all that
    Pema Pera: anything
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: so, why watch time if you can’t make the train go any faster
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: hmm…. not sure i have the right vocab/framework to express that
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: not that long ago i rediscovered some of my high school coping techniques for dealing with boredome
    Pema Pera: you can learn to see more/better
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: that was interesting
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i was on jury duty
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: it was brutal ;-)
    Pema Pera: and perhaps you cannot change time but perhaps time can do the favor of changing itself . . . you’d be surprised
    Pema Pera: I’ve been surprised
    Pema Pera: very
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: well, i’m familiar with that wild penjulum book, and theories of subjective time
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: so, yeah, im open to being surprised ;-)
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: benkman? anyway
    Pema Pera: don’t know that book
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: itzhak bentov - stalking the wild pendulum

    Having entered Second Life only very recently, Friedrich mused about his experiences.

    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: ok. so also a few more reflections on SL….
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i hung around a bit more after the chat the other night, and crossed the threshold of forming SL memories
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i’m recognizing this overt cognitive hack of my perceptual system, tuned for millenium to recognize people and places
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: its quite different than seeing tetris blocks falling or even seeing melon patches after doing something all day
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i got a little of that “wheel” over people around me, and people as avatars.
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: but, i have to say, i am now cautious of some of the metaphors this experience suggests
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: people as avatars rings of dualism, with the operator as a homunculus
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: so, i don’t like that analogy
    Pema Pera: “wheel”?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: the right-click, pie wheel. profile, sit,
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: Go To, Mute, Play
    Pema Pera: Aha!
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: heh. if i knew the wheel better, i’ll bet I would like mute
    Pema Pera: yes, people are not avatars, they really are people here, for all intents and purposes
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: right. and people in RL aren’t avatars either!
    Pema Pera: nor bodies
    Pema Pera: nor minds
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: fine. the emergent pattern that concentrates around will, or intension, or something, perhaps
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: but i was finding myself slipping into lousy metaphors from the way this game is built
    Pema Pera: such as?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: well, matrix style ways of imagining the way the bodies around me are controlled
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: real dualism. minds controlling bodies.
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: but, seperate and distinct, not integral or unified
    Pema Pera: but normally you don’t think about that
    Pema Pera: like watching a movie
    Pema Pera: normally you don’t think about the projector
    Pema Pera: although you can if you want to
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: it’s undoubtably a good thing that the experience raises these quesitons
    Pema Pera: yes, it is fun to explore degrees of freedom of experience, including every-day experience
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: but, as we discussed a few days ago, mindfulness of the presppositions and even ideologies of this world are important to work out
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: and, i guess, lastly, i have been thinking about returning to some of Merleau-Ponty’s writings.
    Pema Pera: yes, theory and practice, like in physics, theory and experiment, both, they complement and inform each other.
    Pema Pera: yes?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: well, i remember some of what he tried with inverting the world
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: and, i am most interested now in the fact that he too, still dealing with sense data that was very similar to “normal”
    Pema Pera: inverting?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: say, in contrast to the afterimage of an experience that doesn’t deal with faces and places
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: he wore a device for a few weeks that turned his whole world upside down
    Pema Pera: ah!
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: wondering if he would be able to learn how to percieve it normally. iirc, after a while, he did
    Pema Pera: yes, I heard of that
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: anyway, just a historical connection to phenomenological experiments

    Friedrich then asked about my experience with the playing as Being exploration.

    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: how has your practice been treating you?
    Pema Pera: various aspects
    Pema Pera: first of all, overall, this has been very gratifying, just to see a number of people seriously engaging with what I had suggested
    Pema Pera: not only for themselves, but as a budding community
    Pema Pera: secondly, I learned a lot already from the different angles that various people have brought in, including you, looking at the 9-sec practice in different ways than I did.
    Pema Pera: Third, it has been a real challenge for me to stick to the 9-sec routine, simply because my life seems more hectic this week that it has been in a very long time
    Pema Pera: the reason being that I simultaneously am starting, as of April 1, also an astrophysics organization, MICA in SL.
    Pema Pera: So I feel a bit like a candle burning on two ends ;>)
    Pema Pera: in practice this means
    Pema Pera: that I see myself dropping the ball for a few quarters of an hour
    Pema Pera: being completely absorbed in multitasking of too many emails and phone calls and people walking into my office and what not
    Pema Pera: and then I remember
    Pema Pera: and then I see that 9 seconds is really doable
    Pema Pera: no matter how busy I am ;>)
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: ;-)
    Pema Pera: humbling experience ……..
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: i guess i am also wondering about the experimental side of the question. I trust you, but are you here in the role of researcher? should we be signing those crazy human subject experiment waivers?
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: heh.
    Pema Pera: No, this is not an experiment with human subjects in any technical or academic sense
    Pema Pera: it is something I like doing myself, in a “life as a lab” mode
    Pema Pera: I am not evaluating anyone
    Pema Pera: in any way
    Pema Pera: ;>)
    Pema Pera: nor getting paid for doing so either ;>)
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: heh. it seems like the detail you are gathering could head towards a serious study somehow
    Pema Pera: sure
    Pema Pera: anyone can read the blog that I am writing now
    Pema Pera: and do with it what they like
    Pema Pera: it is all public — open source like
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: reminds me of the “joke” about social science research nowadays
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: you need all sorts of waivers to do it at a university, but get some commercial sponsors and put it on camera and you can do anything
    Friedrich Ochsenhorn: many of those reality show situations are prime social science experiments
    Pema Pera: ;>)
    Pema Pera: in some sense all of SL is one big experiment

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