2008.11.10 13:00 - on the edge of the fountain

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    The guardian for this meeting was Maxine Walden.  The comments are hers.

    Pema and I got to the Pavilion at virtually the same time.  We had been at an earlier meetiing at the Kira cafe and began by referring to it. Our conversation entwines the strands of the experience in the Astronomy talk, being the goc for this session but also what it is like to wear as many hats as Pema does regarding his many interests and endeavors

    Pema Pera: Hi again Maxine!
    Maxine Walden: hi again, Pema, interesting discussion at the astro meeting
    Pema Pera: Glad you liked it!
    Pema Pera: Ah, you're the guardian right now, for Stim, right?
    Maxine Walden: most of it was far above my head, but part of my interest is in seeing how folks think.
    Maxine Walden: Yes, I am goc for Stim
    Pema Pera: yes, indeed; a large variety of people there!
    Maxine Walden: I thought so; very knowledge-able, at least from what I could discern
    Pema Pera: I think the setup was a good one "ask an astronomer" . . . I wonder whether we can have "ask a PaBer" session for new comers here :-)
    Maxine Walden: might be an interesting idea. I thought the advance notice of 'ask an astronomer' was such as to attract the interested such as myself
    Maxine Walden: it may be that PaB is still not as formed in folks' minds to attract newcomers in quite the same way...as it becomes more known it may have more magnetic attraction
    Pema Pera: :)
    Maxine Walden: Imagine it is not too great a shift for you to put on your PaB hat from your astronomer's hat?
    Maxine Walden: dealing with the cosmos with both hats, though from different perspectives...
    Pema Pera: I'm wearing many hats . . . . computer scientist, effectively, aspiring philosopher; also part of my background was in particle physics . . .
    Maxine Walden: I see, yes, does it feel like a long reach from hat to hat?
    Pema Pera: not really, no. The topic is not that different; the culture is more different; and the people's way of interacting is most different!

    Doug joins us as Pema and I continue to wonder about how different ways of perceiving reality and 'truth' may make respectful discourse difficult.

    doug Sosa: hi both. :)
    Pema Pera: Hi Doug!
    Maxine Walden: think I could appreciate that, how do you find people's ways of interacting to differ? Is that easy to say?
    Maxine Walden: hi doug
    doug Sosa: :)
    Pema Pera: not so easy . . . .
    Pema Pera: . . . . for physicists one precise experiment can clinch the argument; for paleontologists, with whom I've hung out a lot too, nothing clinches anything :)
    Pema Pera: Only a whole web of indirect arguments may begin to support an idea, over time
    Pema Pera: hence the two communities have great difficulty understanding each other
    Pema Pera: I've done a lot of "translating" between the two
    Pema Pera: mediating really
    doug Sosa: physics takes pride in its results, but hasn't all past physics turned out to be WRONG?
    Maxine Walden: indeed! Different levels of ease and doubt make it hard to speak meaningfully/convincingly to one another
    Pema Pera: well, Doug, let me speak to that later
    Maxine Walden: one's own way of discerning the truth can be entrapping

    Then sadly Pema gets a call from RL and must leave. So doug and I continue as he cuts down the distance across the fountain by sitting in the fountain.

    Pema Pera: unfortunately a Kira conference call in RL coming up .. . . . next time!
    Pema Pera: bye for now
    doug Sosa: bye!
    Maxine Walden: oh, bye
    Maxine Walden: doug, how are you?
    Maxine Walden: across the pond/fountain?
    doug Sosa: i am pretty good. bit of a cold but not serious. lots to do in the garden, and travels and projects.. you?
    doug Sosa: I do find the pool awkward, too much distance.
    Maxine Walden: sound busy and pleasantly so. Yes, I am well too, with lots going on
    Maxine Walden: ah, into the water, now that seems comfortable
    doug Sosa: yes, feels GOOOD!
    Maxine Walden: oh, must be warm and nice?
    doug Sosa: feels a touch cool, but ok.
    Maxine Walden: ah...glad it is appealing
    doug Sosa: "going on". Can you say more.

    We search for a topic of mutual interest and rather easily settle on the issues of the recent US election, beginning with time, and then turning to the current financial and global problems. Hopes and fears about solutions.

    Maxine Walden: What's going on? Well, am trying to think a bit about Time, re thoughts for here and PaB.
    Maxine Walden: Appreciated was it Solo's posting the other day?
    Maxine Walden: On time/timelessness
    doug Sosa: do you notice any difference in time since the election?
    Maxine Walden: oh, interesting, yes the election did take up some wonderful time and space
    doug Sosa: and yet there seems to be new pressure to actually do things.
    Maxine Walden: Let me see, have you had some experiences in that way, re time since the election, let me think while I listen to you
    Maxine Walden: seems like the pace of hope/possibility has picked up perhaps...like all our hearts are beating a bit faster
    doug Sosa: well, i am on the fringe of people thinking what Obama has to do, will do, wn't do, chance of success, probabale hinderances..
    Maxine Walden: what is your experience?
    doug Sosa: yes, hearts faster, more urgency. But I've ben traveling and that also upsets normal time.
    Maxine Walden: feeling that edge of doubt about what can be done etc? vs everyone's hopes and dreams and the promises
    doug Sosa: and the dangers too.
    doug Sosa: And watching, hearing about so many who are in financial trouble.
    Maxine Walden: I was talking with a political science person recently who said that Obama could not begin to do what was necessary in the first term...
    Maxine Walden: the financial problems are considerable, and may be among the very first things needing attention, but even that will take time to turn around or begin to turn around, I imagine
    doug Sosa: yes and meanwhile..?
    Maxine Walden: What comes to mind during the meanwhile?
    doug Sosa: The shutting down of jobs, businessess.
    doug Sosa: And closer, pain for others and slight fears for my sons and daughter.

    Perhaps hoping to bring hope I mention an article brought to my attention recently in the NY Times

    Maxine Walden: Yes, quite a problem. Saw an article in the NY Times, but Al Gore, advocating govt getting involved in wind and other energies bigtime, to give jobs pronto, and address global warming, foreign oil, lots of issues at the same time.
    Maxine Walden: Not sure of the practicalities of that but am reminded of FDR's works during the 30s which helped with the Depression joblessness
    doug Sosa: environment and jobs are linked
    Maxine Walden: Wouldn't it be something if we could address several of these enormous problems with something such as that...yes environment/jobs/energy independence
    Maxine Walden: all in a package?

    I wonder about Doug's view from his recent travels to Italy

    Maxine Walden: Did you get some interesting views while in Italy about these issues?
    doug Sosa: i think there will be efforts to do it. the questions are, people the skills for those jobs, are there maangers, what about the energy needed to correct the economy for energye
    doug Sosa: What most struck me in italy was the intergenerationalhappiness and c
    doug Sosa: calm
    Maxine Walden: ah, yes, I think you spoke about that to me previously, something very wonderful to witness and pine for

    Perhaps with warm climes in mind I wonder about joining doug by sitting with feet in the fountain as well

    Maxine Walden: wondering about coming into the fountain as well, looks inviting...

    And manage to find a seat on the edge of the fountain after a few tries. We then speak about fountains and we discover some commonalities we had not known about:

    doug Sosa: yes, do. it takes some experimenting.
    doug Sosa: nice.
    Maxine Walden: oh, yes, this is nice, reminds me of when I was litle, loved fountains
    doug Sosa: where?
    Maxine Walden: even if I am sitting in the edge
    Maxine Walden: where was I as a kid? Southern Calif
    doug Sosa: where are there fountains in sou cal?
    Maxine Walden: you, know, right now I cannot recall. Am thinking tho of running through the sprinklers and a friend in the neighborhood had a fountain. feet into it often
    Maxine Walden: but you know up here in Seattle we have a fountain which was at the center of the 62 World's Fair and you can go into it...a bit cold but kids do
    doug Sosa: i can think also of edge of docsk, walking into a lake and sitting down in the water.
    doug Sosa: I've seeen it. You know i used to live on whidbey
    Maxine Walden: oh, yes, edge of docks on lakes...great places.
    Maxine Walden: I did not know you lived on Whidbey!!
    Maxine Walden: When?,
    Maxine Walden: where?
    doug Sosa: 2001-2005
    doug Sosa: In langley, on the waterfront across from the Inn at Langley.
    Maxine Walden: ah...and ah, wow, nice area!
    Maxine Walden: You left for greener pastures, so to speak?
    doug Sosa: well, not quite greener. more complex. whdbey is simple, relatively.

    Referring to our seats on the fountain edge Doug says

    doug Sosa: i find sitting like this amazing, 'nough said.
    Maxine Walden: yes, the island life is a bit simple. Right now, live/work in downtown Seattle and have a weekend place on Vashon which is great for a get away, but not for everyday living and stimulation
    Maxine Walden: yes, I like this 'fountain life' too

    All too soon we each realize it is about time to go.

    doug Sosa: and just getting used to it but I need to go prpepare for a meeing. so i need to say good bye.
    Maxine Walden: yes, I have to go as well. We can go together. Have enjoyed our talk a lot. Maybe more fountain edge talk to come
    doug Sosa: thanks yes.
    Maxine Walden: great, look forward to it!
    doug Sosa: bye.
    Maxine Walden: bye, Doug

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