2009.02.12 19:00 - Trusting and yet influencing

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    Sylectra Darwin was the guardian at this meeting and the comments are hers.


    I arrived with my pixel lab, Sophy, a match of my "meat" lab back in real life.

    Neela Blaisdale: Hello Pila
    Pila Mulligan: hi Neela
    Neela Blaisdale: Have we met before?
    Pila Mulligan: hi Sylectra and friend(s)
    Neela Blaisdale: Hi Syl, sophy
    Sylectra Darwin: hihi!
    Pila Mulligan: Neela, we may have met, but I'm not sure :)
    Sylectra Darwin: Good to see you both!
    Neela Blaisdale: You too
    Sylectra Darwin: Neela, last time I saw you you were going with a dark brown hairdo. I like the new look!

    Neela had gotten up from her perch and was crowching in front of Sophy, petting her at eye level.

    Neela Blaisdale: Soo cute!
    Sylectra Darwin: thanks:)
    Neela Blaisdale: That must have been a long time ago! ty
    Sylectra Darwin: hehe, it was.
    Sylectra Darwin: much has changed since then, in my life.
    Neela Blaisdale: How so?
    Sylectra Darwin: Well, in October I got a divorce, and in November I moved to a new job market that I thought would be better for my work as a web content manager.
    Sylectra Darwin: I am now in the NYC metro area and doing search engine optimization, and got a new boyfriend! :)
    Neela Blaisdale: Oh my that's a lot at once!
    Sylectra Darwin: Yes, I am reeling from it all.
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Neela Blaisdale: So all good! That's funny just found out there's a good chance we're moving to NY!
    Pila Mulligan: hi Steve
    Sylectra Darwin: But you know, one thing I am realizing, and Pila has been hearing me say so as we've talked the last few weeks, is that change makes you forget to stop and be in the here and now. You get caught up in weaving a future for yourself.
    Sylectra Darwin: Stevie!
    Sylectra Darwin: Come and sit.
    Sylectra Darwin: Really, Neela, maybe moving to NY?
    Neela Blaisdale: Yes for me too, a lot going on and agree it makes it hard to just be
    Neela Blaisdale: Hi Steven
    Pila Mulligan: hi Adelene
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello
    Sylectra Darwin: Adelene :)
    Sylectra Darwin: welcome, dear
    Neela Blaisdale: Hi Ade! Good to see you
    Adelene Dawner: Hi all ^.^
    Neela Blaisdale: New av!
    Adelene Dawner: mmhmm. I'm playing with the idea of 'cute'.

    Adelene was a lion, as she had been in many other meetings, but this lion walked on two legs and had wings. 

    Neela Blaisdale: :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: you do cute very well
    Adelene Dawner giggles at Steve.
    stevenaia Michinaga: we had the begining of a very very interesting discussion last night, unfortunately it began after about 45 minutes of close to silence
    Pila Mulligan: I'm glad you seem to understand how the recording thing works, Steve :)
    Sylectra Darwin: That's always the way of it.
    Pila Mulligan: what was the topic?
    Sylectra Darwin: Vaccuum followed by pithiness.

    Adelene disappeared from her pillow.

    Sylectra Darwin: oh no! we lost Ade.
    stevenaia Michinaga: trust
    Pila Mulligan: nice topic
    Neela Blaisdale: Big one
    stevenaia Michinaga: sorry, I M in mid typing
    Pila Mulligan (noting Adelene's return to the pavilion): wb Adelene
    Adelene Dawner grumbles at SL.
    stevenaia Michinaga: Trust is like a riddle, what is that you always have in yourself but must find it in other people... or something like that
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Sylectra Darwin: Glad you're back, Adelene.
    Neela Blaisdale: or vice versa
    Adelene Dawner mews at Syl.
    Neela Blaisdale: it would be good to be able to have both
    stevenaia Michinaga: on the contrary, what is it that you always have in other people..... yes
    stevenaia Michinaga: some type faster than I do :)
    Sylectra Darwin: Steven, what do you mean?
    stevenaia Michinaga: some people trust themselves first, some people trust others first

    stevenaia Michinaga: some people don't trust themselves
    Adelene Dawner: I've known people who always trusted others, or always trusted others unless there was a direct reason not to (more common), but not too many people who always trusted themselves.
    Neela Blaisdale: I agree Ade
    stevenaia Michinaga: and some that trust all the people all the time including themselves
    Adelene Dawner: Now *that* would be hard.
    Sylectra Darwin: I've always been impatient with the subject of trust until recently, and maybe that's because I have been reluctant to give it. I loved the lesson of surrender learned in Yoga class.
    stevenaia Michinaga: well all of the time until there is a reason not to
    Adelene Dawner nods at Steve - that sounds more reasonable - and thel looks at Pila... more?
    Adelene Dawner: *then looks
    Adelene Dawner: er.
    Adelene Dawner: heh.
    Adelene Dawner: how did I read Pila for Sylectra, there? o.O
    stevenaia Michinaga: sorry, run on thoughts of trust
    Pila Mulligan: Stim's session at Kira this afternoon addressed how the traditional world of contemplative practice is changing -- one aspect of that change, in my opinion, is the profound impact of science and technology on formerly sacred ideas -- and that seems to have an unsettling effect, in some ways, in society and individuals -- trust may be impacted by that, too
    Neela Blaisdale: How so Pila?
    Pila Mulligan: well, the turbulence of change
    stevenaia Michinaga: we did discuss trust equating to knoweldge
    stevenaia Michinaga: perhaps knowledge replaces trust... knowing
    Squee: In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.
    Pila Mulligan: and with new knowledge there is perhaps some reevaluation of what to trust
    Neela Blaisdale: So why is it so hard for many to trust themself, lack of self knowledge?
    stevenaia Michinaga: .. is knowlege ever complete
    Pila Mulligan: I trust myself, so it is not easy to answer, Neela
    Sylectra Darwin: Our parents teach us to second-guess ourselves.
    Sylectra Darwin: That is perhaps a cause for some of us.
    Neela Blaisdale: yes but more to it I think
    Adelene Dawner: "is knowledge ever complete" - no, but you can get to the point where new knowledge tends to fit in with what you already know, in predictable ways, and there're no new big surprises.
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, I don;t know how it is in "other" cultures, but self doubt semes pervasive here, trusting in a high power instead of yourself
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: trust also relates to honesty
    Pila Mulligan: dishonesty negates trust
    Pila Mulligan: lots of authority figures are less than sincere
    Pila Mulligan: why trust them?
    stevenaia Michinaga: it may be all you have to trust, trust of last resort
    Adelene Dawner: I wouldn't count that as trust.
    stevenaia Michinaga: yet we elect appearently trustworthy people.... the jails are full of them
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Neela Blaisdale: I think one of the reasons lack of self trust is so pervasive in our culture is the pace of how we live
    Pila Mulligan: the best congress money can buy
    Pila Mulligan: that leads to the next point, being honest with yourself as a prerequisite for trusting yourself
    Adelene Dawner: hmm, there's an interesting thought-line.
    stevenaia Michinaga: ..smiles... makes it sound as easy as it is
    Neela Blaisdale: Most people don't have enough time or give themselves permission to just be with themself

    I heard a subtext and wanted to know more. So I asked the trust question with a new twist.

    Sylectra Darwin: Well so if you are dishonest with others does that mean you don't trust them?
    Pila Mulligan: they probably will not trust you, at least -- but not necessarily vice versa
    Adelene Dawner: I tend to play with the definitions of some of these abstract concepts - figure out what they relate to, which other abstract concepts are built on what... I just noticed how trust and power are more closely related than I'd thought they were - if you're powerless in a situation, trust is *irrelevant*.
    Neela Blaisdale: I don't think honesty and trust are synonymous with each other. I think you need honesty present for trust but they seem like separate things
    Pila Mulligan: HL Mencken once said something like 'no one ever went broke overestimating the gullibility of the american people'
    Pila Mulligan: I agree Neela, they are rleated but not the same
    Pila Mulligan: and Ade is also on point, trust is between fellows, not servants and masters
    Pila Mulligan: unless we count the trustworhty emplyee:)
    Adelene Dawner: Well, it can be between masters and servants, but only ine one direction. It makes sense to say that the master trusts his servant not to, for example, poison his food, or steal his money, or whatever... but trying to talk about hte servant trusting the master... I mean, they might, they might not, why does it matter?
    Sylectra Darwin: Ade, you said, if you are powerless in a situation, trust is irrelevant. Do you think that is the case all the time?
    Pila Mulligan: an example that comes to mind is John Dean and Richard Nixon -- is this too dated to be relevant?
    Adelene Dawner: If you're in a truly powerless situation, yeah... but those are pretty rare.
    Sylectra Darwin: Nothing is old or new in the context of our conversations here.
    Pila Mulligan: Nixon trusted Dean, but Dean 'poisoned' Nixon by being honest
    Sylectra Darwin: It's really hard to use politicians as examples for discussions of ethics (wink)...
    stevenaia Michinaga: grin
    Pila Mulligan: :) -- well, the plane that landed in the Hudson, then -- they trusted the pilot, and it was well-placed :)
    Neela Blaisdale: so is there a difference in trust when you're in a situation where you have no choice but to trust, like the pilot, from situations where its optional?
    Pila Mulligan: I think that was Ade's point
    Pila Mulligan: trust can be irrelevant
    Pila Mulligan: in some situations
    Adelene Dawner ponders more... "The action of trust is that a person with power will give some power to another person."
    Pila Mulligan: or a person with truth will give truth?
    Adelene Dawner: Truth's not all that closely related. If you tell someone the truth, and they don't believe you, they'll trust you *less*...
    Pila Mulligan: true
    Pila Mulligan: unless you were fibbing
    stevenaia Michinaga: so how would trust relate to BEING, something some of us accept as true, but is trust even involved (beyond trust?) does simple acceptance involve trust or ... what
    Pila Mulligan: but how about the case of Parsival?
    Adelene Dawner: The part that affects trust is whether they believe you or not, not whether it was truth or not.
    Pila Mulligan: he had the truth but failed to share it
    Pila Mulligan: not dishonestly, just oversight
    Sylectra Darwin: I don't think trust is related to power, Ade. That's just my opinion, but I feel that trust is just a conscious decision to let go of your sense of control of a situation and allow things to happen, without anxiety or expectation. Even if you are powerless in a situation you can choose to go with it, and experience less stress.
    Neela Blaisdale: Syl that would imply that one can trust in any situation and I don't think that's true
    Adelene Dawner: Okay, you found a kink in my definition. You don't have to give the power to a person. In that case, you're giving up your power of *possibly* (if an opportunity comes up) affecting the situation.
    Neela Blaisdale: There are times, such as in a dangerous or self destructive situation when that kind of "trust" might be harmful to onesself
    Adelene Dawner: *nods*
    Adelene Dawner: Very much so.
    Neela Blaisdale: I suppose having self trust in all situations would be a good goal
    Adelene Dawner: (There was a point in my life when that particular kind of power - power to keep looking for an opportunity to change things - was all I really had to use... and not giving it up saved my life.)
    Sylectra Darwin: All those are true and of course good advice for living.
    Pila Mulligan: it seems we have looked at trust from several different angles
    Sylectra Darwin: But speaking purely from a logical standpoint, it is possible to hold trust in a situation in which you are powerless (but hopefully not in danger) and still be able to influence the outcome of the situation?
    Sylectra Darwin: Vulnerability is a beautiful thing and many are susceptible to it. Trust and vulnerability go hand in hand.
    stevenaia Michinaga: quite the hypothetical, Syl
    Sylectra Darwin: Did any of you see "Holy Smoke" with Harvey Keitel?

    In this movie, a young lady who is rescued from a cult in India has to be "reprogrammed" by Harvey Keitel's character, but inexplicably at the very moment she is broken down and totally trusts him, he is so besotted by her vulnerability that he falls under her spell instead.

    Pila Mulligan: isn't that one of the purposes of prayer? (not that I pray, but I understand it to be based on influencing things)
    Adelene Dawner pokes at the last few minutes of conversation.
    Adelene Dawner: aren't "let go of your sense of control of a situation and allow things to happen" and "still be able to influence the outcome of the situation" kinda mutually exclusive, Syl? Or am I missing a layer of subtlety here?
    Pila Mulligan: there is subtlety there
    Pila Mulligan: it is close to the concept of wu wei
    Pila Mulligan: just being can influence things
    Sylectra Darwin: Well...
    Sylectra Darwin: ...smiles
    Pila Mulligan: being without intent included
    Sylectra Darwin: yes Pila, that's what I was getting at.
    Sylectra Darwin: You have to do it with no expectation of actually getting something out of it.
    Sylectra Darwin: More like an experiment than an effort.
    stevenaia Michinaga: or a way of life
    Sylectra Darwin: yea
    Adelene Dawner: hm. I'm still tripping over 'influence' - strongly implies 'intent', except in the sense where just-being does influence things, but the way just-being influences things is so unpredictable, it can't really be counted on to positively affect anything.
    Pila Mulligan: wu wei is not an absolute -- like on a bike, sometimes you pedal, sometimes you coast
    Pila Mulligan: part of learning to have faith or trust in nature is learing when to coast :)
    Adelene Dawner reads back *again*...
    Adelene Dawner: hm. That's part of it. I don't think 'powerless' really came through, where I brought it up. It's mutually exclusive by definition with 'be able to influence the situation'... and yes, I know that's really rare. *Really* rare.
    Sylectra Darwin: It's really a paradox. We trust and we give up power. Or do we?
    Sylectra Darwin: Maybe...devil's advocate...we DONT trust and we give up power. :)
    Adelene Dawner: Giving up some power isn't the same as giving up all power... and it's functionally impossible to go through life never trusting anything.
    stevenaia Michinaga: tell that to Stalin
    stevenaia Michinaga: well, you can't but
    Adelene Dawner: Not trusting one thing often leads to using another thing to protect you from the first thing... and giving power to that second thing in the process, which is rarely really a good idea.
    Sylectra Darwin: To trust something, do you have to completely trust? Or can you trust a little and does that still count?
    Adelene Dawner: It's certainly possible to trust someone or somthing to a degree but not completely.
    Sylectra Darwin: Intellectually, I see that completely, Adelene. Emotionally, I do not know how you can trust someone a little bit and not all the way.
    stevenaia Michinaga: it's actually easier to trust completely, less defenive layers to tend with
    Adelene Dawner: I trust that random people on the street aren't going to randomly flip out and stab me, but that doesn't mean I'd loan any of them $100 and expect it back.
    Sylectra Darwin: Yeah, you're right, haha.
    Sylectra Darwin: :)
    Adelene Dawner: :)
    Sylectra Darwin: I don't trust random people on the street. But maybe I should?
    stevenaia Michinaga: until they ask for 100 dollars
    Squee: Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
    Sylectra Darwin: Once when I was in college, a young traveling photographer named Jacob Holt gave a slide show of his photos of poverty in America.
    Neela Blaisdale: No one should reserve trust until you know the person
    Sylectra Darwin: He traveled across the poorest sections of the US, staying with these people and benefiting from their hospitality.
    Neela Blaisdale: otherwise could be unwise
    Adelene Dawner: It's all about balance.
    Sylectra Darwin: He was from a nice upper middle class family in the Netherlands.
    Sylectra Darwin: But he decided he would learn nothing by keeping himself safe from the people he wanted to photograph.
    Neela Blaisdale: yes but they weren't completely random if they offered him places to stay
    Adelene Dawner: Close enough, Nee.
    Sylectra Darwin: So he dove in all the way and trusted all of them completely. I remember being extremely alarmed that he did so. And yet he reported that they all took excellent care of him.
    Sophy: .
    Adelene Dawner: A lot of trust is situational, and I'm actually not surprised that that was his experience, in that situation.
    Adelene Dawner: Or, I should say, a lot of how people behave is situational.
    Sylectra Darwin: I am going to go out on a limb and say that based on my conversation with him after the slide show that he actually influenced the trustworthiness of these people by trusting them completely.
    Sylectra Darwin: I never saw anything like it before.
    Adelene Dawner: Reminds me a little bit of a study I read about, that was done in England...
    Sylectra Darwin: He talked about being in dicy situations wehre people got rough and were angry, and confronted him, but somehow he always defused the situation.
    Sylectra Darwin: Maybe the same guy?
    Sylectra Darwin: http://www.american-pictures.com/
    Sylectra Darwin: Still famous, it would seem. After, oh, gosh, 12 years?
    Adelene Dawner: They took two mailboxes, both in low crime areas, and made one look a little roughed up - spread litter around it, I think - and left envelopes with money showing through those little plastic windows, in them. The envelopes in the littered-near mailbox were stolen .... I don't remember how much more often, but a lot.
    Sylectra Darwin: How interesting.
    Sylectra Darwin: Like an unconscious invitation.
    Adelene Dawner: mmhmm
    Neela Blaisdale: well like when William Bratton got rid of the graffitti to clean up crime in the subways
    Neela Blaisdale: and it worked
    Adelene Dawner: still be able to influence the outcome of the situation
    Adelene Dawner: :P
    Adelene Dawner: http://seedmagazine.com/news/2009/01...gets_chaos.php
    Neela Blaisdale: Perception influeces outcome
    Neela Blaisdale: Much discussed in social psychology
    Adelene Dawner: mmhmm
    Adelene Dawner: There are strong social rules about treating guests, even if it's getting rarer to have them. I'm not surprised they worked for that photographer. Now, would those people be trustworthy in a less strongly dictated situation? I dunno.
    Neela Blaisdale: Also if anyone knows the Milgram and Zimbardo experiments, when you put people into extreme situations what they're capable of doing is surprising
    Adelene Dawner: *nods*
    Pila Mulligan: so if chaos begets chaos, as the website said, then maybe trust begets trust
    Adelene Dawner: The Stanforg prison experiment is actually a very good example of people giving up power because of trust... and they truly did give up their power there, as is obvious from the fact that even though any of the 'prisoners' could have left at any time, none of them did. They'd given up that power.
    Adelene Dawner: (And I think I maybe just disproved your point, Pila.)
    Pila Mulligan: well, wu wei is not absolute, either :)
    Adelene Dawner: :)
    Sylectra Darwin: nothing is absolute :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: well I must be off
    Sylectra Darwin: Leaving, Stevie?
    stevenaia Michinaga: steven is leaving, but I;m not leaving steve.. nevermind
    Sylectra Darwin: awww
    Neela Blaisdale: Night Steve
    Sylectra Darwin: well trust steve but don't give up your power.
    Sylectra Darwin: hehe
    stevenaia Michinaga: night all
    Pila Mulligan: bye Steve
    Sylectra Darwin: sweet dreams
    stevenaia Michinaga: rightio
    Adelene Dawner: 'night, Steve. n.n
    stevenaia Michinaga: night
    Neela Blaisdale: Me too, have a good night everyone
    Pila Mulligan: bye Neela
    Adelene Dawner: 'night, Nee,
    Sylectra Darwin: night neela
    Pila Mulligan: arf
    Sylectra Darwin: arf!
    Pila Mulligan: dogs sense trust
    Sylectra Darwin: talk about trust. Dogs embody it.
    Adelene Dawner: mew?
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: never trust a cat :)
    Adelene Dawner snerks.
    Pila Mulligan: exception: wingeed cats :)
    Adelene Dawner: Never trust someone who's never been trusted by a cat. ^.^
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Pila Mulligan: so you guys are really into more gnarly aspects of trust than I was contemplating
    Sylectra Darwin: Exception: Adelene cats.
    Adelene Dawner: Well, trust's been a big deal for me.
    Pila Mulligan: this chat had some heavy duty comments
    Sylectra Darwin: Trust is a very interesting topic, I think.
    Sylectra Darwin: yep :)
    Pila Mulligan: trust is very simple to me
    Pila Mulligan: but my life is very simple
    Pila Mulligan: so maybe that is why
    Adelene Dawner nods.
    Adelene Dawner: Mine.... wasn't.
    Pila Mulligan: hopefully that does not exclude isn't or won't be
    Pila Mulligan: 'Tis a Gift ot be Simple' -- the inaguration song
    Pila Mulligan: ... would be it be does not include?
    Pila Mulligan: too complex :)
    Adelene Dawner: It's simpler now. Has been for a while, actually. I've gotten a lot of work done on the idea of being able to trust people, in the last few years, that wouldn't've been possible if my life wasn't simpler.
    Pila Mulligan: cool
    Sylectra Darwin: I wish my life was simpler, but then I am learning some important things too so maybe it is not time for it to be simpler.
    Adelene Dawner: Still kinda freaks me out, though. But I'm working on it.
    Sylectra Darwin: Funny that it's work to learn to trust, as American adults. But it is, huh?
    Pila Mulligan: old Pila's thought is this-- trust yourself and be honest with yourself, brutally honest
    Adelene Dawner: Oh, I've always trusted myself. It's other people that are the problem.
    Adelene Dawner: Or were.
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Pila Mulligan: if others are trustworhty then that's how it is
    Pila Mulligan: fuck 'em, to be collquial
    Adelene Dawner: *nods* When you *can*, anyway. I couldn't. It did a lot of damage.
    Sylectra Darwin: grins
    Pila Mulligan: escaping a harmful situation, one of life's great challenegs
    Sylectra Darwin: do I have to edit out the F word? I think it is used with the proper gusto in this case.
    Adelene Dawner: When you have that little power... giving up *any* of it is dumb.
    Pila Mulligan: it would be appropriate to omit a few letters, perhaps
    Sylectra Darwin: hmm
    Sylectra Darwin: that might be changing art.
    Adelene Dawner: And it's still sinking in that I have enough power now that I can afford to give some away.
    Pila Mulligan: hopefully you can spell coloquial correctlty :)
    Sylectra Darwin: Ade, you have unlimited power, my dear :)
    Adelene Dawner chuckles.
    Pila Mulligan: well, theoretically maybe
    Sylectra Darwin: grins
    Adelene Dawner nods at Pila.
    Sylectra Darwin: well guys, I have an early morning tomorrow.
    Adelene Dawner: cya, Syl.
    Sylectra Darwin: What a wonderfully thought-provoking conversation!
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    Pila Mulligan: bye Syl
    Sylectra Darwin: Thanks so much for contributing.
    Pila Mulligan: thanks for gruadianing
    Sylectra Darwin: grins...anytime
    Pila Mulligan: :)
    Sylectra Darwin: and you as well, in your turns.

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