2009.05.21 19:00 - Meeting-related philosophy and Mike the headless chicken

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Sylectra Darwin. The comments are by Sylectra Darwin.

    I had arrived wearing a brightly colored flowery tunic with large puffy sleeves. 

    stevenaia Michinaga: great outfit, Sylectra
        Sylectra Darwin: thanks steven!
        Sylectra Darwin: welcome
        stevenaia Michinaga: Hi Pila
        Pila Mulligan: hi Sylectra and Steve
        stevenaia Michinaga: what's with the inflated arms? a fashion statement?
        Pila Mulligan: looks like a beach outfit
        Sylectra Darwin: hehe, i guess.
        stevenaia Michinaga: with built-n life preserver
        Sylectra Darwin: Really it's more a problem of prims that are too stiff.
        Sylectra Darwin: Pila, so good to see you :)
        Pila Mulligan: nice to see you again, too, Sylectra, how are you?
        Sylectra Darwin: I am well, thanks!
        Sylectra Darwin: I worked 11 hours today :(
        Pila Mulligan: ohh, busy day then
        stevenaia Michinaga: I only clocked 10 ending in the perfect meeting
        Pila Mulligan: the meeting was so good you didn't count it as clock time?
        Sylectra Darwin: what constitutes a perfect meeting?
        stevenaia Michinaga: no I turned off the clock after the meeting
        Pila Mulligan: a convergence of diversity resulting in a gestalt?
        Pila Mulligan: that would be a Perfect Meeting for Fritz Perls
        Sylectra Darwin: haha, pila!
        stevenaia Michinaga: I am working on a chapel, so you may be close
        Pila Mulligan: :)
        Pila Mulligan: hi kenji-san
        stevenaia Michinaga: never worked with a better functioning committee, a very rare thing
        stevenaia Michinaga: hello Kenji
        Pila Mulligan: nice to hear, Steve
        kenji Pookes: Hello, but I'm not Japanese.
        Pila Mulligan: :)
        Pila Mulligan: Texan?
        kenji Pookes: I live in Texas, but would not describe myself as a Texan.
        Pila Mulligan: -san works for Texans :)
        kenji Pookes: Never heard that.
        Pila Mulligan: hi genesis
        Sylectra Darwin: Hey Gen :)
        stevenaia Michinaga: hello genesis
        Sylectra Darwin: kenji, welcome
        kenji Pookes: Thanks
        genesis Zhangsun: Hi everyone!
        stevenaia Michinaga: kenji, what is ritual in SL?
        kenji Pookes: huh?
        stevenaia Michinaga: other than one of your interests in your profile
        kenji Pookes: Oh. Well, that's something I'd like to find out. But, for example, it is possible to attend church services, so I would think that would fit. I think there are clearly ritual performances, but I'm just beginning to look into this.
        Sylectra Darwin: So good to see you Gen :)
        genesis Zhangsun: nice to see you to Syl
        genesis Zhangsun: long time
        genesis Zhangsun: I never get a chance to come to the 7pm sessions
        Sylectra Darwin: very long indeed.
        Sylectra Darwin: I am struggling to get back to my routine and do the things that I found meaning in .
        stevenaia Michinaga: welcome to a 4x a day ritual that is over a year old
        stevenaia Michinaga: .smiles
        stevenaia Michinaga: have you been to many of these meetings?
        kenji Pookes: who?
        Sylectra Darwin: You , kenji :)
        kenji Pookes: Oh. A couple, not many.
        Pila Mulligan: kenji, san also works for Texans, it seems ... as I once visited Antonio San there
        kenji Pookes: You mean San Antonio?
        Pila Mulligan: huh?
        Pila Mulligan: is that it ... :)
        kenji Pookes: I got Antonio San. It's not too far from Austin.
        kenji Pookes: Yes it is San Antonio. Why were you there?
        Pila Mulligan: oh it was many years ago, on business
        Pila Mulligan: 1986
        kenji Pookes: What did you think?
        Pila Mulligan: last time I left Hawaii actually
        Pila Mulligan: I liked it
        Pila Mulligan: nice river
        Sylectra Darwin: ive been to San Antonio - it's favulous.
        kenji Pookes: Yes, the Riverwalk is quite nice.
        Pila Mulligan: the alamo looked like a garage, however
        Sylectra Darwin: The riverwalk is great.
        kenji Pookes: The Alamo is very boring.
        Sylectra Darwin: There's dancing and karaoke all the time.
        Sylectra Darwin: The Alamo is boring, indeed.
        Pila Mulligan: it was right below my hotel window
        kenji Pookes: But don't say that to a Texan, heshe will get quite upset.
        Pila Mulligan: I could not believe it was actually the Alamo
        kenji Pookes: Do you know that in Texas school children pledge alegience to the flag of Texas?
        Pila Mulligan: not surprising
        kenji Pookes: I was pretty surprised the first time I was at my son's school and they started doing it. I started laughing, which was not the right response, apparently.
        Pila Mulligan: my borther lives near Galveston, he seems to have adapted ok
        Sylectra Darwin: I am from Texas and I don't care.
        kenji Pookes: Tough plae during hurrican season.
        Pila Mulligan: but we were from Kentucky to start with so it was a step up
        kenji Pookes: Where in Texas, Sylectra?
        Sylectra Darwin: We did not pledge allegiance to the flag of TExas, you silly.
        Sylectra Darwin: I grew up in El Paso until I was about 13.
        Sylectra Darwin: Then I moved to Big Spring, in central TX, for another 5 years.
        kenji Pookes: Well, they do now. No joke.
        kenji Pookes: Big Spring. how far is that from Austin?
        Sylectra Darwin: It's a long ways
        kenji Pookes: Ys, Central TEas is big
        kenji Pookes: ANyone been to Austin (other than me)?
        Pila Mulligan: not I
        Pila Mulligan: Kenji, you actually inspried my old brain to some new thuoghts here a few nights ago, at the session with Eos as guardian
        kenji Pookes: Hmm. I don't get acused of that very often.
        Sylectra Darwin: I think everything in Texas is about 7 hours from everything else.
        Pila Mulligan: you were saying, as quite a few people have said, that perception and consciousness consist of processes in the brain
        Sylectra Darwin: It actually takes 10 hours to drive from one end of Texas to the other at the longest point.
        Sylectra Darwin: I've been to Austin (awesome, but hot in Summer)
        kenji Pookes: Well, I think that they do. And, yes, it takes 7 hours to get anywhere in Texas.
        kenji Pookes: Hot in August and September--over 100 just about every day.
        Pila Mulligan: after cogitating a while, it dawned on me that brain-like activity also takes place in the neurological structure of the autonomous nervous system that is located in the spine
        kenji Pookes: Pila, yes that is true.
        Pila Mulligan: further, traditional schools of yoga, contemplation and medicine, identify the spine as the locus of imporant elements of consciousness (e.g., the chakras and the susumna)
        kenji Pookes: Question: Where does the brain end?
        Pila Mulligan: soit got me to wondering if science and traditional contemplative views of consciousness perhaps find a closer relationship in this region?
        Pila Mulligan: where doe sthe brain end? do you know?
        kenji Pookes: I'm asking. By end, I don't mean "stop" I mean what is the end-point extended into the body of the brain? In other words, at what point do you call part of the body brain and part not brain?
        Sylectra Darwin: That's a good question, Pila.
        Sylectra Darwin: I'd say it ends lower for certain members of the human race.
        Sylectra Darwin snorts
        Pila Mulligan: well, it must end somewhere ore else it would be called the body
        Pila Mulligan: :)
        Pila Mulligan: foir some it may have yet to begin :)
        kenji Pookes: Well, that depends on how you want to carve up the body. not all cultures do it the way we do.
        Pila Mulligan: yes, that was kind of where I was congitating
        Pila Mulligan: cogitating*
        kenji Pookes: My, rather obtuse, point is that we tend to think of the brain as stopping at the spine. You raise a good point about brain-like activity in the spine. But the brain is extended throughout the entire body through the nerveous system. In one way of thinking, it doesn't really end anywhere, it permeates the body.
        Pila Mulligan: I googled autonomous nervous system and consciousness & perception and found an abstract of an arctilce from Harvard, but it cost $25 to see it and I did ont want to pay
        Pila Mulligan: http://arjournals.annualreviews.org/doi/abs/10.1146/annurev.neuro.25.032502.111311
        Pila Mulligan: but it seems form other sources that the ANS does contribute to perception
        kenji Pookes: I wouldn't pay $25 for an article. You can get it through a university for free, mostlikely.
        Pila Mulligan: hopefully
        kenji Pookes: Yes, it does. We tend to think of the body in parts, but it is, of course, an integrated whole.
        kenji Pookes: The divisions are as much cultural as they are biological.
        Pila Mulligan: if you compare a modern physiology map of the spine with an old yoga chart of the chakras you can see how their import may be similar
        kenji Pookes: That would be interesting.
        Pila Mulligan: map of the NAS that is
        Pila Mulligan: ANS
        Pila Mulligan: the spine is just the shell
        kenji Pookes: I dont' know much about yoga, although my wife does it.
        Sylectra Darwin: You know about Mike the chicken, right?
        Pila Mulligan: not I, Syl
        kenji Pookes: Although I think a variety of cultures have had a pretty good understnading of the nervous system. Chinese and accupuncture, for instance. Mike the chicken?
        stevenaia Michinaga: nope
        Sylectra Darwin: Mike is a chicken that was destined for the dinner table.
        kenji Pookes: I sense a bad joke coming on.
        Sylectra Darwin: The farmer selected Mike from the chicken yard, not having named him at that point.
        Sylectra Darwin: not a joke - it's real. I checked it uot.
        Sylectra Darwin: out.
        Pila Mulligan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_th...adless_Chicken
        kenji Pookes: So what did the farmer do with Mike?
        Sylectra Darwin: So the farmer tried to prepare Mike in the usual way one prepares a chicken to become roast chicken.
        Sylectra Darwin: And he missed.
        Sylectra Darwin: He cut off most of Mike's head and left part of the brain stem.
        Sylectra Darwin: What he had left was a chicken with a hole at the top of its neck.
        Sylectra Darwin: It healed.
        Sylectra Darwin: The farmer began dropping corn in through the hole.
        Sylectra Darwin: I am not sure how long Mike lived, but he became something of a freak show for this farmer.
        Pila Mulligan: wiki: "a Wyandotte rooster that lived for 18 months after its head had been cut off"
        Pila Mulligan: hi Nostrum
        kenji Pookes: Further proof that chickens are really, really dumb.
        Sylectra Darwin: Turns out chickens have the most important thinking bits really low down on on the neck.
        Nostrum Forder: Hi
        Sylectra Darwin: Hi Nossie!
        Nostrum Forder: Chickens.
        Nostrum Forder: Are food.
        Nostrum Forder: Not friends.
        kenji Pookes: Are you sure that Mike isn't an urban myth?
        Pila Mulligan: "Mike also spent his time preening and attempting to peck for food with his neck"
        Sylectra Darwin: I checked it out. It seems for real.
        kenji Pookes: I'll have to look into that. I'm skeptical, but it would be fascinating if it were true.
        Sylectra Darwin: If you go to Urban Legends web site you can see what was proven correct as well as what was debunked.
        Sylectra Darwin: Look into it. Let us know!
        Sylectra Darwin: It's been a while since I read that.
        Pila Mulligan: 5/12/99, Salon article :"Mike the Headless Chicken more popular than Clinton"
        Sylectra Darwin: I guess I believe it for the simple reason that chickens are stupid and don't really nee dtheir brains.
        Pila Mulligan: http://www.salon.com/people/col/reit...snl/index.html
        Nostrum Forder: anyway
        Nostrum Forder: everybody have a good evening.
        Sylectra Darwin: My Nossie :)
        Nostrum Forder: The bar is closing, and the batteries are running low.
        Nostrum Forder: So I'm off. 'nite.
        kenji Pookes: Good night.
        Sylectra Darwin: Nos has shattered the illusions of the evening.
        Sylectra Darwin: Yes I am stealing the free wifi in a restaurant.
        kenji Pookes: What illusions?
        Sylectra Darwin: But I did insist on a restaurant that has wifi.
        Pila Mulligan: :)
        kenji Pookes: So what are you eating?
        Pila Mulligan: chicken?
        Sylectra Darwin: The illusion of being a dedicated guardian waiting at home for my meeting.
        Sylectra Darwin: hahaha!
        Sylectra Darwin: No, I had penne vodka.
        Sylectra Darwin: mmmmmmm
        kenji Pookes: OK, what is a "guardian"?
        Sylectra Darwin: A guardian is a volunteer with Play as Being.
        kenji Pookes: What do you guard?
        Sylectra Darwin: Many of the guardians lead meetings like this one.
        Sylectra Darwin: Nothing, in particular, LOL
        Sylectra Darwin: I guess I guard the open forum.
        Sylectra Darwin: The free exchange of ideas.
        kenji Pookes: Good. I was afraid I'd find out you are guarding the Truth.
        Sylectra Darwin: nah, I dont take myself so seriously anymore. It's more compatible with my self image that way.
        genesis Zhangsun: and what if we were? ;)
        kenji Pookes: I've never managed to take myself seriously. What if we were what, Gen?
        Pila Mulligan: want to buy some truth?
        Sylectra Darwin: We certainly can, Gen!
        Pila Mulligan: hi Rowan
        Sylectra Darwin: Guys, I do have to go. Hey Rowan!!
        Sylectra Darwin: hehe
        Sylectra Darwin: We've paid the bill and have to go.
        genesis Zhangsun: Hi Rowan
        Sylectra Darwin: But I claimed the log so feel free to stay and chat.
        Rowan Masala smiles
        Pila Mulligan: bye Sylectra, nice to see you
        Sylectra Darwin: And dish me if you want.
        Sylectra Darwin: haha
        Sylectra Darwin: Nice to see you ALL!
        genesis Zhangsun: bye Syl
        Sylectra Darwin: A delightful evening.
        kenji Pookes: Good evening, Syl.
        Rowan Masala: 'night, Sylectra
        Sylectra Darwin: evening :)
        kenji Pookes: I find it intriguing that in SL, we tend to get up and walk away before we teleport out.
        Rowan Masala: that is interesting!
        stevenaia Michinaga: hello Rowan
        kenji Pookes: I noticed myself doing it the other day and wondered why. IS it a transfer or RL into SL? Is it related to a concept of manners?
        stevenaia Michinaga: I usually fly up
        Rowan Masala: I think the getting up part may be a remnant from the fact that a year or two ago if you weren't standing when you TPed you ended up in whatever position you were in when you got to the new place
        kenji Pookes: Why not just poof out from where we are sitting?
        genesis Zhangsun: well you reappear where you were when you sign back in
        kenji Pookes: But I wasn't doing SL then, so that won't work for me. Maybe I'm just odd.
        Pila Mulligan: hi Nalie
        genesis Zhangsun: i sort of like to reappear on the periphery not in the middle of the conversation
        genesis Zhangsun: hi Nalie
        kenji Pookes: Hello Nalie
        Pila Mulligan: yes, gen, and it is too easy to sit on some one when your rezzing is slow
        Nalie Inaka: Hello
        stevenaia Michinaga: hehe
        stevenaia Michinaga: I do that alot
        kenji Pookes: So it is a matter of being polite?
        Pila Mulligan: yep, good SL manners
        kenji Pookes: Ritualized behavior in SL. Hmm.
        genesis Zhangsun: whats the interest in rituals kenji?
        kenji Pookes: What do you mean?
        genesis Zhangsun: I think they are fascinating too
        genesis Zhangsun: what it is it that particularly interests you about rituals
        kenji Pookes: I am a professor of religious studies and much of my research focuses on how people use ritual to achieve certain ends.
        stevenaia Michinaga: use=manpulate?
        genesis Zhangsun: neat, like? examples?
        kenji Pookes: Yes, manipulate, but also simply by doing ritual one can achieve a goal (like getting married).
        kenji Pookes: I'm particularly interested in how feelings of close connectedness arise in ritual performance. Other parts of my work relate to power structures and ritual.
        Rowan Masala: do you work at all with tantric sex rituals?
        Rowan Masala: speaking of connectedness
        genesis Zhangsun: do you Rowan? :)
        Rowan Masala smiles enigmatically
        kenji Pookes: No, I work on more daily types of ritual. Quite a bit of my work is focused on ancestor veneration in Japan.
        genesis Zhangsun: so why do feelings of close connectedness arise from ritual?
        kenji Pookes: "Daily' wasn't quite the right word there.
        genesis Zhangsun: I agree that it does but why?
        kenji Pookes: They don't always, and it is not clear why this can happen. Victor Turner has written a lot on the notion of communitas (as he calls it) which is a feeling of transcendence that arises in a ritual performance. It is related to the formation of anti-structure in the context of ritual.
        genesis Zhangsun: anti structure care to explain?
        genesis Zhangsun: it sounds a little counterintuitive, rituals being so structured
        kenji Pookes: That will take a while, but the short of it is that, according to Turner, rituals provide a context in which structure is muted or in some cases transcended. For example, in a football game, at one level the social status of the audience is muted by the fact that they are all fans of the game and a team.
        kenji Pookes: Soial status still exists, but for the context of the ritual, tht may be set aside and two people of very different social status may operate as equals.
        kenji Pookes: That is one example of anti-structure.
        genesis Zhangsun: that is interesting
        genesis Zhangsun: so with structure (ritual) people can experience more freedom
        kenji Pookes: There are some problems with Turner's approach, but it is interesting.
        genesis Zhangsun: I sense that too
        kenji Pookes: Yes, that is part of Turner's idea. Structure provides a means to experience a kind of freedom. But when you look at ritual, it can also do other things, such as reinforcing the same hierarchies it transcends.
        genesis Zhangsun: I have heard the ability to take structure than to push it one step further is what we call "genius"
        genesis Zhangsun: for example, every good artist, musician whatever learns the structure of a given discipline or art form but then takes that a step further in some way
        kenji Pookes: Structure is certainly fundamental to all creativity.
        genesis Zhangsun: yes but also letting loose is fundamental to creativity as well
        genesis Zhangsun: so it is something about the relationship
        kenji Pookes: But letting loose within the framework of a structure.
        genesis Zhangsun: yes exactly
        genesis Zhangsun: evolution
        genesis Zhangsun: or revolution ;)
        stevenaia Michinaga: I msut go, see you soon
        Rowan Masala: bye, Steven
        genesis Zhangsun: bye Steve
        Pila Mulligan: bye Steve
        genesis Zhangsun: I once heard someone say that art is either revolution or its just imitation
        kenji Pookes: Music is a good example. Stravinsky's Rites of Spring was a bomb when it debuted in France. It was too far outside of the norm for music at the time--t pushed the structure too far. Eventually, people caught up and it is now thought of as one of the great works of the 20th Century.
        genesis Zhangsun: or maybe I read that not sure
        genesis Zhangsun: yes!
        kenji Pookes: JAzz is another good example. Some people who don't know jazz well think the musicians are up there improvising freely. In fact, they have a very clearly defined form, out of whey they are able to innovate.
        Rowan Masala: I need to go. Goodnight, all
        genesis Zhangsun: night Rowan
        kenji Pookes: Good night.
        Rowan Masala poofs without standing or walking away
        genesis Zhangsun: I recognize this also in meditation
        genesis Zhangsun: along with the ritual of just sitting, repeating mantra there is a freedom
        kenji Pookes: Yes, I think so. Meditation certainly is a ritualized behavior.
        kenji Pookes: Well, I'm getting tired. Nice talking with y'all!
        Pila Mulligan: bye Kenji
        genesis Zhangsun: nice talking with you too kenji
        genesis Zhangsun: bye!
        kenji Pookes: See you again, I'm sure.
        genesis Zhangsun: bye Pila!
        genesis Zhangsun: I am off too
        Pila Mulligan: bye gen

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