2009.11.22 13:00 - On Forgiveness

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    The Guardian for this meeting was Maxine Walden. The comments are by Maxine Walden.

    (I've added Maxine's statements after I arrived a quarter-hour late, could someone who was there earlier please add in what she said before I arrived? Wol)

    This is a complex session with some autorecording snafus: all of Maxine Walden's statements were deleted (I have put a few back, but could not recall them all so thought it best not to try too hard), many of Eliza Madrigal's statements were given twice  (and thus I tried to delete the doubles) and there were a few other things.  I have tried my best to just record the session as it came through, but wanting to reader to know that the whole conversation, all the voices, were for some reason not included.

    Still there is a good discussion about aspects of forgiveness and various ways to think about the issue.  

    Also I have deleted most of the intros and grettings. 


    Mickorod Renard: I have missed your dream sessions
    Calvino Rabeni: Will those continue, Maxine?
    Eliza Madrigal: (may have to do some guardian slot shuffling in pab for those who want to attend)
    Eliza Madrigal: We can always talk about dreams here too, I'm sure? :)
    Mickorod Renard: hiya Bol
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Zon :)
    Zon Quar: hi all
    Eliza Madrigal: It would help me to have a dreams discussion perhaps... has been at least a week that I've remembered anything.. feel cloudy
    Eliza Madrigal: so would love to hear from others :)
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Zon
    Eliza Madrigal: yes maybe putting out feelers... I think I remembered Mick mentioning something...
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Mickorod Renard: Darn, I could sense where this was going,,:)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Wol :)
    Wol Euler: hello everyone
    Eliza Madrigal giggles at Mick
    Mickorod Renard: well,,I am worried that it would not fit into PaB chosen subjects
    Mickorod Renard: maybe it should wait till the new year
    Eliza Madrigal: Our dreams discussions have been among the most vibrant at times.. think they are surely among our topics.. real life events we look at in a playful/open way...
    Calvino Rabeni: not to compatmentalize too much
    Mickorod Renard: ok,,if you all want to hear my dream
    Maxine Walden: It seems to me, Mick, that we might see if others had some PaB related items they wished to discuss. And if not, we could consider aspects of dreams if everyone agreed
    Wol Euler smiles
    Mickorod Renard: thats a good idea
    Maxine Walden: So, are there some PaB items, issues, questions, observations anyone would like to bring?
    Mickorod Renard: I have aa question
    Maxine Walden: yes, Mick
    Mickorod Renard: is forgivness a good quality or is it just a load of bull to keep people tame?
    Mickorod Renard: oops
    Yakuzza Lethecus: hey everyone
    Wol Euler: hello adams
    Adams Rubble waves quietly to everyone
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Adams :)

    Not being quite sure but sensing this as an important question to Mick, I try to check.  The following discussion reveals the many perspectives on forgiveness depending upon the state of mind of the one considering offering forgiveness

    Maxine Walden: Mick, is that a serious question you are raising?
    Mickorod Renard: yes
    Mickorod Renard: isnt it appropriate?
    Bolonath Crystal: in my opinion it is a good qulity, mick. if we forgive somebody, we actually help ourselves with that
    Bolonath Crystal: hello adams
    Eliza Madrigal: forgiveness for others is a gift we give to free ourselves... not to be cliche' ...
    Wol Euler nods to Bolo. Agreed, it's for our benefit, not theirs.
    Mickorod Renard: so its selfish?
    Wol Euler: it gives us closure, frees us from carrying anger and resentment
    Eliza Madrigal: No, the self can't do it.. impossible for the self
    Eliza Madrigal: maybe
    Bolonath Crystal: not neccessarily so, mick
    Bolonath Crystal: it is a psychological cleaning

    Mick expresses the common concern of those caught in identifying with the resentment or pain stirred by the offending issue which is needing to be forgiven: forgiveness seems to be a betrayal of that pain or grief

    Mickorod Renard: I do pretty well with it,,but I do think people take advantage of it,,and I am not a natural forgiver,,it takes lots to control whats inside me
    Wol Euler: well, forgiveness doesn't mean that you forget :)
    Bolonath Crystal: i feel with you, mick ;) well, let us let other people take advantage of us
    Mickorod Renard: but how honest are we with ourselves?
    Maxine Walden: Several responses suggest that forgiveness is freeing ...but that is not your experience, Mick
    Mickorod Renard: do we not sometimes forgive cos we cannot do what we realy want to
    Calvino Rabeni: or is that "tolerate"
    Zon Quar: to forgive is an attitude
    Mickorod Renard: I have truly forgiven heaps,,and forgot,,but some things I feel I was expected to forgive or ,,the alternative was terible
    Zon Quar: u may still act in a way tha corrects others behaviour
    Wol Euler: ah, so yur question is about coercion, not about forgiveness...
    Mickorod Renard: I wonder whether forgivness is perjhaps a conspiracy to control the masses
    Maxine Walden: Forgiveness 'or else', in some circumstances. Mick? Yes, does seem like coercion, as Wol suggests
    Maxine Walden: Ah, what does that mean, Mick, conspiracy?
    Eliza Madrigal: The best thing may be to be able to forgive and fully be present in that forgiveness, which implies honesty... maybe not 'fluffy'...something real
    Eliza Madrigal: The best thing may be to be able to forgive and fully be present in that forgiveness, which implies honesty... maybe not 'fluffy'...something real
    Mickorod Renard: well,,like a conditioning,,or domesticating
    Maxine Walden: somehow cutting off some of the sharper, more aggressive aspects?
    Zon Quar: if someone acts badly...u should forgive urself that u got hurt form that behaviorr and let the other control ur emotions
    Mickorod Renard: yes..the more complete I feel the more honest I feel I am,,and as such still am at odds with certain issues
    Adams Rubble: Maybe we need to put things behind us rather than "forgive". Forgiveness may be one way to do that
    Adams Rubble: become unattached to whatever it is that happened
    Mickorod Renard: I am lying if I say that I have forgiven everyone,,as inside I have not
    Eliza Madrigal: Seems to me that's when it is real Mick... not forgiving as a way of avoidance but as engagement and letting go
    Eliza Madrigal: Seems to me that's when it is real Mick... not forgiving as a way of avoidance but as engagement and letting go
    Calvino Rabeni: Mick, do you feel forgiveness requires a sacrifice?
    Zon Quar: what is forgiving ?
    Mickorod Renard: yes,,I understand the principal,,but how true are we to ourselves
    Eliza Madrigal: depends on the day...hehe
    Mickorod Renard: exactly
    Zon Quar: what do u mean about forgiving
    Mickorod Renard: well,,some things are trivial,,forgivness is easy
    Zon Quar: accapting ?
    Bolonath Crystal: looking at karma, all must be forgiven before enlightenment can happen. so i'd say it is a good quality
    Mickorod Renard: accepting and moving on without resentment

    Eliza expresses how letting go helps

    Eliza Madrigal: I'm half kidding, but I do think this is why we practice letting go of what we have (maybe problems, grudges, confusions, anger) to see what we are...
    Eliza Madrigal: I'm half kidding, but I do think this is why we practice letting go of what we have (maybe problems, grudges, confusions, anger) to see what we are...
    Eliza Madrigal: so that becomes more natural :)
    Zon Quar: shouldn u accept all that happens...
    Zon Quar: and forgive all
    Mickorod Renard: maybe,,that is the question
    Eliza Madrigal: well but are we motivated by what we 'should' do? Really at the heart of things?
    Adams Rubble: We can have compasssion for someone's else's ignorance that caused them to cause hurt to another
    Mickorod Renard: or are you being hoodwinked?
    Eliza Madrigal nods to Adams
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Ara :)
    arabella Ella: hiya
    Wol Euler: perhaps I'm using the word in a different sense, but I see two separate things here.
    Mickorod Renard: hi Ara
    Zon Quar: acting and forgiving r 2 different things
    Zon Quar: forgive is inner attitudeto accept the situation without judging..actionggis the proper way stop more damage in that situation ?
    Wol Euler: forgiving someone for thier actions is NOT the same as condoning what they did.
    Mickorod Renard: its very easy to forgive ones own children,,but can you see that you could forgive anything?
    Maxine Walden: Perhaps Mick feels that he has to cover over, or quell angry, or aggressive elements and 'forgive' the other for having stirred up those angry aspects.
    Maxine Walden: But if the angry aspects do not get some respectful recognition, but Mick, he might feel hoodwinked, or foolish about bypassing them in so-called 'forgiveness'
    Mickorod Renard: dificult to say,,I just think that I have forgiven lots,,and wondered whether I am being duped
    Maxine Walden: Being duped by who, Mick?
    Wol Euler: duped how? do the same events recur?
    Calvino Rabeni: Mick, I like the social framework around what you are asking about forgiveness
    Zon Quar: sry, gtg in the middle of interesting discussion, bye all
    Wol Euler: bye zon
    Mickorod Renard: bye Zon
    Bolonath Crystal: cu zon
    Eliza Madrigal: yes anger doesn't have to be labeled 'unspeakable'...there are times to be angry and there is something wonderful about not getting stuck there when you are
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Zon :)
    Calvino Rabeni: That social framework is an alternative to the spiritual
    Eliza Madrigal: hmm
    Mickorod Renard: Stim used the word wrath once
    Eliza Madrigal: yes, what I was thinking
    Mickorod Renard: he said wrath was ok
    Wol Euler: interesting.
    Mickorod Renard: but then wrath is short lived and fades away
    Eliza Madrigal: its a matter of shedding it after the moment it fits is over
    Mickorod Renard: yes
    Wol Euler: is that a disadvantage, mick? its fading?
    Adams Rubble nods
    Eliza Madrigal: not carrying it over..so you don't make yourself and anyone else ill
    Mickorod Renard: well, I think that worksd well
    Calvino Rabeni: everybody likes the topic
    Wol Euler: :)
    Mickorod Renard: but even wrath can be devastating
    Mickorod Renard: but then pretending to forgive is worse I think
    Wol Euler: oh, absolutely.
    Maxine Walden: Wonder if we are trying to think about our acceptance of our own feelings, wrath, anger, resentment, etc... before 'forgiveness'
    Eliza Madrigal: there is perhaps a difference between pretending to forgive and honestly trying and there is still something that seems to stick.. takes a while to keep letting go
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Storm :)
    Storm Nordwind: Hi!
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Steve :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Hi Steve :)
    Maxine Walden: Hi, Storm, we are discussing forgiveness, and Mick is offering some questions and concerns about this...
    Storm Nordwind: Thank you Maxine
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello
    Bolonath Crystal: hi steve
    stevenaia Michinaga: :)
    Wol Euler: hello steve
    Maxine Walden: but also how we relate to feelings that may seem to go against forgiveness
    Mickorod Renard: Hi Steve
    Maxine Walden: Mick has been bringing up important questions here

    But then, quite suddenly, in what feels like the midst of serious discussion of his concerns, Mick says he has to leave, and the rest of us are a bit startled as such a quick exit when we are still concerned with what he had been asking the group to consider.

    Mickorod Renard: I have to leave..sorry
    Wol Euler: awwwwwww
    Wol Euler: bye mick, take care.
    Storm Nordwind waves
    Eliza Madrigal pouts
    Eliza Madrigal: hehe, Bye Mick :)
    Mickorod Renard: thanks,,and you
    Maxine Walden: And one thing seems to be our honesty and respect for our feelings, seeing them clearly ...oh, bye Mick.
    Mickorod Renard: bye
    Maxine Walden: (wondering if our discussion helped Mick in his questioning, or not)
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Storm Nordwind: We can see them clearly and accept them. It's often the case people identify with them, and that can be a source of problems I suspect
    Wol Euler: I hope so, but I also hope he reads the rest of the log :)
    Maxine Walden: agree, Wol
    Wol Euler: to me forgiveness does not mean condoning what happened
    Wol Euler: if I forgive you for scratching my car, it does not give you permission to do that again
    Storm Nordwind: I was unaware, Wol, that forgiveness had anything to do with permission outside of oneself! :)
    Maxine Walden: yes, Storm, think that is partly what was troubling to Mick, identifying with the strong feelings, which then trigger a sense of 'how foolish' to forgive
    Wol Euler: I had the feeling that Mick was talking about that, though. that he felt pressured to accept events that he disliked
    Storm Nordwind nods to Maxine
    Wol Euler: and which then recurred
    Storm Nordwind: Sure Wol. Thanks
    Maxine Walden: agree, Wol
    arabella Ella: but if someone repeatedly gets to be forgiven again and again ... the whole scenario changes doesnt it?
    Storm Nordwind: I think I decided long ago that not forgiving meant a huge waste of energy for me, and was a short and long term health hazard
    Maxine Walden: perhaps muse on forgiveness this pause?
    Wol Euler: yes storm, that is the first and best reason for forgiving
    Wol Euler: I think Mick felt manipulated.
    Maxine Walden: Maniuplated by what, Wol?
    Adams Rubble: not the first and best but one which we easily recognize benefits us
    Wol Euler: by the requirement that he forgive without expressing what he felt about the event (as I understood him)
    Adams Rubble: because we do not always see others as part of us
    arabella Ella: Wol Euler: yes storm, that is the first and best reason for forgiving

    For some reason the time stamp came in here for several lines. (Maxine, that was Arabella quoting from the chat log for Storm's benefit. Wol)

    [13:46] Wol Euler: I think Mick felt manipulated. [13:47] Maxine Walden: Maniuplated by what, Wol? [13:48] Adams Rubble: not the first and best but one which we easily recognize benefits us [13:48] Wol Euler: by the requirement that he forgive without expressing what he felt about the event (as I understood him)
    Wol Euler: as Ara said, if the forgiven person turns around and does the same thing again, the second time is a diferent matter to the first
    arabella Ella: yes
    arabella Ella: that could be a big problem
    Storm Nordwind: perhaps that's because, Wol, the benfits of forgiving are soley for the forgiver (though I don't expect everyone to agree with that! ;)
    arabella Ella: plus
    arabella Ella: when something goes wrong in life and we forget
    arabella Ella: then
    arabella Ella: the whole scenario changes
    arabella Ella: we can never find 'paradise regained'
    Adams Rubble: No Storm :)
    arabella Ella: which is what some may expect
    Adams Rubble: Not ALL the benefits
    Adams Rubble: most of tthe benefit
    Storm Nordwind: We'll have to agree to strongly disagree Adams! :)
    Wol Euler: :)
    arabella Ella: being forgiven may also massage a guilty conscience
    Adams Rubble: :)
    Adams Rubble: Our actions radiate out from us Storm :)
    Adams Rubble: cause waves
    Adams Rubble: we do not always know the results of those waves
    Storm Nordwind: The wave changes according to the values, perceptions and needs of who experiences it a it goes by Adams. What starts out as benign may injure some and benefit others
    Eliza Madrigal thinks of compassion as forgiven things, even atrocious, knowing that they were done in ignorance and reactive blindness... which doesn't mean that the acts themselves are 'forgiveable'... but the people trapped in them, in a sense
    Maxine Walden: differing persepctives, perhaps about the same phenomena...
    Adams Rubble: Storm and I are comfortable disagreeing :)
    Storm Nordwind smiles
    Bolonath Crystal: sorry, gtg
    Maxine Walden: that is apparent, Adams
    Storm Nordwind: Bye Bolo!
    Wol Euler: 'night bolo, take care
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Bolo :)
    Eliza Madrigal: Bye Bolo :)
    Bolonath Crystal: om shanti :)
    arabella Ella: I must go too
    Storm Nordwind: Namaste
    Adams Rubble: bye Bolo
    arabella Ella: nite all
    Yakuzza Lethecus: bye bolo
    Eliza Madrigal: Om Shanti
    Eliza Madrigal: Nite Ara
    Wol Euler: bye ara
    Adams Rubble: bye Arabella
    Yakuzza Lethecus: bye are
    Calvino Rabeni: I have not read all the logs. Does this PAB group look much at the topic of emotions? It can be a way to hold forgiveness a bit lightly.
    Maxine Walden: I have to leave as well, another meeting. It feels that the conversation still has a ways to go...
    Storm Nordwind chuckles

    I have to leave

    Eliza Madrigal nods. Thanks Maxine :)
    Yakuzza Lethecus: bye maxine
    Storm Nordwind waves
    Adams Rubble: bye Maxine
    Wol Euler: bye maxine, take care, amd thank you
    Maxine Walden: look forward to seeing the whole log...bye all
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye, thx Max
    Eliza Madrigal: I'm not sure we've focused on emotions as a topic, Calvino...
    Calvino Rabeni: it is a fertile one
    Eliza Madrigal: but of course they're always in there :)
    Adams Rubble: If we think of ourselves as all connected than our actions have an important effect to more than ourselves
    Calvino Rabeni: they are out there also
    Eliza Madrigal: :)
    Eliza Madrigal: I must get going... Thanks all, for this session and topic :) Bye for now
    Wol Euler: bye eliza, take care
    Yakuzza Lethecus: bye eliza
    Adams Rubble: bye Eliza :)
    Storm Nordwind: Do you think, Calvino, that emotions can be radiated in some way, and be picked up unwittingly by others?
    Calvino Rabeni: in a sense, Storm
    Adams Rubble: I am afraid I must go to. Nice to chat with all :)
    Adams Rubble: bye :)
    Storm Nordwind: Bye Adams
    Wol Euler: goodnight adams, take care
    Calvino Rabeni: Thanks Adams
    Yakuzza Lethecus: bye adams bye everyone
    Wol Euler: calvino, come and join us :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: waves
    Storm Nordwind: Don't be afraid... ;)
    Wol Euler: :)
    Wol Euler: when a parent forgives a child for breaking a vase, it also tells the kid why that was wrong and that it must not happen again.
    stevenaia Michinaga: but is the forgiveness for the child or the parent or both?
    Storm Nordwind: Yes Wol. But the two things you mention are independent. Any one could happen without the other
    Wol Euler: true enough
    stevenaia Michinaga: sorry i missed the initial premise of Mick's
    Calvino Rabeni: WHo are you not forgiving, and why?
    Calvino Rabeni: Perhaps that was the implicit premise
    Wol Euler:  Mickorod Renard: is forgivness a good quality or is it just a load of bull to keep people tame?
    Calvino Rabeni: It gets confsing because of the perosnal aspect and the social one
    Wol Euler: that's how it all began
    Wol Euler: Mickorod Renard: do we not sometimes forgive cos we cannot do what we realy want to
    Storm Nordwind: The recommendation to ask for forgiveness and perhaps to feel guilt without that forgiveness could certainly fuel Mick's second 'bull' suggestion! :)
    Storm Nordwind: But this is where I differ from Adams, because I see the benefit of forgiving going to the forgiver
    Storm Nordwind: In fact, the notion of forgiveness seems a step away from what's real to me
    Calvino Rabeni: whereas (how do you describe Adams' different opinion)
    stevenaia Michinaga: I often for give someone for me as a form of acceptance, as the alternative creates much "internal" pressure"
    Storm Nordwind: Adams has a Christian background, calvino, which I respect but do not hold myself
    Calvino Rabeni: Say more, what is the disagreement
    Storm Nordwind: For a Christian, the act of being forgiven is at least as important as that of forgiving
    Calvino Rabeni: :) well they "outsource" that part of it
    Storm Nordwind: Both are said by 100s of millions every day in the Lord's Prayer
    Storm Nordwind smiles at Calvino!
    Wol Euler: I think the disagreement is about one word :) Storm said that thte benefits of forgiveness acrue *solely* to the forgiver, Adams thinks the forgiven also benefits.
    Calvino Rabeni: Lords Prayer has both fogiving and being forgiven in it.
    Storm Nordwind: That's because I am a believer in karma Wol
    Storm Nordwind: Yes Calvino. That's what I said. It's ingrained in the religion
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't agree with the Solely part
    Calvino Rabeni: So the prayer seems more holistic
    Storm Nordwind: It may be holistic, but is it a practical representation of reality?
    Wol Euler: I always saw that as being a statement of our imperfection :)
    Wol Euler: we are wronged, but we also wrong others.
    Wol Euler: almost inevitably, without malice, through inattentiveness or accident
    Calvino Rabeni: I would say practical
    Storm Nordwind: We never fully know the harm, or good, we do others
    Wol Euler: mhmm
    Wol Euler: all the more reason not to assume that somebody who harms us, meant to do so!
    Calvino Rabeni: but what is the buddhist position on sangha
    Wol Euler: which is why (to storm) the forgiveness and the explanation of the wrong go togehter
    Storm Nordwind: I used to like to use Hanlon's Razor Wol: "Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity." :)
    Wol Euler: exactly
    Storm Nordwind does not understand Calvino's question about sangha
    Calvino Rabeni: I'm still curious about the wordl *solely* in what you said earlier, is that important?
    Calvino Rabeni: Is that the crux of the "disagreement"
    stevenaia Michinaga: dinner time for me, thank you
    Wol Euler: bye steve, bon appetit
    Storm Nordwind: Well the diagreement as such is not important. We have many different views, Adams and I!
    stevenaia Michinaga: (almost set the kitchen on fire) :)
    Calvino Rabeni: what is the important distinction there, the one you are interested in?
    Storm Nordwind: But from the point of view of karma, does the committer of a crime still have to face consequences if he is forgiven?
    Wol Euler: aaaah, I see your point.
    Wol Euler: yes, he does, because his action damages his own soul as much as the other's property.
    Calvino Rabeni: I'd guess Yes, but am not familiar with karma theory
    Storm Nordwind: Indeed Wol. The point is that the forgiver no longer has to face the consequences of a future action of retaliation or lesser grudge
    Storm Nordwind: So the benefit is with the forgiver
    Wol Euler nods
    Storm Nordwind: He has caught karmic ball and is not throwing it back at anyone
    Storm Nordwind: The rebound stop there!
    Wol Euler: heheheh
    Calvino Rabeni: seems there is a benefit to the forgiven
    Wol Euler: I agree that the reason to forgive is that not doing so damages your own life.
    Calvino Rabeni: by the act of being forgiven
    Storm Nordwind: What is the benefit Calvino?
    Wol Euler: I think the Christian attitude is one of hope, that the forgiven may be shamed into repentance and behvioural change.
    Storm Nordwind: It shows a good example to the one forgiven, I agree
    Calvino Rabeni: the forgiven can act that is free of the possibility of being retaliated upon. It clears the air for all
    Storm Nordwind: Only by the person forgiving. The debt (if you like to use that metaphor) is still there
    Wol Euler: calvino, there is something in what you say :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Well if you were angry at me for something, and then forgave me (for example) I'd feel a sense of being released.
    Calvino Rabeni: Not fully of course.
    Wol Euler: consider the place and time that Jesus was in: an eye for an eye, blood feuds.
    Wol Euler: forgiveness was a revolutionary doctrine in that place.
    Calvino Rabeni: yes indeed
    Calvino Rabeni: the doctrine helped
    Calvino Rabeni: and probably still does
    Storm Nordwind: Well Calvino, if you had given me cause to be angry but I declined to be angry and shrugged it off, you would still have the karmic debt. It would simply not be me that repaid you
    Calvino Rabeni: I hava a hard time following the economic metaphor
    Storm Nordwind: Forgiveness does not absolve responsibility for past actions. Is that an easier way to look at it?
    Calvino Rabeni: OK, maybe I could refocus my "repayment" in other places than you, knowing you did not actually hold a charge about it.
    Wol Euler: oh, storm, I agree entirely with that :) I might forgive you while still expecting you to go to jail :)
    Storm Nordwind: yes Calvino, that would be fine of course!
    Wol Euler: (the general "you" ;)
    Calvino Rabeni: So the forgivenes would help me do that.
    Calvino Rabeni: which seems really useful
    Storm Nordwind: I don't know Cal. A debt is a debt is a debt and has to be repaid some time I feel
    Storm Nordwind: However, the idea of karma does not preclude the idea of being able to purify karma
    Storm Nordwind: But that could be a long discussion, and my tummy is rumbling!
    Calvino Rabeni: I think economics is a metaphor that kind of narrows things too much
    Calvino Rabeni: Sure, it is worth continuing sometime.
    Wol Euler is reminded of Jean Valjean
    Storm Nordwind: Sure. It can easily be a finger pointing at he moon
    Wol Euler: (a deeply christian and moralizing example :)
    Wol Euler: wikipedia: Les Misérables contains many plots, but the main thread is the story of ex-convict, Jean Valjean (known by his prison number, 24601), who becomes a force for good in the world, but cannot escape his dark past."
    Calvino Rabeni: AH
    Calvino Rabeni: what is the parable about then?
    Wol Euler: that covers both bases, repentance and karma :)
    Storm Nordwind: I never rated the music, so I never knew any of the plots :)
    Wol Euler: I read the book as a kid and loved it
    Storm Nordwind: Ah, you were lucky then :)
    Wol Euler: "The story starts in 1815, in Toulon. The peasant Jean Valjean has just been released from imprisonment in the Bagne of Toulon after nineteen years: five for stealing bread for his starving sister and his family, and fourteen more for numerous escape attempts. Upon being released, he is required to carry a yellow passport that marks him as a convict, despite having already paid his debt to society by serving his time in jail. Rejected by innkeepers, who do not want to take in a convict, Valjean sleeps on the street. This makes him even more angry and bitter. However, the benevolent Bishop Myriel, the Bishop of Digne, takes him in and gives him shelter. In the middle of the night, he steals the bishop's silverware and runs. He is caught, but the bishop rescues him by claiming that the silverware was a gift and at that point gives him his two silver candlesticks as well, chastising him to the police for leaving in such a rush that he forgot these most valuable pieces. The bishop then "reminds" him of the promise, which Valjean has no recollection of making, to use the silver to make an honest man of himself."
    Wol Euler: it's a great book, if somewhat overlong and complicated
    Calvino Rabeni: Age of information overload
    Wol Euler: :)
    Storm Nordwind knows someone in RL who has to carry the equivalent of the yellow passport
    Calvino Rabeni: :) wish there was time and world enough
    Storm Nordwind: hehe
    Wol Euler: oh, there is. Stop watching TV for a month, you'll read it with evenings to spare
    Calvino Rabeni: But I like the TV just as much.
    Storm Nordwind: What is this "TV" concept I've heard about? :)
    Wol Euler: unknown to me too :) but travellers tell such tales
    Calvino Rabeni: It is a great and wondrous phenomenon, Storm.
    Storm Nordwind: I think I had one once, 13 years ago.
    Calvino Rabeni: They say ... once a person enters that portal, they are lost to the world.
    Wol Euler laughs
    Storm Nordwind: It is possible to fight the demon and emerge
    Storm Nordwind: But then you bolt the door and never reenter
    Storm Nordwind: For there are far more interesting things on this side of the portal
    Wol Euler: SL, for example
    Calvino Rabeni: And I personally have done shamanic journeys, into the underworld as well as the world of TV, and emerged to see the light of another day.
    Storm Nordwind: Yes even SL is more interesting that TV (especially US TV) <gasp>
    Calvino Rabeni: But I cannot recommend it except to the stalwart.
    Calvino Rabeni: Don't try it at home.
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Wol Euler: heheheh
    Storm Nordwind: Me too, as guardian of a seidh traveller, and I am back safe here
    Calvino Rabeni: When they make TV interactive, we may all be doomed!
    Wol Euler murmurs "John Connor"
    Storm Nordwind: is that a mantra Wol? Or a prayer?
    Wol Euler: maybe both.
    Wol Euler: it is a kind of cultural touchstone
    Storm Nordwind: I must be "untouchable" by culture!
    Wol Euler: or less geeky than myself.
    Calvino Rabeni: Do you think, if we could transport a TV to the middle ages, it be appealing to a person of that era? OR would they say - I don't get it, what's the point?
    Storm Nordwind: That depends on whom you show it to Cal
    Calvino Rabeni: Well the telephone was not immediately accessible, nor SL.
    Wol Euler: it would probably scare seven kinds of shit out of whoever you showed it to.
    Wol Euler: pardon my french
    Calvino Rabeni: I meant, if you could somehow leave aside the scare factor.
    Calvino Rabeni: Dismiss suspicions of black magic, or whatever.
    Storm Nordwind: maybe it would be ultimately depressing. "We've got THAT to look forward to???? Quick, pass the poison..."
    Calvino Rabeni: You could call it a "puppet theater"
    Calvino Rabeni: I guess it would look pretty trivial.
    Calvino Rabeni: Little figures dancing in a box.
    Wol Euler: it might take some getting used to, yes.
    Storm Nordwind: I suspect Clarke's 3rd law would apply
    Wol Euler: remind me?
    Wol Euler: the alien contact laws?
    Storm Nordwind: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic"
    Wol Euler: ah, yes :)
    Storm Nordwind: Please excuse me. There's some egg that needs dropping in some soup! :)
    Storm Nordwind will see you again soon, he hopes
    Wol Euler: goodngiht storm, take care.
    Wol Euler: may all beings be forgiven :)
    Wol Euler: thy might not understand it, calvino
    Wol Euler: I think that about ads, sometimes: would someone from 5 generations back understand that there is a communication taking place in the Apple iPod posters?
    Calvino Rabeni: when I demo SL to people, they don't get it, but in a couple of different ways.
    Calvino Rabeni: No, I don't think so
    Wol Euler: maybe TV would be like that, they wouldn't be able to "see" it, as cats can but dogs cannot
    Wol Euler: yes, SL is hard to explain to people who haven'T been here.
    Wol Euler: what kind of responses do you see?
    Calvino Rabeni: an initial reaction is a literal one, based on what can be preceived
    Calvino Rabeni: It was the same with cinema, I heard.
    Wol Euler: mmhmm
    Calvino Rabeni: Like, "omg, there's a giant head that has been cut off"
    Calvino Rabeni: I see responses like, one case interest in the "magic"
    Calvino Rabeni: Like, how does it make those things move around.
    Calvino Rabeni: An in another, more like seeing TV as a puppet theater.
    Wol Euler nods
    Calvino Rabeni: That response is - OH, I see , SL is like a videogame. You can make the little man move around.
    Wol Euler: when I was mentoring once, I had a newbie say "but I already have MSN, why do I need this?"
    Calvino Rabeni: Followed by, that's kind of cute, but I hope you doh't spend too much time playing with the little man.
    Wol Euler: it's odd that people "have to" justify their time spent here thinking and interacting, but not the time they spend watching TV
    Calvino Rabeni: Because it is already a norm.
    Wol Euler: yep
    Calvino Rabeni: It is a little sad perhaps.
    Calvino Rabeni: Because if it weren't there, they could be telling each other stories, or about the book they have been reading.
    Wol Euler: interacting, in other words :)
    Wol Euler: but it's more socially acceptable to sit at home alone with the TV, than to sit at your computer
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, being more fully invested (to reference WOK, I guess)
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't see that norm any more.
    Wol Euler: it's still around, I have never met anyone who was in SL
    Calvino Rabeni: But they are sucked into sitting at the computer doing other things.
    Wol Euler: um, let me phrase that differently. I have never, upon meeting a stranger ni RL, discovered that they were in SL
    Calvino Rabeni: And they are mundane, social things.
    Calvino Rabeni: OK
    Calvino Rabeni: SL is still unfamiliar, but computer involvement is becoming a commonplace
    Calvino Rabeni: displacing TV
    Wol Euler: among other media, yes.
    Calvino Rabeni: The world has transitioned into geek culture.
    Calvino Rabeni: Steve Martin should be the patron saint
    Wol Euler: the big difference of all these geek cultures (thank you) to TV is that they allow us to talk back, and to talk amongs ourslves
    Calvino Rabeni: that is big, and I am all for it
    Calvino Rabeni: Where does it go from here?
    Wol Euler: I'd be the last one to try to guess what comes next, except for this: that it becomes even more tightly woven into and around our lives
    Wol Euler: William Gibson described in one of his books, wearing glasses that had a compass and GPS-equivalent and an eyeball scanner
    Wol Euler: so it knew where you were and what you were looking at
    Calvino Rabeni: You're fully qualified to speculate, especially considering you have an interest in both consciousness and technology
    Wol Euler: and could grab up info out of the cyberworld and display it tou you
    Wol Euler: "that is an elm tree, it was planted by Fred Jones in 1988"
    Calvino Rabeni: augmented reality
    Wol Euler: well, there is an iPhone app you can buy today that does that.
    Calvino Rabeni: I don't follow it per se, but it appears to be a big area of development
    Wol Euler: just amazing.
    Calvino Rabeni: Just as interesting, are the effects on human imagination
    Wol Euler: I keep thinking about people 5 generations back, my example earlier of the ads
    Wol Euler: comparing us to them.
    Wol Euler: the Gettysburg Address was scandalously short for its time, people thought Lincoln had commmitted political suicide
    Wol Euler: it was the preamble to the *real* speech which was three hours long
    Calvino Rabeni: I like to think about that.
    Wol Euler: we have lost the ability to listen to a three-hour speech
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes.
    Wol Euler: instead we have a world in which four-year-olds are so immersed in technology that they can teach themselves to use an iPod.
    Wol Euler: or to put it anoher way, technology that was one generation ago unavailable at any price, is now cheap and simple enough for 4-yr-olds to hold it
    Calvino Rabeni: WOnder if anyone is doing any developmental psych studies with children and technology?
    Wol Euler: Probably, I hope so. It's not all good.
    Calvino Rabeni: But shifting. SL, for instance, creates an immersive background for out activities, that lasts for a relatively long time. Maybe, 3 hours or more.
    Wol Euler: good point
    Wol Euler: real time, in fact; at the pace of human thought
    Calvino Rabeni: So the notion of "information" is intrinsic to our way of thinking now, but undergoing changes.
    Wol Euler: and without the ability to quit w/out saving and start again :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Well there are things to work on.
    Calvino Rabeni: I am only too happy to break out of some of those boxes.
    Wol Euler smiles
    Calvino Rabeni: Information is to us as the water is to the fish (to use a cliche)
    Wol Euler: heh, yes.
    Wol Euler: as religion was perhaps five generations ago.
    Wol Euler: maybe more, actually; five generations back, God was already dead
    Calvino Rabeni: Exactly. Want an interesting link about that?
    Wol Euler: please.
    Calvino Rabeni: http://cyber.law.harvard.edu/interac.../11/weinberger
    Calvino Rabeni: it is a video of a talk at harvard's berkman center
    Wol Euler: that looks intersting, thank you.
    Calvino Rabeni: It's kind of racy, and not too deep, but I liked that about it.
    Wol Euler: :)
    Wol Euler: I've started listening to TED talks at work, as if they were PBS reports.
    Wol Euler: I've just noticed the time. I shall hav to get to bed, it's after midnight.
    Wol Euler: this has been grand, Calvino, thank you.
    Calvino Rabeni: So the "pull" into immersive interactive media is somethihg I like reflecting on.
    Wol Euler: "to be continued!"
    Calvino Rabeni: OK, that was leftover from before the bell
    Calvino Rabeni: anyway, yes indeed
    Wol Euler: bye for now, enjoy your sunday.


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