2009.12.15 01:00 - Notes as Bridges and Mirrors

    Table of contents
    No headers

    The Guardian for this meeting was Pema Pera. The comments are by Pema Pera.

    Soon after I arrived, Nymf came in as well, and we naturally slipped into Dutch.

    Nymf Hathaway: Hi hi... dat is lang geleden :)
    Pema Pera: ja, inderdaad!
    Pema Pera: Hoe gaat het?
    Nymf Hathaway: Met mij goed en met jou?
    Pema Pera: goed hoor, 'k zit in Japan op het moment, 6 uur 's avonds hier
    Nymf Hathaway: Ja ik hoorde het van Pila :) moet je nog dineren?
    Pema Pera: ja, dat doe ik hierna
    Nymf Hathaway: Hi Calvino, nice to see you :)
    Pema Pera: Hi Calvino!
    Calvino Rabeni: Likewise, Nymf and Pema !
    Nymf Hathaway: What will be the topic Pema?
    Pema Pera: Well, we have many options. I read in the chat logs of the last few days two remarks by Calvino:
    Pema Pera: one about the notion of making notes during/after the 9 second breaks
    Pema Pera: another about what phenomenology could be; the connection between epoche and subject/object reversal
    Pema Pera: both topics are close to my heart -- do you want to choose one, Calvino?
    Pema Pera: or both :-)
    Calvino Rabeni: Both of course :) You choose the order, please
    Pema Pera: well, let's use the same order as above
    So the conversation starts with note taking.
    Pema Pera: Right from the beginning I have suggested note taking -- because I find that extremely useful myself
    Pema Pera: but very few of us seem to be interested in doing so
    Pema Pera: or at least I never hear about it :-)
    Calvino Rabeni: :)
    Pema Pera: of course, when walking on the street it is a bit inconvenient, though not impossible
    Pema Pera: to write notes, like a detective, in a little pocket book
    Pema Pera: or i-phone or whatever
    Calvino Rabeni: You'll be glad to know I do a lot of in that case. :)
    Pema Pera: !!
    Pema Pera: tell me about it!
    Pema Pera: what have you "detected" so far?
    Calvino Rabeni: I've done it for a long time in many contexts. It is like an outgrowth of journaling.
    Calvino Rabeni: And also, of my knowledge-intensive profession.
    Calvino Rabeni: But I find notes to be a memory aid.
    Calvino Rabeni: In the early days I thought insights could be recorded, because I noticed that a lot of them are ephemeral
    Pema Pera: yes!
    Calvino Rabeni: I think my memory has improved over time - I track a lot of it better than I used to
    Calvino Rabeni: but there are states of consciousness that make it difficult to remember things
    Calvino Rabeni: In which case I use them as reminders
    Pema Pera: exactly, that's the point: notes can function as a bridge
    Calvino Rabeni: It's a kind of reflective stance also
    Pema Pera: between different modalities of consciousness
    Calvino Rabeni: Exactly
    Lots of agreement here :-)
    Pema Pera: like when waking up in the morning, and writing down just a few words about a dream
    Calvino Rabeni: As a bridge they work, not as a medium however
    Calvino Rabeni: I was just thinking that same example
    Pema Pera: then half a day later, you can easily access the dream still, which otherwise most surely would have been completely forgotten
    Calvino Rabeni: Actually, for me, the act of writing caused a link with memory
    Pema Pera: in addition, it is a kind of mirror, showing how moods wax and wane . . . samples taken every 15 minutes
    Pema Pera: yes, for me too
    Calvino Rabeni: and in many cases, I didn't need the notes - later I would remember them even if I just imagined writing them down
    Calvino Rabeni: I'd make a "mental note"
    Pema Pera: hehehe, yes, like writing secret notes to use during an exam in high school!
    Calvino Rabeni: Self objectivity is a challenge
    Calvino Rabeni: RIght
    Pema Pera: safe cheating !
    Pema Pera: don't have to use it
    Calvino Rabeni: The PAB logs are a memory aid I haven't had before in group processes
    Pema Pera: yes, I liked the way you characterized them in a recently session
    Pema Pera: as a means of reflection
    Calvino Rabeni: I take that perspective in the scribe project
    Calvino Rabeni: BUt also phenomenological
    Calvino Rabeni: I've done a lot of psych processes in the past
    Calvino Rabeni: A few lately
    Calvino Rabeni: The previous assignment from Ways Of Knowing was of that type
    Calvino Rabeni: It involved some contemplation, some writing, some reflection.
    Calvino Rabeni: Writing seems pretty straightforward as a skill
    Calvino Rabeni: but if it involves difficult psych aspects, then it is not so easy
    Calvino Rabeni: writer's block
    Pema Pera: discipline is the most difficult for most people, I think
    Calvino Rabeni: yes
    Pema Pera: though for some of us, it seems to come naturally, don't know quite why
    I decided to give a specific example.
    Pema Pera: btw, here is a typical way I make notes in my jounral, when in front of a computer.  I start with a blank template, such as, between 5 pm and 7 pm, for example:






    and then I fill it in as follows:

    17-18:       general musing about something

     q1: specific idea
     q2: specific feeling
     q3: specific memory
     q4: specific idea

    18-19:       more general musing about something

     q1: specific feeling
     q2: specific idea
     q3: specific memory
     q4: specific idea

    19-20:       yet more general musing about something

    and so on.
    Pema Pera: (of course, sometimes a whole lot happens during 9 seconds, enough to write a page or more, but I just choice a key word, or short sentence; otherwise I'd keep writing for 15 minutes -- as Eliza remarked, I now remember, during a recent chat I read.)
    Pema Pera: Anyway, shall we move to the epoche?
    It turned out that we would leave that topic for later today; instead we focused on the notion of strucgture.
    Calvino Rabeni: You have a system and a structure
    Calvino Rabeni: A lot of people seem to resist that
    Nymf Hathaway: Will log off, have a good discussion
    Calvino Rabeni: I wanted to mention William Stafford, a poet who made writing a discipline
    Pema Pera: bye Nymf!
    Pema Pera loves structures -- and loves tossing them and changing them
    Calvino Rabeni: Bye, Nymf C U later
    Pema Pera: life is a dance of structures
    Pema Pera: or dancing with structure
    Calvino Rabeni: He wrote every morning - started the process in prison
    Pema Pera: how interesting!
    Calvino Rabeni: He made it important to do - by adjusting the criteria of quality sufficiently low
    Calvino Rabeni: just like meditating
    Calvino Rabeni: You just do it, not caring about results
    Pema Pera: yes, has to be spontaneous -- structure can be scaffolding to allow spontaneity to come out much better!
    Calvino Rabeni: Very true
    Pema Pera: wu-wei means not-forcing, doesn't mean no-structure, on the contrary
    Calvino Rabeni: I have a very flexible wiki structure that is constantly changing
    Calvino Rabeni: For note taking
    Pema Pera: I'm using emacs outline mode . . . .
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, in the contrary, structure is liberating
    Pema Pera: oldfashioned :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Heh - hooray for emacs
    Pema Pera: even read my email in RMAIL -- still !
    Calvino Rabeni: I'm an old lisp hacker, by the way
    Pema Pera: do you know Scheme?
    Pema Pera: my favorite language
    Calvino Rabeni: Not specifically - I do common lisp
    Pema Pera: when working with my closest astrophysics colleague I use Ruby -- next best thing
    Pema Pera: can't get astronomers to touch lisp :(
    Calvino switched from hacker talk back to structure and discipline
    Calvino Rabeni: Regarding earlier idea - a saying I like is - discipline is what allows you to turn fate into destiny
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Pema Pera: well, life started with the first cell -- with a semi-permeable cell wall
    Calvino Rabeni: Funny rigidities - do they like fortran? Maybe Forth?
    Pema Pera: to use a phrase Maxine likes to use here
    Pema Pera resists talking about computer languages, would be long story :)
    Calvino Rabeni: Lately I think that model might be in need of revision
    Calvino Rabeni: Sure, avoid the shop-talk temptation :)
    Pema Pera: well, life might have started in some other way, but cellular structure won out
    Pema Pera: flexible scaffolding, selectively letting through
    Calvino Rabeni: As a strategy of encapsulation
    Pema Pera: boundaries as bridges
    Calvino Rabeni: but the metabolic pathways could have evolved in an extra-cellular medium
    Pema Pera: most likely, perhaps even in mica :-)
    Pema Pera: or some sort of naturally layered material
    Pema Pera: clays of some sort
    Calvino Rabeni: FOr instance, as chemical communicatio and signaling between simpler organisms
    Calvino Rabeni: Which may themselves have been capsules
    Pema Pera: but not yet a cell?
    Calvino Rabeni: but the idea is that the locus of change and evolution may have ben in the medium between organisms, not inside thecell
    Pema Pera: hmmm, I hadn't heard about that
    Calvino Rabeni: bI'm not a biologist, but I scan. Bacterial comunication perks my interest, especially when it starts to put stress on existing paradigms
    Pema Pera: but there presumably is a different kind of outer enclosure, to prevent everything from leaking out into the open ocean
    Calvino Rabeni: You were involved at Santa Fe?
    Pema Pera: sure, after you have cells, bacterial communities are fascinating in their complexity
    Pema Pera: yes, I spent some time there in the nineties, organized a conference on the limits of scientific knowledge, for example
    Calvino Rabeni: Complexity studies?
    Pema Pera: yes
    I tried to return to hacker talk, but not very successfully :)
    Pema Pera: as long as it's just the two of us, I'm curious to hear a bit more about your work with lisp; what kind of applications did you use it for?
    Calvino Rabeni: I'm an amateur everything - and claim a venerable tradition for that. (relative to last topic)
    Calvino Rabeni: OK, just a sec
    Pema Pera: I feel very similar
    Pema Pera: astrophysics is what I studied, and hence math and physics as preparation, but I enjoy learning about and dabbling in many different fields
    Calvino Rabeni: The interesting thing with genomics was when the generic material was recognized for its regulatory function, not protein coding
    Calvino Rabeni: Same here
    Calvino Rabeni: And the idea tat the more complex organisms must devite an increasing percentage of their genome to regulation
    Calvino Rabeni: relative to the simpler ones
    Pema Pera: so that gene expression was not so straightfowardly predictable?
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, most of theactionis in the reulatio
    Calvino Rabeni: regulation
    Calvino Rabeni: If you have to leave in ten minutes, I might prefer the epoche topic
    Calvino Rabeni: to the software topic
    given that the hour was almost up, I proposed to get back to the epoche later.
    Pema Pera: well, how about starting another session with the epoche -- perhaps in 12 hours from now?
    Pema Pera: 1 pm SLT?
    Pema Pera: (the epoche is a kind of software topic, btw!)
    Calvino Rabeni: sounds good
    Pema Pera: okay, I'll try to get up early enough -- should be okay
    Calvino Rabeni: where are yu in the word - still Japan?
    Pema Pera: and to do that, I should go to dinner now pretty soon, or otherwise dominoes to later times
    Pema Pera: yes, Tokyo
    Pema Pera: just found a new vegetarian restaurant on the web
    Pema Pera: want to check it out
    Pema Pera: and on top of that, found a coffeeshop with an electric outlet that they let me use
    Pema Pera: so that's why I could be here in SL :)
    Calvino Rabeni: always goot to know :)
    Pema Pera: two birds with one stone
    Calvino Rabeni: do they do coffee well there?
    Pema Pera: oh yes, and macha
    Pema Pera: a type of green tea
    Pema Pera: rather strong, and very tasty
    Calvino Rabeni: I remember reading about the marketing campaign for coffee in japan
    Pema Pera: just had a macha latte
    Calvino Rabeni: yes, I like matcha
    Pema Pera: even better spelling, yes :)
    Pema Pera: ma-tsu-cha
    Pema Pera: matcha
    Pema Pera: marketing campaign?
    Calvino Rabeni: Yes, a company was having difficulty with the japanese coffee market
    Calvino Rabeni: so they turned to a generational strategy
    Calvino Rabeni: to make sweet coffee-flavored things for children
    Calvino Rabeni: so when they becam adults they would be coffee consumers
    Calvino Rabeni: it took a long view
    Pema Pera: :-)
    Calvino Rabeni: which I suppose is good in a way
    Pema Pera: well, I'll take the short view now and get some food!
    Pema Pera: see you soon!
    Calvino Rabeni: OK, great talking to you - see you later.
    Tag page (Edit tags)
    You must login to post a comment.
    Powered by MindTouch Core